Blenko. In The Blenko of An Eye. Photo by Bruce S. Blenko Glass Company www.blenkoglass.com - Collection of Bruce and Shelly S. - Texaqs Hi Hillary, I had to call in some help on identifying this piece of Blenko. I stumbled upon the Ruby piece and...
Saturday, May 29, 2010
As I mentioned in the last few posts, I was given the letter 'L' to design as part of a giant sign that will read "FestivALL," which is an arts festival in my hometown of Charleston, WV. I chose to design my letter to look like Beeper. But who is Beeper? If you've lived in WV for any amount of time over the last half century you probably already know.
Beeper was the sidekick mascot on Mr. Cartoon, a kids television program local to the WV area. He didn't speak and would communicate (?) by honking a horn that he carried around. The show starred Mr. Cartoon, portrayed by George Lewis until 1969, and then by Jule Huffman until the show went off the air in 1995. Huffman is arguably the guy that most fans identify with the show.
The format of the show involved showing mostly Looney Tunes Cartoons between segments of Mr. Cartoon interacting and playing games with an audience of kids. I was lucky enough to be on the show when I was a kid, as were most of my friends. I remember Beeper laying across a group of us, and being disappointed that you didn't actually get to watch the cartoons when you sat in the audience, haha.
A bit of trivia I've heard is that in the early days of the show they acquired the costumes used on the 1968 Hannah Barbara show The Banana Splits, and Beeper is actually made from a modified costume of the character Drooper from that show. The information I've found online seems to support this, as apparently the Banana Splits themselves made appearances on Mr. Cartoon until 1974 when Beeper was introduced. How those costumes wound up in WV I have no idea.
An early intro for the show featured Mr. Cartoon driving one of those old cars that could actually go in water like a motorboat. You got to see him drive it right into a river, and apparently the car belonged to my great uncle. My dad remembers watching the intro when he was a kid.
Something I find funny is that WSAZ, the local NBC affiliate that aired the show, has started using Beeper as a little icon to accompany the news ticker that shows school closings in the winter. This cracks me up because any school-age kids will likely have no idea who Beeper is. Not that I want them to stop using it, I think it's an awesome throwback.
My friend Mike, part of the Brainwrap film crew, has often said that he would like to film a movie where Mr. Cartoon goes to the planet Beepo and enslaves a member of the Beeper race as his sidekick, haha.
This is an Old Mr. Cartoon membership card. I remember having one of these. Check out that downright ghastly drawing of Beeper!
I could go on about how fondly people of this area remember the show, or how cool it is to have a pop culture icon of sorts specific to your home town, but you can just check out the Facebook fanpage, which has an amazing 18,000 members.
Posted by Glen at 9:11 AM
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
FestivALL is an annual event in my hometown of Charleston, WV that involves art exhibitions, concerts, and performances to showcase the creative side of the city. Last year they asked various Charleston artists to each design a letter of the phrase "A city becomes a work of art." The final result was used as a logo and symbol of sorts for the event. I was asked to design one the letters for this year's project which will simply spell "FestivALL." I was honored to be asked, especially since less letters means fewer artists were chosen. The kicker is that this year the letters are four-foot-tall physical representations cut from plywood that will be put on wheels and rolled around the city.
I received the letter 'L' to design. Here are some progress photos that don't give away too much of what the final product will be. I'm actually just about done with it so I'll post more photos soon.
I received the letter 'L' to design. Here are some progress photos that don't give away too much of what the final product will be. I'm actually just about done with it so I'll post more photos soon.
Posted by Glen at 4:35 PM
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I was asked to design the poster for the Autumn Society's 90s show, so here it is! I'm working on about five different projects right now so I took a bit of an easy route and just reused my Carl Winslow drawing, but I had fun coming up with all the 90s design elements.
Posted by Glen at 12:26 PM
Saturday, May 22, 2010
This is the second piece I hinted at for the 90's show. The idea for this as my next pin-up was already in my head, and then I realized that it actually fit the show's theme which gave me an excuse to do it. Basically these are all fanservice characters from the 90's: Cammy from Streetfighter, Fairchild from Gen13, and Poison Ivy from Batman: The Animated Series. The reason I chose these three is because they also all wear the same thing, a green jumpsuit that shows off their hindquarters. I was going to draw attention to that by making the drawing monochrome except for the green, but I liked the colors too much. So I decided to make it into an ad, lest viewers get distracted and not pick up on the theme...
Oh and if you don't know what fanservice means, you probably have a good guess by now.
Also a quick update, the 1up.com article that featured my artwork has now been updated with a credit line and a link to my site. I received an email from them this morning. That's usually what happens when I open my mouth to complain, it turns out the people are really nice and helpful and were probably just busy, hah.
Posted by Glen at 10:06 AM
Friday, May 21, 2010
My Pac-Man collection, not as impressive as most.
Did you know? Pac-Man was originally called Puck-Man because of his shape, but the side of his arcade cabinets could have been easily vandalized to say something else, so the name was changed. (Figure it out.)
The world has come a long way in the 30 years since Pac-Man was introduced. For one thing, we're much more politically correct. The name "Mrs. Pac-Man" seems a bit sexist now, and we've taken steps to remedy such occurrences by doing things like change the term "mailman" to "postal carrier." So to even things up a bit, here is Mr. Pac-Woman:
I don't know.
Posted by Glen at 2:10 PM
A few of my pieces have shown up around the web this week. First, my Octoroc drawing on 1up.com, and then my Carl Winslow drawing on HolyTaco.com
While this is cool, and I'm always up for a little exposure, neither of these places have identified me as the artist, so I think I may need to start putting my URL on the images I put up on my blog, just like I do with the images in my gallery.
I mean this isn't a huge problem or anything, but there are things about these specific instances that bug me. First of all, the 1up.com article is an interview with a musician named Doctor Octoroc. He does some amazing video game themed music, and is the guy behind the 8-bit Dr. Horrible tribute you may have seen floating around the web. Problem is, the article talks about his visual art as well, and has my piece plastered there with no credit. This REALLY makes it look like they have given him credit for my image. This is entirely 1up.com's error, and I tried to get them to add a credit line for me, but so far not so much as a response. I even got the support of a guy in the comments of the article who was kind enough to back me up, haha. I mean I don't want to crap on 1up.com, but how hard would it be to add a line of text? Maybe I should post one of their articles here like I wrote it and see if they can better identify with that. (Not really, I'm just being a smart alec.)
Secondly, my 90's themed drawing on Holytaco.com is bugging me because I'm wondering how it got there. Usually when something I drew shows up on a site like that you can follow of chain of posts back to the Autumn Society site, which gets a lot more traffic than my blog. But I haven't posted it there yet, and Tineye gives me zero results. It's a mystery!
Anyway, I think branding each image will help solve this, I just have to quit being lazy about it! And I don't want to sound ungrateful for the exposure, obviously it's a pretty awesome thing to be browsing one of your favorite sites and run across your own work, this is just an issue that's been on my mind. Consider this a "thinking out loud" post.
Posted by Glen at 9:58 AM
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I'm just about done with my second piece for the 90s art show, this one is a pin up with some popular 90's characters. These are just a couple thumbnail previews of the piece. If you can guess the characters you probably know that they are all of the fanservice variety, and you might even be able to figure out what they all have in common beyond that.
Posted by Glen at 9:59 PM
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
FINALLY we get issue 141 of Front here in the US which features the first illustration I did for them. It's now two issues old in the UK where it's printed. (For the record I'm not opposed to showing a magazine cover featuring mostly naked women on my site, it's just not the intended focus of this post. :)
Here are photos of the artwork I did for the Video Game Gore article:
Even though this is considered to be a Maxim-type magazine in the UK, it's basically considered porn here in the US. It even comes in a bag that censors most of the cover. This was the first time I'd ever bought pornographic material and I felt like such weirdo, there was a nice old man working the register and a family with a young girl in line with me. At least I know that my shame is still mostly in tact.
Posted by Glen at 9:46 AM
Friday, May 14, 2010
I had to take a break from the Pee Wee drawing for a while as new projects kept popping up with even shorter deadlines. One that I had forgotten was coming up so soon was the 90s themed art show for the Autumn Society. Somehow I took this piece from conception to completion in two and a half days. I'm sure plenty of other artists could knock this out in like half a day, but speed has never been something I could brag about, even though I work on drawings typically from the time I wake up until I crawl back into bed.
At any rate I got a little excited once I started making references and included lots of stuff from the 80s as well, even though most of it was still popular or reaching its peak in the 90s. But of course the focus of the piece had to be everybody's favorite 90s TV dad and typecast cop, Carl Winslow.
I'd actually like to do another piece for the show, I'll just have to see if I have time! I think I can do it if I abandon all other aspects of my life for the next month.
Posted by Glen at 10:44 AM
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
A small section of the Pee Wee Herman piece I'm working on, featuring a couple of the characters that have made it all the way to the coloring phase. Most of the characters are still only outlines, but the good news is that all the line work is done! That's always the most tedious part.
Posted by Glen at 5:01 PM
Monday, May 10, 2010
Last week I was interviewed as part of a multi-artist series for Swedish gaming magazine Level. Every month they feature artwork they've discovered online that fits into a specific theme. It just so happens that Mario is the theme they're working on now.
So here is my interview. I went back and forth on posting this but I figure the end result will probably be translated into Swedish anyway, and I would imagine it's possible that some or all of the questions won't make it to the final cut:
- Your name?
- Where do you live?
Huntington, WV USA
- Your age?
- Why do you make game related art?I'm a big classic video game enthusiast. I started doing video game art for fun, but now I actually make money off of it by doing T-shirt designs and art prints, so that's an added bonus.
- Can you explain the thoughts behind your artwork?Most of the time I like to take something video game related and put kind of a different spin on it, maybe make people think about it in a different way. One thing I really like to do is take something that seems normal in a video game and point out how odd it would be if it were real. For example, it's really funny to me how in Zelda games you can just walk into a stranger's house and smash all their pottery. The person just keeps standing there and smiling at you, but think about if you did that in real life.
- Where do find the inspiration for your work?Mostly my love for the aesthetic of classic video games is what inspires me to make video game related art. I particularly love the drawings in old game manuals and the physical design of the old consoles.
- What have the Mario games meant to you as a gamer and artist?The Mario games have been a huge influence on me as an artist and just on my life in general. I know that might sound silly, but to me Mario represents childhood. Some of the best memories of my life are sitting around with friends playing NES when I was a kid. It was a time when I didn't have a care in the world and no responsibilities.
- Your favorite game?
That's a tough one. The game that I have replayed the most and have the most memories of is probably Super Mario World. I can still remember seeing it for the first time and being blown away by the graphics. It was an amazing experience to the six-year-old me.
Posted by Glen at 10:48 AM
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I have been slaving away lately on my piece for this years Crazy 4 Cult show, based on the film Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Here is a sample of the drawings I've been doing for what is probably the most elaborate illustration I've ever done (it's not even close to what the final layout will be, this is just a collage of separate drawings.) This collage does a really good job of downplaying just how complicated the final image is shaping up to be. I'm almost halfway done with the digital line work, which I have actually split into nine separate Photoshop files for size reasons. I will try to post updates that don't give away too much of the final drawing since this is likely to be the only thing I'll be working on for a little while.
Posted by Glen at 10:12 AM
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
This is the official e-vite invitation to the show Another Dimension at Gallery 1988 in LA. The show is a tribute to the Twilight Zone TV series and I am humbled, honored, proud, ecstatic, and many other things to have a piece of artwork featured in this show.
I know I probably mention this too much on this blog, and I'm sure to many of the other amazing artists participating this is just business as usual, but being included in this show is really a major milestone for me. My family and friends have never stopped supporting me or the fact that I wanted to draw silly cartoons for a living, which is a major testament to them seeing as how achieving this is about as likely as making a living being an actor or musician. I have known since I was three that there was nothing else I could ever want to do with my life, but even with that the support of my loved ones seemed too overconfident; they seemed to know I would achieve this goal even when I still had my doubts.
Gallery 1988 at this point in time is pretty much THE destination for artists who do cartoony and pop culture type work; you just can't ask for a better venue if you do the kind of art that I like to do. So it's for this reason that I can't help but think of all the people who told me that I couldn't do this. Professors who told me that I needed to quit goofing off and do "real art." People who told me I had to leave WV to achieve anything. People who make six figure incomes that believe doing so is the only way to feel personally fulfilled, or to define yourself as a "success." And most of all, people who think that you can't achieve something improbable if you don't work hard at it...and the key phrase here is "work hard," as in not expecting something to fall in your lap and being grumpy when it doesn't.
So again, I know that tons of artists get into shows every day. I know that many of them, including artists who operate out of WV, will make more money than I will ever see. So I'm not saying that this is some great achievement that needs to be measured on the big success scale that our society holds so dear. I'm just saying that to me, it means something.
Posted by Glen at 12:07 PM
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Here's my second illustration spread for Front Magazine, this one featuring villains with scars. The words are just dummy text they provided me with and I included them here to better work out the composition. The final version will likely be shifted around some by the magazine's layout staff and they are dropping in their own background.
The characters are:
Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street
Scar from Lion King
Craterface from Grease
Omar from The Wire
Jonah Hex from the Jonah Hex comics and soon-to-be movie.
I'm still trying to track down a copy of the May issue of Front which featured my video game violence piece, but I'm not having much luck. The issue is already off sale in the UK but we still only have the April issue here in the US. I'm afraid all I've gained so far is a reputation for being the guy who goes to the bookstore, rifles through the men's magazines and then leaves.
Posted by Glen at 8:37 AM
Monday, May 3, 2010
If you missed it, Click here to check out my account of the first day of shooting (and for more info about the Gone Campin' project in general.)
This time around I was a bit more hands-on and therefore didn't get to take as many photos, but the dramatic lighting of this campfire scene made for a few nice images.
The shooting location was the backyard of Mike's new house, which he literally had just closed on earlier that day. We were all a bit concerned about how his new neighbors would take our strange activities, especially considering it would be their first impression. When you look out your window and see nine people playing around a campfire with puppets you're not likely to turn back towards the TV and think nothing of it. We could hear a few people discussing the scene with concern from their back porches, but luckily they ultimately didn't decide to take any action.
The shoot was a lot of fun but still required a lot of work and stamina on our parts. We were together from about 7 pm to 3 am, and many of us had been up since early that morning working day jobs. Mike and I sat cheek to cheek and in each others laps behind a camping chair in order to work the puppet named Norman while still staying hidden; Mike did the mouth and left hand while I took the right hand and held a small flashlight so Mike could read the lines from the script. Seth took some battle damage as the smoke from the campfire blew into his eyes almost constantly as we were trying to shoot. As always everybody stuck it out to the end and did their part and then some. The vast majority of the footage we need is now in the can and post production work should begin very soon.
To see more photos, videos, music, and info, please check out the official Seth Martin & Friends page on Facebook.
Posted by Glen at 2:16 PM
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Some of you may be familiar with this type of bead art, most of the time I've seen it used to recreate sprites from video games. Basically different colored beads are arranged on a peg board to form an image, and then a hot iron is used to melt the plastic slightly and fuse them together into a permanent shape.
Ashley Locher found my Octorawk drawing on Reddit (apparently it got some exposure this way but with no links back to me or Splitreason) and was finally able to track me down and share this strikingly complex bead art version of my drawing that she made. It currently has a home rocking out on her wall!
Posted by Glen at 10:00 AM