I’ve been a bit scattered since getting back from Albuquerque earlier this month, but I wanted to write about my show at Stranger Factory, A Nervous Harbour.
A couple of years ago, I came across the work of the Circus Posterus collective, and I was completely blown away. From the janky buck toothed Amanda Louise Spayd bunnies, to the wide eyed Chris Ryniak critters, and the personable and expressive figures from Brandt Peters and Kathie Olivas, it was like discovering a whole new side of the art and toy world I hadn’t really seen before.
I thought – this is the work I want to be doing, which was fortunately pretty easy, because it was the work I was already doing. But seeing other people be successful at it, doing this sort of fantastical narrative work full of monsters and creatures and bright colours, and be taken seriously as real artists, exhibiting in real galleries – that was heartening, and special.
In 2011, I made a five year plan, sort of where I wanted to see my art in the next five years. As part of that five year plan, I wanted to do a solo show at Stranger Factory, which is Kathie and Brandt’s store and gallery in Albuquerque. At the time, I’d never visited Stranger Factory, and I hadn’t even met Kathie and Brandt, but I just knew that it was a place I wanted to be. I was pretty sure it was a pie-in-the-sky sort of goal at the time, but I’m not one to talk myself out of simply having goals.
In 2012, I was part of a group show at Stranger Factory. In 2012, I met Kathie and Brandt for the first time, shortly before I went out to Albuquerque(for that group show), also for the first time. Kathie bought me whiskey, and I told stories about embarrassing bedroom incidents. Since then, I’ve made so many friends through this little toy community, so many people that I’d be happy to buy a drink for, but more than that – people that really get me.
In 2013, I started also working as part of the Circus Posterus press team, and I have learned more about the intricacies of running a business and art collective in one year than I think I would have in four years of art school(I didn’t go to art school). A few months ago, I also officially became part of the Circus Posterus collective. Yes, it is still a bit weird seeing my name on this page.
blue watery gravebeast
Earlier this month, I did my first mini-solo show in Stranger Factory. A few people that I’ve met through the Circus Posterus/Stranger Factory community came to my opening! They bought my art! I’ve sold almost 2/3rds of my show now, which I’m proud and happy about. I’m not remotely close to selling my work at the price point that many of their other artists are, but like I told my friends Jason and Robyn(they came from Boston), I hope my early work contributes to their kids’ college fund someday.
The theme of my show is in short – aquatic critters – but it’s also about anxiety, and home, and finding a port in a storm. Anyway, I couldn’t be happier to have found a second family in this amazing, wonderful, creative, focused crew, and I suppose I’ll need a new five year plan if things keep on working out the way they do.
clown jelly diorama
The entire show preview is here, if you’d like to check it out! You can inquire about any art via the instructions at the top of the page, but remaining pieces will also make it online in a couple weeks.
Up next – I have two more group shows at Stranger Factory this year, and I’ll also be at DesignerCon, at the Circus Posterus booth.
In 2014, Leslie and I are going to blow your minds with all sorts of natural history inspired critters! We’ve been building a wonderful little world for our upcoming shows together and seriously, it’s going to be so good. I’m also building a 30′ post apocalyptic haunted house and hauling it out to the desert, but that’s neither here not there.
Thank you for following my work.