Jul
25

What’s Brewing…

Well, hello my website. It has been a while. I thought I’d get back to the updates and write a post about what I’ve been doing lately.

I just got back from Comic Con. I had an absolute blast meeting a lot of people and seeing some wonderful artwork. It’s incredibly inspirational to interact with so much talent and to see how passionate they are about their work. It gave me the itch to get back and paint, and that’s always a good thing!

I’ve been focusing on finally building a fan page via Facebook. After thinking about it (for a long time) I determined it is probably the best place to direct people and consistently update. I will still be updating here, but Facebook will be more frequent with the latest stuff. I’ll save my website updates for the more in depth thoughts and discussions. The fan page is also the perfect way to organize the giveaways and charity auctions I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. The charity auctions will take place once a month and will raise money for different organizations. The giveaways will be less frequent, but no less exciting! During a giveaway everyone who likes the page, or has previously liked it will be eligible for a completely free piece of artwork. Currently I’m giving away an 8″x8″ painting of Gandalf, the winner will be chosen on July 31st, so go like the page to be eligible!

The past couple of days I have been working in oil paint to finish commissions that have been on my list for a long while. It will be good to have those finally done. After that it’s finishing up some cards for Women of Marvel 2, Dark Zodiac, and UFC Bloodlines. I specifically chose these sets because they intrigue me and I am very excited about the subject matter!

For those who have asked about commissions, they are currently closed. I may make one or two exceptions if it’s something that sounds like a lot of fun (and I have the time), but for now I’m trying to get through the last batch.

That’s it for now, but check back soon for more. And thank you for your support.

May
15

Persistence WILL pay off.

Well, I figure I’m well overdue for an update here and I have a few things I’d like to share, so…

First of all, thank you to everyone who follows, comments on, likes, and favorites my work. If you’ve sent me a message and I haven’t gotten back to you right away I apologize. Sometimes it takes me a while to organize my thoughts and to direct my focus to giving clear and concise replies. I will reply, just not always in a timely manner.

I hit another low moment in the ongoing roller coaster that is my art career. I’m not sure what caused it this time. I think it was a combination of things, but a lot of it had to do with my ideas and plans that didn’t really pan out as I expected them to.

My Jeep got stolen a couple weeks ago, it was recovered but damaged and stripped of everything inside. All my pool cleaning gear and the stereo system I spent a lot of time/money on were taken. I feel extremely fortunate to have it back, and I think I’ll try to fix it up again. The entire ordeal certainly wasn’t the cause of my lack of production, but it definitely didn’t help.

Often times these low points stem from my feelings of failure towards my art, and usually when I get into these kind of slumps, it takes a radical thought or change in direction to get me motivated again. This time is no exception. I’ve been refocusing my efforts on getting a gameplan together, and have decided to change things up a bit.

What does this mean? Well first off, I will not be accepting commissions any longer. Surprising isn’t it? I’ve bounced back and forth on this at least a dozen times in the past couple of years. I really don’t know why I kid myself into thinking I can do them without any problem. I ALWAYS end up taking way too long. Anyone who has commissioned from me can attest to that. And anyone who is waiting for a commission, please know you are on the very top of my list of priorities!

Secondly I will continue to produce sketch cards. Probably at a more consistent rate. I enjoy the bigger pieces, but I can’t really afford to spend time on them hoping for some kind of return. I need to paint what I can sell. I will still throw in some larger paintings when I feel like it (hopefully semi-often), but my focus won’t be to build up a set of prints like I had previously planned.

Third, and probably the most exciting for me, is to start another web comic. The first one I tried (The Honorbound), was more of an experiment, and I soon realized I had bit off more than I could chew. My new comic will be WAYYYY less ambitious, and will focus on simple concepts that can be executed easily and on a regular basis. I already have ideas and plans for the first 5 or 6 panels and probably won’t publish anything until I get a good backlog of updates ready.

So thank you again my friends, I hope you all enjoy the ride.

 

Apr
22

The Last One

This card took a long time to finish. I must have gone back and forth about a half dozen times between pencils and airbrushing before I was finally happy with the results. I think once I finish my obligations and commitments to the oil paintings I will re-focus on acrylics. It’s a medium that really makes me passionate. This card is now available in my store, thanks for looking!

Apr
06

New Iron Man sketch card.

Just finished this piece, thought I’d add it to the store.┬áHad a lot of fun with it, got to put my new Iwata airbrush to use! Hope you like it!

Mar
18

Store is open

Just a quick FYI: I have finally put a working store back on the site. There isn’t much there now, but it will become the primary place I sell artwork (hopefully). I will try to put a variety of things up there soon, including prints, sketch cards, and less expensive pieces so please check back often. Thanks!

Mar
14

Improvisation

I was just able to finish this piece with about 7 hours to spare for a deadline to enter a contest being held on DeviantArt. The goal for applicants was to create a piece of art inspired by the latest Tomb Raider game that, if selected, could be used as a print for the game’s promotion.

The contest lasted about a month I believe, but I didn’t find out about it until 3 days ago, so to be able to submit something I’m happy with was a BIG accomplishment.

The time frame wasn’t the only obstacle I encountered. I also ran into the misfortune of an airbrush malfunction, and had to spend several hours and a trip to Lowe’s for parts to get my gun to finally spray consistently enough to use.

Winning a prize for this contest would obviously be amazing, but honestly I’m just proud to think that I was able to complete it when there were several reasons for me to give up. Thanks for stopping by.

Feb
26

Firefly pencils

Here’s something I started over the weekend. When it’s all done it will be a full color 9 piece sketch card puzzle. Based on the incredible series called Firefly, which unfortunately only lasted a single season. There are definitely tweaks to be made, this is not a finished piece, but it is a good starting point for the color. I wish I could start coloring this, as well as the Piccard piece, but I have several commitments to finish this week that will encompass all of my work time. Next week though! Huzzah!

Feb
15

Balance

Over the past several weeks I have come to a realization that has taken me a long time to find; I believe the key to achieving a happiness and satisfaction with my art, and my career, is to strike the perfect balance.

In the past I have found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with a multitude of things in my life. Much of those frustrations derived from my own choices and unrealistic expectations concerning my art. I found temporary solace in denouncing certain aspects that bothered me at the time- taking on commissions, being under paid for sketch card work, and eventually the move away from acrylic airbrushing to force myself to “graduate” to oil painting and take my art more seriously.

I now feel that this was the wrong approach. Instead of abandoning the advancements and techniques I’ve developed over time, it makes more sense, in my case, to practice a form of moderation.

As an artist it is extremely easy to get burnt out, to lose motivation, and to question one’s practices and choices towards the medium and the business. I can honestly say that I am the happiest I have been artistically in a very long time. And it’s not because I have reached some goal, or attained a financial security that I always thought would accompany the feeling. Instead, it is because I have been following a sort of mantra I developed for this new year: Work hard. Stay inspired. Experiment. Be brave. Find balance.

I could probably write a page on each of those topics, but for now I’ll stick to balance. On my drawing table sits a plethora of work. I have about 50 oil painted cards that are in different stages of completion, they are for Topps. I accepted this contract because the minimum amount of cards was relatively low, the timeframe was reasonable, the pay, when all is said and done, will be worth while. Most importantly though, I really felt like painting the subject matter. On top of that I am in the process of completing about 10 recent commissions. I have sworn off commissions in the past, but they are important to keeping a steady flow of income, and honestly I’m just happy to be able to paint for a living, so I feel fortunate to have the work. I’m also MAKING the time to create my own art. Whatever inspires me. Right now it is the Star Trek series of 11″x17″ portraits I have started, and also a series of nudes, the first of which is in this picture.

All that work is plenty for me, but there are times when I don’t want to focus on painting, so I’ve also been dedicating time to revamping a store on my website and some possible areas to increase exposure for the business side of this business. I hope that this long post can offer some insight to my current invigoration, and possible motivate other artists who are having trouble. I’m always up for conversation via Skype, Facebook, or e-mail, so please feel free to contact me. Thanks.

Feb
10

Voyager

Here’s a piece that I had to start and finish this weekend. It’s 11″ x 17″ acrylic and pencil on illustration board and it’s part of a series of Star Trek captains I plan on doing.

For the past several months I have worked exclusively in oil. The paint setup, materials used, and method to paint differs drastically from the acrylic airbrushing I’ve done over past 4 or 5 years. I enjoy both, but lately I have really missed the ability to start and finish a piece in a short amount of time. Oils take at least 24 hours inbetween layers to dry, and after 7 or 8 layers, it becomes a month long project that loses my interest. I miss being able to see a piece to completion. This particular piece was done from conception to completion in 4 days! They were very long, very tiring days, but they were also fun and exhilarating.

The inspiration to start this particular series has been the shows that I choose to watch during my breaks and down time. I’ve never been a Trekkie, I tried watching it when I was younger but never got into it. I decided to give Deep Space Nine a chance via Netflix, and soon warmed up to the quirky characters and interesting plots. Once I finished all 7 seasons I moved on to Voyager and was even more pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the cast and characters. I had to do a painting, and I hope the next few go as well as this did. I hope you enjoy, thanks for stopping by.

Jan
30

Legolas & Aragorn

Here is one of a few commissions I’ve been working on. I’ve been trying to limit my palette, but I haven’t really been getting the results I’m looking for. I want realism, but I don’t want it to look like a photo. I’m looking for something that evokes emotions and not just something that looks like it was from a screen cap.

I’m doing a bunch of cards for a baseball set which won’t be shown for a few months, but I should have some more stuff to show this week.

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