Elmo in Vegas

Rolling out of Las Vegas after a week of Licensing Expo [slash] Family Vacation. We did some pretty fun and exciting stuff with the kiddos. The Licensing Expo, however, was very disenchanting.

To my surprise after all we saw and did, when I asked my kids what their favorite part was they said, “The people in costumes!”. Ugggh! I found the droves of pseudo-costumed, carney-esque, Marvel, Muppet, and otherwise popular characters roaming The Strip in bad Halloween costumes, looking to cash in on photo ops with families to be the most disturbing point of interest on our trip. That can stay in Vegas!

Yet this highlighted a very real parallel to my main motivation for going to Vegas at all; The Licensing Expo. The complete content of this event is the ability to cash in big on lovable cartoon characters, art work and design by mass marketing it to our children. The biggest section of the expo, by far, was the Characters + Entertainment. Companies pimping out their lovable characters for top dollar in a way that’s only slightly cleaner than these folks hustlin’ in bad costumes outside of the Bellagio.

Jun 21 2014 | Posted by Joe Fenton In Art, Comics, Journal | No Comments »


New works by Scotty Greathouse can be seen at Motiv in downtown Santa Cruz throughout the month of June. Come out to the opening this show, EyeCracklers! – Friday, June 6th and meet Scotty. Get the low-down on his work; approach, inspiration, motivation.


Here’s one of a few new “doors” into the show. I wonder what’s behind ‘em.

Jun 03 2014 | Posted by Joe Fenton In Art | No Comments »

Decked Out


I have a new painting featured in the group show, Decked Out, commemorating the one year anniversary of the Fremont Skate Park. It’s a tryptic, painted and carved onto 3 reclaimed skate decks. Check out some details and process shots here.


The opening reception will be on Friday, May 9th 7-9pm at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery, 123 Washington Blvd. Fremont, CA 94539. Come hang with us and check out some original deck art!

May 01 2014 | Posted by Joe Fenton In Art, How I Work, Journal | No Comments »

Things I’m Learning @EventSantaCruz


Tomorrow night is the 6th Event Santa Cruz. I’m really excited to go. I went to the first one last September and have been to several since. Each event has proven to be a great experience that has led me into new meaningful partnerships and friendships.

My original motivations to attend seemed normal. I wanted to meet some local successful and inspiring people and make my name and business known. Networking, right?

But what I’ve learned is something that, deep down, I’ve always known, and it’s humbling. It’s a trait that I’ve noted in the most successful of leaders and have longed and labored to have in myself. It’s the secret ingredient that must accompany your more obvious talents in order to achieve real success. It’s Empowerment. It’s the ability to hand the torch to someone else and be more stoked about how they will carry it than you would be to continue carrying it all by yourself.

Straight up. The common trait I see in all everyone who’s shared about their businesses, adventures, and experiences is that they’re busy creating opportunities for others to succeed or be inspired. These folks have been led to places of greater reward and accomplishment by showing others ways to reach theirs. Forging success for yourself by your sweat and tears can be cool. A lot of people are doing that. But when you’re motivation is to create a platform and precedent for others to realize their success, by golly, then you’re on to something.

Socially conscious and involved business leadership is becoming the new standard. Good grades and drug rehab is now expected more than it’s considered taboo or lame. We have so many ways to be intentional and direct with our time and resources; so many private projects to fund, so many small businesses to buy from, so many non-profits to give your time to. To see who I’m talking about just check out the Event Santa Cruz website for some videos and names of people doing rad stuff with other people, or just come out to the next event.

Golden Rule is golden for a reason.
One parting thought; a modification to an old adage—

“People don’t care what you can do until you do what makes them care.”

Mar 18 2014 | Posted by Joe Fenton In Journal | No Comments »

The Rains Return

I was inspired this weekend by the rainy mellow vibe on my way in to church.
So I was moved to wax poetic:


Hope that resonates with those in joyful meditation on the California coast.
Been a long time since I just sat and wrote some poetry…

Mar 03 2014 | Posted by Joe Fenton In Journal | No Comments »