I've been at it again.
I'm waiting anxiously for Friday morning, when I have Works in Progress. My portfolio is complete, and I've written some strong stuff about each piece, looking them over carefully. Also spent these past few nights working hard on stuff for the Little City Rollergirls site, speaking with Big Daddy Voodoo himself earlier today. I'm in the right direction, everything's coming out pretty strong. I'm feeling surprisingly good.
Also, I've squeezed in the time for a couple other pieces. The first one is a biomechanical angel, conceptualized by my Australian friend Stacey. She gave me the details and backstory for the character, and her name, Lian Yu, and I set to work in drawing her:
I feel I'm pretty successful. Also, between this and that photoshoot I did last year, I have a thing for characters wrapped in bandages. That may be something to look into. Colors are right where I want them to be, which is awesome because I still feel like I suck at coloring things in Photoshop.
And after buying another Wipeout game solely for the work done by the Designers Republic, I have made another attempt at weird vector art. I call this one White Blood Cells:
SINGLE POINT PERSPECTIVE!!
And, actually, before either of those two pieces, I did this one, just an obscure poster design:
Again, I don't know what the merit of these pieces are. They're quick and easy to put together, the file sizes are tiny compared to most things, and I have a lot of fun making them. It engages a completely different part of my brain that drawing and other design work involve. There's a weird, beautiful simplicity and purity to them...
Little City design stuff will probably be up later this week, as I'm trying to finish off a couple of those projects soon.
That's it, just a minor update. Like I said, still preparing for Works in Progress. I'm staying busy this week, but I'm not feeling so stressed as I typically would, which is good. Healthy.
Before I go, I am in love with this song. LISTEN TO IT:
Spring break's over, and I am already hating it. Classes started back today. I dunno if it's from the time change or what, but I'm just feeling out of sync with the rest of the world at the moment, like everything's full of cobwebs.
I made one last weird piece in Illustrator inspired once again by Rez. Another self portrait, because I am the one model I have the greatest access to:
This and the other piece aren't much, but they're enough to give me an idea of things I can and can't quite do. I want to do more, but at the moment I'm busy. I met with my adviser today to talk about Works in Progress and showed him my portfolio, and we went back and forth for about an hour. He ripped me apart in places and knocked me down in others and it was precisely what I needed.
What it boils down to, pretty much, is a lack of confidence and thoughtfulness, and I have a hard time articulating things. So I need to work on that, and he suggested writing a paragraph on each piece, breaking everything down to simple details. The meeting is in two weeks, so I've time to prepare...
Oh, and it's Pi day. Which means you should watch Pi, like I'm going to. Or at least watch this wicked fan-made trailer I found last night:
My favorite film. I feed off of its energy.
That's it for now. This week is gonna be annoying. There's work to be done.
SPRING BREAK!! Is almost over. Sad. Friday I return to Johnson City and G2K after what has been a fairly nice week.
I confess, I've spent most of it sitting on my butt reading comics and playing a copy of Pokemon Soul Silver that I bought off a friend. Yeah yeah, I know, Pokemon Black and White are out now, but I don't care. I'm old-fashioned. Used to be I was bullied as a kid for being a Pokemon fan, now I'm getting bullied for not being a HARDCORE fan. I can never win.
Also this week, I've made two weird works of digital art, both experiments on my part. Well, not so far as the Illustrator tools I used, but just conceptually and in thinking. I bought the original Wipeout for the Playstation over the weekend in the old box that the games used to come in before they started coming out in CD jewel cases. It was partially because the design work on the front and back were so alluring to me. A little digging and I discovered that it was done by the Designer's Republic, based in the UK, who also did album covers and posters and such for Pop Will Eat Itself, Aphex Twin, and Nine Inch Nails.
I kind of fell in love with their work. So I made this mildly successful first attempt in an effort to try and do something similar to their stuff:
...I realize I tend to do a lot of self portraits. I need my own model, preferably a pretty girl who's okay with living in my closet or something. Hm.
Er, anyways. Today I sat down and played through Rez again, my favorite PS2 game, in a single soul-jangling session. That game is so wonderful, and puts me in a weird trance as I play. I love everything about it. And so, inspired by the wireframe vector graphics from it (which aren't too far off with some of the Designer's Republic work), I made this:
Again, a weird experiment in content and design, but I feel I succeeded. I wish I could do stuff that actually, you know, looked like the videogame itself, or like Tron or an old Atari game. I think that would involve building actual wireframe models and stuff in a 3D modeling/rendering program, and I really don't have the time or patience for that.
I want to keep working in the direction these two pieces head in, and while it's kind of tricky, it's a lot of fun, especially since it involves no drawing at all.
I also redid a brochure for work today, which is hardly exciting, and finished David's header image for Airship Over Water. I won't put it up yet until he actually puts it on the site, though. And I'm working on an essay for my absurdist film class about Tetsuo the Iron Man that I got most of written in under an hour.
Also, HOLY CRAP NEW SHADOWS OF THE DAMNED TRAILER:
So. Very. Psyched. For this game. Especially after seeing Drive Angry last week, which covers some vaguely similar grindhouse territory.
Ah, that's about it. Time for more Pokemon. I haven't played it at all today.
I still live!
I kind of dove headfirst into a rough spot lately, and I'm busy crawling out of it. Sort of.
I know, I know, updates here are infrequent and blah blah blah. Again, I must point out that my Tumblr is updated pretty frequently, almost daily. Of course, it's all short bite-size weirdness, like my thoughts on the new Lady Gaga video, my desire to look like Vincent Price when I'm an old man, ogling Paul Pope's art, and feminist Russian protest groups that don't like wearing tops. I like to think it's rather entertaining compared to this site.
I haven't posted any new art lately either because, quite frankly, I haven't done much worth showing this semester. I haven't worked on the new Ezra Neuro comic in quite some time, and the stuff I'm doing in the Graphic Design Workshop isn't anything I can really show at the moment. I've done some pretty bang-up cool stuff in Figure Drawing, but I never bring any of that home with me to photograph. I keep doing little things like this stupid one-page comic and the above self-portrait.
Anyways, the rough stuff. Doing a number of papers, getting buried in Spanish homework, typical school things, yeah. Also throw in a break-up, the transfer to a different G2K changing my schedule around quite a bit, and my best friend, David of Airship Over Water, traveling to Korea as part of a study abroad program. I've kind of felt like I'm just going to break down in tears for the past couple weeks. Yay for emo Brett!
And then of course, yesterday, in the midst of a massive rainstorm, the beast I'm all too familiar with, Works in Progress, has reared its ugly head for the fourth and final time. I'm not sure if I gave all the details on the last experience, but the fact I'm even up for a fourth round when you're supposed to get the axe after three is surreal. Part of me is more confident than ever, part of me is, as usual, absolutely terrified, and a third part is just kind of wondering why I'm even bothering when I could be doing other things like playing that copy of Vanquish I borrowed from a friend.
So my final attempt is at the end of March. I plan on trying to meet my advisor and one of the committee members beforehand so I can have a strong portfolio.
Spring break is next week, and I await it with much salivation. I'm not going to be taking any trips or doing anything interesting, no. I'm going to just work in Bristol and at G2K, draw, and read the massive stack of comics which I've accumulated over the past few weeks: Iron Man, Judge Dredd, Madman, WE3, New X-Men, Northlanders, Heavy Metal, and some others. I also want to do some work on this site. I'll have had it for a year here shortly, which is actually pretty awesome.
That's it. I've stuff to work on. AWAY AWAY AWAY.
I've been AWOL for a while, it seems. There's a very easy explanation for this. That explanation is that the semester started back, and I have developed a relationship with my own personal Ramona Flowers. Things at G2K were getting pretty rocky, but starting next week I'll be working more hours, and now I'm thinking that I should really get on the ball with that whole becoming a Time Lord thing before I get overtaken.
So. Quickly showing myself to prove I'm still alive and haven't forgotten about this site. Here's a scattershot of stuff currently going on:
For months now I'd been hearing about X-Men: First Class. I didn't care. I wasn't concerned at all. But once official photos started coming up and I realized what it was all about, it got my interest. Then I saw the trailer this morning:
So...it's 1960's spy-fi kind of thing with equal parts intrigue and spectacle? It's nice and colorful, not bogged down with some lousy color filters? I am sold. And that trailer song is amazing. I've watched it too many times already. I mean, I'm excited too for Thor, and Captain America is promising despite my inability to wrap my mind around the fact that Chris Evans is Steve Rogers. I don't really care so much about Green Lantern. But this, I don't know, this is just pushing all the right buttons for me for reasons I can't quite explain. There's this strange sense of...well, class, to it that is missing in the trailers for the other films I mentioned. I'm stoked.
I've been overdosing on British comedy lately. A Bit of Fry and Laurie, the IT Crowd, Eddie Izzard, and we watched Monty Python's Life of Brian in my absurdist film class. Sometimes I find myself speaking in a (lousy) British accent. Also Doctor Who and Top Gear. And I just noticed this pen sitting at the desk here almost vaguely resembles a Dalek if you squint properly. God help me.
CLASSES: Spanish, I'm slogging through dilligently and doing a decent job of it. Absurdist film leaves my head spinning once a week, and I'm not looking forward to watching Eraserhead again in a couple weeks. Figure drawing, it's been so long that I feel like I'm trying to dig up all I learned. It seems the only music that I can listen to in there that helps me concentrate and work is my old faithful punk playlist. Graphic design workshop, I'm doing a banner for my friend David's blog, Airship Over Water, and I'm doing some work for the Little City Rollergirls website too, but haven't really made any progress in either just yet. Something's not quite clicking, but I feel I'm getting close.
Work on the Ezra Neuro comic has all but grinded down to a halt. I get a little inking done once in a while, but not much, and the thought of toning it in Photoshop is making me shudder. I guess I spent so much time in Photoshop doing crap last semester that I really don't want to get back into it just yet, but I've no choice, it must be done and WILL be done...Eventually.
Finally cracked open another Philip K. Dick novel, Martian Time-Slip. It took forever, but I'm just over halfway through it and it's finally gotten good now that Weird Stuff has started happening and characters have started possibly hallucinating. I've got a stack of comics to go through, but my current love is still for all things Jonathan Hickman, as well as Matt Fraction's Invincible Iron Man. I've acquired two volumes of Grant Morrison's New X-Men run that I'm slowly getting through, as well as WE3, and a few other odds and ends. Comics!!
Um. That's it. I keep rewatching the X-Men: First Class trailer. I should go to bed now. GOOD NIGHT INTERNET TUBES.
It's a brand new year, and with it comes a new website banner right up there. Check it, yo. The camera pulls back from the previous banner, revealing Vincent Raremaster, fresh out of the hospital and peeling his bandages off, along with Ezra Neuro, a banner for the Metal Zombies of Mars, and some other odds and ends.
And speaking of Ezra Neuro...
Bad preview image is bad, but yes, I am working on a new Ezra Neuro and the Radioglyphs comic. This time 10 pages instead of 5. I started working on it this week, and have penciled half the pages so far, with 2 of those completely inked as well. I'm working my butt off on it, and I'd like to think it shows. It'll be in black and white, I think.
Here's a panel from the second page, which somehow seems to have escaped:
Yes, that is an enormous jellyfish hovering by a waterslide. Waterslides are hard to draw, by the way.
Working on this comic made for an excellent way to end the old year and begin the new. I rang in 2011 while talking on Skype to my Australian friend Stacey, and my first drawing of the year was a crappy pen sketch of her and a giant scary looking stuffed turtle she has. I then ordered the Fly and Splice on Amazon.
2010 was a vicious beast of a year, trying to kill me with every opportunity it had. It wasn't all bad. I started working at G2K, I made several new, awesome friends, I did the first Ezra Neuro and Cyberpunk Blues comics, short as they are, I made Black Hole Ghost, set up this website, and enjoyed some great comics, games, and movies.
Nevertheless, I'm glad its dead. 2011, if you try any of the crap 2010 pulled, I WILL throatpunch you.
That's it. Happy 2011, people. Let's bust it up.
My independent study is completely finished. Regarding one of my pieces, my professor suggested I write a paragraph about it, in order to fully grasp what I did and what I want to communicate with it. I decided it may be a good idea to do it for all 5 of the pieces, especially since they're so remarkably different from one another. So, um, here goes nothing.
In the beginning, I just said "I want to do some mixed media, weird, biomechanical stuff." Which was really way off, when I look at what I created. What I should've said is something more along the lines of mashing technology with the human form, a study of how it effects us now and how it possibly will in the future. Or I could've just said "I want to rip off Videodrome and other sci fi body horror films." I don't know.
Sci fi. Body horror. Flesh meeting circuits. Things like that. A vague, weak basis, I should've put more thought into it, but it's too late for that. Here we go.
HIS SCREAMS TURNED TO RUST
This was the very first piece I did, and I churned it out pretty quickly. Primary influences? A self-portrait by my friend Simon Royalty and Tetsuo the Iron Man. This is a self-portrait, but I feel no personal connection with it. It's a man undergoing a hallucinogenic transformation, his body rebelling against him and changing. Circuitry through his skin, rust in his hair. The source? God, I don't know. Nanobots? Drugs? Videodrome? That's not the point. The point here is the emotional response to what's happening, real or not.
THE BURDEN OF ATLAS
Taking a turn for the mythological here. Atlas holds the Earth, as we all know, but Earth changes over time, and therefore so does Atlas. It's not a very pretty change, either. Atlas himself is hand-painted, acrylic paint on canvas, and everything else was done with Photoshop. That alone makes up a part of what this is about, organic versus the inorganic. Also, the idea of technology as more of a burden than anything else on us. I've also wanted to depict a guy with cables and stuff protruding from his stomach for a LONG time. Yes.
THE PRICE OF PLEASURE
...Is not a very good title, but I couldn't really think of another that served a dual purpose. Definitely the most extreme of all of these, erotic and disturbing at once. Aside from that, it's an exploration of what lengths people will go through, what they'll do to their bodies, in order to experience pleasure of any kind. And maybe a comment on body modification fanatics. Those people terrify me.
"I WANT MY SON BACK."
You know how Astro Boy was created by Dr. Tenma to replace his dead son? Same idea that I HAD to make evident in the title, only instead of building a robot, we're growing a new one. Harder, better, faster, stronger. We have the technolo- oh, forget it, you get the idea. Cyborg fetus.
THE GOOD DOCTOR
Originally my second piece, and a rather different one at that. But that one sucked, so I revised it into this in a pretty short span of time. I've been looking at a lot of work by Jean Giraud, aka Moebius, the French comics artist who helped launch Heavy Metal magazine. His work is strange and ambiguous under most circumstances, so that's precisely what I went for here. Something's going on, you're not sure what, and title is just a minor clue. And the background is heavily inspired by the city in Fritz Lang's Metropolis.
And there you have it. My independent study work. My brain is fried now, but there's more to do. FINALS ARE NEXT WEEK.
No, actually, I'm not a stylophone expert at all, but I got one as an early Christmas gift, and I'd love to learn to play more than wonky B-sci fi movie crap on it. Although I do that pretty well.
I kind of left this website alone for a long time while digging down and working my butt off in classes. I finally pulled myself out of the funk I was in and I'm feeling pretty good about things.
I've uploaded a ton of stuff, especially in the Studio Photography gallery, and a couple things in the Artwork and Design galleries. Here's a small sampling for you:
Minimalistic package design, using Helvetica, for a mental stimulant I made up:
A pulp sci fi magazine cover:
A still-life in which I said goodbye to an old, dead iPod:
And a self-portrait, painted with light, quoting my Dune mantra:
I've been spending several nights in the computer lab lately, working on Illustration stuff, and I plan on doing it again tonight. And this weekend. There's still a lot more to do, but Finals week is next week, so we're at the tail end here, I'm approaching the light.
Once Christmas break kicks in, these are my plans:
-Change that freaking banner.
-Write and illustrate an 8 to 10 page comic, probably about Vincent Raremaster and his band Tetsuo Coil and/or the Metal Zombies of Mars.
I haven't really had time to watch or play or read anything, with the exception of Jonathan Hickman's comics, specifically the Nightly News. I got hooked with SHIELD, but he wrote AND illustrated the Nightly News, in a crazy way that's very very graphic design heavy, with unique page layouts, charts, graphs, and annotations. Every few pages, my mind is blown. He is one of my new favorite creators.
That's all for now, kids. Back into the mines I go.
busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy
Happy Thanksgiving. I have nothing holiday-related to share with you, no art or anything. Sorry.
All I have is a page, some snippets of projects I am currently working on all at once for school:
Top two bits are a rollergirl made of clay and a logo thing for the package she will be in. Beneath those, closeups of Independent Study Pieces 3 and 4, and in the bottom left corner, closeup of a pulp magazine cover assignment.
All have made considerable progress since I put this thing together and posted it on Tumblr.
Things need doing:
-Finish all of the above pieces.
-Revise and print Independent Study Piece 2
-Finish Independent Study Piece 5
-Buy printer ink in order to print above still-life photography things
-Work Black Friday
-Write two Spanish papers and a presentation on Alejandro Jodorowsky
-Design a new header image for this website, I'm getting sick of looking at the current one
-Upload stuff from LAST photoshoot, the painting with light one, to gallery
-Clean up iTunes music collection, I hit "skip" way too many times these days
-Devise a short, possibly 10 pages, comic to work on over Christmas break
-Revise older pieces from this semester over Christmas break
-Study Spanish over Christmas break
-Wonder why I'm referring to it as a break when I'm gonna be doing a ton of stuff
-Oh hey you've got Christmas shopping to do too, Brett
I'm sure there's a lot I'm leaving off...
That's it. Back into the grind.
Failed Works in Progress again, but due to a technicality and much arguing, there's a 4th and final chance. But I may not take it. The road is forked. I either try one final time, face the giant beast that's been a burden for over a year now, or go the other way, the BA route, and face several smaller beasts.
Either way, turns out I'm NOT graduating next semester. Fuuuuuuuhhhhh-
Studio photography. Been doing light-painting and multi-flash crap these past couple weeks, with a handful of friends. Here's a small sample, the first one being my best friend David wearing a gas mask, the next one being me jump-roping with Christmas lights:
Other projects move at a glacial pace. Works in Progress and other added stresses last week caused a complete nosedive in productivity.
Instead, I have been indulging in horror movies, Silent Hill 2, and comics, specifically Matt Fraction's Invincible Iron Man and Jonathan Hickman's SHIELD. Hickman is a writer a friend recommended to me, and I had seen his comic the Nightly News, which he wrote and illustrated himself, but SHIELD, which he's doing for Marvel, is incredible. Isaac Newton, Nostradamus, and Leonardo Da Vinci are all in it, Galactus attacks Rome in the renaissance days, and all this other crazy, weird stuff that's awesome. I love it.
This is my current wallpaper on my laptop:
Suda51, my favorite game developer, creator of No More Heroes, my favorite Wii games, in a David Bowie shirt. Don't ask.
Been doing a lot on Tumblr too, which you can get to by clicking, uh, "TUMBLR" over on the sidebar to the right. Go ahead, do it.
Not much more to say really. Back to the grind now that my batteries are recharged...