My new art show, Portraits of Passyunk Avenue, is opening tonight at Fringe Salon from 6 – 10 pm. It features 6 brand new digital portraits of people who work, live, and hang on the Ave. Please swing by tonight and check it out!
After my show Don’t Wake Me Up opened last Saturday all I can say is wow and thank you! I had such a great night. So many friends came from near and far, as well as lots of new people. For the last couple hours of the opening Sweet Jane was packed, and I heard a lot of wonderful feedback. It was truly a night to remember, and I’m so grateful to Carly and Jen of Sweet Jane for giving me the opportunity to show there, and to Eliot May for helping me hang the pieces. I should also thank my roommates for kindly putting up with my insane studio space in the weeks leading up to the opening.
There were a couple of write ups about the opening that I’d also like to share. I was interviewed by Philebrity which was very exciting. Having never been interviewed before, I have to say it was a strange but good experience. You can read the interview here. I’m thinking of posting a series of blog entries where I elaborate on some of the questions they asked me in the interview. I’d like to go a bit more in depth with a few my answers, especially since so many people have expressed curiosity about my process. What do you y’all think? After the opening there was another write up on the 215 Blog. You can see that one here. I’m so thankful for the press regarding this show. Big things are coming, I can feel it.
Here are some photos my friend Martin Pepe took on Saturday. The show is still up and will be until April 9th, so if you haven’t yet please take a stroll down to 1820 E. Passyunk to Sweet Jane Vintage and take a look!
Well that’s all for now! To everyone who came to the opening, thank you. To everyone who supports my art whether locally or from a distance, thank you. I’ll be updating my portfolio on the site over the next couple of days, so stay tuned.
once again it’s been a long long time since i’ve blogged. one day i’ll be better for you, i promise.
anyway, i have a solo show coming up! it’s called Don’t Wake Me Up, and you’ll be pleased to know that every piece in it is brand new and has never been shown before. i’m so thrilled to be having a show at Sweet Jane Vintage on e. passyunk avenue. if you’ve never been to their beautiful vintage store, march 12th is a great first night to go. here is the flier:
Sweet Jane is at 1820 e. passyunk, which is between moore and mifflin. it’s on the west side of the street, across from stogie joe’s. the opening goes from 6 to 10 pm and refreshments will be provided.
it’s been just over a year since my last solo show, so this is really exciting for me. i hope you’re excited too!
please feel free to spread the word about this, and don’t forget to RSVP on facebook.
also, check out the sketches section of my site. i finally put a couple of colored pencil sketches up there for you (more to come, i promise). after the show i’ll put lots of new pieces in my portfolio on here. oh, and keep your eyes peeled for my etsy page, which will be chock full of prints and postcards in the not too distant future.
i have some very exciting news…
in a couple of days you will be able to vote for my fox and girl design at threadless.com. if my design wins, not only will you be able to buy t-shirts with my artwork on them, but i will win $2500! please repost this link and vote!
although the design is still pending approval, voting will begin in a couple of days. please check back and make sure you vote. thank you!
hello my dear blog readers,
let me explain something to you regarding my lack of blogs…
you see, a couple of months ago my web guy and i set out to switch the hosting for my website. somehow in the midst of that, my last blog disappeared! i was so bummed that i didn’t even want to look at my blog. anyway, now that i’ve had time to grieve, i’m back and ready for action.
anyway, i am in two art shows that open this week. the first one is the mid summer show at off the wall gallery, and i have 4 new pieces showing. i explained this in my last blog (the one that got lost somewhere among the many tubes that make up the internet), but since it’s gone i’ll explain again. my piece fox and girl won second place at the december show at off the wall gallery, and so they invited me back to show in august. and well, it’s august! i’m really excited about this show and the work i’ve got in it. i hope that even if you can’t make it to the opening thursday night (that’s tomorrow!), you will stop by the gallery sometime between now and early october and take a look. here’s the flier (please repost!):
the second show is a group show at benna’s coffee shop on 8th and wharton. the show is about birds and includes work from around 40 artists. all proceeds will benefit the american bird conservancy. it’s pretty awesome and i’m really excited to be a part of it. the opening is friday night, but the show will be up for a month. here’s the flier:
just to be safe, here’s the info typed out:
Mid Summer Show at Off The Wall Gallery
Opens Thursday, August 13th at 7 pm
Located at 13th and Pine Streets
For Those To Come at Benna’s Coffeeshop
Opens Friday, August 14th at 7 pm
Located at 8th and Wharton Streets
i’m really excited (!)
i know it has been ages since i’ve blogged, but nevermind all that. let’s focus on the fact that i just finished 4 posters for my band folklore’s mini tour in april. here they are:
hey y’all, once again it’s been a million years since i have posted in this blog. BUT i’m hoping you’ll forgive me since i have a lot of great stuff to show you/tell you about.
first off, i submitted 5 pieces to a juried show at off the wall gallery, and two of my pieces were accepted! the show opens thursday december 11 at 7 pm. off the wall gallery (also known as dirty franks) is located at 13th and pine streets. i hope to see you at the opening, if you’re able to make it! here’s the poster for the show:
my friend and former classmate karen hagen also had two pieces get in to the show. i’m excited to see her and to see her work.
these are the two pieces of mine that were accepted:
this is an older piece. it was actually the first piece i did digitally while in school. even though it’s a couple years old, it is still one of my favorite pieces and i’m really grateful that it is receiving some recognition.
this image is from a flier i did over the summer for my friend’s band the hermit thrushes. i’m glad that this piece holds up so well without type, and i’m also very excited that they chose to include it on the flier for the show!
so anyway, i hope you get a chance to take a look at the show even if you don’t make it out to the opening. i’m really looking forward to it.
in other news, i just finished a flier for the local band controlled storms. this was my first time working with them and it was really fun. my roommate modeled for the piece.
here it is:
apart from the show and the new flier, the 7 inch that i did for dragonzord is getting printed soon. i think it’s gonna be awesome to hold a physical thing in my hand with my art on it since most of the time it doesn’t leave the computer screen. so i’ll keep y’all posted on that.
life is good right now. i am drawing a lot and feeling very inspired. i even did a little design work for the restaurant where i work, which was fun. there are a few other things i’m working on that i could post, but i think i’m gonna hold off on posting them until they’re finished. it has been a very encouraging and positive month for me. a couple weeks back i went to a comic book panel at the free library where charles burns, jessica abel, chipp kidd, and art spiegelman spoke. actually there was one other speaker, but i’m afraid i forgot his name! his work was cool, too. i’ll have to ask my roommate. anyway, art spiegelman’s maus is one of my all time favorite comic books, so hearing him speak was incredible. i got my book signed and i got to tell him that he changed my life with his work, which was really wonderful.
i loved that he smoked on stage at the library! i think it says something about how awesome you are if an institution such as the free library of philadelphia will allow you to smoke when you grace their stage, but maybe i’m just biased since i myself am a smoker. regardless, it was amazing to get to shake his hand, and i will treasure my copy of maus even more now that it is signed.
today i got a call from my friend yianni of hermit thrushes, and he asked me to play the clarinet with him in a band called folklore for a show they’re playing in january. i’ll give more details about the show as they are made available to me, but for now i just want to say that i’m really really stoked! i almost went to school for clarinet performance and only decided to go to art school instead at the last minute, but i never stopped loving music. in fact, i’ve really missed playing the clarinet and i’ve been wishing i had people to play with again. this should be really fun, and like i said, i’ll let you know details on the show as it gets closer to that date.
well i think that’s all i’ve got for now. expect to see some new drawings and things from me in the not too distant future.
This is a personal piece i did recently about anxiety. i had been feeling fairly anxious for a couple weeks…anxious about money, anxious about the possibility of mccain and palin gaining control of the whitehouse, anxious about the economy and what that means for my future, and even feeling anxious about myself as an artist and the way my work looks. all in all i wasn’t feeling well, and even though i was drawing a lot to try and take myself out of my negative thinking, i ended up quite unhappy with most of the pieces i did. so, i decided to try something different. i wanted to draw something personal and visually representative of what anxiety feels like to me. i think i spent about 6 hours on this from start to finish. i let it come out of me in a more organic way, and i’m happy with the result. i enjoyed doing an image in only black and white and exploring a minimal composition.
i put a lot of pressure on myself with my artwork, which is something i’ve always done, but it became more and more intense as i continued my education at uarts. now that i’m a graduate, i still put that pressure on myself, but i think i am realizing that more often than not it is damaging rather than motivating. a teacher at my school named jonathan twingley (www.twingley.com) said something profound about all of this at the end of my senior year. although i never had him as teacher, i always remembered him saying this and i’ve found it to be particularly relevant lately. he said that one of the most exciting parts of being an illustrator is that there is no right way to do things. we have the freedom to form our identities as artists and careers as illustrators in any way we choose. thinking about that has helped me remember that my relationship with my artwork is ultimately a personal one, and that thinking negatively about whether the way that i am finding myself as illustrator is “right” or not isn’t going to help me make better pictures.
also, i’ve decided to stop capitalizing letters in this blog. i hated doing it and i feel more honest writing without them. but at least you know (based on my previous blogs) that i AM capable of capitalizing correctly.
this is another recent piece, though i think it may qualify more as an exercise. i am happy with the likeness, but something is still missing. also, i don’t like how it looks as a thumbnail, which i found strange. if i’m relatively happy with the piece to size, why would it look weird and different as a thumbnail? has anyone else noticed this with any of their pieces? anyway, i do like his eyes and his expression, and, as usual, i enjoyed rendering the contours of his face through shapes.
lastly, this is a silly piece i finished this evening. for some reason, lots of folks out here on the east coast LOVE to tell me that i’m from the midwest. this irritates me. why, you ask? because colorado is not the midwest! when i explain this to people, most of them look at me blankly and ask, “well then what is it?” to which i reply, “the west!”
now i have this handy map to show the next idiot who tries to tell me where i’m from. no offense to the midwest, but i’m glad i’m not from there. i’m from the wild west, and there is a big difference.
well folks, that’s all for now. my life evens out more and more every day, and i think this is going to lead to some exciting changes in the way my work looks. only time will tell. thanks for reading.
Hello friendly readers…I hope you didn’t forget about me or worry too much…I know it has been a LONG time since I’ve posted here and for that I am very sorry. These past 2 months have been wild and at times very very difficult for me. I went to Colorado for 3 weeks, which was wonderful, but also hard in some ways. My trip was also a bit soured at the end when 2/3rds of my some 300 photos were eaten/deleted by my parents’ computer. On top of that, I was in a car accident the last day of my trip! It wasn’t my fault and I wasn’t hurt thankfully, but it was still stressful and it still really made me want to get back to Philly on the next plane. Anyway, upon my return to the city of brotherly love my life managed to stay crazy. I ran into some serious financial woes regarding my, ahem, day job (which I hate to write about here, but, alas, it is only the reality of my situation). In short, I was really struggling, out of work, and THEN I crashed on my bicycle and roughed myself up pretty bad. Well, most would say that it could’ve have been a lot worse, but you know what? It still really hurt and it really wasn’t any fun, so even though I’m grateful it wasn’t worse, I still wish it hadn’t happened. I suffered my first black eye, a pair of broken glasses, a huge bruise on my hip, cuts on my forehead, my eyelid, and my upper lip, as well as scraped elbows and a damaged ego. At least I learned my lesson: now I wear my helmet every time I ride. I’m sure my parents are relieved!
For the past 2 weeks or so I have been working two jobs (not illustration related), and as a result I’ve had very little time to draw, and that has been hard for me. However, my life seems to finally be evening out (financially and otherwise) and I am so grateful. My face is almost completely healed up and my two jobs have now been narrowed down to one, which will afford me the time I need to draw draw draw as well as blog, clean my house, and just, well, relax.
Anyway, that’s my excuse for not blogging. On the plus side, myself and several of my classmates are working on a project under the theme “The Fisherman’s Wife.” I really enjoy group projects, and this theme was particularly inspiring to me. My piece isn’t finished, but I will show you the drawing of my friend Amanda’s profile. When I first came up with my idea for this project I knew I wanted to draw Amanda. She has a fantastic nose and beautiful figure that I really enjoyed drawing. I am excited about this piece, and I’ll be sure to post the final here when it’s done. Here’s the sketch of her face:
and here is a picture of what my face looked like after my accident:
Here is a more flattering photo of me that my friend Mario Tozzi took of me while I was in Colorado:
You can find more of his photography at his website: www.mvalentino.com
He also started a collaborative fashion/art/culture blog that I may contribute to in the future: www.bindtortureandkill.blogspot.com
and although, as I mentioned before, most of my photos from Colorado were deleted, I will at least show you a couple of the ones that survived.
Here is my parents’ new puppy:
and one last thing…
that’s the sticker I designed, live and in action on the side of a canoe at the lake I grew up next to
PS: my artwork is FINALLY viewable on the Society of Illustrators in LA’s Illustration West 46 website! I am so happy. Please check it out at http://si-la.org/46
Click ‘Students’ and then scroll down about halfway and you’ll see the two pieces of mine that were accepted.
Please forgive me for being a bad blogger. I promise my next post will be soon as well as PACKED with art!