Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Personal Evolution

     Recently I started finding myself hitting a wall with my art. It's a frustrating feeling since I can tell that I have been evolving my style yet again but have been dealing with a thick cloud of uncertainty of what I should do, especially since I have been working on customer projects during this transition. What's worse is these walls I find myself up against have been occurring since the passing of loved ones and the temporary closure of the main gallery I was with (which I mentioned in my entry 2014 - The Year of Bad Dice Rolls ). Could all of this be connected or just a really strange coincidence? Not sure but saying that I want to scream and cry is an understatement. 

     Talking to some of my close friends about it, I realized that I have actually never done a piece of work just for myself. Nearly all of the work that I have done since high school, college and my professional art life has always been for other people. The only things that I can actually say I made for ME has been 3 things - a small mural on my bedroom door, and the 2 tattoos I currently have which both have stories behind them. It was then one of my friends suggested that I be selfish for a moment and do a painting for myself. I have to admit that the idea thrilled and scared me at the same time. What about the customer projects that I had lined up, including her own order? She told me not to worry since even I needed to do something for myself. After so many years of taking care of other people and making others smile when they were in a grey place, I actually found myself uncertain over putting myself first for once. 

     As I work on my personal project, which I will share in a later update once I'm finished, I found myself wondering about the personal works of other artists. Taking a look, I found a small handful of works and projects that grabbed my attention that I thought would be nice to share with you. Each one has powerful, personal stories behind them. 

PaperandDust.deviantart.com (Australia) 
Journal Project by PaperandDust
A traditional artist who mostly specializes in watercolors, Marni has a wonderfully colorful body of work which almost has a dreamscape quality. In 2011 she worked on a personal project which involved creating a creative and colorful collection of journals which she gave to her classmates when they neared their graduation in order for them to record the next chapter of their lives. A wonderfully thoughtful gesture which had a very personal touch. 

Project 27 4.15.09 by Project-27
Project-27.deviantart.com (United States) 
Angela, a photographer from Alabama, has been doing a constant 365 project which she shares on her gallery. For those not familiar with the 365 project, it involves a self portrait of the person involved everyday for a year. Her most powerful image from her project back in 2009, in my opinion, has the simple title of Project 27 4.15.09. She gathered all of the photos she had taken during the year and included herself on top of the collage of images. It's certainly interesting seeing how she evolves with each day. 

k04sk.deviantart.com (United States) 
Finally Some Personal Time
by k04sk
Graphic artist Kalen has a great many works on display in his gallery. Specializing in concept work, the various environments he's created are so tantalizing that it's a shame they do not exist here in our plane. Hidden among his cornucopia of images is one titled Finally Some Personal Time which was done in 2011. He created it after moving to a new location and wanted to test his skills out at that point. I believe he achieved something magical. 

LilleahWest.deviantart.com (United States) 
A custom fursuit creator for customers attending various conventions, Lilleah did a large scale personal project in 2013 in honor of her sister. In the description of the image, she goes on to explain: 
My Sister's Wish
by Lilleah West

These color suits really really mean something special to us...
in July 2012 my sister, her boyfriend and her 4 dogs were all hit by a speeding drunk while in the crosswalk... only my sister survived.... 
She has been unable to walk since the incident.
In autumn we found out my sister would more than likely be unable to quadsuit at FC due to needing a bone graft operation in December... and her purple suit is the only 2 legged one she has...

This multi-suit personal project is something my sister has been wanting to see happen since she created the purple suit 3 years ago.
When I learned she still would be unable to walk/quadsuit come FC is when I began producing 8 fursuits in record time, all in just under 2 months. With sewing help from my niece and her two teenage furry friends I was able to make my sister's wish for this year's FC come true.