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!