Tuesday, March 8, 2011

While you try to find the lines to speak your mind...

Continuing my string of angry/miserable musicians streak, this is from a Fiona Apple song.

So anyways, I've been hired on to do Lord of the Rings illustrations as of late. They're progressing well and I got back in touch with an old love of mine : inkwash. Oh man, how great is that stuff?! Seriously, I love it, and coloring over it has given me more freedom to make textures with the pieces I make. Nothing wrong with that. The art director I have seriously likes the work I'm doing and hopefully that'll mean more work from them in the future. So here's the first piece... 

This is a scene from "The Fellowship of the Ring." In probably the second best scene of the movie a cave troll bursts into The Chamber of Mazarbul which is in the Mines of Moria. Yeah, Tolkien wrote some crazy stuff right? The title of the piece is one of Boromir's best lines in the movie version. So here you have the troll wrecking shit like no one's business and chasing Frodo there. Boromir and Legolas are doing their best to help out. Putting the entire fellowship and the billions of goblins/orcs in there would have made my brain explode. So I concentrated on one hot minute and went with it. 

I used a lot of white to really weigh in the impact of the big f'n mace the Troll carries. The inkwash helped with the strong light, and the contrast of the characters and the white hopefully stands out well. 

Getting this gig came at a pretty fortunate time because it's kept my mind off of a lot of things. A friend of mine, Dwayne McDuffie passed away on February 21st & he was really the guy who convinced me to go my own way to get into the art industry. He once told me in San Diego that he could tell my heart wasn't into all the superhero stories, but that it also wasn't into the slice of life scene either. He said I have too much fun drawing monsters, aliens and the goofy stuff you see on here. He then told me that I didn't have to bend to the ways of our industry and I could tell my own stories if I really really want it. I never even said a word during all of this - he was just a smart guy and we formed a friendship over the years of me coming to San Diego. So it really sucks losing someone super awesome like that. 

And literally right before he died something I was pretty excited about fell apart right out of nowhere. I'm still super confused about it and really don't have any idea what to do about it. The less said, the better... it just really sucks that this & Dwayne passing happened at the same time. That was a rough rough weekend for me. 

Finally someone came back into my life... well tried to at least, and as hard as it was I had to keep that door shut. I really can't deal with this person being around me. Too much to ask.

So when they say everything hits at once, they're damn well telling you the truth. Good & bad.

But I'm fortunate enough to have great friends to get my back. Steering this back to the art blog, I was out with my buddy Zach Howard on Friday night. Over way too many beers we got into a long talk about being good artists. All good artists hate themselves and their work. It sounds absolutely insane from someone's point of view that's not an artist - because when you see us create in a way it's like a magic show. We make something out of nothing. But all we see are faults & mistakes. Mind you, there's a great amount of confidence in the work I do. I know I don't suck and I'm on the right road. But when you sit there & look at what you're doing you always see improvement to be made. And it screws with your head. You can be super confident and still hate yourself. 

Trust me I've screwed up more than I like to think about. Blown a lot of good opportunities ya know? But being resentful and hating yourself isn't the awful depressing state that it sounds like. The idea is to take that hate for yourself and turn it into productivity. Like, I hate that I draw lines so unevenly - I suck super bad at it & I really hate that I'm super bad at it! So what do I work on? Line quality. Anyways, we just sat around for hours drinking and talking about how self loathing brings out the best in artists. I guess I'm a little more inclined towards that line of thinking right now, but I don't really think it's a bad thing. It was a really motivating discussion & really something I haven't seen eye to eye on with a lot of people. Gerhard and I have talked about being our most productive when we're depressed but I've never talked about how hating myself has always motivated me to do better. Zach and I see eye to eye on that & it was good getting it out. I know it sounds really weird, but it's really the truth of it all. I've been training with him to get into better shape because I hate my body. And always will. I've been becoming a better artist because I hate my art and I want it to be better. But that's the sign of a good artist, so there ya go.

This is a long rant, but a lot has happened to me and my blog has to be good for something. 

I hope you're doing well.

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