I've gotten a number of offers to do T-shirt designs for various companies and I've been able to take a crack at a few of them. One offer was from a small clothing store that contacts artists to design their shirts, and while browsing their catalog I noticed that none of the shirts really had a joke like the ones I usually make, but instead were purely design driven. I have yet to hear what they thought of this design, but it has been a long time since I've drawn something just because it looked cool and didn't necessarily have to mean something or be a reference to anything.
This started with wanting to do a drawing of an old-timey pipe organ just because I like how they look, with all those keys and different colored buttons. The idea obviously took off quite a bit from that point. The version I've posted here is a bit more "finished" than the actual version I submitted for the shirt; I added some brush effects on the balloon and sky that can't be recreated very well with a normal silkscreen process. The detail above is to show how I used a halftone effect to achieve the illusion of different colors while still sticking to only the five colors that I picked for printing.
In case you don't "get it," well, really, there's nothing to get. I just wanted something visually interesting. I suppose a literal description would be that a guy is playing an organ on a hot air balloon, and when the music comes out of the pipes it physically manifests itself into those girly ghost figures, which then fill the balloon and pull it upward. I don't do many "artsy" art pieces, so you can indulge me this once. :)
It's here! I have gotten so many requests, comments, and emails for a poster of this piece that I am super happy to announce that they are now up for sale at Splitreason. You can buy one here!
Also please be aware that in the comming weeks Gallery 1988 will also be releasing a high quality art print of this piece, limited to 100 pieces and signed and numbered by yours truly. In fact...as I write this the prints have just been dropped on my doorstep for signing. Exciting!
The Autumn Society temporarily changes its banner from time to time, especially if there is a gallery show coming up with a certain theme. I was asked if I would like to take a crack at a new banner design (with no specific theme delegated, just free reign of design on my part) and I actually came up with two designs because I couldn't decide between a couple of ideas that I had. The first one is pictured here, and as of this posting it is also the Autumn Society's current banner! So you can check it out over there.
While the final product is pretty simple because of its function, this was a really cool assignment to have because this is the first thing people see when they go to the AS site, and one of the only visible branding marks, so in a way it represents all the artists who participate.
We'll see if the second one decides to rear its head as well.
Earlier this week my Adventure Time tribute piece was featured on the Frederator Blog, along with the other pieces by Autumn Society members. Frederator Studios is the company that makes such cartoons as The Fairly Odd Parents and My Life as a Teenage Robot.Check it out here.
Okay! Now that the shirt is no longer featured on Woot's front page, it is up to me to promote it with the link they have given me. That ink is right here, so buy some, and tell your friends!
It will be up for sale for certain until the end of the month, at which point it will be subject to "the reckoning," which means it will have to stay in the top 20 sales on the site to continue to be available. Once it drops out of the top 20, it's gone for good.
Woot has an...interesting way of doing things, that's for sure, I've never dealt with a site quite like them. The stats page they make availble to the artist is pretty sweet though. I can tell you exactly how many shirts I've sold and what states they went to, what hour they were bought, how many people signed up for the site just to buy my shirt, etc.
This is a design I created called The Visible Grimace that is now for sale at shirt.woot.com, so buy one! I believe the name of the shirt has been understandably changed for copyright reasons.
It you're unfamiliar with how woot.com works, basically what you need to know is that this shirt will be up for sale for one day only. (If you know me and read this blog you may get a second chance, but more on that tomorrow...) Technically the one day time limit started at midnight last night, which I was awake for, but they must not have sent me the notification email until seconds before the thing went up which is why this time-sensitive update is a bit late.
It's funny to me how different people I know define when they think that I've "made it" or become successful. Personally, I consider my years of work and many designs for Splitreason as the most successful venture I've ever undertaken. Some people didn't think much of that until my Mario's Closet design went entirely viral, and a personal high point for me comes from a few big-name gallery shows I've been asked to do that I have yet to announce on this blog. But as soon as this shirt went up, I got some emails from people who were apparently waiting on me to have a shirt on woot.com to decide for themselves whether or not I had "made it. "
Not that I think I have, I just draw funny pictures and hope something good happens. I just mean this as a testament to the popularity of Woot (as of 1 pm today I've sold over 1,000 of these shirts!) I always majorly appreciate the support that my friends and family give me, as well as all the people who stop by the blog or email me with nice things to say. Thank you!
Chogrin, head honcho over at the Autumn Society, started a job not too long ago working for Cartoon Network on a new series called Adventure Time with Finn and Jake. He put an open call out to AS members to create tribute pieces for the show to be used in an art book, on their blog, and to celebrate the series launch.
Creating this piece was an interesting challenge because the show doesn't debut until next month. There was plenty of info and photos out there for research purposes, but it just isn't possible yet to get a really good feel for the characters and what direction their adventures will take them. From what I can tell the show has kind of a Flapjack feel, and if I'm not mistaken involves some of the crew members from that series as well. Therefore I tried to incorporate some of the random silliness that gives that show it's signature feel, and hope I didn't miss the mark too much.
You can check out the pilot here, which was originaly a short on Nickelodeon. You also might notice that back then Finn's name was Pen.
Pen, by the way, is the name of the shows creator, and Chogrin wrote to tell me that he has seen my piece and he loved it!
I'm guessing a lot of you use Facebook, and if so you probably notice how they change the design and layout of the site about every six months or so. Now, I love Facebook and I use it constantly as a break from drawing since I sit at my computer all day, and I always end up finding my way around their changes pretty quickly, but the changes themselves are usually very puzzling to me. They aimlessly move icons from one side of the layout to the other, make several ways to access the same feature for no reason other than cluttering up the interface and adding confusion, and then bury other features into specific pages where they don't seem to belong. I'll admit, when they first started this trend it bugged me simply because I was used to the original layout, and most people don't like it when you mess with something they're already fond of. But at this point it's not so much annoying as it is confusing. They seem to have no real aim with the changes they make other than being bored with how it looks.
To an extent I understand this, because I know there are times when I look at this site and think "Should I change something? Would it be easier to use if I did it like this? Why did I ever think that looked good?" It just comes from being in charge of a site and looking at it so much that you start to doubt yourself. I realized after a while that you can drive yourself crazy doing this, as it is easy to become overzealous when really you should just leave things alone. The people who run Facebook don't seem to have figured this out yet.
I was trying to explain these points to a friend the other day and I told them that it would be like if somebody changed all the controls around in your car every six months with no added functionality. That put this image in my head, so of course I had to waste some time making it in Photoshop. Click the image for a bigger view!
I just started reading The Umbrella Academy comics and this is a drawing I did in tribute to the book. The character featured here, the White Violin, is actually one of the less fleshed out and, so far, less featured members of the group, but the brilliance of her design is so iconic that it's hard to not want to draw her. I'm sure even if many of you haven't read the books you've seen her image looking at you from a comic store shelf and found it hard not to think "What is that?" Her design makes the comic look like something that has already long been established, even when it was brand new, so I give many kudos to the artist and writer for that.
One thing that struck me about the book is how close it is to Hellboy in...well, in many ways. Many of the art techniques are similar to Magnolia and Guy Davis, so much so that I had check that Davis wasn't the artist. And the pulp, off-the-wall content of the book is the same as well. Machines that have elaborate and decorative parts that serve no purpose other than to look cool, monkeys running around, strange occurrences that are never really explained...I really can't do enough to explain just how similar the two universes and their sensibilities are. I'm kinda surprised that I haven't read anything comparing the two before, and somewhat shocked that Mignola and Hellboy weren't listed in the lengthy preface or afterword that discussed the book's influences. You don't get a comic THAT close in tone and art to another comic and say you're not influenced by it.
That having been said, there are a lot of really cool ideas that make the book it's own thing, such as the televator (a teleporter that can transport you only to other elevators) and the fact that one of the characters, The Seance, can't use his powers when he's wearing shoes (for no logical reason I can find.) What's more is that they don't hit you over the head with these things, as it took me a while to realize exactly what the televator did, and took me until the end of the first trade paperback to even realize what some of the main characters powers were.
Update: Randall has just let me know that this has been featured on Comics Alliance. Thanks Randall!
I didn't think I'd make it, but I was able to attend the paper art exhibition at the Rivet gallery in Columbus, Ohio the day before it closed. Much like other forms of art, these paper sculptures are very impressive when you see them in person.
I sent the pictures I took to Chris at Cubeecraft and he made a nice little gallery that you can find here. Also browse the rest of the Cubeelog to find tons of free papercraft models you can download and put together, including some of the ones featured in this show.