Summer Virtual Blog Tour

Posted: August 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

Recently a friend of mine, who I’ll be posting about shortly, told me about his invite from Amy Lemmon to participate in a virtual blog tour.
As she explained to him, the tour is “aimed at giving more exposure to blogs that readers may not have seen before.” He shared her info, info about himself and his artwork, and linked three other artist blogs, to continue chain letter.
It sounds like a great way to share artwork you admire and respect with others. So, let’s get this started.

Kevin Michael Reed


Kevin Michael Reed is an internationally published fashion & beauty photographer and director based in New York City, Miami and Los Angeles.  Though Kevin found the camera documenting his travels while growing up on the stage as an actor and dancer, he spent several years working in accounts at advertising agencies before transitioning to photography as a full-time career.

Kevin has graduated from Mid-Florida Technical Institute’s Commercial Photography Program and studied fashion & commercial photography at New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology where he has earned an A.A.S. in Photography. In 2014, he won the Fashion & Beauty Category of the American Photographic Artists (New York) Photo Contest. He won two Gold awards and the cover of the Graphis Photography Annual in 2009 and received the honor as one of the 100 Best in Photography 2011 by Graphis. Photography equipment manufacturer F.J. Westcott has named him one of their “Top Westcott Endorsed Pros“.

He speaks regularly at seminars and industry events; In 2011, he formed Passion of Photography, Inc, which is dedicated to encouraging, motivating and training photographers to succeed in the business of photography.  Kevin is a member of several trade associations including the American Society of Media Photographers where he serves on the New York City Chapter’s board of directors and as the New Media Co-Chair. Kevin is a Founding Member of The New York Fashion Photography Collective.

Kevin is the man who invited me to participate in this tour. Who also happens to be an out of this world photographer and has captured some of the most stunning fashion imagery I’ve ever seen. To top that off he’s someone I have come to call a friend.
We’ve now known one another for a year or two, which all stemmed from a short turnaround set design he needed for a shoot which had me staying at his studio for about 3 to 4 days straight while working on it. Talented, kind of heart, and an all around great man. Go click his nam up there and enjoy the visual feast that his cameras capture and his hand makes into pieces of art.

Self Interview for James Groeling


This is where I share some details regarding my own work.

1.”What am I currently working on?”

Just finished up some illustration work for a gaming company, as well as a new comic book. Right now I’m sketching for some large surreal paintings which I’m going to be working on in my new apartment/studio. As well as writing a book which I’ll illustrate, and setting up more installments of my webcomic JDGAF.

2. “How does my work differ from others of its genre?”

As an illustrator, having worked in such a variety of mediums and projects, I’m very flexible with my approach. This allows me to work directly with clients to give them the images they have in their minds, but can’t create for themselves, but doing so in a way that each image has a touch of myself in it.

As an artist in any approach, my work tends to have lots of minute details for the observer to delve into if they so wish, often times there are images hidden within images for those who let their imaginations run with what they see.

3. “Why do I write/create what I do?”

Because I have to. Art has been an outlet and a passion for me since I was a child. I find the exploration of an idea, and the channeling of that idea into a visual piece for others to share, that’s the root of creativity. Sharing.

Now, as by my ideas and work matures, I’m realizing that I can inspire thoughts in people, create questions to those things around them that are occurring in the world, and sometimes simply leave them feeling an emotion by looking at something I’ve created.

4. “How does your writing/creating process work?”

Oftentimes images just pop into my head, sometimes while talking, reading something, hearing a song, etc. My mind turns everything into a movie. When the imagery looks interesting I sketch it out as fast as possible, reworking the sketch until I find a look/layout that I like. Usually while sketching, questions arise about what is going on in the image, why it is this way, what makes sense or doesn’t. I do my best to go with the story in my head and create something that seems potentially real, and has at least some basis in a world.(Be it this world or one of the many imaginary ones I’ve dreamt up) Then I make the image in ink, pen, paint, whatever I feel will let me be accurate to that particular arrangement of visuals best.

When writing, it’s basically the same thing with words and rough sketches alongside the words to help flesh out the ideas.

Three More Artists………………….

Colleen Blackard


Colleen and I met several years ago at, either one of the Armory Art shows we were in together, or at the art events at 320 studios, I’m not entirely sure. Either way, I recall being super pleased to see a fellow artist creating pieces with ballpoint pens. As the years have gone, I’ve seen her work grow by size and depth as she tackles new and more complex imagery and arrangements. Her work is superb, and I’m glad to share it with you.

Colleen Blackard is originally from Austin, TX, and currently lives and works in NYC. A graduate of Hampshire College, MA, Colleen’s drawings have been shown around the world in London, Moscow, Tokyo, New York City, and more. Her work has been featured in such venues as Fountain Art Fair, Rush Arts Gallery, Family Business Gallery, and Times Square.  Her drawings are in Pierogi Gallery’s Flat Files in NYC, and she is represented by ISSO Gallery in Japan.

As Brooklyn’s premier “circulism” artist (known in Japan as “kuru-kuru”), Colleen Blackard’s luminous landscapes are captivatingly detailed yet maintain an Impressionist style. She builds up masses of ballpoint pen circles to create patterns of obfuscating shadows and defining lights that confuse and clarify the subject. She chooses this time-consuming yet meditative process as a way to describe the beauty of existence by giving life to every detail. 

Matthew Cetta


Cetta and I go back from as far as our college days. His photography is definitely the passion of someone who has an interest in many things around him. My favorite part are his treated films, soaked in various chemicals, liquids prior to development. The textures and effects on each roll is impossible to predict, and yet still, his care and effort put into these creates what is often beautiful imagery.

Matthew Cetta is a New York based photographer who aims to explore the very notion of what a photograph is.  His project “Photogenic Alchemy”, in which Cetta modifies film with different chemicals and physical stressors, has been seen around the world having gone viral in 2013.  He has been featured in publications such as Wired,  The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Gizmodo.  Currently, Cetta is seeking funding to bring his modified film to the market.  He also runs a newly launched food blog to share his love of cooking and photography.  

Katie Sacchi


Katie has a wide array of experience working with some of the biggest names in the toy design field, ranging from Mattel and Disney, to Jakks Pacific and Nickelodeon. There’s a good chance your kids or younger siblings are playing with something she worked on. Not only is Katie a super sweet, while also incredibly blunt and honest person (best combination ever), she is also incredibly talented at creating imagery and stories that don’t necessarily tie in with her toy design background. I strongly suggest you keep an eye out on this young woman, as I was recently granted the honor of r adding a manuscript of her current project, and I definitely am looks ng forward to seeing it in completion.

In her own words:
“Katie Sacchi is an artist/ toy designer currently living in California and designing toys for Jakks Pacific.  
     Very shy and quiet growing up in a family of nine, Katie would use books and drawing to escape to limitless fantasy worlds and loved to illustrate the books she read.  Although this earned her the nickname space cadet, she kept her head in the clouds, feeding her voracious curiosity.  She continued this through college, studying Illustration at FIT.  Unsure of whether to pursue fashion or book illustration, a professor recommended the Toy Design program.
      Katie quickly found her niche designing fashion dolls and has been loving it ever since.  She is still a proud space cadet.”

Thank you everyone who was willing to be a part of this, and I look forward to seeing the artists you each choose to share.

JGroeling, out.


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