• Inspiration
  • Jan7

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    After reading about a current dustup about a certain clothing design by Old Navy, It got me thinking about the term “starving artist”. It doubtless comes from the same wellspring from whence Old Navy’s shirt design originated.  For those of us who try to make a living in creative fields, the usage of the phrase certainly runs counter to our efforts. I’m proud of those who stood up to Old Navy, but lately I’ve begun to suspect that expressions like these are merely symptoms of, rather than the origin of, this sentiment. Rather than coming from outside of the creative community, it more likely comes from within.

    The Appeal of Starvation

    First, let’s lump artists, designers, and all creative types under “Artist” for the sake of convenience, for the time being, as there are many fields of creative industry that suffer from this stigma. Now believe it or not, I’ve heard artists in different fields brag about starving. Well, not about starvation per se, but about how they worked 80 hour weeks, living off ramen and sacks of potatoes.  This type of humble-brag may find it’s origin in the mystique of the stalwart avant garde, who must sacrifice life and limb for concepts that are so far ahead of the societal curve that they must wait for public opinion (and funding) to catch up. It may have come from nostalgia for the adventurous gauntlet of paying one’s dues in the difficult but heady days of art school. But these were Artists well out of school, with jobs, taking what would otherwise be seen as poverty and unacceptable labor conditions and making them a badge of honor. Maybe it’s just sour grapes in reverse, or penance for making even a little money doing something you like. If you even like it.

    But other than pointless self flagellation for whatever weird psychosis we collectively share, we should all realize that we needn’t starve, for the same reason that those in other professions need not starve. We provide a service, a necessary good to society, which can, and should, be paid for. Read More | Comments

  • Jul30

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    House on Mountain Evening Scene Thumbnail

    House on a Mountain: Evening Scene

    The image above is what I hope will be the first among many attempts at creating landscapes and/or environments by me. It will be sold as a vector clip art stock illustration, and it has already been accepted at a few microstock sites (click the image to go to one). Most of my freelance requests come from clients who want figurative/character-based t-shirt designs. This results in my drawing lots of “mascots floating in space”. Nothing wrong with that, I love doing it, but I recently realized that I am very much out of practice with creating the environments that these characters might “live in”. I also came to realize that this would severely limit me in some upcoming projects I want to get started on. Read More | Comments