Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Portrait Society of Atlanta

While in school at GPC I joined the Portrait Society of Atlanta and promptly spammed everyone on the list--some 260 artists. I was seeking tutelage. Of the 260 artists one man invited me to his studio--Walter Peterson. I visited him a few times and got into a few Portrait Society shows (not winning anything), but I was eventually disfellowshipped or something for not picking up my artwork on time from the shows. They also got mad at me for the spam. So ironic. Anyway, they left a bitter taste in my mouth and I just continued to do my own personal work, not sure exactly where I was going with it, except that I felt I wanted to be a portraitist. Walt Peterson made a good living from it, and having seen how he works I was certain I could do it, too.

But deep down I knew there was something more for me to do with my artwork. I still don't know exactly what it is, but I knew I would have to take it further than portraiture.

Shortly thereafter I felt inspired to start writing about Rain, that fictional role-playing character I made about 15 years ago. I started writing and I couldn't stop. Not for the whole summer. I typed until my fingers and wrists ached. The first month I hit over 300 pages of material typed (not all story--about half was freewriting). The second month was less, but better quality. And by the third I knew I was in trouble--I knew I didn't have the skills, didn't have the knowledge, and didn't have the willpower to complete what I had started. The story became really big, and really, really cool. I think it is, anyway.

And that's when I got accepted to BYU. I was a linguistics major at first, but discovered they had an Animation program, and I knew I had to get into it, no matter the cost. So that's what I worked towards. Fall turned to Winter and I moved to Utah to pursue my dreams of writing and illustrating a book, or perhaps designing for someone else's stories.

As of this post I've been at BYU for a year and a half and have been in the Animation program for a year. It has been the best experience of my life (outside of the mission of course) and I am really excited at what the future holds for me and for my classmates. I have discovered many new artists that I seek to be like, the top name on the list being Craig Mullins. So I'm moving in that direction. I hope you've enjoyed seeing my artistic history and hopefully it will help you make decisions concerning your own life and artistic pursuits.

The top portrait is myself at age 22. Follwing are my nephew Isaac, a random magazine bride, and a coworker, Andrea Schaeffer.

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