Archive for March, 2008

A Mock Interview With This Artist

Friday, March 28th, 2008

I’ve recently read a few interviews of other artists. Some of them are very interesting.

It occurred to me that I should be interviewed. I don’t know who to ask, though. So I interviewed myself. If that sounds silly, just wait until you read my interview!

1.Can you tell me about the art you create and why you do what you do?

My themes vary, which suits me. Boredom usually gets bored waiting on me to notice it.

I’ve done quite a few commissioned portraits of children. I love children because their smiles are so innocent, yet, they all have big personalities that come through. Besides houses, cars, boats, diamonds, haute couture and critters, children are the one thing doting moms love to gaze upon.

Another theme I’ve been exploring lately has to do with my spiritual beliefs. It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but a thousand words still might not convey the fullness of my emotions and thoughts since I don’t seem to follow any organized religion. I’m finding it an interesting exercise to translate amorphous concepts into 2D and have the two dimensional work understood as a three dimensional representation of my ideas and ideals.

I’ve been getting paid quite often to do cartooning and logo designs for businesses, so I should probably mention those too. They help pay the bills, for which my clients get my heartfelt thanks.

2. What is one of your earliest memories of creating art?

My earliest memory of art came in my kindergarten class. I was carrying a glass of water to my desk to create a watercolor painting. As I sat down in my chair, a boy pulled my chair out from under me. I landed on my rump on the floor. After screaming the air blue, I got back up and angrily painted my little heart out.

I had my revenge on that boy, though. Later that day as we walked home, he had to go by my house. So I dragged him behind the garage and demanded he kiss me.

As it turned out, that watercolor freaked my father far more than my first kiss impressed me. My Dad was an old time computer engineer. He was used to seeing blueprints. Dad glanced at the painting I showed him, then did a double take.
“You did this?!”, he asked me as he took the painting into his hands.
“Yeah,” I said smiling, feeling proud and happy.
“You did an excellent job.” He said. My heart swelled. “This is a great painting.”
After staring at my painting for a few more moments, Dad then turned to me and said somewhat resignedly, “I guess you are going to grow up to become an artist. Good thing you are a girl. Your husband can support you.”

3. How long have you been selling your work, and what motivated you to start selling?

I’ve sold my work off and on since I was 12. My first mural was created for a day care center. A day care center is a great place for a kid to be an artist. If it turns out lousy, the parents will still think it’s cute and in theme. I was paid $200, which was a great deal of money for me back then. I remember thinking I wanted to paint a pine tree with a cow under it as part of the mural. But realized I didn’t know how to paint a single pine tree. So I walked out the door, took a look around and said, “Huh! So that’s what a pine tree looks like!”

I spent some years sublimating my creative urges by becoming a hairstylist and makeup artist, and owning a couple of salons out West. my first sculptureOne day my now-ex wanted an Egyptian pharaoh statue. Somehow it came about that I would make one. So, not knowing a thing about sculpting, I piled up 125 lbs of clay onto my kitchen counter and started digging into it. It came out quite nicely. Unfortunately, half the face caved in a bit after it dried, but the company that made the hydrocal bust out of my sculpture still did a pretty good job. They were also kind enough to tell me to learn how to sculpt properly before coming back.

I hadn’t been very serious about selling my work through the years. Most of the time, I’d just destroy my art when I finished it. My current husband, and love of my life, claimed I was crazy. I replied, “And you are just now noticing? I think I might have a serious condition called ‘artistic temperament’.”

A few years ago I gave away some portraits of people’s children to them as Christmas presents and since then I’ve had a lot of business. In fact, one of my customers has collected four commissioned pieces. Since she used to work at some fancy smancy art gallery in NYC, I suspect that she might be buying them to re-sell. She swears they are of her stepchildren, but I’ve noticed that every child had different colored eyes. An artist notices these things.

My art hangs in homes from the Key West, FL to Seattle, WA. I’m waiting for the Europeans to discover that I like them, too.

4. During your art career what has been your favorite accomplishment?

My most strenuous accomplishment to date has been restraining myself from putting a foot through my paintings.

My husband has finally talked me into behaving by mentioning his sister. You see, years ago, my husband and I went with his sister to a bowling alley. Well, they bowled. I’m not allowed to bowl since my flying balls pose a danger to people and property. So I sketched and chatted. At the end of the evening, I tossed out the sketches as we left the building.

Fast-forward a few years. My husband and I moved East. One day he flew back West on business and dropped in to see his sister. Apparently she had rescued a sketch from the trash that bowling night. My husband tells me she had it framed and it is on display in her home. Her belief in my art being good enough to display has humbled me and also gives me strength to leave most of my art unmolested now.

5. What advice would you give an artist starting out?

Being an artist is about expressing that unique view which only you can create. If you hear a drummer, get up and dance to the beat. Telling the drummer to be quiet so you can attend to the serious side of life is like amputating your arm. You’ll function, but walking on the balancing beam won’t be as easy, or fun, as it would be if you had both arms.

Also, give yourself PERMISSION to earn a living as an artist. Without that permission, you’ll always feel as if you are a victim of the “starving artist” routine. And being a starving artist is just too cliche for a true artist.

8. Can you tell me a bit about your art background?

I don’t have a background. I would have one of those if I had taken one of the scholarships to France or the Ringling Brothers School of Art in FL. I realized I didn’t have the maturity to deal with art schools. So I ran off, got married, became a teenage Mom, got divorced, and became a single Mom, instead.

It’s been a good life so far. I finally met the man of my dreams, and I can still create art that makes other people happy. Life is such a grand adventure.

Bobby B’s Cheap Poster Emporium’s New Mascot

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

I was approached to develop a cartoon character as a mascot for Bobby B’s Cheap Poster Emporium on the basis of my previous cartoon work. The character was to be wearing a top hat, spats, and a creamy 3 piece suit. In the drawing discussed below, the character was to be somewhat goofy (and fun) looking, slightly bending over, tipping his hat, with one leg forward. Like most art I create, I started with a rough sketch to visually clarify the verbal instructions given me.

Of course, Bobby B was a lot of fun, so we had to develop a series of poses for Bobby. Here Bobby B is next to his sign.

And here is Bobby B twirling his cane as he dances along the way.

This project took about two weeks of in depth conversation between the client and the artist. It was a pleasure to work with a client who was clear, concise and always available to discuss this project’s details. We are both very pleased at how this turned out. In the words of the client: “Awesome!!!! Easy to work with Great Communication Amazing Graphics and Logo!!!!”

My Cat Bid On It!

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

My Cat Bid On It Every eBay seller has heard it, or will hear it, once in their career.

eBay sellers might not believe it, but all cat lovers know cats have expensive tastes. Cats are also very smart about getting what they want.

What else are humans for, but the means of getting what the kitty cat wants? Whether it is affection, a yummy meal, a diamond studded collar, or a fancy car, the cat knows how to get it. So get a t-shirt that proclaims to the world that “My Cat Bid On It!“.