Tag: First Friday

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!


Cool Brew Ice Adventure

Cool Brew ice Sculpture
"Cool Brew" ice sculpture by BZTAT

I wrote last week about this year’s First Friday Ice Festival in the Canton Arts District. I am just now reaching a point in my recovery where I can write about it. I was pretty sore and achy after 3 hours of rigorous work in sub-freezing temperatures.

I have decided that, should I decide to do it again next year, I will:

  1. Spend some time to really learn about what I am doing.
  2. Obtain my own power tools and honest-to-goodness ice carving tools.
  3. Get my body better prepared for such rigorous work.

All that said, I believe this year’s effort was a success, despite many challenges.

Somehow, I managed to burn through 3 different chainsaws. I rendered two old electric ones totally useless, and I used up all the gas in a gas-powered saw.  Sheez!!!

Ice sculting

At least all fingers and toes are still intact.

We also had problems with lighting. The Canton Development Partnership graciously provided some high powered lights to illuminate my work. Problem was that they were too high of voltage for my studio’s electrical system, so we had circuits blowing all over the place.

Somehow we managed, and the sculpture of my cat Brewskie Butt, entitled, “Cool Brew” came to be.

My sculpture, however, was only one small part of the many things going on in the Canton Arts District for the First Friday Ice Festival. We had master carvers, other Canton artists, the head chef and owner of Iris Restaurant, and culinary students from Canton South High School all carving ice creations.

We also received some wonderful press about the event. Here is an article from the Canton Repository (front page no less) in which I was quoted. Check out the photos for all the other fabulous ice creations around town.

Special thanks go to ArtsinStark and the Canton Special Improvement District for bringing so much energy to the First Friday events!

Life is an Adventure!


Ice, Ice Kitty! Canton's Fire and Ice Carving Festival

ice Sculpture by BZTAT

It’s hard to believe that it has been a whole year since I carved my first ice sculpture at the First Friday Ice Festival! You would think that once would be enough, but not for this intrepid artist.

It was such a rush for me  last year, I enthusiastically signed on to do another one for this year’s festival.

I have dug the snow pants out of the closet, and I am ready to go. It looks like I will need the snow pants, too, because we have lots of the white stuff here in Canton, and it has been downright FREEZING! Perfect weather for an ice festival.

I have yet to finalize this year’s design, but I have decided that it will be another Cool Cat Adventure!

Because the first Friday of the month was on New Year’s Day, this year’s festival and First Friday are actually on the second Friday of the month. Here are the details:

Opposites attract for the January First Friday ice festival extravaganza, which will be held on January 8th from 6 to 10 p.m. as the new arts year kicks off in downtown Canton. Themed Fire and Ice, the celebration promises a wintry mix of fun and flair with ice sculptures, fire hoop dancing & twirling, live music, new art exhibits, and snowflake crafts for the kids.

World champion ice carver Aaron Costic headlines the evening with a fire and ice tower to be set ablaze at 8:00 p.m. on an evening which hosts the cool creations of over 15 ice artists, which will be positioned throughout the Canton Arts District. Carvers include the Elegant Ice Carving Team, Angus McIntosh Sr., Angus McIntosh Jr., Lynn Digby, Ron White, John Froman, students from R.G. Drage, the Players Guild Theatre design team, Vicki Boatright BZTAT, Craig Booth and Patrick Buckohr.

Download more information and a map for January 8th’s Fire & Ice festival at http://www.cantonfirstfriday.com.

You can also watch the promotional video:

Hope to see you there!!!

Life is an Adventure!