What’s your poison? Chocolate? Video-games? LSD?
Artists have become notorious for substance use, addiction, and a good measure of crazy, which is probably intertwined with our ability and our need to make art. Not that all of us are crazy (yeah, right) and not that we’re all addicted to chemical head changes.
Or… are we?
As artists, our way of processing things, everything, is a bit different than people who don’t have the inclination to make art. We feel everything strongly, we see color differently, we look past reality into a world that doesn’t exist without our imagination. That in itself is a bit trippy, and we wouldn’t have the wherewithal to make grand, fantastical statements out of paint, thread, or music without a tendency to latch onto the emotional vibration of life. It’s not that everyone doesn’t do this to a degree, but artists take emotion to a whole new level. We breathe emotion into life. Often in beautiful, awe-inspiring ways. There’s an ebb and flow to be sure, with much of our time spent in frenzied creativity, overflowing with inspiration and ideas, high on nothing more than our need to create.
But there’s a flip side. Sometimes, if not properly nurtured, our emotional processing skills get broken. Sometimes everything gets black and dull and scary. Continue reading
Sometimes I just want to slap myself.
I have terrible mood swings regarding my art. One minute I think my work looks great and my career is going to be swell and everything is awesome. The next, I downward spiral into despair that nothing looks good, nothing is working, I’m a hack, it’s going to fail, people will laugh and mock and cry.
It’s all part of my process.
Generally at some point during every single painting I’ve ever made, I love it; I think it’s the best work I’ve ever done. At another point, with every single painting I’ve ever made, I hate it. It’s trash. It’s not worthy of continuing. And I do this back and forth throughout the entirety of creating each piece until I’m finally happy and satisfied with it. Continue reading
I wasn’t always a painter. Sure, I’d dabbled before, but it was never something that had any sort of hold over me. In fact, I found it boring. Then one day, out of the blue, I had this terrible, burning, incredible need to paint. To really paint.
So, I did the only natural thing to do. I found this awesome painter I was acquainted with, who had a long and successful career as an artist, walked straight up to him and said,
“I want to paint.”
He didn’t blink. In fact, he told me exactly what to do.
The most important thing, he said, was not to spend too much money on materials. Specifically, he told me to start out with house paint, preferably the “oops” paint (the cans that had been messed up at the hardware store), because it was cheaper. At first I thought this was in case I decided I didn’t like painting. A good point, to be sure, but in actuality he didn’t want me to feel guilty using up anything I’d bought. Which I would have.
Then he told me what continues to be the best advice I have ever received about art, ever:
“Don’t make it good.” Continue reading
If you’re not familiar, ‘Work of Art’ is a reality TV show on Bravo about artists, in the same vein as Project Runway. Artists with different styles and backgrounds compete against each other toward one last battle, the prize being money and an official show in a fancy art place, displaying all the crap they made over the course of the season.
Each episode presents a new “challenge,” or theme, to inspire the artists to make a piece of art that will be judged against all the rest, after a time limit of one day in which to conceptualize, create, and finish their art. It has to be unique, innovative, something that passes the approval of “qualified” judges, and must never be too reminiscent of their own style or in any way similar to what they made last week.
It’s not much different than pulling in ten random people off the street, throwing them into a craft store for 20 minutes, and then demanding they produce genius art in a day.
This is not a venue in which these artists are allowed to display their lifetime of creativity, the progress in their own careers, or their unique fingerprint of inspiration. It’s a pressure-filled war zone where they are emotionally blindfolded, dropped off in the middle of nowhere, and told to build epic cathedrals out of popsicle sticks. Their reward is a harsh critique from some dude who owns a gallery in New York and the possibility that maybe, just maybe, Sarah Jessica Parker will grace them with her presence. Continue reading
Lately I’ve been pondering the relationships artists have with other artists.
I think in some ways, there’s this mistaken dream that artists all gather collectively the way we imagine it was done in 1920’s Paris; a utopia of sorts for artists to mingle, support, and commiserate with each other.
A scene from the movie Midnight in Paris:
Gil: I would like you to read my novel and get your opinion.
Ernest Hemingway: I hate it.
Gil: You haven’t even read it yet.
Ernest Hemingway: If it’s bad, I’ll hate it. If it’s good, then I’ll be envious and hate it even more. You don’t want the opinion of another writer.
Online, I’ve been fortunate to connect with many artists, mostly visual artists, but artists of other genres as well. Perhaps it’s the distance between us, the safe barrier of computer screens shielding us from the snickering, eye-rolling, and snide comments we’ve experienced in real life. Maybe it’s the sense that we share a common bond, not only of marketing ourselves as a business online, but also a common lack of artist-to-artist relationships in the real world.
Or, maybe we just have a wider audience in which to find people we truly click with.
In real life, at least for me personally, I find an odd, awkward distance in communication between myself and other artists. For whatever reason, conveniently, my real-life artist friends are the least likely to comment on my Facebook updates, acknowledge anything about my life, or ask how I’m doing when they see me. Continue reading
Don’t get me wrong — Being a self-employed artist is absolutely the most rewarding and fascinating journey I have ever undertaken. It lights my soul on fire and makes me happier than I ever thought possible. I feel empowered and capable. I absolutely love getting up every morning. I adore my job.
That doesn’t make it any less lonely though.
I’m not talking about the hermit-like lifestyle I lead all day, every day, in order to get work done. I’m talking about the absence of true connection with other people who don’t pursue goals in the same manner.
I’ve met many people who work 9-to-5’s and generally assume that I work very little, and that my daily life consists of TV, napping, and leisure. Somehow, amidst this life of endless stasis, my artwork, marketing, and writings burst forth into the universe simply because I think them into existence.
Whenever I achieve something I’ve been working towards, someone inevitably comments about how “lucky” I am. Ha. Continue reading
If you look at the diagram above you’ll see three different print sizes that I offer for sale in the art shop. The smallest measures 5×5 inches, the medium sized measures 8×8 inches with the largest measuring in at 12×12 inches.
A 5×5 inch print gives you 25 square inches (156 square cm) of art.
An 8×8 inch print gives you 64 square inches (420 square cm) of art.
The 12×12 inch print gives you a whopping 144 inches (930 square cm) of artwork and is the best value to purchase from my Etsy shop!
Today, I have put the 12×12 inch, 11×14 inch and 9×13 inch prints on sale for $40 which is 20% Off their regular price. This sale will run until October 25th. Do shop early for the upcoming Christmas and Holiday Season to guarantee that your order arrives on time for gift giving.
The prices are already reduced in the large print section of my shop. All large sized prints are securely packaged by me into flat unbending fiberboard mailers and ship from my studio located in Saint John, NB, Canada. And I do ship internationally.
UPDATE – Licenses have been adjusted to reflect Creative Commons 3.0 for personal use and the Pay-What-You-Can-Model for commercial use. Also prices have been standardized to $2.99 per download. Thank You!
About a year ago I began working on HandmadeCloud with the intent of it becoming a fully digital download shop that would supply individuals, families, teachers, students, interior designers and other businesses with original stock illustration. After many attempts and much frustration to get the site working properly, I decided to switch shopping cart systems. I’m very excited to say that Big Cartel works wonderfully in conjunction with PulleyApp and will serve all your illustration and decorating needs from within the comfort of your own home.
What exactly is a digital fine art download? A digital fine art download is a high resolution scan of an original piece of artwork. It is really no different than a photograph taken with the digital camera. It can be printed on Tshirts, coffee mugs, shoulder bags or even dinner plates. You can print it out on your home printer, bring it into your favorite local printer or upload it to a Print on Demand website and have them print it out at the size you want to later frame for hanging on your wall. Continue reading