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word dabs

Connecting with energy……

How’s your computer looking? Would you call yourself a messy booger?
If you had to rate it between 1 and 10, what would you give it?
Can you find your files with ease?
200 files all over your desktop?
Got a lot of duplicate files?

and….
the one that usually gets people so upset.
Do you backup? (whoops…. lost half of you there)
or perhaps mirror your drives? (there goes the other half!)

Documenting your artwork to your computer is a very worthwhile thing to do, but so too is how you store it once it’s on the machine. So many times I’ve had people come to me in tears looking to restore a crashed machine or a bad drive just because I know computers. Sometimes you get lucky and it can be done, but why are you counting on luck with something so important?

For Mac Users, you really have no excuse. Time machine and the time capsule are no brainers to storing and having effortless hourly backups of your virtual movements.
Another solution is mirroring your drive. Mirroring takes an external drive and duplicate it to another drive. Superduper is a great software program that automatically does that at scheduled times for you.

If at all possible do not store ANY of your data on your main computer other than your software programs. If you get hit with a virus, jolt of electricity or whatever, you need to not be worrying about losing anything but the machine. Surge protectors and battery backup is nice too if you can afford that, particularly for anything that storing that precious data.

Remember.. your machine is NOT priceless. What’s ON it is!

Now on to a filing system. For years I just had files all over the place and created quite a mess for myself. Finally I had access to a Fortune 500 design database and it opened up my eyes with how to create a working documenting system, so I mimicked their technique. I’ve been using it for 5 years now and want to pass it on.

Look at the diagram below. Spend a little time trying to understand it as explaining this the first time isn’t all that easy. The folders represent folders on your computer going from left to right.

Filing System

To start with you have a single folder on your desktop dedicated to just YOU.
If you are a designer with multiple clients,  you would have another folder prior to the ‘Art YOU’ folder and title it ‘CLIENTS’ and then ‘Art YOU’ would be one client.

Inside that main folder are three other folders titled:

Assets:
This is where you would keep all of your media including artwork, your logos, photography and signatures. You may have to reference them often so putting them in one place saves having duplicate files all over the place.

Communication:
Communication is where you have any loose information to get you to websites, ftp information, addresses for things, etc.

Jobs:
The yellow folder is the one you duplicate each time you have a new job. Inside that folder are Completed (Finished artwork.) Correspondence (Emailed and changes you need to not forget) and Working (these are the layered documents like photoshop files etc. The intellectual property of the job.)

The number system on the jobs are easy once you work it out.
AR is the beginning name of the artist or client. In my case I use AP (Adam Parsons)
10 is the year
01 is the job number – followed by a loose description of the job to find it later.

So let’s say next year I want to make a new website. The folder would be called “AP1101 Revamped Website” (for example)
This keeps your jobs documented by the year and neat.

and that’s it!
I hope this all makes sense. Feel free to comment below if it does not and I’ll try to be clearer.
It REALLY works. If you have a better one and it works for you, then that’s great, but if not, this will get you cleaned up and your desktop clear for you to create.

It’s not every day that you get to ‘found’ a new art movement. It’s not like you wake up one morning and think to yourself, “This is something I’m going to do!” and yet it happened on September 5th, 2012, and now that it’s in the world it’s hard to see how it not being here.

It began with Hazel Walker introducing me to Kenan Farrell in Indianapolis. He is an intellectual property and entertainment attorney as well as the President of IDADA. We met to discuss my art and after showing my very commercially viable illustrations, I found myself getting defensive when showing my paintings, telling him that some of them might be offensive to him.

After a short while Kenan said to me, “Which one of these is supposed to be offensive”… and it dawned on me that in fact NONE of them were…. not with the right viewer.

As I drove home I spoke to my friend Arifah on the phone. She’s an incredibly talented poet and she’s easy to turn to when I need to discuss creative issues regarding my art.

“so why do you feel the need to defend your art?” she asked me…. and so went the conversation about the “boobs and the balls”… a subject that I spoke on in a previous blog.

As I explained my art out, it suddenly hit me. Although there’s some incredible art and artists out there, the difference in the niche I have is that my art is very relationship driven and intimate. My art talks to the viewer and connects them to a relatable experience in their life. The paintings aren’t trying to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ art from a quality of work standpoint. They’re about a connective state. This is why I paint; to make you see that an experience you’ve experienced is not always something you alone have been through. All too often, we’ve been there. We’ve felt that pain. We’ve climbed that mountain. We’ve lived that bliss. We’ve loved that hard.

The moment I saw my art in this new light I realized it was bigger than my work. It was an art movement because Arifah’s poetry has those same sentiments. We knew we’d hit on something big and a lot of cussing ensued!

Without a given title for this movement, the movement was understood by us both clearly! This was something new, or new for us at least, and once realized it couldn’t be unrealized.

From there we had to find a name for it. Not to own it or brand it. It’s not a business that needed a tagline or something we could call OURS. It’s not a club that only some can be in, no more than surrealism is a club, but rather a comprehension. It’s an understanding of an art form and all that was then required was to explain it clearly to others so it could be latched onto and understood… and many have… just from our verbal explanation but to make this grow it needed more.

So here it is, broken down into it’s most tangible form:

INTIMATISM 

And She Stomped On Him Again

If you look at a piece of art and say.

  • Wow…. I’ve been there!
  • I’ve experienced that…
  • I’ve been hurt like that.
  • I’m not alone
  • That’s me

Then that is Intimatism!

  • If you create art capturing a person or people in a life experience, particularly one that stirs your emotions…

Then more than likely you are an Intimist.

  • If the relational emotions of people are at the core of your subject matter as you create…

Then your art may well have an intimistic flare to it.

Intimatism has the ability to be a powerful movement. It’s instantly relatable once you understand it and to the people we have spoken to about it we’ve yet to have someone that hasn’t nodded their head as they saw what it was, smiled in understanding  and realized it as a movement that’s not currently here. For my part it instantly made me less defensive. My paintings are intimistic! Of course they have bodies in the art. I’m trying to connect with you in an intimate, penetrative way; breaking down walls of hidden defenses. I am fully an intimist at my core and I look forward to meeting, searching for, finding and connecting with other intimists and intimistic appreciators in all forms of creation.

That said… Let’s make this movement something special and connect the world through this common fragility.
with love..

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Picture if you will a man in a garden. He’s growing fresh vegetables to feed his family, keeping the weeds out and he finds a grub. He sees a robin in the tree and knows the robin loves grubs. What do you picture him doing? Does he get up with the grub and walk to the tree and try to feed the robin?… or does he simply put the grub out on his spade and let the robin come to feast?

You know the answer. The answer is the peace-filled natural flow of the world. – I picture my father so clearly who used to do this in his English garden when I was a boy. The robins would follow him down to the garden in the morning from the bird table, knowing he was going to dig up grubs. It was magical to watch them fly so close to him. He never reached out…. they always came to him… knowing that breadcrumbs on the table up by the house were tasty but worms and grubs down at the vegetable patch were where the feasting began! I can get quite choked up recalling that beauty….. I loved my father dearly.

Now imagine us with our creations (our grubs) and consider the peaceful nature current of life. Do you feel you align to the flow of nature or are you walking up to the tree trying to force feed that robin? I’ve been incredibly guilty of this… even lately as I try to add more people to my Facebook ‘likes’ – I go through my friends considering who I can show my art to without offending. After all, not everyone likes my grubs!

Perhaps I should  stop worrying about adding more and just put the grub out onto the spade and see who comes to IT.

I am told this by loved ones so I say this to you:

You can’t fathom how much you are loved by this world…. no matter how you may believe you don’t deserve to be, you and your creations are equally loved as they exposure the vulnerable you and quite often the vulnerable in us all. 

Think for a moment of the people that have embraced you and your creations. It’s magical to see them… no FEEL them around your art, isn’t it? It’s like they were meant to be together; like nothing could keep them apart. If you’ve ever felt that peaceful flow you’re smiling with warm understanding to these words I’m sure.

With that in mind:

For this next week I want to challenge you… and I will do this too. Perhaps you could post or PM me your realizations.

Be like my father. Go down the garden and put your grubs out on the spade…. and let the robins come to you.

with love.

Green Peace

Why are creatives horrible at business?

Although it’s a generality to make this claim (and there are certainly some exceptions)  creatives of all genres are pretty abysmal when it comes to marketing and business.

Why is that?… and how can this be remedied?

The biggest issue creatives face are the emotions tied around their work. Emotions do crazy things to all of us; but particularly creatives; messing around with the logic and sound practices of getting your creativeness sold.

Here’s some of the common issues:

  1. You think your work is better than other peoples so you’re not going to put it out there unless it’s going to be featured with no-one else around! You deserve the spotlight and you’re not prepared to share.
  2. You think your work is not as good anyone else’s and you don’t deserve to be anywhere – it’s rubbish or unworthy!
  3. You fear people not liking your work or getting harsh reviews about it.
  4. You don’t know how to price your work and therefore find yourself under or overvaluing it.
  5. You struggle to ‘boast’ about what you’re doing because YOU SELLING YOU is never a pretty sight!

These are just a few of the many emotions (feel free to post more) that I’m sure you’ve experienced and they can be crippling to your progress as an revenue-generating and in turn ‘successful’ creative. – at least from a BUSINESS PROSPECTIVE.

Ironically however when it comes to selling other creatives that you admire and respect all these issues seem to fade away – why is that? Could it be that you are viewing the art without emotion and all the invisible scripts racing around in your head? The business of selling art seems a lot more simple when it’s not your art… right? Have you noticed how this applies to relationships too. Aren’t other people’s relationships so much easier to ‘fix’ than your own???!

SO WHAT TO DO….? – drum roll………!

FIND YOUR “WE”!

This could be one of the biggest steps you can take; Finding a person that believes in your creative energy and wants to help you get it out there. Your goal in turn is to see how you can help your “WE” as your “WE” helps you! Even stoners know to puff and pass and this can be no exception with your business alliance! If you sit there just puffing… you’re going to end up alone. 🙂 Perhaps it would be good if your “WE” has a little more business sense or another strength you can learn from them also.

I’m passionate about people finding their “WE” and I’m passionate about being other people’s “WE.” ALL the businesses ventures I’ve ever been a part of that have been truly successful ALWAYS (Yes… ALWAYS) have had a “WE” that believes what they believe and wants to make the creation a success. – Look around if you don’t think that’s true. FEW IF ANY MAKE IT ALONE!

I will post on the importance of “WE” more in later blogs, but give this some serious thought as you move forward with your the business side of your creativity!

FIND YOUR “WE” AND YOU’LL SEE MASSIVE CHANGE IN YOUR CREATIVE BUSINESS.

Being a creative is certainly a wondrous gift. It’s a portal of expression that allows us the opportunity to release things that, for many others, are trapped inside – both positive and negative. That being said, having this creative expression can also be an incredibly weight-filled burden, ironically for the exact same reasons as it’s a gift. Because of this creatives are particularly prone to manic highs and lows as they get pulled through this experience called life.

Here are five tips for creatives on keeping your energy high

1. Working out:

This is one that so many don’t do; usually stating that they don’t have the energy to do it, when in fact the WORKING OUT IS THE VERY THING THAT CREATES THE ENERGY! You just need to make waking up in the morning and moving into a habit. Make it the first thing that you do. Get up whatever time you need to for this to work. In my case I get up at 5:30am, but if that didn’t work I’d get up at 4! You must make this a priority. I started at the beginning of the year and with exception to physical injury, I’ve pretty much walked every day since. I’ve lost 25lbs and I feel GREAT! (the weight loss is not something I tried for by the way… it’s a side effect.) I’ve noticed a MASSIVE change in my energy and I know that energy in turn has effected others.

2. Staying around the right people:

It’s important to be around other people that have good energy. By that I mean they talk well of others and try to limit gossip to a minimum. I’ve been very intentional to NOT put myself around people that overly complain and fuss about minutia. You can’t believe how much energy that will sap from you. They say that the five people you are most around define the person you become. Well… consider your five. See where you’re at.

3. Listening or reading books:

I’m not a fan of reading. I never have been. It’s almost pitiful the amount of books I’ve read in my lifetime, however since the beginning of the year (and this the is the secret to my success with working out by the way!) I’ve been listening to audiobooks. I’ve found that as I walk my brain would fill up with stuff anyway, so why not be intentional about what it filled up with! This has been a game changer for me because I get up to READ more than to work out. If anything I’m working out my mind and my body just happens to be coming along for the ride!

4. Eating Healthy:

Food is fuel. If you eat garbage, your body is going to struggle with performing at peak because of it. Now I’m FAR from a health freak. I pretty much eat whatever I want. That being said I’ve worked hard on putting ‘what I want’ around me much more than what I don’t. I’m always thinking to myself “what kind of fuel is this…?” before I put it in my mouth. YES… even with cheese dip and chips…. I consider it and realize I”m clogging up my system, so make sure it’s only something that happens once in a while. Bad eating is another huge cause of sapping your energy, so just recognize that.

5. Finding a “WE”

With all the ventures I’ve been involved with, none are ever as successful as when you find someone to pair up with that believes what you believe and wants to work to attain the same goal as you. For me finding my “WE” was as big as “starting with why.” Are you a creative going through this search for success alone? It’s hard.. isn’t it? Have you ever tried walking into a room and saying, “Look at my art… look at me! – It’s good isn’t it? I’m good… aren’t I?!” It just doesn’t work. Now have you ever tried doing the same but for someone else? Look at how the flow of energy becomes alive and beneficial to the audience as much as yourself. Finding your WE is the game changer for your creative self.

If you follow these five tips and keep your conscious awareness high, you’ll see dramatic changes in your creative journey.
With love.

Releasing art into the world can be a daunting experience, especially if the content of the piece has the power to raise eyebrows or upset people. Unfortunately (or is it fortunately…?) my art falls into this category. – At least in my neck of the woods it does.

The Sweetest Dragon

My paintings have always tried to capture the intimacy in relationships. I’ve strived to create something that people connect with on a sensual level, leaving them feeling exposed or vulnerable, even awkward at viewing the work, as layers of appropriateness are pushed to one side and hopefully some sort of a related state is formed. My paintings, although usually about people I know, are common states that we all experience. They represent an exposed state but in it’s hidden form. As an example when you meet someone today it’s unlikely you will know their struggles, pain or anguish, yet it’s right there in front of you. Hidden yet exposed.  – My goal is always to have someone say internally. “I’ve been there. – I’ve experienced this. – I get it.”

That being said, the other day a viewer of my paintings said, “why do you always paint boobs and balls?”

Although there was a part of me that wanted to explain myself, I resisted.

Inside I thought….

Is that really what you see?
Is that really ALL you see?

 
I can’t help being stunned that something so beautiful has been broken down to it’s most basic understanding of form.

Do you see the statue of David and talk just about his wiener?
When you look at the Birth of Venus do you dwell on the nudity?
Perhaps look up at the Sistine Chapel and comment on the fact that Adam has no clothes?

Whilst of course I don’t compare my paintings to these famous works of art and perhaps my art is a little more stark, the premise still remains.
I’m capturing stories of beauty; Connection and love; Emotion and sensual pleasure that arouses the mind and the heart as much as the eyes.

Surely you don’t look at Salvador Dali’s “The great mastubator” and just see sex? or see Hans Bellmer’s “The machine gunneress in a state of grace” and just see tits and ass?
Do you? Perhaps you do! Perhaps therein lies the problem! 🙂

Salvador Dali – The Great Masturbator

Hans Bellmer – The machine-gunneress in a state of grace

So as I look to the future of what and how I paint I can see that I’M the one that’s going to have to change. I’m the one that’s going to have to push past the fear of remaining ‘appropriate’ because there’s no way I’m going to let my art get capped by mindsets so narrow.

Written with love.

One of my paintings has just flipped over 20,000 views on YouTube and I wanted to share with viewers of my blog.

Click here to watch