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Nik

[ website | Nik Arnoldi.com (a collection of paintings and illlustrations) ]
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Buying/Commissioning Artwork [Nov. 12th, 2020|11:06 pm]
Nik
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If you're interested in purchasing a painting from me, or commissioning a piece, here are a few general guidelines to make this easy and confusion-free:

Click here for detailsCollapse )
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Ages... [Mar. 23rd, 2012|11:37 am]
Nik
It's been far too long...

As exciting as it used to be to update about my life bi-weekly, share my views on the world, and publish my art all in one place, I have felt stuck with the format of this journal.

So on that note, I'd like to put out a request... has anybody had any experiences with other blogging sites? Which ones are comfortable to use, that allow for a good sense of community? I'm thinking about Blogger/Wordpress style sites that I can import cleanly my journal entries so they display well on my website. That way, I'll be a bit more current with my goings-on. Facebook is fun and all, but I do find that I edit myself quite a bit because I don't have much of a chance for elaboration. That said, in blog format it is much easier to explain my blunt views on the world, then allow myself to digress, and finally bring it home with a decent conclusion.



But enough about that.

I'll be blunt about a few things: I don't understand small, yappy dogs. Small, friendly dogs are ok. I guess it's a different kind of personality it takes to have these types of animals, but I see it as a trend sweeping the world. Where have all the big dogs gone? I miss seeing German Shepherds, Great Danes, and Labrador Retrievers everywhere. I don't want to be able to carry my own dog... if so, not easily.

People + Roads = Idiocy. I don't care if you're on a bike, in a car, or even running... Stupidity is amplified when people are required to conduct themselves to reach a designated destination. I've had more frustrations en-route anywhere than ever in my life... mostly because I spend more time getting places being that my work and home are six miles apart. That doesn't sound far, but on a bicycle, it really requires one to analyze his surroundings. 

I can't think of much else, right now, aside from the things about my own life that aren't easy.... but that would be just complaining. Growing pains are just my main issue right now, preparing for huge changes and really "becoming" that adult I've always hoped I'd never have to be. I feel like this moment in my life could be the conclusion to a huge chapter in my life that I'll look back on fondly, but be pleased to be over with. It's like when a couple talks about when they were young and in love and bohemian as all get-out, but had all the frustrations of living in poverty and working their asses off. That's kind of where I am... where every moment is bittersweet and I can't let it pass for all my wants and needs. 

Life isn't easy, but it's amazing. I have been pleased to find someone I am in love with, who makes me wildly happy, who also makes SENSE. It's always a collaborative effort talking about anything we take on. We support each other through the thick and the thin and have both grown so much in just a year's time. We're coming up on our first ever St. Baldrick's event... a culmination of fundraising efforts that ultimately end when we both shave our heads to donate to childhood cancer research. Together, we've raised over a grand... not an exorbitant amount of money, but it's enough to say we put our hearts into this. Shaving our heads will be an experience to truly stand in solidarity with the people who have experienced radiation/chemotherapy and have lost their hair unwillingly. Kelly will feel it probably more than me, being as she has had long dark hair her whole life and it's more of a social stigma to be a woman and bald. I'm excited to start over with her. 

All in all, I've been still cranking out the art, madly. Recently, I've just finished my ninth comic book (this one written by one of my students), as well as several commissions, two shows, and a music video. It's been good... I've been motivated... Now let's keep it rolling.

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Too Long ago! [Sep. 21st, 2011|01:12 pm]
Nik
Yes, it's been far too long since I've updated...

To be brief, here is a list of the awesome:

- FIRST show in Denver was at the beginning of this month!!! It was a blast, and at the gorgeous Jet Hotel in downtown Denver. I think I'm going to get back into the swing of these shows.

- My best friend from middle/high school just got married to his college sweetheart... So I had the honor of standing up as his best man in Wisconsin. It was a whirlwind weekend, but awesome.

- Going to see TV on the Radio tonight!! I have always wanted to see them play, so it's nearly impossible to retain all my excitement.

- My summer was awesome. Spending so much time playing Pac-Man and going to the zoo with Kelly, as well as moving up closer to the Capitol building here in Denver have all made my life that much better.

- FINISHED THE MURAL AT THE CHURCH!!! No pictures yet, but it was seven rooms, 40 or so yards of hallway, and 8 ft ceilings. Crazy work, but it's over now. I can't wait until we have our finishing party... the church has hired a professional photographer to come for it!

- More jobs are on the horizon.

- I'm working as a 3-4th grade teacher now and I LOVE it. Though it's a big pay cut, the organizational and creative challenges the job proposes have kept me excited about life.


- Kelly and I finished the painting below, about three months ago. It was a fun piece, and it's about 5 and a half feet tall.
I can't wait to do more collaborative projects.




LIFE IS GOOD!
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Home [Aug. 11th, 2011|12:52 am]
Nik
Where have I been?

I've been asking myself that for a while. I've been a lot of places, though not so much geographical.

Cards lately have been telling me I need to focus on the things that matter: health, love, and family. I don't find this hard to do considering it just makes sense right now to be in the moment, enjoy things slowly, and not dwell upon things. Though stressed, I've been content, still finding something about every day that I've liked. I share my life pretty openly with Kelly and that makes finding those things pretty easy.

Now that I'm up on the hill, I can see the capitol of Colorado from my house. It's nice being close to everything, but even nicer being in a place I'm happy with. It's a manageable, small studio, with hardwood floors and an antique charm. It reminds me of my old studio in Minneapolis, though not as stuffy. Even getting outside is less stuffy, as streets are wide and neighborhood-ly in this area.

I have a show coming up... it feels like I'm awake again. The last few years I feel like I've been playing "artist", but not quite doing it. Now I feel like I'm doing it, but hardly finding time to play. I came home from the Lookout Mountain mural an hour early to do some of my first paintings in this new studio apartment. I hope it turns out ready for the show.

The mural is about a month from completion; this I find odd seeing as I've been working on it for over a year. This is easily the biggest piece I've ever worked on. I can't count the hours I've put into this, the things I've painted over, the existing murals that I transformed and fit like puzzle pieces. It has been a real adventure molding my style to paint behind and in front of what was already there to create some depth and make the paintings alive.

I've been feeling alive lately, and for that I am grateful.
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Yes-INDEED. [May. 23rd, 2011|04:17 pm]
Nik
I stumbled across this link about distorted thinking, and though I don't think it's the end-all be-all of distorted thinking, it does bring a few people to mind:



On the sunnier side of things, the school year is almost finished here at MSD. It'll be hard saying goodbye to all the kiddos, but it's for the best. I left my contact information here so that if parents still want me to babysit I can still offer my services. It can be a headache at times, but working with kids brings a lot of light into my life. Even on those difficult days, it still feels like I'm doing something important... and they've done something important to me. They've taught me patience, to stop taking myself so seriously, to be confident even while acting silly, and how to be a fair and just judge of a person's behavior. I've learned that a person has to be separated from their actions, as those actions are often a result of reactions to things they don't understand.

My bicycle is amazing. I would take pictures if my camera were actually working, but this bike just makes my life better. I was glad I was inspired to buy a new ride when I was shopping Craigslist for a bike with Kelly. Now whenever we ride, it's just so much fun. Sexy bikes make for fun rides.


Ocean Phoenix


On the arts/work side of things, I start at Eyedea Worx on June 20th.. EXCITED! This will be the first time I've used my arts degree to get a job, and it'll be nice to work somewhere that I can really develop my skills and feel like I'm helping the business grow.

My website has been redesigned by the very talented Michael Marrujo. LOVE it. This guy is talented and he also did the website for Burning Bamboo, which will be going live some time this summer.



The Kids on the Mount mural will hopefully be finished by the end of July... I've started working on the rooms where the paintings were damaged by the flood over winter break. Already the Red Rocks room looks complete, and I have only a couple more to repair after that. Just this afternoon, I realized I have been at work on this mural for a YEAR already... I've learned SO much from this project. It will be a relief to be done with it, however, with free time that I can dedicate to some of the other things I need to do.

That's the tip of the iceberg of things I'm doing that are solidified... in addition to those things, I'll mention a few of the things that I've just been working on: "Japan: A Love Story" graphic novel project with Sonny Zwierkowski, "Field to Front Door" logo design, getting "Space Fruit Oddity" printed, tattoo designs for myself and others, jam paintings with Wally Burkholder, art gallery opening with Michael Marrujo, and as always the Brothers Nielsen graphic novel (or as the story is called now, "Depart from Guam")... My plate is full, and I hunger for more.
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Appreciation [Apr. 23rd, 2011|05:33 pm]
Nik
It's really easy to get frustrated when you don't feel appreciated for all the hard work you do.

I'm certain there are boatloads of people who read that statement and are thinking, "HELL YEAH, it is!"

Sometimes those people are even ignored, or forgotten about.

If you're one of those people, you probably think, "Well, I wonder how much they'll miss me when I'm not here anymore.." or "would everything come crashing to a halt if I weren't here??" I find myself thinking it all the time. It's downright irritating and makes a person feel like he's being used.


But after this afternoon I had a few minutes to put it all in perspective. Yeah, sure it can be annoying to even miss a simple "thank you," but I figured it's about time for me to get off my damned high horse about it. I'm not here to be admired or praised for what I do. While I admit that it can be encouraging to be told that my work is appreciated or even enjoyed, I'm here only to leave this world a little better than I found it. I try to put that in perspective whenever I do something: "Is this going to make someone's life a little better?" or "Am I going to benefit anyone other than myself from this?"

It's foolish of me to feel downtrodden or upset when the things I do are not recognized. The people in life who make all the difference aren't the ones who come to mind first, but the people who rarely come to mind at all. And I'm not out to make the biggest difference or save the world or anything like that; I just want to do something that makes me feel useful.


So today marks the end of my petty annoyances. Though I put the expectation of the kids I work with, I don't ever want to be someone who is pedantic about other people's manners other than myself. Naggers just annoy people; instead I'd rather lead by example.



On a completely unrelated note, this painting (after being cut into jigsaw puzzle pieces and set into a beautiful black frame) was one of the top sellers at this year's MSD Auction Among the Stars. It went for over a grand!!!

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Space Fruit Oddity [Apr. 14th, 2011|11:57 am]
Nik
I had a moment yesterday that was like the sun coming in through heavy blinds.

Sometimes it's hard to find the motivation to keep working on the things I do since nobody requires of me to publish my own comic book and I have no real deadlines. I wonder often if I weren't as self motivated, where my arts career would have gone (if anywhere)...


So yesterday I was noticing in my Comic Book Creation class that some kids were having difficulty finishing up their projects to be scanned. Feeling a bit energized after my last cup of french press for the day, I took the opportunity to share with the kids my very first sketch of Coffeestain Comicks: a ballpoint pen doodle of Fred the Pear drawn while I was in college. They laughed a little noticing the changes in the early versions of Fred and all unanimously agreed that the new look suits him well. It was refreshing to look back at my old sketchbook was by chance still in my back pack and show the kids how it all began. For the rest of the class (after they were bored of standing over my shoulder of course), they worked diligently on their own work until the end of the class.


Fred "the Pear" LaFruit, circa 2004





Fred "the Pear" LaFruit, circa 2011


Things have come a long way. They even giggled a bit at the "big dog" I drew... which was supposed to be a friendly cougar named Giorgio.

In moments of doubt like the deadline for a big project, it's fun to look back and see how far things have come. I have about 75% more motivation to finish "Space Fruit Oddity" TONIGHT and it will be epic.
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I'll Fight ya for FREE. [Apr. 4th, 2011|03:41 pm]
Nik
[Music |Temper Trap]

Several weeks ago my grandmother Kate Glinski passed after a long fight for a great life. She pulled through in one of her darkest moments after news of the Green Bay Packers getting to the playoffs, and was determined to see them win. She even held on long enough for me to come home for the Holland House show, and I was lucky enough to say goodbye to her. It was a heartbreaking moment, but it was a relief to know that now she's resting with her husband, my grandpa, Ed Glinski.

This piece was one I started the night I received the call about her passing, and finished after the funeral.

I unfortunately did not have the chance to go home and pay my respects... life deals those cards at times, but it's been getting better.


Norther



On the plus side, I am back at work after spring break's relaxation and adventure.

We took an amazing road trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, the final home of animator Chuck Jones, and current home to loads of beautiful art and inspiration. We were lucky enough to stumble upon some amazing galleries, including that of our aforementioned animation master. It was a religious experience, to say the least.







click for more Santa FeyyblesCollapse )

The rest of the break was spent busting my butt on the mural project up at Lookout Mountain. ONE more finished room, and a bit more hallway has been attacked by my mad brushes.




This marks ONE MORE finished room!


Though I THOUGHT I was a bit ahead of schedule, the deadline for the completion of the mural has been pushed forward to the end of July. YIKES!

I can do this, though. Ten hours of work in one sitting is no sweat, and I've got a lot of energy left. It'll be an awesome experience to put to rest a project that has already been three years in the making. I've been working on it for a year already.











And as I work hard, I also play hard. This weekend I celebrated with Kelly the Colorado Rockies opening day and went to the game the next day. I think I finally understand baseball. It takes a serious ninja to play some ball, and this is a sport of precision.



JAMMING OUT SO HARD TO TEMPER TRAP RIGHT NOW THAT IT'S UNSAFE FOR THE EARS.

Life is flipping GOOD.
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live in the nooowwwww, mannnn [Mar. 9th, 2011|03:54 pm]
Nik
My biggest flaw that I can think of right off the bat is that I find it difficult to live in the moment. As often as I preach it, I forget myself and jump ahead to the next half hour, several hours, days, months, years.... I need to stop that.

But it does make times like this a bit easier, knowing that when I have a pretty snotty sinus infection and busy times at work, that I've got an exciting trip to Santa Fe planned with a special someone. A day of relaxing in the hot springs of Ojo Caliente will most certainly provide relief from the challenges I've been taking on lately.



Ripples
$100



After a month away from the paintbrushes up at Lookout Mountain, I had a chance to get down and paint for a bit... WOOT! I have so much more work to do but I am excited to be near completion with this room. Here is a taste of it... the one wall that is pretty much 100% complete. :)





SO TIRED.


I think I've got next year planned out. Thailand is out... but I'm still getting my certification to teach English as a foreign language. I'm tentatively planning on working in Denver until the end of NEXT school year, just to give myself some more time to finish the gross magnitude of projects I have to wrap up before leaving.... and of course fit in some more quality time with a certain lovely lady...



Alright. I'll start living in the now... tomorrow.
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to tame a fox [Feb. 22nd, 2011|12:41 pm]
Nik
[Music |DeVotchKa - Somethin' Stupid]

Scene:

Nik is relaxing in his living room with one of his two very furry and fat Maine Coon Cats. The other cat is opposite him, curled up and asleep in a blue raggedy armchair. Sun is seeping in the window and making for a very serene environment.


....SUDDENLY

cat # 2 SPRINGS from armchair (faster than ever witnessed by human eyes) and attacks invisible flying MONSTER!

... cat realizes the monster isn't just invisible... it actually doesn't exist.


... cat promptly stares at Nik, apparently blaming him for this hallucination.

.. cat promptly falls back asleep.


-----------


A beautiful brown-eyed brunette brought this canvas over for us to paint on a couple weeks ago... and after only an evening's worth of painting, we finished this piece. I must say, I'm pretty pleased about it. :)


Going Lunar
(collaboration with Kelly)


Next weekend is the Holland House show... WOOT!

Still NOT sharing pictures of the pieces I'm bringing to the show. I'm saving those until they're on the walls in Wisconsin. :)

I have lots to share but I'm only picking and choosing what to post.



If I were a dinosaur, I'd be a Montessorious Rex.
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