2015 – A Healthy Start

Wow, I cannot believe how long it has been since I took the opportunity to post on my blog here – I thought it had been a couple of months but now I realize it has been closer to 6!! To my loyal readers, I apologize and I will make a concerted effort to put a little more work into this small blog over the course of this year.

I had decided that I want to focus on getting a little bit healthier in 2015 and this would require putting a daily amount of effort into both exercise and being a lot more conscious about the food I eat. Most of my friends have bought themselves food processors for juicing or making smoothies and this is the ideal food to start off the day with. There is no limit to the combinations you can make ensuring you have a healthy, tasty and nutritious breakfast with minimal effort. I decided to go for the Breville which is a superior model in many different ways – as supported by the numerous happy customers that have taken the time to leave reviews on the popular shopping websites. I have even taken to juicing up super hard substances like nuts which are full of base metals which the body needs. You can take a look at the following video to understand the benefits of juicing a little bit more.

I have also been looking into getting more exercise and to this I have joined up with my local gym. Making sure I stick to the schedule is going to be the hard part as I tend to get a little bit lazy after awhile and look for (non existent) excuses as to why I can put it off until tomorrow. This type of thinking is fatal with gyms and you have to push through and make sure you get down there and just do it!

Lastly, I have spent a little bit of money and got myself a decent exercise bike – these days bikes are really expensive and you often find they can get up to ridiculous pricing like buying a car or something. I just bought an entry level model but it still ended up costing me a fortune so hopefully it does the job! There are a couple of local clubs I plan to check out to help keep me motivated and ensure I get to ride in different areas every couple of weeks to keep things interesting.

I will blog about my progress and try to post at least once every month or so to make things worth it. If you have any tips or inspiration then please send me a message via the contact form and I may just end up positing it.




Computer Games and Art Rolled into One?

Yeah, I guess the title may seem rather odd to many of you who read this but art enthusiasts that also enjoy a good old gaming session would have to agree that the talent and art behind some of the most popular of today’s games are almost mind blowing. I have seen some of the best fictional fantasy art in modern computer games, better than many of the professional books that were published in the 80’s or 90’s! You know the type of material I am talking about – scantily clad women that are half dressed and about to be killed/eaten or damaged in some way by a huge creator/alien!

I would also add on to that the many amazing landscapes that are included with some of the best games of today. Although many would take that type of thing for granted it is obviously been created by someone who painstakingly spent hours and hours turning ideas into a digital graphically designed world. That takes a lot of talent, let me tell you, as I struggle sometimes to come up with simple ideas for my artwork that is nowhere near as big a project as the design and implementation of an entire world within a game!

Manufacturers like Blizzard (responsible for Warcraft and Diablo) must have an army of these top level creative guys as the games are amazing in terms of ideas, visually as the sheer scale of what has been created. I don’t really consider myself a gamer but my kids spend much of their spare time at their computer gaming desks and this is where I often see the work these game creators have come up with. If you are a struggling young artist then this has to be one of the best ways to grab a little bit of inspiration! Take a look at some of the visuals from the latest version of Warcraft in the video below to get some ideas of what I am talking about!



With the popularity of games on the increase from modern c0nsoles and Apps for popular mobile devices this trend is set to explode with many more artists and designers taking up careers within the video game sector. So, if you are young and talented and not really sure in which direction to take your skills as an artist then this could possibly be the right field to consider looking into. I can only see massive growth and as a junior artist you may well get the chance to work with some of the best the industry has to offer!

Art and Legal

One of the problems many artists come across is ensuring they do not violate any copyrights or other similar work. Unless you are the type of artist that has an incredible mind the chances are you will have gleaned some of your ideas from others over the years. Combining many ideas into one is a viable option but recently I had someone willfully and purposefully copy some of my original work. Now comes the problem, what to do about it?

Justice Scale

To get some advice I contacted my local Hillcrest Attorney to see what my options were. In the end I decided to try and make contact with the person in question and see where that would take me. One of the issues that irritated me the most if that I had met the individual before and I am quite sure that is where he saw my work and he was using it commercially. Now, if someone copies my ideas for their own personal use then I wouldn’t get too upset but when it is used to make money then I have a serious issue.

In this particular case the artist was very embarrassed and apologized profusely. We agreed he would immediately withdraw the offending item and I would get some compensation. In a way he was a nice and guy and I sort of felt sorry for him but the point is he copied my work and I just cannot sit and do nothing. I did ask why but he really couldn’t give me a decent answer so I didn’t push it anymore.

This is a situation many creative people can expect to face at some point during their careers and it could have turned out a lot worse for me. I have seen other artists presented with similar problems in the past and they have ended up with lengthy legal battles – at the end of the day in most cases the only winner is the attorney!

So, if you are an aspiring artist make sure you create your own independent work and although it is ok to borrow elements from other artists you want to make sure you are creating something which is materially different or you just find yourself landing up in an expensive settlement.


How to Relax and Create Art

One of the best ways to relax and take away some stress is to paint (assuming you are an artist), forgot everything else going on and just get down to business. This is especially important if you are creative as you need to exercise those juices every now and then in order to keep yourself sane. Painting outdoors could be considered a form of sport in a way as you are out in the fresh air, enjoying nature and exercising your arms and legs as you paint and move around. If you are standing while painting then that increases the amount of calories you can burn off giving you a nice workout session as well as some outdoor time.

One way I have found to further enhance this experience is to pour yourself a decent glass of wine to help you relax and enjoy your painting time. If it is served chilled and has the added benefit of providing refreshment then you know that you will end up with a better picture. Some artists I know even suggest having a “few” glasses to ensure they totally relax as well as loosen up a bit to end up with a better results. I must admit I tried this and the results were less than impressive! Either way, having one or two really does help and a relaxed painter often ends up with a better painting!

Eating a balanced diet is equally as important as the mind needs vitamins and nutrients to function optimally. Painting at any sort of professional level requires a lot of mental focus and this becomes harder the unhealthier you are. Working out can really help get the blood pumping and sitting down to paint after a good workout often produces surprising results. This really goes for most things in life when it comes to performance and success, the healthier the mind the easier it becomes! Improving your mental ability and focus should be a prime concern for all aspiring artists.

This is where my blog becomes interesting, playing a sport can do wonders for the mind and my personal favorite happens to be golf. I find I do my best work after a round of 18 holes and although I am often tired I also feel alive. For some reason the endorphin created during sports can make such a difference with my creativity and if you haven’t ever tried this then I challenge you to do so. Perhaps your sport of choice might just be running or playing tennis, it really doesn’t matter – the point is to get out there and do it! Check out this article to read more about the improvement you can achieve through exercise. Often choosing art for a living can lead to depressive behavior as you might find yourself spending a lot of time on your own while you paint. This can lead to strange behavior, mood swings and even full blown depression in some people. Exercise is a great way to combat this and ensures your body and mind stay healthy and at peak performance. If you tend to be lazy then perhaps 2014 is the time to make some serious lifestyle changes!

As with any profession it is really important to strike a balance between work, life and health and often you may find yourself working long hours to get things done. Although this often cannot be avoided it is really important that you try and make an effort to balance these things. Often, long hours lead to burn out and mistakes in work which ends up being a waste of time anyway. Work and the balance cannot be understated and you will find yourself happier, more productive and in a better place. Your family will also appreciate you spending more time on these things which may just lead to a much happier home life as well.



Golf is a Sport?

Most people I know do not consider golf to be a sport in the traditional sense as it is slow and does not really help you get your heart rate going! I guess they are correct most of the time but the one major advantage of playing golf is the mental improvement you will achieve if you make any progress. Golf is around 80% mental and is a wonderful game for growing your mental ability as those who lose focus or are easily distracted will have a much harder time playing the game. Most golf courses are around 4 miles long so you will get some exercise and fresh air in the form of a brisk walk! If you decide to play golf then try to avoid using a cart as this really defeats the object!

Building your mental focus is important for many different things you will attempt in life and as an artist it is important to keep your mind sharp. You can read up here on some mental game tips to help with your game. As mentioned in the above post a player like Tiger Woods is the greatest example of mental focus, you can see it every time he is out on the course. He calls it “being in the zone” in his own words! The best example of this is when he makes a mistake, instead of getting cross and distracted like many amateurs he forgets about it and moves on to the next challenge.

Playing a decent game of golf can be time consuming and if you struggle for time then it is recommended to get yourself a golf simulator for swing practice which allows you work on your game while you are at home. This cuts down on the time you need and often provides a welcome rest from working in your art studio! These gadgets are simply amazing these days in the practice you can get as well as the graphics realness. You can check them out through the link above.

Although Golf may not be the sport for you it is certainly worth thinking about as it not only helps keep the body healthy but helps to make the mind stronger. All artists should realize how important that it is to keep the ideas and creativity flowing otherwise you might just find yourself becoming stagnant.

One thing to note, Golf is not an easy sport to learn and if you want to play a decent game then you will have to put in a fair amount of effort – don’t be like many people who loose interest when they find it hard. Stick with it and when you break through you will find a real sense of achievement.



Sport, Health and Art Rolled into One!

This blog has an unlikely subject matter but I feel that sport and art can come together to produce some amazing things. Health fits in as it is required in both, you can’t really be any good at sport if you are not healthy and art comes from a healthy mind, body and spirit. This can be further proven by the solid fact that most sports people are healthy and artistic in the sense that unhealthy people do not normally make it as professional sportsmen.

Thoughts on Sport

These days being any good at sport is an art form, lets take Tiger Woods for example, he is the best golfer in the world and not many would argue that his golf swing represents art. It is strong, well executed and he is able to repeat it time and time again. Most good sportsman have healthy bodies and minds that allow them to excel and build a consistency in their game. Catching Tigers back-swing on camera is always an amazing site as it just screams of raw power.

Wrestling also comes to mind as the participants are all perfectly toned and super fit. Overweight and unhealthy wrestlers are to be found in China though, I am sure you have seen the pictures of those fat men with massive breasts! Different cultures look for different things but in the western world we strive for perfect bodies through diet and intense exercise. In fact, we are so addicted to viewing the perfect human body that we have lost site of anything but perfection.

The Olympics also comes to mind as a another example of perfection with participants from all over the world who strive for perfection. These competitors all look perfect in their bodies, mind and mental determination. Going for gold is what it is all about. Many of the younger entrants have spend most of the young lives training for the moment they compete, often professional athletes started when they were 4 or 5!


Health Should be Your Most Important Focus

Keeping your body health should be the most important factor for all of us, especially if we want to live long and healthy lives. Time is often our enemy as we eat many bad and processed foods due too time constraints. Sitting in the kitchen after a stressful workday is nobody’s idea of fun. It is much easier to slam a pizza in the oven and that’s that! It is important to try and change habits and start to worry about the foods you are eating, Food is like art in the way it needs thought into its creation. Many foods are so full of harmful chemicals it is like playing Russian roulette with your life. Often these problems will only come back to harm you later on in life. Just as you worry about your physique you should also worry about what you eat. Working out is also vitally important to avoid many problems like heart attacks and strokes and it can be quite simple if you set up a schedule. A quick workout here and there is all that is needed to keep the body and the mind healthy.

Many artist I know spend their time working on their art and ignore the simple basics of healthy mind equals better productivity. No matter how important you think your art is you must make time to look after your mind and soul. You will see the difference in your work and let me tell you – it is well worth it!

Where does Art Fit in?

So you may be wondering how all this fits together and how these topics come together. In order to be an artist you have to have a healthy mind as well and that often comes from feeling good about yourself. It is hard to feel good about yourself if you are unhealthy, overweight and live a bad lifestyle. The best art comes from the sharpest of minds and that can only be accomplished through the topics mentioned above. I often look at a healthy professional athlete and view their body and attitude as an art form. It really does take everything you have to fit into this category and ongoing hard work.

This short video talks about some simple ideas in the world of sport and art.

The ideas presented here will become clearer over the coming weeks as I blog about how all these things should be molded into one in the name of modern art. Although this is a difficult topic and many people will not be able to follow along I think those that understand the concept will enjoy this blog.