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