I am honored to say that I have created some little piggies… well, they’re not really that little.
I was asked to come and take a look at a large wall in a place that will soon become a Pensacola icon. Global Grill’s new restaurant called Urban Swinery is scheduled to open sometime this year and have asked me to create some pieces of art for their wall.
After meeting with them and Studio Pica to discuss the look and feel of the new restaurant, I fell in love with the project.
It was on, I was going to create some giant pigs… something that I actually hadn’t done yet.
This was a fun project and I worked with some amazingly creative people to finish what I consider some amazing pieces that I am very proud of.
All I can really say is “That’ll do pig, that’ll do.
The other day I caught the last episode of “One Strange Rock” narrated by Will Smith.
It’s a 10-part cinematic series exploring the fragility and wonder of planet Earth. Shown to be one of the most peculiar, unique places in the universe, it really delves into this beautiful planet. There are eight astronauts who provide unique perspectives and relate personal memoirs of the planet seen from a distance.
By the way, if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. It left me feeling hopeful and optimistic about our planet and the human race, which is rare in our culture of “disaster” driven television.
The thing is, there was something powerful about the experience of the astronauts living out on the international space station. Looking down at our planet for the first time and flushed with a feeling that most of them said was so powerful that the words to describe the experience do not exist.
They also left space with the deep realization that they were no longer just citizens of where they came from.
Most of us describe ourselves as being from a town, a state, school, religion, or country. Our identity is wrapped up in the experience we have had.
I’m a New Yorker.
I’m a Harvard Graduate.
Most of the time when we identify ourselves in this way we are setting ourselves apart. Separating ourselves from the rest of the world. We find other people with a similar identity and we can relate to them… we have something in common.
What is interesting about this phenomenon, is when someone travels and stays somewhere for a while, they may adopt a new identity. Someone who travels the world starts to identify themselves as a person of the world.
For the astronauts, they were literally out of this world. They experienced something that not many of us will be able to imagine, a sense of looking at the whole planet and saying “There is my home”.
No walls, no borders, no race, no color, no gender, and no real separate identity… Just human beings living on a rock hurdling through space.
I think that is beautiful, and the words “One Shared Place” hit me in the chest and almost brought me to tears. So I created a tee shirt that I’ll be able to look at and wear to remind me of what is reality.
There are so many excuses that we use to set ourselves apart from one another, sometimes it is to give us a sense of being better than someone else.
But, we all came from the same place, we share the same place, we will die in the same place… The Earth.
We are all human beings, anything else used to describe us is only based on walls that we built in our own heart.
Where the Pensacola News Journal building once stood is now a series of luxury apartments built to add affordable living space to beautiful downtown Pensacola. Developers tore down the old News Journal building to make way for Southtowne Apartments, which is made up of rental units and retail shops designed to appeal to the downtown crowd.
I was invited to live paint at a private event held for their new residents. Although the project is still under construction, I have to say, it is a beautiful location. I couldn’t help but look around and think to myself that I could easily live there.
Balconies, views, sidewalks, stores, amenities, parking, and downtown right out your front door… right up my alley. My only concern is that wherever we go, the studio comes with us and the need for room to create.
Anyhow, Klee and I mingled while I painted and showed off a few of my finished works. We had an amazing time, with some really beautiful and sweet people.
This project along with other things going on downtown gets me excited for the future of Pensacola and the direction it is heading in. This town has really embraced its creative community and moved forward with a lot of events and projects that support local art and artists.
In my opinion, we can use a few more commercial art galleries downtown, but I’m sure that will happen eventually and for the time being I love the relationship I have with the businesses that show my art.
My only criticism of the Southtowne project and big projects like it is the lack of local art on their walls. I could be wrong about this, but walking around I saw beautifully decorated spaces with all kinds of art, but no one I recognized locally… Still, beautiful stuff, but I would be highly disappointed if it came from Kirkland’s.
Either way, we had a blast Saturday night and met some amazing folks. We look forward to seeing it in all its glory when completed.
You guys know how much I love my silly and witty t-shirts, but did you know that I actually have a difficult time finding them? Luckily, I have great friends who know how to shop for the obscure. I have to thank them and Klee for most of the fun shirts I own.
Even still, there are some shirts that I want, that simply don’t exist… so, I’m going to create them, and offer them to the world because… why not.
Along with my beautiful artistic designs that I showed you last week, I have also been building a fun T-shirt collection that will be releasing within my catalog.
These are all fun t-shirts that I want for myself. Some of the t-shirts will be geared towards art and artists, some will be based on our YouTube channel, some will be just plain silly, and others will be mind puzzles.
This collection will be in addition to the art clothing I am designing. The catalog for all of it will be released in early October if everything stays on track.
I’m really excited about this, especially because I love the idea of wearing my own fun.
Some of it will not be every person’s taste, but I’m alright with that.
Stay tuned, and please let me know if you have ANY ideas for a fun t-shirt you would like to see.
Yesterday Klee and I dropped off some of our art for the 25th Anniversary Show at Artel Gallery in downtown Pensacola.
As some of you know, I won ‘Best Of Show’ at the last exhibition with my sculpture. Klee was there with me at the reception, she has always been so supportive. At every reception, she has been there to help me face anything that may come my way and to be my cheerleader.
What makes this particular show super exciting for me is that Klee also has a piece in the show. So we will both be there for the reception on June 14th strutting our stuff and representing our own art. This will give me a chance to show my support for her and her awesome talent.
This event is open to the public, so please join us on June 14th, 6pm at Artel Gallery in Downtown Pensacola.
My submission is Chasing Fairies.
ABOUT THIS PAINTING
In a world where everything is much more serious and complicated than those moments of innocence and wonder we experienced as children, this piece symbolizes the child within all of us that will believe in the impossible. Everything is possible.
Klee’s Submission is “Everlasting Oak” Tree of Life Pendant Necklace.
One of a kind solid 14k gold tree of life necklace on a stunning rectangular cushion cut moss agate stone with genuine blue diamond leaves.
Moss Agate is a variety of Chalcedony, a mineral of the Quartz family. It is clear to milky white, with dendritic inclusions of manganese or iron that has grown into patterns similar to moss or lichen. It has been highly regarded throughout history as a stone of strengthening, stability, healing, balance and abundance.
The oak tree has long been a symbol of strength, endurance, wisdom and nobility, highly revered for it’s size and longevity as well as the abundant gifts it has provided over the centuries. This tree, created in solid gold and blue diamonds, is truly an “Everlasting Oak.”
Diamonds are the most well known symbol of “forever”. The leaves of this tree are genuine conflict free blue diamonds (color enhanced). Their color is a greenish-teal blue that perfectly compliments the mossy inclusions of the agate. 44 of them adorn the branches of this tree, sparkling and shimmering in a truly magical way.
Hope to see you there:
What: Art Exhibition – 25th Anniversary Show Where: Artel Gallery – 223 Palafox Place, Old Escambia County Courthouse, Pensacola, FL 32502 When: Opening Reception June 14th, 6pm-8pm (Show Runs June 5th – July 13th) Why: Because it’s awesome! Come hang out with us during the opening reception!
I recently decided to expand my art reach and hit a market that I’ve always been a little too afraid to hit. The market of clothing, mugs, and other cool home decor items.
The reason I have hesitated is because I am so used to being completely hands on with my creations. Every artwork and print that leaves my studio is touched by me and is completely bespoke.
And although I love the idea of producing artistic clothing with my own hands, it is an overwhelming task and one that would stretch me too thin and be quite expensive. Instead I decided to partner up with Redbubble and Fine Art America. They have a great reputation and between the both of them produce a plethora of great quality items.
I’m slowly but surely building a catalog of items. In the design phase I am creating the templates for each product and going over the details to make sure that they not only look awesome, but are top notch.
The plan is to have items for home decor, accessories such as iPhone wallets, Yoga mats, and clothing. The women’s line includes an A line dress and a Chiffon top, along with t-shirts for men.
I am currently in the design phase although technically I guess you can purchase the items I have already listed, though I have not released the series yet. I will be creating some designs that are specifically for t-shirts and various products offered and that will take some time. I plan on scheduling the official release for the Christmas season, so stay tuned.
Please let me know your thoughts and if there is any specific design or artwork you would like to see… I love the challenge.
Yesterday morning, as I walked into the kitchen bleary eyed and searching frantically for my coffee cup, it dawned on me that someone would be pointing a camera at my face that day.
Klee was already up and getting ready, she kissed me good morning as she hurried by holding her hair up in a bun.
I pathetically waved back… yeah, I needed coffee.
It’s in those moments, before you are about to embark on something that you’ve never done before, that the little voice of doubt sets in.
We have been interviewed before, but never something like this. A mini documentary? About us?!
As I sat there drinking my coffee I wondered if I would be interesting enough, funny enough, photogenic enough, or even have the ability to string together a coherent sentence.
Klee on the other hand is brilliant at stringing together sentences and getting to the point, and let’s be honest, she is also much more photogenic.
My biggest fear is rambling on and forgetting what I was talking about in the first place. I tend to talk about a subject and go off on tangents, eventually circling around to what we were originally talking about… but sometimes, it’s like I’m standing in the kitchen with the refrigerator door open, wondering why I’m there.
As it turns out the experience was quite amazing, and all my fears melted away once we got started.
Jon Deckert from Vivid Bridge Studios came in with what seemed like an arsenal of compact, high tech, noninvasive equipment that fit our small space in the art studio quite well.
We had met with Jon Deckert and Doug Stanford a few weeks earlier for coffee and to discuss their idea of doing a mini-doc on us. So I had met him before, but only briefly.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but Jon was awesome. Not only did he know how to wield his equipment with artistic accuracy, but he was amiable and genuine. He made the experience fun and interactive. I mean, it felt like the camera evaporated and I was just sitting there having a pleasant conversation with someone who was interested in what I had to say.
I could clearly see that he had a creative vision of what he wanted to capture, but was also flexible and adaptable to the space and our ideas. His main goal seemed to be to capture the best possible moments he could without interrupting our flow.
I am really excited to see what they come up with at Vivid Bridge Studios, in my opinion their work is creative, beautiful, artistic, and some of the best I’ve seen.
That being said, I did go off on tangents a lot while being interviewed… So they have a lot of video to edit. Luckily, I did manage to string together coherent sentences, kinda.
The mini doc is currently in post production and I’ll let you guys know as soon as that is made available.
By the way, in the old days, I think I would’ve passed up this opportunity simply because once self doubt sets in, it’s easy to talk yourself out of doing something you think is scary. I can honestly say that more often than not the voices of self doubt are wrong, and even when they might be right, it is never as scary as you imagine. So nowadays, I just go for it… and it is ALWAYS worth it.
If you are interested in finding out more about Vivid Bridge Studios, they are Pensacola’s video production & photography studio. They empower businesses, organizations or brands to promote and market their stories through video and photography. Just a really fun and super creative bunch of folks.
Spring is in the air! I know it’s true because my eyes get itchy and I find myself sneezing uncontrollably. That being said, we also have an uncontrollable urge to do some Spring cleaning, or spring a sale on you… you see what I did there?
Both Klee and I have some fun sales going on. Such as 15% off of selected works of art and special deals on shipping.
Klee’s Sale – Spring Sale Event! March 20-29th Enjoy 15% off of every design in my shop. No minimum purchase required, no coupon code necessary. Free domestic shipping on orders of $100 or more.
Some pieces started selling the moment we activated the sale, this art (Wisdom Of The Deep) already sold as part of the sale, and although I’m sad to see it go, I am happy that it has a new home in Pennsylvania.
Our sale runs until the end of day on the 29th of March 2018. If you go on our online store it lists all the sale prices. Have fun, and if you have any questions please email us!
So every year we try to do this little art hunt thing where we give away a lot of art with the intent to bring a smile to someone’s face. That someone is a beautiful little town named Pensacola. This year I created a bunch of art, about 80 pieces, and I created small inspirational hand painted magnets, about 100 of those… Phew.
As some of you know we had a YouTube contest to find the perfect name for this art giveaway thing we’ve been doing for several years, with awesome results.
Hashtag Inspire A Smile (#INSPIREASMILE) is what it’s called now, and that my friends is awesome!
So the date was set (March 12th, 2018) and the weather was like “hey wait a minute… I think you’ll enjoy doing this a lot more if it was dreary, cold, and windy, because that’s what all the cool kids want.”
And I was like “shit.”
But Klee and I bundled up and like the old explorers of Antarctica we braved the elements to spread our message of cheer.
(Listen, I know it wasn’t that cold, but I live in Florida the sunshine state, anything other than sunshine and warmth is unbearable.)
I put an entertaining video of our adventure together that morning for your amusement Below. Enjoy!
Within minutes of being done with the art hunt, inspiring happy messages started flooding in which makes freezing our buts off so worth it.
I think it is so important to smile. Each time you smile, you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness. So smile you beautiful human you!
The date has been announced, we will be releasing 80 small art trees and 100 empowering happy magnets around downtown Pensacola on March 12th, 2018. Klee and I will go out in the cover of darkness and #INSPIREASMILE with art.
There is something special about the mystery and the covert nature of bringing joy to people that totally gets me pumped. It’s a very rogue and unexpected way to bring happiness and I hope people will be inspired to smile by the gesture.
In the past, I have left small art trees around town, this year in addition to the art I’ll also have small sketches that say empowering things, meant to brighten someones day.
After doing this art hunt for about four years, we realized it needed a name. We asked our awesome fans on YouTube for help and they did not disappoint.
#inspireasmile captures the essence of why we do these art hunts. Also, it helps us try and collaborate with artists who are interested in doing something similar in their town.
The idea is to spread around some happy, positive, empowering messages, and try to inspire a smile from the world. It seems sometimes, that the world could use it… I know I could use it sometimes.
If you are an artist, or just a person who wants to #INSPIREASMILE feel free to join the movement, use the hashtag, and send us pictures of your art hunt along with information on who you are, where you are, and why you did.
If you are in Pensacola, mark your calendars. Pieces will be hidden in plain sight and some will be a little harder to find, but all will be just for you! I’ll be making some more announcements and releasing clues leading up to and the day of.
Thank you so much for being awesome Pensacola!
Mugs, T-shirts, Stickers, And Posters – Be Prepared For Delays