Managed to get three little con pieces done yesterday, so that was nicely productive.
I find that my art for the AC art show tends to be…mmm…not repetitive, per se (I hope!) but at least that I tend to go back to some of the same fishing grounds, as James Christiansen might say. A lot of time it feels like doing fan art of my own work, if that makes any sense.
Now, there’s good business reasons for that, mind you–unlike the internet, where literally ANYBODY can look at the art, and there’s probably somebody who’ll like what they see, you get a much smaller set of eyes at the art show, and it tends to be people with more specific tastes. And my fanbase is often fond of specific–err–sets of work–I have people who love the soap labels, for example, or the Donkey & Goldfish pieces, or the stuff with the pink lizards, or the mice, or whatever. So the stuff I do for the art show often feels like I’m doing a quick retrospective of my own stuff–gotta do a pink lizard, gotta do something with the mice, gotta have a happy cthulhu, etc, etc. You’ve got three days to make your case to the buyer, and given the price range, a lot of times you do it with a kind of artistic shorthand–people buy the 5 x 7 pink lizard, both because they like it and because it reminds them of all the other pieces they’ve enjoyed in the same vein.
This sounds sorta bad, I realize, I think because there’s such a thing in art that you have to constantly be doing something NEW and DIFFERENT or else you are stagnating and should be taken out behind the painted barn* and shot. But the fact is that I kinda like doing it occasionally–I love my various creations with a sort of paternal affection** and it’s nice to revisit them and have an excuse to do so. I wouldn’t want to spend my life painting the hooded jesters in the checkerboard-edged robes, (and one day I’ll figure out what’s up with those guys–they’re pure cute half the time, and the other half they show up in Gearworld. I have a nasty feeling that, like the oracular acolyte in “Digger,” there may be something unsettling under those robes…) but I like having the excuse to paint one for a con. It frees me from the fear of Total Aesthetic Stagnation, and I can just have fun painting the little guys without the evil voice in the back of my brain going “Yooooou are being laaaaaazy, yooooou are not inventing anything newwwwww…” that kicks in frequently.
Because somehow money-grubbing capitalism is more acceptable. Or, err, something like that.
*Likely painted by Bob Ross. It’s a happy little barn. You just don’t want to see what goes on behind it.
**Definitely more paternal than maternal, I suspect. I do not fret about them. I tell them I love them, and then kick them out of the studio to go get a job, damnit.