Sunday, August 21, 2011

1 and a half hour paintins. And yeah I mean paintins.

I realized yesterday that I hadn't been able to get out to the studio in a couple of weeks and it was starting to get under my skin. I was worried that if I didn't take measures to get out and paint that quite frankly my hands would cut themselves off and head out there without me. (which would pose some long term problems not to mention be difficult to explain to my clients and create a bit of a mess)
In an effort to avoid all of the above mentioned problems I did a couple of quick sketches on my lunch and as soon as I got home went out to paint.
It felt amazing almost cathartic. I wasn't super emotionally  attached to them so I was able to paint quite a bit more freely than normal. It was great to not have the pressure of a show or it being commissioned work. It was as if I got to do my favorite thing in the world without any constraints, worries or cares.
I did 2 paintings and each only took me about an hour and a half. (I think that I will go back in and do another 15min or so on each. I want to deepen the backgrounds an bit) I didn't let myself get hung up on the details. I didn't worry about color only tone. And you know I am kinda happy with them.
I am thinking that I need to do a couple of these a week just to keep sharp. Remind myself where I should be concentrating  my efforts and what is important instead of getting all hung up on crap that just doesn't matter.
Not that taking forever on a piece is bad or wrong or that I will stop doing just that. But when you have the freedom to move quick it causes your priorities to shift and become simple.
So here is a pic of one of the ones that I did last night....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A couple pieces from the Seattle Tattoo Convention

The Seattle recap....

What a whirlwind of a week. Sorry that I haven't gotten to post anything in while. Seems like there was no down time at all while we were in Seattle.
First off I need to give a shout out to some awesome folks who's awesomeness should be recognized.
Many thanks to the fabulous Cy without who's help running the booth this weekend nothing would have gotten done! 
Also mad props to my girls Sandra and Sabina who helped hold down the other tables and keep everyone working. These folks are the unsung heroes of the convention. The ones who stand at the table for hours on end answering questions (often the same ones over and over again), selling merch and making sure the artists always have a client in front of them. Thanks you three. Great job this weekend!
Secondly I would like to thank my clients who came out for some awesome work. The pieces just kept getting better and better as the weekend went on. I got to add some cool background stuff to pieces that I started last year, rocked a double koi tattoo with water lilies and lastly the life cycle of the western chorus frog.
Also thanks to everyone that have already sent in requests for next year and for everyone who wants to visit in Portland. Some of the submissions are sounding fun. Bats, beetles, flowers and many other fun things.
I just started to type a long drawn out bit by bit explanation of what we did that would have bored you all to death. So I am going to just sum things up short and sweet.
It was the best show that I have done with the best group of people I have ever had the pleasure of being around. We ate good food until we couldn't eat anymore, we drank well and we laughed until our sides ached and tears streamed down our faces. We learned to never steal Josh's cherry, Sabina doesn't get a joke (which is often way funnier than the joke itself) Shawn would kill for cheese curds, Sandra is afraid of heights and water (which is why it is so much fun to put her on a boat and take her to the top of the Space Needle) if it sits still on the convention table Cy will sell it, Jessica will eat almost anything we put in front of her and I learned that I have the best job I could have ever imagined!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The long drawn out complicated answer to the most frequently asked question

I took a survey and asked people how often I should Blog. (by survey I mean I asked the 3 people I was out to dinner with) The consensus was that once a week was average but more is fine. My big concern was being one of those people who updates their Facebook status every 10 minutes just to tell you they changed their socks or they put cream cheese on their bagel (yes spell check tried to change that to beagle, I mean who puts cream cheese on their beagle? Peanut butter yes, cream cheese no) So in the grand pursuit of balance I am going to try and shoot for 2 times a week unless things get crazy.
Now, on to the long drawn out complicated answer to my most frequently asked question....
What made you start tattooing/why did you choose to become a tattoo artist.
Well, honestly I didn't start out wanting to be a tattoo artist. I wanted to be an ice cream man. Driving around in my little van playing pop goes the weasel dispensing frozen treats to kids. Sounds creepy now that I am an adult but when I was 7 it was the best idea in the world. My dreams of being the ice cream man were destroyed one fateful day when I was skateboarding in front of my house. (I am sure I was dreaming of being the next Tony Hawk even though I couldn't manage to stay on my board let alone do a trick.)  I lost control of my board and it shot out into the street in front of a speeding ice cream truck and was destroyed. After that I developed a deep dislike for ice cream trucks and retreated into the safety of my house where they would no longer be able to destroy my dreams.
Well, since I was stuck inside I had to keep myself entertained. I read a lot of books and began to draw bad little illustrations to go with them. Slowly I got better and began to take classes in school. By the time I reached high school the only class you could ever find me in was my art class. There I spent long hours thinking that I was going to be the next great illustrator or creature creator for Lucas. Watch out Brian Froud, Larry Elmore, Brom all you guys, I am coming for you!
My plans to attend college fell through and I drifted along for quite some time. I got caught in a web of retail jobs and soon I realized that my greatest goals and aspirations revolved around becoming middle management.
Things needed to change. My sarcasm was getting the best of me and every day seemed to be getting worse. I had talking to friends about tattooing and had been asked to draw a couple for people. I kept thinking about how great it would be to do illustrations for and on people. To work with the story of a real person instead of a made up character in a book. So with a little (by little I mean a lot)  help, love and support I made the leap.
So yeah, it really boiled down to my desire to be an illustrator. I still take classes off and on in pursuit of my illustration degree. As for my tattoos, I am really just now getting to the point where I feel like my tattoos are truly telling the stories of those who wear them. My design are starting to shift from simple objects placed on the body to more involved concepts. Well, at least that's what I am aiming for :)
Side note, I once answered this question with "Why not" and "How else could I make this much money doing art" They didn't go over well.
Side note #2 I also wanted to be a Vet but I realized that I wouldn't be able to keep all the animals alive. I wanted to be a hermit in the woods of Alaska and live off the land but I realized I would probably have to learn to hunt (refer to the above line where I mention wanting to keep all the animals alive)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Why

For a couple of years now people have been poking me with a stick and trying to get me to blog about all of the weird stuff I get into, the traveling I do, the food I eat and the tattoos that I do. So, having finally succumbed to peer pressure and in an attempt to get over my fear of spelling and grammar picky people here it is.  If you don't like run on sentences, extra commas and weird apostrophes this may not be the best blog for you to read. On the other hand,  if you are interested in what goes on inside a tattoo artists head this is a great spot to be.

Here is a bit of what is happening right now....ready, set, go!

 Hahahaahhahahah and with that I totally thought I just deleted everything!
Thank god for auto save.
Ok, try again, Right now I should be getting ready for the Seattle Tattoo Expo. Probably one of the coolest shows I get to do all year. The amazing amount of talent in that building is just inspiring. Not to mention, I have been doing that show long enough to develop some great clients who let me do cool work on them.
But I have to admit that this convention makes me a bit nervous. All of that amazing talent keeps me humble and makes me push myself and my work in an effort to reach that magical unreachable level of "perfection" And yeah, I am my own worst critic.
Cy and I spent all of yesterday watching Being Human (awesome show) and making merchandise. We managed to get about 100 prints put together and about as many greeting cards. The giclee  place got my painting printed out for me to pick up today so tonight it looks like I will be out in the studio putting the text on it. That means new banner for the show. Woo hoo.
So if you are in the Seattle area August 12th through 14th you should swing by and say hello and check out everything that we have been working on.
I guess that's about all for right this second. I promise they will get a bit more exciting but not enough to land me my own t.v. show.


Welcome to the beginning of Char Hall's Blog. We welcome you to come back often and check out what Char is up to. If you have not experienced Char Hall before, here is a bit about her:

Char Hall was born in Sacramento, California and raised in the wild plains of her imagination. At an early age she began to draw and create fantastical animal friends from within her head. They were a constant source of companionship and support. It wasn't long until she discovered her heroes, Jim Henson and Brian Froud. It was then that her art transitioned to a whole new level and it began to get noticed. By the time Char was 18 she had been a California Art Scholar twice, won several awards and had been selected to show at the Crocker Art Museum three times. 
After being distracted by having to exist in the real world, Char came back to creativity in 2006 and to doing art for a living. Since returning, She has already won awards for both her art and her tattooing. When not traveling the world or being a guest artist, She resides at Side Show Studios where she spends her time tattooing and creating creatures to share with the rest of the world.
Though she is too modest to mention it, Char has been voted Best Tattoo Artist by the readers of the Sacramento News & Review for 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010. She also won Best Visual artist 2007 & 2008. Her Studio has won Best Tattoo Parlor for 2008 & 2009 as well as placed in 2007 & 2010. She is a supporter of numerous local charities. Her TV appearances include Livewire, Good Day Sacramento twice as well as a feature on KVIE public television. Recently her art has made it to Hollywood where it was used for the movie Scream 4 and at the release party for The Psycho Legacy.