Bridging the “Gap”

Checking my “On This Day” on my personal Facebook account has become somewhat of a habit. And by that I mean, when I’m laying in bed, unable to sleep, I look at the clock, see it is after midnight, and think, “oh, at least, I can check my ‘On This Day’ now.” I regularly have difficulty falling asleep, hence the use of the word “habit.”

This past Friday, I was a bit behind in checking it. However, I did make time in my day to post a new business card I designed. It is a joke card I designed about my dog, who I have decided needs to stop whining in my ear, getting hair on my carpet, demanding food, and instead get out there and make a bigger contribution to society. There is also a resume I created for him, which you can see here. After I posted this image of the business card, which includes a portrait of the pooch, Facebook reminded me to check my “On This Day.” As it turns out, five years ago, I also posted a portrait of Renegade. It was created much in the same way the one on his business card was — I drew out a quick sketch, transferred the hand drawing to my computer, then outlined it and colored it using a couple of Adobe’s programs. The process being the same, the end result is certainly not:

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What adds to this coincidence is that on a different year from either of these dog portraits, I ALSO posted  on this day, the embedded video below. It is two minutes of audio of Ira Glass speaking about what he calls, “the gap.” (It also has some beautifully animated typography by David Shiyang Liu)

For a very long time, and sometimes still, I get an idea in my head, get very (quietly) excited about it like a dork, research if I need to, sketch it out, possibly sketch it out a second time, transfer it over to whatever media I will be creating a finish in, complete it, and along the way have arguments and make compromises with myself over how this is not looking the way I intended it to. As a result of this, many of my canvases have multiple paintings within the layers of paint as I try to get it right. Even if you go through my files of digital work, most of those pieces have more than one version of a finish.

This happenstance, of both these portraits being shown to me at the same time, along with this video, is an inspiring and much-needed reminder of how far I’ve come. Not necessarily in a monetary way, or worldwide renowned way, or even being settled into life way, but a deeply personal, building-myself-into-the-artist-I-want-to-be way. I do not feel like I have yet to completely bridge the gap Glass describes, but I think my bridge is coming along very nicely.

For anyone who is undergoing any type of creative endeavor, or even just trying to get through life and developing their ideas of who they are as a person, this video applies to you.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.”

“It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

SamSketches: A 2015 Calendar

Now Available

It was last year around this time, that I came up with a Christmas gift idea for my older sister, Sylvia.  After a fun filled evening (as usual) with her in which we joked about how horrible she is with remembering dates, I decided to create for her a personalized calendar to supply her with many of the important dates she would need to remember.  I also filled each month with my art, which she has always been a supporter (and perhaps slightly bias fan) of.

It wasn’t until I started showing a few people the gift, that I realized there were others who would appreciate the opportunity to have a calendar as well.  I had a few more printed and debuted the 2014 calendar at some of the fairs and festivals I was glad to be a part of earlier this year.

I was not prepared for it to be one of the items I sold out of so quickly.

This time I decided I would be better prepared :)

And I am happy to say that 2014 has continued to be a year full of surprises, as the 2015 calendar is not yet off the presses and my preorders have already piled up.

I look forward to the first shipment arriving and sending off these little beauties to their new homes!

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With all that said anyone interested in a calendar it is available in my store, you may click the appropriate above link or visit here — also feel free to email me info@samsketches.com, text me if you have the number, Facebook me, or stop me in person when you see me.

Book Revue’s Current Featured Artist (aka me!)

For the month of November, eight of my paintings will be on display at Huntington's Book Revue. They will be displayed on their Featured Artist wall located in their Fiction corner (left most wall of the store upon entering) Advice of the day: go visit them, also there's a cafe, which means food.
the following is also available to be viewed on their website: bookrevue.com

Featured Artist of the Month

For book or art purchases, call Book Revue at (631) 271-1442 or e-mail requests to

info@bookrevue.com

Samantha Hernandez

Samantha is a freelance artist, illustrator, author, and Long Island native. After obtaining her degree in illustration from the Fashion Institute in Manhattan, she has worked with a number of clients across the United States seeking to visually promote their businesses. Samantha has also self published a number of books both digitally (ebooks) and in paperback form. Two of her works,Illustrated & Alliterated: An Alphabet Book and #SamSketches: A Coloring Book are available in the children’s department of Book Revue.

The paintings currently being shown are a conglomeration of her interests: design, nature, and her SamSketches brand and character. Over the years, she has been privately commissioned to create portraits, abstracts, or images that have been brought to her. This year marks her return to creating paintings of her own choosing, as well as it is her first year presenting such material to the public.

 

To learn more about Samantha and view her work you are welcome to visit: samsketches.com

 

 

Every month at Book Revue, we feature a local artist who we feel will interest or intrigue our customers.

Please visit the artist’s work prominently featured in the Fiction corner of the store.

All of the artwork on display is available for purchase.

 

Court Square Flea Marketing

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Last weekend, I took a stroll with a couple of friends into Long Island City.  The destination we were aiming for was located on Jackson Avenue, in the heart of the Court Square district and opposite MoMA PS1.  As we got closer and were right outside the gate to where we intended to be, a man walked up to me. He offered me a postcard. Hand extended in my direction, he told me it was my “ticket” to get into the flea market beyond the gate.  I smiled and graciously accepted the card in his hand.  I continued smiling as I looked down at  the design I had weeks before viewed on my computer screen while creating it in Photoshop.

 

 

FullSizeRenderBefore passing thru the gate, I stopped to stare as well as snap a picture of the banner that hung on it.

Now this, this was much larger than I expected it to be. Tweaking colors, shapes and text on my screen for it, it appeared so small — limited to my laptop’s 17″ viewing display.  And while I was of course aware of the dimensions I was working in while creating the document, somehow in my mind it was not going to be quite so large.  It looked perfect.

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Freelance graphic design is just another step I have taken in my endeavor to apply my skills as an artist into a means of putting food in my belly.  While my designs have been used for companies across the good ‘ol U.S. of A and even been taken over the ocean into Japan, there is a detachment that comes from setting up a file and emailing it off.  It goes out over all those little invisible electrical transmissions by which I can not even begin to fathom to understand how, and it is not quite real.

Being able to walk down a street in New York City, to a location not far off from where I usually reside, and unknowingly be handed my own design is not only a new feeling of happiness, but one I look forward to encountering more often.

It should also be noted that the Court Square Flea itself was a delight, and people in my small group did not leave empty handed. In fact, the knit wear purchased should be keeping those hands and arms quite warm and toasty.

 

Hung Up.

2014 continues to be the year of new experiences and checkpoints reached.  I am going to be sad in a few months when it comes to a close, but excited for all the possibilities that 2015 will have in store for me.

 

VarnishingMost recently, I sent out an application via email with some jpegs attached and waited for a response to gain acceptance into what would be my first venture into hanging my art up on a wall (that was not my own) and have it proudly displayed for stranger upon stranger to view.  If selected, my work would hang for just over a month, my name, photo, and bio, displayed alongside it for these strangers to learn a little bit more about me.   After a period of time had passed, I began thinking I didn’t make the cut. Especially once I learned that only 10 – 15 artists were being selected for this exhibit. Perhaps it was self doubt, or me just being plain o’l antsy, but I decided it wasn’t happening and that was alright (as an artist you get used to silent rejection on basically a daily basis).
Well, to my surprise an email response came the next day. The first sentence made me feel like I was being set up for a gracious let down, “Thank you for your recent submission…” the expected thank you for submitting your work statement — and then bam — “I am delighted to inform you that your work has been chosen to become part of this exhibition.”  !!!! Yes.

 

Frames were then quickly ordered, and very cost effectively acquired via Jerrysartarama.com .  I tracked/stalked their delivery via online tracking (I love technology sometimes, I really truly do). The day they arrived I opened the giant box and began to frame my own paintings for the very first time in my life.  This was a wondrous and beautiful endeavor, never before had I seen my work in such a polished and finished state.  If you paint and have never framed a work of your own, I implore you — go out and do it. Framing

 

Then this past Thursday, I rode out to Garden City’s Roosevelt Field Mall to where the exhibit is set to take place — the Bloomingdale’s Furniture Gallery. There among other artists I was led through the different rooms (this place is a giant maze if you haven’t been there before) and given a few options on rooms to hang my work, as well as to hang it as I chose.  Once  I had made a selection — above a bed — I was given nails, hooks, and told I was free to hang.

 

Left there alone, I thought, “Does that mean I can just climb on the bed?”
::looks around, shrugs, removes shoes, climbs on bed, starts hammering::

 

Half an hour later they were up. Thank goodness I happened to be carrying a hammer in my purse and had decent matching socks on my feet!

 

For more information on the show you can Visit Bloomingdale’s Event Page Here

 

 

2014 BLOOMINGDALE’S AND LONG ISLAND ARTS ALLIANCE ART EXHIBIT
September 10, 2014 – October 26, 2014

Hanging ArtBloomingdale’s, Long Island Arts Alliance and the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are pleased to present a collaborative art exhibition during September’s National Hispanic Heritage Month, a prelude to the celebration of Arts Alive LI – October Arts Month!

Latin Americans come from over 20 countries and have a wide array of customs and rich and varied histories. That’s why celebrating Latino culture is a bit like eating tapas: you get to try a little sampling of everything. This exhibit is designed to celebrate Long Island’s rich Hispanic artistic heritage by presenting a sampling of works by artists of Hispanic descent specializing in several different artistic styles.

 

Available. Illustrated & Alliterated: An Alphabet Book

Well, well, well, what do we have here? Oh, just my latest book now available in paperback via Amazon, and available as an ebook at the iBookstore via iTunes — no biggie.

You should really click the images and visit the pages… purely just a suggestion of course.  [do. it.]

 

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#SamSketches: a coloring book

Most of the digital work I do is used for, well, digital media and it is not often that I get to see what the art looks like on paper.  It is even rarer that I get the opportunity to see an abundant amount of it all printed together, side-by-side.  And so last night, when I arrived home to find the package of my first printed copy of my coloring book I could not get it open fast enough.  I had been nervous that it wouldn’t work out the way I wanted.  You know, you set things up, lay them out in a computer program and sometimes the result is not what you imagined in your mind the outcome would be.  WELL, thankfully this was not the case.  The outcome is exactly what I hoped for, in fact it may even be better.  From cover, to end, from the quality of the print of the line, to the weight of the paper — everything I could want and more.

Can you tell I’m excited?  I plan to debut them for sale at the Art by the Falls on May 17th.  But, you know, you could just ask me about ’em anytime you see me OR email me at info@samsketches.com to get a copy.  The choice is yours!

What’s inside?  Oh, well I am glad you asked!

70 illustrations by yours truly.  More specifically:

  • The entire first two chapters of my graphic novel/comic On Being Smee.
  • A selection of illustrations from my book, This Box.
  • A selection of illustrations from my in progress Lil Red Riding Hood Series.
  • A selection of illustrations from my next eBook Illustrated and  Alliterated: An Alphabet Book
  • 26 uncategorized illustrations

All of this means you will be able to see and color a hot air balloon, beaches, the night sky, boys, girls, oceans, crabs, frogs, plants, cows, dogs, teddy bears, tortoises, tiny turtles, bees, autumn leaves, snowflakes, fireflies, an octopus, piranhas, birds, sloths, a unicorn, zebras, chipmunks, an owl, forests, houses, and a tic-tac-toe playing dodo bird. (Yes, I really did just leaf through all of the pages to accurately list that for you – you’re welcome)