Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A BIG gift for you all.

Hello my friends, how have you all been? I have been fine, well actually better than fine. Other than the little bout with Pneumonia, I have been doing pretty awesome. I had to get the last 4 teeth pulled in all the dental who ha last week, so now it is finally time to start adding teeth again. I have been using those teeth whiteners and I have to tell you they work pretty good. My remaining teeth are very nice and white and my diabetes has improved a great deal as well. There was a lot of infection in my gums. For those of you that know about insulin I went from 54 units of Lanus at night to 15 units, and I have gone from 15 units of Novalog before each meal down to 5 units as of today. At this rate, I may be able to go back to just taking a pill soon as long as I keep my diet and exercise up.
I know that all of that is boring to you young healthy folks, but to me it is a huge deal and it confirms my conviction that through hard work, I can get my health back. As I have always told all of you, with hard work and patience, you will reach your goals. You don't have to cheat, lie or betray to get what you want. Just work hard.
As most of you know I have been on a "Art Vacation' here lately. The year started out so bad that I couldn't get much work done because of the series of illnesses, dental work and depression. So I decided to just take some time away until I was out of the woods and feeling rejuvenated again. I am getting there. Every so often I have to take a big break. The last one was in 1996 and it didn't end until 2000, but don't worry I feel like this one is close to being over. The break back then came mostly because I just gave up on ever having an art career. The Break now is from "life burnout" not just an art one. I have had to deal with so much these last several years physically and mentally that it just wore me down and I needed to step back and change gears for a while.
I've done a few things, but nothing I consider "Art", but the whole thing is, outside of personal business things, I will not work for any commercial client ever again. I will sell the rights to some of my work for merchandising, but I will not create new works for any commercial venture other than my own.
One of the things that I think is going to surprise a lot of my fans is that while I may still do horror works, I will be doing a heavy amount of my first love, Fantasy once again. I am in a very happy place in my life right now, and I don't lean toward the dark so much anymore. Of course I love horror and always will, but these last several years it has defined me as an artist. I believe for the next several years, it will be fantasy works that I am known for.
I have been playing a lot of video role playing games lately, one of the things I truly love, but put them out of my life years back so I would have more time to paint. I don't think I am going to do that again. I didn't realize how much these games inspired me with new idea's and how much they got my imagination pumping. I told Madison that when I started painting that 1/2 of my day would be to paint, and the other 1/2 would be to play. Now if I am having more fun painting, then I will paint all day, but the point is this. I have busted my arshe since I was 12 years old. My stepfather had me laying carpet at that age, and had me on the jobs years before that. I have done a wide variety of jobs in my life, but for some reason I always wound up laying carpet over and over. I think a lot of that was because I knew if I busted my butt and got done with the job, then I could get home early to paint.
That all sounds good, but carpet is a very physical job and more so in the past. If you where doing a Occupied house, you had to deal with moving furniture as well as the physical damage you did to your hands, back and knees installing a floor. A lot of the problems I have now come from this. I have crushed vertebrae in my low spine that is a constant source of pain. I have to take about 3 Hydrocodones a day for the pain as well as a heating pad. Some days I have to wear knees braces just so I can get up and down the stairs and some days to just walk.
I started drinking a lot of beer everyday as well because of installing floors. At one point I drank a 12 pack everyday for about 5 years, and I was smoking 2 packs of cigarettes everyday as well. I started smoking when I was 12. These are the main reasons I have COPD, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Basically, I was trying to kill myself and almost did. This was because I was so unhappy that I couldn't be an artist everyday like I so many other people I saw. But in time, all of that has changed. I don't have those bad habits anymore. I take good care of myself and I live life doing what I love the most to do. But it took a lot of hard work, patience, and a little luck
All the years of this really took there toll on my mind and body. The good and the bad. Right now I find myself in a place I never thought I would be in. I have fought my way back from death and lived to tell about it. I live life on my terms now, not someone Else's.
I know I spent a month at least wondering "Well, now what? I can do anything I want to do, so what am I going to do." It took a while, but i remembered that there was a time that I use to love to draw and paint. I couldn't wait until I got off my day job to rush home and get behind my drawing table. Most days I would work until I feel asleep in my chair or on my table. Those are some of the best memories I have. So i decided, no matter what it took, I was going to find my way back to that. I knew right off that I lost most of the happiness by doing work for other people. Total buzz kill trying to make someone happy instead of yourself. So now, if a buyer wants to buy one of my originals that I decide to sell or a print, no problem, but I am only doing my idea's and no one will be standing over me telling me, "No, I want it this way" I'm not even going to do private commissions any more either.
I am only going to do portraits for friends and family, and they want even know about it until I give it to them. For months now I have been trying to figure out what "THE REAL" difference is between an Illustrator and a Artist, and I have figured it out. It's not all the fancy talk you hear the art world talk about. No, those people are full of shite and what to pretend they know it all because they are so jealous because they have no real talent. Like a book or movie critic. The difference is simply freedom. Freedom to choose the path you walk. I know a few Illustrators who are exceptional artist, and most everyone of them has or is in the process of getting out of Illustrating because they want the freedom to do a painting the way they see it, instead of the way an Art Director who can't even draw a stick figure envisions it. I honestly don't mean to take a shot at anyone here. Everyone has a job to do, as in every career you choose, and most AD's I have worked with have tried very hard to come to a very nice cover and do their job well. The problem is, they take away the creative aspect from the Illustrator, not artist. An Artist would paint the cover the way they wanted to see it with no input from the publisher, writer or Art Director. This is the difference. An Illustrator can be creative, only to a point, but their main job is to create an image that another person sees. It is like being a puppet.
See, this is freedom. A year ago I would have never said that because I would be worried that a AD or editor would read this and black list me like they did to one of my teachers. It happens, it really does. But in any career, the game is played liked that. Even when I was a floor installer, you had to play the game and kiss arshe to get plenty of work and get the gravy jobs. Everyone wants to be self employed so they can be their own Boss, but the truth is, even if your a sub-contractor, a contractor or a business owner, you always have to please your clients. Instead of just having one or two bosses where you work, you now have as many bosses as you have clients. Unless you are wealthy or have a source of income that is always going to be there, you are destined to work for someone else. There is no Freedom in that.
But I have FREEDOM. I don't have to answer to anyone and I do whatever my heart is content to do. I am truly happy for the first time in my life. I know now that when I do start painting again, it is going to be well worth the wait and I will have no limits upon me and I honestly believe what I create as an artist will make a lot of people notice. All again, because I have Freedom. The Lady and the Lord blessed me. Although I do have medical issues and I live in pain, I wouldn't trade what I have now for anything, although like all of say, "If I could go back in time and do it all again...." lol
So, I have been working to get my soul and happiness back and I have just been having fun. Lots of it. Playing games, watching my favorite movies, TV shows, shopping, you name it, FUN. While this has been going on, my imagination has been flooded with new idea's. I promised Madison that I would start drawing and Painting at least 3 hours a day from here on out, then I can play all I want. The first thing will be to finish the "Chainsaw Sally" piece. I don't know if I will paint April as Chainsaw after this or not, but I sure will be painting her a lot. She is an amazing model with a very unique look. Another blessing the Lady has given me some of the best and most awesome models in the world to work with. Tilly Rivers, Suzi Lorainne and a new male model named Steven Suzc's that Tilly did a big photo shoot of for me. Just awesome. And then we have Darius, Dai, Madeline and more.
I really don't mean to sound like I am boasting, but like I said, I have been blessed in so many ways, I just can't believe it sometimes. I want to share something with all of you that will hopefully put a giant smile on your face and put happiness and joy in your life or someone you know.
I've mentioned that I am playing a lot of games. I have download all of these systems and every game they ever made for them for FREE. No catch. Nintendo, Nintendo Snes, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 64, Sega Master System, Sega Genisis, and many more. There are tons of places online to download them. I will be downloading x-box soon. I had to buy another backup hard drive just for the games I have. There are so many now.
The Emulators are for Mac, Linx and Windows. You just have to make sure you download the right one for your system, and you will also want to download a Emulator Enhancer. I think that 2.3.2 is the most recent, and it works on all systems. Just download it and install it. Takes less than a minute. You can find most emulators here and at some other links I am going to post for you in a minute. This site is ran by Richard Bannister. He is the pioneer for making it possible to play all of these games systems on your computer. Now for each system, there is a different emulator. So if you want to play Genesis games, you will need to download the emulator for that. Here is another site as well.
Now if you want to, you can buy a joystick or hand remote at anyplace that has a USB plug, but all the systems are set up to be played on your keyboard, and I personally prefer that. When you get up to the Disk Systems, you can rearrange the configurations to suit you on the game emulator interface.
The cartridge system are very simple to set up and play. It takes less than 5 minutes and your playing your favorite games forever. The disk systems are a little harder, because you can download the games two ways. The first comes in a BIN/CUE that you have to burn to disk to play, or you can go to a file sharing site and download a ISO or IMG. file of the game and that works better, and easier.
The cartridge system uses ROMS, and you can go here and here to download everyone ever made, and some that where never released in the U.S and in a lot of cases there are many versions of the same games. For instance, Sonic the Hedgehog. There are about 10 versions of the original Genesis game. Each one has something really cool added to it, like instead of playing Sonic, you can play Sally or Shadow. There are even variations of the Role Playing games (MY Favorites)
Like I said, the cartridge system are easy as heck to set up and play, the disk systems are a little more trouble, but the graphics are really awesome. Of the cartridge systems, Nintedo 64 has the best graphics's. It was the last cartridge system made before the age of PlayStation came into being.
If you have any trouble at all, all you have to do is google your question. There are 100's of sites out there dedicated to this. Hopefully I have given you something that will bring much joy to your everyday life, and for free. Much love and Hugs my friends, and Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Snake, the Butterfly and the Rose.

      Hello my friends. Much love and hugs to all of you.  Those of you that are friends of mine on Facebook know that I am recovering from Pneumonia. I am on my feet again and feeling much better, although I found out the hard way this morning that I still need to be taking it easy. I was trying to get caught up on my house cleaning and darn near pasted out. I am guessing in a couple more days I should be 100% again.
     While I am going through this big change I would like to explain to you all why I said certain things and did some things a lot of my friends don't or didn't understand. One of my dearest and closest friends told me the other day that she saw my totem as a snake. At first that kinda worried me but after she explained it to me in more detail, it seemed very logical. Personally I have always seen "Snakes" as a bad thing.  The word is often used to refer to people that are sneaky or stab their associates in the back, but she had me see it as a growth thing and it did explain the things I have been enduring this year. My health mainly, this "need" to grow and change myself as a man an a Artist.  She said to see this like the way a Snake grows.  Before a snake grows, it becomes sickly, slow and then it sheds the skin it has to a new and bigger one. To me, shedding the skin is the same thing I go through every several years where I embrace the new things in the horizon and put aside the things that have no more use to me or didn't grow as I did. She believes that I will come out this much stronger, more focused and more determined. She has a lot of faith in me and I respect her and her guidance very much, so this should interesting.
     One of the first things I did to bring on these changes was go into a "Hermit" mode. I cannot speak for anyone other than myself, but this is very nessacary for me to move forward. Almost all of my friends have opinions of what I should or shouldn't do.  This is a path I have to follow on my own. No one can influence me, things have to unfold as they are meant to do.  I have to embrace this for the changes to take hold and with my friends saying "No, this is suicide for your career" or "I don't get it, but I hope it works out well for you", well, that would make me second guess myself and that will not do. So for now, I quit all the phone conversations and letters to them. Just little messages on FB here and there to let know I am still alive. Until I have embraced all of this and I am going full steam, I have to stick to this plan. I have been an Illustrator for 32 years now and I don't want it anymore. I have done everything I ever set my sites on, I have a book shelf of book and magazine covers. My focus now is to do what my minds eye sees, and not what someone tells me or pays me to do.
   The process is slow it seems. I am having to learn to let myself see new things I haven't seen before on my own. In the past, it was always easy. Someone tells me what to paint, I do a few roughs to show them, they pick one and then I just create what their minds eye sees. Now it is going to be about what my mind's eye sees.  
    At first, I was going about this all wrong. I was coming up with idea's of series of paintings I would like to do, but still my mind's eye wasn't seeing it.  So I told you all and Madison that I just need to do something I haven't done in a very long time, which is simply just to have fun and do the things I love to do the most in life, other than painting and drawing. What are those things? One of them I haven't done in years, simply because I felt like it took up to much of time since I was an Illustrator and I had to work 10 to12 hour days to keep up with the work I would take on. It is playing video games. I love them. I recently was able to download the entire collections of all the Nitendo and Sega Genisis games ever made as well as about 500 classic computer games.  I am in game heaven.  I have been letting myself play as much as I want as long as I keep up with the things I need to do to keep the house going.  I love the golf, racing and most of all, the Role Playing games.  Right now i am playing Final Fantasy 2. I have the first 7 games and have never played them before. They are wonderful and I am having the most fun that I can remember, but the really big thing here is that now that I am happy and not worrying about every thing I do, my mind's eye is starting to see new images and I am getting very excited about what I am seeing. My imagination is in full swing again.
    Other things that I have been doing is watching movies and TV shows from our massive libary of DVD"s and Blue Rays.  Madison, the kids and myself have went to see 2 movies this last month. The new Harry Potter movie in 3-D and Cowboy,s and Aliens. Both were a lot of fun, and the 3D blew my mind. It was more awesome that I can explain. Bottom line, I've been having a ton of fun.
    Now that all of that has been said, and I have no intention of hurting anyone's feelings, but it all boils down to this, my whole life I have done what others wanted me to do, or let them make disicions that involved me. I have always put the need of others over the needs of my own. That changes now. I will be 54 in a few weeks and it is time that I made my own choices and NOT let other people be involved in my progects and idea's.  I have a plan and I am going to do it on my own. I don't want to hear anyones opinion on anything I am doing. If I want it, then I will ask for it. 
     For those of you that like my art, I think you're really going to like the future I see for my paintings.  Love and Hugs. "May the Darkness Comfort You"