Montreal ComicCon was seven kinds of awesome. For me, there were a lot of reasons for that but the biggest one was I got to paint my way through the show.
I’ve painted for an audience before but it was once. It was The Brush Off. And I didn’t have time to pay attention to my audience.
This was different.
When I started, my hands were shaking. I wasn’t sure how live painting would be taken. And my concentration was shot.
But I also knew that if I didn’t get up and paint, it would be a very long weekend of me wanting to paint. And me getting annoyed with myself for not facing the things that scare me.
I know it doesn’t always look like I’m leaping through walls and going past barriers but I am. Every week. One of the reasons I sat on my art career for so long was due to fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of success. Fear of being noticed. Fear. Fear. Fear.
That is no fucking way to live a life.
So, for the past year, I’ve been putting myself right in front of the things that scare me the most. And guess what? I’m not dead yet.
My coach calls this being anti-fragile. As I go, I get less and less fragile. He’s not wrong. And I’ve done things I never in a million years thought I would do.
Live painting is one of them. Going to cons is another. Being seen and recognized as a professional by my audience and peers is yet another. So many things. I’m not even going to ask where this is going to go. All good places, right?
So I sucked it up in Montreal and made myself paint.
I pre-drew everything at home because I knew that my hands wouldn’t be steady. Let’s face it, fear for me is a known thing. I know my reactions. What I can do is minimize their impact. Paint is so much more forgiving when the base drawing is solid.
And then I found my zone.
I don’t have a ton of progress shots for this painting because I felt like I needed to force my focus at first and then I was in the zone and forgot. Thank goodness my booth babe took several shots. Proof that I painted. And she updated Facebook for me too.
As a side note, a good booth babe is priceless. Mine is amazing.
I started with black. Again, making the whole process easier for me but also, making sure the painting spent most of the time looking good. While I can see where things are heading, the audience can’t. It helped that I had a table full of good, finished art next to me but I always want to present the best way possible, so getting the likeness early on mattered.
Fun fact: I can paint lefty or righty with no difference but I was nervous and stuck to my right hand. If you watch any of my videos, you can see me switch hands as I go. Sometimes one hand is steadier than the other. Sometimes I paint with both hands at once, especially if I’m moving fast and can hang my iPad on the easel.
I also play any sports as a lefty. I drive left-handed as well. I can’t write worth shit left-handed though. Go figure.
The finished piece took maybe 30 minutes to do. I chose Bobby because I know his face. I find comfort in him, like he’s my Bobby. Because he’s got easily recognizable features. Better shots and prints coming soon.
12″ x 12″
Acrylic on stretched canvas.