Posted by Gregory Johnson on

I don't create art to make money. In a perfect world, (at least MY world), my work would generate skads of moola, while at the same time allowing me to do precisely what I want to do. But this ain't a perfect world, so given a choice, I'll take the latter.

There's something about the creative process that's hard to describe, especially if you're not the creative type. It can best be described as a sort of food for the soul. A part of me is compelled to express the inexpressible, that wordless place deep within that doesn't normally bubble to the surface expect during REM sleep. The place of dreams and unformed ideas, not polluted by a slow and cumbersome intellect weighed down with words, conditioning, and preconceived notions. When I find myself staring at a blank white plane, I realize that I was propelled somehow to confront that empty space, and to fill it. What happens next is always a mystery, even when I have some plan in mind. It never conforms to what I "thought" it would look like. After over forty years doing this, I cannot think of a single time that it did.

As some of you may know, if you've read my blogs, (God bless ye), it's only recently that I have decided to share my work with the public. I am, as I believe many artists are, racked by doubts. I will be having my first solo show in February at Stella's Gallery in Willoughby, Ohio, (You should visit this gallery by the way, if you're the least bit interested in art- not mine as much as the wealth of artists it represents), and the constant doubts are my daily alarm clock. Am I really a legit artist? Are the works I'm presenting worthy? On and on and on. I believe for most of us this mindset goes with the territory, especially for those who are interested in stretching boundaries, which I am. It's a risk, and I get that, but it's kind of like that feeling when you walk carefully up to a cliff's edge, and peer down.

A couple of things have happened to lighten this, I'll admit, self-induced dread. That is, connecting with an audience, albeit a small one. I've had great feedback from people who have viewed my work in some recent shows. Someone I DON'T KNOW PERSONALLY bought a couple of prints from my website. And last but not least, I sold one of my originals, (pictured; titled "Crown"), which is one of two featured in a show at Stella's called "Oddball Art", which is a perfect name for most of what I do. Now, I've been a free-lance illustrator for many years, and selling work is not new to me, but selling work that is truly MINE, without filters or constrained by customer specs, is. I have given away many of my drawings over the years, but it's a different thing entirely when one of my pieces is purchased by a stranger with their hard-earned money.

This of course leads me to the title of this blog: "Connecting". The only reason I ever created these works was to serve the inner muse, which would never leave me alone, and still pesters me, thank God. But all of them went immediately to "Greg's Gallery" to be admired and  pondered by only one patron, hidden safely in my portfolio and shared only with those I trusted, which were a precious few. As I have said in previous blogs, I just wasn't ready. It slowly became apparent to me that the time was coming to start showing my work to a wider audience. I realize that it just wasn't the time back then, but it is now. I'm ready...more or less.

The ultimate reason for art is to communicate at a different level; all creative endeavors have this in mind. How can we speak to each other's souls? It was a watershed moment to sell those couple prints. It was another when I sold that original. My ultimate goal is to connect with you. And if not you, then that other person of like mind who said "I want that, it speaks to me". Soul to Soul.

Now, how about that alarm clock? The show will be sixteen illustrations of the twelve human archetypes plus the four archetypes of the personality as described by Carl Jung. The style of these works will be... different. Not unrecognizable but rendered in an unusual way, almost cartoon-like. I took some liberties and some chances with technique. Why the hell not? I can't find it within myself to play it too safe. Not outside the box, but playing along the edges of a white plane, so to speak.

Wish me luck, go to Stella's just for fun, and maybe I'll see you at the opening as I approach the cliff's edge. We'll then have a chance to connect, my soul to yours.


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