Like many artists my age, I am addicted to Instagram. It’s my window into what’s happening all over the world. Some people would argue it’s just another time suck, but it’s so much more than blindly scrolling and double-tapping on cat memes. I do spend a fair amount of time going through pictures, but Instagram provides me with a lot of fuel. Do you know how uplifting it is to see someone your age making cool shit and building a career out of it? Not only can you watch the progression of that person’s work, but you can start a conversation with them about it by commenting on their photo. I use this app like a student uses a textbook in math class! And showing my paintings to strangers has helped me get over that uncomfortable awkwardness that I use to have. I am aware that what I make is not everyone’s taste and I am ok with that. These days I am very proud of what I paint and don’t fear standing beside it. Plus, on the inner webs I can connect with a group of people who do dig what I make and getting some positive feedback from strangers is super inspiring too.
Trekkell Art Supplies is one of my Instagram finds from looking at other artists’ accounts. They are an American company who started producing high quality brushes, then paints, and recently wood panels and other paint surfaces. They even sponsor artists and have pro members – so freaking awesome. This past year they made some really cool, unique coffin wood panels and I thought they looked like they would be a blast to paint on. Then one day I looked down and saw a scrap piece of 3/4 inch plywood in my garage and I thought why not make my own? Of course mine will never be as well-made as theirs, but I had a blast cutting them out and painting them. I designed two original cartoon stylized characters, one of a vampire monkey and the other a rat boy. My inspiration for both came from a book I recently purchased called Monster Mash. My daughter has been fascinated with scary monsters lately and I wanted to show/educate her on the classics. Weirdly enough the monkey was originally inspired by Eddie Munster (I know they look nothing alike) and the rat, of course, was born out of respect for Ed Roth’s Rat Fink.