A long winded Curriculum Vitae
Howdy! My name is Terry Ray Anderson aka Bellerophon, and my wife “talisman” has been telling me I need to join Wet Canvas for some time now; she also has been telling me I need to resume my Art Career, I'm finally taking heed to her nagging and doing both! I thought I’d begin with a long winded Curriculum Vitae to inspire myself and bore others, as sometimes I forget how long my desire to create Art has been a part of my psyche. Art has brought me much joy, self-satisfaction, and even some monetary reward and thus it’s good for me to remind myself of this and motivate me to continue making my many investments on this lifelong journey.
I started drawing at age 12; my Father worked for IBM and would bring home big stacks of 11 x 8 printout paper and mechanical pencils for me to draw with, and all throughout Jr. and Sr. High School I took Art classes and would enter all the Art Contests and did well in many of them, winning school and finally district honors in Art my Senior Year. I particularly excelled at Graphite and Prismacolor drawings, and Pen and Ink (with the dip pen as well as Rapidograph) portraits, also calligraphy. As a Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror fan I executed many artworks with those themes, in addition to lots of Rock Album cover “knock-offs” and local band art logos, paraphernalia, and advertisements. I aspired to become an Album cover artist in school, as that and “FM D.J.” was a popular “dream” job in the 1970’s.
In my late teens and after High School Graduation I worked quite a bit in poster size formats, which in pen and ink with a nib could take 100 hours or more and doesn't result in a great "profit to time" ratio, but I loved the results and so did my clients. So I also took up the airbrush about then because I loved the results AND the timely creation, and as rock concerts were cheap and plentiful I frequently created banners and band specific artworks for friends and fans with airbrush acrylics or poster paint. I continued doing many art commissions from my bedroom studio while working for a screen-print sign shop as an iron frame welder by day, also there at night I would hand cut lettering with a swivel knife to help the head graphic artist make deadlines, which was a blast! In later years I would have my own business Screen-printing and Airbrushing T-Shirts, but my first exposure to the business of screen print was Real Estate Signage, which gave me a good foundation in Hand lettering long before there was Computerized Typography.
During my marriage in my early to mid-twenties I did very little in the way of being creative, but my exposure to Sci-Fi and Fantasy books and movies grew because we were both onto the genres , but I was preoccupied with working in a Greenhouse and as a Nurse’s Aide, happily living and loving in a small Northeastern Colorado town. Unfortunately difficult times happen, and in 1985 the marriage ended and I returned to creating Art and playing Guitar to feed my newly returned Not-So-Teenage Angst and put my Divorce behind me. I continued doing Portrait and Rock Music subjects in my drawing and pen and ink works, sizing down the format somewhat, and additionally moving more into Transportation, Landscapes, and Architectural themes. But one must pay the bills so during the last half of the 1980's I worked again as a Nurses Aide, a Furniture Mover, a fun gig as a Home Security, Gardener and Pool Caretaker for a rich couple and then finishing up the last year of the decade and working until 1994 as a Hospice Caregiver for AIDS/HIV clients.
I grew tired of aimlessly working at and only utilizing my skills occasionally as an Artist, so in 1990 (while attending RN school) I was offered a partial scholarship to Colorado Institute of Art so I "jumped ship", leaving Nursing School and starting Art school that summer. I met many cool people and had a lot of fun, but after several semesters I found the CIA curriculum (“Be an Artist, or just Look like One”) more suited to becoming a Graphic Artist, and I aspired to become an Illustrator. So I transferred to Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design, where I stayed for the duration of my degree and graduated in the spring of 1993. There I met many talented students and instructors, some of whom I am friends with to this day, and even a few who are very successful Professional Artists! RMCAD was a wonderful experience for me because I was exposed to the works of so many Illustrators and the periods they worked in during Illustrations “Golden Age” until the present. I’m proud that I developed a close relationship to Phillip J. Steele, the founder of RMCAD (I was engaged to his daughter for part of my attendance) and the “fruits of Nepotism” were great indeed as I spent many a long hour watching him paint portraits and figures in very large Oils and absorbing his knowledge (and hilarious anecdotes about George Bridgeman, Byrne Hogarth, and Frank Lloyd Wright, all of whom he knew) in his private studio after school hours. David Uhl was just becoming established as a Commercial Illustrator (he produces wonderful fine motorcycle art now) and he allowed many a student to come and observe him at work; observing him doing production airbrush works was an inspiration. During my last year I was interned to a professional Tattoo artist for two months who made the majority of his living doing specialty “Flash” for other Tattoo artists and their customers, the exposure of which gave me an avenue of side-income myself immediately after leaving school and to this day.
After Graduation I was still employed with Visiting Nurse Association in Hospice care 26-30 hours a week which allowed me to “free-lance” and seek commissions, which for an unestablished artist in the art market is a “feast-or-famine affair”. Networking was as important then as it is now, and when I wasn’t working I was on the phone, canvasing for art jobs. Sometimes there were many, I found a lot of mural work and hot tub covers (big in CO) were selling at that time, and ink illustrations and cartoons for a local monthly nursing newsletter in 1993-95 were “staples”. Portrait work (I consider artworks of someone’s pet, vehicle, or home and garden to be “portraits” as well as faces) and tattoo designs were many then few, it seems everyone wants them all at the same time, then they’re nowhere to be found; a perennial situation I’m sure other Artists may note! In late 1994 I was fortunate that one of my best friends from school had become Head Graphic Artist at sports oriented screen-print shop where I learned to do computer typography and computer design on both the Mac and PC with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, two programs I have kept active with in the years since.
I took a break from Art in 1996 as my mother’s COPD required me to take care of her the last 8 months of her life, placing all my focus on her care until she passed on in August, then I returned to a different screen-print shop as a screen-printer apprentice for the next year learning the process of T-shirt printing. Fortune gave me a big break when my family started up several Gift Shops (selling Hippie and New Age paraphernalia) which enabled my father and I to invest in my own screen-print setup and allowed me to create designs particular to the clientele and design décor and murals for all four of the stores. My Art Boom continued in spring of 1997 as I invested in airbrush equipment, training materials, and materials and set up an airbrush kiosk in one of the stores I was managing, enabling me to devote myself almost exclusively to art. I was no novice to the double-action airbrush, so I was ahead of the learning curve, and between the screen printing and airbrush assignments from my kiosk and the other stores (managing the gift store was very easy and consumed little time investment) I was paying the rent, bills, and getting ahead monetarily and creatively. There was a Tattoo parlor adjacent to our store in the strip mall so I would also design “flash” or temporary tattoos for some of their customers or do matching Tattoo T-shirts; eventually I was also doing overflow commissions from other airbrush artists in the area. To get a break from my commercial jobs a friend of mine (probably one of the most gifted fine artists I have ever met) would do watercolor or acrylic plein aire in the Colorado mountains. I had worked with Watercolor in school, but those weekday jaunts to paint landscapes and cityscapes made me fall in love with that medium to this day!
Alas, Good Times never last, and the economy in Denver took several ‘hits”; in 1999 I continued my art career by working additionally at the (now defunct) Westminster Mall during the Halloween to Christmas gift season, but with the textile market the season has a hard end December 26th (except for school and athletic garments) so until spring sports (boogie-boards, jet skis) in April that year there wasn’t a lot of sales happening. In May things were picking up, and I landed a subcontracting airbrush position at weekends at Elitches Six Flags over Denver Amusement park, which brought in a good supplementary income until September 1st, so it was back to barely making it. In 2000-2002 the Denver economy improved, but certainly not as it was in the late 1990’s, so I took a job in 2002 as a Certified Medication Tech 12 hours a night 6p-6a Thursday/Friday/Saturday and continued to do my job as manager and Airbrush artist Sunday 10a-5p, Monday through Thursday 10a-7p. Needless to say I was “Sleep-Arting” until 2003, when the housing bubble burst and we closed the stores, ending my full time entrepreneurial endeavor as a full time artist.
I was relieved I could finally get some sleep, yet disappointed to return to a ‘Joe Job’ lifestyle, but my 3 day workweek (a concept I adhere to this day as an LPN) allowed me to continue creating art while not “burning out” on doing one thing, and I have done art since that time for my own enjoyment. This also means my art catalogue has slowed from a production standpoint; since I moved to South Central Missouri I have done some charcoal drawings, some airbrush work here and there, a series of watercolor portraits and landscapes. I joined an artist’s group in 2007, which was educational and inspirational, for a time I was creating and entering the local shows but I haven’t done anything commercially or sold anything since 2009, which I’m going to change long before I approach retirement in the next 10 or so years, because who wants to be retired from Art? I have 50 years of art supplies and everything a studio could need, maybe with the exception of a large mat cutter, why should all that just sit around and not get used?
Art has changed so much in the last 20 years; Digital Art programs and Patreon make commissioning Art possible yet impersonal with the convenience of not having to leave ones state, city, or home. Wet Canvas and other artistic websites make displaying ones art in every genre imaginable possible for the Artist, with the availability of critique and instruction from fellow artists at the click of a mouse. YouTube instructional for every medium and potential greatness in any genre available to all. Every great artist from yesterday and today has art to be seen on Pinterest. So many Artists to inspire and admire now, so much Art to be seen, so many great Artists past and present to emulate.
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Creation, the joy of saying, “I did this!” ,which comes after the pain of, “How the heck do I…?” and some, “Gee, this isn’t what I wanted…”. In the end the Pride of having solved “The Problem” and sharing the “Happy” (or at least the “Hey, I like this.”) results with other Artists who know “The Thrill of Victory, and the Agony of Defeat”. Art is a SPORT; believe me, it’s a Marathon!
Last edited by Bellerophon : 04-05-2018 at 10:16 AM.