The Artistic Conundrum a.k.a. Somebody buy a shirt please!

A looming concern over anyone, artist or not, is how to make money. Like it or not, you need money just to live from day to day. As an artist in the digital age you would think that gathering enough exposure to spread your work while bringing in some change would be easy, but in reality it is becoming increasingly difficult.

Taking into consideration the amount of sites on the internet which sell artwork, the number of artists on those sites, the number of customers browsing those sites (those willing to spend on art during the recession) and mixed into that the number of people trying to make a quick buck off of anything they can sell (craft or other). If you're an artist, you're probably at this moment drowning in this electronic ocean. So the question is how does one sell their work in hopes to make a living or just anything at all.

I don't have that answer and I don't think anyone really does. But don't sweat it, artists aren't the only one with this particular conundrum. Large studios and corporations are looking for their money on the internet as well, and discovering that there is no particular equation. The internet is in a position of flux, which is why it's so popular. Internet allows the people to control the culture, they no longer receive it but adapt it and make it their own. So there really is no silver bullet, magic equation and if someone tells you other wise they are selling you snake oil, you probably know more than they do.

So why am I telling you all of this. To sell you something of course. The internet with it's multiple solutions and it's infinite wisdom has taught me to be thrifty and to sell out at any chance you get. So when I recently heard of Razzle, with it's no money in, turn a profit off of your designs I was sold.

Without further explanation here is my first Razzle attempt (tell your friends):

Happy Holidays!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holidays, before I disappear for another week into the physical world.

Holidays are a great time to relax and come up with new ideas. Although some genuine ideas are created through pressure, I prefer to create ideas through relaxation.

'How Birds Breathe' available in January!

My 'How Birds Breathe' print will be available on my Etsy shop beginning of January. Although I had hoped to sell my Intaglio prints from school the quality of the prints weren't as great as I had hoped. So I've decided to print on the same white stonehenge paper as my intaglio but printed using my Epson print.

So look for my print starting in January!

More of my Current Work

The semester ended and you know what that means...

more of my fun personal work. Continuing my Squid 'n Bear comic and working on Christmas cards.

Finals - Sculpture

My final sculpture this semester was supposed to take a song from the 50's, 60's or 70's and relate it's message to ideas from today. My opinion that I expressed in my sculpture was that there is a disconnect between that music and current generations because we are unable to fully understand what previous generations have gone through. it is impossible and silly to compare each generation to the next because each is so different.

So I went out of my comfort zone and created a performance piece to show this disconnect and separation of generations, through visual and audial support. Here are some pictures from my one and only performance for the class.

Quick Update- Really Quick

Since this is the craziest time of the year, I will make this quick... very quick. Heres one of my latest images from print making. It could be a possible theme I may want to continue through my work as I look forward to applying for my MFA.

The theme if you haven't picked up on it, is the scientific dissection of every facet of life. It's also are need to classify, organize and understand all things living.

And if you haven't done your Christmas shopping like me, then maybe you should visit my Etsy shop and get your loved one a monster or animal print!

The Octopus as Design

Just did a little digging into the octopus as used in art and design. Mycenaean pottery.

The Value of Value - Cont.

If you couldn't see the value of value in my previous post you should be able to see it now. The amount of depth and volume created by placing a light source and shadow into your work is incredible. Because of shadows tentacles seem to inhabit the space rising up out of the tub rather than laying flat against it. The head and tentacles also are given new life, a sense of roundness.

You can see why value is so important, but before I took Fundamentals of Drawing I gave the concept of value little to no thought. Now I can see the value of value.

The Value of Value

I'd hate to say it but I'm really benefiting from returning to undergrad at IUP and learning the basics. It's the studios in which I can see what I've really missed out on. Fundamentals of Drawing has really taught me lessons that extend beyond drawing and has found it's way into my digital art work.

Working in film and video you really take for granted being able to set up lights, tear them down and reset them within minutes. Within that time you can create several different pictures without having to finalize anything. In drawing,more or less your final drawing is your final drawing. You can visualize and play with your lighting set up before you begin but I feel it's real easy to ignore that step and just draw better or for worse what you see.

This concept of light and values has really made me step back and look at the work I've recently produced. It's made me realize how flat my images really were. And so I've come to value the use of value in my work, being able to create depth and volume. Making me consider setting and composition in my image.

Initially I wanted to go back and add value to an older image to show my point, but all my work is located on my external HD in my apartment. So I created an image used a lot by professors teaching values. If anyone ever tells you to go back and learn the basics, don't laugh or take offense because it really can benefit you. I've learned this the hard way but I've still learned it.

Gilles and The Sleep of Reason

Since September I've been taking two Art History courses, and while I find them absolutely fascinating the work it's self has not been my style. The closer my class gets to viewing contemporary work the more I find myself enjoying the artist's and their work. So I thought it would be a good change for me to show some work that I liked rather than show my own work.

The first painting is from Watteau and is entiteld "Gilles (comedia del arte)". Watteau painted during the 18th Century prior to the French Revolution. His other works were typical to the time in which he painted Aristocrats in a Rococo fashion.

The second image I viewed this week caught me partially with it's title. It is Francisco Goya y Luciendes' "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters". It is an etching from 18th Century Spain produced before his Disaster's of War series.

Keep Working, Keep Working, Oops forgot to study!

Oops, I kept working on this when I should have been studying. Time to hit the books!

Take a Break, Create for Fun

Sometimes you just have to take a break from academia and just create for fun. Theres nothing better than making an image you want to make and for no reason.

From Concept to Finished Product - Obstacles

If theres anything to take away from the craziness of this week's classes it's that from concept to work of art you are bound to have road blocks and obstacles. The stubborn artist muscles through to create as close a product to the concept as possible. My sculptor professor told me the true artist works his concept around that obstacle, works with it, and changes their concept. Thats the true artist, and that is a true piece of art.

If I didn't believe him right away I certainly believe him now. Both of my current projects in sculpture and print media have both had their share of obstacles and both have seen serious amounts of change from the initial concept. And the changes are for the best, it has allowed me to review my idea and make it truer than in my original idea.

Sometimes facing obstacles and making changes equals out to more time spent on a piece, but who says thats a bad thing. If you hate your idea and your work by the time you've finished it, then chances are no one else will like your work. But if you can work through from an idea to a finished product and still feel strongly about your work then it will reflect in your work and the piece will become more interesting to the viewer.

Trying to stay Updated

Finnaly a chance to use my photoshop skills in printmaking. The last two assignments dealt primarily with hand drawn images and thats something I'm still working on.

So I'm currently working on lithography which inovles printing my images onto special paper rather than transferring hand drawn images onto plates. The image you see above is my first test image, I'll receive some feedback Tuesday and then make changes before the print onto the plate.

Hopefully tomorrow I can post some notes on my latest sculpture assignment, if I make it through the day tomorrow. I'm trying to open a computer monitor without shocking myself, I only need the plastic frame.

I'd Rather just Show you My Work

Sometimes there's no meaning, or in depth thought process. Just keep working at it and soon you'll have a digital sketch book of sorts.

Quick Update - and New Pic

Busy busy busy with all of my studio art courses but I haven't forgot about you. No I have not. Just to share some love with you enjoy this picture.

Where the Wild Things Ought to Be

If you haven't been following We Love You So blog at nows a good time to check it out.

If you don't know what it is, it's the blog for Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are film, describing all of his inspirations for the film.

One of the most recent things is a contest in which you show a picture of where you think the wild things ought to be. Here's mine.

The thing about Education

The thing about education is that as an Undergrad at Juniata College I found it to be unrewarding and boring. It was like stepping through the hoops for steppings sake. There were the required courses for my major and even my major, at this point in time, doesn't seem to be doing much for me. I would always say that the educational system is flawed and that I would never attend Grad School, it would be a waste of money and time.

What I'm discovering as a Continuing Education major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania is that now that I've stepped through the previous "hoop" I'm much more comfortable and excited to learn and to be constantly learning. There are so many things, techniques, styles, critique, discussion, writing, presentation, history, artists, and research that would have previously seemed boring. But now I have this passion to learn and absorb everything my professors are saying, to follow what they teach and treat every single class as being taught something substantial (no matters it's size).

If everyone viewed art with the same intensity and curiousity as Da Vinci, people wouldn't simply brush aside the arts. When art is done right it involves all the things I mentioned above and it becomes a much deeper subject. To really want to learn art you have to have a curiousity and passion for what youre doing and youre subject, which in turn will greatly enhance your voice in your work.

First Project for Print Making - Octopus!

Since I haven't updated in a while heres a look at my design for a linograph print. I still have to carve it but heres the basic idea.

My Etsy Video is finally up!

You can watch it right here:

Watch full screen for more viewing pleasure.

Enjoy and let me know what you thought of it!

A Man Trying to Find His Place in the World

It's difficult to be an artist and not question yourself, your talent, or whether or not you will be recognized. And as I sit on unemployment and am about to throw myself back into the collegiate world and even further into the art world, I can't help but question myself.

The first time I watched Wes Anderson's Life Aquatic I enjoyed the film primarily for it's visual style (the wonderful blend of colors, cinemotography, animation, and full ship cut away). But everytime since in the end when Zissou finally tracks down the Jaguar Shark he says "I wonder if it remembers me." I can't help but tear up. The film is about a man trying to find his place in the world and leaving something behind to be remembered for.

A fear I have is not being remembered. I couldn't think of anything worse then one day not being remembered after I'm gone. It's not because I crave the attention I just want to do something truly unique and memorable.

The Laziest Ad Ever

Hollywood Casino in PA. It's billboard read:

"Your Closest Casino"

which I read as. If you have a gambling addiction we already know. Were a quick fix, like the nearest crack dealer. Were not good or bad, just close.

And goodnight.

I Am Not

Even though a piece you've been working on has not turned out the way you hoped it to theres always a bright side to having something to work on. Even though I may not find my newest animation to be my best work I've definitely learned a lot by doing it.

What have I learned?

Flash is no longer the program I should be using to animate. It has an incredible amount of limitations, too many to even count. I'm ready to move to a new program, even a 3D program, but only to use with 2D animation (think puppet theater). So if anyone knows of any good programs worth investing my limited money into please let me know.

Another thing I've learned is that when your'e not good at something, admit it. I'm not a composer among many other things I'm not. But this is something I definitely have learned the hard way.

Busy little bee I am

Since I haven't blogged in such a long time (20 days from yesterday) I figured I'd go two days in a row.

I've been working my little fingers off to get my etsy animation finished. I'm nearing completion of the animation (a mere 3 scenes from the end... out of 11) and not quite sure if I'm happy with it. Happy with what I've learned, yes, with the final product not as much but their is definitely pride in doing so much with it.

I've also been traveling a smidgeon visiting Johnstown, PA's film festival and speaking with the film makers as well as attending a Juniata College Networking event in NYC, NY. Both were great learning experiences. I got out there and asked questions until my lips fell off, don't think thats possible. Oh well, glad to have those experiences under my belt and glad to have shown Over the Rainbow to another crowd of people.

And if that wasn't enough to have completed within 20 days (it's actually not that much, I'm exaggerating) I've also decided, and have received confirmation that I will be continuing my education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for some Post BAC work and hopefully my MFA next year.

You've probably missed me while I've been gone, but not enough to read this whole darn blog post I'll leave you with a present. Enjoy!

I'm the only one up here and the time machine

Have you ever noticed that when you are thinking it's your own voice in your head and that you can't talk over yourself. Try saying "yes" in your head while saying "no" as well. what you here in your head is "ye-no-ss". It's just not possible.

The human body I've discovered is also a time machine, albeit a limited one. Close your eyes for 3 seconds and open them. You've just traveled 3 seconds into the future. When you go to sleep time passes by and you aren't even aware of it. It is limited though, only being able to move forward and not backwards. And it's only limited to it's one speed.

Gone for too Long - Update!

I've been gone for way too long. Here are some updates on my projects:

I've finished a new piece of art work that will be available for purchase within a month. Take a sneak peek here.

Also I've begun animation on my etsy video which you can see a sneak peek of as well.

Don't forget my "Dead Animal Parade" animation. Heres a bit of updated concept art for you.

What's in your Book Stack?

Currently I'm reading two books. The first is one I've owned since my birthday and I'm very happy to finally get to read it. It's "The Pixar Touch" by David Price and it doesn't read like your average informative book. It plays out Pixar's story in at times what could seem like a fictional tale. But what I'm the most interested in getting out of it is more detailed knowledge of the history of Pixar's animation as well as a more detailed explanation of how they run their studio.

The second book which is less of a book and more of a resource right now is "Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market". If you couldn't tell by my fascination with Maurice Sendak and Eric Carle that I'm interested in Children's Literature and especially illustration then I guess this book is a dead give away. Hopefully this book will lead me into a proper direction to see if my artwork can be put to good use.

Now beyond the books I'm currently I have several others stacked at the end of my desk, reminding me they have yet to be read. They are "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" the graphic novel vol. 1, "Paper Puppet Palooza" by Norma V. Toraya, "The Art of Disney Pixar's UP", "Beware of Dug!" a children's book based off of UP that uses some very neat paper cut out illustration technique, and the last book at the very bottom of the stack is "Authentic Decor The Domestic Interior: 1620-1920" (if that one confuses you see my other blog here).

What's in your Book Stack?

New Platypus Print in my Etsy Shop

Yesterday I posted a new print on my etsy shop, currently only available in a medium size. Check it out here and the rest of my shop here.

Your Desk Space

Ever since I learned of Warhol's desktop boxes I've always been fascinated at the desk space people keep. It's great insight into how they work and how they think. Just today I read on twitter:

"RT @jggube: I liked this quote via @CJCUK: "Creative clutter is better than idle neatness". INDEED."

I've always kept a messy desk full of books I intend to read, have finished projects, toys and tools scattered all about. What about those more well known than myself, what kind of desk do they keep.

Roald Dahl's sleeping bag

Eric Carle's work space

And then there are those who almost make an art of documenting there work space. The photos give you information about the current projects but the pictures were taken with careful framing.

One of Megan Auman's workspaces

What's your desk/work space look like?

Ok so a Deviation from my Deviation

Sometimes I get too excited and deviate from what I'm working on, even if it was a previous deviation from what I was working on (you still following). I've doubled back and threw in some textures on my Dead Animal Party moose concept art. You can view the progression from sketch to textured in the image above.


As I mentioned in my last post that I was slightly deviating from my DAP animation, my new project is for a contest for The theme of the contest is "Handmade Moments". Check out my rough storyboard:

Slight Deviation

As I continue to work on my new animation, which you will see a lot of in my blogs due to my unemployment, I may get slightly deviated by projects that have a possibility of winning any kind of money. Today is one of those days where I have stumbled across a possible project for me to animate and win some money, and so I deviate.

In the mean time enjoy some more concept art for Dead Animal Party (thats its temporary project name).