Tag Archives: accomplishments

Burn Baby, Burn

Hey guys! Sorry about last week, but as some of you know I work in the wonderful wacky land of Washington DC. So…last week was hectic and interesting. ’nuff said.

THIS week has been a bit challenging to me. I’ve started the banking process to having a new home! Because hearing my neighbors constantly during a quarantine is a terrible fate for me.

I know that some of you miss the different steps being shown; I want to include those too, but that would entail me scripting my workflow and honestly?…

I don’t know if I can.

Once I’m going and into the flow, I kind of forget that there’s a world outside of my focus. That’s why the videos have been easier; no need to remind myself to take a snapshot.

Still… I managed to make a collage for an event for this year. Will it happen? So far it’s hard to say. But at least you can see what I look like 🤣

Anyway, it’s nice to work from home again. I definitely don’t miss my 1.5 hour commute!

Here’s a timelapse of my latest portrait. I always feel weird about showing my initial sketch. I’ll probably start omitting that and leaving in the linework. We’ll see.

Have a great week 😊

ALL the Stars

It’s been… interesting watching the responses to Chadwick Boseman’s passing. He was important to some people and overrated to others. But to me, he reinforced the idea that I can leave on my own terms.

It has a certain appeal.

In the last few years, I’ve had a classmate and a friend in the cosplay community die unexpectedly. By unexpectedly, I mean one I hoped would be okay, but knew she was battling illness; the other I had NO clue.

It sounds weird, but having a terminal diagnosis, at least to me, allows you to grieve you. You get to determine what your loved ones deal with, get yourself in order. It gives your remaining time clarity.

So yeah; I can see him not wanting the pity awards. Ledger did an awesome job as the Joker, but you always have to wonder how much of that was a lifetime achievement award. We were applauding a young talent, not knowing how briefly he would hear the praise and appreciation. He was our first REAL leading man superhero, who’s origins weren’t a gang or a ghetto. He’ll always be that for me.

Sorry no beginning. My capture software crashed! Not bad from memory, though…

Consume

Okay, I’m writing this after not sleeping since 0200 Sunday. It’s Monday. So if I seem a little loopy, I’m kinda always that way.

This is my #earthburger. It’s an idea I came up with as a teenager in the 80’s and my original garnered me a few blue ribbons as a teen.

Wondering why I didn’t post it?

It was stolen. And as it turns out, my art teacher was the thief.

It’s a little complicated… first thing you need to know is that before I ever took a class, I could make my own art. The REAL reason I took her class was because my future ex-wife took the course.

I was a jock. And a metalhead. And black in a small Alabama town. So my interest were all over the place! But art was my first and best love.

My “teacher” saw my potential. After realizing that she’d never get the best out of me drawing bison skulls and old boots, I finally got to do what I wanted. And sit next to my girl.

My life was perfect.

I made the town paper for winning state awards. I got to travel. Had you asked me, I would have told you that I was going to the Art Institute of Atlanta after high school. Or the army, which was the family business.

So when I started asking about possible scholarships and letters of recommendation, she surprised me. She told me no. She said that she didn’t feel that I was right for art school. That it was a waste of time.

And that she wouldn’t recommend me.

I have/had a great poker face. But that hurt went through me. Seriously, it went through my feet. I felt like I was sinking, even though I wasn’t moving.

I stopped drawing. Completely. So she flunked me.

Fast forward a year and a half. I’m walking down the hallway of my Alma Mater, after coming home after Desert Storm. I’m a paratrooper, so I get lots of accolades from teachers and friends. And then I see it.

A Ferrari F40 that I drew. It was one of my first experience with Prismacolor pencils and I used ALL the red, lol. I had been told that my art was stolen. And yet there it was, with a ribbon on it from a couple of months prior.

I learned later that she never sent any of the African American artist in her program to college. Had a few tell me that she said that they weren’t “good enough”. A few are professional artist.

I learned from that. I’m sure that current me could definitely get over self doubt; there’s a lifetime of experience. But I always remember that part of my life and I try to encourage those with gifts to believe in them.

No matter what.

You can’t isolate a hermit

Meet #maudecharron. She’s a pretty cool powerlifter. After watching her at an international meet, I felt the urge to draw her. Her expression tells a story. She was about to go for her second clean and jerk and while chalking up she shot the weights a defiant look. Now you have to understand; up until this point she had been a ray of sunshine. She almost danced with glee on the platform for her first lift. She was so energetic and upbeat that I was happy for her. But her demeanor changed here. You could tell that she felt that this would be a challenge, but her confidence in herself was unwavering. I love that about athletes. It’s a confidence borne of achievement. “I can because I have”. Of course she made the lift. And her playful excitement returned, but I CV had seen the steel and conviction behind her grace. So I drew her. Right at that moment when she decided that she would succeed, no matter what. Look at that expression. You almost feel sorry for those weights.

Taking a

I get asked alot about the type of women that I draw. People think that you’re attracted to what you create. Only a few ask why.

I’m a big fan of confidence. Vulnerability isn’t my thing. Whether in body or mind, I m intrigued by the way certain people express it.

As far as female bodybuilders are concerned, they are girly in a geeky way. They’ve learned how to modify themselves as an act of willpower. There is a certain amount of confidence gained from the endeavor.

I like showing them in that light, happy and self assured in their physical accomplishments.

Double Down Wide

Another week down, one more to go! It’s been fun so far and I intend to finish the next three days off right!

There were days of colour and I enjoyed those most of all. I’ve been selling my house and it’s a little hard to get in rhythm when you have to leave every couple of hours!

Couple that with the fact that my VERY supportive local Starbucks has been closed for renovations and it makes things extremely difficult.

Oh well…

I still managed to knock out a few good drawings (and a couple of poorly done concepts, ugh), so overall I’m pleased.

Who knows? Maybe next year I’ll stick with the official theme of the group or maybe tell a self contained story within the allotted time.

All I can promise for certain is that I will be drawing, alive or not. It’s my function 😉

Involuntary Mitch

Hey guys! Welcome to my #inktober! As some of you may know, the entire month of October is dedicated to drawing ink based works, a new image a day.

It’s one of my favourite things to do and doubly so this year, thanks to the #baltimorecomiccon being the first weekend. I went out and met a lot of cosplayers for this and I’m drawing each one!

So here’s hoping that I don’t burn out and have to stop, hahaha…

Work has been chugging along and even though my personal life is a huge mess I feel better about everything else. I get to draw for a living!

Some of my favourite projects have been completed on the commuter train ride home. So far the same rule applies this year, with my appetite for creating only growing in recent months.

My style of art has been receiving noticeable tweaks. I’ve even dabbled in the 3D look for images!

So the more I create the more I can create. Isn’t that neat?

I’ve also started working more on setting the mood for certain images, allowing them to convey a bit more emotional range.

So yeah…my life is a trainwreck, but I haven’t felt this good in a long time. That’s weird right?

Life must have thought so too. Because my friend, #calliecosplay, died this past week.

There it was. Straight gut punch.

[un] avoidable happiness

It’s been super busy for me in life recently. To begin with, I have a new job! It’s going to allow me the time to do some of the work I’m interested in. More on that later…

I found an old sketchpad. Well, I guess “new” would be more appropriate since it’s been in a cabinet unused for this entire time (5 years!). As soon as I started working with it, I knew it for what it was.

A damn great medium.

It allows me to give my markers an almost watercolor feel. That level of detail and control is exactly what I’m looking for.

Plus, now that I’m riding the commuter train again, it’s portable enough for my needs!

So I have a few weeks before #inktober kicks off and I expect to get in a lot of practice.

Luckily, my life seems to be making a turn. I’m holding out hope. 😊

Surrender to Winning

Freelance life can be great. You’re hired based on your skill and hustle; you get to decide most of the rules of engagement. Yes, for outgoing, social people, it can be a wonderful experience….

…. for the people who hate the concept of other people, not so much.

Now I understand that this is a me problem. I need to be liked. My clientele will want to feel a connection to me. I get that. I shouldn’t be unavailable. It makes perfect sense.

But if I could just draw or paint all day, on a mountain, I would. I have learned though.

Anyway… when I was working on this, I was fresh out of the hospital and trying to find a job. I was a month behind on my mortgage.

And NO ONE was buying my work.

So I started doing portraits. I’m sure that it would take me forever to pay just one month worth of bills this way. But it did make me a lot better at it.

The good news is that I can put my own twist on them. So maybe it’s not so bad. Or maybe I’m becoming better at my people skills…

Crumple Zones

Apparently, my family has big plans for my trip home on Thanksgiving. Personally, I’m just trying to lose enough weight to meet my end of year goals, but my mom has other ideas.

      My work is coming along nicely. I can’t wait for this month to be over! There are a lot of reasons, with the whole issue of art projects being a small part.

     I also have home repair, and several work projects that require travel. It’s as though life waited until #inktober to pile on!

    Still, I’m a little amazed at my ability to juggle all of it. What was so daunting at the start of the month has become at worst a mildly exasperating endeavor. And I can see the end of the month rapidly approaching.

 Go me.