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I posted a Lara Croft portrait last night and awoke to over 300 messages in my inbox and a bunch of new watchers.  Welcome and thank you for your support!  I'm going to continue to work on at least one more piece for the Tomb Raider Reborn Contest, so you might want to follow me on Tumblr or Twitter if you're interested in seeing the process for that.

Thanks again!
  • Watching: Spartacus, Parks and Rec
  • Playing: Skyrim
  • Drinking: Beer, Water and sometimes Cocoa
I've started selling artwork over at my Tumblr.  Prices start at $15.

Follow this link for more details!
  • Reading: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • Playing: Portal
I've prepared a folder in my gallery for a series of Alzheimer's-related pieces that I'm going to be working on for the foreseeable future.  While this body of work is coming together, I'm going to be updating this journal entry as necessary with any relevant thoughts or info that might come up.

For now, here's a little working artist's statement:
I've been living with a woman who has Early Onset Alzheimer's for the past several years. I always thought that, as an artist, I should do something to document her struggle with this terrible disease, but until recently, I never had the time to do so.

Nowadays, I spend at least an hour a day with her to give her family a rest and much of that time is spent trying to capture her odd movements and gestures. For the time being, these images have taken on an abstracted and fragmented quality which was the most accurate way I could think of to convey how this illness is working in her.

Thank you for viewing.

Immediately following this journal posting, I'm going to be uploading about 16 studies, but don't worry, I won't normally be putting that many up at a time.
  • Watching: Young Justice
I recently entered the Dodge Dart Inspired by You contest here on Deviant Art and was notified yesterday that I'd made it into the Semi-Finals with this entry.  I'm thrilled to be included among so many imaginative artists from an array of art backgrounds.  I feel very fortunate indeed.

Thank you to the Deviant Art staff for the opportunity and to my watchers for their continued support!

I don't know when the folks at Dodge are set to pick the finalists.  It could be a couple weeks, or several months, but I'll be sure to post an update once I hear anything.  Good luck to all of the semi-finalists!
  • Watching: The Legend of Korra
So I decided a few years back that I wouldn't try to make a living off of my art.  Technically, this means that I'm not a professional artist even though I've studied for years and years, but labels like "professional" or "amateur" or "hobbyist" as applied to artists don't hold a lot of weight with me anyway.  If the work is good, it's good despite the source.  My decision to turn my back on the gallery system and embrace the "hobbyist" lifestyle was, as you can probably guess, based on a sense of idealism.  I prefer that my work stays as true to myself and my own interests and motivations as possible.  I don't think that this would have been possible had I been at the mercy of my dealers' or clients' whims.

One of my main goals has always been to grow and change and evolve my craft and subject matter.  I don't like to do the same thing over and over - I call that being in a rut.  Once I've mastered something, I like to throw a wrench in the process and try to "fix" it.  Rinse.  Repeat.  The problem with being a professional artist is that there is very little room for growth once you've developed an approach that people like.  You're expected to do that same thing all the time.  Not only that, you expect it of yourself, because that's how you feed your family.  And I suppose this is ultimately why I don't blame people who elect to live this life.

All that being said, there is a big drawback to not pursuing a living through my art.  I have a day job that takes away a significant portion of time which could be spent in my studio.  Because of this, I've had to become extremely disciplined in my time management.  I get up early to have breakfast and work out, then I go to work for 8 hours, then I come home and eat dinner and spend some time with family, and then, if I'm not completely worn out I have a couple hours leftover to draw or paint.  Sometimes, I allow my painting time to cut into my sleeping time, which is a terrible idea over the long term and can lead to brain disorders as I age, but these are the choices we make.

Since my time is so precious, I feel a lot of pressure to grow quickly.  In years past, I would have used pages and pages of sketchbooks to work out the tiniest detail or idea.  Nowadays, I try to condense that process as much as possible.  I'm more focused on making each individual piece, even if it's just a sketch, work to the best of my ability.  As of yet, I'm unsure whether this new strategy is helpful or detrimental.

I can conclude for now by saying that I've traded one problem, the possibility of becoming a stagnated paid artist, for another, the freedom of growing or declining on my own, but I understand that the process associated with being an artist was never going to be easy.  It was always going to be much easier to get frustrated and to blame my situation for not achieving anything.  For now, I just try to work as much as possible, as efficiently as possible.  It will have to be enough for the time being.
  • Listening to: The Ring Cycle - Richard Wagner
  • Playing: Skyrim
It's been about a month and a half since I started this account.  Figured it was about time to update my journal and take a look at what's motivating me right now.

I mentioned in my previous entry that I had taken a lot of time off from my art - about a year.  There were a few reasons for this.  I had just finished an intense project for school drawing self portraits each day for a year.  I elected to do this as a test of my endurance, but I think that a lot of my other skills languished because of it, especially in terms of invention and imagination.  You see, I work full time and I live with a woman who has Early Onset Alzheimer's (my boyfriend's mother), so I have to be careful about how I spend my off hours. This project basically zapped any time I might have used toward creating, say, fanart or original illustrations or just organizing my thoughts in a journal.

Not only that, but I had become disenchanted with the whole idea of being in art school at all.  I kept trying to mold myself into what art institutions tell us artists are supposed to be - hypercritical, judgmental, rigid gallery representatives who exist to make the wealthy feel like they are making cultural contributions.  This is nothing new of course, but as a young starry-eyed kid, I wasn't aware of it and it hurt me to find out how the art world really worked.  Anyway, perhaps that is a story to flesh out in more detail later on.  For now, let me just say that I don't want to stand in the way of someone who would choose that life - some of my favorite artists worked in that system.  However, I no longer feel that it is the life for me personally.

Anyway, that is the point of view that I'm coming from right now.  I'm weary and I just want to find some enjoyment in the art that I look at and in the art that I make.  So, I'm going to keep working a little bit everyday, keep bettering myself, keep trying new projects that test the range of my abilities.  I'm going to focus on what I can do for myself and for the few who find me and like what I'm doing.

Thanks for reading.  I promise that my journal won't always be this moody :)
  • Listening to: http://www.startalkradio.net/
I've been on DA for several years under a different alias, but after taking a long hiatus for reasons I'll most likely get into later, I felt that it was time to start over fresh.  Building a gallery from scratch is a slow process (especially since I'm not planning on posting a lot of unfinished work), but I'm looking forward to it.

In the meantime, if you have stumbled onto this page looking for more of my work and have found the selection lacking...:D...I update my tumblr pretty regularly with sketches and WORDS.  You might want to check it out.
  • Listening to: radio lab
  • Drinking: coffee