Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Untold story of my artwork.....


 I used to be an accomplished artist.  I completed the above picture the week my mother died.  If you notice, on the water tower, my mom's initial's are on it (MJB....Martha Jean Brame).  

  It took years to develop my style, I combined graffiti and anime to create my own stuff.  I initially used just pen and ink to create my work.  I later discovered that I enjoyed color, using watercolor pencils to create images.  I would draw paint off of the pencil with a brush and then apply it to the paper.  It helped me create tight lines.  Below are examples.  
Years ago, I went to Hardwire Tattoo (in downtown Wilmington, NC) to get some work done on me.  The place is on front street.  I was matched with a guy named Mike who was to do my work.  

Anyone who has ever had a tattoo done knows you spend some time with your artist.  It takes hours to get one done....you somewhat get to know them.  While getting my work done, I mentioned my artwork, which brought about a conversation about what I did.  I explained it and elaborated about my other projects (T-shirts, comic books, video, etc) and this particular artist stated that I should bring my work into Hardwire so he and everyone should see.   I sat with Mike for hours...in several locations to complete my tattoo...a tribal piece on my left arm....which was drawn by another guy (because Mike didn't know what to do or how to do it...) who longer associates themselves with this particular shop....that guy was awesome, btw....Jason!  Jason introduced me to honey infused whiskey one night.

Anyways, I had a catalog of artwork that I had created for years.  A lot of it was framed and matted.  Some of it was black and white ink work....a lot of it was watercolor stuff.  It took me years to create.  I can't even imagine how many hours it took me.  Hundreds maybe? 

 During this time, most of my artwork was in storage.  Admittedly, what I did artistically wasn't something you wanted to hang in your living room.  It had it's home....t-shirts, skate boards, etc....it was advanced street art.  I did not display it in my home.  It was in storage.  I did occasionally drag it out to show interested people....everyone liked it...even if they didn't, it was very good artistically.  My most successful experience as a commercial artist was creating a calendar which featured a ton of my black and white work. 

Again, while speaking with Mike about my work (and showing him examples on my phone.....technology!), he stressed I should show my work, maybe at Hardwire.  I agreed that it was just collecting dust.  I agreed to bring it up to the shop, Hardwire on Front Street, to show.  

I brought a tub of artwork up to the shop a little later.  Years of work in it, it was a giant plastic tub.  Mike was impressed and took some for his tattoo booth.  Later on, he admitted that he had my work hanging at his home.  I was happy, as an artist to have people see my work.

Shortly afterwards, I got married.  I was working a corporate job...working all the time.  

Inherited a step daughter.  One day, on a "daddy/daughter" trip, I took her to Hardwire.  While there, I stepped in to see Mike.  I asked about my artwork and he said he hadn't seen it.  He kept a few pieces (which he hung in his booth.....one was a George Bush picture with skulls) but the rest he hadn't seen.  He said, I believe, the shop owner took them and wanted to scan them to make flash work.  I was cool with this....seemed cool to have someone have a tat of my work as an inspiration.

Fuck me for not following up.  

Fast forward to a couple of years later and my marriage had ended.  My personal life had changed.  I never had time to follow up on my artwork as real life stuff had come up.  My job changed, my life changed, etc....my stored artwork wasn't my biggest concern.

Sidenote:  My ex wife and I (during this time) are still friends to this day.  

I can honestly say that my artwork wasn't a huge concern of mine.  It should have been but it wasn't.  

Around February of this year, I wandered into Port City Vapor.  Guess what I found?  My art work.  I find it ironic that the same guy who own Hardwire owns the same Vapor shop.  

When I went into this shop, I  discovered my artwork hanging everywhere but it was no longer in Hardwire but a Vape shop.  I took pictures.




I'm curious as to whom the artist to the above picture is....really, Justin?  

Regardless,  I spoke with the guys at the shop...all were helpful and agreed to to contact their boss, Justin.    It took a week or so but one day, while in the vape shop, I was able to make contact with Justin in regards to etting my artwork back.

The conversation went like this:

Him:  what
Me:  I appreciate you keeping my artwork but I'd like to get it back
Him:  I'm not sure what's going on with your life but get the fuck out of my shop.
Me: Hanging up

Apparently, Justin believes I'm a heroin addict who would suck a dick and give away everything for some kratom.  A.  Never been a heroin addict.  B. Never gave my artwork away.

Lesson learned.

Never loan your art...get a signed contact.

Possession is 9 tenths of the law.  They had possession of my art for a long period of time, there
forth, Justin owned it.  I never gave it away, just agreed to to show it.

Justin is a thief.  My art was stolen.  It's a shame you aren't creative enough to make your own income...you simply steal shit.  

Months later, someone I know went into the vape shop....the art was gone.  Who knows where it is now.  Regardless, it is stolen and lost.  
t street
All the above is true.  I never gave my artwork to Hardwire,  Justin or anyone else.  I paid cash for any tattoo I ever had done at the shop on front street.  If I had given up my artwork to a tattoo shop, I'd have a sleeve or two by now.  It was stolen.  




Friday, June 29, 2018

The backyard pond...








The above pictures were taken on June 17th...about 2 weeks ago.  I had just fixed a leak in one of my fish ponds after working my ass off at work.  I relined the big pond, filled it back up and moved my fish (some big gold fish I've had for years) back to their home.  I've had these fish for years....they have survived winters, hurricanes and hellishly hot summers.  They were not coy, just simple gold fish (big ones) I got from from Pet Supermarket.  Part of my daily ritual is to go out and feed them.  I just bought a big can of pellets for them 2 days ago.  It seemed as if every year, they would multiple by one....there were 5 big ones, 2 smaller ones and one smallest one.
 
Going back to the last month or so, I've experienced some losses.  I lost Pooka (the cat), whom I had to put to sleep on Memorial Day weekend (Monday to be exact).  Completely awful....had this wonderful cat for years, had him since he was a kitten and I had to put him down.  I held him as he 'went to sleep' and think of him daily. 

About 2 weeks ago, I came home to discover another one of my cats (I called him 'Rubber Legs'...a sweet orange cat whom had a mild leg deformity) dead under the deck steps.  I've had him since he was a kitten as well. 

I don't know what happened to either of them, both were sudden...both were heart breaking...both are buried underneath lantana in the backyard.

Today, after working more than 11 hours, I came home, changed clothes and went out to feed the fish. The fish were dead....floating on top of the water.  They survived winters and years of my care.  I am completely at a loss.  Maybe it's time to get out of Sunset Park.

Until next time,hopefully things will be better.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Wiping off the dust....

January 8th, 2012.  It's been roughly 6 years and 5 months since I've posted anything to this blog.  The internet still amazes me....the things you can find and discover, even about yourself.  Looking back at my last entry, I can't even begin to tell you about the journey I've been on and been thru.  Life moves very fast.  I started this blog in 2006...wow.  12 years ago, more than a decade.  Seems like ancient history now.  While briefly reading thru the comments on the posts, I see that spammers have invaded....I'll have to look into this....it's quite annoying.  Does anyone actually read these things anymore?  I guess it's all about content.  For those who really know me, they'll find this blog, at least, mildly interesting.  I've been meaning to come back to it for some time now though real life gets in the way at times.  I'm consistently disappointed by Facebook, don't see the point in Instagram or Twitter but I often feel the need to post something to the world.  It may be pictures of my cats, the backyard or some tangent.  This was always a good outlet for me....if someone reads this, they're actually interested in what I'm saying, not scrolling thru endless memes on Facebook.  Today, I'm somewhat motivated to dust the old blogger off and see what happens.