Independent artists are often left to their own devices when it comes to management of their income streams and business choices, and without some guidance, they may find themselves twisting in the wind.
In my 20 years as an artist I’ve presented/ sold/ exhibited my own craft, been a hired freelancer for others, and worked in arts administration/ education/ retail/ exhibition spaces. I have found ways to survive and live a comfortable life for my family as an independent artist, and wanted to make a course that could help others along their path. I know exactly what it is like to leave art school and think “what now?”, having paid student loans to learn a trade that has no apparent career path.
Fortunately, we live in a time where an individual, independent artist can be in touch with a worldwide audience, apply for support from a network of artist grants and residencies, have access to public studio spaces or create worlds entirely from their own home digital tools – we cover these options and more for the independent artist in this course.
It’s the end of the most magical time of the year- also the time when you can pick up cool and funky LED holiday lighting to use in your own creative photo and video shoots! I show you some psychedelic samples of my own work using Christmas lasers, as well as other surreal lighting classics from James Bond to Frank Ockenfels 3 and Dan Winters.
One of my most frequently used apps is Adobe Spark Post. Every YouTube video or tutorial on Skillshare needs a well-designed cover, every Instagram or Facebook announcement could use a cleanly designed text component to catch the attention of a viewer. Adobe Spark Post has an array of easy-to-use design features that allow me to quickly comp and arrange elements without having to bust out Photoshop on my big boy computer. There’s a resize feature which automatically creates designs suitable for your actual output- say, “YouTube thumbnail” instead of “1920x1080px”- great for less tech savvy people, such as my wife, who see the word “pixel” and fall into a coma.
Cartoon “me” created with Adobe Character Animator!
I heard a song I instantly fell in love with this week. It’s “Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane” by Australian alternative band Gang of Youths, with lyrics detailing a dream where the singer is married with a child, happy as “pigs rolled in shit,” and during a rainy run to get groceries the singers’ family skids off the road and he has to go ID the bodies in the morgue, at which point the dream ends. The chorus implores the listener to get past their negative thoughts, inspired by a Charles Bukowski quote “as the spirit wanes the form appears.” Musically I think it’s closest to a major key “Comfortably Numb”, slow and epic with classical flourishes.
This week I’m moving out of the fashion photo/ video studio and refocusing the kind of art I make or want to make, and picking sign posts of inspiration that will see what I do in the next year or two years- this song is one of those sign posts. It’s elevating a personal fear and concern, challenging it and elevating it to this amazing level of craft and sharing the story in a polished form.
Let me tell you how I did rear projection in this indie film project with model Kaila Stone and stylist/ mua Lux Tango, shot in my studio in Tempe Arizona! We took huge influence from James Bond, Danger Diabolik and the amazing Danger 5 tv show.