Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Preparing for NOWCON - Drawering Preview

This drawering marks the breaking of my signifficant vow never to draw a unicorn again, but feed back from friends and patrons from the HMOP EXPO have made me rethink exactly why I would even make such a stupid vow? Besides an Octohawk needs a mortal enemy, when you think about it the Octohawk is actually perfect adapted to this very purpose. 

I have been Drawering every night, and sometimes in the day when time and family permits, in preparation for the first annual Geek Culture extravaganza NOWCON. I am aiming to get as much new original work created to display at my stall in the NOWCON artists alley, all of which will be for sale of course (except for my Character Lexicon that will be on display also). I will also be drawing on the day, to pass the time, engage others in the process of drawering and to add to the existing amount of work I have created already.

I will also be bringing a few things that give NOWCON patrons an idea of what inspires me and the drawerings I create. This will be a collection of books, comics, graphic novels and toys that will definitely NOT be for sale but are there to promote conversation and add to the whole milieu of geekness on the day.

Hope to see you there at Wesley Hall Nowra between 9am and 5pm. Should be an awesome time I would love to see you there if you are reading this and are able to physically be there on the day.

Monday, September 26, 2011

How the power of pens happens...

This is how I draw, by that I mean the process of translating an idea from my brain and physical putting it onto paper with ink. I have just completed an art work for NOWCON, and thought it might be interesting to take pics of it at various stages. All my work is drawn on 220 gsm Canson Paper ('C' grain). The pens I use are Faber Castle Pitt Pens (types S and M). So here is how it all happens in some vague kind of order...

First inking - By this stage every thing is in place, the main physical features of the characters and I tend to redraw every line at least twice by this point. The initially mapping the picture it is a very light, tentative yet fairly decisive straight ink sketch on paper - any mistakes made have to be incorporated into the 'wonkiness' of the aesthetic start again. But that rarely happens and I hate to waste good paper, so I always aim to make it work. Generally this is the most time consuming part of the whole process, it is the skeleton upon which your whole idea is built upon. And if the skeleton doesn't work those same things will be bugging you at the end. You don't have to get it right but for myself, I have to be happy with the artwork up to this point for it to continue. 

Details - 'Treybor' (pictured) is a tree / man that wears clothes, as you can see form the pictures above. These I classify as details; the things you add to the skeleton. The wood pattern looks like a lot of work but it is only ever light pen lines that are not re-inked, and takes a matter of minutes.  Once you add the wood pattern you have to make a choice; a white suit? A white on black suit? A black white suit? A belt that is black or white? I felt that fine detail and solid colour work well together, plus is an all white suit really practical in  a forest?

More inking - Large areas of black, arrgh! It looks good but it is a bit time consuming. I mean I am not bored to death but it is something I feel I have to commit to for the good of the drawering overall when required. I tend to render solid areas of black with my 'M' pitt pen, which has vaguely similar drawing point to a texta (only better). The initial layer of solid colour is lighter, but inking along the form of the figure is important to me instead of just scribbling the area black. I feel forming the solid black over the figure gives the suit more integrity, actually looking like the figure is a part og their outfit and vice versa.

Creating some kind depth - Here we see 'Garr' having the wood pattern added to make him look more like a mystical flying tree stump. He along with Treybor have the thickest outlining because they are fore ground figures, along with Julian his is floating right beside his team mates. Bruce who is in the bottom right corner looking untrustworthy is outlined to a lesser extent but has a similar amount of focus and detail. Lance in the top left corner is the least outlined of all five characters. This is not because I don't like Lance, it is to create some kind of depth in a relatively flat picture plane - the degree of outlining making figures more or less prominent.


Finishing Touches - This is the stage where I sit back and say 'It needs something, there are spaces that need to be addressed' or I say 'No, less is more' and leave it at that. In this case I felt text was needed, to depict names and add to the character of this drawering. Also the top right corner needed was really bugging me and the team nedded a name - because you don't just whip up a team like this and let them namelessly go on their merry way to have adventures! Every drawing is different in the how, when and what of finishing touches and how the become apparent. It is generally a small amount of work that is the most crucial element of the picture.
So now the power of pens has been revealed, you know a little more about me and the processes I undertake to create a drawing. The only other variable not mentioned is the time it took to complete an artwork. In this case Team Forest Force was drawn over two nights and the good part of a quiet afternoon, with roughly 4 hours work in total. 

If you are curious about seeing this artwork in person, come to NOWCON this Saturday (October 1st, 9am - 5pm) from and view the other entries in the black and white art competition. Should be a great day of geek culture awesomeness at the Wesley Church Hall in Nowra. Hope to see you there! Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Post HMOP EXPO post.

After a great night and slightly too much amazing Hop Dog Beer (thanks Tim) I am Just trying to comprehend the amazing support that I received last night at the HMOP EXPO opening. Initially I was just hoping my friends would turn up, but nothing could have prepared me for how well it all went. I met some great new people like KAWAII MAMA whom I talked with about 80's influences, Unicorns, Cassettes and other interesting things. It was great to meet and chat with Danielle from The Cake Store who purchased and Octohawk drawering (see above) as it was to meet all those people old friends and new who liked my artwork enough to buy it. I am lucky to know such great people.
There is a massive thank-a-you due to bonjos my amazing wife. She has been prodding and suggesting me to get a show together, without her instigation, skills in presenting the art works and merchandise, and general love and appreciation all the artworks would still be sitting in a draw. Last but not least thank you Yasmin at Mr Pickles and Me who was also a great impetus to getting this exhibition thing going and allowing me to stage the HMOP EXPO at her fabulous shop.
This has all inspired me to keep drawing; there are unicorns, tree people and octohawks in the pipeline. Stay tuned and thanks to all once again.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Heroic Master Of Pens Expo at Mr Pickles and Me.

After much procrastination, I am putting myself out there. I mean this in the creative sense. I have had the work completed for a while, and it is more the well intentioned prods and pokes from friends that has got me to this point. It is the difference between saying and doing; I am very much in the 'sayer' category, which has it's merits of course. But really, at the end of the day, 'doers' get it done and get it out there. Aside from the influences of those around me, having this HMOP EXPO is about getting in touch with 'doer' within. That and the fact I really don't mind if people want to give me money in exchange for what I do, and I know what I have done will be valued by them and make them happy in some way. To anyone reading this, if you are in the locality of Nowra on the 17th of September at 6pm please drop by if you feel so inclined.  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Comfy Cabin for Grown Ups 'Golden Drawering' limited edition - available in store at Mr Pickles and Me

They are finally available and ready for y'all to find the 'Golden Drawering' - in one of ten initial limited editions of Comfy Cabin for Grown Ups. But if the drawing eludes you, don't worry! Console yourself with a corny inscription on the back of each of these ten books. I have aimed to improve this next run of Books. The books are made from a thicker more resilient paper and a greater amount of work has gone into the original drawerings that constitute this book. As usual I have something brewing in my mind for the next phase of the project. Stay tuned. 

The 'Golden Drawering'.

Just completed - the Golden Drawering which will be the prize (of sorts) hidden in one of ten personally inscribed limitied editions 'Comfy Cabin for Grown Ups' books available at Mr Pickles and Me in the very near future. It is a tape, for those of you remember what those were. Back in the day I only ever purchased 90 minute tapes, the 60's just seemed too short for a really good mix tape. It kind of felt like a law I had to follow, that a mix tape has to be 90 minutes in duration. The HMOP 90 features in the Comfy Cabin for Grown Ups, so it seemed only right that Golden Drawering should feature it's poorer cousin. Hope you all like it and want to find it.

Comfy Cabin for Grown Ups - preview available in store at Mr Pickles and Me

'Comfy Cabin for Grown Ups' is now available in a hard copy preview in store at Mr Pickles and Me in Nowra. This will be followed by a limited edition run of ten 'golden drawing' Comfy Cabin for Grown ups books to buy, then a standard run of a larger quantity. The 'golden drawering' run will be individually inscribed by myself and one will contain a small and authentic HMOP art work - the enigmatic and as yet uncompleted 'golden drawering'. A 2nd run of Comfy Cabin for children is underway with some slight changes. Check out the preview and tell me what you think. It's all a bit of fun really.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Comfy Cabin for Grown Ups - preview and update

Here are four pictures from the up coming and still being drawn 'Comfy Cabin for Grown Ups'. This book is a lot more intensive, because I am trying to make the grown ups edition more about having fun and colouring while adding to an existing artwork. As you can see by the images there is a definite old school aesthetic, which everyone may not be into... but I gotta do what I gotta do. I am having a blast drawing this and only have two more to go. The last few drawerings are not living 'back in the day' but are looking more along the lines of 'mystical and awesome'.

Getting close. Wait and see.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Comfy Cabin For Children available now.

After much work from bonnie and myself, Comfy Cabin for Children is now available at Mr Pickles and Me in Nowra. For me, this is the first concerted attempt at anything creative in a while. I have created a few minor touches and additions for when (and if) the current batch of Comfy Cabin for Children sell out. I'm currently in the midst of creating 'Comfy Cabin for Grown Ups', which is a bit different aesthetically but roughly pitching the same idea. Hope you all enjoy it.

A huge thank you to Yasmin for selling my work at Mr Pickles. And to any one who buys this little book, it means a lot to me - so thank you so very much. 

More on the way. Wait and see.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

SOHI Magazine and Illustration

This is the Sohi magazine image that is part of great article 'Eat Your Ethics'. This was my first experience working to a brief and deadline, and I got to say I had a ball doing it. That is not to say that I loved doing this illustration because it was easy. The idea provoked my interest and the translation from my brain to the paper was really fluid and very immediate. Also Rebecca from Sohi, who gave me the brief, was brilliant. It is great working with someone who has similar ideas and understands the importance of an aesthetic and an image supporting words and vice versa.  

Here is a copy of what I wrote in the bio;

I only draw in ink pen on paper, primarily without penciling the image first. I find this gives my work an intangible wonkiness. When I draw I do so to conjure images, ideas and narratives. It is a process that is familiar yet when it is working well I feel as if it is out of my control. Drawing is an activity in which lose myself and become absorbed in my imagination.

If I had to define my self as an artist I would say that I am an ‘inside artist’. By this I mean someone who doesn't show his work to many people and keeps it  hidden away inside in a plan draw. I create art for myself and in a way I am  the biggest fan of my own work. I have a lot invested emotionally in seeing an image take shape and come to fruition. I love creating my own conceptually amalgamated ‘drawerings’ but I like the challenge of working to a brief, bringing my style to render another individuals concept.

The work of other artist like Marcel Dzama, Frank Quietly and Jean-Michel Basquiat are as important to me stylistically as commercial imagery from 1980’s toys, related advertising and cartoons. Most popular culture influences from the 1980’s where probably pivotal in forming my aesthetic values as well as my taste in music.

I am really grateful for the chance to show people a little of what I do and why I do it. That's pretty much it. 


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Comfy Cabin For Children Preview - continued.

Three more images from the up coming 'Comfy Cabin for Children' book. To see the rest you may have to find a copy of one at Mr Pickles and Me (located in Nowra, NSW) in the near future. I am getting some good ideas for 'Comfy Cabin for Grown Ups', and I aiming to get started on it tonight. And if you like how the pictures of the 'drawerings' look, you can thank my wife Bonnie for her astute eye. Or visit green crumbs She is an amazing artist and resourceful and ecologically minded person whom I really dig. 

Gonna get drawering now. Wait and see.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Official HMOP Insignia

I know Logo can be a dirty word with some people, but calling it a seal just didn't seem right - so I'll call it an insignia. The HMOP insignia has come out of necessity, so when the Comfy Cabin books and other things in the future are out there in the world going to people who don't know me, they know what I am and where to see more of my work (I added this Blogger address at the bottom of the image in my hand written 'wonky font'). If you are wondering about the nature of the insignia itself then let me explain; the whole heroic master idea came from the 1980's toy line and cartoon 'Master of the Universe'. All the good characters where 'Heroic Masters', for example Man-at-Arms is the 'Heroic Master of Weapons'. The sword in this image is obviously shaped like the pen that I draw with, hence I am the 'Heroic Master of Pens.' 

I should also like to thank Rebecca and all the nice people at SOHI creative southern living for publishing my work and offering me a tremendous opportunity. I really enjoyed drawing the ethical food pyramid (buy the latest SOHI to find out more) and I am really chuffed that I finally have something out there.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Comfy Cabin For Children Preview

Here is my latest project which will be available in my local area (the shoalhaven, NSW, Australia) for folks to buy for their children. But don't worry, there is a Comfy Cabin for adults with a similar theme but aimed more at those people who think drawing is something they can't do and want to get in on this whole 'kooky-misunderstood-illustrators-are-popular-now' thingy that seems to be going on. There will be more pictures and previews to come as well as the return to more familiar territory and characters. Wait and see.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

All Forest 1981

I have been remiss in my drawing. But there s nothing like a hastily-put-together-collection-of-ideas-a-sketch-book-project to inspire some ideas. The meager amount of work I have done is on it's way to a museum in Brooklyn. There is actually a written explanation written in the and photographed so I don't really need to explain much else - other than that finally my love forest creatures and golden era basketball have finally found a way to be together. The tree stumps are something that occurred as an afterthought, but are given that trees grow in forests they are a little bit related. All of these works are straight inks with no pencil.