Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Creation of the Universe Parrallels the Creative Process

"Pulsating Ripples of Cosmic Gray Matter"
from my Mind Drawing Collection. 
For the longest time, i have been under the impression that abstract and dynamic composition begins with many approaches that could be seen as parallel to when the universe and life was created long ago. Many theories related to the beginnings of life and our world we inhabit now are linked to organized chaos (Big Bang) where chance , probability, and many invisible particles all came together at the right lace at the right time and synchronized into what we call Earth and the Milky Way Galaxy. This process, although devoid of any human intervention, can be a symbolic representation of how we all create and the entire process we go through. Every artist experiences this zen like state of focus where they contend with a flood of feeling, emotion, and the flow of color and form. When we stumble onto breakthrough moments where we are in sync with everything filtering into our minds, heart, and soul, it allows us to create a work of art that goes beyond our control into the unknown and transcends our world.

When i begin a new work of art, mainly my abstracts, i attempt to view the entire subject matter as how it would be perceived under the scope of a complex Kaliedescopic x-ray machine. The challenge lies in actually perceiving these small particles of matter that actually create the physical entity that is before me and fusing these particles into harmonious patterns that reflect geometric foundations that parallel the universe and its foundations. When i approach this idea from many angles, i also have to maintain the integrity of the overall composition and the color patterns within it while creating the dynamic from the objects underlying foundation. The entire process is a flood of color, shape, and forms that filter in and become reworked within my mind sort of like the Big Bang theory of creation where everything becomes unified and analyzed like putting a puzzle together.

The complexity of abstract art (even surreal art) and the ideas behind a piece are very unique to each individual abstract artist. Some artists choose geometric simplicity, while others , like myself, use geometry within the framework of the overall dynamic and design. Much like the intuitive self reactive and creative tendencies that took place long ago in creating the universe, the creation of abstract art also takes on this recognized energy and technique. As an artist works and becomes more and more engaged within the composition, eventually an outside force of unexplainable magnitude and guidance will begin to assist on a cosmic and intuitive level helping the artist fuse all the ideas into one. Just like the universe probably at a certain phase became self creative and everything began working together collectively to expand, the work of an artist also takes on these fundamental characteristics that ultimately lead to transcendence and a connection with the mechanics of the universe.

Whether you are a portrait artist or abstract artist on the most complex and cerebral levels, we all have one thing that we share as artists. The process of creating involves basic understanding of space, form, color, and the challenge of putting all these together into a unified and harmonious composition. This requires analysation and understanding of these elements together and processing them all at once while forming a work is very similar to the scientific laws of the universe and the magic that takes place to create such worlds. While we work to create and make all the color and forms work together, we are also relying on our intuition and feeling to achieve a desired result from all these. The magic starts when our process exceeds the reality we intended and everything comes together and flows without our total control. This is perhaps the most amazing part of being an artist as we explore the unknown and tap into spiritual territories that we cannot explain.

Justin ~~~

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Essential Tips & Advice for Artist's

On my website i give a number of tips that i used when i started my goal of 144 works in 12 collections back in 2004. Before i started this journey, i decided to keep all the works the same dimensions using the same medium (pencil), and to do them in a series of twelve works. Being the obsessive compulsive person i am (i'm less like that now), i even had to have one of the works be horizontal, although you may want to do 6 horizontal and 6 vertical pieces if you choose to follow my advice. I chose twelve because of the potential to have a promotional calendar and because the number 144 (12 works in 12 collections) is a spiritual number of great importance and power in the bible. I also have had a fascination with that number since childhood so it was important for me personally to use it here for my Genesis Collection. Below is the basic principles i set for myself as i worked on my goal beginning with my chess series of drawings.

Approach Your Work In A Series

Start to spend time doing your works in a series. Begin your work with a vision in mind. To make this easier, sit down and think of a favorite topic then begin a series of work based around your unique approach. This series can be 6 works or 12 works or more, but make it at least 3-5. This way you can develop deeper into your intended and chosen subject matter. From experience, I found that the more I progressed into the art series, the better the works got and more ideas seemed to come from no where. Working in a series also is a good way to stay focused and motivated and you enjoy the work because you are tackling a subject that interests you. Creating great art should also be tackled with a plan in mind. This doesn't mean you have to plan every little detail because when I work ideas flow from me and I have no creative constraints throughout the process. Working in a series also helps you market the entire collection as a package in the form of prints, calendars, and if you think about it there are 12 months a year which is ideal for a full promotional calendar. Try this approach and see what happens.

Look at the Subject with a Child's Perspective

This may seem odd when you first hear it, but start looking at the world from a child's perspective. As we grow older, even adults find it difficult to look at life and reality in a playful way, thus they remain stuck or become a bit "narrow minded" or "set" in their ways and perceptions. Perhaps that is why it makes it more difficult for us to understand our own children at times (:. In order to unleash your full creative power you must let yourself go or free yourself of the constraints of reality and adult issues to tap into the well of resources of creativity. The key to this is to approach your work more loosely and let yourself float into the work rather than forcing the work to come the way you want it. Also, when you have fun and let all the critical voices inside you take over (as adults we sometimes can't help this), you will find that the heights of your creative powers will flow through you and guide you throughout the creation. This will give you the best chance at producing your best work at that particular moment.

Look at Reality Differently

Start with a simple subject matter like a face of a person, then begin to look at that object much differently. For instance, when you look at a face you notice the eyes, nose and mouth, take these objects that make up the whole object (face) and begin to find a way to relate these objects to one another through a visual perspective. Maybe approach the whole of the face as a dark galaxy while the mouth, nose and eyes become planets forming the face. Begin to look at reality as a playground awaiting your minds activity in and around it. Start looking at forms in reality as a playground for your experimental mind and you will begin to become inspired by how much versatility there is in our world. The world is only as concrete as you perceive it and it can be as elastic as you want. I find that everything is connected in some way and this can be a great starting point for your work. If you are a portrait artist or like reality, try different techniques and interesting ideas that deviate from your usual point of view. Try something new and fresh and see what happens. Does it make you feel more free? Does it inspire you try and explore new territory? Was it difficult or easy for you to change your plan of attack? These questions will be answered and you may end up revitalizing your creative powers that were dormant for a while.

I hope these small yet essential tips from my studio to yours will help you in some small or large way. Maybe something you read here will spark a light bulb of interest within you and make you try something new that you were afraid to attempt. I hope you all benefit and nothing is more rewarding than seeing other artist reach the full potential of creativity and most importantly, have fun doing it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Passion for Creating Started Early

When I was a young boy, I fantasized about becoming an artist. I would spend some afternoons resting on my bed drifting away into thoughts of painting and drawing at an older age. I would envision myself as a successful artist later in life and a warm smile would come over my face. The idea of taking an imaginative thought in my mind and turning it into a reality was very exciting to me and left me with a chill down my spine. I looked forward to the days my father was home so he could instruct me on how to draw and paint. I grew up around many artistic family members who were creative, both in art and music. This gave me insight into the process and inspired me at a young age to think and communicate freely. It was a blessing to be part of such a happy environment where you could communicate your feelings, thoughts, and desires without any judgment or criticism. I eventually gained more confidence in my abilities and the experience reinforced a positive attitude for creating. Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, it was establishing a strong foundation of support that led me to designing and creating my entire life.

As I grew older and enrolled in college, I continued pursuing art through school. The experience led me to turn inward and explore the avenues and opportunities awaiting my every move. Eventually, I learned more about myself and what satisfied my internal need to communicate visually. The knowledge and skill I acquired throughout the years eventually led me down a path that strengthened my art foundations. With computers on the rise and an age of media on the verge of expanding, combining art and technology was the wave of the future, in my opinion. The idea of creating visual messages that impacted an audience and the challenges associated with this field really enticed me. I knew from a young age around my family of creative thinkers that I would one day seek a path into an artistic field for my career. It was only a matter of searching and finding exactly what path I should take. I wanted to make a difference in the future and use my unique skills to help others. As I grew into this idea, I slowly began to find various resources within me that were more business related. The enjoyment of taking an idea for a business and packaging it into a unique concept began to seduce me.

This was a crucial moment in development where I began to envision myself creating a studio / business that would center around my unique style of work. The challenge of running a successful studio for clients appealed to both sides of me; the artist and business minded individual. The rewards of having a company based around my passion was a thrilling proposition, and one that was too strong to ignore. Being able to help others realize their own visions for their concepts was a path that would have many obstacles, but the rewards would be great. Envisioning a smile on a client’s face after completing a commissioned project from its inception to the end, while supporting myself, always gave me the inner inspiration to stay on my path in moments of doubt. We all encounter road blocks and moments where our talents become lost in the grand scheme of life, and these moments are what define us. They test our passion and commitment to our chosen path. Fortunately for me, my passion for creating runs deep so these brief moments of insecurity only reinforce my belief in my visions and give me more hope for a brighter future.

The one thing that stands out to me about a career in art is that no matter how hard it gets, the feeling of being able to create something so beautiful that inspires someone or makes them laugh or cry is immeasurable. The lift your spirit gets from helping another person gain insight into themselves or enlighten them to change something in their immediate world only reinforces my confidence in this career choice. It makes all the hard work and sacrifice look easy in the end. The process, from start to finish, challenges my mind, heart, and soul on the deepest levels and satisfies all my requirements for a rewarding and limitless career. My mind is always stimulated, my heart is fulfilled, and my soul and spirit are nourished by the ability to communicate freely. In my opinion, that is the path to finding myself and completing my existence on earth.

Without the ability to create, I believe I would feel lost and a void would occupy my heart and soul. Choosing a career that essentially fulfills my every need is like living each day as if I was a child swinging and playing in a colorful playground. There are the usual pressures we all encounter in our chosen career path. We all experience these fundamental deadlines and goals. The freedoms to create what a client wants and bring an imaginative thought into fruition only plants more seeds that will eventually blossom. These beautiful creations will create a field of colorful opportunities that I can only imagine around the corner. It is a career path that I was fortunate enough to realize at a young age thanks to my nurturing family. I still think about the next creation and what inspiring moment I will share with a client or the canvas I am painting on. This keeps me at peace and waking up each day ready for the next challenge. It is the spark that ignites the inner flame within me and keeps me feeling young every day.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Redefining Reality: Looking at the World from an Artists Unique Perspective

When we look inside and around our everyday world we inhabit, we perceive our reality as exactly the way we intend to observe it; as identifiable objects that have certain colors and appearances which our senses have already adjusted to the condition of reality as we intended to relate to it. Therefore, we are somewhat limited to understanding what exactly it is that makes us a living organism capable of seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, and just plain existing. Understanding the dynamics and energy that create what we are and what we perceive as reality requires analyzation, dissection, and a "scientific" approach to reality and objectivity.

One of the unique ways we can strip away everyday reality as we perceive it is through a unique visualization of life. Approaching reality from "outside" the box enables one to look at the world much differently than perhaps someone who is overly engaged in the day to day happenings we equate with living. Much to often we see everyone running or racing around to get more accomplished yet never stop to take a deep breath and really absorb their situation or the situations around them. To this majority, life is a microcosmic world they have boxed themselves into in order to focus on their priorities. This leaves some of these individuals falling further behind in their perception of the big picture and wisdom of seeing all.

Visualizing the world from outside the box is a trait that is distinctively inborn in many artists and creative souls. Artists seem to have a much more liberated bent on the everyday happenings of a controlled, almost "robotic" systematic culture and system that cherishes time deadlines, routine habits, mass influened trends, and a need to somewhat compare one another based on the "norm" of everyday expectations. These cultural traits, although somehwat strong in their orderliness and which have some positive characteristics, seem to restrict one from understanding the complexities of life and the overall picture that involves each and every one of us. This picture or portrait of our place in the universe with all its underlying complexity and science seems to be only image deep, without much emphasis on how it was painted or with what materials and why. The artist strives to understand how the picture was created, why it was created, when it was created, and how it was created, leaving his perception of the global picture as a multi-layered observation from the inward to the outward, as opposed to the natural instinct and cultural norm or perceiving things outwardly at first then slowly to the inward truth. This reversed excavation only strengthens our spirits and leaves us fulfilled knowing that we strive to understand, and on many occasions, understand what we are made up of or what we were painted with.

Redefining our bent on reality means going to the core of our existence and truly understanding our relationship with one another. An artist takes a human face or person in a worldy setting, then begins to create dynamic interplays of color and form fusing the setting with the human person as if he "observes" everything that is in the picture box, not just the person at face value. The end result is a picture that is unique to reality because the artist did not focus on one particular object but noticed and observed all the objects. This gives the artist a much broader interpretation of the total environment he was observing and painting. His brush strokes or pencil strokes become unified and woven fusions of observational studies that collide with each other creating a harmonious display of color, form, and the interlocking "marriage" of both these major elements so important to the reality we perceive from the human eye. This exploratory result then propels our reality to another level of consideration that demands the respect of every part of our known world or planet, emphasizing that the macrocosmic machine known as earth is an end result of the relationship and interplays of the microcosmic human beings, animals, and countless variety of planets and organisms that inherit this earth.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Geometric Structures of Chess as a Catalyst for Creative Composition

Ever since i was old enough to recognize the names of each piece, i have been naturally drawn to the game of chess for many reasons. This particular game, above all others, was exactly what i would gravitate to in a most curious way as a child living in upstate New York. Something about this game kept me searching for more as my mind raced with a curious fascination into the myriad of geometric structures and unique principles that, to me, seemed almost perfectly in harmony with life and the universe itself.

As i learned the unique laws of each unique piece, i quickly realized that the game could present each player with an infinite number of possibilities and the resulting outcome of these, when both sides clashed, could pave the way for fascinating structural combinations that got even deeper as the game progressed. These perplexities almost seemed to create an insatiable hunger that my mind could never satisfy and thus began my journey into the study of this game and the resulting inspiration that would be the ultimate catalyst for many of my most intriguing works of art.

As i grew older and approached my teen years, the game became a primal hobby that would assist me in my studies as an artist. I quickly and naturally relied on the game as a core foundation for the various structure associations that i was drawn too as i worked on my abstract and surreal style of art. Studying the various counter angles, attacks, and tactical strategies that consumed my thoughts created an immense amount of bottled up analytical inspirations that screamed for a release. My mind was always of the cerebral sorts and would go to the extremes of analyzation and feeding this elemental nature within by using the game of chess built up heavy reserves of creative forces that were transferred outward through my art. The game was essentially providing the resources for the analytical foundations within my mind and creating a supply and demand of inspiration that had no choice but to be expressed in a human way.

Being that i was a creative soul as soon as i was born, finding the game of chess was like finding that mysterious muse that has benefited me my entire life and has created interesting glimpses into mathematical worlds that are very closely related to the creation of life and to the creation of a new work of art. One of the many reasons i have so much passion for creating is that it somehow makes my analytical mind feel at home in a safe place where i know i belong. It challenges me to balance certain areas and find interesting ways of fusing inner and outer realities that are in absolute harmony with one another. The game of chess, which i have found through years of research and study, gives creation a certain blueprint that can manifest in so many fascinating ways like the uniqueness of each galaxy within the universe. The infinite opening, middle, and end games that blossom from each move on both sides ultimately create distinct patterns that mirror the patterns of movement and structure of life on earth.

 Just like a pawn attacking a knight creates a urgent response that also changes the forward structure and pattern of the game, splitting an object in half within a composition can also create an infinite number of possibilities to an artist both in objective and color applications. When two opposing forces collide in the middle of the board you can see the blending of two colors and objects as various pathways and mathematical posibilities begin to take shape. The microsmic patterns of one side begin to cross react with the patterns of the other and begin to unify themselves in forming this systematic melding of two minds at work. The interesting thing is, as the opposing thoughts of two players try to attack and defeat the king of each opposing player, an almost intuitive and harmonious fusion of analytical ideas begin to transcend each others own unique strategy and create one larger creative force which mimicks the act of artistic creation. As the artist adds more color, lines, and form, the work as a whole begins to take on a life of its own that is somewhat outside of his or hers personal control. The work begins to create itself like a cosmic machine and everything works in synchronicity in a grand display of supernatural energy that parrallels this inherent end result within a game of chess.

The act of creation guided by one artist or a game of chess played by two players each has its own unique structural outcome that comes to a climactic crescendo in which an outside force inevitably begins to assist in the mechanical and systematic flow of the creation by the creator or creators. The game of chess provides essential clues and outcomes within the microcosmic strategies of both sides that translate into a macrocosmic fusion that transcends the mathematical laws of reality. A sublime and poetic state of motion and harmonic structure becomes more than the game and the players. This transcendence that goes beyond analytical structures and probabilities becomes an inspirational catalyst for creation and has been my trusted muse for many years as an artist.

To view my chess art collection please visit here:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Why color is important to my style of work.

Detail from my pencil work
"The Orchestration of Metaphysical Motion"
Color has always been a natural part of my creations. Like the blood that flows through my veins, color is my way of showing the vibrancy of the spirit and the magical dance of the universe. I see color as not only the underlying spirit of our existence, but the passion and rhythm of the forces of nature that we all respond too.

When I sit down to create a work of art, the structure of the composition becomes a critical component of my analysis of the subject i'm creating. As the work progresses, color becomes a unified part of this creation and symbolizes the grand beauty of life in all its majesty and divine inspiration. For me, color can be a dance across the shapes and forms like the musical tones of a song. It unifies everything and creates a harmonic exploration that is balanced between the communication of shapes and forms. It becomes a separate level of magic and movement as I begin to weave it into the work. Representing objects at face value is not enough, the color needs to transform and become its own agent of change in order for the piece to vibrate on that subtle flow of space. My exploration into the effects of colors together also play a vital role in communicating a response with the viewer in relation to the objective reality of the forms. Certain colors provide a psychological and emotional feeling that accentuates the work into a new level of divine intervention. I want the piece to not only make one think, but to feel the passion and spirit of the overall idea and subject. I want the work to elevate itself beyond reality and color provides a way of transcending the obvious into another world of magical and intuitive inspiration.

A world of magical beauty and imagination is the ultimate goal with my works. I find my soul and spirit naturally gravitate to color for the pure majesty of it. My heart, soul, and spirit flows through the various colors as I feel the beauty grow and manifest throughout the work as my mind remains the filter through which the application becomes analyzed and applied with harmony and flow through a unified dance. I want the color to be balanced as the motion becomes fluid like a group dance where everyone is playing their part and the whole becomes the power of the entire structure. I will continue to embrace color, analyze it, and experiment with it using both my mind and spirit in a fusion of logic and intuition. It feeds my soul, inspires my spirit, and tickles my mind.