Monday, December 21, 2009

Okay, one more......


Well, I thought the last blog was going to be the last one until after Christmas, but then today I got word that this painting was going to hit the stands on January 15th. It's one of my older paintings and was purchased by Necrotic Tissue magazine as "Pick up"art. To make this even more special, this will be the first issue of the magazine in Print. The past issues where web-magazines. You can order your copy here My guess is that this is going to be a major collectors Item, so you might want to get yours asap. Another note is that this was done before I started training under Master Horne.
You know in my last post that I was gonna talk about some "dirt" that happened this year in my end of the year blog. But let me a little more specific on what I am going to say. For one, I am not going to drag anyone name through the mud, nor I am going to hint at who they are. The only reason I am going to do this is at all is for two reasons. The first is that I want people who are new to this field to know up front, that yes, if your talented enough and work hard enough, you can be very happy doing this for a living, but there are tons of sharks out there that will do ANYTHING to use you and steal from you, cheat you, you name it, and they will do it unless you learn to spot them. One of my biggest problems is that in the past I have had trouble spotting these types. But Cheryl (Madison) has really helped me with this, and when she tells me that someone is trouble, I listen. An I have been happier ever since.
The trouble with the majority of us creative types, writers, film makers, artist ect is that there is this little kid inside of us, and in my mind, that's where the imagination comes from. But it also gets us in trouble because we get so excited when someone wants us to do something that we think is really cool and put good sense aside. Or at least, It's been that way with me. I think that's where a lot of my darkness comes from. The Child in me has been hurt, used, lied to and abused. That's why, no matter what I draw, there is something there. A lot of the time it is the emotion I draw in a character's face or something about the place and the lighting.
An when these sharks come along and do these things to me (us) there is a big part of me that just wants to beat the living hell out of them. These last 10 years I have learned not to want to be violent, but just draw what I feel instead and that really seems to help get it out, but the damage is done and the child is hurt once again.
The second reason is more practical. I hope by sharing things with you, it will help you to not make the mistakes that I have. Here are a few hints for the young people that I hope will help you on your journey. Unless your dealing with a mainstream company, check out their website. If they have a chat room, go there and just listen. I do that while I am working. Most of the time, you hear positive things and learn about a company that you may want to work with. Remember as a free lancer you need to build a good client list. I have said this many times and I will say it again. Always show good manners and respect. No matter how good you think you are, there is always someone better that wants what you have.
When you do a google search on a potential client, check all the main links, because someone may have put a tag on a blog naming the company. I have a 3 strike rule. If on line I find 3 legitimate complaints by different sources, then I strike them off my consideration list. But make sure the people who are making the negative statements are truly legit. You would be surprised at how many people's ego can't take rejection and act like idiot's when they are turned down.
Normally I don't promote group sites to get work for various reasons, but I make an exception with Facebook. I joined Facebook a year ago, and since then I have not had to look for work, at all and I am already booked till March already. One of the many reasons I like facebook is that when you friend someone, you can learn a lot about them by reading their profile. But the biggie is that you can chat with Publishers, Art Directors and all the markets you want to work in. You have the chance to get to know these people and actually become friends. Without Facebook, you do not this kind of opportunity. Plus you can get to know your favorite artist, writers, movie stars and so much more. If your not on Facebook and want to work in the fields I do, then join Facebook. Promoting yourself is major in this business. If you are shy, take drama. You need to learn to be sociable and have confidence in yourself.
Next time I see you, I will have some sketches to show you on a new painting. I hope that everyone has a wonderful and safe Holiday. Peace and Blessings everyone and Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Probably the last post till christmas.


Hello friends. I want to wish you all a wonderful, happy and safe Holidays. I've been very busy and getting ready to start a new painting today. It will be the second one for the AntiPalidin Book for The Evil Nerd Empire. The one directly above is the first one. The top illustration is something I did about a year ago, and when i was looking at it the other day I saw mistakes that I had made, and decided to spend a day fixing them. I think it looks much better than the first way I did it.
I've really been getting the itch to do some steampunk work. When I first did the above piece, I really didn't understand what Steampunk was about. I've been listening to a Band called Abney Park, and they really have a Steampunk sound and look, and they have been inspiring me to head into Steam Punk. You can check them out here. So this coming year you will be seeing me doing Steampunk samples along with my normal work. Steampunk horror.... hmmmmmm sounds interesting.
On to other things. We are going to have a contest on my fan sites. It will be a bimonthly and it will be about stories, art and video that fans make of a piece of art I put up. The winners will get free prints and free original. There will be a 7th contest as well, and it will be all the winners from that year to determine the very best. The winner will get a free oil painting of my chose. We have the judges already and now all I have to do is list the rules and post them. Look for this the first week of Jan. I am also going to talk to my publishers to see if they will kick in some prizes as well, like a book with my art and so on.
This has been a awesome year for me, and next week, I am going to review it for you, and tell you some of the "dirt" that went on behind the scenes. I can think of 4 people right now that my statement made their blood pressure shoot up about 50 points. The problem is this. In this field, like any other, you have con artist and crooks. At some point someone has to put a end to their bull. If gone unchecked, they will keep doing what their doing, which is ripping off artist and writer and in one case I know off, try to take credit for a story written by a very famous writer friend of mine, and he put my art with it to. He made it look like he did both. We had his site pulled in a matter of hours, but something tells me this creep hasn't learned his lesson.
The thing is that when young artist and writers try to break into this field, 80% of them have to climb the ladder, which takes years. Along the way, their are so many Vultures waiting to take advantage of you and steal from you. When you do run across a publisher that pays you and treats you good, you do what it takes to keep working for them. You will find that the more successful publishers have built a family like atmosphere among it's talent pool.
Well, time to get busy now. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. Peace and Blessings.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The ways things are going............

Hello my friends. I hope you all are staying warm. It's cold as heck up her in the mitten state! lol Thank goodness, I work inside these days. The fellow above is named 'Kannon" and he is the star of a book called "The Anti-Palidin" soon to be published by the Evil Nerd Empire. It is part of a painting in which I showed you the other player in the post before the last one. Now this is just the color sketch, so don't think I'm done yet. Right now I am working on the background, which is the interior of a church. Hopefully next time I blog, it will be done, or close. A couple of things to remember when you are drawing or painting something like this, first always remember to make the hero or villains hands larger and stronger that the models hands are that you are using, and also remember in the real world, armor, weapon, clothing, whatever is always going to have wear, so when you draw and paint them, dent things up, dull them, tear them. Make them believable. It is one of the steps to breathing life into your work.
As I have told you before, Cheryl is writing now, and she put up a website. Go here and check it out. I think she did a wonderful job. I am also adding a link to the right side bar for future reference as well. You'll notice on her site that she mentions a new contest that I am having 7 times a year. I will post all the details over the weekend, and if your a member of the international fan club, you will be getting a letter about as well. The prizes will be original paintings, drawings and prints all personalized to the winners. I am very flattered to have so many of you in the 2 fan clubs. Between the 2, there are almost 5000 fans. That just knocks this ole country boy on his butt when he thinks about that. Considering most of my life I've had to hear from my "family" (except Dianne and her children) what a loser i was. Thank goodness I believed in myself when no one else did.
Some times I wonder just how many people from all the past years keep up with my career, if any. I really would like to hear from you if your there. I haven't changed and i would really like to know how you all have been. The years pass quickly.
This year is approaching its end, and a new year will soon be here. I can say honestly, without a doubt, this has been the best year of my life. I found love and my career found me. In the next few blogs I'm going to fill you in on behind the scenes of this year. About my life and about my job and some of the people I've worked with this year. I already know that next year is going to be awesome, and it will also mark the return of Nick Rose to the Convention circus. Yes I meant to say circus. I love seeing the fans, but god, I hate being on the road, running into "old" friends that you really just want to beat the hell out of, but you have to smile and say "How have you been?"
The one thing about me is that i am not a phony. I say what I mean, and I don't play games, but I do take care of business. My biggest downfall is that I want to believe in people, and a lot of times when I do that, their conning me, but Cheryl has really been helping me to see people for what they really are. I have made some wonderful friends this year and have really expanded my horizons as the saying goes. An since we moved into the new home, I have been loving that as well. You wouldn't believe how much studio space I have now. Now I can set things up the way I've always wanted, but never had the space, including a place to package up mail orders we get for prints and originals, as well as a spot to set up permanently to shoot models.
What I am trying to get across in this blog, is that life has really been great to me this year. Sure there has been some bad things happen, and my health was touch and go there for a little while, but now i feel good most every day, and now I am going to start exercising again to make myself even stronger. I hope that all of you are having a wonderful holiday season, and remember, I don't bite, if you want to know something, just ask. Peace and Blessings.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I've been really busy.....


Hello my friends. It has been a very busy, and emotional time since I last blogged. I'll try to get you filled in on things. First off, before I forget, here is a link to some pic's Cheryl took of me today. Funny stuff.
Posted above are the last 2 paintings for "Darc Karnivale" and it goes to press come tomorrow. The one with the house was a re-do of "One for the Road" by the awesome Paul Kane, and the one above that is for "Playtime" by Marie O"Regan.
The reason I redid Paul's illustration was the first one, I just didn't do well at getting the point across. The story is about the "4 Horsemen" getting together for a few drinks before the world ends. It is a Awesome story, but I just couldn't figure out how to get all 4 of the horsemen into the pic, without losing most of the detail that you need to see who each of them are. So after talking with Paul about it, he suggested this idea, and I loved it and went for it.
Marie's was a re-do as well for different reasons. The first version of her painting is much more darker and eerie. Marie felt that the picture needed to be toned down. Her point was that if you saw this little girl (the original one) on a playground, you would run like hell. I needed to make her more approachable so other children would trust her. It is a very scary story, don't let the picture fool you, but in the story, that is what happens. You meet this little girl, start playing with her and....... You'll have to buy the book to find out, but it will scare the hell out of you.
I know that some of you might not realise how important this book is to me personally, but think about this, There are 16 short stories written by the very best horror writers in the world, and I was chosen to do the illustrations and cover for the book. This is huge to me, a dream come true.
Well folks, I was going to try to write more, but I am just plain out tired and I need a night off. Peace and Blessings.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New stuff.

This is where I start. After I have my model shots, I spend about a half a day drawing it out. I drew this in Painter, which I like when I am facing deadlines. But as long as I don't get a major illness or something, this assignment, 2 paintings will be done with a couple of weeks to spare. An then I am going to start a project I know a lot of you will enjoy. It will be fantasy work for a novel. It will be about 12 pencil drawings, portrait style of all the main characters of the book. Many of you have told me how much you like my pencil work.
In the above drawing, I did it different than I would have done a pencil sketch. Since I know this going to be a painting I add some of the darker details that will show through the final version. This fellow is going to be a frier when he is done, but I have to draw him as I see him first, then make the changes i need to make him have the look I want. I got a lot of his costume right when I took the pictures, but some things I didn't have and will have to add them as I draw and paint it.
One of the things I have been doing lately is a lot more learning and practicing, thanks to my friend George. I have always had trouble doing folds in clothing so i am working on learning that better and hopefully that will show over the next few paintings. I have decided this coming year is going to be about learning more and more. I don't feel that my skills are any where close to where they should be, and I just feel that I can do better. Of course, I think all artist are like that, or at least the serious ones, and I intend to get much more serious about what I do. This last year has been about me being in a place to be a artist everyday. I had to quit carpet, and with the health problems I have, I can't get a regular job. But I am turning my health around. I did quit smoking about 9 months ago. I quit when I moved in with Cheryl. I don't drink everyday anymore. Now i might have some beers a couple nights a week, and that is it. My diet is much better, but still needs work. I am getting much more exercise than I was and I am starting to feel stronger now., and last but not least is my mental frame of mind. I am becoming much more positive about everything.
I have gotten over most of the anger I have had and held in me. There is still one person that I despise with all my heart and soul, but I don't let it bother me anymore. But I'll never be able to be glad to see that person ever again, or maybe in time I will finally get past that, who knows? I really hope I can, but I'm not perfect. I'm far from it actually. lol
The one thing I really need to do though is make some friends here in Michigan. As it is, I never get out, unless Cheryl and I go out to eat or shopping. I was looking for a "Ghost Hunter" type of group to join here in Mid-Michigan, and I found 2, and wrote them letters for info, and never heard back from them. Is there any readers out there that know of any in this area I could hook up with? Outside of art, ghost hunting is my favorite thing to do. Ask Cheryl, I never miss any of the Ghost Hunting type of shows that are on TV these days. I know she is not into it much like I am, but she is a good sport and lets me watch them all. She Is such a sweet and wonderful person, and for all of you that like my art, she is the one that made it possible for me to do this. So please tell her "Thank You"
Slowly but surely the studio is shaping up. The computer part of it is all set up, but until I get an Easel or new drawing table, I can't finish putting everything in place. I need some book shelfs and a few more tables. So, it will take a little more time before I can finish un-packing everything. After we get past Christmas, and buy us a washer and dryer, I will start putting money into building my studio again, and get prints and other things made to sell.
Well, time to get to work. Please remember, if you have a question about art and you want me to tell you the answer, please, just drop me a line. I will be happy to help you out, and I hoping that by this time next year I will have my first instruction book out. "May the Darkness comfort you."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This is a Dark Ride.....



Those that know me well know that when I title a post what I did on this one that I am going into a very dark period. Both personally and artistically. So if the happy and pretty piece is posted above that will be so ironic right now. I originally painted this back in 89 in Acrylic on 1 inch thick plywood. The painting was kinda large as well, so it weighted a ton.
When I painted it, I hadn't really "discovered" the dark side of my nature yet. It was there, but I kept it buried beneath the surface, afraid people would think I was a freak if I painted what I really wanted to paint. But in 1993, it came to life.
I'm getting ready to paint a couple of "Dark" fantasy paintings, and I wanted to redo this one some first. The thing about these dark periods I go through is that they last a very long time. Usually years and I do become a very different person. It is hard to explain but if you hang around, you will see.
The last time this happened, it took a period of several years and it was the product of a lot of negative things that had happened to me. Being betrayed and lied to by the very people I love and trust is a big one. An during that period, my blood family really had it out for me. I took the rap for a lot of stupid things my mother did so she wouldn't get into trouble. She had be with a man that died, and in his will he said that as long as she was alive she could live in the house and control all the things that went with it. But after she died, the land, house and all the propriety would go to his, Lester, children. Personally I thought this was very fair of the man, considering he had only known my mom for 2 years.
At the time I was single, and my older brother and sister voted that I should live there with her, so I could do the upkeep on the land and propriety. Reluctantly I did. During this period my mom would take jewelry, guns, and anything of value to the pawn shop whenever she wanted to get drunk and I wouldn't give her the money for that. Later when these things started turning up missing she told my siblings and Lester's children that I had done it because I had a bad drug problem. At that time, I did smoke pot, but I also owned my owned carpet business and brought it about 2000 a week, so I always had plenty of money and paid all the bills around there. But for some reason, it was so easy for my brother and sister to believe all the crap my mom was putting out there. And another kicker was this had be going on for about a year before anyone asked me about it.
Once the truth all came out, i basically said "F@ck you" and have never had anything to do with my family since, except my younger sister and nieces and nephews. Needless to say, this left some pretty deep scares.
Another "truth" that hit me around that time was that i realised that every woman I dated or lived with all had children and no matter how much I loved and cared for their children, they would never care about me, except for what they could get out of me. No matter how many years we had been close, as soon as their mother and me went our separate ways, they no longer would have any thing to do with me, unless of course they wanted something. I had my chance to be a father when I was very young and dumb and blew it royally, and life would not give me a second chance.
I was raised by monsters. They never taught me the things in life that where important like family, children being married and what it really meant to make commitment's like that. Most of my youth I spent trying to get my head straighten out from all the fu*ked up things they had done to me, such as abuse. I can still remember my grandmother telling me "It's okay, he's your uncle" when I was 6 years old, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.
But all of that is years past. The part about not having children of my own really eats at me still, but I'm just to old to do anything about that now. These days, I have much worse demons to deal with. One of the biggest that really sickens me is that everyone just wants to use you. They will lie to you, pretend to be your friend, get close to you until they get what they want and then they just cut your throat and laugh in your face. If you remember a few months ago I was talking about forgiving and forgetting and trying to be a better person, well it slowly dawned on me that just opens the door for other assholes to try to f*ck you over as well. I'm telling you this because if your a wide eyed artist that thinks that working in publishing is so wonderful, it's not. The business is full of crooks, con-artist, and backstabbers. I'm not saying everyone is that way, but a lot of them are. When you do find good people to work with, you best give thanks everyday for them, because they are few and far between. Luckily for me, this year I have been dealing with some really good people, but before that it was about 50/50. There where a lot of great folks on the way up, and then there are some I would love to see get smashed by a speeding truck.
I don't know where this dark mood is going to take me, but I promise, it will be very different and it is here to stay for a good long while, perhaps the rest of my days. "May the darkness comfort you"

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"A New Chapter....."



Without a doubt, this is the beginning of a new chapter in my life and one heck of a roller-coaster ride. This last year has been full of changes and growth for me, and I have loved every day of it and meet every day with wide open arms and wide open eyes. I do what I do out of love, but there are a lot of folks out there that just want to use me to make them money and don't give a hoot about anything else. I will never understand how people can possibly put money above all else, but they do.
All I care about is my art and the people I love. I have Cheryl to thank for that. She is the first one that has been able to talk to me on a level that I can understand and see things for what they truly are.
The move has been rough on us, but we did it. We decided that when we buy our home, we are gonna pay for some one to move us then. lol In our minds where only 23, but our bodies are telling us a very different story. lmao! Where did the years go?
I love the new house. We went from a one story house to a 3 story home, and the whole basement is my Man-cave/studio. lol We also have 2 bathrooms now. When you have something like colitis, that is a good thing. In the studio I even have room to set up an area for photographing models, which I need to do soon for a big fantasy project I have coming up after Christmas. I also have a cool dark fantasy project to get done before Christmas as well, and then a Horror/western painting to get done the week of Christmas.
You know I was worried about not getting enough exercise, but going up and down these steps all day is giving me quite a workout. I'm going to have to buy a new washer and dryer now. We had a laundry mat at the old house, but not here, just the hook up. That really bites, because I had to leave a wonderful washer and dryer behind when I moved to Michigan. But I lost a lot of things when I moved here and a lot was stolen from me. But thats alright. Like I said, this is a new chapter in my life and I've had to start over on a lot of things.
I'm actually looking forward to getting a new easel. I've never worked on one before, but Daniel and Mark really love painting on them, so I thought I would give it a try. I've always used a Drawing Table, which I might whine up getting another one of those as well. I'm just not sure at this point. Right now, I am just hoping my oils are still good and didn't get ruined sitting in the cold last winter. I'll know in a couple of days.
It is so cool to unpack all of my art stuff and neat little collectables and see them again after all this time. It really brings back memories and makes me feel even more at home. I should be back to working by the weekend, or at least I hope so.
I have to tell you, I am in some serious pain. lol No one helped Cheryl and me move, except for her Mom, and I feel like my legs and arms are about to fall off. Lucky for me the doc hooked me up with some very potent Hydrocodone. That helps alot and muscle relaxers help to. The VA gets me through! lol
I am really enjoying being off from painting for a week. I really need this break. I feel like I'm on the verge of burning out, and I don't need that. being in my new studio is really getting me pumped up though.
Well, its back to unpacking for me, but I just wanted to check in and let all my friends know that Cheryl and I are doing wonderful and things are really great. Peace and Blessings all. I'll see you in a few days.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2 of 4

This is "One for the road" written by Paul Kane for the Darc Karnivale book. The picture is about 2 of the 4 horsemen. Everything is going well, but very busy. I hope to post one more time before the move. This week and next week are just insane. lol I hope you all are well. Peace and Blessings

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thankful, blessed and getting healthy!


Hello my friends. I know it's been a little while since I showed you any art, and on the next blog, you will see plenty. At the moment I am finishing up the last 2 paintings for 'Darc Karnivale" and I promise they will kick some serious butt, and after that I have plenty of more kick as& paintings to do between now and Christmas. As a matter of fact I am booked all the way until May. I did put aside some time for a movie project that is coming up probably in Dec, or Jan. And for my fantasy fans out there, I have a big Fantasy project coming up in January through the end of March, and this will be some beautiful pencil artwork that you haven't seen from me in a while, and I also will be doing 4 "Dark Fantasy" works as well.
I went into being a full time artist about 5 months ago, and even with the illnesses I have been through, I have managed to get the studio into a very profitable business. Personally I am shocked. With the economy the way it is, I was hoping for half of what is going on for me, but I am truly being blessed.
As soon as "Darc Karnivale" is done, it will be time to pack and start moving into our new home. I am thrilled about this, because I will have a studio once again. I can start painting in oils once again. I can take all my little Monstys out of storage and have them up around me once again, and even better, I will be working on a 3rd shift schedule for the first time in over 25 years. I am pumped about this even more. Some of the best memories I ever had as a artist was during that time. As an artist I am happy as heck.
An even better I am finally getting healthy once again, and your gonna be surprised. All the things I have done the last 6 months where done when I felt Bad and sick, now that I am healthy again, what does the future hold? Who knows, but I can tell you this, it will be exciting! I do hope you will sick around to see for your self.
I am guessing for the next 2 weeks I will do little blogging, mostly because of the move and all the work I am doing. But I will be back after Thanksgiving. At this point, it is hard for me to promise what I will be blogging about and how often. It will all depend on circumstances. But you know, if it wasn't for Cheryl, none of this would have been possible. She made this dream come true. She believed in me and threw me into the lake and told me to swim, and I have. As I am getting healthier, I am swimming harder. I really just want her to be proud of me. She has worked so hard to make this happen, and there is no way in heck that I will let her down.
I honestly feel like I am walking into a time of magic and growth. I am so looking forward to this. Oh, I almost forgot, there is a really cool interview with me here It does really get dark, I really talks about the things that messed up my mind when I was young, It talks about the things your not supposed to because "its a family secret" The hardest thing I have ever had to do is to learn how to put these things behind me, and move on. It just doesn't work like that, does it?
Well, I'll be around and post when I can between now and Christmas. I love you all. Peace and Blessings.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Laying it out.

I want to talk to you about the truth. Not the popular truth, but the one that really is. First, let's talk about me. I am not perfect, nor do I act like I am, nor do I want to be. The problem is that people think I am something special because I can draw real good. Heck, when I go to a convention, I have people line up just to buy prints and have their picture made with me. So, I get noticed, and I really don't want to be. The bottom line with me is that pure and simple that I just want to draw and make a living. There are times that I try to help other people, but I tell you those days are over. i might throw out a tip here and there, but that is all.
I am rebuilding my website, and if young artist want to learn tips that where taught to me by Master Artist, then I will offer that on my website for a fee. No one does anything for me for free, so that is now my attitude. I am angry right now because once again, I let some clown talk me to doing a business deal with them, and I agreed with out checking them out. Wicked Kitty Productions has been dissolved right now, but i am going to bring it back within a year, without a partner that treats women like they are a simple minded sexual objects for him to "wack off" to their pictures that woman gave in good faith for a book that I was going to do the cover to. I am sorry, but I do have ethics and morals and if I am going to do a sexy picture it will be no more than pg-13, period.
I cannot believe I put myself into this situation after knowing that this person, at 50 years old, still lived with Mommy and Daddy, has no car, has nothing, not even a bank account. So, I am telling you, I am a artist for hire. I work for pay only, and if I've never worked for you before, I ask for a 20% deposit up front. If you want to read more about the pervert I am talking about, read Cheryl's blog
Outside of that, I am doing real good, but I am sick of all the perverts and con artist out there, and that is the reason I am changing the way I am doing business. I also have a business manager and agent now. Peace and Blessings.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Getting back in the groove!


Hello my friends. I am finally starting to feel like myself again. Since the infection in my lungs has cleared up, I feel better than I have felt in a very long time, and my mind set is much more positive. Now, I just need to get strong again. The move is coming up within the next month, and I don't know hardly anyone in Saginaw to ask to help. So, It's probably gonna whine up being me and Cheryl moving everything, and I think we only have a day to day to do it in.
Above is the 14th interior illustration for "Darc Karnivale" It is for a story called "Bloodlines" written by Travis James. Counting the cover, that is a total of 15 paintings so far, with 2 more to go. But I have to take a break from this and do a cover for a book that Wicked Kitty Productions is publishing called "Hot and Horrifying" . It's going to be a wrap around Cover and feature most of the "Scream Queens" in the business, so this one is going to be a big job! I am thinking it will take about 2 weeks to complete, and then it will be time to finish the last 2 illustrations for "Darc Karnivale" I also have a movie poster coming up pretty soon and a DVD cover as well as a few other surprises before Christmas. My day as a pro has arrived. I am making good money, not getting rich, but able to pay some of the bills. We still have to be a 2 income family for now, but give me 2 more years and Cheryl will be a full time writer. Somebody write that in stone for me! lol
I am really looking forward to working with all the "Scream Queens", and this looks likes its going to be a regular gig for me as well. Since I own half of Wicked Kitty Productions, and WKP produces Scream Queen Documentaries and books (As well as many other types of things), I will be doing all the artwork, unless I have to "farm" some of
it because I get to busy. I am thinking at some point I will have to hire or sub out some work down the road, depending on the project. But it seems like now that everyone who comes to me wants me to do their work and no one else. But I do have some projects down the road where I may hire other artist to help me out, but right now, all of that is VERY TOP SECRET!
If you haven't noticed, look to the right, and you will see a new listing at the very top titled "Links to help Artist" You will find listings of places to find work to the prices you should be getting paid if your a professional. It also provides Artist Contracts for most any use and a listing of Copyright Laws that most folks don't have a clue about. If you have a good link to something useful, then please send it to me, and I will add it.
Well, I'm gonna be spending the rest of the day working on the website, and tomorrow start on the painting for "Hot and Horrifying" Peace and Blessings all!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Here we go again.

Hello my friends. Since I last blogged, I spent almost a week in the hospital. It turned out that a chest infection i got 5 months ago when I decided to quite smoking never went away, just stayed in hiding. It was responsible for a lot of the health issues I have been having these past several months. Well, they finally figured it out and now I am recovering. The bad news is that I am dragging around an oxygen cord for the next several weeks, or at least we're hoping that will be all I need it for.
For right now, I am not going to keep making promises my health will not let me keep to you. I will be doing the guest blogger as planned, and the first one will go up by Friday night. I'll see you soon, but I have to dig myself out of another hole and get back on track. Peace and Blessings.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"And the Show must go on!"

Hello my friends! I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend like Cheryl and I have. We worked all weekend but when you love what you do, It sure doesn't seem like work, and now I only have 3 more Illustrations left and "Darc Karnivale" will be done. Now that is bumming me out. I am going to start on another one tomorrow and after that I am doing the first cover for Mine and Dave Byron's first cover together as Wicked Kitty Productions. The book is called "The Hot and Horrifying" and yes it is about Scream Queens. In other words, i get to paint twenty something of the most beautiful women in the horror industry. So, you will get to see a ton of awesome art by me.
You know, at first I thought me and Dave teaming up on some projects was a great idea. I kind of saw it as a really different outlet for me to do some different things that I had always wanted to do, but man i had no clue to as all the wonderful things that are coming our way because of our partnership. Dave and Me "Clicked" from day one and everything we touch together so far has turned to gold for us. I'm not bragging my friends, it's just that I am as amazed by all the things that happen and keep happening for us. Even before Dave and I formed WKP's so many things where happening in my art career, it was mind bogging and it still is. But actually goes back to before that even. Moving to Michigan seems to have been the catalyst that started the things in motion and changed destiny for me. I can't believe all that has happen.
Today, we found out we are moving next month into a much bigger home and I have a "Dungeon" to turn into my studio! I am so excited. Finally I can get all my art stuff unpacked! People, I am loving life, and yes I feel like a very rich man. I have Cheryl and the kids, and I love them with all my heart. My health is improving, slowly but surely! I am offered more and more work each day, and its ALL COOL work that I love to draw and paint! It just doesn't get any better than this, I swear! lol A lot of you fellows are tripping because our (Mine and Dave) production company is working with every scream queen in the business, and I get to draw and talk to all of them. What I love about this is that 3 years ago I couldn't hire a model if my life depended on it, and now i get letters almost every day from top models, female and male asking me to consider painting them into one of my paintings.
I'm sorry if I seem to be rambling, but I am hyper and happy as heck right now. I am getting me a studio again, and you have no idea of how much that means to me. Okay, I'm switching gears on you. Starting this Thursday i am going to start having guest bloggers. Sometimes it will be every week, and other times every other week. And these guest will be the people that I am working with on art projects or people (Like Scream Queens) who I am working with for the production company. One of the main reasons for this is that I know I probably don't say all of the things I need to tell you, and in my mind this would be a great way for you to get a better insight on the wonderful things we have going on. Plus you get hear from some pretty serious players. Coming up this Thursday night will be Mr. Dave Byron, co-founder of Wicked Kitty Production, a top of the line editor and a heck of a writer.
I will be doing my blogs on Monday nights and some Thursday nights. This is another thing, I am trying to post on regular nights, and we will be having pod-cast coming up in the very near future. Well, got to run. Love you all and see you soon!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

They opened the gates today.





Have you ever had one of those days that you think that they opened the gates to the nut house, and then you've had one of those days you know darn well they did, lmao, well let me tell you, it's been one of those days. I fell like Batman standing outside the busted doors of Arkum Asylum. (I hope I spelled that right) Just craziness going on. Of course, I am use to chaos, but I sure do worry about my friends and loved ones when things like this happen.
But first, let's talk about the art I posted. Above is a new or up-dated version of Mr. Voodoo who quite by accident became my avatar on line a year of so ago. I never intended it for that reason, so I when back and polished it up a good bit over what it was. I know a lot of you want be able to tell the difference, but to the trained eye, there are a good many subtle changes. I also polished up my companies logo. Yes, I said Companies. Not only do I have a art studio, I am also partners with a good friend of mine Dave Byron (an awesome writer and editor in his own right) in a movie and publishing company. Yep, I am making movies and publishing books these days. This year we are working on 4 documentaries about the people who work in the horror industry. From movies to publishing. Next year we are hoping to make our first horror movie. We also are publishing "How to" books and anthology's this year, and next year hope to move into art books and novels. But we're taking this one step at a time. We got a heck of a send off from almost every major media company in the biz as well as tons of company's. Heck, I've even got a few invites to go to Hollywood to take a tour of different studios, and "have Lunch"
If you haven't yet, stop by the site and see what we have going on. It is here Sign up and be a member while your there and take part in things. We are going to have book and movie giveaways at some point, and if your a member of my fan site, (If not you can go here and sign on) The official one (I say official, because there is a second one here that is ran by fans and it is very large but it doesn't have the updates and giveaways, mostly because there are so many people there who speak so many languages, I have no idea on how to communicate with them all) , you will be eligible for winning original art and prints from me as well. I really have a lot going on art wise and I am revamping my whole Internet look as well. It's going to take a while to do all of it, simply because of my health and time, but I will get it all done. I will be starting on rebuilding the site very soon, like this week but a little at a time. I will let you know when I have something done and you might want to check it out. I also have another big name publication interview coming up this week as well. I'll share the details once that is up and done.
The above illustration is for the Darc Karnivale book. You can go here to the Evil Nerd Empire and start seeing all the cool things that they have going on. It looks like I am going to have a very long relationship with The Evil Nerd Empire. With my health issues, they work with me on deadlines, although I am way ahead of deadline on the Darc Karnivale project. But if need be, they care enough about my health and well being and working with Jeremy and Byron is like working with family and friends, and it sure has helped my career in big ways.
Speaking of my career, I am so thrilled with how well fans, publishers and the media have taken to me. I feel like no matter what you want to say about my life, I have done and succeeded at something I dreamed of and beat the odds. I almost feel like Rocky. I'm the guy that no one ever gave a chance because of my training and such, but life did smile on me and give me the things I needed to be successful and God, or whatever you believe in gave me the heart to not give up.
We know that things haven't gone quite the way I planned for them too, especially with me writing my book, but never fear, in each blog, at the very least I will give you tips that I have learned through the years and from my teachers. This is a good but simple one. Remember these simple rules. When drawing and painting men's hand, draw them larger than they truly are. Almost size and a half. This makes them look much more heroic. Do the same with their feet. Another rule is this, when drawing and painting men, it's what you show that counts. With women, it's what you don't show. For instance, a mans face has character because of the lines and scars, a woman's face is beautiful because of a lack of these things. Give them some thought. Trust me, do a portrait of a man, and draw all his wrinkles and such, then draw a woman the same. The man will pay you and be very happy, the woman will want you dead. For real.
Well, I haven't eaten in about 12 hours and I'm pretty tired. I got a lot done today, and I really don't want to talk about crazy people right now, so Good Night my friends. Much Love and Blessings!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Art Tips and The Dark Side....




Hello my friends. The top two illustrations are a work in progress, for a story called "The Obsidian Stone", written by J.T. Carney for the book "Dark Karnivale" to be published by The Evil Nerd Empire in late November. I want to share some art tips with you today. The 3rd illustration is one I did during my Masters training, and I will share more with you on that here shortly when we are talking about art techniques.
I just want you to know that I do enjoy doing this blog, but sometimes I get very pressed for time and can't do all I want to do, or just can't blog as often as I feel that I should, and with me deciding to write a "How to" book, and finding out that it is not easy writing (my hat off to all of my writer friends) Things are really picking up in my life and my career, so I am finding that I don't have all the time I would like to have. With my recent illness, as we have discussed in past blogs, I have come to relised just how important and short my life on this earth truly is. I mean we all work hard to better our lives for our loved ones, but in reality we could have only a day left with them. To me it has become more important to make that day as wonderful as possible and that has and will stay my main focus for the rest of my life. I finally found Cheryl after all these years of looking, and I do want to enjoy every moment I have with her, the kids, and my very dear friends.
My art is my love too, and it will remain a huge part of my life and I will continue to paint as much as my health permits. My health will be getting better in time and will not be an issue forever, but for now it is. But for the next year, I have some really exciting assignments coming up, and a lot of promotion from some wonderful people. I'm not sure what changed from this time last year, but something truly has and folks really want to talk about my art now. I am planning several of these interviews to coincide with the release of "Darc Karnivale"
Okay, let's talk a little art. The 3 illo's I posted above. The bottom one of the flowers first. When I was training under Master Daniel Horne, one of the exercises he had me do was to learn about "Texture" and seeing Values as well. Kind of a mixed assignment that I still do even know when I do interior illustrations. Most of the time Interior Illustrations are printed in black and white, but i will paint them in color just to see how well I handled the values in the painting. When you convert it from color to b/w, you really can see how well you did. But I want to talk about Texture for this time, and we will talk values in much greater depth at a later time.
Daniel had me do several of these little b/w paintings in oil's using a color photo as reference or the real thing from nature. He wanted me to learn 2 things. One being that lines and detail do not make the image look like it does to the eye, or in a painting, but it is the texture and the shape that make it look the way it does. This also makes a painting have life, depth, and did I say life? For instance, if you focus your eye on a field of flowers and grass, where your eyes are focused, you do notice some details but the further your eye sees away from where it is focused, the more you only see just the textures of the flowers, instead of the details. An the future you eye goes, the more texture you see. When drawing and painting, always remember this rule. There is also this thing called "creating air" around your subjects. If you look at the tombstones above, you can see that I am already doing that, but I am not finished. You can see in the second or middle one that the back tombstones are starting to blur into the "air" around it. This is done by using the texture, and soften the edges (creating air) You need to learn to do this in pencil as well.
If you really want to learn and grow as an artist, you should do this exercise. Pick different things such as flowers, stones, trees, any thing that has a different texture, fine a color picture, or the real thing, and do a black and white painting of it. Do this, and keep doing this, until you "get it" and then do it some more. By "getting it" your skills as an artist will improve 10 fold. Your artist eye will improve in leaps and bounds. If your serious about improving your skills, then get serious my friends.
In January, I am going to be doing a large fantasy, pencil project that involves 10 drawings, so we can cover a lot about doing pencil work at that time. I am really looking forward to that because I really love doing pencil work. I want to promote a new friend of mine before I go to watch Ghost Hunters. This is a website/blog that really has awesome interviews, reviews, and just everything cool about the people you love the most in this fantastic industry of imagination. Go here and bookmark it because you will want to visit a few times a week while drinking your coffee. Tell Sarah hello, and become a follower.
Peace and Blessings my friends. May your dreams be dark and wonderful!

Sorry, I almost forgot. The flower piece above is by me, back when I was using my christian birth name, William Johns. During my training, I choose to use it, then when back to Nick Rose afterwards. I had went by the name of Nick Rose for 30 years, and I want to stay with it. It is my artist identity and it always will be. Sorry if I confused anyone.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dealing with Fools and Idiots

Hello my friends. I do apologize for the delay of posting. Unfortunately my health has been causing me problems. No worries though, it is all the process of making myself healthy. lol. In the war of fighting the problems my body has, occasionally I lose a battle, but in the big picture I am winning. In several months I should be healthy, but until then it is touch and go. The recent bout is about adjusting my meds to the right combinations and amounts. To lay it out straight to you, I slept for about 8 days straight because of sugar levels and my heartbeat being way to fast and my blood pressure way to low. Well, it looks like we have that straight now, but I did have to get back on prednisone to make my body strong again.
The piece above is for one of my publishers, Withersin Magazine and is for a story called Sculpting. This will be the 3rd issue where my work has appeared in their fine magazine, but the first time as Nick Rose. The first 2 times was as William Johns, my alter ego, or is Nick Rose my alter ego? Or are they both one in the same? Is that possible? Now that is something to wrap my noodle around for a while.
If you noticed I named this entry "Dealing with Fools and Idiots" for a good reason. It seems that when a man (me) is down with health problems all the fools and idiots come out of the woodwork trying to mess with me. That is fine, I can deal with that, but remember now there going to have to deal with a healthy man, and your gonna find out that they bite off more than they can chew. Each day I am getting stronger than I have been in many years. I have cleaned up my act, but I am paying the price for all the abuse I did to my body for many years, but I am healing.
I do my best to be a peaceful man these days. There was a time when I was filled with fire and anger, and I wouldn't thing twice about getting in someones face and going after them. I have changed that part of me these past few years, but a few folks are really pushing it. I've had to deal with an artist that got in touch with me, convinced me that he had very serious illnesses and was dying, but fighting for his life. I felt horrible for him, and did my best to be a friend to him, just to find out he was playing me for a fool? Why in the world would a human being do something like this? Why? Now I have to assume that everthing that this person told me was a lie, and his friends that I talked to and almost helped, only to find out that they where also helping him with his lie. And what do you think is going to happen now when someone contacts with me a sob story. I want believe it, as a matter of fact I probably want even write back, and this could be the one time that some one really does need help and deserves it. I can only hope that Karma will deal with these people and the darkness behind them that I know very well.
This is just one example of many, but the rest are nothing and just amuse the heck out of me to be honest. The main thing now is to get back to where I left off before I got knocked on my butt with the health issues, so Monday I will be back to writing again and start posting those lessons as I get them done. The portfolio one is almost done, and I should post it Monday evening. Tomorrow I have to read a couple of new storys for assignments and get started on them by Tuesday.
I do have some pretty big news. As of tonight 9/19 there is a feature on me on horrorbound.com This is a pretty big deal and should really help get my art out there. Horrorbound is one of the bigger Horror publications in the business, so I am very honored by this.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Caution! Construction Ahead!

Hello my friends! Thank you for stopping by. I've got a lot to talk to you about this blog, so let's start with the painting above. I named the painting "Klowny" based on the character from the short story "The Ten Klown-mandents" written by Mark McLaughlin and Michael McCarty for the book "Darc Karnivale" published by "The Evil Nerd Empire" This is a little off the usual path for me, but then again, what is the usual path for me? I love doing anything that takes imagination. I did spend a little more time working on this one though. This is what I call a thinking painting. To me that means I have a lot on my mind and I'll really bog myself down in it to think about things. An ever since my visit at the VA Hilton I have had a lot on my mind.
I mentioned before that while I was in the hospital, I stood face to face with death once again. It was the major wake up call that I needed in a lot of different ways, and that is what this blog post is about, in detail.
If you stopped right now and made a list of the 10 most important things in your life and then found yourself in the hospital on the verge of death and made the list again, I think you would find that the 2nd list would be very different from the first one, and my friends that is what happened to me.
No, I am not going to talk to you about what is important to me. Most of that is very personal. But I am going to talk to you about what is important to me as far as my art is concerned and what my ambitions are. An that might surprise you.
First and foremost, the doctors told me that I could not be working long and grueling days anymore. That I could not be pushing myself, over dosing on coffee or any of the bad habits that has got me through the years of working 14 to 16 hour days, every day. For me to have a life to look forward too, I must address my health issues which include high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease to name a few. The time has come that I must take care of myself, or I would die.
Well, I've worked a lot of years to get to where I am now, and to be honest life is just now getting really good, and I want to hang around for awhile. So I am doing everything the doctor is telling me to do, and we're seeing improvements everyday in my health. I am getting the sugar readings in control which I didn't think was going to happen for a while there. But even with that, I still will never be able to drink booze or eat sugar and that is just fine with me.
So what is going through my mind right now is that if I am going through all of this to just live then I want to make sure the things that I do in the time I have left to me are the things that I can look back and say, "Finally, I got something right!" With that being said, the only art I am going to do is the art that makes me happy and I have fun doing it.
Every Monday is going to be writing day for me. Right now, that means I am going to work on the book I have been talking about every Monday until it is done. And then I will write something else. Perhaps a novel of my own, or a screenplay. I don't know, but i will keep writing until the day I die, and hopefully I will be able to help others by doing that. This is really important to me and I know I am not getting it done as quick as some of you might like to see. But until I have that going, I will be sharing tips and tricks that will help you along your way. Also, if you want me to answer a question for you, just e-mail me here and unless I am out of town, I will respond within 24 hours.
The second thing to me art wise is giving my work "Life" and a "Voice" I started this entry last night close to bed time, and had to take it back up this morning, and during that time the darnest thing happened. Go here and read all the comments about the "Klowny" painting that was posted last night. According to what these kind folks are saying, I am getting there. As an artist, there is no greater feeling than that. No award can match it, no amount of money can make you feel that good. It is what every artist strives to do with their patrons, create an emotional response. After all these years of learning and working, I am finally reaching a life long goal.
It is late afternoon now. Cheryl is home and taking a nap on the couch. I tell you couch will suck you in. lol. If you lay down on it, you will go to sleep. It got me earlier, but i am coming down off of prednisone and I need naps. But my body is getting much better, which brings me back to where I left off earlier. Monday's I am going to spend on writing and Sundays will be Website day. I took the website down for now, and I am going to re-vamp it again, and I'm going to take my time about it and do everything just the way I want it to be. I am going to have video "How To" classes on there and podcast. I am also going to do something similar to what "Ralan" does on his website and make a market list for artist.
So that leaves me Tuesday through Saturday to do my art. Even if I don't feel good that week, I should be able to do at least a painting a week, depending on how much detail I decide to put in it. I enjoy doing commercial assignments, so as long as I don't have a "I need it tomorrow" deadline, I will be able to do it, and hopefully if I keep taking care of myself, my health will keep getting better. We shall see.
The whole point of this blog today is to let you know that I am gong through a growing stage, and if you hang around you will be part of it and see it happen. So I hope you do. Like I said before my priority's have changed and what comes next will be as much as a surprise to me as to you I am sure. lol
So for now I am signing off but I will be back in a couple of days with a new painting. Peace and Blessings all.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Switching Gears 2



Hello my friends. I hope that all of you are having a wonderful and safe holiday! I am still in the process of switching gears as I call it, and more on that shortly. But first, let's talk about Klowny. I really expected to be done with this by now, but a lot has been going on in my life, including starting a new business. More on that in a month or so, but it goes hand in hand with all the things we have been talking about the last few months.
As with any Illustration, you start with an idea and good reference material. Sometimes getting just the right reference material can be a challenge to say the least. Normally you start with sketches of what you want the finished piece to look like, and then you set up a model shoot for your figures in the painting. In this one, I found a clown photo of a girl I liked, and have been changing it to suit the purpose of what I need. There is no model for Klowny. He is freehand. I did find a picture of the trailer park to use as a basis, and I mostly free handed the elephant.
Now you see the pic as it is so far, but by the end of today, I will have the Trailer park looking more like a "Klowny Park" and have most of Kitty-Boo painted. So let me stress this one more time. According to Irene Gallo, Todd Lockwood, Daniel Horne, Brom, and on and on, reference material is key to doing a great illustration. An Illustrator is paid to produce a believable image of the fantastic, and you can not do that without using photo references for the things you paint. The only Illustrator that says he doesn't use reference is Frazetta. I believe that to a point, but Frazetta is one of a kind. To drive the point home one more time, if you ever took a live drawing class, either still or model, you had a model to work from, did you not?
After I have all my material together and have done thumbnails on what the finished product will look like, I start doing sketches of each of the elements. The great thing about working digitally is that I like the sketches, i can polish them and use them in the finished painting, which saves a lot of time as well. Drawing the Trailers was a major pain and took a couple of days. But this is where the training Todd gave me came in by having me go downtown and draw sketches of buildings all day. Another great thing about working with Painter is that I have Perspective grids to work with, which help me keep all of this in perspective. ( No pun intended. lol)
But as soon as we find our dream house and get moved, I will start doing some more 'Traditional" pieces to show you step by step. I enjoy working both ways, and I want to share with you the joy of doing the same. Now this next step works for both traditional and digital. In Traditional, you do all your sketches on Tracing paper, then you overlay them over a "Lightbox" if you have one and can move them around to get get finished looks for the final layout. Norman Rockwell was one of the first to use this technique. In digital, you do the same, except in "Layers" mode. So, with Klowny, I have a couple more elements I want to add. For instance I want to give the trailers a more circus like look, and add a few more props. So, in the next blog I will show you that.
If you haven't noticed, I have pulled down the Wicked Kitty site for now. I am putting it through some major changes and I want it reflect the lessons I am working on for all the artist readers, promoting my clients, doing podcast, and video cast. As I have said, I am doing some major upgrades to the Wicked Kitty World. One of them is really going to surprise you, and in a couple of months I will announce it and what it will mean to all my friends and fans out there.
I am still working on the Portfolio part of my book, so until i can start sharing that with you, I am going to share some "secret" little tips to help you in your work. Today's is a simple, but effective one. When ever you are drawing a hero, no matter the Genre, draw the hero's hands and feet size and half from what they really are. This gives both male and female figures the look of being powerful and heroic. It also works for the villains as well. This is one of the very first things Daniel taught me.
Well, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and please be safe. Peace and Blessings!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Switching Gears

Hello my friends. I am sorry, but this is another short blog. The reason is, I am in the middle of switching gears as the saying goes. Let me explain.
While I was in the hospital, at one point, I quit breathing because of being over medicated. But I pulled through to tell the tell. But this really got me to thinking about what is really important to me in this life. One of those things turns out to be that I really want to take this passing on of knowledge very seriously. A few years ago I had made up my mind that I want to write a book about all that I have learned and am still learning. So, instead of putting this off, I have started the book. The chapter I am working on now is the one about building a portfolio, which I promised to share with you. I will have to post it and all lessons in several parts from here on out, just simply because of the length. This also means, it might be longer between the installments because I will be doing sample Illustrations to accompany it.
Now, 80% of the book will be available right here and for free. But I will also hold some back too so people will buy the book. I hope that this book will be something I can leave behind to help people for years to come. I will share secrets with you that some artist will never have a chance to know. I will teach you the color method that is only known and passed down from Masters to their students, and so on. I know at this point, I am no Master, but I do have the training and if I live long enough, I will reach that level.
Basically my goal with this is to give you an education that would cost you and your family 6 digits for under 100 bucks. It will also include an instructional video. My goal is to have this done and out by this time next year. I am not a greedy man, and this isn't about the money. This is about keeping a promise to someone I love and appreciate dearly. So I guessing that I will have to self-publish, which is fine. Cheryl and I have plans to do that anyways. (and that is another thing we will talk about in a couple of months.)
I know I said this in the last blog but next time around, I'll have some more sketches from the Klowny painting. (This one is going to have tons of details) and post the first part of the Portfolio chapter. I am getting ready to bring everything I do up a level or 2. Thank you all for sharing this ride with me. Much Love. Peace and Blessings.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kitty-Boo!

Hello my friends. I just realised I need to up-date the website. Yikes. Above is Kitty-Boo, a sketch for a new painting I started today called "The Ten Klown Mandments " written by Michael McCarty & Mark McLaughlin This sketch is just a part of the whole thing. One the next blog I should have the rest of the sketches, and show you how they all come together for the final painting.

This one is going to be a blast. For one, its a break from the "Mental Scars" project and gives me something that I really like to draw, which is anything strange or scary. As we have talked about in the last several blogs. I am going to share a lot of info with you all, but I just am not going to do it every blog. Sometimes, I just like to check in, and show you what I am up to, like today. Nothing heavy, just catching up.

I am feeling much better, but I have been having problems. My moods have been awful, they've been up and down because of problems with blood sugar. I'm amazed that Cheryl hasn't beat me to a bloody pulp yet. The doc told me today, NO MORE CANDY OR SUGAR! He was kind of firm about it too. I think I need to listen this time. Ho Hum. Cheryl went and got me some sugarless candy that is actually pretty good, so maybe this want be as bad as all that. But because I am back on prednisone, my sugar levels are sky high but there not great when I'm off of prednisone either. So, in my attempt to live a long life and be healthier, I have given up smoking, booze, candy, most pain medicines, and most all foods that are fried.

I know one thing, I sure couldn't get through this without Cheryl. She's been my rock through some hard times here. But anyways, time to go. Ghosthunters night! Peace and Blessings!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Getting My head back into it.

Hello my friends! What a busy week it has been. The most challenging part is trying to make up for lost time on my art without compromising the quality level I want to produce. Above is the cover for the "Mental Scars" graphic novel I have been promising to show you for a while now., and I am finishing another page up for the Novel this morning as well.
Then I am going to take a couple of days to do a new clown painting for the Darc Karnivale book. This one is going to be a blast and I can hardly wait to tear into it! I'll be showing you sketches in the next blog.
Well, since the last blog, I sure have gotten a lot more healthier, thank goodness! I am going to the Doc Wednesday for a check up and I get the feeling everything will come out fine. I've really been on a health kick of late. I quit smoking almost 4 months ago. I quit drinking a couple of weeks ago. I'm eating salads and drinking more juices, as well as nice tea's. I'm even getting Cheryl to do some of it. I've even got her thinking more like an "artist" when it comes to money and I can see her being more happy and less stressful. It is a different way of life, but if you embrace it, you will diffidently be more happy. We also have some things in the works that will make a big difference in our lives as well very soon.
I had to read back through a couple of blogs to figure out where we left off in our talking about being an Illustrator before I got sick. Now, so far, none of you have asked me any questions so I am guessing you understand everything I have been talking about so far, which is what to put up on a site you want your client to see, writing a letter to potential clients, and how to start looking for work. I also gave you the link to the Andrew Loomis book considered the Illustrators Bible. I trust that you are reading and practicing the things you are learning from the book. If not, your just wasting your time. Anything in this life worth having takes a lot of work to get. If you think not, then your in for a very rude awakening. Work at what you love hard, and everyday.
Although there are plenty of more things to talk about in the things we've already discussed, and we will come back to these things as we go, lets start talking about promoting yourself. Promoting yourself can be either one of the best things you ever do, or one of the worse. Depending on your grasp of things. Personally I spend 2 hours a day on Promoting. Now when I say Promoting, this covers everything from working on the website, sending out letters, branding the name Wicked Kitty Studio, networking with people on Face Book, writing a blog, doing interviews, radio and film. An I do this 7 days a week. To me, it is not a job anymore, it is my way of life. An Cheryl does her part as well. She spends a lot of time branding and spreading my name around.
The key here is not wasting your time on things that will do you know good. For Instance, My Space is a waste of time. Your not going to "Network" with anyone that will really help your career or visa versa. It is a place that everyone goes to tell each other how wonderful they are, or talk about other people. Politics and personal agendas. With Face book, you are friending and targeting the exact people you want and need to. For instance, I friend some artist that I have known through the years. Maybe 5%. But artist are not going to give me work or spend money on my art. They're worried about feeding their own bellies. lol So, 35% of the people I target are publishers, movie people and people that work in the media business. People that can help my career along, and the saying is true, "It is who you know" never doubt that.
The great thing here is that I don't have time to "go out" with friends, and it's very rare that I meet anyone that is "into" the same things as I am that is local to me. When I do go out, it's with Cheryl and sometimes the kids. So one Face Book, the very people I am networking with, also turn out to be good friends, simply because of the we do the same things. So It turns into business an pleasure. So, that is one of the big reasons I love Face Book so much.
The other 60% of my friends on Face Book are friend/fans. This gives me a chance to talk and deal directly with the people that like my art, want to buy my art, ect. It's almost like being at a convention and meeting people face to face, except much cheaper on the artist. But the one on one feedback is priceless.
The downside of Face Book is the people that want to IM you and you don't know them. You never know if there wanting to talk business or junk. 95% of the time, it's junk, and I just don't have time for that. I keep the IM just for my family, close personal friends, and business. If you want to talk to me, please just send me an e-mail and I promise, I will write you back within 24 hours.
If any one out there has figured out how to hide that your online when your on Face Book, I would really appreciate you telling me how to do it.
Moving on. It is important to keep your Blog and website up to date, and find ways to make your blog interesting. I mean, when I go read someones blog, and yes I do read several, the last thing I want to read is how great the person is. I do want to hear the good news and the good things, as well as the bad. I want to read what it is like realistically to be in that persons shoes, and Its great to pick up tips and tricks, or funny experiences. As well as with your website. I make it a point to update it at least 3 times a month. I still have features that I haven't put on there yet, such as podcast. I can also film myself talking and show you examples of what I am doing while I am doing it. So over the next several months I am really going to be changing the way I do things to make the blog and website more interesting.
Another biggy is if your shy, take some drama classes and get past that. You have to learn to put yourself out there, get up in front of people, talk and be relaxed the whole time your doing it. I remember when I was growing up, I was taught, "You never know unless you ask" and that is very true. I can't even begin to tell you the times that I got something just simply because I had the courage to ask. Don't be afraid to contact blog radio stations, or your local ones, tell them who you are and what you do. You might be surprised at the positive response you will get.
Next time around, we'll cover what to put into your portfolio that will get you work. Time for work my friends. Tell your friends about what where doing here. I would love for you all to share your experiences as well. Much love all.... Peace and Blessings.