Friday, March 3, 2017

My MAD Tom Richmond Experience!

So, at the beginning of February I traveled to Las Vegas and participated in a three-day caricature workshop offered by the great Mad Magazine illustrator, Tom Richmond! (Above is the group caricature he did of the attendees--an AMAZING piece of work!) It's the first and so far, only formal training I have had in caricature art and it was a fantastic learning experience! I really gained a lot from it and will probably be trying to process it into my work for the next few years. I've described it as "caricature bootcamp"--although I have a feeling that the indoctrination of new employees at his various theme-park caricature franchises is more like a bootcamp. We got a bit of that as well as other aspects of the world of the caricature artist and cartoon illustrator business!

In addition to discussions and demos by tom, we also did a lot of drawing which included one-on-one critiques. We also did a session of timed, 5 minute caricatures of our fellow classmates. It was difficult because each of them was drawing me at the same nobody was looking at you when you looked up for reference! Everyone drew everyone else. Some of mine truned out OK, I think. Some of them were crap. ALL of Tom's were great. LOL That's why he was the teacher! Above is the 5-minute caricature he did of me while I was struggling to draw him! Also a shot of us together because I just had to fanboy at him a bit!!

It was a truly amazing experience and I'm so glad I was able to do it! And a HUGE and heartfelt THANK YOU to Tom Richmond for the opportunity to learn so much from him!


So a couple of weeks later, I did a "Skill Share" event for my cartoonist's group CLAW as our community "Open Swim" Meeting for the month of February. I started off with the story of how I almost missed the whole thing because of the freak SNOWSTORM that took place the night before my flight! My flight was cancelled, I had to wait in line for hours to find an alternate route to Vegas and how I finally got to my hotel 11 hours after I was supposed to have arrived. (My luggage took another full day to show up.) It was pure hell getting there, but once the workshop started, everything was worth it!

I talked about the experience and how much I had learned, I pimped Tom's incredible book "The MAD Art of Caricature" and I had artwork from the workshop on display, including the caricatures everyone had done of me and some of the pieces I had done during our numerous practice sessions. After that I did a couple of demos drawings of the kids that were there, which was fun. Another item that I brought with me was a handout page with some VERY basic caricature art information. I wanted people to have something to take with them. So lastly, I'm posting it here, along with the drawing I did for the Facebook announcement of the CLAW event. Feel free to download the sheet and print it out if you find any of its advice helpful.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I'm in the LOUVRE, baby!

My art is now actually in the Louvre museum of Art in Paris! Sort of...

OK, it's in the Museum the book, Mona Lisa Reimagined. But hey, I don't care--it totally counts! My art is IN THE FREAKIN' LOUVRE! People who know me can now say--hey, I know a guy whose art is IN THE FREAKIN' LOUVRE!

Here is my humble contribution to the history of fine art:

ANYWAY, here are a few images I downloaded from the blog site for the beautiful and fun coffee table book "Mona Lisa Reimagined" by Erik Maell. Here's a link too:

My art, in this book, in the presence of the ACTUAL Mona Lisa!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Happy Captain Picard Day!

In the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called "The Pegasus", poor Jon Luc Picard was being teased and embarrassed by his crew because Troi had decided to create a "Captain Picard Day" for the kids aboard the Enterprise. Some fan of the show, with way too much time on their hands translated the Stardate from that episode into the a Gregorian calender date and thus June 16th has been declared Captain Picard Day here in the 21st Century! To celebrate, apparently people all over the world create and share Captain Picard stuff. My cartoonist's group, the C.L.A.W. is no exception. Our newest member, Jennevieve Schlemmer combined efforts with Destiny City Comics owner Michael Fitzgerald to host a "Captain Picard Day" celebration which is now on display at Destiny City! Many fantastic entrees have been made, including a portrait made of beans and rice, a quilted/cross-stitched piece, a painting in which he looks like a Simpsons character and a painting in which the Captain's face is obscured by a cup of his favorite Earl Grey tea!

My contribution was a bit dark I suppose, and certainly no one would have dared offer it up at the CPD event aboard the Enterprise! But I had been wanting to do a Locutus of Borg piece like the one above for a while and this seemed like a good time to do it! It will be added to the book of prints that I take to cons.

Just to offset the grim nature of the image in this fun and cartoony environment--I added a wildly tacky frame covered in blue glitter! And no--I did not buy a regular frame and violate it in this way; I actually bought it like this!! But it adds a festive quality to Locutus' dour features and looks all futury! Below are pics of me holding the framed monsterpiece as well as a pic of the wall of the Destiny City Comics store (in downtown Tacoma) where this amazing collection of Picardalia can be enjoyed in person! (They are still hanging the art in this as you can see, mine is not on the wall yet.

Enjoy Captain Picard Day! Remember--resistance is futile. Make it so!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The CLAW and The Father of DUNE!

Every year for the past several, my cartoonist group, C.L.A.W. has participated in Wayzgoose, which is a local hand-press and bookmaking festival celebrated at King's Books in Tacoma. There are local printing and hand-press artists and enthusiasts, showing and selling their work, letting people run tabletop presses and there's even a t-shirt print shop that has a silkscreen press set up that prints t-shirts right on the spot!

But the undeniable glory of the whole event are the groups that get to produce the giant 4'x 4' steamroller prints and the CLAW has always been one of the teams allowed to work with this medium! We create a design, carve it out in a large block of linoleum, and in the parking lot next to the King's Books building a steamroller waits to drive over the inked panel and large sheet of dampened paper (pressed between a sheet of plywood and padded mats, of course) and impress as well as emboss the image into the paper! The final printed pieces are beautiful things!

This year, however was particularly exciting for me because I finally had a design chosen to be our print for 2016! And what's more--our theme for the design was Tacoma-born, science fiction master, author Frank Herbert, the creator of the "DUNE" saga! Now, I didn't carve the block by myself--several members of CLAW, including me< worked on it in the week prior to the event. I fretted and worried about it though! I didn't want mine to be the first CLAW print that didn't come off right!! I had also had this stupid idea to use a second ink color to make the eyes blue, in honor of the "blue-within-blue eyes" of the Spice addicted Dune characters! And I had no idea if that was going to work either! So I worried! But everything went wonderfully smoothly! We cranked out our allotted 5 prints in record time and the admittedly crude method I chose to do the blue eyes special effect worked perfectly well! I turned out to be a fantastic looking print and the splash of color really made it pop! Anyway, here are a few photos from the event, including one of fellow CLAW member James Stowe and I manning the CLAW table inside Destiny City Comics (right next door to King's Books). If we look like we're having fun--that's because we are!

Friday, March 18, 2016

College Teacher Conference Gig

Last Friday evening I did another caricature gig through Live-Wires, the entertainer dispersal agency I have been working with. It was a pretty enjoyable event because I was doing caricature sketches of teachers. I like teachers--I was always wanting to be the teacher's pet in my classes in school. I'm sure they found me more of a trial than a pleasure to deal with since I wasn't always a particularly good student. But I found it really interesting to chat with them while I worked on the drawings

Most of my victims...uh, I mean "subjects" were ladies. I did get a few men, although two of them were in the drawings with ladies, so I'm not sure if they were teachers or spouses. I only took 6 or 7 photos and ultimately only 4 of them came out. The others were blurry. I need to work on my phone photography skills. I must joggle my hand as I'm taking pics sometimes and I was rushing too fast to check them or do a second shot. But anyway--I did manage to get a few decent pics and here they are. I'm getting faster and, I think, more accurate all the time. But the main thing I'm working on right now is speed!

Monday, January 25, 2016


I recently did a poster illustration for a play called "She Kills Monsters" for a local theater group called TART (Tacoma Actors Repertory Theater)! I only did the ink drawing, because anything else would have put it out of their budget. They seem to have someone on staff to set up the layout and text for the posters and presumably that person also did the color work. I'm posting them both together here.

It was great to work with a theater group again. The last theatrical poster I did was for The Fantastiks, a production that not only was I in, but was 20 years ago! That was the last time I performed on stage, because although I'd been heavily involved in theater during high school (for lack of any kind of visual arts program!), I realized that the theater was just not my calling. But I still get the bug to be involved in theater from time to time. Maybe I'll audition for a character part in a local stage production again one day. In the meantime, it's great to at least brush the diaphanous edge of that world again, even if only as an illustrator.

Anyway, since the play is based on a Dungeons & Dragons type scenario, the director (Jen Tidwell) especially liked the fact that I had done Magic: The Gathering cards. Once again, WofC lends me some fantasy art street cred!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Fall of the Goblin King

Yesterday I did a new celebrity caricature for our most recent major loss to the entertainment industry: David Bowie. I'm especially bothered that he was only 69 years old. That's only 18 years older than I am. And he was in much better shape than me--although his early years may have taken their toll. He was a wild one!

I was only a marginal fan of his music, although there were songs of his that I really loved. I was more a fan of him as not just an artist, but a work of art himself! He was a chameleon and a magician with his own image, making damn good art, with David Bowie as the subject and the medium.

Anyway, here is the caricature I did of him as one of my favorite characters he presented to us, although this one was a movie persona and not entirely his own creation--Jareth, the Goblin King! I may color this and add a background. Or I may have to make a cool full length version! It is an amazing movie and he was excellent as the twisted King of the denizens of the Labyrinth! He worked surprisingly well with puppets.

Anyway, thanks for the memories and the music, Mr. Stardust!