Happy New Year!
Looking at 2019, I'm deeply concerned. Up until now, the year 2019 was appropriate for the opening title crawl of the original Blade Runner (1982) movie: the introduction to a deeply philosphical, yet horrifyingly violent futuristic dystopia of decay and sensuality. Now that I see the real 2019, well, it's different from the movie version. The nicest thing I can say about it is, "where's my flying car already?"
I've added a ninth column of artworks to my JSVB matrix. Each column is a year, and each postage stamp is a post. My output for 2018 was close to that of 2017, so in that regard JSVB holds steady. The past few years have seen a decline in blogs, and JSVB is no different. People aren't interested in online journals anymore. Fortunately, JSVB isn't dependent on likes or user clicks. It's here to make sure I keep generating artwork, and hopefully that art gets more advanced and enjoyable every year.
In that regard, I've made good progress. Where 2017 was tentative, in 2018 I followed through with promises to push my artwork in new directions. The results were positive. However, the nature of my new projects made for long gaps in between many of my posts, which no doubt frustrated what regular followers I may have. I've picked up some new clients who are buying my art, so I believe that my new work ethic is paying off, gradually.
Let's take a look at some of the pieces I think have pushed JSVB into new directions:
JSVB Post #1465 "Life Is Like A Box Of Tribbles, Mr. Mulder" - An essay on the happy coincidence of having reboots of two of my favourite television shows on at the same time, but also the pitfalls of nostalgia in commercialism. The artwork turned out really well, though, a very sentimental watercolour rendition of science-fiction theme.
JSVB Post #1471 "One More Bite..." - A crowd-pleasing tribute to Godzilla!
JSVB Post #1500 "Enterprise Fantasia" - More Star Trek. The illustration turned out nicely, but what really worked was pushing Photoshop blend layers to their maximum. The effect is subtle in this piece, and that's the idea: I used something digital and regimented like Photoshop to finally produce something that looks organic and flowing.
JSVB Post #1501 "Movin' To Alberta" - A simple photo with a fair amount of Photoshop. Posting this spoof picture convinced social media that I really was moving to Alberta in my brand new Ford Expedition truck. When I say social media, I don't mean the people I know, but rather the computer programs that run our social sites. Right after posting this, I started getting ads for expensive vehicles, cowboy things to do in Alberta, and for products of a high quality not normally associated with my status as an artist. Normally, I get shilled for dodgy weight-loss programs and cheap t-shirts with dumb sayings. So, I learned this: it's good to fool Big Daddy Internet every once in a while.
JSVB Post #1513 "Happy Birthday To Me (9)" - Gosh, yet more Star Trek!? Under the hood of this picture is a new workflow which has helped me considerably with my projects in 2018. Painting this picture gave me a lot of confidence to push my work in new directions.
JSVB Post #1519 "G&G 13: Formula De" - A large-format poster with a very heavy emphasis on vibrant colours.
JSVB Post #1552 "Two Worlds" - A dramatic break from my usual work, I fabricated and sculpted two fictional planets, Mongo from Flash Gordon, and Superman's home world Krypton. These took a lot of work to complete and they have many flaws, but am I ever proud of how they turned out! I think this was my favourite project from 2018!
I learned a lot about craftsmanship in 2018. People have become more interested in my art, and I am trying to cultivate a clientele. Art hasn't made me rich so far, but it has started to pay a couple of bills for me. Better still, the lessons I have learned, the successes and mistakes (brown hockey pucks, for goodness' sake!) have given me a foundation to begin some large projects in 2019. I look forward to those challenges!
Thank you for paying attention to JSVB in 2018 and in years previous. I am especially grateful for those who have chosen to purchase my art! I hope that people share my excitement for the artwork that I plan to produce in 2019!