Austin artist Timothy Raines aims to abstract all 30 MLB team logos before WorldSeries
It's the bottom of the ninth inning, leading up to the World Series. The bases are loaded, two outs and it's Timothy Raines up to bat. If he makes this run, this would be the chance of a lifetime.
But first he needs to clean his brushes, prep his canvas and get to painting.
No, Timothy Raines is not a professional baseball player. (Yes, there was one back in the late 70s, but that's not the same Tim Raines.) Instead, he's an Austin area artist and an avid fan of the sport who has undertaken a daunting task that could lead to a permanent place in the Major League Baseball annals of history.
For each logo, Raines spends approximately three days standing over a painting using temperamental acrylics, perfecting the colors and locations of his "drip blooms" before fine-tuning it for color detail.
On a whim, Raines completed his first abstract MLB logo (it was for the Yankees, for those keeping score) and submitted it to a few art agents who dabble primarily in sports imagery. One agent expressed interest and Raines submitted a follow-up painting of the MLB logo itself, which made the MLB sit up and take notice.
After gaining approval and official licensing for eight more of his submitted "Pollack-like" paintings of MLB team logos, the MLB asked Raines to finish a completed series of all 30 team logos that they could display throughout their New York City office headquarters and possibly beyond. (Some of his submitted logos are already on sale through the online MLB shop.)
"This is a huge honor," says Raines, who understands that opportunities like this don't come along more than once in a lifetime, "but with a lack of time and resources, I’ve slogged through one painting at a time and missed another Opening Day and will miss this season's All-Star Game. That leaves one big event for 2012: The World Series. I don’t want to wait anymore, and I don’t want MLB to forget about me. The time to strike is now."
As Game 1 of the Series looms, the abstract all-star artist, who creates his MLB masterpieces in his one-car garage at home, is definitely feeling the pressure.
For each logo, Raines spends approximately three days standing over a painting using temperamental acrylics, perfecting the colors and locations of his "drip blooms" before fine-tuning it for color detail. Understandably, completing even one of these paintings is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor.
"I have the eye-hand coordination and patience... I guess that helps me with my ability to stay focused on the narrow limits of the logo design," Raines explains about his process that seems to fit well with the MLB's strict logo parameters. "[I] will start doing some things that are more out of the box, whether it is MLB or other brand, but it is important to honor the brand, too and work with the client to make sure it aligns."
Additionally, Raines and his wife had a baby boy last September, so his time and finances have been further split between work and family. "Naturally, I've not been able to accomplish [the MLB's] request as quickly as I'd like, thus the Kickstarter campaign which I hope will allow me to take some unpaid leave this month to finish everything."
Raines opened a Kickstarter page this week for a month-long fundraising campaign to complete each of the 30 team logos and send prints to the MLB in time for the World Series in October. The funds raised will cover his material, printing and shipping costs, and a sizable pledge will earn you a print or painting of the MLB logo of your choice.
"More than just getting a great print or painting and supporting an artist's dream, I want this campaign to be fun," he says on his Kickstarter page, which he is using to host his own "Kickstarter Series." For every team logo that is selected as a pledge prize, Raines will keep track of which team earns the most "runs" (print sales) and "grand slams" (original painting sales).
For avid baseball fans like Raines, this is the perfect way to extend your collection of team memorabilia and impress others with your appreciation for fine art. For purveyors of unique, local philanthropic endeavors, this is also a great way to show your support of a local artist making good on his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Any way you hit it, this project is a home run.