Decorative Sketching 2

Another page out of my sketch book from sitting around at the airport with way too much time to kill!

IMG_20130823_102919

 

 

Advertisements

It’s aaaall about the details

Working up the inks for these Ladies of Lit and I’m focusing on putting tons of little unique details into each one… Mulan just haaad to have scaled armor @_@

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 5.40.42 PM

 

I already have four inks done! Mulan will be the fifth. These are flying by, but that might have something to do with the fact that I’ve been doing all of my favorites first… I’m going to hit a bump soon, I’m braced for it. The good thing is I have plenty of projects going on right now to keep me busy. If I get stuck on one, I just move on to the next until I can come back to it with a fresh eye.

Between commissions to keep me from going completely broke, this Ladies of Lit project, my art book printing/preorders and moving to a different country next month… I’m a little on the busy side. But it’s Good busy, not Tear Your Hair Out busy, so there’s that.

Anybody know a nice place for rent in the Portland area..? x|

So I added to that mural a bit…

Over the summer I was practicing on the wall next to my house. It was a LOT harder than I had anticipated. The wall sucked up the paint and was so uneven it was tough to cover (that, and it was SUPER hot out). What should have been a quick paint ended up taking me days! I had to change the design up a bit to work and it turned out like this

21

But I was never happy with it….. so I finally got fed up and added a little to spruce it up a bit lol

2012-07-19-23.38.32

Yah, that’s an octopus on her face. (the chicken approved.)

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

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: 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.

Freelancing: Issue #8503

I really love to brag about my job. As far as desk jobs go, mine’s juuuuust about one of the coolest! I’m basically doing for money what I’d be doing if I had nothing better to do =)
But every job has it’s downsides, right? Freelancing is definitely a “Feast or Famine” type of gig. I always have either WAY too much to get done nownownow… or nuthin’. Zip. Zero. And then back to omgwaytoomuch aaaaaaaaah!… It’s fun though, and it’s all a matter of pacing myself I’ve found, and lots of planning ahead. I try to always have several projects of my own on the back burner; drawings, crafty stuff, new signs or product ideas, etc. That way when those slow times come around I don’t end up just sitting on my hands, I can grab one of those projects and run with it until I get more paid work.

On the flip side, the same goes for the paid work. I never seem to have just one commission at a time; it’s always 5-10 all of a sudden and I need to get ’em done quick! Unfortunately, especially for the work I do in illustration, a lot of the pacing depends on the customer. I often find myself waiting on payments (which I almost always take up front. More on that later…), commission details, references, contact information, yadayadayada. Sometimes I send previews of the work and end up waiting days to weeks, even months before I get a response! So I’ve found it’s really important to be able to switch between commissions and work easily, without getting too hung up on the one I’m working on. Multitasking! Very important.

That said, I do have a “queue”, a sort of commission line that people get on depending both on when they contact me about the commission and when they pay. While I give the current commissions at the top of the queue top priority, I also bounce around the queue line while waiting on any of the many things I talked about above, or sometimes when I hit an art block on a certain piece and need to take a short break to get my groove back.

As for what I said earlier about always taking payments upfront, I’ve been burned before, but more than that a lot of friends of mine in the same field have been burned before. It’s (really unfortunately) not too unusual for people to try to get art for “free” by ordering work, then either disappearing or simply ignoring any payment requests once the work is complete. Luckily this has never happened to me, but I have had clients that procrastinate and procrastinate and make one excuse after another about why they can’t pay yet “but next week for sure!”. Basically it just becomes very unpleasant for everyone involved as I then have to take on the role of Collector and they have to deal with getting hounded about debts. After doing this several times I decided that I had enough of a clean track record with commissions and clients that it wasn’t unreasonable to ask for all payments upfront. Now, I do understand that it’s not always easy to pay for expensive things like art all in one lump sum, so I do offer small payment options for the more expensive works. But again, in order to protect myself, the payment always has to be made in full before work is completed.

I know lots of artists that have very different policies on how they take and work through commissions, and how they accept payments, but this is the method that I’ve settled on for myself and it seems to be working out. In fact, if there are any artists/freelancers reading this, I’d love to hear your methods/thoughts on this process!

Fur Suiting, for reals this time

So I posted something about this a few days ago and promised I would explain it. The most basic explanation of FurSuits is this; they are animal costumes.

A little more detail? Okay, so fursuits are most popular in a fandom called “Furry“. The point is to anthropomorphize an animal or creature that a person wants to represent themselves as. The Furry fandom is based around a group of people that, in one way or another, personify themselves in an animal, but it’s not limited to that. Interests within the fandom are extremely broad; anything from a love of classic old Bugs Bunny cartoons, to the spirit animals of Native Americans or the gods of ancient Egypt, to the more technical side of costuming and prosthetics. Personally? My interests are in the artistic aspect. As far as fandoms go, Furries are extremely art and artist friendly… but I’m getting off topic.

To be completely honest, when I first started selling at these conventions, fursuits freaked me out.

Seriously. WTF. Gigantic furry suits with big huge eyes towering over you with who knows who inside… Buuut I guess you can get used to just about anything given enough time, right? After I got over the initial shock I started to really appreciate the craftsmanship and creativity that goes into them. Every year I see something new and innovative that’s really amazing. There are a lot of hobbyists that dabble in fursuit creation, but then there are those hobbyists that have taken it to a whole new level, and even professionals in areas like Hollywood creature creation and animatronics. Two years ago I had a long conversation with a man who had created a fox head that was fully mobile. The eyes opened and closed as could the mouth. The lips around the teeth could even be bared like a snarl, all controlled by sensors placed on the wearer’s face. The ears were fully mobile and twitched and moved about according to a sort of “mood” sensor touching the wearer’s forehead within the mask. The man was an engineer by profession and had created the mask over the past few years as a fun side project.

On the more artistic side there are also creations like these.

They are unique designs by a studio called Clockwork Creatures and the craftsmanship and detail in each and every one is absolutely amazing. They remind me of the creatures and designs from the 1980’s movie The Dark Crystal (before CG took over the movie business…)

TL;DR… it can be a little shocking/confusing/creepy when you first see a fursuit, and yah, not all of them are amazing works of art or engineering… but no matter what, there is a lot of time and effort that goes into each and every one and sometimes the results can be really amazing.
EDIT: oh yah… it’s Thanksgiving today, isn’t it? Happy Turkey Day all of you States side =)

Conventions Badges

I’m leaving this afternoon for Chicago for that convention I keep talking about, and tomorrow it finally begins! The attendees of these conventions often have characters/designs that they like to show off, so a really popular selling item is Badges; small illustrations of the client’s character with their name or pseudonym largely displayed. They are then printed, laminated and cut out to create a tag or badge that can be worn and displayed as people walk around the convention. They’re fun, easy, and great advertisement! What better way to show off your work then have people wear it around? Here’s one that a client ordered in advance of this weekend’s convention, to be picked up in person, of a cute Red Panda girl.

So I already had this image printed yesterday to about the height of a pen. Then I carefully cut it out to a general shape, laminated it, and now all I have to do is attach a badge pin to finish it off. If you’re a little confused by my garbled explanation of what exactly these are, here’s another badge that I did for a convention over the summer, this time with a photo of the completed product.

There’s also this one that I did, where I was hired to take a photo of the client and turn him into a satyr!

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!

Jacket

I was doodling a few weeks ago and sketched this out…

While I was in Japan I swear I saw this same exact jacket absolutely everywhere..! If I could have afforded it I would have bought one. It was practically meant to be o_o