Car Questing

I had been driving my Purple Cavalier of Death for about five months with it in a rather dangerous state, due to severe rust. The rust was so bad that it had eaten through my fuel line and then carved its way into my interior, letting all the fumes into the car. Upon opening the door, a wave of overwhelming gas fumes engulfed me, and this is what I had to sit in wherever I went. My clothes, drawing pads, and really anything else that was in the car for any length of time reeked of gas! There was a guy I know from work ,who saw me at Starbucks one day, who told me that when he pulled into the parking lot and smelled the gas fumes, he knew instantly that I was there! If someone flicked a cigarette out the window while I was driving behind them, I thought to myself; “Well, this is it!”

In short, it was bad!

Not making much money, I had to deal with this for however long it took me to muster up some funds to get a new vehicle. Getting my tax money helped, but I knew I would need at least twice what I had to either get something that would run, or to fix up whatever I could get with what I had. I bumped around some dealers seeing if I could get financing, but without credit and making so little, no one would touch me! After a while, my family was able to scrounge up some extra cash to help me out, so I could finally get serious about looking, to which I am grateful.

Now, with some monetary backing, and pretty significant motivation, I set out to see what I could find. There is this little car lot by my house that I stopped by first. It had a nice looking Chevy S-10 that I had been drooling over every time I passed it. I figured I’d never be able to afford it with what I had, and this turned out to be true.

However, there was a cavalier on the lot that caught my eye. Other then the fact that MY cavalier was trying to poison me and blow me up, it was a pretty good little car. I didn’t mind having another one. I talked to the salespeople and they said they would finance me! I was happy, but I really don’t trust the small dealers around here, so I didn’t make any deals until I could get my brother, the mechanic, out out check it. He came down and looked it over pretty thoroughly; so much so that the salespeople thought we were messing up their car! We were making them very nervous. I thought it was funny. As it happened, we found that the entire front end had been replaced, and done so poorly. We also saw the frame was bent and then read on the Carfax that it had been totaled in a wreck! Needless to say we left very quickly afterward.

Undaunted, I kept on with the search and found another dealer with an S-10! I thought “Great! Just what I was wanting!” I called to see if they still had it, which they did, and told them I would be down the next day. I was excited! I drove down, with my girlfriend, to the dealer. They said it was off for some routine maintenance, and would be back in an hour or so. They said they’d call me when it got back. So off we went for a short drive (in her car) through the countryside while happy visions danced around my head of me in my knew truck. About an hour goes by and here comes the call: “We found that the bottom end is cracked, so we are junking the truck!” Not what I wanted to hear!

Moping at the coffee shop a bit later, I told my brother of the situation. He gets with his boss and he starts flashing us a bunch of vehicles that he has heard about or seen in ads. Mustering up some motivation again, I start calling the numbers looking for a lead. I got in touch with a guy selling a ’94 Ford Ranger, a truck that I might prefer over the S-10. So I set up a meet and off my brother and I go to look at it.

After a series of wrong turns and bad directions, by me apparently, we find where we are wanting to get to and see my future truck there before us. The guy was a pilot in the Air Force, who use to be a mechanic in same, and had kept the truck in good running order for the better part of 14 years.

The guy was real cool, and we both got a good vibe about the whole thing. He said his unit was being move and he had to get rid of everything. This is, I have learned, usually a tell tail sign of a scam, but it just didn’t seem the case here. He was upfront about everything that had happened with the truck, both good and bad, and it looked and felt like it was well cared for. The engine looked real good, and both my brother and I thought it would be a fun truck to work on.

Of course, there were some issues with the truck, but they were minor and cheep to fix. This was really an added bonus to me because it’s an opportunity to learn more about maintaining my vehicle. So we made our offer and got it at, I think, a steal of a price! What’s more, if I take good care of it and fix it up nice, I could potentially sell it for much more than I bought it for! So there be my grand quest to find my new Ranger!

Oh, and my poor Cavalier has mercifully been turned into a large, cube paperweight.

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Portrait Drawings

In my constant battle to get something started with my art, and since I’m having the worst luck with posting anything online at the moment, I thought it might be a great idea to take an ad out in the local ad magazine offering quality portrait drawings.  It seems like Montgomery would be a good market for that since there doesn’t seem to be much competition (that I can see) and parents love pictures of their kids.

I have sold some to friends and co-workers and have asked what they might pay for something like that.  I have received real positive feedback, which is always encouraging, so I started looking into it.  I found some sites that give pretty good overviews of the nitty-gritty of the business.

I know I can do a good portrait in a reasonable time. It’s not my favorite thing in the world to draw, but at least it is in the ball park. I need to get a proper website up to show examples of my stuff. I want to learn to build it myself, but for practical purposes I may brake down and use a page builder site.

I think I would do most of it by e-mail and postal system.  I don’t know if running around town meeting customers would be practical, especially with working a full time job, but I’m still working on the details.

This is an exciting venture to me, and I think, even if it is only a little extra money, it will get me some exposure and contacts into something broader.

So, here’s hoping!

Take A Breath…

As I have stated before, I am attempting to launch an online art business selling my drawings online.  The problem is, I have had the worst time taking photos of them that are worth selling as prints!  I have taken picture after picture and pored over countless blogs and forums looking for advice and strategies to improve my luck.  Though I have found some good tips, I have not gotten the desired results.

I don’t have the money to buy a scanner that would accommodate the size of my drawings, and my camera is just a point and shoot digital 14mp coolpix 4100.  It’s a nice camera for what I could afford, but it is not exactly professional quality.  I have been considering finding a professional photographer, but that costs money too.

I have become increasingly frustrated and discouraged, to the point of wondering if it’s worth it at all!  So tonight, I sat down at Starbucks and started to draw, (something I haven’t really been successful at in several months.)  I actually produced a pretty good drawing that resembled the idea I had in my head.  But, as with all my drawings, it took work, dedication and not giving up after committing mistakes.

Then I thought to myself that I have only really been actively perusing this for a few months!  Some artist spend years trying to make a respectable buck off their work.  I’m just starting out!  I need to chill out and realize that this problem will pass.  I just need to do what I can when I can, and just enjoy the ride.

So this is me taking a breath!

My Great Day In America

I’ve not taken a vacation in a while, so I took a week off and decided to get out of “The Gump” (Montgomery) and find some real civilization for a change of pace. The best I could come up with was going to Birmingham just up the road, so I looked with my girlfriend online to see what there was to do.

Bumping around for a while on the city web site, we found that Craig Ferguson was going to be at a comedy club.  “Well cool!” we thought. but the tickets were a little pricy, so we put the idea in the back burner of our minds as a definite maybe.

So off we go to the merry land of “B-ham” to do our thing, and having our fun by and by.  The question comes up again about whether to see our beloved Scottish-American funnyman, and I had reservations still about the cost.  It was getting late on the day of, so I looked at my money real close to see if I could muster enough up.  With a helpful push from my girlfriend, I chose to stomach the mild financial hit and partake in this pleasant rarity! So I look on the site and find out that the show started at 5:30.  It was 5:40!  Crap!

Luckily, there was a second show at 7:45! Of course, I figured there was no way there were any tickets left, but I had to try anyway.  I was committed now! There were none left online, so I called the number to the club.  The nice lady told me that they were sold out, but to come in about an hour beforehand, and she would put us on the waiting list.

Well, I wasn’t expecting much, but I was ready to give it a shot.  Of course we get lost on the way, (this being a running theme of the entire trip,) but at last we arrive to a long line of people pouring out the door.  We trudge our way through them to the box office and get our names on the waiting list.  I asked how long it was and she informed me that it is not long at all.

Well, cool, this looks like it just might work.  Not 10 minutes go by when our name is called out to purchase our tickets! So, tickets bought, we get in the ever growing line of people, feeling pretty good about our good fortune.  About 15 minutes later, they start letting people into the hall.  We hand in our tickets and a waitress escorts us to our assigned seats.

Now, we were expecting to have THE worst seats and the house, which would have been fine with us, but our waitress passes one row of tables, then another, and another until we find ourselves within spitting distance of the stage in amazing seats that we never would have gotten had we bought them in advance!

Needless to say, the show was epically hilarious, and we walked out marveling at our exceptionally good fortune!  It was an amazing end to our trip and I’m so glad I took the opportunity.

P.S.  We got out of there before the tornadoes hit the city, so I count our good fortunes of the day, but my heart goes out the the people caught in the horrid weather.

First Artwork!

Buy my work

Well, after much turmoil, I finally have uploaded my first picture onto a print sales site called redbubble.com. This is Kayla Renns, a character of mine from a sci-fi space opera story I created a long time ago.  And I mean a LONG time ago!  Like, elementary school long time ago!

Of course, as a kid, I never pictured her quite this way.  Anyway, the story goes, at least currently, humanity is an endangered species and has been exiled from Earth.  Small bands of humans, in small fleets or colonies, meander across the stars, just trying to survive in a universe that by and large wants to exterminate them.

Kayla is in charge of a troop in one of these fleets that goes around trying to aid the remaining human outposts in whatever way it can.  She, like most humans, is forced to lead a life in constant conflict, but wishes for a more peaceful existence.  She is very motherly and  protective to her troops, while being cold and calculating on the battlefield.

Yeah, I know, typical sci-fi stuff.  But it’s what I like.  The Drawing itself is a sketch that was largely a hair study, but I also worked hard on the shading of the clothes and belts.  I really like the way it came out overall, but I think the belly might use a touch-up.  Of course, I also think things like that are what give a picture its charm and personality, so I don’t know if I will change it.

This picture was one that I submitted to my first live gallery showing!  It was a showing designed for artist who don’t get much, if any, of that kind of exposure. I had a lot of fun with it and was glad I could show off my stuff.  I hope to get into more in the future, but I have to get this online gig set up first!

And check out my new redbubble page by clicking on the picture above!

The Art Journey So Far…

One day about a month and a half ago, I was at Starbucks on my computer, feeling crummy about my lot in life to this point, and wondering what to do to improve it.  I typed in “art jobs” or something similar into my lap top to see what might come up.

 

There popped up a site that boasted I could make money by posting art online!  Naturally this peeked my interest, so I read the entire sales pitch to see what i might learn.  I found myself getting very excited about the possibilities, but this ebook cost some money, and I am very wary about getting suckered into a scam, so I bumped around the internet looking for some clarification.   It turns out that this was in fact not a scam but a legit thing.

Still being the pragmatic, cautious person I fashion myself to be, I decided to wait and search more before I rushed into anything.  I found a blog called http://www.extraordinarytourist.com/, which I found provided me with a wide range of resources and advice that proved to be very helpful. It led me to a site called http://artmoneyguide.com/, which is another guide on getting into online art.  Again, I researched it just to make sure, and felt confident that it was a safe bet, gave myself another moments pause, and finally gave into ambition and bought it.

It has proven to be most helpful and informative.  It has helped me draw a path to follow in making a business for myself a reality.  It is still early in the process, (I don’t even have any art posted yet) but the fact that I have this blog helps motivate me to take the next step and the next.

I hope to have some art up within the week and see where things go.

Mad Rabbit

It is the nature of any artist to go through periodic blocks, in which one cannot put to page that which is in one’s imagination.  It can be quite frustrating to want to create something, anything, and not be able to.

So an  exercise I have taught myself is to scribble all over my paper and stare at it for a while, looking for images within the jumbled mess.  I will then go in and darken in whatever I see with my pencil or pen.

Often times, I’ll see a face or figure. Sometimes it can be an odd but interesting design or 3D shape.  Once, I saw a rather angry looking rabbit.  Now, most of the time, these are just ways to release some creative tension, and most of these doodles never cross my mind again; much less ever again see the light of day.  But for whatever reason, that rabbit stayed with me.  I figured that if I were ever a somebody, I think I would name my institution “Mad Rabbit.”

Thus, here is the dawn of my Mad Rabbit business venture!

Guess I need to find that picture again and make a logo…