Kicking up the Settling Dust

Inktober 2019 came and went- and I actually managed to post a piece of art every single day. To be fair, I didn’t follow any prompts; I simply used a list for illustrations I needed for a table top card game I had designed, and when I got bored of that I did whatever. You can check out my Instagram profile to see the fruits of my month of madness.

That said, I wanted to continue to create creating ink illustrations. I don’t want to lose the huge gains I made improving my skill, and it gave me time to think about what I want to do. I am caught in a world between filmmaking and drawing. I seesaw in it because I like doing both, but if I want to gain true mastery I know I need to drop one or the other. The thing is I don’t want to.

That said, above is a drawing I did of a character from one of my feature-length screenplays which I want to adapt to graphic novel. I like the way she turned out, and it is close to the style I plan on making my oneshot comic. I originally had another idea for …

Self-applying Salt in Old Wounds

A few days ago, I had a long conversation with my day job manager, Marc, who is also my mentor and friend. Our chat went to discussing those who we would consider our personal Nemesis. His was a narcissistic old professor he had while he was in college. The dude sounded like a real deuchbag, but Marc persevered. Mine, no less deuchy, was a former friend and business partner from ages (read 'DECADES') ago.

We both got worked up as old memories surfaced and we told our war stories of betrayal and disgust. It's easy for old wounds to open up especially when they're so deep as they happened so young. After our chat, the rekindling of old anger dredged up the motivation to work on some projects. Applying salt to an old wound is not healthy, but it is effective.

However, the poison faded quickly- the thought of drinking in more toxic memories to feel powerful conjured many a cautionary tale. They ARE old wounds, but they HAD HEALED. My former acquaintance had actually given…

Curves of a Killer - Flash Fiction Pulp Noir

The 3 A.M. Epiphany's second exercise is titled "Imperitive"—writing in the second person was strangely satisfying. I grew up playing D&D (among other RPGs) and so this was natural for me. It's also how adventure books (like Choose Your Own Adventure) are written- telling you where to go and what to do. Kind of bossy, really. 

Still, it was a great exercise; I wouldn't mind trying to create an adventure book, someday.
Exercise #2: IMPERITIVE (500 words)
Dusk slices horizontal strips into your dim office and onto your face, waking you.You stretch, rub the sleep from your eyes and move to adjust the blinds when a quick rap turns your attention away.
You open the door, and a shapely female silhouette is softly illuminated by sunlight splashing off your desk. Her red fitted dress and matching flat-brimmed hat hide eyes that cut through black lace, judging your gape.
“It’s customary to ask a girl in to have a seat, detective.” She breathes. Her eyes glisten, moist an…

NaNoWriMore or Less

NaNoWriMo is on my mind. I have been attempting it. I also have been flailing sadly at how out of sorts I have been with my own storytelling- the only creative endeavor in which I find any creative flow. 
As it were, I had picked up The3 A.M. EPIPHANY by Brian Kiteley about ten years ago from Borders Books. I wouldn’t say I was intimidated by the work that would go into it, but rather the fact that I wasn’t ready. The book was forgotten and gathered dust on my bookshelf… shame on me. 
That said, as I was looking through my personal library for my BOOKSHELF ACADEMY series, I pulled this off the shelf and perused it, promising myself that I WOULD indeed do the exercises and, hell, why not post them as well? 
I thought I had done the first exercise but it wasn’t to be found on any hard drive, but I suspect it may live in typed form- playing on an old Smith-Corona Classic 12 that I had found at an estate sale; something about channeling Hemmingway, Kerouac, and Asimov. Meh. I suspect they wo…

Inktober so far…

I am falling behind on these prompts. I am two days behind- partially because of some impromptu overnight plans this last weekend, but more because I am drawing a blank (pun unintended, but approved).

I've noticed a few things while attempting Inktober—I have a long way to go with the particular inking style I want to master, but my default technique is actually decent.

Creative block is my current struggle. Between home life and work projects, my artistic well is running on fumes. Despite distractions of everyday life, many of my ideas are from personal projects that I’m not ready to share publicly... and it's pushing me into a self-imposed block.

I’ve had a hard time with the official prompt list; though many other lists are a bit more literal on WHAT to draw, I haven’t had much inspiration. Again, like I said, I’m drawing a blank.

Here are some of the better daily ink drawings. Hopefully, I can come up with something decent fin the next couple of weeks.


The Bookshelf Academy: Part II

In a previous entry, I realized that I have an incredible resource under my nose- my own personal library of books I’ve bought over the years. My art books, in particular, are my most valued. This will be an ongoing, intermittent series of my personal favorite books culled from my personal library. Books that actually TAUGHT me something. Each upcoming entry will briefly highlight three books.

However, before we get into it, I want to outline my approach to actually USING these books. I could drone on in an intense article- but I'm doing us both a favor by simply outlining the facts.

How I self-teach using an art instruction book
Get to know the book:Go through it, cover-to-cover.Don’t be afraid to jump ahead if you feel inspired.Make a concerted effort to start at the beginning and do the exercises within:LABEL each art with the book and the exercise/page number! This will give you a reference as you go through your sketchbook notes.If there are no exercises, try your own drawing…

A world of Inktobers…

I have been using a Faber-Castell PITT artist pen, soft brush #199. I love it. The point is fine, the bristles are soft. The ink is dark. And I found it at Michael’s for only $5.

I’d rather ink with a brush, but it’s a messy affair- and clean-up is brutal. With a brush pen, you get the experience. However, it’s water soluble ink… meaning that it’s not waterproof and erasers pick up the ink when you try to rub out pencil lines.

I had been teaching myself how to ink for years. I was trying to develop my confidence as nervousness leads to shaky results.

One way to gain confidence is to draw with a ball point pen: I filled up an entire small sketch book with hundreds of messy pen drawings. As I was feeling more confident, I moved on to crowquill. I would also use india ink mechanical pens, but you get no flexibility in the line.

It’s been a few years of on/off use, and you’ve seen me post some stuff before. Now that Jake Parker has released the Inktober 2018 list (here’s a print friendly…