(Note: This website, like my career, is still under construction. I know there are links that lead down dark chasms to nowhere and rough patches of uncultivated internet-space, but I promise that this will look like some semblance of a real website shortly. Maybe. I think…)
Lately, as I’ve been putting together this little slice of internet I like to call blackfedorah.com, I’ve started thinking about that question a lot. It’s actually a really lame question when you think about it – it’s almost as lame as “what’s the meaning of life?” insofar as stupid questions are concerned – because it’s incredibly vague. Does it refer to medium? Genre? Subject matter? Why the hell have I been asking myself this?
A little bit of background: I moved to Los Angeles a little more than six years ago to write and direct movies – this was my plan my entire life, and I never gave any thought to anything else. I considered any activity or skill that wasn’t related to making movies a distraction from the goal I set. Despite this mindset, I always loved to make things – paintings, sculptural work, illustrations, anything! I just loved to create something that didn’t exist before. But it was never a part of my plan, and I never gave myself permission to explore that territory. In the six year period since I first moved here, I met a lot of people in the film industry, I’ve made a very small number of shorts, I’ve done very little writing, and I created next to nothing because all the things I wanted to make was a “distraction” from what I wasn’t pursuing.
I’ve also had a lot of amazing things happen within the past six years – namely, I met the love of my life four years ago, and we’re going to be getting married in November. I owe her so much, because she showed me that I could do the things that I didn’t give myself permission to do. Every little idea, joke, or “what if?” scenario that I ever said allowed, she would always meet with “why don’t you do that?” Everything I never did because it “wasn’t good enough” was amazing to her – and I suddenly found myself wanting to pursue these ideas! Because of her, I started to do things and move into a direction I never thought I could actually pursue! After taking a few paid graphic design jobs, making a few pieces of art, and going to a few art shows, I made a 180 and realized that I want to be an artist. I want to make things for a living.
Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to make movies! Movies are still my love! But it’s a slutty, polyamorous love that it has to share with art, design, comics, and literature – if it’s something with a dedicated nerdy subculture, then I’m more than likely a card-carrying member and authority on it already. I plan to work in every media at some point. To me, all of this stuff just comes down to “making things.”
In the meantime though, I’m going to be an artist and designer. I’ve decided to go back to school – I dropped out of college shortly before moving to LA – and I’ll be getting my Bachelors in Graphic Design. I’m also going to be taking on freelance design work, taking commissions for art pieces, and submitting work to galleries. And I’ll be writing about it all here. By the way, Black Fedorah is the name of my studio/company/alter-ego. The story for why I call it that isn’t very good.
So, what kind of artist am I exactly? I’ll let you know when I figure it out.