The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread…

…and it’s a weird looking two-finger glove. No joke.

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I’ve been using my pen tablet (a wacom PTZ-930) for about six years, it’s old and beat up but works like a charm. It was time for an upgrade though so I took the tablet-monitor leap with the new Monoprice 19″. I only just got it, so it’s still too soon to give any kind of review, but what I can review is the little accessory I bought for it and it’s awesome.

It’s called a Smudge Guard. I had heard of it before but I didn’t think it would be worth the price since I never really had too much trouble, not to mention I had the desktop to monitor tablet so I didn’t have to worry about messing up my visual space. I was so so wrong.

I’ve had it for about two months now (I ordered it as soon as I found out about the Monoprice) and I wear it for 90% of my work day now. It was a little odd at first, but after a day or two I stopped noticing it on. It breaths and the material is really comfortable, but more than that it really works. I never really noticed how smeary and sweaty my hand got after drawing for a few hours… sorry that’s gross, but it’s true. After a month of working with the Smudge Guard on my hand I honestly can’t work without it. It feels weird. It has become an absolute must for my work space.

I’m raving about this thing right now, but I’m honestly considering buying another just in case something happens to my first one. I love it so much o_o

If you work with a tablet, go get one.

www.smudgeguard.com

EDIT: woops, the link wasn’t woking for some reason, it should be fine now.

Inspiration: Lackadaisy

I love to read webcomics, and there are a few that I’ve been following for quite a long time. Many of them have very nice art… a whole lot more have not so nice art, but the story makes up for it. One in particular though, goes leaps and bounds above the others in terms of quality. I’ve been watching this artist/author for years now and I’m always amazed at the quality of her work, both the art and story! The artist is Tracy J. Butler and her (free!) webcomic Lackadaisy is a great read. I loved it so much I had to buy the first book when it was published (WOAH look at those prices now that it’s on back order!!). Here are just a couple images  of the awesome work she does:

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And here’s actual work from the comic:

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Her penciling skills are off the chart, and she puts them to full use with such amazing illustrations.

Inspirations… stagnation

These past few weeks have been all about the art going up around The Bay area for Festival Anonymous and I’ve been lucky enough to meet a few of the artists and watch them work. It’s been pretty inspiring! Tomorrow I’ll have a photo to post of a little tweaking I did on the mural I did this summer… lol… and I’m also starting a new digital painting project. I’ve been pretty comfortable with my technique lately and I can’t help but feel like it’s gotten a little too stagnant. So it’s time to change it up and try something totally new! For inspiration I’ve been browsing through art by Jason Chan and Charlie Bowater. Two totally amazing digital artists.

Festival Anonymous (let’s try this again…..)

Right, so I posted this already, but WordPress decided to back date it for whatever reason… so it didn’t show up anywhere it needed to. SO here I am posting it again. Sorry about that… I’ll have something new and interesting for tomorrow, promise!

—-

It seemed pretty fitting to post this after talking about how inspired I’ve been by the Huichol. Here’s the proof!

I posted this image and a brief explanation of the process once before when I was first starting up this blog, and while I talked about how I created the logo, I didn’t really explain what it was all about.

Festival Anonymous is all about bringing Urban Arts to the Banderas Bay area; Music, dance, murals, graffiti, all of it! There’s already an amazing line up of artists and musicians coming in to the area, either for weekend “pop up” events or the main event, the actual Festival, on January 26-27. Many of them are well known, world wide artists that I’m dying to actually meet and watch them as they work. It’s one thing to see an artist’s work, but Anonymous is all about bringing the process right to the audience!

Here are just a few of the artists that have been confirmed:

Sheryo

Sheryo

(Wall @ Wonderwalls Wollongong)

Saner

aryz_saner_mexico_streetartnews-4

(Collaboration with Aryz in Mexico City for All City Canvas)

Chisko

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Sergio Navajas

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That’s only a few of the huge line up of artists involved, too. You see why I’m so excited about this? Well here’s the part were you come in.

This whole project is non-profit and it’s donations of talent, supplies, walls and $$ that are making it happen. Their Indiegogo campaign is in full gear and even if you can’t make it to the live events go spread the love! Like, share, write about it, talk about it, and donate! Donations come with swag (and good karma) if that helps =)

Support the Arts and support this project!

I didn’t even touch on the music and dance part of this event too… For more information on everything you should check out either their Facebook page, Festivalanonymous.com, or contact the organizers directly!

Inspiration: Mexican Huichol Art

I’ve already talked a lot about Aboriginal Australian art and how much it’s inspired me in my own work. Their art has been inspiring me for most of my life, but just recently I also found the Huichol.

My sister and her boyfriend moved to a small town just north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in Nayarit about three years ago. After they had settled in a bit I flew down to visit with them (…and the beach). My sister had been telling me about the local artwork and how amazing it was, so one day we drove to the next town over for a weekend market where we were hoping to see some. Sure enough there were several booths set up… absolutely overflowing with color. The tables mostly consisted of yarn paintings and bead work and all of it was absolutely beautiful. I knew I’d found something really special as soon as I saw it.

I wish I could say more about the Huichol (Wixaritari) people, but the truth is I don’t know very much yet. I do know that they are an extremely old culture and struggling to remain intact. They retain their own language and religion, one based in Animism, and the designs of their art are direct reflections of that faith.

Some Huicholes have actually brought their art to wider audiences through galleries and exhibitions. One of my favorites is this:

It’s a Volkswagon Bug and it’s covered, absolutely covered, in over 2 million glass beads.

It’s name is Vochol (VW Bugs are called “Vochos” in Mexico). I’ve known about it for a while, but in one of those amazing coincidences I walked right into it one day! I was flying in to Denver International Airport (of all places..!) and as I was walking out of Arrivals I looked up and there it was, right in the middle of the floor. There was no lighting on it and only the tiniest display with it so it was easy to miss and I almost didn’t recognize it for what it was! I was geeking out and practically drooling all over it in the middle of the Airport… I got a few odd looks…

More traditional (and no less bad ass) Huichol bead art is normally done on carved wooden statues that are covered in Bee’s wax. Each little bead is pressed into the wax with a needle, one at a time.

There is also amazing beaded jewelry.

This is a super long post… but one last thing =)

For more information of Huichol you can check out the Wixarika Research Center.

Festival Anonymous

It seemed pretty fitting to post this after talking about how inspired I’ve been by the Huichol. Here’s the proof!

I posted this image and a brief explanation of the process once before when I was first starting up this blog, and while I talked about how I created the logo, I didn’t really explain what it was all about.

Festival Anonymous is all about bringing Urban Arts to the Banderas Bay area; Music, dance, murals, graffiti, all of it! There’s already an amazing line up of artists and musicians coming in to the area, either for weekend “pop up” events or the main event, the actual Festival, on January 26-27. Many of them are well known, world wide artists that I’m dying to actually meet and watch them as they work. It’s one thing to see an artist’s work, but Anonymous is all about bringing the process right to the audience!

Here are just a few of the artists that have been confirmed:

Sheryo

Sheryo

(Wall @ Wonderwalls Wollongong)

Saner

aryz_saner_mexico_streetartnews-4

(Collaboration with Aryz in Mexico City for All City Canvas)

Chisko

560646_10152205089460235_1145607017_n

Sergio Navajas

405435_10151071223752590_688901547_n

That’s only a few of the huge line up of artists involved, too. You see why I’m so excited about this? Well here’s the part were you come in.

This whole project is non-profit and it’s donations of talent, supplies, walls and $$ that are making it happen. Their Indiegogo campaign is in full gear and even if you can’t make it to the live events go spread the love! Like, share, write about it, talk about it, and donate! Donations come with swag (and good karma) if that helps =)

Support the Arts and support this project!

I didn’t even touch on the music and dance part of this event too… For more information on everything you should check out either their Facebook page, Festivalanonymous.com, or contact the organizers directly!

Inspiration: Animation

When I was a kid and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up… well first it was Paleontologist, but after recruiting a team to excavate my elementary school’s baseball yard (with toothbrushes, because that’s what they do in the movies) only to find that our “dinosaur” was actually poorly poured cement, I decided to move on to studying living creatures. So then it was Ornithology, which I still love, but I realized later that it wasn’t all like “My Side of the Mountain” and it actually involved a lot of boring technical sciency stuff.

By middle school I realized that what I really loved was art and animation and I decided that when I grew up I was going to become an animator for Disney. While my love for Disney as a company has changed quite a bit, my love of animation isn’t going anywhere. There’s something really beautiful about the way that traditional drawings are brought to life by movement, and I love that while mainstream has been pushing the hyper-realism of CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) animation so much in recent years, traditional animation has not been forgotten. In fact, many artists are beginning to realize that while CG may be new and interesting (and fast and cheap), it lacks the human touch that brings static lines to life.

I think Marjane Satrapi, the creator of Persepolis, says it best in this Making of Persepolis video, “That was a conscious choice, to do the animation on paper, to do it by hand. Obviously it takes longer, but work done on a machine dates very quickly. It might look great today, but in five years it’s old hat. Furthermore, a machine produces a perfect image, but as human beings are imperfect, it’s not at all human. There’s something not quite right about that coldness, that perfection, which isn’t like us. There’s a vibration in the human hand which brings the image to life.

Persepolis is an incredible comic and movie by the way. Absolutely worth the watch, even if you are not a big fan of animated movies.

Here’s another short clip, this time the Making of Paperman (a soon to be released short from Disney/Pixar). Okay, not everyone will find this as interesting as I did, but it shows the technical creation of the characters in the film using both CG and traditional animation! The results are really beautiful and should be very exciting for traditional animation buffs nerds like me =)


Okay, so obviously I am not working for Disney, or an animator, or even a mostly traditional artist! But that’s okay. While that may not have been my path, the work of others that are in that field still inspires me everyday.

Inspiration: Aboriginal Australian Art

When I was little my family and I were lucky enough to live in Australia for a few years. Of course, like most kids, I didn’t really appreciate just how amazing it was to have been there. I didn’t realize until much later just how much of an impact that experience had on me and my influences, specifically Aboriginal art that is so hauntingly beautiful and expressive.

(I couldn’t find any credits or details about this one, only that it is painted on stone)

(again, couldn’t find any credits for this one, but it looks almost exactly like a small piece that I have hanging up)

I love pointillism, and styles that leave out important lines rather than rendering every detail. They let the audience actually participate in the art by allowing their minds to fill in the blanks and create the rest of the image. I think that’s why I love sketches so much since they’re so often just the idea of the image without being fully rendered.

The subject matter of Aboriginal art is also beautiful, often very abstract representations of mythology and the natural landscape of Australia.

(Ngapa Jukurrpa – Water Dreaming by Felicity Nampijinpa Robertson from www.aboriginalartonline.com)

(Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa – Star Dreaming by Alma Nungarrayi Granites from www.aboriginalartonline.com)

(Artist Charlene Carrington from aboriginal-art-australia.com)