Obscurious X: Decade of Darkness Released

Cover of "Obscurious X: Decade of Darkness"

"Obscurious X: Decade of Darkness" Released

I'm excited to announce the release of my sixth book on Antithesis Press, "Obscurious X: Decade of Darkness".

This book is a reset, revision, and return to the maelstrom that helped form the artist Artemis Sere, the philosophies behind my art, and the approach to my creativity.

Learn more about my S.E.R.E acronym, how I struggled to beat severe Ulcerative Colitis, how I survived a bitter divorce, and lived to the tell the rest of my adventures during my thirteen years that I was considered "chronically ill". This version reflects on the person I am now versus the person I was at the time of writing the original "Obscurious". It is an autobiographical story of the evolution of a tortured human and budding creative throughout decades of time.

The book is a "poetical picturebook": a hybrid book of poems, prose, photography, graphic art, and honesty compiled into structures called "effigies". It calls for your participation and reflection through specific pages called "echopages" where you're enlisted to journal your thoughts. It is meant to be a dark, interactive experience where we find synergy in our honesty.

It is our obscurious intersection -- a protected space where you're free to be who you want to be, to share the truths you have locked with in, and to put pain to paper as I once did.

"Obscurious" was released in 2011, and was the first book I released as a self-publishing author. It was a dark start, and a curious way to begin my story. Few knew of the constant, continuous health struggles that I was dealing with at the time. My painful history needed a compartment where I could offload the void (literally and figuratively). The original book contained poetry, prose, and photography from 1995 through 2010.

Unfortunately, I was too rushed with the original publishing of "Obscurious". Balancing the daily drain of pain and a 40 hour work week made my focus fragmented. I published a very flawed book with content that showed potential, but sometimes missed the mark of the experience I wanted to share. One of the reasons was lack of content as an artist. In 2011, I had only been producing Artemis Sere content for 4 years, so my cache of art to pick from was slim. I used the best of what I had at the time, and published a piece that was greatly imperfect.

Obscurious X: Decade of Darkness

Order your copy from Blurb now!

Fast forward to 2023. A recent layoff from my day job opened up my calendar to finish projects while searching for a new day job. For the last couple of years, I was very focused on finishing my exhaustive gallery books, "Echoprism". Over 700 pages of content in full color and supported by a new inventory system, "Echoprism" represents me like no other project that I've ever undertaken. It took me over a thousand hours to complete the inventory experience for 600 pieces of art - involving tracking, labeling, re-picturing, and ordering. If not for my attempt at a metalmorphosis in 2019, I wouldn't have had the time available to complete everything I have over the last 3 years.

But I have been very productive. I'm doing my best to continue the story and product of Artemis Sere, despite life attacks and setbacks.

I meant to release the ten-year anniversary update of "Obscurious X" in 2021. But based on my attention to "Echoprism", I deprioritized making that deadline. Completing the "Echoprism" volumes was too important to me. Getting my shit together and organized was too necessary to me.

And it paid off.

When I came back to the "Obscurious X" project, I had a refreshed and exciting inventory of art and new content at my disposal to recreate the experience. And a full awareness of which pieces would work great for a brave new version of the book.

I also decided that some of the pain and positioning of the book (namely, the "revenge" elements) were no longer congruent with the person I wanted to be and the voice I wanted to share with the world. The pain is still there. The darkness is still evident. But the bitterness has been toned down and the anger has been numbed. The core of the story now focuses on how I dealt with the darkness, and how it turned me into the "creative alien" introduced in my second book, "Xenomorphine".

True to form, "Xenomorphine X" development is currently underway, and the book will be available March 13, 2023 on Blurb.com.

Ultimately, "Obscurious X" is more than "Obscurious" ever was. It is a reflection of my SERE concept in action for the last decade since the publishing of the original. It is a symbol of success, a mirror of growth, and herald of a new age of creativity for Artemis Sere. It signals maturation. It reflects clarity of purpose.

It is the calm before the storm.

Order your copy of "Obscurious X" from Blurb.com today. I am a self-publisher who does not use Amazon.com to sell his product. All proceeds go back to me and to the development of more art.

Thank you for following and engaging with my art!

Cover of
Cover of "Obscurious X: Decade of Darkness"

Obscurious X: Decade of Darkness

Order your copy from Blurb now!

Xoterica 26: The Still

Artemis Sere Xoterica 26 The Still

”In every passionate pursuit, the pursuit counts more than the object pursued.” (Lee)

I did it.
 
Honestly, I didn't believe that I could, and a year ago at this time, my head was far removed from publishing a gallery book of my Art. In fact, without tragedies of 2019, my vibrant star called "Echoprism" may never have been born.

But it has been, and I couldn't be prouder of my accomplishment. "Echoprism (Volume 1)" is the fourth release from the publishing arm of Seretic Studios, Antithesis Press.
 
My new gallery book "Echoprism" is based on "Project Alexandria" - an effort which I undertook last year to streamline, organize and digitize my art inventory and library. The scope started at nearly 600 pieces of art, 90% of which I made with pencil, ink, canvas, wax, wood, acrylic, oil, watercolor, resin, and metal. I have since surpassed 600 pieces in my Serenity Gallery inventory.
 
The effort took a year of my life -- hundreds of dedicated, eye-straining hours of collecting, measuring, cleaning, polishing, updating, fixing, photographing (often in awkward positions for this photographer), detailing, updating inventory spreadsheets and apps, reorganizing, re-labeling, renaming, creating written content, designing a page layout, executing the same framework on 358 pages, revising (multiple times), proofing, editing, updating, digitizing and merchandising.

Whew. That was a mouthful, and this creation has been a daily burden for a long time. Far longer than I've ever experienced for a creative project and/or expected to devote to it. 
 

The birthing of my first book "Obscurious" (2011) was magical, surreal and empowering. Even though it never took off with sales or audience, the sheer awe of holding my own published book in my hands was exciting. "Publish a book every year" was my stated goal after that.

I planned out a path of at least 8 "Bonesetter" books (my "poetical picturebooks"), and immediately got started on "Xenomorphine" (2013). I quickly discovered that the "book-a-year" target wasn't reasonable for a professional adult with a duties and responsibilities. While I have notebooks full of content, ideas and plots, I don't have the time to translate them into reality.

"A man's reach should exceed his grasp", from a poem by Robert Browning, suggests that we should attempt things that we may not attain, reach for things, even though we may never hold them. I suppose I'm the poster-child for that. My goals often seem to be an exercise in reaching, rather than holding. Most goals I target and dreams I strive for  slide just beyond my grasp and float at the edge of my life, both mocking me as another failed effort and teasing me with plotlines still available.

Paths possible under the right circumstances, of course.

My metalmorphosis - the dream of taking my art and life in a different direction - was birthed to this world as stillborn. I made a series of choices that backfired. Despite Browning's poetic positivity, aiming for the impossible can have damaging effects on your timeline. I will work to survive the fallout of my failed choices for the rest of my life.

I reached into the unknown for a new hope, and the Universe laughed in my face.

And presented me with "Echoprism", as if I'm a slave to a different fate, one that keeps me focused on the madness and poverty of Art, as opposed to the mechanics of a normal life and its trendy, comfortable dreams.

Seven years after I published my second book "Xenomorphine", and one year after the passing of my Father, I've birthed the biggest, brightest star that I have in my life. As it settles into its place in my history and the Universe, painstaking in development and viewed by few, I take pride in this massive accomplishment. I'm confident that the Echo star could only have been born with this path, which has allowed me the complete freedom of schedule to pour hundreds of hours - possibly over a thousand over the last year - into redefining my Gallery, getting reacquainted with all that I've done over the course of my life, inventorying and cataloging and capturing, refreshing on Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, reviewing and tweaking every pixel and page number.

All for the calm that follows creation, recognition that both reach and grasp are part of flawed human process that starts at the crib and ends in the grave.

Everything is impermanent. Even stars, like "Echoprism", may someday fade from existence. For now, I hope it lights the life of family, friends, and fans for as long as fate allows.

For me, it is a stone on the path of artistic legacy, one that will exist long after I'm gone. The journey has been an arduous one, but productive and cathartic.

Punctuated by being released on Palindrome Day. 

If you're interested in ordering a copy of "Echoprism (Volume 1), please visit my new "ECHOPRISM" page dedicated to the book for ordering instructions.

"Echoprism (Volume 2)" is over 50% complete, and will be available 4/1/2020 via Blurb and Amazon. I'm excited to say that Volume 2 is EVEN BETTER than Volume 1, as it contains many of my more recent pieces and creations. Watch for excerpts from both on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you for your interest in my Art.

#xoterica #echoprism #antithesispress #sereticstudios

Artemis Sere Xoterica 26 The Still
Artemis Sere's "Echoprism (Volume 1)"

Xoterica 25: The Demons

Artemis Sere Xoterica 25 The Demons

“The core of understanding lies in the individual mind, and until that is touched everything is uncertain and superficial. Truth cannot be perceived until we come to fully understand our potential and ourselves. After all, knowledge in the martial arts ultimately means self-knowledge.” (Lee)

 

A good friend told me recently that I'm "wrestling with a lot of big, difficult demons". She was right. I appreciate this friend's patience with me over the last year as I endured one of the most perplexing personal cycles in recent memory.

Reinventing yourself is an uncomfortable scrum that some don’t survive. Some lose themselves along the way and become the big (or small) demons they sought to control.

Or, some don't survive at all. Like my friend Clark, who evidently drank himself to death recently. Clark was a middle-aged father, artist and groovy human who I didn't know well, but knew well enough to appreciate him as a friend. He drifted into the bottle and then into oblivion. All around me, the demons seem to be winning. Ending lives too early. Twisting great people into savages, saints into sycophants, artists into martyrs. Lulling the populous into a sleepy nod and compliant gaud.

"Don't be that guy", I tell myself, while feel my tread slipping on the icy roads of a frozen life.

Is this the slippery view from inside the midlife crisis, or true recognition of what it means to be human? Not an American. Not a census demographic. Not a number in the system. Not directionally accurate or balanced. Not even.

Not normal. "Don't be that guy", I tell myself, but find that I'm surrounded by chaos, lies and deplorable people who claim to be normal, but are anything but.

But what does it mean to be human then? Which influence should we follow?

Without a paternal figure, coach, counselor, guiding light or guardian angel (as my Mom likes to say I have), it is easy to lose yourself to the battle inside, succumb to the cacophony of selfish voices shouting for dominance. We need to be careful of which voice we follow - angel or demon - as each has motive and will to manipulate.

In truth, my demons are comfortable company. The angels of our world are as imperfect as we are; the only difference is that their secrets are shielded behind scripture, gilded walls and pious wings.

I would rather bloodlet heaven than add my cruor to its pool.

And so I keep the company of demons. In many places of our civilized world, that position makes me an outcast, a target for violence or inquisition, and/or an antagonist. Even now, taking stands against the disingenuous and draining circles of our human civilization results in being labeled "counter" or "liberal" or "evil".

While I certainly am a liberal person, I do so with the best overall endstate for humanity in mind, knowing the challenges we all face as imperfect beasts in a flawed, fauxed system. We all grow old. We all fall apart. We all die. But we live most of our lives pushed to spend resources as if we are going to live forever.

Live beyond our means, arteries and beltlines. Live bigger, flashier, best.

I died in my 20s, and have been living in bonus time since that point. Time that wasn't gifted to me by loved ones, by science, by angels nor demons. A creator wasn't involved, or if one was, it must answer for the 13 years of hell I endured. 

This time I have was gifted to me by the fight itself. As long as you don't give up the fight, you're still in it, present for the punches and temporary victories. Screw the Holy Wars, the World Wars, the generational wars, financial wars and cultural wars.

Your demons may usher you to the ring, but the greatest fight that exists is with yourself. You against you.

I am reminded of a poem I wrote a decade ago when I was very ill, battling with a chronic condition that never let me sleep a full night, eat a regular meal or feel like a normal human. Much of this experience is captured in poetical and metaphorical (and sometimes graphic) ways in my first book "Obscurious", which was how I voided my darkness. Due to the severity of the condition at the time, I would regularly void blood, often leaving me anemic and exhausted. When you're fading, the fight is both physical and mental, between angels that claim they can save you, and demons that offer you exit from your pain.

The tussle between heaven and hell - between a life that civilization told me I was to strive for, and the daily reality that was starkly different - turned into a war between my identities - past, present and future. Sometimes, I feel like Pollux who sacrificed his immortality for his dying twin; and sometimes I feel like Castor, the lesser brother of an immortal who was never as good as his twin, yet shares in the brilliance of his glow.

In reality, I am both, tightly intertwined in a wrestle for survival and radiance.

A human should not spend their life on the edge of oblivion, stricken with the disease of death and the void of hope. Remember, according to the Biblical myths, the Devil was once an angel too. Perhaps we create the demons around us by our actions and distractions, causes and affectations.

The jagged nature of the text is intentional. The twins of humanity are twisted in conflict. The struggle is real.

Follow at your own risk.

Po(llu)x

this con stant
con flict with
the nether me
the better me
that I see
in dire dreams
of duplicative
quarrel--
where we
scrap for
permanence,
tussle for
dominance,
melee for
omniscience--
is weeding
the blood
from my eyes in
epiphytic brush,
soaked foliage
and scrubbish
rage;
awake
he is two
we ak and
bleeds too
con stantly and
tragically
for
this Dioscurious
curse, this con stant
and circular
hell, pray tell,
how does one
murder a similar
sliver of
self?

("Obscurious", 2011)

#yearofCivility #xoterica

"Bare Bones"
Seretic Studios ID Number  SS-SG-00104
Creation Year  2015
Item Size  16 x 20
Item Orientation Landscape
Item Materials  Acrylic, Art Resin
Item Substrate  Canvas
Tags  Afterlight, Horror Art, Monsters
“Bare Bones” (Digital Remix)
Original Painting:
Seretic Studios ID Number SS-SG-00104
Creation Year 2015
Item Size 16 x 20
Item Orientation Landscape
Item Materials Acrylic, Art Resin
Item Substrate Canvas

Seretic Studios