So a little while ago, I saw Blues when they were here, and they here about to do a few dates with Graf Orlock, I told Jeremy (from Blues) to tell them that I'd like to do a shirt, and it happened! I love that. I've long admired their package designs and shirts, so I was really glad to be able to work with them. Stephen from Greyskull is now playing with them (now Sven), so I'm sure that helped as well. Sven told me about what they wanted, and I was stoked to draw it. It's Temple of Doom themed, Kali standing on Indiana, holding the head of short round. I think Hindu imagery and mythology is fascinating. Really fun project. It was nice to be able to design a 4 color shirt as well, I'm always pleading with bands to use more colors, because they always look better, but most shy away due to the rise in cost. I did a ton of variations in color, and I really don't know what it will end up looking like, especially since once I gave them the PSD, they can really do whatever they want with it.
Logo for the band Dead Stare from Tacoma. I started out with they font Interstate, I wanted something very bold, because that's usually the way hardcore logos look, then messed it up with an inky toothbrush, then sprayed it with black and white spraypaint, only slightly pushing the nozzle so that it came out in large drops. Then I cute them out and arranged them so. At this point it was illegible, so I cleaned it up with a white-out pen until you could pretty much read it. Graphic designers hate this kind of type, so difficult to read, but illustrators tend to care more about what it looks like than how readable it is. Finally, I scanned it and ran it through a stamp filter. I don't advocate photoshop filters in general, but I found that the stamp filter does a good job of making things looks like they've been photocopied 10 times. I'm really happy with this, I think it suits the band's brutal sound perfectly.
The Prosthetics hired me to do another shirt design for them. This was the request "Hey, our idea is to have four or five men in business suits, each smoking a cigar. The smoke from the cigars would rise above them and form the twin towers. The heads of each of the men would be the heads of pigs." Also, red shirts. This is what I came up with, I couldn't make it work with small business men. So now I've got business men with truck heads, goat skull heads, and pig heads; none of them my idea haha. I'm going to start to be known for these. Come to think of it, a long time ago I did an ant headed business man. This idea is common I'd say. So this design is very different from the last one I did for them, or any of my other shirt designs. I was looking at Jake Bannon's designs www.convergecult.com/, and I thought they were much better than mine, then this came out. As an artist you're not supposed to point out who you're influenced by, but I'm not ashamed, art doesn't just come out of a vacuum you know? The pig head reminds me of pageninetynine as well, also some of my favorite art ever. This shirt is probably one of my strongest, and that sucks because I didn't really draw it, it's more of a collage.
There's something about this gritty style that works so well for hardcore bands. It's like a direct visual parallel to the music. The sprays, scratches, and photocopy artifacts give it a grimy look that suits the heavy distortion perfectly. They also make it somewhat hard to read or understand, like the unintelligible lyrics.
So I had my show at the Space gallery last night, all zombie art. I had fun, but I didn't get to meet as many people as I would have liked to. Thanks to those of you who came out. I met an artist named David Young V who's work was my favorite out of the show, so I was glad to meet him. Also a well inked metal girl who was showing under the name Gorwhor. I only talked to her briefly, but she seemed very nice. When I told her which piece was mine and she gave me a back-handed slug to the chest saying "DUDE!" I thought "This girl should be my new best friend." I also met the artist C3 very briefly, but I thought his painting had some cool stuff going on. That was it unfortunately, it was hard to tell who the other artists were. Next time I'll have to try harder to make acquaintances. I would like to have more gallery shows soon, it would seem that I caught a bit of a gallery bug, so if you know of any galleries looking for submissions, please let me know.
The artwork: Well, Rob Zombie's piece was really more like an autograph, and I have to say that I found that disappointing because I know that he can draw. I think the only thing that wasn't rock star about it was that it was selling for only $6.66. There were some very well painted zombie portraits, some art that wouldn't even be good in a high school art class, and some that I wondered if they were part of the show, or just something that was permanently there because I couldn't see how they fit the theme. Better crowd than I was expecting I have to say, people seemed nice.
I understand that the tiny parts that make up cells were all formally small independent organisms that formed symbiotic relationships with each-other. This means that large animals like you and I are made up of an inconceivable amount of small animals. This idea just blows my mind. I've been meaning to make a piece about it for some time, and I thought it would fit well for this project. I thought it would be cool to think of it as larger animals. Here I'm also showing my love of scientific illustration, only I gave it a more edgy style (it's for a rock band after all). I'm CRAZY about illustrations of cells, skin layers, and other microscopic things. I think they're just fantastic so I do things like this from time to time. Acrylic on wood, 8x10
All artists published in Spectrum get a hard bound edition of the book, and I have to say that I was impressed with how nice it is. I thumbed through the pages tonight. As I was looking through it, I started to get the feeling that I was really lucky to have gotten in the book. Most of the paintings are true finishes, finely rendered and laboriously painted. Talent by the tons. By the time I got to my page, I have to say I was disappointed with how my painting reproduced, and I'm sure that it's my fault. Not sure what happened, but it looks terrible. I saw my painting for what it is after seeing so many professional fantasy art-works: A school painting I banged out with very little preliminary work, a quick read, and ultimately not even up to my own standards. Gotta get my shit together. I know I can do so much better, I have, I will.
This is a painting that I submitted to a zombie show at the Space gallery. I hope that the image is good enough to be accepted into the show. The actual painting looks much better. I think it didn't scan very well because there was no ground. I painted directly on the wood. All the faces are thumb print sized, so i had to really get in there with little details, therefor I used gouache. This also did not scan well. I've had lots of problems with the way it scans and should probably stop using it. In the actual painting you can see the wood grain, little details, and subtle color shifts and it looks really neat. I'm glad that this is for a gallery show because it doesn't look good unless you see it in person. Also, didn't really pull the punch on this one. Zombie Christian hoard, I don't need to spell it out. I'm terrified of zombies and Christians, and I've been listening to the Thermals a lot, so there you go. I got that pink in there without even thinking about it, god damn I've been using a lot of pink lately. Was brown and nasty green, moved to pink. I love the contrast in my work though. Right now it's my only method for balancing out the generally creepy nature of my art. I think in this painting the way the sky is nice and pink, and ground level is a crowd horrible monsters makes for a nice pictorial space. It says escape to me.
I made a Halloween costume this year, in spite of being insanely busy. I don't quite remember the last time I dressed up for Halloween, but I think it might have been 7th grade. I had this old sketchbook drawing, and I basically thought it would be a sweet costume. I made the little teeth out of sculpey, baked, and carved them, then used normal costume glue to stick them to my face. They actually moved when I talked and everything, and not one fell off all night. I was fucking stoked when I put them on, but nobody seemed as into it as I was.
Man, I hate framing. I've done all the mats my self, assembled many frames, and not had one custom frame made, and still I've spent about $400. Not even close to done either. fuuuuck. From now on no more wacky ass sizes, fuck that. I'm going to paint everything so it can easily be put into a pre-made frame. What a mess. I have to have mats on almost all of my paintings because they're not made to be shown, they're illustrations, and they have loads of unsightly bleed space. Is that his art studio you might be asking? That's my fucking house, the whole thing. I live in a studio apartment, but really it's more like an art studio with a bed in it. Only in this studio, people get pissed if you're stretching paper with a staple gun in the middle of the night. I'm getting things ready for a show at my job (Goodby, Silverstein, and partners). I hate framing things, and I really hate cutting mats. I have to say that they look a lot nicer though, and a bunch of my painting have been getting beaten up so it's better that I frame them. I included a picture of what I look like after a day of framing. On a side note, I've been really miserable lately, so my art is doing great! I guess that's how it works for me, if I'm miserable, I make things.
Oh yes! Also here you can see a little bit about how I work since I'm sure someone I curious about this. You might have noticed my desk. You might also have noticed that it actually ISN'T a desk. I didn't have room for a drafting table in my apartment, partly because of this giant door that covers the storage space under my bathroom (yeah, the ceiling in my bathroom is only a few inches above my head). So I couldn't put any furniture near this door or I wouldn't be able to open it, then one day I realized that the door itself was a perfect desk, perfect size, perfect height. I built some little legs for it and that was it. Some have suggested that I take the door with me if I move.
I've never posted these kinds of things on my blog before, but they're good to share. Hopefully I'm not being too self-absorbed. I used to keep a list of sites that had featured me or blogs about my art, but it got way out of hand and I gave up. If you have a website, definitely put some tracker code in it, it's good to know where people are linking to you, and what they're saying. I was using stat counter, but I changed to google analytics. Anyway, this was some nice stuff. I'm always surprised and somewhat delighted when my site is featured for its design and not for the illustrations. In this case my first reaction was "well, yeah, obviously they liked my site, look at all the pink", but they got it off this other, less popular site called the daily slurp, which does not share my color preferences. Cool stuff. Once again, got the creepy comment. I don't know if I'll ever be able to take the dark edge off my art, especially since I don't see it. Maybe I don't need to. People like it, that's what matters.
One of the guys from born anchors asked me to do a poster for this show. I said yes, even though I'm busy, just because I really wanted to draw panthers. In my mind, this was going to be much lighter, almost cute, but then in drawing it, it became scary. An ongoing problem for me. I like it a lot though, so that's all that matters. Client needs, whatever. I thought it would be fun to mix something scary like zombies, with something cute, like the panthers I drew in my sketchbook, very much having Deth P. Sun in mind. Then I drew them and they just looked terrifying. Oh well, I'm working on getting away from that. Baby steps. I might be doing an album cover for Panther Attack in the future, so be on the lookout for that. The ink drawing was really tight, using a refillable Japanese brush pen that didn't belong to me, and now I really wish it did. I have my brother looking out or one because he's living in Japan. I have a feeling I'm going to be sending him on a lot of missions to find technical pens, brushes, prints, etc. for me to nerd the fuck out over. He likes to draw, so it's not all bad for him, and I encourage him to do so because he really does have talent, but I think he feels overshadowed by me.
A lot of photoshop effects in this one, maybe too much, opinions?
I'm doing a poster/flyer for a band called panther attack, so I did a google image search on panthers. I was a little bothered by these images. I don't understand why this is such a popular image that it needed to be ripped off over and over. Is this seriously such a high selling poster that it needed to be bootlegged? Are thousands of people hunting the internet looking for paintings of carnivores to buy solely based on their level of "bad-ass"? What's going on?
They had a couple ideas. The other one was venus fly traps tearing people apart. I would have liked to draw them, but I couldn't make it work in my mind without looking like a gorey death metal album cover.
I saw this on Ed Gein's myspace blog and I thought I'd share it.
"Judas Goats & Dieseleaters on VINYL!!!!
The vinyl for Judas Goats & Dieseleaters is FINALLY out!
After over a year of ridiculous artwork bullshit (the details of which I won't get into) we finally got someone awesome to do the artwork. That someone's name is Jeremy Forson. He did an amazing job with the artwork and layout for these puppies. They finally arrived yesterday and they look kick ass! We are totally stoked on them!
Head over to the Hex Records site at www.hanginghex.com to check them out and order one up!
Also go to www.jeremyforson.com and take a gander at his artwork because his shit rules!"
I love getting reactions like that from the bands I work for. It's good to know I hit the mark.
This band shares members with Heiress. They apparently like the work I did for them and wanted me to come up with a shirt. http://www.myspace.com/bornanchors. I think they're a really good band, and I had fun (trying) to do something more light hearted to suit their music. They sent me a preview of their idea for placement, and I think it looks really nice, I'm excited to see how the come out. I hadn't even thought of placing it there, but it looks like it was made for it. I'm happy that this was a successful endeavor after hearing that Tristan Tzara went with the original art, even though the label guy liked it.
This was for a DADA band from Germany that broke up a couple years ago. I was going for DADA assemblage meets hardcore. Successful? I suppose not. The band decided to use the art from the original release of the 7". So if you're in a band and need a 7" or CD cover fast, you can use this one I guess :(
I'm almost 2 years out of college, and I'm having a bit of a life crisis. Not the stressfull kind exactly, but I need to change something, because I don't like the way things are going. I think I'm at the point where I have a good job, and I'm looking down the metaphorical road of my future. A horribly long, terrifyingly straight road. In other words, I'm bored, and I feel like I'm getting into the rut of the 9 to 5 life. I've only been doing it for a couple months, but I'm scarred of where it's going. My remedy to this is that I HAVE to do more art when I get off work, in spite of being worn out. I'm working out ideas for a comic right now. It's something I can at least work on while taking the bart train to work. I've been slacking off way too much, and having too much social time. I feel my potential slipping.
I'm sticken with sudden sadness over the realization that my art is much too teen to be truely respectable. It seems to be an over-rendered version of angsty math class doodles. This disturbs me greatly and I feel that I need to drive towards pulling away from the creepy school gutter. I've been trying to move in a different direction for a while, but I'm hung up on a couple problems: I've been doing creepy art for so long that I've gotten good at it and it's difficult for me to work in a new style, and my "clients" often demand or at least expect that style from me. I'm trying to figure out where to go with my art to make it more mature. Suggestions welcome.
I know, I haven't shown anything new in a while, I'm sorry. I think after that series of record covers I was feeling a little burned out. I've also started a new full time job as a flash developer/interactive artist at a major advertising agency. Lots of perks, free time not being one of them. Also, I have a substantial life these days outside of my house on account of my ongoing happyness and lack of depression, most would agree that it's good thing but it's killing my career.
News for now: I don't know how much I said about it, but I still haven't heard from Burton about the snowboards I was supposed to do, I think that got lost in the process. Pretty disappointing. If all goes well there will be a page of me in Juxtapoz around the end of the year, which I've very excited about.
The new Blues CD should come out soon, and it would appear that they were quite happy about the art I did for it: Blues on Myspace. If you emailed me recently about a job and I haven't gotten back to you, I'm sorry, things have been hectic. I'm not blowing you off, just send me an email again. I need a rep or something, fuck. I don't even remember who's paid me, yikes!
For Conceptart.org's Character of the Week #77. Character Idea "Ice Druid". Another thing I did because I was unoccupied at work. I actually sketched this out digitally first, printed it out, traced that, etc.
I have a new job, and when I'm not doing anything I'm allowed to work on illustrations or play video games or whatever, so I made this one yesterday. I don't have a scanner here so I just found a picture of a mummy and basically traced it in photoshop. I brought my Wacom tablet in from home. It was a little frustrating for me. I don't like drawing on the computer. I want to do something less referenced and see how that works out.
For this projected I opted to do some art, but not the whole layout. It ended up being a good decision. All these CD covers ended up being due at the same time, and things have been very hectic for me. I don't know how the final layout will look, but they seem capable of handling it. This was one of those projects that makes you question your artistic capability. They just wanted me to do whatever, and they told me the name of the album was snakepit. You can see from the sketches that I went straight for snakes, the literal interpretation. I did the sketch of the guy with no face, and belly snakes first. I kept the no-face thing the whole way through, I do that a lot. Someone said I do that because I have identity issues. I liked it and sent it to them. They seemed to like it and a made a very complete painting of it in my sketchbook that would have been the cover, except that it wasn't working. So I went on to another idea of a snake coiled up in a woman's stomach as if it was her intestines, swallowing her heart. This idea was not very good, and I just couldn't make it work, so on I went. This is when things started getting REALLY bad. I started doing giant fantasy snakes and heart shaped balloons. I even sent them a sketch and they said they didn't think it was right for them. I think that's a vast understatement, but I'm glad they said it in a nice way. This band is fucking hardcore metal, that image doesn't suite them at all. Now that I'm looking at those again, I'm actually embarrassed of showing them. Them there's a stupid drawing of a little girl, sigh..... Also some fossils, I had some weird idea on a plane, don't ask. Playing with some new sharpies there.
After doing the heart drawings I was thing hard about my future as a creative being, and how it may not exist. Jeremy from Blues said something about how it didn't have to be so literal, and I was like, that's good, 'cause I can't make it work and all this shit sucks. After just being frustrated with my successive failures, I just said "You know what, I'm just going to do some creepy paintings and send them to you." They needed the art really soon because I had taken too long trying to make something awesome for them. I didn't do sketches, I just found some pictures of faith healers and made them into these paintings. It seems like Jeremy was really happy with these, it was exactly what he wanted to see from me. I liked the boards so much that I used them in my web-page design. You might be able to tell from the forth panel that I had run out of time, and I couldn't do another painting, so I did that drawing and added some photoshop stuff. I also had a problem getting this one done last week because I just started a new full-time job, and I was too tired when I got home to draw. I'm ok now though, I had to get used to the new schedule.
I'm supposed to do a 7" cover for a band from Germany called Tristan Tzara, I think they're a good band, but there's some strange things about it. They broke up in 2002, and this is a repress of their 7". It will be pressed by a DIY label in Mexico. What really bothers me about it is the art they already had is really cool, and suiting for their dada theme. How am I supposed to top that??? I am excited about this project, though, because I like the dada aesthetic and it will be a fun and challenging project for me to try to make something in that style, while still making it my own. The bright side of this is that since they've been broken up for a while, they aren't exactly going to need the art for tour or something, so I don't feel rushed. I decided to do it for free, it's a small label, and I figure that with the exchange rate even a small amount would seem steep. It would have been bad when I was trying to make a living solely on Illustration, but I started picking up web design contracts, so I don't have an immediate need for money or anything. It's better this way too, because they can spend more money on making a better release.
This album will hopefully look something like this. It's a gatefold 12". I haven't gotten feedback from them yet, so this may change. I didn't do a lot of the conceptual work for this one, it's a, LP version of a CD, so they wanted the art to relate. I feel like I did a pretty good job with it.