Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Growing up Star Wars

Kylo Ren is the new baddie in The Force Awakens and he's got an obsessive connection to Darth Vader. I created this art for a contest a month or so back. I didn't win, but it was fun since I don't do a lot of Star Wars artwork often.

We are now entering what I call the THIRD AGE OF STAR WARS. After the amazing original trilogy, followed by the newer prequels (which I consider pretty fun and not exactly the complete crapfest everyone likes to call them) we are now entering a time when creative people who grew up being fans of this stuff are now allowed to play in the playground that George Lucas created (even if he’s still kinda moping around and saying he's divorced Star Wars). Disney is the best thing to happen to the franchise and really the only logical step to keep continuously moving forward. I haven’t always been a fan of Disney. In fact for years I hated hearing the name. They used to do some really crappy things (look up Kimba The White Lion to see how they literally stole the ideas for The Lion King). However most of the old bosses are gone there, replaced by some of the geniuses that originally ran PIXAR.

Star Wars has been a borderline obsession and a huge part of my life since I was a kid. Originally I enjoyed it for it's pure science fiction, but even then I knew it was special. Later the original trilogy became more about family and how the love of a son can save the father & vice versa. That really stuck with me. As a kid the special effects and puppets and background matte paintings all amazed me. It was awesome knowing so many talented artists came together to make something truly other worldly and magical. I blame George Lucas (and later Spielberg) for opening my eyes to the magic of cinema. My first viewing of the films together was after getting the VHS box set around 1992. and the special edition versions that came back to the theater in 1997 really cemented my fandom for life. The love of the movies soon turned into a love for collecting. Mostly action figures, but later pretty much anything. 

I still have my ticket stubs for the 1997 Special Editions of Star Wars that ran theatrically.

I had never been to the theater to see one of the originals when it first opened so when The Phantom Menace came out I was pumped. I saw that movie 6 times in a matter of weeks (but looking back on it, it was a fun movie with a bunch of missed potential) and then saw I saw Episode 2 & 3 on opening weekends as well. The Clone Wars show that was on Cartoon Network for several years really fixed a lot of what was wrong with the prequel movies and honestly makes them much more enjoyable when you re-watch them. And let’s not forget that brand spanking new(ish) show Star Wars Rebels. That show is pure Star Wars fun and not watered down a bit. I had my doubts at first but Dave Filoni, the same genius show runner that ran Clone Wars is a true fan and he keeps everything within the lore and world already created. Which brings us to now. The present. I’m beyond ecstatic that my eyes and ears get to witness a NEW Star Wars movie, in less than a month no less. And despite reading literally every spoiler and pretty much knowing the entire story outline I still want to unwrap this movie present like a rabid child on Christmas morning.

Saying that I’m excited for Star Wars: The Force Awaken’s is the understatement of all understatements. My enthusiasm is cranked to 11. J.J Abrams really is the only guy I want to direct this movie, and I was really bummed when he turned down the directing job the first time but overjoyed when he changed his mind. He is a true fan of this stuff. I caught all of those references to Star Wars he would sneak into his show LOST. Heck the guy directed two Star Trek movies and snuck R2-D2 into both of them. Who better to jump start a new round of Star Wars but someone who revived both the Mission Impossible series and gave new life to the failing Star Trek franchise. Last of all his personal mentor is not only George Lucas’s best friend but possibly one of the best filmmakers alive today Steven Spielberg. No wonder George hand picked him. I’m hearing that J.J. has made something special. Something for the fans, the kids and the kid in all of us. I’m excited for the new diverse cast of mostly unknowns who’s lives are about to be turned upside down and I’m overjoyed to see the original cast return as well. Seeing Harrison Ford actually really excited to be in a new Star Wars movie is something I never thought I would see and it’s glorious!

So shoot first, go get a lightsaber, your best friend, a wookie, tissues, popcorn and a young or old person who has never seen a Star Wars film and see this in a theater near you. Maybe this movie will be the spark that opens someones imagination to the possibilities of cinema & life!

Monday, November 23, 2015

A return to purpose

This is my grumpy bunny look. I save it for special occasions like birthdays or when I decide to revive my sleepy old blog.

Hi! It's been awhile since I've posted here. A few years actually. I've contemplated deleting this blog and starting a new one several times, but this once was a place I used a lot. It's kinda special and it helped me get out of a bad art rut I was in for a year or so. My reason and purpose for starting this blog was to show the art I created to the world (or at least the world wide web) and have a reason to make art more often. Thus I named the blog Purpose on Paper. A lot has changed since then. I've gained valuable knowledge about art and life and spent a lot of time honing my skills at both. I got married recently which is the biggest achievement of my life. Having someone who supports my art and interests so fully really is all I could and should ask for. She's amazing.

So I've been itching to write and share a bit more than what regular social media is conducive to (it really is a shame that the short posts on social media are all anyone has the time for). I've got things to say I think. Who will see these is really up to fate to decide. But I think that resurrecting and refreshing this old blog will be just the outlet I need.

So what kind of stuff am I going to talk about? Well... Art or course. My need for artistic expression is a given. Movies and maybe the occasional review. I have an immense amount of useless movie knowledge and a passion for film. I once wanted to be a director. True story. And really (like the header says) anything that is rattling around in my head. And it's a lot. Trust me.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Oh Yeah, I have a blog.

I feel like a neglecting parent to this blog. I used to update it on a weekly basis or sometimes even more often but other things like my facebook page and Twitter seem to have taken over as my place to put my thoughts out there. I still need this blog though, because sometimes I have more to say than 140 characters like Twitter.
I've been busy. Art takes a lot of my free time. I'm a graphic designer by day, but after that 8 hours a day I have to balance art and my social life, or lack of one. I've been doing a ton of work doing roller derby posters and anything else I can. I also started a comic book called The Atomic Blonde which i am planning on self publishing promoting at local comic conventions once it's finished.
I've had a lot of changes in my life in the last year. I am dating my best friend and the only woman I can actually picture being around for a long long time (plus she's the only one who would put up with me). But I've also taken a couple steps backward from my ideal situation and moved back in with family so that I can get my finances and life back on track. So far things are looking up and I'm as busy as ever with my art. I hope it's not another year before I post on here again, but I can't promise anything.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A rough year & a new beginning.

So I love having a blog. But I'm pretty awful at posting regularly. So awful in fact that it's been 8 months since I posted anything. I'm not really even sure if anyone reads this. For me it's a strange thing trying to talk about myself. But since I've been told many times, that if I want to make any kind of living at being an artist I have to be able to talk myself up and network with strangers and market myself like a pro. So since It's still the first month of a new year and I've already blow my first resolution (to eat healthier and exercise), I've decided to try to start posting entries more often. Even if no-one reads this or cares about what I have to say or show, it still helps me to get my thoughts and ideas out of my head and onto something tangible.

This year really marks the beginning of something new for me. I'm starting over in many respects. Last year was one of the hardest years I've had, It was the end of a 7 year relationship that saw its share of ups and a few too many downs. And now for the first time in 31 years I'm living alone. Well, not completely alone, I've got my four legged buddy Chloe, but basically It's the first time I havn't lived with family, friends, roommates or a significant other so it's been a bit strange. I have since met an amazing girl who I really click with and can see a future with, but for now I'm living on my own. Which isn't such a bad thing as long as I get some regular visitors.

As for my the various art projects I've done in the past 8 months, I've been busy. Last year the Gainesville Roller Rebels, a roller derby team from central Florida had me do a handful of their bout posters. They seemed to really love what I did and even did a photo calendar with the teams girls loosely re-enacting my posters. Great stuff. So this season the team asked me to come back and do ALL of their bout posters for the 2011 season. Something I'm really excited and pumped about doing. The first poster with the theme "Big Bruisers, Big Sisters" was started this week and should be finished soon. Check out the inked art below.
Also at the end of 2010 I was asked by my good friend and childhood artistic cohort Joe Kuzma to collaborate and do the colors for the comic Allied Forces that's being published by Earthbound Comics that he is doing the art for. Written by Sebastian Piccione, with art by Joe Kuzma, and Colors by me and Norman Wong. With a cover done by comic book veteran Karl Moline who has worked on many comics including Amazing Spider-Man & Rouge for Marvel along with Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Fray which he co-created with Joss Whedon (who created Buffy, Serenity and is directing next summers Avengers movie) for Dark Horse. The comic is premiering at the Orlando Megacon in March. Along with the colors for half the book, I did a pinup piece that will be included in the book. Check it out below as well as the sample of my digital coloring work with Joe's art that you already saw back at the top.

It looks like 2011 is going to be a crazy year and I'm excited to see what great new things happen.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Self-Centered & Calendar news

This is was done for my cousin Erin who runs Self Centered Wellness, a holistic wellness practice in Hollywood, California. It will be used on her business cards, flyers and other various promotional material. This is the second illustration I've done for her and probably my favorite of the two.

Well, I've certainly been busy the past couple of weeks, Along with this project, I've been asked by the Gainesville Roller Rebels to do 3 more roller derby bout poster, and pleasantly informed that they are going to be shooting photos of various derby girls recreating all of the posters designed from this season in real life pinup girl style. Awesome can't wait to see it!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Beachside Caricature

Here's another caricature I did at my day job. A coworker is retiring after 44 years and I was asked to do this as a gift. They wanted to combine her current photo with her hairdo from her early years of employment, plus combine her hobbies and her love for the beach.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Derby Fever & Award

Here is another roller derby poster for the Gainesville Roller Rebels. Decided to go for a horizontal design this time. This was supposed to be the last one for the season, but its possible I may design 3 more for later this season.
Also, I just found out that I took First Place in the Single Illustration category at the Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards for my Rock Hall of Fame induction cover of Cleveland Scene. I'm told that I will be getting a plaque or something rad. I was pretty blown away when I found out.