Abstract instead of Pop Art

Absolutely ALL of my professional life as an artist has been in pursuit of creative representations, usually in a colorful, cartoony way of animals, landscapes and figures. I have enjoyed great success doing so. Not Keith Haring, Jean-Michael Basquiet or Romero Britto success by any means, but I have mostly been able to make my living with my art. (NOTE: as I googled some recent pop art artists NO FEMALES showed up in any of the top results or lists in articles and blogs…..booo! Something I may discuss at a later date, because believe me, there are a plethora of women making some kick-ass GREAT pop art)

What was I saying? Oh yeah. I’ve made a LOT of money selling my art and imagery on stuff like prints, leggings, cards, blah, blah, blah. But I have unwaveringly created my stuff using a light touch and a lot of animals and googly eyes. For years I have heard that my art is perfect for children’s projectss. And I’m glad people have thought so! But I have more to say.

Because of my light touch there has been a tendency for the public to not take my art seriously. Even my multi-media series that focused on the “natural history of a dream land” was largely dismissed as sweet. Here’s the trailer for that book:

Smart Pop Art

But with HapiLani,  I was exploring, in a visual way, aspects of the potential for parallel universes from the standpoint of what string theorists and particle physicists were discovering and writing excitedly about. With that body of work, catalogued in this self-published book, I was positing alternates to how we as people might discourse about thoughts and dreams. I was demonstrating how we can potentially influence global outcome towards the positive by creating a shift in our internal dialogue. Then I offered all this proof through the pieces I made that represented those collected in my travels to this dream place. I explained its natural history and offered illustrations, artifacts, maps, life forms from there. I discussed my findings from having visited there myself. Anyway, this was a huge big deal to me. Still is. But almost no one but my most ardent followers took me terribly seriously. Why?

Too Smart? Too Light?

I think people had a difficult time connecting these deeply scientific and spiritual explorations with my pop art style. You know, because of my light touch and the fact that I like to draw smiles on things. Now, I happen to believe every single creature and object on the face of this earth (and beyond) has the potential to somehow be animate. It’s all how we position explanations in our own minds. I also think there is some fantastic and amazing ‘coincidences’ and ‘synchronicities’ between thoughts and dreams and how we place ourselves in this thing we call the ‘real world’. So I ponder these potentials and run them through my understandings of what people way smarter than me are discovering. Then I send it all through the “Marti filter” and out come these happy representations.

I could go on and on and have, to some extent, in the book.

I love happy colors and beautiful, hopeful thoughts. I use them to offset my own gloom and doom. I have figured that the world appreciates my work and wants me to help us all smile. But I want to make some deeper connections with more people right now.

I need more people to take what I do seriously. So I’m going to have to help them do that. I’m not certain what this is all going to look like with my paintings or drawings. But I think I need to remove some of the whimsy and dig deeper into how others process the world through artistic representation and meet them halfway if I can.

First Assignment with Abstract Instead of Pop Art

Now I’m creating my own program to help re-direct myself towards creating a new body of work that others find much easier to take seriously. My topics aren’t going to change. But the way I represent them is. What’s that going to look like? Well, fewer googly eyes. That’s for starters. I’m also thinking of creating 30 pieces – paintings, drawings – without any figures whatsoever to just break some habits within my own way of approaching the blank page.

So, abstract instead of pop art. Is it gonna work for me? Let’s find out together! You can follow my progress, and frustrations, failures, challenges and breakthroughs through the brand new Instagram account I set up this morning just for this new work. NONE of my old work is going away. I will still BE HappyArt. I have several ongoing illustration projects I’m working on there concurrent with this one. But if you decide to, you’ll be able to see me make my way through discovering some new ways to reach people with my art. I’m excited and full of dread all at the same time. What if no one likes what I make? What if I don’t like what I make? Aye yi yi! Well, it’s time to find out!

I’ll be posting on this Instagram account created to house this work. There’s almost nothing there yet. This is ALL NEW to me too!!

Abstract Instead of Pop Art an artist's journey

The first in the series. Digital drawing