I have found that it is very important for an artist to take care in choosing his environment for creating art. In recent years it has fascinated me to see how other artists set up their space for creating their work. One book that has inspired me above anything else to keep my imagination alive by my surroundings is a book called The Artist Within by Greg Preston.
|Photo copyright Alex Ferree 2011|
This book shows the visual artists such as Jack Kirby (created most of the Marvel Universe), Chuck Jones (Warner Bros), Frank Miller (Sin City), Todd McFarlane (Spawn), Mort Walker (Hagar the Horrible), and 97 other cartoonists, animators, comic book artists, and editorial cartoonists in their studios. The exciting thing for me is that I get to see what keeps them inspired, what size their space is, and a little bit about how they work.
My goal as a creative person is to keep working out the creative problems that I confront day-to-day. So I set myself up for success. Some peculiar things that I do that probably not everyone else does or feels the need to do are working on a wooden bench (not for the faint of heart), almost daily set up a still life to practice, work out of my living room, and keep files of my artistic failures AND successes.
After I graduated from college in 2003 I had almost none of the things here. I wondered how I could do art without a proper space or materials. Since then I have discovered that creating art is not intrinsic on location or circumstances, but never-the-less the kind of art I want to do does have some requirements by way of tools. Before I went to be a camp counselor in 2005, a friend of mine's grandfather passed away. I had actually met him once. He was a professional illustrator in the Toledo area. He was a very sweet man. He had showed me some of his art and gave me advice on seeking a career. I was blessed just to know him. A few months before I went to camp, my friend offered me some remaining articles from his studio. Namely the art desk you see here, art supplies, and art books. What a blessing from God, the provider.
I could go on with other stories about other ways the Lord God affirmed and reaffirmed my artistic calling after college, but I will reserve those stories for another post.