Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My 100th post!

Awesome, my 100th post, and to celebrate a new painting for you. This one I did just because I love to paint. Most of my upcoming projects can't be shown on the Internet until they have been published by the people that are paying for the project, so I am going to work on doing more "for me" work.
How do you all like this one? I like it. I think what inspired this one is those Ghost hunting shows I've been watching. In a 2 episodes of Ghost Adventures, they made contact with the spirit of a little girl. I remember how sad that was. A little child being killed so young, and her spirit still lingered in our world. I practically cried thinking how lonely she must be. Probably her appearance had became horrible and would terrify anyone who would see her, but inside she was still that sweet precious young child. It's really heart wrenching if you give it some thought.
I am also switching gears as of this painting. It seems like right after Daniel turned me to do some paying work, things went crazy and never let up for 3 years straight. I found myself feeling like a factory, having to turn out one piece after another. Not even able to take a weekend off, unless it was an emergency. I can't even remember the last time i did a piece of work, just because I wanted to see it hanging on my wall. And that's another thing, I've had to do everything digital since I got to Michigan. My workload tripled once I got here. When I got sick last year and was in the hospital, that was a nightmare for me. I was freaking out because I knew I had a mountain of work to do and it wasn't getting done while I was on my back sleeping all day. But they where injecting me with so many drugs, I couldn't help but to sleep.
I do not want to go through that again. Cheryl and I have figured out a solution, and as soon as it comes to pass, I will tell you about it. But we both feel this is the best thing for me and my career. I love what I do and i don't want to find myself in a position to where I have to take on so much work to pay the bills, and the way I have been going about it, that's what has been happening. Now, I will make much more money, and I will not have to push myself everyday to get work done. I will be able to spend more time on my work, making each piece a piece that I am happy with because I had the time to do it right, got paid good and not have to work under so much pressure. I wish I had thought of this 3 years ago. But all things happen for a reason, or at least that's what i think to a point.
This all came about from a post by a friend of mine, Jennifer. She had got offered several thousand dollars for about 40 watercolor paintings. It sounds like a lot of money, but it broke down to where she would be getting 145 bucks per painting. Now first off, Jennifer is a major talent. She does a lot of work for Disney, and she had worked for the company that wanted her to do the watercolors before, and they where VERY demanding and constantly wanting changes. If you know anything about Watercolors, you know it is almost impossible to make changes on the originals. The same with finished pencil work. Digitally, it's a piece of cake, but on the real thing, a real nightmare. 145 dollars for a Watercolor from an artist of her talent is like paying a dollar for the first issue of Superman comics. It's an insult to be quite honest. For the amount of time involved, people in sweatshops in South America make more money.
So Cheryl and I talked about it and said there comes a point to where you have to draw the line. So we decided to go about this completely different, and now I am much more happier an enjoy working again. I am by no means trying to put anyone down here, I am just making a point, and hopefully younger artist can learn from this. To the right side of this page, at the top, you will see links designed to help you. One of them is the standard rates an Illustrator should be paid for their work. Us this as a guide, and don't give discounts. That always bites you on the butt. Most of the time you spend much more time doing an assignment that you first thought, and usually it is not your fault. Make sure in your contracts you have a clause that covers anything "extra" that pops up during the assignment.
In the next few blogs, I will be covering more of the business stuff with you, and talking about the Deadly Dolz and just all the really cool stuff that we have happening. We Love you all. Thanks for stopping by. Peace!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I AM a Work in Progress.

My darling here is a small part of a larger painting. She is not done yet, nor really close. She still has a little cuteness left in her and that just want do. When I done with this one, I promise, you will have nightmares. You probably don't understand this but at Gen-con 3 years ago, a gypsy woman told me things, and about a half of those things have come to pass, just the way she said they would. So since she was so right about those things, I can only guess that the ones yet to come will come to pass.
So, how have you all been? Wonderful i hope. With the coming of the new decade, new chapters have and will begin in most of our lives. From my point of view, it's going to be one heck of a ride, and it took all of these years to get me to the point where I could do what is coming. But life is about growth and experience, and learning from your mistakes, and Lord knows I have made my share of them.
I am going to be doing much more horror from here on out. I got to be honest, doing Fantasy art just bites the big one to me. I used to love it years ago, but the subjects are always boring. Either it's a hero or anti-hero, brooding or fighting someone, and oh yes, throw in the sexy girl. Now doing Dragons and that sort of thing can be fun but the 'hero" part of it bores the hell out of me, and takes me 3 times as longer to do because I am not excited about doing it. But there was a time that I did enjoy it, I guess I have just "grown" and want do shocking and scary things now days.
Well, got to get to work. It's been a bad day as far as getting going, and I need to get some work done. Peace and Blessings.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Let's learn something.

Hello friends. Thank you for stopping by. Before i say anything else, I want to share a art tip with you that are learning. (Well, we're always learning. If your not your wasting your time) The most important thing in any drawing, painting, or any type of art is values. Your work is only as good as the values are. I am going to put a longer version of this on my website, and try to update the lesson part of my website once a month, but for now try to understand this, and if you don't, write me at . I will be happy to answer your questions and normally will answer your letter within 24 hours. If your an artist or beginner, hopefully you know what a value scale is. Normally they go through 1 to 10, 1 being the lightest. In color you want to work in the range of 3 through 8. Only use white for the glint in the eye or on a bead of sweat, and don't use black at all. Use a mixture of different colors to make your dark. I don't use a set combo, because my darkest colors depends on whether it is a warm or cool color and also what is in the background. If you can learn to use the 3 through 8 method, your work will come alive. Learn this.
Another quick tip is that when you paint eyes, you paint the outside of the eyeball with warm colors, like red, but as you work to the iris, switch to cool colors. Doing this and learning to put a "glint" in the eye will make the eyes follow you through the room and look life like. This is a trick taught to me by Master Horne.
That contest I am entered in ends tomorrow, so if you haven't voted yet please go here and vote for me if you enjoy my work. An don't forget about the contest on the fan site to win an original painting by me. Deadline for the contest is February 1st and this time it is for the writers out there.
I've been trying to figure out some new resolutions for the new year. Last year I gave up smoking and drinking. So this year i am going to concentrate on learning, practicing, and trying new things with my art. I mean the main thing for all of us should be to get as good at what you as possible. If your not doing that, then your just existing and not living. I mean to each their own, and I am in no way trying to tell anyone other than me how to live their life. I'm like you, I hate being lectured by some moron who thinks they know whats good for me when i look at their life and it's all f*cked up. But hey, they want to push their advice on you and me.
Artist and writers are bad for this. I keep reading post on Facebook from well known Artist and Writers trying to tell the readers what idiots we have in office. First thing, if you want to put your opinion out there so often, then run for office. Don't talk about it, do something about it.
As an artist, I am so sick of hearing some artist say that" 'sniff sniff' they do digital art, it's not real art". Look, Illustration is COMMERCIAL ART, and in commercial art you do what it takes to get the job done by the timeline and budget you have to work with. Digital art is just another tool for artist to use to meet their deadlines. I do both types of art. I'm an artist, I can create with whatever you give me to work with. So all you sniffer and criers out there, either go to school to learn how to use digital programs, or they are tons of tutorials on using the programs online. If you don't want to do that, then you really don't need to be an COMMERCIAL ARTIST. You need to find a gallery to peddle your work while you starve to death. I for one am sick of hearing you get on a soapbox and cry, "I do real art, and they don't." If you knew anything about digital programs you would know that they(Most of them) take as much talent as doing it the old fashion way. If you want to show you have talent, then learn to do it both ways.
Sorry about that rant, but I get a lot of people that want me to read their blogs, and I read as many as time will allow. But about half of them are just people putting down other people who are trying to do their jobs. My God, no one does their job prefect, but I bet you most people do the best they can. I don't like hearing some nobody tying to pretend they are a somebody by putting down others who are trying.
I try to keep up with the young new talent, and wow, these kids are awesome. I see some training in the traditional ways, and I see other learning Digital, and I see some doing both, which I personally think is a good choice. What some traditional artist don't understand is that programs like Corel Painter works just like doing it traditionally. You only as good as your traditional skills are. You can learn those skills for the most part on the computer, like brush stokes, blending and all of it, but personally I'm glad I learned the old fashion way, but then again I came up at a different time. If I was a young person now, I would probably learned the comp stuff first, so I could make a living, and learned the traditional ways down the road.
I guess the bottom line here is do what works for you, and if you can make a living doing it, that's even better. But don't put down others people because they walk to the beat of a different drummer. Where I come from, that is called prejudice plain and simple. Anytime you have to stand on a soapbox and tell the world why your way is the right way, your prejudice and you really have self-esteem issues. If we as humans could learn that, then this would be a much better world. We could help each other to end hunger and build a better future for every single person on this planet. Oh well, maybe in a thousand years when we learn to quit hating and being jealous of each other. Peace Out.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Exciting times!

Hello my friends. Already this New year has brought wonderful things to me and I hope the same has came your way. I have several things to talk to you about. The drawing above is something that i did about 5 years ago, and the reason I posted it is that I have been re-vamping my website, and if you go there, you will see art that you have never seen before. The piece above is one of the ones that i will be offering for sale this coming week. The site is done and ready for all viewers, but I am still going to be adding things as I go, for one, and I will have this done by next weekend, a for sale section to where you can by original art like the piece above as well as oil paintings.
In about a month you will see a new section on there featuring my new model group, and this is going to be very special, I promise you. An over the next year I will be adding how to sections. Most will be for free, some you will have to pay for. But for those of you that can not afford to attend a big well known art school, I will be teaching you all you need to know at a 100th of the cost. Anyone will be able to afford it and learn all the secrets that most of the pros don't want you to know. This is something I promised myself a long time ago I would do if I could ever learn these things, and learn them I have. Each day I improve on my skills, and I am going to share everything with whoever wants to learn. For the cost of a months rent and working hard for a few years, you will be able to fulfill your dreams. I will take away the disadvantages that Life has given you, and give you a fair and fighting chance.
The model troop I Keep mentioning is really starting to get exciting. I will be announcing the name this coming week. The first two ladies have signed and on their own have awesome careers. Both host TV shows, horror shows I might add and if the 3rd one I am wanting signs on, this will truly be so awesome, everyone will know their names within a year. This could be an awesome side project for the 4 of us. i can't wait to start breaking the news to everyone.
I would like to ask a favor from all of my friends. Normally I don't get involved in these things, but I was nominated for a artist award from Predators and Editors. The truth of the matter is, I have never really been in these things before except once. It would really mean a lot to me if you would take a minute and go here and look for my name and vote for me. I'm not sure if you win anything, but it would be nice just to have an honor like that.
And speaking of contest, I have mine going on my International Fansite. The winner of this one wins a oil painting by me that i did about 4 years ago. There will be 6 contest a year. 2 are for writers, 2 for artist, and the other 2 are drawings. Pro's cannot enter the writer and artist part, and the winners will be featured on my website as well, as well as a write up and all. So look to the right for the International fanclub link, and join up. You have till Feb 1 turn in your entry. You can see the prize painting on the fan page.
Getting back to the website I put a guestbook on there. If you get a chance to go by and see all the new art, please sign the guestbook. I would appreciate it. I've been meaning to tell you about my buddy Gary Babb. I have a link to his site on the right side. He signed a deal with a big time agent, and his new book "Genesis Log" is being handled by her. An you'll never guess who the start of the book is. Yep, your right, Captain Nick Rose! There's just one problem, in the book I am a brain with 2 eyeballs attached floating in a container of some kind of liquid, but he promises me that I save the galaxy! Seriously, I am going to buy me a fake, but real looking brain and attach two eyeballs to it and put it in a container in my studio. Is that not awesome!!!
The next few weeks, tons will be going on including doing 13 pencil illustrations for someone who is quickly becoming a good friend, Dennis Young for his upcoming book "The Ardwellian Chronicles" plus all the other goodies going on. I'm going to get Dennis to do a guess blog for us so he can tell you about his series of books. Really good stuff if your a fantasy fan, or not. It's just good reading folks.
Well, I hope you all have an awesome weekend and don't forget to Vote for me! Peace and Blessings.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Decade, and the past one..

Hello my friends. Yes, this is a real picture of me taken about 6 months ago while filming a documentary. I wanted to start the New Year by really scaring you!. lol I've got a lot to talk about. Most of it good, a little bad, but don't worry I am not going to "Bash" anyone, but i do want to teach young artist things to look out for that will clue you in to "This is not a good thing" When I said i was gonna tell the dirt on a few people a couple of blogs ago, you would not believe the letters i got from people who was worried that I was upset with them. The people I was actually talking about never said anything to me. However, one of them wrote Cheryl and threaten her if I said anything about him. To make this short, he ruined his career his own self by stealing from some of the top writers in the horror business and got busted. He was also stealing my art. But he got his, so that is good enough. With the exception of him that made me think that I don't want people to think I may be upset with them over something silly. My main goal is really just to educate folks who want to work in this business the bad things to avoid. I support this business 100%, good and bad. Nothing in life is all good, but I hopefully can help you to not make some of the mistakes that I and others have made.
I have been doing this forever it seems, and I have seen tons of folks come and go. The bad ones always get theirs. Karma is really cool that way. So once again, my goal is to educate, not "Bash". First, lets talk about Contracts. If you are working for a company for the first time and they are wanting a good deal of work from you, then you need a contract. Now there are a lot of places out there to get general "For hire artist" contracts. I have a link to some over to the right, there free. Not everyone can afford Lawyers when they are first starting out. And with both parties signing, with at least one witness and a notary, these are perfectly legal. But earlier this year I was dealing with a couple of jokers that where sending me phony contracts. I knew they where not real, and even paid a lawyer to check over them.
What he told me to do is this... He said that the "Jokers" where trying to make me think they had a big time lawyer out of NY that cost up to 1000 bucks an hours to make up the contracts, but the truth is, they looked like something a high school student wrote. He said the first thing is that any legit law firm always has a letterhead and a watermark in the paper. These contracts had none of that. He also told me that when I am presented with a lawyer representing a client that wants me to work for them is to call the lawyer, talk to him or her. Have them explain to me in more detail what the contract means. That is what they are being paid for.
So I approached the Jokers about their "Lawyer" once they told me that their "Lawyer" said I could not sign any of my work. That it was their property, not mine. So Basically i told them what "Clowns" they where and told them to kiss my home boy ass. Because of their lies and Bullsh@t I wasted over a month of my time. And the last few months, I have watched them go down in flames. Karma, I love it.
The other Idiot, where not even gonna talk about. Just remember the old rule, "If it seems to good to be true.....
I guess this blog isn't just about the last year but the last Decade, as we head into a new one. Overall, the last 10 years have been rough on all of us. For me it has been about upheaval, growth, career and a lot of change. But when I look at the last 10 years as a whole what i see is the birth of an artist, and all the events it took to get me to this place right here, right now. All the things I couldn't understand "why is this happening to me?" are now very plain for me to see. In the end, it all was about putting me on a path that I just couldn't seem to find on my own in my early years, and that path is where I am now and what I am doing now.
Just this last year has been amazing. This time last year, I was still living in NC, hardly working in carpet anymore, not sure what the future would hold for me. I lived near Charlotte and worked there, and the economy was booming there until about 16 months ago, then the bottom fell out. But it had been going downhill since Bush went in office, but since Charlotte is/was a boom town, you didn't notice as much.
Then in February the person I had been working with for about a year asked me if I wanted to come with to Michigan to work. He lied like hell to me and told me he had all kinds of work lined up for us to do. So i came, things went bad for a while, but during all of that I meet Cheryl, and we fell in love. Something neither of us ever thought would happen again for either of us. But it did and my art career started going off the charts. I think knowing that I was with someone that actually believed in me made all the difference in the world. All of a sudden, I decided I wanted to live again. Before, I just existed, slowly dying. I mean my health had really went south in 06 and I was smoking way to much, drinking way to much, and taking to many damn pills. I just didn't care. Then Cheryl changed all of that. I quite smoking and started working on my health which has improved greatly these last few months.
But I was in the hospital 3 times in 2 months, if they gives you any idea how bad I had gotten. Now I exercise, I take my meds like I am supposed to, the whole 9 yards and my body has come back strong. Those of you that have kept up with my blog this year know what I went through, and Cheryl did too. But she stood by me and helped me to heal and took care of me. Now, because of her, all the dreams I had as a young man are finally coming true.
This year I have been interviewed in several major publications as well as doing art for them. The Darc Karnivale book is huge. I got to 17 paintings for 16 of the best horror writers in the world. So not only does the book feature these awesome writers, it is like a homage to my work as well. To this point in my career, this is my crowning achievement. I have been on TV in shows and featured in commercials. I have been interviewed on radio and so many publications it would take some doing to do a list of them just from the last 5 years. They tell me I'm big in France and Japan. I have done 2 interviews for French horror magazines. But even with all of that, I consider Darc Karnivale my Oscar award, and it should be up for sale very soon now. I will let you know when its up!
This year, so far I have 3 months booked up, but I am going to dedicate half my time to doing personal projects this coming year. Some of that is going to be to build a portfolio of horror/steampunk oil paintings. Yep that's right, I am going back to working in oils again. Mostly because of a theft stealing a lot of my art supplies and tables when i moved to Michigan I've had to work digitally all the time until I could replace all the things that where stole from me. I will be getting a new easel this month, and then I will be ready to rock again, and the visions i have in my mind to do, I think you will all approve if you like my dark work.
One of the big things that will not only start this year, but for years to come is this. I can only say this much for now, so forgive me, but it is enough to give you the concept. The project will be called "The book of Rose" Yes, it is like a new chapter to Revelations from the bible. No, I am not religious, but I am playing on the whole Armageddon thing. That's all I can say for now. I am in the process of getting trademarks, copyrights and such. Once that is done, I will tell you much more. But it will feature tons of art by me just for this, plus me writing the whole deal, including the Mythology and History behind things that where never revealed before. This is going to be my pet project and legacy for those that I leave behind. It will be turned into a role playing game as well, and much much more.
And here is the big one that is going to shock a few people. A few years ago when I was training under Master Horne and Todd Lockwood, I created a project called "The Dark Angels" and we traveled the country with me using my real name that i used during my training. It disbanded for a lot of reasons I don't want to get into, but i learned from my mistakes, and the Dark Angels will live again. I already have 2 of the models for the job, and still have one more to go. But these models are very different than the original idea I had, these ones are truly very dark. Once I have everything worked out with the ladies involved, I will share some photo's for you and start up a fan club for them. This will secure their futures as far as future money and opportunity's go, and Gary I think that we're gonna write that book soon now. The one about the "Dark Angels"
So my friends, we'll talk more about these things in the months to come, but a lot of cool things are coming, and let's all pray that this decade is full of magic and love. Peace and Blessings.