As a contemporary artist, meaning an artist living now as opposed to a misconceived creator, (HA!) I have gone through the toils of finding a focus with my artwork over and over again. With such major advancements in artist's mediums and the branching out of artists to non traditional mediums, the desire to limit yourself is no where to be found. 5 years ago, I was a photographing designer who drew cartoons. In other words, I was in a black hole of experimentation. The reality is, in our society we have enough time to pursue a multitude of skill sets and still reach mastery. I enjoy using myriad of mediums toexecute artworks with more purpose.
Allow me to explain. I am a studio painter first and foremost. Majority of my hours go to painting these days. No television, small amounts of rest and a lack of studying for tests that doesn't show up in my grades, is the lifestyle I lead. I put most of my spare time to creating. My "spare time" is spent taking macro photographs in the beautiful parks of Austin Texas. That or designing skateboard shirts and deck graphics for future riders of Tan Man. In other words, I only art. This is one of the only feasible ways to create solid bodies of work while still branching out to feel a sense of artistic rejuvenation. With that said, I still have narrowed my painted subjects to skyscapes and portraiture, including my commissioned work. My illustrations are narrowed to my characters filled with social commentary. My handcrafted longboards are decorated with the same intensity and creative mindset as my other work. The greatest aspect is how it all visually ties back together. Strangers have seen my longboards for sale in Texas Skate Shop and my paintings on display in local coffee shops and have told me they could recognize my work across mediums. That is reassuring for the fact that many who have tried before, found much difficulty straddling mediums without already being significantly established as an artist.
In the end, time truly does the work for us of deciphering what is most important to each artist's work. Don't force yourself into a niche or more honestly a hole, because a teacher or friend said that is the only way to find success. In the words of the great portrait artist Chuck Close, "Inspiration is for amateurs, real artist just show up and get to work." I truly have embodied that to the point where my last work really does have the ability to inspire what comes next. I believe if we push to pursue all that we do with great stoicism and intention, you can achieve greatness.