Saturday, January 24, 2015

Maybe You'll Even Fall In Love

FLASHBACK! Porky piggin with @bizzlerob

When it comes to talent-based activities, I’m much better at watching sports than playing them, and making music has always been quickly bypassed by listening to it. That said, I’m a believer in honing talent over being born with it, and playing sports and music have fallen to the wayside of visual arts in my life. Oh, and also, I like to write. I like it a lot. I just don’t always know what to write about.  

Spoiler alert: That’s about to change.

The other day when I was participating in my usual habit of wasting spending the first hour(s) of my waking life in bed looking at social media… blurry Insta pics from friends who were still at afters (and cats from those who hadn’t experienced anything yet in their days), random Facebook posts, Mass Appeal for new jams, and twitter for some news, I came across an article in The Times, “To Fall In Love With Anyone Do This.” I took the bait and clicked.

A widely read, light piece of writing in the Fashion and Style section, this article told the story of two college kids, the author being one, who answered a series of 36 questions over a first date at a bar, stared into each others’ eyes for 4 minutes while standing (romantically) on a bridge, and BOOM they were happily married. Well that's convenient. Where did they get those questions?

In the late 1990’s when I was working at The Crystal Underground (and very possibly looking awesome in a green visor at Pizza Hut), being hippied-out, and making my start in art school, the psychologist Arthur Aron was conducting a study on quick intimacy. Squirreled away in a room on the campus of CUNY, the doctor was busy testing his list of questions to see if certain ideas, if shared amongst pairs of strangers, could spark instant intimacy. Although one pair of his subjects ended up walking the aisle, his intentions were more than hoodoo/love potion punch. He wanted to see if answering certain questions upon immediate meeting could make people really know each other. The author of “TFILWADT” sure thought it worked.

After all this, I was curious. What were the questions?

An easy Google search lead me to spending more time in my bed and thinking about how I would answer some of these questions myself. Surprised with some of my own answers, I thought… and here’s where we bring it all back around… this is what I can write about. 

While some questions involve a partner, and some may be a little TMI for the internet, a solid 25-30 questions fit the bill of, I am comfortable enough to write about. So, here we go folks. I’m challenging myself (scratch that. It’s a weak statement don’t you know?) going to answer one question each week. I mean, who knows? If you read all about it, sometime in late summer, maybe you’ll even fall in love.

Question #1: Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would I invite to dinner?  Find out Thursday.


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: The Year of "Real"

Deep in the studio tonight. #erinfitzpatrickportraits

Well, hello there. 

I've missed you! I hope you've had a great year, or at least learned more about yourselves and the roles you are choosing to play in the world. Every year is full of achievements,  learning experiences and growth (AKA ups and downs), but I'll tell you what, 2014 felt... extra....It was definitely a year of realness. 

It was my first year fully self-employed as an artist. I made 91 paintings this year, 157 since I quit my last shift at a restaurant on November 15, 2013. ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY SEVEN OIL PAINTINGS. That's not including freelance illustrations. That's a lot. I worked my cute little butt off.

Today's work features a whole different set up. Doing almost the whole job with my awesome new inks from @bill_stevenson ! #waverlycolorcompany

During this time, I often found myself daydreaming of a Buzzfeed list: 

What People Should Know About What It's Like to Live as an Artist:

- I went 3 weeks at the end of the summer eating nothing but egg sandwiches. And this was not for an undying love of egg sandwiches. At the time I was fully booked  with commissions. I raised my prices. 

- Asking how long it takes to finish a painting out of more than curiosity of how long it takes to finish a painting (i.e. in trying to calculate how much I'm making) is pretty transparent. And it happens. A lot. 

So here's the answer. Start to finish, several emails (I spend 2-5 hours every single day during busy season on email before I even get to the studio), resizing/editing photos, buying supplies, prepping the painting surface, actually painting, photographing, and delivering the work can easily take 3, 8-12 hour days... for a 6x6 inch painting. That costs $150-185 (since September), $75-135(previously)  last year. I'll let you do the math (AKA don't ask for a discount).

- I work between 40-60 hours every week. Usually leaning towards the latter.

- When you change your mind about a photo that you supply me with, and decide you are not going to pay for the work I have done (this has happened more than once), you are... well, you are just a big ol' a**hole. Don't worry, I learned my lesson, now I ALWAYS take a deposit.

- It is awesome to go to work in sweatpants! 

- And listen to baseball on the radio while I paint!

- And to remind myself every day, that no matter how tough it gets, I am actually doing it. I am not coasting along. I am being what I want to be. It blows my mind all the time.

I had a client tell me this year that he became a banker because being an artist was too much work. I appreciated that.

Finally got to see it in person! Crazy to see my work so big! #ledbaltimore #erinfitzpatrick #erinfitzpatrickportraits

I'm liking the list track that this post is taking, so let's keep going with that.

Hey babes! I'm featured in the latest issue of #Livingetc one of Britain's most popular interior design magazines. Comes out tomorrow. Check it! #erinfitzpatrick #erinfitzpatrickportraits
2014 Highlights

- I got a brand new niece!

- I had a client fly me to Los Angeles and I got to teach portrait lessons to kids at a school in South Central where there were no art classes.

- Um, the Orioles.

- My art was on a billboard and in an international interior design magazine. And Featured on widely read blogs, and even reproduced as an assignment in a high school classroom in a small town in England. Whaaaa?

- I had my first show in Manhattan, and my first show curated by a big deal curator.

- In case you forgot: I made it through a year of self employment.

- I made this painting.

Brynn and Kristin

- I got to work on a creative project with my friend, Hilton, who I admire and respect.

- And I also got a free trip to New Orleans out of it.

- I found a group of 16-22 year olds in east Baltimore who want to work to reduce youth incarceration in their neighborhood and make Baltimore a better city. And they let me work with them.

Pretty kitty.
Low Points

- I lost my best buddy of 15 years; the only one who always got it right, my cat friend,  Gunther.  

- There are some tough financial times in year one of self-employment. 

- That's all I'm givin' ya (I'd insert "posi vibes" if that wasn't a barf-able expression)!

Just finished a photo shoot with Baltimore Magazine. Stay tuned....
What I've Learned

- You can't always get what you want, but if you play it cool all of the time, you just might find, you're never gonna get it, never gonna get it. Never gonna get it, never gonna get it. See what I did there?

- I really learned how important it is to surround myself with truly genuine people. Being cool is not that important. Be real. 

- It takes risks to stand out, and a buttload of work to get rewards. 

- Racism is seeping out of the woodwork like a million termites. 

- Writing a grant proposal: REAL.

- If I'm looking at the same person on multiple occasions thinking they should "suck a d*ck up 'til they hiccup," but I'm verbally making excuses for their behaviors, I should trust that inner voice of wisdom. 

- When I take too much time in between chatting with y'all, my posts are looooong. 


My resolutions tend to come more in the form of goals and growth, so let's start there.

- Get an intern!

- Drink a margarita! Already checked off!

- Commit time to personal work even if it means I have to find other temporary income. Only 3 of the last 157 paintings were not commissions.

- That thing about playing it cool, take it back a notch and speak up about what I actually want. 

- Pay off one credit card.

- Pay off the other credit card.

- Complain less/change the situation.

- Get into another international publication.

- Use my skills to help people and make my city better.

- Put together a comprehensive sales pitch, so other people can do some of the sales/legwork for me. 

- Don't make excuses for jerks. 

- Drink another margarita.


Coming in 2015

- September 2015 New paintings at Jordan Faye Contemporary

- February 2015 I'll be in Baltimore Magazine again. You'll have to wait and see why.

- The rest of the year: Jeebus only knows. I'm predicting a whole lot of adventure.

So, here's to a new year. Take advantage of having a future, at least a day in front of you. Don't waste it doing the same thing every day/night. Don't take for granted that you are a person who can create, make things better for other people, teach, learn, be a friend, make people laugh, and make your own life what you want it to be. Have fun tonight.

I love you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jealous Curator Print Giveaway

The Jealous Curator is awesome and she's giving away 2 of my prints on her site RN!

saatchi art … two for you, two for me!
Confession: When it’s 1am and I don’t have a post for the next day, Saatchi Art is where I go every single time {I have a major weakness for their “portraits” section}. Anywho, I’ve written about a lot of their artists over the past few years and so last week they very sweetly, and totally unnecessarily, gave me a gift card to buy whatever I wanted from their gorgeous site. Um, okay! But wait, I wanted to make sure I shared the love, so here’s what I decided to do… instead of buying one original, I chose two beautiful prints… a set of two, in fact. Do you see where this is going? Yep, I’m going to hang these beauties on my living room wall, and I’m going to give the matching set to one of you! YAY! After hours of deliberation {literally}, this is what I chose:

Sigh. Gorgeous. Two prints by American painter Erin Fitzpatrick. I wrote about her last April and so many of you went crazy for this fabulous portrait, titled “Lane”, so I bought it… twice! It’s 18″x24″, but there was still money left and I felt like this fabulous lady needed a 14″x14″ companion, so I added this leaf study, also from Erin’s portfolio {handy tool on Saatchi to give a sense of scale, while showing us exactly how they’ll look in our perfect/clean living rooms!}. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this little duo… I love them so, so much! If you love them too, and want a chance to win these two prints{valued at over $200}, leave a comment below and I’ll draw one name on Friday November 21st at noon PST. Good luck! {and thank you so much, Saatchi – that was realllllly fun!}