“The elephant does not get tired of its tusks” ~ old Maasai proverb
Yup. Still posting sketches about zombies and zombie slayers. I decided to take a tour the world in search of zombie slayers. My first stop was Africa. Immediately I thought of a Maasai warrior. Somehow I think they’d fare quite well in an undead apocalypse. He may be the first one I render.
Hell if you can deal with the wildlife of the African plains I don’t think a few thousand dopey deadheads would be much of an issue…
So here I am yet again, sitting at my computer locked in an eternal battle between utter exhaustion and overactive brain activity. My body is telling me to go to sleep but the 8am-sky-at-3am is telling my mind we have to be up for some odd reason. So what does one do when they can’t put two thoughts together for more than five minutes?
Start blogging of course.
I didn’t want to write anything earlier. I was perfectly content with penning my late night business correspondences but that became incredibly tedious. Like a true professional I got distracted and somehow I found myself organizing some directories on one of my work drives. Since getting my rig back into working shape I hadn’t really organized any of my files and folders so of course it was prudent to start doing this at 2 in the morning. I didn’t have any specific goal in mind but I sifted through the clutter anyway. I was taken aback at how old some of the files on this computer were. It was at that point I unearthed a treasure trove of old artwork I had completely forgotten about. I sat there for a half hour reminiscing and revelling in how good (and bad) some of it was.
Since starting my whole crusade to get back to drawing I thought it would be fun to treat my faithful to a humorous and eye-opening trip back into my artistic past…
We travel back first to 1998. This was probably my most active time ever as an artist. It was a banner year for me because not only was it did I meet my beloved wife, but it was my first love affair with Adobe Photoshop. A good friend of mine introduced me to Photoshop 3. He was impressed with what I was doing with just pencil and ink and assured me that this program would revolutionize my entire concept of artwork.
No words have ever been truer.
I had zero knowledge about how to use the program nor did I even have a graphics tablet. That didn’t stop me from grabbing the mouse as soon as it was installed and drawing this little guy. You can see my utterly stylistic use of that rather funky bubble filter. I really don’t know what was on my mind at the time. Okay that’s not true. Obviously I had eggheads, christmas and cigarettes on the brain. I had some sick fascination with those bug-eyed aliens for some reason. It’s a good thing I don’t obsess about stuff like that anymore…
I’ve always loved this picture though. It’s significance is monumental to me. It’ll always remind me of the first time I played around with the program I now use practically every single day for the past decade.
Prior to my transition over to digital artwork, I used to work exclusively with markers, pencil and ink. One of the last things I did, fully inked on paper, was this little work titled Misguided Youth. I made a digital re-imagining of this (that I’ll show another time) a few years ago but it never really captured the feel of this picture.
It fascinates me that I drew this. I’m not trying to toot my own horn or anything (because believe me if I could do that I wouldn’t leave the house ever) but I just really admire the amount of time and effort I used to put into my artwork. I probably spent days working on this one. Sure it has its obvious technical flaws but it just boggles my mind how dedicated I was to the craft.
I think of how I work now and everything is rushed. I draw knowing it’ll go into Photoshop at some point and I can “touch it up”. Back then I didn’t know about digital illustration. I had to bang it out in one shot and try to make as few mistakes as possible. I wish I had that patience still. I guess I’ve just grown complacent and lazy thanks to the power of Ctrl+Z.
One day I’ll regain that level of commitment… but it’s gonna take a pretty big power outage for that to happen.
Go back a little further to 1997 and I was still toiling away with pencils and ink. I was never quite an art pencil type of guy. I had shelled out $125 (which was a lot at the time) for a Rapidograph graphic pen set that had 8 precision sizes and wasn’t about to waste anymore more money on pencils. I figured if I couldn’t sketch with a good ole’ No.2 then I shouldn’t be drawing at all.
Anyway I came across this piece and it shocked me. I studied it for a while and was in awe of how detailed it was. I can even dare say it’s far better than anything I do now. Some disagree but it motivates me nonetheless to get back on point.
I had totally forgotten about this character. Her name was Celeste and she was my vision of a lost Jedi knight. She wasn’t for a game or anything. I just liked Star Wars and was pissed that there weren’t any hot female Jedis so I made one. Although Leia had minor force powers she was in no way a Jedi. I wanted to see a kick ass, lightsaber wielding broad so thanks to having an incredible amount of time on my hands and a vivid imagination I created her.
I loved drawing women. What dude wouldn’t? You ladies out there really don’t realize what remarkable pieces of art you are. No matter what shape or complexion the female form inspired me to draw literally hundreds of pieces of artwork.
Unfortunately for me I have no idea where the paper sketch of it is. The scanned copy is all that I have to remember how good I used to be without technology.
The greatest treasure though came in the form of this little sketch that dates all the way back to 1982. I had no idea I was drawing at that young age. A pretty toxic romp through the teenage years robbed me of a lot of childhood memories so this gem is priceless.
Apparently I was only 7 when I decided to bust out the drawing skills. If I remember anything I know I was all about GI Joe. I had dozens of the toys and would be latched to the television when the cartoon came on. My favorite character was always Stormshadow. If you don’t know your GI Joe, let me tell you that he put the cool in being a ninja. He wore white when every other ninja wore black and his whup ass switch was stuck in the ON position. He was awesome before I ever ascended to those heights so obviously I had to represent by making a rendition of him.
I’m impressed with his arsenal. My Stormshadow is packing tons of weapons on him. I’m not quite certain how effective some of them are. That arm knife looks kinda like a syringe but who cares? It can still take an eye out. He’s even got child-sized nunchucks in case he has to beat down some kids. Most of all you can’t beat the scowl on his face. He’s downright menacing. If you saw that coming you’d be frozen in fear.
I honestly thought I didn’t really start getting into drawing until I was about 10. Finding this has shed some light on a childhood I struggle to remember constantly.
I hope you enjoyed my little trek through Memory Lane. Not many artists are willing to show off their humble beginnings. I’m a firm believer in remembering what got you to where you are today. These, and so many other pictures, help me recall the days when I had absolute passion for the craft.
One day I hope to get that fire back.
Okay. Stop with the perverted stalker connotations. Yeah yeah, I know this is the one-stop-shop for depravity and reckless thought but this is a perfectly innocent post. In fact it relates directly to one I made the other day about a little girl I’ve never even met.
Wait. That doesn’t sound right either…
Seriously though this goes back to the gutsy tale of the little girl known as (12). If you’re unfamiliar with Act I please go and catch up with the times. Those of you who are up to date I shall continue on with the story…
Poor little (12) went back to the doctor the other day to continue with her infusions. The week before was rough for her so the 4 day break was much-needed. Unfortunately her return was marred with a series of unfortunate events (the likes of which I will not go into detail here because I may pass out). She toughed it out though and somehow manages to keep on plowing her way through whatever obstacle si in front of her. I was tipped off to an amazing scoop the not too long ago though. Apparently young Miss (12) has a birthday coming up soon. Yes, the darling little (12) will officially join the ranks of teenage fiefdom. I’m not a religious man but I pray for Thypolar and hope (12) never finds the angst button.
Anyway this revelation put even more pressure on me to complete the digital rendering I promised her. There is a goal in sight and it prompted me to work tirelessly in the wee hours of the morning to get it done. I am determined to get the sketch and the high-resolution digital image out to her in time for her birthday. It still feels weird sending a gift to someone I’ve never physically met. I don’t quite consider myself a stranger though. I have a picture of her and her two brothers on my fridge.
Wait… that sounds really bad now…
Her mother gave us a Christmas picture of her family ya lunatics! I may have to ask you to leave if you keep up with these perverted thoughts!
So tomorrow I will head to the Post Office and once again place the fate of a surprise birthday gift in the hands of Canada Post and the US Postal Service…
…God help us all…
Oh yeah… I suppose you want a sneak preview. I suppose I can do that…
To be continued….
I’m not a nice guy.
Don’t let the devilishly good looks, intoxicating writing style, utterly unbearable aura of awesomeness and supreme humbleness fool you. I’m not saying I’m a bad guy, mind you, but I’m certainly not as “good” as I could be. Often I have thought farts that don’t make it to the blogosphere. I call them thought farts because no matter how disgusting a fart is you still laugh. You don’t want to but you do. They’re crude, rude and lewd and if said in public would bring forth a piercing sneers and jeers but muffled giggles as well. I say things people think about but don’t have the balls to say sometimes. I’m like a walking South Park episode. I find humor in almost anything. I make light of things other people take far too seriously. There’s a fine line between disrespect and comedy that people really need to learn about. I push boundaries sometimes but it’s all in good fun. I’m frighteningly politically incorrect and in some people’s eyes that’s a bad thing.
With that as the backdrop to this whole post, I fear I’m losing my place in line in Hell. Over the past 23 or so years I’ve strategically maneuvered my way down the queue. There are a ton of people at the head of the line that I’ll never be able to get past but that’s okay. I just want a decent seat if I’m going to roast for eternity. Unfortunately moving up here has halted and, dare I say, even reversed my hard-earned progress. First it was volunteering my services at the animal shelter. Initially I only intended to build a website for them for free but now I’ve found myself walking and tending to dogs for the past 3 weeks. That’s not the kind of thing you put on your resume to Hell.
Then it was volunteering for a couple of activities during Toonik Tyme. There I was working long hours, making friends with adults and mingling with children. Me. The supposed antisocial anti-child anarchist. As if that wasn’t enough, as of the past week I’ve found myself volunteering once again – this time at the Iqaluit Community Greenhouse – doing manual labor duties such as hauling soil and bedding planters. Helping the community and expecting nothing in return.
What the hell is going on? The now 23hrs of daylight must be baking my brain.
But then came the ultimate act that’s bound to get me kicked right out of the line completely…
A couple of weeks ago I was reading a few posts about a loving mother and her beautiful young daughter’s medical condition. Some of you may be familiar with my blend Thypolar. If not I urge you to cease reading my dribble and catch up with this fascinating woman’s tale. Her daughter, who creatively is referred to as (12), is an inspirational young girl who’s going through some physically and mentally taxing times right now. She’s a trooper that somehow manages to crank out a movie-star quality smile whenever the camera is on her. Some how… some way she managed to inspire the non-existent fluffy frilly side of my heart. I decided since I’ve been on a sketching roll as of late that I’d make something specifically for her. Not only would I send her the signed sketch (which I rarely do) but I’d digitally render a full color, print quality illustration of it as well. She likes frogs and faeries so that’s what I’m going to make for her. I’m still debating on how to present it to her. I know Thypolar reads my blog and sometimes informs her kiddies about the well wishes and compliments they receive but I don’t think they actually see this blog.
Geez… I’d hope not. I live in fear of my parents keeping up with this much less underage children. *nyuk nyuk*
The recent Rapture-mania made me think about (12) once again so I finished off the sketch for the most part…
On a completely serious and out-of-character note, it saddens me that the flaming bag of douche who got the whole Doomsday craze rolling has gained so much notoriety meanwhile real people with real problems and real concerns like young little (12) remain anonymous. Sure I kid around a lot here, spout outlandish thoughts and spin interesting tales about my life experiences but I would hope people are intelligent enough to know when I’m playing the fool and when I’m dead serious. I’m very proud and honored to send this little wonder something I created. Sure, it’s just a piece of artwork, but if it puts a smile on her face or makes her day I’m happy. I’m actually experiencing a bit of anxiety about sending it because I want it to be just right. A 35 year old tough guy is intimidated by a 12 year old girl. Go figure. Every artist wages a constant battle with perfection. I know this picture is far from perfect and it makes my stomach turn on end as I constantly question myself whether its good enough.
Anyway before I start babbling again stop flitting around here and read something more interesting. Read up on her. Beam her and her lovely mother some positive energy and if you’re feeling really proactive, send her a card or something. Let her know there is still some hope for humanity and that we’re not all a bunch of trend-hopping stooges who go gaga over the stupidest things and neglect the people, plights and stories we should really be concerned about.
Stay tuned for future updates about this piece.
Love, peace and hair grease folks!