Thursday, November 23, 2017

But Pilgrim

You caused a lot of trouble this morning! 
Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving.
This is from one of the few westerns I'll ever admit to liking, "McLintock!" John Wayne is well known for referring to people as "pilgrim" but apparently he only said it in two films. A lot of people claim he only said it in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", but they'd be wrong because he also said it in "McLintock!". You can watch it and check me, but this is my "Clueless" moment where I get to claim that I may not know Shakespeare but I know Mel Gibson and Hamlet didn't say it, that Polonius guy did.  (To thine own self be true. Look that one up too).

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Ideas and Books and Dirty Looks

It can't just be a coincidence that I keep stumbling upon articles, podcasts and Youtube videos with people talking about sketchbooks.  Either their continued admiration for their sketchbook or they've rekindled their romance with one. They all admit how important it is to have one and, wait for it, actually USE IT!  Even if you're not an artist it's great to have a book to put down thoughts or ideas. Keeping a book around where you can freely scribble out ideas is one of the more useful tools you'll invest in. The other day I felt as if I were floundering. I was working on designing new Christmas cards and nothing was jiving. I ended up walking around the house, moving from one room to the next, going outside to feed the birds, raked the leaves, I just couldn't wrangle the thoughts in my brain and thought the other mundane tasks would help clear my head. Nope. I finally got out a sketchbook and started writing out random words. The random words turned into little doodles and before I knew it I had enough good ideas to put Hallmark to shame. The great thing is now I have this sketchbook full of ideas. Maybe they're not the best ideas for this particular project but I could use them somewhere else down the road.  There's no shame in writing down your ideas.  I used to be embarrassed if someone looked in my sketchbooks. It felt like they were judging me on my ideas. If they were making dirty looks or turning up their noses it felt like they were saying my ideas were crap.  When I was a little kid I wrote songs and stories. My aunts all made fun of the songs I wrote. They said they sounded like theme songs to soap operas. I pretty much hated playing piano ever since. My mom always gave me a hard time with my little stories because dyslexia makes you psell funny. Don't feel sorry for me because I'm related to a bunch of assholes, that's not why I shared that. I shared it because I'm sure you've had the same feeling before with some idea you thought was great and it got shot down or lambasted.  The truth is there will always be someone that judges the gardener based on the pile of dirt they begin with and not the prize winning roses they end up with after the great amount of days of hard work cultivating them. Don't let them stop you from working in your notebook or wherever you keep your ideas. Be so busy working on your ideas that you don't have time to entertain their negativity.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Before You Know It

You know all of those motivational posters that say stuff like; never give up, if you can't stop thinking about it don't stop working for it, if your dreams don't scare you they aren't big enough, etc.... I can't stand those.  It's not because they're saccharine and sound like BS, it's because I'd rather see results than posters with "motivational" words.  Just because you repost a motivational saying doesn't mean you'll actually do what's written on it.
Recently I listened to a Youtube video where they spoke about having a product not a project and it really struck a chord with me. One of the suggestions they gave was to do something every day, such as Inktober. There are painters who do daily paintings and now the month of November brings about NaNoWriMo, where writers sign up for the challenge to write every day for the whole month and by the end they should have enough written for a novel length book.  I've seen people criticising this but at the end of the month what will the writer have and what will the critic have? If you truly want to create something you'll work at it every day and before you know it you'll have a product. This product will be something you can show others and use to possibly get jobs for other projects.
In the video they suggest, if you're trying to get work as an illustrator, to illustrate a book that's in the public domain. Just search for a book you know and like then every day do an illustration. At the end of 30 days you'll have at least 30 illustrations that could potentially be turned into a book.  If anything you have 30 illustrations to show to a potential client. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Inktober is Almost Over

Night of the Creeps
Sadly October is coming to an end which is sad for me. This whole month I've been wrapped up in getting ready for a solo show in November. Finishing up paintings, matting, framing, pricing, blah blah, and Inktober gave me a great break from all of that.  It was something I looked forward to. I'd wake up and roll my eyes at the thought of having to get frames ready but always had the fun inking to look forward to. Most of the time when I do ink sketches it's strictly for work, not fun, although sometimes it is fun.  It just occurred to me that I should do one every day just for fun. There's less stress involved when it's just for fun.

Fright Night


Sleepaway Camp

Return of the Living Dead part II

Children of the Corn

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Saying Goes

Inktober day 25 from Night of the Creeps
If the pen is mightier than the sword I know where you can get your weapons. I find myself in Fairfield, IA quite often and funny enough it has nothing to do with me stalking David Lynch. Or does it? (it doesn't) For about a year now I've been talking myself out of stepping foot in this new store, The Tokyo Pen Shop. Why would I have to talk myself out of going to a pen shop? Because art supplies and any sort of writing utensil are my form of drug and I'm trying not to be an abuser.Hugs not drugs, but if you just can't help yourself get to the The Tokyo Pen Shop. If you're ever in the area go inside, look at all of the fun stuff, try stuff out, buy lots and lots of pens.  If you're not in the area you're still in luck they have a great online shop. Since I finally stepped foot inside the shop I've already been back to stock up on my new favourite pen, the Zig Artist Sketching Pen. It's great for exactly what it says. It's hard to imagine these days that there's someone or at least something that actually does what it says it's supposed to.
The Demon in the Freezer 
In my true chaotic manner now I'm switching gears to tell you about this book my friend let me borrow. You know you have a friend when they let you borrow books and movies. Seriously, I know I don't just loan mine out to any old person.  She first told me about the book and it intrigued me. Then I read the book and my mind couldn't rest for at least a week. Not to give too many spoilers away but the demon in the freezer is smallpox, which is scary because sometimes the demon comes out of the freezer. Microbiology was probably my all time favourite class in college but I knew I could never do anything with it professionally.  Even though I was very good at it, my petri dishes were works of art (not to brag but they were and yes bacteria can be pretty), it frightened me to no end. I could easily collect samples and look at them under microscopes and study them but just as easily as I could do that someone else with bad intentions could do a lot of harm with them. This book is all about those nightmares.  Even Stephen King said this book was scarier than anything he's ever written. It's scary because it's true. I don't know how the author came around to learning about all of these stories but he wrote it as if he were there witnessing everything as it happened which makes it a little bit more frightening. It was a really great book to read but if you're like Joey Tribbiani you might have to put The Demon in the Freezer in the freezer a few times.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Inktober day 17 from the movie Neon Maniacs
Are there any other months of the year that get their name abused as much as October? We have Shocktober, Rocktober, Spooktober, so on and so forth. October is great, without it we wouldn't have Oktoberfest. Which brings up an interesting side note about horror movies. Do you snack during movies? Candy, popcorn, soda, beer? When I go to a movie theatre it's almost mandatory to have popcorn and a cherry coke. HOWEVER, I always refrain if it's a horror movie. Seriously, I should start the horror movie diet plan. There are just some really grody parts to most horror movies and they make me lose my appetite.  A couple of the movies I used for this week's inktober sketches have some of the grossest death scenes, even if they look completely low budget, they still make my stomach turn.
These two sketches are from the movie Alice Sweet Alice, aka Communion, aka Holy Terror.  They've all but outlawed these type of Halloween masks for what they claim are safety reasons, but I'm pretty sure it's because whoever's in charge of making those stupid rules just got tired of wetting their pants every time they saw them. The creepy masks were put to good use in several horror films.

These next two sketches are from the ridiculousness that is Neon Maniacs.  It's actually not completely horrible, it just needed someone to reign in the ridiculous. A lot of people refer to it as the Village People at Halloween. It does have potential to be good so it's worth a watch.

This one is from Death Ship, another one with George Kennedy.  It's probably one you've never heard of but if you're a fan of horror movies you need to find it and watch it. "This old ship, seems to have a life of its own".  Yes, yes it does and it's what makes it scary. Well, that and then you find out the ship is a Nazi. WHA!? Yea, just watch it, especially for George Kennedy's performance, his descent into madness is pretty great. 

Night of the Creeps is just an all around great 80s horror flick and one of those that will put you on the fast track to weight loss that I mentioned earlier. The first time you see those slugs coming out of somebody's body you'll find yourself not so hungry for Junior Mints. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

October Was Made for Horror

As I'm sitting here typing this there's an awful storm going on outside, with a tornado warning to boot. The strange weather, rustling leaves and earlier sunsets make October the perfect month for all things spooky.  Continuing the inktober and movie mashup this first one is from Just Before Dawn.

 It might seem like your typical campers go off in the mountains to be terrorized, but it's a little better than your average cliche camping horror film. One, it has George Kennedy in it and he fully warns these five morons that there's a machete wielding weirdo out in the mountains but they go just the same.  In situations like that it's hard to feel sorry for the victims. They were warned, weren't they?

This next one is from Psychomania
 The Brits and their bikes, what's not to love here? It's got one helluva good soundtrack and a good story too.  Of all of the types of horror stories out there the ones involving witchcraft seem to intrigue me the most.  Why? Because who would be crazy enough to tempt that sort of fate? Walking into an abandoned house, or like the previous movie, a spooky wooded area I can manage that type of fear.  Messing with spirits and the un-dead, that's completely unknown to me and holy crap what happens if something really does happen? Perhaps Bloody Mary won't come after you if you say her name three times in the mirror but who's to say she won't? Just because she doesn't come for you immediately after you say it doesn't mean she isn't coming years down the road. Seriously, she's probably working her way down that long list of names. Hope you didn't do anything stupid when you were a kid to open some sort of portal or curse.

This uber creepy one is from New Year's Evil
I always wish that when the person wearing the mask pulls the mask off they look exactly like the mask. This is another one where I just don't know if I can feel bad for all of the victims. Cheesy but it was the 80s and man the 80s were great. 

This is from The Burning. Another camping excursion. This one is the first instance I learned about Cropsey.  Turns out Cropsey has his own story, a true one. Look him up if you have time. 
Sometimes Youtube gives us great things. Here's the whole movie from start to finish.  

These next three drawings are from Saturday the 14th

When I was a kid my mom thought Friday the 13th would be too scary for me but she believed this movie was a spoof on it and would be ok for me to watch. 

While there is some humour it does have some bits of horror too.  As for Friday the 13th being too scary, she must've had no idea the treasure trove of Argento and Fulci movies my dad had already let me watch.