Tuesday, October 28, 2008

here we go again

Next week the Directory of Illustration should begin shipping around the country. I took an ad out this year and am anxious to see the final product. It is always a crap shoot whether the investment pays off when one chooses to advertise in the big books of art. Sometimes it feels like you just get lost in a sea of lines, colors and patterns. Other times it feels like a necessary part of promotion and the dividends are that the ad pays for itself and then some. The test in the 'year of the crappy economy' will be whether it really is good to advertise when no one else is. Not that no one else is advertising, but I am fairly certain that the book isn't as thick as when the money flows freely. Maybe that counts in my favor. Maybe not. Maybe the people who get the book and buy art won't be buying this year. Only time will tell. Thank God for itemized deductions!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Ok, so I am digitally capable. Give me Photoshop, Illustrator, yes even Flash and I can handle it. I can make things, I can even talk you through a technical issue on the phone, without being near my computer! Yes, I have some skills. I started on Photoshop when it was version 3.0. And yes there really was a Photoshop 3.0! It was an exciting time in history, Photoshop got layers in 3.0. This post really isn't about my ability in Photoshop though. What I wanted to talk about is that I have been such the loner artist. Toiling away in my office/studio. Sketchpads by the dozens in the bookshelf always at the ready. I have a website obviously, am on Linkedin, do this blog, but alas I have never joined any professional forums. That all changed tonight. I am officially on an artist forum. I had never really thought about connecting with fellow illustrators that way. I don't know why I haven't thought of it. Makes perfect sense. I think as artists, especially those of us who have had the good fortune to work our trade full time, it is easy to become reclusive, save for the client contacts. It is easy to forget to talk to other artists. We get into our art, into our inspiration, our muses and our loves and don't think about connecting with other artists. I also think it is in our nature to be distrustful of other artists. We have to have such a healthy dose of ego, to put up with all the rejection, that we see other artists as threats. Even if that feeling is subconscious. We need to exert our dominance, to feel special and unique. It makes sense, we spend our lives trying to express our own voice, the last thing we want is to meet someone else who may be better than us, or God forbid more unique! Whether we want to admit it or not, we artists are insanely competitive. We have to be. Not that we can't be nice and supportive, but there is an inkling of competition always within most of us. I think it is our nature. 

I am putting aside my inflated sense of art self and publicly acknowledging that there are gazillions of other artists who are better than me, and do a better job of managing their careers. And to you I say 'Hell Yes' and hope that I can shut up and take notes and hopefully make some new friends that give me pause (and learn a thing or two). 

Friday, October 10, 2008

crazy times

You would have to be dead to not know what is going on in the world right now. Holy crap what a mess we are in. Luckily I didn't have any money to lose in all this chaos. Between the hate mongering of the McCain/Palin campaign, to the abject failure of our current administration, to the overwhelming sense that we American's just don't participate nearly enough in our democracy, I feel like my head might explode soon. I heard a great story by Andrei Codrescu the poet the other day, I won't dare try to paraphrase. But go check it out. I blame our level of comfort for our lack of participation. We have Wii, food in easy to prepare plastic bags, 10,000 channels on cable, unimpeded internet, hell you name it we can get it. No wonder we don't take the time to pay attention to our politicians until it is too late. Now look where we are. And, I know that in spite of my progressive bubble I live in, there are millions of Americans that can't vote for Obama purely on his skin color. That is just how shallow and pathetic so many people are. So here I sit with my music cranked up, trying to get into a cupcake state of mind, but I can't block out the inner angst, the deep disappointment that we in this place. I want to be positive, I want to believe that things are going to be different, that maybe this type of disaster is what we need to have the social revolution that will turn things around. Make us more united, and better people. That maybe, just maybe we will pay attention and realize we can't just buy crap all the time as though it will make us feel better. People, get off your asses, ride a bike, walk to the store, read the news, write a letter to the editor, call your senator, put down that remote and step away from your 52" big screen.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I LOVE Halloween. It is one of my favorite holidays. I love candy, and I love the thought that kids dress up in costumes, roam the neighborhoods and get to ask for candy. I mean how cool is that? A celebration of creativity, and of sugar. Two of my favorite things. If it was to knock on doors and ask for baked goods, it would be perfect! So in honor of this wonderful holiday I am trying to crank through my next cupcake, a halloween cupcake. It is stripey, and orange and shades of neutral black/chocolate. I just want to work on it all day long, but alas I have a family AND I have costumes to make. Because along with my love of Halloween comes a fanatical obsession with making kick ass costumes. And yes, my kids can request anything and I will labor for months to achieve the quality of costume that has become legend in our neighborhood. I have successfully created Godzilla and baby Godzilla, Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, The Thing, Daredevil, 4 jedi's, Yoda and this year I have Darth Maul and a Jawa. Complete with glowing red eyes. Yes I have some sewing to do. But this year is easy compared to Godzilla. 

All hail Halloween, sweet, sweet halloween.