The Bitch is Back

I’ve been away from this site / blog for a while, but I intend to change that. I should probably explain why I’ve been gone, though; not that it really matters. Absent is absent, right?

Anyway, the reason for my absence is – quite simply – my health, or lack thereof. Since last, I’ve been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and also started on medication for my other ailments, namely Bipolar Disorder.

[Insert lame pun about tortured artist here.]

The fibromyalgia causes chronic pain, and chronic fatigue; I’m coping with it – but on occasion I have bad days where I’m pretty much confined to my bed due to severe pain and fatigue. There’s not a whole lot I can do about it, aside from pain management and rest. Creative endeavors have therefore taken a back seat as of late, as I’ve barely had the energy to get through doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions the past couple of years.

The Bipolar Disorder has been acting up, and I recently elected to start on medication (for the first time since diagnosed in 2010) for it. It has been great so far: I sleep better, I feel better, I have a bit more energy, and I’m a bit less lethargic as a result.

So, why this blog post about physical and mental deteriorating health? Well – I’ve been tinkering with a project, technically two, about my health issues for a while now, and as I – hopefully – blog more about said project, it only makes sense that you, the reader, know the reasons behind it.

The photo above is from a test-shoot for the project, which as of right now is still untitled. The project itself consists of a photo book and a short film about living with and dealing with physical and mental “invisible illness” – what they are, and how they affect and effect me and my day-to-day life.

I’m very excited to finally have a smidge of creativity again after months, years even, of draught in that department.

The Bitch is back, y’all.

Heiinghund – Draugkvad

I’ve done another commission for the band Heiinghund for their upcoming release Draugkvad. This time around I opted for my primary art medium – photography –  and delivered 27 images in total. 11 of the images were selected by the band to be voted on by their fanbase. 4 of the 11 images will appear in the final album booklet.

The album drops on Friday the 13th in April.


This also means I am now able to call myself an artist – for real.  

Commissions – For Exposure (pt II)

A while back I blogged about doing a commissioned piece for exposure and for a commissioned piece in return. I just finished the artwork last night, and here it is:

I did the album cover for this upcoming release from Heiinghund

You can listen to their previous release here on Spotify

 

This was a lot of fun to work on, and I hope I’ll get to do more of these types of commissions in the future.

INSPIRATION: Music – Nine Inch Nails

Certain things inspire me more when it comes to creating art than others. One such thing is music. I am very influenced by various types of music in my art, as evident by my black metal project Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, but the one band that really stands out in my mind as a huge source of inspiration is Nine Inch Nails and the creative genius behind it, Trent Reznor.

I discovered Nine Inch Nails more or less by accident when I was 9 or 10 years old, by way of the music video for Closer (from ‘The Downward Spiral’ album) being aired on TV one afternoon. At that age I didn’t much care for the music video but I loved the music in it. This was back in the mid-90s, and I didn’t catch the band name at the time, so I had no idea what this new (to me) amazing band was called. I discovered that a few years later, when ‘The Fragile’ was released and my household fortunately had MTV 2 which provided me with more music videos and information.

I loved it.

It was weird, dark, slightly menacing, gritty and perfectly articulated my teenage angst.

So I became ever so slightly obsessed with this band – Nine Inch Nails – and over the years I would use their music as inspiration. I would also look to the album cover art, and various promotional works of art, for inspiration in my own work.

I’ve always felt that if I were to make music at any point in time, it would probably sound a lot like Nine Inch Nails in that layer-upon-layer-style that still to this day provides me with new nuances in the songs I’ve listened to a thousand times before. And these nuances are what inspires a lot of my work, along with the gritty industrial feel. I spent numerous hours wandering about my hometown taking photos of rusty old pipes and barbed wire in my youth while listening to – you guessed it: Nine Inch Nails.

For your listening pleasure, I’ve compiled a playlist of Nine Inch Nails music videos (in chronological order, no less):

 

What are your main inspirations?

 

Hvis Lyset Tar Oss (video)

 

This is the video I used in the application to Høstutstillingen 2017. The music is by Heiinghund, and used with the artist’s permission.

Now all I can do is wait, and hope the panel of judges like my work.

Høstutstillingen 2017

Here in Norway, we have a thing called Høstutstillingen – an open call to all artists (art education not needed) to apply for an exhibition slot. In a fit of insanity, I decided to apply for said exhibition slot with my Hvis Lyset Tar Oss project, after it was suggested by a friend.

I whipped together a quick vlog of the editing of the extended cut. All of the videoclips in the vlog are filmed with my iPhone 6S+ & the 8mm app. I quite like the effect of that app.

 

Commissions – For Exposure

This is a sore subject for many artists, and The Oatmeal summed up the essence of it all.

theOatmeal_exposure_big.png

(Click the picture!)

The other day I was asked to do a commissioned illustration for a friend. The piece is for an album cover for one of his music projects. He was up-front about there not being much in way of money as payment for this (as it is a bit of a niche-album with a fairly small audience, myself included).

I am – basically – doing this for exposure. And I’m fine with that. Why? Well…

As of right now, about 10 people on the planet are aware of my art. I’m not exposed – at all. I have no exposure to refer people to, other than this website, my facebook page, my instagram and my youtube-channel. I am working on changing that fact, but as it stands – right now – I need all the exposure I can get. If I am ever to sell a piece of art, I need people to be aware of my existence as an artist: I need exposure.

Let me be absolutely crystal clear: My friend did not assume I would do this for free / for exposure – at all.

I did – however – suggest a sort of deal for my commission work. A commission for commission, if you will: I asked my friend to make a snippet of music I could use for my YouTube-videos in exchange for me creating album art. And I made sure to say it would be “as payment” for the commission. My art will get exposure, and his music project will get exposure, as he will be credited wherever and whenever I use the music.

So – why is this whole for exposure business such a sore subject for artists? If you ask an artist – who makes a living through their art – to do something, that artist will charge you for it. It’s their livelihood – it’s what puts food on their table. Be prepared to pay for art, that’s all I’m saying.

The artist can choose to do something for free / for exposure, but it’s the artist’s call – not yours.