Yes, there once was a great blogging platform, called Posterous. Many of my friends used it. I used it. It was very user friendly.
Many of us lost a lot of content when it got shut down.
Check this Wikipedia article about Posterous.
The picture on the left is what comes up when I link to my former user id.
But this blog is not about that. It is about a blog post on Posterous in June 2011 that I had copied and posted on Facebook as a note.
I just copy the entire Facebook note, dead links and all, as it appeared back then.
JUSTIN EHRLICH interviews Visionary Artist ANDY PACIOREK
June 7th, 3:23pm
My interview with fellow visionary tribesman Andy Paciorek
I tend to work more in projects comprised of a number of images on a theme, rather than stand alone single pieces, so a certain amount of time is spent mulling project details, how many pieces, how I will handle them etc. Those ideas may come on the cusp of sleep or out walking or whatever. My rough sketch booking follows that stage and frequently doodle thumbnails done on scraps of paper. This stage is more to ease me into the project than to fully formulate what the actual end pieces will look like. Not all images of a project will be included in this stage. Depending upon a particular project, the final pieces may frequently dictate their own form independent of what I may initially have had in mind, though sometimes I will transfer some visual ideas directly across. Once all the subjects for a project are decided (or if it is a large project, segments of it) then it is pretty much pen to paper. With the projects there's usually a long line of image subjects bustling to get out and they can follow in quite rapid succession if the flow is there; so generally speaking, a fair bit of initial contemplation but then more time executing.
Your artistic output is very high, how do you keep motivated? Do you have a fixed routine? Do you find certain times of day more congenial for working?
There isn't a constant level of output, as with motivation and inspiration, production can come in peaks or troughs. It's very easy to get de-motivated, but the compulsive urge to create tends to override that. Also with my method of art, there is the luxury of being able to work well with other collaborators, either in visual combination as with the Stegorek project or by combining my images with the thoughts and writings of quite a variety of imaginative individuals. This has led to a number of interesting little projects, which has given me excuse to explore different roads and paths, and it keeps the journey intriguing with all the little detours and wanderings. Also should my own idea well ever run dry, there is a reserve of other minds that could help me to dig deeper. With the medium of ink on paper, which at the moment I most frequently use, there is the scope for a higher output than other methods, as it does not require the mixing, fixing, drying and cleaning of some other media. At times when drawing is not flowing or is not possible for whatever reason, I will still end up writing, researching, contemplating possible future projects or adapting older ones for book, internet and sometimes exhibition use, or taking photographs so there is rarely any real dead time. There is no overall fixed routine or work hours, but sometimes it does get late and the pen is still in hand.
What have you been working on today?
Currently I am working on a book project entitled 'Black Earth : A Field-Guide to the Slavic Otherworld'. It is quite epic, so I am interspersing bouts of research, writing, sketchbook roughing and drawing the final pieces.
Given your penchant for folklore, it might be deduced that you are intent on preserving, if not reviving certain traditions. One might even think that you are bargaining with these entities, asking favours of Oak-men in exchange for fame. Is folklore a curiosity for you, or something more?
Well, the Oak-men offer delicious-looking cakes, which are actually glamorized toxic fungi, so that sounds about right.
I do really like curiosities and anomalies in themselves, but for me there is also a deeper aspect to folklore, particularly in respect to apparent encounters with supernatural entities and creatures. It raises questions about the nature of reality, about threshold consciousness and it also sometimes reveals the human habit of trying either to order things beyond their level of knowledge or everyday experience, into a pattern or belief or gives excuse for some others to dismiss anything they don't understand as nonsensical superstition. Folklore, fairy-tales and myths can say a lot about human nature as well as a non-human supernature.
When you treat mythical themes, do you ever feel that art can be a form of spiritual practice?
I think there is an element of that. Even the practice of creation, especially when there is an uncertain material end, could be compared to religious or shamanic ceremonies or ritual. It could possibly date back to the beginning of human civilization.
What caused man to first create art? Of course there is the practical use of diagrammatic pictures to show directions or mark good hunting grounds etc and body-decoration, jewelry and more elaborate clothing may simply have been a human variant of peacock-feathers, i.e. devices for attracting a mate ; but even in the oldest cave-paintings and non-domain structures and sculpting, there are items of mystery and apparent spirituality. To our current knowledge, such things had no practical earthly function and yet in times of hard survival, such artefacts were still created. That would seem suggestive of either a spiritual purpose or something else in the development of the early human mind that provoked and has persisted in provoking some of the species to create art.
Most of your work springs from the imagination, the astral if you prefer. Do you ever feel compelled to get the watercolours out and paint a landscape, a portrait perhaps?
Many of my images do contain landscapes and portraits of a sort. Currently though if I want to capture these subjects from life I prefer to take photos. It may be something I'd perhaps do in future but there are many other ideas to get out of the way first.
Who inspired you to want to become an artist?
It was comics that first got me drawing as a kid, initially the British funny comics particularly the artists Ken Reid and Leo Baxendale, then shortly afterwards 2000AD and Marvel comics. This in conjunction with mythology and fairy-tale books and also movies and TV shows I enjoyed such as Doctor Who, Monkey, Sinbad films etc. The first art exhibition I went to as a child was to see Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion models of monsters, but in the next gallery room was an exhibition of Gustave Dore prints. Both had a lasting effect upon me. I remember also the first art projects that the teacher set us at secondary school when I was eleven - the first was to find a poem and illustrate it, integrating the text into the picture - I chose The Tyger by William Blake. Then we had to go to the library, find a book on an artist whom we'd never heard of but whose work intrigued us, then we had to copy some of the pictures and write about the artist. For that project I chose Gustav Klimt. Again both of those artists have continued to captivate me. Many other artists and art forms have since continued to intrigue me.
What are the most important things to consider when illustrating?
I have never had any formal training as an artist or illustrator, beyond some basics on a multi-discipline foundation course, if I had maybe I would say composition or tonal value or something, but for me personally the most important consideration is the subject matter not the technique.
What are the most valuable qualities for an artist to have, regardless of style, and who has them to the highest degree?
Perhaps too much is said about artists rather than the art, but I believe sincerity is a high quality. By Sincerity I do not mean that all art should be 'deep and meaningful' but simply that it should be honest and genuine to its principal aim. If that aim is simply to be a commercial success, then it should declare itself so. It is irritating when it seems that an artist conjures some ‘deep’ insincere meaning on afterwards. Likewise to express cynicism in a work is fine, it is an emotive response as valid of expression as any other, but when it appears that an artist is being cynical towards their viewers or mocking or exploiting them, then I feel that does the artist and also art in general no favours. It is perhaps unfair for me however to name any that I feel may be guilty of this, because it may simply be just my feeling and it is possible that my perception of the artist or piece could be wrong. Likewise it may also be inappropriate for me to name any artists who possess any 'higher' qualities because again it would just be a judgement based upon my personal perception.
What is your interpretation of visionary art?
The words 'visionary art' mean totally different things to different people. There are considerable variations associating to different cultures and times and I'm not sure it is something that can be neatly defined. I don't describe my own work as being visionary, it does frequently pertain to subject matter of a fantastic and perhaps sometimes a spiritual nature, and it is frequently concerned with the peripheral, interstitial and subconscious, but does that make it visionary? I don't know and I won't lose sleep over whether it is or isn't. I understand that in the art-world there is some need for a certain level of categorization, but labels and boxes I feel are far less important than the contents. Artists are of course free to call their art whatever they think best suits, but I simply wouldn't know how to neatly categorize what I do, even if I wanted to. For the sake of a mission statement, I may refer to the 'beautiful~grotesque' in relation to my work, but this is more about the subject matter and the contrast and intermingling of these concepts across different levels, and not to any specific movement or genre. I don't personally subscribe to any manifestos or artificial walls placed between different media and styles of expression; I just follow a compulsion to express myself through the creation of images and the manner in which this occurs seems for a great part to be beyond my choice.