Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Steve: Imago Dei



Here's something from the archive, 1998 to be exact. Enter Steve, guy I used to see every day when I worked at a video arcade in the mall. Steve was a short, precious soul, who'd come in daily to check the coin returns of video games for spare change. Steve was probably in his mid sixties when I met him, and always dressed the same: blue sweatshirt and baggy blue jeans. I drew this picture of him one night when I went to the mall with my sketch book.

From the moment I met Steve, he always had stories.
Sad stories: The first time I really talked to him, he told me he buried his son that day.
Outlandish stories: He told me he owned a yacht.
Scary stories: He told me several times about being attacked by a dog that gave him his limp and foot injury. Not sure if Steve was mentally ill or not.

Steve had a small posse of daily mall people he hung with. There was Franky, the older fellow with some huge mutton chops who like to hit regularly on all the young girl mall employees. There was John, a man who used to move in slow motion, without facial expression, with totally slicked hair. Then there was another tall, middle-aged guy with thick chunky hair who smelled like nicotine incarnate. (I can't remember his name.) To talk with him face to face was to second hand smoke though.

I found out recently that Steve died about a year and a half ago. He had a heart condition.

If Christianity is true, than the Steves, the Frankys, the Johns, the nicotine guys of the world matter to God. Matter to Christ.

Deeply.

I would do well to pay more attention to them.

The load or weight, or burden of my neighbor’s glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.

—C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Monday, February 18, 2008

Conceptual Art...and a Few of My Favorite Things




Here's a couple of sketch book pages with me trying to nail down an efficient style to draw in for the Plague Doctor story. This style that I'm drawing in is sort of a cartoony style that I've kind of developed accidentally the past couple of years while under the heavy influence of artists like Doug Tennapel, Sam Hiti, and Jeff Lemire. I like the semi-cartoony feel. It allows for expressive characters without having to worry about realistic precision which tends to constrict me and take some life out of my work.

At this point in this project, I'm trying to establish the world of the Plague Doctor in my own mind, so that when I sit down to work on the story it flows and I can avoid the hated "False start."

Holy cow I'm boring myself to death talking about me. Wait...how about I use this opportunity to show anybody who reads this blog a few artist whose work has inspired me.

Enter Bart Willard
"Mortality's Origin" by Bart Willard
I've known Bart for about four years or so. I remember the first time somebody told me about his work. They mentioned that Bart was a Christian and that his work reflected that. I scoffed, for some reason and pictured Bart as an old fellow that looked alot like Wilford Brimley. I imagined he probably did some water colorsof nature, etc.

When I looked him up on the web, I was stunned at the art I saw. It was some of the scariest...God honoring imagery I've ever seen. Make no mistake, Bart pulls no punches in his depictions of evil in its naked deformity. Check out a full gallery of Bart's work here.

Enter John Hrehov
"The Visible Man" by John Hrehov
I believe John's work has been classified as "allegorical realism." John was to me what Mr. Miyagi was to the Karate Kid. It was nothing short of divine providence that he ended up being my college drawing professor. He graciously humbled me as a cocky pencil-wielding freshman art student. Lord knows I needed that. I remember drawing still-lifes in John's class, and knowing it was all over when he was making his rounds and suddenly stopped behind my chair and asked me the question, "Do you mind if I have a seat?"

Anyhow, without John's guidance and teaching, I'm not sure where I'd be as an artist right now. Check out a full gallery of John's work here.

Enter Lynnsy Terrill
"Doubting Thomas" by Lynnsy Terrill
My beloved went to college with Lynnsy. Her work has struck me in many different ways, one being her keen sense of composition, her use of color, and her work's "there, but not there" elements. I'm pleased to say, I was able to strike a bargain with Lynnsy in order to obtain the above painting.

You can check out a gallery of Lynnsy's work here.

Enter Jeremy McFarren
"Beauty Comes More Often To Those Who Do Not Wait For It" by Jeremy McFarren
Last but certainly not least is my friend Jeremy. I think I first met Jeremy in Highschool while skateboarding. Nevertheless art school plus time plus marriage plus family plus life has still resulted in both him and I still being complete comic geeks. Jeremy's work has always stoked me out. He kinda just goes for it. I like that. Visit Jeremy's blog.

By all means, check out the above artists' sites. Truly wonderful work.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Heroes Galore...

Here's a Moon Knight image I just finished coloring for fun and practice. My friend Ben is a huge Moon Knight fan, so for a surprise, he gets to keep the original sketch for this. Below, are a couple comic images I did for my friend Bert in the process of bartering for my first website which he designed a couple of years ago. My inks are quite a bit looser these days.


Also, if you haven't checked out me and Mr. Avery's Plague Doctor blog, please do. There's plenty of cool stuff up there.