The written word has been my preferred focus of creative expression for many years. It seems, however, that color is seeking its own translation through my being. Acknowledging the power of both methods has led to the enhancement of each through the other. The Web has had a huge influence in my decision about how I set these energies free.
The proper presentation of my images in this space is intimately tied to the way my words flow throughout. I throw a little background about jaxun into the mix, and suddenly you're that much closer to the mind of a madman (perhaps a little closer than you might want to be). Relax. It's not contagious unless you commute 180 miles a day...with no radio in your car.
Imago Dei (The Artist Within)
Imago Dei was brought into being back in October of 1994, when I first became an artistic contributor to Art on the Net. I have the homor of being one of its "founding" members! This was about the time my creative fires flared in a way that I couldn't ignore, and by my own hand dozens of images came to life on my PC's display. They demanded a place to shine, and Imago Dei was it.
Since that time, my attitude about what I'm doing here, with this little corner of The Matrix, has changed considerably. My whole attitude about the medium itself as been in constant flux, making me question its usefulness or relevance to what I do and who I am. What will the web be a year from now? What do I want to do with these newfound artistic tendencies? Where is all this going?!?
Call Me BitFlipper
As a computer support technician, I have a unique perspective on the world of computers, tempered very much by how I interact with the results of technology on John Q. Public. This direct invovlement with the problems new technology represents is largely why I began painting in the first place.
Creating my art has given me a way to resolve my anxiety about the penetration of computers in our lives; balancing the dry, economically-driven interactions with computers at work against this restorative, creative activity of pixel-pushing using the very same technology. I can share my pictures with many people, world-wide, and hopefully create some Common Ground with a perfect stranger. It has happened a few times, enough to make it all worthwhile.
The spark that forged this space has steadily grown into
a flame that threatens to engulf everything "ordinary" in my life.
I feel the distinctions melting away...
It wasn't until about 1995 that I began seriously considering my Muse as something worth nurturing and developing into the beast that now lurks among these pages. This realization about my creative pursuits has effected a change in my perceived trajectory through life, much the way a star pulls a passing comet into its gravity well. The gravity of this path is inescapable.
When I first brought Imago Dei into being in October of 1994, I had no idea what direction it would go (or take me in the process) based on its original incarnation. As the new year rolled around, I sensed a shift in its significance in my life, and in the role my creative expressions would play therein. The first acknowledgement of this perceived transition in conciousness proved to be more momentous than I initially imagined.
Ironically during the ideation of that same expression of Imago Dei, I had stated that these images and words represented a dabbler's efforts, and that most likely they would remain part of what would ultimately be a labor of love, versus an income-generating effort. This was all in the name of fun, I kept telling myself. Well, true to the theme of changes, I've reconsidered my motives for maintaining this pursuit. It seems that the dabbler has provided its own incentive for bringing in a little cash, as the toys involved ain't cheap! Fortunately, enough overtime and little paying projects along the way are keeping me out of hock.
The theme of transition seems especially relevant for me. There is a palpable sense of completion in many circles of my life, and in many ways I seem to be "coming into my own". This perception continues to be reinforced in both my personal and "professional" lives. The spirit of Imago Dei is present in both.
In my personal life, transition's significance is represented by new levels of intimacy and understanding among friends and family, and especially with my wife. I have gradually come to recognize the vital role these relationships play in my ongoing effort to define who I am. In my search for Common Ground, these are the most important sources of direction and feedback about my progress.
In my work life, there is almost more change than I can manage effectively. In August of 1996, I became an intern at D-Q University, a tribal college near Davis, California, where I've been their website development and administration coordinator since June of 1995. I also began teaching there for the first time in the fall 1996 semester, and will be expanding my role as an instructor as the months progress. I am still amazed at this opportunity because I have no degree, and have never taught before, but I seem to be getting right into the "groove". It's great!
As I put these words to the page, a seasonal transition is commencing. With summer winding down, I'm breathing a sigh of relief knowing that fall's cool breezes and melancholy sunsets are just around the corner. Fall has always been my favorite and most spiritual time of year. I am especially enthusiastic about this autumn's promise, given what the rest of the year always seems to reveal.
As amazing to me as all these changes are, I have a strong feeling the most incredible journey is awaiting me just around the corner. Stay tuned...
For visitors interested in the technical details of Imago Dei, I am providing a bit of background on my tools and techniques.
Currently, I'm using a 486 DX2/66, with 32 megs of RAM (and 16 on the hard drive controller). Graphics card is an Orchid P9000 with 3 megs of RAM, and my tablet is a Wacom 5"x8" model they discontinued not too long ago. My pixel-pushing software is Painter 3.1 by Fractal Design, ably assisted by Kai's Power Tools. I also use CorelDRAW! on occasion.
All of the images here in Imago Dei begin as originals. I've begun playing a little with scanned material and stock photos, but prefer to start from scratch. Most of my work involves playing with gradients, masks, and texture tweakage. Painter's Glass Distortion (using the undocumented distortion map feature) is a favorite and often-used effect, both for text effects and providing an image with a distinct "fluid feel". I'm drawn more to abstract work, largely because of my lack of formal artistic training and technique for creating more representational pieces.
I have found a great deal of enjoyment playing with form, color, and light without any expectation of what a piece should look like when I'm done. Approaching my pixel-pushing from this perspective has allowed me to explore pixelspace in new ways. I've been exploring like this ever since I got Painter 2.0 a couple years ago, and have yet to run out of new ways to tweak my digital canvases.
My approach to creating hypertext documents evolves weekly, as I see new pages by different people, using different combinations of code to create an occasional interesting space or two. Imago Dei was put together using Frontpage, and I am testing the documents with Netscape 2.0.
What I've done for money...
What I want to do...
Some Favorite Musicians...