Sunday, June 14, 2009

MOVING DAYHere are some photos of my recent move to my new studio in Brooklyn. It's been almost 4 years that I've had a studio in Manhattan, but now I've decided to say "farewell" and embrace a space that is closer to home. I'm going to miss my studio mates, but this is something that I feel is necessary, if I want to grow my work.
The main reason that I decided to find a space on my own was because I wasn't accepted into graduate school this year for Fine Arts. My rejection from the 4 schools that I applied to left me a bit lost and confused. My intention to go back to school had more to do with feeling as though my work had plateaued in some respect, and so naturally, I assumed school would be the proper route to take in order to free myself from this creative flat-line. But also, in the past 2 years I was fortunate to have participated in a couple of studio residencies within New York City, that truly inspired me to want to take my work to the next level; to experiment with different media, and to explore new ideas outside of my commercial work.
My experience in this fine art environment seriously thrusted my way of thinking into a new direction, and thus challenged the way in which I began to view my commercial/illustration work. I've been asked time and time again, how do you keep your work fresh? do you stay inspired?... really, I don't have a concrete answer. I'm inspired by so many things: by the books that I read, by the images that I see day-to-day, from the conversations and interactions that I have with friends and strangers. I think for me, being too comfortable, feeling too cozy in my life and in my career, can become detremental to my creativity. I've learned up to this point not to try to follow so many rules, and to understand that there is no right or wrong way to approach image-making.
So after not getting into graduate school, I decided that instead of sulking in my own complacency, I would find a space of my own where I could concentrate and freely explore some new ideas that I had, regardless of how relevant it may be to the illustration work that I am doing now. In many ways, I've crawled into my own well, and will steep in there for a while, until I am ready to come out again.


Last night was the opening of the DECOB show in Zakka, NYC, in Dumbo Brooklyn. DECOB are eco-friendly bags that have been made by various artists from around the world. The exhibit has traveled to Toronto, Tokyo, Osaka, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York. I along with Yoko Furusho were asked to contribute to their New York show by submitting one image that would be printed onto one of their bags as a limited run of 30.

The image that I submitted (above) was a personal piece that I had previously done. It's a straight-forward ink drawing entitled, "Paddle Ball." I have been for some time now, trying to include within my art practice, moments when I can work on personal assignments, and to experiment with different kinds of media. Much of the commercial work that I do is entirely all digital (using mostly Adobe Illustrator, and now Photoshop as well) and so in order to keep me constantly engaged with my work, I feel that it's necessary to continue to work on these personal drawings. Honestly I'm not sure where I will be taking these drawings... it has been an extremely slow journey for the past 2 years or so, but so far, I'm enjoying the ride.
I'm trying not to think so much about the application of my new work anymore, mostly because I don't know how committed I am to this "style"... ooooohhhh did i say "that" word? ... Yes I did...and I'll say it again, "style". But it's true, aesthetically I'm not certain if these new images that I am producing are even the direction that I want to pursue with my new body of work; however, it's a good and comfortable starting point for me. My belief is that one's "style" is born out of being artistically prolific; that one's signature aesthetic is informed and derived from strong ideas and concepts, so that the "style essentially finds you, instead of you trying seek it out." But again, i'm not so sure what it is I want to say within my personal work, nor do I understand how it is relevant to the rest of the world. I had no idea that when I began this process of creating personal work, that it would have any forum... so to see it on the DECOB bag is very interesting to me.
Either way, back to the original point of this entry, last night's show went very well, there was good turn out, a lot to drink, nice people and live jazz to end off the night. Thanks so much again Zakka, NYC for hosting the show and to Tomori Nagamoto who asked me to participate. And of course much love and a special thanks to all of my friends, and my friends' friends who showed up and also to those who dipped into their wallets to purchase one of my bags (especially during these gray economic times). Hopefully this is the start of something new. Big hugs, Marcos.