Greetings and salutations for the new year, friends, patrons and sponsors!
First, a public service announcement: I finally went off the deep end.
No, I’m not being committed. You may have heard me hinting for months now (years?) that I was edging asymptotically to bidding hasta la vista to day jobs and committing myself full-time to a life of art and writing. Well, folks, I finally heeded the advice of well-wishers urging me through the years to “Go take a flying leap!” A little over two weeks ago I crossed the threshhold into role I was meant to fulfill as sole employee, artist and writer for E. M. Corpus Graphics Art.
Of course, there are at least two views from that height. Without definite sponsors, patrons and sales in hand, self-employment is UNemployment, with all the risk that entails. An analogy I’ve been heard to say: I’m on the high trapeze, trusting only my creative abilities — actual, potential or imagined — and with each leap into space I trust that a net will appear far below. So, this move comes with exhiliration, positive expectation and terror.
First things first, though. Gratitude is always a good way to start anything, including the new year.
My last art activity for 2018 was the Monterey Peninsula Art Foundation (MPAF) annual all-member exhibition in which Portrait of Konrad Heiden and Pretty In Pink were my entries. My appreciations to the MPAF staff for organizing the exhibition, as well as to the Pacific Grove Art Center for hosting it in their beautiful gallery.
Thank you to my fellow artists for delighting, provoking and inspiring us with your images and creative concepts through the stormy days of 2018.
Of course, all of us creatives would be in deep doo-ress without a public willing to view and perhaps even purchase our art. My thanks go out to you all who supported me with encouragement and with purchases of prints or original pieces. That was a great way to end 2018. Please, let’s do a LOT more of it in 2019.
There’s an emotional-celebral high that comes to the artist when his or her work resonates in the minds of others. When you purchase artwork or support that artist financially in ways big or small, this is even more so. It enables us to create more art — and better art. For those of us who have taken the leap as independent artists, there are life-and-death benefits as well: rent, mortgages, health plans and car payments will continue to be made; nourishment will continue to appear on our tables.
What’s in the works for 2019?
Provocative and edgier art and writing: We live in challenging times, with many basic freedoms under assault socially and politically. Too much of what passes as our “entertainment” is being used as psychological weapons against us in ways that Josef Goebbels would have envied.
Those of us who are graced with the privileges of not being under constant bombardment or the imminent threat of famine bear a great responsibility. Since pre-history, creatives of all kinds have always assumed roles as guardians and healers of the tribe. It’s a great time to be artists and writers continuing that tradition.
Though we’re once again faced with the potential of fascism in our lifetimes, we’re also given opportunities to challenge social imbalance and inequality in their forms, whether of ethnicity, gender, age, culture, economic or social station.
I’ll strive to make sensitive portraiture accurately reflecting inner character as well as physical likeness, portray the otherwise unseen quirkiness of certain landscapes, create art as sublime, un-didactic and un-preachy as possible.
Yet, I now also feel compelled to step up the stridency of my images and words, commenting on and reflective of the anxiety and tension provoked by these unsubtle times — in myself, as well as society at large.
Making It: So, how am I going to survive long enough to consistently deliver to you creative content in the form of my art and writing?
An illustrated graphic auto-biography and a graphic novel Extreme Dreams are in the works now.
I’ll step up promotion of direct sales of new acrylic, pastel, watercolor and multi-media works, larger and more compelling than I’ve created so far.
There’s the never-ending marketing and promotional work to do that’s the bane of independent creatives, always on-the-lookout for social media outlets, commission and grant opportunities.
And of course, there’s you. If you’re among the fortunate who can purchase original artwork or prints directly from me and other independent artists, great! I hope you will. Please attend my events, go to my website emcanimator.com, and contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (831) 277-6673. My undying thanks to those who have already supported me in this way.
Or maybe you might just want to give what you can – in small amounts or bigger amounts – just because you really like what I do, and want me to keep doing it. Patreon is one way by which you can help. The upcoming overhauls to my website emcanimator.com will soon contain a link to Patreon. (Patreon lets you pledge regular monthly contributions in whatever amounts that feel affordable to you — amounts as little as $2 a month — but amounts that cumulatively add up to my ability to purchase new paints, pay art exhibit fees, or simply continuing to write hard-hitting blogs and newsletters free from commuting to-and-from full-time day jobs (or the risk getting fired).
Contributors can obtain various prizes based on contribution levels called reward tiers. With steady contributions, you’ll get advance notice of new art and exhibits, and samples of original art or writing not seen by the general public. I’ll come up with niftier rewards as I get good at this. Your input on this, please.
I so appreciate all my supporters – the existing ones and those soon-to-be. Think about it — you get to be my Cosimo de Medici. (Or, Lorenzo; or, Marie. Pick one.) The Medici helped spark a cultural revolution that became the Renaissance. Now more than ever we need to subvert that culture of inequality and injustice, and replace it with a Renaissance of love and inclusion. I’d be so glad to have you on board to help me do just that.
Solo Exhibition: I’m anticipating my first solo exhibition tentatively set for the autumn at a prominent and high-visibility gallery. It may be a litte premature to tell you where, but keep an eye out on my social media, website and newsletters for when I do.
That’s the story so far. 2019 and beyond portend to be tumultuous years. I’m looking forward to a role in shaping the course of the time ahead as artists have done before. My thanks in advance for helping me do so.