Tag Archives: disney art

“Topsy Turvy Too”, The Human Condition Series, No. 94

20 Oct

This was a re edit from the original “Topsy Turvy” piece, which was unfortunately rejected due to Mickey’s face being upside down in a right side up silhouette. You can find the original in the “Extra” series. Because I loved the idea of everything being backwards and the story attached to it, I resubmitted it with his face normal, but the background still being similar. Here is the original post.

“Disorientation is the feeling I experience the most in regards to “The Human Condition Series”. I’ve been confused for a large portion of my life as understanding and keeping the information of things learned has always slipped my grasp as a kid. My brain had the hardest time retaining facts and information when I was young, and I always felt like I was spinning in this upside down spiraling void whenever asked to repeat, recite, or simply remember anything.

I used to think that inside everyone’s body was a house. Inside your feet were the basement and rec room, the legs were the study and exercise rooms, the stomach was the kitchen and dining room, the chest was the living room, and the brain was your own bedroom of sorts. Everyday I’d walk around staring at people trying to figure out what their house looked like from the inside, and automatically would associate their personality to the state of their house. The wacky would have funky houses, the prim and proper would have cookie cutter duplexes, and sad and disheveled would have empty and lost rooms awaiting furniture.

Looking inside my own self, I imagined that all the furniture was on the ceiling, and that magazines, coffee cups, and random flotsam and jetsam floated about the room with no gravity, aimlessly clinking into each other with no means of ever settling. All the paintings were backwards, and everything was in a consistent state of how I liked to describe to people as “upside-down-ness”. I suppose this was some kind of coping mechanism to relate to the world that I had attention deficit hyperactive disorder,  and had severe learning disabilities in both math and science.

When teachers would ask “Why can’t you understand this?” or “Why aren’t you retaining this information”, I could only reply that everything in my head was “Topsy Turvy”, and/or more specifically “That none of my furniture is on the floor in my head”, to which would promptly get me sent to the school shrink for my metaphors (which was common). I think for a lot of my life growing up in the microcosm of the school system in Georgia, my ability to relate to people on an educational level, let alone, a social level, was met with great obstacles, due to my inability to retain information. I was always in this state of confusion due to the mass amount of information being fed to me on a daily basis. In essence my imagination was a deterrent to me understanding anything, and therefore became my worst enemy.

With that being said, I was always “TOPSY TURVY”.

I was heavily insecure about this, even after being retested in my senior year and being rebranded as intelligent, heck.. EVEN after becoming an algebra tutor to my peers in college. .. I still had this lingering aftertaste of being inadequate and slow to the world. That feeling of confusion, being overwhelmed, backwards, upside-down.. still floated around softly in my skull tepidly whispering its potential of return. Occasionally in my late twenties and thirties working in business/corporate, I’d be reminded of its ghost, and I’d give it little refuge for establishing itself in my head.

It wasn’t until I fully realized that this confusion, this disorientation, … was more of a sensation from stifling my imagination and creative abilities. When I was discovered as an artist, my ideas emptied out of my head like a burst dam. .. YEARS AND YEARS of dreaming, thinking, drawing, sketching, … previous actions which were hinderances to my learning development, were suddenly rewarded by my quirky and weird thought processes. I wasn’t a failure. I wasn’t slow. In fact, there was nothing wrong with me at all. I just happened to be a human being meant for different things, things that required different thought patterns and different approaches. I was an artist. That was really it in the end.

This piece is called “Topsy Turvy (too)” which is the essential mainframe to confusion and ‘upside-down-ness’. For some of us, this backwards feeling can be quite unsettling, BUT for us creative folks, the idea of changing things around… thinking outside the box, and putting the ‘triangle peg in the square shape” … can be the very RARE quality that makes us catalysts for others to dream, think beyond the scope, and ultimately see and create beautiful things.”

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“ACTIV8 DREAMST8”, Children of the 1980’s Series, No. 87

1 Jun

Activ8 Dreamst8 15x14.5

 

Music was the bright eyed and determined captain of my ship out in the rocky waters of my youth out in Marietta, GA. Whether it be the turbulent carpeted seas of my home, or the tsunami of backlash form my peers.. I often sought to lay in my bed and stare at the ceiling while listening to Kate Bush and wait for the storm to end. In my ears, the siren like sounds would guide me out of my enclosed padded cell of a head, and out into the lush fields of a world yet undiscovered.

Later on, in my teenage years, music became less of an escape, and more of a soundtrack to a life that I learned to control. Through the linear path of my first romances, to my struggle to identify why I was such an outsider among my peers.. Music was this answering pathway to my present and a beacon to carve out my future.

In originally doing the mixtape piece, which was entitled “Rewind the Future”, the mixtapes were originally based on the core characters of Disney. The tapes were labeled with “Goofy’s Glamrock”, “Minnie’s Motown”, and more… and these pieces focused on merging 80’s nostalgia with the love of Disney characters. While I was super happy about this execution,  I decided to go back to make this piece a little more personal.. much like the Loveless Letter’s Series.

I was back out in Athens at the time in December of 2014 interviewing for my MFA at the University of Georgia. It had been a while since I had been back to a place that I previously lived, and the sights and sounds of my old stomping grounds began to sweetly haunt me with flashbacks of my teenage years.

It was here out in Athens, where music was the most important to me. .. as it was here that I ran away from home at 17 from the parking lot infested suburbs of Atlanta, and out into the deep molasses thick humid forested South of North Eastern Georgia. I was a mess of emotions from leaving home, and consistently had my headphones on while I got a ride to and from work. Sometimes, I couldn’t get a ride home, and would walk 7 miles down from the 2300 block of Broad Street (HWY 78) to an apartment off of Cedar Shoals Drive on the East Side. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate the walk whatsoever, and in fact preferred to walk 2 hours with my walkman blaring different sounds that I loved. It was a chance to get out of my head, clear my weird path, and wonder about the strange and different future of a freedom I didn’t know how to handle.

20+ years later, here I was, back after my time out on the Northeast, Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and the West Coast… and all those memories came flooding back. I arrived with unfinished Mickey’s rolled up and poking out of in my backpack like a deranged man with a bagpipe strapped to his back..

The last time I was here… REALLY living here, was back in those days when music was my savior.. and I went back to all those mix tapes that I made as a kid… and they were like entries in journals masked into sound, with intricate details of little stories drawn on each cassette. . I decided to take these cassettes, and went through a youtube rabbit hole per se, while recreating a new Mickey based off of the time when music was my greatest saving grace.

Inside the Mickey you will read:

Athens, Georgia. Pulaski Heights. December 27th, 2014

“20.5 years ago I threw garbage bags that served as luggage out my bedroom window. I was 17 and running away from home. Below my window was 2 friends and a pick up truck that drove me 76.8 miles to Athens, Georgia. Armed with a Mickey Mouse back pack and a fist full of dollars and dreams I carved out my new life in this magical country town. I was a telemarketer in a trailer off of broad street. i sold magazines to the masses, and would come home with the sound of the telephone ringing in my subconscious … so many years.. so many cities have gone by in that time.. home has become such a relative term, and I’m back here for the holidays. My heart is in knots from the southern self that i’ve lost. I see myself as that lost kid wandering down Cedar Shoals Drive with Mickey by my side, wanting to see the world. and now that I’ve seen the world, all I want to see is home. Soon there will be a shift, a rift in space for my home.”

This is the last of the Children of the 80’s series, and is number 87 in the collection.

(Note: Fixing Subconscious spelling issue)

“Still Life With Mountains”, Geometric Spectrum Series, No. 52

8 Apr

"Still Life With Mountains"

As I grow closer to the close of this series, my ideas on symmetry, the VERY foundation of this chapter, grows further and further away from my safety zones. I suppose I have become sentimental about the progress of my work throughout this project now that I’ve gone past 60 pieces. This is primarily because I have seen such exponential growth in my aesthetic as this project unfolds. I never knew just how far this project would take me, but when you think about it, that this is a project where you really have to think beyond your normal scope to make this face unique and different each time… well when I look back, its just incredible that it has happened.

This piece was originally going to be about the emotion of ‘Insanity’ but as this unfolded at my desk in my San Francisco studio, I realized that this vision had to be expanded for a geometric piece instead. I felt that working in anything but this pattern would be a disservice to the piece, and began to saturate the entirety of the canvas in this fashion.

This is called “Still Life with Mountains”, and is a landscape breakdown in geometric form of mountain ranges of different colors that zipper and kaleidoscope around  and inside  his face. It is a blend of chaos and calculation in a primary color scale that make up a geometric foundation for the series. This is the 9th in the “Geometric Spectrum Series” and No. 60 in the TENxTENxTEN collection

“Double Dragon”, Extra Series, No. XX

7 Apr

'Double Dragon'

It is quite hard to explain in entirety about my love for the movie “Sleeping Beauty”. It is easy to talk about a subject with minimal points about something I appreciate, because there is so little to talk about, but when it comes to this film.. I am absolutely tongue tied because there is so much to talk about.

As a child I was fascinated with this film primarily for the antagonist Maleficent, who single handedly taught me the art of sarcasm. While on one hand I was terrified by her ruthless antics against Princess Aurora, I was also simultaneously captivated by her cool demeanor. For years I strived to find a compelling villain that rivaled the characterization of Maleficent, and still at 35, cannot find a character that comes close.

As an adult I fell further in love with this film for the art stylings of Eyvind Earle, whose geometric bliss of backgrounds saturated my youthful artistic mind with such possibility. His stylings were so ahead of its time, and his vision in this film makes this not just an incredible animated piece, but a progressive ‘out of this world’ foundation of artistic genius.

In this piece, entitled “Double Dragon”, Maleficent is shown in creature form mirrored on both sides of the canvas to represent a sense of ‘no escape’ and ‘clutches of evil’ aspect to the protagonists in the middle. However in the epicenter of the painting, Aurora and Prince Phillip are in a silhouetted embrace of love, creating an explosion that radiates out to the edges of the canvas. Furthermore, the power of love ultimately splits the foundation of Maleficent’s power, creating deepening cracks to signify her destruction.

This is the 2nd in the Disney History Series, and 59th in the TENxTENxTEN collection.

“Forevermore”, The Human Condition Series, No. 51

5 Apr

"Forevermore"

Love is the incredible psychic adhesive that glues us all together.

It is complex and vast in its mystical workings, and for the life of me, one of the hardest emotions to piece together as a painting. When doing the “Human Condition Series”, emotions of greed, despair, and confusion were the easiest to put together, as these primarily worked as surface agents that, from a visual perspective, were easy to explain. Love, in all its circuitous glory, was far more intimidating to create, as it relied on my understanding on emotional depth, .. and I had to dive deep into the random crazy scribblings that I prescribe myself in these workings to fundamentally explain the sinewy fabrications of an emotion I have chased for years.

This piece is composed of dozens of phrases that ultimately construct the cloud 9 consciousness that love emits. In the face, items of music, flowers, and catchphrases bloom from the center of the face. There are radiating circumferences of pink and black that pulsate to the outer edges of the piece, signifying that frequency like signal that the feeling of love emits… almost as if Mickey is radio tower broadcasting waves of joy and happiness to all that is in reach.

This started out in Seattle Washington at a wedding on Capitol Hill during Valentines Day, and was worked on a flight back to San Francisco, and various diners and locations all over SF as well.

This piece is entitled “Forevermore” as in reference to happily ever after we, as humans, chase throughout our lives. It is the 8th in “Human Condition” series, and 58th in the TENxTENxTEN collection.