Category Archives: News

Strikeout and About

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Filed under Fun, Idea, News

Went to a little event yesterday called “Drink & Draw” to try to meet some other artists here in Chicago – A lot of jobs I was expecting that would have helped me do that have fallen through, so it was really nice to get out and actually talk to some people while drawing for a change. For some reason, the best drawing I did that night was with my right(bad) hand, so I guess I learned I that sometimes need to be a little more cautious when drawing in the future, instead of throwing down a whole bunch of wild lines and divining some pattern in them that I like – The proverbial elephant in the block of marble. Well, either way works, I suppose, as long as it results in a striking image.

Started the pencils for the “Ex Occultus” chapter via St. James Comics, and tonight I am going to ink in all the panels and balloons in preparation for doing the pencils. So help me, I still prefer the analog method since there’s a roughness to it that can be cultivated to give the drawings a lot more emotion and verve, I think.

A painting of mine was returned to me yesterday from storage with a big scratch mark down the side. It’s on panel, so I can touch it up, but I’m trying not to think about all the time I spent mixing and applying those colors and then blending them into the painting. I’ll have to get on that, though, one of these days if I ever want to see it on display again.

More Corn!

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Filed under Content, Fun, News, Project

Haven’t posted in a while, but I haven’t been working on anything I’d feel honest posting up here in public until it’s finished, so this’ll just be some incidental sketches and musings to prove I’m busy and not dead.

Here are two 4-panel strips I recently did for a project that later got cancelled:
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Here’s a quick drawing I did a month or two ago as a kind of summer fun thing – Haven’t drawn those characters from Urusei Yatsura in a while:
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Speaking of summer fun, I downloaded this album last night, and part of the reason I’m posting today is because I want to evangelize:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flight-602-Aim/dp/B000GPI3NU
It’s billed as “dance,” but it’s a bit too musically ambitious and intelligent for that description alone – Yeah, there are some clever polyrhythmic beats and basslines so rubbery you could use them as a trampoline, making something you can definitely get up and bop around to, but a better use is to sit calmly (drawing…?) and nod to the beat as the music puts images in your brain. Niko delivers some excellent vocals, as well, turning the album into a kind of musical chronicle of an entire urban summer. This is music for the “slacker cognoscenti” – If you’re one of those people who bristles at electronic music as soulless beeps for weird skinny kids in baggy pants, this will change your mind.

Days when things happen.

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Filed under News

Going to be doing some murals, it seems, with an artist co-op here in Chicago, which is great news, since I’m looking to meet new people here, especially other artists.

I’ve been screwing around a little too much lately, but today’s been a productive work day so far – Done some design sketches for a short comic someone else wrote called “Whiz Kids,” a semi-comedic action story, which should be a nice change of pace from working on my own stuff. Heading out to a club tonight, too, to do a comedy sketch about the Pitchfork Music Festival starting soon in town. Fun times.

Back for More.

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Filed under Gallery, News, Project

Turns out the temporary internet connection I had here wasn’t up to snuff, but I’ve gone and gotten proper DSL from the fine people at AT&T.  I also finished four acrylic paintings for the APW Gallery’s “Something Different” exhibition in Long Island, which you can see in the “Paintings” section.  The four of them go together and are titled “The Four Stages of a Most Inappropriate Oath Bearer,” which was a phrase I heard in a dream where I was trying to figure out what to paint. It’s about the evolution an idea goes through when put through the meat grinder of revision and procrastination – Try to find themes that are carried over from one to the other.

Going to get to work now on some other projects, and I learned today I might be joining a co-op that does murals here in Chicago – That’d be a fun experience and a good way to meet other artists…  Anyway, further updates as events warrant.

Turn n’ Learn

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Filed under Link, News

Working on some abstract acrylic paintings on panels for a project in NYC, but it’s slow going as inspiration has yet to really strike.
Spent a lot of time today just getting my new apartment set up as a good workspace. Turns out it’s a lot easier to switch between my desk and computer if I… Wait, those details aren’t interesting. Suffice it to say, I like this new arrangement. I also ordered a huge map of the world for my wall, and it just came today so the temptation to sit around starting at it, dreaming of the adventures to be had in places with names like “Tangier” and “Zaragoza” and “Nebraska,” is very strong, but fortunately my work ethic was stronger, and I sent off a huge number of portfolios looking for new commissions. Going to go out tomorrow and get a cool folding screen to partition the work and living areas, and maybe a TV if Craigslist obliges.

OK, this marks me indelibly as either a yuppie or just a pretentious wiener, but I think the following site is absolutely amazing: http://www.academicearth.org
It’s a repository of filmed lectures from the world’s top universities; the magic learning-box that’s been forecast since the first electrons shot though a cathode ray tube back in the ’50s. You can even take some of these courses for credit. Wow~! “Impress” your friends with your new knowledge of philosophy or computer science or black hole physics (Three examples from the front page)! As someone who works at home, however, doing a lot of tedious brain-stem work of filling in little fiddly bits of a picture, something like this makes a perfectly arresting and edifying distraction.

Back!

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Filed under News

Whew. I had a very, very difficult move, but now I’m in my new place in Chicago (very spacious, enough to double as a studio), and all wired up again. Time to get to work as soon as I find the nearest art supply store. I got invited to have a little space in a show in Long Island, so I need to get my stuff together for that by July. Fortunately I know exactly what to make, and it doesn’t need to be very big or intensive. Some photos will go up once I finish moving in.

Sweet home, uh, Something-or-Other.

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Filed under Link, News

Been packing for the move to Chicago – it’s coming up this Saturday. Road trip! I will have the Blues Bros. soundtrack on loop. GET IT? LOOP? I just came up with that. …Wow, it’s late.

I finished off that graphic novel project I’ve been working on, words and all, and it’s ready for the mail. I’ll wait a little bit before adding it to the site, since I’ll probably want to change some wording yet again, given what a nut I am for re-reading and editing everything I write, ever. The old “everything is a draft until you die” quip would be appropriate somewhere in this paragraph, probably. I can always edit it in later.

Been downloading individual grant applications for that installation I want to build, but it turns out most of them are for 2010, so I’m really going to take my time to polish them to a professional, oh-my-he’s-thought-of-everything sheen. I may ask the print shop if they have an option for scented paper, and I will perhaps include some personalized heart-candies: “B MY PATRON” has been a staple greeting of the art world since William Hogarth (actually, I wouldn’t put that past him).

A comedian friend of mine in Chicago says he wants me in some skits he plans to do; it’ll feel good to be on stage again. There’ve been a lot of neat stop-motion videos I’ve seen lately, and I think there’s a lot of potential in something like that (SNL used to have some fantastic examples back in the ’70s, when they had that “submissions” segment, and were funny), so I’ll try to get him and his A/V friends with their nice camera on board a project like that.

Might be doing illustrations for a kids’ book! Am discussing details with the author over email. Further updates as events warrant.

Jon out. My next dispatch will likely be from the, whaddyacallit, Breezy Town.

Who’s applying to Grant’s tomb?

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Filed under Idea, Link, News

I’m applying to Grant’s tomb! (I also wear short shorts.)

Remember that artist-in-residence thing I was a finalist for a little while back? Well, I’m taking that idea and parlaying it into a bunch of new grant applications in Chicago; There’s no shortage of funky installation ideas, but I need some capital in order to build them. It’ll be something to do while trying, in the back of my mind, to compose the verbal part of that graphic novel project below. I’ve got one line I like, and everything else ends with me thinking, “nah, that sucks.” I’ll try to belt out some stuff tonight and then cherrypick from that to get something that works.

You have to admit, one of these would be a pretty impressive status item; I think it’s pretty well established that infamy is just as good as regular ol’ good-guy fame. Everyone in that pantheon of larger-than-life figures is King Midas.

Last page!

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Filed under Idea, News, Project

The book proposal drawing is done! All that’s left is the words, which I’ll spin in my head while packing for this move to Chicago.

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Something about it still doesn’t quite satisfy me – I think it’s because the “painted” style doesn’t appear and I kind of rushed the “tendrils” that appear over everything, but it’s only a proposal, so the final version will have a much more polished style. In any case, I’ll spend the next few days sitting in a coffee shop, putting tracing paper over printouts of these pages, trying to come up with good narrative and good composition.

OMG spoilerrrrrrs! That weird cylinder thing in the previous pages is the human character’s “descendant” from millions of years in the future. He (It?) is trying to protect him from harm, and the “eye” thing is his assistant whom the cylinder-being created to help him in this case, but since Mr. Eyes won’t come into being if the human man isn’t harmed, the eye dude secretly wants to kill him. Anyway, I was thinking that the whole “prose” section would be from the point of view of these two post-human beings, with the dialog of the two humans being completely parenthetical to that, and the third-person explanation of their behavior being the whole conciet from which I’d write this. I thought it would be a good device to tie the two styles together, and also a good way to add some real “narrative” that isn’t often seen in graphic novels. They’re a visual medium, to be sure, but it’s very, very difficult to comment on specific behaviors or mentalities with nothing but tiny squares full of drawings. Check “Bus” in the comics section for an attempt, but I’m going for something a little more complex this time. Anyway, feedback is appreciated.

Less Minor Progress

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Filed under News, Project

The second page is done (updated in the previous post to reflect this) and now the third page is done, too:

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…They’ll all make a lot more sense when the words are added.

Now it’s time to sit down for a little work on page four.

–EDIT–
In this manner, perhaps?

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Ohhhkay, it’s bedtime.