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An Ancient Journey Unfolds on Paper.

An Ancient Journey Unfolds on Paper.

pledged of $15,000 goal
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on May 31, 2014.

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Larry Estes
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Larry Estes

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About this project

"The dumpster screeched to a halt near my workstation.  My drawing board was destroyed and my art was tossed to the dumpster. Frantically, I dived in after it, saving the first 500 drawings of my magnum opus." - a passage from the book.

The factory might have been the wrong place to have a vision, but this is where it began. 

 My art is representative of the times where a sense of urgency dictates the pace. Comparative mythologist, Joseph Campbell, said that the vision quest has to deal with our world. 

For years a composition has been unfolding, unbeknownst to me until recently, of my journey in art. Imagine years of drawings fitting into a composition complete with symmetry that you didn't choose. The closest journey to this was not that of another artist, but the journey of an alchemist in pursuit of the magnum opus, or the figure that leaves the familiar world to find and bring back the boon, as outlined in the Hero's Journey, by Joseph Campbell. While individual drawings have received critical attention, the story behind them is more fascinating. 

This is a story of an artist that held on to an absurdly ugly drawing style that after years of nurturing, finally reached a breakthrough, winning critical attention. It's about holding on to the impossible dream. 

The project offers a fresh sense of how to look at one's greatest piece of art - one's journey. The story is told using actual drawings from my journey. The viewer gets a first-hand glimpse into the trials, tribulations, and celebrations, of a seemingly impossible dream as an artist's personal myth unfolds. 

This story encourages one to look at the big picture of one's journey, to see how the various stages of an artist's work fit together across years of time and beyond physical borders. 

How Funding Will Be Used:

Funding will allow me to create a Limited Edition book detailing an ancient journey experienced on paper over a course of many years. The book will feature color art. 

Updates will inform the backers of progress, new rewards and other happenings that tend to emerge only as the campaign progresses


A lot of the rewards are Limited Edition Prints and Originals. The early works were done in a wash - using coffee, and not in the quiet environment of a typical artist's studio - they were created in a noisy factory and quickly. Naturally, a minimalist technique was necessary. The whole journey follows closely the progression of an artist from LINE to SHAPE to FORM to COLOR to TEXTURE to SPACE-TIME drawing. 

Reward  #3 Limited Edition Signed Print of the artist's Ship Coming In.
Reward #3 Limited Edition Signed Print of the artist's Ship Coming In.

As self-encouragement, I drew a series of a ship heading my way. The drawing was created on the factory floor using warm coffee which released subtle nuances. The ship headed your way is an iconic symbol in my art journey and has the universal meaning of a dream coming true.

As I was on a journey, my art went through stages, each consisting of a series of works defining that point on the journey. The assembly-line was my mentor, teaching me how to be productive. 

 The Artist's Reward:

The artist's reward for persevering is to have developed a voice in the arts. My drawing style still carries that sense of urgency from the assembly-line days in the factory.
The artist's reward for persevering is to have developed a voice in the arts. My drawing style still carries that sense of urgency from the assembly-line days in the factory.

Risks and challenges

Creating art and writing are my passions. Whatever risks and challenges that may arise, it is nothing that passion can't handle with a little help. I remember years ago, when I was called upon to paint a model - something I have never done before. It was part of a nationally televised production of a Rolling Stones' live concert and the deadline for the video shoot of the "Tattoo girl" was within hours. The first artist and model had been fired. The clock was ticking - I was still putting the finishing touches on the model when the videographer began filming her. Backstage, I was working in a small room with Pablo Ferro (Dr. Strangelove). I had no training, only passion and that was enough. In this light, you can see how I adapt to challenges.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


  • Number one - it's not just my story - it's yours and everyone else's story from ancient times to now. It's structure was unknown to me until after a pattern emerged in my body of work. I started seeing connections over years of time and across boundaries. It closely follows the Hero's Journey which Joseph Campbell outlined in his books. Star Wars and other Hollywood films utilized its universal patterns. One of the things that makes "Drawing my ship in" special is that the series of drawings I created on the factory floor and afterwards, when looked at as a whole, reveal a composition complete with symmetry, like that of a single painting, with the fragments uniting across interdisciplinary boundaries. One of the positive messages of this story is that it encourages perseverance, because it shows that if you continue with the apparently "failed" journey, you will see that universal pattern emerge - that is the holy grail of the journey. The viewer will think twice about abandoning their dreams and will go back and look at the big picture in an enlightened manner, and this will in turn, cause many to pick up the pieces and resume their dream journey. That would make my efforts worthwhile.

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  • ORIGINAL ART SIGNED by the artist and actually created on the factory floor assembly-line (and beyond) from the journey is being offered as Rewards - these directly relate to the project and give the supporter something that puts them right there in the action - you can through these drawings feel how the artist felt in this IMPOSSIBLE DREAM - some drawings where the artist is depicted as weak and on the ground have heartfelt words expressing what the artist felt. Some even have the words "Get Up!" on them rallying the artist to action - remember, I was an artist without a studio - the assembly-line in the Door Shop was where I mounted my drawing board and drew - this was the REAL SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS. I also have several rewards that are LIMITED EDITION SIGNED PRINTS.

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  • My drawings have been entered into national and international competitions, and have been selected for awards from jurors from top museums, including HARVARD ART MUSEUMS, MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM, GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, and the NEW MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, to name some. All for a drawing style that originated in a factory where I'd draw on a makeshift drawing board I mounted next to my workstation in-between assembling doors on the line.

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  • Yes, the School of Hard Knocks.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15 USD

    Your name placed in my book under special thanks page.

    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25 USD

    "SHIP COMING IN" Limited Edition, Numbered, Signed Print. A reminder that the world is your oyster. This symbol best represents my art journey and is the working image of the cover of my book. It appears in the Kickstarter video. I drew this ship heading my way as a form of self-encouragement. An iconic symbol in this story and universally. Originally done on the factory floor using warm coffee as a mixing agent, which released subtle tones from the ink and paper. The ship has a majestic, mythical aura to it. Measures no larger than 8.5" x 11."

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50 USD

    Signed, Hand-Numbered, Limited Edition Copy of Book. The FIRST 300 books will include a Signed ORIGINAL work of art that I did on the factory floor while working on the assembly line in the late 1980's. A true piece of the artist's spirit.

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers

Funding period

- (30 days)