I've Been Busy

I’ve been pretty busy. With things other than art that is. I have been meaning to update this blog. Before we get to business though, an announcement.
I’ve received confirmation from the art department at Woot! that my shirt featuring a gigantic orange octopus attacking the Empire State Building titled “It Would Be Epic If…” has been accepted and will print as a daily tee sometime in the next 6 weeks! This is huge for me as it’s my first major printing. To date this is my favorite tee design. I think it’s very wearable and really done in my true style. I love monsters and things attacking cities so this one was right up my alley. Though the down payment for the design is a large one, let’s hope is sells well as the royalties I could stand to make on a hit selling shirt are huge! I have already decided that if an extra 500 shirts are sold after day one, I am taking the royalty money I will receive and buying a Wacom Cintique tablet. I have signed an exclusive contract with Woot! and am just waiting for a confirmation on the date and my tax forms etc. I will update my readers with more information as to the sale when I have it.

This is my latest project that I’ve been working on. If you’re a reader of my blog, you’ve already seen the pencil drawings. This is the ink work. There are some things I still need to fix, but I’m not exactly disappointed with the way things are going so far. I will say that I think something’s missing. Throughout the process of inking this piece, I stopped and restarted from the beginning 2 or 3 times. I wasn’t happy with the quality of the lines being created and it felt rushed to me. To remedy the situation, I brushed up on my Illustrator skills and created a whole new range of ink brushes. I’m still not entirely happy with drawing completely on a computer via the tablet though. I use a Wacom Bamboo Fun that my girlfriend, Natalie, bought me for Valentine’s Day last year. Before that, I used a 12” Wacom Intuos II. I still had trouble then. I really think the quality of my artwork will increase exponentially if I upgrade to a Wacom Cintique. To be able to draw on an LCD screen and see what I’m creating in real time would be amazing. 

 This is a progress shot of the color work I'm doing so far. Once again, I'm just not happy with the way things are going. I am not convinced the colors are correct. I have this vision of a wild drab blue sea sort of reincorporating it's self with the navy blue of the tee shirt. I picture stormy skies of half tone dots, a glowing lamp on the crows nest, maybe even a bolt of lightning crashing. I guess I will keep doing what I'm doing as I can always, and usually do, change the colors individually after all is said and done. I need to keep this design restricted to 6 colors to be marketable. I'm hoping everyone gets the inside joke and has a little chuckle when checking out this shirt.

Well, that's my update. I've got 4 or 5 other designs in the idea phase. I have one giving a satirical nod in the direction of the great I Can Has Cheeseburger website. I've got a few others but as for right now, the I Can Has Cheeseburger design is standing out as the next one I'll be working on. I'm just starting to get concerned that I will be typecast as the giant animals attacking things guy. That should be a hint as to the I Can Has Cheeseburger idea. As always, thanks for reading, and please, by all means leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the progress of my Deadliest Catch design. I feel like I need all the critiques and help I can get on this one.


Be Kind, Rewind

It's time for another derby, the first derby I've participated in since coming in 4th in the maze derby 5 or 6 weeks ago. The theme is Retro Audio. I decided immediately that I wanted to do something about tape cassettes. I love them, I think their design aesthetic is really cool. Any way, here is my concept:

And below is the final product:

The title of the piece is "Be Kind, Rewind." I will submit it tomorrow. I don't think it's exactly a winning piece, but it's the best I can do in such short notice with homework to do tonight also. This may be one of those pieces I hang onto and tweak for sale elsewhere.

I'll have the vote tag up tomorrow once I have a vote URL and the shameless promotion will begin. Another week of Woot! pandemonium!


Lost Pirate Results Are In

Well, I received a sales report email this morning from Ript Apparel. I won't divulge how many shirts sold, but I will say I'm pretty disappointed. I really wish I could have done a lot better, especially because I need the money, but what happened has happened and that's the end of it. "The Lost Pirate of the Black Lagoon" has been officially retired forever. I won't be selling it in my Redbubble store. I will stow it away in the depths of this computer quite possibly for eternity. Who knows though, maybe one day I'll take a look at it and want to make some changes to it to make it sellable again. But for now, this is the end.

I do hold out hope for my other octopus tee "It Would Be Epic If." I was informed Woot! was going to have a meeting this week to discuss the next set of daily's to be printed and my art would be discussed there. I am hoping to be notified of a ya or ney this week. If Woot! doesn't want to sell it, then I will shop it over at TeeFury.com.

Thanks to those of you who bought a tee. I'll end this note with a reminder that my "Cloud Toys" tee is currently on sale and available on the panel to the right of this post. Sure, I wish it was priced a bit cheaper but Redbubble's minimum tee price is a bit higher than I would like it to be.


"The Deadliest Catch" A New Design Project

As promised, I have a new pencil drawing to post today from my work in the studio yesterday. I'm working on a tongue-in-cheek shirt about that crab fishing show "The Deadliest Catch." Here's what I got so far:
I am hoping to finish this piece this week. Tonight I'm going to start inking this piece and trying to tighten up the details. In the next few days after that I'm going to figure out colors and finish the piece for submission. I'm going to use 6 colors on this one, and if my first choice tee company doesn't want it, I got another one that will also print in 6 colors. If they don't want it, there's a company that will possibly take it in 4 colors. And if they don't want it, I will make it available in my Redbubble store and for sale on this site.
I'll post updates as I have them.


My Day of Fame Times 2

Well, as you may know, yesterday was my 24 hours of fame on Ript Apparel. The Pirates of the Black Lagoon was on sale, and though I don’t yet know how well I did, I think I did fairly OK. I received a lot of great comments with exception to 1 person who identified one of the photo references I used to create the drawing and accused me of cheating. I will address this concern at the end of this post. First though, I have some other business I am itching to tell my readers about!

When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was check my email to see if by chance a sales report had been issued yet on yesterday’s sale. Instead of receiving this report, I got another pleasant surprise. More than a dozen great comments about my Cloud Toys tee for sale on Redbubble.com! I wondered what the hell was going on and found out that Redbubble.com ran my Cloud Tees shirt on their homepage yesterday! This is a great honor. According to Redbubble.com, all featured designs are hand selected and chosen by their art directors. The notification email that they sent me, which I really had to dig in my spam folder for, stated that I was picked because one of their art directors thinks this tee is great. They also said that less than 3 shirts in 3000 will be picked and featured! This is a great honor. Even though to date, none of these shirts has sold, this is still a thrill and a chance to network with other great artists.

Among the comments was a demand for more art from me. I have a few projects I’ve since given up on that can be tweaked and sold so I will do just that and build up my store front. As always, all my shirts available for purchase will be located on the bar on the right of this screen. I will also be adding another page to my site, a store front.

Now, regarding the tracing accusation that occurred yesterday, I will explain. As an illustrator, I often use reference photos so I can know what I’m drawing. Usually, I will use several photos from lots of different angles and lighting conditions so I can take what I want from each one and make it my own. In the case of yesterday’s shirt, I had a few reference photos. I did, however, fall in love with one in particular. I loved the angle of the octopus and the placement of it’s tentacles. I used this as my main reference and in retrospect, followed it too closely. To be called a cheater and be defamed in front of everyone on my day in the sun is embarrassing and horrific. I spoke on this subject head on and will not make this same mistake again. I stand by that I am not guilty of tracing, but I am guilty of following a reference photo far too closely. If you flip through my gallery, which according to my stats doesn’t get the kind of traffic I wish it were, you would see that I support original ideas without need to copy and trace. Drawing would be too boring if it were just tracing. Besides, for me, the creation of that octopus was more about the technique involved than the actual image. I should have kept that in mind.

Well, as always, thank you for your support and for reading. If you’re new to my sketchbook, then please stick around. I promise I have a lot of great art on the way. I have 3 projects in my mind right now that I will be working on tonight and tomorrow. With any luck, I can post sketches then. Thanks and have a good weekend!


"The Lost Pirate of the Black Lagoon" On Sale!!!

Well, the sale starts tonight at midnight! 24 hours of it all being about me on www.Riptapparel.com! How exciting is this?

The tee will be on sale for $10. Hoodies only $38!!! Click the button today and today only and pick up yours!



The "Cloud Toys" shirt is for sale now at Redbubble.com! Swing on by and pick 1 up!
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