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with original portraits on vinyl.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Calling (Collect)ors

Once a month I send out an email newsletter with Vinyl Art updates that you can sign up for on this blog or at for free. has some old excerpts.

Some people automatically send such info to previous customers, potential collectors. I don't. I figure that if someone is interested in following me after buying a piece that they'll get to it somehow. I just publicly share when I'm sending it out.

I mean, when you call collect, who pays? Who really pays?


Monday, July 16, 2012

How To Get Your Share

It's tough, this art marketing thing. My ultimate goal is to get to paint, to get to contribute what I can, to get to be of value to you and my family. To do that, I have to serve my art, like I talked about in my last post.

A major part of serving my art has become sharing it online in a myriad of ways. To make it a win-win, like the late Stephen Covey proposed, so I'm happy, the gallery site is happy and you're happy, I've discovered that I have to know what the sites and you want.

I think I understand what the sites want: my content. Perfect! I want them to have it. But along with that content comes the same responsibility to serve. Sites work best when I work them best, by sharing what I've shared through them, sending you to them so you see what you want there. Their hope is that you'll share what you want by sharing what they want.

Basically, I think Scott Belsky of Behance wants you to share my Vinyl Art by sharing because it shares my content in the best and easiest way it can. My job then is to use the site as best as I can, making the comment that the CEO left on my project most gratifying.

It is a wonderful site, on the whole and in detail. I'd encourage you to start with my project, the content of which should be somewhat familiar, and then see what else grabs you there.

To get your share.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Serve Your Art

There's an episode of The Cosby Show in which one of the daughters, I think Vanessa, has brought home a guy to dinner and sprung their plans for marriage on the family at dinner. Cos gives this brilliant analogy of a cook preparing an amazing dinner and plating it on the underside of a garbage can lid. For some reason, that analogy has stuck with me.

Also rattling around my head is the idea that one's art is distinct from one's self. The artist is not his art, the artist DOES his art, creating artifacts. In the best moments of painting, I feel like my art is flowing through me as a vessel. I just watch. You know, that zen-like-type moment when you're in harmony with the universe. I'm just the storyteller.

Both of these inform the phrase "serve your art". Different definitions of "serve". Both vital, to me, for the artist to keep in mind.

1) Presentation of one's art is pretty dang important to the success of the communication between artifact and audience. In and of themselves, a frame or a promotional flyer or a CD label or a website aren't important for their own sakes. They serve to serve. The concierge, the ambience, the tablecloth, the plate, the garnish all create the context and focus attention on the actual value in a restaurant, the food. When those are somehow out of sync, the moment is broken and what might be a masterful meal gets fed to the dogs behind the joint.

While this is probably obvious to state, it's difficult to do. Well, I should say it's been difficult for me to do, anyway. It goes beyond the concerted marketing effort. It requires a psychological understanding of one's art and the way its artifacts connect with others. I've been pretty good at understanding my relationship with my art, so there's that. But allowing the artifacts of that art to reach out into the world is hard. I probably get in its way and don't even really know it. Letting the artifact speak for itself is the challenge while at the same time providing that context for the world to consume it.

This isn't to say the presentation should disappear, but, as an errant brush stroke can break the illusion of the portrait, that context, that packaging can help or hinder the delivery of your art's message. Serve your art. Serve it well.

2) The best artists allow their art to happen, I think. So as the art is presented, it is also performed. Here it is the artist who becomes part of the context for the act of the art. I don't mean the artist serves their art as a master, but if the artist wants the artifacts of their art to be serveable, presentable, the act of the art itself must be served. By this I mean to point out the importance of understanding your relationship with your art, how the art acts through you. And how to best facilitate that process.

This might be less obvious to state, as well as difficult to do. Art is often taught as a process to be controlled, not communicated. Students are encouraged to bring out what they have to say, not to let out what they see. For a long time, I've struggled with my feeling that I'm a glorified copier because when I was little I WAS taught how to allow myself to see and communicate that, but later I ran into the more common thinking that an artist must HAVE a vision, something inside. Artists end up getting in the way of the art as well as the artifacts, in this sense.

Fortunate is the artist whose art has happened upon them, a vision from the universe that is expressed through the artist, if allowed. I was lucky that my art found me adequately taught to use tools and at a point in life without imposed boundaries. Rediscovering it years later as a so-called niche allows me to retain its initial form and idea with a well-defined concept for me to serve. Serve your art. Serve it well.

Hopefully I've served this play on words well, providing some glimmer of an internal idea you might have been trying to bring out and understand for yourself. I know I'm still trying to understand it, myself.

If you have any response, please don't hesitate to leave it here publicly or to privately tell me at



creating art on the artifacts of creativity