Make a Coloring Book

Every time I go to an Art store, Book store or even the grocery store, I see coloring books. So, I thought it would be cool to try to create something new. Why not a coloring book.

Simply put I am going to create a 12 page Coloring Book I will posts my progress once a week…

 imagesFor more Information on Coloring Books:   Coloring books are no longer just for the kids. In fact, adult coloring books are all the rage right now. And while researchers and art therapists alike have touted the calming benefits for over a decade, it’s childhood favorite Crayola that’s gotten adult coloring books some serious grown-up attention. The famous crayon makers just launched a set of markers, colored pencils and a collection of adult coloring books, Coloring Escapes, last month.

And though the first commercially successful adult coloring books were published in 2012 and 2013, the once-niche hobby has now grown into a full-on trend, with everyone from researchers at Johns Hopkins University to the editors of Yoga Journal suggesting coloring as an alternative to meditation.

taken from  –


Spring Flowers


April #flowers and hopefully not too many spring showers

This is a Quick Drawing of one of the many things I Draw from here to there…

Just a Drawing I did today

Sketch I did today base off a sculptor by Charles Henri Joseph Cordier in Chicago Art Institute…

Just a Little SomeThing (warming my hands up)

I often do a little doodle like this before I start a new project.  It’s just the way I loosen my hands up before I start doing something a little bit more serious…

Very Interesting Movie for Artist


Exit Through the Gift Shop

The story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. The film contains footage of Banksy, Shephard Fairey, Invader and many of the world’s most infamous graffiti artists at work.

After watching this movie I definitely reevaluated what exactly is a professional artist. And I believe that’s the best thing about this movie. I believe you can still catch this flick on Amazon prime or Netflix



Here’s some good Advice/Inspiration for any artist at any level:

“Be Prepared to Struggle- The life of a freelance / self employed / gallery artist is not an easy one. It definitely has it’s ups and downs. The pros- you can be creative everyday, you can set your own schedule, you can travel whenever you like, you are in control of your day to day, including your future… The cons- inconsistent cash flow, stress of not knowing when work will come, sometimes you have to do work that is less than exciting, no health insurance, bills sometimes get paid late…

Be Down for the Long Haul- It’s not going to happen overnight. If you’re lucky- in 5 years you maintain some sort of consistent work flow, sales and success. For most, it takes 7-10 years. The first 3 years are the hardest. With a lot of people, these are the ‘make-or-break’ years. Frustration, lack of motivation, laziness, insecurity and lack of drive will overwhelm most people who even think about being an ‘artist’. You can’t claim to be something if you make no effort or have no aspirations. Wanting to be and being are two completely different people.

Make a list of goals, no matter how lofty, outrageous or small they may be. Work diligently and daily until you achieve these goals. Appreciate and celebrate the small successes, but stay hungry and keep your focus on the future and the unaccomplished goals.

Put yourself around successful, healthy and creative people. If your friends are excited about life and what they do and who they are, that energy is contagious. People that have no drive, no direction or aspirations are dead weight- they are going nowhere, talk about the same things and, typically, their depression and negative energy will affect you and take you away from your own goals. Sometimes it’s difficult, but if someone truly cares about you, they should be happy for your success and dedication, not jealous, bitter or resentful. Life is way too short.

Be honest with your work and your weaknesses. You HAVE to be your own worst critic. Do not settle for where you are. You should constantly strive to get better and learn something new. Complacency turns into laziness, which falls into boredom and mediocrity. Why do something if you don’t care about it? No one is ‘making you’ do it. If art is a hobby, that’s all well and good- but don’t fool yourself and think you’re something that you’re not.

Be humble. Realize that you’re not that good. There are 10,000 artists living that are better than you. There are 100,000,000 in art history that are even better. Feel good about what you do but don’t lose sight of this reality. Challenge yourself to do things you don’t think you can do, either out of fear or lack of knowledge. Expose yourself to ALL kinds of art- painting, sculpture, film, furniture design, illustration, architecture, animation, etc. Ask yourself WHAT and WHY you like certain aspects of your favorite art pieces and allow that to nurture, inspire and motivate your own work. The artists’ ego is his/her own worst enemy.

More than anything stated, the most important ideal is to HAVE INTEGRITY. Stand behind what you do, have your own voice, your own aesthetic and your own opinions. Don’t try and be the ‘Flavor of the Month’. Please, Please, Please- whatever you do, don’t be a jackoff. The art world is very small. Don’t let yourself get labeled as a clone, a copycat, a spineless, unoriginal bastard. No one will respect you or your work. It’s lazy and unethical, disrespectful and disgusting.

Don’t turn work or commissions down. No job is too small. Sometimes, you even have to do work for free…. ALWAYS be professional. Try to challenge yourself and take on more than you can handle. You will be surprised, when it comes down to crunch time, if you focus and make deliberate decisions and actions- you will accomplish much more than you thought you were capable of.”

-Shawn Barber

Coffee Shop Art Show

sips-coffee-shopAfter finishing my first Coffee Shop Art Show it got me thinking, “what are some of the perceived pros and cons of doing a Coffee Shop art show”.  So I started searching on the net and found some pretty interesting things. One of the first things that can up on this search was a Q & A from Which states one of the biggest cons is that the challenge for artists displaying art in non-art venues is that people frequent those venues for purposes other than to buy art, unless of course the venue has a history of showing artists. Imagine your self checking into a hotel or having dinner at a nice restaurant. Are you interested in getting a good night’s sleep or having a gastronomic experience… or are you interested in buying art? People who are serious about buying art normally go to art galleries or art events to do so; not that many are inclined to patronize establishments that are not known for showing or selling art. So if you intend to go ahead with this arrangement, the owners will hopefully present more compelling reasons for your doing so than “if you hang it, they will buy.” The closer they can approximate a gallery setting where the artwork is clearly more than decoration and clearly for sale, the better. This article goes on to say, that on the plus side, alternative venues are becoming increasingly attractive for artists who are just starting out. In addition, depending on the traffic, thousands of new people may well be exposed to your work– a situation far preferred to having these paintings sit gathering dust in your studio– and if all goes well, word-of-mouth may attract even more attention.

So what did I get from this article? Well based on what was stated I believe, An artist when displaying art especially when displayed within an alternative space should focus on, accurately letting people know that your work is for sale, to put it simply the art cannot sell itself. In addition to that the artist focus should be on generating acknowledgment to your work or yourself as an artist. Meaning that people that are not interested in buying your work should still be interested in finding out more information about you as an artist and that information should be readily available for them.


Pros and Cons of Artists Showing Art

at Non-Gallery Venues–

Hotels, Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Boutiques, Etc.

North Lawndale Peace Parks Project


Since I’m just starting a blog I wanted to do a quick posting on one of the projects that I am working on. As of about September 1, 2013 I have been working with the Chicago Urban Arts Retreat located in North Lawndale, Chicago working various graphic design projects. These projects range from rebranding, flyer design, T-shirt design, etc. but one of the larger projects that I have been assigned to is the North Lawndale Peace Parks Project (PPP). The PPP is an initiative to reclaim abandoned or vacant lots within North Lawndale and repurpose them as parks. In addition it is a collaborative public art, and civic engagement project originally developed by Chicago artist Indira Johnson.  Once we acquire an abandoned lot the plan is to than have kids from local schools and near by residents to come out and work with local artists to create meaningful sculptures and murals. At completion local youth will be given the training needed in order to upkeep the parks, for example how to identify and remove graffiti or how to plant and trim plants.