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So I thought I’d pull something old out of the closet as I do from time to time. Here’s a piece I did a couple years after college. It’s about 15 years old it’s oil on stretched watercolor paper. After college I was putting together an illustration portfolio for pursuing book covers in the young adult market. (Generally, students don’t have solid portfolios right out of college. They take a few years to improve and do samples for the markets they’d like to work for). I did several of these and found that I was not enjoying myself at all. I figured if I wasn’t enjoying it when I was coming up with samples for myself, I probably wouldn’t enjoy it when faced with deadlines. So it was then that I turned my head toward the children’s market. It was actually a blessing in disguise, since the young adult market has been pretty much dead as far as illustration goes for quite some time. Photos are utilized much more often now than not. Anyway, I thought you might like to see that I can paint people, not just animals. I just don’t find people as interesting. I see people every day – bo-ring!

Last week MS and I had a rare opportunity to hear one of the greatest painters in the business lecture at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA – Kinuko Y. Craft. She’s been painting for over 4o years now, and one of my favorite quotes of hers from that day was: “…I hope to die while in the process of painting.” Sometimes I get hard on myself about how my work is in relation to others or where I think I ought to be in my abilities. Hearing this master talk reminded me of something. If I was focusing on the same thing for over 40 years, chances are I’d be much better at it than I am now. I never really thought about how long she’s been painting. And her work transformed tons over the years, from the early days of working for Playboy up until now. For many years, she had to copy a particular style/look to complete a project. It has only been fairly recently that she arrived at the beautiful work she has come to be known for. She worked damned hard to get where she’s at in her work/career. And the funny thing is, even SHE is still wanting to improve and sees flaws in her own work. Hard to imagine! She is so inspiring as both a painter and a person. It was an honor to speak with her and hear her thoughts about the creative process and a life dedicated to art. MS and I have been fortunate to see many originals of her works and let me tell you – totally different experience from seeing them online. You think this is good? Just see them in person! They are just unbelievable. She is truly an amazing artist. I only hope that I have a third of the passion she has for her work. Maybe I might achieve something after all. Be sure too look at her whole gallery of images.

I love hearing other artists speak about their work. It’s so beneficial. It makes you remember that you’re not so crazy after all to want to pursue a life in art. I think it’s good to listen to any successful person in whatever line of work you’re in. It can provide new insight and/or confirm any suspicions you already have. All valuable information.

Have a great weekend everyone! Get inspired! I know I am!