I do plan to revisit my art-driven posts in the future, as I already have some things sketched out. Things have been BUSY!! But I thought I would take time to talk about my shops, what my art means to me, and why I love the concept of combining the whimsical and the macabre.
The biggest fear I had when launching my brand, including the site and shop, was that it would fail, or be judged harshly. And we're still very early on, so that's very much a possibility, and that's also ok. Let's be honest, I'm no spring chicken. I'm also not some old fart that's been ready to hang up his hat (or "hats" because I have a lot of hats). Art + Music have been my ENTIRE life. I've been lucky enough to have done both as a career and to be involved heavily with Marketing, which also keeps me busy and happy.
Over the years I have spent an inordinate amount of time working to please a select group of people or trying to make sure I was accepted within a group of influence. I think a lot of us can relate to that, and we are almost always let down. Inevitably though, the person we're spending the most time with is ourselves, so I needed to actually "like" this person I was with all the time. The quest to find my best self, started by being ruthlessly honest with myself and trying my best to examine myself with brutal objectivity, which is still an ongoing process. Once I started this process, I began to discover I had things I wanted to share. Not necessarily opinions (though I do that often lol), but a point of view, a perception, and a dialogue with my world. I knew at the end of the day, I'd be happy I tried something. The voices of self-doubt can still be deafening, and I doubt they'll ever go away, but I jumped into keeping myself busy with artistic abandonment. Before I knew it, I was having the time of my life, and that's only in the last 7 months! I started to embrace ideas that my inner sabotaging self would try to negate. I began to believe in myself a bit more, and I looked ahead with optimistic potential. I am still finding it 100% true that the energy I feed is the energy I will produce, and keep it top of mind.
How does this lead to "Whimsy" and my obsession with Neon and Necro? It's not really that difficult for me to explain. I think there's nothing more important I can do than face the things I fear and stick my tongue out at them. Clearly, I love skeletons. I love skeletons because when everything is stripped away, that's what we all are. Combining them with my love of the colorful and silly is at the heart of my aesthetic.
The world is incredibly beautiful, but also very dark, and often REALLY STUPID. There are things to be taken seriously, for sure, but if we don't lighten up, we're not very fun to be around. And if life isn't fun, what's the point? That's the message of the majority of my original art. I'm incredibly flattered and frankly surprised that my shops and art have been as well received as they have, and it encourages me to move forward. I've also enjoyed helping friends and colleagues with their design/illustration needs and look forward to what the next year holds for Bradfordley. Remember, support art, support creativity, and challenge yourself to be your best self :D. Thanks for reading!