Friday, October 20, 2017

Shaping "The Chosen Nightmare"



It is funny to me that my entire childhood was spent dreaming of becoming a comic book artist, then wanting to write, act and direct my own indie movies, before becoming a photographer, and ultimately ending up doing something that incorporates all of those elements in book form.

In art, it isn't about how you are saying it, but what you are saying.

When you throw out the rules and stop trying to do things that have been done before, you are free to create something new.

Too often people are uncomfortable with new ideas and changes, and many people have a knee-jerk response to reject anything "new" (even though many embrace a break from their routines.) Fear is their motivator, when fear of the mundane and mediocre should push them to seek new experiences instead of reject them.

Publicly and in groups, where most people are most comfortable, they voice discomfort when new ideas are proposed, and my art is a response to that.

If you believe you know the answers early in life, you stop growing. If you believe we as a society have all of the answers, too many questions go unanswered.

My latest work "The Chosen Nightmare" is about fear. It is about the things which oppress us and obstruct ideas. It is about how toxic and damaging it can be to follow any ideology that represses growth or prevents people from being who they want to be.

My ultimate nightmare is a life un-lived.

Growing up in Northern Michigan, I felt like an alien for my entire childhood and couldn't wait to escape, and vowed never to return. My fear of staying in a place that didn't celebrate differences and encourage those who weren't like everyone else, was greater than my fear of the outside world which I had rarely experienced. I turned 18, graduated, and fled with few belongings and no savings, and that journey took me all over the United States, and gave me ten years in New York City and ten years in Southern California before circumstances brought me back to Northern Michigan after twenty-five years of adventure.

Now that I have had a chance to reflect and grow from living once again in the place of my youth, I have decided we belong here just as much as anyone else does, and perhaps I was meant to return to help other people who have been bullied for being different, and for their art.

Maybe Liz and I were meant to be here so we could encourage young artists and free thinkers, and let them know there is a place here for their ideas and art.

No one has a right to bully someone for wanting to express themselves and be creative.

Ideas help us consider things and expand our worldview, and the world instantly becomes a better place when people are thinking and considering boundless possibilities.

Though my new book is for adults audiences, my message is for all ages, and that message is to be yourself and don't let people try to control your ideas or voice. You have a right to create and be open and free without harassment or intimidation.

Being an artist isn't a job, its a lifestyle and an endless journey, and a journey full of accidents, mistakes, growth and ultimately valuable lessons.

No one should let FEAR be your guide or motivator.

Be fearless! Be strong! Be free!

Life is too short to live by other people's ideas of what your art and ideas should be.

So looking forward to finishing "The Chosen Nightmare" but right now, I am in love with the creative process.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Artist Contest - The Chosen Nightmare

I have been leaning towards having a guest artist / pin-ups section at the back of my new graphic novel “The Chosen Nightmare” and am inviting other artists to collaborate since I’ve now been approached multiple times by artists wanting to contribute. 

 I have been trying to think of a way to set up a loose guideline for the subject matter and I think I have something. 

I don't want to reveal the plot of the story, but the summation of it is Liz plays a character who wakes up on the top floor of an abandoned building with no recollection of how she got there. She descends each floor but encounters some nightmarish things on the way, so what I thought I would do is set up a guideline for the feature which I am calling "Choosing the Nightmare" and let artists interpret a non-violent, but scary/sexy nightmare featuring Liz, in or out of the Sailor/SchoolGirl uniform she wears in the story. So, it could be her being pursued by a monster, wolf man, sea monster, ghosts, etc… 

Deadline to submit is December 31st 2017. It is a non-paid inclusion, and artists will have to sign a release giving me permission to use their work in the book and for promotion, but they will be credited and receive a free 30 day membership to my OnlyFans for submitting. Three Artists will be randomly chosen to receive a signed copy of the book. Not all images submitted will be included in the book, due to the potential volume of submissions. Direct Message me on my Twitter or email me at terryost@mac.com for more info or further questions. 





Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fall 2017 Update - "The Chosen Nightmare"

My intention has been to update this more frequently but between one social media account to the next, because how much can I say here that I haven't said somewhere else?

My reasons for even having an online presence, (because some days I crave checking-out and going back to the non-internet days of privacy and more personal encounters) is to connect with friends and acquaintances and to grow an audience for my art.

Documenting our journeys in this new digital age is a tricky thing. It is like a stadium full of people all talking at once, and not really listening to each other. Worrying about "likes" and "follows" is less important than meeting a new friend who likes the same things I do, and happens to like my work and projects. I am looking for more meaningful interactions and connections, and it isn't really about financial gain or ego. Yes, I would to profit from my work because I have stories to tell, and the way I tell my stories requires costumes, props, locations and models, but financial gain has never been my reason or motivation for creating. Every artist wants to have financial independence and freedom to create, but we all have expenses and art isn't always a profitable investment.

Ironically, my childhood vision for my adult life was that I would grow up and work in the comic book industry, but my love of cinema, photography and fashion guided me towards writing, acting and directing for movies, which I focused on for most of my 20's. In my 30's I was more interested in full creative control and telling stories with still images. My photography was mostly aimed at shooting models, nude and otherwise, sometimes with erotic elements, and sometimes just fashion or fantasy. (I have also focused on landscapes and still life but there isn't a huge financial return or demand for that material due to the volume of photographers shooting similar toned images.)

After almost 7 years of working exclusively with a model who would become my wife, and our work becoming more and more conceptual, I am circling back to a desire to create graphic novels. Of course, my art has evolved to include a cinematic sensibility and incorporates my photography.

I use a site called OnlyFans currently for adults who like my work to subscribe to, and Liz and I shoot photo sets and I post work from my archives of Liz and other models, as well as behind-the-scenes images and project updates. I shot a set recently that inspired me to dust off an old screenplay I wrote and consider adapting it for a graphic novel. I re-wrote it and am feverishly working on it, and very excited. This is like a little movie with a ton of sets, extra models and lots of props and costumes. Liz had come up with the new title, which fit the re-write's tone better, and we are busy with what is essentially pre-production.

I'm not going to say much about the story but those who follow my twitter and instagram or subscribe to my OnlyFans probably have gathered that it is a horror fantasy and features a lot of demons and monsters.

There will be 2 versions of it available, one standard edition and one extra thick, extended story, and uncut version... both are intended for adult audiences only.

Fans of Milo Manara, Guido Crepax,  and the great Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri will appreciate the raw, wicked style of this book. "The Chosen Nightmare" isn't intended for the adult who still just reads superhero comic books and needs everything spelled out for them.

I may seek out a brave publisher who might be interested in helping me produce the book the way I envision it, 2 versions, an accompanying soundtrack, and no censorship. If I can't find an interested publisher, I will self publish it.

I anticipate releasing it the book in the Spring, and subscribers to my OnlyFans will get previews throughout the process.

I have a pile of screenplays to choose from for future graphic novels so I suspect I will continue with these types of projects if this one works out as I plan it. I love the digital age we now live in, and how easy it is to get your work to the intended audience.

I am very appreciative for my friends and supporters who either like what we do or support our right to do it (even if my work isn't their cup of tea.)

The adult content of my work isn't intended for those who didn't read Epic Illustrated and Heavy Metal Magazine, or who didn't grow up binging on European Horror Movies or subscribing to Suicide Girls or God's Girls. If you are a fan of experimental film, erotic art and weird surreal stuff, you might like my work. If you are super conservative and not into what I'm into, stay away from it. Easy Peasy!

I'm done debating or defending my work to haters and trolls (well, really only one troll, but still.) You can say what I do isn't "art", and you can claim it is immoral, and call me names and suggest I am not a good person, but I am a family man, honest, loyal and empathetic and I don't have to prove otherwise because I am surrounded by decent people who know me from all walks of life. My actions speak for themselves. My wife, who is independent, smart, spunky and a devout feminist, free-thinker, does what she wants, for the reasons she has, and we are a team. Not only is she smarter than our hater on every level, but she has more common sense and savvy than anyone I have ever met.

Many people seek religion for their philosophical questions and I support the need to do that. I explore my spirituality and intellectual quandaries through art and nature. I push boundaries and challenge conventions because the answers provided by society seem incomplete or overly simplistic.

When 2017 began, I had no idea where it would take me, but the truth is, I went with the flow and have really enjoyed this year. I feel more at peace with the universe than ever before. I am grateful to be alive, and to be surrounded with love, and creativity.

I'll probably blog again at the end of the year and give an update of how the project is coming. Enjoy the rest of your 2017!









Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March is here...

I haven't posted in awhile, as I have been fighting illness and trying to prioritize goals better.

There is never enough time in a day to channel creative thoughts and ideas into actual projects.

Life is full of distractions and white noise that hinders our progress. I have always had a difficult time blocking out background noise and activity.

Though I had set out to actually do very little this year, I find that the more I try to disengage, the more I get pulled in.

It is a crazy time in our world right now, culturally, socially and politically. I'd love to hermit away and join some hippy commune in the forest but running from problems is a coward's escape.

Artists, thinkers, writers, and creative people have a moral obligation to make the world a better place and to shine a light on the darkness. It seems more vital than ever before.

I am working on new writing submissions and photo projects, and just trying to survive.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Finally Uncensored!

I have been photographing models for nearly 20 years and have literally thousands and thousands of images that have never been seen by the public. On top of working with interesting and unique models, both male and female, I have worked for the last 7 years with Model & Advice Blogger Liz La Point.

Making art doesn't always pay the bills, and though my work has been available in books, fine art prints and through my t-shirt company Art Bomb Tees LLC, I have long been searching for a way to share my uncensored and unseen work with people who have requested access to it.

I have recently started an OnlyFans account so that people who want to see my work without the typical censorship of social media like Facebook and Instagram, can finally enjoy it for the small monthly membership of $10 a month.

I am so thrilled with this new platform that I will almost exclusively be posting my work there so sign up and enjoy.

OnlyFans

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Changes You Seek Happen When You Make It!

People often complain about being poor or broke, and about their health issues and things that are bringing them down, and many don't realize they have the ability to easily change their life in a matter of days.

Vices that are killing people, like smoking and drinking, if abused or used regularly, can cost about $20 a day (cigarettes and alcohol) and end up costing the average American about $7,000 a year on the low side. Think about what you could do with $7,000. If you literally quit drinking and smoking, you will live longer, be healthier and happier, and could purchase a nice used car within a year or something you need that will help your life.

The same goes for what we eat. If you stop going to high end coffee shops every single day and spend $7 for a fancy coffee drink and a bagel, you could save $2,555 a year.

All the ways we spend money on little, unhealthy things add up to major health and financial issues.

I have been selling things on eBay after watching the excellent, and inspiring documentary, The Minimalists. DVDs, books, and souvenirs that I don't actually use regularly are leaving our home and creating more space and harmony in their absence.

I have been guilty of spending money foolishly, not budgeting my time, and of consuming things that are unhealthy and damaging to my body, but by being focused and minimizing my waste in all areas of my life, I have started to make substantial changes to my health and finances that are making me a happier person.

We will make excuses in life for not doing something because it is "hard" or "inconvenient" but getting cancer or facing financial ruin is harder and more inconvenient than anything I can think of that I have named.

My time is my most precious commodity. I want to make sure I balance it with family, work, art and things that bring me peace. I am finding I am enjoying my life more by making healthier choices (for me that means no meat, no alcohol, less sugar and fat, and more sleep.) I have also become a coconut water fanatic and switched from coffee to tea to reduce inflammation.

I have a family I adore, a full time job I love, a t-shirt company, and write and make art in the remaining time I have.

By reducing the time I am on social media like Facebook (the land of bitching and whining) the more time I have to devote to my family, job, business and art.

I also say "NO" more because too often we agree to things that we know won't help us or the person asking, but we feel obligated.

2017 has already been so productive and positive because I refuse to live any other way ever again.




Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Defender & Supporter of the Arts

Photography is the gift of freezing time, and of documenting life, good, bad and ugly.

Most artists would love to avoid politics and getting wrapped up in cultural battles, so we can have our time devoted to realizing our visions, but in a world where evil oppressors will take advantage of the poor, the weak and the sleeping, we have to shine our lenses, paint brushes and performances on injustice and those who prey on those who can't defend themselves.

If artists want the freedom to create, we have to use our art to fight against those who want to silence our creative voices, and if we don't, we face censorship and possibly worse.

I often explore free speech and censorship in my work, since I have been attacked by both sides of the political spectrum because they don't like what I do. (One such idiot and her henchmen, have made a funny little game out of harassing my wife and I over our nude photography because they feel like it hurts women. They waged a multi-year campaign that included negative reviews online under aliases, of my photography which led to me losing work in the small community I live in. Some have suggested I ignore the idiot and forget about it, but the damage it did to my reputation was significant enough that my ability to earn an income was infringed and I don't tolerate bullies, so I am pursuing recourse against the individual(s).)

My detailed account of my battle with censoring trolls will be posted soon, but my intention in this post is to address the blending of art & politics in the current conservative cultural climate under our new "president."

It is hard enough for artists to make a living in the age of digital piracy and an over abundance of new artists, but we all find ways of making our work pay even in the smallest ways.

It is typically not a good idea to take a stance politically when you are in business, and art is a business (I sell books of my work, and t-shirts for my company Art Bomb Tees, but not enough to buy a car or house, by any means.)

Though I didn't think Trump's win was a good thing for our country, I was going to remain optimistic until I had reason for concern, but in less than a week, Donald Trump and his cronies gave us all plenty of reason for concern. He attacked the arts, immigration, and women's rights and environmental protections almost instantly, and the nation rose up with a resounding "WTF, dude!?!"

Living in a bubble is proven to produce small-minded, idiotic behavior. We need the cultural cross-pollination that immigrants provide, and locking down the United States so that only Christian whites have a majority voice is against everything that makes this country so amazing.

Donald Trump's Divided States of America takes the slow burning hate and unrest that has been stewing since a black man won office and has turned it into a movement, the tea party part has devolved into the more obvious and revolting alt right movement, which is really just a thinly veiled moniker for the New Nazi Party.

Now, the ultimate weapon against hate is love and education, and artists everywhere need to use their tools to spread that message and bring America to a new level of acceptance and tolerance.

So, for those of you have enjoyed many years of fine art nude photography from me, we will be interrupting the flow of erotic art, nudes and fine art conceptual work to bring you some protests from time to time against oppression.

I might create some graphic and controversial work from time to time, but aside from being an artist who creates work for adults, I wear many other hats, and one of those hats is as a father, and I want my child to grow up in a country that celebrates diversity and that protects the rights and freedoms of all people, regardless of where they were born.

The United States of America has always been an asylum for the rebels, the thinkers, and the freedom fighters, and we must maintain that delicate balance for the potential and protection of our planet's future. There is more at stake here than what can be trusted to a bunch of rich, white dudes whose decisions and actions won't affect them because of their advanced age, but it sure as hell is going to have a dire and dangerous impact on our children.

Don't apologize for your opposing point of view and don't be afraid to let it be known, but be respectful and peaceful. We win by taking the high road, and we win by advocating equality and peace.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Another Year...

So, my 47th birthday is around the corner, and I have been haunted by my ghosts lately.

I have lived in so many places and made so many amazing acquaintances that I am beginning to lose track of them all. I don't want to lose track of all of the people who have shaped me to become the man I am.

Life is sloppy, clumsy and messy, but it is also beautiful, vibrant, and full of meaning. I have been so fortunate to have lived on my own terms. We are nothing without those who have embraced us, loved and hated us. We are nothing without the lessons gleaned from pain and happiness.

Lately, I am inundated by noise and distractions and I have been desperate to have some time to collect my thoughts and slow this ride down, but time doesn't slow down, and so we must learn to appreciate every second while it lasts.

It is interesting to me how the goals I had as a young man weren't goals I failed at reaching, but rather, along the way I changed and what was important to me changed.

When we are young, and facing the end of our childhood and the beginning of adulthood, we see the world in neat little packages. A trail of milestones of achievement that lay in front of us like mirages. As we actually live life, we learn that relationships don't last because we change, and the people we attached ourselves to change, and losing people from your life doesn't have to be sad but rather another chapter of life.

I have loved some exceptional people, and have enjoyed returned love. I have failed in love, and succeeded in love.

The most important thing is that I grew as a person and matured. I learned to live for quality over quantity and to abandon material things in favor of richer life experiences.

I have suffered fools, critics and haters, and they too brought focus to my life, and made my art more dear to me.

The art I create in these last few years has been almost solely out of my love for one woman, my wife Liz La Point. Sparks of lust turn into adoration and deep love, to an intwined life, and then family.

I turned 4o years old in Las Vegas and realized I was not living true to myself and started to reflect on what was missing from the life I was living. I started feeling like I was living in the shadow of someone else's dreams and it made me feel empty. The people I was surrounded by were someone else's friends and not the friends I would have made when I actually knew myself. I got lost.

Around the time I was making some profound realizations about who I was becoming, I met Liz La Point and a mutual passion for work and art exploded and everything became clear.

I wish happiness to all of the people I have known and I am so glad to have lived through some very difficult moments, and to have reached this point in my life where I feel so fortunate to have my own family, a wife who understands me, and more opportunity to create and explore than I have ever known.

Every year my wife asks me what I want for my birthday, and every year I look into her eyes and tell her that I have everything I have ever wanted already.

Life is very, very good.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ashleigh

Here are some shots of my friend Ashleigh, who I used to shoot with on a pretty regular basis when I lived in California. She was a wild, free-spirited, self-proclaimed hippy who would call out of the blue to suggest I photograph her friend, or to meet and do a quick shoot.

Ashleigh and I would have great conversations and go on a long drives looking for places to shoot.

She was one of my favorite people from my California days, and I so appreciate my time working with her.

I met my wife Liz La Point through her, inadvertently and am forever grateful.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Get to the Core of Your Work, Because YOU are Your Art

People who don't understand you, or why you do what you do, especially when it comes to art, can be the biggest contributors to distracting you from creating art.

Whether some people are simple, jealous or ignorant, they will often assign their own insecurities on you.

Yes, artists can be fucked up, but more often than not, they are just misunderstood by people trying to label them and over simplify them.

Negative people are generally a cancer to your work. You cannot give credence to those who are not artists, who don't understand or respect creativity, or are just too boring and mediocre to appreciate the work that goes into seeing creative works to fruition.

I have written nearly forty screenplays, made a short film and some music videos, and had a job briefly as a wedding video editor, but I have never made money doing any of those things so one could argue that I haven't found success doing those things, and perhaps I wasted time and resources.

Writing has always been a soul cleansing process for me, and deeply gratifying.

The most fun I have ever had has been working with actors or on film sets. I love movies from beginning to end, and have a rich and endless respect for anyone who is involved in the creation and execution of motion pictures.

My venture into moving making was never a waste of time, because I don't measure my success by how much money I make.

Creating is succeeding, and producing work that finds an appreciative audience is the most satisfying thing there is.

For the past decade, I have been immersed in writing a trilogy of screenplays, working on producing photo books, & producing and filming a YouTube channel for my wife, Model & Writer Liz La Point. 

You know what I else I did during that time? I held down a full time job that I put my all into, spent quality time with my child, and made sure my wife never forgets how much I love, respect, value, and adore her.

The point is that, though I'm far from perfect, I strive to balance my creative endeavors and family, work and relationships. I care about the people who care about me, and I am loyal like a dog.

...And, I never give up! Ever!

Artists, do not EVER stop creating! Ever! Just don't.

It doesn't need to make you rich, and your friends and family don't have to understand you or what you do.

Make art for yourself first, and then try to make some money from it, and grow your audience.

I have been so fueled by my desire to succeed by other people's standards lately that I have neglected the reason I create, and that reason, is because it is my voice, and I have things to say. Perhaps artists sometimes speak without thinking, figuratively and literally. Perhaps I have been talking too much through my work without saying the right things.

It is important to know one's self, and get to know one's self, through your art.

2017 is my quiet year. It is my year to reflect and grow. I am sober, healthy, happy, and motivated, but for the first time in a long time, I just want to process it all. I want to find meaning in the little things and make sure I'm not overlooking the big things.

I want my life to matter as much as my art does.

So, I have healthy new focuses, a ne-newed relationship with nature, and am on a path to living with less and feeling like I have more.

Here are some images from my photo adventure in Hawaii last year.






Monday, January 9, 2017

25 Year Journal Project

So, for the past 25 years I have kept black, hardbound journals.

By keeping them, I mean, I drew, cut and pasted magazines and images into large volumes to serve as a pop culture scrapbook of memories and inspiration. I moved them from coast to coast repeatedly and constantly added to them.

Though the project ended up filling out about a dozen heavy, hardcover books, my intention was always to someday repurpose and self-publish these journals into one book, mixed with my tales of living in NYC and Southern California as a struggling artist.

The books are sometimes personal and intense, perverse and playful, and a reflection of the artists and images that shaped my own artistic aesthetic.

Today, for nearly six hours, I scanned and photographed the pages of the journals and destroyed them. They now live on digitally, but will soon live on as a single, massive volume.

This is my year to disengage from the traditional forms of social media like Facebook and Instagram, to give away or recycle the majority of my belongings, and embark on a journey I consider to be the second chapter of my life. (Check out the Netflix documentary, The Minimalists and their blog for some insight into the direction I am moving in personally.)

I have chosen this blog to replace my regular social media rants, and it has been so liberating.

I am not a religious man, but I feel more connected to nature and the earth than I have in some time, and the pull of the outdoors is calling me. Nature has been my doorway to spirituality and I am longing for the California deserts which became my playgrounds for so many years.

The projects I am working on this year have been stewing and gestating for a very long time and are a celebration of the years I have survived, and the wisdom I have gained from my struggles, pain and joy.

I look forward to sharing my new ventures with you.

Here are some sample pages from my journals.










Friday, January 6, 2017

"Eye of the Beholder"

From the minute I discovered Heavy Metal Magazine as growing boy, My teenage years were spent seeking it out and concealing them from my parents. The mix of science fiction, nudity and erotic fantasy was my teenage drug.

I was particularly a fan of Guido Crepax & Milo Manara and feverishly collected their work throughout adulthood.

My photography has been heavily influenced, not just by other photographers, fashion magazines, and cinema, but also comic books & graphic novels.

I have always been compelled to tell stories with my work, and not just capture beautiful models and landscapes.

For some time I have been working on a photo graphic novel with my muse, Model & Writer Liz La Point, and recently published it.

Unlike my previous photo art books, this is a surreal, erotic story that pays homage to the influences of my youth.

Get yours here.

"Eye of the Beholder" Book

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Art & Business: The Making of Art Bomb Tees, LLC - Part One

Quite often friends would see a particular image I had captured and requested a t-shirt featuring said image, and I would shrug it off and think "Yeah, that could be cool" and then move on.

In 2014, during some difficult financial stretches, I picked up a book by Marc Ecko called "Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out" and hungrily devoured it. I was interested in business, and starting a business that was still related to art, and my mind kept racing back to my love of fashion and design, and the requests from friends and acquaintances for shirts.

My wife Liz La Point and I selected three of our favorite images from my work and spent a great deal of money we didn't have, incorporating my LLC and having several hundred shirts printed up to sell.

I literally did EVERYTHING wrong and barely sold any shirts. I was indeed a terrible business person at first, because you don't know what you don't know, but that lesson would pave the way for success.

It took nearly two years of loss and almost giving up on my little LLC before I found a better way to make and sell shirts, but I am finally in a place where the company is growing and I believe in it.

So, the lesson here is not to give up and to learn from your mistakes and keep finding ways of improving and being better at what you believe in.

From time to time I'm going to talk about my growing little apparel company and how the mistakes were so costly, and how valuable they were, and how I am still learning.

Making money from your art is the biggest challenge in an over crowded market where every creative person on the planet is trying to do the same thing, but the key is to focus on what makes your brand and product unique (no one wants to call their art a "product" but in order to profit from it and build your brand, you have to be prepared to see your work as an asset that people want.)

I love wearing t-shirts, and feel like they will never go out of style.

Stay tuned for more updates and Behind the Scenes stories of the building of a business and go get yourself a shirt from Art Bomb Tees, LLC.


Model: Heather Bee

Some images from the archives of Model Heather Bee - 2009






The Wicked, Wicked Lens

Perspective is everything when it comes to art, as ART is subjective.

People who have traveled, worked, experienced life, and who regularly put themselves in the shoes of others' can appreciate a worldview that differs from their own.

Those who have grown up absorbing pop culture, studied psychology, have people smarts, and who know their way around art museums and galleries, aren't easily offended.

On the other hand, some people don't venture outside of their comfort zones, and are easily offended or upset by images, movies and music that contain themes they don't agree with. I am only offended typically by harm to children or animals, but now and then a special level of ignorance by people too lazy to educate themselves, can also offend me.

An artist should never self censor or self edit during creation. Art inspires and moves us forward as a species, and as a result, science often takes it's lead from ideas and themes presented in art.

Art can break cultural barriers and help people expand their perspectives.

Anything that stimulates conversation is a positive thing, especially if it isn't actually hurting anyone.

My work, for instance, can often contain nudity, sexual themes, and cinematic violence, all intended for an adult audience, but good art shouldn't be for all audiences. I am always pleased when someone likes my work, and accepting of the idea that some people dislike it, as well.

Haters need to hate what they personally don't understand or appreciate, and they have that right and luxury in a free society. When I dislike something (usually because it is painfully mediocre) I simply avoid it, but some folks aren't happy until they complain and whine about something they dislike until they let everyone know how they feel. (LOL, have fun with farting in the wind to an invisible audience. That existence seems miserable.)

Part of my process of creating is to explore a theme that confuses or intrigues me, and discover the answers of how it affects me as I am seeing it realized. I like to peel back the layers of mystery through the image making.

My approach is often "I have this idea, and it seems insane, so let's try to create this work and see how we feel about it after it is complete." I am lucky to have worked with models who want to explore and create in this fashion, as well.

Sometimes my work shocks me too, but it is very satisfying to see how others respond to it, lovers and haters alike.

My one rule when photographing models has always been to consistently make the models look good, cool and interesting.

In some ways, there is little that is original and new in the art of photography, but in other aspects, it is still a fresh and new medium of expression.

Every time I think I might be done with photography, I realize I have more to say so they might as well bury me with my camera when I die, so I can capture the inside of my coffin because I can't actually see myself ever quitting.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

What Happens When You Fall in Love with Your Muse

For years I photographed models, male and female, nude and clothed, and I never developed crushes or non-professional feelings for them, and I am certain they didn't for me either.

Though I shot regularly with different models, I was really looking for a creative partner who wouldn't mind developing more intensive projects and shooting frequently.

I was always on the lookout for my muse.

I often mistakenly believed I had found her, and would get really excited about a particular model but for whatever reason, they would not be as interested in a long-term creative partnership.

Maybe what I didn't realize is that if I found that one perfect model, she might also be the love of my life, and that is what ended up happening when I met Liz La Point.

Working with Liz was so rewarding and stimulating that I found myself not wanting to shoot any other models. I found myself wanting to photograph her every chance I got.

I remained professional in the beginning, but our commonalities were overwhelming, (both non-religious, vegetarian, free-spirits) and our mutual attraction and admiration for one another was too strong to deny.

As a rule, I would suggest most photographers not fall in love with their models, and to treat the business of making art as clinical and professional as possible, unless you meet someone like Liz who you would never forgive yourself if you let her slip away.

As an artist, I am lucky to have found a creative partner to challenge me and force me to improve and evolve. As a man, I am lucky to have found the woman of my dreams who gets me like no one else ever has.

Check out Liz's blog at https://thenakedadvice.wordpress.com

Economics of Social Media

I have come to love sharing and interacting with other artists on sites like Twitter and Ello, but I found Facebook and Instagram too restrictive and not genuinely artist friendly.

Sharing on Twitter, doesn't allow for much explanation or deconstruction of the art, so I thought I would start blogging about the hows and whys of some of my photographic sets.

My 5 Year Project with Model Liz La Point, required us to collaborate regularly on photo shoots and sets for inclusion in books I was working on, and to explore old ideas and concepts that I hadn't been able to previously explore with other models.

Having a fearless, risk-taker, who was open and free of shame, allowed me to delve much deeper than I had previously.

Conceptual photography is about fantasy, and about reflecting ideas from the artist's imagination. I often explored themes that had been bouncing around in my head since the early formation of my first sexual thoughts, so as I teenager growing up with comic books, video games and weird low budget movies, I would often meld the past with the present.

In my "Gamer" set, I placed Model Liz La Point in my library of comic books, photo art books, magazines and action figures and had let her loose on my Atari 2600.

In an outfit and make-up ensemble that looked more fitting for a New Year's Eve party, Liz went from playful, to frustrated, to abandoning the game and her clothing altogether.

It is my favorite set of mine.

I loved how Liz played the character and how youthful and fun it was, showing video games aren't just for males, nor are they just for children anymore.

Buy the book "I Love Liz La Point - 5 Years of Art & Love"