Lessons learned from Finding Bob

Now that I’ve had a few days to process the Finding Bob show, I can relay the eight major lessons learned.

12495087_10153346182151493_5337914154805603812_n1. Trust your instincts, but don’t let them control you.  I wanted to plan the pieces out methodically… but sometimes methodically takes too long. I ended up placing the pieces within the method but not strictly.  It’s not concrete until it hardens.

2.  Editing isn’t bad… but it still kinda sucks.  In the beginning of the process, I drew several pieces on bristol… the idea being I would do a show of just paper pieces.  But, the canvases loomed… I ended up doing more canvases than bristol pieces.  When it came time to hang the pieces in the gallery, the bristol pieces I did in the beginning didn’t fit in with everything else.  I hated to take them out, but keeping them in would’ve ruined the rhythm over all.  Plus, they looked nothing like the others… the Frank Page blue used on those was different than the canvas Frank Page blue.

3.  3M strips and Fun Tak  – have quickly become my new best friends.  Thank you to Susan Colmey for introducing me to the strips.  You have no idea what you created.

4.  Make sure you can MacGuyver something to make crazy work.  I had this idea to hang clouds in the gallery space.  I had a bunch of foam core in the studio.  So, I made eight foam core clouds… four with a Bob in them, and four plain.  I just thought it would make the space look more like the paintings and drawings.  When I went to hang them in the gallery, the ladder I had wouldn’t reach the lights. Do I ditch the clouds? No.  So I got a long stick, attached a push pin to the end, wrapped a tiny bulldog clip to the end of the clear line and basically fished it over the light.  Instant sky.

Now, if a civilian were to walk into my studio and home, they’s see that there are DOZENS of Bob foam core cut-outs all over.  There are clouds on my garage door, fence and shed.  Hell, there are clouds on the ceiling of my studio.  In my world, foam core clouds  are squirrels are the norm… which leads me to

5.  If someone thinks your ordinary is awesome, go with it.  When the show opened, the attendees LOVED the clouds.  Like, really, really loved the clouds.  Someone approached me and asked if they could buy a cloud.  I honestly thought they were messing with me.
“You… want to BUY one of THOSE?”
“Yeah, how much?”
I couldn’t believe it.  But after I thought about it I understood.  My ordinary is their awesome.  Four out of the eight clouds were sold opening night.

6.  My wife and daughter are the best.  I knew this already, but reminders are nice.

7.  Appreciate the journey and the destination.  This one is a cliche but it’s true. Every. Single. Time.  I love the work.  It drives me bat-sh-t crazy.  I’m irritable in its midst.  I’m cranky.  I’m a jerk. I’m creating something pretty much out of my head and thin air.  But, I look back on it and enjoy the work.  I’m proud  of what I did.  I take in the energy and reaction of people who see it for the first time… because in a way I wish I could see it the way they see it.  You only get one first time.

8.  Suck it in, swish it around and move on.  You’re only as good as your last squirrel.  Cartoonists live and die by a deadline… both externally applied and self-applied.  The show is great, it’ll be up and around for a month.  People bought pieces from it and will give them great homes.  Take a breath and move on.  What’s next?  There’s always a next project.

This last one may seem a bit harsh but it’s true.  If I stop and think too long about what I did, I don’t think about what to do next.  I learned from what I did, not what am I going to do?

Art Show – April 1st

1 Comment

Less than two days.


This whole show has me written all over it.  Which is the way that it should be… everything.

Every piece is placed where I want it.  It’s good to have a vision from the beginning.  But, it’s better when that vision is drawn in pencil.  What I thought initially and what it is now: similar but different.

I’ve been told that I need to enjoy this process.  Enjoy the creation.  Enjoy the placement.  Enjoy the journey.

And I am trying.  Seriously, I am.  Those of you that know me probably think that last sentence is B.S. It’s not.  I’m trying.

I may not be succeeding, but I’m totally trying.

I feel like a musician who has been doing concerts for 30 years… playing the hits from 25 years ago every single night.  I don’t think it’s possible for me now to get as excited as someone seeing the stuff for the first time.  My excitement and the viewer’s excitement are of two different species.  Still excitement, just different excitement.  I think that when I see viewer’s reactions to the stuff, my excitement will spike.  Springsteen plays “Born to Run” for the 1,265th time with as much passion as he did the 7th time.  You know why?  The audience. The audience’s reaction makes him feel like he’s playing it for the 8th time.

I say I’ll be happy when the show is open and over.  That doesn’t mean I hate the show… not even remotely.  I’m the type that is always thinking of the next thing.  I’ll be happy when the show is over

so I can move onto the next thing.  Every project leads to another.

For those of you who won’t be able to make it, I’ll be posting video of the show… both of before and during.  I’ll let you know.

Categories: announcements art