No Lament For True Lovers

Diamones For Eyes killer video for one of my favorite songs of all time. This “spell” played a huge roll in my move to New Orleans. Voodoo?  Probably.  DFE is one of my favorite Des Moines bands and I miss them dearly.  I actually got to play drums with them for a short time.

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One A Day Till 30

Graham Franciose’s gigantic 366 piece show opens this  Saturday, Feb. 23rd. Graham did a small drawing or painting every single day in 2012.   The Shop Gallery will be transformed into a giant calendar.  I am totally stoked to see it and I’m really proud of my pal for completing such a gigantic undertaking.  Here’s a little interview with the man himself.

Where did the one a day idea come from? it kind of sounds like a double dare to me.

Well, I had seen a couple shows where people were using the one-a-day model and the end result was just so impressive and staggering.  I started asking myself if I thought I could do it.  Most of the shows I had seen that did this were photo shows, but an artist friend here in Austin, Josh Row, designed a skateboard deck everyday for a year and when I saw his show I decided I had to give it a try.  He is currently on year two after a one year hiatus. 247 9 6 12

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This had to be a tough project to keep up with – what would you say was the toughest part about it?

It was definitely challenging at times.  There were some days where I was ready to go, and couldn’t wait to start one, and there were other days when it was the last thing I wanted to do.  I went through a break up after a seriously long relationship, my Great Grandfather passed away, I did a lot of traveling, and also did a lot of partying, so when dealing with those things, or the repercussions of those things, I usually wasn’t in the drawing mood.  I think being away from my studio was the hardest.  Not having a scanner available or sparse art supplies made things a little tough.

On one hand it seems like this could be a lot of pressure – on the other it seems like “what the heck – i’m doing another one tomorrow” – tell the readers a bit about how this might have affected your quality standards.

Well, when I started I was really putting a lot of time and thought into the pieces because it was new and exciting.  The same thing happend as I was coming towards the end of the project because I really wanted the final collection to be something that I would be proud of.  There were times, in the middle, where I did some half-assed pieces because I was just tired or not feeling well or whatever.  I was real disappointed the first time it happened but learned to live with it and it usually pushed me to do something better the next day. 

How did this project affect your working on other works?

Sometimes after finishing a one-a-day I would have that sense of satisfaction that I completed something creative and thus didn’t need to do anything else productive that day, which was not good for other projects I had going on.  But, sometimes after completing one I would just be in the zone and start one or two other projects to keep the creative juices flowing.  One positive aspect of the whole project was the freedom to experiment with different mediums and ideas that might not normally fit into my style and what I feel like is expected of me.  In turn I have started incorporating some of these techniques and new mediums into my personal work.  It was a great way to practice, learn, and push my techniques.web-day 127 5 9 12

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How does it feel to have completed the series?

It was bitter sweet for sure.  On one hand it was a huge relief and I felt this huge sense of freedom.  On the other hand, it had become part of my everyday routine and I missed that.  It was also really nice to get immediate feedback from the people following the blog and following along on Facebook.  It’s always nice to know what you are doing is appreciated.

Ever wanna do it again?

I may do it again.  Another friend that I went to art school with, Chris Piascik, does a drawing every Monday -Friday.  I think having the weekends off would be nice!

Why New Orleans? Why The Shop?

I’ve been showing with The Shop since they opened and have a good relationship with the owner, Bean.  A few months into the project Bean approached me about doing a show at his gallery once it was complete.  I hadn’t really thought that far ahead when I first started but I knew I wanted to do something with it in the end.  Since he jumped on the idea so soon into the project I decided to commit to it and do the show there (sorry all you Austinites, but it’s only an 8 hour drive!  Road trip!)  Plus, I love New Orleans and I’ll take any excuse to come to the city!

One A Day Till 30 opens THIS Saturday at THE SHOP GALLERY 509 Royal St. New Orleans

All of the one-a-days are now available as fine art giclee prints through Skyline Art Editions.

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Graham Franciose Bio

After spending just a few moments with his work, it’s not shocking to learn that Graham Franciose was born and reared in the forests of rural Massachusetts. Though trained in photorealism at the Hartford Art School where he received his BFA in illustration, Graham’s style has developed into an evocative mixture of illustration and pop surrealism. On the surface, the subjects appear familiar and almost mundane. His work has been characterized as equally whimsical and melancholic – seeking to freeze an ordinary moment in time, often evoking unsettling, yet familiar, emotions.  It’s easy to picture his style as one you might find in a children’s storybook, but on further inspection, Graham appears to be addressing the deeper and sometimes darker recesses of the human experience.Graham lives and works as a freelance illustrator and fine artist in Austin, Texas. He is represented in galleries in Austin, Houston, New Orleans and Washington D.C.

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Photo Credit: Alicia Vega