“Confutatis” – inspired by:
Two things are true: (1) I need to make some money and (2) I need to make what I love.
Years ago – before I was ancient – I could’ve learned how to make “beauty.” Maybe I could’ve learned how to make cute/adorable/charming. That’s less likely. But, instead of doing what I could’ve done to feed a consumer need, I fed my own.
I made what I love.
Now it’s all I can do. It’s all I want to do. I need to make what I love.
Now and then I can produce “beauty,” etc. But it’s….meh. I don’t love it and I can’t fake love well enough for my “beauty” to be be beautiful to the world.
Let’s shift gears, OK? Take a little detour…
Online advice about selling visual art via print-on-demand sites always includes this gem: “Know your audience.” That’s excellent advice, applicable to most of life’s endeavors. But how do you know and satisfy an audience that doesn’t exist? Beyond supposition I haven’t a clue except that it would be people like me but who had money to spend.
Given my timeline (I’m ancient, remember?) in the early spring of last year I decided to focus on what I love to do. That seemed wise because even if nothing sold I could at least enjoy what I was doing and my dwindling time wouldn’t be wasted pretending to love something that might not sell anyway.
Ooooo! Exciting! Must’ve worked great, yes? Here’s how well that plan’s worked: Nothing’s sold except a sticker of an [arguably] beautiful abstract I made 13 years ago. I earned $.33 (cents, yes) that I’ll likely never see because the payout threshold is $20. Want to see it? Click through to my Redbubble shop.
Who was my audience? No idea. Maybe a music lover. Maybe a violin player. Or maybe someone who likes little abstract images that will stick to things.
Reeling from the realization that I wasn’t getting anywhere I updated equipment and purchased new software. Beginning mid-summer last year I frantically tried to make what I thought might sell. What was that exactly? Not what I love. Everything else. I’ve tried hard to create for that other audience, the one that likes beauty and charm and adorable cuteness but IT’S NOT ME. I’m drowning in loveless creations.
I need my love.
I need my faces.
So – enough! I’ve had enough! Maybe I’ll make abstracts along the way, maybe I’ll take pictures of pretty things, maybe I’ll crank out a few colorful patterns just to please the POD site’s algorithms, but my new plan is to make – and try harder to sell – what I love.
Like this face:
Is it ugly to you? Creepy? Scary? Weird? Edgy? Disgusting? Bizarre? It’s beauty to me. I loved making it! I love seeing it!
And I love this one:
Does it intrigue you? Bother you? Make you feel compassion or confusion or anything at all? It’s dark and bleak and touches me deeply. It’s beauty, to me.
I’m my audience. All I need is a few people like me who share my love and will buy it.
Note: The above may seem like whining and maybe it is. To be fair, I’ve flip-flopped this way before. I’ve also been wildly inconsistent with promotion. And – maybe – what I love isn’t really meant for anyone but me. Maybe it’s just “bad art,” not even good enough for a refrigerator door. Maybe my love is wasted, misplaced. But it’s still love and I’m going to make these faces until I can’t.
The face up there isn’t the test. It’s the fun! I make faces when I want to enjoy myself without restraint or reservation.
ABOUT THE FACE: It’s a digital collage. One of the layers is an abstract I made using this website: http://jacksonpollock.org. You draw on your screen, take a screenshot. Try it!
Artist/designer/photographer Phil Perkins – https://perkinsdesigns.com – shared that Jackson Pollock link with me. Thank you, Phil!! It’s terrific!!!
EDITED: So what’s the test? It was the presence of the face. I know we can post social media links here that display and I wanted to try one from Instagram. Several months ago I tried a Twitter post and, although it was visible on my “actual” site, it wasn’t in the WordPress Reader. Not good! I deleted it. When I originally created this WordPress post it included an Instagram post. It was visible – the test was successful. But tonight I deactivated my Instagram account and the linked post went away. So…I uploaded the face to WordPress.
After a couple of days of trying things I figured out that Adobe Photoshop Elements will function normally on my Mac (Monterey) exactly one time per computer startup. In other words, if I start the Mac and open PSE (Photoshop Elements) it works fine. If I close PSE and then reopen it (without restarting the computer), PSE won’t open. So…if I do open it I have to leave it open until I’m ready to shut off the computer. PSE will start again and run fine following another computer startup. Weird, but there it is.
Note: I posted about this problem earlier: https://robinkingfaces.com/2021/11/26/adobes-announcement-about-photoshop-elements-mac-monterey/
Here’s some fun news: Years and years ago (2006?) I first downloaded the “Freebies” pack of Adobe Photoshop Elements plug-ins from FlamingPear. So useful! So easy work with! Over the years, each time I got a new version of PSE I downloaded and installed the Freebies. Today I was happy to see that the Freebies work with my new PSE! Here’s a link if you’re interested: http://www.flamingpear.com/freebies.html
They really are free and are simple to install. I edited “Floating Rose Pink Squares” (above) using the “Kyoto Color” filters.
I made the image itself using Image Tricks Lite (Belight Software). It’s also free: https://www.belightsoft.com/products/imagetricks/
If you don’t see me here for a couple of days it’s because I’m playing with my “new” digital toys – including Affinity Photo and Pixelmator Pro.
“Floating Rose Pink Squares” is now available in my Redbubble Shop: https://www.redbubble.com/i/throw-blanket/Floating-Rose-Pink-Squares-by-artbyrobinking/95412338.NZ8A6
Yesterday I posted a request for advice about either Affinity Photo or Pixelmator Pro. You can see the specifics in this post: https://robinkingfaces.com/2021/11/25/do-you-use-affinity-photo-pixelmator-pro-is-this-possible-thats-all-i-need-to-know/
Thanks to Phil Perkins – Perkins Designs – I was able to do exactly what I wanted, using Affinity Photo. Thank you, Phil!! And thank you, also, to Ed Ritchie – eRitchieart – for letting me know that I can do the same thing using Pixelmator Pro. I haven’t had an opportunity to try that yet but I’m sure it’ll go well. Thank you, Ed Ritchie!!
If you have a new version of Adobe Photoshop Elements on a Mac with Monterey, you may have been having a difficult time opening/using Elements. I certainly have! Well, there’s some news:
(You don’t need to sign in to Adobe to read the announcement.)
Upshot? They’re working on it – with Apple. Yay!