Detailed further in below sections
Arbitration on my big client that stopped paying everyone ended with me receiving only a fraction of what I was owed, creating a huge financial panic. (once again.)
Began further exploration into animated, performative illustrations.
Subset to the above: using my first illustration for a mural project.
Fell HARD into architectural rendering. started to look for ways to cross this with #1.
Continued mastering repair and operation of risograph printing presses.
Growing Grapes in Oklahoma, Revisited.
Mother’s Day, Revisited.
A Character I designed was turned into a 30ft tall “Muffler Man” statue on Route 66.
Tickets to Norway arranged.
Growing concern about thesis
Readings, Semester 3 Packet 1:
Writing for the Design Mind, Natalia Ilyin— about halfway through this and just starting on it’s exercises. By far the book i’ve been most absorbed in, and it’s fantastic. But you knew that.
Notes on a Foreign Country, An American Abroad in a Post-American World— Finished and re-read, this book gives the clearest idea of what it’s like to be born American and to transition part of who you identify as to something not-American, to become a partial foreigner, and to understand america and American Financial Imperialism from the outside. Absolutely STUNNING, you MUST READ this book.
Writing & Graphic Design, Ian Lynam
Cannibals, Ian Lynam
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge
Delusions of Gender, Cordelia Fine
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon— A work of fiction written by a person with Asperger’s telling the story of a person who also has Asperger’s trying to solve a crime of a murdered pet dog, and how their reactions to a situation as such is received, considered, and reacted to in a way neurotypical people find difficult to understand. This book has personal resonance for me.
Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud— this book, and Scott McCloud himself, are constantly derided and spurned by the illustration and comics communities I know. So far, I’m unsure as to why, though I’m only about half way through.
Teaching Design, Meredith Davis— Still making my way through this one from last semester.
From Vines to Wines, Jeff Cox— Important guide to the growing of grapes that I have undertaken in planting a tiny vinyard next to my tiny house. I drive a Mini Cooper too, so laugh it up, microphobes.
01. Arbitration concluded, a dire situation colors all
From Feb 2018 onward, I was working under a scope contract for a large non-profit arts organization in Tulsa. It was set up as a year’s worth of work for one discounted lump sum, divided into monthly payments that were essentailly 2/3 of my regular income. This form of contract has been very well received by both myself and clients, as the workload for an organization like this one is often unbalanced— the majority of the work is done within a 2-3 month period in the late summer— and so dividing the payments up allows for the designer a predictable and steady income each month no matter the number of hours worked, and it prevents the organization from having to write any massive lump sum checks. The only problem I have ever encountered is when there is a change of staff at the organization, and the new contact cannot grasp that a scope contract is not a retainer— so when a slow work month comes around, they complain that they are paying me for not doing more hours, and question why they are cutting checks when they are not receiving new jobs (when in fact any checks they are writing are actually still paying off work done in the weeks before.)
In January, upon my return from Oslo, I was supposed to have payments received from all of december. I was told by the director that they were late, but would get them to me asap. By february, the director informed me that the organization wasn’t intending to pay me until I could verify all of my hours worked, all the jobs completed, etc. This is unusual for a scope contract, but luckily I keep a rigorous work diary in spreadsheet form, tracking hours logged, quoted, dates, times, etc. After which the organization indicated I had completed the work but that they didn’t intend to pay me for the work I had done because money was tight, and asked to cancel the rest of the work on the scope of the contract— all of which I was almost completed with. So I refused to complete or deliver further work until back payment was received— at this point I had done three months of work that the organization was actively using that I had not been paid for. I came to find out that the organization had stopped paying all artists associated with it.
Long story short, we negotiated and went to arbitration and it was decided that I was in fact owed the money as per our contract, but upon completion of arbitration the only money I received was $1k for the nearly $10k of work provided.
This has caused a crisis in my freelancing career, essentially putting me in a Triple-Fucked situation: for three months, I was doing work i was unpaid for, during that period I was turning away new work, and in the aftermath I have to work double time for three months to fill the hole left from not having income from Dec-March. Unfortuantely, turning away new clients for this unpaid work also fully killed my client momentum, so for the first time in years I have not had any significant or income for almost 5 months, with one exception. I have no savings, no retirement. I’ve been broke and unsupported my whole life, and it seems determined to continue that way. I am in a dire situation.
02 & 03. Illustrations that move; picking up where Semester 2 left off
The endpoint of last semester was a beginning point for a new body of work, Performative moving illustrations. To that end, I have begun the first composition of three subject discussed during my last residency: making snow cones out of an iceberg. Or, as I’m titling it: Making Molehills out of Icebergs, essentially, as i scoop up little bits of stuff that is probably trauma to pretend like I’ve processed the things I’ve seen in my life. I’ve been setting this up as a 30ft Mural for Habit Fest in Tulsa, happening this weekend. I intend to stop motion animate the actual painting of the wall as I go.
Speaking of animation, the week of my return from residency my primary illustration platform, ProCreate, added the ability to expert directly to animated movie/gif files, making more traditional cel-style animation extremely easy to produce. Heretofore I have simply recorded a time-lapse of my illustration strokes, which I could control in a performative ‘Zen Sand Mandala” way, but this allows more possibilities to open up— I like the time lapses, but fiding a way to mix the types of time-based drawing could provide a unique output.
And just so this can live somewhere on the Immortal Interwarbs:
04. I guess I’ll be an architect, too?
I’ve long suspected that I’m not really an artist, or really creative at all— but maybe I am a tinkerer. I don’t really care what I’m called, I just like playing with systems. I love the feeling of carving things out of measurements, and if i’m going to have to bring any new, additional things into the already stretched physical plane of existence, I should be producing practical and useful objects. Like, you know, houses. I am smitten with architecture, always have been, and designing and building my tiny house was surely one of the most fulfilling things i’ve ever done. But the scratch is once again itching, and I have taken to teaching myself architectural 3D design and rendering software. Ive started numerous new projects, but below is an updated, upsized version of my 160sq/ft house that I presently live in. The Video is a tour through the actual building software, Sketchup Pro for Architecture, and then the gallery filled with renderings showing thr progress of the build. I’ve created 5 other similar structures, including a to-scale model of the interior of my present house, for the sake of remodelling.
Beyond just practical design for structures, I also found a way to export my renderings to an Illustrator-friendly vector format, opening up possibilities for art making, and crossing into my above animated illustrations. I’m not sure how this will work, but I see a lot of potential for the time and structure based mediums I’m wishing to move further into.
05. and back to being a printmaker, also?
I’ve told myself I retired from printmaking; it was too costly both physically and emotionally to continue with being a woodcut and letterpress printer. But something about layered printing processes keep calling me back to it, and since I share a wall with Flash Flood Print Studios, owned by my friend May Yang, and she’s been picking up Risos (4 in fact) on the uber cheap, I’ve been repairing them and falling in love with their weirdo Vandercook-meets-silkscreen-meets-copier souls. Oh, and FLUORESCENT INK OMG. I re-tooled an illustion I made earlier this year and it works so smoothly, so easily, that I’m going to continue being Flash Flood’s Riso Guy.
01B. Mother’s Day
I wrote the following for mothers day.
02B. Buck Atom
I designed a character that got turned into a giant-ass statue on Rte. 66
04B. going home to Norway!
I will be in Norway from July 10 through August 17th!
05B. The Grapes have returned, sans wrath, in oklahoma. Oh and also North Carolina.
Ask me why this is important, because it is. Did a research trip to a vineyard in Albemarle, North Carolina.