Friday, July 28, 2017

The Indy Review Returns!

Those of you who know me that along with a passion for film, television and painting, I am a complete music junkie. In past years, I have contributed to a number of music blogs, most often The Indy Review.

After being deactivated for a couple years, The Indy Review is finally back up and running. Featuring album reviews, new music recommendations, and much more, if you love discovering new music, old music, hearing about shows in your area, or want to share some of your favorite new music, please visit the site.

We also have a Facebook page to follow.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Discipline and Distractions

Between 2009 - 2010, I was unemployed. And this was one of the most creatively productive times in my life. My schedule would be as follows:

1. Exercise
2. Spend 1-2 hours looking for jobs
3. Either write 5 pages or write for 2 hours
4. Practice guitar
5. Work on an art project
6. Free time

I wrote 5 feature screenplays (and completely revised a 6th). I did a number of mixed media pieces (some you have seen on the site like Willie Nelson, Brandon Flowers, and Tom Morello). And I even wrote a bunch of songs (meaning I had to teach myself to actually write songs). Lucky for all of you I didn't have access to good recording equipment or I may have tried pushing a poorly produced EP on your ears.

Since my unemployment ended in August 2010, a lot has changed. I got a smart phone, with a number of distracting games and apps. I was just on Facebook in 2010, and now I manage a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter account (the latter two just for art). I have accounts with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and HBO GO, with way too many shows and movies calling my name. Marriage and maintaining a home and relationship also require a good amount of attention (if you have any sense at all).

And I'm currently unemployed again.

I would truly like to make this time period as productive as possible. I have a number of creative projects I could be working on at any one time (including this blog), but it just feels...harder. The last seven years have shortened my attention span, and I am doing what I can to fight this urge for distraction with discipline.

Every day is a battle between these two D's. If I'm able to sit myself down in a chair with some light music in the background, I find I can make myself write for at least an hour. And then the pull comes. The urge to see what's on YouTube. To read through the Facebook wall. To see how many more "likes" my art has gotten on Instagram. To waste my time with the million of entertaining but meaningless actions that will do little to further my career or finances. Or just take a walk to remember there is an outside world.

During my first stint as an unemployed human, I still had hope that one of the screenplays I was writing could sell and make me a professional writer. Since then, I've worked in the film/television industry, and have learned what it takes to get even a minor-budget film made. With learning how the sausage was made went my appetite for the meat. I have not lost confidence in my scripts, just the ability to get anything produced that isn't branded IP or stemming from the mind of a bankable actor or director. There are so many avenues to get content shown, but so few to earn actual living wages from.

When it comes to art, despite enjoying the process of making and completing a piece, we are in an economy where few people can enjoy the luxury of buying art (even art as inexpensive as mine ;) ). So what's left to inspire a creative person to discipline themselves as strictly as is really needed to be successful, when the hopes of monetizing ones creativity becomes more and more remote?

I guess you got to love creating more than playing Words with Friends. It certainly reaps greater, longer-lasting rewards than landing the word "spewing" on a Triple Word tile. Though if I could get a $1 for every point I got in WWF, I would be happily retired by now.

How do you discipline yourself when trying to finish a project? Please don't say Adderall.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Copies of Copies of Copies

I have always felt the true value of art comes in it being one of a kind. A singular, unique creation, sprouted from the mind of the artist. When someone is buying that piece of art, they can do so with the piece of mind that no one else will have it. They have acquired something wholly their own, that reflects their tastes and interests just as it's creation reflected the world view of the artist.

But as an artist, we need to make money. And unless you're Pablo effin' Picasso, you probably can't make a living selling just original pieces. You need to sell prints, and posters, and as much merchandise with your "original art" slapped on as you can.

Until recently, I had never made a print of any of my pieces, but when an interested buyer came asking about a water color pic I did that was auctioned off years ago, I took a chance and offered to make a print for him (ie: printing out a copy of the piece on high-quality paper and Kinkos). He agreed, and I made a bit of extra money. I had an extra copy made as well that was a bit smudged, and found two people who wanted that one. So my mind percolates, wondering if I can actually make some real money selling prints and posters of some of my more popular pieces.

But can I? Should I take a risk and invest money in making good quality copies of my art to sell to those who can't afford the originals, with no guarantee they will actually sell? Or should I wait for the demand, and then make the supply? I'm prone to the latter, but if potential customers don't know I have prints/posters, will they know to ask?

And at what point are the original pieces cheapened by flooding the universe with knock-offs? It would be a bit funny if I could sell a ton of prints of a piece and not actually sell the original.

At this time, I am seeing if people would be willing to pay for posters of HOW FLUFFY GOT TO HEAVEN and prints of ROCK RESTAURANT. I could certainly use the money, and having one's art hanging in a home, in any form, can often pay off as free advertising.

As long as the original customers doesn't let their friends make a free copy for themselves. I'm sure there are people out there who don't mind copies of copies.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July 2017 Updates

Hello Everyone,

As I finish the first drafts of two new short stories, my first collection THE JESTER AND OTHER MYTHS is now available to order on Amazon in paperback!

I'm greatly appreciative of all of you whom purchase it, and if you enjoy it, please leave a review!

I also recently finished my first art piece painted on the front of a discarded freezer door (a lucky find while I was out on a run). The painting was inspired heavily by the recent loss of a close friend to cancer, who loved surfing, as well as by the new single by Manchester Orchestra, "Gold".

I plan to start my next painting soon, and am actively plotting more short stories for another future collection.

Thank you for checking in and all continued support.