Post Six: Struggle

For some reason I only feel like posting these after a few drinks recently. Maybe that’s a bad thing. Maybe their inconsistency speaks to how little I drink. Hah. 

Im sitting in my small town bar, drinking my small town beer, seeing other small town people. I look around and I see people who are doing the same thing they always do. We’re habitual creatures. We’re programmed to do what seems natural and normal based on our surroundings and what we’re used to. Change is a bad thing. Our minds are used to seeing the unusual and the ‘else’ as something to be feared and cautious of.  


Struggle is necessary for happiness. It stems from overcoming strife. I feel like the small town life is as unrife with strife as unrife gets.  

I’m close to being done with school. I graduate in just a few months. And once that accomplishment and struggle is over I need something else. Something that this small town will not provide.  

So then the question is where and what will provide the hardships that I am looking for. My chosen profession as an artists provides plenty of it’s own struggle, but I feel myself looking for more.  

I am a glutton for punishment. 

I thrive off of it. Sometimes it beats me down and I suffer for it. However, I can’t pick myself back up again without a little punishment.  That's how it is for everyone. That's how growth happens. 

I challenge you, whoever is reading this, to struggle. Don’t hurt yourself beyond repair, but feel the pain of growth. Push yourself past your breaking point with glee, and then come back from it smiling.  Fail, to succeed. 

I recently started skateboarding/longboarding again.  I totally wrecked out going down a hill and scraped myself up pretty bad. But that pain is a necessary bump on the road to improvement.  I'm getting better, even though it's painful.  I relish in it.  That pain tells me I’ve suffered for something and progression isn’t without that pain.

We’ve all heard the shitty ‘shoot for the moon and even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.’  

I’ll never be the greatness I want to be because perfection is unattainable. But as I struggle for awesome, I’ll end up pretty damn good. I take pride in that. 

You should too. If you’re in the down and out, there are other things that you have over come. Hold onto those things. Take pride in them. Remember the feeling you felt when you surpassed those challenges, they will fuel the fires that burn deep inside.  

SEARCH FOR STRUGGLE. Find the small struggles that you can overcome and use them to catapult you past the hurdles and past the pack. 


B. out. 

FEELS: the other amendment

So I'm sitting in a sea of prep. I'm all alone, or at least I feel all alone. I walk up to two girls, who are in grad school and have spent many hours making sure that they look amazing. They do. I can feel the desire raging. The whole time I'm talking to them it doesn't feel right. It's forced. The interaction is superficial and we all know it. I buy them a round of shots anyway. It doesn't matter. One of them leaves to go the bathroom. The other ignores me. Her phone is more interesting. I leave. 


Some people don't give a fuck about anyone who can't give all their fucks to them. I end up at a side bar. A duet is playing indie music. They don't have a drummer. It still grooves. I drink my Shiner as she rockes her dreads and feels the feels.  


These are my people. They're not attractive. They don't spend their energy on being attractive. They're just trying to be themselves, and express said selves. They hug each other. They love each other. They feel the feels.  


Its not fake.  


FUCK fake.  

Post Four: Provocation or Inspiration

It’s morning this time. I’m in the studio prepping to get some work done.  The semester is over.  I start my thesis next semester and I’ll have my senior show in the spring.  With that I’ll have to come up with a cohesive body of work that is central to a theme.  Perry (my professor) says that there are two things that drive people to create: provocation and inspiration.  He is provoked into working.  Something pisses him off, irritates him, and drives him to create something out of that.  I don’t work like that.  Things don't piss me off, I’ve spent a lot of energy working on making sure things don't get to me.  So that leaves inspiration.

I didn't know what inspired me, and inspiration is definitely fleeting.  He organized a group trip to Washington D.C. with a number of art students.  We toured the museums and galleries.  As I walked through the National Gallery, I was ironically getting pissed off because none of the old masters were speaking to me.  I could appreciate the Dutch level of execution and the French expression, but nothing was resonating.  Until the National Portrait Gallery.  Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains by A. Bierstadt was on display.  From two hundred feet away at the end of a hallway it grabbed me.

I consider myself to be a spiritual person, but sitting in front of that painting for however long it was, fifteen minutes or an hour, was the most spiritual experience I have ever had.  It was so strong I was in tears.  I had found my inspiration.  He didn't use a reference, his paintings are entirely imagined.  No photo transcription could produce that level of emotion.  I had found what I had been searching for.

Now I sit in front of the largest painting I have ever attempted.  It spans an whole wall in my studio.  I hope my landscapes will speak to people the same way his spoke to me.


I have to paint now.



Post Three: Title

It's another late night. Almost four a.m. at this point. I think I write when it's late because that's when I'm decompressing and something hits me.  A spark.  

Many of my thoughts have been focused on relationships recently.  Not specifically romantic ones, but primarily.  In January I ended a long term relationship with someone that I'm forced continue to deal with on a regular basis.  That in itself is enough of a challenge. Just how I was talking about painting being a meaningful struggle, romantic relationships are doubly so.  However, that can be said about everything: life.  If it wasn't a bitch it wouldn't be worth it.  That's why the idea of heaven seems extremely bland.  

This recent realization has been extremely beneficial on my outlook.  Anything hard, anything that kicks you in the gut, and weighs on your shoulders is given value through the things that balance them.  No good without the bad.  That makes me smile.

All of these things are on my mind as I work on the new piece.  I don't have a name for it yet.  I prefer for them to be nondescript.  Film makers and actors talk about not giving it all away at once.  If you do then you're spent, and you have nothing left to offer, and the audience loses interest. 

I recently purchased and iPad.  It's an amazing drawing tool and feels very natural.  It has made drawing very immediate. No clean up or slew of tools to make sure I have on hand.  Because of that I've been drawing more, and had a few commissions.  Who doesn't like a little validation every now and then?  And it's helped me increase my presence, more art on more screens.

Someone has to advocate me. It might as well be me. 

Goodnight / morning.  



Post Two: Theme

Its late. I can't sleep per usual. I'm listening to modern rock/alt on classical piano again. It puts me in a blogging mood, or it may be the other way around. Either way I like it.

I'm currently enrolled in college (if you read my bio you'd know that), and recently listened to a lecture by a local crafts lady. While I am not a ceramicist nor a lady, she was very helpful.  Marilee Hall stressed connecting with customers and how important repeat business can be.  Then she went on to discuss the importance of letting the people who collect your work get to know you. That way when they buy your art it is more than an object that has meaning to just them. It becomes a symbol of that relationship.  If every time a customer looked at a piece of work and thought of me, how likely would they be to come to my website and see what was new? Obviously there is no way of quantifying that, but I think it would be a solid business tactic.

So I've decided that would be the purpose of this blog.  Rather than giving tips or advice on how to do things, or simply about my work itself, this will be a chance for you to get to know me.  And on a deeper level than just looking at the images I create.  A picture is worth a thousand words. But a thousand words are worth a thousand words.  So hopefully I can let you in on a little piece of me and through that open you up to my work as I attempt to open up to you.

So what else is on my mind?  I recently wrote a blog draft with all kinds of Star Wars and Star Trek anecdotes as I'm watching Next Gen for the first time (Picard is the best captain), but as I got past that and into the meat it puttered and I struggled with it.  Sometimes things just die.

Tomorrow I'm shooting someone. Nice transition right? I need strong, specific references for my newest piece and I've hired my first model to take pictures of.  If it goes well I'll post some shots on Instagram and link her within this post.  I'm somewhat nervous, never haven directed a photo shoot, but also very excited. Excited to get the experience under my belt and excited to get this new piece out there.  It has a voice.  I want so badly to say what I have in store for it but if the direction or outcome changes from what I have in mind, I wouldn't want to let you down.  And as of right now, I can't get much work done with it until I have the reference imagery shot and done. So tomorrow the gates will open, and the mad dash to make begins. I'm getting amped just thinking about it.

Ok. I'm out for now. Good night.


Post One: Voice

    I typically end up doing most of my writing late at night, when I’m supposed to be trying to fall asleep.  My stream of consciousness ends up on paper in a small, faux leather-bound journal I bought at Walgreens.  But dumping my random ass thoughts and feelings is not the purpose of this blog.  To be honest I’m not one hundred percent sure what the purpose of this blog will be.  Obviously it will be about my art.  Obviously it will be about my experiences as an artist.  But I’ll still have to find my voice as a writer, and I’m still trying to find my voice as an artist.

    While I’m typing this up I’m listening to Where is My Mind, covered by Maxine Cyrin on piano.  And that’s a good question, one that I ask myself frequently.  I seem to move from one obsessive thought to the next, losing myself in them.  And I think there are some similarities in my artwork.  I move from one concept to the next, without cohesion.  I wish I could hold onto one thing and make it mine, but I haven’t.  And I don't know if I ever will.

    So I end up asking myself “What should I paint/draw?” quite frequently.  I think that’s a question that artists who aren't subject monogamists ask themselves a lot.  It can be frustrating.  Because the challenge is making something worth making.  Something that is worth your time and worth your viewers attention and money.  But the little voice in my head says fuck the second part of that and just make something worth my time, the other half is indiscernible.  

    Ok, so what is worth my time?  Hmm.. Good question.  Life, people, emotions, the bigger part of everything.  Rocks, clouds, those are always worth my time.  I like rocks.  Colors, patterns, also worth my time.  So do I draw figures? Landscapes? Do I paint abstract patterns? 

    The answer is yes.  The honest answer is do all of it.  Paint and draw and paint some more.  The more I think about it the angrier I am that I’m not doing it.  So I’m going to stop typing, fall asleep listening to my music, and be in the studio in a few hours.