Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sealion Gig Poster - Process Diary 1

I was thrilled to be asked by Sealion, the skyrocketing Dallas indie/surf/punk band, to design a gig-poster for their CD release show on August 20th, 2011.  Being friends with them for years and having played fill-in bass recently, I have a strong investment in their music.  That said, by the time they came to me for help, I already had a concept and early rough sketch on the back-burner ready to go.

As Sealion is a surf-rock band, but hundreds of miles from the coast, it only seemed fitting to illustrate a hipster wiping out on a wave of crumbling concrete with the Dallas skyline looming behind.

I've been itching to challenge myself with a larger piece for awhile now, so I ordered a 12"x24" claybord, which more than doubles the size I'm accustomed to working at.  Consequently, I'm devoting a remarkable amount of time getting the details worked out before even touching the final board.

I've spent 6 to 8 hours in preparatory pencil stages, sketching compositional variations, figure poses, and texture studies.  The inking stage could easily take an additional 10 hours, but I'm psyched to get down to work and would like the final piece will be a crucial addition to my portfolio and something I'll be proud to show for years to come.

Next Post:  refining and full-size pencil roughs...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Graduate School Kick Off!!

It's official!  I'm now a graduate student on my way to a Masters of Fine Art!  Having just returned to Dallas from my first two weeks at Hartford Art School's low-residency MFA in Illustration, I felt it an absolute necessity to share an entry with you!  I still have a couple years to go, but in just two short weeks, I feel changed for the better.

how I missed group critique!

The caliber of students, professors, and guest lecturers is staggering!  Being inspired and supported by a crew like this is remarkable gift, and I can't speak highly enough.  I can't wait until our next contact period this November in Pasadena, when I'll be reunited with my dear new friends and wonderful faculty.

blind (or drunk?) contours
this is what a graphic novel looks like, barfed from the brain

Under the guidance of children's book illustrators Ted & Betsy Lewin, I was able to lay down the ground work for a new 40-page graphic novel for all ages, and I can honestly say it's the best writing I've ever done... granted the book will be wordless.  I've got a lot of refining to do before I can even lay down a spot of ink, but I'm pretty energized to see it through!  I'm thinking of epublishing for iPad, and have some ideas for physical product as well.

Alice 'Bunny' Carter & Dennis Nolan working their magic

Despite giving myself carpel tunnel syndrome in the process, I literally drew myself through a self-imposed creative wall that had been weighing me down for quite some time.  Alice 'Bunny' Carter and Dennis Nolan's Dream Assignment class taught me to let my pencil do the thinking and explore so much deeper into an idea than I previous realized was possible.  So many profound little lessons, my brain is still spinning.  Bunny worked with George Lucas for 18 years, by the way, and knows a thing or two about drawing and storytelling!

I've also come away with a newfound appreciation and awareness for my own unique storytelling ability, draftsmanship, and a more focused direction for future work.  I'm also feeling inspired to explore new side projects, even playing with sculpture, something which never interested me in the past but which I now find I want to dabble in just to keep the juices flowing.

We also visited the Norman Rockwell Museum, and I've come away with a remarkably expanded appreciation for his draftsmanship, color use, storytelling ability, and all around masterful approach to painting.  He truly was a modern master, and any qualms with his sentimentality can be attributed more to the cultural times and the illustration market of the 40s and 50s.  Seeing a magazine cover's original 3'x4' painting... there's no comparison.  I truly had no idea!

the great Murray Tinkelman!
Connecticut in July beats Texas all summer