Distractions, distractions.

Head_on_CafeRacer_©JonTremlett2013

Drawing and painting onto wood, drawing on metal with a Dremel, designing t-shirts, jewellery making, wood carving, sculpting, transferring images onto glass, painting rocks(!), etching, wire modelling, making enamel badges and resin casting. These are all ideas that have flown my way over the last few weeks. Whilst they are all valid, they are all residing in the possibilities box at present. Some are self generated and others come from those around me. Some arrive with the word ‘should’ tacked on the front somewhere, whilst others take a more open approach with the word ‘could’. I prefer the latter, it speaks of a freedom to chose, of open ended possibilities and creative potential, whereas the former does not, sounding often like a form of well meaning edict, but an implied command none the less. Anyway, there they all sit in the great lottery ball tumbler of options waiting for possible selection. While they are in there they churn around, the subconscious busy doing what it does best, sampling, analysing and interrogating each one in turn. I’ll report on what this process reveals in coming posts I’m sure.

 

This is a great thing but, my word does it create a mountain of distractions which have led to a kind of treacly inertia needing to be overcome each time the drawing board is occupied. I know that the best time to grab a new idea is when you can feel fired up about it, knowing that you will do something with it quickly rather than sit mulling it over. I can feel that moment coming but it ain’t today, or possibly tomorrow either. So in the meantime focus has returned to the drawings and paintings that have suffered from my neglect. The image above is where I’m at with a pen and watercolour rendition of one of those Rocker guys whose style seems to be popping up everywhere at the moment. Enjoy, and don’t forget, the store is open and has a limited stock of those greetings cards for anyone stuck for a gift for a biking mate.

Finally, with new followers arriving all the time, a big thanks to you all for your support and loyalty, it means a great deal and is a welcome spur to keeping going.

 

Telling stories, the second bit.

Dragster cartoon nearly finished.

So the search has been on to find how to start thinking about stories behind the images and how best to communicate them. In a way a potential solution was staring me in the face, though I’d failed to recognise it. A very strong instance of not being able to see the wood for the trees. The “tipping point” was completing the cut down dragster drawing featured in The Line Is Drawn post. By cropping the image I had essentially put a box around it, the story in the image was contained mainly within this box, though it broke out to imply the story being much bigger than this constraint. The issue with previous drawings had been the open nature of the final image, with nothing to hold the image it was left to sit adrift in a space that then just flowed out to the edge of the paper. Sometimes paintings and drawings only start to make sense once we have framed them for hanging, and it was this sentiment that I was trying to capture. Rather than rely purely on the edge of the paper to provide the boundary of the contextual space, I realised that what may best serve these kinds of drawings is to create this boundary myself. Create distinct frames like they do for comic books and graphic novels.

 

It was a kind of “aha” moment. Had I found a mechanism for completing the images and communicating the “story” better? It seemed such an obvious realisation but then what is directly in front of you can be the hardest thing to see sometimes.It is nothing new, a technique that has a long history running through the comic universe to storyboards and beyond but, such a simple approach could really compliment the images as they are essentially cartoons in themselves and might benefit hugely from such a solution.

 

Conveniently there was a drawing here which I have struggled with completing for quite some time. It’s another in the dragster series and is sitting in the middle of a big bit of A2 paper, you may remember it from a post back in August. I got so far with it, then kind of stopped, the more I worked on it, the more the life seemed to drain out of it. The context I’d created in my imagination just wasn’t working so it got put to one side, to await a flash of inspiration and energy. It seemed a perfect candidate for experimenting with the “crop and box” approach. Interestingly, what happened was that it made me think much harder about what’s inside the boundary I’ve drawn. As a consequence the story has changed and with it a new context is starting to emerge in the background. The drawing has a new life, one that I’m more than happy with so far and looking forward to finishing.

 

So as a first stab it’s kind of working, an image I was perhaps bored with has regained my interest, and that’s such an important part of this exercise. They key now is to explore how this development pans out across future images. Certainly I don’t want it to become an exercise in cutting and pasting formats and such across a host of work, each piece must remain unique in its own way. What’s good is the fact that the idea is so simple and basic that it is ripe for all manner of playing with, and that flexibility is exciting.

 

Buy amazing motorcycle art here.

Todays big announcement is that the Soulcraftcandy on line art store is now open for business. As mentioned previously, following some very positive feedback and more than a healthy dose of encouragement, I have taken the leap to open an online micro-enterprise to enable fans of my work to purchase high quality prints of some of the drawings. You can jump straight to the site from here, or follow the link at the bottom of the ‘Shop’ page.

 

The decision to start small is a very deliberate one, which I hope will mean that it remains unique, interesting and manageable. As nice as it might sound to take the world of motorcycle art by storm and turn it upside down, this is not the purpose of the exercise at this point in time.

 

The intention is to offer small collections of prints that will change each quarter. So this initial set of five images, shown above, will be replaced by another set after three months and so on. If by chance certain pictures prove very popular then they may very well have a slightly longer run, or reappear in subsequent sets. My hope is that this will keep things fresh and interesting, and encourage viewers to return regularly to see what’s on offer. Ultimately it would be great to be able to offer a compendium of the sets in book form, but that remains a long term goal for now. As a matter of course all changes and updates will be signaled through the blog unless I’m gripped by a sudden urge to spring a complete surprise, which might be fun to do every now and then.

 

The choice of printing technology was discussed in the last post and so all of the prints available will be Giclée prints. Two sizes will be available for each image, A3 and A2 primarily, though some of the images will be in custom sizes and priced accordingly. As I mentioned before these prints are made on archival quality acid free cotton rag paper at 310 gsm weight.

 

One detail which caused much pause for thought was whether to offer limited edition numbered prints or something else. The latter approach won the day once I’d worked out how to instill a bit of extra value in each print beyond a hand written number in the corner. Consequently each print will be signed, dated and a small unique thumbnail doodle added at the same time. Essentially this will mean that each print will be unlike any other, no two being the same. My hope is that this will also help in the rotation of images as the need to wait for a certain order number to be satisfied will be removed. There will be a time for limited editions in the future, I’m sure of that but for now, this approach will hopefully keep things interesting.

 

Again, you can reach the store from this link, and thank you for taking the time to have a look.