I’m back baby!

So yes…it’s been a while. Work was as usual the culprit, but I also felt a bit uninspired. But watching The Daily Show with John Stewart the other day, I learned about the Stewart-O’Reilly Rumble in D.C. next month, and found myself wanting to create an appropriate image for this momentous event. After scouring the web for more information and images of the two pundits, I put together this poster – enjoy! Quick disclosure – I was unable to find information on who took the original head shots used to create my poster, so I apologize for not being able to properly credit the photographers in question.    

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“The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.”

So this blog – as it says above, is not just about things I do, but also about things I like. And I like the movie Prometheus. A lot.

It is – I think – flawless in its appearance. CGI is integrated masterfully, and the design is stunning. It left me with a lot of questions, and while I have some complaints or at least lingering questions about the story itself, the visual experience is definitely worth the trip – so much so, that I would like to see again. And again. The IMAX 3D experience was breathtaking, and I would fully recommend it for this movie (I normally avoid it, so… I guess that says something, no?).

One of my favorite parts, is, and I hope I’m not spoiling anything here, the character of the android David, played flawlessly by Michael Fassbender.

Check out the official Weyland Industries DAVID 8 promo, or view it on YouTube bellow.

It’s been a while

And not because I’m lazy and doing nothing, but, on the contrary, because I’ve been very very busy. And I still am. No need to bore you talking about all my projects, but I will talk about the one I just finished, and which proved to be quite challenging.

I was recently invited to participate in the Rayguns and Robots show at Ltd. Gallery in Seattle. “Sure!” I exclaimed without thinking about it too much… And then it dawned on me that I haven’t painted in a really, really, really long time. I have become one with my Mac… It is an extension of me, and I can do anything I want on it. But this – this would be messy, and with little room for mistakes, and I had not done it for real in 20 years.

The deadline – that which keeps me from playing video games. And lately, it feels like it’s been one continuos deadline. No joy in finishing something when you can’t stop and look at it… But I was committed, so I headed to the art store. Paints – check. Canvas – check. More paints – check. All I needed now was an idea…

I came up with quite a few… Some – I though – really cool, and if I didn’t have to ship the final piece I might have just explored them. I could do a really cool print, mixed media, maybe neon… How retro… But in the end it had to be something I could do on time and also something that I would like to hang on my own wall. And so, slowly, and idea formed – now to the easy task of painting. Like I said, it’s been a really, really long time.

Anyway, the process was messy – mixing colors is harder than I remember, applying paint to canvas is harder than I remember, finding the right brush is harder than I remember… Actually EVERYTHING proved to be harder than I remember. What did I get myself into? But it felt great. And with every stroke of the brush, with every carefully aimed splatter of paint, and every new stain of color on any number of my t-shirts, this thing started to come together. And after almost a week of channeling my former self, a week of walking around the canvas, applying some paint, then walking away again and staring at it from a distance while leaning my head sideways, I got to a point where I finally said “it is done…”

I can now happily report that, with the paint (mostly) dry, the canvas has been shipped to the gallery. Maybe someone will even buy it, or maybe it will hang on my wall at home – but most importantly, I rediscovered the fun of making art way from my computer – and I think I really like it.

Los Angeles – June 8, 2012

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I wanted to share another poster I did almost a year ago. This was done for the anniversary screening of The Rocketeer at the El Capitan movie theater in Hollywood.

This was another perfect combination of doing something I like for a movie I love! The best part was having the screening at the El Capitan, as The Rocketeer was the movie that opened the theater twenty years ago, and the crowd was fantastic.

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Band Concert Rough

Starting work on a couple of new poster ideas – and I thought it would be fun to show a bit of my process. I will use The Band Concert as an example, since it was so well received.

I started by watching the 1935 cartoon a few times in a row, to get a better sense for its general feel, texture , or…atmosphere. It’s funny – as much as I love this cartoon, looking at it for the purpose of designing the poster, I found myself focusing on different details than if I was watching it simply for entertainment. And watching it about ten times in a row, sometimes frame-by-frame, made it no less enjoyable.

My first approach was to sketch out a few thumbnails, but I quickly discovered that none of my ideas were panning out. I eventually decided on the vertical design to help emphasise the wind funnel which is the background of this movie. Here is the comp I submitted to ACME and Disney:

Once this layout was approved, I moved on to the creating the final art. The characters were drawn by hand, but the rest of the poster, including inking the character art and coloring was done using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Here are the original pencils for the characters:

Much of the process is very deliberate, but there is a certain amount of exploration as well. The coloring is the final step, and  often times a piece of art can end up quite different than what I intended at first – but in the case of this poster, because it is screen-printed, I was limited to a maximum of eight colors. Although limiting, it was a fun challenge, especially because I wanted to capture a slightly aged color palette. Using a Pantone color selector for the final palette was a bit stressful because the colors look very different on the computer screen, but I have to say that the good folks at GYOMedia did an excellent job, and I am very happy with the final product.

The Band Concert – Part Deux

Saturday was a great day at ACME. The posters turned out wonderful, and I manage not to mess up a single one signing them (my coffee cup was watched carefully by my daughter Isabelle – who was also my photographer)

ACME announced the release as this Wednesday on the Dark Ink website (http://darkinkart.com/the-band-concert-new)

The poster is silkscreen on heavy paper, and it measures 15″X30″ (135 piece edition size).

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I just picked up this title last week, and it is a beautiful, beautiful book. Christoper King’s review does it justice – as much as anyone can without actually being able to show you the book, and the detailed pictures are great. Enjoy!

Recommended Books for Artists and Designers

Wally Wood’s EC Stories Artists Edition

I’ve been trying to get my hands on one of IDW’s coveted Artist’s Editions ever since the series started with The Rocketeer by Dave Stevens(one of my all-time favourite comic book artists) and I’m still looking for a copy. But given the highly limited print run of only 300 copies, it demands a hefty price tag if you’re even lucky enough to find one. IDW followed this release with Walter Simonson’s Thor and recently, my first introduction to the series, Wally Wood’s EC Stories, and WOW, what a book!

Wallace ‘Wally’ Wood was a hugely popular comic book artist during the 1950s and 60s producing some of EC’s classic science-fiction stories as well as work for Warren, Marvel, MAD and his own personal project Witzend magazine. Although widely regarded as one of the best artists in the business, Wood was vocal about his mixed…

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The Band Concert

Very excited to visit ACME Archives Limited this Saturday, to sign my first poster with them before its release to the public on Wednesday.

I’ve known the good people at ACME for quite a long while, and not just as a dedicated fan-boy, but also as a contributor to a few different limited editions from Futurama, The Simpsons, and Disney. However, this is the first time when my name will actually be featured as “the artist”.

It is a screen printed limited edition poster based on Walt Disney’s “The Band Concert” which was released in 1935. A great cartoon, one of my absolute favorites, and I feel very fortunate to have been offered the chance to put my spin on it. I only hope my poster lives up to this epic piece of animation! Thats all I can say for now, but I look forward to posting more once it is released.

For now, here’s a link to the cartoon on YouTube: