How to start a visual art band / by Amarett Jans

It's easy. Paintbrushes are drumsticks, art tools as instruments, lyrics are paint. A painting is a visual song.

IT STARTED In 2012, when I gathered April Donovan (Blue Collar Agency founder/creative director) and Christine Fisher (Blue Marble Creative founder/creative director) Jessica Levin (Freelance stylist) to collaborate on a project where we each rotated one piece. We each spent a week with it, passing it around. Dealing with the challenges that come with not knowing what you're going to get and also thinking about the next artist, within your decisions. It was a beautiful 3'x3' mixed media piece based on the Universe, Tree of Life and the four elements. It was shown at a private party (ODSY) in Hood River and auctioned off.

IT HAPPENED AGAIN Years later in 2016, April, Christine and myself began a new collab. It was one piece that benefited 3 different local Hood River charities. Again, it was a 3'x3' canvas that represented a social/community aspect of helping hands, Tilly Jane/Mt. Hood and the Columbia River. (Read the story in past blog posts)

THE BAND WAS OFFICIALLY FORMED Last weekend when April, Christine and myself planned a coast trip, which was preparatory for the third collaborative piece. April pointed out the fact that we basically just formed a band. A visual art band. This visual song, is going to be 4'x6' and it's cut into three separate pieces. Which, true to our style, we'll pass it to each artist. The song will be an homage to Summer Solstice. We settled on the oak tree being the focus. The oak tree in folklore and legend is the doorway into the inner realms. It helps the inner world to slip back into perspective, allowing new understanding to grow and decisions to be made from a place of balance. Animals associated with Summer Solstice are the bear, symbolic of fertility (of ideas, plans, etc) Bears also remind us of pleasure and taking advantage of the bounty surrounding us this time of year. Bears, mostly nocturnal are seen more often during the summer months - and this is symbolic of coming out of our metaphorical caves, and embracing the summer-lit brilliance of the day. Also, the eagle being an empowering solar animal.  Eagles represent focus, strength, command, liberation and authority. We want the song or piece to emit these things from nature.

The working title is Inner Wild. Besides collectively deciding to go geometrical in style, Christine getting the oak leaf, April the eagle and me the bear, besides those designations, it's all up in the air. We have no idea how each of us will end up doing what we do. That is the challenge and uniqueness to these projects. Or songs. It's like one artist starting with the bass line, handing it to the next artist and they add the harmony and then the next the vocals. 

Now, a Band's name is most important. And like most band names, come out of nowhere. (I read once in Rollingstone Magazine... 'and then someone busted into a room and saw us sitting on the couch and said 'Now look at this Motely-looking-Crew...) Sneaker Wave became our name on this recent coast trip. It comes with an attitude: Be the Sneaker Wave. It's a wave disproportionately large that can sometimes appear in a wave train without warning. It also reminds us, don't just say you're going to do something- do it with force. And most importantly impossible to predict. Just like these art pieces.

Read Christine's post on her blog here. April's is coming soon.

We plan on showing at the Brooklyn Art Library, Brooklyn in June. Want to come?