Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give some thanks and take a bow

Well, I am going to warn you that this is going to be another one of those inspirational, positivity type posts. Sure we all know that we are very well off comparatively and we should be thankful every day for everything we have. We should put aside our greed and petty ambitions and revel in the now that we are blessed with. We all know this and some of us constantly strive to be that person. And that is the problem. Speaking from personal experience, by projecting your desires on your future self, you are diluting your present being. So knock it off.

I have striven my entire adult life to be this guy instead of That Guy. I wanted nothing more than to bury my failings and shortcomings under a metric ton of desires and personal goals. My philosophy has been that if I played out the "best guy I can be" role long enough, that it would just become habit and the old shitty me would be converted. And to be honest, at first, all it did was hold the darkness at bay. But after awhile, it started to work. Maybe I just needed something to work towards and found a stupid way of doing it. Either way, for any number of reasons, here I am today, and I am thankful for who I am. Even though I am still an ass.

And that is what each of us should be thankful for.

Be thankful that you get to draw breath as You today. Explore the things that make you who you are and revel in their beauty; terrible or otherwise. Sure you should be grateful and appreciative for the folks around you, but to be honest, you should be thanking them the other 364 days of the year in some form or another. There are a lot of great people out there that inspire and support us. It should be up to each of us to find our inner strengths and bolster our self-being enough to become one of them.

So there you go: Love yourself when you can, and do some esteem push-ups when you can't.

Oh, and those are my girls helping me put up ornaments.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What is up!

So hey there folks. I am still waiting to get my scans back from the printers as well as waiting to shoot pics of my most recent work. Do you think that will stop me from talking about anything in particular? Heck no. This blog is not only about the work but the process. So booyah!

I am currently finalizing my con schedule for next year. This year I attended over 10 conventions with one more to go in 2 weeks. Many of you have attended these shows or lived vicariously through this blog. Either way, you should have a good sense of what has been happening on and off the road. In 2011 I plan on presenting a whole new face to my enterprise. With a completely revamped website and art presentation, I will be focusing more on networking and rep vs on-site sales. I will still continue to offer portraiture and print sales, but will man a booth at very few of these shows. Instead I will be doing panels, demos and shots with/for the attendees. I learned alot from this year's venture; primarily how little I like to be a huckster. I want to talk about art with artists and fans. I want to dive and delve throughout the process. At most of these events you will find me either in the halls with a beer or behind an easel...with a beer. No more missed opportunities for me!

That said, I will post a list of the events I will be attending soon so you can mark your calendars in advance. I have about 5 paintings lined up right now and each will be better than the last. I will be interspersing my illustrative work with personal pieces in an effort to stay loose and fresh. Those of you in the Nashville area will be able to come see my work in galleries across town starting in December. See? I told you I could talk. As a payoff, I hope you enjoyed the sneak peaks of my next 2 pieces that will be completed over the weekend. I have set myself up for a big fall here by showing these, but I love Hal and Sinestro and hope to do these guys some justice. Perhaps the added pressure of time and dignity will help the creative juices. I'll let you be the judge!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Illuxcon 3 and Me

So when asked about my trip to Illuxcon, I had the following words to say

Well, I went to the show to rock out with some of my best friends, and rock out we did. I rolled up with Sam and Mike and Paul Bielaczyc and we shared adjoining rooms. I romped and stomped and threw one heck of a room party. I didn't sign up for any reviews, because I didn't see any need. My portfolio kind of stopped progressing after Dragoncon with all my life's shenanigans. Instead I just focused on cementing the relationships I had begun this past year. The anniversary of my painting genesis was profound for me on many levels. I wanted to celebrate that thoroughly. (pssst- I did)

The panels were alright but were missing a lot of the punch of last year. Having so many heavy hitters cancel the show brought a level of freshness to the floor but a serious lack in austerity and grandeur.Still, most of the work was fantastic and Michael and Audrey made it in late as a bonus surprise. I bought a few original works including Dan's Implied Spaces, Drew Baker's Fire Dragon, and a personal piece of William O'Connor's.

Saturday night I butchered 2 songs with a live band and my best bud Michael Bielaczyc.

I feel like Illuxcon is a source of renewal for me. Not just the artistic inspiration, but a good opportunity to re-evaluate myself as an artist in this environment. I am a 32 year old single father who is embarking on a chosen path. My art is distinct and improving. I feel that this is truly an advantage. Many of the artists I saw this weekend feel lost and confused to me. Maybe they weren't ready for stardom. Maybe they just never had a solid life of their own outside of their art. Whatever the reason, I felt like I was one of the more grounded, albeit enthusiastic, artists there. I know who I am and have faith that my work will grow stronger because of my depth of character. At this point I feel like my lack of art experience is no longer a detraction when compared to my real world life's experience.

Whatever helps me get over a hangover I suppose...

Still, it was great to see so many friends in one place. Oh, and Corina ST Martin's jewelry kicks butt and was very well received here at home.

As far as new work, I am waiting on the scans for September Falling to come back, ad I have just finished Pipe Dreams. I will be starting a new Illustration tonight and will be sure to keep you guys updated. Till then, enjoy this photo from Dudecon 2 '010.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pipe Dreams - A Work in Progress

Hello all! So I thought I would post up the piece I am currently working on. I am currently in between commissions and conventions and so am doing a few personal pieces. Those of you going to Illuxcon next week will get to see them in person.

This piece is called Pipe Dreams and is about %20 finished. It is 24x36 and heralds my return to canvas for personal work. I am finding it very therapeutic to change surfaces depending on the subject matter. My illustrative work remains crisp and professional on Masonite or Illustration Board and my Canvas work retains the inherent texture and emotion of the fabric. It should be fun.

I don't know that I have a whole lot to say right now other than I will soon start posting the costuming I have been doing. My good friends at Aradani Studios have been nurturing and nudging me into this genre and it is fascinating. I have already learned soooo much and had such a great time. Plus, there is nothing like directing traffic while Breakdancing to Thriller in a full demonic minotaur costume.

As far as my life goes, I have made peace with the things I can't control and as such have opened myself to new ideas and new experiences. I will be doing more traveling, more painting, more cooking, more exercising; heck just more of everything. I have amazing people in my life, and through them I have found a whole world within myself to explore. I am the most blessed and fortunate person I know, and I look forward to sharing all of the joy, knowledge and abilities I develop along the way. I hope that you guys out there will be a part of it.

Sooooo, as Dr Scott the Palentologist on Dinosaur Train reminds us daily, "Get outside in Nature and make your own discoveries".

Oh, and before I forget I have a new favorite phrase. When someone repeatedly stuns you with commonality and synchronicity; almost paralyzing you with their presence : "Shut the Front Door". Slow, fast and with numerous inflection possibilities, this is the verbal handyman's go to response.