Showing posts from 2018

The Center of My Mind's Eye

I’ve been working on a post-steampunk (steampunk without the Victorian tropes) novel for a few months. I’ve found some fantastic people who have been great at workshopping my story with me; listening to my rambles as I try to figure out the tone and plot of my post-apocalyptic story world.
As such, I’ve been helping some of these friends with their creative endeavors. One thing I’m particularly excited about is that I’ve come up with some ideas for a music video for my very talented friend, Libby Lenan. The flood gates of creativity have opened. While looking at ways I could shoot this no-budget video, I had been looking into some incredible work by skilled artisans of iPhone cinematography, and have become flooded with ideas on how to improve many old scripts and resurrecting old projects like “Corner of the Mind’s Eye”. 
Of ALL the film projects I wish I had finished, Corner of the Mind’s Eye is the closest to my heart. 
I could rant about why it folded to begin with… but it came down …

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…

Exorcising Old Ghosts with Brush, Pen, and Ink

It’s been an interesting few months since I’ve updated last. I have been working diligently in my sketchbook—which I will share with you right now (most of these lifted from my Instagram).

You can see I’ve been working hard at inking with traditional tools instead of the India Ink Pilot pens- which I love, but are inflexible when it comes to line thickness.

I’ve also been experimenting with style. Here are some cartoony ones that I had done a number of months ago, as well as an homage to G.I. JOE fan art. It is what it is… nothing is really refined. I also took some time to work on some pages from Brian K. Morris’ Masked Pilot story.

My largest project is an 88-page graphic novel. Accountability to myself is difficult; I have a wife and family, and a very demanding full-time job, and other responsibilities- I have precious little time to myself.

From time-to-time I get inquiries about working for a project. I’m humbled that people find my work valuable and appealing. However, wh…

Writing Prompt #20: Ten Thirty One

He’s thirty-one minutes late. Grundy was never good about keeping time, but he’s never left me to wait this long. Something’s happened.
The dishes clatter in the back as broken Spanish curse noodle-fingers and aching backs. I finish up the cold coffee and place a five on the counter. I smile at the waitress and she nodded a wink.
The February chill cut me to the bone. It hadn’t snowed all season; the drought saw to that.
I turned the corner and slipped on wet cement, catching myself against the wall. Warm and sticky- with a heavy whiff of iron and alcohol… I nearly heave at the sight of Grundy’s headless form prostrate on the ground, arms and hands frozen defensively in front of him. Giant teeth marks where his collarbone should have been said it all- the beast is awake, here, and on the prowl.

Yep. I'm starting these up again. I find my best creative flow when I write. Let me know what you think!

Finding Focus

I had met Todd McFarlane briefly at the 1994 San Diego Comic Con. "Met" probably isn't really the most accurate word- he signed my copy of Spawn #9 (first appearance of Angela). At the time, I was more interested in meeting Greg Capullo, who was Todd's first penciller other than himself who worked on Spawn.

I came across this interview of him on Youtube by Complex, and have realized a number of very strong points that are helping me bring my focus ever sharper. I am dropping my games for now- I need to focus on the sequentials, and I am going to concentrate on ONE property... and I know which one.

Things have been rocky this month- my father-in-law has passed away and that's been rough. We are laying him to rest next week. Some other family items have come up, but life happens while you make other plans. The trick is to stay on course, and this video helped solidify my goals.

The Perpetual Chase

A few things have happened recently that really cemented my resolve in the direction I should be following; my one true path, so to speak.

I had left my day job a couple of months ago- the original intent was to hone my illustration skills. As it were, I was given an opportunity to work with a friend; while it's a great opportunity for anyone that wants to move into that industry, it simply wasn't the right fit. Aside from that, it clearly demonstrated to me that I had detoured from my original intent of becoming an illustrator.

I know I have a way to go. I tell myself "Gee, if only I had been working on my draftsmanship I'd be pro by now." That's true, but I forget that I have also been working on my storytelling ability through filmmaking. I like to write, but I also love visuals. I have been told BY AN INDUSTRY PRO that I have a firm grasp of storytelling sequentials on par with those working as pros.

So, all this work has not been in vain, and it's an…