The Wide Angle: Let others see your inspiration

Published 6:41 am Saturday, April 27, 2019

The other day I was talking with Bonnie Rietz at the Austin Public Library, so really if this column goes off the rails, I blame Bonnie.

We were talking about the ArtWorks Festival and I was lamenting that I still haven’t gotten around to really doing anything with the non-business side of what I do.

My art if you will.

Email newsletter signup

That “not doing anything” includes trying to get in to the festival itself and displaying at the ArtWorks Center.

Now to be fair, it’s not that I have doubts about what I do. I’m realistic. I’m not great, but I’m not bad. I’m that side of talent where people realize later in life that they want to art.

What that means is I’m still looking through tutorials on how to do things and never miss the opportunity to learn something new.

Lately, I’ve been watching a pair of painters on YouTube, hoping I can take what they are doing on canvas and translate that to Photoshop and a computer.

But we have to be honest in this regard. They are on a far higher level than I am. I realize it’s two different mediums, but these people are getting realism through paints and brushes.

I, on the other hand, would still struggle with paint by numbers. Bob Ross can tell me all day long how to paint a fluffy cloud in a happy part of the sky and in the end it would look like I violently assaulted a marshmallow.

By the way, did you know that marshmallows can find their roots in the marshmallow plant called Althaea Officinalis? True story. Egyptians were the first to use the natural sweetener to soothe sore throats.

Sometimes, while researching art on YouTube, cooking videos with random facts come up. I’m not responsible for the internet content, just my lack of attention span that leaves me watching these videos.

Don’t judge — how many cat videos have you watched?

Back on track.

This did cause me to think at a stop light one day and reflect on everything I’ve done since starting to mash photos together to create something else.

Also, how far up his nose can the guy next to me get his finger? Looks to be nearly halfway.

Looking back, my first days of trying what is called photo manipulations was Jared Ryks, when he was in high school. He was my first victim when we started doing these types of images for All Area Football. I had a great idea in my mind and decided to give it a go.

In the end, the effort was clumsy and amateurist. Looking at it now, It’s cringe worthy, but it’s also a point of reflection on how far I’ve come.

Now this whole recollection isn’t my attempt to get you to compliment me or call me the best artist you’ve ever seen or Leonardo Da Vinci. that would be … weird?

The point is the journey and that I wouldn’t have gotten this far without inspiration. That’s why I love the next issue of our magazine so much because it’s our annual Austin Expression issue. This is where we feature art and prose from those talents in our areas.

Each year we get so many examples of talent in our community and it blows me away.

Art is a unique kind of expression, and over the last 10-12 years we’ve seen it explode in Austin. I think it’s always been there but with things like the ArtWorks Center and ArtWorks Festival, it’s fun to be a part of that scene with this issue of the magazine.

I don’t get this far without inspiration from other artists. So why not take a chance and be an inspiration to others? I’m including the online link to our rules and entry methods.

Let others be blown away by what you do and be part of Austin’s amazing art scene.