Just A Heads Up: This is A LOT of reading.
If you don’t feel like reading it all, just wait for me to turn this into a video.
I’ll understand trust me.
But for those who enjoy reading...well...enjoy...
My name is Coleman Mcfarland and I'm a digital artist from Maryland in the US.
I've always had a thing for art since I was a kid, but didn't actually think of it as a career until high school, but back then it was as a film maker instead of a digital artist.
You could say I wanted to be a different type of visual artist.
So my parents enrolled me in a tech school called Thomas Edison High School of Technology where I thought they had a film making class, but when I showed up it turns out it was graphic design.
When my parents asked me did I want to try graphic design instead I said, "Sure why not?"
It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I learned so much about the fundamentals of design and how to use the typical software like photoshop and illustrator and became hooked on what I could do with it.
I even won a contest where we had to design a Menu for the school’s cooking class.
(Even though most of what I did when I wasn't in class was play around with the filter settings on old drawings I had laying around.)
Fast forward to senior year I started making designs for apparel like t shirts and bathing suits as well as hats and posters when I wasn't playing video games, posting embarrassing pictures on my disaster of a myspace profile, or struggling to talk to girls on AIM.
(I said I made them I didn't say they were good hahaha)
I wanted to turn them into a clothing line cause everyone in high school and college wants to start one at some point if it's not a band, card or video game club, or these days an online business or tech start up.
And even though in college I started a facebook page for it my work
made a website, (a bad one)
and even tried selling a apparel design (that looked like death bathed in melted crayons and made no sales)
*For some strange reason I had forgotten most of what I learned in graphic design when I made this*
I never fully committed to it.
Probably because I made no sales because I didn’t know what I was doing when it came to marketing and promotion.
But i kept making art anyway
Then one day I was randomly sketching some geometric shapes when I was in this phase of obsessing over graffiti and abstract art and thought...
"I could really make my own art style out of this!"
So I kept making more drawings in this style and started thinking of ways I could add color.
but in my google image research I came across a problem...
Someone already made a style out of the same shapes I was using, in a somewhat similar style, and to me at least, my stuff just looked like a bad copycat of his stuff.
This artist goes by the name of Apexer.
So now I was in this dilemma, how do I make my art not only look good, but not look like his?
And that was the challenge I needed to make me become obsessed with becoming a better artist.
I would be constantly studying other artists as well as Apexer in the realms of graffiti, geometric and abstract art trying to create my own style.
I would research during class, during lunch, while listening to the tv, before bed, I got a job at an art store and looked at the pieces other artists brought in
I was sketching ideas like mad, I spent hundreds on art supplies, I made coloring pages that me and my friends would play with during lunch in college.
Until i was let go from the art store, and graduated college with the mindset of “there’s no living to be made as an artist, there’s a reason they’re calling starving artists anyway”
“Besides, everyone has a clothing line, it’s too saturated a market, plus these designs suck!”
And I went on to work dead end job to dead end job while trying to get a martial arts organization off the ground and driving myself crazy in the process.
And when that didn’t pan out, i went out to try to start a marketing agency, then be a marketing consultant, or a real estate wholesaler, while still working dead end jobs.
None of which even got rolling on the ground nonetheless flew.
I was trying to be an “entrepreneur”...
Oh how foolish i was, although I’m forever grateful for the skills, knowledge, and experiences that i acquired during that time like video production and digital marketing specifically facebook ads.
Well not surprisingly I got tired of the entrepreneurship thing
I somewhat knew what i wanted to do in life and running a huge, complex business that wasn’t gonna make me happy long term wasn’t even the closest thing to being it
Regardless of how much money it made.
On top of the fact that the whole entrepreneurship scene is a little too nonsensical and ridiculous right now anyway.
I enjoy art. I enjoy creating it, I enjoy the challenge of “how do I achieve the way I want it to look?” And if I don’t have that, I get lazy.
Not just with digital art but with other mediums like spray paint and even video editing.
*Again, I had interest, I didn't say I was good hahaha*
I knew what I wanted for myself and what made me happy and fulfilled and what I wanted to do long term.
And by long term I mean until they dig a hole, throw me in it, put dirt on me, and water the flowers with their tears.
Not what some #entrepreneur motivation instagram post or some schmuck on youtube or facebook said I should want or have.
I wanted simplicity, I wanted to make a living creating art, and promote them making content that I enjoyed making.
The only thing that made sense at that point was to become an artist again since I had now become educated that you actually can make a decent living as one especially if you know how to market yourself.
And I learned how to do that while I was running the martial arts organization to promote it’s events.
So here I am reviving an old idea that I had in college and high school that I should’ve stuck to in the first place.
I feel like I have a chip on my shoulder that kinda comes out in my work as well.
A chip that comes from me feeling stupid that the first idea I had should’ve been the one I stuck too all long.
That’s my story of how I got started, left, and came back to the art world.
And I’m not leaving again.