Well 2013 has come and gone, and what a freakin' great year it's been!! From the ups and downs of getting sick and having surgery, to going on an amazing tour across the country with bands like Rob Zombie, Jane's Addiction and Alice in Chains headlining, 2013 has really set some records for my career as an artist. I've had the honor of watching my little boy Max grow past his first year, and my daughter, Gwen, start her educational journey with Kindergarten. This year has definitely been defined by my finally getting down to business in a big way. I've spent much of the last decade and a half trying to survive as an artist, publish books, attend conventions and slowly build up my name in the art world, doing everything I could to make sure I didn't have to go back to a day job to support my craft and my family. I spent very little time, though, analyzing my career from a business perspective, taking lessons I've learned and committing them to paper, looking at how efficiently I'm running things in order to have more time to paint etc., and just really taking stock of a whirlwind that I've called life over the last 14 years as a touring live painter (as well as author, father, husband, promoter, graphic designer, blogger, tour manager, social media manager, cook, driver and the many other names that go along with self employment).
I finally made myself sit down, take stock, go through what I was doing wrong, what I learned, what needed working on etc., and the results were nothing less than astounding. Some things that I were doing were so 'in my face stupid' that I was embarrassed to call myself a business man, and other things were validated by top professionals, which felt amazing. It's amazing how, even though I come from a background in finance and have been interested in business, I fell into the typical artist trap of not giving a fuck about nurturing that side of my career, as if it would make me less creative. Over the last year, though, I've taken to educating myself to the specifics of what has worked in my career, what hasn't and why, and next year, I'm proud to announce the launch of a brand new blog and book that will cover my experiences as an artist from the business, marketing, social media, and other assorted perspectives that aren't necessarily what you want to have to deal with, but are absolutely necessary or you might as well just keep art as a hobby and not a business. It'll be a ball busting, no bullshit, but simple way to take in information and tips, from myself and other industry professionals, that will help you immediately start taking your art career seriously, increase sales, and to understand aspects of the business side of art that you are most likely not thinking of.
It's going to be a great 2014, I hope you and your loved ones have a great holiday season, keep on creating, and I'll see you next year!
ONTO THE YEAR IN REVIEW!!!...
HIGHLIGHTED ARTWORK! Much of what I did in 2013 painting wise, was private commissions, so not many public pieces for you to chew on, but the ones I did finish I am very proud of. Lots of 'Fear and Loathing' tribute pieces including a collaborative series with Vincent Gordon commemorating the cities that we've toured in. Also, I tried out a new concept for tour which was to work on one massive painting and tour it across the country, as opposed to try to create one new piece per tour date. The result was 'Hastings' Mermaids', a 4' x 9' monster WWI U Boat painting that I took on the Metal Mayhem and Uproar tours. I will continue that tradition in 2014 as I embark on yet another wide scale U.S. live painting tour. Tour dates to come!
MY COMICS 'FERVOR' AND 'MESS' MADE IT ONTO COMIXOLOGY, AND 'CATALEPSY' IS AVAILABLE FOR FREE ON AMAZON.COM (CLICK THE IMAGES BELOW TO DOWNLOAD!) Thanks to the folks over at Comixology, James Taylor from Rorschach Entertainment, and 213INK my ol' comics have been digitally resurrected and are now available for as little as free in some cases! So click away and enjoy some of my earlier works:)
AND I WOULDN'T BE WHERE I AM TODAY WITHOUT MY FANS!!!! The thing that amazes me the most about my fans and supporters is how diverse they are. When I first started in the comics industry, and I was drawing super dark and violent books, I thought the only fans I would have would be suicidal death rockers and other weirdos, but as I quickly learned, as long as I'm putting out honest work with a clear message, my fans were going to be from all walks of life. (They are still weird, but that's their most endearing quality:) I thank each and every one of you for supporting me, and allowing me to continue to do this. Cheers to you!
WHERE THE HELL HAVE I BEEN?! Well, let me show you! I'll try to remember my major events this year, but they included:
Emerald City Comic Con, WonderCon, SXSW, Long Beach Comic Con, San Diego Comic Con, Metal Mayhem , Uproar, Musink Tattoo Festival, Cannabis Cup in SF and Denver, CHAMPS Vegas and Denver, James Gray Gallery, Magic Tradeshow, and tons and tons of nightclub appearances. Here's some pics to prove I'm not just hallucinating these things!...
ART PLUS WOOD ARRIVES!!! A brilliant website launched that now handles all my high end canvas, metal and wood block prints. Thanks to Thomas Ackerman and all the people over at Spirit Printing Services for making this happen. CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW to go and check out my art, what it looks like on the different mediums, and also take some time and check out the other artists on the site--you'll be drop jawed after you do!
So over all a great year! A record year in fact. Again, thanks to everyone who supported my art in some sort of way whether it was a purchase, allowing me to work up a bad ass commission for you, spreading the word, participating in my new research surveys, bringing the whiskey or beer, and/or just being a fan of Art. The best thing in my world is to meet people that are passionate about art. They don't necessarily have to like my art, but just a few kind words to let me know I'm going in the right direction, and that what I'm doing is good for humanity is always appreciated. It's hard enough to be a career artist, and having friends and fans to help me along the way is the best tool for creating my art that I have. Thanks everyone, and I look forward to next year's antics!