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Thursday, July 31, 2014

"Sketch of the night" by YOU!! Thank you! Our first Interactive sketch!

Hello everyone!
Last night I tried something a bit different with my sketch of the night and I thought it went pretty well…..
As most of you know, a majority of my people sketches have no faces. I like to let the gestures of the people show the emotion. Most of the time, they are attached to a Lee DeWyze song lyric. In these cases, most people take it all the same way…with the occasional difference of opinion with how one person takes the song as apposed to another. What about the non song related sketches? Sometimes I will be going through some of my own personal thoughts or emotion, sketch it, post it… then am fascinated by how people see it. Sometimes it’s right on point, sometimes I’m like “Really? That’s how they take this?” Which brings me to last night’s sketch…. The first of what I hope to be many …. An Interactive Sketch!!!! What is this you ask?
Well, I’ve had a lot of things on my mind….and the below sketch is what portrayed that. (I am not going to tell you WHY I drew what I did…) It was not based on a song… it was just how I felt at the time.  I decided to put it out there and let YOU caption it!

I posted this picture on the Face book page, Twitter and Instagram asking you all to caption this picture! I got LOTS of replies from all 3, mostly in message forms… I guess they were secret, lol. Anyway, I made a thought bubble for everyone’s reply. Some people were pretty darn close, some were silly and some were just simple and light hearted ranging from sadness & loneliness to playing hide and go seek! The final product is below…

….even though a lot of the things were not on my mind (haha)... the end product looked very much like my mind… jumbled and full of EVERYTHING….. I thought it ended up looking pretty awesome. I hope to do more of these in the future… so if anyone has any ideas, let me know!!!!!!!!  Thank you to all of you that participated!
As an extra bonus, I had a visual for "Silver Lining" because it was in my head... So here ya go :-) 

Have a good day everyone!!!! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Supporting what you love and Familee Connections.

*a sample of my latest sketches 

Hi everyone! 
So, I have a question for you all: 

How do you support what you love? Why do you love it?

*Obviously I love my family, they love bikes so I travel with them to watch them race every weekend.

* I love music, in particular, I love the music, lyrics and voice of Lee DeWyze. This is not shocker, as I'm sure you know this by now.

You know that his hauntingly beautiful & raw voice and amazing lyrics inspire me to create art. I do it because I love it, because I feel it, but I also do it in hopes that it helps promote Lee & his music. My ultimate goal really is for people not familiar with the music to see the art, read that it's 100% inspired by Lee's music, lyrics, voice and just him as a person and wonder, "who is this? He has to be amazing to make someone feel that way…I'm gonna check it out" (at which time they are completely enthralled and amazed by him as I am…. Swishhhhh..nothing but net, goal achieved, a new fan has been born) and trust me, I'm not the only one that feels this way, there is an army of Lee fans out there and we definitely fight for what we believe in... Lee DeWyze. 

This brings me to the definition of Fandom:The term “fandom” is used to refer to the collective fans of something such as a sport, hobby, musician, or series of books. Typically, the members of a fandom feel interconnected by their common interest, and a fandom can often be a subculture as well. Only the most devoted fans are included in a fandom, separating them from people who may only casually enjoy the thing in question.

Then there is the FamiLee…the collective of Lee DeWyze fans, who are in a category all of our own. We not only support Lee, we support each other. I will admit, I was one of those people that thought the whole idea of a fandom was cheesy and over the top. That was until I met this very special group of people that have become a familee for real. I care about these people. We care about each other as people, not JUST Lee fans. There is not enough web space for me to go into everyone I've come to love dearly in our FamiLee…but you all know who you are and I adore you all!

Ok, I got off track for a minute there….the reason for this post is Supporting what you love. One of the people I have met through this whole FamiLee thang, has been Mare. You all know Mare, she co-wrote the visual album review of Lee's "Frames" album. Brilliant writer and had come to be one of my favorite peeps. 

She is a fan of my work outside of associating it with the music. A couple weeks ago, Mare e-mailed me asking if it was ok to send out some letters about how art can help promote music. I was beyond flattered. I mean, I'll admit ...when I read what she writes I'm all  like, "that's about my work?!?! People really think it's THAT good?!?!" 

Anyway, I read her "letter" and was wowed. A shocked state of awe.... 

In this post, she is going to share this idea with you because it opens our eyes to another way of promoting and spreading the word. So I am going to pass it on to Mare to explain this to you in only a way she can!!!!!! :-)

Hey there!! It’s been awhile on here, but I’m never not inspired and I’m always writing :) As Jenn explained above, I feel like fandoms exist to support those who’ve made you feel something, inspired you, opened up a world for you.... and they also exist to create connections. Connections with others that view things in a similar way, and even more importantly.... people who open you up to new ideas or an alternative way of seeing things. When we are really lucky, some basic connections turn into life-long support, belief and friendship. 

I was up one night, looking at Jenn’s art, listening to music, reminiscing and wondering what I could do to spread the word of two amazing talents. Something you may or may not know.... when I believe in and support something or someone(s).... I do it full on. I want other people to recognize, see and feel the amazingness that I do.... I want to connect more people.

After asking Jenn if it was ok with her to talk about the art with the music, I decided to draft a letter to send out to multiple and diverse media sites. Last week, I sent those out to about 25 different people, in the hopes of just bringing attention to how art and music can relate, and how much I believe in both of these people. As much as I focused on Jenn’s art and Lee’s music, I also focused on the bigger picture....story ideas and connecting with a diverse group of people. Here’s some of what I said:

“What if music wasn’t limited to the ears? What if you could SEE music, get the feel for a song based on a visual representation first.... Vibes, instruments, voice, lyrics.... Told in a picture, a snapshot of the artists mind? Can art tell the story of a song, joining together to create something new, while bringing exposure to those limited by todays radio politics and bias? YES! And it’s becoming more popular!

Two similar but different communities are being brought together, reaching a broader scope of people. Using a different avenue, people are being inspired by music to create art, and musicians are benefitting from it. Inspiration of music for art is reaching charities, raising awareness, and all the while, gaining both the musician and artists new fans that otherwise would not have known about their work.

In July of last year I was inspired by a new song so much that I asked a friend of mine if she could paint what visually went through my head upon seeing the song performed live. This single collaboration led to a whole album review based on her art and my interpretation of both the art and music and how they just FIT. The art by Jenn M. Harding was solely inspired by the music and lyrics of singer/songwriter Lee DeWyze and his August 2013 release of the album “Frames”. The initial inspiration for this was a song of Lee’s titled “The Ride” and can be seen here:http://www.jennmhardingart.blogspot.com/2013_07_01_archive.html .The beginning of the visual art album review for “Frames”  can be seen here:http://www.jennmhardingart.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-visual-album-review-lee-dewyze-track.html  . We did this for ourselves because we were so inspired by the music. Each track on the album has its own art and story, made into a separate post. 

I have become excited about the prospect of art and music coming together, inspiring others, reaching new fans in an unconventional way, and that the idea of is growing and gaining popularity. What an amazing way to involve others, grow the arts as a whole, spread the message about new ideas and open the minds of the public. A visual artist inspired by listening to the lyrics and notes of a musician, and combining that to create a story and reach more people.... to teach people about music in a new way..... that doesn’t involve the typical avenue of promotion and politics in this day and age? I think it’s brilliant and needs to be explored.

The talent of Lee DeWyze and Jenn Harding inspired me to write.... to tell a story and attempt to have people relate to and hear the music in a way they hadn’t thought of, to art they didn’t see the meaning behind and understand, and maybe together.... to bring two talents to the public, where they wouldn’t have noticed before and would be given a try. Imagine if all circles of inspiration could find all of us new music, new art, new ways of seeing the world? “

It’s only been a week, so we will see what happens. Maybe someone will find a story idea from what I wrote, maybe someone will check out the music and the art and become a fan, maybe someone will be inspired to create their own art or music, and maybe.... a new connection will be made. One of lifelong support, belief and if we’re lucky..... friendship. 


Ok, I'm back!!! Isn't that awesome?!?! I've read the same article she is referring to in this and was equally amazed & inspired it! I mean wow, people that do what I do! It really is genius ya know... To get other fans from different avenues to cross the road & become a fan of what you love to. Isn't this why social media and all these magazines exist?!?! Think about it. I'd be very appreciative of you'd share this blog post any way you can, help people see this... All different kinds! 

Thank you for reading, this was a long one (wink)


Monday, July 14, 2014

To the point : Lee DeWyze inspired art broken down by you....

Hello Everyone! As promised this post is dedicated to answering your questions. I often get questions via private messages or e-mail from some of you after I post something, so I decided to answer them all out in the open, so everyone can read them. I had some really great questions, and was going to only pick 10, but there were more than 10 that I thought would help everyone really get a glimpse into what I am doing here………..ready? ………….
From Marcus N.
Q. When did you realize you were good at art?
A. When I was in 3rd grade, I did a crayon picture of 3 clowns and it was chosen to hang up in the lobby of the school administration building for a month.  My grandparents noticed and would always make sure I was drawing something whether it be copying a greeting card scene my grandmother liked, buying me learning to draw books and stuff like that.
From Khloe G.
Q. What type of lyrics inspire you the most?
A. I do not have a specific type of lyric that inspires me more than others…it's more of the lyrics and voice as a whole. That's where it gets hard to explain because obviously, there are soooo many talented songwriters in the world and the history of music…. Ones that have been inducted into the hall of fame, started revolutions… but you know what?..... No other songwriter has had this affect on me… I love other music…there are other non Lee songs that make me happy when I hear them…. But they do not speak to me…so that is a hard question because I do not even know the answer honestly….
From Melissa W.
Q. When you are listening to music do you get images in your minds eye?
A. Yes, when I am listening to the music images come to my mind almost like it’s illustrating whatever story the song is telling. Most of the time it happens while listening, but there have been more than a few times where they would come out of nowhere, like when I’m laying in bed or working.
From Sabrina:
Q. Favorite media?
A. Hmmm, I guess it would be acrylic since that is what I primarily use. However my paintings fall under”Mixed media” since I use several other things to create textures & patterns. If I had to pick a favorite out of those, it would defiantly be Distressing Ink and paint crackle. (To be specific, Tim Holtz products)
Q. How do you get your creative juices flowing when you hit a block?
A. Well since I get my inspiration from the music which is rarely not playing in my ears…I do not encounter that many creative blocks to be honest. When I have, it was more from self doubt and not being able to find the time….so I step back and wait for it to come back.  Another reason I do not get “blocked” is because it’s not like I do this for a living or HAVE to continuously paint. I do it when it comes to me and I FEEL it…. that makes it different if that make any sense.
Q. What does it mean to embrace life as a creative person?
A. It has come to be extremely important to me. As I have mentioned in previous posts, although I could draw, I didn’t unless people asked- or I was just re-creating something I happened to like. It was just something that I had the ability to do and that was that. However now…it has made me finally feel like me. I am actually CREATING something and connecting to something because I want to, I feel connected to it…not because I am trying to please anyone else. I’ve never been good at doing things for me. Now I do and it feels amazing….
From Natalie P.  
Q. Have you ever heard a song 2 different ways or many ways and had two different pictures in your head? (Acoustic vs. studio vs. live) And how do you decide which one to paint?
A. Yes!!!! All the time. If you look back through past sketches, you’ll see I have a few different visuals for the same lyric.  Most of the ones I do are coming from me listening to the live recordings because they should the most passion. Those are the ones that win for me. Also, it depends on my mood at that time because ANYONE, no matter how much you listen to a song…. Will hear that song however it relates to them at that moment.  I don’t really have to think about which ones I will use… I do the one that keeps coming back to me. I go with my gut….
From Noelle A.
Q. What is your favorite piece of yours? Is there one that’s a personal favorite and one that you think speaks to the music the most?
A. I have two personal  favorites: first is for the song “Silver Lining”
2nd “maker of music”
and I will tell you why…one night I could not sleep, you know, cause my brain never stops… but this time I just had the urge to paint Lee playing the guitar. It was 2am and I could not stop thinking about it…I knew the colors I wanted to use, the textures….everything. I actually got up, went downstairs and sketched out my idea, writing down notes so I would not forget. The next morning when I woke up Lee had Tweeted, “It’s 2am, I am up and writing a song” … how amazingly weird is that? And normally I will have my idea planned out and it will change several times before I am done. This one came out EXACTLY the way I pictured it the night before. That is the one I think speaks to the music the best…it’s not a specific way I see the song... it’s just him doing what he does best…making music.
From Barry W.
  Q. What do you think is the best way to spread the word about music and art? How do you think it helps each artist by combining the two?
A. I think the best way is doing exactly what I am doing because it creates a larger fan base for both. You have other visual artists, friends and family that will see my stuff and ask about it as you are, want to know “who is this Lee DeWyze?” “Why is he so special?”…it’s going to make them go check out his music which is why I do it. I mean, seriously… wouldn’t you be curious? For someone to be this passionate about his music and put that much work into…It has to be amazing…
On the other side, other Lee fans see the art…they relate because they get the music to, they spread the word and then more people see and like my work….
From Erika L.
Q. Which speaks to you first more often? Music or lyrics? Can you listen to just a melody and create a picture without words?
A. The lyrics. I am 100% a lyrical person. It is the words that speak to me. Song writers fascinate me, they are the ultimate story tellers. Haha honestly, I NEED lyrics…sometimes I get anxiety when listening to instrumental because I am waiting for the lyrics….  Think about it as a really good hug… The lyrics are like “the embrace”- feeling the arms around you, physically…. The words could affect you in a soft, caring way... or with more passion, holding you longer than a hello hug …where  the melody/ music for me would be like… if that person smells really good. It adds a level of comfort or excitement….triggering other senses creating different emotions.   Ya know?
From Peter ( Lead singer of When Karma was King)
Q. When hired by an artist to create album artwork, what is your first step in this process? Meeting with artist? Listening to the material?
A. the first step would to obviously listen to the music, then get to know the artist. That way you’d get a feel for their vibe…what makes THEM tick.  I think its obvious looking at an album cover if they just had any talented artist create something cool for them, as opposed to seeing something that was well thought out based on the music.
 Ps: Pete is also a singer/songwriter and a longtime friend, so check them out also if you get a chance. http://www.whenkarmawasking.net/mobile/about.html

12) From A.M.
Q. Do you sell your work? Where can I get a copy?
A. No, I currently do not sell my work. I do this out if the need to create and I just do not feel it would be right “profit” off of someone else’s talent. I mean, yes, I am creating the art…but if it weren’t for Lee’s music, there would be no paintings and in a way they are just as much his as they are mine. Maybe someday I will sell prints, but as of now I only have the originals and they are extremely special to me and could not imagine handling them over to anyone for any amount of money…Unless Lee himself wanted them and they would be gifted. Lee actually does have two of them. 
Maybe in the future… we will see….

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Some things you may not know about me...

Hello Everyone!
I just started my 2nd sketchbook of 2014 and was thinking I want keep you more in the loop because I plan on doing a lot more with this one.  A lot more Lee inspired ones…..Especially if we start hearing some new music soon.

I decided to make this post about me …Why you ask? Maybe if you get to know “me” better, you’ll have a better insight as to what it takes to inspire me and why I choose the images I do for my paintings and sketches…  Let’s start with some things you DO know:
  • My husband & son ride bikes. Like, all the time…. So if I am not sketching, I am on the road for races (BMX, Mountain bike & Cyclocross) we basically live the life of rock stars on the road. Busy Busy Busy... But I love them with all my heart and that is what we do. This is why I have not done a painting in a while…it’s easier just to pack my sketch book and take it with. I do miss painting though, so hopefully I get more time for that soon.
  • I was raised by my grandmother. (But did you know that I miss her so much that when I hear Miranda Lambert’s “The House that built me” I pretty much retreat to myself in order not to have a total melt down? That song is my life…and Owen’s summer camp is right across the street to that house, so I see it everyday and just wish I could go inside to see what they’ve done to it.
  • 99.9% of my art work is inspired by the music & lyrics of Lee DeWyze, I can not stress enough though that before Lee, I have never been INSPIRED to create, didn’t even know what being inspired felt like.  I mean, outside of the occasional warm fuzzy tingles you get while listening to some main character’s inspiring speech in a movie…. Nada…. How crazy is that? I never sit down and TRY to think of what I am going to draw for certain lyrics. They always come into my head at random times. I can be super busy at work listening to music while I’m typing away and an idea will come to me so quick I have to stop what I am doing and write it down. (at any time you will find me with lots of post it notes with descriptions, ideas and doodles on it so I do not forget)  Nothing has ever flowed that naturally for me… like, ever…. I have had a few “almost inspired” moments though… One of my all time favorite visual artists is Francesco Clemente. He is an Italian artist that did all the art work for the movie “Great Expectations”.  In the movie, they want you to think Ethan Hawke did them, lol, I promise you he did not. When you initially look at his work… it looks messy and makes you almost think “well I can do that”… but there is just something about them that I love. For as simple as they are… there is soul in there…. The eyes are not detailed at all… but can SEE into them… I love that. I guess you can say that movie inspired me a little bit because whenever I watch it, I’d get the urge to draw… but I never would follow through because I didn’t know WHAT I wanted to draw. ….
  • I’m obsessed with scary movies! All kinds! There are very few that can “scare” me. I do have a special place in my heart for Cheesy “B” movies…. The tackier the better in my opinion. However, I do not like Alien movies (with the exception of “Alien”) …
Now, I’m going to share some things about me that you probably do not know. However I won’t tell you everything…Heck, I myself don’t even know…. I learn something new about myself everyday lately. …
10 Jenn-isms…..
  1. I will not embark on any road trip no matter how short, without a play list made special for that particular trip. Everyone that has been in a car with me knows this. And I ALWAYS randomly throw in a fun/ cheesy song in there to make people laugh.
  2. I am deathly afraid of natural disasters. Seriously, I could be chased by a serial killer and not be nearly as afraid as if I was in a tiny earthquake… Any where I am, you can be sure I already thought of where to go if there was an emergency. Lol (for real) …
  3. Growing up I was a swimmer and soft ball player. I LOVE the water and I LOVE baseball….
  4. My favorite job ever was a lifeguard and pool manager. I loved everything about it… even having to clean the nasty filter baskets.
  5. I can accurately recite every single line to every character in all of the SCREAM movies. …
  6. I can impersonate  Forrest Gump perfectly
  7. My favorite band, before Lee came along was LIVE. (however anyone that knows me at all knew this already)
  8. I skipped 5th grade
  9. When I was 6, my mom pretty much traumatized me with a werewolf mask and the movie American werewolf in London (probably while movies do not scare me) Anyway, a week later  my hamster bit me on my pinky and I was convinced it was going to turn me into a werewolf …
  10. The ONLY TWO scary movie people  that have EVER successfully scared me are:
  • Zelda- The sister from “Pet cemetery”
  • The girl with no mouth in the Twilight zone movie 
 .....scary as hell, right?! 

Well, that's all for now...I have a couple more posts coming up as I get back into my groove, so check back soon!