Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Annie Dunn. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Annie, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today. Are you happy a creative professional? Do you sometimes wonder what it would be like to work for someone else?
In my previous jobs I kept trying to be creative. Not on purpose, it just came out. When I worked in retail I’d rearrange the products in some artsy way. When I worked in documentation I’d make pointlessly fancy charts. When I worked in IT I’d change all the icons and cursors and colors and such. When I worked as a programmer I’d compensate by coding on my own side projects. I’ve given the regular job thing a fairly thorough try, but I can’t turn this off. The creative impulse is always there.
An old friend recently told me that he had retired early. When I said something about how great that must be, he protested “but you LIKE your job.” And that’s true, I do, but after considering for a few moments I told him that when I retire I’d like to keep working and not have to worry about selling. Because selling is the regular job part of it. And it’s a really BIG part.
I work as a creative because that aspect of my personality keeps asserting itself. When I try to deny it then I find myself casting about for identity and purpose. Some people go through their entire lives without ever finding that, so I feel very fortunate to have found this path.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I am the artist behind Chaos in Color, where the cats are alive and the people are not. Except for me of course, I’m still alive, and my partner John too, who delivers the orders and who also makes it possible for me to attend in-person events.
If you want a really short description, I’d say that my artwork is gleefully existential. Most of my pieces include skeletons who don’t know they’re dead, and cats just being themselves. I use bold colors and beautiful scenery, heavily laced with trees and celestial objects.
I avoid telling people how to interpret the artwork but my overall intent is to inspire joy, introspection, and perhaps even a wry sense of mortality. I’m still working on that last bit myself. I’m not attempting to be a teacher. I mostly just want to put these things out there and see who responds.
For those who feel a connection to the artwork, you can order individual art prints from our website. I would love to get into books of collections as well, so keep in touch for news about that. If you want to experience the artwork as it happens (or if you are plumb full out of wall space), then I’d welcome you to sign up for a digital subscription on Patreon.
Have any books or other resources had a big impact on you?
I really enjoyed “Zen in the Art of Writing” by Ray Bradbury. Although he was speaking to writers I found that the advice applied to me as well. Chapter 12 in particular has been very helpful. I’ve re-read it many times.
This isn’t really a how-to book. It’s more of a personal philosophy. Bradbury is very poetic, and yeah, parts of the book sound quaint because it was written fifty years ago. But the advice is still solid and I’m glad that I found it.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on NFTs. (Note: this is for education/entertainment purposes only, readers should not construe this as advice)
Being a digital artist, I was really excited when I first heard about non-fungible tokens for selling artwork online. My enthusiasm has since cooled off quite a bit, for two reasons.
First, I’ve read that NFT art theft is common because there is no mechanism to prove that the one who offers the art for sale is the one who actually owns the intellectual property. Since NFT transactions are public, you might think that earning a bad reputation would take care of this problem, but public exposure hasn’t put an end to rampant print-on-demand art theft, so there is no reason to believe it will stop NFT art thieves either.
Second, owning an artwork via NFT doesn’t seem to get you much. Bragging rights, maybe? I’m still learning about it so I could be wrong, but so far I’m not seeing it. I think the value could change though as virtual reality matures. When we reach a point where you can import your NFT property to your VR of choice then this avenue will start to look a lot more interesting. I’m not ready to devote any serious time to it yet, but I’m still cautiously excited about the potential of the metaverse.
- Website: https://chaosincolor.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chaosincolor/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chaosincolor/
- Other: https://www.patreon.com/CatsOfChaos