Wow am I busy! On top of everything else, I'm having my first legitimate solo art show! I'm very excited about it. If you have the ability to come and show your wonderful face, I suggest you do so. It's part of Oakland Art Murmur. I'm hoping to have a good turnout. I bought a fancy Epson printer the day before losing my job, and I'm going to try to make the best of it by making some limited edition prints of some of my most loved paintings. They will be available at the gallery, assuming I don't run into complications. After that I'll have them available on the new website I have to make...it's on the list...which is very long right now.
As I'm sitting here writing this, I've suddenly started remembering all of the events that have occurred in the course of this project. It is epic. I painted the Space Corpse piece intending for it to be the cover, but the band was not so into it, they wanted something more epic, but just then there was some debate about whether I would be doing this cover at all. They were talking with Ferret Records about putting the album out, and they have an in-house illustrator who does their covers, so they weren't sure if the label would help to pay me. Then there was a huge fiasco with the Poison the Well (PTW) tour poster. PTW is signed with Ferret, and Blues saw my post and asked The Label owner about it and.....it was a rough couple days I don't really want to get into, but it was nasty. The guy from Ferret was nice though, and PTW had nothing to do with it, but their manager was considerate too. Anyway, then Blues decided that Ferret was not a good fit for them, and I was back on the job. The final Heavy Sci-Fi painting is by far the longest I've ever spent on a piece. It looks good, the band and 1912 records (who is releasing it) is pleased, but man am I glad it's finished. Painting geometric shapes was much more taxing than I imagined it would be. They had to be so precise, and even though I gave myself some room for it to look hand drawn, it was still taxing. I've been going to a lot more Gallery shows in the city lately, and I think the level of finish I've been seeing is what inspired me to spend so long on this painting.
Heavy Sci-Fi is an elaborate concept album, which in some ways made my job easy, because there was a long and elaborate story behind the lyrics, but it also made my some difficult, because not all of the story was clear from the lyrics. We worked it out relatively painlessly, but it was almost like doing illustrations for Lord of the Rings based solely on the overview printed on the back of the book.
The economy finally hit home for me. Just after the worst week on Wall Street of all time, I was laid off from my full-time Flash job. I can't say I'm happy about it, I liked my job. The agency has lost one of it's biggest clients, and advertising in general is being hit hard by our tough times. Clients cut advertising budgets first, and work had been slow for months. I can't say I'm too surprised.
I'm going to take this opportunity to try to make a break in my career as an artist. I've been turning down jobs recently, but now it seems I'll have the time to do them after all. I'm curious to see if what was keeping me from being a full-time illustrator was my full-time job. I'll have to put my skills to the test. If you have a need to artistic services, you know how to contact me.
Every-so-often a student contacts me for a presentation they're doing on an artist. This is my little interview.
Blair: How did your interest in art start and form?
Jeremy: That's a tough question. I really don't remember because I've had a love for drawing since I was a small child. I think I showed talent from an early age, and I started to do it more and more because of the positive responses I would get. I remember once in kindergarten a kid drew Garfield on the chalk board, and I was so jealous. I've always been incredibly competitive about my drawing skills, so whenever I saw a drawing that I thought was better than something I could do, I would go into a drawing fury for days, or be totally crushed if it was well out of my league. I still do that sometimes.
Blair: What are some of your objectives or purposes for your art?
Jeremy: In my art I often try to show a part of a story that makes people want to know the whole thing. Like a single frame from a movie, taken at a peculiar moment. I don't want to spell everything out. Sometimes people tell me what they think my paintings are about, and they're wildly fantastic. Way different than what I had in mind while making them. I like that. That's my best work in anyway. Some pieces are more of a quick read. Especially many of the commissioned illustrations.
Blair: What do you believe defines your style?
Jeremy: I try to play with opposites a lot, I want to keep things balanced. If I feel like the subject to too macabre I might paint it pink to even it out. I don't know what defines my style honestly. I don't feel like I have one, but other people can always tell what's mine. I see a lot of blogs where people talk about my work, and the optimal word seems to be "creepy." The problem is that don't think my art is creepy, and I don't want it to be. Sadly, I think that's where true creepiness comes from. It's not something you can do at will because it will look contrived. The fact that it's unintentional only makes it more unsettling. I often feel as though my hand is possessed, and it corrupts my drawing ideas into the dark images that fill my portfolio.
Blair: Any challenges faced when creating?
Jeremy: I have many challenges to face when I'm art making. For one, I'm almost always too tired because of a sleeping disorder. I try to power through it. I have to spend a lot of time sleeping, so I don't have very much free time to draw. I'm not a full time artist, I have a full time job, and it makes it very hard to do as much art as I'd like. Also, it seems to be impossible for me to make something that isn't creepy. Every painting starts in my mind as a lovely thought, and is corrupted by the possessed hand. This is debilitating to my illustration career, which requires me to be somewhat versatile. The real money in illustration is in advertising, and there's not too many campaigns who's objective is to give thousands of people the creeps. I could try to adapt to a more commercially digestible style, but I wouldn't be happy. Instead I'm moving towards doing more gallery shows.
Blair: What is the concept behind "Snowman?"
Jeremy: Sometimes I suddenly have an odd idea, and it strikes a chord in me so deep, that I cannot ignore it no matter how random it seems. "Snowman" is one of those pieces. I always try to draw these ideas because often it makes sense to me later. I realized after I made this drawing that this is a very personal piece, and the snowman is actually me. At the time I was completely shut-down emotionally due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following a gun robbery. An ice-man. I was also struggling with making the transition from college to full adulthood. I felt like this, a child trapped in an snowman's body.
Blair: What is the concept behind "Fridge?"
Jeremy: Some pieces I still can't explain, but there's something about the imagery that resonates for me. "Fridge" is one of those. I get stuck creatively, like anyone else, and I have many tactics to overcome it. Writing is one of them. I write about the subject I'm trying to illustrate, or just free-flowing sentences; whatever comes out. "Fridge" came from a short story, or poem I guess, that was about having a see-though girlfriend that lived in my fridge. I thought it was brilliant at the time, but I'm not confident in my writing, so I don't share it with people. It was probably total crap, and the product of a bout of mental illness, but I still like the drawing I did to accompany it.
Blair: What are your hopes for the future?
Jeremy: I hope in future that I'll be making a living as a well-repected artist. I think that's it really. I'm single-minded about my future. That has been my goal my whole life.