It's that time of year again. INKTOBER! It's a time when artists all over the world take on the Inktober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month of October. For every time a drawing is done, you post it on social media and hash tag. #inktober2017 (or what ever year it is). The concept was created by artist Jake Parker and it is something that has taken off over the years. What I do love most? How top professionals in the industry part take in this event and interact with other professionals or just hobbyists. It is really neat. Here are a few that I did the last few years.
I recently saw a show with photography displayed by Gail Quagliata. She is a New York-based mixed media artist focusing predominantly on urban landscape photography. She did a series in which she photographed every Bodega in Manhattan. I found this to be ambitious and thought provoking. Capturing an essence of NYC that is always transforming in landscape and in character. She also has a cat named Optimus Prime and that is just awesome! Check her site out!
I was at the Neue Galerie in NYC over the weekend and was privileged to see the work of Richard Gerstl. An Austrian painter from the very early 1900's. Though he lived a short life, the amount of high quality work that he produced in that time frame was quite extraordinary. His use of color and stroke technique just jumped off the canvas. I do not recall enjoying and exhibition like that in a long while. The Gallery itself is great. If you have a chance, go see it!
Or.... Jessica Davis is teaching a class in Watercolor painting. This is a class for everyone! No painting experience is needed, but even avid artists can enjoy learning some new techniques for watercolor. Your instructor, Brooklyn-based artist Jess Davis, will guide you and help you find your own creative path in this fun Sunday afternoon workshop.
This is not a shameless plug for a talented friend (which it is). Nor is it me telling you what to do (which I am). My point is that (paraphrasing Kevin Spacey in American Beauty) .. The best gift to give yourself if is the ability to surprise yourself. I think everyone should take a class in some form of art or another... So... take a class. Take her class!
Very recently for a freelance illustration project, I had to do some quick research into Batman Comic book cover art. Obviously, any one that knows anything about my interests would know thatthis would be quite fun for me. However, I got into my “High Fidelity” Top 5 mode. Meaning I was compiling my top 5-10 favorite covers. Problem? That list became 75!.. So I paired it down to a set of five. ONLY Batman cover art from the continuing series. This helped slim down my choices. The problem with this list is that it is fluid. It changes every few hours. So far, at this moment, this is my top 5. SHARE YOURS WITH ME!
George Washington (1840) is a massive sculpture by Horatio Breenough commissioned for the centennial of U.S President George Washingston's birth in February 22, 1732. It was based on Phildas statue of Zeus Olympios.
It was to be displayed at the Capital Rotundain Washington D.C., however it was quickly removed. Many found it offensive while some found it to be a way of trying to turn our forefathers into deities which was not what our country was founded on. With all the of the talk of statues and stuff this week, it made me thing of this one. Plus it's kind of cool.
An American Artist, painter, graphic designer and activist, Shepard Fairey has become one of the strongest icons in modern day design. I personally describe his brand as Street Art meets Russian Constructivism. Very bold, strong choices and relevant (even more so) in these times. Visit his page!
So. I had some time to think about my favorite Album covers of all time. I must say that this list is a fluid one. It changes every day or even every hour. But for now, this moment, these are my picks. I judged them by illustration, typography, photography, tone and over design. I am not adding any Iron Maiden albums to this list. As said before, it deserved it’s own category. So here it is..
10: DIO: HOLY DIVER: Sinister, gorgeous, matches over message of the album.
9. BOSTON: BOSTON: The whole series of albums tell a story. Plus it’s spaceships. Who does not like spaceships?
8. KISS: DESTROYER: Well marketed, fun, selling characters in a fun way.
7. CULTURE CLUB: COLOUR BY NUMBERS: Verys 80’s Strong photography, fantastic colors. Makes me smile every time.
6. PRINCE: PURPLE RAIN: Very razor like, exciting and sexy.
5. GREASE SOUNDTRACK: Good tone and photography but the interior album art was fantastic. Great graphics. In a pre VCR/internet world, this was the only way to relive the movie experience.
4. FLEETWOOD MAC: RUMORS: Elegant. Mysterious, Exquisite typography.
3. BEATLES” SGT. PEPPERS: Wonderfully fun and kitch! Sells the over all rebrand of the band.
2: LED ZEPPELIN : Great graphic. Strong and bold. Just like the band.
1. ELTON JOHN: CAPTAIN FANTASTIC: Absolutely gorgeous! Very engaging. You just interacted with the piece.
Ok.. Lets hear your!
Recently Rock Metal legends Iron Maiden reunited and did a concert in NYC. Many of my childhood friends attended the show. It bought back memories for me. Not so much of their music but of the amazing artwork by the great Derek Riggs. A contemporary British artist best known for creating the Iron Maiden's mascot, "Eddie the Head". Very edgy, very creepy imagery that worked in conjunction with the brand that was Iron Maiden. It also made me think of how much I miss the full scale album art. It really is a lost craft. I was going to do a top 10 album cover art posting, but for this, I feel that Iron Maiden album art deserves it's own posting. Check out the work!
This looks like an amazing project.
"A hundred years ago a sixteen year old boy secretly enlisted in World War 1 to find his war-serving father. Using a unique blend of CG and hand drawn animation, a team of feature film artists will bring his story to life as an animated short film called “The Sketchbook”. The team promises to transport the audience into the pages of a sketchbook, and tell this story of hope and sacrifice in the trenches of the Great War."
I can not wait to see this.
Laurie Anderson is a multimedia artist who merges many mediums into one singular experience. I recently was at MASS MoCA and saw her latest installation. It was my first experience with RV technology. Was a bit motion sick afterwards but it was really great.
Simon Bisely, Painter and illustrator best known for his comic book work on Lobo and ABC Warriors in the 90s and various album covers (Danzig). However, I was taken back by his range in other mediums. His work and renderings in regards to bible interpretations are both bold and gorgeous. I also love that he has maintained his "metal" influence sensibilities. In my opinion, he is the modern day Frank Frazetta.
I was recently asked to describe my work. (via Digital Illustrations). Who would be the biggest influence to me in that medium.. I told that someone of the numerous artists of which I enjoy (Alex Ross, George Pratt. Rallp Mcquarrie etc) I seemingly feel like I am influenced most by Dave Dorman. If he was a politician, he would be the ultimate centrist. His work is vibrant but not overwhelming. Tight, but just enough lucidness.Hs compositions are on mark. I feel like as I am putting the finishing touches on my work, I am regularly remembering techniques from this book. (Link is above). Though it came out in the late 90s, it still stands the test of time and remains relevant.
I have been focusing on Digital Illustration these days. It keeps me sharp with Adobe Photoshop and quite frankly, I just enjoy doing it. Here is an update on my portfolio site in the Digital Super Heroes section.
I was a charity book fair a few months back and came across "The Doré Illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy". It is filled with gorgeous plate illustrations by, you guessed it, Gustave Doré. The attention to detail and craftsmanship is unrivaled and superbly gorgeous. Best 50 cents I ever spent.
In 1966, during the height of the Adam West Batman and Robin television craze, a weekly Japanese manga anthology for boys, Shonen King, licensed the rights to commission its own Batman and Robin stories. A year later, the stories stopped running. They were never collected in Japan, and never translated into English. Now, in this gorgeously designed book by Chipp Kidd, hundreds of pages of Batman-manga comics more than four decades old are translated for the first time, appearing alongside amazing photographs of the world’s most comprehensive collection of vintage Japanese Batman toys.
This is the Batman and Robin 66 as you’ve never seen them. It was written and drawn my the Manga style artist Jiro Kuwata. The edginess and style was very ahead of it's time. This was a thrilling thing to see his work republished and enjoyed 50 plus years later.
After Adam Wests passing, this reminds me of the imapct that the television show had all around the world. This was a labor of love for Chipp Kidd and I am thankful that he tackled this project.
A great article about Hatch Show Print and their influence in Graphic Design and the music industry. I never get tired of this. I love this form of design.
The Dark Crystal, a 1972 movie directed by Frank Oz and Jim Henson is about another planet in the distant past, with the hero embarking on a quest to find the missing shard of a magical crystal, and so restore order to his world. This was an Art Directors dream. All the exquisite hand made effects, costumes and drawings was very ahead of it;s time. Any way, it is returning to Netlix and am super excited to see how they honor it;s creators.
One of the great comic book painters of our time, Alex Ross will be launching a youtube channel very soon. I have seen videos of his process and how he goes about his illustrations. It's definitely a disciplined process that he does not sway from. It's both inspiring and enjoyable. Above is his website in where you can get some info about the page that will be launched.
Art of Atari is a retrospective of the company's illustrative accomplishments, spanning over forty years It ranges from illustrations, to packaging designs and classic production techniques. This is a trip down memory lane which leaves you feeling how influential this genre was and how magical it felt at the time. Great addition for your library or even just as a coffee table book.