Fifteen Years Painting: New Brand, Same Me
Why rebrand now?
This year marks fifteen years of painting for me. Painting is the longest I have done anything. Longer than I have known my spouse, earlier than I any other skill I have learned. It is the closest thing to my identity. If I could replace "me" with something, painting is the proxy. It is what I know, without a need to learn. And yet it's the greatest opportunity for my growth.
I cannot imagine my life without painting, and yet - over last five years - I branched out. I got residencies in glass blowing (thanks, Urban Glass). I completed a post-bac program at Virginia Commonwealth University in sculpture. I had my first Brooklyn solo exhibition in...performance. I set out this to discover the future of what it means to be an artist for me. On my fifteen year paint-iversary, I reflect on the question: who am I at my core? How will this understanding ground the next fifteen years? I invited an unlikely candidate to help me on this journey: a Fortune 100 brand designer.
How do you even meet a brand designer?
Good question: by accident. I worried I would get (even more) lost exploring the age-old question of identity on my own. I decided to time-box my reflections and give the process structure. What framework or process? I had no idea. I have watched rebrands from the sidelines during my time in NYC. I've even been a brand strategist myself. Unorganized businesses show up transformed with new identities. I'm not a business, but I sure feel washed up. The rebrands that work though, are sincere and thoughtful and need honest investigation. Do people even rebrand artists anyway?
On a neighborhood walk, I popped into a boutique home goods store to buy a birthday card. Painted black, this tiny shed of one hundred square foot had a distinct presence. Gold embossing, nice paper: it all spoke to me. I turned to the internet: who was the mastermind behind this shopping experience? Well, I found her. I reached out with a proposal that was crazy, and I am so grateful she took me up on this project. Here are the results of our collaboration, my experience, and what the next fifteen years may hold. Spoiler alert: painting isn’t going anywhere.