Monday, November 24, 2014
I had totally forgotten that I had this blog and it's weird reading past entries....I mean the ideas and viewpoints being expressed are totally mine, but the language just seems different to me...weird. And its funny because almost two years later I find myself in the same frame of mind - frustrated and trying to figure out what direction I want to go in. But I guess I should update from my last entries. Had my solo show and it went pretty well. I ended up scrapping any kind of theme for the show and just showcasing recent pieces I had worked on as well as a bunch of small, affordable paintings. I ended up going with the title Illustrate or Die! I just kind of thought it sounded cool, but also has kind of become my thinking over the years as I've tried to navigate the trials and tribulations of being a freelance illustrator. I still don't know whether this whole thing is going to work out for me and sometimes I wonder if maybe I'm not cut out for the life of being an illustrator and all the stress that goes along with it.....but I try to keep moving forward on something akin to a suicide mission, hence the title of my show. Also I kind of rhymes with Interplanetary Spy, one of my favorite book series as a kid. Here's a link to an album of new pieces from the show. But the show went well, I sold about half of the small pieces (priced at $75) I did for the show as well as a bunch of art prints and rock posters. As for what I've been up to lately, the two main projects I worked on this year were Speedy the Turtle a children's book I illustrated and an award design for the first annual Alternative Press Music Awards. I was working on both projects almost nonstop for 5 months and still haven't really recovered from it...I've been wanting to take a proper vacation for awhile now...not really go anywhere just take a break and rest my brain for at least a week, but it seems like a small project will come along and then things snowball. I shouldn't complain that I'm getting work, but my personality of wanting to be Johnny on the Spot and help everyone who comes my way IMMEDIATELY has really started to exhaust me. That along with no real clear cut direction for my art or career has led to a lot of sleepless nights, making me even more exhausted. I really just want one of those deprivation chambers where I can just chill in it for awhile...my only request is that the deprivation chamber also stops time so I'm not missing anything. Well, I'm going to try and make this a regular thing again. Maybe bitching and moaning about trivial stuff will help me snap out of this funk.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
I think I'm going to have to finally once and for all get rid of Facebook. Last night before I went to sleep I got this epiphany that I needed to go the next day without going on facebook...it just seems like a huge waste of time anymore and is sapping my artistic ambitions...I just find myself reading everyone else's shit, becoming angry when I see some crazy post about something I don't agree at all with, and am constantly going in OCD circles on the thing. So my intent last night was to put a post it note on my computer reminding me not to go on there, but I got distracted and didn't do it. Where do you think the first place I went to this morning was after I sat down at my computer? It's an addiction, and most of all when I run into my friends any "What have you been up to?" inquiries are total bullshit, because I know exactly what you've been up to because it's all on there. And I cringe whenever I say "Did you see that video I posted on facebook the other day." or feel like a stalker if I say "Hey, I saw what you posted the other day.". The thing that keeps me on there is that I've convinced myself that it somehow helps my career to be on there, but to this day I have never been handed a job opportunity through Facebook. I have a fan page connected to my profile, but in the 5 years I've had it haven't managed to break a thousand fans, so I'm really weighing the pros and cons. Pros - social interaction - keep in touch with my friends - be able to post new work on a whim - let people know about ebay auctions and items when they go on sale - cat pictures Cons - huge waste of time - unnecessary drama that my personality tends to absorb - get in arguments that never end - ruins any surprise conversations with my friends
Monday, February 11, 2013
Well the past couple days I've actually been getting some work done and rediscovering my love for inking lineart...it's not full-on obsessive motivation, more like when you see a fluorescent light flickering and buzzing, but at least its something. Right now I'm polishing up a skateboard design for Karvt that will be laser etched on a super limited amount of skatedecks. I've had the project on the back burner for about two years now and whenever I would sit down to work on something I would usually sketch for a day or so and then usually start to over-rationalize whether it was a good or bad design and eventually just talk myself out of it....this is a bad habit I've formed over the years where it's like I've kind of lost my nerve to just take chances and draw whatever I wanted to. Now it's like it's a game of "What kind of merchandise can I create with this design.", "Will this be popular with people?" "Could it eventually be turned into a character?". I think what happened is back in 2008 I was probably do the most work of my life and I had probably my highest profile gig ever. And I think that after that I told myself I couldn't screw around anymore, because there was a spotlight being shown on me and if I produced a weak piece of art, I would be exposed as a fraud. And this really mind-fucked me to the point where I'm scared to take chances. So getting back to the skatedeck design, I kind of just said screw it, came up with a tight sketch for my design in about two hours and am just going to go for it. Reaction to sketches have been good, but most of all I really like it and can't wait to see it in final form......stay tuned. p.s. weather outside is windy but pretty warm, so I'm going to start adding walking back into the mix. Over the past month and a half I've been making some changes in my diet in case that was the source for my artists block - quit drinking pop (but switched to coffee) and have been doing a lot of my own cooking rather then eating canned, microwave stuff. I don't feel awesome yet mainly because I think my body is still detoxing from all the crap I've put in it the last decade or so....
Saturday, February 9, 2013
So right before stopping here I was looking at some of Art Adam illustrations....Jesus christ are they good....I've loved his work since I was a little kid when I bought either an X-men or New Mutants annual featuring X-babies or something, then of course loved his Longshot series. But I look at his work and I feel really SMALL and understand he is working on a completely different level than me. I really need to get my ass in gear. I mean it's too late for me to decide to be a comic book illustrator and I've always weighed the pros and cons of doing that anyway...I've thought about becoming a tattoo artist, but in the end felt like I really wouldn't belong in that world (especially since don't have tattoos) but also didn't want to have to start from scratch. I don't know what I'm getting at, I guess I just don't know where my artwork would fit in the best and I thought I would know that be now. Over the years I've kind of just gone where the winds have carried me - someone will contact me and be like "have you ever thought of doing ___________ with your art?" and it's usually something that never crossed my mind (rock posters, Hot Wheels, motorcycle helmets, etc.). But I would like to have an actual plan for once, so hopefully in these writings I can zero in on that, rather then aimlessly wander the earth (my computer and art desk). Let's see what have I been up to lately? FINALLY working on a skateboard design for KARVT. It's been two years of sketches, scrapped ideas, false starts, etc. and I'm now staring at the final design (minus some tweaking) on my computer. Also created a sticker design for a barber named Sailor Jon. The theme was an old school tattoo and I had a lot of fun working on it...reminded me of my days doing tattoo flash. Next up working on some portraits for a client of his daughter, a t-shirt design for robthebank I promised them, and a character illustration for a beard growing contest. The last couple months I haven't really felt like doing art that much and I think I'm kind of stuck in this thinking that I have to be in a good mood/feeling productive in order to do work lest I risk coming up with something shitty, thus exposing me for the fraud I am...hehe....you know I remember a time where creating art literally felt like love was coming through my fingertips and out my pencil...it was a good feeling and had to be or else I wouldn't have stuck with it so long. But lately, it's like it feels like pulling teeth just trying to put pencil to paper and I can't figure out what changed. OH BOO WHOO. I have a solo show coming up sometime in June...I've been batting some ideas around in my head for a theme, but realizing I won't have the time to do one central theme and fill up the space...so I'm listing past projects I've done since my last solo show to at least fill up some of the space and then I'm going to have different series that revolve around various themes. One idea I had was for a series called "Childish things" and it will involve elements from things I loved as a child and still get me nostalgic when I see them (toy packaging, video game cabinet art, roller rink wall painting, etc.). But the plan is to compile a bunch of shit, put it in a "blender" and come up with something new.....stay tuned.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Well, I'm starting this blog mainly because it's easier than handwriting all this crap. In a nutshell, I have artist's block and there's a program called The Artist's Way that is supposed to help you get through that. A huge part of it involves writing three pages of freeform thought about whatever pops into your head (fears, wants, dreams, etc.) and the thinking is that if you get it out of your head, then it frees your mind up to work better. I'm closing in on 40 and I've been pretty frustrated with how my career has been going lately. I've been a career illustrator for 12+ years now and during that time I've done some really cool things but I still feel like my work hasn't caught fire yet and I really have nobody else to blame but myself. Maybe because it's the wintertime and I'm lacking Vitamin D or something, but I just don't feel as motivated to do art as I used to be and I can't figure out what it is that going to kick start my passion again. So I'm hoping that just writing this shit down will clear out the cobwebs in my brain and get the gears working again. For one thing, I'm stuck in the past and I find myself reliving over and over again situations where I wish I would have done something differently - like personal stuff (dating a married woman, a fight with my best friend, and on and on) and I wish I could just move past them. People always talk about "learning to let go" and I haven't figured out how to do that yet. I think that's why I'm so obsessed with time travel movies because I want desperately to go back and make different choices. Maybe this is just how EVERYBODY is and they keep it to themselves, but I feel like every one around me is content with the way their lives have gone and it's just me who wishes he had the ability to reset time. So let's hope this is a start of letting go of some things and really starting to look forward.