NEW Artwork: From Within Chaos

Here’s my mixed media digital abstract art I teased about last week. This is the last one for 2017 and it was not what I intended to make. The original version was much more “angry at the world”, but more on that in a bit….

“FROM WITHIN CHAOS” by Todd Tevlin © 2017
New Art: From Within Chaos

For a few years now I’ve experienced a spiritual drought. That painfully awkward silence from God where you feel like you’re flailing because you don’t know which direction to go. I admit I haven’t handled this well AT ALL, and more times than not I’ve screamed at God to include me on “the plan”, only to hear nothing in return.

That’s not to say I’m not on a path or have -some- direction, I get it. The end of 2009 is when He started me down the path of creating comics, which was the furthest thing from my mind to create. In 2015, He prompted me to teach a comic workshop to kids, but I ignored it, only to have it thrown back in my face when my son talked to his art teacher at school about what I do and she invited me to guest teach creating comics for all four classes of my son’s grade.

Ok God, I get it. Creating comics wasn’t on my mind, and teaching kids was DEFINITELY not on my radar. I’m being led down a path that I hadn’t planned or expected.

What I WAS planning and expecting, however, was to have a career creating/selling my non-comic related artwork and make a living at it. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do since I was a kid. I’ve been seriously attempting to make this dream a reality for ten years now, and only recently have I realized that that wasn’t part of “the plan” for me. Over the last few months I’ve reluctantly (ie: kicking and screaming) accepted this.

I’ve witnessed time and time again artist friends who effortlessly attract followers, have people buy their work without lifting a finger, be at the right place at the right time, have people champion for them, get interviewed, or give them simple “likes” on social media. Despite my best efforts, all I ever heard was crickets. There is nothing louder than the screams of silence, and over the years it wore me down. I couldn’t sell a $40 print to save my life. Creating art is one thing, but when you can’t get anyone to give a shit about what you do, it’s depressing.

Let me roll this back to FROM WITHIN CHAOS. As I said it was originally more of an angry send off, a fuck you to the world for not taking me seriously as an artist. I sat on this version for a week or two and came back to finish it up. As I played with it this time, it took a drastically different direction. When I create digital art, often it’s a process of discovery. Something clicks and I now see where it needs to go and I do it. That’s what happened here.

I ended up discarding all the REAL angry bits and reshaped others, causing the tone of the piece to shift. I believe there was a very subtle gentle nudge from God to take it this way. To show that from within the chaos, whether dealing with the world or inner demons, there’s room to grow into it and bring change to the surroundings.

If this truly is the last piece of mixed media digital abstract art that I create, then at least it ends on something more hopeful and not the bitter angry mess I originally started with. Now I just have to work on me, the equally bitter angry mess.

So the plan for now is I’m essentially falling back on what I know. I know I was meant to create comics, and to teach art to kids. That’s it. I doubt the comic thing will ever take off beyond a hobby, mainly because the Midwest where I live is a vast wasteland and there’s hardly any comic conventions that take place here. I really only have luck selling my comics at conventions, so I don’t expect online sales to suddenly start happening.

Teaching children’s art classes is more or less a full time (hours) part time (pay) job. It’s not enough to live on but it’s extra income when we need it. In the two years I’ve done this it’s slowly but surely gained traction, so I at least have that going for me.

Thanks for reading!
T

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