So today I opened up yet another rejection slip–Seventh Sea, this time–and realized like a bolt from on high that my website has become waaaaay too cluttered to serve as a portfolio for web submissions. I mean, it’s great for fans and selling prints and comics and so forth, but there’s literally hundreds of paintings there, way more than a prospective employer wants to wade through, and plenty of which are old or not my greatest or whatever. (Before anyone asks, I leave ’em up because some of them are really popular and I still sell prints, or sporadically, originals.) I should have realized much sooner that my once svelte website had grown to the point of unwieldiness, but eh, hindsite, 20/20, etc. So I spent a chunk of the day setting up a portfolio site featuring a mere eleven color and seven black and white pieces, a general cross-section of styles and so forth for my web-submissions, which may help. (Or may not. Ya never know!) If, once they’ve seen the best, they feel the urge to go through Everything Else I’ve Ever Done, there’s always that option. We’ll see if it works at all.
I wish there was a handy method by which one could winnow one’s best work out–possibly by weight or chemical reaction or something–but it’s never terribly easy, as I’m sure every artist knows. However, I’ve set up portfolios so many times in the past seven years, and the art has gotten increasingly better every time, that it’s no longer the exercise in mild despair it used to be. In a way, actually, it’s kinda uplifting–I find that a lot of my best stuff is recent, which hopefully means I’m not stagnating, but at the same time, there’s still some oldies-but-goodies in there spanning the last three years, which is oddly comforting. I realized a while back that skill is not a steady upward progression, but rather a series of stepped plateaus, punctuated by sudden spikes–where something clicks and you can’t lay a stroke wrong, and you paint for three days on four hours of sleep and then go collapse and in the morning you can’t believe you actually created that–and equally sudden sinkholes where you spend hours on something, stare at it for awhile with sinking dissatisfaction, and then your SO comes over and says “Is that a duck?” and you burst into tears and have to be coaxed off the window ledge with tequila and chocolate. (Not, y’know, that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything. Really. Honest.)
Speaking of chocolate, which was invented by the Mayans, have some art! (How was that for a lead-in, huh?) Did this a few days ago–still plugging away at the Amazons of the Amazon portfolio idea. Nipple alert!
Frog and Mayan Jaguar