Thursday, May 22, 2014

His backpack's got jets

Here's a T-shirt/tour poster illustration I just did for mc chris.

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I met Chris back Adult Swim days at Williams Street in Atlanta and I had been a fan of his work before that, so it was nice to get to do some design work for him. Here are a few of the earlier versions. Chris wanted me to steer it in more of a 1930s Max Fleischer direction.

These are a few of the original concepts.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Rubber? I barely know her?

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This is a piece I made for "Cinch Me", a corset fetish group art show at Antebellum curated by my friend Simone Williams. I want to thank Simone for pushing me to do something new with my work. I was worried I wouldn't have time to create a piece since I tend to over-think all of my work and fixate on minute details to the point where I take forever to get a piece done. This is one of the reasons I'm not as productive as I'd like, because each piece seem to take too long or I'll end up getting frustrated and give up before I even begin. Simone saw some of my more loose, rough concepts for other pieces and convinced me that my work even in that state still looks good and that I should just go for it. I think she was right. Instead of spending weeks on a large scale canvas painting with a paint brush smaller than my pinky nail, I just went for it with markers and paint on a large sheet of paper and I was able to knock it out in one afternoon. I should really paint like this more often. The color choices were inspired by my friend Xanthia.

 (in the upper right, from left to right: Dominique D'vita, Simone Williams, Xanthia Pink)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

"Awfully unsporting of me, I know, but what the hey, I gotta have some fun!"

Here are my pieces for the 4th Annual Red Dot Auction at The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

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I wanted to keep Bugs and Daffy somewhat traditional, but still manage to put a bit of my own style on it. The backgrounds are copied from original Maurice Noble layouts.

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Celebrate the life, don't memorialize the death

Yesterday it was announced that actor Bob Hoskins had passed away, and on my Facebook account I had made the following comment "I wonder how long it will be til shitty fan art of Roger Rabbit or Mario looking sad floods my news feed". Some people thought this meant I didn't like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, or that I didn't care about Bob Hoskins. Now neither of those are true. Obviously Roger Rabbit was a tremendously influential movie for me and to this day remains one of my favorite films of all time. My problem was that this will be yet another situation where all of the dumb-dumbs of my generation will remember an actor for only one single role despite a lifetime of work and achievement. Also regardless of the fact that they never bothered to see his any of his other work, all day long they're gonna act like their freakin' dad died. The same thing happened last month with Harold Ramis ("Who? Oh, you mean Egon!") The man made a tremendous contribution to modern comedy cinema, and all anyone could talk about was Ghostbusters. There was no mention of SCTV, Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation or Animal House! It was nothing but illustrations of Egon as a ghost with the rest of the Ghostbusters looking sad. Just wait til Christopher Lloyd dies and we're inundated with a flood of crappy drawings of Marty McFly in the passenger seat of the DeLorean looking sad at an empty driver seat. I guarantee it will happen and there will be no drawings of Danny DeVito and the rest of the cast of "Taxi" looking sad at a cab, or Jack Nicholson and the rest of the cast of "One Flew Over The CooCoo's Nest" looking sad at an empty straight jacket or something equally as dumb. 

But beyond the fact that such fan art focus exclusively on just one single aspect of an artist's lifetime of achievements, I want to point out how phenomenally boring, predicable, formulaic, and depressing these "tributes" are. It's not a new thing. Warner Brothers did a series of these when Mel Blanc and Chuck Jones (my hero) died

Look at how boring and depressing these are! Now to me, this isn't a tribute. This is a commemoration of death and doesn't do any kind of justice to the accomplishments they achieved in their lifetime or the joy they brought to their audiences. Also, these were for sale as high end (and expensive) cels. Would you really want to hang this on your wall? Why would you want a reminder that an artist whose work you've admired and has brought you so much happiness in your lifetime is now dead. Why not something that actually celebrates their life and their work. Take a look at these two tributes that were created when Friz Freleng died. 

To me, the second one seems to do a much better job at celebrating the artist's life rather than going down a tired, predictable route that says "he's dead and we're sad" 
I'm not saying there is anything wrong with being sad, but if you're an an artist, and another artist has really truly influenced you, and you want a way to express that creatively when they pass, then actually show that by doing something genuinely creative and not a tired old cliche.  Create something that celebrates their life and how it affected yours. Make something that that artist could look at and be proud to have had a hand in helping shape the person behind it.