📁 My First Artist Statement

This page is about my art and values. It will give you an idea of the artist and person I am.

Please read this if you’d like to collaborate with me, whether it’s for a commission, zine, or group project.

Originally published on my tumblr blog in 2022, edited and styled later for this site.

Last updated: March 19th, 2023.

I like turtles

liv writing down notes

📁 Mission Statement

I make art because my brain would explode if I didn't get its thoughts and images out.

My definition of art is any form of creation. I draw, paint, write, sculpt, cook, decorate, code - and I'm always happy to slowly learn more forms of art for pleasure.

The best inspiration for art is what I've seen, felt, heard, and experienced in real life. Viewing other people's art is great too, it's always good to see how different people process different things. My own "stylization" is more based on my crappy shaky arm gestures and how my eyes see the world, than any one artist's work though.

Art is the best way to process my thoughts. I like having a digestible final product for myself to think about, and to show other people. Conversations with other folks is invaluable for learning about others and gaining insight. But the most important part of making art to me is the internal meditative process. I get to think a lot about my experiences and the world when I'm planning and creating art.

Many people may find my ugly and cartoony art at odds with thoughtfulness. But I do put a lot of thought in my art, and it's meant as an honest reflection of the world I've experienced. Things look crude and are described bluntly in my work because that's how I see everything around me.

I'm not one to have straight-forward political dialogue comin' out of my characters. I'm more the type of guy to not-so-subtly portray the crappy parts of life: poverty, social inequity, abuse, death, shitty interpersonal relationships, and so on.

There are positive things I like to portray too! Love, longing, animals, food, happiness, contentment, dialogue with my wife, boobies, sick creature designs - all great inspirations for my cartoons!

If a person other than myself finds entertainment value or something to think about in my art, that's great too! And if someone else hates my art, they are free to look at someone else who may better fit their taste.

📁 Thoughts

💅 My Art

    My art is a manifestation of my information and ideas. The manifestation may take form as illustrations, narratives, writing, and whatever else I feel like making.
    • My information and ideas should be disseminated freely and accessibly so my evil thoughts can grow.
    • My art does not necessarily educate, instill values, or provide comfort.
    • My art is meant to share emotions and experiences - positive, neutral, or negative.
    • My art is made primarily for me and my wife.  If anyone else happens to enjoy it, I’m glad.
    • I publish almost all of the art I make so it can live outside my head and stop bothering me at 4am when I’m trying to sleep.
    • I unabashedly self-promote with reblogs, retweets, and reposts.  But I don’t waste other’s time with clickbait, popup ads, or spam.

🧠 Art In General

    Thinkin' bout art.
    • Porn is art.  Sexuality should not be inherently shunned.
    • Technical skill is only useful if helps depict what is in your mind, or if you’re going into the art industry to draw things for others.
    • Spending eons on practice and studies is only helpful if you want to improve and find joy in improvement.
    • Make art for yourself, and not the algorithm or for the approval of your peers or parents.
    • Art is semi-precious.  Discard the art at will, or treasure the art for as long as it brings joy.
    • Make tons of quick messy sketches to get every idea in my brain out!  
    • Make a couple of well-worked pieces slowly to enjoy the process.  

🌭 Other’s Art

    I like to look at art.
    • The art I want to see is being made by independent artists and my peers, not corporations.  Independent artists need more support than corporate art to stay alive.
    • If I see art I love, giving the artists money to survive in our capitalist joker society is a fine action if I can afford it.
    • If I see art I love, sharing the art helps spread the joy.
    • If I see art I love, commenting on the art helps let the author know that their art is being shared and enjoyed.

    There is some art I dislike:
    • If I see art I do not like, I discard it from my view and mind so I do not waste energy or time on it.  Perhaps that art was meant for someone else to see.
    • If I see art I profoundly dislike, use it as a learning moment to figure out what I would personally avoid and what I would personally do better.
    • If I see art that promotes hatred, bigotry, or other fucked up shit that hurts real people, I do not spread the art.  Spreading shit art is a net negative: vulnerable people are exposed, the spread message fortifies other bigots, and bigots crave negative attention.

🤝 Projects

    If you are to invite me a zine, please keep these in mind.
    • My art must to free to view, read, and enjoy.
    • Paywalls are only for limited physical runs of zines
    • Paywalls must eventually be lifted when all physical copies are sold out.
    • If someone likes my art enough to pay for it, they will.
    • Closing art off with an indefinite paywall to prevent piracy does not mean you are recouping money from people who would not have paid for your art anyways.
    • Always credit the used works, such as fonts and design assets.
    • Always credit contributors.
    • Zines should be easy to DIY and cheap or free for others to enjoy.
    • Independent art books that end up with hardcovers, glossy pages, 50 contributors, $2000 budgets, and $50 price tags should be called art books rather than zines to respect the craft and work that goes into high quality expensive goods.  They should also compensate their contributors with money.
    • Group zines and artbooks should at the very least compensate their contributors with a free copy of the final product, shipping included.

💞 Values

    "Believe it." - Naruto Uzamaki
    • Actual diversity and intersectionality makes art so much more beautiful.  Diversity has meaning beyond the corporate buzzword of fictional characters depictions.  It means real living artists of every race, gender, sexuality, financial status, and other backgrounds making art, having a platform to share their honest emotions and feeling, and actively being supported.
    • Art is more nuanced than a 1:1 assessment of moral character.  It ain’t as simple as “wholesome, good, safe people only consume and make wholesome, good, safe art”.  The most abusive human beings can hide behind the facade of a Pixar director making cute kid’s cartoons.
    • That being said, viewers have the right to avoid any art or artists they do not want to see.  Boundaries should be respected.
    • Even with things I do not understand, I try to give basic respect.  I assume good faith, and do not debate others’ self-identification.
    • Bigotry, hate speech, hate mobs, shaming, “cringe culture”, insipid fandom drama, harassment, and devoted negativity is a waste of one’s life.  I do not want to provide a platform for any of that, nor associate with people who promote shit like that.

This list is non-exhaustive and evolves with my own experiences.