As many of you know, Moore, Oklahoma and other areas were devastated by a F5 tornado that ripped through the Midwest. It destroyed much of the town I live in. Several housing editions are simply gone. We lost many great people, including several children. I was scared to death that my brother or father might be caught up in it. I was not able to reach them for a bit during the storm. Shortly after I found out that they were okay but that my nieces were in one of the schools that was destroyed. My brother was on the way to check on them and see what happened and make sure they were okay. We went for hours with no news. Later in the evening, I would find out that they had survived, battered and bruised, scared but they were alive. Some of the children however, did not make it. The schools did not really have adequate storms shelters.
In just 16 minutes, lives were changed forever. In a moment, everything in some areas was gone.
Tornados are such a scary thing. I remember as a boy we had funnel clouds appear above the house and in areas and some people would just stand out and watch them form. A few years back, during one storm my father was outside watching the weather. I heard on the news that a tornado was headed to our area. I went outside to get him and I saw him but I also saw clouds twisting and I thought starting to form a tornado. I had my phone on me and decided to record it while yelling at my father to come in before running into the house to seek shelter. As I turned to look down the street to see if any neighbors were outside, I saw the real monster drop it’s tail in the playground across from our home.
Oklahoma is no stranger to tornadoes. We live in what they call Tornado alley. After all these storms, I don’t know how much longer I can live in this area. I am however proud to be from Oklahoma. So many people here are quick to come to the aid of others. Like any place we have our crazies. But, seeing just how many people come from all over to help.
After this recent tornado we have had celebrities and people from all over the world coming to help.
The day the tornado hit, I was going to stay home. I had not been feeling well the day before. A tornado had hit Edmond and other areas previously. Well, a dear friend was going to be leaving for a trip to India on that Monday and wanted to see me and needed my help. So I went to visit her. Once we started running the errands, the weather changed completely. We were assaulted by hail and torrential rains. My father called and asked me to listen to the weather. My friend and I were doing our best to stay positive and put good intentions towards our world. We then ended up in one of the eyes of the storm. It was beautiful, but the storm was deadly.
Soon after the tornado, I asked myself how I could help and then I thought about all the people I know from the work I do. I recently returned from a leadership seminar in California called “Expert’s Academy”, where I got to meet some really wonderful people and some of them have already answered the call for help. All, I can say is thank you. I really can not find adequate words. Several artists are also helping. We have some big names working on helping us to build a fundraiser, but more than that it is going to be an event to help inspire, motivate and lift the spirits of people here in Oklahoma. We are still looking for others to help us. Currently, I am waiting on confirmation from several before I start listing the names of everyone coming together on this, and so far, I am completely in awe.
Everything I have learned the past few years is proving to be true.
Sometimes we have to learn to ask the right questions and when we do, tremendous and beautiful things happen. My family and I are alive. Our houses are mostly intact. My brother and his family are staying in a hotel. Some friends lost their homes completely. It took three days before I was even able to make it into my neighborhood because of traffic and road blocks. We had some looters, but mainly people were coming in droves to help with rescue efforts. It has been more than amazing to see so much love and compassion. I am proud to be an Oklahoman.
Thank you to everyone who has helped, continues to help and to those that are looking to help. We are going to do a seed fundraiser and meeting on May 31st towards the big event, still working on the confirmation of location. We are looking to do the big event on June 15th, 2013. The way things are looking this is going to be something wonderful.
In the meantime we are looking for partners, sponsors, artists, speakers, volunteers, performers and more. We are encouraging people to dress as heros whether it be firemen, police officers or even super heroes or just themselves. We are all heroes if we are just willing to step up. We are calling the event “Rise above the Storm.” Here is the event page on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/404351133014163/
Wow, we just finished Expert’s Academy here in Santa Clara, California and I have to say that it was simply amazing. Brendon had several guest speakers for us including Frank Kern, Mary Morrissey and more. It was five days packed with very useful information and networking. My friend Shaun and I both came from Oklahoma to attend the event with over 900 experts from all over the world and we have been lucky to become friends with many of them. Professionals from all walks of life and all kinds of businesses from Yoga to Writing, Personal Development, Restaurant Management and so much more.
It was truly a wonderful event. I have been studying personal development, business, psychology and many other fields for several years now. Authors and speakers like, Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Les Brown and more have been my inspiration over those years. A few years ago I came across Brendon Burchard’s work and found it very intriguing. At first, I must admit, i was skeptical because of his young age, but I gave his work a chance and I have not been disappointed for one second. Brendon like many of us has overcome some really scary situations in life and have leveraged it to motivate him to help others. Why go through life making all these mistakes if you can learn from someone else, or what about someone else who has studied the experiences and knowledge of others? I figure if I can learn from others and not have to make the same mistakes then I can do more of what I love to do and help others in the process. I have more pictures to dig through and find, but here are a few fun ones for now of some of the people we got to meet. Enjoy!!!
Well, things are going pretty well. On the road to California for a leadership seminar and conference called “Expert’s Academy” put on by none other than Brendon Burchard. Driving from Oklahoma to California, then I am staying for a week and going to try and take in as much as possible. I plan on visiting the Redwoods and stopping along the way to get some marvelous pictures. I will update this post with some pictures of the journey for all of you to appreciate.
Thanks to my friend, Shaun Axton and my father helping, I will be able to make this trip. It will be good get out on the road. I have never traveled so far in my life, so it shall be an adventure and a journey. I am excited…
For those that do not know about Expert’s Academy it is advanced training on how to better realize the message you have, building your branding, framework and learning good practices. Some advanced psychology and other awesome things. They are going to have some guest speakers as well. I am excited to see who all it will be.
I am excited to say that some great opportunities have been coming our way. Our team has been working hard on some new projects that might excite and inspire you. In the most recent news, we have been sponsored and hired by Solavei and Inertia Tours to go to South Padre Island for Spring Break to do bodypainting and promotions. If all works out well we will be going on a cruise in the summer as well. With all my work and the help of some great people the body painting, photography, promotions and motivational speaking is all starting to come together. There were doubters but soon many of them will be left in the dust.
For more than 10 years, I have had phone service with Sprint and have been paying over $120 per month for what was supposed to be a $99 unlimited plan. Well because I have a smart phone they charge an extra $10 plus fees and insurance, etc. They have been good in many ways over the years but their customer service has really gone downhill. Well, I am an entrepreneur so i am always looking for opportunities to help me become more financially stable. A friend of mind started working with this company and is making over $2000 a month and they pay his phone bill. He started off as a customer at $50/month for unlimited with more options than Sprint gives me. The companies name is Solavei. They have a great pricing structure for unlimited and so much more. Once you get three others to sign up it pays for your phone and you start making money. The more people you refer that sign up the more you make. You are helping others to make a living doing what they love. We all need our phones. Now I joined the company and now they are paying for me to go to Spring Break and do what I love. What’s better than having someone else pay your phone bill and sending you on Vacation to Network? If you are interested in knowing more, let me know, visit my page on the Solavei website.
It has been a while since any last updates. Many of you may know that I lost my mother last year and there have been some various hardships we have been working to overcome, but thankfully, I have a great team, a loving family and other elements to help take care of things. Without their constant support and encouragement, i don’t know where I would be.
A few days ago, I got to work with a new photographer on a few fun body painting concepts. The Client was Chuck Coleman and CCI Photography, the lovely models were Emily and Jessica. They are all part of the CCI Agency, which I have now teamed up with for some future projects as well. Emily and Jessica were a blast to work with. Jessica had done some body painting before, but this was Emily’s first time. She was nervous, but warmed up after a bit and trusted the artists and we achieved some awesome results.
The product we used for this shoot was Snazaroo. I order many of my supplies online generally, but Snazaroo seems the most readily available and best product to get locally. Michael’s Hobby and Craft stores carry it. Hobby Lobby also have some body painting supplies but they are just not on the same level. Both stores have a brand called Tulip, but every time I have used it, I find that is stains the models skin. So I avoid Tulip now. You can imagine how happy a model would be having to go around blue for a few days and trying to explain it to their client and agents. What you use is so important, so don’t rush and just use any products. My favorites so far are Snazaroo, Mehron, Paradise, Wolfe Brothers and Temptu. Unfortunately, the company that used to sponsor me with liquid latex years ago went out of business. Some people are allergic to the latex and some to the ammonia, so I have not been using much liquid latex over the years either.
Many people don’t realize what all goes into bodypainting. Sometimes our job sort of feels like a therapist, a stylist, a psychologist, a painter and so much more. I suppose that is where the motivational speaking comes into play and becomes a good help as well. I have been doing the body painting for more than 12 years now and worked with some absolutely wonderful and talented people.
My best friend and lovely assistant, Heather Beleza was there to help. She always brings such a great attitude to the job. She has been one of the most supportive ladies I have had the pleasure of working with. I want to make sure and credit her for her help. She is coming along in her own way with the body painting and I am very proud of her. Not only is she a great model and a good promoter, she is becoming quite the artist.
So all in all, it was a great shoot. We got along with the models and the photographer so well, that we spent a few extra hours going above and beyond and just having some creative fun time. It made for a great team and some beautiful art. The Flamingo, that inspired the clients, was originally conceived by the wonderful artist. Gesine Marwedel. Check out her work sometime, it is absolutely fantastic. We told her about the work we did and she loved it. Of course she enjoyed the credit too. We may not always remember to give people credit where credit is due, but when you do it makes all the difference. An attitude of gratitude can go a long way.
I love working with artists, clients and colleagues that realize all the hard work that goes into what we do. So many seem to expect us to be able to do this stuff free, but there is no way. The materials alone can be costly, then when you paint for 12 hours or more, the planning, the meetings and all the time involved in general, to simply earn pennies, one can not keep doing what we do. The goal is to start running this more and more like an effective business and we have some great business models that we are molding after. Many more surprises to come in the future.
Thank you to everyone for their hard work on this project. Chuck you got some great images. Emily and Jessica you were fantastic, lovely and awesome models. Heather, thank you so much for all you do, my dear friend. I love you very much. your support these past few years has been nothing short of amazing. My art is what keeps me alive and you all allow me to keep doing what I love. If you like what we do, please donate. It helps us as artists do even more.
So I have been focusing on more detailed designs and detailed oriented projects. Right now I am working on the substance and form, later will come more of the technique and style. This month I was a featured artist with RAWARTISTS from Oklahoma City. We had a show called Radiate which was actually part of a larger project of the same show and name being thrown in major cities across the nation as part of the RAWARTISTS mission.
It was a fun event, with lots of very talented artists and individuals.
In preparation for the show I started working on completely new bodypainting designs to challenge myself and show more of what I can really do when given the time, a reliable model and a great team. Thanks to people like Heather Beleza, Kristin Ni
chol, Chelsea Nicole, Carlie Braun, Lacey Odell, Justin Hogan, Katey Easley, Mackenzie McCoy and many more I was able to create some really fabulous images, but I want to do deeper and bigger. I need to find a core group of people to help me reach the next level and in turn they will be able to be part of something great. For now, here are a few images that were kept under wraps until this last art show.
So many of us struggle everyday. Our lives are now overwhelmed by information and situations. I have a lot of people that come to me about my art or photography and ask me how I get my ideas or where I find my inspiration. At first, I want to say that there is no simple explanation, but in truth there is… Inspiration is everywhere… It helps to be a lifelong learner. The more information and knowledge you have, the more things that can inspire you. It is sort of like a chemical or chain reaction. You learn to feed off of beginnings, off of basic thoughts and then start to think of possibilities.
One of the best pieces of advice I was given, was basically.. “Take time to take time”.. Okay so maybe it was actually, Take time to be quiet, rest and reflect, but once you take the time to breathe, the waters settle and you can start to gain clarity and focus on your purpose. What do you want to achieve? what is available to you? What do you have and what can you do with it? Then you use examples of things that are all around you. Artists throughout history have been inspired by simple beginnings. Even some martial arts were inspired by watching insects, animals and other living creatures. We all live in a world of cause and effect. When you start to see how things work, you also see what doesn’t work.
Start with the question of: What IF?
Here is one of my very first speeches in Toastmasters with a little talk called: “How do you find inspiration?”
As many of you know from my portfolio, I do a variety of work and I like to play on the edge from time to time. I do everything from your normal everyday portraits to more ellaborate and fantastical work for art and commercial projects.
At least twice now I have done photo shoots with some Native American influence to them and each time it has been at the request of the client or a collaboration with the model for their portfolio.
Yesterday, I did my first photoshoot of the spring with the lovely model: Sammie Jay
She did a great job and is always easy to work with. When I got to my studio I decided to upload the pictures and work on a few to surprise. When I had them done, I posted them on my various social networking profiles and portfolios. Almost immediately I started receiving emails about how I was exploiting Native American women. This happened a few years ago too as someone else I knew felt that way about one of my images.
Now I am not out to offend anyone, but at some point you have to draw the line and keep your artistic integrity. The images I did today were beauty and swimwear portraits. Pretty simple and straight forward with little editing for flair.
I don’t really see how people would be offended by these images, but I would love to hear some feedback from some of my fans and followers. It might help me come up with more interesting images in the future and I will know just what kind of stirring my images are causing.
I am not complaining. I am more curious and looking to learn from this situation. I want to create images that are thought provoking and engaging. I was not expecting the shots I did today to have any effect like that. In anycase, I hope you enjoy and I look forward to your feedback.
On my last trip to New York City, I was in need of a new pair of boots to help me on my trek around town. After some deliberation, I went to a mall on Long Island and ventured into a Foot Locker to search for the perfect pair to suit my needs. I ended up buying a pair of Lugz boots from the N.Y. Lug Co., a division of Jack Schwartz Shoes. They have been my favorite pair of boots and most comfortable since, even beating out my old military boots.
You see, New York is a big town, as many of you know. I was there to visit friends and do several photoshoots. So a lot of travel was involved. Driving a car around the big city just did not seem like a good idea. So I got my metro pass for the two weeks I was there and after getting my new boots I set out of my journey. I got to see the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and many of the arts districts.
I also have an injured knee, so I need something that is not going to complicate things. These boots give a great grip and firm hold.
Here it is just over a year later and my boots have finally given out. They literally broke in two after their faithful service. They have served me well in my travels, projects and adventures.I even escaped having my brains and boots stolen from a Zombie that had gotten loose from the Walking Dead promotion in town and when you are running from Zombies, you need a good pair of boots. If I had to do it again the one difference I may have done was purchase a pair of the steel toe boots, so I would have had a better defense against said zombies.
Since being in Oklahoma again, I have not been able to find the same boots. So for now I have a sub standard replacement in my boot collection along with some other decent shoes but perhaps I will talk about them in a different post as this one is dedicated to the memory of my faithful companions. Thank you N.Y. Lug Co for providing an excellent product.
If you are looking for a good brand check them out.
Given the many requests of the years and Considering that each year I have several events and clients that want me to paint more and more models each year. I am going to be putting together some bodypainting and makeup workshops to train people in Oklahoma about the industry. Some of the do’s and don’ts, safe materials and many other topics. This will also allow me to build a team of talented people that will be able to help me when working for larger client projects. Having a team of 3 to 6 to paint 10 models is a lot easier than taking it on by one’s self and it will allow me to focus that extra time on the level of detail and quality that i want in my own work without feeling rushed to produce the end results.
Are you someone that is interested in attending or being a part of such a workshop? I need models for these as well as students. So let me know your interest and as things start coming together I can let you all know so we can start making things happen.
The first workshops will be NON-NUDE, but I will be teaching some concepts regarding painting for photography,events and other concerns that may be 18+. Any workshops that I do that are 18+ models will be wearing bottoms and pasties.
Looking at April 14th or 15th around 3pm. Talking with Venue now to see which day is best.
The cost for the workshop will be $50. (Part of which will go to secure the venue and other costs)
If you are a student, you will be asked to tip the models you are working with.
If you have your own model, you may bring them with prior advance notice.
All models give consent to students to take photos for their portfolio for shared use. Model Release may be provided.
At this time we are still working to secure a venue so we can set the time and place. You will notified once things are arranged.
As always, I appreciate everyone’s support and I hope the years to come will be fruitful, creative and wonderfully productive to the arts in Oklahoma. Body Painting is a great way to get your work out their whether you are an artist, a photographer or a model.
Now I ask you, what is the next step and who is interested?
Here are instructions on supplies you will need to get for the class, order now because it may take a week to get them, unless you choose priority: