It's been months since my last post, due to massive lifestyle change in real life - I've been on a whirly-gig of professional and personal ups and downs that has resulted in a new happy place, with new people and new activity, which would take many more months to sit down and describe. It's been awesome, heart-breaking at times, incredibly challenging, on oh-so many fronts, and it's tested me again and again - and I'm pleased to say that I've hit the ground running each time and discovered truths about myself and the life around me that have simply expanded my personal and artistic horizon.
There have also been plenty of disappointments and, as with any major transformation, a lot of things have ended, died or changed to the point of being unrecognisable - all of which have also lent themselves to new developments in my personal world, and therefore the art.
Commissions have been taking up most of my time; I suddenly had an increase in clientele who wanted artworks from the artist, not just a pair of hands to make something that they saw in their own minds, or a photograph - that's the kind of work an artist dreams of, and I'm so very grateful for the fact that this is now a solid aspect of my working life. It's the kind of kudos that keeps on giving, from the moment of conception to the weeks and sometimes months after the client has hung the work in their home.
I'm currently working with a local business in the area, Custom Music Albury, designing tshirts exclusive to their brand - photographic and digital works of the musical instruments that they sell and service - and let me just say, it is the ultimate joy to be surrounded by musicians again. Okay, this time around, it's not a bunch of musos sleeping on my living room floor after a hard night out rockin', and I'm not a part of the performance factor in this town (I don't have the history here, so most people don't even know I'm a musician) but it is a wonderful thing to have art and music collide in this way, and to pick up a few things that I left behind so many years ago. (I bought myself a new sax. It's been years, but it was like coming home.)
Custom Music Albury itself is powered by very dedicated musicians, all of whom pride themselves on superior service, quality products, and quality customer provision - they look after their clientele like family, and they are simply the sweetest group of people that you could hope to engage with. They know their work too - I've happily sat and watched guitars and other instruments be repaired with the kind of love and precision that can only be considered an artform in itself; and listened to enthusiastic discussions on the varying instruments, their backgrounds, and the attention to detail that makes them what they are.
It's been a long time since I last worked with another business - when I redesigned the Millennium Club in Mackay, I found myself connecting with the staff and the regulars, listening to their stories and learning about their lives, in a more personal way than I normally get to experience through the cafes - and it's active collaborating like this that allows me to get deeper into the art process and create more than just images - I create a world that reflects the combination of experiences that I live through in that time. While in the case of the new tshirt designs I'm working photographically, it's allowing a change in the drawing work (transitions are always a little difficult) that is bringing me to a new phase in my own life.
So far, the response to the designs has been positive, with more reactions from people through messaging and street conversations - the sales have begun, and orders are starting to come through - I'm promoting the work on my social networks, so the designs are available for viewing on any of my sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google +)
As for me, well, I got a little older, had THE most amazing birthday, the amazing never-ending birthday, that went on and on, and oh, say, on; I visited my girlfriends in Melbourne and had the time of my life, with many thanks to those women, who know how to have a good time - and I'm in the middle of redesigning my home and studio, to commit myself to this new phase in my life, and start reaching for another goal.... all of which I'll tell you about, some other time....
Be well, love art, let art love you....