( I started this last Thursday)
It’s been a long time since I’ve written. Honestly, I have the most difficult time getting started writing. It’s like stage fright: my stomach gets nervous, I pace, my breathing becomes shallow and my skull feels like it’s being squeezed between my temples. Sorta like George Castanza when he’s confronted with something he doesn’t want to admit to, just before he gets angry. So I put it off. Again. But not this time!
Anyway, I have been working on a Kickstarter project since June. What is Kickstarter? To quote from their website, http://www.kickstarter.com:
Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.
Since our launch on April 28, 2009, over $350 million has been pledged by more than 2.5 million people, funding more than 30,000 creative projects. If you like stats, there’s lots more here.
How does Kickstarter work?
Thousands of creative projects are funding on Kickstarter at any given moment. Each project is independently created and crafted by the person behind it. The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Kickstarter have complete control and responsibility over their projects. They spend weeks building their project pages, shooting their videos, and brainstorming what rewards to offer backers. When they’re ready, creators launch their project and share it with their community.
Every project creator sets their project’s funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers’ credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.”
My project will be to paint 91 paintings of Don Quixote, The Man of LaMancha, in 91 days, and to raise $3000 in order to do it. The rewards will be drawings, paintings and giclee prints. The non-procrastinational launch date for my Kickstarter project is October 18. I will then have 30 days to reach my goal.
Why Don Quixote? Why 91 paintings in 91 days?Don Quixote of La Mancha is a great analogy for the principled and unrelenting life of an artist. Pursuing personal vision regardless of critical opinion is a chief tenet of any artist. I am not the first to take on Miguel de Cervantes’ fictional protagonist, nor will I be the last. Pursuing “The Impossible Dream” is a timeless theme that has beckoned artists of all stripes.
My project is to to create sixteen paintings featuring the character of “Don Quixote of La Mancha” ranging from mid-size to large, along with twenty-five small paintings and fifty drawings and watercolors in just over three months. That’s actually 91 pieces of art in 91 days, but it’s much more catchy to say “91 Paintings in 91 Days.”
As for the style change from persnickety realism to cartoon-ish Cubism? In a word: Creativity. In a second word: Fun.
Painting highly realistic subjects became too restrictive for me. The paintings of cars, or women, or places were always meant as an homage to honor the beauty of the subject, and a strict fidelity to the image was the best way to do that.
To paint that realistically became like an athletic endeavor, requiring focus and discipline with a strong dose of competitiveness just to see if I could do it.
Once I knew I could continue painting them, I lost the need to.
Doing your own marketing is the worst part of this job. “Good luck with your career…” is a terrible and cruel phrase to hear.
I needed to be able to paint without the limits that realism demanded, and cubism is a method that requires throwing fidelity to the image out the window. Psychological and
emotional truths (subjective as they are) are the goal, along with a flair for the decorative.
If art is about holding a mirror to society, then Cubism is about holding up a hall of carnival mirrors for us to find our true reflection.
Actually Cubism was originally meant to present objects the way they look as you move around them, so you’re seeing a dynamic image in space/time represented on a 2-D surface. The process is to take apart (deconstruct) an image into it’s simplest forms then re-present them in an original way to express movement, and how the artists feels. At the time it was radical to venture so far from the objective reality around us as to include the hand of the artist as every bit as important as the subject matter.
I just stumbled across your Kickstarter campaign last night…I LOVE what you are doing and I love your blog posts about the project. And I’m really glad that I found it before the campaign closed so that I could contribute!
We are getting ready to mount a production of Man of La Mancha at our local theatre. I’d love to contact you about perhaps securing the rights to use one of your images in our publicity materials. (As a nonprofit educational performing arts organization, we have a super slim budget, so I’m not sure if we can afford you, but I figured it doesn’t hurt to ask!)
I tried sending an email to your gmail account listed on your website, but it bounced back. How else can I get in touch with you?
Congratulations on your successful Kickstarter campaign!
Thank you! First for backing the project and for asking about using an image for your production. Yes, let’s talk; sounds great. I’m sure we’ll work out something. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org