The style of art I adopted all started back in…. either grade school or middle school, maybe middle school. I was at a band concert and a young adult was in front of me doodling on a paper. He was doing two things I really liked, he was making these like very abstract 3d type box structures and then was also drawing a sort of amoeba type thing. Perhaps even that night, but certainly by the next day I started copying his work, and then found myself just filling pages with different designs and putting them wherever on paper when I was a bit bored. I began to play around with different colored pens a bit and doing bubbles inside the amoebas… I drew a lot of the boxes as well, I still like to do that.
So, I did that for years, was one of my go to doodles. I don’t remember much of college in general, so I am not sure how often I did them there, but, I am sure I did. After college, I even would do them at work in between boxing parts with a little downtime. I think I had pondered how they might look on canvas someday, but I had no experience with painting at all really, so never really tried.
I may have drawn some in my first mental hospital stay, but certainly in my month long stay at the second mental hospital I was drawing them again. I started to use much more color at that point and thought more about painting them. I got out of there in November and I may have even gotten my first canvas sheets for Christmas that year, I wanted to give them a try finally. Which when I did, it all changed a bit, because I have like no clue how to paint really, and I couldn’t make things as small as on paper with just pens or colored paper. So, they became a bit simpler in a way, when I transferred them over to canvas.
Well, I was struggling working even back then and decided I would try and sell the paintings for work. I didn’t exactly realize what I was going through yet, so felt people I knew may like them. I felt I had a rather good story to go with my art, which in the art world often times, you are buying a piece of a person’s time and their life story. There is certainly, just the amazing art, where people do phenomenal things. Which, I thought, perhaps people might like to buy a little bit of my story, would be a good conversation piece. Plus, I always felt they looked cool, and came to think the paintings were turning out very well. I came up with a quote one time that was something like… Art is painting your autobiography or something like that.
Really bringing up some memories now, my first effort at selling art was under the label, Mad but True, my friend’s idea. Which even then, I thought I might write and turn it into like an online magazine type deal and my friend who came up with that name, went to school for journalism… I felt I could hire him to write as well once I made some money. It has come full circle in a way, which is funny, because I was thinking of him again for the same reason… Man, if this does well, maybe I could hire him as a writer or sports writer or something. But, I haven’t rattled that name Mad but True in my mind for quite some time.
So, I launched that site and got like zero views, nobody seemed interested…. it may have even been around that time I felt a friend of mine took a little jab at me, asking if I could paint a portrait of his family… A bit like saying, nobody wants to buy that, they will only pay for a skilled artist. Which, it may have just been said to be telling, it has lead me to think, that while I am in this initiation/bet, I can only get jobs that I am “technically qualified” for. Which, I think there are lots of rules, but I will save that for another day.
Well, I gave up not super long after I launched the site, was losing what little money I had paying to keep the website up. It was a failure. I would eventually keep finding myself painting at times. Then when I got my apartment, I made my next go at it, that may be when I started using framed canvas. I had really high hopes, and the bet was certainly in full swing at that point…. it may have actually been at that point when my friend asked me to paint a portrait of his family… so it may have been a bit of a put down and telling at the same time. It didn’t work out again, but I just painted and painted while I had that apartment, was filling the entire place wall to wall with painting. I started painting a lot of crosses, which, I began the Sunday tradition of reading a page or two of the new testament and then reflecting on it as I painted for an hour and listened to church music if I recall. I got through the whole new testament just a couple pages at a time, every Sunday. Which, at that time I was also giving “the people that listen to me” my interpretation of it. Also, inspired by a tom petty tie dye shirt I had, I started using a vast array of colors in my other abstract works.
Flood hit… a lot of my painting covered in muddy water… others covered in dust… they didn’t come out in very good shape, and I just cleaned them off with a hose… They might not survive to long, but I saved them. I still really like them, and they were an important stage in the transition of my work. Plus, I still use the same style a lot.
Down the road, I try again, this time as Art Degero, make a website, business cards, I send out postcards to all kinds of art galleries in various cities, I do Facebook advertising, all my friends to join the face book page. Ask some of my art friends to look at my stuff, see if they may have some luck in their art communities. I really put forth a strong initial effort and kept it up for a while. But I was out of room for paintings with frames. So, I needed to sell some to make room to paint more, and then keep posting them. I kept at it a little while, but felt it was all for nothing, so decided to pack it in… I had really high hopes that time, so it was big letdown… plus other people had high hopes and thought it was going to work, so I thought it was going to work. Was planning on a store front and a coffee shop/bookstore… eventually I would learn how to do pottery… I was highly emotionally invested… So, it hurt…. But that is part of the bet, making me think things will work out before tearing me down, get the optimal amount of pain out of the fall.
Then, last year I decided to go to school for psychology to be a therapist but wanted to minor in journalism to write about it… then I decided I didn’t want to be a therapist and that I would do journalism and psychology… then I decided I should try writing for the paper to get it going, which I came up with the title for my column, The Eclectic Schizophrenic, which the editor liked a lot. So, I wrote a couple articles for them and was thinking of taking everything real slow with the 4-year degree being when things would culminate. But, then this summer I had that bout of depression, and my brain kicked into dopamine mode and I got all hyper trying to find something that would make me happy and continue to be happy. So, I decided to try and get the career in gear now, which I like doing regardless, I just like writing and painting.
Started the blog… then I felt like painting again. I thought, hey, maybe people can take them off my hands if I give them away for free. I would enjoy just having a place for them to go honestly, that extra little sense of purpose of doing them, not just sitting in a pile in my room. So, I decided to try and start giving them away, which then I thought, may as well bring back Art Degero, you already made the bank account and did all the business paperwork, have my business license or whatever, its already turn key to get going. So, not it could be considered, The Eclectic Schizophrenic presents Art Degero.
Which of course the wheels are turning again, I can’t help but get excited. Maybe I will give away 25 or 50 away for free, and then ya never know, maybe a couple people will tip… then maybe in a year or something, I could sell them for a little bit of money. Perhaps I could start trying to contact newspapers or try and do some freelance work…. Maybe in a year or so I could be making a living doing this… I just need a little to be happy… between the art and the writing, who knows.
If I could just write, blog, and paint for a living, I would be living the dream. Even if it was just a few hundred bucks a week living at my parents haha.
So, it really has gone full circle since Mad But True (10 Years ago)… hadn’t even occurred to me until I wrote this how much so… I am certainly more committed now to continue my efforts and am even pursuing it on an academic level as well… so in a few years, I should be “technically qualified”. But, I don’t know, maybe it will work out before then if I am lucky… would be phenomenal if it did.
But, that is a little of the story of my art. Could probably write a book just explaining the art and my art journey to be honest.
Sorry it was a long one today! Just took off on me… Also, did not proofread, so sorry if any errors!