Starting a new adventure.....
A few weeks ago, I abruptly went live on Facebook on a whim. I was working on a painting for a tutorial on "dystopian world creation." It was a complex piece that took me about 8 hours to complete. I had everything set up for video considering I was creating the tutorial, so I went ahead and hit the "LIVE" button on Facebook. A fair amount of my friends tuned in and spent a portion, or even the whole hour I was on with me as I rambled and gabbed while drawing.
It was so much fun!
So, I had said I would do it again. I had the show to worry about and needed to wrap that up first. Now with it over, I can move on with doing this latest artistic effort. Every Sunday at 6, I plan on going live with drawing, sculpting, or painting of some sort. Hopefully It'll work out. One week from today, we'll find out. Fingers crossed and pencils ready!
This is the first year I decided to do Inktober. It is a drawing challenge that asks artists to draw (in ink) a new prompt every day through the month of October. With the COVID-19 pandemic and an urge to keep up my skills, Using Ink wash, ballpoint, traditional ink and quill, microns, colored inks, and digital, the challenge was a great way to practice my skills. I decided to give it a whirl. Here are some of my favorites from the month.
I have had the most wonderful time working on this epic project. These five are some of my favorites from the set. Working in theatre for the last 20+ years I never thought I would be designing sets for online plays! If the pandemic has taught me one crucial thing, it is that reinvention is the key to survival. Normally, I would have had several scenic design/build gigs from my normal list of clients. The performing arts taking a hiatus since March, I was panicked about how that would pan out for my income. Fortunately, I found teaching online for RISD and EdTA not easy, but fun. Creating content (of which I have a whole new batch coming your way) for this style of teaching allowed me to become an artist even more and explore my craft. I launched into found object sculpture with a fervor, my illustrations found new life and I even challenged myself to do Inktober 2020. It was doing this that landed me the Alice gig. I was recommended by a friend to a school looking for custom zoom backgrounds`in the style of John Tenniel. The pieces I had been putting forth for Inktober tipped the scales in my favor for the commission.
Now, I really want to continue this sort of project, custom streaming theatre backgrounds. I hope to be able to get commissions for custom work by the theatre and educational theatre community. Here's to reinvention!
I am a storyteller. At times I will choose text either by the rhythmic ticking of a keyboard, or the haphazard nature of my script dancing across a blank page. Either way the words flow and I hear myself saying them to no-one like a madman or an artist, not that the difference is always distinguishable.
Stories can be fashioned diversely in a myriad of subtle or obscenely irritating color. Ideas disseminated with flowing, glowing rivers of molten gold and honey, or tumultuous torrents tossing thoughts to and to forgetting fro entirely. Wait. Listen. Gape wide your eyes and peer into imagination in a different way - through the visual arts. We do it all the time. Sitting tin front of the screen binging our way through a sugar sweet bag of sticky romance, gobs and piles of hiccup-inducing laughter, or teeming knapsack of adventure, suspense, or all of these.
Watching images is and has been a key to our communicating for as long as we have been self aware. Telling stories by dancing around a fire, using symbols we call "letters" are both the same. Viewing drawings in the margins of our notebooks during corporate trainings or classrooms, or looking at a masterpiece in a museum hold the strength of communicating an idea. In China, it is said that you READ a painting. It is no different anywhere. We look deeply into the smashing kaleidoscope of forms and colors, shapes and lines and try to make sense of it and assign meaning.
When I say, "I am a storyteller." I mean that not as a way to separate and make special myself, but as a way to join in the human collective. Imaging saying that again. Do not emphasize "I" but instead "am." Different meaning, yes?
You just recolored my thought and met me where I thought it. I gave you the color with which I wanted you to paint it in your mind. THAT is how all communication works if it is working well.
Enjoy your travels through my stories. Some look like a lot of small symbols that have been assigned a sound. Others are bold and striking visual representations of a wild idea. Still others a soft and inviting environment to lose yourself in as I did when I painted it. I am glad you're jining me on this adventure. Buckle up your knapsack, purse, bag of holding, top hat and cane, or fanny pack and join me mucking our way through life playing with Cartoons and Creatures!
Yours in Art,
Jason Robert LeClair
I've been drawing and creating fantastical worlds for over 30 years. This is my area to put any visual or written musings. You've been warned...