Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

New Painting And Video: A Fine Frenzy


(* Disclaimer: Although the title of this post is “New Painting And Video” the truth is that the painting was made last summer, but it is new to you and to this blog. With that said, let’s continue.)

I don’t talk much in my videos. Or at least I try not to because it makes me cringe when I have to watch/listen to myself when I’m editing video. Anyway, how this painting came to be is very interesting to me and I wanted to share the story. If you’re only here for the video then feel free to scroll down and skip all this gibberish. If you’re a loyal reader/voyeur of this blog you might remember my “Secret To Selling Art” post from last August (I can’t even remember what I ate for dinner last night, so if you remember my blog posts from 11 months ago you should seek professional help.) Well, the story of this painting is even crazier than the story about the painting from that post. In the chance that you don’t know, I am a bit obsessed with stories about synchronicity or, for the layman that’s not referencing Wikipedia while typing their blog trying to appear smarter than they actually are, “meaningful coincidences”. That’s right, coincidences do not exist. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we don’t understand the reason, but let’s not get into that here because it’s a rabbit hole best saved for another day. I’m also quite fascinated with the butterfly effect. I think the two theories work hand in hand to some extent. Anyway, enough psychobabble, let’s get on with it already.

Back in 2008-2009 my sister and her husband opened a pizza restaurant. One of their employees, Amy, liked my artwork. Well, let’s be honest, ALL of their employees probably adored my artwork 😜. Fast forward 10 years or so and Amy walks into my shop in Paso Robles. We chit chat about Pizza Fusion and whatnot. I have this canvas print on the wall called “Gone But Not Forgotten” and she tells me it would look great in this black and white themed room in her house.

She wants to buy it, but it’s not quite what she’s looking for. She wants something bigger and vertical and, if possible, with a little gold added for fun because the room she wants to hang it in has some gold accents. Naturally, I said I could paint her one.

And that’s how a commission painting comes about. Some of them take 10 years to happen and others happen in 10 seconds. Here’s a time lapse of making Amy’s painting.

Bored yet? No? Well, shit…let’s just keep this thing going, shall we? So, what does this have to do with synchronicity? Remember, “synchronicity” means “meaningful coincidence”. You would never think that my sister and her husband opening a pizza restaurant would result in me getting a commission job 10 years later. Amy walking into my shop was not just a meaningless coincidence. Synchronicity was at work here. It had been years in the making and I find that incredibly fascinating.

Is there a lesson to be learned here? Probably. As cliché as it sounds, good things can come from anywhere and they can be totally unexpected. I think the lesson here is to continue to put yourself out there. Being an artist can be frustrating and it’s easy to get jaded when things feel like they are not working in your favor. I can’t tell you how often I think of deleting my Instgram account and my YouTube channel while spiraling in a fit of frustration. But, I don’t because I remember stories like this one and remind myself that we just never know when something we do (like meeting somebody 10 years ago) will have a positive impact (getting commissioned to make a painting) on us later.

What are your thoughts or crazy stories about synchronicity? I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for reading!
– Jeff

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Still not bored? Wow…
Then you should follow me on Twitter.
And probably Instagram too. Before I delete it.
And while you’re at it, what the heck, check out some of my videos. Before I delete them too.
Also, please share this with all your artsy friends. Thanks!

Time Lapse Tuesday: Hand Painted Slingshot And One Mini Canvas

I can’t possibly be the first person to think of “Time Lapse Tuesday”, but something tells me it’s not anything that’s really going to catch on. However, that did not stop me from making this video last week. Per usual, I forgot to post about it here and had to wait a full week just for it to be “Tuesday” again. Anyway, enough blabbering. Check out the video!

I hope you enjoyed that. Trust me, I am trying to figure out a way to make art videos a little more exciting and I’m totally stumped. If you have any suggestions hit me up. Anyway…

I painted a bunch of slingshots back in May, which you might have seen on Instagram, but I am pretty sure posting them here was another forgotten task. Until now!

I pretty much gave myself a headache coming up with clever names like, “Billy The Bearded Bombarder”, “Torpedo Tim”, and “Freddie Fling”, which will surely bring joy to all who love the pleasure only a slingshot can provide.

If you’d like one of these hand painted beauties please check them out in my shop. They are $30 each and right now there are still 4 available.

And, our dear “Julien” is patiently awaiting to be adopted by a caring, but charmingly dysfunctional, family. If that sounds like you then click here.

That’s it for now. As always, thanks for reading!

– Jeff

New Video: Making a Timelapse With Procreate And Why I Hate Digital Art

I’m calling him “Truth Seeker”. Anyway, I’ve been using the Procreate app very sporadically since I first downloaded it a few months ago….until now! The past couple of weeks I’ve been using it a lot more and am starting to see that I finally “get” it. Let me explain. Obviously, I get how a drawing app works, but you know when you use something for the first time there is a bit of a learning curve and the only way to understand the thing is to spend time with it? Well, I finally reached a point where I’ve spent enough time with Procreate that I feel a lot more comfortable with it now. I’ve seen and used a lot of the features it offers and there is no doubt why it’s become the industry standard for drawing apps. Even my 6 year old loves it.

He sort of gets it too. Admittedly, the app has so many features and ways to customize brushes and whatnot that I will never be an expert with it, but if a 6 year old can have fun and be creative with it you know you have something awesome on your hands. I sat with him and showed him a few things like how to pick/change colors, brushes, and brush size. He didn’t quite get the idea of using layers, which makes perfect sense because when you’re 6 and used to working with markers and paper there are no layers. You just draw your thing and you color it in. Done.

If you have a minute please check out this video.

If you know me, you should know how uncomfortable I am talking to the camera, but I’d like to go a little deeper about my hang-up with digital art. When you’ve done something one way for 30 years it can be a bit of a challenge to change your ways. At a very young age I stopped drawing with pencils and only used ballpoint pens. It probably has something to do with commitment issues because using a pencil means you can erase what you don’t like. In other words, there is no commitment with a pencil. With a pen I forced myself to deal with whatever I put down on paper. If I drew a face and one eye was bigger than the other eye I had to deal with that imperfection. If I accidentally smeared the ink I would have to turn that smudge into something and work it into the drawing somehow. I’ve always loved this type of inventing and letting chance play a role in the creative process. Digital drawing throws all of that out the window because it’s so easy to erase or undo your last step. Just in the past week I’ve started to get over this hang up of mine and am trying really hard to think of erasing as a tool instead of a hindrance. Using the “undo” option as a benefit as opposed to seeing it as a handicap.

This probably seems obvious, but painting with a brush on a wood panel is different than using an apple pencil on the glass surface of an iPad. Even though I know they are different my problem is that I’ve been thinking of drawing apps this whole time as synonymous with painting. Sort of like how driving one car is practically the same exact experience as driving a different car. You might have to adjust the seat and mirrors, but the steering wheel works the same. The reality is that making digital art on an iPad is wildly different than painting on a wood panel or a canvas. Instead of throwing the two in the same category and thinking of them as being synonymous I should have been thinking that the two are synonymous with creating, not painting. Now that I’ve come to this realization it’s getting easier for me to embrace and enjoy making digital art. It’s a totally different beast and needs to be treated as such. Why am I talking about this? Because making art, whether digital or physical should always be fun. It can and should be challenging at times because that means you’re making progress, but it’s not supposed to make you frustrated or mad and that’s what drawing on the iPad was doing to me. It was making me mad, which is crazy because I love creating and making things. What it comes down to is this. I was using a hacksaw to do the job of a hammer. I was putting a band aid on my elbow when I had a skinned knee. I was boiling an egg when…oh, I don’t know, but you get the picture.

I’m not sure if you’ve had this or a similar hang-up, but the lesson here is something I got from watching Big Hero 6 last night. “Look for a new angle.” If it worked for Hiro it can work for me. Thanks, Tadashi.

Thanks for reading!
– Jeff

P.S. – Spoiler alert, but Tadashi should totally not have been killed. Freaking Disney!

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I know that was a lot, but if you’re not sick of me yet…
Follow on IG: @jeffclaassen
Subscribe to my channel, or at least watch some of my videos.

We’re Not Bringing That Fraudulent Shit

Nope, this is the Real Deal Holyfield.

We’re talking REAL cactus with REAL spikes.

And hey, while we’re here, we might as well promote something. After all, we do have bills to pay and food to eat and whatnot. Check it!

Yes, we are experimenting with our Viva Paso online shop and offering FREE shipping on ALL items. No coupon code or any B.S. Just straight up free shipping for you. Happy shopping!

In art news…
I haven’t been very productive lately, which bums me out, but I’ve been using the Procreate app on the iPad and it’s super awesome. For me, NOTHING (at least at this point in my life) could ever replace brushes, ink, paint, and wood, but those 4 things are not the most convenient items to carry around when you’re on the go. I mostly draw using the iPad during Elliott’s gymnastics class or late at night in bed while Coral is listening to an audio book or watching videos about WWII. She loves that stuff. Anyway, Procreate has this really cool feature where it records everything you draw and then you can export the file to your camera roll, email, etc. and have a time lapse of your drawing. It’s the easiest way I have ever seen to make an art time lapse. It’s amazing. Check out the video!

I hope that was worth your while. Thanks for reading/watching and have a great weekend!
– Jeff

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In case that wasn’t enough of me:
– check out my instagraham cracker: @jeffclaassen
– watch all the videos.
– And, of course, read all about The Bite Fight. It has nothing to do with me at all, but still.

New Video: She’s How Old?

So, if you subscribe to my YouTube Channel this video is not “new”, but I’ve been such a lazy blogger I haven’t posted about it yet. Anyway, this video is a compilation comprised of random clips throughout February and March. It’s much more family oriented, but there is a little art stuff going on too.

Enjoy!
– Jeff

New Video: You Don’t Have No Talented

Even cute kids have their bratty moments.

Enjoy!

Elbows Deep In Acrylic Ink And A Quick You Tube Update

I uploaded this video about a week ago, which means I am extremely efficient about promoting my videos on this blog. But not really. It’s an update on some of the paintings I’m working on.

I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for watching!

And now a for a quick YouTube update.

As you might know from my whiny post in January, my YouTube Channel will (probably) soon be demonetized. To sum it up, YouTube is changing the terms of what it takes to be a “partner”. Being a YouTube Partner basically means that a creator can earn money from the ads that are placed on their videos. The new terms require a creator to have 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time per year (that’s 240,000 minutes) in order to have “partner” status.

Here’s part of the email from YouTube.

I currently have 525 subscribers and in the past year have had 22,205 minutes of watch time. That means I get about 1 hour of watch time per day on my channel and to retain my partner status I need 11 hours, on average, per day. The deadline to meet the new requirement is February 20, 2018. In other words, in the next four days I need to get 475 new subscribers and 3,630 hours of watch time. I’m no pessimist, but I just don’t see that happening. It might happen sometime in the future, but not in the next 4 days.

Anyway, I know it’s silly to whine about my dumb YouTube channel, but I enjoy making videos and it takes a lot of time and energy to put them out. Getting a little something for the effort would be pretty sweet. After my first whiny post about it some of you actually checked out my channel and even subscribed, which is super awesome.

Thanks for listening and BIG thanks to those of you that have subscribed and watched a video or two. It is much appreciated.

– Jeff
youtube.com/jeffclaassen

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Not bored to tears yet?
Stalk on Instagram: @jeffclaassen
Check out my available artwork at https://jeffclaassen.storenvy.com.

SLO Adventure: We Hiked Madonna Mountain

We finally hiked Madonna Mountain. I can see the hardcore locals cringing now, but I grew up in SLO and I know that’s not the real name. It just happens to be what (almost) everybody calls it. Should I even mention the giant M on the side of the mountain? Maybe it’s stating the obvious and the M simply stands for “mountain”.

You say, “I’m hiking Cerro San Luis Obispo” and people will undoubtedly ask you what that is. And if you say something like, “Oh yeah, me and the kids are hiking one of the Nine Sisters today.” then you can expect a drop in from Child Protective Services because no parent should be taking their kids to a brothel even if Nine Sisters offers a buy one get one free deal. So, let’s keep it easy and just call it Madonna Mountain. Anyway, it was Elliott’s first time hiking it.

Is it really a “hike”? We were both in jeans and I was wearing the type of shoes you might wear to church or a business casual luncheon. In no way are they ideal for hiking, so let’s be honest and simply say we walked up a hill. And it’s a beautiful hill, but if I am going to go truly hiking then backpacks, canteens, bug spray, and a Swiss army knife should be involved and the fancy leather Clark’s will be left at home.

Elliott had been talking about hiking for weeks and was incredibly excited to go. He doesn’t remember it, but he actually sort of hiked it before. Or, at least, attempted to. Well, it’s more like he was carried up the hill and did no actual walking on his own. It was around Christmas and I wanted the whole family to hike up at night so we could sit under the Christmas lights on the top of the mountain. He was strapped to my chest in a front pack and we didn’t even make it halfway because somebody in our group wimped out. I won’t say any names (Coral), but we all turned around, walked back to the car, and returned home. Defeated.

This time was different. It was just Elliott and I and no front pack. If you think I’m strapping a 6 year old kid to my chest and walking up a mountain then you’ve gobbled down one too many space cakes. Growing up in a neighborhood near the base of Cerro San Luis gave me the opportunity to hike/walk up it a million times. It was basically right in my backyard and somehow I had never once walked by the giant M until a couple of weeks ago when I was with Elliott.


(Sidenote: It does not stand for mountain. I’d tell you what it stands for, but you can wikipedia that shit.)

Even then, we only discovered it by accident because I took a wrong turn. I know, how could I take a wrong turn when just a minute ago I claimed the entire mountain as my backyard. Well, as a youngster I always started the hike/walk from what I guess could be referred to as the north side of the mountain. Perhaps the locals call it the Foothill side. For this particular adventure we started from the parking lot on the Marsh Street onramp.

Here’s Elliott at the tippy tip top. We made it to the summit just before sunset, which was pretty awesome.

In case these photos weren’t enough I made a video of our hiking adventure. Check it out!

If you’re planning on watching the sunset from the top of this or any mountain, be sure to take flashlights. We did not take any and it was totally pitch black for at least half the walk down. It made it somewhat exciting, but maybe not the type of exciting you’re looking for.

Thanks for reading and watching!
– Jeff

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If you’re not totally sick of me yet I encourage you to:
– check out the other videos on my YouTube channel.
– Follow me on the IG.
– and next time you eat a donut, think of me.

Compilation Vlog: January 2018

January was a busy month. One kid had a birthday Another kid made a parkour course in the living room. There was a fire. Somebody cried at the beach and I almost finished a painting. Hashtag family life.
Enjoy!

Trampoline Surprise

So, my lovely nieces gave their little cousin, Elliott, their trampoline. Obviously, he is THRILLED.

He totally adores these girls.

It’s safe to say, they adore him too.

And here’s a video of me setting up the trampoline and surprising Elliott with it when he came home from school the other day. Enjoy!

Thanks for watching!
– Jeff

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If you’re looking for more things to click on, check these out:
– Time lapse painting videos!
– The Vlogtober Challenge, in which I teach you how to be a professional art vlogger.
– Listen to the Podcast Coral and I never have time to record, Live Work Love.

My YouTube Dreams Are Shattered

I already cried like a little girl with a skinned knee to my Instagram followers about this. Maybe you don’t follow me on there, so I’ll whine about it here too. Below is my actual IG post. Be sure to click on the photo to scroll through the entire 10 image series.

The coders at IG are very smart and I can’t seem to edit a single thing in the above image/post. I’m no computer whiz, so maybe it’s possible, but I can’t figure it out. Why am I mentioning that? Because I wasn’t able to put a direct link in the above image to my channel (which is the whole point of this post), but I can do it here.

Please check out my YouTube Channel and subscribe to it (if you’re into subscribing to things. Or subscribe even if you’re not. Nothing bad will happen to you if you do.) Anyway, I know it’s a long shot to get 4000 hours of watch time on my videos when I’ve never averaged more than an hour of watch time a day, but whatever. I might as well try. I am happy to report that since the original IG post a couple of days ago I have earned some new subscribers, which is amazing. Thanks, guys! I now need 483 more. My views and watch time also increased quite a bit, but we have a LONG WAY to go before hitting the 4k mark.

I don’t honestly expect anybody to play my videos on a loop 24 hours a day, but it would probably take a lot of people doing exactly that to even get close to the goal here. So, here a few places to start. I’ve made some playlists you can check out so you don’t have to scroll through all my random videos looking for something interesting.
1. Time Lapse Paintings – This is self-explanatory.
2. Vlogtober 2017 – This is when I dazzled the world by posting one video a day for the entire month of October. I thought for sure this series would gain some traction (meaning views/subscribers), but Buzzfeed never gave me a shout out.
3. Viva Paso – These are all videos having something to do with my retail shop in downtown Paso Robles, CA.

And here are all my videos listed in order from most popular to super sucky.

With all the shit going on in the world thanks for taking the time to read this and watching a couple videos.

But wait…
there’s more.

On the real, the amount of money I’ve made from ads running on my videos is so miniscule it’s too embarrassing to say, BUT I will say this. I think it would be absolutely amazing to make money on YouTube. The amount of time it takes to record and edit a video is crazy. Seriously, I’ve probably spent a good 4 hours to make a 3-4 minute long video. By the time I set up the camera and record multiple takes because I suck at talking to the camera and then looking through all the footage and editing it into somewhat of a story…well, getting a little something back would be so cool. Maybe I’ll start a Patreon page? Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to read all this. If you don’t want to click any of those YouTube links you can just stay right here, sit back, and watch my most recent video without even leaving this page.

Here ya go! Enjoy!

Getting Twisted With My 6 Year Old

No, I didn’t get drunk with my 6 year old. We just played a good old fashioned game of Twister where he loses, but still claims the championship. In his defense, some of the moves are pretty hard to pull off when you’re only 40″ tall. But that’s his problem, not mine! Here’s a video of the BIG MATCH.

If the video doesn’t work for you try this.

Enjoy!
Jeff

* music in the video by Bear Market Riot.

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