Saturday, 28 August 2010


I will be at SPX Sept. 11th and 12th! Come see all my stuff, plus the new installment of DOF!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Evolution of a Page

From pencils to ink outlines, to inks and tone... this is the way I make my page... CLICK ON ANY to ENLARGE

Friday, 20 August 2010

Vothana Hates You!

Vothana is the only black metal band I've heard from Vietnam. Now this spiteful one-man horde is located in the US. I've heard a few Vothana recordings, but this so far, is my favorite.

Vothana is encrusted, caustic lo-fi black metal. Nothing to surprise you, nothing to turn you off. But what I like about this record more than the others is the way the vocals match the guitar playing... they are melodic, going from growling with some "bragging" sort of shouting... I don't know, it just sounds different to my world-weary ears. Underground melodic war metal.

Hoang Gia means Wilderness in Vietnamese. See, you're learning things already.

This record was to be limited to 100 copies but supposedly after it was uploaded onto the vnkvlt internet, the remaining copies were destroyed because they weren't meant to be heard by the likes of you. So if you want the actual ten-inch you'll have to fork over some benjamins.

Don't believe me?

See for yourself:

Or you can download it HERE. Enjoy. Or should I say, thưởng thức!

Vothana hates the internet.

Vothana hates you.

"Flattery will get you nowhere"

Best youtube Comment EVER

Here, now hit this, sit back and listen to the vibrations that blew this hippie's mind:

In the Glare of Burning Churches

Even Satanic hooligans practice good penmanship:

A few decades ago church burning was all the rage amongst long-haired hooligans with too much leftover Halloween make-up. While I don't condone arson on any level (that means you, Left Eye!) I also think all the backlash it created was ridiculous.

In Norway, some in the black metal community said it was stupid. How is it any more or less stupid than if it had happened by accident? If it was struck by lightning would you condemn nature?

God spoke to Moses through a burning bush.

Nobody wept for the bush.

People are too hung up on intent. An action is simply an action. Motive has become bigger than action. It's not what you do but why you do it. Why did you make this record? Why did you burn this place down? Why did you do anything today?

Stop blaming others and start thinking for yourself and yourselves. True art often happens spontaneously. You might even say, in "a flash." The unimaginative have to categorize and be told why it happened. Instead they should be asking what it means to them, to the world in itself.

Unchecked growth is called cancer. Nature needs the push and pull of growth and recedance to maintain balance. Humanity still can't learn. We work to eradicate cancer yet can't grasp the metaphors that art offers us.

Nobody wept for the cancer.

A Magnetar:

Destruction needs creation to destroy, and creation needs destruction to make space to create...

Nobody wept for the stars.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

NEO-INTEGRITY: Comics Edition

TimeOut New York just reviewed the Neo-Integrity show put together by Keith Mayerson. I got a mention in it, which is totally surreal. If I was in California I'd be "stoked" (and not just about the looming pot legalization that will turn it into the next Gomorrah...)

Check it out here:

Last paragraph:

Perhaps most tellingly for Mayerson’s project, a number of works seem equally at home in both the comics and art camps. The six ink drawings of Sabin Michael Calvert’s Gorgeous Clothed Flies (2009) combine obsessive renderings of tree bark, obscure charts and psychedelic epigrams to produce a compellingly quirky poetry, and Ray Sohn’s Spume of the Condors (2010) joins semiabstract outline drawing to collaged geometries in red, yellow and green in a five-panel burst of pictorial invention. Punctuated by discoveries like these, perusing the maze of Mayerson’s exhibition becomes akin to reading a great comic book, full of pleasure and surprises.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Getting Things Done for Artists

I'm pretty overwhelmed right now with projects. Whenever this happens I usually procrastinate by looking around for books/sites on efficiency or tips on how to get stuff done. The problem is pretty much all of them are for executives or managers. I don't really need to know how to organize my flight itinerary or how to run a board room meeting.

As an artist you're put in the uncomfortable position of having no real schedule for getting things done. You just have to get them done.

So I've decided to write about HOW to get stuff done, because people seem to think I get a lot done (personally I don't!) and by writing about this it will hopefully help you as well as me accomplish everything we want to.

So before I start posting the big stuff I just wanted to give a little morsel:


(Did you ever play that fortune cookie game where you added " bed" to every fortune? I want to do it to this title...)

When visual artists organize, it is usually vertically rather than horizontally. This is a right brain/left brain thing. You should organize however you need to but the funny thing is that almost all timelines are horizontal rather than vertical. This sets up an immediate subconscious break between your work and a timeline.

Nobody knows how time works or if it even exists! So chuck out your old calenders and in their place make some columns (you're an artist, don't be dictated to by standard expectations!). I've always been drawn to those planners that have each day as a bunch of stacked rectangles but they are very myopic. The scope is up to you; day, week, month, year, decade, life... beyond... however you need to frame your project this minute.

Doing this on paper and then laminating it is a simple way to make a planner that is reusable. If you write on most laminate with a sharpie it will clean off with rubbing alcohol or cleaner with high alcohol content.

Starting at the top is the traditional way to order events but doesn't going from the bottom up make more sense? Things grow upwards...

This also applies to work spaces. A trick I got from a friend was to use a "shoe tree to hold all my supplies. I can see exactly what I have, where it is, and what I use most is right next to it. I have it organized from the top to the bottom. Everyday items (glue, scissors, tape) I might use all the time are the lowest. Then comes pencils, protractors and stencils, then pens, markers, crayons and colored pencils, then brushes, then paints/paint supplies, fixative, etc. This is the basic order I use my tools.

At the top I have lines of Met pins in a rainbow of color reminding me of going to the Met each week to sketch and practice. This both a reminder of my practice and something that grounds me: a ritual. A totem.

These aren't fast and hard rules, but if you are a visual artist and get intimidated by timelines, maybe try a different approach.

More to come...

Saturday, 7 August 2010

You Could Learn a Lot From a Manga

I've been looking for "zip-a-tones" or Ben-Day dots for my new project. This has lead me into the seedy underbelly of comics... MANGA! Manga is just Japanese for comics, but it is so stylized that it has become its own genre of sorts, being imitated most famously right now by Scott Pilgrim artist Bryan Lee O'Malley.

I started wondering what makes the style so appealing. I drew a little in that style and think I figured it out. My attempt (pencils and zip-tone only):

1) Everything is simple. There is no time spent on shading and crosshatching and big shadows. This requires a lot of artistic prowess.

2) Everything is exaggerated. Eyes are especially exaggerated, but more than mere anatomy, emotions are given their own language. It is clear when a character is sad or happy or angry.

3) Everything is quick. You are definitely not reading a novel. Even with more complex looking stuff like Battle Royale, there is rarely a panel with more than two word balloons, most have one and some use interim panels with only words and a pattern to speed the process.

So basically it's visual junk food. Quick, straight to the gut, cheap and familiar that doesn't require a huge commitment on the part of the reader. It is pop music for the eyes.

Thanks for checking it out!

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