April 2012

26 April 2012

Time to retire an old friend


I tend to use tiger stripes and snake tattoos quite a bit.

Here is an old business card that I have used for years (altered here, no offense but I'd rather not advertise my cell number online :). These illustrations are old, and the card itself was in black and white to save printing costs.

In any case, it's time to retire the old bugger. It's served me well for many a yarn, but I've been using my Lost Skies business card more and more. However, I'd would still like to use a separate card strictly for illustration purposes. But what should I put on v2.0?

24 April 2012

Quick Update


It's been a bit busy lately. While Aaron is hammering out a new script, I've been taking care of life, but have also stayed creative with drawing. Not to worry, I will have a storyboard article sooner than later! As for SSOE... plan on a Vimeo release in May.

Meanwhile, please check out my other site http://juanmaestas.blogspot.com to see what I've been up to lately!

"Adventure" Library PSA







Back in 2005ish, I had done a set of illustrations used in some public service announcements on how exciting it is to read (which it is, of course). The images were given motion, sound, and music by the producer. They were rather effective. I illustrated two, and storyboarded a few others.

This particular one was titled "Adventure", starring the tomb robber "Montana Stagg", named after my friend Brett Stagg who helped me with some photo reference. I particularly like how this one turned out- it almost seems like a traditionally animated cartoon. Note how they are formatted in the "academy" aspect ratio of 4:3... the good old days of NTSC before the digital switchover.

23 April 2012

Kubert Correspondence Course Sale!


I've been waiting for a Correspondence Course sale at Kubert School, and I was hoping one would be popping up soon.

Kubert School is celebrating the 13th Anniversary (of I'm assuming their Correspondence Courses) and they have a big contest to win a print drawn and signed by Joe, Adam and Andy Kubert! 13 lucky winners of the prints will be drawn (heh) from the best of the second assignments. If that's not incentive to do your best, I don't know what is!

So I have some freelance gigs coming up which will pay for my order! And I will post my assignments and critiques!

22 April 2012

Stocking up





Hmm... what could these be for? You tell me, I've had them for a while.

The initial idea was that I wanted to convert one of my feature length screenplays into 6 issue mini-series that could become bundled into a graphic novel. I have plenty of ideas- more than I know what to do with- and often because I keep switching back and forth, it's paralyzing. Running too many directions at once paralyzes you in place. I want to do too many things and I lack focus some times- or rather I get discouraged. I'm working on it, though. I've always done well in school, freelance, and work- when I have deadlines and I have people relying on me... but it's at the expense of my own goals.

SO they're patiently waiting for me to get to the point where I won't waste them.

21 April 2012

The Cisco Kid, Volume 1


The Cisco Kid: Volume 1. Now Available For $24.95
I'm really looking forward to getting this- I just placed my order through Amazon. But a bit of background- I first came across Jose Luis Salinas' artwork while perusing Comic Art Fans' website. I've always loved the adventure comic strip, I used to cut and save many of them when I was younger- usually Prince Valiant, Spiderman, The Empire Strikes Back, Tarzan, etc. I was always taken by the draftmanship of these cartoons... ever since I was 4 years old. Seriously.

When I came across Salinas' work I was awe-struck. Anatomy, expression, landscape, light and shadow, sequential storytelling, costumes and props, inkwork... I could go on and on. AND it was all done BY HAND, nothing digital at all about it. No crutches of 3d software or anything- just plain old talent and skill.  You hardly see anything like that anymore. I'll leave that rant for another time.

However, there are many articles about Salinas throughout the web, and many examples of his art. When I found that Classic Comic Press was compiling a series of books, I was ECSTATIC!!! I hope I can gleam some sort of education from owning this, to help my own adventure cartooning and inking. Between that and Kubert School's Correspondence Course, it's just a matter of time and discipline.

Looking across their site, I've discovered another strip that I might have to get- Frank Godwin's Rusty Wiley- amazing stuff. Looks like the folks over at Classic Comic Press will be getting quite a bit of my money- and I'll gladly give it to them for such amazing books!

20 April 2012

More sketches from FB


Space Ranger Concept.
I was looking through my sketchbooks, and I realized one thing- I started drawing only 3/4 view heads. I think I was searching for a new 'style'.  I'll post some of those in the future, but I found that I was in a rut. Nothing really new, more like random doodles, I wasn't really exploring ideas or finishing anything that I was drawing. What happened?

It's frustrating. I've dedicated the past few years (and tears) to filmmaking- which has been fun, and has taught me many things about storytelling, cinematic visual language, timing, acting, lighting- all things that are in the best of comic books, but I've let my drawing abilities lag. I am extremely out of practice, and sometimes I beat myself up about "had I stuck with it, I'd be much better." I then have to remind myself that what I've learned while filmmaking is equally, if not more valuable than just working on technical skills.

Still, I look around and realize that I haven't done as much- or improved as much- as I wanted. I haven't accomplished what I had set out to do all those years ago when I was in school.  But that's a matter of hard work and focused direction... and I'm getting there!

SO as I try to figure that one out, I am posting a few of my last 'finished' drawings. I think taking that Kubert School Correspondence Course will go a long way to helping me find my groove again.





Barbarian sketch... I realized I was lacking a bit in anatomy.

My Space Ace drawing before photoshop colors.

My Street Mage drawing before photoshop colors.


60s sci-fi babe.

19 April 2012

A few older FB posts...


Some more stuff that I have on Facebook that I had shared with my friends. I was on a pretty good kick of posting things once or twice a week until life kind of took over.

Sketch book characters. The Dude with the hat is Recondo from GI Joe :)

A villainess inspired by Cruella DeVille. My wife told me she looks like a manager we had at one of our old jobs.

This was for a freelance project- A British Gunnary Sgt during the Napoleonic Wars.

Just a typical, heavily tattooed bad-ass.

A futuristic corporate security guard concept.

17 April 2012

Kubert School Correspondence Courses


Ever since I've seen the ad for it in an old comic when I was fourteen (many, many years ago), I've wanted to go to the Joe Kubert School of Cartooning in Dover, New Jersey. Life happened and I made other choices, so the dream of going to college there may never come to fruition, but the desire to go there never faded.

That said, I've been going back and forth for YEARS about doing the Correspondence Course.  And although the price is a little steep for me, it's far less than taking a class at the local community college.

Now, I think I'm going to go ahead and do at least one (Superheroes) to see how it goes. Wish me luck!