My Life in Paper and Piles

I somehow always find myself in a situation of coming and going. I have for a long while. My room and workspace is in a constant state of disarray, with the somewhat hopeful thought it will be alright: this constant back and forth is only temporary. The result of this is my life is made up of all of these piles. Piles of due dates, piles of laundry, piles of receipts, piles of jewelry (I’m not so good at maintaining organization with these little pieces at all – does not at all mean I don’t want more) piles of unwatched dvr television episodes and not nearly the last of the piles, but most notably — piles of paper.FullSizeRenderIf you know me at all, these piles make me incredibly cranky. For this reason, I am very glad to have recently had the time to organize some of these many piles. (Few things make me happier than organization)

My pile of paper. Recently, I felt I had been drawing much less and stalling out. Then I came across this. This mountain that when everything is put together contains 19 sketchbooks of varying sizes and about 1000 sheets (I didn’t actually count the sheets I’m making an educated guestimate based off of the reams I’ve gone thru) of paper. Admittedly, not all of them contain the greatest of pencil scratches or the most dutifully steady ink lines. But they all have something.

I didn’t spend time scrutinizing every piece, I don’t ever have that much free time, but I did take a moment to breeze through some of them. Doing so allowed me to see that this enemy pile I’ve been glancing at with a scowl for the last few weeks, is my life.  Yep, that’s right. My life laid out in paper: filled with memories, accomplishments, a random bill or receipt here or there, time, beauty, and sometimes terrible moments I would rather crumple up and throw out, but I don’t.  A lot of what I am is in that pile and I’ve been letting it sit there, neglected and mostly hated.

Now, not all the piles in my life are of such importance, but they probably do deserve a bit more positive attention than I have been giving them. This is going to be part of the plan going into 2015 — more attention to and maintenance of me and my piles.

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.

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.

 

Shelved.

Book Revue Store Sign

It is official.

A long time goal of mine has been reached this past week, and now I can check one more item off of my “Life Goals: A  Things-to-Do List.”  (That list may or may not exist and be logged in one of my Evernote App notebooks).

What am I typing about?

Shelved.Why, I am glad you asked — not just one, but two of my books have made it through the competitive selection process for Huntington’s Book Revue Local and Independent Authors Program.  Both my titles, Illustrated & Alliterated: An Alphabet Book as well as #SamSketches: A Coloring Book, can now be found within their walls and on their shelves to buy.

If you are not familiar with Long Island’s largest independent bookstore, it is past due you make yourself acquainted. Many authors, ranging from Hillary Clinton, to Danielle Fishel, to Ron Perlman, have not only had their books on the shelves, but made Book Revue a stop along the way of their book tours (and that is just a sampling of who has visited in the past couple months).  Plus, I just told you my books are there now, and that in itself is plenty of reason enough for you to stop by and visit!

#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)

Current Project. #WIP

As usual, as soon as one project is finished I have another one (or two) lined up. This one actually has been a little bit of a current addiction that has distracted me from my painting obligations… oops. BUT progress is progress and as long as everything is done by their due dates, no one will be the wiser? Right? Right.

So here they are a couple of samples from my next children’s eBook that will be available on the most platforms I’ve ever released to:

Kindle, Kobo, Nook, iBookstore.

O P  Y and Z

 

 

 

 

 

Floral [&] Design

As much as I love the entire process of creating digital art, especially the end result that leaves you without having any brushes, cups, rags, or spills to clean up — I’m a clutz with most things, paint is no exception, I get it everywhere — I began over the last year to really miss the feel of a brush in my hands sweeping paint across a canvas, and the process of mixing colors together until I had a shade that was just right.Image And so, I came up with a long term goal for myself and a series idea. My plan for Floral [&] Design started off pretty basic, square canvases filled with patterns and flowers. Eventually as I worked on it, it evolved. The patterned pieces each have a symbol in them that represents a part of me, or my life in some way — something I had not intended at the start. The flower pieces are each from original photographs taken by me, mainly from plants in my yard all observed during a summer I spent alone collecting myself (and you know, apparently images of flowers).

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The closer and closer I came to completion — at present, I have three left to finish until I will be satisfied with the series — the more I began to wonder exactly what I would do with these paintings after they were finished. At the start, I hadn’t really thought of this. I suppose I should have. 

However, as 2014 is going for me, things are seeming to fall into place. After a little searching I have found not just one, but two places to exhibit my work:

I have applied to be a part of an annual art show held by the Babylon Village Arts Council called “Art by the Falls.” I have spoken to other artists involved and am very excited to be showing with them. But I haven’t heard the final word from the council – so I do not want to consider it a done deal yet. 

The second place I know is a 100% a go, and I’m looking forward to it, as my work will be the only one in the exhibit. The exact time has not yet been solidified, but I will be the featured artist at the Book Revue in Huntington for a period of time (one to two months). My work will be displayed in their store and available to purchase, as well as featured on their website. 

I’m hoping to continue furthering the series, as well as do more research and networking to enable my pieces to be placed up in other venues.