NY comic con

On February 6, 7, and 8th I'll be hosting at the Art Squared Publishing / Joe Bluhm booth at the New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javitz center in Manhatten, at 11th Ave. & 34th St. You can find me near Alberto Ruiz and other publisher/illustrators at booth# 2341, on the aisle.

Anyone who brings me a can of sugar free RedBull gets a free quick-sketch caricature, and anyone buying two or more books will get a quick sketch as well! I'm debuting my new book, SKETCH INFECTUS (preorder now, to get an even more amazing gift) as well as carrying others that you may recognize. I'll be doing caricatures, hanging out, showing art and books and having a general good ruckus-like time, so stop by. There are a lot of great artists in this area, like Alberto (and I hear Shane Glines!!!), so swing on by the aisle of fun!

See you there!


Art Squared on Trendhunter Magazine

I was recently mentioned on TrendHunter Magazine's website as part of a micro-trend! TrendHunter is the "largest collection of cutting-edge ideas" as well as an online community of those noting interesting, hip trends. Along with BrandStudio Press, I was mentioned under a new topic of Do-It-Yourself Art Publishing. This is something that I did not pioneer, but rather learned from greats like Michel Gagne and Stephen Silver (among others).

Check it out, if for no other reason that you will find other very interesting reads and links.
I think you'll dig it...


Get Your Sketchbook!

I decided to give the art away:

Sketch Infectus contains nearly 400 drawings... It's been set at the modest price of $20. It's a hardcover book. I've been told by friends that this value is insane, but that's the point. Now let's break it down in mere terms of art:

The book contains about 390 drawings and costs $20.00 (US). That comes to less than 20¢ ($0.20) per drawing. As silly as that already is, you get advice from the likes of Steve Brodner, Phillip Burke, John Kascht, Steve Silver and dozens of other amazing artists.

BUT I'M NOT DONE (infomercial voice)...

Anyone who pre-orders by February 5th (happens to be a good friend's birthday!) will get an original sketch. And by sketch, I don't mean I'll draw a little 5 second scribble... I mean I'll actually be cutting out the sketches from these and other sketchbooks and giving them to you! You might get something IN the book and you might get something else! Your sketch might have a doodle on the back. Who knows!

But this is reserved ONLY for pre-orders on or before February 5th.

Because of the shipment date of the books, the pre-order will extend to mid-late February, (actual date TBD) however this special is ONLY good until the 5th (books will be shipped late February or early March).

Anyway, go on over and buy 2 or 3 copies (don't forget your friends!), and here are some more low-res previews from my upcoming sketchbook collection,


Life Drawing

Last week I attended another life drawing session at the Society of Illustrators here in New York city. It's a great event, held twice weekly, featuring two models, a bar, snacks, live music, and great socialization (not to mention the practice).

Anyway, the models were very cool this time- very different builds and looks, different pose styles, and they were wearing great vaudevillian clown costumes. It was a neat opportunity to draw clothing, folds, and interesting shapes. It also inspired a new style of poses for them, which made it interesting for the artists. There were also some great new faces to draw at the event.

If you're in or near New York, you should
drop by on a Tuesday or a Thursday. The Society is on East 63rd St. near Lexington Avenue, and I'd love to see you there.

You can also take a peek at my friend Arkady's "Nude of the Day" blog. He moderates the life drawing session and his impressionistic renderings are incredibly inspiring to see in-person!

I'll share some more of these sketches next week. Oh, and I've got some great news coming up on Friday morning, so check back!



Cripple Con 2

This weekend I'll be near Kansas City, MO. Why? Oh, just to make fun of everything and anything, party with some friends, listen to some great live music, create ridiculous art and see some pals that I neglect for 11.75 months out of the year (sad).

Yes, it's the 2nd of the CRIPPLE CON species, and it is going to be bigger and broker. I'm quite excited. If you don't know what it is, go HERE to read, and you should probably just book a flight and room and show up. It will be a ton of fun (yes, 2,000 lbs of a grand ole' time)!

Anyway, by now I'm on the road (ah... scheduled blog posts...) and I'll be having fun this weekend. I've got some great news about the next book coming up, so check back in a couple days.


Sketch Infectus

Over the last seven years or so, I've been stashing scrap paper with doodles, keeping my sketchbooks hidden under the bed, and scanning artwork and forgetting about it. I decided that 2009 was the year that I dusted it all off and shared it with others. A good friend of mine recently said "...in a sketch you see the hand of the master..." --not that I consider myself a master-- but it is quite true that sketches inspire. The loose, confident secure mindset of trying to teach yourself something, all alone, in a book that you never intended to show off, is powerful and wonderful.

I realized for years that nearly every book I purchased and every inspiration I had, came from the sketches and sketchbooks of other artists. One of my good friends, Stephen Silver, has been a big inspiration and motivator for me over the last few years. How? His sketches. His doodles. His scratchy sketchbooks.

Well, after talking to many peers and inspiring artists, I've captured dozens of quotes and tips and supplied them along side a dense collection of drawings and doodles. This will most likely be the most art-heavy little book you've ever seen, and I think it looks pretty snazzy. You will be able to get it over at Art Squared Books.com, pre-orders coming up next week (with a special incentive for those who order early!).

Here are some previews. I'm really excited about this book, and I hope it continues to inspire someone out there, as much as other artists have (and continue to) inspire me:

* More to come soon...


Some Birds and more Cars

Just trying to keep healthy and sketch/draw/paint every day. I'm usually fascinated with certain topics and subjects. I think I understand why, but... well, who knows.

Among these topics are BIRDS and CARS (along with faces, people, dogs, and most animals). You'll definitely see those interests (obsessions?) in my sketchbook, coming out next month.

Here are some more cars as well as some bird sketches. They're really not for anything other than keeping my hand limber, my mind working and trying to come up with some creative ideas. I guess it's just the beginning of stuff to come, but who knows. I guess it's just fun to keep drawing, and I'm trying to have fun. These are all completed with Prismacolor products (FineLiner, Markers, Pencils...)


♪ . New Podcast . ♫

Hey there. If you scoot on over to the Digital Art Podcast blog (link on the right, there...), you'll see a new video of an illustration. This is a new take, not just some caricature while I gab the whole time. It's something I've been thinking about for a long time, to it feels great to get it "out" of me. I hope the band, Blitzen Trapper, likes this...

...and I hope you like it, as well. Smile.gif (93 bytes)


Happy New Year!

Howdy, y'all. I hope anyone reading this had a great time over the recent holidays. It's a great opportunity to pig out for nearly a month, gain some weight, slack a bit with your productivity, and have fun with family and friends. I did a bunch of ALL of that, and I'm back to the grind, drawing as much as I can. It feels good.

I'm working on a new podcast that I've been thinking about for nearly 6 months. This one is completely new and exciting; I'm illustrating the vibe of a band that I've discovered (they're getting a bit more popular by now, you may know their work), with a focus on illustrating more accurately the characters created in a the lyrics to my favorite of their songs. It's a point I'm making on illustration, how cartoons can follow the "feel" of a group, a song, a story, an article, or anything else. Illustration is more than just putting a pretty picture to the cover of a magazine so people will buy it. I see it as an equal partnership of text and visual. Sound and sight. Editorial and humor. A good illustration suppliments a story or song, and does not retell it. There is a lot of redundant illustration, meaning the story says what the picture says, and not in a clever way.

This is just one facet of illustration, one theory. I know that good illustration also grabs your eye and will "sell" the reader of say, for example, a magazine. It needs to say enough so you get an idea and a smile or a feeling that makes you compelled to read more... but anyway, I'm just typing too much now.

For today, I'm throwing at you some sketches that I did last night (podcast spoiler?). I'm into drawing cars, much like Ken Knafou - and caricaturing them a bit. I like to extremely exaggerate, but I have found that it is easy to lose the ability to quickly get structure down on the page, in a convincing way. These drawings were for practice, just to keep my hand moving and to keep my brain limber in this respect. I'd hate to get rusty, and sketching is so important to help curb that rut.

Most of these are drawn from a classic car book that I own (Barnes & Noble Bargain Books section is GOLD), just trying to get a little exaggeration and a lot of essence down, while focusing on structure. I'm using what I call a blue "animator's" pencil (Staedtler Non-Photo Blue) and inking/shading with a .01 cm Prismacolor Fine-Liner pen and 10% cool gray Prismacolor Marker. I find these tools to be great for quick sketching. You can learn to commit to your lines quickly, knowing you can't erase the marker, yet you can lightly sketch with the gray marker or blue pencil before inking. Using the gray marker also gives you a chance to shade, layer and put washes down, experimenting again without the pressure of having to produce "finished" art. This is, again, why sketching is so vital. You build your skills without having the deadlines and stress of quality.

My buddy Jeremy said it best; "A sketchbook is a place where you are allowed to suck although you strive not to." This is so vital to an artist, and I really encourage everyone to sketch, doodle and practice. These sketches can definitely be improved, and I am seeing what I need to work on as I do more... That's why I'll be publishing my sketchbook collection this February, with quotes from amazing artists all throughout the book.

Anyway, I hope you dig these (each car sketch is 4-6" wide). I'll have more posts and another digital art podcast coming in the next few days.