Monday, September 29, 2014

24 Hour Comic Day Challenge!

 I am finally back from my trip to Maine and the East Coast to see my family, catch up with some friends, and recharge my batteries.

The trip went great but it started with a bit of a hiccup. Originally I planned on driving thirty one hours from Colorado to Maine. I started well enough, got out of Colorado, and headed into Nebraska. Around four hours in I started getting a bad feeling. I gave it another two hours before saying, screw it, and I turned around and headed back to Colorado. I don't know if I had some premonition of impending doom that I saved myself from or if I simply wasn't enjoying myself six hours into the journey and couldn't imagine sitting in a car for another fifty eight hours. But, I got back to Boulder, got some sleep, and booked myself a flight for the next day. From there, the trip went great and I had a lot of fun.

I'll definitely be putting some photos from my trip up but, first, I wanted to show you what I've been working on since I got back.

This coming weekend, October 4th and 5th, I'll be participating in my first official 24 Hour Comic Challenge. It's an annual event that has been going on for years and is the brain child of comic book great Scott McCloud. The idea is that you sit down for 24 hours and, in that time, you complete a fully finished 24 page comic book. I've tried it once by myself with disasterous results but I am hoping that first attempt will give me some insight on how to succeed this time around. I told a friend my ideas on how I was going to go about it this time and he commented, "it's great that you have it all planned out." My response was, "I always have a plan...whether it works or not remains to be seen."

So, we'll see how it goes.

The story I plan on working on is OilCan Drive related and, if all goes well, it will fit into the regular OCD continuity and I will post the pages on the OilCan Drive web comic site soon enough. But, because I am participating in an event with multiple artists, the event coordinator asked for submissions for the anthology book cover he is planning to put together of everyone's work. This being my first time attending I wanted to give him a cover and do the best I could to make an impression.

The event will be taking place at my local comic shop, Time Warp Comics. They are celebrating their 30th anniversary and requested that the cover feature their store mascot and a few of the characters that have appeared in their newsletters comic strip over the years. So, here is my rendition of Tommy Timewarp and his friends!

I created the piece in the same way I plan on doing the 24 hour comic to test out the process. I sketched the whole piece out with a non-repo blue pencil and went right to ink using only Sharpie and Micron markers. It's pretty much the same way I do a lot of my advertising work that usually has super tight deadlines. From there I scanned the piece into the computer and added color and text.

While I won't be doing any color on the actual 24 hour comic my plan is to get all of the art for the story done in 24 hours and ready for scanning and lettering. My hand lettering leaves a lot to be desired and the pages for the anthology aren't due for two weeks after the event so I figured I'd give myself some time to letter the story in a way that looks pleasing and I am happy with. Is it cheating? Maybe. But, I guess that will put me out of the running for the gold medal and the million dollar cash prize (ha ha ha.)

So, if anyone is in Boulder, Colorado next weekend and wants to come check it out I'll be at Time Warp Comics starting at 10am on Saturday, October 4th.

And I will definitely be posting progress photos and updates on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. So, even if you're not in the area you can follow along and see how I'm doing. I'll make sure to put links up on Friday so everyone knows where to follow along.

Have a great week everyone. It's good to be back and I'll talk to you all soon!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Road Trip

I am packing up and heading off on a cross country road trip tomorrow. I am hoping I can get from here in Colorado to the coast of Maine in about four days or so with a planned day of hanging out with my friend Thom in Cleveland (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, here I come!)

It's been a while since I attempted something like this so I'm both excited and a little nervous. But, one thing I know for sure is that my new little Fiat will probably do a lot better on a cross country trip than my old Jeep Wrangler did when I first moved to Colorado from the east coast all those years ago.

I'll make sure to take a bunch of pictures from the road and keep the updates coming.

Have a great week everyone and I'll be talking to you from the middle of America the next time we talk!

See ya soon!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Happy September!

 Happy September, everyone!

I was actually supposed to be on the road today heading towards Maine but yesterday ended up being a mix of a bit too much work and a bit too much trying to get everything ready to go. Last night around 11pm I finally decided that no one was forcing me to leave on Wednesday so I decided to postpone the trip for a few days until everything settles down. Once I made that decision it felt like an incredible weight was off of my shoulders and everything felt so much better.

So, I took my time and got the TK piece all colored up pretty and dropped it into the new blog header.

The coolest thing about this piece is that I based it off of a friend of mine, Tonya Kay. I've had the character in mind for years and it is based on how she looked when I first met her. Back then she had these awesome blonde dreadlocks and an amazing look that I was immediately drawn to.

I've actually had the pleasure of drawing her a few times, once as a pin-up piece and once for a logo for her personal project, "Tonya Kay's Pin-Up Pole Show." But, in the back of my mind, I always wanted to turn her into a character in the OilCan Drive world.

I did this piece with a strong image in my mind but no actual reference of her in front of me. I figured that way I was using her as inspiration and not simply copying a photo of her. I think I capture a bit more of her character and soul this way than simply copying the drawing from someone others' photo.

Before I started I drew out a few little sketches in my notebook of the character and got a good general idea of what I wanted her to be. I knew she was a mechanic who wasn't afraid to get dirty and fix things but I also wanted her to be sexy as well. I originally envisioned her in a duster jacket but I figured that would be too impractical to wear when you're on the floor getting dirty and fixing things. So, I came up with the idea of her wearing a coverall jumper that covers her figure while working and then unzips to turn into a duster able to show off her figure underneath. I had a friend with a duster and, checking it out, I think the design would actually work if it was built and worn. Maybe someday someone will make one. I personally would love to see it!

After all was said and done I went back and looked at a few old photos of Tonya and ran across these from when she was shooting a film called "Bold Native.". You can definitely see where the inspiration came from even if I didn't look at the photos while I was working.

I've sent all the process pieces and the finished piece to Tonya and she's posted them and written a great piece about me and the art on her own personal website. You can check it out HERE. I am a huge fan of hers so it's always a joy when we talk and share each others' artistic endeavors.

As for me, I will hopefully be out the door and on the road soon. While it was great to give myself a day to relax it looks like I'll still have a few more things to do before I go. But, leave I shall and I'm sure it will be a great adventure.

Have a great one everyone! Happy September!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

T.K.

 Ugh, it's been a busy week. I am still doubled up on client work but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I've been so busy that I actually missed the newest page post on the OilCan Drive site last Friday. I have the page done. It's inked, scanned, and just needs some gray and lettering before it's complete. I was trying to get it done on Thursday night but at around 4am I decided the page was too important and needed to be done right and 4am Sean was just not up to the job. So, I called it quits for the night but I will have the page done and up before I leave town.

I also found some time to do a quick sketch on Friday during lunch that I plan to use as September's blog post header.

It was a quick sketch while I sat with friends waiting for my car to be done at the garage and I found some time on Saturday morning while warming up to get the inks done before I started the real work for the day. She is scanned and partially colored so I hope I can get her done before I head out of town as well. It's not enough to have client work to get done so I put a few personal jobs on my shoulder as well. Whee!

The character of T.K. is someone who should show up in the world of OilCan Drive sometime around the fourth chapter. She's a mechanic who will help the gang out with their airship problems as they enter the wastelands of the Zone. And you thought Ryan's hair was big! Ha ha!

She's based on a friend of mine and I'll dig up the photo of her I was thinking of when I drew this piece tomorrow when I post the new blog header.

For now, it's back to the client work. I am burning time and things need to get done. Talk to you all soon!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Draw Faster!

I woke up earlier this morning and, for the life of me, I just couldn't get back to sleep. My mind was just racing with too many ideas. So, I finally gave in, got up, and dragged myself into the studio to start the day.

Between my career doing freelance art for clients, doing my own web comic, writing and recording music, and being married, you'd guess I wouldn't even have enough time to think of doing anything new. But, there are always a few things that I want to add to my already busy schedule and this morning, as I tossed and turned in bed, I simply couldn't get one of them out of my mind. So, maybe this idea needs to be explored a bit more and I'll have to see if I can carve some time out of my already busy week to make it happen. I don't want to talk too much about that idea yet until I see if it's feasible or not but we'll see how it goes.

Another idea I have that I'd like to explore is the reason I am showing off these three pieces I did for an advertising agency a few months ago. The thing I love about doing art for ad agencies is that they usually need something produced very quickly. It's a normal thing for me to get a job on a late Monday afternoon where the finished pieces are needed the next morning at the start of the day. I've seen more than my fair share of old episodes of "I Love Lucy" and "The Golden Girls" as I pulled off all-nighters to get the work done.

You'd think it would be a hassle and a pain to work so quickly but I actually thrive on it. Oh, I wouldn't want to do it all the time but, every once in a while, it's really fun to get out of my own way and just draw and create as fast as I can without having the time to second guess myself. And, after all these years of doing art like this, I have to say I think I've gotten pretty good at it.

These three pieces were assigned to me on a Sunday afternoon and I finished them sometime right after dinner that same night. And, for the short time they took to create, I really liked the way they came out.

So, it got me thinking about an annual event coming up in October that I'd like to try out. I need to talk to a local store owner to see if I can get into the event but I don't think that will be a problem. Doing the event itself scares me a bit but in that good way. It will be a way to test myself and see what I can do for myself in the same amount of short time I sometimes get from some of my best clients. If nothing else, I know it will be a learning experience. As the time of the event draws closer I'll let you know more.

But, for now, I am off to get myself a bowl of cereal and start the day. There is still a lot of art to do before I pack my bags next week and drive east to Maine.Maybe that is the real reason my mind wouldn't stop spinning this morning and finally kicked me out of bed. Too much to do!

Have a great day everyone! I'll talk to you soon!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Sports Illustrated Kids August

 Geez, August went by quick this year and, looking back at the blog, I didn't get a chance to post too much this month. I haven't even thought about starting a piece for next month's blog header yet and the Lily piece I wanted to get around to painting is still at the same stage as when I last showed it.

I think it's because I've spent so much time over on the OilCan Drive site, getting new pages posted weekly and doing a kind of blog-post-a-week there every Tuesday that this blog has suffered. Plus, it doesn't help that when I look at my stat numbers on both sites that the OCD site is thriving and growing while this one gets barely any hits at all. But, I am sure me not posting anything to it in a month doesn't help.

So, because I am such a schedule oriented guy, it might be a good idea to get this blog on a schedule like I have on the OCD site and pick a few days a week to put posts up no matter what is going on. I figure twice a week, eight times a month, sure beats once or twice a month sporadic posts. So, we'll see how that goes.

But, I definitely didn't want to let August go by without posting this month's Sports Illustrated What's The Call pieces. I really enjoy doing these pieces every month and am always thankful for the great folks at SIK for letting me play in their magazine month in and month out.

I am actually doubling up illustrations for them this month because I am off on a road trip to the east coast next week. It's been a little hectic shuffling things around but it's almost done and I am almost on the road.

Thanks again everyone for sticking with me and enjoying the art. I'll get this blog back on a schedule soon enough and we'll go from there. I hope you all had a great summer and are looking forward to fall as much as I am. See you all soon!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Happy August and a New Store!


Well, I was going to try and get the Lily painting done for this month's blog header but, honestly, it's still stuck at the same stage it was at a few days ago. I just haven't had the time to work on it. And, since I want it to be a fun piece to paint and not another job on my plate, I decided to give myself a break and save it for when I have some real time to work on it.

So, for August, we'll just have to settle with the black and white inked piece of Lily for the header. Maybe if things go my way this month I'll get a chance to paint some and finish the piece. My fingers, as always, are crossed.

One of the things I've been working on is the OilCan Drive website store. And, finally, after weeks of building art and doing web coding, the the official OilCan Drive Store is up and running! You can check out the store HERE to find OilCan Drive books, music, and t-shirts available as both physical items as well as digital downloads.

And, even if you're strapped for cash and can't buy anything but you'd still like to help, I could really use some positive reviews on all the places OilCan Drive is available for purchase. So, hit the store links to visit Amazon, CreateSpace, ITunes, and CDBaby and tell the world what you think. Spread the word!

As always, thank you all for your continued support. You have no idea how much it means to me! See you all next time!