What I Learned Building beasts for Inktober

The Inktober build a beast challenge is over and I survived. It was a challenge for sure but I was always excited to dive into the next drawing. I found that if I could stay a little ahead, the pressure was off. It was manageable although some of my other projects lost a bit of attention. I was only able to ink a page and a half of The Pod and one small illustration. I was productive for sure but as always it never felt like enough. The creation is like a drug, a small fix is not enough and neither is a big one. It really says something about my personality.

What I learned was when the topic seemed hard or impossible I almost always surprised myself. As time went on It seems I tended to enjoy the looser drawings with lots of texture. My style would shift slightly depending on the monster that was chosen or perhaps due to the idea I had about where to take it. The more drawings I had under my belt the less daunting it became. I can see why a lot of artists lose their way or get behind during this challenge. Many follow their whims and if a new thing comes along it will always be more interesting, not to mention all the other life obligations. For me though It was either discipline, determination or just plain stubbornness that kept me on track. If I set my mind to something there will need to be a big obstacle to change my mind.

Another thing that I learned was creating a story in my head about the creature yielded better results. Forcing the mind to add little details to tell a story instead of just trying to create something cool. I’m definitely glad I did this and a little sad it’s over. One monster I didn’t randomly roll was Cthulhu and I am disappointed with that, so I think I’ll have to draw one this month. I have some ideas for a larger drawing we’ll just have to see where that goes. I don’t like every drawing I did but I do have some favorites. Perhaps I’ll make a zine of them in the future. Here are the rest of my creations for the month.

Inktober a Week in Review, is it Worth it?

Is it worth it? It’s too soon to tell but I’m digging it. So far I have kept on schedule with this challenge better than I anticipated. It seems the amount of rendering varies from day-to-day. My style seems to shift slightly depending on what I am drawing. The only real issue that I have lost some time working on my comic because of falling a little behind where I want to be on posts. I think a better use would have been an inked panel a day on The Pod, just to keep momentum on that project. Or maybe alternating between the two.

Although I wouldn’t have a collection of sweet monsters piling up if I did that. This way I do get to explore different aspects of my style and find things I like. So far that means spatters and textures, probably because over the last year I have been drawing in a relatively clean style to leave room for the painting. As you can see I’m a little torn and as fun as this is it is also exhausting. Depending on my workload I’m not sure if I would do this again, at least maybe not like this.

Here are this weeks’ creations.


The Build a beast challenge the Beginning…

It has begun, the Inktober Build a Beast challenge is underway. Although still too soon to determine its merits, Im happy so far. Knowing when to stop working on a drawing for me will be the key. Over rendering will surely be the death of this challenge. I decided that rolling dice would be better way to randomly choose creatures than picking out of a hat. Two 20 sided will work perfect with 39 possible options in each list. After it is impossible to roll a 1 with 2 dice.

The first roll was a Motorized Boogeyman.

Today’s is a Frozen Fairy.

Follow me on instagram to see daily updates. I’ll review what I’ve done next week.

Build a Beast for Inktober

This year I’ve decided to try my hand at Inktober. For those who don’t know it is a month-long drawing challenge created by Jake Parker. The idea is to do a finished ink drawing for every day during the month of October in order to get better at inking.

I was talking with a friend and we developed a plan to do something a bit different. I’m calling it Build a Beast in honor of Halloween. The same inking rules apply the only the twist is you randomly select a monster from the list provided. Then randomly choose a descriptor from a second list and create a drawing based on the combination. Finally post your creation on instagram with the #buildabeast hashtag.

I have provided some extra options to make for more strange combinations and options if something doesn’t work for you. If anyone wants to join in feel free to add or remove any beasts or descriptors.

I look forward to seeing what people come up with.

Music is the tie that binds

Inspiration can come in many forms. My muse is music which has been a huge part of my life for a long time. It has led me across the full spectrum from ambient to rock to jazz and yet I always come back to metal. I gravitate to the strange things that excite those hidden places in my brain. The stuff that never makes it to radio and only scratches the surface of subculture. Metal in all its forms lends itself to epic stories of space, dragons and warriors from ancient lands. All the things I seek out in comics, movies and literature.

I discover new bands all the time mostly from youtube at the moment. In my quest I have found multiple channels dedicated to different subgenres of music with artists from around the globe. All day the soundtrack of my workday is a quest to find new and interesting things. Much to the chagrin of my coworkers. As a result I tend to seek out less aggressive choices like space rock, post rock, doom metal and neo psychedelic. Long droning instrumentals transporting me away from the dismal landscape of my day job.

With the internet there almost too much to take in, new albums drop everyday and rare gems are unearthed. Shown to anyone brave enough to listen. I must admit the album art draws me in at first (I am an artist after all) although like a book the cover doesn’t tell the whole story. I’m an archaeologist of the under appreciated and must be diligent when uncovering new discoveries. I build a collection of new favorite albums to take me on a journey to the next masterpiece.

I have compiled a playlist of my gems feel free to explore. There is the psychedelic world music of Triptonus or the Sci-fi synth adventure of Arcadea, a side project of Brann Dailor of Mastodon. Some are bluesy or instrumental and many have long songs that weave through an audio journey. A perfect soundtrack for drawing. I’m not sure whether the music ignites my creativity or just my curiosity, all I know is I am transported away for a short while. Especially when creating art I find myself locked into the task at hand and not realising the album I put on ended an hour ago. Setting my mind free to roam the ether while my hand glides across the paper letting intuition guide the drawing.

Music has always inspired and continues to inspire my art. From album covers, t-shirts to fan art based off song lyrics. It has even penetrated into my graphic novel “the Pod”. Song lyrics have sparked ideas, visuals and scenes throughout the story. The main character Hagall is a failed musician led to a different profession by society and his father.

I always envisioned the story as a sort of space rock opera, Star Wars meets the Heavy Metal movie. It was my original intention was to write a soundtrack as a companion for the comic. I should probably stick to what I’m best at for now, considering how much I have left to do on the book. I can’t justify taking time away from it for bizarre musical experiments besides I haven’t played much music for a long time. Not to mention I would need to enlist other musicians help to see that project though. Since I am mainly a drummer and only a dabbler in all other instruments.

When I need to be inspired or take a break from the outside world I can always find comfort in music. It is a personal soundtrack unique to everyone telling your own story. Thanks for letting me share mine.

NEW Comic on webtoons and Vlog #34

Specimen X

I have a new comic up on webtoons called Specimen X. I have added it to the Tales of the Damned series I’m working on. Also Forever Green (the first Damned Tale) was Just reviewed by the Comic Vault, rather positively which I’m happy about. Check it out, Jamie Ryder has a cool blog with lots of different stuff there. As for my vlog this week shows me finishing up toning Specimen X with copic markers. It was nice to take a bit of a break from The Pod and work on something smaller for a change. These smaller projects can give a shot of motivation and shake things up. I may be in trouble if they become addictive and slow down my progress on the big project. I guess you just need to follow what feels right and for the moment a distraction seemed to be what I needed.

Did my Vlog increase productivity?

By starting my Vlog I believe my productivity has increased, despite adding extra work like editing videos. It holds me accountable in a strange way and sets a loose schedule. Making me work even if I don’t always feel like it.

Since October I have finished penciling 2 chapters, inked 13 pages and painted 7. Not too shabby but it never feels like enough. I think in some ways I’m too hard on myself. The desire to see more done can be like a weight around my neck. Dragging me down instead of spurring me on. Mind games with myself is part of the territory I guess. I know the only one holding me back is myself and I just have to push through that resistance. The slowly building stack of pages is the real motivator. Seeing the work finished makes this project become real and I can’t wait to start sharing this story with others. In the mean time you can cheer me on and check in on my progress. Thanks to everyone Liking and sharing.

Making Comics and a Few Thoughts on Trying New Things

My mind is always going and thinking of new things I haven’t tried yet. Working out strategies for things I’ve already done. Trying to make myself better in everything I do. While making comics or working on a project I always find ways to streamline my process. Something can always be done better. This is only natural, I want that to be there in all aspects of my self not just art creation. For example creating templates for custom youtube thumbnails or making a comic page layout template. These are some things I’ve already implemented.

What I would like to do is schedule regular social media and blog post updates. Set up passive revenue streams that run themselves. Finding these venues and discovering what they can do for me is the key. First I need to manage my time efficiently and not sabotage myself anymore. So I can finish more work and essentially have more to talk about.

Anyways, that’s just a little of what I’ve been thinking about lately. In this weeks’ art vlog I show some of my pencils and talk a bit more about these ideas.

I also have my comic Forever Green up on webtoons

Give it a like and share it around, Thanks guys you’re Awesome!

Follow your Dreams, I know I will

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABelieve me I know it’s hard to want something, to work towards a goal. To follow your dreams and to fight every day to make time in an already hectic day. I know and I do it. Why? What else would I do? I haven’t been the type of person to waste time in front of a television or playing games in a long while.

I want to learn! I’ll read a book, draw, paint, make music or even build something. Always creating. It takes a toll on you, your family and possibly your day job, but it’s worth it. Am I right? It must be, for those minutes when you lose yourself in the process, the brush strokes, when the whole world disappears, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Although sometimes I almost envy people who can just get off work and veg out watching mindless tv, almost.

I am too restless, and I’ve played it safe for too long. Seize the day because what else is there, tomorrow wont bring change unless you want it, you bring it. I get lost in my life so often it feels like it passes me by. When someone asks how I’ve been all I ever seem to say is busy, I can never think of anything at the time. Work, family, art repeat, I lose touch with all but the closest of friends and even then it’s been way too long since we hung out.

Sometimes you win, but today I lost. My time was eaten away and I have nothing left, my tank is empty, I’m just burnt out. Tomorrow, I have plans for you, big ones that could fill your entirety. Oh I know you will fight back, you have an agenda of your own, but I’ll steal my moments and little by little I’ll build my dreams one piece at a time. Try to hold me down and I’ll claw, bite and scream till I’m free because at this point it’s survival. Follow your dreams everyone, it will make the most important person in the world proud of you, yourself.

My process Vlog on youtube is up to episode 7. I’m going to be more diligent at posting them here, check it out and see the progress on my graphic novel “The Pod”. I’m updating on Fridays, watch, like or share every little bit helps get my art out to more people. Thanks

I’ve started an Art Vlog. Why read when you can watch?

vlog1I started a vlog on youtube to follow the progress on my graphic novel project. Why? You may ask. Well first of all, I have enjoyed making videos in the past. Also I think it will be a good way help me step out of my comfort zone and open up more. Being a naturally introverted person makes this a bit of a big deal for me. Although I’m confident that I can make it work. Finally, the last reason is that youtube is just one more way to get my art out into the world.

My graphic novel “The Pod” is the story of a soldier who is recruited by his father to commune with the gods to find an answer to their planets’ dying sun. Of course all hell breaks loose after that. As for the art, I plan on inking each page and the painting over them in acrylic. I want it to look like the painted comics of the 70’s, kind of like the work of Moebius or Richard Corben.

There are three episodes up already and hopefully many more to come. At the moment I am aiming for one episode a week but I don’t have a set schedule yet. I hope everyone will check it out, thanks.