The Cornelian + reflections on 2012

 The Cornelian (self portrait), acrylic on canvas, 24x30, 2012

As 2012 came to a close, I decided to create a self portrait - The Cornelian. It's based on a photograph taken in front of the Cornelia Arts Building where my studio is located. I haven't done a self portrait for a while, so I figured it would be a good exercise to go through since I've been a full time artist for one year now. I think the portrait reveals a several things: happiness, uncertainty, confidence and a bit of skepticism.

Reflecting back, I'd have to say that 2012 was a very successful year for me; I'm extremely grateful for all of the support I received. I started it off by taking an online class from Alyson Stanfield to work on my business plan and to help focus my priorities as an artist. I sold art consistently throughout the year and completed two commission paintings: West Loop Cityscape and Chicago Lakefront Skyline. I hooked up with Chicago Art Leasing which is giving me more exposure by renting out some of my art to businesses and homes. My studio was featured in the New York art blog, Hyperallergic - A View from the Easel; and I took an Experimental Drawing Techniques class to shake up my creativity.

During the second half of the year, I worked with two different art consultants on various submissions to license my art for hotel redesign projects. Last week, one of them came through -- four of my cityscape photographs will be printed large-scale for the Mile North Chicago hotel downtown. A second project for another hotel is still in the works. In addition to making connections with art consultants around the country, I explored some new online opportunities to help get my work in front of art collectors; such as ArtSlant, ArtBarcs, Chicago Art Database, ArtWorldChicago, Art Takes Times Square, and got my art represented in Xanadu's Online Gallery. I continue to show at the Writers Workspace and Transistor and will be exploring a lot more show and art licensing opportunities next year.

One last thing I'm proud of is helping my wife start up the Chicago Writers Conference. We ran a successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign where some of my art went to some generous contributors. I volunteered on the Board of Directors, created the marketing and communications plan, developed website content, created a mobile app, and shot photos of the speakers and reading events. It was a challenge to say the least but very rewarding and we learned a lot. We'll continue CWC with a series of workshops throughout the year and the second annual conference in October.

In early 2013, I'll be launching a new website redesign and I look forward to experimenting with oils to begin taking my art in some new directions.

Happy New Year!


Chicago Writers Conference Needs Your Support

You don't have to be a writer to support the Chicago Writers Conference Kickstarter fundraising campaign. Anything helps and whatever you can give would greatly be appreciated. Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing funding model; if we don't reach our goal, we receive no funding. With arts-related funding being slashed everywhere these days, it's important that we as citizens contribute to creative projects. $5, $10, $25 helps - whatever you can give, gets us closer to our goal.

There are still some cool rewards left (cupcakes baked by my wife and founder of CWC, books by Chicago authors and original art by yours truly). Thank you!

Chicago Skyline Sunset
Digitally Enhanced Photograph (framed)

Marina Towers
Digitally Enhanced Photograph (framed)


Kingsbury Water Tank
Screen Print (ready to frame)

Help Kickstart the Chicago Writers Conference!

The Chicago Writers Conference
is coming this fall: September 14-16.

My wife founded the conference to help bridge the business end of writing with the creative side. To help get it off-the-ground, she is running a Kickstarter fundraising campaign for the next 30 days to help raise the start up dollars. I am donating art towards this project as rewards for people who pledge donations at various levels (see below).

She was able to get Chicago rock band, OK Go to donate a song to use in the Kickstarter video. The Chicago Tribune has generously donated the space to hold the conference. She has some prominent local authors, publishers and agents lined up. Now, she needs help to get a full website up and running with registration capabilities along with other conference-related expenses.

If you'd like to support this project and help the Chicago writing community continue to grow, please visit the Kickstarter page to watch the video, get more info and to make a donation. The temporary Chicago Writers Conference website has additional details too. Thank you!

Below is the artwork I'm donating for the Kickstarter fundraising campaign rewards:

Chicago Skyline Sunset, digitally enhanced photograph, 16x20 (framed)
Marina Towers, digitally enhanced photograph, 8x10 (framed)
Watertanks and Birds #1, screen print on paper, 11x14 (ready to frame)

Watertanks and Birds #2, screen print on paper, 11x14 (ready to frame)

Kingsbury St. Watertank #1 (orange), screen print on paper, 11x14 (ready to frame)

Kingsbury St. Watertank #2 (orange), screen print on paper, 11x14 (ready to frame)

Thank you very much for your support!

Kickstarter video: