Being an artist is a long haul journey. You have to keep showing up and doing the work, even when it seems like nothing is happening. I envisioned it much like this sower, casting seeds. It doesn’t look like much is happening at first but when things take root and start to grow, you will reap a harvest. This is my “note to self” to keep casting seeds. “The Sower” acrylic, metallic gold on 16 x 20 canvas.
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I have a hard time stopping and celebrating the good things that have just passed. I'm not talking about birthdays or special occasions. I'm talking about celebrating those milestone moments in personal achievements. To put it plainly, I suck at celebrating.Read More
People often ask me if I can do portraits other than pet portraits (or yoga art). The answer is yes! Here's a portrait I did this past Father's Day. What special occasion or relationship would you capture in a portrait? #art #portrait #artist #digitalpainting #commission #custom #customart #giftideas
Back in September of 2015, I had the thought of creating some fan art for the new Fear The Walking Dead show on AMC. I had previously created some Walking Dead Fan Art, so I had a few ideas.
I created the illustration digitally using a combination of an iPad app called Sketchclub and Adobe Photoshop on my Macbook Pro. The show was relatively new, and it seemed to have a slow start, as far as a fan base. So my illustration sat in the background as I continued to create more art.
Months later, I saw Chris Hardwick announce that the show was looking for fan art to feature on the show. I copied down the email, ready to shoot off an inquiry, but then I heard that voice. No, not the voice of Chris Hardwick, or even a Walker, but the voice that rises up and says "Really? What makes your art so special that you think they would choose it? Or worse, what Frank Dillane sees it and hates it? Stop your dreaming. Protect yourself and don't even bother. You know what the odds are?..." and on and on it went, until I told it to shut up. Fearing the Walking Dead is one thing. Fearing failure? You won't know unless you try.
So I took a shot and emailed them. They sent back a legal form to fill out and I return it with my art. And then I waited. And waited. The first part of season 2 of Fear The Walking Dead came & went along with it's corresponding Talking Dead. Nothing.
"Oh well", I thought. "I guess they have a lot of submissions". And, honestly, I kind of forgot about it. I just kept moving forward with other projects.
Then the midseason premiere aired and the entire episode was all about Nick Clark. Following Fear The Walking Dead, I started watching Talking Dead as usual, but....
then this happened...
Now understand, I created this art from a place of authenticity. I'm a fan. I was not creating this art in an attempt to get my art on TV. Did I take steps to send it out there? Yes, absolutely. It's the formula I have been working every day - create and release. Each day, I forget about yesterday and create more art TODAY. I don't put all my eggs in one basket. That's where I think a lot of artists get stuck. They spend so much time, effort and energy on one piece, that either finishing it becomes paralyzing, or the thought of sending it out into the world just seems unbearable, because the fear of what people might think or say. But I'm of the opinion that people need to see your art. When you don't share it, you can miss out on the opportunity for your art to impact another person, even if it's just a fellow fan of a TV show.
Send your art out into the world and see where it lands. You'll never know unless you take action.
What has been preventing you from taking action today? Leave the FEAR to the Walking Dead!
The thought of doing a 365 day daily art project can seems daunting. What will I do for that long? What if I get bored or run out of things to draw? What if I quit after a week, like that diet I tried last year? I had such good intentions and high hopes, but at the end of the day, it amounted to nothing, except a reminder that either i’m a failure, a quitter, or I just seem to be missing something in my DNA to enable me to complete the task at hand.
I learned early on that I needed SMALL projects. I can’t think in 365 day chunks. But I can do 30 days. Or even 100 days. So after a little bit, I started to identify a topic that I wanted to tackle for 30 days. 30 days of self portraits, 30 days of pets, 20 days of toes, 30 days of faces... you get the idea. I started to incorporate Instagram and social media. I would sketch people’s photos who would show up in my feed. I would then tag them so they could join in the fun too. It was a great way to be held accountable because I was posting publicly, as well as meet new friends. I started to sketch celebrity photos they posted on Instagram, and tagged them too. Some of them even liked and shared (and occasionally commented to my delight as well) I mean, who wouldn’t like to be included in being sketched by an artist, right? Most people consider it an honor.
I also joined in a 100 Day Project that was being hosted by another artist I was following on Instagram, Elle Luna. She threw out the challenge to join in with creating or making anything for 100 days straight. We would all start and end together, posting and hash tagging so we could all follow along and encourage each other. I did this project twice. The first time, I sketched a black line drawing based on the photos of others, using only my iPhone and a stylus. The second time I did the same, only this time, adding in color to the background and key parts of the drawing. Every day was a new adventure. I would look for inspiration, and others would follow along wondering what I would post next. And some, hoped that they might make it into my project. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I did attempt another 100 day project recently, but I got behind and the subject matter wasn’t engaging me enough, so I only made it to day 60 or so. You've got to choose carefully, or you won't follow through when things get tough.)
It was always a thrill at the end of the 100 days, to create a photo montage of all the images. One giant image to chronicle the past 100 days.
I talk about the importance of this process and gaining momentum in an art making practice, more in depth in my video course “Your Artists’ Journey”.
Check it out if this sounds like something that would be of interest.
What bite-sized tips have you discovered along the way that helps in your art making practice?
What do you do when you feel like you're doing everything you possibly can to advance in your art and yet there seems to be a lack of opportunity? Typically, you have two choices...Read More
I've been experimenting with a scribble style lately, with Star Wars as my subject matter. This experiment is forcing (sorry for the pun) to keep things fast & loose. It seems the more "successful" ones are where I push myself to just keep moving. Scribble more. Stop & adjust less. My line is a continuous line drawing (you don't pick the pen up from the page at all) using various black inks. Most of the color is watercolor paint, watercolor crayons or pencils. Some spots are non-diluted by water. Every so often I hit a spot with a dark blue china marker. And then I add some white gouache and black watercolor paint. This helps to keep things from breaking down completely, keeping to some highlight & shadow values. It helps give the subjects some form.
To be honest, the first one (Yoda) was the hardest. I wasn't feeling loose. I kept worrying about if things looked "right". It's hard to keep yourself moving. That perfectionist voice doesn't like that. So this is another way to beat him. Keep it fast & loose.
Today I did my Skywalker scribble. I chose this scene, rather than a straight up portrait, because this is my favorite scene from Star Wars: A New Hope. Luke's world has been rocked. His aunt & uncle are dead. He's at a crossroads. He must decide to stay behind and try to pick up the pieces or move ahead into an unknown (and potentially) dangerous adventure. This scene always speaks to me of hope, longing and a sense of destiny. Powerful themes in my own life.