February, Planning for the Summer

PunkRockSkull_ThumbI have spent the past week working on new art (yaaay!)
I have been looking for places / events to sell my art.
It can be hard to find places that work for dark or creepy art.  Harder to find ones with reasonable table fees and that does not make one jump through crazy hoops.
I have confirmation for two so far.  Dark in the Park in July in Pacific, Washington.  Yes, there is a town in Washington named Pacific.  That threw me when I first found out.  It is just north of Puyallup.  I also signed up to do a dark themed event in November, right after Thanksgiving, the Feast of Beasts.
I sent out applications for five other events, one is a wait list.  I hope to hear back on those, soon.  They are in Seattle.  I will post more about those when I hear back.  There is another Seattle one that has not posted their application yet.  I am eagerly awaiting it, as I already have someone to share the space with.  If all goes well that will be 8 larger events. I hope to get some smallish ones in as well.  I really enjoyed Oddmall Tacoma last year.
I want to expand my inventory beyond paper products. I picked up a silk screening kit.  I want to see if I can design something to put on shirts or maybe tote bags.  One color jobs as it only came with one screen. I have an idea for a few things that might work.
Suggestions for things that can be easily hand made and/or and cheaply purchased are welcome.
In other events:
I am gearing up for Emerald City Comicon.  I have been working the event for many years, 6 or 7 years I think.  I am super excited to go through Artist alley and see what new stuff my favorite artists have done.
I almost forgot!
I posted the video of me painting Starry Tacoma Night!
Check it out.
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PugetSoundSailboat

Over Doing it

There are times when I am so busy that I over do it.

Not really physically.  Mentally and emotionally.

Things HAVE to be done; Get up, go to work, deal with people. The house has to be cleaned, people are coming over, tomorrow.  Spend several hours cleaning. Go to work, deal with people.  Get home, deal with people. Work on art.  It makes you happy right? Latte’s, sugar, tea… sleep? Chores, more painting and drawing.  Errands… Music to save your sanity  and keep you from punching that idiot.

There are days (like the day I wrote this) where I just need to go and hide in a dimly lit hole.  Hide and recuperate my energy, my tolerances, and relocate my motivation.

When I am this rundown I tend to get depressed or angry (I would rather be depressed.  It is easier to hide then to walk around trying to restrain myself.)  When depressed I have trouble focusing on the good things, happy things.

The good becomes so hard to find that it is not worth looking for it. It is almost not worth trying to keep making things because you think everything is bad. All you see are the mistakes and errors.  Not the overall picture and how it is viewed.

You start doubting your skills.  All the mistakes, errors.  I suck.  I am a failure.  I am an amature.  No amount of practice makes me better.

You get sucked into a spiral of “why bother doing..?”  It is  all mistakes, it sucks, no one likes it.

This process leads to a lack of inspiration, and then a lack of art.  Then a shell of a person, only going about things because they have to be done for the survival of the body.

Hopefully one can see it coming and mitigate the situation before it becomes  a full blown episode of stagnation and misery.  Months and years of your life can be lost in the “pit of despair.”

There are lots of away to recover.  I walk to recover.  I find a park, put on some music and walk.  Miles and miles.  I pretend that I am nothing.  No one knows me.  I have no skills, no personality, no needs, wants, desires, nothing.  I am unknown and invisible.  I walk.

Matt Simons – Catch and Release is one of my favorite songs to walk to.  It puts things into perspective.

And I am out of words on this topic for now.

Night!

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Inspiration is all around.  One just has to see.

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Painting inspired by the above scene I saw while out for a walk.

 

 

 

NotQuiteBond

Bond, James Bond…. well almost

NotQuiteBond

I am a sneaky spy!

It has been a turmoil week.

Birthday on Monday (not mine,) dead brain on Tuesday (it was pretty crazy,) walking with snails on Wednesday (still mad about that,) another birthday on Thursday (again on mine,) and finally Friday!

Before a long weekend.

And I am going to go to bed at a decent time.  I have stuff to do tomorrow.

Today’s drawing is really from Wednesday, pre-snail walking (that picture will come soon, maybe this weekend…)

On Wednesday I got out of bed, did my normal routine, and started to get dressed.  Then I realized that the Bond theme was playing.  Who does not want to be a spy for a few minutes.  So I did my best sneaky spy impression and got dressed.  It was quite a lot of fun.  I forgot to set my cloths out the night before and was trying to be “sneaky” and get things together.

It was totally fun.  I challenge everyone to play the song and be a spy for a moment.

The World is my Muse

It is common for people to ask well known artists “what is your inspiration?” in some form or another. Some artist actually have a person, place or thing that they feel inspires them. These artists usually use this muse as the focus of their work. Love songs, sculptures, paintings and drawings all relating to the muse.

Some artists do not really have a muse. They create when they are moved by something or have an idea. The world is their muse. They can be walking down a street, for the 100th time, and see something, for the 100th time, and suddenly it is noticeable and amazing. They may be having a bad day and take it out on a canvas (or whatever medium they prefer.) The next thing you know there is something amazing where there was only white.

Of the artists that I know about half feel they “need” a muse to create good works. When they are museless they are usually moody and depressed, waiting for a new muse to show up. Most trudge on, but feel the art is substandard. Some do stop working completely and just mope until a new muse comes along.

I kind of think these guys create for themselves and luck out that people like their work. They have strong connections to their work. (personal opinion!)

The world is my muse. I create off the things I see and things that make me feel.

When I walk down the street and see that lamp post for the 110th time, it may just be the most amazing and inspirational thing I have seen all week. It might make me create something. On the other hand I may store the information for later use. Some of the things that are observed can create new and more interesting creations, if they have time to grow and combine with other ideas. When I get the urge to create I pull these ideas out of my head and put them on paper, canvas, computer, film, or whatever medium they call for. Sometimes it is a sudden creation, a few hours. Others take a lot of time and additional research and can take days or months to complete.

The other half of the artists that I know (me included) create all the time. They never seem to stop. They see something in the world or feel something and out comes art. They may like it, and they may not. It does not stop them from moving on to the next thing. Someone will connect with the piece and their job is done.

I kind of think these guys create because it is fun and are happy that others like it. They have weak connections to most of their work and are happy to “get rid” of it. More space for new stuff! (personal opinion!)

Whatever your stance on Muses might be. Creating something is amazing. Never stop.

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So Many Things…

SpaceWolfArmy

This is a banner I painted for a friend and his Warhammer 40k Space Wolf Army. The runes around the edge have a message. It translates roughly to “Good deeds lead to pride and honor, memory of the deeds of the clan enrich all generations. Beware the fools who are complacent , for that is death.” From my research the Space Wolves were Nordic in thought and would mix praise with a warning as they march to battle.

There are so many things to get done during the day.  I often wonder how I am going to get all of the things in my head out into the world where they belong.  Right at this moment I just thought of the opening lines of a song by Death Cab for Cutie entitled Soul Meets Body. “In my head there is a greyhound station. Where I send my thoughts to far off destinations. So they may have a chance of finding a place where they are far more suitable…”

There are so many things pinging, bouncing and even floating around in my mind.  It is difficult to find time (and some days, the energy) to work on them.  I have several painting ideas, a handful of CG ideas, website ideas and a crazy amount of mundane tasks (dishes, laundry, shopping and such) all vying for attention.  I would love to send them off to completion in whatever media the belong to, but I have not.  Things have been busy and all I want to do (like most working people) is chill out and spend time with the family when I get home.

My angst with all of these ideas is coming to a head, though.  Soon I will be in uber production mode.  All of the paintings will get done, so will the CG and the website will pop up, as if from the aether.  Not much other than techno, club, and dubstep (I will sneak in some Monster Magnet or Alabama 3) will issue from any speakers in the work room (unless I am sleeping, Strauss, Bach, Yoshida Bothers and instrumentals for the resting mind and body) in an effort to get my body to speed up to the pace of my mind.

Wow! There was a lot of side tracks in that paragraph.  It is almost like reading Douglas Adams and stopping at each of his footnotes.

Each person has their own way of sorting through their ideas.  Just like they have their own way of assigning priority.  I just do whatever catches my interest at the moment.  I often work on three or four things at once (paint needs to dry.)  Not in an effort to finish faster or do more, but more because that is where my mind goes.  Thoughts like “Ooo.. this color will look great on….” or “this is boring…” drive me to have several projects going at once.  More often then not I have a “this does not work / look right” moment and will start from scratch, pushing up other projects.

When I get into these sessions (months long usually) I just work.  My legs and feet will be sore from standing at the easel.  My butt might get numb and my eyes cross from sitting at the computer. Everything is super faster paced, go-go-go.  Everything gets done and my mind will be clear and uncluttered for a bit.

I live for the the enjoyment of completing a project and those few days of mental quite.  All I get are a few days.  The ideas start piling up quickly and in a few months I will have to start the process all over again.

Every day that goes by and my ideas are stuck in the head another bee is added to the buzzing.  The only way to get it to lessen is to start doing the things that are upper most in the mind.  It does not matter the order they get done in.  Only that they get done so the idea can move on and leave room for a new idea.

So many things… lead to so many other things.  In this manner I will leave my mark upon the world.  I will leave many things for others to enjoy, reflect upon, utilize, and ponder.  I may not become a Picasso, Monet or Michelangelo but I will leave a mark.  I only hope those who experience my marks will be better for it.

Have a good weekend everyone!