On occasion I write an open letter to artists that inspire me. In this case it is creature creators Chris Ryniak and Miss Monster. Both are prolific, on the interwebs, kind to fans, and a source of inspiration to many Creators.
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Dear Chris and Mel,
You are inspiring me to be a better artist.
Melita, my friends and I fawn over your creations, and cheer when they go up on ebay. You have single handedly made me get into casting seriously. I have a page of bookmarks dedicated to your process photos, so whenever all these new terms and new workflow gets overwhelming, I look at your photos and I find calm. Then I get back to work.
Chris, your drawings and paintings make every line look so effortless and character driven. I hope to be able to cast such a spell with my work some day. Your sculpted work blows my mind, and makes me wonder how on earth that creature can exist for REALZ!
You both are giving a lot of us artists a fire in our bellies to keep at it. Recently you two had a bit o’ discussion on your tumblrs/blogs. I am quoting here:
This is something that has been addressed many times by creative professionals and entrepreneurs, but it never hurts to repeat. MOST of my day as an artist is not spent in an absinthe fueled rampage of feverishly tossing paint onto a canvas …sorry. MOST of my day IS filled with drudgery: writing emails, planning projects, fielding phone calls, brand management, event planning, researching and gathering materials, design work, social media promotion, prep-work, varnishing, sanding, packing, shipping…etc….and somewhere in there is drawing, painting and sculpting.
For the audience, my job is to make it look like all I do is my artwork, but the truth is that I fill every position from CEO to janitor of Chris Ryniak industries.I have the added role of a single father, oh and I ALSO have a full-time job on top of all of this, not to mention owning a house that needs tending as well as all of the minutia that goes along with being a functioning human.
So what is the point? well, I get a lot of comments like ” I wish I was where you are in your career” from young artists. And the simple fact is, that much like losing weight, becoming a functioning and mildly successful ANYTHING takes work, not wishing.
Of course, this all depends what you want to accomplish, and how far you want to take it.
The point is that next time you see your favorite artist doing really well, know that they doing a lot of work that you will never see.
YEP. If if Chris doesnt mind id like to add to this: My full time job is art and im extremely grateful for this. But what some people, esp newer followers, dont realize is that i have been working towards this for over 10 years.
Some people get lucky and get a good break that allows them a solid career very quickly but a lot of us… it’s years of making art when you come home from a full or part time job, making work you might not be all that into to build your reputation and honestly a lot of time fielding bullshit/getting burned on projects/learning how to deal with people and clients. And some of us even have kids which is a full time job in itself ( so much respect for folks that can handle that on top of it all! )
I don’t want to discourage anyone from wanting to be a career artist but i do want to prepare you for the reality. Nobody did that for me and i wasted a lot of time not knowing what the hell i was doing and learning the hard way! And like Chris mentioned it’s a lot of not so fun backstage work that adds up really quickly. There have been many days where i dont even get to touch any projects because im packing orders, buying supplies,running errands, researching,doing cons, prepping for cons, reading, emailing, organizing, cleaning the workspace or um …writing stuff on tumblr. Guess i should get back to work! 😉
As someone who works full-time, leaving evenings and weekends for my art, this is a wonderful read. My schedule makes minutes feel precious. When I am working on everything that supports my art, or spending time learning instead of making, I get anxious. I get down on myself for not being productive enough with finished art. Its discussions like the one above which encourages artists like me to take a breath and just keep going forward, one step at a time. And when it comes from artists we respect and admire, it has extra longevity in our little spastic brains. (OOOh SHINY!)
Anywhoo, very many thanks.
Keep at it,