One Year Later...

Last year, when I started this blog here on Blogspot, I wasn't sure if it would last. I was uncertain of my enthusiasm for it. I had been doing a blog-like thing on my website for about a year, but nobody was seeing it and I spent too much time working on the formatting and technical stuff that I really dislike.
...During my web-travels I found some excellent artists who were blogging in this environment, and doing a lot of it. I watched for a few months while I researched and read up on my blogging options but most of it went over my head– and I was just stalling out of fear anyway. So, I put on my brave hat (a dark-brown fedora, of course,) signed up and jumped in.

It's worked out pretty well. I've posted more than I thought I would and I'm still interested in doing it; I want to do even more of it. I've always been shy about showing my art and this has knocked down barriers for me.
...That might sound funny coming from someone who has artwork run on the section fronts of newspapers, with well over 100,000 sets of eyeballs dragging across my latest attempt at art every time one of them runs, but after six years and hundreds of published works, I'm certain I have heard from less than ten readers. Really. And most of those were complaints!
...So, as disingenuous as it may seem, I don't really get the sense that anybody's looking, except for here. And here, I've gotten enthusiastic comments from fellow artists who do work that knocks my socks off. That can really charge the batteries on the low days.

...A goal of mine, as I start year two, is to write more about what I'm doing.
...One of the side effects to incorporating this blog into my routine is: I think about the choices I make while I work in anticipation of explaining what I'm doing. I don't often take the initiative and write the mini-essay I should write, but I almost always start it. On several occasions I've written on a topic and then backed off, trimming or deleting my thoughts because of time constraints or what I feel is a lack of focus.
...But I've enjoyed the conversations I've had with myself about my own work and I'm sure I could get more value out these thought experiments if I nailed them down now and then. (A big inspiration for writing more has come from following Eddie Campbell's blog; link over on the right. I'm not that smart about what I do, but I aim to practice.)

Big thanks to everyone who's been looking and a big thanks to those of you who have taken the extra effort of leaving a note. I've really appreciated it.

So, in the spirit of not getting into the spirit, here's a quick and useless note about what I've posted:
...Arts & Entertainment section cover drawing for this year's Oscar brouhaha. A bunch of caricatures related to the topic. Photoshop!

The End.

Happy Love Day

Illustration for a story about getting up the courage to tell that certain special someone how you feel. The slapstick comedian in me wanted a flock of bow & arrow-toting cherubs and our love-struck character absolutely pin-cushioned with little arrows. I was amazed at my restraint. I saved some time that way, tho.

The End.

Taxes. No death; taxes are bad enough.

This illustration is for a story about some of your options for dealing with taxes. Do you buy software? Do you hand them over to a tax professional and let him/her sort it all out for you? Do take your calculator in hand and do them yourself?

If I could afford it I'd pay someone to do them for me, so I wouldn't know how much of a cut Uncle Sam takes. It sure is frustrating to look at the difference between the Net and Gross columns on the old paycheck, isn't it?

I suppose that's where the feeling of this piece comes from, and I bet-- regardless of income bracket-- that we all feel a little disappointed when we are confronted with our annual loss.

I made myself sad with this one. Poor little piggy. Pure photoshop done on my zippy li'l iMac at work.

The End.

Weird Travel Illustration

This illustration accompanied a collection of travel stories written by high-school students. I read the stories, made a mental note of some of the imagery that popped out at me and I started scribbling.

I made a surrealistic mess of it– it's very monochromatic and confusing to look at. I hope it is an "interesting" kind of confusing; meaning that I hope you look at it and say "Ooh! What's going on here?" instead of "What the hell is going on here?"

The story I riffed on from the outset was a very dark and moody piece about London. I grooved that tone and just let the shapes swoop across the page, inviting imagery from the other stories drift in when and where they wanted. Ultimately, I feel that this piece is a good start; I'd love to go back and revise and work in other things that occurred to me as I finished it up, but this is drawing for deadlines. It's not very often I get to do "studies" for a final piece. Never. Thumbnails? Sure. Studies? Nah.

The headline and introduction fit into the white space up there on the left and then it teases to the stories inside.

The End