Friday, September 30, 2011

A momentary lapse of confidence

       Had a great time last night at the opening of the '88 Strong' show in Portland. Was happy to see a select few friends come out to support the work on the walls. I have to say that I enjoyed the work I did for the show, but so wanted to see a piece sold before the night was out. As we consumed a few pints of beer, blank spots started to show themselves on the wall. Somehow in the back of my mind as pieces were being bagged and taken home, I had this disheartening premonition that when the show finally came down off the walls, I'd show up and be the only one with anything to pick up (please let that not be so...) 

        The conversation was casually business oriented and real enough to remind me of all the things I need to make happen in the immediate future if I want to really sustain myself as an illustrator. It would seem that a media/advertising blitz is in order. Along with working on submissions for publications and possibly artist representatives, I need to trim the fat off the old portfolio and find a consistent look and direction to make my work marketable as well as enjoyable to create. Spent the day today creating some pages for The Brass Knuckle Rituals and seem to finally be getting some momentum needed to finish out the books I want to unveil at next years Emerald City. So that was encouraging...while the uncertainty of the future looms ever present in my mind, the current project can sometimes show a little light in an otherwise seemingly endless tunnel of tasks. One step at a time, one step at a time.

Daniel DePaolo

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tools of the trade, or you pay for what you get

             Specializing in a certain field, you find quickly that spending the money on quality tools can be the difference between a better than expected result and one that you'd rather not put your signature on. When I was an avid snowboarder, this point was driven home to me everyday out riding in the cold, snowy mountains of the Rockies. As much as I would have liked to scrimp and save, sometimes spending that extra amount meant the difference between staying dry and warm in a windy snowstorm, and the very real possibility of frostbite on your extremities.
             The more I work with a variety of tools creating my artwork, I find this lesson to be a general truth in all things. You really do pay for what you get. Which brings me to this ink drawing of the octopus. As I develop my style and my method of image making, I'm trying to find a 'Happy Medium' between my pencils and my inks. Which has meant that lately I draw a lot in straight ink, just to remind myself of what I can do without a pencil line, and also to work out the inking 'chops'. Normally I do this using a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. However, after working with a little higher quality brush pen at one of my Illustration Club meetings, I decided to get out and pony up the dough for a little higher dollar item. This octopus was created using a Kuritake Brush Pen that I picked up a Columbia Art Supply on Burnside in Portland. So far, I'm enjoying the results and I hope to share more with you on a regular basis. This guy is just cool enough to use as a template for a poster. I'll be sure to let you see him when the colors are all done. My whole point today being that sometimes the only difference between an amateur result, and a more professional one in a persons work can be the difference between a $15 pen and a $35 one. So save up, sometimes its worth the extra cash.

Daniel DePaolo

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More selections from the 88 Strong Show

       Hey friends, do you have $50? Do you have Thursday Sept. 29th free? Come on out to the Goodfoot for Last Thursday, and the opening on the '88 Strong' show. Cash and carry...all sorts of small pieces from the plethora of artists living here in Portland. I'll be there with a pint in hand. Will you be?

Smartphones- acrylic on board

Thursday, September 15, 2011

88 Strong and other projects

It's starting to look a lot like fall here in the Pacific Northwest (but admittedly summer was a bit of a let down this year), and that means that work is starting to come at a regular pace and that I'm scheduling my time on a weekly basis. Which means, more regular blog posts (for those ten people out there who really care), more comic work for Neo-Trash and for myself, and the other odds and ends that round out a healthy free-lancers schedule. 

I'm particularly excited and proud to be a part of an upcoming show here in Portland called '88 Strong'. The whole concept behind the show is that 88 (or more) artists are provided with 8 8x8 inch boards to work on, and a list of 88 terms/phrases to draw inspiration from. When the show is up and ready to view later on this month, the pieces are hung by category, and presented in an anonymous fashion on the wall. Some would poo poo this idea stating concerns for proper credit given to the artist of each piece, but my take on it is similar to the guys who curate and put on this show. The idea of a level playing field my seem like a naive concept when it comes to the 'artworld', however to me, it means that as a first time participant, my work might be given as much consideration as an artist who is 'someone' here in Portland. Of course, the back of each board is signed, and has my business card taped to it (I'm not right off the turnip truck here folks), so if you really buy my stuff you'll know right away who did it. It also marks the first time in a long time that I've painted my works, and just working on these eight pieces has reinvigorated my passion for paint and brush. It would seem that being a slave to line is detrimental, and all it takes is a little paint to remind you of that. With that being said, if you've got $50, you can come down to The GoodFoot on Thursday Sept. 29th and walk with a great piece of original art that won't break the bank and will stroke the ego of some young up and comers here in the Portland area. Don't worry, I'll remind you. The illustration at the top of this post is 'Junk' (or my interpretation of that concept). Enjoy...

Daniel DePaolo