Cover Madness

Right. The blog.  I hear we have these things.

So, where have I been? Working away, obviously. Not necessarily at things you care about, but busy after all.

I’ve been in the midst of working on stuff for Inkwolf Press, more book covers, and such similar projects. You can now take a look at the lovely cover for Doc The Vampire Hunting Dog, with more on the way.

For now, have a look at some concept covers for Arabian Dreams, forthcoming from Echelon Press.

This was my personal favorite, but the author sadly pointed out there are no castles in the book. Details!

I vetoed the mountains on the ground that a story with horses and mountains could fit into any number of genres, with nothing to indicate it’s a rip-roaring fantasy adventure.

So, we agreed on the labyrinth as the winner, as one is a prominent plot point. No David Bowie, though.

I assure you, I was disappointed too.

Things and stuff

Oh my, how the time flies. July already? I don’t believe it! That means school is on the way, and that is unacceptable. Shudder.

 

Been busy with assorted family things when everyone was in town for the 4th, and found myself rather stalled on some of my art projects since it would appear Borrowers have run off with the pen for my digital tablet. Makes it a bit tricky to get some things done then. After tearing the apartment apart, I’ve finally surrendered and ordered another. Woe and misfortune.

Fine, keep it then!

 

But luckily, I’ve gotten more part-time dayjob work, so I can actually afford it. Which is a surprising (though certainly not unwelcome) change from the normal excessive poverty that I’ve gotten so used to. At this rate, I can eat something besides rice and maybe even consider finding somewhere to live with a yard and walls slightly thicker than tissue paper when my rent’s up.

Does that ruin my artist cred? Damn.

Promotional Materials!

Where have I been, you ask? Hey, hey – don’t worry about it, says I.

This translates to something like “finishing the school year, moving into a new apartment, starting a new job”… you get the idea. I have still been working, though, and have some things to show for it.

J.A Campbell’s upcoming Senior Year Bites (available through Decadent Press on June 24th!) has a lovely piece of cover art (and even lovelier alternate black and white cover, if I may say so myself) and I got to work with them both to make bookplates and bookmarks for her to autograph

If you aren’t excited for this book, well… you should be. I’m lucky enough to have seen early drafts and it’s a nice reaction to the Twilight tomfoolery that’s been floating around.
(vampires that actually eat people? Ridiculous!)

New Projects!

Well, blogging. It’s a problem. At least, it is when midterms attack.

A couple presentations, a portfolio, and a paper later, I’m back to the land of the living.

In the meantime, I’ve acquired a part-time job – which is wonderful in and of itself, one job was not cutting it – and the best part is, it’s in art. A friend referred me to a local indie comics creator who has been looking for a new inker/colorist. The interview was nerve wracking (I’ve never had a lunch meeting like this before) and I was just waiting to accidentally stick my elbow in the wasabi or something similarly unprofessional (to say nothing of embarrassing), but at the end I was told I had a job with them – whether at a later point or this position. Fortunately for me, this position panned out, and I’m already about half through inking a 20 page issue. Coloring will follow, and I’m about a quarter of the way through with that – it really makes it easier to alternate between the two.

I’m also going to be doing all the fun parts of comics formatting, like speech bubbles, font choices, and sound effects, which I’m really looking forward to. I’ve been reading comics since I picked up the Uncanny X-Men when I was eight, so this is something I’ve always wanted to do.

Very exciting.

I’m also in the middle of working on some promotional materials for Julie Campbell’s upcoming book, and they’re looking pretty good already. She’s celebrating a new release today, which I would recommend checking out. Bookmarks are surprisingly tricky things, but I think they’re shaping up already.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for comics previews coming to a screen near you!

Sketches!

Mondays suck.

Sketches, however, are awesome. As a result, I dumped a bunch of sketches from the book I just filled up on my DeviantArt account!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s always fun to look back over a sketchbook and see how various pieces took shape through doodles, notes and concepts – some of them I didn’t even remember, but later contributed to a finished piece. It’s also a great way to track improvement – on this one, the oldest is the friendly fella in the top right corner and the newest is the self portrait somewhat alarming madame on the top left.

And one more for good measure, a blog exclusive no less, the sketch I’m currently working on turning into a finished piece:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While on the topic (not really, but I want to fill space), tree people scare me. It’s probably because I’m from the great plains, where more than two trees per square mile is claustrophobic. Or because I saw the Wizard of Oz at an impressionable age, and those potentially-murderous apple trees scarred me for life.

Not that I don’t like trees mind you, in fact I’m quite fond of them. (I’m not Durkon here) I just don’t want them talking back to me – I can’t imagine they’re thrilled with all the climbing, fruit picking, and stick swordfighting I’ve used them for over the years.

Weekly Motivational

So, I’m looking to do more recurring features. Writing and art is a constant process of finding inspiration and motivation to keep working, so once every week I intend to post a roundup of new things I’ve found that week that I find inspiring/artistic/generally neat.

Let’s see how this works, hmm?

Cool Nonsense 02/03/11

A friend of mine first introduced me to Karen Elson a few months ago, and though folk isn’t generally my favorite genre I must say I love her style. Her lyrics are unusually dark for folk music too, which I’m always a fan of. (according to iTunes, she’s “gothic-folk” – that’s a genre?) Not only do I dig the song, but the music video is a great combination of beautiful and eerie.
Also, apparently she started out as a model before moving on to a music career. A model at 16, and now a successful singer-songwriter?  Some people really need to save a little talent for the rest of us.

Seriously, it's like cheating at life.

 

Speaking of talented folks, I adore Guillermo Del Toro. Most well known for the movie Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy films, he’s a jack of all trades for the film industry – everything from writing, makeup effects, production, and the monster designs he’s most well-known for.

 

Also, causing nightmares.

Earlier this week I found this neat little site, which is filled with his sketchbook designs for Pan’s Labyrinth. I personally love sketchbook shots like these, because they give a great window into the creative process, especially with industry professionals like Del Toro. It’s fascinating to see how simple doodles evolve into full creations. Also, pretty pictures.

(that site is a little awkward to navigate, so here’s some direct links)

 

 

 

 

While on the topic of random things I love, if you’ve had more than a five minute conversation with me you’ve probably noticed I have a teenytiny huge soft spot for steampunk. I also like pretty things and unusual fashion, so imagine my glee over finding Clockwork Couture.

If you’re the kind of oddball who also goes for things like petticoats, corsets, and from time to time ponders how practical those boots would be on the deck of an airship (high five!), this is right up your alley. If like me you also enjoy drawing these things, it’s an incredible resource for inspiration. (and wardrobe, if you feel like shaking things up a bit)

A few of my favorite things:

 

 

 

And that’s all for this week, kids. Tune in for more next Friday!

New work

It’s been a while since I updated, and it’s also been a while since I had a new finished piece to show off:

Yes, this is a man

A character from a personal project of mine, combined neatly with skintone practice. And in case anyone ever wondered, here’s a loose timeline of the process for most of my paintings:

School and family emergencies are a remarkable timesink, but I finally seem to be finding opportunity to work again. Just dropped some of my work off to be (hopefully) entered in a student art show – wish me luck!

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