I have put my available original artwork on Squarespace. All my watercolors of fairies in the garden, Gardens of the Mythbegotten, and all the Yukon Cornelius paintings as well as my more controversial paintings of police action in Columbus.
I have been a big admirer of the works of NC Wyeth for a long time. You might remember his illustrations from your favorite classic YA adventure novels (now assigned texts in college 19th Century and turn of the century literature classes), books like Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, Last of the Mohicans, A Boy’s King Arthur, Kidnapped, The Yearling, Robin Hood, The Deerslayer, etc. Very popular books in the early 20th Century with themes and storylines still made into movies today.
I loved his style! BIG color, lots of drama, action, adventure, stunning landscapes. I wished I could paint like that ever since I saw my first Wyeth up close at Texas Tech University. But I was a cartoonist at the time, and an occasional portrait artist, and I was working towards a PhD in Creative Writing. I wasn’t thinking of myself as an Artist, nor was I think of myself as an Artist who was going to study Wyeth.
As a gay man, growing up so Other from other boys, I had a peculiar relationship with the World of Boys and Men (which I will write about more in a later post) and that was a world that belonged to Wyeth as well. I had felt excluded for a long time from that world, and made up for it by being in other worlds. But I lingered outside the borders often and looked in at Things Which Were Not For Me.
So I pursued writing and teaching as a career, making art wait.
But in the last few years, my teaching situation changed, and it was difficult to find work as an adjunct teacher. I also continued to almost make it in the job market for tenure track positions. So i decided to make a change in my life–to build my art career–because I needed the money, a new source of income, and my art had waited long enough.
The Columbus College of Art and Design have accepted me into their MFA program, and my curriculum is all about Illustration (digital and traditional). I start in the fall. They have also offered me a chance to teach the History of Comic Narrative as an adjunct course while I’m in grad school and I said yes! So I’m very happy to be moving to Columbus for a couple of years, exploring my painting, my drawing and illustration. I’m hoping to acquire more skills to use for jobs—in illustration or portraiture–but also to illustrate my own works.
The program is two years long, is project based: you propose three projects, one a semester, and then one that covers a whole year. They have strong ties to industries that support artists: Disney, Wizards of the Coast, Hallmark, etc. I’m very excited about the chance to improve my art skills over the next two years.
The hard part is that it will go SO FAST. I plan on learning all I can. I have five or six projects in mind–most of them connected to a writing project. I have to narrow them down! LOL.
I won’t stop writing and, hopefully, publishing, but instead of full time teaching, this allows me to survive for a couple more years, learning skills as I go, and allowing me to get more writing done. My goal is still to emerge in two years with more skills, more publications, ready to take on any jobs that I can get.
If you’re a fan of Vincent Chong, and you’ve seen my post on him, you’ll be delighted to know he has a new blog and he has a new Art Book coming out. The details are below.
Vincent was commissioned to redesign covers for all of Stephen King’s books, and they’re stunning. I’ve picked out a few designs I like. I’m waiting still for the really cool werewolf one. (But there aren’t really any good werewolf novels yet…gonna have to write one)
My new blog http://vincentchongart.wordpress.com is now online. The blog will be updated regularly and feature posts including news updates, artwork, behind-the-scenes material such as sketches, insights into my working methods/inspirations, tips and info on life as a freelancer and much more. There’s also free downloads including desktop wallpapers, so please stop by for a visit and check it out.
I’m also excited to announce that the first art book collecting my work will be published by Telos Publishing. Entitled ALTERED VISIONS: THE ART OF VINCENT CHONG, the book will be a 48 page, A5, full colour hardback edition. Further details can be found on my blog.
The book will be published 25th March and launched at the World Horror Convention 2010 but you can pre-order a copy now direct from the publisher’s website http://www.telos.co.uk under the ‘Original and Classic Fiction’ section. Copies are expected to be limited so place your order now to avoid disappointment.
If you know of anyone else who may be interested in my blog or art book, please pass this information onto them.