Its been a little over a year since packing up, leaving Columbus Ohio, and heading down the road. Tonight we are at Big Bear Lake, in California. Today was nerve-racking for me. The Winnie had to climb 7,000 ft pretty much strieght up, but we made it and if everything goes to plan we plan to stay here for a few months. Its beautiful here, tha air is crisp and smells of pine, the trees are huge and green; I think I am gonna really like it here.
Okay so I totally rambled on and didnt get to my current update, so here is me rambeling on a video about what Im up to now.
So I thought I might show you the Winnie, and tell you how she became home.
I was living in Columbus Ohio, traveling up and down the east coast doing the festival circuit, showing my work in both big cities and little no where towns… I did that for 5 years, and was in nearly everystate in the east except for Maine… It began like a new adventure, I had recently closed RW2 Gallery, my little gallery I had in Columbus after only a year. It was great, but a ton of work for nearly no pay. I decided to take my work on line. At the time I didnt really even know how to use the computer, I had just got my first a gift from my mom, and I was really only using it to download free music. Through the gallery I had made some new friends though, one of which new the basics of website design, so we struck up a deal- I would do a painting of her in my style and she would build me a website and teach me the basics of updating it on my own. I thought of a few different website names, but then decided RW2Gallery.com was right, because at the time I was basically just gonna take my gallery and move it online. Having the gallery I had learned a thing or two about getting the word out- a few of the things I did that worked well were.
Air brush models to walk up to the busy section of gallery hop and get the people to walk down the 5 city blocks to my section of town where the rent was cheap and I could afford it (how I did that is a whole nother story;) It worked! On gallery hop there were times I had a line out the door to come see my work, and I still get emails from time to time from people that expierenced my gallery. Most of the models I airbrushed show cased there tallent in the theme of the show I was having… When I showed The Jaguars I had a girl from the Phillopenes that I painted gold do a dance with candles to the music that fit the painting. I also had a dragqueen that was painted blue (got the idea from the movie The 5th Element) do a song. For the show where I showed my Night Life painting we blacked out all the windows and lit the entire gallery with strobe lights, I had the models from the painting walking around columbus in full Zombie atire ofcourse!
Another idea that worked. Like I said I was downloading new music, expanding my hirizons, finding obscure songs from people I had never heard of. Well, for me music and painting go hand and hand, and I like to listen to certian types of music while I work on different kinds of paintings. So what I did was, I would make playlist that fit the theme of the work we would be showing that month and print off a lable that had one of my featured paintings and the gallerys address, I got white paper sleeves with a clear window so you could see the art and address on the cd and had my models hand them out free! Some peope might have not walked the 5 blocks that time, but if most liked the music, they would stop down to see it next month. My gallery became known for the free music that was not the norm, just like the art I showed. I would hand out 50-100 cds with my current painting playlist on them each month and they went fast, which is why many started visiting my gallery first and then walking the five blocks to the other galleries.
Last but certianly not at all least was my lighters for Columbus’s Commfest festival. I think this is one of my best ideas, as it made me money, and made people really familliar with my work. I did my lighters for years, the last two years it wasnt me out there, but friends looking to make some cash, while selling my buisness card!!!! Im a smot poker;) and so I have lighters around, anyone that smokes knows how lighters travel through different owners… so with that I decided to have stickers made that wrapped around lighters. I had a painting on one side and on the other I had the name of the painting my gallery’s addy and my name; after I had my website, I put that on them in place of my galleries address. Commfest is a HUGE festival about music and community, where everyone brings out thier inner-hippie. Groups of folks would be listening to music on a cumunal blanket and if I saw a pach of cigerettes or even better smelled marijauna I would walk up kneel down on thier blanket give’m a killer smile, drop my handful of lighters (they had 5 choices) and say “Hey guys, Im a local artist and Im trying to get my work out, Ive got these lighters with my art on them for a buck each… care to support the arts?” I know, how could anyone resit that…Many non-smokers bought them for the art. I would make at least 700.00 bucks during commfest, and get my art on something people woul use dayly. It gained me and my work alot of noteriety. Once I was sitting at a bar and I noticed the bartenders talking about me, and pointing. Finally one walked up and said, “Your Robert Walker, I have your Newly Awakened Lighter, its my favorite,” then he pulled out a well used lighter and showed it to me… It felt amazing, it was a simple little thing, but it was really something to have a stranger now my name, and the name of my paintng.
Ok, back to my website, my fist website was cool, but simple, and once it finally was up and running it was only a matter of days before I was trying to add pages, and make it more mine. Needless to say, I ran into a few problems, I remember once I did something that made it so you could only go to the fisrt page; at the time I thought I had lost the whole thing, that all that work was gone! However, websites dont work that way, if you mess something up, its usually easy to fix. I had lots of big ideas, and eventually I biult my own website the way I wanted it… and now as you can see after years of my old labor of love I have changed over to have my wordpress site so I can blog. Websites are an extenssion of who you are, and we are always changing.
I began putting my art on all kinds of websites, any art website that was free, I would put my art on there and link to my personal website, here are a few of the websites you can find me on.