New Skillshare Creative Tutorials Posted!

I’ve just added 2 new tutorials to my Skillshare tutorial channel:

Build Your Creative Cloud Asset Library With Adobe Capture CC

and

Create A Caricature In Clay Without A Studio

Skillshare is my favorite venue to post tutorials and view them as well.  Virtually everything I learned about Adobe Illustrator and After Effects and animation has come from Skillshare.  I’m finding it’s a positive community full of bite-sized projects rather than the quite random youtube tutorials that may explain a technique but fail to put it into practice.

Any suggestions for what I should do a tutorial on next?

 

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Clearance Sale at DMP Etsy Shop

2015-01-25 18.41.21With February coming and lots of different kinds of art being produced around the house, I had to take a hard look at my Etsy shop and whittle down my current inventory of photographic art and sculpture.

With that in mind, I’ve got a clearance sale running on my Etsy shop – many sculptural masks and large photographic prints, sized 11×17″ and 20×30″ (just shy of 2ft x 3ft).  Have a rummage!

 

Cyber Monday Art Sale – Free Shipping on all 8×12 prints + ceramic masks

 

CYBER WEEKEND SALE AT DAVID MILLER ARTWORK ETSY:

From NOW until 10pm local AZ time on Monday night…

all 8×12 prints have FREE SHIPPING in the US…2014-06-13 05.57.12

AND FREE U.S. SHIPPING ON ALL MASKS.  These babies are $13 each for me to ship!2014-07-08 16.25.55 2014-07-07 20.27.57

 

Teach Yourself To Teach Others

I teach classes in photography for a couple of the local city rec programs and I think I’m pretty qualified to do it. Lots of experience, a BFA, been through a teaching program and taught high school photography for a couple years, and often I get paid to shoot. I also teach drawing and comic making at an arts center. This spring I added watercolor and pastel classes, and this summer there will be mask-making, bookmaking, and manga classes on top of the others. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert in any of those areas but that challenge is part of what makes it exciting; learning new skills to pass on to others.

Masks, books, pastel work, watercolors, and drawing are all things I’ve done and been taught by others. All of my life up until the end of high school was about drawing, and I only turned to photography because I couldn’t draw as realistically as I wanted to at the time. Now that I’m older I understand you make the craft work for you, because art at its best is about self expression. Two other guys who couldn’t draw a real person to save their lives were Charles Shultz and Matt Groening; they drew what worked for them and their work touched millions.

The truth about tools, like cameras, pottery wheels, applications etc. is they are pretty easy to learn and if you introduce to someone else how it works, and give them a few samples showing the potential of the tool, creative people will take it and run with it in whatever direction they desire.

I was thinking about this because I’m starting to do more projects that are outside my normal creative output. For example, ceramics was something I had a single class in in 2006, but I enjoyed the zen nature of the wheel and sculpting faces. I owned a wheel for a few years and created faces on my own, until around 2009 I sold the wheel and stopped doing ceramics because I didn’t have a kiln. Once the bug hit me again last year I made sure each piece I created was an improvement on the past pieces- either by adding unique textures, or accessories, or smoothing out the edges- and the work got better.

The next project which is kind of a new field for me will be comics. I’ve made a few comics off and on over my life, mostly involving photography, and I’ve taught making comics for 2 years. Because the writing is a quicker process than the art, the goal is to write comics for other artists to bring to life, but to do that, I have to 100% create my first comic, work out the bugs in the writing, and understand pacing and how dialogue and images really work. It’ll be a challenge but a fun one.

I know I can’t draw a human being to look super realistic, but I do know enough about how to communicate an idea with the elements of art, principles of design and composition, how a lightbox works, how photoshop works, how to use prismacolor markers and charcoal and scissors and tape and masking fluid, and I know what kind of stories I like and what I don’t like, that I’ll probably be able to get by. I would wager most creative people who apply themselves to new media or genres or art forms would be able to do well if they have the drive in their heart.

The more stuff I make, the more experience I have to pass on in teaching, but perversely it’s the teaching that makes me learn more and more about each craft.

New Simpsons/ Futurama Masks

I frequently make masks inspired by the Simpsons and Futurama.  At their respective peaks they are my favorite shows and have probably shaped my brain more than anything else- more than Star Wars, Star Trek, the Muppets, the Beatles, any other slice of pop culture you could name.  It’s a joy to do these masks even if they come out as very primitive renditions of the characters.  Too bad one can’t make a whole art career doing Zoidbergs!  These and other sculptural masks are available on my Etsy.

2014-08-21 07.51.30

 

Amazing Exhibits at the Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum is hosting several interesting exhibits this summer, but there are two that are truly inspirational.

“The Process and the Page” features photographer books and original prints from Richard Avedon, W. Eugene Smith, Ansel Adams and others. Among these well-known names were two women photographers who I had never heard of, Rosalind Solomon and Barbara Crane.  The work of these women spoke so clearly to my art photography aesthetic tastes, and I have to attribute my ignorance to the usual over emphasis in photo history on the white male perspective.

Also showing is a collection of Japanese Noh Masks, “Quiet Rage, Gentle Wail”.  I’m a fan of all Japanese Art, there’s equal parts elegance and goofiness wrapped in an exotic sushi roll.  Since I also make sculptural masks of the same approximate size, I got a lot of ideas to incorporate in my own pieces; the forehead bits, ways to work with cheeks, strange expressions, demon men and the outer shape of the masks.

Ceramic masks I made after viewing the Noh exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum.
Ceramic masks I made after viewing the Noh exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum.

The photo book exhibit runs through August, and the Noh Mask exhibit runs through November.  My Noh-ish masks are on Etsy and Ebay.

 

New Ceramic Masks

2013 was a revival of making ceramic masks for me, and in 2014 I’ve been able to get a better workflow of creating around 30-40 masks in a 2 month period and getting them glazed/ fired/ photographed in the 3rd month.  This batch was a pretty even split between Nobodies (weirdos I make up in my head), Pop Culture characters, cultural guys that reference things like Noh Masks and mythology, and animal faces that give alternatives to hanging innocent dead creatures in your house.  I had quite a few requests too, and I can’t make a batch of masks without Futurama or Simpsons guys showing up.  Here’s 18 of the latest characters, most of which are available on my Etsy and Ebay.  2014-07-08 16.25.55 2014-07-07 20.27.57