If you spare the time to read this to the end, I greatly appreciate you.
This post has been a... struggle to get around to. I've had materials made for this announcement but I couldn't bring myself to organize it because it feels weird to do so. But I am an entrepreneur, a content creator that works for myself but I need some help.
I have made a Buy me a Coffee page. If you're unsure what it is, it's essentially a service that allow consumers of creative content (like yourself) to tip & support artists they love. Unlike Patreon, there is no subscription necessary, no monthly membership if you don't want to.
As a multidisciplinary artist working for myself, 2020 was not good. I'm lucky to be with my family and earn my keep, but I met many more barriers than opportunities, more expenses than profit. Art markets were cancelled and any applications to residencies were fruitless, especially with restrictions on travel. You have shown my online shops & digital illustration so much love (I will always be grateful for that, trust me) but unfortunately I'm not in a position of great renown to make a living off of it. I'm not eligible for relief funds and have been advised to apply for social assistance, but I have not followed through yet. I have so many ideas and skills to offer but without a more stable flow of income I feel sort of stuck. Throughout the year I worked hard to stay positive, as I am in a very fortunate position compared to others, but I must confess that I am vulnerable.
Things will get better I'm sure, but in the meantime I would really appreciate some help. If you visit my Buy me a Coffee(Lifesblood) page, you'll be able to donate in increments of $4. As mentioned before, it can be a one-time thing that doesn't require you to sign up. My website now has widgets on every page that make it super easy to leave a tip.
The only reason you would make an account on BMC is if you'd like to subscribe to me. Should you decide to become a member (which is set to $5/month), you would get a few perks:
Future extras I have in mind entail things like studio tours, consultations and private work streams. This will be a great opportunity to speak with me, the artist, maybe help you to determine whether you'd like to help me further by subscribing to a membership. If this gets going, and I can do what I love and help pay my expenses? That would be truly amazing.
This donation page will support me enough to follow my calling. If you can't buy my products or artwork, a tip will still honour and humble me. Sharing this letter with your friends will also help me tons!!
Take care, everyone
It's been a while! Again!
It's crazy that it's almost August. I took a much needed trip while the COVID19 numbers have dropped, and I visited my friends in the GTA. Time away from the house-and-studio amalgamation was extremely liberating and helpful. We mostly stayed indoors but I did get some supplies for my practice, all the while ensuring social distancing.
I don't intend this post to be that long, and honestly that's how they're gonna be this point forward, unless I have to vomit all my thoughts about a certain topic. I kept a weekly schedule up for half a year and I think now I'll just be writing only if I feel a lot has happened after a period of silence. This time I've been mostly preoccupied with tasks unrelated to art, aside from the trip I had. Now that I'm back a feel a lot less cornered.
However! I'm experiencing issues with Adobe and can't proceed with digital stuff, which is unfortunate. The time it will take to resolve it is up in the air so I'll be following someone's suggestion and use an open source illustration program instead, which very well might suit my needs better. It may have a learning curve but I'm not sure. It'd be a good idea to post my experience on my stories, just so that you get something to see, maybe even pick up yourself. My thoughts on Adobe have always been negative, but I begrudgingly admit that their programs make everything easier.
I bought some more rubber silicone to make replicas of more wax-sculptures, but just in small supply. It's a different type of silicone so it'll be interesting to see how it behaves and how well it reads detail. I also visited a tool shop reserved for metal casting/jewelry to take a look at their dremel bits and bring some home. They will be incredibly helpful for coldworking glass and vitreograph plates.
Remember when I had the Lonely Hydra laser-engraved? I still have it, it's the only remaining plate since the others shattered. I considered returning back to that with all the tools I acquired and printing one last time. As it is, the image is not deep enough to hold too much ink, but I'm thinking some more texture work on it would be very interesting.
I still intend to print plates I've made over the years and I still plan to do another batch of “Vessel”. It seems like that one is a very successful piece, as it was accepted into two shows! It feels like a win and it makes me very happy. I've mentioned that it's been accepted to TOMPE2020, which will open July 29th, but it has also been accepted into Miniprint Kazanlak, which will take place August 27th. I sent the package out for Bulgaria on Monday and I'm hoping the Priority shipping reaches them in time. It was a bit dicey since the address was hard to translate and I had some limited information... fingers crossed!!
You can click on the images below to reach their pages.
So there, a bit a news and what's going on now. I don't know when the next post will be but I will probably have collected some progress shots for you, anything that I'll post to my Instagram or Facebook. I hope you guys are doing well and taking care out there!
I initially thought that my one week of rest would be sufficient but apparently not so! I ended up needed a lot more time to recuperate... it's been a while since I've been able to look at other content creators and appreciate what they do, especially in gaming. My own art has thus been put on hold, and I've been balancing errands indoors, outdoors and some me-time.
It was a good thing that I got my printing done ahead of time, as I was able to make both deadlines I was aiming for, one of which has presently proved successful. Both “Firefighter Below the Sea of Smog” and the newest “Vessel” have been accept to this year's TOMPE show (The Ontario Miniature Print Exhibition). TOMPE2020 will take place on July 29th, and depending on how COVID19 numbers run, it will be open to the public but with a virtual reception online. The show will run until August 15th. Closer to the date I'll be able to give you proper details!
The second deadline I sent “Vessel” off to is the International Contemporary Miniprint of Kazanlak, Kazanlak being a town in Bulgaria. I'm hoping the good news of TOMPE spills over to this one. I'm slightly thankful that the deadlines were pushed back due to the pandemic, because given the failure of the “Lonely Hydra”, I would not have ended up with “Vessel”. Funny how timing works. Fingers crossed it gets accepted!
Because of my self-appointed break I have still not gone down to start the next batch of “Vessel”, but I will this week. I've purchased more paper, and I'm hoping to ship some more inks and mediums since the art store near me has limited stock. If I find myself waiting I'll just cut and register the paper to prep for the next printing session.
Very little on the digital front aside from shop upkeep and some deep thinking. The political climate lately has encouraged me to think sooner about some ideas I have, to diversify things in a respectful and tasteful way. For example, it was always my intention to eventually compose an African Glass God.
As a refresher, Glass Gods is a niche of works where I recreate gods with glass-craft gear and elements. It's a joke that started with my classmates, where we paid tribute to the glass gods to ensure the survival of our pieces. Gafferdite first appeared as an advert image to one of our Valentine's Day Glass Sales, one of many to raise funds for our program. People loved her, and since then I've wanted to continue works like this, incorporating mythical content with glass culture. In the conversation of culture appropriation, both Gafferdite and the Blown Horn Norns from Inktober (pending on a proper title, this unofficial one just makes me laugh) were easy pickings because they are gods or figures of antiquity, which are now commonly used in pop culture through a variety of ways anyway.
When it came to Gurasu Gods, with Izanagi and Izanami prominent figures of the Shinto religion, my primary issues included research and making sure that the image I appropriated was old enough to be public domain. Shinto elements have also be used in more contemporary twists by modern artists, but as a Caucasian I feel it is very important for me to ensure my vision doesn't bastardize anything. Gurasu Gods received very positive feedback, but unless it hits a broader audience I can't know for certain. I want it to be made clear that diversifying and exploring different cultures is my form of appreciation for them, and it is not at all my intention to make fun or take advantage of them. I would very much hope that Gurasu Gods is not viewed negatively as Japonisme, but I obviously can't control how people react, and that's why I would like to cover my bases, to make sure what I'm doing is original and makes sense.
I can't help but feel a bit cautious when creating an African Glass God. African art and mythos is extremely rich, but you do have to reach further for it than you do with European art history. I would have to know exactly what I'm working with and what implications can be made with my choices. Egypt is an important location in glassblowing history so that may be a good place to start, but I hope to educate myself in the different regions of Africa and their corresponding cultures.
Research is of utmost importance, yet the main obstacle will be in execution. Given the political turmoil this year, my previous approach of “research, borrow, recreate, parody” does not sit well with me as an appropriate method; even though the issues lately are reserved for the Americas (African-American Culture ≠ African Culture), this is where my audience exists, and it could be very easy to misconstrue what I'm about. I don't want to take advantage of any movement, let alone be accused of doing so. These are not political illustrations, and are not associated with anything other than the glass craft community. I have already spoken to some POC friends of mine about ideas and what sort of formula I should stick to make sure the intention is more easily recognized, and they've been very helpful and insightful.
I must admit that I suspect some will still think I have no right to touch anything POC-related, no exceptions, unless its proceeds are donated or it functions as a collaboration, the latter of which I would agree with. For example, I will never touch Aboriginal/Indigenous gods or incorporate the staple black/red/white aesthetic without collaborating with an indigenous artist. As I mentioned before, the Glass Gods are not political and I don't feel comfortable about being coerced into donating to any cause. I hope you understand that this does not mean I don't align myself with human decency, a conclusion many seem to leap to.
If the case in which I cannot ethically explore gods of other histories rings true, it will not deter me from diversifying my Glass pantheon. I have the option to stick to gods of antiquity (greek, roman, norse, celtic etc.) and simply reimagine them as POC, at that point simply adding more representation to what is typically known as white. A friend of mine pointed out that there's still a risk of people being upset of a racial change, but I feel at that point it's not on me. “Doomed if you will, doomed if you won't”.
I'll be looking forward to more conversations, and I hope that maybe I will go on ahead and sketch out some new ideas in the next few weeks. But before I get too ahead of myself, I will work on my outstanding projects and FINISH them.
Thanks for reading. If you have some thoughts on my Glass Gods speculations, I would love to hear your perspective, especially if you feel personally affected.
"Dual Roots" was completed and released this week, as you might have seen already. I'm very pleased with it! By the time this post goes live it will be active on all of Society6, Redbubble, and Art of Where, as well as properly cataloged on the first two platforms. You can visit S6 and RB on the sidebar!
With that one done, I can move back to chipping away a Uke Fresco... which brings me to related bad news: my ukulele broke!! It was very unfortunate. The peg that lodged the neck and the body together had splintered and broken down over time due to the tension of the strings. So I decided to detach it and replace the core with a very large screw and a lot more woodglue. To further reinforce I decided to drive nails down, but in the process I managed to splice the Dark Crystal from the back of the neck, adding more work... some gluing and woodfilling later, it's a hot mess. I left it alone for a week having been caught up with my main work but I hope to return to it later today. I'll need to clean it up, sand it, paint over repairs, and seal it again. I've been a little sad all week that I haven't been able to practice my tunes, so fingers crossed the finishing goes swiftly.
Tomorrow, I'll be starting the new batch of "Vessel" prints for the end of the month, which I look forward to. I have considered livestreaming, but I still have to sit on the idea a little longer. I'm self-conscious of my workspace since it is just the basement where most junk and food essentials are stored. If I just pose the angle at the table where I'm working it might be worth a shot, but it would have to incorporate both inking and the press. Maybe when I'm done registering paper I'll fiddle around with a tripod someplace, and arrange for no interruptions.
After "Vessel" is done, I actually recovered some other plates that I wish to print off of. It'll be fun to revisit "Gruff", "Saturnine", and "Glassmaker's Hearth" to build up some stock, but I also have this larger one I crafted to test out integrated glass printing a few years back. It's just a scene of marshland, but it'll be fun to see how it would look like as a vitreograph. It's worn in deep so I'm unsure it would work as an intaglio surface but it's still worth trying!
That's pretty much it for now. I'll be joining a phone meeting with GAAC about the Social Media Team proposal I mentioned last week, and I'll let you know how that goes. If you haven't visited the Virtual Exhibition, please do!
Happy Father's Day,
P.S. Oh!! Society6 has joined the facemask game, which means I have to revisit all of my designs on there up to date... Nice, but also ugh, more upkeep. Should only take me a sitting though, so I'll get it done asap!
I took the week off posting to social media, partly to reduce noise but to also just let myself recuperate. I have kept myself busy with things though!
I managed to get some really interesting prints of “Vessel”. I've finally accepted that I don't have to have a set amount of editions so I've been a lot more happy trying different things on the fly. It has a very different look depending on the inkjob and what paper colour is used. I have some that are just two layers, some that have three, and others that have four. I'm very happy with myself, especially with my registration.
I'll be printing more iterations now that I have a better idea of what I'd like “Vessel” to look officially. Unfortunately I've run out of transparent base, which has proved to be a very effective modifier to my inks. Due to quarantine times it seems a lot of art stores are in short supply, and I won't be able to get some before my next deadline at the end of the month. I'll have to call around tomorrow to get an estimated stockup date. I'm sure I can find my ways around it though!
In other news, since it's been a while since a new print-on-demand design was dropped, I've been working on a new illustration. It's based on the negative that was used to produce my glass pieces “Flourish”, “Churn”, and “Thrive”. The two motifs were always meant to be displayed together, but the project I had used the them for involved a lot more experimentation than finalization (what's new?). I still have the originals and their rubber duplicates, as well as some backup photo-resists. Maybe I can make another glass original with both images on it... then I don't have to worry about how they fit together on different planes.
But back to the image, I will have three iterations of its design available in the shops, and maybe even some with just one or the other. Stay tuned for that, I hope to release it as soon as possible!
If you're reading this and happen to be someone who's bought from my shops, thank you!! I really appreciate your support, and I would love to see you donning it or tell me what you think.
In other news, “Gethsemane” is on display in “Exhibition Eh!”, a virtual glass exhibition through the Glass Art Association of Canada. You'll see my entry under my official name, which is a mouthful... I'm hoping to have that resolved soon. In addition to that, “Plague Gaffer” is also technically on display as the exhibition's official representative, which humbles me. I hope to make a companion glass maker of his likes very soon, after this design and after I finish “Uke Fresco” when I stop. Putting. It. OFF!
Anyway, just click the image below and it'll open up the virtual exhibition in a separate tab!
I have also been asked to be apart of the GAAC Social Media team! I'm very excited and look forward to seeing how that goes.
I thiiiiiiink that's it for now. Stay tuned for some content and updates this week, I feel a lot better after my break. I suggest anyone to do so, even if social media seems especially pressing.
Connecting with you soon,
The print call-of-submission deadline that I was grinding towards delayed this entry, but it ended up being pushed for another month, which is a blessing. That being said, I am going to continue cultivating my rate of productivity.
Vessel has reached the point where I can play around with proofs, to see what needs revisiting and how I want the finals to look. After the Lonely Hydra, I experience a bit of a thrill before running the plate through the press, just WAITING for the dings of stress fissures. But so far so good. I've been posting stories of its progress on my social platforms if you missed them, but I can plant a few photos here. So far so good... the gluechip ripped a little deeper than I meant to, so there is a bit of a dip where the paper won't pick up the ink, but I can work around it. I also have a separate plate I can play around with, maybe to add a different dimension.
Before I started printing, as a precaution, I made a rubber silicone impression of the carving. It's not meant to help recreate a printing plate or anything, but it does give me the chance to make an integrated glass print of it in the future. Since I was working with rubber silicone anyway, I went and made molds of the two skulls I sculpted in wax. A little bit on the thin side, they mark the end of my Rebound 25 supply, so I won't be able to make any more replica molds until I get the funds for a new kit. I guess it's finally time to start making finals and look for kilns to fire in.
Finally. I kept telling myself I was just getting ready for production, getting ready for the time I can start firing in an accessible kiln and be unstoppable. But being stuck in the prep process has admittedly locked me in that stage, extinguishing and confusing my inspirations and priorities. My search for kilns has also been neglected, whether to own and place in my own home or at any collectives. A lot of things have gotten in the way, so I won't beat myself up too badly, but there are certain things I wish I had a better grasp of. Better late than never though, right? I'm excited.
I'm also excited by the fact that my Art of Where shop is F.I.N.A.L.L.Y up to date!! I won't be bogged down by it whenever I sit down to make a new design. I'm gonna get back to Uke Fresco and finish it and post it EVERYWHERE. AT THE SAME TIME. YES. Then I can make some new things! And keep up to date! At all times! Wow, it's silly to me how I let that happen in the first place, but here we are. That platform was new to me and I wasn't sure if I wanted to use it. But considering how little I can markup things from Society6 and Redbubble and make much of a profit, maybe I'll have more control with tangible objects I can carry in stock from AoW.
After posting this entry I have a few non-art-related things to take care of, like catching up on homelife errands but I'll go right back down into the basement studio. I hope all of you are doing well out there.
Uhhh. Things got really hectic real fast!
First part of my week was pretty good, all things considered. There were some speedbumps here and there like weather or things breaking down but we made some hedway in the yard. When it rained I'd pick up cataloguing and bringing my Art of Where up to speed. Uploading has gotten a lot faster on there since I know what I want each product to have. I also accepted the fact that sometimes consistency isn't possible because a design won't look good on certain things so I count my losses and keep going.
Then I realized one of my deadlines was a day earlier than expected and bam!! Kicked me down the stairs into the studio after a long time. I started work on a new image, inspired by simply searching up the word “vessel”.
In glassmaker's lingo, “vessel” refers to any glass object that is made to contain something, so we typically call cups, jars and bottles vessels. I had initially meant for this project to make it for a Call of Submission made by the Glass Art Association of Canada, but that deadline ended up being today and I faced some obstacles in time management. If I really tried to rush it I might have made it, but I feel very strongly about taking my time with this one. So yeah, the impulse to use “vessel” as a prompt was due to my craft side.
The term also has a strong spiritual connotation with me, especially inspired by the media I consume. In this case the vessel is the body containing the soul or some other truly precious essence. A vessel preserves and protects the contents, possibly even imprisons it. I tend to lean toward the latter, because I always feel trapped within the physical, filling me with frustration. Attempts to express myself at a level of catharsis isn't always socially acceptable either, so the boundaries of a vessel can extend to normative expectations, a very ambiguous realm. So anyway, vessel is a very interesting term for me.
So when I searched up the word I was immediately attracted to this structure in Manhattan, New York. Is it a hive? A ribcage? What a pleasantly geometric construction. I thus made a reproduction of it to explore urban ruin. I personally love this image, which is part of the reason why I don't want to rush it.
I have two call of submissions left to apply for, so I have about a week or so. As I mentioned some time ago, deadlines aggressively jumble my priority list so you'll never see any consistent work progress from me. It's a thing! I can't do much about it right now but I hope to improve. I have two plates on the go that I will try to gluechip, (it's gonna be a bit difficult during this humid spell we're experiencing here). Then they'll be dremeled and good to go! I have all of this paper I cut to size, originally for the Lonely Hydra, so at least I don't have to spend too much time on that end. Keep a close eye on my social media and you may see it realized step by step.
Oh, and another reason why I'm kicked back into gear is because there will be a print market day I'm attending, tentatively. I say that because I'm unsure if it'll be pushed further back to abide by COVID19 restrictions. In my mind it was already cancelled, but there hasn't been an official call for cancellation or further delay. Now I feel a bit unprepared, even though I do have lots of stock. There is still much I wish to do, both work- and setup-wise. I will announce it closer to the date of whether it's still on or not, so keep your eyes peeled!
One final piece of news, Art of Where have released face coverings as a product! Looks like I gotta backtrack yet again, but it shouldn't take long. Maybe I can get some in before the market.
Yeah I'm gonna have to sit down and make a whole new list of priorities again. RIP.
The weather has been very good the past week so I spent most of it outside with my father. We installed some drainage pipes in our backyard because our soil tends to soak up all the water and make it extremely difficult to get anything done. So I tuned into some podcasts and dug holes and trenches. In addition to that we sorted through a lot of junk and waste materials, and right before the rainfall we managed to chart them off to a dump. We dismantled some of our fences, trimmed the dying tree we intend to take down later, and more or less reorganized our priorities. While my dad is away for his next trip, I'll just keep filling holes and even out the ground in our garage shed for when we lay down the asphalt.
So with all that happenings, I didn't have much time to return to any of my projects, which is a bummer. In the downtime I did end up having, I was too exhausted or sore. To stay productive in those times I continued documenting my shops and uploaded the Lonely Hydra designs to Art of Where, since I was going to do that eventually. Other than a few bugs with the system here and there, it went by rather smoothly. In the midst of it I realized that I didn't have a white lineart of it in my Society6 or Redbubble shops, so I put that on my list to do. A white iteration of Plague Gaffer was also made, and both have been uploaded to Redbubble since writing this. It shouldn't take long for Society6 because there won't be that many products with them.
I realize that all this is probably really boring, but life be like that sometimes. I am super excited of getting that backyard in order, after years and years of neglect. I'm excited for the garden, finishing the garage shed, organizing a proper home studio! As it stands, a lot of the boxes I've organized with my materials and tools have been piled and tucked, which makes it a hassle to get to. When I can have everyhing on-hand, in a space of work and not comfort, well, I feel that my productivity will be properly maintained.
If the emergency lockdown ends soon, I'll be able to return to the studio space Cheryl has for me in Aylmer. It'll be smaller than what I'll have when we're done here but it's a studio space nonetheless. Plus I get to see some amazing people (and cats) I've really missed.
I'll take this long weekend to catch up on any documentation but to also rest a little bit. Starting Tuesday I have some print-related tasks lined up to meet with some deadlines. Expect to see some pictures this time, since this week has been a little dead on my social media.
Happy Mother's Day!
Mm, this week sort of went by like a blur. Sometime last week, while I was preoccupied thinking about masks through Art of Where, I wasn't aware that Redbubble already released that option. I only really check on my shops when I have a new release, so I was fortunate to have someone mention it to me. So all the designs I've previously published now have a mask option!
And many more!
In addition to that I released and re-released two designs. Sundance was published some time ago but I was unsatisfied with it. I revisited it by taking a properly-lit photo and working with it, and I'm happier with this version. The new design, City of Gold, is a painting I made for my mother five years ago; it currently hangs in the hall outside our bedrooms. Both designs are good additions to my abstract series, Enthralled. You can view products with their print in both of my Society6 and Redbubble shops!
While those were published, I spent time with my Art of Where account. The design lab is very intuitive there, but I wish there was a way to save the workspaces as files. I change my mind a lot about certain products (ex. Background colours, inclusions of watermarks, etc.) so I end up having to start from scratch anyway. I also have to try and keep some consistency, depending on the design. Plague Doctor is the biggest collection because while it's the same concept, there are eight iterations of it. It makes tracking them hard, especially if they all carry the same name. So this week I went back, tallied, and renamed everything, which in turn also alerted me of missing products i had to remake.
I never got around to uploading the Lonely Hydra, which I don't look forward to doing, but hopefully I do everything right the first time. I don't want to have to return and reorganize each time! But that'll have to wait for a little bit because I do want to return to my pending projects.
Wax skulls have been rendered to my liking, thanks to some bingeing of Community. They're currently anchored with their reservoirs in the basement so that I can inspect them one last time before rubbercasting them. I also refashioned the octopus with the reservoir in a new location, in hopes the new orientation will resolve air bubble issues. To carry on with the with bottle prototypes, I'll stick to the fabrication of the first line of cores incorporating the skulls I've made, as well as some flower moulds I nabbed from Michael's.
The printing table has been left in the same state for a few weeks now; I've taken the shattering of the Lonely Hydra plate to heart and the motivation's null. But I'll just have to get it out of the way so that I can proceed with new plates, plates that won't take so long to do because I can't go get em blasted anyway. They will be sketchy, they will be rough, but I'm certain they will be interesting. Anything to keep going, and they'll make great entries for a virtual exhibition coming up!
Lest we forget the Uke Fresco. Sigh. I'll get to that soon.
I leave you today with a bit of a 180, because while things have been mainly positive on my end, I see you. I wish you the best of luck, whether you fear for yourself, your loved ones, your country, our wellbeing physically or mentally (or all of the above).
Keep faith, fight the good fight, and remember your compassion.
Why does King Ghidorah have to have 3 heads? Do other artists get sick and tired of doing the same thing three times? Like gosh dang.
Yeah, so this week was mostly just chipping at the Uke Fresco but I found my focus very divided. So I took the time to catch up on housecleaning and touching base with friends. It was also nice to tune in to some talks about glass art and practice, which were very pleasant to listen to as I worked. The dates of shows and deadlines I had lined up dropped like flies shortly after the pandemic/emergency shutdown took place and it's taken me a while to revise my planner because, well, with all this time it's actually fairly hard to sit down and do. I've mostly been looking at how to improve Spicy Honey Heart.
When I finished Plague Gaffer, I released the design on Society6, Redbubble and (the one I want to talk about today) Art of Where. Like I mentioned some time ago, I got carried away and ended up creating over 600 designs on there, which is crazy considering fabrication actually closed down in response to the pandemic. But I couldn't resist, in the hopes that it would be lifted soon, and lo and behold, we have a (tentative) date. Art of Where will (tentatively) boot up production on May 11th. As opposed to S6 and RB, Art of Where is located in Quebec, Canada, which is an ideal source for my Canadian customers. I don't expect to get an order in a reasonable amount of time since they're backlogged, but I'm not at that point yet anyway.
The main reason why I bring this up though is the fact that they're looking into fabricating fashionable, cotton, filtered masks, and I have mixed feelings about it.
I have had people approach me and mention that they would love to see my designs on a mask and I thought to myself, “how is making a profit on that ethical?”. It's odd. I considered them essential items. Like, I've seen people buy plague doctor masks, but I didn't know if they were using them for practicality, to make a statement or just to be silly/cool (and yes that's a fine line). Does the fact they have a pretty pattern on them make them non-essential? Is it a joke item at that point, a fad?
Am I reading too much into it? The answer turns out to be yes.
I just had an excellent chat with an old instructor of mine, and he stated that the function of a mask is essential, but there's no issue with designing the pattern of a mask and making a profit from people who wish to don that design. He also reminded me that decorated masks have been a thing in Asia for a very long time anyway, which makes me feel silly because I didn't make that connection earlier. What keeps trying to hold me back is the idea I'm making a profit of the situation; kinda scummy, but what else am I to do to earn a living doing what I love?
It's not like I'm taking cheap one-takes that people desperately need, then painting and selling for three times their worth. And I've seen some very talented people sew their own masks, but I admit I don't know if they gave them to close family/friends for free or offered them for sale. If it was the latter... why would be bad? They made them themselves to help others in some way. To pay them for their labour is fair. They would have to price it according to their materials and time though, so unless they gutted themselves in the name of the greater good, they would be pricey. To have a print-on-demand company offer the option of making this item, it cuts costs down for those who are looking for a fashionable and reusable mask. I only make a margin of each one fabricated and sold anyway... I'm doing it because I love to see them actualized, it brings me joy. They are crafted as they're ordered, never wasted. And heck, if this was a normalized option it could encourage more people to don masks in public spaces, which has shown to be effective in flattening the curve. Why not go out with a cool motif or pattern? It brings a bit of light and expression to the situation.
I think I will set aside the semantics and just go for it. We don't know how long we're in this for and we need to adapt.I don't know who'll buy the ones I design, but to have it as an option in general would be pretty awesome. When would this ever happen again in our lifetime?
Hopefully just once.
That's all for today, just a bit of speculation. I sat down and made a list of any outstanding digital pieces I have so I hope to just burn through them before I decide to return to the studio. I'm sorry if you were hoping to see some prints or waxes, It's been a lot more Spicy Honey Heart and less Willowind, but that's hasn't been much on that front. I guess I can show you some refinement of the skull!
Take it easy out there,