I can't believe how long it's been since my last Journal update. Almost two years now! So, what's been going on…
Well, I've gotten over my issues with trolls. I realised life's too short to get caught up in that bullshit so now I try to either use negative comments by making fun of myself, or otherwise ignoring it. For better or worse I believe speech on the Internet should be free and uncensored and that not everyone is going to like my work. Fuck it. I'll just wash my hands of them.
Which leads me to my next point. 2013 was pretty shitty to me. Around my birthday my Nan had a heart attack following a bout of pneumonia. She died for a few minutes but the wonderful emergency doctors and paramedics at Birmingham City Hospital managed to save her and she's just fine again. At the start of the year I lost my tattoo apprenticeship as I wasn't getting anywhere with the artist/friend I was learning under and it was killing any enthusiasm for being there. It was very much a Catch-22 situation – the longer I was being strung along with the hope of a paid apprenticeship, the less I wanted to be there; the less I wanted to be there, the more the artist figured I wasn't that interested which in turn lead to being kept in waiting more and so on. But ultimately I realised that being a tattoo artist isn't as simple as coming to work, opening up shop and closing at a certain time. It's a lifestyle, it's a scene, it's all-consuming. I have so much respect for those who have made it their career but ultimately, it just wasn't me.
I had given up a well-paid job to learn tattooing and after being out of full time work for almost a year (I was still a bartender by night), nobody wants to hire you. It took a long time to find any full time employment, my savings were dwindling and I have rent to pay. But mostly it was my own fault – I was perfectly happy sitting on my arse all day playing video games or watching porn instead of spending my abundant free time looking for a proper job again. Hell, I even started to hate my bar job. And I've always loved being a bartender through everything. At the same time, I felt like both my drawing ability and my ideas were running dry and despite having a lot of watchers here on DeviantArt it seemed nobody gave a shit whenever I DID upload anything. And I honestly? I was considering packing away my sketchbooks, pencils, pens and graphics tablet and giving up on art completely.
I couldn't really decide what I should be doing with my life. The dream is to do the thing you love, right? There's a bunch of things I really love. However I'm too old to start becoming a professional wrestler. I'm not a good enough gamer to become a YouTube personality or go in the MLG tournaments. And "boobs" isn't really a valid career path. I've always loved to create, whether it's drawing, writing or making characters and levels on video games. However I suck at putting myself out there and I found that whenever somebody actually wanted to utilise me as an artist, I would instantly lose my enthusiasm as it would always be a case of one of the following (usually from friends/people I've not seen for years):
1: "Will you draw me and my son/daughter/dog?" – Now, I don't mind drawing portraits and caricatures as such, but this always ends up with them giving me a terrible picture to work from (honestly, smiling in photos makes all facial features look similar), and more often than not they want it done as a favour or as a gift. So, not only am I doing something I'm not into, I'm being expected to do it for free. Fuck that.
2: "Can you design me a logo for my business?" – Well, I could give it a go, but I have a degree in Illustration, not Design or Typography. It's like asking a cake specialist to a loaf of bread. It's doable, but you're asking the wrong person. And again, people don't want to pay much/at all for what they think is just some lettering that looks nice. They don't see the time and effort and cost of equipment behind the scenes.
3: "You did tattooing right? Can you design me a tattoo with these [terrible ideas] incorporated into it?" – For starters, I dropped out of tattooing. Secondly, you want a hundred ideas on a space that would struggle to fit a butterfly. Thirdly, ALL YOUR IDEAS SUCK ANYWAY. And lastly, you want me to do it "as a mate" or "it'll be good practice for you." So once again, fuck that.
So I came pretty close to giving up. But things started to change around August last year. I went to a comic convention and after being persuaded by my girlfriend's father to take my portfolio I showed it to some small time publishers and artists. They gave me some really nice feedback and it made me reconsider my thoughts of quitting. One publisher said he would take me on if I show him some more sequential work - and while I made the decision not to do comics a while ago it did give me a bit of hope that I needed. Meanwhile, I managed to get a temporary office job which I enjoyed. Worked two jobs for a while which nearly killed me. But I was recently offered the job permanently and so I've taken it. It's given me the opportunity to leave the bar and now I have my nights back after ten years. It's given me some perspective. I'm no longer in my early 20s and I don't want my legacy to be "that guy who never really tried." I decided I need to man up and start doing jobs that I might not want to do in order to do the things that I do want to do.
I'm much happier in life, saving up for a deposit for a house and I've been feeling more inspired lately. I started doing a few paid commissions a couple months back and it's nice to be working with people who are actually willing to pay for my services. I've been getting lots of positive feedback on Tumblr and Instagram and I feel like art could be a feasible choice again, or at least a good sideline. I was super stoked to have Bray Wyatt himself use my portrait of him as his Twitter avatar. I also had some guy called Dan Henderson follow me on Instagram whom I've found out is an MMA star which is really cool. I've started a blog based on another love of mine (horror) and it's called the Gore Channel. Please check it out if you're into horror films and games and anything inbetween - thegorechannel.tumblr.com/ . Please also follow me on Instagram, Tumblr and all the other social media stuff as I tend to update them more than this account.
In a way, my world did come to an end in 2012. 2013 felt like some sort of post-apocalyptic wasteland where things seemed to get worse and worse but this year I feel like I'm rebuilding my life and getting back on track at last. I realised that while doing all the pinup stuff is all well and good, it's the fan art for various stuff that really made me happy. I hope to have some more new pics coming soon and hopefully you'll all enjoy them. I might even be able to start making giclée prints before the year is out.
TLR - Things were bad, but now they're not. If you made it this far, thanks for reading and thank you to everyone who still follows my work despite last year being a slow one.
Peace and METAL!!!!!!
Add me on the social shit below!
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*I'm going to stop featuring my groups on my journal as there are a few too many I'm in now. You can see what groups I'm involved in by checking out the Groups widget on my profile.*
Gallery of The Endless: citizenwolfie.deviantart.com/g…
Video Game Boss Battles Series: citizenwolfie.deviantart.com/g…
The Celebrity Assassin: citizenwolfie.deviantart.com/g…
Booze 'n' Boobies Series: citizenwolfie.deviantart.com/g…
Wolfie Writes: citizenwolfie.deviantart.com/g…
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