The Pretender

The Pretender

The Pretender
11" x 14"
Burned onto watercolor paper with ink background

Total burning time took 14 hours.

This piece is meant to reflect all of our inner selves. We each come with unique complex emotions, and sometimes we hide those emotions. Sometimes we keep our masks on so people dont see us. The truth is, we all have masks. I'm just tired of keeping mine on.

Growing Pains

Some people create art because they simply love to make art, and others make art to make money. This doesn’t mean someone cannot sell their work and also love art. I have a huge passion for pyrography and I decided to make a living selling my work.

Making money from just artwork can be extremely difficult, so I needed to come up with another way to create some income. A “cash cow” so to speak. For the next six months, my focus was to create as many leather and wooden products that would fit my brand and would also sell with a high profit margin.

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Obviously, some ideas are better than others. Some of the products sold horribly, others did alright, but one item took off! I had learned what I needed to make this plan work. This whole process took around a year to come together but it was a a huge accomplishment. However, this did not come without sacrifice. That whole year consisted of being a lonesome recluse, working almost every day with no social life, and being a p.o.s. without a job in a few peoples eyes.

The following year, the plan was put into action. I put my full attention into my best selling product and pyrography. When I wasn’t selling leather goods, I worked on building up my art inventory for shows. At some point in the summer of 2018, I was on backorder. Talk about being over whelmed! I spoke with someone I am close with looking for advice and I was told “It is a good problem to have.” He was not wrong. I was still frustrated about not being able to fill my art inventory, but it was because business was actually starting to pick up! It took a little while to acclimate. Needless to say, I managed.

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I’ve learned a lot this past year, but I know I haven’t “arrived”. There is much more I have to learn. If it was possible to go back in time to give myself any advice, it would be the following. I hope you find value as well.


Growing as an Artist

How:

  • Clearly define what you want from art

  • Step out of your comfort zone/set higher standards for yourself

  • Learn from others (when asking for advice, consider the source)

  • If you copy one persons art style, you are copying . Copy many people’s art style, then you are original (read “Steal Like An Artist” for more on this subject)

  • Keep a list of ideas/goals to accomplish that is constantly being updated

  • Make a list of areas that need improving on and do it - do not avoid things that you need work on; it will just be harder later

  • Always have more than one project going at once. If you get stuck or frustrated with a project, you can simply walk away and work on another project. Productive Procrastination (also learned from “Steal like an Artist”)

When:

  • Always carry a sketchbook or notebook with you at all times - when you have the opportunity to write or sketch, take it!

  • Practice daily - when something new is learned, put it to practice right away

Why:

  • Your “why” is the foundation of you as an artist

  • Use your “why” to push yourself when things get difficult or discouraging

Where:

  • You do not need to take classes to grow as an artist

  • You may not be able to directly practice your art anywhere if you are a sculptor, painter or something else messy but you can practice indirectly. Maybe, research for better material or sketch an idea for your next painting. Where you are should not stop you from growing. In fact, it just may force you to think outside the box and reassess how you practice.

Who:

  • Surround yourself with other artist, entrepreneurs, musicians, etc. anyone who is creating success around themselves and learn

  • Avoid those who put you down and hold you back from accomplishing your goals

  • Surround yourself with those who constantly encourage you. Especially those who encourage you when you are down

Pyrography Pens

There are many pyrography tools on the market today. The two types I have personally used are:

  • Walnut Hollow Creative Woodburner value tool

  • Razertip SK (power unit) with interchangeable-tip & fixed-tip pens

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Walnut Hollow

I would recommend everyone interested in pyrography to purchase a Walnut Hollow woodburner from your local hobby store. I began with the most basic model, which came with no temperature control and a few different tips. Having no temperature control does not make burning on wood impossible as one may think. It is still possible to get various tones. The longer you keep the tip in one place, the darker it will be and the less time heat is applied, the lighter it will be. Walnut Hollow also offers a model with a temp control knob, which allows for a larger range of tones.

The different tips provided by Walnut Hollow definitely get the job done, however Razertip’s tip selection is much greater. The Walnut Hollow tip that I use is the mini universal point. The mini universal point is a wedge shape that allows for lines and shading. The pointed tip could even be used or stippling if one desired. After purchasing a more versatile pyro machine, the use for my Walnut Hollow has changed. Now, I mainly use it for larger dark areas and bold lines.


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Razertip

After discovering my passion for woodburning, I purchased a Razertip pen and power supply. The Razertip SK burner, Pyrography Starter Kit currently cost $281. In my opinion, it is worth the investment. The unit I purchased is still working, almost a decade later.

The features Razertip has to offer is quite enticing. Razertip offers over 900 different tips. Some ultra-sharp tips can burn 120+ lines per inch. If for some reason you are unable to find a tip that fits your needs, Razertip offers special tips that allow you to fashion your own shapes.

Razertip’s temp control knob varies from 340°F - 1400°F roughly. When burning on paper, not having temperature control could prove difficult. In my experience, it is best to burn on paper using a low - medium heat, and slowly build up the darker areas.

Razertip offers two types of pen:

  • Fixed- tip pen

  • Interchangeable-tip pen

When I was first getting familiar with Razertip, I used an interchangeable-tip pen. Originally, I thought it would be cost efficient to buy one pen and as many different tips as I needed. After a couple weeks of burning, I realized I only need 2 or 3 tips to achieve what I needed in my art. If I were to recommend only three tips, it would be:

  • 1 sharp skew tip - for fine lines

  • 1 flat tip shader - for shading

  • 1 writing stylus tip - to achieve ideal writing styles

Being equipped with these 3 tips allow me to create almost all the art I currently produce. However, if I had to choose just one tip, I would choose a flat-tip shader. This is the most versatile tool that I use when practicing pryrography. With a flat-tip shader, I am able to use the sides to burn lines, the bottom for shading, and the tip for stippling.

After a couple years of burning, I started having some issues with my interchangeable-tip pen. The post, where the interchangeable tips are screwed in, began to twist and the pen was not getting as hot. I think this was a result of rough, excessive use. I decided to purchase two fixed-tip pens:

  • skewed liner pen

  • flat-tip shader pen

Some of the fixed-tip pens in my kit are over five years old. The fixed-tip pens seem to be my preference. In my opinion, it is best to have a tool that is very good at its job, as opposed to having a tool that does alright at many jobs.

I would love to try burning with other prography tool brands in the future, but for now I am perfectly happy with my current pyrography tools.

 
This video is to help inform those, about Razertip when considering a Wood burning ( Pyrography ) system and/or pen. I was not endorsed by Razertip in any way to create this video. I simply believe in this outstanding product.
 

Introduction to Pyrography

Pyrography is the production of designs and images by burning with instruments that produce heat.

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Art created with fire dates back to the beginning of recorded history. However I would like to focus on modern pyrography practices.

The term pyrography was not used until the Victorian era, when it was at its height in popularity. In 1904, Johannes Anderson published the patent for his “Pyrographic Pencil Exciter” in The American Stationer.

Most modern pyrography machines use electricity to create burn marks with a pen. There are many companies that manufacture these tools and their are many styles as well. A beginner pyrography pen resembles a soldering iron and often does not have a temperature control. More advanced machines have a control knob for the temperature and interchangeable pens and tips. The various shaped tips allow someone to create marks that differ from tip to tip. Most pyrography pen tips can be classified as a shader or a liner.

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Many techniques used with traditional drawing can be applied to pyrography such as:

  • stippling

  • cross hatching

  • shading

  • edges (lines)

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Using an electrical pyro machine is not the only way people are burning now days. Other methods involve blow torches, magnifying glasses, and even gun powder!

Pyrography is not just limited to woodburning. It is possible to burn on wood, leather, bone, gourds, fungus, and my favorite medium, paper. Each medium acts in its own unique way when burned, and some are more difficult to burn than others.

If pyrography sounds like something you would enjoy, stop at your local hobby store to pick up a burner and a piece of wood. It should only run you around $30 or $40 to get started. How far you take it is up to you.

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Starting Kindled Arts

 
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Backstory

Visual arts has changed drastically ever since the dawn of the digital age. Right out of high school I went to college for computer animation in Orlando, Fl. I am not sure what I was thinking but I expected to be working on the computer a lot less. I mean, who would've known COMPUTER animation would've mainly been on the COMPUTER? 

Anyways, shortly after starting school, I dropped out and moved back home to Pensacola, Fl. Other than art, cooking was all I've known, and now I had student loan payments to worry about. So it was back to the restaurant industry. 

Turning Point

A couple years go by. At this point I am ready to move on to the next chapter... "but what is that?" I thought. I was always intrigued by the idea of owning my own business. I always pictured it being a restaurant or catering service, but I was looking for something different now.

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At the time I was taking a supplement that was helping me with my digestion. My good friend, whom introduced me to it, explained to me that I could make money by being a representative. The idea of working for myself was intoxicating. So I did this for a year, never making serious cash, but it was enough to get me by and I was learning so much. These lessons I learned, could be applied to anything I did, including relationships, money, and just life in general. 

I came to a realization, that time was just as valuable, if not more valuable, than money. I was tired of trading my time for a paycheck, and decided from then onward, if I did something it was because I wanted to. I chose to be on my own time. There had to be a way to make a living without being miserable 7 days a week.

The Man

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A really good friend of mine was opening his own restaurant at the time of my "realization." and he asked me to take part. At first I refused because I never wanted to work for "The Man" again. I didn't have a boss to answer to in the last two years. However he was asking as a friend, and really needed good help to begin his venture. This was his dream, and I decided to help make it a reality. So back to kitchens it was. This time it was different though. I wasn't just observing a kitchen and dining area. I was seeing a business being built from the ground up. I saw the choices a business owner makes. I saw how rewarding it potentially was to own a business, and how stressful it was... I was soaking in everything I was learning. A little over a year later I felt it was time to move on. I played my part, and in the process I learned what mindset, dedication, and sacrifices need to be made to reach ones dream. I just need to figure out what my dream is.

Finding Myself

Over the years I produced a little art here and there; Never fully passionate about being an artist. I recognized that I had skills when it came to drawing, but for some reason it always felt like a chore. Something was different now... All I waned to do was create. Whether it was drawing, making music, or cooking food in my kitchen. What was once a chore, was now one of my only desires. 

I still had my Facebook page I started in high school, Pyrography by Aaron. It sounded a little egotistical, so I renamed it Kindled Arts because of the definition "light or set on fire." This would be the beginning of my own business venture. As the orders came and went, I noticed woodburning was more of a niche. The market is a lot smaller compared to other art forms and practices. I was making a living but I knew I was limiting my income and artistic potential. Something needed to change, and I couldn't walk away from what I started. 

After starting Kindled Arts, my desire to be around other artist grew larger and larger. I had become a cliche. I was the the hermit artist, always cooped up in a room working on something. "If only others worked with me under the name Kindled Arts..." that is when it hit me. Kindled Arts would be much more than myself or Pyrography. I dream of it becoming a collective, of various artist and styles kindled together. Yes, that is what Kindled Arts is to become. 

 
 

I Love You kNot

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I Love You kNot

     I Love You kNot was inspired by a drawing I created for a girl I had fallen for a few years ago. We both were equally obsessed with cephalopods as we were each other. I came across the drawing which I still admired, but after learning more about octopus and their behavior, the drawing had a completely different meaning for myself. The fact that I saw the drawing different really fascinated me. Nothing had visually changed, but my interpretation had.

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     Octopus in reality are anti-social creatures. They hardly ever come in contact with their own species, but on some of these rare occassions, there is a high chance of sexual-cannibalism. The female is often larger, and therefor more hungry. The male has to be very strategic when it comes to successfully mating. This could mean carefully reaching a specific arm that allows him to reproduce, or waiting for the right moment. Males sometimes will try to mate without trying to be detected.

     I had always imagined two mating octopus being a dramatically beautiful thing, almost romantic. Now I see my drawing as a representation of two beautiful creatures fighting. I decided to recreate the drawing into a new, and much larger illustration that I left open for interpretation. After 58 hours put into this creation, I Love You kNot is finally complete. This piece is a reminder of perception, beauty, and duality.

Drawing Music

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     Kindled Relations

     As my "Jubilee" project came to a close, I received a message from an old friend I had not seen in 6 years. He had a great love for the arts, music in particular, and showed interest in my artistic skills. After a brain storm session, we decide on some basic items and ideas to work into the art piece.

I've got it!

     This was the first time I have attempted to do a music themed art piece. After a couple hours of struggling, I decided to get on my buddy's Facebook and look for anything that would stand out. I came across a video of him playing a melody on a grand piano that just sounded amazing. I think I found what I had been looking for. I think 90% of the time its another artist that inspires me and my creativity.

I listened to Jazz the whole time creating this beauty. In my eyes, the music affected the woodburning visually. The picture seems to flow like the music and have a very chill feel overall. I never would have thought to draw music.

   

"Jubilee"

Jubilee

     Jubilee was a very in-depth piece, that took many hours to complete. Zentangle is the main technique used. 

     I began this piece for a couple, living in Gulf Shores Alabama. This couple was moving into a new home and wanted a "conversation starter" made for their living area. I was only required to incorporate the blue color shown to me in a picture displaying a blue crab. I used this picture for reference and inspiration while creating Jubilee.

I began with a rough sketch, as always, to get approval on the design. I decided to go big to catch one's attention right away. The blue contrasting against the other dark colors help make this art piece stand out right away.

The drawing was created then transferred to the wood using graphite paper. All of the line work and shading are done before moving on. Once the wood-burning is complete I draw out boards appearing to be behind the crab. I took a razor blade and cut over all of the lines I drew for the background.

     Cutting the lines helps prevent the various stains from mixing into one another when they are applied.

     I selected stains that matched their new home. The main color used was espresso.

     Once the outlines are cut, the background is stained. This creates the illusion that the background is many pieces of wood, carefully fitted together. 

     After the wood stains are dried, various colors of chalk pastels are layered onto the claws and legs to reach the desired color show in the reference photo given to me.

     Jubilee was decided for the name because of the natural phenomenon that occurs sporadically on the shores of Mobile Bay. A Jubilee results in swarms of different fish, crab, and shrimp in shallow waters.

     With the help from my photographer Olivia Peck, I was able to capture the execution of each step during the creative process. 

Creative Nature

Sous Chef Josh King plating a beautifully executed cucumber salad

Sous Chef Josh King plating a beautifully executed cucumber salad

 

Creative Nature

Written by: Aaron Lynn

Artist are a breed of their own, varying in personalities, cultures, and abilities. An artist is someone who expresses or practices any type of creative arts. Many people that do not claim to be artist, actually are.

There are many who assume that artist are only musicians and visual artist. These professions are just associated with the label, "Artist" because of very well know medium and practices, A chef is a very great example of an artist. Even though this is a common profession, some may not consider a chef to be an artist. However, this could not be further from the truth. Creative activity is what art truly is. It is a specific mind set and desire to create.

To many artist, it is clear early on what they are, because they practiced an art form shown to them. Other individuals may not have yet discovered their artistic potential, and many art forms are awaiting to be discovered. We are all artist and creators in some fashion. It is our creative nature.

A refreshing cocktail, created by cocktail alchemist Gary Bergmann.

A refreshing cocktail, created by cocktail alchemist Gary Bergmann.

Mushroom Moving Art

 

  The real beauty of art is exposed in the studio. Something about just watching a piece come to life right before your eyes, is just astonishing. Capturing these moments is also an art in itself. 

 

Video created by Olivia Peck 2017-06-15.

Uploaded by Aaron Lynn on 2017-06-15.

     Every artist has that place where the ideas just flow. Mine just so happens to be back in the studio, when I'm surrounding myself with excess visual and auditory stimuli. I can get lost for hours in the depths of my imagination.

     It is one thing when an artist can express themselves, and be left with a beautiful creation. It is another thing entirely to create something in a beautiful fashion. I have made it a goal to execute pyrography in a more tasteful manner.

     Capturing this exciting process by one's self can be difficult at times. Film and photography is and art in itself, and it can be easy to get caught up in capturing and presenting the artistic process. Some artist's preferred mediums are Photography, filming, and editing. Olivia Peck happens to be one of these aspiring photographers who assist in revealing Kindled Arts true potential as well as her own.

Pyrography is a way to bring life back to wood, and it is simply astonishing.

Pyrography is a way to bring life back to wood, and it is simply astonishing.