A few years ago I was a temp at Disney Consumer Products in Glendale, California.I was new to Los Angeles, fresh from traveling in between Seattle and San Francisco trying to find a place to call a home. I was a hopeful artist, showing in small cafes, bars, and LBGT centers. In my head, being a painter was only ever going to be a hobby, and never and actualized profession. But, lo and behold, that one fateful day, when an administrative assistant passed my compacted cubicle and saw my paintings of drag queens of the glorious West Coast.. that my life began.
Since getting the chance to show my craft, my life has been filled with endless hours of work to prove myself. I hit the ground running from the swelling of interest, and I’ve worked hard night and day to build a foundation of work. In this time period I’ve had many rewards and accomplishes met, as well as great heartbreak and criticism. This just comes with the craft.
In saying this, I was asked in an interview a while back on how I came to be an artist, and what I found to be ‘the formula’ for staying relevant in an age of such quickening information. No longer are we subjected to a longer lasting semi-permanence through a flip of a magazine page, as we are .05 seconds of an interest before a person clicks the mouse away from our images. We are less than semi permanent, and therefore have to strive to work harder to be seen. I responded “well.. I don’t think there really is such a formula that attends to all of us as artists, I think.. personally, that everything is different for each aesthetic and person.. and really.. even when it comes down to… next Tuesday, that formula could change entirely for myself.”
I reflected back to that answer on March 22nd, 2013, when I was met with a change in my artistic course. I thought earnestly on how, exactly, at that moment, what the (or my) formula was. So, at that moment, around 3:00am I grabbed a can of spray paint, headed into the back yard of my San Francisco studio, and began to map out a formula for artists.
This, by no means, pertains to all of us, and if anything, is more of a satire of that question asked.
This piece is a ‘formula for stayin’ gold as an artist in the world’. Mickey Mouse and the surrounding background is a dense sea of percentages that equal 100% of different attributes to this plan. They are as followed
- 1% Pop Culture Knowledge
- 4% Color Theory
- 2% Caffeine
- 1% Form
- 6% Imagination
- 0.7% Luck
- 3% Believing in Yourself
- 1.1% Balance
- 0.2% Have an Angle
- 0.8% Fear
- 7% Vision
- 2.1% Good Taste!
- 11% Marketing
- 7% Skill
- 2% Psychology
- 2% Reading, Writing, Arithmetic
- 5% Ego Wrangling
- 0.1% A Proper Education From an Arts University
- 3.4% The Right Kind of Paint and/or Medium
- 2% Dimension
- 1.7% Sociology
- 4.2% A Really Good Review and/or PR
- 7.7% Growth
- 25% Handling Rejection
Inside the face is a letter
“March 22nd, 2013. 600 Block of Natoma St. SOMA District, San Francisco
I laid down a formula in gold of percentages equaling 100% of how to remain solid as an artist in the world. Granted 60% of percentages are made up… but maybe 40% of it is actually true. Every second these percentages change in front of me. They fluctuate like the tide. Some get lost in the sea, catching trains in the undercurrent to be valid in some other artist’s actualities and eyes. Across the ocean to far away lands where paint grows on trees and brushes never break and multiply by the thousands. Those sorts of things and such. The only percentages that never changes is 7% vision and 1% form. Oh yeah. And 2% caffeine. Coffee is gold for the soul”..