Going Full Time in Art, Here’s the story!

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Why is it that on the precipice of change, our minds become clearer and we can’t help but reflect on moments and choices? Standing on the edge of a new beginning, I can smell the heavy breath of jet fuel and hear the motors. I once thought this position could have been something long term, but I quickly realized that my needs wouldn’t be fulfilled here. And upon reflection on past employment, I most certainly always realize that it is not the institution or the job itself that I’ll miss, it is always the people I’ve worked with. 

I began my employment for the City of San Francisco in May of 2017, after an arduous process of red tape relating to citizenship that took about two months to cut through. For my citizenship/adoption story, click here. I had officially become a Museum Preparator for The San Francisco International Airport, and I went in with an open mind and truly wanted to learn the trade. Fortunately, life had different plans for me. 

I won’t bore you with the details of why this employment wasn’t ideal, but I will be happy to tell you about the positive relationships between myself and some of my co-workers. No matter the situation at any job, the hope is that you come out of the experience with new friends and memorable moments. Everyone has a story to tell, and I was happy to hear about everyone’s life and background. It was a very diverse group of people, and I feel honored to have known some of them.

Now, let’s get to the goods. How did I make the decision to work on my art full time? The short answer is that the decision was made well before I even got to the airport. I’ve been on the trajectory for my own art practice for the last few years, but I was simply waiting for the right moment. What I realized, much like many other life lessons relating to risk, is that if you wait for that moment to come, it never will. You have to dive head first into the deep end. You can put on your flippers, a snorkel, an inner tube and even swimmies, but when it comes down to it, you will always need to adapt and learn how to swim on your own. 

A few months ago, I met with a well known professional creative agent. She normally charges what she’s worth for professional advice, but she gave me two hours of her time for free. Or maybe not free in the literal sense of the word, because I feel she is the type of person to be fulfilled simply by seeing others around her succeed. After laying out my entire financial situation, employment situation, side gigs, art practice and personal life, her first piece of advice to me was that I should leave the airport. I definitely had negative feelings toward my day job, so hearing it from someone I respected was definitely a sign. Pretty much, at that moment, I decided to set a time frame and leave within that time. That brings us to now.

Every week, every day, is a hustle. I've felt like this for a long time. I've learned that not taking the leap of faith and never knowing your capabilities is always worse than taking the risk and failing. You always come out with brand new insight, regardless of whether or not you succeeded. I am also a firm believer that by putting yourself "out there" as a full time artist/creator, you open yourself up to new possibilities and opportunities. More on opportunities on the podcast with Sonia Leticia that I co-host , "Drawing From Experience" in episode 27 titled "When Opportunity Knocks." Call it "putting it out into the universe," or simply making yourself available, there is power in others knowing where you're at in life, and being open to new things.

I have so many plans in the works, and I'm delighted to have the freedom to do so. We live our lives the way we want, with pesky life obligations weighing us down, but in the end, we are the masters of our own fate. (This expression made popular to me by this tweet by the one and only Karen Kilgariff). I cannot wait to share what's in the works, but what I can say, is that it's only good things from here.

How Iconic Horror Has Touched Our Lives

 Those glasses, that smile. When I met him years ago, he embodied exactly this.

Those glasses, that smile. When I met him years ago, he embodied exactly this.

In July, I received word that the Grandfather of Zombies, George A. Romero, had passed away. As a horror artist, and someone who grew up in a household where "Night of the Living Dead" was a common occurrence, it is a sad day. NOTLD represents not just an iconic zombie film that paved the way for SO MANY future zombie films, but it was also one of those times in history that a very low budget film (a little over $100,000) was able to create a sub genre and gross millions. 

I loved that up until that point, the zombie culture and filmmaking world had really only seen Haitian  voodoo zombies, which really weren't the same as Romero's zombies. I could go on and on about his contributions to the world of cinema, but there was something else I realized recently, as I heard about the passing of Tobe Hooper. Here are two horror icons that have touched millions and paved the way for young horror filmmakers, and yet, some people are completely blind to who they were and how their art has affected their lives- yes, even yours. 

 George A. Romero paved the way for future filmmakers, such as Tobe Hooper for this amazing film, Poltergeist, which haunted my younger years.

George A. Romero paved the way for future filmmakers, such as Tobe Hooper for this amazing film, Poltergeist, which haunted my younger years.

There is dialogue that needs to be had- who are the iconic horror authors, directors and artists who you can name off the top of your head? Why is it that it's ok to watch a classic horror film, but not ok to display that art on your wall? Maybe we don't want to be reminded of what scares us. Maybe people view these things as negative. People sometimes ask me what trauma I had as a child to make me want to create horrific things. Pfffft. 

With my Spotlight show at Art Attack SF JUST around the corner, this conversation is very timely. When planning a show at a gallery where I'll be exhibiting my dark art, there are infinite questions and worries associated with the opening. Most fine art galleries are worried that there is not enough of a market for dark and macabre art. I can't help but agree with them. 

Its truly been a struggle for me to find galleries that are alright with showing my work. As artists, we're told that you should do what you love, and that love will shine through the work, and the world will love you for it. I have had ups and downs with the reaction to my art, and I have to say it's been the most challenging road I've ever taken. I've been pouring my heart and soul into my work and still have a difficult time finding the right audience for it. There's a much larger conversation that should be  about horror and dark art and why it's "unacceptable" to hang on your wall.  

When viewed from a technical standpoint, one can argue that no matter what the subject matter, if the technique is respectable, then you should respect the art for what it is. I've found this not to be the case, of course, because people like and respect art for different reasons.

Either way, will continue pushing for the idea that dark art and the world of horror can exist on a fine art collector's wall. And that I will not stop doing what I love for the sake of a sale. 

A History Mystery, semi-solved.

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My parents always joked that I looked like Edward Scissorhands when I stepped off the plane. There was a representative from Holt Adoption agency with me, and I can only assume my facial expression reflected how I was feeling about the long travel. But, I was also a bit malnourished, by American standards, and probably confused by what was going on. I know some people have recollections of when they were two, but I don't really remember any of this. Luckily, I have video evidence, and can fully agree of my resemblance to the sharp-handed gentleman, sans the leather. 

I was adopted from Taegu, South Korea by Bob and Karen Izykowski, two middle class Jersey kids in their late thirties. They owned a house, cats and a dog (maybe other animals as well, can't quite recall). They had also adopted my sister, Emmy, from South Korea. She was 359 days older than me, but the more important part [that's always stuck with me] is that she was adopted when she was six months old, and I was when I was two. Hence, the history mystery. And, up until a few weeks ago, I had no idea what those first two years consisted of. 

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Recently, I was applying for my position as a Museum Preparator for the SFO Museum. As you can imagine with any position in an airport, the guidelines and screening process were strict and drawn out. I went to the security office to get fingerprinted with my birth certificate in hand, only to be asked to show proof of citizenship. I explained that I fell under The Child Citizenship Act of 2000. Their response? Prove it. 

"The new law, Public Law 106-395, amends the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to permit foreign-born children—including adopted children —to acquire citizenship automatically if they meet certain requirements. It becomes effective on February 27, 2001."

I fell just under those requirements, but how was I to prove it? It turns out that I needed a proof of citizenship form. And through a long spiral of convoluted events, I found out that the form would cost $1,190 and could take six months to a year. Gross. I will also add, that form cost half that in December of last year.  

The best thing that came out of this, though, was my call to Holt Adoption services. I knew they had handled my adoption, but I truly did not know how much they could tell me or how much they could help. Well, I spoke with a woman whose job is basically damage control- Helping those adoptees figure out what files they had available, how to obtain them and where they go from here. Not only was she amazingly helpful, but pleasant and totally understanding. I received emails from her and also from a woman named Sunday Silver, the Director of Post Adoption Services, but also has the best name of anyone I've ever met. SUNDAY SILVER. Amazing.

What I finally obtained was a copy of my adoption file. My parents had copies of some of these things, and I truly thought I've seen all of it. I naively let it sit in my inbox for weeks, as I didn't actually even realize they had sent me an electronic version of it. When I opened it, I realized it contained some information I never knew. Here's some excerpts I find particularly interesting. If you'll indulge me a bit, we'll start from the beginning:

 Daegu was originally known as Taegu. I actually grew up thinking the city was called Taegu still. This has always been a little confusing for me why the name was changed. 

Daegu was originally known as Taegu. I actually grew up thinking the city was called Taegu still. This has always been a little confusing for me why the name was changed. 

 I particularly enjoy "Is bright and cheerful in character. Plays merrily with toys."    These details about myself may seem unimportant to some, but they are truly priceless to me. Imagine having someone write down your temperament and behavior as a child, and you reading that later in life, not knowing it even existed!    And here is information about the foster family that took care of me! I find it interesting that a family of five fostered a child (actually, at the time, had been fostering for three years). This makes me curious if they would remember me, as well.  

I particularly enjoy "Is bright and cheerful in character. Plays merrily with toys."  

These details about myself may seem unimportant to some, but they are truly priceless to me. Imagine having someone write down your temperament and behavior as a child, and you reading that later in life, not knowing it even existed!  

And here is information about the foster family that took care of me! I find it interesting that a family of five fostered a child (actually, at the time, had been fostering for three years). This makes me curious if they would remember me, as well.  

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And then there's this. The reason:

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Clearly written on an official document. "Neither of them had ability in bringing up this baby, so they could not but give up their parental rights toward this baby in a hope that this baby would be adopted into a better adoptive family in behalf of the baby's sound future."

I know this is a little vague and probably seems somewhat generic, but this is the most information that I've gotten as to why. When you're adopted, and have no memory of your former life, and no idea why you are where you are, having these tidbits of information slowly begin to put things in perspective. The pieces of the puzzle that have been lost were actually just hiding. 

You may or may not be wondering how this affects what I think about my parents here. It really doesn't change anything. That would be ridiculous. In fact, it just strengthens and reinforces where they stand on the spectrum of amazing human beings- to find two children from different backgrounds and give them a life they otherwise would not have had. My mother told me when she adopted us, while we were still young, people would ask her if she would love us like her own. Her reply? "They ARE my own."

Where does this new information leave me? Well, growing up in primarily white neighborhoods in New Jersey/ Northeast Pennsylvania made it quite easy to push aside any interest in pursuing additional knowledge of my heritage and background. But, receiving this knowledge now, at this point in my life, seems serendipitous. Being around much more diverse culture, hearing different languages and now knowing other Koreans (who have moved here only within the past decade), has completely affected my openness to learning more about myself. 

I guess the next logical step would be to travel to where it all began- South Korea. 

Wax Figures & Why I Don't Jive With the Corporate Life

 The front of Madame Tussauds & The San Francisco Dungeon, Fisherman's Wharf SF

The front of Madame Tussauds & The San Francisco Dungeon, Fisherman's Wharf SF

After working for Merlin Entertainments for a little over 2 years (at the San Francisco Dungeon from April 2015-November 2015 & Madame Tussauds from November 2015-May 2017), today is officially my last day.

During the time I spent there, when I would explain to someone that I worked at Madame Tussauds, a multitude of questions and comments would always emerge-

"What kind of stuff did you do there?"

"Ooh, I bet that's fun, what a weird and quirky job"

"Did you get to meet anyone famous?"

"So, like... did you sculpt all the figures?"

Before we continue, here's some answers to the FAQ: Every morning before we open the attraction, we have two-and-a-half hours to get the place looking tip-top. What that means isthat all the sets, costumes, paint, hair, props, tech and everything that the guests would interact with have to look as good as possible. But, how bad could it get? Well, Madame Tussauds (as a brand) prided itself on full interactivity. That means EVERYTHING got poked and prodded, things were stolen, ears were broken, holes were poked, faces were scratched, glittered lip stick adorned the cheeks of our more popular figures and some figures had even gotten punched. How do we fix these things? Here's my tool belt and what it contained:

 I'm such a tool.

I'm such a tool.

No, I did not sculpt the figures! I wish! The figures are all sculpted in London in the master studio. Then, they're shipped out to the individual attractions. When we receive them, we install them and then are responsible for the daily maintenance. Yes, we resculpt the wax, gloss the eyes, redo the hair and in some cases, even restyle the figure altogether. During my time here, I got a chance to meet Sam Smith, Grumpy Cat, Stan Lee, Steve Wozniak, Steph Curry & Peter Dinklage. They were all really nice and responded to the figures well. I also got a chance to build a 20 foot booth for the first ever Silicon Valley Comicon.

Here, I'll take you through the attraction room by room! This isn't every figure, but a pretty thorough walk-through.

 Tony Bennett & Lombard Street

Tony Bennett & Lombard Street

 Harvey Milk, Quentin Crisp & Francis Ford Coppola

Harvey Milk, Quentin Crisp & Francis Ford Coppola

 Carlos Santana & Janis Joplin

Carlos Santana & Janis Joplin

 Jimi Henrix & Jerry Garcia

Jimi Henrix & Jerry Garcia

 Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

 Al Capone

Al Capone

 Barrack Obama, Abraham Lincoln & George Washington

Barrack Obama, Abraham Lincoln & George Washington

 Dalai Lama & Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dalai Lama & Martin Luther King, Jr.

 Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak & Steve Jobs

Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak & Steve Jobs

 Behind the Scenes- Neil Patrick Harris

Behind the Scenes- Neil Patrick Harris

 Steph Curry & Babe Ruth

Steph Curry & Babe Ruth

 Jeremy Lin & Gabby Douglas

Jeremy Lin & Gabby Douglas

 The Beatles, Beyonce, Elvis, Lady Gaga, Madonna and Selena Gomez

The Beatles, Beyonce, Elvis, Lady Gaga, Madonna and Selena Gomez

 Bob Marley!

Bob Marley!

 Clint Eastwood, Alfred Hitchcock, Whoopi Goldberg & Audrey Hepburn

Clint Eastwood, Alfred Hitchcock, Whoopi Goldberg & Audrey Hepburn

 Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock

 E.T., Steven Spielberg & the back of John Travolta's head.

E.T., Steven Spielberg & the back of John Travolta's head.

 Velociraptor we lovingly named Cornelius

Velociraptor we lovingly named Cornelius

 BRUCE LEE!!

BRUCE LEE!!

 Steve McQueen & Spiderman

Steve McQueen & Spiderman

 Jennifer Aniston, Peter Dinklage, Johnny Depp, NPH, Zendaya & Nicolas Cage

Jennifer Aniston, Peter Dinklage, Johnny Depp, NPH, Zendaya & Nicolas Cage

 Johnny Depp, NPH, Kate Winslet, etc.

Johnny Depp, NPH, Kate Winslet, etc.

 Adele

Adele

I thought a lot about how this job has affected me. I know that my painting has improved, but I think the biggest thing to come out of this is that the corporate structure is simply not for me. I do not believe that respect is earned simply with a title. I believe respect is earned individually, by doing what's right for the business, your coworkers, and yourself. What corporations don't usually get is that these employees that work for them are not just machines to churn out a profit. We're people who have ideas and vision and insight after being there for so long. Even if the corporations understand that, I don't think it would matter. I think the best realization to come out of this is that I could never be a career employee for someone else (especially a corporation), for the following reasons:

I have ideas and know how to integrate them. They're not always the best ideas, but I know how to execute them so they make sense. Whether or not they work completely will always come in time, but a little trial and error is how I've learned everything in my life. No matter how creative the job, even the creative parts of it will become monotonous. If I'm going to put up with monotony, then I might as well do it for myself.

I feel fortunate to have worked with some of the people I did, specifically- Mike Poland and Francine Clapp. They've both become close friends and I'm sad that I will no longer see them on a consistent basis. Look them both up, they're art is great!

I'm excited to begin my new role at the San Francisco International Airport Museum! The best part is that it is a part time position, so that means I'll be able to spend much more time on my art and side projects! I really want to bring my art career to the next level, and this is a great start! Thanks to everyone who has helped me thus far!

 

Walker Stalker Convention!

What can I say about Walker Stalker?

BBBBRAAAAAAINNNNNNSSSSSSSSS!

After months of preparation, countless friends helping, and of course, the unconditional support from my best friend and partner Sonia, I pulled off a great event! Here's how it all worked out:

When I found out that the international convention for my favorite zombie drama was coming to San Francisco, my initial thought was that I obviously couldn't turn it down! Zombies, art, celebs and me. Perfect recipe for an insane exhibit! Only problem was--- The vendor spots were sold out! I patiently waited and got put on the waiting list. A few weeks later, I got an email that said a vendor slot had opened, but I had to grab it quick! Unfortunately, the vendor spots were pretty pricey, so I'd have to wait. Explaining my predicament to a friend over a few drinks, she offered to front the cash so I could jump on the booth! I've learned a lot in my life, and one of those things is that nothing is achievable by yourself. I accepted her loan, and I am eternally grateful! Walker Stalker, here I come! Now, how should I display my work? I guess I could borrow some panels or something.... or......maybe I could concoct a ridiculous idea and make for an immersive experience for my audience? Yes... always the hard road with me.

So, I decided I wanted to display my work in more of a "haunted house" setting. I sketched out the idea and knew that I needed one more thing to display besides my horror photos and paintings. I've been costuming most of my life, and zombifying clothing has become second nature! So, I began to devise a new line of costumes that eventually became FORMAL SCAREWEAR by Shane!

The last horror photos or, Phantasmatography (as I call it) that I exhibited were in Pennsylvania, so this would be the first time I would show my horror photos on the west coast! So, I had to create some inventory and also figure out how to display the pieces. I eventually utilized my connections from the professional photography world and created 12" x 18" and 16" x 24" wall displays. While I was ordering enlargements for my horror photos, simultaneously I continued painting. I finished three large oil paintings of friends of mine as zombies. Those pieces had to be photographed, printed and framed.

After I worked all those out, I sourced women's dresses and men's suits and created my Formal Scarewear! These one-of-a-kind hand-embellished costumes came equipped with extra Spanish Moss and a garment bag. These will be available through my shop closer to Halloween. I am also offering your clothing to be zombified by me! Send it to me, I zombify it, and send it back! Email me for info!

I decided to wallpaper all the walls, and add moulding and paneling for the bottom. I painted everything to match and made all the pieces fit. It was a lot of work, but well worth it. So, for set up of the booth, I realized I needed more man-power. A friend of mine, Tareq, who was hanging with us during Mission Arts United Open Studios, volunteered his time (Thanks Tareq!). Our studio mate Kristine had a truck, and between the four of us, we could handle anything! Onward to the show!

Setting it up went well, but of course was a lot of work! As you can see from the photos, though, everything came to fruition!

My thoughts on Walker Stalker and my work there- I feel like the audience that comes to WS is looking more for Walking Dead themed work. They've fallen in love with these characters and for good reason. I, unfortunately, don't do fan art (usually). I am open to it for the future, though! Regardless, the people who were engaged with my work were really engaged! I love to hear people's take on my pieces and it seemed like everyone liked something different! There is nothing better than receiving validation that I am on the right track! It was great to meet people who really connected with the work and left with a print or an original! All in all, an incredible weekend!

Emboss Magazine Interview

The following is my Interview from the Winter 2017 Issue of Emboss Magazine, highlighting my work practice and what drives me to create it. Take a read!

How did you get your start?

I’ve been creating in one form or another for as long as I can remember. Exhibitions of my artwork came shortly after high school and I always enjoyed people’s reactions to my work. My career, so far, has spanned from photography to horror makeup and effects for films, to painting and 3-D sculptural work. I realized at a very young age that when I had certain ideas for projects, I needed to get them out and make them a reality. It’s been a process to go from the inception of the idea to the planning process to execution. I wasn’t always great at finishing what I started, but I’ve learned how to work through an idea to completion.

How would you describe your style? How has it evolved during your career?

My style has always had a tinge of the macabre. I grew up in a household where classic horror films and Halloween was part of our normal day-to-day life. I have memories of working haunted houses with my parents and sister, and even taking field trips in grade school to my house during Halloween to see my parent’s decorations. So, because of this background, I drew upon the influences of Universal monsters and Stephen King films. I would say the evolution of my work has been to find a happy balance between the horrific, the beautiful and the nostalgic.

My approach has become a lot more streamlined in recent years. I come up with a concept for a personal piece or for a group exhibition theme, find a model to photograph for it, create the
composition in Adobe Photoshop and finally, paint from the reference image. Sometimes my concepts or ideas are personal, and sometimes it’s derived from an overall thematic element. I love the idea that the finished piece is a bit of a collaboration between myself and those involved.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I mostly find inspiration in the world around me and the idea that art can help shape your
surroundings, so I try to take it all in. From street art, illustration, comic books, films, music, and as much art as I can soak up. Music is something that has inspired me consistently- it has the power to change moods and minds. Films have played a huge part aesthetically, and street art keeps me locally grounded to wherever I call home.

I’ve found that the “controlled drip” is something I love to do. There’s something very chaotic and peaceful watching paint uncontrollable drip everywhere. I’ve always felt a kinship to animals (mostly cats, ravens and crows) so I portray them often in my work.

What has been your biggest art faux-pas?

In my 20’s, I worked for Frank Frazetta’s son, Billy, at his costume shop- Frazetta’s Fantasy
Costumes in East Stroudsburg, PA. Through almost eight years of working there I got to know
Mr.Frazetta before he passed away and got to see an enormous amount of his original work in
person. At the time, I enjoyed just hearing stories and talking camera and photo talk with him, but in hindsight, I should have asked more about his techniques and process.

Have you ever experienced a creative rut? If so, how did you overcome it?

I wouldn’t say I’ve ever had a creative block, but I would say that I go through periods of time in my life where my focus is on a very specific medium or technique. In Northeastern Pennsylvania, I had a photography business for a decade, and kept a creative twist with what I called my “Phantasmatography.” At a certain point I realized I wanted to get my hands dirty again and pick up the paintbrush after not painting for years. I’ve been painting ever since. I realized there was a connection I felt when working on paintings and three dimensional projects. So, I wouldn’t call those years of non-painting as creative ruts, just more of a shifting of focus.

Is there a piece you are most proud of? Why that particular piece?

The piece I’m most proud of is “The Sinking Siren.” It’s the largest piece (excluding murals and
backdrop work) I’ve put down on canvas, or in this case- an Ampersand Gessobord. I worked on this piece during the time I was training to be the lead artist at Madame Tussauds San Francisco. The process of learning realistic skin painting techniques was maddening, so I would leave work and go to the studio to paint my own water-bogged version of skin texture. The girl in the piece started facing upright, which gave it a more hopeful feeling. The more I worked on it, the more I realized she was actually sinking. The other elements took shape after that realization.

What risks have you taken with your work or for your work?

In Pennsylvania, I had a client base for my photography and a network of friends and family. I had always had an interest in the San Francisco art scene, so I embarked on a journey to become immersed in the culture of one of the most creative metropolitan areas in the country. Sonia sold her car, we sold most of our belongings, strapped our clothes to the roof of my Honda Civic that was slowly dying, and drove over 3,000 miles with no jobs and no place to officially live.

In your opinion, what is the most important issue facing the arts today?

One of the most important issues facing the arts today is funding for creative arts centers and housing for artists to incubate their talents. In a city like San Francisco, we’re faced with major gentrification issues, where the artists and lower income creative talents are being forced out of their work spaces and houses to make room for people willing to pay astronomical prices for brand new condos. This, unfortunately, leaves them picking up the scraps from those more fortunate. The sad part is, a main reason they’re moving into this city is because of the creative culture, the beautiful architecture and the creativity the city was built on. I am absolutely a transplant, only moving here less than two years ago, but I have truly embraced every part of what this city has to offer, and immersed myself into this incredible art community. I know a fair amount of people who are fighting to help keep these creative spaces alive, even in the face of the terribly tragic Oakland Ghost Ship fire. Their tireless efforts absolutely inspire hope for the future of the arts.

Are you involved in any upcoming shows/events?

I’ll have work in a group exhibit titled “Best in Show” at Art Attack SF. This show will be the first in their new space in the Castro district.

Is there something you are currently working on that you can share with us?

In the next few months, I’ll be working on some very large paintings from photo reference of my friend Mary, with some creepy and meaningful objects and elements! Very excited to be working on something that isn’t group themed.

Tell us your best joke!

Two hams don’t make a right. You’d have to eat dinner with my dad to fully appreciate that.

What song is your current obsession or what music do you listen to when creating your art?

One of my current favorite in-your-face get-sh*t-done motivational songs is Chevelle’s “Shot From A Cannon.”

Do you have a favourite quote?

One of my favorite quotes came from a friend who told me, “If you’re not making enemies, you’re doing something wrong.”

 

It's ok to not feel connected

The popular things. What's trending. That obscure film that only a handful of people saw, but so did this very intriguing person you just met. You neglected to watch it because you were doing other things. That one band, you know... That band that everyone loves. They're local, but they're going places. How have you not heard of them? Oh, and that visual artist... The technique, the style, the execution that artist has graced us with. That one artist that everyone knows their name. He does all those..... ya know..... designs. Duh. Oh, that art. Of course I know that art. That name though. I didn't know THAT name belonged to THAT art. I never learned the name because I was too busy looking at their art. 

WHO GIVES A SHIT? 

I know you've met those people. The ones that want to "wow" you with their incredible photographic memory of that very specific artist or moment or film or album that you should [obviously] know. And then, when there's hesitation in your voice of knowing exactly who they're speaking of, they say, "tell me you know______'s work! How can you not know?!?" In that condescending, "I'm obviously more cultured than you" way that some people undoubtedly have rehearsed in front of a mirror to make sure they can squeeze the most embarrassment out of you when delivering it. 

Let me be frank here in saying that, it is OK to not know EVERYTHING that EVERYONE  in the world knows. Maybe you grew up in a home without a television (count your blessings). Maybe you had a difficult childhood and weren't allowed to buy those albums or watch those movies. Maybe your family was poor and you grew up moving from house to house and couldn't even make friends, let alone pay attention to pop culture and trends. Maybe Pop Culture and trends is not important to you. I'm just going to put this out there and say--

Don't let those people talk down to you. Don't let those people make you feel like you missed out on such an important cultural phenomenon that you surely can't even be from this generation. You have your interests, and your interests are amazing. To you. And maybe, just maybe- to no one else. And that is perfectly fine. 

The Truth.

This is the truth.  These are my beliefs.

I need passion in my life. I want to live and feel.

I believe in existing in a world where there are cosmic things at play. A world that has deeper meaning and purpose.  

i want to breathe in the air around me and know that I need it. 

Instead of just breathing, I want my blood to circulate and flow to make me feel alive with even the most mundane of tasks. 

i don't subscribe to everyday rules and monotonous things. I want to wake up tomorrow and do something that was different from today. I want to BE different. This is not always possible.

There is a huge part of me that feels connected to the Earth, but another part of me that knows I am not as connected as others, and never will be. I try to pretend that I am one of those people, but deep down, I don't think I will ever be someone who lies in the grass shoeless and naked. One of those people that is free enough to strip down and feel the cool air rush over my body and be one with nature, like the animals we are. I am too dependent on comfort within the world I've built for myself, not that unknown wilderness. People who are free in that way have always intrigued me. I'm drawn to that different level of comfort. 

I've just come to the realization that I've probably been employed at so many places in my life because I've always been looking for my purpose. In the end, what matters most? 

I do not believe in one supreme being, one creator. I believe in energy and the magnitude of emotion.  

I believe music helps to bring you to a better place. Or to save you from your own thoughts and enter into another's. 

i believe in dancing until you sweat. And sweating until you're out of breath. I believe that feeling rhythm is as important as creating it. I believe in connecting with others around you while moving to the same sounds. 

I want my children to know my life's work.  

There is no rule book to life, because everyone's reality is different. Everyone needs different things for different reasons and not all rules apply to everyone. 

If I were to die today, I feel like I have not accomplished what I've needed to. I'm also not quite sure I will ever feel like I have.

i wish to leave behind a legacy. I want future generations to remember me by the things I've done.  

Ive always been told I am moody and emotional. It's reactionary, yes, but I also call it being alive and not on a default setting. I want to feel like I've assessed a situation and reacted the way I felt in that moment. I know I'm not always right but at least I thought about it and did or said something. I can't be numb to things, to pretend like it doesn't bother me. 

I am on a bus and a girl has a t-shirt that says, "Find what you love and let it kill you." Yes. 

 There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. I know this because I've been accused of being arrogant while I was trying  to simply be a confident young man. I am [mostly] sure of my self-worth and I am sure I have a lot to contribute to this life and this world. I have recently come to terms with the fact that I will always be misconstrued as arrogant if I maintain the same level of confidence that I have been. I am still searching for the answer to whether or not I should deal with the misinterpretation of who I am or change for the betterment of me, which may change how others see me.

The answer is always change. 

 

The Murray Invitational- Live Painting Event!

I had the distinct pleasure of live painting two new pieces this past weekend at The Murray Invitational (A Bill Murray art show!) at an awesome venue very close by to our studio. The venue was called the Public Works, and it was my first time there! This was the second event I live painted at for Ezra Croft and Julia Croft, two amazing event coordinators and all around cool people (First time was at Oddville in 2015!)! I even got a brief mention on The San Francisco Chronicle about my live painting setup. The two pieces came about because I was chatting with Ezra, and mentioning how I really thought every iconic Murray scene would be taken, and he said he thought I should do a mashup! What a great idea! I was talking to Sonia about that, and she came up with the name "Bill Purray!" YES. So, Bill Purray and Bill Furray came to be! I also had an idea to make a third- "Bill Curray," and put him in a Golden State Warriors uniform. Ran out of time for that, though!

Had a great time! Met some cool people and saw some cool art! Check it out! All of the other art pictured here are other submissions from the show, and I didn't get everyone's name, but all credit for all other pieces belong solely to the artists! Nice job, artists!

Oh, look! Another blog! Why would you want to take the time to read this blog over (or, in addition to) others? What I'll be blogging about will hopefully inspire you (and myself) to be a better person, to view art from a different perspective, see the world in another light, and find the beauty in this incredible thing we call life. This will include my weekly and weekend adventures as an artist in San Francisco, with my loving and supportive (did I mention hardworking and brilliant...oh, gorgeous, too!) girlfriend, Sonia. I'll be including my highs and my lows, my art openings, my current work and my journey as the Lead Studios Artist at Madame Tussauds, SF. This will serve as an introspective account of the life of a contemporary artist in one of the most monetarily-challenging cities in the country.

If we can't live an interesting and colorful life, what's the point of living? If we can't drive ourselves to be better, what's the point of trying? The point is, we need to always be doing something that propels us into the person we're meant to become. I want to take you on my personal (and sometimes quite public) journey.