August Artist of the Month: Jeff Van Syckle
I can spend hours and hours - often days -
putting together a single photographic piece, or
looking for that "feeling" in a photo and making it
appear. I love digitally manipulating my images
because I've always wanted the world to be a
little different than it appears.
The comics I create are really two ongoing and
distinct bodies of work under the title, “a lifetime
thinking . . . . One part is a memoir presented
graphically, and the other, political and social
commentary cartoons. Occasionally, there's a
comic that doesn't really fit into either of these
categories and just sort of pops out of my brain
while I’m playing with images.
The photos are all original shots taken by me, albeit heavily digitally manipulated in most cases. I shoot with a Nikon D90, a tiny Sony DSC-TX30/D, and sometimes a Gretchen Bleiler Holga 135BC, but a lot of the photos start out as iPhone photos that are edited on an iPad, an iMac or both, and then reprocessed by me in a higher resolution suitable for print. The comics are usuallybased around original photos, but also include public domain images or stock clip-art I never really thought about it, but recently someone observed that a lot of my images“evoke a sense of loss and mystery,” and I think they’re probably correct. I've always sensed that a part of me is missing in some way and this might account for the sense of “loss” in my images. The “mystery” is just the way I've always seen the world – the sensation that there's a piece of reality that's just beyond our experience; sort of the thing you catch out of the corner of your eye. Sometimes it's surprising, sometimes fascinating, sometimes frightening - but always mysterious. Again, like a piece that doesn't quite fit in with the reality-puzzle. I’ve come to art later in my life because I was so very busy trying to “fit in.” I’ve been, not necessarily in this order: A kid, a student, an alter boy, a pipe-nipple packer, a steel-mill worker, a tropical fish salesman, an addict and alcoholic (recovering 35 years), a Russian lit major, a popcorn popper, a psychology professor, a professional speaker, a chronic depressive (since birth?), a friend, a lover, a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a writer – a VERY frustrated artist who can't draw a lick. I worked on early MTV videos, wrote advertising jingles, been an audio engineer, a computer graphics designer (back when disks were the size of large serving platters), a produce salesman (you know, veggies), a multimedia instructional designer, a vinyl record salesperson, and I’ve tried very hard to be a good guy.
If you are interested in seeing more of my work, there are several websites to which you
http://www.bluecanvas.com/jvansyckle - Pretty much all images, photos and comics, are posted here immediately. If you see something you’re interested in purchasing, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
http://www.trilliumgallery.com/jeff-van-syckle.html - Trillium is my “home” gallery. They show about 40 of my pieces at any one time and do all of my printing.
https://www.facebook.com/alifetimethinking - The FB page where I post most of my
comics, although almost anything can show up here!