Hello 2019

Turning over a new leaf.

It seems like a very long time since I have officially written a new blog entry (I still write in my journal quite a bit but that is usually just for me) and I figured that with the advent of the new year, it would be a good time to start up that habit again. There have been a lot of changes in my life that had required me to go heads down for some time and limited my ability to take on new projects while I worked on them, but, thankfully, things are starting to open up again as my schedule starts to free up and I have been able to take on more projects for others but also some of my own that have been on the backburner.

Testing Out Some New Features in Photoshop

As always, I never fully realize how much I miss creative work and just the act of creating in general until I am finally back at it. I had been asked to do some editing of images and I finally got to see some of the new changes that Adobe had added into Photoshop and some of the other apps in the Creative Cloud in action. I have to say that I was pretty impressed. I really like the new symmetry brushes that were recently added in. I had played around with the Silk app for a while and always found it to be extremely relaxing and I am curious to see how I will be able to incorporate it into my creative work a lot more.

Another thing that really stuck out to me was the stroke smoothing. I generally like to use my Wacom tablet whenever I can, but I have one of the older models and it can tend to be a bit bulky. Trying to draw or edit some things with a mouse can be a bit of a pain, especially when you are trying to be very precise or need fluid movements, but I feel like this new feature really helps out with that. There are a couple of options that I was toying around with yesterday, but I found myself going back to Stroke Catch Up, which would slow down the drawing behind the cursor as you clicked and dragged, letting you make adjustments as you draw. I would say that it is still something that will take some getting used to, but I think that it is a good start for situations where I forgot to take my tablet with me or need to make some changes without getting it out setting it up.

New Upcoming Projects

I have a couple other projects that are in the works and am pretty excited about. The first one, I cannot talk to much about, because it is still in the early stages of development and the owner is worried that other people may take the idea, but it involves video work and a bit of coding, which I am pretty happy about. I think that it will be pretty cool to combine these two skill-sets. While I am definitely better at the video portion, I have been dabbling in coding and web design quite a bit more these days and it will be great to see what I can make with it.

I also have a couple more shoots on the radar that I am pretty excited about. I have been leaning a lot more towards portraits and fine art these days instead of events, not because events are just more work for less of a return but I find that am allowed more creative freedom in portraits. That is not to say that I will stop shooting event photos entirely, but I think that I am going to be a little more selective in what I take on so that I will not be overloaded.

Creators of Seattle

This is something that I have been wanting to do for quite a bit of time but there were so many pressing matters in my life and caused me to continuously put it aside. But now that all that is behind me, I think it is time to pick it up again and become more active with my personal work.  I put out some feelers and already have some great interviews lined up.  While I would like to include more videos, there are some people that feel more comfortable with written interviews so I will try my hand at wring more om this blog.

My primary focus with this project is to dive deep into the daily lives and struggles of artists and creators as they try and make things work in Seattle.  Seattle has been changing so much in the past few years and it is becoming increasingly more expensive to live here, especially if you are trying to make a living by unconventional means.  I am curious to see how all this will pan out, but I have some great plans and I am very passionate about the subject so I think this will turn out well.  More to come soon!

A Season of Changes

There have been many shifts in my life the last three months that caused my photography to take the backseat in my life.  That is not to say that I didn't take pictures (I don't think that I could ever do that) but I was seeing that I was feeling unsatisfied in my work.

My life always seems to suffer when I am not creating as much as I should and this was especially true during this time.  My daily work and my relationships took quite a hit during this time.  But the dark spell was finally shattered when I worked a charity even just a couple of weeks ago.  At first, I was unimpressed as I looked at the photos from the night, but as I buckled down and began to work so I could make my deadline, I found my old rhythm again.

This gives me a lot of hope for this upcoming year.  I want to continue to challenge myself with images that do you just look technically good, but also contain creative concepts as I continue to develop my visual style.  I will make to post more of what I am working on with all of you this year as well including tutorials and BTS of shoots.

Interview with Teo Acosta

Seattle Artist Interviews Part I

 

 

 

As promised, I was able to meet up with Teo Acosta at the Twilight Exit, a great little bar here in the Central District.  The original ideas was to have a do some photos and a video interview, but due to less than ideal filming conditions we opted for photos and a text interview.

Teo Acosta is a comic artist and animator based out of Seattle, WA and we met through mutual friends and a love for metal. We really hit it off and I have admired his work for sometime so naturally I approached him when I decided to move forward with this project to showcase local artists here in the Seattle area and he was kind enough to help out by lending some of his time.

Arriving at the Twilight Exist on a Sunday afternoon, we sidled up to to the bar and ordered drinks before retreating to a Pac-Man table (an appropriate choice given our love for games) for the interview.

Teo takes a quick sip from his beer and gathers himself.  We make small talk and the conversation flows naturally before transitioning to the interview questions.

 

Dave: What’s integral to the work of an artist?

Teo: Work ethic haha. I think in some ways creativity is a muscle. If you practice it all the time, it slowly becomes easier and you become stronger.

Dave: What role does the artist have in society?

Teo: I think artists' role in society is to act as a mirror. A lot of my work is based off my own personal experiences, and trials of my life. In literature and sequential art we have a real opportunity to explore and share moments of our lives with someone who may not have either had the good or bad luck of experiencing it.

Dave: What art do you most identify with?

Teo: I have always been a fan of Goya, and Picasso. But art came to me in a really nerdy fashion. I was at a yard sale when I was about 8, and I found an original advanced dungeons & dragons monster manual from the 80s, and I became obsessed with all the monster art within that ancient tome. Frazetta is incredibly important to me, his work is just so bad ass in theme and execution. In sequential art, Will Eisner will always be king. His work is so important, and he really turned sequential art into an art form.

Dave: Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

Teo: I've been battling depression and anxiety my whole life. It's a major theme in my illustrations and comic work. To be very specific, there was this woman I had fallen in love with and there were some things keeping us apart. In one of my comics, a character falls into a deep depression from a similar event and ends up not leaving his home for several days rotating through different band shirts. So yeah, that happened haha.

Dave: What do you dislike about the art world?

Teo: I feel like its getting better, but I'm always really frustrated by the lack of attention sequential art and animation get. They both an insanely difficult medium to work in and make something that is worth seeing.

Dave: What research to you do?

Teo: I'm constantly watching movies and analyzing how they are telling the story, and framing shots. I also try to visit galleries as much as possible to see what other people are doing. I'm also kind of addicted to reading art books. Luckily the library in Seattle is amazing.

Dave: What is your dream project?

Teo: I would love to be the Creative Director or Show Runner for an animated series. In this dream world I'd also have complete creative control, and probably release it in a digital format as opposed to being on TV.

Dave: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Teo: No matter what your dream job is, you will have an opportunity to be in front of the right people at the right time. You need to be ready for that day now. Also, if you want to do some thing, start doing it now. Even if its terrible, you'll get better at it over time.

 

To see more of Teo's work, please visit HTTP://teoacosta.tumblr.com.  You can also find him on facebook at Art of Teo Acosta (https://www.facebook.com/artofteo/) and at Twitter (@teo_acosta).  It was a pleasure to get a peek inside of Teo's mind and what drives him and I hope to continue this series on Seattle artists on a weekly basis.