Tag: artist using social media

BlogPaws: Bringing Passions Together

Anyone who knows me knows that I have 3 passions: Art, pets, and pet charities.

At the HUGELY successful BlogPaws conference in Columbus, OH this past weekend, I got a chance to indulge all 3 passions.

First, I got to meet one of my FAVORITE Twitter pals, @CosmoHavenese (pictured with my commissioned portrait of another Twitter “anipal” sensation, @FrugalDougal).

Second, I was the coordinator of the PawsArt Exhibit and Silent Auction at BlogPaws, which featured artwork by some of the best animal artists in the country.

And third, I met with many people who are doing important work to support animal charities, including: Lynn Haigh, FrugalDougal’s staff and coordinator of the monthly PawPawty on Twitter;  Dr. V. of Pawcurious; Dorian Wagner of Your Daily Cute; Jane Harrell from Petfinder, and Caroline Golon, staff of RomeotheCat, and BlogPaws cofounder.

Lynn, Dr. V., Dorian and Jane put on this amazing presentation entitled, “Be the Change”, challenging each and every pet lover to do something in their own way to benefit animals in need.

The have started a “Be the Change” Challenge, in which I will participate, and will post about later this week. I hope that you will participate too.

Stay tuned! More about BlogPaws and “Be the Change” to come!

Life is an Adventure!


What's It Like To Be a Professional Artist? It's Just, Well…

BZTAT-professional-artist-at-workI am speaking with groups of middle school students today about what it is like to be a professional artist.  Not a difficult topic for me, obviously, but it is still a challenge. When you speak to youth, you always feel a compulsion to leave some kind of impact and impression upon them.

And that is really kind of silly.

The last thing kids want from you is YOUR wisdom, because, you know, they always know more than you do.

I am not being sarcastic. Kids DO know a lot, and they have a different perspective on things than those of us who reached adulthood long ago.

I respect that. I have found that I am better off if I let THEM leave an impression on me, rather than vice versa.

I expect to learn a lot today.

Teach me guys, and ask me questions. I will try to make it a reciprocal exchange.

I was going to put together a PowerPoint presentation, but I decided against that. Young students are very tech savvy these days, and PowerPoints are boring.

Since my trajectory into making a career out of my art has been built upon using social media, and the school that I am visiting has WiFi, I am instead putting my presentation right here on my blog.

The presentation is all about images. I will post a few here, and see where it leads.

And I hope that some of my readers will give my students some comments to consider as well.

BZTAT Studios
My Studio in the Canton Arts District
BZTAT Studios First Friday

Canton First Friday
Second April Galerie, Canton, OH
BZTAT painting on location
BZTAT painting on location
Downtown Cats Mural
Creative Use of Social Media

So, what would you like to learn about being a professional artist? And what would you like to learn from my students?

Life is an Adventure!


The Shorty Awards in New York City: What a Blast!

BZTAT and Frugal Dougal with staff at the Shorty Awards
BZTAT and Frugal Dougal with staff (Lynn Haigh) at the Shorty Awards

Everyone expected me to be at the Shorty Awards. I did have a pretty public appeal for help to get there, after all. And everyone expected @FrugalDougal‘s staff to be there too (nominated in the non-profit category). But it was a complete surprise for all of us when the phenomenal fund raising pooch showed up himself at the Shorty Awards!

I discovered that the CDO of the #PawPawty is no shrinking violet at human parties as well. What a good time we all had in New York!

Neither  Dougal nor I came home with a Shorty Award, but we certainly had a good time celebrating as finalists. Dougal and I had a great time with his staff, Lynn Haigh, and Nancy Heltman (tweeter for @VAStateParks, who was nominated for a Shorty award in the Government category).

At the Shorty Awards

We met up with some other “tweeps” as well during our adventure to the Shorty Awards.

Shorty Awards Tweet-up
Shorty Awards Tweet-up
Shorty Awards Tweet-up
Shorty Awards Tweet-up
Shorty Awards Tweet-up
Shorty Awards Tweet-up

I also got to see my niece, who is studying costume and theater set design at NYU, and who I am convinced is going to be famous some day.

BZTAT and Travis Boatright
BZTAT and Travis Boatright

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to New York, and I took lots of photos to use for reference in making some digital art. Watch for my NYC series of works to come in the future.

I want to express my deepest thanks to all who helped me get to New York so that I could experience the Shorty Awards in person. It truly was a very special opportunity to be able to represent the wonderful pet community on Twitter at the Shorty Awards.

Although the Shorty Awards tended to favor recognizable Twitterers over creative users of the medium, and an unusual number of ties was somewhat disconcerting, I think the whole process was a fun and exciting adventure.

Thank you to all my followers who made the Shorty dream come alive for me.

Life is an Adventure!