Saturday, May 29, 2010

Many of you already know of this blog-"Escape from Illustration Island". If you don't, it's
well worth visiting.
I even heard a podcast of an really informative interview with Scott Hull!

The work-in-progress pics on this link are indeed amazing. And the book cover Joy Ang is doing is for an anthology of comic artists.

http://escapefromillustrationisland.com/2010/05/28/amazing-illustration-work-in-progress-by-joy-ang/

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Moving back

video
yo, I'll be moving back to Cincinnati very soon now. I'll be looking forward to the opportunity to meet some of you guys in person. Also, here's an animation I finished about 2 months ago. either you'll find it super funny or super morbid depending on your sense of humor.

Final Fridays at the Art Academy


I will have this digital print at the Art Academy's Community Education Faculty Exhibition on Final Friday, March 28. This is a digital collage I created in Photoshop including graffiti art from the streets of New York City, a local locksmith symbol and other items.

Final Friday Reception is 5-8 pm in the Pearlman Gallery.

Critters

3 recent pieces. Still looking for work. The figures were required to be kept on separate layers. See these larger on my site.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Brian in the Art Show - SOS Art 2010

On Friday, May 28, my print "Spill, Baby, Spill!" will make its debut at the SOS Art 2010 show. The show is at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, 1212 Jackson St. (downtown). (The show runs from May 28 to June 6.)

The doors open at 6 p.m. I'll be there perhaps at 6:30. At 7 p.m., there's the "Gallery Walk / Artists Talk." For those who would rather not hear artists talk, I'm sure you can view the art without speeches. Here's my planned speech: "It's a rat in oil."

The potluck reception (BYOB) and music start at 8:30 p.m. (BTW, there will be "sociopolitical expressions" of art at the show, if that is a red flag for you.)

Finally, if you do come, you'll also catch new work by our own Steve Meek, who is part of the faculty show also premiering Friday at the Art Academy.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dazed and Distracted


I couldn't remember if I posted this or not-not surprising since I am the poster child for "dazed and distracted". This is one of my pages from our upcoming "12-Way With Cheese" book. I know many of you have seen it, but for the rest, here it is. (I printed it as a poster also, in case anyone is interested)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Livestreams

Short post. I'll be livestreaming Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday starting at 9:30 AM EST. Each session will probably last an hour or a little longer. So if you're interested in seeing me paint a troll in photoshop make sure to swing by.
Livestream Link
Sometimes I do unscheduled livestreams and I often delete them afterward so that they're not available on demand. So if you want to catch those make sure to follow me on twitter or find me on facebook since I also post when I'm streaming as my status..

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What’s in a Name or It's Raining Wo Hallelujah


A young lady recently asked me to comment on the title of my blog An Exercise in Perseverance and so I responded. The only reason I mention it here is because some of the topics discussed may be relevant to past topics addressed here. I tend to keep my opinions to myself in our collective forum but here are my thoughts concerning what function my blog serves for me as well as some general advice I have for young artists based on mistakes I have made in the past. Just click on my blog link above.

or

For those not interested in reading long winded explanations and because I never read posts without pretty pictures enjoy some flying naked ladies with bird feet.
This was an illustration I did for WarHammer for FFG just released.

Comments

Comments on posts do not seem to show up at the moment. If it continues tomorrow, I will contact blogger. Just if people are wondering what is going on...

In the meantime, you can sign up to get all comments emailed to you in the dashboard as they are added.

DeviantArtist Part 2

Here's the link to Ochre Jelly.

I think I've become such a lazy web-user that I don't even like to cut & paste my own links if I'm unsure of where it's leading me!

JR--I do like this artist, too. (...especially the penguin piece.)

Deviant Art Artist Worth Looking At

I stumbled upon this guy: http://today.deviantart.com/dds/#/d2k1hw2 whilst looking for reference and inspiration for a painting for a contest. This particular painting is very endearing, nice detail and light quality. His other work is pretty nice, too (I'm assuming it's a dude :P Pretty chauvanistic, but hey :P). In any event, you can see definite influences from a multitude of artists, which is why I think this is worth noting. Michael Whelan's delicacy in one particular painting, "A Moment." I saw some Diterlizzi in there, too. Just a fun little thing if any of you are up to looking at some artwork. It's digital, which is not something I'm really into, but it's nice to know that people are looking at and being influenced by the influential artists of the past.

Similac —Yet Different




This was meant to follow Daryll's series of characters that never made the cut.

Several years ago, a local branding firm asked me to create some character designs for Similac baby formula. Similac had been using a pretty generic teddy bear on their packaging since the 90's. The design team thought it was ripe for a reappraisal. (I agreed that the bear was a bit short on personality and resembled too closely the teddy bear from Snuggle fabric softener.)

I created about 4 or 5 quick color concepts in a matter of days —all pretty different; but in the end, it was decided that there was too much equity in the existing character, and they didn't want to risk a radical change. The design firm knew going in that the chance of a redesign was slim, so they didn't budget much for my art. I met their price, but kept the rights to all the unused work —so if anyone out there knows a company in need of a bear character, let me know!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On the Sea and Its Power (I don't expect everyone to read this :P But if you find a moment, it may be worth your while)

I recently stumbled upon some images of the ocean, found on Mr. Howe's facebook page, that really made me think of what it means to be a man (man in the human context). I'm reminded that living in Cincinnati, where I am brought to a feeling of awe by heady storm clouds and the occasional confrontation with some animal taken out of its context and thrown into a world of our making, there is something missing. Something integral to the human experience. In this world of comfort and air conditioning, where we have managed to keep the Mother at bay, it's easy to forget that there is a place man once went where he could respect and admire that which could wipe him from the face of the earth in the time it takes to blink only once. John Howe summed it up nicely when he said, "I am not a man of the sea." I am not, either. Not a man OF the sea, as in a seafarer, but I am, rather, in love with the sea. Just gazing out at it, at its vastness, its terrible power, even in stillness, gives me pause to consider what it is I do in this world.

Men once fought less brutal war with Nature, forced to build their lives AROUND it. We now crush her beneath our heels and keep her at bay (at least that's what we tell ourselves) for the sake of progress, with the idea in the back of our minds that we can be invincible in the face of that fickle woman. In reality we cower, convinced that the earth is all we have to fear, when Nature is truly all around us, beyond us, balanced to support us, and capable of throwing off that balance and destroying us. I'm guilty at times of that delusion that I am beyond harm, taking for granted my place in the balance, forgetting that I am Nature, as well (reminded only when we need to eat and sleep and relieve ourselves).

My point in saying this is that there is something intrinsic to the artistic journey that we all need be reminded of at one time or another. In ancient times, creative people were priests, interpreting the world so that other men could identify with and Nature and the forces around them in terms they could comprehend. It also helped them learn where to place the spear to bring food for the village/clan.

As visual people, we are moved more by what we see. That same sea, crashing like thunder on the stony verge of the earth, is crashing against our senses. Terrifyingly real, it brings to the fore the troubles we feel are crashing against our own beaches, threatening to erode and sweep away the beach of our resolve. It is our job to bring experiences, whatever form that takes, to everyone, even ourselves. It's easy to forget that every pebble creates ripples, no matter how small. Everything we put out touches someone. In the face of that wave I think, "what am I putting out? Am I helping some child somewhere come to grips with adolescent angst, the flooding sea of paradox, trapped between adulthood and childhood, stuck in a realm where a yearning for autonomy is buffered by the knowledge that they still have a home and a parent paying their way? Am I connecting with someone who has found himself in an ocean of self-loathing, lost to grief and looking for some common ground in the sea on which to cling in the face of overwhelming odds? Even if those odds are the self. Am I helping someone better understand and empathize with Nature and his fellow man?" As artists I feel it is important to ask these questions of ourselves. Just as it is easy to forget our place in this world and the awesome (look this word up) beauty and danger it offers us, it is easy to forget that we touch everyone with the smallest acts. The single tiny stone makes the greatest impact in a still pond. The ripples touch every bank, washing miniscule (lol, this word must not be popular, it says I'm spelling it wrong :P) particles into the depths and pushing them further up onto the bank. In many ways, this constant barrage of information and stimulation is like a storm. It's hard to see individual progress and consequences when rain and sand is blinding our eyes. It's only when the storm settles that we see what damage we have done. So, in light of this article, I would urge you all to slow down for just a moment and consider. There are plenty of waves in that storm already. There are volumes that can be spoken in silence. It's easier to pick out individual sounds. Sometimes that is the best way to hear the quiet voice inside that urges us to do what is right, for ourselves and others.

A message from C.F. Payne about ASIP

Hi Cincinnati Illustrators,


Chris Payne here. I serve as the National Cartoonist Society representative with the American Society of Illustrators. The NCS is one of 12 artists’ organizations within the ASIP working to defend and protect artists’ rights. Last year the ASIP brought together 85 authors groups together to successfully defeat the Orphaned Works Bill proving what we can do when we mobilize and work together. But as you can imagine, the Orphaned Works Bill can be re-introduced, so artists can’t afford to stand still. For the last few months there has been little to report, until now.

Late last year Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner returned from Oslo, Norway and the latest IFRRO conference. IFRRO (International Federation of Reprographics Rights Organization) is the international organization with the mission of protecting artists’ reprographics rights. Reprographic rights are copyrights collectively licensed for publication in compilations such as book, magazines, newspapers and such publications. Any artist, including NCS members whose work has appeared in a book, magazine and newspaper is a reprographic rights holder.

In the US, such works are routinely copied for multiple reproduction with no established means to pay the rights holder a licensing fee or royalty. Unrealistically, it is the responsibility of the individual rights holder to enforce such payments.

Other parts of the world have addressed this problem by establishing Reprographic Rights Organizations (RRO) or Copyrights Societies. These organizations represent artists for reprographic rights ONLY.

Business, corporations, institutions and universities in these other countries are able to negotiate and pay a fee to the RRO for a blanket license to photocopy all relevant printed material for a specific time period. These agreements serve as an insurance policy, protecting the user against any possible lawsuits for copyright infringements.

The fee collected are collected and distributed, less administrative costs, to those rights holders who have signed mandates that authorize the RRO to represent them for their reprographic rights. These mandates apply to only artists reprographic rights, thus all copyrights of artists work remain the property of the artist. Any rights holder has the explicit right to opt out or cancel his/her mandate at any time.

For many years, other countries have successfully licensed RRO’s, collecting and distributing royalty payments to rights holders. Meanwhile, in the United States where more art and publishing is done than anywhere else and distributed around the world, royalties due to American rights holders are collected in foreign countries and sent back to the US. Yet, those royalties have not been distributed back the reprographic rights holders.

To better help defend the copyrights of artists and serve as our Copyright Society for the express purpose of collecting blanket reprographic license fees for distribution to US artists, the ASIP must demonstrate it has the “mandates” to do so. Therefore, any illustrator who can demonstrated that their work have been collected in works such as books, magazines or other publications should sign the ASIP mandate, authorizing the ASIP to represent them as their collecting society for reprographic rights purposes ONLY.

Next year’s IFRRO Annual Conference will be held in Boston. Having the conference in the US an important statement for the US as it relates to the issues of reprographics and artist copyrights protections.

As we approach that meeting in Boston, with a strong showing, a powerful statement can be made. The more SIGNED and RECORDED mandates, the more power the ASIP will bring to the table at the conference with such issues as defending artists rights should the Orphaned Works Bill resurface and with collecting and distributing reprographic royalties.

Again, it should be noted, right now, artists in the US are getting nothing. The mandate is for reprographic rights ONLY. Any artist who signs, may opt out at time in the future. A ton of work is being done on our behalf by the ASIP. The encouragement the ASIP has received at this last conference in Oslo is meaningful. Let us not miss this opportunity to take a big step forward. A lot of work is ahead. Give our ASIP representatives the tangible support that will better position them at this important upcoming IFRRO Conference in Boston.

I encourage you to download, carefully review the material and sign up to support the ASIP in the effort. When you sign up please send the Authorization Agreement to:

ASIP
c/o Terry Brown
9 Foster Place
Pleasantville, NY 10570

If you have already signed up, thank you. If you have any questions e-mail me.

Thank you,
CF Payne

Note: There are documents associated with this post. If you are interested, email me and I will forward them...

Here is a website for more info: http://asip-repro.org/

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sorry to be so slow to post this. Pam Dixon and I are both in this event tomorrow evening.
It's free and all are welcome!

No More Blood


A buddy of mine who is a local filmmaker hired me to do a promo poster for his independent film NO MORE BLOOD.
The final will be in color but here is the b/w composition thus far. I will post the final color version on my blog but I thought it would be good to get some new art up over here.




Any one interested in the movie here is the Facebook link:
NO MORE BLOOD

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Maze of Thoughts

[Again, John Howe has proven himself unequalled (in my opinion) on the matter of making art and how that translates in the human experience and vice versa. I never tire of reading his words, though they are typically cryptic and winding in their attenpt to reach a point. Which is fine, because I tend to think critically, finding pleasure in connecting philosophical dots and cross-referencing (I love reading books with LOTS of footnotes. I flip back and forth feverishly). So far, Mr. Howe's method is as close to my own that I have been able to find since seriously starting my artistic journey. Not as intuitive as Brian Froud, yet not as technical as Michael Whelan. He lands somewhere in the middle, I think, a sign that the times are a changin'. Like Delazroix, Rembrandt, Sargent, and countless others before him, Mr. Howe bridges the gap between the subjective and objective realities of the artist. He refrains from setting boundaries for himself, instead allowing each aspect to inform the other for a seamless and fluid process. In either case I wanted to preface Howe's last newsletter with thoughts of my own. I feel it is important for artists to be able to identify and interpret their feelings and experiences before sharing their thoughts with peers and those willing to listen.]

So, without further ado:

DISCURSIVE: Or Thoughts and Words in Some Semblance of Order.
(After a Fashion.)

After having given a couple of evening talks to art and design students recently, I have once again realized how ardently I desire NOT to know what I will say, that the unrehearsed articulation of thoughts and convictions must always remain a quest for the right word, seizing the brief clarity inspired by those same serendipitous combinations.

Have also realized that it cannot come out of thin air, that like any picture, it requires a hook to hang it from, even crookedly. Rather than choose my own subjects, I far prefer walking open-eyed into the pleasant ambush of the unexpected question. (Admittedly, the really unexpected ones do throw me off for a moment, but there are few questions for which answers cannot be found.)

It may be a little trite, but I still find the voiced interrogation mark to be quite an incredible exercise: a modest and often demure reaching out that can prompt such a deep raising of waters from thought’s wells. There is something so simply and unabashedly solemn about the well-voiced question that may sum up a lifetime of experience (or inexperience) to which it is impossible to reply superficially, as if a tacit complicity of circumstance demands to be considered with the utmost seriousness.

It’s quite possibly because I never think of these things. The whats, the whys and the wherefors… they are all things which are answered, after a fashion, and certainly never completely, through the act of drawing and painting. To be obliged to articulate those acts as thoughts is an exercise I desire never to be good at, above all if that ease has for result a palette of standard responses from which one can simply pluck the most apt. This is not about rhetoric.

It would be terrible to have a clever answer for anything. It would be disappointing to say the same things twice, although admittedly, I do repeat much, but try not to let it become formulaic, which would be just like always starting a drawing with an oval or a block, or even worse, taking a drawing and trying to break it down into ovals and blocks in order to explain it. (Conversely, I am also increasingly allergic and impatient with creators who claim they need to place themselves in “danger” each time they create. What does that mean? In danger? They don’t look each way before crossing? They disregard best-by dates? Come on. Enough drama. Creators are a self-centered bunch, but ultimately endearing.)

In the end, what interests me most is what I might find out, whether it be through a drawing made or a talk given. The thought framed by the right words is exactly the equivalent to the drawing that captures something. Neither is meant to be repeated, but only as steps on the way to understanding more, or simply the pleasure of finding a few words that can communicate a thought as yet not entirely formed. A thought truly forms only as it is said.

It makes for a rambling discourse, with parentheses opening and closing like so many verandah doors on a windy day, (and it may be hard to follow; fortunately I am spared the ordeal of seeing and hearing myself speak) circuitous and not in the remotest linear or logical, but at very least, remaining unrehearsed and sincere. Rather like a verbal sketch. Words crosshatched and shaded. Rubbed out and said again. Perhaps more fluently, perhaps not, but differently at very least. Would you do exactly the same picture many times? Then why would you repeat the same words?

In a way, it is about gathering words, in the same way that images are gathered and patiently put away in the cluttered attic of my memory, where they can be fetched and dusted off and perhaps one day may serve. Ever gone to the attic looking for something and spent an hour poking through things you’d forgotten? That’s how words work; look for one, find a dozen others. The same goes for lines drawn on a page; draw one, then the others appear unbidden and often not at all as you might have imagined. Maintaining that readiness of unpreparedness is the goal.

Painting and public speaking have a lot in common.

John

[This will not appeal to some, but I hope it touches those who read it in some way. Enjoy!

Justin]

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cartoon Music at the KSO


Good news for cartoon buffs looking for a very unique evening out this weekend:

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra is doing a very special presentation dedicated to music of cartoons. They will be doing live renditions of classic Hollywood scores, as well as TV themes such as the Simpsons and Animaniacs. There will be commentary by music expert Daniel Goldmark, and live vocal performance by Rob Paulsen. The composer/orchestrator of Animaniacs, Steve and Julie Bernstein will also offer commentary and clips of their work.

The event is getting a nice plug from Jerry Beck at Cartoon Brew this morning, but you need to skip to the third paragraph to catch it.

Full details and a link to tickets are at the KSO website.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Okay it's not illustration in the strictest sense...

...but it's got zombies and the Beatles!

http://www.spinner.com/2010/05/11/beatles-zombie-film/?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl7|link4|http://www.spinner.com/2010/05/11/beatles-zombie-film/

Drang the Devious


It's been a while since I've done a drawing of merit, let alone attempted a painting. I feel a bit rusty. This is the first piece of concept art for a short film my production company is planning on creating in the coming six months to a year.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Frank Frazetta: Influential Illustrator, Dead at 82

What an amazing career Frazetta had from doing Lil' Abner and cute animal comics to book covers to movie posters to album covers. I also just learned he did romance comics.

On top of his artistic talents, he almost became a pro Baseball player and turned down an offer to play for the New York Giants.

Here is the blurb on the New York Times art blog: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/10/frank-frazetta-fantasy-illustrator-dies-at-82/

I highly recommend the documentary about him called Frazetta: Painting with Fire. Here is the trailer.




He is certainly a pop culture art icon whose work just recently sold in the million dollar range. It is a sad loss.

Smartists Inc. blog

Hey guys I started a new blog for business issues specifically relating to artists- I also just put a poll up it would be interesting to see the results so please vote on it!

Here's a link to the blog please stop by and follow if it is this is a topic you're interested in or have ideas about:

http://smartistsinc.blogspot.com/

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Before the Queen of the Thrain



This is an old sketch I did (about a year ago) that I stumbled upon while cleaning today. I planned on doing something with it for a story, but I'm not sure where it fits in yet. I'll have to fix the perspective and get more reference, but I really enjoyed the feeling of this one. It was a lot of fun to do. I don't know what it is, but I love the idea of a quest that leads a character to a subterranean city ruled by a powerful dwarf-like matriarch. All of the people are women, no men. I really liked the Queen's garb. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

International Coverage for 12-Way With Cheese!


Thanks to Woody, our comic athology of Cincinnati illustrators got coverage in Imagine FX, the UK fantastic illustration magazine. Cool! Now to get some local coverage!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

In honor of Mother's Day I thought I'd present this blast from the past. My second job out of college was working in the art department for the NBC-TV affiliate in Columbus, OH. This was in 1983, right before a lot of TV graphics were created digitally. This is an acetate with colored film attached to the back. From this image a slide was created for broadcast.

I really enjoyed this job and my main function was creating news graphics. The only problem with this is that there aren't too many funny things going on in the news and I rarely got a chance to use my cartooning skills. So here is a rare cartoon piece.

As I look at it now I cringe at the many drawing mistakes... the top of the baby's head is kinda bullet shaped and where is her right leg??? Missing! Or she's a budding Mary Lou Retton! Mom's head is a little wonky too. Luckily it was only on screen in 5 second increments.

Happy Mother's Day to all the nice moms!
(but not the mean ones...)

I need your Banner Ads

I am looking to add as many regular lunchers/cincy illustrators to my blog roll (http://beartoons.com/links) as I am going to create a category specifically for this group. If anyone is interested, please send a link or file of a 125x125 banner ad of your site/blog to me at bearmancartoons (at) yahoo

If anyone wants to add me to their blog roll, this is a great time as all this month I am donating money to the Freestore and the Down Syndrome Association for anyone who adds me to their blog roll or follows me on twitter/facebook. All the details on the challenge are at this post. My primary objective is to get your banner ads so please do NOT feel obliged to add me to your blog roll.

Hopefully my travel schedule might allow me to show up for lunch sometime this month.

Thanks...B

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Weekly Reader Hilarity!


For a year or two, circa 1994/1995, I did the Peanut & Jocko comic strip for Weekly Reader. They wrote the jokes (probably a good idea) and I just illustrated the comic. I guess P&J had run for a few years before I got the assignment and ran for a while after it was given to someone else. I have no idea what the characters looked like before and after my tenure and there is no visual info on this online. I was curious to see what the other cartoonists take was on these characters.

Anyway, when I was a kid, my Weekly Reader had Zip & Nip, a dog and cat. So I guess they rotate characters every decade or so...

Sadly Peanut & Jocko did not have the staying power of Goofus & Gallent!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Would You Buy Fried Chicken From This Man?



I'm back again with yet another character design story. Do you remember when KFC did those animated commercials with Colonel Sanders? Early 90's maybe? Anyway, an animation studio in Chicago (Startoons maybe) hired me to come up with some looks for the animated colonel. I had to control myself and not get too carried away with drawing all whacked out versions of the good colonel. After all, he's KFC's patriarch and no one wants to buy chicken from a crazed southern senior, despite the fact he's in a pristine white suit.

Anyway, the studio was competing with others to get this contract.
Needless to say, they didn't get the gig. If you remember the commercials, the Colonel design they chose was definitely less cartoony than mine. Wouldn't it have been fun if they submitted the usual Daryll fare with the Colonel all buggy-eyed with chicken blood all over his suit and maybe a chicken foot sticking out of his pocket like a carnation!

Can't win them all, I'd just like to improve my batting average!

Maps For An Adventure




Here are some of the maps from that adventure. The spidery looking image is the lair of the hellfrost beast. The middle image is the evil wizard's tower (internal and externa) and the last image is a logging camp that has been destroyed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Images For An Adventure






This is the art for an adventure I was working on for Triple Ace Games. I'm writing and illustrating it. I'll upload the images here. The project was meant to be one adventure, I petitioned for the adventure to be made into a series rather than just one. They refused, at first, then decided they wanted a three to four part series of adventures, AFTER they said no, I signed the contract, and AFTER I had done a whole bunch of work on it. Everything but the manuscript was finished. THEN, it fell off into limbo. I'll probably petition that the project be resurrected later. This was designed for TAG's Hellfrost setting. So, yeah, I got no money for this work... Sweet.

Cover: Chalk pastel on toned canson paper. 8.5"x11"
Interiour: Graphite on paper. 8.5"x11"

Help a graphic artist get to Cincinnati

A page from Kayley Provow's sketchbook

Hey gang. I'm posting this for a friend of mine. His girlfriend, Kayley Provow, is a graphic designer and illustrator in Colorado, and is looking to find an internship or job for the summer here in Cincinnati. You can view her sketchbook blog here. After looking at her sketchbook, I think she's quite talented.

Any advice you can offer her on building a portfolio, or finding a job or internship here in the summer would be appreciated. You can e-mail Kayley at gavelthegreat@gmail.com

Thanks ... and I'll make it back to a lunch soon.

Mucked

Today's "Shermin the Vermin" goes out to New Orleans, the Gulf Coast, and Louisiana. And to the people and animals I saw and knew and know in ten years down there.

That's it - nothing more to say.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Armadillo=Rat



Here are some character designs I did about 20 years ago for a southwest themed restaurant chain. The agency I worked with was from Chicago, and they were given the task of creating the kids menu program. This included a main character and designs for menus, placemats, cups,etc. The agency decided on an armadillo and had me work up some looks for him as a lawman.
Once they settled on a character look, they had me come up with basic layouts for the rest of the needed items. Above is the wrap-around cup sketch.

Low and behold, when this was presented to the Rising Star Grill people, they informed the agency that in the southwest, armadillos are considered vermin by many. Rats with armour!

Needless to say, this direction was scrapped and I was paid for the work I did. I don't even know if the agency was retained for the next go round. I don't understand why they didn't run their preliminary thoughts (an armadillo) for the kid's program by the powers that be before doing all the planning sketches.

Existential Eating



Friend and fellow Cincinnati artist Ramsey Ford has been regularly posting 'Esistential Eating' cartoons on Amateur Foodies, a blog devoted to local, sustainable and/or quality food in Cincinnati. Check it out. Feel free to suggest new ideas for future cartoons.

Of Gold and Morning Light






Here are some images I worked on to concept for a faerie-tale I wrote about two years ago. These images are about as old as the story. I learned a lot from these. I REALLY wanted to work on butcher paper for some reason. It's essentially brown-bag paper. I ran into a lot of problems, mostly with the paper not being able to hold up under the abuse. Each image is about 5"x7", chalk pastel.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

First Responder Illustration for Drake Rehabilitation Center




I was commissioned by Drake Rehabilitation Center in Hartwell to develop an image celebrating First Responders. The illustration is to be printed to help raise money and will be presented to Rudy Giuliani, this year's keynote speaker for their annual fundraiser.

The project quickly grew from just having first responders in the image to, "... and maybe we could put the whole skyline of Cincinnati behind them". Lol. They wanted drama without any gore or pictures of injured people, something that would be believable, but in front of the city. My solution was to have the light be where I placed the drama and to try and find a peculiar summer type of light to unify all of the reference. So much information here so I tried to be economical as much as I could, but could see this potentially progressing for months to resolve every piece of information if that amount of time were possible.

John Maggard was so helpful in letting me photograph an extrication drill at Terrace Park Fire Department where I was able to get some much needed reference. I actually went back a second time and shot even more. Without all of those guys letting me stop by and all of his additional help none of this would have happened. Many thanks John.

More LOTR Stuff

Seeing Justin's lovely LOTR piece reminded me to post some of the Middle Earth stuff I did for the ICE CCG in the mid 90s. (96+ to be exact). Be kind, that was 14 years ago (yeah, I am THAT old). Sadly, it was the before time just before scanning. I have sold some of the paintings and lost some of my favorites. Some were OK, some dreadful :) 

I threw this pile of cards on the scanner a couple years ago when a collector from Spain sent them to be signed so some are in Spanish.

I have always loved the Lord of the Rings series of books and this was way before the movies. Tip: the best adaptation ever is the BBC radio show with Ian Holm as Frodo.


Eomer, 3rd Marshal of the Riddermark


Here's an image I made for my brother a few days for Christmas. I had to keep working on it ALL night Christmas eve. I was so rushed I didn't catch the saddle until I was almost done. He'd either suffering from a VERY short torso or a very painful leap into the saddle :P This one, though I think the sleeve is a bit too static and patterned (thanks, Jerry :) ) is one of my favourites. Despite these faults I was pleased with the armour and general outcome achieved. I was very focused on the mail. One thing I did my best to achieve was the fact that metal like that will reflect differently with each little piece. I was very happy with the armour. Any other comments would be appreciated. I'd e interested to hear what you have to say, Chuck. You weren't at the lunch I brought this painting to. It's about 8.5"x11". So is the hart piece.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Flawless advice from the flawed hand of an artist.

I suggest any of you serious about not just the craft, but the psychological and emotional journey, of art subscribe to Mr. Howe's blog and purchase this book. John Howe's meandering excursions through the wilderness of creative expression is punctuated by moments of striking clarity and sound reason. All of it hidden among layers of complex thought and years of experience. His advice is both that of a wounded sage and a lost young child.

http://www.john-howe.com/news/index.php/site/comments/heaven_and_hell_in_a_cedar_tunnel/

This week's blog article is particularly magnificent. I never tire of Howe's writing, I always find it relevant and inspiring, another's reassuring footprints in the snow when I thought I was the only one walking this landscape.

Justin