I've been working on incorporating brighter colors into my paintings to make them more fun looking, while staying away from anything hippies might enjoy on acid. I've been in a transition for some months now, trying to find a new direction, and am finally feeling ok with being lost and generally aimless. Columbus wouldn't have pillaged the Americas without heading the wrong direction first right? Maybe that's a bad example, I don't want to be Columbus. Conan the Barbarian had a lot of fighting and boning and running around the countryside to do before he got to decapitate Thulsa Doom right? He had no idea when the opportunity for revenge would show itself. That's where I'm at, I'm talking to people, getting my name out, telling people I'm looking for the two headed snake cult, and someday, I'll get to brutally hack James Earl Jones' head off.
My goal lately is to not compare myself with other artists or worry about what they're doing. I've spent a lot of time thinking about how James Jean was basically famous right out of college, but I have to let that go. It's great for him, and he deserves it, but life is not linear or predictable. I know that if I keep at it my time will come too. Comparing my art and the path of my career to others is stressful and ultimately unproductive. Focusing on making things that I'm proud of is the best path I can follow. I think the first painting, I'm calling "Stargazer" is a good example of acting on this new outlook. Like a stray bullet on the fourth of July, the image popped into my head suddenly for no reason whatsoever, so I painted it. It used to be that I would always draw those kinds of things, but lately I've been more worried about what I think I'm supposed to be doing. Don't get into that habit, kids, it will choke your creativity or lead you to making generic paintings in a factory-like fashion.
There's 3 other paintings that are not coming along so well and maybe some thoughtful critique of these will help me resolve them, people. nudge nudge
You can still see my painting at Double Punch, it's up for the rest of the month if you make it out there, it's also for sale here.
I got to North Beach at around 7:30 on a Saturday, which is not a good time to be trying to park in that area (I was driving my bf's car because I only have a bike). North Beach is the Italian district of San Francisco, and there's a lot of great restaurants, so couples were amassing for dinner dates. I had to park a few blocks away, but I got to see this stunning sunset scene. Another nice sunset scene of San Francisco. North Beach is pretty, but I don't know anyone who lives there besides Barron. Apparently Jeremy Fish lives somewhere over there, but I don't know him personally.
Crowd when I arrived and art. There was a really good turnout. It was tropically hot up there. They probably have to keep the doors open today so it doesn't smell like a fight club. I was standing near the stairs where you enter the gallery area, and a guy came up and jokingly said something like "Wow...it is...uh....fragrant. Smells like nerds!" Once the sun went down it cooled off, and it didn't smell so sweaty.
Some shots of the store, which has some awesome toys and art books. I could probably mill around looking at their products for a good 2 hours without getting bored. They also have some toys designed by local artists, as well as art and zines from them. It's cool that they're involved in the community.
Playing around with some florescent colors. I painted over a tiger drawing I did a while back. A couple notes: The colors don't scan well, they're much more vibrant in real life. The smell terrible. They make my eyes and skin itch, but I'll continue to use them because that's life.
After doing the He-man painting I've been itching to use more bright colors, so I ordered a fleet of them from dick blick. Sadly, the florescent red was damaged during shipping. I noticed that it smells weird, almost like Play Doh, and I don't approve. Most of the colors in the He-man piece were derived from the background paintings of She-ra, which was supposed to made for girls, but seems squarely aimed at the gay community to me. I've been inspired by cartoon background paintings before, mostly Ren and Stimpy, but that influence never made it to a completed painting. Lately, I shamefully admit to finding inspiration in Jem and Sailor Moon after watching them with my partner. I'm more interested in the backgrounds and use of color, especially the softness achieved with an airbrush, but he swears that they are also shows worth watching. My pallet alters based on my mood. Most of the time I feel like an alligator at the zoo, so my paintings have all the vibrancy of a World War 2 movie staring Tom Hanks, but on the off chance that I'm well rested and recently received good news, my work becomes worthy of a call from the gay pride poster commissioning committee. I'm going to try to paint with brighter colors now matter how I'm feeling, as I understand that thinking positive directly leads to feeling positive.
Side Note: I tried to make this post more entertaining by adding personal information, and by "writing" it, as opposed to treating it as a straight-to-the-point email like I have been doing. Takes much longer, but I'm hoping it makes reading my blog more enjoyable. If writing this way entices a more positive response, I'd be willing to write more in depth in the future. Reactions?
I've been working on a painting, and for some reason I wanted to draw this radish on it. It didn't fit so I'm about to paint it out, but I thought I'd scan it first. It's a little larger than a quarter.
This is a comic book cover for Boom! Studios I did in March after Wondercon. I finally got the green light to show it! It's scheduled to be released as cover B for issue number 2. I designed the logo too, which was rad. I made a similar logo to what you see here in my sketches just for placement, (edit:added sketches)and they liked it so we tweaked it a little and there you go. I'm glad to have finally done a comic book cover, it was on my list for a very long time.
For the aforementioned show. Acrylic on panel. 12x12. I'm really happy with the way this one came out. I normally stay away from a lot of colors and elements because it hasn't worked out in the past, but this time it did! I need to think a lot about why this one went well and others have been crushing failures.