Fantasy Art

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Living the Dream!

I gave the queen some clothes.  Not a lot of clothes that would make me sad, but a little clothes.  I've also gone and created a problem for myself; that lavender cloth seemed like a nice choice to offset all the yellow and green.
But it's all on the left of the painting and I can't see what would be that color on the right.
Oh well I'll deal with that later.

When I was ten years old I discovered the fantasy art of Frank Frazetta.  Not only was he the first living artist whose work I was conscious of but it was also the first time I really thought about illustration as a career or of doing any kind of art for a living.  It was also my introduction to the science fiction and fantasy genres which I have loved ever since.

  Of course I was only ten and from a small town.  I knew nothing about the publishing business and neither did any of the adults in world.
  So the way my childish mind imagined it happening was that this Frazetta guy just stood at his easel and dreamed up these wild fantastic images and painted them, and then guys like Robert E Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs and the boys from Molly Hatchet would come over to the house and pick out the ones they wanted to use and pay him for it.
  This was utterly wrong, of course, but it sounded like the perfect job to me and it still does.

  As time went by I came to have a better understanding of the business so I tried my best to be accepted as an illustrator while maintaining my day job in a factory.  A long time went by and that acceptance never came.   

When I finally broke out into the art world it was not as an illustrator but as a sign painter.  
  It was enjoyable, it paid the bills and people loved my work and appreciated me for it.  One could certainly do worse, but I never felt fulfilled, I kept trying to return to my life long dream of being an illustrator with only a little success.
 There was a lot of frustration and depression and spinning my wheels trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.

    One day for some reason it hit me; I don't really have a lifelong dream of being an illustrator.  I never have.  I'm no more interested in illustration than I am in sign painting, both are a compromise.  What I really want to do is what my ten year old self wanted to do; stand at my easel and paint wild fantastic art from my own inspiration and then sell it to whoever wants it.
  That's not commercial art at all that's gallery art, but everyone knows that galleries don't accept fantasy art.  Well that used to be true when I was young, but the world has changed a lot since then.  Now there is a generation of successful business people and home owners who grew up with Star Wars Labyrinth and Harry Potter.  Fantasy is part of their culture and they're happy to have it on their walls.

   As soon as I began painting with this attitude it all came together.  Galleries accepted my work and people are buying it.
   I'm finally following my real lifelong dream now that I understand what it is.  I finally have acceptance now that I'm seeking it from the right people.

All of my paintings on recycled materials such as scrap lumber, dresser tops and doors.  They incorporate techniques and aesthetics that I picked up as a sign painter and a muralist combined with the fantasy genre that I love.


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