While I am normally not a fan of a year in review, I am doing this because 2015 was the year that everything changed for me. Everything. And it’s important to stop and remember where things started and where they ended up because art is very much a ladder and one painting builds upon the other.
Most of these paintings have links to their progress pics. Some don’t. I wasn’t blogging regularly for quite a while, which speaks to how my year started in stress and with a lack of direction.
This painting sold as I was working on it. So awesome. It was my biggest piece to date and I loved painting it.
If I painted in this month, I have no record of it. February is always a hard month for me. It’s dark. It’s cold. And this one was particularly cold.
“Restoring Balance to the Universe”
This painting changed everything for me. A complete style overhaul. I did this after taking a Social Painting workshop in Cambridge. There’s something magic that happens when I paint in a group setting and this was no exception. I came home with energy and focus and whacked out this piece. Then my spawn told me not to stop. Keep working on it. So I did. And the painting became better and better.
My spawn is in art school I figure she knows her stuff. And as a teen, she certainly doesn’t hold back on her opinion! Which works out very well for me.
“You’re All Not Worthy”
July was an odd month for me. Getting ready for vacation. Dealing with an overflow of my day job. And looking for studio space around Dorchester. A place to paint. A place to teach. A place for a small gallery. Finding the perfect place and then losing it due to politics. Someone not playing by the rules. I am still bitter about that.
And I’ve given up. Small towns are awesome for so many reasons but living and working in a community that does not support businesses and growth can be difficult. And I have no desire to commute. So I work from home and will continue to do so until something changes.
I did start watching Supernatural on Netflix for the first time. This is important to know because it shows up in my work suddenly, starting in August.
This was the month I decided to become a professional artist. Not a part-time artist. Not a hobby artist. And I found my focus, because it was always there. Nerd portraits. I’ve always painted portraits from sci-fi and only stopped because it wasn’t “real art” according to other people. But you know what? Nerds are inheriting the earth and I embrace and paint what moves me.
So August was a critical month. A turning point. Even though I didn’t actually paint all that much.
I jumped into this challenge with no expectations and lots of enthusiasm. This is painting in a group for me, minus the actual people. Having focus and accountability makes all the difference. This month is important because it immediately led to the next major change in my career.
Out of the blue, I got an email from Forest City ComicCon asking me if I wanted to be a vendor. I had 9 days notice and Thanksgiving in the middle of it. A sane person would have said no.
I am not a sane person.
The thing I was most afraid of was showing my work to my peers and people. My fellow nerds. If it was rejected, everything I wanted would have died. I think I would have withered. With the support of my friends and family, I was able to pull off the show. And I pulled it off so well that I landed a rep (yay!) and a crap ton more shows.
I couldn’t have done that without having the body of work that the 30 day challenge gave me.
With my newfound courage, I ended up participating in a one-night art show in London. I was on the radio being interviewed. I met and talked to endless amounts of people.
Somehow, I am not the same person I was just even a month ago.
November and December were full of commissions and orders. All awesome. And this month also had Fan Days held in Toronto. My first taste of a tiny Toronto ComicCon.
But I moved to the next level of professional prints, a banner and more. Knowing that these things would be needed for 2016 and all the shows I have lined up.
And so this was my 2015. At least in terms of sci-fi portraits. Lots of art. Lots of change. And lots of people happy with their paintings.
Change is good. For the first time in a very long time I am happy. I am excited for the future. No more same old, same old. And this time next year? It’s going to be awesome.