It happened just as I stood up and looked longingly at my favorite chair. NOOO!! *Expletive* My decorative paper, my tools, my large protective paper were covered in a puddle of ink.
Accidents happen in the studio, in the kitchen, in the office. Often times you may have to start over, especially if its technology related. But not always. Save often, so says the motto. Artists don't always have that option however. I'd been working on my Inktober drawing for the night. It was late, and I was tired. I was having a hard enough time thinking of my line work, and just wanting to get through this slump of ideas. I didn't know what it was I needed until it happened.
"You can't help it. An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times."
I'm not a political artist. I'm just an artist. I consider myself proficient in the ability to create using many different mediums. I don't do politics because its messy, and opinionated and sometimes rude. I make things that I find beautiful. I make fantasy worlds, people, and things. Things that reflect the beauty I see in the world. Maybe you are the same. In politics there are one too many arguments and it all ends up as noise, and nothing changes. Might as well not even bother. What do fairies, mermaids, and unicorns have to to do with modern politics anyway? I ask myself this many times when I'm confronted with conflict of the real world. Maybe I can just make something pretty that will distract from the cruel world, and offer an escape. Escape would be nice. But that is harder and harder to find in these times.
While the magazines are urging the masses to get in shape for summer, artists are luckily preoccupied with getting their palettes ready for summer. At least they should be! Don't get trapped in your studio while everyone else enjoys some sun. The outdoors, the fresh breeze, the great light are just as important to your art as it is your body. I know creatives have a tendency to want to stay behind closed doors not bothered, and sometimes unkempt! But consider what a room with a view can do. Consider how much you might fight to have your desk next to a window. Even better, how much you might love a desk with no walls, and a lake view! Lets not overlook the value of parks! Of cute bistros, and coffee shops, bustling with activity, or benches overlooking a great street or skyline. This is urban sketching. This is plein-air painting. This is you outside the entrapment of four walls! Introverts can still find somewhere quiet like the picture above. Me and my studio partner shared this picnic table next to the lake and painted hills, trees, and birds. It was great! It's not my usual subject matter, but that's not the point!
It shouldn't come as a surprise that so many outcries are taking place recently. It becomes more apparent that there is a disconnect between our experiences and personal truths, and what our neighbors and media THINK they are. I'm often asked about the diversity in my work. It reminds me of the time when I learned about diversity for the first time, and the history that led me to the art I make today.
When I was younger, I showed my mother a picture of a woman I had drawn. My mother is always encouraging, and is always first to claim my archived work. I must've been between 7-10 years old when she took my drawing, looked at it and quickly handed it back with her critique. "There's no color."
This book is an invaluable resource to the budding artist. It starts with the artist's mind. It doesn't teach you techniques, and it doesn't promise you success, but it does open up mental blocks that artists get from frustration and insecurity. This book is about making ordinary art, and dispelling the fears that come with not being good enough or talented enough.
New year is bringing a new studio, so I am on the move! Please stay tuned for updates on the new location, I'll be posting regularly to Instagram.
I hope everyone is having a great start to the year. I'll be staying creative while on the move. I have some projects in the works for upcoming shows. I will also be taking some sneak photos of my sketchbooks, while I'm updating that section of my website.
There is a lot to look forward to this year!
got the Buddha Board Mini in hopes of getting some practice in with my ink brushing skills. I have to say its the coolest thing since the Etch-A-Sketch. And its for adults! Not only is it a perfect practice for mark making, its also a zen tool. Much like the tabletop zen garden, with sand, rocks, and a rake, this is also designed to enhance calm, and practice "the art of letting go." Creating and watching each mark fade is very meditative, and each time you become closer to becoming a monk. Just kidding. If you find meditation hard, maybe you can give this a go. The video below will quickly show you some of the things that came and went as I draw across the magic surface.
nktober is an annual challenge an artist takes on every October to draw in ink at least once a day. It has grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year, in order to improve inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. Typically it's easier said than done, but the last couple of years I've managed to create some cool work out of it. This year I've incorporated some new tools with Le Pen in various colors and Gelly Roll gel pens. I'll post some for you here, and hopefully you can become inspired to take on the challenge yourself!
Teaching others can be key to continued education and bringing fresh perspective to your work. When you find yourself at a standstill, you can always find someone who needs your expertise. Even if it’s not in a teaching capacity, there is a wealth of knowledge inside us that we take for granted, and can be useful to others around us. We also find the time to truly contemplate our direction and methods by giving in to the [potential] peace that impatience can force upon us.
For more information: Subscription Info Page