Toxic

She is toxic to me,
But I can’t stop.
I Love
And want to be loved.
It makes me sick to my stomach
But that’s better than nothing.
Taken something strong and rigid
And made it fragile.
The slightest touch will shatter it.
A crescendo effect
That’s dangerous but looks beautiful.
The more rigid
The easier it shatters.
The pain can be lovely.
It sickens me,
But it loves me.
Constant pain is proof of life.
It lengthens the day,
But shortens my life.
To love is bliss.
I fucking hate
The power you have over me
Unknowingly.
The constant rain inside my room
Is the only way to relieve the pressure.
The dam will only hold for so long.
I hate
Myself for being like this,
But
What can I do?
It trickles
And that slowly saves my life,
But It builds,
And that could end my life.

I don’t need the toxic,
But I want it.

Ten things you shouldn’t say when pricing handmade items

Life's Big Canvas

Fascinator by Janine Basil http://folksy.com/items/2770202-Pound-Sign-Fascinator-in-pink-glitterFascinator by Janine Basil

I’ve been giving advice this week on pricing handmade items for selling. Not on purpose, just because it’s cropped up a couple of times. Working in a shop where people sell handmade items means it’s something which is bound to come up.

When I started selling handmade items, advice was thin on the ground. I tried reading some things online, but never really had someone to talk to in person. I also didn’t realise that my lack of knowledge was holding back my business, because people were bitching about me not being able to price properly behind my back, instead of just telling me what I was doing wrong, and I was missing opportunities.

This is why when I now see people underpricing their work, I tell them, and hopefully not in a patronising way, but because underpricing is undervaluing your own skill. To me, it’s…

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Another day, another dollar; theoretically.

So right now it’s a Friday night and while some people are going out to the bars I’m here writing this blog post; maybe I’ll go out tomorrow, who knows. Anyway, currently for my art I have been doing a lot of posting to my Etsy, Storenvy, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. It feels as if I am doing more of that than actually producing artwork at this point, but I have to post my artwork to get it out there to sale. If I cannot get anything to sale then I cannot make a living off of this and will not be able to do this. I think another reason that it feels like I’m posting more than painting is that I am stuck on a larger piece. I normally like to work on one piece at a time if I can especially now since I am photographing it on a constant basis. I would like to take all the photos I need for the time lapse of the painting; being that I don’t not want to move the tripod and camera if at all necessary. Also with that I am wondering if I should release the photos that I have now of the time lapse video and call it part one, or if I should wait to get all of it done and have a single video? I don’t know, you tell me.

This leads me to my next point; I think I need to just focus on smaller paintings for now. The reason for this is they can be done at a quicker pace than the larger ones can. Also this will allow me to create more individual pieces each week; if not at least one a day. If I could work up to doing a painting everyday that would be great! If I create one small painting a day that would also allow me to create one time lapse video of that painting a day as well. With those paintings being smaller they would sale at a lower price point because of the size, which means there is a greater chance that they will sale. Also with the smaller paintings shipping for them is much easier to do and the price is easier to predict going off past paintings of similar size and weight. While this is going on I can still be working on larger paintings everyday as well I just won’t be able to finish them as fast. In the future I might work on larger paintings more if I have a gallery show coming up in the near future. With the larger paintings showing them and selling them locally is better because shipping becomes a real hassle and really expensive.

I am still working on doing time lapse videos for my paintings. I have been looking on YouTube and seeing that some people take videos so its them and their painting that is being shown in the video. As for mine it is just the painting being shown through the time lapse video which I think works to show the progression of the painting itself. Also in their videos the camera is always to the side to allow the viewer to see the person working on the artwork as well as the artwork him or herself. This gets the viewer a skewed view of the painting in those videos, but with my time lapse videos the view is straight on. This is able to be done because I set up the camera right in front of the painting being worked on and I paint for a little bit and move and take a photo then just repeat multiple times. The result is a video of just the painting changing from second to second. Which at this point in time is what I like best.

On another note with me biking around and taking reference pictures it has gotten way too cold to get on my bike and do anything. I was on my bike Monday and the cold was burning my skin which has happened before, but the cold penetrated my head and gave my an instant headache which hasn’t happened to me before, so I have been off of it this past week. I mean the highs have been in the teens and the lows some nights have been in the negative teens. When this cold spell ends I will be able to get back out there. I would like to be able to set one day aside a week if not just part of that day to just get out and take reference photos for upcoming paintings. I would really love it if it can all be done by getting around on a bike which is healthy for me and the environment. Speaking of using a bike to get around I have found one which I think would be great for me to use, but it costs around $400 dollars and at this time it is hard to afford. I am planning on getting it once I have the appropriated funds available, like if I sell a large painting or a few smaller ones. (wink, wink)

Another thing that I have been debating is whether I will stay in Ohio this year or move back to North Carolina. I am originally from North Carolina and partially moved to Ohio back in 2010 for school at CCAD. I have looked at a MFA program in Greensboro, NC that I like, and of course my family is down there as well. Also it being this cold here in Ohio it has to be warmer in NC, or at the very least not as much snow, so more bike riding. In my experience there seems to be good opportunities here for artists and I’m not sure if it is the same back in NC, so that is something I have to look into.

I think that that covers my rant for this week. Like I have said in previous blog posts I want to write one of these a week to help explain things in finer detail than you may get out of one of my Facebook posts or YouTube videos. This is something I am working on doing and hope to do for a while.

Thanks for reading,

Chris

Website          http://www.christopherpack.com

Etsy                https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChristopherPack

Patreon          http://www.patreon.com/chrispackart

YouTube       https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX23pj4fdcEW3NN8cqSxZ2A

Facebook      https://www.facebook.com/ChrisPackArt

Instagram      chrispack1986

Twitter            @chrispack1986

Hi guys what’s up?

I want to start off my saying that I want to make a new blog post on here at least once a week. I might actually start doing some vlogs as well as they are easier and more to the point, and I can keep doing these written blogs to help with the details. I have actually dedicated a new channel on YouTube to my art now which is listed below.

I plan on using this channel on YouTube to show what I am doing and working on at the moment as well as upload time lapse videos of paintings that I do. With the larger paintings like that one that I am working on now, it is easier to set up the camera and take photos every so often to make the time lapse video. What I am worried about with the smaller paintings is if I also do time lapse video with them will there be enough pictures to make a video that is a decent amount of time. With the larger painting I take a photo every so often and combine all of them to make a time lapse video. With the smaller paintings I could do that, or I might even film the whole painting process and then just speed it up, being that a small painting should just take about three hours to do, depending on size and subject matter. Of course when I do that I will probably be in the shot a whole lot being that I am working on it instead of with just the photos put together of the painting. If I do the sped up painting then I will have to put the camera at an angle because if it is straight on then all you would see is my back, which wouldn’t work. I am wondering though with the angled shot it that would be too distracting to the viewer or not?

Another issue that I am thinking about is when I go out to do plein air paintings will I still be able to make videos of those paintings as well. I guess I could take a lot of photos with my phone and then take those and try to splice those together to make a time lapse video. I guess I should say with these videos I am making I want to help show the process of my art and have that in a video format which is easier for people to take in. I can use those videos to help expand my reach of possible viewers of my art. I also want to use that channel to talk about certain issues or ideas that I am having with my art and my life at that certain point in time. Because as much as I want to keep my art and personal life separated to show on that channel sometimes I just will not be able to separate them.

Talking about doing the plein air paintings I actually want to get a good bike and set it up where I can ride my bike out to a certain area with my easel and painting surface, set up there and paint, and then be able to ride back home without the painting getting messed up in the process since I am using oil and it takes days for it to dry. As of right now I do not have the bike that can do that. I have a single speed bike and tried riding around part of Columbus last week and it took me about four hours and about killed me to finally bike all the way back. Now a comprise of this would be to get a good bike and use that to go around to different areas and take good reference photos. Which is what I attempted last week, but after a hour of biking I did not feel like taking any more photos and just wanted to come home. I can get a good road bike, ride it out to an area and then get off and walk around some with my camera and take those photos. This would also solve that time lapse plein air problem I was talking about earlier. I would go out to take the photos with my good camera, then come back and make paintings from the images while using the same camera to take photos to do time lapse videos.

Now that that is somewhat figured out I should say that I am still working on the larger painting on the plywood. The problem with me working on larger paintings like that is the fact that they take longer to finish and sometimes I can lose interest in doing them. That is why a lot of the time I will do smaller paintings because they can be done quicker; hopefully just in one session. By doing the smaller paintings alla prima it forces me to work quicker and put down on the surface what needs to be put there and nothing extra.

Going back to the videos I guess I should say that I am trying to doing these videos to get people to see the inside track of what my art is. I do sell these paintings that I make through my Etsy page that is also the store tab on my website, and I also am trying to get support for my paintings through my Patreon page as well. I am also considering selling prints of my paintings through my store on Etsy. This would allow me to have more items in the store, and thus more views to the store. Also this would allow for me to have more price points for my buyers. Maybe somebody likes one of my paintings but could not afford it could still get a print of it. I am in the process right now of looking for a good printer in which I could make these prints.

If you don’t know Patreon is a website where you can go and give support to people that create for a living like me. They may have it set up where you give them a pledge per month or per item that they produce. It is a great place to help support creators and you can get the inside scoop of what they do by being a patron. A lot of this that I am doing is to help show people what I am doing on a regular basis and in turn hopefully they like what I do and can help me out.

Listed below is the different place where me and my art is at.

Thanks,
Chris

Website          http://www.christopherpack.com

Etsy                https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChristopherPack

Patreon          http://www.patreon.com/chrispackart

YouTube       https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX23pj4fdcEW3NN8cqSxZ2A

Facebook      https://www.facebook.com/ChrisPackArt

Instagram      chrispack1986

Twitter            @chrispack1986

New Blog

Hi everybody. It’s been a little bit since I have put up a blog post mainly because I had one through GoDaddy and they discontinued that service so I had to find another blog posting website and connect it to my website.

Now that that is out of the way I am really trying to get back into my art in a full time manner, but of course I am working full time as a screen printer for an apparel company and it takes up a lot of time and it is weird hours too. Another issue that I am having is the place that I am living in now is not conducive to my life style. I have a separate garage area that I am trying to take advantage of, but there is no electricity that runs to it. So for the last couple of months I have been trying to essentially make my own power source in there. That has been a project on its own. I have basically made my own quite generator by using two twelve volt deep cycle batteries and a two thousand watt inverter. In the future I want to hook a fifteen watt solar panel with a solar regulator to the batteries to keep them charged all the time. As of now though I don’t understand why it doesn’t work and I am dropping that because it has taken too much time. For now I have just bought battery operated power tools and lights for when I have to cut wood in the garage. I am hoping to find and move into a better place with in the next six months.

Also with this whole living situation I am moving at the end of my lease to somewhere that is more suited for me both in the actually building, a house where I work and live by myself, to a more art driven community or at least the whole young professional thing is going on.

Now to the art, I am wanting to continue with the landscapes that I am working on as well as the paintings that are more mixed media and graffiti inspired. I have been working on an idea with the urban landscapes. One idea is that I will go to different sites and photograph and paint images of port-a-johns and dumpsters. I want to focus on these because I can bring more meaning to the viewer of those items through my paintings; also I am trying to relay them back historically to Monet’s Haystack paintings. Another thing that I am wanting to do with the landscapes is start to incorporate the surface of the painting into the painting itself. What I mean by this is start using material like plywood and leaving part of it untouched, so in the final painting the plywood surface is also part of the image. This may later turn into using material such as tyvek­ which I see a lot of when construction companies are wrapping buildings before they put siding on.

On the other side of my art is the mix media pieces in which I put things from my life on to the surface and work out imagery from there. My most prominent piece is the works where I channel imagery of my time in the Iraq war and how it affected my then and into the present. That was my thesis show that I did at CCAD. I have been following up with that process some, but lack of a good printer has halted that. I am currently in process of getting a good printer now.

Well, this is the first post of my newer ones to come.

CP