Posts

The Center of My Mind's Eye

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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…

Image
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

Image
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…

Image
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

Image
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…