PART 1: The Dream Bucket
As an artist, I am in a state of constantly striving to attain new skills, new levels of artistic knowledge, new elements to add to and refine my style.
Most of my artistic goals are purely for my own sake. I want to have a better understanding of colour, of light, of form. I want to continue to grow, to never rest on former achievements and to always seek out new things. This is all in aid of me becoming a better artist, for the pure purpose of creating more interesting and, hopefully, more beautiful art.
But some of my goals are more to do with the world outside of my own head. I may want to see some piece of mine in a certain place, reaching this audience, or that buyer. These goals are more tied into ego, but are also bound to a willing desire to be successful through creative production, to make a living out of making art that people like. Egotistical, yes. But it's also about communicating beauty, expressing emotion, making tangible things that people may like to look at.
It's kinda like a cake, I guess. Each one I make is hopefully a little tastier than the last, with better decorations and a nicer consistency. Part of me wants to bake to show off how good I am at it, but the other part, the far greater part, is all about sharing the cake with people. They might be hungry, they might not be. They may like the cake, they may not. One bite might be enough for some, others might come back for more. All I can do is just keep making cakes, and hope that I find enough people hungry for them. But if I don't... well, I'm more than happy to eat the cakes myself. I like cake.
So anyway, I've got goals in both respects. Personal and commercial. Let's have a look at my big goals in these areas:
- I want to be proficient with oil paints. They are, to me, the pinnacle of all artistic mediums.
- I want to be able to depict closely, through paint, images I see in my mind.
- I want to sculpt more Faerie Stones and make other crafty things.
- I want to get good at plein air painting.
- Same with portraiture.
- I would dearly love to attend the IMC (Illustration Master Class) some year. That's where the best fantasy artists go to party and learn heaps of stuff from other best fantasy artists in the world. It costs US$2,500 just to attend it though. So that's an 'if I win the lottery' one.
- I would love to visit a couple of artists at their homes to chat and have a drawing session with them. Alan Lee, Brian Froud, Larry MacDougall, Jean-Baptiste Monge and old buddy Bart Sears, I'm talking about you!
- If Muddy Colors were to ask me to become a contributor, or if Drawn Today wanted me to chime in on the odd podcast, I'd agree to that quite quickly.
- Mostly, I just want be successful enough to enable me to pursue my own artistic dreams and ambitions. I don't need huge amounts of money for that, just enough to get by and be happy.
- First and foremost, I want my Realms of Faerie books to some day get published. This will allow me to die happy.
- I want to have my artwork appear on at least one actual Magic: The Gathering card. I'd prefer it to be a green card, and an Elf one if it can be arranged...
- I'd like to have at least one painting appear in a Dungeons & Dragons manual. A Pathfinder one would be sweet also.
- I want to get a piece approved for inclusion into that wondrous annual tome, Spectrum. I'm aiming to send something for consideration for #22, out late next year.
- I want to do something with my The Circle story.
- I'd be cool with having a booth at something like Illuxcon or Dragon Con. I wouldn't even have to sell much, it'd still be an unforgettable experience.
- I'd like to do an exhibition of my work and do the whole fancy opening night thing. As silly as all of that sounds to me.
- A Tolkien book cover assignment would be nice.
- Illustrating a new edition of The Wind in the Willows would be great too.
So the next post is going to be all about how I plan to reach those goals and may contain some medium-to-large bits of news. But before I close out this post, here's some recent Life Drawing work I've done: