Today is Sunday

…and I just had my first solo art exhibition.

I think saying anything further might wreck the afterglow, so I’ll just keep focusing on that sentence.

There were about 30 people, and everything was well received, and people actually…. liked my stuff.  They want prints, t-shirts, posters, the whole deal.  Um.

I …. I feel pretty awesome.

Next goals:

– talk to my local printery [who did my wedding invites, and who does all the work for my Main Job], and find out how much it costs for them to be done on various paper versus canvas.

– review sites like etsy, society6, deviantArt, etc on how to get my work to an online site/gallery/selling area.

– spend my next two weeks on a mental hiatus, working on loose sketching and writing down ideas for upcoming paintings.

– know that my sketching is a conscious act of practicing certain techniques (for example, perspective. or profiles.), and not feel stressed about trying to create anything specific.

– research Juxtapoz‘s requirements for submission.  [Goal: to be interviewed/featured.]  know that I am not yet ready to submit work, but having the submission info and understanding of what they look for will make that goal much more tangible.

– research upcoming local art events.

– research other local venues/events to display art at.

Anyway, today was…. quite nice.  It felt very surreal.

I made stuff.  Sorry my camera was on the wrong setting. This is after 6.5 hours of being there.

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Artist Statement

This weekend has been BUSY.  Sunday I completed “Adventures in Bunderland”, and Monday I dropped my stuff off at Alchemy where it’s now Actually Really On Display For Reals.

Adventures in Bunderland – acrylic, 14″x18″

I’m excited about that one.  It came out much cleaner than I anticipated.  Note to self: using 7428948932 washes and layers really DOES make a difference.

Ended up with 14 paintings to display.  The scariest feeling ever was when the staff there was helping me organize/hang everything, and at one point they were all just standing there, looking.

Looking at my stuff.  That I made.

I suddenly felt this overwhelming need to apologize and simultaneously burst into tears.  I was scared, which might sound silly, but it was just so … so much.  The other day, my husband was talking about how his niece (who’s 9ish) pointed out the psoriasis on his elbow.  She asked – as only little kids can – “What happened to your arm?”  He gave her a dismissive answer and tried to change the subject, but was still in that mental state where you kind of just want to pull the covers over your head until it all goes away.

That feeling of overwhelming self consciousness, that’s what it felt like.  Scary.  The display area was larger than I anticipated so my stuff looked very small, but we used binder clips and twine to hang the work (all on canvas panel board), and it turned out alright.

I think they liked it.  I hope they liked it.  Hell, I hope EVERYONE likes it and I hope they buy something.  I’ve got to research making prints as well, in case more than one person wants the same painting.  The owner was saying that if I am able to (or want to), if something gets purchased I can bring in a new piece to replace it.  That might be doable.

Anyway, last night I had another crappy episode of nausea, which actually might have been from dinner but whatever.  It resulted in very little sleep which didn’t even start until 5AM (when the meds kicked in), so I called off work.  Slept until around noon, then just spent some time finishing up the “Artist’s Statement” that they wanted from me. Thinking it might be time to go back to sleep; still feeling crummy.

Here it is.

——

DRUNKBUNNY: the art of larissa horvath
A lifetime ago, in a time zone far, far away, a little girl was drawing a helicopter scene on the side of a paper bag. Later that year, she was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her answer was “An artist, a teacher, a dentist, or a garbage truck driver.”
I’ve always liked multiple choice answers.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————
I started getting excited about art somewhere around the pre-internet heyday of Glo Worms, Fluppy Dogs, and Teddy Ruxpin, and painted along with Bob Ross in the afternoons (right after Fantasy Island).  I had a lot of imaginary friends, talked to myself often, and made elaborate stories for my Barbies to act out.

I moved out of Pittsburgh & into San Diego in 2001, where I spent my days at coffee houses, hockey games, dance classes and yoga classes.  There was also a lot of World of Warcraft.  Bought a house in 2009, got married in 2011, & promptly was diagnosed with labyrinthitis (an inner-ear problem that causes a balance disorder & makes you feel carsick all the time).  I’m recovering, but things are better.  I appreciate the constant patience (& entertainment) of my husband and our cat.

This is probably the part where people would talk about how they had formal training from age five, or classes at night between full-time jobs, or how some Great Old Master took them under their wing during some that sabbatical to Italy last winter.  Maybe they just like wearing berets.

When my work comes up in conversation, people say: “I didn’t know you were an artist!”  I typically don’t wear my Artist Nametag, so it’s understandable.  I’m not here to debate the meaning of what makes someone an artist (that’s what blogs are for); I’m here to show you the things I made.  For the curious: I finished a major in Multimedia (in 2001), which included a focus on graphic design, courtesy of Pittsburgh Technical Institute.  (This means I am a fan of most things Internet, good typography, and pushing paint around until it makes a shape I like.)

San Diego – and the adventures of me in it – has been the cause of most of my work.  The novelty of palm trees, ocean landscapes, amazing cuisine choices, incredible local stuff, over the top weather and all that represents the California Dream… that’s what keeps me going, and that stuff will never lose its shine.  While there are days that it feels like a tiny town, San Diego is mostly everything I ever wanted it to be.  It changes; it ebbs and flows.  I appreciate that I am close enough to LA to soak up the cultural tide, but I also appreciate not living there.  Same with Vegas.

In the past eleven years of life in this state, I’ve met people that astound me in both good ways and bad; people that have changed my life and my way of thinking.  I’ve made and lost fantastic friends, been to places and done things that always seemed like something in the movies.  Things you never even consider when you grow up in a steel mill town.  Living here, still feeling like a transplant… from all this comes the feeling of being a little kid in a candy store, reaching for the top shelf.

I’m learning how to find the shape of my own feelings and put them down on canvas, and my feelings are teaching me how to share headspace with them.  I like getting lost in a book and am trying to figure out how to get the adventures in my mind onto canvas.  I’m one of those quietly bipolar people who uses art as a form of medication because I didn’t want to take Zoloft.  The manic swings are great, the other side… not so much.  I’m learning to balance on that pendulum but still fall off most of the time.  Art is my coping mechanism; whether it’s sketching on Post-It’s during a phone call, finding the right font, or roping my emotions into a tube of paint… it works for me.

I’m inspired by a lot of the artists in Juxtapoz (especially Craola), and hope to one day find my own work between their covers.  That’s why I took the baby step of asking if I could have my work on display here at Alchemy.  Putting my artwork out for people to look at (and hopefully be inspired by) is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done.
I feel very fragile and very exposed by all this, but am taking deep breaths and crossing my fingers that people like it and ask for more.  I promise to keep learning, keep growing, and keep trying.

If you buy some of my art, 10% of the proceeds will go to The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), which in turn can donate to the Stupack Lab for Cancer Research at the USCD Moores Cancer Center.

Drop me a line at Larissa.R.Horvath@gmail.com or find me at  facebook.com/drnkbnny.

Thank you for looking.

This reminds me of when I get on a kick around my own house. 🙂

And Then One Day, It Happened

It has been so busy, you guys.  You might have noticed that from my lack of posts.  I’ve been having a bit of a rough spot mentally and have been feeling very emotional as of late, which means that yes, I just was weeping on the couch when Rob Kardashian apologized to Bruce Jenner for saying he didn’t have a role model growing up.

Work has been nonstop.  This is good because the shifts go quickly, but bad because I’m having a tough time keeping on top of all the paperwork.

I’ve started kinda-sorta-somewhat playing hockey.  I need to schedule my bellydance lessons.  I’m getting ready for our very belated Cabo honeymoon (aka doing all the paperwork/going to all the appointments to finally legally change my last name and acquire a passport), coordinating a work mixer for the marina stuff that will be on 6/23, coordinating a wedding for 300 people on 6/30, and I’m also finally…FINALLY having a art exhibit.  Not the fundraiser, but an actual little reception thing.

Alchemy is one of those restaurants that has been in my memory for quite some time. Their food is good, they have a great vibe, and they are very interested in doing things for the community. The ‘good food’ part is really the only prerequisite I have for eating somewhere on a regular basis, but after getting to know the place and the people, the other two points are now considered bonus.  🙂

About four years ago is originally (to the best of my recollection) when my friend Micah (owner/founder of Chief Ingredient) introduced me to Alchemy. A mutual friend connected the two of us so we could network about some local stuff, and we hit it off.  We grabbed a brew at the next door tavern, Hamilton’s, and decided that bar food wasn’t really going to cut it that evening.  Turns out things do happen for a reason – Micah talked up their brunch, I stopped by on my own, and a few months later I was a regular.  Ron (the owner) is an amazing guy.  We started talking about all the art there and I asked how to get my own work displayed.

Keep in mind at the time I had just *lost* all my work due to The Great Hard Drive Crash of 2010, so it was kind of a bucket list thing: if someone says that they might be okay with me showing off my work, I’ll create it.  I don’t have the resources to always have art on hand, as most of what I do is for free or for fun.  For example – if a friend moves into a new place, they will most likely get a housewarming present in the form of a painting.  Prior to this little meeting I hadn’t created non-digital art in quite awhile, excluding doodles now and again during long phone calls.  Fast forward through house-buying, wedding planning, wedding HAVING, a lot of health issues, and the slow recovery process, and Ron says to me this past winter that he would be open to displaying my work.  Okay, score one for team dB.  Fast forward even further, and in March he says that there’s another show finishing up, but after than he’d be down to display my work for X amount of weeks and they also hold a little reception for the featured person.

Last week we nailed down some dates (6/18 – 8/6, opening night sunday 6/24), and while part of me feels like it’s constantly shushing the annoying little kid inside (is it my turn yet huh how about me how about now is it time yet are we there yet), part of me is wicked excited for this.  I know it’s not a big deal to the people at the restaurant because they show off art all the time, but to me it still hasn’t sunk in that I actually checked something off my bucket list: make art – get it displayed. 

At the Pigment Monster show it was different because it was in the back of a home-brewing store.  It had a swap meet feel but with better beer and a DJ; about 20 artists who already knew each other were hanging out, vending and selling.  Somebody bought one of my paintings (!!!) and I still don’t know who it was.  They bought it after I’d already left and the promoter got me the cash.

This is…..this is just me.  All the art in the restaurant will be by me.

 

Ohhhh, you guys.

 

I’ve got 9 pieces (acrylic paintings) right now and have to figure out how to push out some more that are right now just vague outlines on lined paper.  I’m having a tough time, but I’ve always been good with deadlines.  I won’t lie though: I’m really nervous about this.  Mostly because I feel like people will be all …. “This? This is what you were making a big deal about? These paintings?”

Yes, that is my art.  Yes, those paintings are what I am making a big deal about, and crossing my fingers that maybe someone will even buy them.  I also am working on getting over the feeling that I don’t need to be the Amazon or Costco of paintings – what I have is what there is; I’ll make more, but I don’t have a huge inventory right now.

So here’s the flyer.  Yes, I made it in Paint right quick because that’s how I roll.  🙂  YES, you are welcome to stop by if you are in the San Diego area, June 24 (Sunday!) from 3pm-6pm.  The art will be up until August 6th, but June 24th is my little opening thing.  Oh man.  ….oh man!!!

 

My one hope right now – and it’s the next item on my list – is to get displayed in a gallery.  That goal will allow me to work my way up to meet the artist that truly inspires me.  After that, I’d like to get my work in Juxtapoz, and after that, I’d like for my work to sustain me enough that I can use it to actually get out of debt and start some serious saving.  Then I’d like to travel a bit – Transylvania, Ireland, Germany, Alaska, France, Spain, Fiji, New Zealand – and after that, open my own gallery or studio.

You’ll notice I didn’t say “I want to quit my job and just make art”, because that would mean my art would be forced into the forefront, forced into becoming my income.  That doesn’t sit well with me, and has seemed to not pan out before.  I don’t plan on quitting my job, it’s a nice stable job that enables me to do art on the side.  If it ever happens, then it happens, but I will never force it.

In any case, my very first hope/goal/wish/prayer is that my motivation doesn’t go away.  As much as I hate my moodswings, I wish I had more manic episodes so I could get more done.

If nothing else, can someone just find me a few extra hours in the day?

Just a Little Bit

I’ve been stuck in an art rut lately. This evening I finally finished a painting that I started back in February. Things just weren’t progressing; for those who make things, you know how projects suddenly slam up against a wall and the next step seems not only uncertain but impossible.

The majority of it was done, but the direction on how to finish it just wasn’t there for me. So he sat around for awhile, looking vague and flat.

After the evening’s standard ‘just-home-from-work-chatsplosion’ a few hours ago, I started messing around with a little stippling (Micron) and shading (pencil) out of boredom… and suddenly realized he was done.

It made me feel a little better.

I started recently thinking about getting a daily sketch journal, for those moments when the compulsion to create kicks in but is not accompanied by an actual thought of what (exactly) to create. A few clicks later ran me into this article on 5 tips for staying inspired. Not bad, nice little refresher.

4. Refresh Your Workspace.

Well… I moved my setup from the kitchen table back to my office desk. That seemed to help. Originally it got moved to the kitchen because it seemed like having the windows there would stimulate me to produce more, like …someone could see me sitting in the window, painting, and think “She’s making something! That’s cool!”, maybe in turn inspiring them to do something.

It didn’t work.

Maybe the angle was off? There’s plenty of light, but it seems that space is really only good for sketching, not so much for painting. After moving my crap back to its original space, it seems like that’s where it should be.

3. Develop A Creative Playlist.

Gorillaz (Gorillaz & Demon Days), Soul Coughing (El Oso), Gnarls Barkley (Crazy), and Beats Antique (Collide). Usually in that order.

Anyway, then Reel Big Fish’s cover of Hungry Like A Wolf came on my FAVORITE MUSIC CHOICE STATION (Classic Alternative, omg you guys!!), and everything was just fine. Ska FTW!