Stories enrich our lives. They teach us, inspire us, entertain us and connect us to one another. The notion of storytelling is what reflects on the past, records the present and projects the future. We can’t escape our nature and affinity for telling stories. It’s how we know who we are and what we strive to become. This method is documented thoroughly in the formula known as “The Hero’s Journey.” At its core, there is a problem, reaction and ultimately a solution. The story connects us all through the ages. It’s essentially the origin of the notion of good vs evil, hero vs villain… Duality to put it simply.
Technology has made it possible for everyone to tell their stories. Stories of epic heroism have been shared with the world via internet connection as have stories of frightening horror and stupidity. As opposed to past ages, so long as we can assume, humanity has never had the capability to share stories as widely as it can now. One story that has always struck a chord with me is that of the Alien franchise.
While HR Giger has had a massive influence on my artwork, the franchise he contributed his visual style to has had an epic story that’s assisted in shaping the lense in which I see through. We as humans are facing some serious issues which need to be addressed yet society seems more concerned with the wasted chromosomes of the Kardashians.
I think of my art as a piece of my soul. How much would you sell your soul for? Personally, I would never sell mine. I hate the notion of attaching dollar signs to my artwork because it truly is priceless. How do you price the remains of a human?
I suppose you could place medical value such as a liver replacement for a transplant patient. That could be tens of thousands of dollars depending on the procedure. However, I’m not selling organs. I’m selling memorials to people who have lost loved ones.
The average cost of a funeral is astronomical. A block of stone as a memorial alone could total $10,000-$50,000 + easily. The way I see return on investment is quite different than dollar signs. I seek the solace of loved ones who have lost someone close to them. I want them to find peace in my creation. They need to know that the one they love still exists and is part of “The All.” I want them to be able to look at the painting or sculpture I create for them and be comforted by the knowledge that their father or mother or sister or brother or daughter or son or husband or wife still exists on another plane and is still with them forever and always. I define success as the ability to comfort people in the most difficult challenge we must all eventually face, death.
From the beginning of time, mankind has been telling stories. We see evidence through the artifacts of the ancient world from the relics of the bronze age to the masterpieces of the classical age and eventually to the allegories that parallel our modern world. The story of Atlantis is one that has always captured my imagination.
I recently saw a documentary on Netflix (marketed through social media) that made my heart flutter. Artist and hustler Damien Hurst set out to put his money where his mouth was and finance something awesome. I really don’t think he anticipated the results of his endeavors. The crew he financed made the discovery of a lifetime and more.
They were looking for underwater treasure and what they found was more than a dream come true times a trillion. I have very few words to describe what was found because it changes what we know of our own history. Watch the documentary and if you can go see the otherworldly work that was uncovered in person don’t hesitate. The golden medusa head is my favorite piece.
Stories are the currency of connection. The way we communicate as individuals is all about self-expression. We project ourselves in the way we tell stories. This is partially ego driven but with an underlying desire to share truth with others. We all contribute to this truth as a collective primarily through social media. The internet has made our ability to share the information we wish to project extremely fast and efficient. As we venture into the age of AI (Artificial Intelligence) we face many challenges. This is where we see a double edge sword in the vision forward. The story of Terminator comes to mind.
There are two primary schools of thought. It’s the age-old battle between past, present and future. There are some who say our technology will be our downfall, while there are others who dive in head first and whole heartedly without question of danger. What do you think will happen once the world comes to realize the singularity? Stay tuned as the plot thickens.
- Cause and Effect
The most informative content that I adapt to my process almost always comes from the inspirational people I follow online. There are thousands of great artists sharing their work online and many are putting content out there that is designed to help other artists grow as business professionals. There are some great people I follow on various social media platforms as well as their blogs, YouTube channels, websites and even virtual worlds. Some of them include people like Carolyn Edlund AKA ArtsyShark, Alyson B Stanfield AKA ArtBizCoach, and College Art Association or CAA. These people have amazing content that I learn so much from.
Some of the communities I engage with online include professionals that work for tech companies like Adobe, Autodesk, Unreal and Unity. They have YouTube channels where they share tips/tricks, how to tutorials, information about new features and most importantly live project and portfolio reviews. The folks over at Adobe were even kind enough to review one of my designs via live video feed. They checked out a ferrofluid style page set up I had created as an online store using Adobe XD which I was beta testing at the time. It was great to get their valuable feedback and I look forward to each live feed I manage to come across because it gives me an opening to have my work seen by everyone watching their videos.
For the time being, I’m working as a solo artist, so my cohorts and business partners have yet to be developed. From time to time I do bounce ideas for art projects off my fiancé and friends and their honesty gives me an idea about which projects are worth pursuing. Currently I have a project in the works which will be helping a fellow classmate and well-known blogger (Scott Stokes from Northwest Chefs) curate artwork for a virtual coffee shop he is creating in Second Life called BLACK SHEEP. The place looks great and will be an amazing social hub for people from all walks of life. I’m looking forward to contributing to this project and providing great conversation pieces while people enjoy some digital caffeine and ambiance.