Inktober 2017 is in full swing at my sister blog Splotch Monster Island. This year, I decided to draw a number with India ink and brush for each day of October, and transform each number into a Splotch Monster, using pen and marker. Also, I made sure to stick to a strictly black and white (and gray) color scheme. So far I’m over 2/3 of the way finished, with only ten more to go. Eventually these will be compiled into a mini-book, and I invite you to follow Splotch Monster Island for more Inktober adventures, and beyond!
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Monday, October 9, 2017
Fall is here, October's been chugging along (though it still feels a lot like summer), and some great things have been in the works for a project I started during spring, 2016, and finished in the summer of 2017. Just completing this project, where I chose, researched and drew fifty portraits of endangered animal species over the course of a little over a year, was rewarding enough, then I was approached by a local library and an amazing art gallery in DC to exhibit these pieces, in the very near future. This kind of thing is the icing on the cake, and it feels like some real validation for all the hard work, time and effort that went into this labor of love. I'll post more specific details about these shows soon, so please stay tuned!
Friday, September 22, 2017
Cheers to the first day of my favorite season of the year, here in Northern Virginia! Growing up a Pennsylvania boy, Autumn was always special, with the changing of colors in the leaves of the trees, the crisp, cool air, and all things pumpkinee (is that even a word?), I'm glad to say that hasn't changed much since moving to a new state almost seventeen years ago. There was so much I had wanted to post from the summer, here at the blog, but time was not on my side. I'm thrilled to say that there's plenty of artful goodness in store in the coming months, and into the new year, with regards to my art, which will be written about soon enough. Thinking about it brings feelings of excitement and a little anxiety as well, but that's to be expected. In the meantime, grab your favorite pumpkin-flavored beverage of choice, cold, hot, or somewhere in-between, and take a moment to check out what I've been up to over at the Splotch Monster Island blog. Make sure to save a sip or two for some of my friends over there, while you're at it.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
It's always inspiring to see what artist friends are up to, in person, whether it's a studio visit, a look at works in progress, or a peek into somebody's sketchbook. Such is the case last Sunday when DC Creeper and Vinyl Vagabond extraordinaire Eric Gordon dropped by my place before heading out for a big screen viewing of Robocop at the Alamo Drafthouse. Eric is always up to some type of creative mischief, always working on something new and interesting. Sometimes I wonder if the guy ever sleeps. One of the things that completely blew me away was his reworking of his underground comic, Mr. Squibly - a sort of sci-fi, existential adventure series that has shown up in zine-form, as well as some issues of DC's premier comics newspaper, Magic Bullet. As I poured over the intricately-detailed hand-drawn imagery, Eric explained to me how happy he was to finally see this project through, and wasn't concerned about how popular it became , or how many people saw it, etc. It was the sheer love of creating this comic - the drawing, the storytelling, etc., that motivated him to keep at it. Isn't that how it should always be when taking on creative endeavors? Anyhow, hope he gets it finished and self-published by the time SPX rolls around any day now, and personally, I can't wait to get my hands on some copies myself.
Saturday, September 9, 2017
One track that I kept returning to on the mix that Eric Gordon made for me, was the song "Lesson from the Darkness" by The Faint. I'm weary of these newer alternative rock bands, as many of them sound like severely watered-down versions of their predecessors from the 80's. That's not the case with The Faint, or at least with this particular song, that really got my blood pumping. As for the collage, I went quite stream-of-conscious when selecting imagery, just going through (mostly) National Geographic magazines like a mad-man, cutting things out that grabbed my attention, then gluing things down, regardless of the absurdity of the imagery. Despite all this, as with the previous collages, there is a carefulness, and fair amount of planning before deciding what to use, and when and where things go. I'll definitely have to check out more material from The Faint, in the meantime.
Friday, September 8, 2017
This one's a much more literal interpretation of the song "Turning into Betty" by Lisa Germano. This was an interesting song, as the lyrics were sparse, not really spelling things out or telling the listener any type of story. The lyrics "Oh, sad little girl" spoke to me the most, and conveyed the mood of this song. Sometimes, I find the word "interesting" insulting, when referring to music or art, but truth be told, this song was another fantastic highlight from Eric's mix, and made me want to explore more music by Lisa Germano.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Here's the second in a series of a mix tape-inspired collage collab with myself and Eric Gordon. This one is based on the song "Distorting a Code" by the band, Spinnerette. I really loved this song, as it has a nice balance of rock experimentation, and pop sensibility, in a somewhat updated post-punk style. The lyrics "all I need is a riddle, and some visionary hope", and "how do I find my way back home" influenced everything in this collage. Ultimately I zeroed in on the word "vision" and the hands offering it (vision), in a hopeful way. Still, while I want to use lyrics, I'd also like to keep things somewhat vague. While I'm not completely satisfied with this, or the previous collage, I at least got to discover and enjoy some great music that I might have never heard before, if I had not agreed to participate in this project with Eric.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
This collage is part of a series inspired by a mix-tape exchange between myself and friend, Eric Gordon (DC Creepers, Vinyl Vagabonds), where I made a music mix, and Eric made a music mix, of which we exchanged with each other, and created a collage based on a song each month. This one, pictured above was inspired by the song "It's Obvious What's Happening Here" by the band Sound Team. It's a soaring, spacey instrumental, with some nice retro sounds going on. It's been a while since I've done collage, and this is the first. In a way, it could then, in turn become the cover of a new mix tape.
While we both love music, and listen to and collect a lot, we both have very different tastes, despite an attraction to more underground and obscure sounds, so it's been fun listening closely to stuff I'm not too familiar with, and trying to interpret the sounds, visually. This takes me back to days when I made dozens of mixes on both CD and cassette tape, as well as digging through record store bins, seeing album covers and wondering what the music might sound like. Unfortunately, this kind of thing - this discovery has been replaced by convenience, which is good to an extent, but mostly not, for too many reasons to write about here. Anyhow, in the meantime, I'm looking forward to making and posting more soon.
Monday, September 4, 2017
New book to premiere at SPX 2017 - America's Premier Indie Comics Festival this year "Cartoonists Draw Blood: Trick or Treat" our first anthology! 10% of each book's proceeds have already been donated to American Red Cross. Cover illustration by Teresa Roberts Logan and I developed a new CDB logo design and did the ToT type treatment. Hope you can pick up the book at Small Press Expo, Baltimore Comic-Con 2017, or New York Comic Con this fall. We will also have "CDB: ToT" at our blood drive on October 21!
Stories by: Joe Sutliff, Joe Carabao, Teresa Roberts Logan, Steven George Artley, Carolyn Belefski, Eric Gordon, Art Honduras, Mal Jones, Steve Loya