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 Ive done is catch up on all the things Ive 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. Thats what Ive done this last week every night. Seriously, I dont know how the hell these daily bloggers do it. Shit I dont know what to write about still, and I havent taken any pictures all morning. Something will come up.
It probably looks like I dont do that much art throughout the week. And yeah, sometimes thats true, this week is a good example. I dont know where all the time went. Sometimes being an artist is like that. Were not robots, we need to have some breaks from making art from time to time. I think Im 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 shouldnt complain because many people would love to be in my shoes, but lately Ive been feeling like Im painting just to get things done for shows. All the galleries want paintings because thats what will most likely sell, but I havent felt like painting at all. Maybe Ill do all drawing for these upcoming shows. The galleries might not like that but ultimately I have to make myself happy. All Ive 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 dont have any plans except to get all my office busy work done. More of a typical boring day.
Right now Im 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 Im pretty selective. I dont want to be one of those artists who will put their art on everything just to make a buck. Dont quote me on that, maybe someday Ill 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, Id 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, its 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 Id rather wipe my ass with than sign! Theres 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 dont blame the artists, Ive taken on some bad projects with terrible contracts (or worse yet, no contract at all). Sometimes you have no choice and the bills dont 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 its all about. Artists, especially the young uns have this notion that theyll 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 its all about money, so you can either know whats going on or get ripped off. Okay, now Im 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 thats something the Republicans have to at least think about . They cant ignore that many people that are unhappy about where our country is headed. Itll be interesting to see the protests when Bush is in town. I hope things dont get too out of hand, dont 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. Id 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 Im too busy. But thisll be fun. Ill try to get some pictures.
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 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.
Its late, I feel a little overwhelmed by what Ive written down this week and all the things I feel I still have to say. Now Im burnt out on painting AND writing. I hope I let you into a little bit of my mind. Its 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. Thats one of the things I worry about I guess. Theres going to be those people who dont like what I have to say about things, and theyll call me on it. But funk it, wasnt there a Rick Nelson song with the lines, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself. I think hes right. Goodnight and Peace to all people on this planet Earth!
-Jeff Soto, August 29, 2004
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