2011. In a few ticks of the clock it will be gone. Just like every year, it will be gone. Untouchable for the ages. We will be older and hopefully wiser or prettier or something like that. Then it will be 2012. So what did I do this year? What did I accomplish? Did I make a difference after all is said and done? Let me see here…
Early this year I posted 12 things to do in 2011; read here. I accomplished about half of my goals. It was interesting to have a list to look back on. I may not have checked off all of the targets for the year but I did do some good other things. Let us take a look…
I developed my online store and made it easier to use. Throughout the year I continued to refine the site and post new work to show and sell. You can see the art/shop here. In the next couple weeks I will add new products for sale and revise what I have currently listed.
I did buy a smartphone. The “smart” portion could be debated but it is an advance in technology. It is a pay-as-you-go Android phone but for the most part it is still good to have. I enjoy the maps and web access. When I am doing something with my art and I want to post it online now I can from most every place. That is nice to be able to do.
In March, I traveled to Asheville. I took my girlfriend. We had a good time. We drove to Mt. Mitchell and the Blue Ridge Parkway. We saw Devotchka in concert and visited the Biltmore House. I also gave out some free artwork to a few lucky folks.
All year I continued to be true to my goals and plans. I worked really hard on my art career and pursuing new ways to develop my skills and my network. I set out to make money with my painting and illustration and I continue to do so now. I tried to come up with creative ways to get my art noticed and learned how to speak with people about what I do.
I created a proposal for Art on the Atlanta BeltLine 2011. My idea was chosen and I painted a 237 foot long mural in July and August. I painted the BeltLine Bears. This was one of the greatest things to happen to me this year. I have met so many people through this painting and it has led to a lot of great work and experiences. You can read about it in detail here. I hope to propose a new idea to the BeltLine in 2012.
Throughout the year I continued to put out art on trees and power poles and sidewalks. I created art on canvas and wood and cardboard. I painted on old doors and old signs. I used old paint and things I found on the sidewalk. I climbed up a ladder and drilled them into trees and poles for all to see. I made many bear heads and folk art crosses. People have started to notice and get these images into their brains as they drive around North Georgia. I am going to start to put out new art in January so keep your eyes lookin’! It is fun for me and a good way to build up a following. People would see me at shows and say, “Hey, you’re the bear guy!” I said,” Yes, yes i am.”
I spoke to school children at the Atlanta Progressive School. The students there had been studying the Atlanta BeltLine and had found my bear paintings. I visited with them and spoke about my mural and showed them how to paint bears. I also did a Q &A session. This also has led to other good things and several art sales.
I assisted with Flux Atlanta and Rise-Up Atlanta ladder sculpture. I had met artist Charlie Brouwer through one of my art give-a-ways. I painted a large folk art ladder for his sculpture. It was a great community art project and I was happy that I helped construct and de-construct the sculpture. It was located in Freedom Park in Atlanta. Read about the ladder artwork here. There is also a good film about Charlie, the artist here. (I make a brief, red-bearded, country-talking appearance around 5:15)
It took me until September and a lot of prodding but I was in my first art festival. The East Atlanta Strut was the first show. Since then I have been in 4 other shows and 2 private parties where I showed artwork. These public events have proven to be a really great springboard to other art events and art sales. I have made some new good friends and want to be in a few shows in the spring of 2012. There was a lot to learn and as you go you get smarter and more efficient. My girlfriend helped me keep good records and keep things organized. The best part is that I have sold a lot of artwork and it gives me the reason and incentive to create more. Through this creation process I am growing and evolving as a painter.
I did some illustration work and designed a few cards and invites. I designed a handful of concert posters for local events. I have picked up a couple commission paintings. I also have done some sign work. One that I am proud of is the sign for the Burgess-Peterson School in East Atlanta. You can read about it here.
I was part of the Creative Loafing – Atlanta BeltLine Scavenger Hunt. My artwork and a creation by Hense were the grand prizes for this event. I was honored to be a part of this. Check out the painting I made for it here.
I was also asked to compete in the Sharpie Slam. This was a 2 team drawing contest. You can read about it here. It was fun and exciting. I won some cool prize from Sharpie. I look forward to the next event.
Recently I did a series of illustrations for a calendar. It was all done in chalk on a 10 by 8 foot backdrop. For each month I changed the background as the year progressed. I also did a cover illustration for the calendar. This project was wonderful because I worked with a very professional and high-end photography studio. They had wardrobe and make-up people. They had assistants and the agency who was guiding the project. They bought me coffee and fed me good lunch. You can read about the photo-shoot and see my illustrations here. Check out the time-lapse movie they made.
Last but not least I played some of my music to the world. Well perhaps not the world but to a bunch of people in Atlanta on 4 different occasions. I owe this to my friend Noel of Noel Stephen and the Darlings. He got me to get over being nervous and sing my songs I have written. Also I need to thank my girlfriend. She told me that I shouldn’t die with my songs locked up inside of me. So, I let them out. Last weekend I played for the first time with a new band I have put together; Joe, Craig, Noel and I. I named us The Vasco Boys. I am excited about this new development in my life and I want to perform again soon. Check out some of our performance here.
I have had a good year. It is interesting what you can accomplish when you write down your goals and plans and keep moving forward. I have tried working for others before. I have spent a lot of years helping others make money and reach their goals. I am going to turn 38 in a few couple weeks and if I am going to do anything with my life I have to make it happen now. Over the next couple weeks I will make plans for 2012 and set out a plan I can begin to follow.
I would like to work on being in more art festivals, doing wall paintings, putting out more art on the streets, begin to create and have my art licensed and creating an income for myself. I still want to work on a chidren’s book and hope to have a solo show at some point. Look for a new list of goals for this new year.
Thanks to all of those who have encouraged me this year. Thanks to those who have purchased art work. Thanks to those who have listened to my stories and shared ideas. Thanks to those who have told others about me.
I look forward to 2012 and seeing what we can get done.