Monday, December 7, 2015

Riverside Opera!
The World of Darkness

Title: Riverside Opera! The World of Darkness
Medium: Photoshop CS6

Notes: I would be lying if I told you that this wasn't inspired by a conversation about the Vampire: The Masquerade LARP that happens here in Memphis (

I was in line ordering a pizza and I heard the entire tale of how it played out during the convention, only to find out that everything that transpired is completely true! I was just minding my own business thinking about things to sketch, not really in thinking about anything in particular, when in walks a large group of folks. I had just gotten back from Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention, and was pretty much ravenous, so I wasn't actually paying too close attention to what was around me. I kept hearing the con mentioned as well as the events that transpired during the Vampire LARP. I had always found the idea of the World of Darkness intriguing, so I just so happened to listen in to the events that had transpired. The events aren't as particular as the idea that popped into my head. I started to think about modern vampirism. What would that look like? How gritty would it be? What kinds of attire would they wear? Mundane things really... but then I started to recall when I played all of the World of Darkness material when I was younger. I was brought back to a time when I was playing RPGs constantly. It is ultimately what inspired this painting. The conversation that happened behind me, on an unassuming pizza run. It just goes to show you that inspiration can strike you when you least expect it! Don't let anything deter you when you find inspiration.

This leads me to a major statement that I want to make about the upcoming year...
I want to begin a major change in my art. 2016 is the year that things HAVE to change.
So with that I give these declarations of where my art will go for the upcoming year:

The darker side of art is what interests me the most.
I've been wanting to get into the darker side of my art for quite some time and have only just recently begun to reach back into the original reasoning for why I wanted to do art in the first place. I want to paint the things that scare me, that horrify, that stay with me, in the back recesses my brain pan! I want to inspire people to talk about a piece because of the horror they feel about it or just recoil from sheer gore or violence. That's not to say that I will do violent pieces for violent sake, but I will probably have some pieces that come out that are so rage-fueled that some people might not approve of the visual output. For that reason, I'm putting an official disclaimer here:  

This blog will most likely become 
very explicit in the very near future.
You've been warned.

I want to evoke an emotional response in some regard.
If those have to be the recoiling of people from my work so be it. In some ways I want to cater to my own tastes rather than always painting what I think others will enjoy. I think that Fear drives too many people. Fear of the unknown, fear of the known, fear to the point of holding back. This is really what keeps almost everyone from truly doing the things that they want out of life. Ashley is always pushing me to break this in myself. I have too much pent up fear of things like, "I'm afraid people won't like this piece." or, "I'm afraid I won't be able to make this piece exactly what I see in my head!" There's too much in the world holding us back, so why the hell do we keep holding back in our own personal life. If people don't enjoy the work you do, screw them, keep doing it anyway. Hell, do it because they don't enjoy it. But ultimately, make it the best you can. Don't let fear hold you back anymore.

Make a schedule and stick to it.
This year is another year to fill with another schedule. I think that I might have referred at one point to a summer schedule that I followed. I will openly state that it grew my skill exponentially every time I did it. Therefore I think that it's high-time that I started a new one. I will still stick to set of rules that I think seems to work, one that Ashley actually proposed:

  1. Do one piece of original art a week that is purely yours - something that you want to see.
  2. Do two pieces of fan art that will be things that others will want to see.
  3. Do three pages of sketch pages a week to flesh out some of the ideas that lurk.
I feel like this is a good goal set to have for the upcoming year and this is what I plan on sticking with from here forward.

All of this is to say that I declare this next year another extreme push forward...
Here's to it!

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