Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Sea Story

The Jerk That Saved His Life

As Jake and I waited patently in the impossibly long line, I suddenly became aware of how strangely comfortable my feet are. I admired my tennis shoes & gently wiggled my toes. A small scarlet backpack filed with a few of the day’s necessities, some fruit, a camera and a light jacket hung squarely on my back. It was comforting to wear civilian clothes again. Jake was a trusted friend and a fellow sailor onboard the USS George Washington, a Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier forward deployed in the Mediterranean Sea. A thick layer of dark dray clouds obscured the sun that October morning, the air was moist and thick with the smell diesel fumes and the occasional waft of men’s cologne. Sometime during the night we had dropped anchor a few nautical miles from the foggy coast of Naples, Italy. I was waiting our turn to board a ferry that would take us to a day of well-needed rest & relaxation.

As I slowly pulled away from our enormous island-of-a-ship; the ferry’s deafening whistle signaled we were off! Thick plumes of opaque smoke blew across the bubbling rainbow-streaked water as we taxied to shore. Testosterone-fused chatter filled my ears from all sides. There were conversations about the looming adventures of bar hopping, scouring the city for tattoo parlors and hopes of meeting exotic young women whose names they couldn’t pronounce. As we approached the bobbing foreign shore the sky began to clear despite roomers of a storm.

Jake & I spent the day exploring the city, stretching our legs on long walks down the quant cobblestone streets. We admired baroque architecture, gorged on authentic Italian pizza and took photographs of the days adventure to share with our families when we returned home.

As evening approached, Mother Nature suddenly changed her temperament. The sky blackened, and strange winds blew from all directions. Jake and I scrambled to catch the next ferry back to the safety of our ship before the storm left us stranded. Nervous ferryboat captains were anxiously working in dangerous waters complicated by the now-drunken sailors that were returning by the droves.

I hadn’t had much to drink that day, but I couldn’t say the same for one recent arrival. He was alone and desperately intoxicated. His head hung low, as if he were trying to connect his chin with his collarbone. I nudged Jake; ‘Hey take a look at this guy’. His bony arms hung limp and swayed involuntarily as his thin frame struggled to stand upright. Jake chuckled and then casually turned back around. Out of my peripheral vision, I watched the blonde, drunken stranger staggering slowly towards a 13-ton ferry that was slamming into the side of an unprotected pier in 20-foot swells. He was completely unaware of the potential fatal danger that was merely a short stumble away. If he fell off the pier and didn’t instantly drown he would certainly be crushed like a tender seashell. Looking back now I can’t help but wonder if all the events of the day led to this brief fateful moment. Suddenly he staggered directly onto the edge of the pier – in an instant I lunged toward him just as his foot teetered on the edge of disaster  - using a murderous grip I hooked his tricep and with a single jerk pulled him to safety. A few moments passed as I processed what just happened. My heart was pounding violently against the smooth interior of my polyester rain jacket. I waited for the gratitude due a hero that was certainly about to ensue; however, to my surprise he simply turned to offer me a dirty look. He was completely oblivious to what just happened. He returned to his blurry posture. Eventually we all made it safely back to the ship. Each went his separate way in search of a rack and a good night’s sleep.

The following morning, I looked down at my feet and wiggled my toes in my steel-toed boots, musing on the day before. It was back to work and life as usual on the ship. I was walking down a passageway and turned a sharp corner, and there he was! On quick observation of his uniform, I immediately offered a crisp salute to the Lieutenant. He instinctively mirrored my action with an unchanging expression. Our eyes only met for a moment, but I could tell that he didn’t recognize me and had no memory of the jerk that saved his life. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Perfect little series to check out for the month of October! This is a series I made by request (via Ted Stiltson) inspired by the Urban Vinyl Art Toy: "Moody". Check out the creation video below!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Abstract Art Creation Video "G IndioON

G Series

This is a series of 3 gouache paintings I did this past week. I've been studying the work of Juan Miro lately. I think his influence is evident here... I'll be posting a video explaining more soon. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


CMYKatfish, originally uploaded by Darrin Maxwell.

This is a drawing I did yesterday as a study for a painting. It was inspired by a koi tattoo (LOVE classic Japanese tattoos) that I saw online. And I've decided to give it away!

So you want it? (seriously: FREE art? - of COURSE you want it! :) Here's all you've gotta do: 'Like' my Facebook fan page and leave a comment on my profile! I'll pick a winner at random next week.

Like & leave a comment here: Darrin Maxwell Fan Page 

Check out my Flickr Page to see 2 more detail images.

ps - I'll take care of shipping!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Belt Buckle Comps

So I saw some belt buckles a few months ago at Tiger Tree in the Short North that I really liked. I was inspired to create a series of cast resin belt buckles myself. These images are conceptual designs I'm playing around with. (You may recognize some of these images from my sets on Flickr). Any thoughts or suggestions?!?!

Here are some links to sites where I found some information & inspiration about making buckles and working with casting resin. 

Buckle Artists I like:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"The Shoe Shoot" / Strappy Sandals

Strappy Sandals, originally uploaded by Darrin Maxwell.

Here's a photo of a pair of blue sandals that I'm really happy with! I'm actually writing and posting this from my flickr account - I wanted to check this feature out to see how it works. I could potentially blog far more often if this works well!

Check out the entire 'Shoe Shoot' set:

Oh! ...and I'm SO sorry for haven't not blogged for a while! (frankly, not sure anyone has missed me! haha). I'm considering blogging on Tumbler. Any thoughts? I like the simplicity of that platform. I dunno. Just trying to figure out which best suites my scatter brained (and somewhat fickle) mind!

Hey! GO do something creative. (like, right NOW!) Seriously! And have a killer rest of your day.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Photography ADVENTURE to Columbus' Graffiti MECCA!!!

These are a few of the images taken at an abandoned Water Treatment Plant in Columbus, OH. This place is amazing! If you like to take photographs of graffiti or anything rusty - this is an absolute MECCA!! And check out my friend Aaron's blog (he just started it... pretty dang lonely over there - pop over and say hi!) I love feedback, so please comment. Thanks!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer School

This 'Monster Bus' is one of a collection of images I took for my Digital Photography class. 

For the past few years I've driven past this HUGE compound where the entire Columbus City School District houses their school bus fleet. It's quite visually impressive from the elevated view while driving south on Route 71. Looking down at over 500 Twinkie-shaped buses all perfectly lined up and parked in rows reminds me of an almost surreal Pop Art composition.

Anyway... Yesterday, after my Math class (ew), I drove onto this vast complex to ask for permission to take some pictures. I parked & walked past all the school bus drivers going to and coming back from their various routes (surprised to see so much school bus activity in July! - guess I'm not the only one in Summer School.). After talking to about 87 people and actually driving to another nearby Columbus City School District Office, I got permission! I spent about an hour & a half (in the SWELTERING 94 degree heat) snapping every conceivable angle of these beautiful buses. I even climbed inside some of the 'retired' buses (I least I hope they're retired). This shoot was a lot of fun!

"Intuition Meets Technical Savvy"

I say this in all humility, but I feel my creative instinct is strong. It's undeniable... something (I believe) that is God given at birth. Some people have it (but most don't). Now I'm not saying that this is the greatest gift of all, but it's one that I have been given. Now, part of my current life mission (subtle mention of my blog concept) is to decide what to do with that instinct at this point in my life. I'm very excited about broadening my creativity through challenging myself to constantly learn more. In other words: Increasing technical prowess + creative intuition = richer content. This Digital Photography is a class that is challenging me to do just that.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hubba Hubba

See the Hubba Hubba Flickr Set:

"Hubba Hubba" is a series of male & female torso charcoal drawings that I made in the Summer of 2009. This series is very personal to me... I have an obsession with drawing torsos and this was a series where I embraced that obsession. Hubba Hubba represents my romanticized and simplified idea of romance and love... with all it's beauty, wonder and pain. I hope you like them.

I'm giving this sketch away for FREE!!! All you have to do is subscribe to my YouTube channel ( and leave a comment on the video above! I'll send a pm to the winner and make the announcement next week. I do a weekly FREE ART FRIDAY video on YouTube (and vicariously thru blogger :). I'd love for you to engage... GOOD LUCK!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Father In Exile" - A Snapshot Aesthetic Journal

This short film [and the photos taken] was inspired by a late night (and early into Father's Day morning) discussion with Paul Robinett about art, inspiration and a trend in fine art photography that started in the early sixties called 'snapshot aesthetic'. Admittedly, this isn't the most peppy of Father's Day videos... (I wish I didn't have this footage frankly) - But I hope you gain something from watching me embrace new ways to explore creativity and [maybe more importantly] pushing myself towards honest self-expression.

  • Ok! moving on... (sorry, it's the psych class i just took... recently I've become psychoanalytical & introspective about everything! and I already have a bit of a melancholy bent to begin with... but anyway...)

As for the whole 'snapshot aesthetic' theory - holy SH!T - am I excited!!! (Thanks for your blog post about this Rita!).  I feel like I've added a new superpower weapon to my creative tool-belt! The main lesson I'm learning here is to LET GO - to stop controlling (something I need to apply to my art and in relationships if I'm being honest!) - but rather being alive in the moment and allowing the lens to be more of a 'loose' third eye - documenting the moment (and I just become a conduit of the energy I'm trying to capture, not the master of it). It's just freeing! Make sense?

If you'd like to see more snapshots from this night check out the Fickr Set.

Friday, June 18, 2010

SPEED Drawing Vol. 3: "Bunny With Bling?"

I'm giving this drawing away for FREE (I'll pay shipping)!!! All you have to do is subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave a comment (see steps to enter below)! I'll send a pm to the winner and make the announcement next week. If you don't win, stay tuned! I'm going to be doing FREE ART GIVEAWAY every Friday. GOOD LUCK!


1. Subscribe Here:
2. Post a Comment to this video:
3. DON'T pee in your pants!!! (it might feel good for a few seconds, but it won't increase your odds!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Ok, not really... Actually it was the 8th page of the Short North Gazette - but that's still pretty cool RIGHT?! This was taken during the May 2010 Gallery Hop in the Short North Arts District. I had a solo exhibit that weekend that Ann Robinett (Paul Robinett's sister) curated. You can check out the 2 murals I painted along with some of the photographs I had on display on my Flickr set Titled 719 North High (The photograph of the old Wonder Bread factory sign is my fav!). Let me know what you think... I've got to go sign some copies for my friends!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yellow Hair, Black Tooth

This is a an experimental art creation video that was inspired by one of my favorite YouTube artists: regiaart (who isn't very active on YT anymore). Love it or hate it - PLEASE leave a comment on this video! I'm searching for ways to create consistent artistic content that feels intuitive and enjoyable for me to create, but content that also makes a connection with my audience. Thanks for watching!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Eat the ball

Eat the ball, originally uploaded by Darrin Maxwell.
This is kind of a random post, I know... but I was driving through Delaware this afternoon and stopped by an old abandoned barn. The ground was covered with hundreds of black walnuts. I couldn't help but admire the endless forms and faces found in these little natural sculptures. This one is my fav (he had a little help with positioning of course). Check out my Flickr stream for a few more.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Social Norms Experiment

The Social Norms Project
(Suggest you watch the videos first)

I broke a social norm by dancing and singing to myself as I listened to a rap song on my iPod on a crowded sidewalk in downtown Columbus. I didn't know all the words to the song, so I'm sure my singing must have been amusing. I was walking as the music played flinging my arms in the air and stopping on occasion to do an odd little jig that I'm pretty sure I've never seen before (or want to see again). I asked a friend to go with me. He politely declined to engage in the dancing or singing, but I was really glad he was there. Having an aly made me feel a little less crazy. I also asked a friend to come because I wanted someone to take video so I could upload it to my YouTube channel. I thought that having a camera on me would be a positive motivator for me not to chicken out! Normally I'm very confident being on camera. I really don't mind acting a little silly in public, but this was different. I had an idea in my mind that was so grand - but didn't really materialize the way I had envisioned. I believe my failure to go absolutely crazy when I was surrounded by a large group of people waiting for a bus on High Street was that my ego just couldn't overcome the fear of something going wrong. It was so much more difficult to push through that anxiety than I thought it would be.

My reaction during the time I was singing, dancing and doing cartwheels was pretty simple: I felt like a complete idiot! I noticed some people smiling. Several people leaned over to tell the person next to them to look at me. I also observed several people pointing. I think people knew I wasn't crazy, but I think some must have thought I was on drugs. I wanted to be viewed as funny (not mentally challenged). I was so insecure about not coming off as 'funny' or 'entertaining' that I was paralyzed with fear at the moments when there were the most people around. I was really surprised that it was so difficult to push past that fear. I wore a hat pulled low on my head and sunglasses that completely obscured my eyes. I doubt anyone when saw me would recognize me today without that hat and sunglasses. I knew I would never see these people again. My friend reminded me of this fact over and over again, but it didn't matter. I regained my composure at moments when there were the most people around (this went on for several blocks). My emotions were like a roller coaster! First, I would blast the music (an upbeat song that I love). I felt the adrenaline rush! Maybe this was going to be awesome! Maybe some old lady would come up and dance with me! Maybe my friend would catch the whole thing on video and this would be the next viral video on YouTube! Then reality began to sink in as I approached the groups of people. I began to feel the fear slowly rising... knowing what I was about to do... I became hyper aware of every minute detail of my appearance. I was thinking: "Is my zipper down? Is my shirt tucked in all the way? Is my hat on too crooked? Should I have worn different sunglasses with this hat? What if I slip? I shouldn't have worn flip flops!" I think I was too focused on everyone around me and not on the task at hand. I began to become hyper aware of not just the crowd of people that surrounded me but the individuals that made up that crowd. I saw an attractive woman dressed well talking very pleasantly on her blackberry ("What would she think if she sees me dancing and singing to myself?"), then a man in a power suit holding a briefcase with the direction of his gaze obscured by his sun glasses (What's that guy going to think... wait. Maybe he's looking at me already!). Then a row of very 'ghetto looking black men' that had a look like: "If you get near me I'll PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE!" I don't want my to get punched in the face! What if I accidentally say the "N" word out loud (as the song I was listening to does)! I don't want to incite a racial riot! Now, I doubt that would have happened but my preconceived prejudice of 'ghetto looking black men' were at play here whether I wanted to admit it or not. And I'm now concerned about my friend's safety too! Hey (I think). This is just a psych project! After a few dry runs and subsequent 'failed attempts' I tried to talk my friend into doing it for me... just to break the ice. If you do it then I'll totally do it I swear! "Hell no!" he answered. "This is your grade not mine!" He was right (even thought I wish he would have done it!). I completed the task, but not with the grandeur that I had hoped.

In conclusion I'm both relieved and disappointed that this project is over. I can't help but be inherently disappointed in my inability to push through my psychological fears and insecurities to the extent that I had imagined. I either need to accept my delusional tendency to "think to big" or accept my inability to deliver. Either way I won't soon forget this exercise and still feel a need to continue thinking about how I engage social norms and get. Or perhaps I'm just at an introspective phase of and I'm way over thinking this whole thing. One thing I would like to remember is that breaking a social norm forced me (and others) to live in the moment and embrace myself (fears and all).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Meditation is The Art of Paying Attention.

I found this page in my Psychology notebook very amusing! On this single page lies all of my notes from a one hour lecture on learning, consciousness and some other psychobabble (I say this with ALL affection as I love this class! - I just don't take very good notes)... I find that I 'pay attention' more effectively during the lectures by doodling... my notebook is riddled with pages like this, it's like when I have a pencil and paper I just CAN'T resist creating line! I just found it pretty funny that the only text on this page reads: "Meditation is the art of paying attention."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ever feel as though you're just... 'there'?

Below is a comment that was just posted on my Facebook profile that I just had to share... This comment from a complete stranger totally made my day! It's amazing to think that I'm actually making a positive impact in someones life by posting video blogs on YouTube.

Hi, I apologize in advance if this is super cheesy, but it's something I needed to say. I've followed you on YT for a while now... a couple years and I have to say, when you started making videos again, it really inspired me. I'm at a point in my life where I am just stuck and listening to you about rediscovering yours... -Michelle

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rediscovering Self... (I really SHOULD be studying!)

I should be studying (I have a phych exam on Tuesday) but can't seem to separate myself from the internet!!! Since I met with Paul Robinett the other day (shot and uploaded 3 'live' videos to YouTube from the Starbucks in Canal Winchester), I've been trying to commit myself to my own words... To follow my passion with vengeance! He asked me the question "If you were a trust fund baby, what would you spend your time doing" My answer: Art. Simply creating! That's where I get lost... and ultimately find myself. I've often been at odds with my creative side, because I've never found a viable career outlet for my creativity... wait. that's not really true, let me say it this way: I wish that I could make a living creating art (better!). As a fine artist that's a pretty daunting task! I'm trying to pursue and connect with an e-audience instead of (or in addition to) the convention means of trying to get Galleries to represent my work or traveling the art show circuit (EXHAUSTING work!). This blog is a part of that process of building an audience and maybe even more-so, connecting with like-minded people. I hope you enjoy reading my blog posts... Please leave me a comment if there is something in particular you'd like me to write about... OH! and if you have blogs you think I might be interested in let me know. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ok, I'm going to start writing a Blog (above image is me drafting ideas for wonderful content)... At least I'm going to TRY! I would LOVE to know exactly what you'd like to read here! If you're here to begin with then you probably already know me... so what would you like me to post? I'm thinking of Blogging (& Video Blogging) my life... My triumphs and tragedies.... the 'real' stuff... I enjoy the creative process of writing and video blogging (esp. creating short films), I'm a father of a beautiful 12 year old daughter and a 15 year 'rock star' son... I'm going back to school to get my degree (probably in education). I'm an artist with an entrepreneurial spirit and LOVE to inspire people! Let me know your thoughts. Ok... this post is a bit disjointed (certainly not a reflection of the eloquent Blog posts to come!) But I guess I really don't care... after all, as of this moment I don't have one single follower! (***enter uncontrolled severe feelings of pity & impathy***) Now just click that little follow button and engage. Thanks!!!!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Graffiti, Rust & A Flowering Tree

This collage of photos taken a few weeks ago when Aaron Vannatta & I went on a little creative photo exploration. I'm fascinated with graffiti and was blown away at some of the work we found around the railroad tracks that run under 670 (east of downtown). Most of the graffiti seen here is hidden beneath bridges where very few people wonder... Enjoy!