Year in Review: 2020

The year 2020 has ended and it’s now 2021. This makes for a great time of self reflection, and how to improve my work for the upcoming year. I’m gonna keep this post in an informal question/response format, and I challenge all of you readers to do this for yourself to prepare for the new year.

Where did I fall short?

It seems like every year I always tell myself that I should have created more paintings. I should have set aside more time for my life’s passion, but I’m sure every one says that to themselves. We all want to squeeze in one more painting for the year’s catalog. Sitting down and analyzing my progress, it more seems like I fell short in reaching and interacting with my audience. I tend to be super shy, even on social media!

What was successful?

By far, the highlight of 2020 was working with the band Wired Tae The Moon. Sense I started art school, I have always wanted to work with a band to create an Album cover. On top of that, they’re a metal band, my favorite genre of music. There were a lot of things to learn working on their projects.

In my style of work, I paint with the flow and don’t necessarily have certain direction for any of my pieces. It’s more about applying marks and interacting with the previous ones to create a cohesive piece of art. When I was creating art for the band it was a fun challenge to have a strict stick-to-the-script guideline. Also, it involved a lot of digital elements, which was completely out of my comfort zone!

I did luck out with how much freedom they allowed me, which made everything 10x easier. At first, I was worried that working with three other individuals would be too many cooks in the kitchen, but they were great to work with. I sent them several drafts and we made a couple revisions. For the most part, they allowed me to have complete creative control, and the work turned out pretty bad ass.

What I wish I knew sooner:

If any of you artists out there are wanting some advice, or you’re thinking about diving into the art world. Learn how to create digital art sooner!

Now, before I go any further I want to state: I love everything about traditional art. I’m waaaay more comfortable painting my water colors, or even acrylic paint for that matter. I love that traditional art is an actual object, that you can see and touch. I also know I will never only make digital art.

Everything is digital now, and there’s a huge market of people looking for things to be made like logos, Instagram icons, Facebook adds, email signatures, album covers, shirts! You name it, if it’s in any type of commercial setting, it will be done digitally or at the very least will be finished into a digital format. So, start learning how to create digitally now and go make some cash using your creative expression! It is also an excellent strategy to supplement sales from paintings with digital works.

How do I think my year went?

Overall, it went really good. I learned new skills, such as creating digital art. I was able to work with several new clients and help them see their artistic vision. Lastly, I can see a noticeable difference in craftsmanship and technical skill from the art created in 2019 to 2020.

What do I have planned for 2021?

Probably about the last four years, I have focused my attention strictly on painting with watercolors, and I absolutely love them! I have developed a comfort with using these types of paints, and I know exactly how they’ll respond on the paper. So this year, I want to still do some of those watercolors, but primarily focus on leaving my comfort zone.

I want to master how to paint with acrylics, and develop a comfort with using them. Aside from an application perspective, it will also bring new challenges. Paintings are harder to ship because they are bigger and wider than the works on paper. They are also a lot harder to photograph, because acrylic paints have a gloss to them that reflects in my camera lighting equipment. Panels also are expensive, and it is cheaper to make them. So, I will be tackling woodworking and making trips to the hardware store.

When I am not working on acrylics, I want to focus my attention on digital projects such as making stickers, shirts, and digital prints. It won’t be as much of a challenge as the acrylics, but it is still newer territory for my artistic career.

Then the last thing I want to work on is this blog! I started it up, made a couple posts, and it fizzled out. My goal in writing these blogs: One, to provide you with information about making art. Two, what the art process looks like behind the scenes. Lastly, I want to be able to connect with all of you in different ways, and not relying solely on social media.

Lets wrap these ramblings up!

So, even though the events of Covid have made 2020 a tough year. Here on the artistic front lines it has been a great year, creatively speaking with several amazing opportunities. If you are an aspiring artist or want to take your work to the next level, try making some digital work! Lastly, in my attempt to connect with you guys and start a bigger conversation, let me know what you’d like to work on for 2021. It does not even have to be art related! I just want to hear from all of you. Have a great 2021, and stay tuned for some cool, weird art coming out soon! Hope you all like the little slideshow!

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