Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Post Grad Hustlin' = 3 jobs and pet portraits!

I had no idea post graduate life was going to be like it is.
First to graduate in my family from college. Got my Master's too.
Away from family in Miami, my west coast family is composed of incredibly supportive friends, many of which are artists, I'm often embarrassed to rely on. Theirs and my Miami family's support gives me huge encouragement to keep at it.
As many other creatives in our times, I'm under paid, and really struggling to recover from the illusion grad school provides and you can't help but submit to religiously: my creative practice is all I need, right? Well, I'm 32 years old. I am educated. I speak 3 languages. Somehow, I'm making less money than I did before I started to pursue my education, I'm talking over 10 years ago. But still I hustle, because as my immigrant survivor parents continuously remind me "You just gottah keep going". Giving up is not an option. Ever.
So in my most recent attempt to capitalize on my skills I've been doing pet portraits! Having spent the last 3-4 years focusing on performance, installation and video as a way to address issues related to identity, I am now rediscovering the joys of reverting to my original preferred medium, PAINT and DRAWING!
This is the first portrait I did as a joke house warming gift to my friends who recently bought their first home. Puddle, the adorable blue pit featured in the painting below is their child shall we say. I love this silly creature. And as a dog owner myself, I am very aware at how connected one can feel to your mascots and the unconditional support and warmth and humor they provide without fail. So I went crazy with this portrait after a much needed break from a performance project that left me absolutely spent and sincerely questioning the desperate desire for validity performance is founded on. Hungry for an outlet that had nothing to do with being an exhibitionist, I cliched out, and became the solitary artist in the studio/ tiny bedroom in my east LA home.

The process was great. I was surprised at how refreshing it was to play with these materials again and explore new mediums. I got such great responses about this silly painting that in turn resulted in commissions! So in addition to my other 3 jobs, I've been painting pooches and now kitties for flow$$$.
Here are a few others.
Milo and Gracey (who poor baby is battling cancer). These are going to my dear friend Meg Allan Cole in Brooklyn as a anniversary gift to her hubby.

But the one I really need to thank is this little guy:

The one and only Reginaldo!