In the late portion of 2014, during the winter break from teaching at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, I drew a couple people from Instagram. It was fun, but the response was a lot more than I was expecting. People liked them, and Instagram was a thriving community of people, engaged and looking for visual content.
Visual content is what I make. I have drawn caricatures since high school, and anytime I'm on public transportation, I'm usually looking around to find someone to sketch. I drew so much art in those couple weeks before 2015, that I had a surplus of art, and started stockpiling it. I had begun taking screenshots of people that I wanted to draw in the future. I stopped posting drawings as I made them, and began posting only one a day.
I made myself a goal. I would draw one person every day, from an Instagram photo, for the entire year of 2015. And, for the most part, I've managed to keep that goal. I started another project where I would do a sit down, live, painted portrait every weekend. I was booked for the whole year within 2 months of putting that suggestion out.
But all of this was for free. Mostly for selfish reasons. Working in retail art means you're always having to please someone. Drawing for yourself means only having to please one person. And for me, that person is fairly easy to please. Working for free is incredibly artistically fulfilling, and not very fiscally viable.
I started pushing around the idea of a collection of art. I've always wanted to have my art in a published format, and I made a goal that if I kept drawing after three months I would compile everything into a book. Or a magazine... I wasn't sure what to call it.
Three months came around and suddenly it was all or nothing time. I made a book. It is an incredible feeling when you make your dreams into a reality. Blurb.com is an amazing publishing platform that made it possible to create and publish a real deal book without needing any upfront costs. And for a first time venture, that is a huge selling point. Zero down payment is a great pitch.
Portrait Quarterly is a collection of art and literature from various artists. The first book is all Hamilton. The second book features a short story by my friend Rob. What will be in future books?
I would like this book to be a celebration of portraits. I want to have my friends' art in it, and eventually I'd love to feature the art of even more people. I want to show caricature, sketches, portraiture, stories, poems, narratives, non-sequitors, figures, faces... I want to feature portraits of all kinds.
This book is a work in progress. If you're interested in getting into the next Portrait Quarterly, here's what I need from you.
That's it really. If you're interested, contact Hamilton by email, and give him a pitch of what you want to put in. He's super easy. He'll probably let you do it.