Memento Mori – Memento Homo

Victory fills our souls while defeat brings us low. Both can make us lose a broader perspective.

Staying strong under loss can be difficult. But the best of us will move past defeat and keep trying. As the Romans grew into an empire, they were often foolhardy and ran straight into defeat. The kind of disaster which would humiliate other nations into surrender did not phase them, but fueled their need to try again.

Staying humble when victorious is even more difficult. For narcissists it is a downright impossible break of character. But the wiser of the Roman leadership knew they needed to maintain perspective. They would have a slave standing behind them, whispering ‘you are only human’ during pomp filled triumphs. 

A kill joy for some. But a good reminder for those in position to elevate themselves to gods!

Memento Mori

Memento Mori are reminders of our mortality. These can include such things including cut flowers and sand clocks, but the most iconic of the memento mori are skulls.

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I don’t think I’ve ever understood why people are uncomfortable with skulls. Don’t get me wrong, I know why. Skulls represent a person who was once breathing and is now gone. You look out of your eyes which are set inside the skull’s sockets, like a cage that holds your spirit in. Someday, when you draw your last breath, after your skin rots or burns away, your bones remain; a reminder to others that you were once among the living.

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I don’t see this as something that needs to be uncomfortable. Far from it! I think remembering our own mortality can help put ourselves in perspective. Last November I drew a skull a day. I’ll be posting a few of them with some thoughts. Until next time, don’t forget to dance.

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Forward to 2017

Well, 2016 turned out alright for me. I know it was a harsh year for many, but I felt I grew and moved forward a bit.

But I want to do better in 2017. I don’t like rushing into resolutions, so I tend not to do those. Rather, I like to spend the first part of January mulling over what I want and thinking about how to get there.

So here are a few things I thinking about.

  1. Continue to be productive.
    I felt like 2016 was strong because I had fairly strong output. I finished 24 of 99 portraits, I made a drawing a day for two months straight and I was in three shows. Not to mention getting back into oils and doing figure drawing for most weeks of the year.
  2. Figure out an upload schedule.
    I want to update this site more regularly, so I need to figure out how to do that in a way that is useful. Hmmmm.
  3. Promote my work.
    I want to be more active in promoting my work. Figure out how to sell prints efficiently, make it easier for people to know I do commissions of various sorts and just getting my work more visible. Honestly this is my least favorite part of being an artist, but I gotta face it sometime. Might as well be this year.
  4. Be more social.
    Not like a lot more social, because then I won’t have enough time to be productive. But I also don’t want to just let relationships and friendships slide, and that’s easy to do without some thought. So maybe not more social as more socially aware.

Of course there’s more, but this is enough for mulling over now. Hash out specific goals. The ilke.

How do you deal with resolutions? What are you planning for the new year?

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All These Lines

An Exhibit in 14 Pieces

I’m pleased to introduce my first solo show in Korea, “All These Lines”, at Ham’s Coffee gallery.


The show will be up for the month of December, and if you are so inclined, join me there after lunch for coffee this Saturday, December 17th for a casual art talk!

But if you can’t make it, enjoy them here!

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How to get to Ham’s Coffee

Ham’s Coffee is in Cheongju (청주). You can get there by express bus or by train. It’s not too far from Seoul, so the bus is really cheap (no more than 10,000 won) and will take about an hour and a half.

Once you’re in Cheongju, you go by bus. From the express bus terminal, there are many local buses that will go by there.

The easiest way is to copy this address into the Naver Maps App or maps.naver.com. Do not use Google maps! It will send you to the wrong place for some reason.

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Ham’s coffee is inside the Heartrium Building on the first floor.

Support the Artist!

If you would like to purchase the original pieces, they range between 110-210,000 won (approximately $94-$178) depending on complexity or 15,000 won ($13) for a print, plus shipping if you are outside of Korea (sorry!)

Those interested, please send me a message below. Make sure to be specific about which piece you are interested in, and wether you want a print or the original.

Intermission Fall 2016

Ho boy, have I dropped the ball with updates!

I had not properly scheduled time for blogging and website development, so it kinda went out the window. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy in the interim! So here’s a run-down of some of the things that occurred in the last two months!

Inktober

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A drawing a day for October. This inktober I drew Imp and Fez cosplaying various cultural and historical events that occured in years ending in 6. I’ll post them all soon enough! ^-^

Lunar Inktober

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So when Inktober was ending, I discovered that the last day of October overlapped with the first day of October on the Lunar Calendar still in use for cultural reasons in Korea. So I kept the challenge up, a drawing a day for Lunar October! But this time, I set Imp and Fez aside and decided to practice drawing skulls in a Memento Mori series.

13th Yongsan Art Festival

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Not shown here: me

I was working the night of the opening. But I got a piece into this year’s Yongsan Art Festival, so I’m still happy.

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Well, there was a limit of one piece per artist, so I decided to put four pieces together as a tetraptych!

Sneaky monkey…

Coming Up…

 

My first solo show in Korea! Woot! It will be at a cafe gallery in Cheongju called “Ham’s Coffee” (햄’s Coffee). But more on that soon!

 

A Chuseok Life Drawing, 2016

On the third day of Chuseok, Jankura Artspace held a special Chuseok themed life drawing session. Instead of having a ton of food on stage, our model wore the dress part of a hanbok.

This time I had misplaced my black pen, so I used only blue and red ball point pen with white, blue and green colored pencils for highlights, hair and clothes.

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Have a happy Chuseok and keep arting!