“Fractured Patterns” Pencil on mounted watercolor paper. 50” x 40”
This was a major undertaking the scale and the complexities at times where daunting yet that’s what got me interested in drawing this. I started it in November but tore a rotator cuff so I was sidelined for three months and still needed to get it done for a major solo show at Manifest Gallery, the last eight weeks I averaged 12 hours a days some days where 20. Not complaining mind it was an amazing journey. I used thirty reference photos and I box of branches and sticks so I could work from real textures as much as possible. Here are two links where this will be featured:
Beautifully done! Congratulations!
It seems as if, perhaps, each piece is somewhat akin to a puzzle, and that, like a puzzle, at a certain point, with much of the pattern revealed, and with fewer pieces overall remaining to be placed, that it becomes more clear what goes where, so to speak.
In any case, another brilliant piece, my friend. Your patience and discipline are remarkable.
When I was 24, I went into business with another artist. We both loved fantasy art. He and I began to travel to science fiction and fantasy conventions across America, selling original art, color and black and white high quality prints, and commissioned illustrations executed on the floor at the show. These shows held art auctions, and we would try to sell perhaps a dozen hand picked originals in the auction as well.
In the beginning, we did well. We would book a show about once every two months. At a show, we would sell perhaps 5 or 6 original pieces. My partner and I could produce new original pieces at the rate of about 3-4 pieces a month, so we were able to not only replace our "inventory", but add in a couple of new pieces each month as well.
Then, seemingly overnight, we began to achieve some success, and notoriety at shows. Instead of having to call and/or write show organizers, sometimes up to a year in advance, to book space in the show as a vendor, we began to get invitations to come to a show as a celebrity guest. At first this was all very low key... we'd get some space on the sales floor, space in the auction, and our names would appear on flyers and in newspaper ads as celebrity guests. In VERY small type, down near the bottom of the flyer or ad, but still on the list none-the-less.
Then we began to pick up more and more shows, And they began to offer us more exposure. Our names started appearing closer to the top of the guest list. Shows began to offer us free hotel accommodations, and asking us to appear on panels and in seminars. We began to get asked for our autographs. Without even knowing it was happening, we went from a show every two months or so to a show every 3 weeks. Not only that, but instead of selling just 5 or 6 pieces of our original art, we would sometimes sell upwards of a dozen pieces. At one show, we sold more than 20 pieces of original art. More importantly, these shows began to have expectations of us. Some shows would negotiate with us, offering us special accommodations and exposure at the show in exchange for us promising to debut at least 6 new images at their show.
Fame is a serious drug. My partner and I wanted things to keep going, of course. So we tried to keep replacing all that art. We were young, so in the beginning we did okay. Our 10 hour days went to 14 hours, then to 16 hours. Then to 20 hours. Then it got to the point where we stopped taking days off between shows.
I lasted almost 7 months before I had a complete breakdown that almost cost me my art career altogether. My partner tried to keep going after I quit. 2 months later, his wife left him. A month after that, he had a nervous breakdown on the show floor at a show in Chicago, and spent 2 weeks in the hospital. Both of us had to stop dong convention appearances for a year. When we tried to go back, the momentum was gone. I was actually glad.
Sometimes it can feel rewarding to work as hard as you described, but I warn you: it is NOT sustainable. It can damage your artistic drive and creativity, with the REAL possibility that such damage is permanent. Not to mention damaging your health. I tell you this as someone who experienced it first hand.
Please, please be careful, my friend.
This pace was an anomaly, caused by a torn rotator cuff and a new puppy I could do without the pain of the rotator injury but the puppy is now a year old can’t do without my Jasper. Now it back to my routine six to eight hour days and playing or playing at the guitar. I could never do this full time or even again unless it was a major deal like this was. Thank you so much for the great words and advise Rob. Ill sleep on it, many many hours…
Your work puts nearly all other pencil artists to shame, honestly. Still tryin', though.
I can't believe this is not a picture!
Your art is amazing, keep it up!