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Inspiration is No Joke

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Sometimes inspiration hits when you least expect it.

I know how I operate: I am deadline driven. When I take on a commission I want to know when I need to deliver it by. Of course, there is always the circumstance when I ask, “When would you like this?” and the answer is “Oh, whenever…” Let me give you a little background behind my latest commission which I just call “The Joker”…

I am fortunate to have an awesome patron who has commissioned a number of works throughout the years who’s quite flexible with completion timetables. It’s pretty funny really…sometimes I’ll finish a piece in a month, or two, or maybe a bit longer…About 5 years ago I dropped off a painting to his home in San Francisco and he said, “I’d like to have a joker painting in your style.” We originally discussed my old-school gouache on wood technique and at first I was quite animated and inspired. However this faded and I did not feel the same drive to paint this freaking awesome character. I’ve always wanted to do the joker, why am I suddenly uninspired? Time passes, I’ve embraced the encaustic medium and I now see my gouache work as a thing of the past. During that time I have also moved up north to the Sacramento area and met new people.

Speaking of new people, one of my co-workers has a face made of rubber. One day at work inspiration hit like a lightening bolt as I was talking to him. I can’t remember the conversation but I do recall rudely interrupting him saying “OMG I HAVE TO PAINT YOU AS THE JOKER!” And the rest was history.

After seeing my friend’s rubber face I had a crystal clear vision in my mind of what I wanted to do. This new idea wasn’t quite what my collector and I originally discussed but I just had to do it. I decided to go in the new direction…

This commission was 5 years in the making: I couldn’t force the painting into a style that I no longer resonated with. I never forgot about the Joker, he was in the back of my mind and would pop up every now and again. Inspiration comes out of nowhere and when it does strap yourself in and go along with the ride!

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