Wednesday, April 29, 2015


As stated last week, in the hopes of sparking my getting into more gallery shows, and just sparking my creativity in general, I intend to create something for an upcoming show in a comic store, of all places. So it shouldn't be surprising that the theme is "superheroines." Also as a challenge, I didn't choose an obvious character, I pondered using Battle Angel Alita or Zatanna (Death from Sandman would've been way too obvious), but decided to go with Tank Girl.

Definitely not typical of my usual subject matter - shaven head, surly mood and expressions, cigarettes - but we'll see what I can do with it. Also part of the challenge is to not ape the original artist but bring something of my own to it. My first few sketches, I certainly didn't make her surly enough. I even re-watched the movie version, which I felt got a rougher reception than it deserved. I thought they did a pretty good job, considering, but since the comic is often so random and anarchic, Hollywood felt the need to force a plot, timeline, and characters that often threatened to make it more serious than it should be. Casting Ice-T as a mutant kangaroo was movie gold, though.

I also feel I need to not make it overly complicated, as one idea was (maybe still is) to have some sort of wreckage behind or near her, probably aircraft. And the process of research for this brought to light again the blessing and curse of our information age, so many choices, maybe too many. I definitely fell down the Google image search whirlpool for a good hour there, looking at plane crash photos. And with safe search off, the most unlikely images still sneak in (there's not even a plane in that photo!).

I'm sure I'll show my age since I recall having to do research for assignments in illustration class. In libraries, trying to find reference photos, without the aid of an internet search, often running on hunches that it'd be in this book or that, or my sometimes frightening visual memory (I recall somebody needing an image of a poodle skirt for something, and I vaguely recalled finding it somewhere amongst the photos on the "Grease" soundtrack album). But at some point I have to stop researching and work more from my imagination.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

:the opposite of color blind:

The website planning is plodding along, don't ask. It appears that I usually procrastinate on projects or situations that I find either overwhelming or difficult. I need to set an actual deadline for it and see if that doesn't speed me along. There was a big hubbub this week about Google now requiring websites to be more smartphone-friendly for them to show up in search results. I got an email from Google Analytics about a month ago, so it wasn't exactly a surprise for me. Just another diversion from the paths of projects that I'd rather be on instead.

As of late, I seem to be thinking about or planning artwork more than actually making it, other than the pencil piece I completed a few weeks ago. The model liked it and re-posted it on her Instagram, where it got over 900 "likes," which does feel good, but that's the currency we trade in these days, it seems. Too bad each like wasn't also a dollar, hmm?

After a winter of working entirely in black & white, I'm thinking of going in entirely the opposite direction, crazy with color, which is so not my style to begin with. I remembered doing a few pieces (shown below) back in my art school days that were done on colored paper, so I may go in that direction for starters. It was surprisingly difficult for me to find pads of multi-colored paper, that weren't aimed at children at least, plenty of grey pads though.

Another goal is to get into more gallery shows, and that has stalled because, frankly, I've not been feeling very confident in my artwork that it would be accepted. There's an upcoming show, in a comic shop of all places, that I'm considering, so that could be a good start. Being a comic shop, you can imagine what the theme might be. In this case, superheroines. Thus far I've thought of trying depicting Battle Angel Alita, Tank Girl, or Zatanna. We shall see.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

:look at me:

I did some slogging through the website re-planning, and as somewhat expected I became easily overwhelmed by the amount of choices out there. Inquiries sent out into the internet ether brought back vague answers or replies, of the few that bothered to reply at all. I am starting to think that the notion of technologies like "instant" messaging are becoming more and more of a misnomer these days, or perhaps it's just lucky me. I just find it difficult to believe that anyone is really that busy to not be able to send back a quick reply, even just to say that they'll say more later or that they got the message.

In the end again, I have to rely on myself, not a bad thing in itself, but it'd be nice to get some assistance when I need it for a change. I mean before I have to resort to spending money that I really can't spare. I'd like to have an actual network that I can rely on some day.

That said, I'm leaning towards some sort of template, maybe one through Folio websites. If anyone has any experience with them, positive or negative, I'd love to hear it. This blog is set up to allow comments, after all.

I also need to decide what artwork is going to go on the site. The last version had artwork of mine on it from well into the early 90s, it was like a retrospective up to this current point in time. I think I may just choose work from the past ten years, even though there was an awful dry spell in the middle of it. I also need to re-photograph the Homunculi dolls if they're to reappear on it. I'm also overdue for making a new one.

The whole notion of creating artwork and what becomes of it afterward has been on my mind recently. Certainly I create it for my own enjoyment, and then want to share it, but when it gets little to no attention, I still feel a little let down. Not that anybody is obligated to sing its praises, or that I assume it should, but if I'm proud of it, I get frustrated if all I hear are crickets. Once again I'm trying to find the right eyeballs, and this site redesign is part of that.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


As stated last week, I've decided that a primary focus right now is to update my woefully outdated main website. I can't recall when the last update was, but it's definitely been more than ten years. And Google Analytics have not-so-subtly told me that it is definitely not smartphone-friendly right now, so the writing is on the wall.

Coding is not my forte to say the least. I made the previous two versions by cutting and pasting HTML code from site designs that I liked and learned a thing or two about updating them from there, but not enough to be able to make one from scratch. I've made a placeholder for now, but even that took the better part of an evening, and it's still not exactly as I'd like it. I wanted the image to stay in the center of the page. If anybody knows how to fix this, please let me know, even though this is a temporary page.

Part of the problem, with this and other things in my life, is that I'm a collector of information, but soon it piles up and I often don't get to read most of it. My to-read pile of books is crazy, yet I still get drawn into bookstores. I've saved plenty of info about websites, now it's time to sort through it. I'd like to get this done by month's end if possible. I am thinking that I'll probably try and choose a Wordpress design and go from there.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

:pencil trails:

So my desktop computer has been returned to me and all is well, so far. I got it upgraded to at least OS X Mountain Lion, as I'm not sure I like what I've seen about Mavericks or especially Yosemite. From what I've been reading and seeing about the latter, it appears to be the Apple equivalent to Vista. No thanks. And iTunes 12 looks like a disaster too, so I'm going to hold onto 11 for as long as I can.

It already seems much speedier, I guess my hard drive was on its way out after all and it wasn't just Chrome that sucked. Good thing I did this before it actually died.

I finished the drawing I was working on last week, but of course had nothing to scan it into. Actually looking at the scans below, a better scanner might be in my future too. A lot of the subtleties of pencil aren't translated too well.

One of my favorite things to draw is hair, so obviously longer styles are a preference to me, it flows like water on the paper from the pencil point.

I copied this as is from a photograph, without adding any distortions or interpretations of my own. Just seeing if I still have the skill at this point. So more credit goes to the original photographer. As I said before, this is one of the infamous Suicide Girls, this one goes by the moniker Idunn. I'm unsure if you'll be able to view much of her page if you're not a member. And also as I've said before, I wouldn't mind a photoshoot with her either.

I consider copying a photograph more of a skill than a talent, so other than using it to keep in practice, it doesn't impress me much personally, but I'm flattered of course if people like the end results. I'll need to get back into adding more of a personal touch or altering parts when I use photos as source material again.

Looking ahead to April, one thing I really must do, and it's long past overdue, is to overhaul my main website. It's not even remotely smartphone-friendly, and that's essential these days. I just get immobilized by too many choices, like many things in life, so I just need to narrow it down and choose something. I really just want a functional online gallery at this point.