Monday, October 4, 2010

Will he finish what he begins?

Damn straight I will! Though unlike Luke I am more than willing to admit my fear and the need to overcome it! First and foremost, thanks to everyone who has continued to visit my little blog here!

Ready? Here goes!

The Han Solo Benefit Art Show my wife and I put together went amazing! We couldn't have done it without the good folks at Mom and Pop Tattoo and Piercing, or without all the excellent people who came out to party with us! We raised a lot of money for a very worthy shelter in the city of Fall River, MA. I painted over 30 works just for this show! The Yoda painting at the top of this post was one of the works sold!

I recently decided to do a 180 with my life! I have worked with disabled adults for the last 4 years. The job is great, pay is great, the benefits are great but the stress and drain are not. For a while I let my fear control me and keep me paralyzed. Gotta have a job, gotta pay for food, art supplies, rent, car, stuff and all the rest of life's costs.

There are many fields of artistic creation. Many of them do not pay well, there are a million other young hopefuls competing for them, and are extremely constricting on the artist. I have avoided the gallery scene, and stepped far away from the realms of web design and graphic arts. I have always chosen to do things my way.

For the last ten years I have given away my art. Rarely, if ever, selling a piece or taking on commissions. I focused on spreading my name and giving people the ability to get to know my work. This has returned good things for me in many, many ways. Only now have I begun to feel I have earned the right to sell my work. The success of the Han Solo Benefit Art show was definitely fuel for the fire!

Recently my aunt Chandra suggested I become a tattoo artist. Many people in my life have suggested this to me, and always I brushed it off. Partly because of arrogance, and partly because of fear. (The Dark Side) Her words really inspired me. "You would be amazing at this and people would fall over to get in line!" (less important but just as nice, she said "You would make a lot of money!")

I have always felt that things happen exactly when they are supposed to. I do not believe that life is predetermined, but instead just waiting for you to be ready. When the time comes, bang! You just know it.

So I started looking into Tattoo apprenticeships. A shop in Fall River, MA was accepting and I went down to check it out! The master artist and owner there immediately accepted me, based solely on my work and reputation! I offered to trade a mural painting for their shop, The Ink Clinic, for the apprenticeship.

The story doesn't end there! My friend Sean Theroux owns Mom and Pop Tattoo and Piercing, another tattoo shop in Fall River. (You can tell I spend a lot of time in the city!) When I told him about the apprenticeship he was a little shocked that I hadn't asked to him about it! He immediately offered to have me apprentice at his shop!

A little background. Sean would have been great friends with Han Solo. He's the definition of a heroic scoundrel. Side show magician, licensed piercer, justice of the peace and a thousand other titles follow his name! With him there is never a dull moment! For example: He blew a tremendous fireball with oil and flame hidden in his trick bible after he married my wife and I!

When he offered me an apprenticeship I knew I could not turn it down! So I jumped in, head first and have been loving it ever since! Not only am I learning from the master tattoo artists there, I am also teaching them my knowledge of painting, drawing and all that goes with 2d studies!

I am also painting the mural for the Ink Clinic! A giant work based on the history of tattooing. With many styles and themes represented!

So for the next year I will be working seven days a week. 4 days working with disabled adults, and 3 at Mom and Pop learning the craft once I finish the Ink Clinic Mural. The sacrifices are great, but worthy. I have had to put 90% of my life aside to focus. It feels great. I feel charged and ready.

Star Wars is always on my mind. Like a best friend, always ready with advice, and always offering a new way to look at the world. Everyday life constantly influences the work I am doing with the Improved Prequels.

While technically alone working on the Project, there are a few people I am in contact with who I bounce ideas off of. Kind of like having a few Joseph Campbell's around to guide the myth. One you all should really get to know is Tony Pacitti, the author of the best selling memoir: My Best Friend is a Wookiee.

He recently has been a great inspiration and a beacon in the darkness. It was great reading his book and finding parallel experiences that helped to bring new understanding to my own. His love for Star Wars is true and excellent!

Patience is the key my friends. I hope that any and all of you feel free to contact me! I love to talk Star Wars! The Improved Prequels are my life's work. Like George in the early days I will defy the standards of the day, I will do things in a way that most will think is crazy. Hopefully it will be! Whether it pays off or not is completely irrelevant! The point is myth, storytelling and that 10% everyone else gets to see.

Thank you George, Jim, Frank, Joeseph without you I would not be who I am today. Thanks also to Douglass, who taught me how to Not Panic. 42.

Much love

The Forest is with you, always