Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram


Home BLOGS Guest Blog A Week with Jeff Soto - Day 7

A Week with Jeff Soto - Day 7

Written by Jeff Soto   
Thursday, 09 March 2006 11:05
"The last day has come and I wanted to go out in a blaze of glory."

Sunday August 29, 2004

The last day has come and I wanted to go out in a blaze of glory. But so far today all I’ve done is catch up on all the things I’ve let slide this week. This forum thing as taken a lot of my time, especially the last three posts. Imagine taking about 100 photos throughout the day, going through and picking out about 30-50 good ones. Then resizing and adjusting the brightness. Then writing and uploading every image one at a time. That’s what I’ve done this last week every night. Seriously, I don’t know how the hell these daily bloggers do it. Shit I don’t know what to write about still, and I haven’t taken any pictures all morning. Something will come up.

It probably looks like I don’t do that much art throughout the week. And yeah, sometimes that’s true, this week is a good example. I don’t know where all the time went. Sometimes being an artist is like that. We’re not robots, we need to have some breaks from making art from time to time. I think I’m still burnt out from all the work I did earlier this year. I feel like I need a good 6 months off which is impossible. I have 5 group shows between now and January. Some are small and some are bigger in scale. I shouldn’t complain because many people would love to be in my shoes, but lately I’ve been feeling like I’m painting just to get things done for shows. All the galleries want paintings because that’s what will most likely sell, but I haven’t felt like painting at all. Maybe I’ll do all drawing for these upcoming shows. The galleries might not like that but ultimately I have to make myself happy. All I’ve wanted to do lately is change things up- sculpt, draw, watercolor, and work more graphically. I was supposed to be working on a screen print design this week and it never happened. I love painting but need a break from it. At least a small one.

So today I don’t have any plans except to get all my office busy work done. More of a typical boring day.

Right now I’m replying to emails, which have built up this week. At any given time I usually have about 30-50 messages flagged for a reply. Many of these are people commenting on my art. I try to reply back to everyone who has a question. Lots of people want to use my work for merchandise (toys, books, snowboards, shirts, coffee mugs, etc...) but I’m pretty selective. I don’t want to be one of those artists who will put their art on everything just to make a buck. Don’t quote me on that, maybe someday I’ll turn into a greedy artist that is only concerned with the almighty dollar (damn I hope not!). I just want to keep some integrity in my work. On the other hand, I think as an illustrator there is nothing wrong with licensing your old illustrations. If someone was interested in using some illustration I did for a Field & Stream for something like a coffee mug, I’d be down for it because the motivation for that piece was always to make money. Does that make sense? My personal work is different in that the motivation is not to get paid. I never count on pieces selling at a show. If people buy em’, it’s because they can see my vision and find it says something to them. I never paint a piece just because I think it will sell. I actually get sad when they sell! Almost every day someone emails me about using my art on merchandise. Usually their ideas sound cheesy or they have a really bad contract that I’d rather wipe my ass with than sign! There’s alot of companies that want to exploit artists, and they do it every day. They prey on the fact that most artists are struggling and will jump on any opportunity, even bad ones. I don’t blame the artists, I’ve taken on some bad projects with terrible contracts (or worse yet, no contract at all). Sometimes you have no choice and the bills don’t get payed by themselves. I wanted to bring this up because it seems like many of the fecal readers are upcoming artists and the only way to stop these companies is for artists to get educated about business. If you want to do illustration get a copy of the Graphic Artists’ Guild Pricing and Ethical guidelines book. Read it and take note. If you want to show in galleries, make sure you know what it’s all about. Artists, especially the young un’s have this notion that they’ll be selling out if they are approaching their art career like a business. The fact is, if you want to make a living doing art, you have to treat it like a business! Fine art is just as much a business as illustration, in many ways I see them as one in the same. A gallery will show your work because they think they can sell it. An art director will hire you because they think your work will sell product. In the end it’s all about money, so you can either know what’s going on or get ripped off. Okay, now I’m getting really off the subject. Sorry, sometimes I just get fed up with these companies that prey off young talented naive artists.

I was talking about my office chores.

Did more boring stuff that needs to get done like getting Paypal orders boxed up so I can take them to the post office tomorrow. Fucking customs forms are always a pain in the ass.

Heard on the radio that several hundred thousand protesters marched in New York today (police say 100,000, protesters said there were 500,000). That must have been a powerful sight. I think that’s something the Republicans have to at least think about . They can’t ignore that many people that are unhappy about where our country is headed. It’ll be interesting to see the protests when Bush is in town. I hope things don’t get too out of hand, don’t want to see any protesters hurt.

Angels winning again today, but also Oakland and Boston. Damn. All three teams have 9 wins in their last 10 games. Troy Glaus is back, that can only help. Go Angels!

Forgot to show the drawings the Clayton bros. did for me in their book Friday night at the opening. I’d been meaning to get it signed but never expected this much love. They went off in the book, pretty radical. No one says radical anymore huh? But it is. See:

My four year old nephew is sitting next to me and he wants to draw. I usually have to say no because I’m too busy. But this’ll be fun. I’ll try to get some pictures.

His drawing is called "Praymus". He gave it to me.

I gave him my drawing. He asked me the title so i called it "Red Robot" not as creative as Pryamus.

I think this is a map.

A scorpion.

A bumblebee.

A new screen print idea I'm working on. When I finish it it'll be off to Nat at Bloom Press who does a great job.

It’s late, I feel a little overwhelmed by what I’ve written down this week and all the things I feel I still have to say. Now I’m burnt out on painting AND writing. I hope I let you into a little bit of my mind. It’s been fun. Souther thinks I should make a zine of this. I do feel an urge to start recording things, but maybe in a journal, not splayed out on the web like this for everyone to read for years. That’s one of the things I worry about I guess. There’s going to be those people who don’t like what I have to say about things, and they’ll call me on it. But funk it, wasn’t there a Rick Nelson song with the lines, “ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself”. I think he’s right. Goodnight and Peace to all people on this planet Earth!
-Jeff Soto, August 29, 2004


John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.

FRENCH in Melbourne

London based illustrator FRENCH recently held a show of new works at the Melbourne based Mild Manners

Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.

Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.

Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.

NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.

Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding

"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle

Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.

Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.

Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.

The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.

The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.

Flavio Samelo's Downtown Sao Paulo Murals

Our buddy Flavio Samelo down there in Brazil does all kinds of great work including this recent mural project in downtown Sao Paulo in front of one of the most important modern buildings of Oscar Niemeyer from the 60's, THE COPAN.

John Trippe, FFDG and Fecalface.com Founder, Stepping Down From Daily Operations

John Trippe, founder, owner and curator of FecalFace.com and the Mission District art gallery FFDG, announced today that he will stepping down from daily operations of the two ventures to seek new career opportunities.

High 5s - Get Your Feet Wet

I purchased one of the first digital cameras when Fecal Face went online in 2000. It was a massive Kodak with 2 mega pixels

"Touching Base" by Schuyler Beecroft

San Francisco based Schuyler Beecroft emailed over the great new series of paintings he's completed entitled "Touching Base", 16x20in on mounted wood panel. Like them.

Flume - Space Cadet (ft. Ghostface Killah & Autre Ne Veut)

Buddies Jay Howell & Jim Dirschberger did this great video produced by Forest City Rockers.

Fire Shelter for Papay Gyro Nights 2014

Last year we posted photos from another one of Simon Hjermind Jensen's Fire Shelters he's made in Copenhagen. This time around the Copenhagen based artist/ designer created one for the Papay Gyro Nights 2014 way up in on the Orkney Islands in Northern Scotland.

"Portrait of a Slugger 19" by Hiro Kurata

Beautiful painting by NYC based Hiro Kurata now on display at SF's FFDG through April 19th as part of the group show "Salt the Skies".

"Veins of Octulen" by Curiot at FFDG

"Salt the Skies" opened on the 21st at FFDG and features this great piece by Mexico City based Curiot (Favio Martinez) whose sold out 2013 show Age of Omuktlans ran at FFDG. His forthcoming solo show is slated for March 2015.

Rome's Alice Pasquini ~Mural+

Rome based multimedia artist Alice Pasquini emailed over a recent mural completed in the historic working class neighborhood of Rome called Tufello.

Project M/3 in Berlin curated by NUART

BERLIN --- Project M is a temporary art project with the objective to improve the neighborhood, to push creativity and to connect people. At regular intervals Urban Nation with director Yasha Young invites a group of internationally reclaimed contemporary urban artists to re-design the facade and shop windows of a prominent residential building in Berlin, while it is being reconstructed.

John French with Hasselblad by Lola Dupre

"John French with Hasselblad", photo collage/ hand cut paper on wooden panel, by Lola Dupre which will be part of tomorrow's opening of "Salt the Skies" at FFDG in San Francisco. 2277 Mission St. (6-9pm) - RSVP here.

"Salt the Skies" at FFDG Opening Fri, Mar 21st

FFDG's spring show "Salt the Skies" is set to open on Friday, March 21st (6-9pm) -- Featuring works by Brett Amory, John Felix Arnold, Mario Ayala, Jud Bergeron, Curiot (Favio Martinez), Christopher Burch, Lola Dupre, Michelle Fleck, Matt Gonzalez, Hiro Kurata, Marty Machado, Mark Mulroney, and Nicomi Nix Turner

Brian Barneclo's 225' Food Chain Mural

San Francisco based Brian Barneclo was commissioned in 2006 to paint a HUGE mural on the side of Foods Co on Shotwell at 14th Streets. After some time on its own, it got pretty taxed by misc graffiti and pigeon shit.