Being an online artisan ( i cant bear to use the word retailer....that is decidedly NOT me) this time of year is bittersweet.
On one hand I love the holiday season for the cozy nostalgia I have for it growing up, and I LOVE being able to take my kids and watch them romp about as we go pick the "perfect" tree. The holiday lights in downtown Greensboro are pretty, festive and everyone you meet seems full of warmth. I love being able to snuggle up by our fireplace (we heat with wood) and enjoy a movie and maybe a glass of Bourbon.
This is in stark contrast to the other side of the holidays....ohhhh you know what I mean, the seething dark madness that is Holiday shopping. I am not immune and I like a good deal as much as the next guy, but some people are RABID about black friday....er friday week as it is now.
Do not get me wrong, I love each and every one of you, my dear customers. Without you, I could not eat, have a roof over my head or pay the bills! Just keep in mind this season to slow down just a little, unwind just a little, and LOVE a whole lot!
Speaking of Deals.....If you are reading this use Coupon code : IHATESHIPPING at checkout for FREE shipping til december 31st 2016!
Now go out, be merry and try not to tackle anyone at Bestbuy. :)
So Ive been wanting to do a lot of different art series for awhile, what comes to mind at the moment are Tarot Card themed art, the Seven Deadly Sins, and Zodiac art.
I have plans for for all of these eventually, but unfortunately I'm not one of those artists who can create anything they want at a moments notice. I have to be inspired first. and usually the inspiration is quite random.
I wholly intended to do the standard zodiac, but as i am a creature of randomness, i instead sat down and started playing around with Sumi-e style art (the japanese style using black ink) such as below
After doing a couple simple designs in this style I decided to do the Chinese Zodiac, for no other reason then I thought it would look cool. Currently I have the Horse, Tiger, Dragon, Goat, Monkey and something else that i cant think of right now.
The others Im working on and should hopefully be done this week.
The collection can be found HERE
The Horse is my daughter Independent and free.
The Monkey is my son, clueless, but with a huge heart.
The Tiger is me (apparently Im supposed to love adventure, be unpredictable, and not be interested in money...that being said I will starve without the money, so buy some prints...hint hint)
The Dragon is my girlfriend, courageous, confident and makes really good meatloaf.
The festive lights and ornaments have been sentenced to their boxes for another year, the tree is down, and some semblance of normal life has taken root. The hustle and bustle of the crazy shopping season has come to a close and I can breath easy and get back to making art instead of just print, ship, print, ship! I do love Christmas, but wasnt able to enjoy it much this year do to work work work, but a guys gotta feed his family, so what can ya do?
So my first piece of the year The angels are falling is completed and Im very excited with how it turned out. I based it on very rough concept sketch I drew while sitting in a work truck waiting on some GPS equipment to "do its thing". The main elements I wanted was an angel cast down from the heavens in flames, dark foreboding clouds gathering, and a nice ethereal glow in the clouds. Everything else just came together as I was designing at the computer, this is a product of lots of coffee, and a little alcohol.
So I have a beautiful friday off work from my main job, kids are at school, and other than a few odds and ends to do around the house, the day is mine! Ive just brewed a pot of java and have settled down at the computer to "do some art", lets roll!
Well that was an hour ago, I'm on my 2nd cup of java, and I have yet to create anything. Not a line, not an idea, nothing. I've just stared at my screen dumbfounded. Ive always found it impossible to force creativity, and it amazes me how some folks can work artistically under deadlines for graphic design companies.(which is why I don't do that).
So, the art will come to me today, or it wont. but in the meantime instead of sitting here pondering what to make next, I'm going to go outside and split firewood, rake some leaves and do some other good stuff, and maybe, just maybe that will spark something. Or it wont. And that's okay too.
I used to draw quite often, but that all fell to the wayside after I graduated college and entered the "real world" whatever that is.
In 2014 on an especially cold day in January I was working on a construction site, standing there letting the cold snow flakes melt on my face as I pondered some blueprints and eyeballing a bulldozer so it wouldn't run over me. Then it hit me like a truck (not the bulldozer, but an epiphany).
For years I had let my job consume me, change me, drain me. I was just going through the motions, and it did NOT have to be that way.
That night I came home and started messing around with my girlfriends photoshop program....it was all very alien to me, but I LIKED it!
This was about the same time my girlfriend and I were rummaging around an old antique shop on a lazy saturday, and I saw some old art painted on newspapers. It looked wickedly cool to me, and so an idea was born.
I opened up a shop on Etsy www.loft817.com and began selling some basic steampunk designs. From there I started refining a darker grittier style for some of my super hero art, and I continue to try new styles and themes.
I still stomp around construction sites, I still come home muddy, but now i also create.
And i just love that.