Sunday, December 8, 2013

Why This Isn't "Faggoty"

My response to a friend's question, “What’s this faggoty emo-bullshit?” Spurred by the music video, Afraid by The Neighborhood.

The problem that I have with this query, is that it takes a lot of balls to say to a million people something like, “I’m afraid that my wife (or whoever) is going to replace me overnight and, emotionally, I can’t handle that. It will damage me for life.” 

That’s why he, the artist, is depicting himself as also physically naked with his most intimate fears on blast.

We eat that up! Because after a certain point, we no longer condemn them for having feelings. We identify with them because they’ve connected with us on a level. (Considering we’ve all been in at least one shitty relationship, I think I’m on the money.) And as artists, if we’re doing it right, we frequently feel naked to our audience. But, instead of halting us (the artists) in our tracks as queer for acknowledging our emotions, we halt the bystander in their tracks. Duping them into seeing themselves, like a mirror, hidden in our work— which instantly connects and calls out some deep concealed emotion that they truly believed no one else knew about, that they were completely alone in experiencing.

That’s the power of art and we should stop calling everything “faggoty.”

If I didn't make a point well enough:
Artists like Banksy, who can work through the frustration and anger in the message and translate it to a visual that the populace can understand regardless of class or reader comprehension level…well, that is something more than vandalism, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hang your hat. Then, light it on fire.

The year creeps to its final months and I haven’t touched my blog since the new year— and with good reason. I needed to shutdown and pack-up, leaving my social media terminals to stand vacant— like rustbelt grain silos
I needed to box away my paints and literally watch them collect dust in order to probe my mind for the genuine longing that should be the driving force behind a business. I was waiting to feel guilty for hanging my hat.

I didn’t.

I could have tried to rework the business or re-imagine my career. Instead, I re-imagined my life. I left New Jersey and picked up a day job— totally unrelated to the art world. I became a part of someone else’s small business and found new applications for my knowledge and real value in the experiences I had while managing my own damn business.

I made it to (only what I considered to be) the top of the online body art community. I made it to the other side of that wall that divides us from the moderators, gatekeepers, and the “published.” Then, I took a walk…

I took a walk for the same reason I abandoned my college dorm seven years ago, I was disappointed, bored, and de-motivated. I was stuck with that horrible taste in my mouth- that feeling of, “Oh, this is it? That’s all?”

Maybe it was like finding out the “Strawberry Surprise” is really a little JalapeƱo. And similarly, I wanted to put my business in a liquor soaked solo cup, throw it on the ground, and light it on fire.

Have I lost you yet?

TL;DR I figured out what I want to be when I grow up, and I’m coming at this shit from a whole new angle. Peace.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Girls of the Gunrunner 2013 Calendar

Better late than never! In case you haven't heard, there was an epic calendar project that I was a part of— now known as Girls of The Gunrunner: The Revolution is On.

I was not able to make it back out to Ohio for the release party but, from what I hear, it was pretty darn well received. Images are being shared far and wide across the social media universe! As a group, I believe we have put together something much greater than ourselves, and that's boss.

Some of the ghost images are my favorite. The crew did an awesome job. Each image has really been brought to life. The girls look like comic book heroes (or maybe super villains, either way) and you want to give them a backstory of equal measure.

Working through piles of concept sketches, I took a lot of inspiration from Mad Max, Frank Miller, Lara Croft, and Transformers. An extra special thank you to Mr Dagger Photo for putting together these composites of the final concept art and finished pieces.

Shout outs to the amazing models (in order of appearance in this blog post): Courtney F, NK, JNL, and Stephanie Ferrari.
Makeup Artists, we couldn't have done it without you! Karen Siat and Sue Prosser.


I love the writeup from the website!

"All new photographers, new models, exploding scenes of our girls fighting apocalyptic zombies with the finest of Gunrunner auto weapons- this is one helluva effort. All models were nude and then body painted by a national caliber artist- this calendar is TO DIE FOR! Sublime in all ways! If you wish to purchase a calendar call Jennifer at (440) 834-0160 Cost is $10 each and $4.95 for shipping. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!"-

Want more?

To see the entire Calendar spread, visit MrDaggerPhoto's Blog here.
It's a larger file, if you're on a mobile device or concerned about load time, this may be a better way to view

Time to get back to the drawing table for next year's calendar ;)

You're going to love it!

Monday, November 19, 2012

5 Things I Learned About Life Casting

This is what happens when you Alginate Fail. Bucket Moulds.
5 Things I learned about Life Casting in the first 15 minutes (that I wish someone had warned me about, first).

1. Full Contact

I didn't realize how much of a full contact sport this was going to be until I watched the how-to DVD that I bought WITH the supplies. The Alginate cannot be allowed to thin or retain air bubbles in areas with a lot of detail. Which leads me to wonder exactly what is going on with some of the more intimate life castings! Oi!

2. Science

Measure out components by weight, not volume. There are several fails backing this lesson. How hard can just add water be? Trolololol

3. Power Tools and/or Extra Hands

These mixtures are time sensitive and the more efficiently we can mix them, the better.
Especially being a beginner, you will need extra time to mix and move things about. I also recommend that you not lift large bags of Gypsum Cement on your own.

4. Model Comfort

This is a two parter. Obviously the subject will be required to hold a pose for an extended period of time and should be made comfortable. Pillows, cushions, things to lean on, etc. Second, the plaster bandages can dry the skin and become really irritating. Moisturize the skin that will come in contact with plaster bandages in advance.

5. Be prepared to Fail hard.

Fail Harder is my motto.

You deserve an explanation. My experiment log can be found *Here*. I swear on all that is holy that my model's breasts were not originally misshapen, lumpy, or cockeyed.

Bonus Tip: If you don't have a canvas drop cloth... splurge.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Home and Thank You

I'm glad to be home and just in the nick of time, another storm bears down on us today. Knowing that most questionable trees on the property were brought down by the "super derecho" in late June, I feel free to keep on working. Little miss Sandy drew out my visit to Buffalo, NY for a second full week, leaving me with plenty to catch up on. Mr Dagger would never let me get away with being so close to Ohio and not making a visit. You have him to thank fo this lovely capture. *More pics here*
There are many more images to come, as you might expect.

And somethings totally unexpected...

The falls followed me home! This sweet surprise made its way into my mail pile while I was gone, I have no idea how long it sat there. I'm so going to frame splurge.

Thank You(s)

One thing I can say is that there is still kindness in strangers. Anyone who saw my tags, my license, or otherwise heard where I was from immediately asked about my home and family. Always following it up with well wishes for the drive home.

Thank You random strangers, Thank You anonymous print gifter, Thank You to all the awesome people I work with, and extra special Thank You to the people who put me up and look after me when I'm out and about. Even with all the rain and all the car trouble it always seems worth it. 

I'm feeling very wore out but I've got too much stuff to monkey with. Henna needs to happen soon and I have yet to produce a  life cast. *My adventure of learning life casting is being blogged over here.*

Until next week, much love.

Monday, October 29, 2012

What Moms Should Know About Face Painting

6. It washes off. 

At the end of the day, all makeup removes easily with soap and water. Warm water is best to open up the pores. Sometimes, face paint washes off before the end of the day. Like at a pool party, for example. These are things for the planner to consider. ;)

5. It rubs off. 

Is your party held indoors with tons of white furniture or white carpets? Those kids will find a way…

4. What to do if your child has an allergic reaction. 

Terminate exposure immediately by removing as much of the paint ASAP with JUST water. That’s the “official” advice.

If it were my own face, I would use a mild cleanser like Cetaphil. Personally, I have a lot of makeup allergies. Certain drug store brands hate my face. So, I know how it feels. My reactions can be the worst in the under-eye area and across the bridge of my nose. Usually quick removal of the product is instant relief. If burning persists, a splash of good ol’ milk usually does the trick.

For a person with relatively sensitive skin, I have not had any issues with the face and body makeup that I use. That is why I feel comfortable applying it to people of all ages and recommending those brands to other painters.

3. The difference between craft paint and makeup. 

If the paint in use is coming from tubes that you’ve seen at the craft store, feel prompted to ask what kind of paint the artist is using. The most commonly misused craft paints that I’ve seen are acrylic and tempera. These products do not belong on anyone’s face! Neither do Sharpie markers.

2. The risks of using craft paint or craft glitter on your child’s face. 

Craft paints can cause allergic reactions, rashes, or even swelling. Craft glitter can irritate the skin, itch, and if in the eyes can scratch the cornea.

1. Why good face painters charge.

In my area, the going rate for a face painter is between $75-$150 per hour. Keep in mind, this is the East Coast.  Why do these artists charge so much? Chances are, they are small business owners. Thereby making them full time bosses, and maybe even full-time mommies too.

I think the misconception is that face painting is akin to running lemonade stands, raking leaves, and mowing lawns. You know, just a small job for neighborhood kids to learn the values of hard work while making a little spending cash. The reality is Professional Body Art Services, Mobile Food Vendors, and Professional Landscaping. Those kids grew up.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

In an Effort to End My Hiatus

The last six months have not come without their ups and downs, maybe with more emphasis on the downs. I really thought that no one read this thing but it appears the blog has been getting more traffic than ever. To see it hold up, all alone here, has renewed my desire to keep at it. Thank you to everyone who has found this information interesting, helpful, or just straight up amusing.

I've got a brand new camera to document all of my body art adventures. Which leads me to my next exciting new medium...

A year ago I said I wanted to begin life casting so that I could offer permanent works of body art. Well, the last of the life casting supplies arrived this week and I'm ready to dive in, head first. Pictures will surely be on the way.

It's also nice to have a way to record my makeup experiments too. I've fallen in love with my little PowerShot. I just have to remember to restrict my makeup creativity to the daylight hours. Otherwise, I'm going to have a ton of photos like this. Apparently all makeup looks like bruises in the lamp light.

Until Next Time. Much Love.