What I'm Learning & Back to Grand Rapids for the End of ArtPrize Round One :D

Chatting in front of my piece last weekend, ArtPrize #61400.

Chatting in front of my piece last weekend, ArtPrize #61400.

I want to share a conversation (well, one question, one answer) that I just had with the subject of my ArtPrize entry, Rob. A peek behind the artist veil, but I think it's important.

How many people did you talk to about your art? How many people there might be interested in being art patrons? How much fun did you have just being there and experiencing the art and people experiencing in your art?
— Rob
I have met a lot of people, it’s true. I guess I have to have faith that good things will come from that. Also, I should define what a “good thing” is - is it an award, money, connections? And, I HAVE had a lot of fun, yes. This feels like this might be a point in time where I come face-to-face with my desire for recognition and learn that that’s not all there is when you judge “success”. Maybe that’s going to be the biggest bit of learning I get out of all of this.
— Me

So - This is where I am with the fact that: I created a piece for ArtPrize that I love, I got a HUGE response from the public last weekend, yet... it's not developed into much "formal recognition" (i.e., I didn't make the Juror's short list, nor am I in the running for the public vote - that I know of). 

I'm human, I'm disappointed. This was a ton of work and, like anyone, it'd be nice to have people recognize that. But the fact of the matter is, people ARE recognizing it. Who KNOWS what's next after all of this exposure during ArtPrize 7 @ The B.O.B. I'm immensely grateful to all of the support I have and am working very hard to not get mired down into the race to the top prize. It's tough, but it's important.

'Draw more, care less' is what my tattoo says. How soon I forgot.


Dispatch in the Midst of Art Prize

Important Facts: My piece is titled "Rob", it's 4 x 8' (the biggest piece I've created to date), and it's being shown @ The B.O.B. in Grand Rapids, MI for ArtPrize. It's on the first floor, just inside the door. My voting ID is 61400 if you like my piece and want to give it the ole thumbs up.

So, I have not made the Juror's ShortList. We're smack dab in the middle of the voting phase for the Public Vote and, while I can watch the livestream of the top vote-getters for that award on the ArtPrize website, I'm not among the Top 25 in the 2D category. I DID think I would do better.

Do I want your votes? YES. (go here to do so, if you are registered)
Am I going to go everything possible to maximize this experience? YES.

I've learned far too much, met far too many interesting, funny, caring people, and had far too much FUN to get too down about the outcome not being as I envisioned. Everything is a chance to learn (about people, yourself, your work, your direction), to make new connections, to have experiences that are brand new and super-exciting. 

This is the next step in my art journey. I have had a ton of new opportunities this year - a venue who pursued ME, a 1st floor/right inside the front door space, oodles of press, request for commissions, increased viewership on Twitter/Instagram/here, learning to do timelapse and incorporating video into my piece (see below for the final product - with music composed by myself as well!). It's all still in the right trajectory, even if a huge accolade is not to be.

Thank you ALL for your support... I wouldn't be here without you!

Stay tuned for more updates... 


The B.O.B.'s location:


Whatta Difference a Year Makes! (aka. I have an Art Prize venue)

Art Prize does things a little differently. After you register as an artist for the big show, you must connect with a venue so you can show your piece. There is a chance that, despite your best efforts, you might not connect with one. This means that you don't participate and it happened to me the first time I entered AP in 2009.

Last year, I entered the "venue connection" phase of Art Prize by sending out ~12 inquiries to different potential art-showing locations around Grand Rapids. As May wore on, I had about 8 rejections and was wondering if my project (which I thought was great!) would see the light of day in this setting. Maybe this wasn't the sort of event my work was made for? 

Well, as you might know if you've been following along, I DID connect with the amazing Mitten Brewing Company at the very end of May and all went well from there. 

So, coming into this year, I figured things would proceed in a similar fashion. I had a list of venues that interested me, and, when April 20th rolled around, I was ready to start sending my requests anew.

Welp. That is NOT how this year went down. 

At 12:08am on the 20th (yes, 8 minutes into the connection phase... which runs until early June, by the by), I received the first of (what would be) 7 requests to show FROM THE VENUES THEMSELVES. The venues were pursuing ME.

I could not wrap my brain around this change of events! Wow. They must REALLY like my piece... they must see some merit/potential in it. This is so humbling!

I ended up signing with the first one and can now announce that "Rob" will be on display at The B.O.B., right in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. I could not be more thrilled and figured that I could NOT look a gift horse in the mouth and wait around to see how many more requests I got (even though, that would have been fun in a vane way). The B.O.B. is an established venue; they must know what they are doing.

So, consider yourself updated! :)

Now, I need to frame this giant thing in preparation for September... practicality was not a concern when I created this piece, so, wish me luck. Oof!

It Has Begun - My 2015 Art Prize Entry

Gulp! Here we go again - I'm excited to announce that I've thrown my artistic hat back into the Art Prize ring with my large carbon dust portrait - "Rob" - which you may have seen glimpses of in my Instagram feed or on YouTube where I've been posting time lapse photos of the creation of this piece. 

Rob - the largest drawing I've ever done - 20 x 80" - carbon dust & white chalk, 2015.

Some details of the piece (which is very close to being complete) are above. Below is the first time lapse video... in my opinion, the most dramatic of the series. Enjoy!