There is an augmented reality app i have been messing around with called Artvive. I had commented on a couple of things on their Facebook page and shared some of experiences with them and they asked if they could feature me in the upcoming weeks. I’m not entirely sure what all that entails but I answered their questions in paragraphs below. I thought I would share here in the hopes that some of you may be encouraged. Life can be so hard but it can be so rewarding as well. Check out the app though for real. Its pretty cool what I can do with that.
I had been laid off work and had a book of poetry that I wanted to put art on the pages opposite of the poetry. So I started screwing around with stencils and spray paint and I have been hooked ever since. Someone said I should check out the street painters who were doing galaxies and space paintings. I knew I could do what they were doing so I just started experimenting.
It wasn’t until I fell about 30 feet while hiking and broke my L4, L5 vertebrae, pelvis and my sacrum and found myself in a wheelchair that I started to paint with brushes. A friend asked me what I needed and I said “How about you get me the Bob Ross painting kit.” He did and I fell in love with oil painting.”
The learning curve is steep once you get past the things Bob teaches. It took another major health issue to take the next leap in my artistic growth. I got a disease called Guillain Barre Syndrome and that took away my ability to tend bar and really any other job for going on 5 years now.
These two obstacles at times were enough to make me want to quit. The GBS took its toll mentally, physically, emotionally it took so much from me that at one point I told God I was done. Just take me, I can’ t do this anymore. And I meant it. I remember laying in bed willing myself to die…I tried to die that night but God wasn’t ready for me. There was a period of grieving and then acceptance of what my new reality looked like. I went through a major relationship ending as well and found myself very alone at the start of Covid.
That’s when I found myself as an artist I believe. I just began to consume as much art as possible and produce as much art as possible. There are many people along the way who have helped encourage me both in word and in monetary assistance. I tell people I’m not that talented, I was just too stubborn to quit.
Inspiration comes and goes but my motivation has always seemed to be there. When I get into something I am all the way in. I want to be the best artist I can possibly be and I have so much to learn and improve on that motivation isn’t difficult. Many times I am painting so that I can pay some bills and I don’t like that as a motivator. I believe it cheapens my work. I dream of financial stability so that I would be free to create anything I want without the constraints of a commision or financial compensation being the muse behind the art. Money has never motivated me and that is probably why I don’t have much of it but I’m trying to change that now.
In the last year I became aware of the law of attraction and the concept of thoughts becoming things. So I created some huge goals and dreams and am trying to manifest them now. I am trying to create 2 non profits that I believe will truly change the world. One is to support the mental health of artists, musicians , and comedians. The second will take teams of the above mentioned professions along with social workers, doctors, dentists, urban farming experts , and small business experts into neighborhoods that are struggling. We will breathe hope into them and show them better ways to live and love their neighbors.
Art therapy is what I do everytime I pick up a brush. I didn’t realize it at first. Life had gotten really painful when I first started painting and my first love, the written word, was too painful to do so painting took over all of my creative energy. I was slowly healing myself without even knowing it. Someone I dated once said that I should paint brighter things. I guess it was all dark because that’s what was going on inside me. Now if you look at my art it’s super bright because I’m actively involved in my mental health maintenance. I have a therapist and I see a psychiatrist regularly. Not because I am in a bad place mentally or emotionally but rather this helps to keep things front and center.
Something takes place in the sub-conscious when we create things. I think painting in particular is so good because of the kinetics of moving your hand and your eyes tracking that movement. If I have to really focus because it’s something new I am trying then my brain is active in that creation. There are other times when I know what I am doing and my brain is free to roam and do what it wants because I am comfortable in my creative space. I think both are beneficial.I enjoy abstract painting but have felt like an imposter so I don’t do as much as I would like. Jackson Pollock said that he painted what was inside and the realists were painting what was on the outside..
I agree with him and find the most therapeutic is sometimes just spraying some paint on a big wall or canvas without any preconceived notion of what it will become. My absolute favorite thing is standing before a huge blank canvas and having the knowledge I have all the supplies I need. That’s my idea of a good time these days.
I watch a lot of youtube and came across Artvive, an augmented reality app for artists, and I was just super excited by the potential it has of bringing the viewer into the art. It actually makes the viewer an active participant and that’s what most artists want I think. I immediately saw the potential for Murals that come to life with cartoons jumping around or for a gallery setting maybe a video showing me painting the artwork they are looking at. The options are truly unlimited and I can’t wait to get better at both AR and VR, I just need someone to buy me a VR headset so I can’ begin to work in that space.
I have been working on some mural projects for our downtown Mansfield Rising project. Unfortunately one got postponed due to leaky walls and red tape but I am optimistic that will be resolved soon. So I have a mural in my house that I am always working on and one for my landlord out back that I am also experimenting with Artivive on . The one for my landlord I have been changing seasonally so in the winter the lake was frozen, snow on the ground, etc. I thought it would be cool for people who play cornhole and watch football out there to be able to see all of the different phases it’s been through. The one inside has a goofy but sexy look with Mary Anne and Ginger from Gilligans Island as s well as the Genie from I dream of Jeani. That transitions into a 5th dimension new earth concept I have had in my head. I enjoy story telling in my art. At the end of the day I think that’s what I am and what I will be remembered for. Telling a good story and having some visual representation of it.
I want people to look at a mural or canvas I painted and to be moved emotionally. I’m mostly into good feelings. I don’t want to make someone angry or sad although there are times when those feelings are needed and justified to put into art. For now I just want to be the reason someone smiles and has a better day because of my art.