I was recently accepted to present an art exhibit with C4 Atlanta (yeah me!). If you haven't heard of C4 Atlanta its a non-profit arts service organization whose mission is to connect arts entrepreneurs to the people, skills and tools they need to build a successful artistic career in metro Atlanta. I have benefited from the information, exhibits and networking opportunities they provide to artists and I look forward to presenting this exhibit.
I have been collecting ideas before i knew about the opportunity to exhibit. But in todays blog i want to speak on inspiration.
Everywhere I go, I see. It's the curse and blessing of being a visual artist. I see people alot because that is what I like to draw. But especially when I travel I am more aware of seeing architecture and landscape changes. People, places, things all become a part of what you see in my work.
In July I travelled by van from Georgia to Arizona with family and a little children (geesh!!). It was indeed an experience. I got to experience a piece of Navajo culture, see the landscape changes of our beautiful U.S., and at a distance see the borders between us and them (Mexico/U.S.). I say "us and them" because of debates in recent news reports. I personally believe in a universal "we" - but i digress....
Anyway, the image here came to me in a dream....just the feet. The series I am working on is underdevelopment, but i am often lead by my dreams. This is just something that I saw while I slept and it will likely be worked over to become a part of the whole.
It's gonna be a lot of work this year, but i can't wait.
In light of recent negative events in the news, particularly over the last 6 months all over the world, I started thinking again about the power of an artist to create social change. We all have different skills sets no matter what you are in to. Creatives are especially in tune with how to express the emotions that are processed during times of change. They also have the power to be a catalyst for inspiration. Add the internet and social media to the mix and you now become a walking journalist that even news reporters call on for inspirational stories (i.e. ALS Challenge).
A recent example I found in social media was in Mary Engelbreit, a visual artist, who created a piece in response to the incident in Ferguson, Missouri. In an effort to raise money for the Michael Brown Fund she examined her skill set and probably asked herself, "What can I do?" That is actually a hard question to ask yourself. It challenges your sense of power and resolve; it puts you in a position of accountability. Criticism may be waiting for you as you decide to create change. There is external work, even harder internal work, that must be done to get things done. It isn't an easy road, but oftentimes it is a necessary one.
Mary is not the first person to use their talents to make an impact. Still, she was a good reminder to me that even in what I do as an artist there is power of influence. But you first have to decide what you stand for, what is important to you and what is worth you representing. Basic questions like:
What am I good at?
What do I love to do?
What do I really care about in this world and why?
What can I do to help?
These are just a few questions to consider. And once you decide....make a plan and get into action.
Until we meet again, live long, be happy and make something or be forgotten.
I am a control freak - and if you are reading this, I bet you are too!
Recently I was asked, "Why do you work with self-published authors?"
At first I paused, because I really never thought about it. But when I did, I realized it was because in my heart I am one.
Writing stories was something I started doing at an early age. I always enjoyed a good story - whether in books, plays or movies - and I will dissect it for its meaning and merit. You would hate to watch a movie with me, because if it doesn't make me believe it, I ain't buying it!
In adulthood I wrote my first book for my oldest daughter. It was so simple and is still unfinished in its "dummy" state. But that story is what sparked my interest in producing books. I had a story to tell.
As I learned that about myself, people also started telling me they had a story to tell. I decided that my gift to see the images in the words is how I could help them bring their personal stories to the marketplace.
But I am also a control freak. I think many serious, business-minded authors who decide to produce their own work want to do it on their own terms. They want to build an experienced and professional mastermind team to support them in editing, illustration, design and marketing. They want to be in control of how the product is produced and promoted. They love their project so much that they want to reap more of the benefit. They also realize that that benefit comes with a lot of work and they are ok with that.
Most of all they love the work they do. They love to write good stories.
So here I am today! I love children's books, graphic novels and sequential art and I enjoy helping other authors create their stories. Many people are inspired by their own lives or that of a family member. There are stories everywhere and in everyone. We all have one.....what is yours?
I am an artist, arts advocate and artrepreneur here to share my journey with you in hopes that you will be inspired.