“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

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

LILLY_kickstarter

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]




One of the MANY Kickstarter reward tier images I'm trying to finish off in between my insane and unforgiving animation schedule.

Thanks for your patience everyone. I am making small dents on that 'To-Do' list. I promise.

THE EYES_kickstarter

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]




The idea was designing a warrior/fighter archetype where his resources (in this case his actual anatomy) allowed him the advantage in any fight by being able to see all of his opponents' next moves, but also serves as his weakness because those same resources leave him vulnerable for attack.

It may be too on-the-nose, eh?

Can you imagine if you're worried about swinging your sword around because you may hit your own optic nerve? My biggest fear is getting a paper cut right on the lens of my eyeball and...ugh... let's not talk about it. I'm getting queasy.

You know, eventually - and especially for these Kickstarter reward images - I'm going to just go back and draw super heroes. I'm just gonna call it a 'lazy' period where I crank out ten of them back to back, wearing capes.

Hehe. I'm lying. Why waste time with that?

BOOK WYRM_kickstarter

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]



Playing around with shapes and concepts, and trying not to just go into 'automatic mode' where I'm using the same proportions over and over again.

It's a difficult challenge because you always have to cater to 'touchstone' details that your audience can grasp. I mean, I could draw a giant blob with a bunch of details on it, but in the end, that's not really communicating an idea very well. Unless the whole point is to draw a giant blob with a bunch of details on it.


With this image, I wanted to explore what the brain, its stem and nerves would look like if it were characterized and turned into a cartoon. Inevitably, I drew it reading a book. Because...hell, what else does a brain want to do more than fill itself with knowledge?

Monday, July 23, 2012

WOMAN SAVAGE_commission

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on 100lb/300series bristol board]



I was in the middle of drawing this image and operating under the idea that it was only a black and white bust. Luckily, I looked at my commission list and realized that it was meant to have the gray tone option I've made available as an added premium.

That's when the headache kicked in.

To some people that little hiccup may not seem like a big deal: Just put in gray instead of just drawing it with pen and ink, right? The only problem with that is that most of my images are based heavily on composition - even the ones that don't have much of a noticeable narrative. These days, I'm hardly ever concerned about the best possible way to render something - I leave that to a younger, more energetic, easily distracted generation. Instead, I try to concentrate on communication. I turn my attention in putting emphasis on the composition of shapes; the placement of positive and negative elements within the image. And trust me - it's massive pain in the ass sometimes. It is to say that what I can get away with in a simple black and white image (which is somewhat 'old hat' for me) is not something I can easily accomplish in gray tone (which is still new and something I'm trying to get better at).

So I had to go back and re-think where all the light and dark areas were going to be, I had to re-evaluate where the majority of where the heavy details would be, and at one point I was seriously re-considering starting over from scratch. Luckily, some of those points that I typically laboriously obsess about somehow fell into place. It still could be better - some areas are just messy and the 'rule of thirds' is just this side of being completely abandoned, there's not enough emphasis on her face as it relates to the big cat head piece she's wearing as it relates to the set of leaves and vines that I was trying to use as a framing element as. But again, I was dealing with a truncated deadline. And so... there it is.

That's a lot of 're-' in that previous paragraph.

POST-AEON_commission

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]




The request was for an image of a character/woman who may've existed in the world of AEON FLUX.

Considering I worked on the show, you'd think this would've been a fairly easy assignment. But if you take into account that it's been years since I've had to put my head space into that awesomely stylistic world, and combine that with the fact that I'd never been as good at drawing those characters as much as the other people on the crew (PETER CHUNG and ROBERT VALLEY to name a couple), this particular request was a lot more challenging than I had anticipated.

I think I could've done with more straps, and buckles, and latches, and tourniquet type stuff. I wish I had another pass, but I will just have to get to the business of that later on. Too much on the 'To-Do' list, you know?

I hope you all have a great week. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

SWORD QUEEN_commission


[11 x 14" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]




One more image from San Diego Comic Con. It took about three or four tries before I settled on this final pose. I still don't know if I got it right, but I was dealing with a truncated time line.

Over all, a lot of fun to do and she was a wonderful challenge to draw.


Onward.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

MAN OF HELL_commission

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on 100lb/300series bristol board]



One of many challenges of doing the 'In the Spirit of...' policy is that once in a blue moon, someone will ask me to reinterpret a character that's damned near perfect in its current form.

Mind you, it probably has a lot to do with my personal reverence for those certain characters and that to me, designing them (or in this care re-designing them) would broach the subject of sacrilege. I'm really not quite sure what it is, but there have been a handful that I've just not been able to wrap my mind around.

I'd hazard to say that it's probably all in my head. 

PIXIE & ANOLE_commission.

[11 x 14" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]





A man whose sketchbook I had unintentionally lost a few years back (we are talking about 3+ years or so), after waiting what must have seemed to him as almost a life time and a half, e-mailed me a few weeks before SDCC and asked if I would finally draw what I had promised I would when we first came to terms as to how I would compensate him for the lost book and the collection of sketches inside. Losing that book is partially responsible for me to never ever draw inside some one's sketchbook where they're compelled to leave the item with me for pick up later. 

Being that I don't like being reminded of what an irresponsible jerk I can be sometimes (most of the time?), when they requested these characters, I was compelled to acquiesce regardless of my no commissions with copyrighted and trademarked characters. I mean, c'mon - I lost their sketchbook AND they waited for so long. It was the least I could do.

So, not knowing anything them, I tried to do my very best. The only challenge was that because I had very little information/background about either Pixie nor Anole, I had to somehow find motivation (outside of the fact that I owed this image to its commissioner) in order to maintain my immersion in the drawing process. For me, drawing a girl with pretty fairy wings and another kid that resembled a horned lizard - who BOTH wore that standard New Mutant varsity uniform that's been drawn over and over, ad nauseam - left very little for my imagination.

The saving grace was that I had never drawn either of these two so that I could then look at the experience and opportunity as a 'new' one - as in, "Well.. I've never drawn them before, so this should be interesting." And the challenge became about the exercise in rendering and poses. I guess, to that end, I had quite a bit of fun.

That said, I am so very grateful that the the person who commissioned me to do the image had stayed as patient and understanding for as long as they did. I am truly blessed by fans of my work who don't mind waiting, who tolerate my idiosyncrasies, and have remained loyal to me despite the fact that I'd forget my own head if it wasn't bolted onto my shoulders.


Friday, July 20, 2012

GIRL IN SPACE_comission

[11 x 14" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]




The request was for a girl in space. 'Space-y' was the word used, I believe.

OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!_commission

[11 x 14" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on 100lb/300series bristol board]




It will not happen again, this GEISEL. He, like a small group of others, came and left an astounding mark with voice, pen and humor - then left a dream we could all share and live in.

I am luckier for having grown up with and lived through that dream.

I believe we all are.


Thursday, July 05, 2012

ESSENTIAL SEQUENTIAL SDCC '12 T-SHIRT_update

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]



This will probably not be the last reminder before the big convention rolls around, so please forgive me for all my upcoming whoring.

Anyhoo...

Starting July 11th through the 16th, I will be at San Diego Comic Con, ARTIST ALLEY, Table DD10 and at the ESSENTIAL SEQUENTIAL, Booth#5557. I drew the the image above for the Essential Sequential T-shirt which will be given away at their booth. You owe it to yourself to drop by and take a look - I'm sure your'll find something within your price range.

I really hope you guys have built up your constitution for the show and that you carbo load before you enter the city's limits. You're going to need it.


PS - Bring extra deodorant. For everybody.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

HEROES CON 2012_update

[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]


[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]


[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]


[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]

[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]


[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]


[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]


[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]


[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]


[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]


[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]


[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]


[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]


[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]


[6 x 9" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]








I had a blast.

That's an understatement to say the least. I can't explain in words what an overwhelmingly good time I had at this show - even more so this year because I was with the perfect set of people to be at a convention with. DAN PANOSIAN, DAVE JOHNSON, ANDREW ROBINSON, MIKE CHOI, and MATTEO SCALERA were all my table mates at the ESSENTIAL SEQUENTIAL booth and being in such perfect company, it was all I could do to keep my inspiration and enthusiasm in check. More than that, I had to do my very best to keep up withe the art they were producing for their fans. And yes, I've said it before - it's like playing with the 1992 Men's Basketball Olympic Team

Speaking of - I have nothing but great and admirable words to say about the people who dropped by my table in order to show their support of me and my work. Once again, the attendees at HEROES CON proved to me that you dont need a massive multi-media spectacle to have one of the most memorable shows on an annual basis. SHELTON DRUM - along with point-man RICO RENZI - set the bar at an almost unreachable height. They treated us like kings, they accommodated for all of our artistic eccentricities, and we got the care that I feel really enriched our personal experience. The entire weekend I felt like I was hanging out with my good friends. A lot of my good friends.

The inaugural installment of the HEROES CON FUN RUN turned out to be a very successful event. I cannot believe how many participants came out to get their 5K on. Hehe. But more importantly, I was overwhelmed by the number of students who took me up on the offer of running the distance in order to get their portfolio reviews. It was very satisfying to think that these kids took their health as well as their soon-to-be professional endeavors as seriously as they should. Thanks, guys. I really hope the portfolio review was well worth the aches and pains of running for three miles. But more importantly, I really hope that you guys don't stop with your exercise regimen. It'll go a long way - I promise.

And finally, I'd like to thank any and all of the people who dropped by the booth, discovered CASSANDRA POULSON'S work, then asked her for a commission or two. That was a pleasant surprise for the both of us, and your positive response and enthusiastic support for her work really did a lot for her first Heroes Con experience. The requests came so fast and furious at one point that she had to turn people away. As an up-and-coming artist wanting to prove herself and creative output, she mentioned to me she felt guilty about not being able to fulfill everyone's orders. I told her it was a good problem to have and that there will always be more, upcoming shows in the future where people can get an image from her.

And that leads me to this:

SAN DIEGO COMIC CON is coming. It's a juggernaut that will destroy anything and everything in its path without  rhyme nor reason. There is no avoiding it. There's no way to stop it. The best you can possibly hope for is to hunker down, pray it doesn't touch down right in front of you, and that you've done all you can to prepare to survive it. I don't believe I've done enough preparation. 


I'm sitting in ARTIST ALLEY TABLE DD10 where I will be more than happy to draw commissions and sign books, and sell you copies of my sketchbooks CHOCOLATE and ENCORE


And for the first time ever, my dear friend and personal art dealer JASON SCHACHTER will have a table on the main floor for his company, ESSENTIAL SEQUENTIAL - BOOTH 5557. What's more is that Jason will have copies of the ENCORE LIMITED EDITION available for those select few who absolutely must have the bad-ass version of my art book. Check out the link about to see what the goodies are that come with your purchase of this masterful edition.


I will be signing and drawing there intermittently throughout the weekend, and just as soon as that schedule is forwarded to me, I'll put it up here so you'll know when I (along with my cohorts in the group, including PUNK ROCK JESUS rockstar himself - SEAN GORDON MURPHY) will be available at the booth. And as I've mentioned earlier, Cassandra will have a set of pre-done works for sale at Jason's booth. And none of those drawings capture your fancy (ie: you want something more specific), then it would do your original art collection some good to get on her commissions list as soon as possible. Please e-mail her to inquire about details and availability.


Okay, that's it. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Please drop by my table at SDCC - both in Artist Alley and at the Essential Sequential booth - so that I can personally thank you for all the kindness and support you've extended to me. I truly am grateful.




I'll see you all in a couple of weeks. I hope.






PS - Some of the images above were part of the 'ENCORE -1st/13' promotion. I know that many (if not all) of them are accounted by people who purchased a copy of the art book at HeroesCon 2012. If you did not get your image and you were promised one, please contact Jason Schachter at the link provided above and he'll get to the business of sending them out to you. Thanks for your patience.