Creative Office Hours

A few months ago I decided to be serious about my creative side projects. For too long I was letting work and my professional career take my focus away from creative endeavors I had wanted to pursuit for years.
However, with it came fear about starting something new, personal, and very intimate and the pressure of sharing it immediately with the world. If you’ve ever read The War of Art, you understand the conflict of wanting to create work but scared about it not being perfect.
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At the same time, there is a need to get feedback on where you should focus your creative path. One of the things I miss most from college is not just studying fine art, but having a place to share and talk about my work with other people.
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We all find ourselves more than capable of creating great work. More often than not, we need a sounding board to share our ideas or find inspiration from things that often remind us of ourselves. The life goal of a creator is self-expression, and while it might seem at first to be a solitary journey, you need to feel like part of something. That something is a part of a team, a collaborative environment where everyone is working to come up with ideas and produce good work.
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A couple of weeks ago, I had the idea to try creating a community of people with creative side projects (and day jobs) that were willing to share their work with others, even if it was virtually.
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At first I was imagining a monthly meetup, salon style, for people to present their work to others and gain feedback. I wrote a post on Facebook to see who was initially interested and asked them directly if they had a creative project they were currently working on. I found two scenarios: either people were working on projects and had no community, or they had ideas for creative projects but didn’t know where to start.
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That’s how I came up with the idea of Creative Office Hours, a Facebook group (for now) where people can share and talk about their creative goals along with the struggles of working on a creative side hustle while balancing, well, life. The idea of “office hours” was based on something I do on a weekly basis: sitting at my desk at home and dedicated a few hours, on the same day of each week, to review my goals for the week and take care of other to do’s.
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It’s still very much in it’s infancy stage, but the group was created, it’s real, and you’re welcome to join if you currently have a creative side project to share, or need inspiration on how to start.

 

 

Starting #100DaysofGesture

 

Around this time last year, I read the excellent book The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna. Along with the release of her book, she launched the #100DayProject with The Great Discontent. I launched my own project focused on #100HoursOfPainting, but quickly realized the challenges of making a commitment based on time versus producing a tangible thing (you don’t do it!).

Attempting to paint for one hour a day seemed like an easy feat, especially on days when I would be able to put in 3 – 5 hours and get ahead of the daily schedule. It was great while I was doing grand jury duty and could paint between 5 – 8 am every morning, but then I started a new job and trying to fit in an hour within an already overly packed schedule was too much.

I also realized that the point of the project is not just to commit to sitting down every day to work on a project, but to produce a completed piece and feel a sense of accomplishment.

This year my project is #100DaysofGesture, focusing on a loose style of sketching usually used for warming up before figure drawing. I always liked the unfinished feeling of drawings done in gesture sketching style and how it has a dreamlike quality. It’s likely that most of the drawings will be portraits of people, whether from real life or photographs.

Throughout college and the past few years, I always liked going to drink-n-draws and figure drawing sessions, drawing from family photographs, and experimenting with capturing a person’s mood or expression in the sketch. I remember the summer I was interning in Chicago (and was incredibly broke) when I would spend my time riding the train and sketching strangers on the subway.  It was fantastic practice in being able to capture how someone looked as quickly (and conspicuously) as possible.

I also have done a series of paintings based on photos of myself and one of my sisters from childhood. The focus hasn’t always been to make sure the paintings “look just like us”, but more so to capture the childlike quality of our expressions in those photos. Recently I was visiting my parents and discovered a large box of photographs from my childhood, so I’ll have ample inspiration for this project.  I’ve also been wanting to focus on sketching and possibly caricature for an upcoming project I’m working on.

The challenge of this project for me is to share work right away, and only having one day at the most to tweak and perfect it. Having to post it on Instagram publicly will leave my project open to criticism, but it’s better than never showing anything at all.

You can follow my project on Instagram through #100DaysofGesture.

My Favorite Things #20: BaddieWinkle & Barbie

Socality Barbie
Socality Barbie is this amazing Instagram account that satirizes the “authentic lifestyle” trend on Instagram. Picturesque landscapes, lattes in cafes, and thoughtful stares into the distance aren’t safe on this account created by a Portland-based wedding photographer who thought the homogeneity of their authenticity and universality of their socality all but demanded satirization. Continue reading “My Favorite Things #20: BaddieWinkle & Barbie”

Not Being “Allowed” to Volunteer

Follow me on Instagram @mynameisreb
Follow me on Instagram @mynameisreb

When I look back on my life, I try to retrace my steps and think about what I had done that led me to where I am today. While in-between jobs last summer, I connected some dots and realized that volunteering and community service was a core component of who I am today. However, I’ve found that holding a full-time salary job and trying to volunteer on a regular basis extremely challenging, let alone the fact that all the “good” gigs get grabbed quickly, especially in NYC. Continue reading “Not Being “Allowed” to Volunteer”

Psychedelic Print Patterns #30DaysofContent

james edward vincent, jedwardvincent, prints

I used to have a category on this blog that was essentially “my friends are better than your friends.” Not that my friends are any better than yours, but throughout the past few years they have turned out a few interesting projects. There was Sunvisor , my friend Erin Willett who was on The Voice earlier this year, and the film Birds of Paradise my friend Dave Formentin created. My friend James, or most formally known as “Cakes,” has been working on his personal portfolio the past few weeks and voila and here is the result: jedwardvincent. Continue reading “Psychedelic Print Patterns #30DaysofContent”

…I’ve got a game for you

Among my adventures during my “Kerouac Summer” in Chicago, I took advantage of the free admission week at The Art Institute of Chicago.  It was in celebration of the opening of their new Modern Wing.

I was amazed at the variety and vastness of their collection.  I snapped a few photos of my favorite paintings and now I would like to test your savvy art history education and name these paintings.  The winner that names the most paintings with artist correctly gets a custom made mixed CD from yours truly. Wherever you are in the world, I will mail it off to you.  Everyone loves a methodically planned mix, let alone the fact it’s a trophy to show how cultured you have become.  Your ancient grade school art teacher would have been impressed.  I want to clarify the fact that I am known for creating great mixes with custom/creative packaging.  Keep in mind my credentials as WRHU Airwave DJ and Producer as well as being acknowledged for having creative artistic talent.

You have one week from when this entry was posted to give your guesses.  You can do so by commenting on this entry.

Here goes: