Unimaginable is not a word in my vocabulary

When I was standing in line at the local coffee shop, I overheard a couple of people talking about something awful. That happens, certainly, it’s not unusual at all (I often stand in coffee shop lines). One of the women in the group, after hearing the full details of a plane crash, said, “That is just unimaginable. I could never imagine that happening to me.”

Those are fairly common things to say, and I understand the meanings of all of those words. I get where they are going with it, that they don’t think they would ever find themselves in that kind of situation.… Read the rest

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The Devil’s Footprints: Creating Oddities From The Mysterious

For my entire life, from the stone ages until now, seemingly, I have been fascinated by the strange and the weird. Growing up, nearly all of the books that I read were about mysterious happenings around the world.

There were no limits on my fascination. UFOs, ghosts, Kaspar Hauser, cryptozoology, strange events and anything else that I could find under the “unexplained” topics were the entrée to my otherwise boring dinner called “life”.

Originally published by Apex Book Company, October 2013

My imagination would soar on high, thinking about events like the Devil’s Footprints incident in the mid-1800’s, in Devon, England.… Read the rest

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some_things_never_sleep

The texture of zombies and the dead

One thing I love about art is seeing the different interpretations that artists have. A different take on a sunset, or a new way to paint buildings, and even new ways to paint monsters. These new methods and creative views drive what I love in art. Let’s face it, especially where monsters are involved.

It can be tricky, especially if the basic idea of a type of monster is fairly well laid out. Since Zombie Month is upon us here at Apex (and it’s just eating at me to talk about it), we can take a look at the dead.… Read the rest

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Lovecraft, The Deep Ones

Weird is the new normal

I constantly look at other artists’ work, in fact I make it a part of my day to at least check out art or illustration boards on the web. There’s something I’ve noticed, and I’m not sure if it’s a trend or if it’s something that’s always been there.

Some of these creations are just plain weird. But not necessarily in a good way.

Originally published by Apex Book Company, May 2013

I don’t like to kick out names of artists that I may not like, or pieces that I don’t think work.… Read the rest

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Your monsters change, even when they never do

I was particularly enamored the other day with the newest trailer for the film Pacific Rim, and it made me think of something other than giant robots and giant monsters.

Originally published by Apex Book Company, April 2013

Aren’t these the same giant monsters we’ve seen for years?

Now, believe me, I’m not going to pick on Pacific Rim. Especially since the morning of July 12 to me means “ass in seat” for the flick. But it made me think about what I’ve seen before for giant monsters, and if anything has really changed.… Read the rest

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Perception of the visuals: the look and feel of noir

Picture this: there’s a former cop standing in one spot, with a beautiful woman standing behind him. His gun is drawn, and he’s waiting for the bad guy to show himself so they can have a “final showdown”. It’s a tense scene, where quite a lot of bad things are about to happen.

Now, everyone reading this has a different idea of the scene. Some of us grew up on Miami Vice and Magnum P.I., so we could see a similar idea in our heads. Others of us see the action hero, the John McClane with his machine gun loaded and ready to fire.… Read the rest

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The strangeness of trying to give something away

As it turns out, I’m an artist. An artist that has, luckily, convinced others that he can do art. Thus, I produce covers, interior illustrations, and whatever else folks need. I’ve mentioned it before, and I’m not done beating it into the ground just yet, but it can be an up and down game. One that’s filled with happiness, regret, satisfaction, depression, and quite a lot of other feelings.

Having done this since the late 90’s (published, at least), I can see the trends of my career so far. They are, to say the least, very loopy.… Read the rest

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Museum of the weird

Oh. You’re one of “those” kinds of people.

Whether I’m creating some new piece of art, or taking a photo, even writing a story (wait, “he writes?”, you say), I have always loved creating things. I especially love to create things that have, shall we say, an unusual feel to them. I love the fantastic, the supernatural, and all of the strange things that people don’t like to admit exist.

As a creator, it’s inevitable that I’m going to meet people who are interested in what I do. Now, as I’ve been doing this for many years, I have learned to read people.… Read the rest

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What is it that you really want?

The last couple of years, with the violent ups and downs as they’ve been, haven’t been the easiest. Long term unemployment, financial issues, near total lack of art sales (and no originals sold at all, let’s not forget that). When a creator goes through times like these, contemplation on the future is sure to happen.

Do I continue trying to get graphic design jobs, when a hundred resumes garnered no interest? Do I keep trying to create and sell original art, when no one even slightly considers buying one? Do I keep trying to get my art published, when I can’t get the time of day from publishers (save for those important, valued few)?… Read the rest

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A solemn moment and a quiet gift

I get asked a few times a month for my current commission rates, for folks interested in having me do cover work, or maybe an ink or acrylic piece. Sometimes they hire, sometimes they don’t, that’s just business.

But there’s an underlying element often of folks who don’t want to pay anything. Ever. They just want free art, because they feel they are entitled.

Originally published by Apex Book Company, August 2012

Folks, “entitled” is what we in the business call a “bullshit word”.

There is no such thing as entitlement.… Read the rest

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Distractions can lead to the truth

Last week, I was doing a free-flowing session of ideas, whatever popped into my head. I started sketching an idea of someone running across a high bridge, with the zombies in heavy pursuit.

Now, the thing about being an artist, especially an illustrator, is that you have to come up with lots of interesting ideas for things that simply never happen. All of the things that are considered fantastic, like monsters, dragons, even zombies, simply don’t exist. You have to pull the right images in the right ways out of your head, and hope that the ideas work.… Read the rest

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One more line and we’re ruined for sure

A little while back, just before the big rush of my convention art show, I created a new small ink to try and sell. It was an ink version of the famous Creature From The Black Lagoon, which you can see down below on the right.

It turned out pretty well (or so I’m told by others), and it was fun to go back to a monster I had tried to ink before. The previous version didn’t fail, it was more like I changed my mind partway into it and created something different.… Read the rest

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The huge events in an otherwise boring life

Most of time, life is pretty boring. We go through our lives, through our day to day procedures, and very little changes. Sure, each day and each week have their little ups and downs. After all, I did just eat a Snickers bar and stub my toe, at nearly the same time. But for the most part, life normally lies on a somewhat predictable path.

Creating art works the same way. As an artist, I have procedures to work on the book covers I do for publishers, or the ink art pieces I like to do, and even with my larger paintings.… Read the rest

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Looking back to look forward

I’ve heard the phrase plenty of times that you should always look forward, never back. Which, like any other totalitarian idea, is more of a sledgehammer than a finessed thought.

I mean, I understand where they are coming from. You don’t want to be so beholden to the past that you can’t move forward. That there are new ideas and new experiences to explore, and the past can hold you back.

But the problem with that is that if you never look back, you never remember those lessons you’ve already learned.… Read the rest

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Sometimes I think they WANT a stupid character

The other night, I was watching the new television series Alcatraz, and something started to bother me about it. Now, it’s not a bad show, “decent but flawed” might be a good way to put it. But it suffers from lazy writing sometimes, and the episode the other night made that quite clear.

Twice in the same episode, the main character, a police officer, had a clear chance to shoot the violent assailant and end a string of bombings. Both times, it was clear that the bomber was happy to kill anyone in his path, in fact the first time it came up he threw a mine at the cop.… Read the rest

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