My cat Oscar is 11 – I’ve had him since he was 3 months old. For the last 3 years he has suffered with pancreatitis. His illness took an unprecedented turn for the worse July 1st. Luckily, I found a really good vet where we now live and he is on several prescription meds to cope with his illness. Some are working – some – I don’t know.
What is heartbreaking about this is that he has been so happy for the last 2 months in our new home – with so much more room to run and play. His illness has stopped all that. He sleeps most of the time now and I can tell he is not feeling well – even on the meds.
This prompted me to sink into a deep depression myself. As he is my sole companion here and has been for many years. I am a recluse. The idea of losing him is just so painful for me it takes me to a very dark place.
The people closest to me all know how much Oscar means to me and everyone has been very kind and understanding.
I cannot work at this time. What began with so much promise – my full-time art career 2 months ago – has abruptly been halted. Another source of my deepening depression.
It has only been 11 days – but to me and Oscar it feels like years.
I want to let you know I am stronger than this depression. I’ve faced the darkness before and I have come through back into the light.
I only ask for your patience.
I also want to say – how grateful I am that I no longer work for that horrible employer in Silicon Valley – at least now I can be home to care for this little creature who has given me nothing but his love and trust for 11 years. I am grateful beyond measure.
My latest fun project is a web comic entitled: “The Adventures of Atomic Betty in the Virtual World”
I’ve wanted to do a comic book project for many, many years but just never had the time to experiment and create a process pipeline for images. Now that I am retired and working full time in the studio I have that luxury.
The premise for Atomic Betty came to me one night while exploring in the virtual world of Second Life. I wondered – what do our avatars do after we log out? What if they have a whole other life we know nothing about? What if their existence is filled with adventure and intrigue? What if our avatars become sentient beings when we are not around?
While still in the experimental stage – I am very happy so far with the results of building this process pipeline. I’m using a combination of ‘windlight’ settings in Second Life and post processing in Photoshop to achieve this color halftone printed look.
I’m having a blast working on this. It’s a nice break from the drawing table.
I had a wonderful visit to Lakeport, CA yesterday where I visited the Lake County Arts Council and Gallery, became a member and made some new friends!
I am looking forward to producing work to be shown and sold through local galleries here in Northern California.
Both my children’s books and selected engraved glass works will be sold in their gift shop. This is a very exciting prospect.
I am very pleased to share that my children’s book has been accepted into the Clearlake Public Library.
Yesterday I did an interesting experiment. I posted a pen and ink drawing from my latest collection on Facebook and then I posted a picture of an intricately carved avocado. The avocado was 20 times more popular than my drawing.
Now, if I were selling carved avocados this would be great news.
Back in January, artist Noah Bradley left social media – he observed: “And now I’m thinking that maybe I don’t need any of the social networks in my life. Maybe the idea that to promote myself as an artist and have a following I need to be on social networks is wrong. Maybe there’s another way. Maybe I can focus instead on creating more, better work and let things spread as they will. Maybe (just maybe) other people can share my work for me and it’ll spread at least as well.”
I am seriously re-thinking my marketing plan and use of social media.
ADDENDUM: After receiving some “blow-back” from angry people on Facebook after I revealed that this was an experiment on Facebook I wanted to add my reasons for doing this experiment.
Based on my personal observation of Facebook “likes” and trends – my theory was that the general public reacts more favorably to images that do not require any thought or work on the part of the viewer.
And YES I do realize that using Facebook as a resource for social experiments may be upsetting to some people. I apologize to anyone who was offended by this.
My artwork requires much from the viewer. It is intricate, highly detailed and in the case of the Unfinished Illustrations, it requires that the viewer work out what is going on in the drawing. Like Felicity here, she murdered the man in the tub by putting the radio in it and electrocuting him. This would actually take work on the viewers part to ascertain. My theory is that most people would rather be immediately visually gratified by an image than take the time to “work it out”.
Identifying this proclivity of social media users better enables me to market my work to the correct audiences. Based on what I have learned from this, I don’t think using social media for marketing benefits me as an artist.
More often than not, inspiration finds me when I am working. The idea for the next project appears during the execution of the current project.
This has happened so many times now that I have come to expect it.