Reid Jenkins2018-05-21T13:15:30+00:00
2018-09-09T23:17:04+00:00

Motivating Factor

Motivating Factor

 

I feel like I’ve been reaching forever, but what else can I do? I’m finally at a point in my career where the paintings I’m producing are the best they’ve ever been consistently. During this pathway of working to become a professional artist the last 13 yrs. has had its ups and downs. I lost my house, been unemployed, at times worked two jobs, got married to a wonderful woman and gained a child, watched my first baby be born. I’ve gone from showing in restaurants and bars to showing in galleries, realized I wanted to be a painter not an illustrator, lost friends and three cars. I mean those are just normal things, right? All on this quest to become a professional artist.  And then my grandfather died.

It changed my perspective on things. It seems like when we had conversations all he always said in some form or fashion was that he believed in me. With his death was kind of the whole awakening that time is fleeting and that we are here to enjoy one another and enjoy the process of life, the pain with the joy. I stopped hesitating. I mean time is constantly passing and you never know when your time is going to come. You’ve got to take chances. People are always so self-defeating, saying that they can’t do something, saying that you can’t do something or that you’ll never be able to make a living doing what you want to do to make a living. And really that’s all bullshit. People are always doing things others said they couldn’t. It’s like a rebellious attitude. It’s just whether you want to put the work in. No one said the journey will be easy but if it’s worth doing you will stay with it. I mean if you’re willing to buy a lotto ticket then you should be willing to bet on yourself. So, for me my motivation is to be able to make my life work the way I want it to work. It’s actually just that simple. It took me a long time to understand that if you want your life to be a certain way, own it, then figure out how to do it.

2018-09-09T23:15:06+00:00

Don’t forget to back it up.

Don’t forget to back it up.

 

I had the misfortune the other day to have my phone lost i.e., someone stole it. Now, that would suck for anybody for in today’s times, it’s practically your life. I mean for myself it has all my clients’ contacts on it as well as reference photos and more importantly the pictures of my children. I felt lost. I haven’t backed up my phone in a few months, so everything I have there was gone. It’s one of the most devastating feelings you can have. But I there was a silver lining, I did get my phone back. When my boss tried to call me a police officer picked up and said that she had my phone. Do I know how she got it? No idea, but I got it back.  After a day and a half without it I was breathing easier.

However, I think an important part of the experience was that I kind of enjoyed not having a phone. Yeah, I was sad that I had lost some of the things on it, but I wasn’t checking my phone every two seconds either for work or for text messages, etc. It made me just enjoy being.

So, lesson of the day: make sure you back up your phone for you may not get it back. And maybe, just maybe, once in a while you should ‘lose’ your phone in your dresser drawer.

2018-09-09T19:52:23+00:00

Always be ready for reference.

Always be ready for reference.

 

I use a lot of reference photos in my work. There’s nothing better than taking your own photos so that you can get exactly what you want. But then there are moments. Those reference photos are things in life that you happen upon. These are images of life that will be gone in a short amount of time. You must be ready to see these and capitalize on the situation; be ready to get that photo.

This came to my mind the other day when I was at my parents. I was under the car port and heard a loud crash. I walked around the house to find that a huge part of the neighbor’s tree had broken off, crashed into a stop sign and now filled the entire road. So, I pulled my phone out and began to take photos. No, I don’t know what I will use them for, or if I ever will. However, those photos may spark an idea or concept and I have them to use as a reference.

 

 

2018-09-09T19:46:31+00:00

Life is strange.

Life is strange.

There are events that have happened during my career that seem to be WOW moments. Like when I sold my first piece, getting into a magnet program for the arts, getting into art college. These are some of those milestones that made me sit back and think, WOW I might be getting better at this whole art career. Well I happened had one of those moments over the weekend.

A few months back I had a piece purchased, for the direct intent of being put up for auction to raise money for a good cause. To be honest I had forgotten about it until I opened my email the other day. I received an email from someone who purchased the piece, and was asking if it was mine, and if I could tell her a little bit more about the piece. So, we began a conversation with a little bit more about the piece. She then responded the next day about how much she enjoyed it and how everybody likes it when they walk into her house It just brightens their whole attitude and the atmosphere of the home. If you had told me a couple years ago that I would get an email from someone in California who purchased my work, I would’ve said, “No.” But it did happen and it’s a WOW.

These are the moments that push you to develop your career and to become even better. It is a moment of validation; it says that you are on the right path. You should always be mindful of those things that happen for the first time to be appreciative that you have that WOW moment.

 

2018-09-09T19:44:32+00:00

Be careful what you wish for

Be careful what you wish for

 

There is a saying “Be careful what you wish, because you might just get it.” It means that your wish fulfilled might not be everything you thought it would be. What if it’s your dream? Do you even care about getting the negative side if it’s your dream and passion?

I have heard some artists who have been established for some time complain that being a fulltime artist isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. That it’s work, that those artists working toward being a fulltime artist won’t want it if they had it. They complain about the negative much of the time.

In my opinion they have forgotten the dream. For myself, I’m still working for the dream. I would much rather have the problems of working as a fulltime artist, than spending the hours I put in at my day job, just to pursue my art. They have forgotten the struggle or were lucky enough not to have to. The struggle of working a 9 to 5 that drains your energy, wastes your time, is the sacrifice they put in to have that dream job. They say being a fulltime artist is work; that they just don’t get to make art all day. My response is usually, “What did you think it would be?” I would much rather do the extra work as a fulltime artist, than work a 9 to 5 where there is no way up, that makes you miserable. All I’m saying is that if your career as an artist has taken off to the point where it is all you do, be thankful that the work that you have put in paid off, and if you’re not thankful/happy, maybe it’s not what you should be doing.

2018-09-03T16:32:00+00:00

A case of mistaken identity

A case of mistaken identity

Now I’m in Greece and I am attempting to paint on the island of Santorini. Now Santorini is a tourist Island. It said to have one the most beautiful sunsets in the world. With that being said, it has a strange port where crew ships come in and out dropping off tourists. This happens all day.  In order for the people getting off to get to the hotels they have to travel up a long steep path. They can hire donkeys to carry their things as this is how hard of a hike it is.  For some reason one morning I get up and I say I’m going to go down there and find a place to paint. I wander down the path about halfway and set up painting. About an hour into painting a landscaping. A boat of Japanese tourists start get off the boat. I really don’t think anything of this until one comes up to me I am asks if I can pose for a photo. I only knew this because the gestures that they were making, and the continuing phrase of Greek artist. I attempted to tell them know I’m not a Greek artist. But that only seem to be fruitless. So, I concede to them and stand up for photo. The group of tourists, which maybe numbered around 17, begin to crowd around me for a photo with me. Then one of them grabbed somebody walking up the path and asked him to take a photo of all of us. Which was cool. The photo is taken and I think it’s over at this point, one nice group photo everybody can share it and we’re done, right? No, this is just the beginning, each one of them want to stand next to me and have their own photo taken with me, which took up about 20 minutes. It’s hard to explain what it felt like, but it must be similar to being a character at Disney World (although they expect it). In the end, a case of mistaken identity, made me go from an artist painting in Greece, to a Greek artist.

 

2018-09-03T16:30:00+00:00

Once upon a time

Once upon a time

Once upon a time I painted in Greece. This was back in 2007. I had been working for a few years out of school, trying to figure out how I was going to make a living as an artist. I had just started really dabbling in painting but I realized I really didn’t know how to paint. However, I enjoyed doing it and thought this might be the type of work that I would really enjoy doing for the rest of my life. If I wanted to continue I’d need to push myself. Then, as if by Providence, in the mail came a brochure for continuing studies from the arts college I attended. There were different study abroad programs and the one for Greece was a painting program. So, I did what I don’t know that most artists would do, well I can’t really say for sure because I don’t know, but maybe I had such a desire to be in paint that I thought this was the best opportunity for me to try to really learn. So, I signed up and a few months later hopped a plane to Greece. This experience would be what really cemented to myself that I want to be a painter. It only took me to go halfway around the world, to show me. Honestly, it’s really the chances you take that allow you to chase your dreams. It’s when those opportunities that arise and that you seize them that make the dream come true. Whether you succeed or fail really doesn’t matter, it’s the chances you take try to grab onto that golden ring of what you want your life to be. And for me Greece will forever be the place that helped me to believe in me and gave me a clear vision of what I’m going to be.

 

2018-09-03T16:27:11+00:00

Why is the painting upside down?

Why is the painting upside down?

 

“Oh man!? It freaks me out when you do that.” That’s my mom‘s response almost every time she sees me working on a painting upside down. Personally, I find it hilarious. She doesn’t know how I work even though I’ve explained a few times why I do it. Simply put, sometimes it’s easier to paint a section with the canvas in a different position, i.e. on its side or upside down. This can allow you to make marks to construct an area the way you wish to make them just a little bit easier. It also allows you to see how well the composition of the piece is balanced. I’ve been doing it for I don’t know how long. OK, maybe I do. When I was in high school one of my art teachers saw me working out a piece and struggling to make my marks the way I wanted them. I just remember him saying why don’t you turn the canvas? I looked at him for a moment perplexed. Then he proceeded to grab the canvas and turn it upside down. He reached over grabbed my brush and made the mark that I was struggling to make. So ever since then I rotate my canvases while I work. That was the beginning of me flustering my mother every time she sees me working on the canvas upside down.

2018-08-27T21:20:27+00:00

overthink

overthink

Don’t overthink it! Sounds simple right? But at times it’s probably the hardest thing to do. At times life can be so overwhelming that you drown in trying to find an answer. Artists often do this with their work which can lead to many issues in their career.
As an artist you’re always seeking to make your next work better than the last piece. That can be a lot of pressure. It can lead to overworking a piece, which can be very self-defeating, destroying the simplicity which is found within. That can lead to procrastination and avoidance of tasks because what you’re doing isn’t working out. So, how do you not overthink?
Simply put, sometimes overthinking is acting without thought. One might think that contradicts everything that I just said, but does it? Taking the time to look at what you are doing and reflecting upon it can bring clarity. Which means overthinking is acting on instinct instead of intent. To reflect and avoid acting on instinct start with making a list. This in and of itself can bring clarity to what needs to be done and allows you to focus. You see, most of the time people overthink things because they fail to plan. Planning out what you intend to get done gives you a blueprint. Now is that the say that you won’t feel overwhelmed? No. But it will allow you to focus, and not overthink it. Just do what’s there.

 

2018-08-19T22:05:41+00:00

Intent

Intent

“What is the artist trying to say? What was their intent?” These questions are used to derive a deeper meaning of a piece of artwork by the viewer. However, how often does the Artist review their own work?  Did they carry over their original intent, or did the piece take on a different meaning because of their inner voice as it was created?
In the beginning the artist can create whatever they wish so the question arrives, “What to paint?” This is where the development of intent is born. It starts with the planning and the layout of a piece. These are things that give an artist the parameters to start, the beginning constructs of a piece, with intent before the execution.
Now you might say that’s the hard part, coming up with the concept, but is it? As a friend recently said to me, that’s the easy part. The next part is where the technique is applied and honed and the piece acquires a certain aesthetic. During this time is also the development of the unknown occurs as the whispers of the inner voice help to shift and mold the work. This is where the original intent is disrupted. Does that change the meaning of the work?
Absolutely! When the work is finished it is important for the artist to reflect upon the piece and dissect it. Attempting to remove the original intent and examine only what is in front of you. This allows the artist to figure out what they are truly trying to say.

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