July 11, 2012

An Interview - by YOU!

We just passed the 6 month half way marker for my 366 Charity project and I knew there were lots of people with questions out there, so here we are! 
(Questions come from various supporters from DeviantArt, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr!)

Q- Tarashima/ SierraLD12  - I would really want to know how the idea came into your mind; What events, thoughts or ideas led you into starting this project?
A - Doing something art-related every day for a year is something I've always wanted to do! And after 2011, when my little brother had 5 serious hospital stays, my art took a backseat most of the year so I could help care for my brother and my family. I also happened to sprain my wrist 3 times that same year, which kept me from drawing most of the year.

I guess when 2012, a brand new year came around, I needed to do
something big!

But to be completely honest, I wouldn't be motivated to keep going if I was just doing this for me. I wouldn't be doing this at all if it wasn't for the Safehouse. The people that need a safe haven in my hometown are the reason I keep drawing every day. There is no greater joy for me than to make a difference by doing something I love.

Q- Robert Jackson  - Do you believe you will continue this project to some degree after this year is over?
A - Absolutely! I will always support the Safehouse and continue to raise funds for them. I’ve loved doing the cards so much, I plan to continue on into 2013, doing 2-3 a week – with 100% going to the Safehouse of course!
I also aim to continue adding to my print collection, & add postcards and calendars as well – with 25% also donated to the Safehouse.

Q - Norbert Reichinger - Where do you get all the ideas for your pictures? Do you use photos for reference?
A-  I do use a lot of photos for reference, especially when I want a very realistic drawing. I’ve partnered with many talented photographers on DeviantArt and Flickr who have volunteered their work for my project!

Q - Shawn Cernik  - Your subjects are so diverse. Is your subject matter predicated on various inspirations and if so what are those inspirations?
A - My motto for this whole year has been “One day at a time”. Slowing down and taking in the world has been one of the biggest sources of inspiration for me. Anything I see throughout the day is something I can put into my card- like a color that caught my eye, or a shirt pattern, or a ladybug… maybe the sunset that day was especially spectacular. It can be anything!

Q - Whitetippedwaves  
       - What is your biggest inspiration?
A - My friends, my family, and my hometown. I couldn’t do any of this without their love and support. And my beautiful hometown is the whole reason for this project! I could never dream of living anywhere else!­
Q - When during the day do you work on the project?
A - I usually work on my card around 3-6pm, after I’ve finished work on commissions for the day and rested my hands a little bit. When I started at the beginning of the year, I didn’t have my routine quite down and was squeezing them in at the end of the day. If you count 1-3AM the end of the day! :P

Q - Do you ever have to skip a day and do two the next to make up for it?
A - I do! If I get sick or something comes up with family and I can’t get my card done that day, I’ll wait until the next day and do two. That way I can still create a great card for someone and not feel rushed in drawing it. No matter what happens, at the end of 2012 I’ll have a full 366 cards for the Safehouse.

Q -  What's the first thing you do when you sit down to draw? Do you sketch and plan out the drawing, or do you just start with a blank slate?

A-  If I’m using a reference, I take a minute and just look at it! I look for important lines and features that help me with outlining and then I start sketching the outline from there.

If I’m not using a reference, I just go for it! I start scribbling out the idea and refine it along the way until it matches the image in my head. 

Q - Do you have any tips for another artist who may want to start a 365 day project?   
            A-  Find your motivation before you start! What goal is going to
drive you for the whole year?
-Choose a project that you have time for. Something small every day really adds up, so go small! After 365 days, it will feel HUGE. :)

Q - Is there ever a day where you just can't seem to get your ideas flowing and pencil moving?
A- Of course! I think every artist runs into that wall. And most days like that I just push on through and draw anyway. But when I can’t – I listen. I take a day off and let myself rest a little and catch up the next day. You’d be surprised what a day can do!

Q - Have you ever started an ACEO card and then decided to throw it out and do something completely different?
A – Only once! It was a space drawing I tried in a new medium and I just didn’t like how it looked! I think I ended up doing a cityscape instead.

Q – De5srtRo5e- How many hours a day do you spend on a project/piece on average?
A- On average I want to say around 3 hours a day. But it also takes about 30 minutes for each card to photograph, seal with fixative, and then post and share with everyone on all my favorite sites. 

Q -  Do you ever get sick of doing this project?
A - There’s really only been one stretch of time so far that I really didn’t want to continue- and that’s all due to my right hand having pain and trouble from all the extra drawing and work. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise! How else would I have had the chance to train my left hand to draw in such a short amount of time? I can now call myself an ambidextrous artist because of this project!

Q -  Do you try to do the project all at once, or do you break it up and do some at the beginning of the day and some at the end?
A - I usually do it all in one go. Being able to finish something in one stretch of time is actually a really great feeling! I’m used to taking 30-120 hours to finish anything over 2-6 weeks.

For my more detailed portraits I do split up the time I work on them. They take about 5 times as long to finish, So I like to split those up over the course of the week- and still finish one card for each day on top of that. That’s probably why you don’t see as many portraits with this project! haha

 Q -  Are you considering doing any kind of physical art show to show the public what you've been working on?
A- I would love that! It’d have to be prints, of course. I hope to have all the originals sold for the Safehouse!

-  Why did you pick this charity?
A - The Safehouse Project and the Alternatives to Violence organization is one that I’ve always found incredibly worthy and very important – But people are also less aware of it. I guess it’s one of those things we would rather forget about, or not talk about, or leave these dark parts of human nature… well, in the dark. I want to help change that. 

It’s vital that people know they are not alone when they face a situation of abuse. It’s even more important that they have somewhere safe to go, where every need can be taken care of to help them find the road out of abuse and into a life of healing and hope. 

The safehouse is exactly what they need – and I’m honored to be able to help in any way I can to help make that safe haven a reality.

Q - Savanna Miller  - Well you've had a wonderful 6 months meeting cool people and changing lives (I'm so very proud of you. ^_^) What do you see for the next 6 remaining months of this project and do you think you'll do anything else in the name of charity in the future? (After a well deserved break I hope.)

A - It’s been an incredible first 6 months and I have seen so many wonderful people come together for this project in a way I never expected! It’s already gone above and beyond my biggest hopes – I’ve no idea what the possibilities are in the next 6 months!

I would love to raise more awareness for this project locally, like in a few upcoming art shows, Pastels on 5th(An art-benefit for the Safehouse that I also volunteer with!) and maybe an article in my hometown’s paper to really get the word out!

As for future charity work, I plan on continuing with my cards after 2012 and volunteering with Pastels on 5th every year. When they break ground and start building the safehouse, I also hope to create and donate full-size pieces of artwork to help decorate the new space! If they’ll have them, of course!  

New questions pop into your head? Ask away!

Also – for those awesome people who have bought cards to support the Safehouse – send me a picture of how you’re displaying/collecting your cards! I’ve heard so many nifty ways, I’d love to share them! :D


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