Flattery will get you Everywhere

I received a 'love letter' yesterday, in the form of a blog comment:

I guess I will be the one to state the obvious.. this blog is dead. R.I.P. joe's blog. Lets all try to remember the great times we had.. the laughs we share.. seems like just yesterday we were watching a tom cruise podcast.. where has the time gone. Frankily, I blame michael jackson's doctors for the death.. apparently joe's blog had a little known drug problem that all started when traffic first began to slow on the blog.. Lets all just try to remember the good times and pray that its gone to a better place.. and maybe one day a podcast will pop up or a new post and we will all just smile and think about what could have been.


This is motivating, aggrevating, flattering, annoying, and caring... all at once. I think I get the cute intention here, but every joke has honesty, and I think there's more honesty here than anything.

First off, it looks like I've been posting drawings and such here, several times each month... seems needy to want more. But that's not the point. So what is the point? Lemme tell ya.

For the last 7+ years I've been focusing primarily on caricature and caricature illustration. Hm. it's fun, yes? Yes. But after a while the mind races and moves to other things. I gained interest in character design and animation. I've been painting more and yet not painting enough for my own desires. I've launched a small art book publishing company and had an increasing desire to edit and direct almost anything I touch. And most time-consuming of all, I've been working in animation and am completing (among several comic/art/animation conventions) a strenuous life-changing move to another part of the Country.

My brain tells me to try new things. My talents are behind my critical mind, so I am practicing different techniques and still trying to find even time to sketch, between work and obligations.

I have a little freelance work that takes up my time, and I even owe a distant friend a caricature from over a year ago! Time is tight and my ambitions are changing. I want to paint. I want to direct. I am doing new work that is exciting and very time-consuming. I am finding my place in a new town in a new state, and am helping my girlfriend find solace in this new little journey. I am making new inspiring friends and am meeting new people who change my interests and shape my tastes... as well as old friends who are opening my eyes to their methods and practices, ever-enlightening my own perspective.

This all takes time. I love updating a blog and I know that from time to time I like to say "I'll update here every month/day/week/minute" with all sincerity, but I (and you) know that it's not realistic. My favorite bloggers will update daily and sometimes yearly...

...and I understand.

So hey, I'm not mad about this comment, I'm actually motivated.

I'm still in San Diego, unwinding from the International Comic Con. Some of the most encouraging comments were those from fans wanting more podcasts, tutorials, online classes, and even just new sketches on the blog(s). It has energized me to do more of this and focus harder in my free time. I will perhaps work on some new books (mine and others), paintings, art exhibitions, blogs, classes and podcasts, websites, styles of art and illustration, and maybe even some bigger projects.

But this takes time. I will share what is on my mind here, in the art rhealm. I will share sketches and paintings and illustration. I will also let you know what's going on in my professional life, as much as I can. However, if you need a personality fix, I've got a new online journal for ranting, rating and commenting on life, movies, events, and people in general.

And life is important, outside of art. I like to think that it's the top-dog in my mind, but sometimes relationships become more important. Old and new... fitness is important as I get older, and I take more time to care about eating right and exercising... I care more about my family and my girlfriend... I care about other forms of art, as I was getting at earlier, and sometimes actually drawing caricatures becomes less interesting to me, so I can use that time to explore other techniques, styles, subjects and materials (DON'T FRET, I'll keep doing caricatures at conventions, parties and in my spare time... that's one stain I can't wash off, and I don't mind it... it's a part of me).

Well, this post may be more appropriate for my LiveJournal blog... or maybe it's fitting here, I don't really care. I just hope that everyone who reads this is understanding and patient. I think it's SO DAMN COOL that you actually check out what I'm up to, and I'm flattered. But I'm also humbled on a daily basis by what I see online and what I'm around in real life.

So there are times when we work and need to explore, and if you see a pause here for a week or a month... consider it that. I'm not going anywhere, even if I move around the country or around the world. I'll update on my travels, my work, my opinions, and my art.

I hope you can dig.


More Sketching

Thanks for the great responses to the new post, and my sketches. If you like these at all, then my new book is something you will love. It's much more than a sketchbook, it's advice and inspiration from MANY artists that I respect. You can check it out here.

Here's a sketch done of two guys playing chess (cheezy '70s/'80s collage layout) in the local Shreveport, LA Barnes & Noble cafe. I originally observed this two months ago, but was inspired to resurrect and share it after I bumped into the [lower] guy at a coffee shop reading a really sexually driven poem during an open-mic night. Egad!


Sketching with the Hanzo

Once again, using the Pentel Pocket brush pen. It's a nice simple tool for exercises in contrast, ink, decisions, etc. This is just a colorized version of a study while at dinner with my buddy Adam. Nothing special, but it was scanned with some other sketches for work, and I was mildly charmed by it. :)


Superdrag break...

I've been storyboarding and working my ass off lately, and I'm really happy with this project and where I'm currently at. The downside to having a salaried or 'full-time' art job is that I can't share as much with you through the process, but it's great and you'll soon see what we're cooking! I'll also make an effort to take on personal projects and try new things, which I'll share with you all here.

For now, here's something that's been exciting me lately:

This band has been on break for a while and they've finally regrouped and released their new album, "Industry Giants" You can get it and other Superdrag albums HERE.

I've been a huge fan of these guys since the late '90s and to put it simply (quoting a music critic), "If you don't like Superdrag, you don't like ROCK." I couldn't agree more. There's something for everyone there and you should check it out. I recommend Last Call for Vitriol, Head Trip in Every Key, Regretfully Yours and In the Valley of Dying Stars. They're all amazing in their own right and all very rocking with some lighter ballads and anthems.

Here is a way for you to get up to speed and see how they are now. Click the link halfway down the page to watch Superdrag interview, backstage...

Here's their latest video release, Aspartame: