I’m actually kind of proud of this update because it’s not exactly late or overdue… just a ton has happened in the past week or so. Really exciting, actually. If I have seemed quiet or distant from you on a personal level it’s because I have just been crazy busy lately.
Anyways, onto the stuff.
My latest digital art piece, “Mote”
“Mote” was my first big local collaboration; myself, Melissa Thurber,Skye Sabrina Zimmerman, Lauren Nicole Brownlow, Dawn Newton and Rachel Healy collaborated together on this piece. They all shot the original model (Skye) and Melissa sent me 4 pictures to choose from to run with. It was an interesting idea; she gave me complete freedom on the project and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I hope we can all work together more in the future!
You can see a “Making Of” video of “Mote” here:
“Tragyk” Mask Series on display at the Northwest Florida Arts Association’s Art Lair
Here’s something I kept almost entirely off of the internet: the fact that I was making masks for an art exhibit. It’s very rare that I experiment outside of my normal digital art medium and I wanted it to be special.
A little bit of backstory… I actually came up with the idea for the exhibit the masks would display in: “Reveal Yourself.” When I say “I came up with it” I mean it in the most American form of the word; I saw it somewhere and wanted to do my own version. I was watching the George Romero movie Bruiser (one of my fav’s, the Misfits are in it, I mean come on) and I thought the “party” scene would be a fantastic idea for an art exhibit. I pitched it to Brandi Lee and she loved it and I think I pitched it to Angel Agagas as well, and then finally went to Holly with it and it was a go.
We had a lot of internal debates regarding the show: how to judge it, how to keep uniformity, ceramic or plastic masks, etc. A lot of people were afraid no one would enter because we were now asking people to pay for masks but this never concerned me and I never feared it. Artists are people that embrace challenge and $5 is easily worth an exciting artistic challenge; I’m glad to see I was proven right. The turn out was fantastic! Thank you to everyone who came out, it was a fantastic reception and I had a great time!
I wasn’t sure how my masks would turn out or what I would use to make them. The whole concept is foreign to me. Angel and I went to AC Moore and cleaned them out. I bought 4 and she bought 2; I also bought one little half mask because I wanted to test. Test what? Shit if I know… I’ll sort that out later!
Angel gave me a bag of random supplies she felt I could use; a few paint brushes, a few paint kits, a big tube of black paint, big tube of red paint, a pencil, and eraser, and glitter. Yep, glitter.
That night I went home and started doodling on the small mask, testing to see if a sharpie would write on the masks. The sharpie proved to be a success.
I was sitting there looking at it and I lit a stick of incense with a butane lighter I had and then I realized the masks were made of plastic… as a kid I used to love melting plastic toys (to the surprise of no one…) so I was quite practiced in the art of melting shit.
I decided to give it a shot so I went out on my balcony and tried burning it…
I LOVED this result. I texted it to a bunch of friends, in particular Charles. Then this conversation transpired…
Charles: Fire reveals character. Amazing work.
Brandon: I need a fucking blow torch.
Charles: I have a mini one
Brandon: may need to skip that and just invest in an Aliens style flame thrower, man.
Charles: You’re scaring me. If you want the small one, let me know.
Brandon: Dude for realsies? Sure. Im down lol
Charles: Ok…ill try to remember to give it to angel in the morning
Brandon: Oh shit yeah son.
Charles: I will fuel your fire
Brandon: Im the firestarter! Twisted firestarter!
Charles: Fear addicted danger illustrated
Brandon: That was a damn good album, man.
Brandon: I had a poster of that album cover on my wall. Real talk.
Charles: Agreed…we are a jilted generation.
Yeah okay maybe I could have cut that convo off but that shit made me laugh so I’m putting it here. Charles, you rock man. You rock.
So then I had a blowtorch. Awesome. Fucking awesome. A BLOWTORCH, MAN. YEAH.
I couldn’t wait to try it. I drew out a quick sketch of how I wanted it to be…
Then I broke out the blowtorch!
Let it cool down and painted it…
Then more blowtorch!
So one mask was definitely finished and I was very proud of it! I loved it! It gave me the confidence I needed to make 3 more.
The next mask was just sort of jumped into. I wanted to test what happened to the mask if I painted it before burning it…
I thought that was a really cool effect. On the next mask I wanted to try melting various things over the mask…
I melted caution tape, sharpies and jelly wrist bracelets over it. Then I poured glitter all over it because damnit, Angel gave it to me so I’m going to use it!
On a side note, black sharpies burn like CRAZY when you cut them open. The black metallic ones burn neon green and blue. Really beautiful, actually. I mean it sucks when you’re not expecting it and it’s fucking EVERYWHERE but in a controlled situation it’d be amazing to photograph.
The final mask I wanted to try and combine everything I had learned with the previous masks. I drew the design first…
Then I burned it with the blowtorch…
Then I painted it… this was the most elaborate painting I did on any of the masks…
Then I burned it again!
Finally at the show, I actually won 2nd Place!
So that is my Tragyk series. The masks are on display right now at the Northwest Florida Arts Association’s Art Lair in Downtown Fort Walton Beach, Florida. It is a part of the “Reveal Yourself” show that is on display until February 11, 2012. Stop by and check them out!
I may do more masks in the future. I really had a blast making these. Plus… Charles got me a blowtorch for Christmas!
Northwest Florida Arts Association Art Week Photoshop Class
My class at the NWFLAA’s Art Week went very well.Thank you to everyone that came out! The class was a lot of fun and I look forward to teaching more in the future.
“Warthog Shot Dead By Canon”
This part weekend I joined the NWFLAA Photography Group on their journey to the Gulf Breeze Zoo. I haven’t been to a zoo since I was a kid so I was excited to join my friends on this adventure. It was early as hell (had to get up at 6) but it was fun. On 2 hours of sleep, Charles and Angel picked me up from my apartment and we were off!
We got to the zoo right as it opened and met up with Holly, the Photography Group leader, and the other photographers. We purchased our tickets for the zoo and the train ride and went to check out the animals.
Honestly… zoos are WAY crazier than I remember as I kid. We saw a Warthog fall over, spasm and die in front of us. We were then asked to leave the area. It was interesting watching the reaction of the cougar in the next cage… the predatory nature never fully leaves us, no matter how calm we may seem on the outside. It was really fascinating to watch. No children were around for the Warthog incident and the staff responded immediately and took care of everything professionally. By no means was it a negative experience; the Gulf Breeze Zoo and their staff are great. It’s just… you know… the Circle of Life? Yep. Went Lion King on it. It happened.
The animals were so friendly and into people, though. The llamas, goats, monkeys, all of them really seem excited to be around people. Maybe it was because they just opened so they all thought we might have food but it was really cool.
Here are some random pictures I took with my cell phone. Yes, my cell phone. I took my Canon 50D and my camera bag and I think I took 10 pictures with it and never touched it again. I haven’t even looked at the pictures. I really don’t consider myself a photographer. However I had a great time with the group and the zoo kicked ass.
Thanks for reading. My goal for next month is to get a much nicer comment system working on this website so hopefully some discussion can start here.