The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.

That quote, for those of you who don’t watch movies, is from the film The Dark Knight. Until now, I just thought it was an interesting statement, but the fact is that I’ve lived like that. Also, until now, there was really no dawn to speak of.

But, as these usually do go, a subtle light has entered my world again. It’s just a small ray of light, actually, but in the severe darkness I’ve been through it becomes a shining beacon. A ray of hope, if you will.

This week, for the first time in sixteen months, I’ll be heading off to a day job.… Read the rest

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Spectrum Art Show Recap Part 2: As an attendee and artist

I talked a little while ago (as in, 3 hours ago) about being an exhibitor at Spectrum, and this time I want to focus on the experience as an attendee. Now, since I was an exhibitor and not a full attendee, there are plenty of things I missed, so keep that in mind.

The famous artists
It was truly a wonder to be in the same room as so many incredibly brilliant artists. I’ve been a fan of many of them for a long time, and to meet them and have them be so laid back was wonderful.… Read the rest

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Spectrum Art Show Recap Part 1: As an Exhibitor

Last weekend, I had my very first booth ever at an art show. It was at the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live show in Kansas City, itself a first-time event. I’ve decided to write about my experiences, but it will take a couple of articles to get it all in. This one is the first part, about being an exhibitor, and I’ll follow it up with being an attendee and how I feel things will go after this.

First, I just want to say that the Spectrum folks were great to work with.… Read the rest

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Travels of my first booth part 1: The mess of things

So, I went ahead and did it. I signed up for my first ever booth at a major art convention, in this case the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live show in Kansas City in May, 2012.

What the hell was I thinking?

Now, before we get any further, let me just say that I’m very much looking forward to the convention, and the folks that run the show have been great to work with. But this is my very first “huge” convention to have a booth at, and to say I’m nervous is the understatement of the decade.… Read the rest

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My New eBook: Life As An Artist In Repose

Over the course of the last two years, from January 2010 to present, I’ve been writing monthly articles for the Apex Book Company. I’ve now compiled those two years of articles into an ebook collection, called Life As An Artist In Repose, now available for purchase on Amazon here.

 

The idea behind my articles for Apex has always been the “life as an artist” style articles. What I see as an artist in the publication industry, how I myself am treated as an artist, and overall what it’s like to live as I do.… Read the rest

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The Big Commission Rates Mystery

For many years, coming from both illustration and graphic design, I’ve heard different discussions about what people charge to do their work. Sometimes it even sounds like a big, secret mystery, as if you aren’t supposed to talk about it in front of anyone.

Which, as all of you who are consumers would be quick to see, makes it difficult to know what it costs to do the business that you need to. From the side of the artist or designer, I’ve been told not to post rates as it’s simply not done, that you want to start that conversation and not lose them with costs.… Read the rest

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Leaving Christmas for Dead: Boomer Claus

Every so often, I get some idea rolling through my head that I just have to investigate. On this site of mine you’ll find experiments as dark as The Lost Nightmare, as wacky as zombie muppets, and many others that I just thought would be fun.

After a discussion online earlier today with artist Chris Zenga, one of those things clicked into my head. I stopped my cover editing and ebook creating to give it a shot.

I don’t get to play many games, but I do have a number of games from the game company Valve.… Read the rest

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Halloween and Harvey Two-Face

My children tell me that they love that I’m an artist, and that I have a vast knowledge of how to pull things off for Halloween. Now, of course, they just tell me that so I’ll let them stay up late to watch movies. But I have to admit, I think that their excitement with Halloween, and their interest in doing really cool costumes, is great. If my knowledge of art and technique helps them, then more power to them.

My daughter’s costume was fairly simple, she’s going as “Mother Nature”.… Read the rest

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Foil Design: Multiplex Fandango

A good friend of mine, Weston Ochse,  just released a fantastic collection of stories, called Multiplex Fandango. Published by Dark Regions Press, Multiplex Fandango is filled with great stories, and I highly recommend picking one up as soon as you possibly can. Go here to do so.

Now, you might be asking, why am I selling Weston’s book on my own site? Simple. Weston is awesome, and a great author. Also, because I was lucky enough to work with Dark Regions Press on the foil stamp for the hardcover edition.… Read the rest

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Creating the ink art: The Mouth of Sauron

I’m fascinated by creatures of all sorts, especially those that are a bit on the creepy side. Case in point, “The Mouth of Sauron”, featured in the extended edition of the film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

In case you haven’t seen the extended versions of the LOTR trilogy (which you should, they are fantastic), here’s a YouTube link of just that scene in the film. Of course, if you haven’t seen the film, there is certainly a bit of spoiler here, so if you’d rather watch the full film first please do.… Read the rest

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The Tools and Materials I Use, Part 2: Painting and other uses

In the first part of the article yesterday (here!), I talked about the pens, pencils, and different paper stocks that I use as an artist. Today I’m going to discuss the other things that I do, including acrylic painting, matting, and so on. First off, the easy stuff.

Painting with Acrylics

Now, I’ve only been using acrylics for about a year (save for the time in the late 90’s when I toyed with airbrushing), so there may certainly be better and easier ways to do things. Also, perhaps there are techniques and abilities that I haven’t come across yet, so bear with me.… Read the rest

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The Tools and Materials I Use, Part 1: Stock, ink, pencils

Whenever I’m on Twitter (and, to a lesser extent, Facebook and Google +), there always seems to be these great discussions about the type of materials and tools that artists use in their art. Often there are similarities, and quite often too there are new and cool things that I hadn’t heard of before.

I thought it would be a good idea to share what I use to create art, at least traditional art. My digital art is easy enough to explain, it’s Photoshop and a Wacom tablet. But with traditional media, there are so many different combinations and so many different things to try that it’s great to experiment with them all.… Read the rest

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Fun with Typography

In starting up my new online stores, I decided that it might not be a bad idea to have a few items that weren’t as much about my art as much as just “cool”. Being that, without a day job, I don’t get to play with graphic design as much anymore, I thought it would be fun to toy with typography.

For those reading this that aren’t designers, or aren’t familiar with the term, typography is using text and fonts in (hopefully) an interesting way in a design. I mean, you could just type out your information in a boring font, on one line, and hand it in.… Read the rest

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New Ink Art and working with reference: Cthulhucraft

I’ve been itching to do more ink work lately, and I decided over the weekend that H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday was a great chance to work something in.

The trick, of course, in doing art of a recognizable character (or person) is that you just have to get it right. Sure, there is some leeway here and there, some space to be an artist. But the essence of the character has to be correct, or all is lost.

With the ink art I’ve been doing in the last year, I’ve been trying to get as close as I can to the characters and still leave open that ability for my own art to sneak through.… Read the rest

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The end of the sketchbook

In the last few years, I’ve done something regularly that I hadn’t in the previous years. I’ve started to complete full sketchbooks, with some kind of art on every page.

I’ve noticed that it’s a good time to go back and look through it, to see how things went over time. In this case, this sketchbook was started in June of 2010, and the last image was sketched in it today. Over that time it’s seen all kinds of sketches, from loose practice ideas, to sketches for published projects, and plenty of goofy items.… Read the rest

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