Friday, January 31, 2014

A Night of Sketching at Modern Makers + The Cincinnati Ballet presents Dance/Draw

Sketch by Christina Wald
Amy Bogard and I went to sketch at the Modern Makers + The Cincinnati Ballet presents Dance/Draw event Wednesday. (We also ran into Chuck Rekow there.)

It was an amazing event with some great dance demos from the Cincinnati Ballet and a couple students from CCM. There was a lot of good sketching time as the dancers warmed up.

We mostly did gesture sketches at the event and I did the sketch to the left when I got home.

See more sketches and pictures here on Amy's blog and here on my (Christina Wald's) blog.

I hope they do more events like this.

Beautiful gesture sketches by Amy Bogard
L-Chrisitna Wald; R-Amy Bogard

The Cincinnati Show - Final Friday - Rock Paper Scissors

Join Rock Paper Scissors from 7-11 for our January Final Friday opening of a Cincinnati-themed group art show AND the release of their compilation of local music, "The Cincinnati Sound Volume II" 


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

World Fire Sculpture Championship in Riga, Latvia

I recently got back from the World Fire Sculpture Championship. I was very lucky to have my proposal printed in the official program. The championship consisted of twelve teams and each team had two members. I chose Rod Bouc as my team mate. He is the Deputy Director of the Columbus Museum of Art and a good friend. I have known him since we both went to graduate school at Ohio State University.
There were twelve countries represented: Spain, Latvia, Russia, Lithuania, Australia, Switzerland, Great Britain, Estonia, Finland, France, Sweden and USA. The sculptures were built and burnt on the banks of the Daugava river in downtown Riga.
I have posted the cover of the program, the inside page with my proposal and the actual proposal I sent them - because the resolution is better. I will post more as I process my video footage and photos.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Portfolio Review Jan 30th 4pm-6pm

Image from:
Just a reminder that the Cincinnati Animation Network's portfolio review is this Thursday Jan 30th from 4pm to 6pm. 

We will be meeting in room 3A of the main branch of the Cincinnati Public Library.

Allison Craig (a super talented animator at Titmouse) and Christina Wald (a super talented illustrator who runs her own illustration business) will be there to give feedback on portfolios and answer any questions or concerns you may have about working in animation/illustration. And I (Darcy Vorhees) will be there too, doing the same.

The room we're in has wifi, so that's good. I will bring a PC laptop so we can look at stuff online.  If you want to bring printouts or a select group of originals or a laptop or other device to show your work on, feel free. I'd prefer not to have to transfer files onto my computer though.

Christina suggested that parking on Court Street would probably be the best option.

Feel free to email me (Darcy) at if you want more info or to let me know if you're going to be late.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Senior Winter Expo

Hey, everyone. The Art Academy of Cincinnati's Winter Expo event showcases all of our seniors and their work. Lots of work from Illustration and Design students, and also Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Photography, and Sculpture students. Events are taking place this Thursday and Friday. Come on out, wander around our building, have some refreshments, and view some terrific work. Hope to see ya! :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

We pitch it as a compromise

There’s been a big to-do about the location of the Hamilton County Board of Elections. Republicans on the board want to move the location of the BOE to a suburb of Cincinnati, Mt. Airy, where they’ll consolidate space in a government building with the BOE and other county offices. The BOE is currently located downtown, and Democrats say that by moving the location away from downtown, the poor and those without cars will have a harder time voting. Since Hamilton County — and especially the areas of the county that compromise downtown Cincinnati — went Democrat in the last two presidential elections, Republicans are eager to move the BOE to a new location. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and others are seeking to compromise by offering free building use downtown for the BOE. I thought it’d be fun to imagine what kind of compromise the Republicans might come up with.

Zombie Marge-Episode 45

Big doings on the Mothership over at as the aliens reveal their plans for Zombie Marge. Tell your friends!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Modern Makers + The Cincinnati Ballet: Dance/Draw 1-29-14

Interesting drawing event:

Modern Makers + The Cincinnati Ballet presents Dance/Draw

-View performance by CBII, Cincinnati Ballet's Second Company
-Mingle with CBII dancers
-Bring your drawing supplies and capture movements on paper
-Free + Open to the Public

So if you want to be a modern Degas, this may be the place to start!

Illustrator News: Racing Nation article about Roger Warrick

[photo by Jack Webster]
 Nice write up of illustrator Roger Warrick on

The article includes some interesting biographical information about his father who painted Mail Pouch barns and a glimpse at some of  Roger's racing art.

He is exhibiting this week at the Rolex 24 in Daytona.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cintiq for sale

I've recently upgraded my Cintiq and am selling the old one. It's a Cintiq DTZ-2100. I'm also selling the airbrush pen and 6D pen.

If you've never used a Cintiq before, they're really great if you have a problem with the disconnect of scribbling on a tablet in your lap and having it appear on your monitor. When I bought this one probably 5 years ago it was the best purchase I ever made, because it saved my hands. The tablet in the lap was causing me serious carpal tunnel and tennis elbow problems and they all disappeared once I moved to a Cintiq.

Anyways, there's a strip of velcro attached along the top because I would attach an x-keys strip to work without a keyboard (failed as x-keys were buggy). There is some wear on the far right from scrolling up and down on windows so often using the pen rather than the touch strips. In the photo it looks like there's a scratch or something on the right but it's actually a reflection of the back side of a lamp and it's cannisters.
I'm looking to get $500.

Of Contests and Competitions

I imagine it starts like this:

Agency Pitch to Client: Let's do a contest where we contact a bunch of artists and have them do artwork pertaining to our brand. We will give a cash prize/internship/pony to the winner! It will be good PR! We will get to see a lot of great artwork and ideas.

What a great idea! Let's do it! Crowdsourcing is awesome!

I get many, many emails for contests like this. When I was younger, I even entered one or two.

Why on earth do so many companies think this is a good idea?

I suspect they think they will get a lot of great stuff on brand they can use and it will cost less than having an experienced branding agency come up with ideas and commission an artist to do the art.

Consider this anecdote: I recently talked to a friend who does online video for some big companies. One of his clients (probably after a day of watching YOUTUBE) said: "Lets have a 'viral video' contest. People can make cool films using our product!"  

"We will give away this $40,000 dollar object we are advertising to the winner! It will cost MUCH less than paying someone who knows what he/she is doing!"

What was the result? They got very few videos, most unusable and off-brand. They did not even name a winner.

Why? Even with the best of intentions, most people do not have the skill to make good videos. Even if they do have skill, it is not on brand

As an artist is it a good idea to participate?

  • Read the Fine Print: Many contests own the rights to the art you create for them. This means, even if you do not win they can still use it and you get no compensation for your efforts. 
  • Read it again: Some of the details are murky in these contests. It is probably either not well thought out at best or written by lawyers at worst.

Does it save them money?

I have not seen any numbers, but so many agencies are trying crowdsourcing now, I have to wonder if it really is a shortcut.

I am sure many artists enter a couple of these things earnestly and do some great work. At the end, it is unlikely they will win anything and they have spent a lot of time that they could have used to make money.  

After a couple failures, how many artists will continue to go after this unpaid work?

It is like a time consuming lottery and you know what those odds are. When you are attempting to make a living as an artist, getting paid by lottery is the worst way to do it.

Frankly, it seems to me it would be easier to just commission an artist whose work you like rather than negotiate the paperwork of having a contest.
What do you think?

Artist business seminar free online

Image from
I posted earlier about a free seminar that was taking place online- WELL if you missed it, it's available for review now, and it's still free. It's good for a listen as you're drawing and whatnot, especially if you're new and still getting used to the business side of art.

It's presented by Mark Simon and Stephen Silver, both animation professionals with a bunch of accomplishments under their belt. The seminar covers:

- How to be professional
- Freelance sites to avoid
- How to be business savvy
- Contests to watch out for
- 10 action steps that you need to take
- Setting a rate

You can listen/watch at this link:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Good Tax Advice for Illustrators

Scott Bakal wrote this great post about dealing with taxes and the inevitable letters of doom all of us get at some time or another.

It starts: "I received this letter a few weeks ago. Having a minor heart event and scraping myself up off the pavement after blacking out, I tried to wrap my head around what went wrong. I owe the IRS $36K"

He has a lot of good advice for keeping records. It really is essential that you keep records of everything.

A couple additional notes:
  • It is also good to get a tax ID for your business so you do not have to give out your SS# to every client.
  • One thing not covered in the article is sales tax. You really need to look at the laws in whatever state you live in and they are always changing. In Ohio, some types of graphic design are also sales taxable as well as any art you sell to someone in the state. With so many artists showing and selling work at art and craft shows, a vendor's license is essential.
  • The state you live in has information on doing business there. It is a good place to start when you are freelancing so that you are filing all the correct paperwork.
  • Here is the website about doing business in Ohio: 
  • Get an accountant that knows what he/she is doing.
 If anyone has any additional notes, I will update this post.

Darcy from Flaming Medusa Studios gave me this additional information from her husband David Van Horn. He is a CPA and does accounting etc for small businesses.

You can email him at or call him at (513) 429-5058.

Some more notes about doing business in Ohio:

"There are many taxes a small business must pay.  Those without employees must pay, depending on their legal structure, taxes on their earning to various government entities (Federal, State, City and sometimes even townships in Ohio). 

Once you add employees the burden really takes off.  In addition to the earnings tax for profit from the company you will be responsible for:

- Trust taxes for employee withholding's (Federal/state/local withholding, Social Security, Medicare)
- Also you will be responsible for the matching portion of Social Security and Medicare, State Unemployment taxes, Federal Unemployment taxes and any Workers Compensation premiums due.

The due dates vary and depending on the amount of payroll could be as frequent as weekly or as long as quarterly. 

Ohio also has a unique "privilege" tax called the Ohio Commercial Activities Tax.  This only applies to companies with over $150,000/year in revenues.  This tax replaced the Personal Property tax that Ohio used to charge."
Thanks Dave! I hope to do a future post about sales tax.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Zombie Marge-Episode 44

To all the folks (both of you, you know who you are) who've been asking why Zombie Marge has been missing from her own strip for the last few week, the answer can be found over at

Cincinnati Animation Network

Hi everyone!  I wanted to introduce you to the Cincinnati Animation Network (CAN), it's a group of animators who get together to share information and tips and network. Follow our Facebook page to see some nifty tips for freelancers and notice of other animation related stuff that doesn't make it to our super cool blog.

I wanted to let you know about a couple events that are coming up as well:

First, there is a free virtual seminar that is being hosted by Mark Simon and Stephen Silver called "Don't Work For Free".  It will go over:
  • How to make more money as an artist
  • The problems with contests
  • Which sites for artists to avoid
  • How to protect the rights to your designs
  • 10 action steps for all artists and creatives
  • What to say when employers want your work for free
It is at 9pm eastern time on Jan 21st (tomorrow!) and you can register for free by going to this link.

We will also be having a portfolio review session with a few pros in animation and illustration on January 30th from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Cincinnati Public Library Main Branch, room 3A (on the third floor)

In case it's helpful, the address of the library is:

800 Vine Street
Cincinnati, Ohio

If you want to come but can't get there at 4:00pm just let me know by emailing me at so we know to wait for you. Bring your work and we can talk about it and about whatever challenges you may be facing.

Practical Solutions No. 1

The city of Cincinnati's in a bit of a financial hole, what with nearly a billion dollars that need to go out for people's pensions, the Port Authority, the need for more cops and firefighters, etc.

This was a bear to draw, because it required a lot of reference material. But, boy, was it a blast.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Xavier University Student Art Show

This Friday is the Xavier University Student Art Show reception from 6-8 pm.  There will be everything from painting to ceramics to printmaking.  I will have a few pieces in the show I made this past Fall in printmaking.  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Flaming Medusa Studios and Ted-Ed

I haven't totaled it up yet but this represents a lot of work....
Hi everybody! I thought it would be nice to do a little post collecting the educational animated videos that Flaming Medusa Studios did for Ted-Ed last year. We made films on a variety of subjects from Sacajawea to Computer Architecture to Voting to Time Zones, and more. If you have some time to kill just click on through!

Illustrator News: Thomas More Art Show with works by Ken Henson

Ken Henson has 12 pieces in the show.

Opening is January 17th 4-7pm at the college.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Story Telling Illustration Show

I know it is a little early to post this, but I just got the promo jpg for the Story Telling illustration show I am a part of opening February 22nd at Brazee Street Studios.

I will post more about the event as the show gets closer.

Drink and Draw Events in Cincinnati This Week

There are a couple Drink and Draws this week. So, If you want to kick off the new year drawing with friends, check them out!

Thursday January 16th

Where: Maury's Tiny Cove


Additional info: Come to Maury's Tiny Cove for the Cincy ComiCon Drink and Draw! We will have a live cosplay model to draw, and lots of awesome people to hang out with. You don't have to drink, you don't have to draw, but you will have fun at this all ages event!!! There is no cover charge, heck we will even have some art supplies there to use. Remember the fun starts at 730, so get there early for the best spots! 

Friday January 17th

Where: Rock Paper Scissors


Additional info: DRINK AND DRAW Rock Paper Scissors + Ghost Empire Collective: We'll provide some drinks and art supplies but please feel free to BYOB and BYOAS! We'll also have a special 20%-off-because-we-love-drinking-and-drawing-discount.

We'll have small tables if you're looking to drink and draw solo, and large tables for Exquisite Corpse games and collaborative drawings.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Freelancing Again

So I recently left the game company in Blue Ash that I was art director for and am returning to freelance. Thank you to everybody who applied for artists positions while I was art director there. So anyways, here are some pieces that I have made lately. Hopefully I will get permission to post some of the others soon. I'll probably be updating my site soon so check it out every couple weeks if interested. .

Nice Write Up on Illustration Documentaries

Muddy Colors has a nice write up on illustration documentaries including a trailer to the one Woody is working on and has talked about before on this blog.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A nice chat works best

Gov. John Kasich has launched a new anti-drug initiative, which boils down to having parents talk openly to their kids. And Kasich has also slashed state funding to local Ohio governments, which in turn has forced local governments to make cuts in services.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Illustrator News: Jim Effler Unveiling New Moerlein Label Art

Come out and celebrate with us as we tap our Silver Medal Winning Emancipator! The Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. John the Baptist who serve at St. Francis Seraph and throughout the Mid-West will be on hand to help tap the beer they blessed back in Dec!! 

Also in house will be artist Jim Effler to unveil his new Emancipator art work and he'll be signing copies as well!! The festivities are from 9pm -11pm, but make sure to come early, have a pint, and take one of the Brewery Tours at 5pm or 7pm.

If this had happened on Monday, I'd have stayed in the bus

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Interesting Illustration News

I am not sure how to react to this news:

How a Science Fiction Book Cover Became a $5.7 Million Painting

Basically, 'artist' Glenn Brown has been taking famous science fiction book covers and repainting them in a large scale. The article says his duplication of Chris Foss' cover for Isaac Asimov's Stars Like Dust just sold at an auction for 5.7 MILLION dollars.

The fine art collector crowd would never buy one of Chris Foss' paintings, but a copy?

The video about Glenn's work is especially odd.

I am curious what others think about this. Ron Miller. local illustrator Tom Miller's brother has some cogent points in the comments section.

I suppose the real issue is not that someone did this but that some art collector paid that much for it rather than say maybe buying some actual originals by the artists he duplicated. If someone copies his painting copying Foss, will he go after that artist like Koons went after people selling balloon dogs?

Road Trip: Children's Book Illustrration Show in Lancaster, Ohio

Which is in the Columbus metropolitan area.

This is the campus address but I could not find a web link to the gallery. Perhaps they will have it on their site by the 22nd.

Ohio University Lancaster Campus
1570 Granville Pike
Lancaster, OH 43130

Illustrator News: Ursulas Roma

Flowers & Figures
ART opening - Ursula Roma
6-9 pm Saturday January 11
Future Life Now - 2nd Floor
4138 Hamilton Avenue at Knowlton Street in the tan building across from PNC bank in Northside. 19 recent paintings

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Facinating Article: Modern art was CIA 'weapon'

This is an interesting article. I am curious what others think about it. I am not sure parts of it are as secret as the documentary imagines.

The reason Julia Child was in France was her husband Paul's job was to spread "American Culture" and show how good the arts were in Western, Communist Free environments. He put together gallery shows of American artists etc. Perhaps the extent of the funding was not revealed until this documentary. (My Life in France is a wonderful book, by the way.)

Modern art was CIA 'weapon'

I do want to see a James Bond movie incorporate this cold war anecdote though.

I am curious to see the documentary.

The article is a fairly old one (1995) but I could not find a link to the documentary. Anyone else find it?

In these chilli times, I thought I should post an island scene in Okinawa. I did this image for my thesis project...exotic women with exotic instruments.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Christina - thanks for the reminder, I haven't posted anything for a while. Also thanks for hosting this site! Just wrapped up the illustration for this year's Paddlefest poster/shirt. I had to learn a lot about Illustrator in a short amount of time, so cut me some slack, all you .ai experts (and you know who you are)...Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sketch Outing to the Cincinnati Museum Center

My (Christina Wald) sketch...
Amy Bogard and I went to the Cincinnati Museum Center Monday to check out the amazing holiday train exhibit. I remember seeing the exhibit many times as a kid at the CG&E building. (it was a bit smaller back then.)

Here is a vine:

We want to go back to sketch at the scale model of Cincinnati exhibit though, it is one of the coolest things at a museum!

We have talked about going to sketch after some of the illustrators lunches this year. If anyone is interested, drop me a line.

If you are looking for a great trip, go to Amy's sketch journal workshop in Taos, NM in June!

Part of the actual exhibit

Illustrator News: Marlene Steele

Louis Langree to be presented gift portrait 

 When: Friday, January 10th - Post Performance

Where: Music Hall, Cincinnati Ohio

Portrait and figurative artist, Marlene Steele will present CSO music director, Louis Langree with a gift portrait in honor of his birthday, January 11th. This presentation will be made after the CSO Friday evening performance by the artist, Marlene Steele of Cincinnati, a practicing portrait artist for 24 years and recently appointed by the Portrait Society of America as “Arts Ambassador of the State of Ohio”. 
 Ms Steele has painted the portraits of numerous people of note in the area, teaches classes and seminars related to figurative drawing and painting, and has also gained respect as an effective courtroom artist. 

 Additional Art Event:

 Artists from the 5th Street Gallery, Cincinnati Ohio, where Steele exhibited in September, will be creating studio art in the north section of the Music Hall vestibule before and during the performance.

The 5th Street Gallery is an artist run co-operative gallery in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. The member artists of the 5th Street Gallery are dedicated to expanding awareness of the arts in Cincinnati and plan on more collaborative projects with the CSO in the future. An art show for the CSO musicians who are also involved in the visual arts is being discussed. The gallery is located at the corner of 5th and Race on the street level of the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. 

Hope to post a sneak peek of the painting after it is presented.

Meanwhile, in the rest of Ohio ...

First cartoon of 2014!