Friday, December 12, 2008

The birth . . . my first paintings.

I've been really busy lately, currently working on a few illustrations for KING magazine as well as some other paintings . . . on top of that I critique students work every week for Schoolism. It might be a bit before I can share some of that work here on my blog and I haven't had much time for extra sketching . . . so I decided to share a bit about my beginnings.

I have two daughters, Isabeau who is five and Ava who is nearly two. Before Isabeau was born, I was working as an illustrator but not really sure how to get where I wanted to go. I was always going into book stores and finding caricature and illustration work in magazines that I really liked and telling myself I'm going to need to compete with these people if I ever want to make it. I knew that the one thing these artists could do and I couldn't, was paint. I had always been afraid, I think I thought I would be horrible and just wouldn't get it . . . painting is something I still work hard at, and something that I now understand will be an area that I can always improve in. My Dad once told me that you need to do a few hundred bad paintings to begin to get it, or to do one good one. That may be a bit extreme, but it is true that in order to become better you must get the "bad ones" out of the way.

Anyways, to explain this Owen Wilson painting . . . .

I was interviewed recently by the ISCA for winning The Gold Nosey and the story of my Owen Wilson painting came up. I thought it would be a good thing to share here.

Five years ago, the night my wife Kat went into labor I did my first "real" painting. Up until that point, I had only messed around with paints, but mostly did pen and ink with watercolor washes, tried out some airbrushing, and did a lot of color pencil work. To make a long story short, my wife started to have contractions and was in a seperate room with her friend going over the breathing and all that "fun" stuff. I was in another room and I began to panic. All of a sudden it was really happening, this was for real. There's really a baby coming! And I FREAKED! I started worrying about anything and everything you can imagine . . . will I be a good father, do I know anything at all? What do I know, what can I tell this kid . . . etc . . . Then I started to freak out about my art, and started to think about all these other artists out there who inspire me, thinking about how all of them can paint and I can't. Then I realized, I'm never going to make it as an artist if I can't paint . . . I'm going to be a father, and I can't even PAINT!

So with my wife huffing and puffing away with her friend, I grabbed some watercolors and did my first real painting, no other mediums to cover up my mistakes, just raw and honest watercolor. And that's what this Owen Wilson painting is, my first "real" painting. And I haven't stopped ever since. My wife's contractions died down just as I was finishing this painting . . . an hour or so later it happened for real, and the next morning my beautiful girl Isabeau was born!

This Nelly painting was done a bit after the Owen Painting, you see, I had to build up enough courage to work with acrylics. With this painting I watered down the acrylics until they felt like watercolors . . . from there I built everything up until it was opaque.

So there you have it, my first paintings, or "real" paintings, as in I was trying to "really" paint!


Blogger asier said...

Lol,great story Jason...Great beginning too...

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Daniel said...

Its incredible how all artists feel that way about their work. Its funny bc I only dream of having your ability and getting my work to your level as your work is stunning. But I'm sure you look at other artists and admire them I as I do you. Judging from your Lucas you did for the NCN you might be starting to get the hang of this painting thing. lol Your work inspires me and hopefully you'll continue to teach your online class long enough for me to scrape the dough together to take it. Peace

10:14 AM  
Anonymous tenzin said...

It sounds like right out of movie scene. Thanks so much sharing your stories and giving some human touch on this blog. WOW !! I am looking forward to take your online class some day.

10:28 AM  
Blogger richard said...

That's a great story Jason, I sort of thought in my minds eye that you were caricaturing straight out of diapers, the truth is very inspirational.

11:40 AM  
Blogger W. K. Moore said...

Great story Jason thanks for putting it out there. Fear of failure and fear in general can be a great motivator to get into action. Some level of insecurity in my mind is not a bad thing and perhaps that is what they call humility. Deadlines, quality, money, acceptance... I don't know of any working artist that doesn't deal with these factors on an almost daily basis. By your work and what you've written it's nice to see the way you've channeled the unknown.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Jason Seiler said...

Thank you Asier, Daniel, Tenzin! Would be great to have you in the Class Daniel and Tenzin, Asier's already taken the course.

Thanks to you too Richard and Bill! Oh, and Richard, I've been drawing caricatures since I was 10, so been doing that for 20 years now . . . only been painting for 5 years.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Charles DA COSTA said...

Hi JASON wow,this is impressive...very very nice! fantastic work

12:36 PM  
Blogger jason quinones said...


2:32 PM  
Blogger Faboun'e said...

aWesome Paintin'..!!
I'm Fan !!!!

3:46 PM  
Blogger sensei said...

Ive been a fan of your work every since you began painting. I remember when your web site first went up, I went crazy over that self portrait of yourself. I felt like thats what I was trying to express all of my years and you have achieved that look!!! Keep it up Jase

5:26 PM  
Blogger loucorona said...

If my last painting is anything like your first, I will die a happy man. Your skills are off the chart man, I have been frequently visiting your site since I first got interested in caricature, thanks for sharing. The thumbnail tutorial in your book Rocks!
God Bless you and your family.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Moyse said...

That's so true about getting the 'bad' paintings out of the way. Your father sounds like a wise man.

Thanks for the story!

6:29 PM  
Blogger J. Anthony Kosar said...

Hey man, I remember seeing these in your portfolio freshmen year,... but I didn't know they were your first paintings!!!??? Wow, you were definitely off to a good start,... and with a great story to back it up!! I hope all is well my friend.

2:13 AM  
Blogger Everybody's gotta be in a Gang said...

That's a great story and a great Owen painting. Doing a good painting is like giving birth- although it's not as painful physically...just mentally.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Brendan... said...


Great story. What do you prefer, real painting or digital tablet painting.


1:53 PM  
Blogger Simon Scales said...

Hey Jason - nice little story mate - good luck with all the work - cant wait to see it all!!

4:57 AM  
Blogger Nelson Santos said...

Great story to share Jason all caused by some contractions ;)

6:22 AM  
Blogger WALTER TOSCANO said...

hi. jason.


12:54 PM  
Blogger marcobucci said...

Thanks for the story Jason! I know I'll be following your example, and painting in the hospital delivery room whenever my first child is born.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Sandro Cabral said...

Ola, tudo bem Jason?
Muito boa mesmo sua arte, ótimo estilo de traço.
Saudações do Brasil abraço

6:30 AM  
Blogger Manoj Sinha said...

Hi Jason,
This is not a story, like evrybody saying. This is reality of your life. Now I am inspierd by not only your works but your words too. I am thinking that "I am a father, and I can't even PAINT!" ...I am going to paint and very soon I will be heare with my new born color caricature. Thanks Jason.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Bobby Chiu said...

a really great story and two great paintings. I love the Nelly pic.. amazing.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Pito said...

Amazing work.


6:37 PM  
Blogger Jason Seiler said...

Thanks guys, but I don't recommend drawing or painting while your wife is in labor . . . to make things a little more clear, I did my painting during her "pre-labor" when it was actually there, I was with her all the way!

8:58 AM  
Blogger G R I G O R said...

"I'M GOING TO BE A FATHER AND I CANT EVEN PAINT!!!!!!" dude thats freakn hilarious-

digital painting and drawing makes me feel like am drunk ...

1:43 AM  
Blogger Aparna said...

Thank you so much for sharing your stories.
Web Designer | Web Hosting

3:04 AM  
Blogger sexy said...




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10:59 PM  

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