Friday, May 30, 2014

Progress pics on some comics-inspired pieces

After a super-stressful and work-intensive last couple of months, I'm happy to take a step back and chip away some less demanding pieces for art shows, future merch and the like.

Wonder Woman
After having several customers at various shows in recent years ask me for Wonder Woman merch I *finally* sat down and drew everyone's favorite Amazon. This of course being a chibi version I plan on using for mini prints and magnet sets- so keep a lookout!

Original inks on vellum- colored with paint pens and colored pencil.

Blue lined pencils.

Inking on vellum!

Coloring with paint pens!

Since I tend to do my chibi pieces as two-packs I figured I'd draw Supergirl as well to go along with my Wonder Woman. I decided to go with the more casual animated version, since that seemed more fitting to my style and I think encapsulates the character's personality better.

Supergirl original inks on vellum!

2nd pass of pencils on top of rough blue lines.

Color progress.

 I drew Ladytron from WildC.A.T.S. for an upcoming art show- From Spawn to Saga: Image Comics at 22 at the One-Shot Gallery in St. Marks Comics, NYC. I've always been a big fan of the character visually and thought she was criminally underused in the comics she was featured in. However as visually arresting as she is I can totally sympathize with any artist having to draw her, because MAN WHAT A NIGHTMARE. Personally I've never been a fan of drawing tech. I'm also pretty sure I haven't drawn anything this 'futuristic' in 12-15 years. Fortunately I had some ball-jointed dolls to look to for reference which helped greatly.

Digitally colored version. What I love about Ladytron is that she's basically a bionic Brody Dalle.


Toned vellum version that will be on display at the art show.

Tattooed Sailor Girl 
What was originally going to be the artwork for this year's Visionary Tattoo Arts Festival poster is now going to the poster for the 2015 show. Which I'm actually totally fine with as they are going to use the teaser poster I put together back in February for the official poster for this year, and I have the poster for next year already like 85% finished. Either way, I'm playing with coloring the original inks for the sailor girl for the now 2015 poster because doing stuff like painting my originals is strangely relaxing for me. I dunno.

Also, my new addiction:

I'm pretty sure I now have this instead of blood.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Things I Love Thursday 5/15/14: Then She Fell

Then She Fell

"An immersive theater experience combining a hospital ward, the writings of Lewis Carroll, and just 15 audience members per show.
Then She Fell is a fully immersive, multi-sensory experience in which only 15 audience members per performance explore a dreamscape where every alcove, corner, and corridor has been transformed into lushly designed world. Inspired by the life and writings of Lewis Carroll, it offers an Alice-like experience for audience members as they explore the rooms, often by themselves, in order to discover hidden scenes; encounter performers one-on-one; unearth clues that illuminate a shrouded history; use skeleton keys to gain access to guarded secrets; and imbibe elixirs custom designed by one of NYC’s foremost mixologists."

 Immersive theater has become one of my new favorite things in recent years. There are few opportunities in this world as an adult to totally give yourself over to your imagination and play along within a fantasy alongside actors in sets constructed to make you believe you are in another world. I frequently refer to immersive theater as 'Chucky Cheese for goths'. As I have started to get more involved in writing my own stories for my eventual comic Pearly Whites, these experiences have been paramount in jumpstarting my creativity. To be able to give yourself over to such fantastical situations has given me so much inspiration. 

HELL YEAH special Alice in Wonderland themed outfit for the occasion.
  I was introduced to the concept of immersive theater with the noir-themed take on MacBeth that is Sleep No More, which I talk about at length in one of my most popular blog posts ever (guest starring Dita Von Teese!). Though there are to be inevitable comparisons between Then She Fell and Sleep No More, they both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Like the above description states, Then She Fell has only 15 audience members per show. This is definitely something which puts it over Sleep No More, which in it's popularity has caused a veritable cattle call of people clogging stairways, looking at their smuggled phones in disinterest and aggressively crowding around actors in order to attain the coveted 1:1. With a smaller audience at TSF in a much more intimate venue, the itch for the 1:1 experience a seasoned Sleep No More fan such as myself desires is scratched for the full 2 hour runtime of the show. The already small audience gets broken down into smaller and smaller fractions as you are led around the Victorian hospital setting by ushers dressed as nurses. The tracks are specific, so you are not free to roam like in SNM, but this also allows you to experience everything the show has to offer and you never feel as though you've missed something. As a SNM veteran, I was used to being right behind actors, keeping pace so as not to miss anything. Doing this with the ushers of TSF, as I found myself being at the front of a group of three being led down dark corridors to another room, by the time we would reach our destination I would realize that the people behind me were snatched up by other actors and taken to other rooms for their own experiences and I was alone with mine. TSF does amazing things with the spaces provided. Some of the rooms you are placed in are no bigger than a walk-in closet but are transformed into these vignettes between you and an actor where you're asked to take part in the story much like Alice herself. In one room you are prompted to take down notes as a very handsome yet sad Lewis Carroll dictates a love letter to you. In another you are prompted to help paint roses red, surrounded by dried bouquets. One of my favorite scenes was in one of the bigger rooms that contained the Mad Tea Party. The dancing is amazing and you even get to sit alongside the Hatter and company- just be ready to "CHANGE PLACES", of course. One of the only things I think fell flat was the usage of skeleton keys. At the beginning of the night you are issued a ring of keys that you are free to use around the rooms for various lockboxes, drawers and closets. In my experience it was a novel idea at first but I soon kept running across the same Xeroxed paperwork from mental institutions, old photos and poetry over and over again. I think it's almost unnecessary. But that's me. Overall I loved the experience of Then She Fell and highly suggest you check it out if you're ever in the NYC area. I actually lucked out incredibly with this show as the venue is a mere 15 minute walk from my house.


The letter you get at the end of the night. I thought it was nice. ^_^
So when Fenny and I attended back in November, who was in the super-small audience with us but Neil Patrick Harris and his husband David Burtka!! We didn't run into either of them during the actual show, but we were in the room with them at the beginning and end of the show. They were just as well-dressed and fit as you would expect. It was pretty funny because the show was running late because of them and as we're sitting in the waiting room with the other members of the audience they come in like 15 minutes late and I'm all 'geez who are these assholes' under my breath and they turn around and I'm all HOLY SHIT (to myself). Meanwhile, Fenny is completely clueless and as they sit down two seats from me I nudge her and say in her ear 'do you promise not to freak out?' to which she's all 'huh?' and I say 'that's fucking NPH and his husband right there'. Fenny looked over and gasped and I pinched her leg and rasped in her ear 'be cool! be cool!!!!' She was. At the end of the show they got their coats and were whisked away from the venue in a private car. So no one else freaked out either from what I know. Added an extra touch of weirdness to an already surreal night. Haha.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

I finally finished the Sailor Moon poster!


Animated progress shot GIF:

After 6 months of working on this great big beast of a piece I am finally finished! Now onto finding a printer, getting it framed and sending it off to Cali for Moon Crisis 2014!!

Not going to Cali for the show? Me neither. :\
Buuut you will SOON be able to order a print of your VERY own at Society6 or thru my future convention tables!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Aftermath: Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention

Some of the goodies I had for sale!
Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention was an interesting experiment in vending outside the world of comic conventions. After the massive success of Visionary Tattoo Arts Festival last year, I figured I'd try my hand at a bigger tattoo show in my hometown of Baltimore, Md. I had a corner booth, as tattoo shows do not have Artist Alleys like comic cons do, that I shared with my partner-in-crime and hetero-lifemate Fenny of Little Asian Sweatshop.


I did ok financially, but the long hours and the expensive table fees kinda soured any financial success to be had. The hours were especially brutal as most days were at least 13+ hour days (including prep/travel/closedown time) letting out at midnight, and most food establishments of any quality being closed by this point. Oh how NYC has spoiled me. So alas, Fenny and I had to skip our traditional post-convention celebration of steamed crabs on the Baltimore waterfront.

Chilling out a few nights before the show
The overall attitude of many of the general populous of attendees also left me a little non-plussed. I found several times that I had to explain myself and the fact that I drew/made all this lovely merchandise you'd see before you, and that it didn't just HAPPEN. Also I had to explain what it is exactly you do with prints at least 4 times. ("you slap it in a frame and put it on your wall, dum-dum...") So yeah. Attendees of this show versus others I noticed really took things for granted. Many seemed only there for the spectacle and to gawk at the freaks. Some were even downright rude. Perfect example being on Sunday morning when a fellow walking around asked me how I was and I stated that I was tired but good. He replied asking if I was out all night partying. I said no, just being here working for 3 days straight is enough to physically destroy me and he was all oh yeah I guess this *is* a job to you guys, and that that's kind of depressing. And I was like, REALLY? Don't you judge me, dude. Like at least I'm free to be myself in a (normally) fun work environment representing myself and my own brand. What does he do that allows him to be so expressive? Ugh, yeah but that rubbed me the wrong way a bit.

Forgot my glasses on Friday and no one recognized me.

So yeah, will most likely not attend this show again next year, but hey I heard Awesomecon in DC a week or two ago was pretty sweet. It was also pretty funny how much I was plugging Baltimore Comic Con coming up in September. I had the pleasure of meeting a few young artists who were interested in my work and pursuing their own creative endeavors and I told them they definitely need to come back for BCC and check out Artist Alley. I was actually amazed that many people had never heard of it. But for every 10 yokels there was an awesome, receptive customer/fan/attendee who understands and appreciated the hustle and labor of love it is for me to come out to these shows and make the merch and be socially on point for hours upon exhausting hours.

So there's a strip club giving out boobie stress balls and FENNY GOT THREE AND SHE IS SO HAPPY.
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