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Let's have a chat. - petrostudio LLC
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Through most of 2020, we have been in upheaval and lockdown at the same time. Staying home more, probably wearing sweatpants more, and fretting less about work/life balance and more about life/work balance. It is why I spent a bunch of time last year thinking of how best to re(introduce) myself to the world.

I was a Design major in college many moons ago (Communications Design, to be precise) with a painting “concentration”, since there was no “minor” available in the art program at Syracuse. I always loved to just create stuff, and over the years I have been an actor, director, filmmaker, writer, improvisor and more. And during all that time I always told myself I would get back to drawing at some point.

You get rusty, though.

In late 2019 I stumbled upon Bardot Brush. Lisa Bardot is an artist and mother that has built a business designing brushes and creating tutorials for Procreate, one of the best drawing apps for iPad. Specifically, I found her Making Art Everyday program, which essentially is just a set of prompts for… making art, you know, every day.

So, starting January 1, 2020, I did start doing just that. Not all the prompts are fabulous (sorry Lisa) and not all the drawings that come out of my brain and hands are, either… but some of them, not awful.

Sometimes I draw from my dumb brain, and sometimes from reference. Sometimes I trace an image and stylize it. Sometimes I just make up a creative interpretation of the prompt. Some take an hour or more, some 10 minutes. But none of that is the point. The point is, I have nearly 400 different images to date that I created… that weren’t there the day before.

So what to do with this crap? Er, stuff. Art. Yeah, what to do with this art?

Let’s back up. Mid-2020 I decided to create some promotional materials for myself and my business. After a bunch of hifalutin ideas, I settled on some core principals that I always apply to branding and marketing work. First, it’s gotta be useful – can’t just create something that is neat but that people may not necessarily keep. Second, it has to reflect my (or the client’s) personality – it must be in the right voice. And third, it has to be fun – the most clever marketing/commercials, for the most part, are memorable not because they make you think (nobody really likes to do that) but because they bring you joy.

Oh, and that’s been part of my 2020 and beyond, too. Joy. Just finding it every day and promoting it to others (in life, in relationships and especially on social media… ugh.)

So, what do you do? This.

I can’t tell you what this is without giving away the baby with the bathwater, but needless to say, if you ask I might send you one. It’s useful, it’s full of my personality, and it is fun.

Oh right, and then you create a little sizzle reel in a day that you watch later and go, “Hey, that’s not half-bad” to yourself. Which is huge because an artist usually hates all his own stuff.

I am so incredibly inspired by the work that my former classmates, work colleagues, family and friends do – and often incredibly jealous as well. I doubt my own self-worth and talents as an artist when I see their work, which is, I think, the best thing to be. After all, how do you get better if you don’t look to people that are way better than you are?

Just out of Syracuse alone in the mid-nineties, I can name many classmates that have gone on to create their own agencies, develop their own art or contribute to major brands like Apple, Fitbit, Facebook and more. I work with people regularly that create branding, events and more that are awe-inspiring. And I see friends and family that have their own amazing personal projects – from taking street photographs to making candles.

It all makes me jealous, oh so jealous, of their talent and creativity.

And so 2020 was the (re)start of my own. And 2021 is hopefully the growth of that. Let’s have a chat, see what we can do to make stuff – useful stuff, fun stuff – together.