“Today, in our field, there is so much talent and recognition that we are reaching a saturation point. An artist should no longer strive only for breathtaking craftsmanship; he should, instead, try to help us live better, either by dressing the wounds that are constantly being opened by society, or by offering solutions to get us out of the mess we’re in…But it’s going to be difficult and we have a lot of work to do.” - Jean 'Moebius' Giraud
Monday, April 30, 2007
This past weekend, I was inspired by my friend who had a folder full (overflowing, actually) of original drawings (rough pencils, finished inks, et al) - the contents of which were mostly Disney themed. I felt like it was the most humbling experience I've ever been through in long, long a while. The images were unabashedly raw, determined, and, most importantly, truly inspired. Really beautiful work. I hope the 'rush' those images gave me lasts all week, as I'll try to do more of my take on the themes I saw in that folder. Again, the key word being 'try'. I'm pretty jazzed! Okay, bye!
at 10:20 AM
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Yeah, okay - it's late in the day on Sunday. But it's Sunday none-the-less. Still good.
Also, wanted to express my thanks and gratitude again to those of you who are posting on the Phantom Me's Deviant Art site on my behalf. You guys are the best.
Enjoy and I hope you all had a great weekend.
at 6:26 PM
Friday, April 27, 2007
Okay, one more for today because I missed posting on Thursday. And my nervousness due to coffee stimulant has subsided. So I decided to do another sketch.
Anyway, this movie is a classic for me. *SO* many memorable scenes, I can't pick a favorite. Bill Murray at his finest, too. Here's a scene from the movie that always makes me chuckle (taken from this site):
Venkman glowers at him, still skeptical.
(to the girl)
All right, miss. Have you or has any member
of your family ever been diagnosed
schizophrenic or mentally incompetent?
Well, my uncle thought he was St. Jerome.
(looks at Stantz)
I'll call that a big "yes."
(to the girl)
Do you yourself habitually use drugs,
stimulants or alcohol?
I thought not. And one last thing. Are you
What's that got to do with it?
Back off, man. I'm a scientist.
It's the way Murray delivers it, I think. Oh! And I Actually got to meet Winston 'Ernie Hudson' Zedmore himself at a show in San Fransisco! He was so awesome! Okay, no posts tomorrow. 'Rocket House' on Sunday. Have a great weekend folks!
at 7:05 PM
Less than, actually. Not much of a sketch today.
I was watching my friend Jon play the PS2 version of 'God of War 2' and thought, "There's a bald, tattooed guy on a flying horse with fiery wings jumping onto attacking griffins, ripping their wings off as he goes. Interesting. Jeez, Jon must be pushing every button on that damn controller! I miss 'Pitfall' and 'Missile Command'. If I had a Flux Capacitor and a steel bodied DeLorian, I'd hit 88.8MPH, crank it up to 1.21 gigawatts, travel back to 1985 and make those Atari guys' heads explode. Man, this looks good on my 1080 widescreen plasma. I'm gonna go buy a PS3 and an XBOX 360 with a HD DVD expansion. It'll be so cooooool..."
Things like that. So, much like this drawing, my thinking is very stream-of-consciousness today. It probably doesn't help that I'm a bit jittery because I just drank a can of Starbucks double-shot with nothing else in my stomach. I don't know. So I have no point nor agenda with this blog entry except to tell all of you that this Sunday I'm posting another strip of 'Rocket House'. Oh, and to tell those of you who've posted and spoken up for me on that phantom Deviant Art site that you guys are awesome. Thanks a bundle. And the doppel-KAHNEHTEH has already re-posted the Bebop image. 'Phantom Bebop' he's titled it. At least he's a funny bastard.
at 4:38 PM
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Two posts in one day? Not unheard of from me, but this one's with good reason. Read along, dear friends:
I have a Deviant Art account. That's not the funny part - the funny part is that I. DID. NOT. OPEN. IT. Haha! Check it out HERE.
Funny and scary at the same time, yeah? This person has pulled images from this blog and ULed them to the DA account almost a day *after* I post them here; the new images at least. And here's another thing - they didn't UL everything! It seems that my phantom Deviant Art doppelganger is very selective about which of my (our?) art he puts up! Neato! A phantom *and* an editor! Only the best for my Deviant Art audience, I guess.
I'm not offended. Scratching my head a bit, but I'm grateful...sort of. Flattered, really. It's not the first time that someone has exhibited my work (hell, that's where I got all the images from the previous post) and I don't think the fella' is doing anything notorious with the account (he's giving all the right info, the credit and links all go back to this blog...can he sell some of my 72DPI images somewhere? That's just ludicrous! Who'd buy crappy low res images?), but this time around people are posting on his message area, talking like it's me! "Congrats in joining DA, E!" or "I look at your blog everyday! Glad you're here!" Entertaining at best! Anyway, I just wanted to tell you all that I have no idea who that is and that as soon as I get it worked out, I'll update you. And to you, kind (and hopefully not crazy) stranger - Thank You. You oddball. I hope you're not in your basement somewhere and getting your jollies off of my Chun-Li drawing.
Now, let us test said phantom with this new post. I'm going to put up this image and see how long it takes before they have it up in my newfound DA listing. And......Go!
at 1:50 PM
Ah, the memories... looking for one's artistic 'style' through experimentation, trying to gain acceptance and legitimacy in the eyes of the professional comic book community, aping the hell out of the incomparable Kevin Nowlan...all 'CRAP'! That's our secret word today, kids. Scream when you read it.
Okay, I post these up because recently I've gotten e-mails (Two. I've gotten exactly two e-mails. I tried to make it and myself sound more important by using plural 'e-mails', but in all reality, just two - I'm a sack of sad) asking for tips on how to become a better artist and if I had any advice on how to proceed with an artistic approach to the 'style' of their work. So rather than e-mailing them back I thought I'd write about here. That, and I didn't draw anything new and I wanted to keep my blog updated daily so you get junk food. You know the crap routine. So read along if you want, but I suggest skipping ahead. Here we go:
I tell you now and in all honesty (and based on the images above you can see that this is true) that I have absolutely no idea how to be a better artist and how to come to a 'legitimate' style. To this day, all I do is steal from people whom I hold in the highest possible regard. The old proverb of 'imitation being the highest form of flattery' has never been more relevant than when it comes to me and my work. If it's not Jim Lee, then it's Paul Smith; if it's not Kevin Nowlan, then it's Mike Mignola; and if it's not Claire Wendling, then it's Lauren Montgomery. I steal from everybody. From tons of people along the way, little tidbits here and there, and if I payed a nickel to everyone I ever stolen from I'd be bankrupt, I steal. A lot.
I could tell you about books and anatomy guides and how you should start off with fundamentals (and that would be the right way to go - always start off with the basics), but in as far as actual 'style' is concerned there is always someone's work that you'll naturally gravitate to. And in doing so, always ask yourself why they're doing what they do. "Why." Very important question. "Why are they rendering that this way?" "Why is that thigh bigger than the other?" "Why is anyone giving this louse a job when all he's doing is ripping off Peter Chung?" Things like that. So yes, I steal. I steal a lot (and by 'steal' I OBVIOUSLY mean 'pay f*cking attention to *why* they're doing what they're doing' - if I've got to explain that to you then you need take a remedial course on how to read between the lines). But then, somewhere in all of that thievery, I accidentally learn. And that's what you see here: stolen goods, repainted, repackaged and redistributed in the black market that is my blog.
Oh, and this: You are never going to be as good as the original. That's not a bad thing, trust me. From whatever source material you're looking at, to the cortex of your eye, to the misfiring synapses in your brain, down to the length of your arm and finally to the tips of your fingers and through your pencil - whatever you looked at will now have been washed through the filtering system that is comprehension and skill. Somewhere in that translation there is 'style'. Good or bad, that's what you get.
Thank you for writing and good luck with all of your artistic endeavors. Blah, blah, blah.
I've now re-read what I just wrote and that's CRAP too. Almost legitimate sounding, but nonetheless...crap. To be taken with a grain of salt. Okay, as far as context - first two images (Avengers and Cybernary 2.0), I don't know what I did them for. Commissions, maybe? Gee, I hope not - I owe you guys back your monies. Anyway, I found that some guy online has them up as part of a 'gallery' of my works. I don't know why anyone (outside of me) would want to exhibit this experiment, but whatever - thank you sir, whoever you are. Third image (Ladytron) is a watercolor ditty I did for my friend's brand new sketchbook. It's sort of the throwing down of the metaphorical gauntlet so that every artist wouldn't draw crappy sketches thereafter. Didn't work. At the end of the convention he had over a dozen pieces of crap after the piece of crap I drew. *Sigh* Last image (X-Men) was done as a present to someone. Should've used purple instead of green.
Anyway, if you're still reading this, you're sick in the head. Crap.
at 6:14 AM
Monday, April 23, 2007
Got back from San Fransisco's APE convention last night (around 2AM, actually - so that would've made it more like this morning rather than last night, I guess) and spent another hour or so looking at video we shot and laughing our asses off about how regular guys can turn into the cast of Monty Python when left alone for three days. It doesn't help that APE serves alcohol at the show and a few of us like to consider beer as a substitute for lunch, but whatever. It was 'hella' fun. Picking up on the NorCal lingo, kids. Also, five, metro-looking guys hanging out in bars/after hours places, slightly buzzed, and it's almost guaranteed that one of them is eventually going to get accused of being gay by the hot, scantily-clad girl bartender. And in case he's reading this: 1-2-3 - NOT IT, JONARD! Haha! Fun times - I'll post some of the drawings done at the table while waiting for the customers that never came.
So yeah - I don't know if a giant slug/frog monster has teeth or not, but let's say for the sake of argument and this here picture that it does. See, there are days when you're going to think George is an idiot and he ruined a franchise and then there are days when you're going think he's brilliant. Carrie Fisher as a slave? Mensa George showed up that day.
at 9:03 AM
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Actually, I don't know if any of these characters from Street Fighter actually use that attack? Maybe Sakura? I don't know. I have no business drawing nor coloring this image since I'm not a SF fan. But I figured anything to get me out my my comfort zone of just drawing superhero-type stuff all day can only help? Okay, more later.
Oh, and I don't know if that over-saturation of color is on my screen of it's really how it looks. I haven't calibrated this monitor since I got it so it's always a surprise when I transfer stuff from the Cintiq to this thing. Oh well - I'll get it right someday.
at 4:54 PM
Monday, April 16, 2007
"What're you going to do with 12% body fat?"
"I dunno...be muscular, I guess."
"I dunno...look good for the ladies?"
"Nice. High five."
True story. I was standing in line yesterday at the local Baja Fresh and these two guys (I say *two* guys, but spatially they were taking up the space of maybe three guys...okay, three and three quarter guys - you get the picture) actually had this conversation. It's what happens when I'm stupid and nosy enough to drop eves. This ought to learn me my lesson. Oh, and fellas? As much as I applaud the effort (and ESPECIALLY the 'high-five') you might want to take it easy on the side order of guacamole and extra red sauce if you want to look good for the ladies.
at 10:07 AM
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I was watching the whatever-version-got-re-released-by-Disney-this-year 'Peter Pan' earlier today, when I realized, "Hey someone asked me for this commission a while back! Cool! Now I'm all inspired to draw the little flying pixie that makes hallucinogenic dust that makes people think they're 'flying' to Neverland and is the nightmarish version of what an over-bearing, jealous-crazed, back stabbing (the little so-and-so gave Peter up, if you all remember) girlfriend would do if you even look at another woman in a sleeping gown! Awesome!"
So I went and grabbed a sheet of bristol to start do the commission because I've actually got an hour or two to kill. Neato!
Then, just as I'm finishing up and signing my little 'month/(e)/year' thingee (which, BTW, would have been really cool if I somehow incorporated it into Hook's...um...hook, but whatever. Actually I, in fact, *DID* think of that. I even penciled it in, only to forget all about it in the inking stage. I need help.) it dawned on me that the person who commissioned this piece canceled. He canceled it. Months ago. Didn't need it and asked for something else all together. Looked on my commissions list and yup, his name is crossed out.
Ever see that movie 'Memento'? You know, I don't know if I have either.
at 9:54 PM
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I don't remember who I promised this commission to - I just know it's on my list. That shows you where my heads at lately. I feel foolish. Anyway, if you've requested a Hulk vs. Abomination from me in the past...oh, I don't know...three months(?), shoot me an e-mail and I'll send this out to you directly.
I *do*, however, remember (from whomever it was who asked this of me) that they sent along some Dale Keown Hulk reference and saying that it was their favorite, but I dunno, man...that Hulk had a giant belt, tight brown pants and some shiny black boots?! I mean, c'mon - respect to the creative team who did that and all, but that's almost as visually ludicrous as, let's say...um...oh, I know! Let's say if they ever designed a Spiderman with mechanical arms coming out of his back and spats made of gold. I mean, you know - FOOLISH! So I did the 'Rampaging Hulk' version instead.
Anyway, thanks in advance to you, dear commissioner and my apologies for being an airhead. Happy Easter! What? That was *last* weekend?! Sweet jeezus.
at 11:00 PM
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
First, let me thank those of you who have left a kind word about the last few pieces I've exhibited on here. They're not taken directly from the side project I'm doing, but they're the inspirational images I keep around so that the fire stays lit under my butt in order to get it done. I'll be honest with you now and tell you that they're not working all that well because...um...there's always something else on my plate. You might be able to tell what that is from the pictures/panels above. I'll get to this in a little bit.
Before that though, I've gotten questions via e-mail and I've been rude with the non-answers, so here it goes:
- I typically color with Photoshop (PS/CS2, to be exact). I have a WACOM Cintiq because I don't have the coordination to look up at a screen and draw below and to the left of that (hand/eye coordination sucks...and so do my video game Tekken prowess, for that matter). That answers the 'left hand vs. right hand' question yes?
- I sometimes work with markers (I suck at them and have to constantly adjust them with PS before I even have the nerve to upload them here) and my weapon of choice is the brand that COPIC makes- their colors are nice and vibrant and I highly recommend them.
- '90 minutes' is all I give myself because outside of doing chores, deadlines, and the occasional movie, that's all the time I have for extracurricular activity - 'Me' time. That sounds so lame.
- I ink with a Staedtler/Mars Graphic Duo brush pen. Yes, not very 'professional' at all. Get over it.
- Your commission is next. I swear.
- This one gets the 'Wha? - Who cares?!' prize: I run in either Asics Gel Nimbus VII or Gel Cumulus VII. Comfort and support abound. Kayanos (for the price) are overrated. I don't know how fast I run an average mile - and who cares? I run.
- And finally (the answer to what has to be the most entertaining and creepy question I've gotten thus far) 'Yes!' - that rather rotund (Boondala, Wookie! Ha, ha, ha!) person you'll sometimes see when you see pictures of me is me. And 'Yes?' - that rather emaciated (They hates us, my Preciousess!) person you'll see sometimes when you see pictures of me is me also. It all depends on which body I download my brain into from day to day.
But wouldn't the more important question *have* to be, "Why the hell are you looking up pictures of me for?!" Weirdo.
For those who are going to ask, no - this is not an actual page from IM. I don't think I'm allowed to post whole pages by way of preview art yet, and I'd hate to bring the wrath down of whomever onto me, so I took panels out from the pages I've finished thus far. Sneaky. I *was* going to post a really juicy image (like a splash page), something that you can really sink your teeth into. Then I realized, "Hmmm...I don't draw splash pages at all! I'm an old fart who now draws a traditional nine-panel page and doesn't break panels for the sake of 'cool' layouts. Man, I'm decrepit. Get off my lawn you f*cking kids!"
So what you see is what you get. BTW, anyone see 'Grind House' this weekend? Anyone see Nicolas Cage as Fu Man Chu in the intermission trailers? That's totally who I'd cast to play 'The Mandarin'. Haha! Just kidding - I'd cast David Alan Grier.
at 7:31 AM