My philosophy on life: live, love, breath, and be in the moment. One world one people One Love
Music chosen by David
What’s your background?
I am a 70 year old Vietnam Vet. I hold a BS in computer science. A leftest urban guerilla ( in my mind at least). An atheist and amateur scientist. I am Bi-polar. A Zen Mindfulnes practitioner.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” Steve Jobs
Does your artwork come from that background?
I think my artwork comes from the universe. My bi-polar disease influences my works as much as anything. I started creating after I returned from Vietnam mostly acrylic and water color landscapes. Due to my work I became familiar with digital art tools and began play around with pushing pixels around on the screen. Now, due to arthritis in my hands, I do all digital art using a mouse, as I cannot hold a brush or stylus for long.
My father was an artist want-to-be. He did some work when he was young, but WW2 and getting married having twins to feed, left that dream behind. He had a few sketches from when he was young and I always studied them when I found them hidden with his girlie magazines.
When he was older, after I had grown, he picked up the brush for a while. He was always saying if I could only make it look real and I would always say make it look how you feel. His work, while not as primitive as say Grandma Moses, was untrained folky.
We did not really talk art or anything else much.
What are you trying to say with your work?
I laugh when people ask me this. I suppose I could spew a lot of artsy fartsy nonsense about how it’s an emotional exploration of my inner demons tampered by fear of ridicule and failure. But in truth really, I don’t care what others think of my artistic abilities, I would love to have my art be commercially viable (fixed income and addiction to food etc…); but again that would make it forced rather than freedom. In an ideal world I would hope my art makes people feel and experience something. To make it their own, and not ask what it is or what is it supposed to be, but how does it feel.
What made you choose the medium you work with?
My love of science, logic, the dream of a far away world where I could run away to. I was always fascinated by stories of robots. I wanted to be one. That lead me to an interest in computers, so I chose to go to school to study computer science. I was exposed to the software to create graphics and art.
Music chosen by David
Do you work in a studio?
No. I sit in my Florida room at a computer desk. Nothing to see here folks.
What is the one thing in your room you just could not be without?
My computer. It’s the center of my world both art-wise and socially.
Coming back after a day and reading that it almost seemed pathetic. But I am naturally a loner, I have all of the knowledge and entertainment of humankind at my finger tips and can express myself artistically to the world. Pretty cool to me.
Who are your biggest influences?
I suppose the impressionist, cubist , abstract pioneers . But my art is more an outpouring of whatever’s in me at the moment.
I’m not one to study other works or pieces. I review on average 200 + works of art as part of my quality control duties for a well established art sales outlet so I am exposed to all kinds of works. A few of those works will grab my attention for awhile and perhaps inspire me in some abstract way.
What is your favorite piece of work by yourself?
Not sure I could pick a favorite. With each piece I go from love, to hate, to it is what it is. It’s kinda like picking anything. The last one you liked is most likely the favorite. They are all my children, lol.
How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?
30 minutes to a few hours. I often do 3 or 4 pieces before 10 am and more in the afternoon.
I have noticed that I often create with the canvas/screen in landscape mode and then I rotate it 90 degrees to portrait mode. I will sometimes do more work on it then but often the rotation is the last thing I do.
How do you know something is ‘finished’? Is it easy to walk away?
I don’t know when it’s finished. Somehow it never is and I fret over it. I just stop. Often “new” works are reworked versions of something I did earlier, and going back and see it after a while I see something that I didn’t see the first time around.
What project are you working on now?
I don’t really do projects. I sit down in front of the computer when I feel the muse tapping on my head. Sometime it’s like I am obsessed and image after image pours out of me. I seldom know exactly what is being created until I have been at it for a few, and even that is unusual. I just let stuff happen and am often surprised.
I have started doing quick ten minute good morning images as a lark to post on Facebook .I suppose that’s kind of a project.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Don’t judge your work. Don’t be afraid of color. Have fun with it above all. If you are in it for the money do the work. Save every sketch, painting, doodle.
Music chosen by David
What was the first piece of art you sold?
I have no idea. It was an acrylic on canvas more than 40 years ago. A landscape I’m sure. Sales are a welcome surprise, I might actually be able to by some cheese or perhaps a dead parrot.
Do you find it hard to navigate the artworld?
I make little attempt to navigate the art world. I don’t like the business end of art so seldom do it. I’d say most of my work in the last year or so only gets posted to Facebook. If I feel a lot of positive feedback has happened I then may post it to other sites.
What are you personally doing to advance your work career?
Well another question directed to someones definition of what an artist does. I do none of that. I just create. I do not try to advance a career. I do lots of experimentation with new software etc and and that helps me grow artistically. I really put next to no effort in developing a group of followers, or contacts. I post to Facebook and to a sales site. That’s pretty much all the consideration I give to such things.
How do you price your work and why do you price it that way?
I look at what other people have for prices and set mine a little higher because I sell little and need to maximize profit.
Do you use social networking in your day to day life?
Is there anything that really annoys you about the artworld?
Nearly everything. I am the world’s greatest artist and it bothers me that people don’t acknowledge that and pay me big bucks for my work 🙂
What advice would you give new artists?
Do what you love and have fun. If you are doing it for the money, do the work. selling is hard.
Have you got hobbies?
No time really. My day consists of getting up and checking emails and FB while coffee is perking and then breakfast, a quick peak at the news to make sure the planet is still here, some art, a swim weather permitting; I live in Florida so nearly everyday. Then some reading or more art, lunch, errands/shopping, occasionally helping a neighbor with computer stuff. Then more art and reading. sometimes TV. I’m kinda chained to the computer because most of income comes from reviewing images and I need to do as many as I can(it’s piece work) in order to survive.
Where are you based?
Daytona Beach Florida, the most famous beach in the world. It’s what the sign down the road says!
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I live in Manchester, UK and try to promote other artists and writers when I can.I'm so pleased you found our community and I hope to chat to you soon!!Please comment on my posts if you like them 🙂