Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Prep for Dragon Con

Hey there all! I know I haven't been posting much lately, but I have been very busy. Time kind of slipped sideways on me and DragonCon is only a week away! Since GenCon I finished the 3rd SP piece (already posted), and have been developing 2 Dragonrider bookcovers. Bold and ambitious to say the least! I have been experimenting with a looser style of painting while maintaining the accuracy of lighting that maquettes supply. To this end I have been laboriously sculpting my dragon form using Green stuff and some McFarlane dragon toys as a base. I pretty much shave down all the McFarlane studios stuff to get a rough dragon "Blank" and then get to work over it. In the future I think I will just use Sculpey to get the proportions I want. The MF Dragons gave me all kinds of neat fiddly bits to play with, and the Wings are decent in the pinch I am in. Still feels kind of lame. Anyways, I will post pics as I finish these up, and if you are in the Atlanta area over Labor Day, stop by DragonCon and see the work in person!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Aradani Arms

Hey there all you guys! I have been waiting to have this scanned and thus have been a few days late posting. This piece, Aradani Arms, is 18x24 Oils on Masonite. It is the 3rd installment in my Steampunk Trilogy. I have a few things to shoot pics of and update and then I will post them. Sneak peak: Dragons! I hope you dig it!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

GenCon or Taking My own Advice

So GenCon has come and gone. This one was a tough one for me. I didn't have high expectations, but I did have some solid hopes. It cost alot of money I didn't have to go participate in this one, and my friends all raved about how they do extremely well in gathering sales and fans at this show in particular. Such was not the case for me. I could go on about this or that, but the recurring truth of cons is appropriateness. Who is your target audience and are they there?

At small shows, even where my artwork is an aberration from cats and dragons, it is still good enough to stand out from the rest. It draws people in and generates a few sales. At shows like Gencon, where I am bundled in with Steve Prescott, Tom Baxa, Steve Belledin and a dozen or so other fantastic working professionals, my work only glimmers in the crowd because it is all cover work. People are surprised to see large works with no monsters.

The worst part about attending cons where I shouldn't necessarily be, is the boredom. I want to be working. I want to be talking to folks. I want to be engaging new fans and justifying my presence. When I am sitting there for hours on end, I just focus inward and get all mopey. This is not necessarily the most attractive of stances, but is a part of me and demonstrates how personal all of this is for me.

So what does it all mean? Well, basically I have to follow my own advice for large and small shows alike. Do I belong there? If I don't, but really want to attend, how can I tailor my presence to succeed. Even if it is my type of show, what are my goals and how should I go about achieving them. I can't just attend an event and expect folks to throw money at me. I don't have a gimmick or a dedicated following so I can't rely on notoriety or niche buying. In short, I have to be the best me I can at all times, but understand that sometimes this will not be enough. As an Ultimate Frisbee coach, I have often said "that you have to go into a game trying to win, but ready to have fun even if you lose".

So today's tip comes round and round to : Listen to your own advice.

I have lots of irons in the fire and can't wait to show you them as they emerge. You guys take care, and thanks for reading. Also, to end on a personally positive note, here are my 2 best Gencon moments.

1.) I did a really cool portrait for a guy named Justin. He had me draw him as a 50s serial sci-fi astronaut and liked it enough to come back and buy a print later. Cool guy and cool idea.

2.) Paolo Parente of DUST and AT-43 fame came over to the booth and marveled at my maquettes. He was tickled to see his creations come to life in a different way. Paolo is the game/book designer/illustrator for DUST as well as the creator of most of the AT-43 vehicles. When he saw the paintings he seemed pretty blown away and asked ME to get in a photo with him. He was even more stunned when I signed and gave him 2 prints of the SP pieces. A really humble guy with extraordinary talent. Thanks for your work Paolo and the high compliment.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wadda ya know

Soooo way back in ...whenever (I think April/May) I submitted a piece for Art Order's Discover a Muse Challenge. It turns out, my piece made the top 20: 14th of many, many entries. Not too shabby. This piece was a real breakthrough for me and I am glad it has some minor recognition. For the full line-up and details of the challenge:


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Blech and blogging

Hey all! Soooo after traveling to Broomfield, CO and getting incredibly sick, I returned to Nashville on Tuesday and stayed incredibly sick. Needles to say, this derailed my Gencon goals considerably. I still think I will show well, but it will be with only 2 of the 4 Steampunk paintings I had intended. Ah well... I am back on my feet now and have started working on my next piece: Aradani, Inc.: a steam mechanic piece. This large sketch is just for refined placement and composition resolution, but I thought you guys might like a sneak on whats coming. Modelling for this were Clayton Pollard, Laura Jones, and one of my best buds, Mike Bielazcyc. These guys are all fantastic artists in their own right, so look em up on Facebook or the inter-web thing.

On a quick side note, I have also discovered Pro Graphics in Nashville, TN. I met Adam Baker, an Assoc. of PG at a Dr Sketchy's event and he is in the process of scanning in my latest SP pieces and pumping out the prints as well. Their rates are very affordable and I am very much looking forward to having my work professionally scanned/adjusted. That said, I will no longer post quickies of my paintings. The pics look like crap and seem to generate redundant comments and criticism. Not to say that these reviews are invalid. In fact, part of being a professional is presenting professional work all the time. Making excuses and justifying short cuts/quickies are the mark of an amateur and a hobbyist. You have to be prepared to be called on your inconsistencies and shortcomings. I know this and yet get excited and want all of you to see what I have been working on. Soooo...:

Tip of July:

Pace yourself. Whether it be in preparation or presentation. Slow down and take deep breaths.

Alrighty guys. I will post soon with pics from Gencon and hopefully blog about exciting things. Take care and stay hydrated.