Scared of Salad: Year One. 1st Birthday Post!
I cannot believe it. Today is the 1st anniversary of Scared of Salad! I haven’t even finished the third sentence and I am already getting a little teary-eyed with enormous pride. A lot has happened over the last year and it all started with this dumb little doodle, inspired by a bagel that I thought looked like Mick Jagger.
That was the beginning of it all. A random bagel moment. I created SoS at a time when I needed a personal creative outlet very badly. I own a small Graphic and UI Design shop in Raleigh, NC and was battling some pretty difficult times with life, health and business. I had stopped making Art for many years and was burned out, almost to the point of no return. I was making a ton of excuses and couldn’t see that I had a pretty amazing life. I did not realize this because I had been mistakingly comparing my own life to others. Friends with fancy cars, younger friends making their first million, older friends retiring, all of it just didn’t seem possible for me and I felt cheated because I’ve always played by the rules and done my best work. BOO FUCKING HOO, RIGHT? Right!
The grass is always greener, no matter who you are! If you make $10/hour and have a basic phone, you want to make $25/hr so you can buy a better phone with a case. If you make $50k a year and have super fast internet, you want to make $100k so you can have the SUPER SUPER fast internet and a sportscar with bluetooth crap in it and when you make more than $1M, you feel empty inside because nothing is fulfilling anymore (so I hear). It’s an endless, pointless circle that most of us have to deal with in life. I wanted to make something that was mine again. I wanted it to be about me, as a struggling Artist with a soul, NOT as another Designer lost in the internet landfill (although Design always plays a part in everything I do). I didn’t want to design a new site. I just wanted a place to post the entire range of things I make because I wanted to share something with the world and felt like others might be able to benefit from seeing the successes and failures of an everyday Artist. I always see sites full of jaw-dropping work, but rarely get to see the garbage. I make so much garbage that I can’t possibly post it all, but I wanted SoS to be a place where I could post it if I wanted. Art was ready to come back to me and it feltgoodman.jpg!
Occasionally, I will get asked why I chose the name Scared of Salad. Well, to put it simply, I have an eating disorder comprised of severe food phobias. When I was 2 years old, I just stopped eating. I don’t know why. I never will. No one knows why. It’s bizarre. I think it’s probably from chemicals in food additives or something related to vaccinations or something of that sort because it doesn’t make sense that a child would just stop eating, but I did and never went back (I am now 37.) So, food jokes were always common when I had to hang out with friends and other people, especially strangers at dinners.
“You’ve never eaten an apple?”
“What about a peach?”
(repeat with a laundry list of foods)
“That’s so strange. Are you autistic? Don’t you like Hot Dogs?”
I can talk about it pretty openly now, but growing up was tough. I could never eat at friends’ houses unless there were a certain foods available, I had to cover it up on dates throughout high school and college and it always added extra stress to my life. It sucked. Still does. I am terrified of most foods and I don’t know why. My brain is immensely strong, but there is this little area that is completely locked up and I cannot break it open. When I came up with the name Scared of Salad, it was because it made me laugh (I actually thought I was going to start making comics), it was memorable and it seemed like a metaphor for my life and the challenges we all face as artists and human beings.
Along with this silly little idea, I made some bigger decisions to keep me moving forward:
- I decided to start telling people I was an Artist again instead of a Designer or Business Owner. “I’m an Artist, oh, and I run a great little Design shop.”
- I decided to find inspiration in the the world and my surroundings again.
- I decided that I will do what I love until the day I die, by any means necessary.
- I decided that passion always comes first in my career work and my work.
- I decided that I wanted to make my hobby my job and my job my hobby.
…and SoS was born. One year ago today. I hope you’ve enjoyed the work so far. I’ve come a long way and I cannot wait to see where this all takes me.
Now, let’s check out some of the hits and misses from the last year! You can Visit the Archive page to check out more if you’d like.
Here’s an old favorite of mine from the first week. I noticed an unusually large baby on a sign at Target.
I created the Crouton Club (you can join by liking SoS on Facebook) and started getting inspiration from fans by having request nights. Here’s a potato licking a bed.
One of my tweeps bought a used Xbox game and it didn’t have a cover, so I made one for him.
For a while, I wanted to make cartoons, so I got political.
I made some random illustrations for the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles. Here’s an illustration for an improv comedy show called Magic Bag.
I made work inspired by the beautiful drawings of my friends’ children. (The original in the upper left corner is by Ava, one of the coolest kids in town!)
I started rediscovering my traditional skills.
Then that got a little weird.
Soon, environments started emerging and themes started coming together in my mind. I began creating stories as I worked. This is called Prayer Rock.
THEN, IT HAPPENED. I (accidentally) stumbled into 3D sculpting after working on a painting late one night. My very first experiment left me more excited than ever. When I look at this piece now, I laugh so hard at how bad it is, but the night I created it, it was the best thing ever!
I made self portraits as mystical animals. This is me paying my Progress Energy bill using a carrier pigeon. Oh, I am a llama centaur, too.
Ohhhhh snap! My first 3D Alien bust. Not too shabby for a first week of ZBrush.
Once I got more comfortable, I started experimenting with combining my sculptures with my photographs. This little guy is in my front yard. The Crouton Club named him Yak Gallafuhgrassis.
Then, recycling the Yak model, I made a bad guy. The Crouton Club named him Chupachthulu. He protects the oil fields.
I started making monuments in honor of the Crouton Club members who chose the winning character names.
I started creating moods with my characters. New characters and stories started to emerge. This is a fortune teller. She is a different creature when viewed upside down.
I practiced (and failed many times) at hair and lighting.
But they started getting pretty good!
I started making up teams of characters in my head and putting them in stories I created while I worked.
I started thinking about interfaces and technology.
and here I am today…
It’s actually pretty amazing to see the progress, right? Holy crap, I am so proud! Lately I have been thinking of SoS less as a sketchbook and more as the document of my rebirth as an Artist. I hope you find inspiration in this concept because I am not special or different. Anyone can do what they love!
Tomorrow, Scared of Salad Year 2 begins. I am so excited. Something great is going to happen. Again. Thanks so much for being a part of this with me.
Love and Peace to All,
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