Don't Call Me an Artist


I’m Getting Hung! And I Want YOU to Celebrate with Me

Ha ha ha! The title sounds kind of dirty huh?

So, geez, holy effing hell, where have I been?

I started a new job almost a month ago and have been all kinds of MIA as I readjust to the 9-5 life. And it IS a bit of a readjustment after having 3 months off to practically do nothing but pursue my art and relax.

But! That is no excuse for not updating, and I should have done so sooner, especially since I booked a place to hang my Playing God series! Woohoo!

The opening is this Saturday, July 17th at Internos Wine Cafe in the San Francisco Richmond district, from 8pm-10pm. It's a great spot with great wine and delicious nibbles. I hung the works with my wonderful girlfriend this past weekend (more photos below), and can't wait until Saturday. If you're in the area, COME CELEBRATE!

We'll be hovering around the long, center table, and I'll be wearing my wonderful red bandanna.

PS. It's also my birthday party! :)

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't see you there. ;)

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Blue Hole Series

This is a short series, for now. I may add a few more too it.

I continue to mess about with these techniques. It seems a bit less like 'painting' and more like a chemistry experiment. Oh well, it's fun. I really like the texture the canvas adds to the black in the two pieces below. Almost like that experiment in grade school when you run a magnet underneath a sheet of paper with metal filings on it.


Graffiti Street Art – US Air Buffalo

I found this large, and quite wonderful wheat pasted poster in San Francisco's SOMA district. It was on 9th St., between Mission and Minna, but it's since been painted over.


Compromising Artistic Vision for Money?

Image courtesy of Tony.L.Wong

I ran my $100 Experiment past a fashion designer friend of mine in London to get an 'art as business' perspective. He responded with some food for thought. My favorite part: "It is about finding the right audience it always is – I think the glass of wine and a bit of cheese we love art but not anything too scary – and we’d love something for our second home” that crowd."

Here's what he had to say:


The $100 Experiment

Image courtesy of Move the Clouds

So, after my whole "The Gallery Scene Sucks" post, I started brainstorming ways to get around the amount of time it takes to actually start making money as an artist. It's not that the gallery system is broken, per se, and far be it from me to intimate that, it's simply that it takes too damn long for someone with limited cash reserves like myself. I'm watching my bank accounts' steady, anxiety-inducing trajectory towards zero, and coming to the conclusion that I gotsta get paid!


Blue Specimen Number 03

So much for working on white! Ha ha ha!

I really like this one, although, those to whom I've shown it seem much less impressed than I. C'est la vie... and the subjective nature of art. I think the form and color in this one are great, but I really like it because I was successfully able to combine a few small techniques with which I was tinkering. Happy times.

I tried doing three other canvases in a similar manner, but they all completely failed. I think I need to start standardizing my mixtures, instead of just eyeballing them.

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Working on White – Blue Specimen Number 02

Pardon the image quality. I took the shot with my iPhone :)

I was trying out a new variation of one of my techniques today, and came across a happy accident. I usually work on dark backgrounds, but since I was testing something new I didn't take the time to paint the canvas. I couldn't have been happier with the results. I'm going to do a whole run on white canvases!

I'm also really stoked that this technique can translate well to larger formats - something that was concerning about my other techniques.

What do you think of the test?


Getting Paid as an Artist – A Realistic Point of View

Best Case Scenario: 3 Months

I submit work to a gallery, they review it within 4 weeks, the love it, and ask me to show. They don't have anything lined up for next month so I'm their guy. The show stays up for a month, all of my artwork sells, there aren't any billing issues, and the gallery cuts me a check. 3 months...

Worst Case Scenario: 8 Months / Forever

I submit my work. The gallery might not even respond. If they do, 6-8 weeks before I hear back is common. If they run their business well, they'll have shows lined up at least a few months in advance. Let's say they like my work, it gets hung. A few paintings sell, but there are billing delays (there are always billing delays). I finally get a check 7 or 8 months from now. And that's IF they like my work.

The gallery system is slow. What to do about this?


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Signing Artwork

A sculptor friend of mine just harangued me for signing some of my works with Sharpie.

He has a point.

I did a little research and discovered a few things I should improve upon regarding my John Hancock.

  1. Sign in the same medium as the art itself. Use oil paint to sign an oil painting, etc.
  2. Don't sign on top of varnish. It looks like an afterthought.
  3. If at all possible, sign when the paint is still wet. Apparently this is harder to forge, and makes collectors happy.
  4. Sign legibly so work can always be identified and doesn't end up making a surprise appearance on Antiques Roadshow.
  5. Date that shit. Preferably on the back.


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Initial Thoughts on the Submission Process

I have officially submitted my work!

Most of yesterday was spent researching galleries and submitting my work. I was dismayed at first by how much time this took, but in retrospect I learned a lot. Hopefully the following four insights are useful.

1. The VAST majority of galleries in San Francisco are not accepting unsolicited submissions.

This took me a bit by surprise, but I can imagine how inundated they are by the sheer number of aspiring artists the Art Institute and Academy of Art are pumping out.