Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I Looked into the Void, and the Void Tossed Back Art Supplies: New Art, Reviews, and More!


The last few months have been busy as ever for me, and in addition to the usual mix of work, personal projects, art, writing, raising monarchs, and social excursions, I also dove in head-first to a really fun (and admittedly: somewhat time intensive) side-hobby: doing Amazon reviews.

Now I have no intentions to turn this blog into a space for a string of extensive reviews, but rather, I wanted to take a moment to elaborate on why I've been enjoying it so much, and why I actually feel it's been beneficial to my art.

I Looked into the Void, and the Void Tossed Back Art Supplies

I started getting into doing reviews because, well, I use Amazon reviews to gauge a large amount of my purchases. From cat litter, toilet paper, batteries and other household items, through to niche art supplies. I realized that over the years I've read probably thousands of reviews, but hadn't contributed very many, and for whatever reason, that propelled me forward to look into how I could get involved into reviewing items for free or at low-cost in exchange for a review (you can Google this if you're interested in doing it too!).

In time, I was reviewing all sorts of things, and after a time I got to the point where I had enough credibility that I would sometimes reach out directly to sellers on Amazon to ask if they were interested in offering me products for them in exchange for an honest review, and it should be no surprise that some of the most interested sellers I contacted were often ones that had art supply listings with few or no reviewer photos: how sad!

So over the past few months I've reviewed over a dozen sets of brushes, as well as colored pencils, acrylics, water color pencils, and more. Some have been great, and some not. But at the end of the day, one of the things it did was that it prompted me to do more shorter, focused projects, and to reignite my love of 2D real media pieces.

Some pieces got more love than others, and the ones that got more love were usually the ones with better supplies, but even still, it felt wonderful to have the freedom to experiment and have fun without worrying so much about the final result. And as an added bonus: whatever my findings, I felt good knowing that by my reviews and photos, I was hopefully helping other artists or aspiring artists out there make informed decisions about their supplies, and where they might want to spend their money.

So what I've decided to do is to post all of the pieces I've worked on over the last few months where I was using art supplies I was reviewing. As I mentioned: sometimes the supplies weren't up to snuff, in which case I didn't spend much time creating art with them, but for most of these pieces (with the exception of the sculptures), I probably would not have ever created them were it not for the fact I was nudging myself along to do the best possible reviews I could. :) In particular, I think there is close to a 0% chance I would have ever done any face painting or work in acrylics were it not for wanting to provide reviews for various products. And a major shout out to Jessica Johnson and Jay Patel for being a model and photographer on one of the impromptu "What about having some fun collaboration with this facepaint...?" sessions. You two rock!

I'm not going to link all the reviews (since that isn't the purpose of this blog), but if you have questions on any particular ones, just let me know and I'd be more than happy to let you know! The captions below list what materials were being reviewed for each piece.

Art Created with The Help of One or More Reviewed Products

"Sashah's Song" (Work in Progress) - Multiple Types of Paint Brushes

"Koi" - Colored Pencils and Paint Brushes

"Huntress" - Electric Eraser

"Jeweled Lioness" - Various Paint Brushes

Water Color Pencils

Sketch Book

"Blue" - Water Color Pencils and Paint Brushes

"Raven" - Water Color Pencils and Paint Brushes

Face Paints and Paint Brushes (Inspired by a painting by the incredibly talented Balaa)

Face Paints and Paint Brushes (Model: Jessica Johnson, Photographer: Jay Patel)

Acrylic Paints

"Wulfhound" - Pen

Acrylic Paints and Paint Brushes

Fountain Pen and Aqua Brushes

"Messenger" - Paint Brushes

Gel Pens

On the whole, I've been pleased (if not a bit overwhelmed sometimes) with all the art and reviews I've been able to squeeze in, and while I'm hoping to slow my roll a bit so that I can dig back into some more involved projects like my "Sashah's Song" sculpture, I am hoping that I can keep this momentum up, and that going forward, I can squeak in a few new art smaller pieces pieces with a bit more regularity. :) That's the intent, at least!

As a random bonus, here are two tabletop doodles I did during our recent Blizzard Art Summit! That is a Rogue Dragon on the left. ;)


I hope you find your inspiration in the most surprising of places too!

No comments:

Post a Comment