The Kobe Painting
How can I make these blog posts more dynamic like the paintings I execute? How do I attract readers? Do I need to put a jillion hashtags on the bottom every time for these posts to reach out? Should I just keep the momentum and have a little more patience?
Topics, thoughts, honest feelings. All of that comes to me in the most inopportune (for sitting and writing) times, like while I'm in the shower or out for a walk. Then those topics, thoughts, and feelings fade away into my subconscious and the task of blogging feels more like a TASK and not at all a real genuine thing I want to send out into the world wide webs. Like right now, I really need to pee but I'm holding it in for God knows how long because if I get up to go to the bathroom, I will undoubtedly get distracted by something that needs to be cleaned, or God forbid....another thought. I'm often distracted. You'd think with daily meditation, this wouldn't be the case.
So I'll just hold it in uncomfortably and continue.
Where was I?
I got what I have been wanting for the past 10 months. TIME.
I went from working 4 hours a day from home to completely being furloughed from my job "until further notice". Being furloughed from my job felt more like a gift from the Universe (Higher Power) rather than something to lament about. I'll admit it. I AM NOT WORRIED ABOUT MONEY RIGHT NOW.
Ok, that's only half true. Of course, I care about money....but not "worried " about the influx or lack there of. I have built enough faith that it will come to me. I still have a chunk of change in my account from the last big commissioned piece, the last paycheck, and the huge lack of spending these days. (i.e. I haven't filled my tank with gas in about 5 weeks!) Unemployment will soon kick in and so will the next couple of commission painting $$. The whole damn point of The Canvas Confessional is to make a working Artist of myself. That (clap) is (clap) all (clap) folks (clap). Keep painting. Keep promoting self as a commissioned artist. When there are no commissions, create own art and put up for sale. Keep blogging ✅ . Keep fulfilling yourself with your passion, work hard at it and the cash will flow.
Ok, pee break.
Congratulations to me. I did it and came back without any distraction.
Early on in the business of Quarantine, a friend from work messaged me that her husband would like to commission me to paint two different things. She had shown him the painting of "Joker" and that's what spawned his interest. To say I'm "grateful" is quite an understatement. It proved my confidence in how my dreams, intentions, desires and unwavering faith in the Universe have all contributed to this Manifestation. I quoted him for each painting and realized half way through painting #1 that I severely undercut myself which is 100% my bad. I'm still learning. I'll get there. And by "there", I mean the understanding of how certain projects might have its own unique challenges and therefor take up way more time than I originally anticipated. However, instead of beating myself up any longer, I shifted into Gratitude to having experienced these new challenges and using that to my advantage in the future. It's all about your attitude.
I loved that I got to paint Kobe Bryant. This was from the cover of "Los Angeles" magazine. When I clicked on the image my client sent me, I was so excited to paint such a unique dynamic image of a legendary icon. When Kobe Bryant met his tragic fate a few months ago, I felt the gut wrenching pain of it, like everyone else did. It didn't matter that I wasn't a sports fan. He just always possessed a certain "je ne sais quoi". I would have loved to paint or draw him on my own accord but I was in the deep midst of "Joker". It was such an honor to receive him as a subject for my next project that I priced it before I took many things into consideration.
Spray paint. Not just one can....but learned at some point "oh, I need to order another can of this spray." Spray painting is easy but touching up whatever mistakes you made while painting afterward, with just some simple black acrylic paint was NOT working out.
The lettering. It has to be precise with clean edges, gray hombre, and have a shine glaze to it, so that meant I mistakingly ordered $30 epoxy resin from Amazon, because....excitement over clouds good judgement sometimes....and then after belated research, I ordered a bottle of Liquitex High Gloss shine. I painstakingly hand created a negative stencil of "Los Angeles" in orange card stock and then down the road, a positive stencil of "Los Angeles" out of blue painters tape to re-spray paint the whole canvas because of minor but annoyingly out of place paint marks. I laugh to myself as I type this because I feel like such a "Noob" (as my son would say).
I also created a blue tape stencil of Kobe's silhouette so I can cover up whatever I had painted of him in such a precise way, to re-spray the entire canvas black.
Learning, learning, learning.
Knowledge, knowledge, knowledge.
I was getting body aches and physical exhaustion by painting the tiny details. The different shades of yellow in the Lakers jersey. The different shades of brown around the edges of his beautiful active muscles and adding the right amount of white to highlight those muscles and glistening sweat. I repainted that action face several times til the whole Grider house was satisfied. Yup, I made Paul and Luke my critics and I'm very OK with that.
I worked my ass off til I fucking loved the final product. None of the aforementioned shit mattered at the end of it. THIS IS FULFILLMENT. It was just a fraction of a 2 week paycheck from my 9 to 5 job, but, I repeat....THIS IS FULFILLMENT.
When Melissa and her husband, Sean, came by to pick up the painting, his reaction completed the "fulfillment". It gives me unspeakable joy to see how happy and satisfied someone is with my work. This is my personal pride. I can feel proud of being a good Mom, proud of a delicious dinner I made for my family, proud of having lost 30 lbs. a few years back, but this kind of pride over my own work is something that has been building up for almost 30 years. I need to keep it going. I owe it to myself to keep it going.
CONFESSION: I know everyone can't wait for this Quarantine to be over but I have fear of when this forced created time/space is over and I'm faced with going back to work.
Now I'm working on the 2nd piece for Sean, which I'll reveal in the next post. It's a heavier commission, and given that I have ample time and not making my current salary, again, I first thank the Universe for this opportunity, and I thank Melissa for her word-of-mouth promotion and Sean for investing in me. I am not completely impervious to self doubt and I'd like to think the artists I admire and look up to aren't either. I will always be my own worst critic and I think that can be healthy as far as "work ethics" are concerned. I'd never be able to achieve success with a loosey-goosey attitude. Everyday, I work on my self-discovery. The practice of Meditation, speaking to a Life Coach, reading books about manifesting your desires, and listening to inspiring podcasts have all been such incredible tools for this. Currently, I'm still trying to figure out how to unselfishly work on the flow of commissioned art, be a present Mom and Wife, workout ("quarantine 15" is looking too real), and still get to put my 2 year creative ideas onto canvas.
Here's a good affirmation for that one: By practicing patience, I also cultivate more confidence.
Oh My God. I have to pee AGAIN!