Monday, June 30, 2008


Sitting everyday and staring at your own drawings, it can be difficult at times to feel as though you're making any progression as an artist. I know a lot of artists are like myself: always looking for the faults in their own work. We tend to be our own worst critic. Shuffling through some old stuff recently I came across a drawing I had done around five to six years ago. It was horrible and I couldn't understand how I could have drawn it without noticing all of the problems with it, so I decided then and there to give it another try. Had I had managed to get any better between then and now? I had drawn the first one from my head, so I would do the new one the same way. I guess it was my way of regulating the 'test'.

Starting from the beginning, here's the horrid piece of graphic flinging that started the whole thing:

Next up is the first of the new sketches, just trying to lay everything into place. It's better, but it's not great.

Clean it up and it starts to look acceptable. I am, of course, still not happy with it.

I happen to be a tall person who used to be quite skinny, so I think that a lot of the people I draw turn out that way, including the above sketch, so I redid it, shooting for a slightly shorter person, or at least a more robust person (whatever the heck 'robust' is supposed to mean).

Again I think it's a little better but the pose in general is quite stiff and there's no sex appeal whatsoever, so that's when you have to bite the bullet, trash the pose that's not working, and start over.

Now I finally like what I'm seeing. I cleaned this one up and inked the final version.

Personally I think I like the sketch version of this better, but it was still a good exercise and proved that I have managed to grow at least a tiny little bit in the last five plus years. I hope that three or four years from now I will again look at this last piece, see it for the horror that it is, and be able to do it that much better yet again.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What a Week!!!

Well, there's distractions and there's disTRACTions. So last Tuesday I was awoken by pain in my left knee at like 5:30 in the morning. It was swollen and just feeling something awful, so Elena took me to the doctor's office who in turn sent me to a knee specialist. The knee specialist took one look at it and took out a syringe.

What? You don't like where this is going? Heh, me neither.

One syringe of bloody puss later and I'm off to the hospital for minor surgery the next day. Talk about sneaking up on a guy. The culprit? Staff infection in my knee, specifically the bursa sack that lies on top of the kneecap. How did it happen? No clue. Doctors don't have a clue either, so it's just one of those things. What can I say? "Cleanliness is next to godliness", that's one thing I could say. Or have heard said. I think I'm starting to believe it.

As of today, six days after surgery, I'm walking on my own again, which is good because crutches get old really fast. No art today, but I could post a photo of my knee if you want...

Oh, and have you ever heard of a PICC line? That's an IV type line that they stick into a major vein in your upper arm. The catheter goes up your arm, around the shoulder and into the chest, stopping right next to your heart. Sticking out of your arm you've got 4 inches or so of line that you attach things to, like syringes with medicines in them. I've got one of those. I have to take mondo-powerful antibiotics (in liquid form) every day through that line. If all goes well that should come out this Friday or Saturday, at which time I get downgraded to antibiotic pills.

If you wind up in a place where you have to go through this, I recommend having a loving spouse and a good pain-killing prescription by your side. I'm not really into drugs or any such vices, but there's a time and place for everything. I am, however, really really into the loving spouse thing. I think 'always' is the time and place for that one. :-) I know, I know, lovey-mushy stuff is gross, but I could go back to talking in detail about the knee, the bloody puss, and the two and a half inch slit down the front of my knee...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Grinding it Out

Sometimes there's just not any room left for those fun little side projects that help to satisfy the soul. Those times can be stressful and can take their toll on any 'commercial' artist, but that's the way life works and when you arrive at one of those places you've just got to hunker down and weather them. I try to find something in each job I do for me to enjoy. It's not always easy, but I do what I can. And if it's too hard? And I get all stressed out? And start acting like a moron? That's where my wife steps in and lets me know just how moronic, stressed out, and difficult I'm being. Then she scratches my back and makes me a snack and the world is set right again. I'm probably overdue to buy her some flowers...

So here's some of the current non-soul-satisfying-but-pays-the-bills work that I'm zinging through with grace and ease (hahaha!)