Missing The Boat | ULOG #NINETEEN

I graduated from art school right when Photoshop started rising in popularity.  Designers at all the ad agencies started using it along with PhotoCD's which grew popular before that got taken over by digital cameras. At the time, I had no idea what a dinosaur I already was, skillwise, without even knowing it before landing my first in-house job.

When I was in school, I wanted to be a movie poster artist like Drew Struzan. What I didn't realize was that traditional movie poster art was on its way out.  Even Drew Struzan couldn't be Drew Struzan anymore.

Movie directors still celebrate Struzan's work. But there are only a few directors these days like Guillermo del Toro and Frank Darabont who are actually willing to fight movie studio ad agencies to try to do apply traditional art to their movie poster advertising.

I think the issue is that in the case of an illustrator, he holds more power over the image than the ad agency. Illustrators would make $800 a day. Photographers might make $24,000 a day(in 1997) Without the illustrator, the ad agency couldn't produce a poster. With the advent of Photoshop, that meant that any ad agency could produce a poster and they didn't need illustrators anymore.  At most they might need sketch guys to compose images which in-house graphic designers would attempt to emulate/reproduce.

At this point, it's not about making great art. It's about getting the job done fast. I didn't draw the things I liked; I drew what I thought agencies might need.

Things like:

The Anti-Hero

The Pretty Girl

Group Shots

Funny Fat Guy Type

Invented Scenes with no reference other than a headshot.

I also learned how to airbrush.

But what I discovered was I really didn't like doing this kind of work.  I felt really fake.  All of these images were just samples, not real art.

Sure, I got a few nice paychecks, but the stress and the quick turnaround pressure wasn't any fun. Also, no one would ever see this work. It would always end up being a Photoshop big head poster in the end. I would get hired to do sketches, but better and more famous illustrators would be brought in. The stuff I would get to do was grunt stuff that name guys didn't want to do.

And I eventually grew to hate it. High pressure and no fun. Obsolete to the max. No one needed it or wanted it anymore. Missing that boat was a blessing.

I ended up moving away from California. I had some specific skills for a business sector that was rapidly fading away.  I needed to figure out what to do with myself.  I needed to rethink, regroup, reset and plan a new strategy.

Thanks again for all your support,
@PixelColada

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Rock & Roll Hall of Fame | ULOG #EIGHTEEN

These were a bunch of drawings I did for a client. Mostly 9 x 12 on Vellum. I think it was for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but it was so long ago, I can't remember for sure.

The client wanted a bunch of drawing of music celebrities. This was back in the days before the internet.  You couldn't just do a search on Google. You had to go down the Fan Photo stores on Melrose, where they would sell 8 x 10 headshots of famous people. You'd go through them like you were shopping for 12" inch record albums on display.  You also had to pay for each photo individually.

I don't know if there's much need for this type of work any more now that kids can just comp up something from an image search.

My hope was that the client would want to pay for illustrations. But that never happened.  A lot of these jobs never got beyond the sketch stage. Sometimes they would hire a better or more famous artist to do the finishes.

These were fun to do and if I am remembering correctly, they paid me well. I'm getting into the mindset that if I want to do a project like this again, I'm going to have to generate one for myself.

Thank you for your support,
@PixelColada

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Hard to Sleep

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Fear of Drowning. Graphite on Board.

Sleep doesn't come easy to me. I'm restless and troubled. Sometimes I can't breath.

Many times, I don't understand my dreams.

Today's Haiku:


Abstract Vs. Realism


Abstract vs Realism, 2011 Acrylic on Canvas 24 x 48 in.

As an artist and a responsible parent, I set out to test whether or not age old and time proven practice of realism could triumph emotionally, over the youthful vigor of abstraction.

Both of my children were given Soft Body Liquitex Acrylics

to work with on a pre-gessoed canvas)

stretched over 24 x 48 inches. The intent was to elevate our children’s artwork by simply increasing the size and scale of the medium. Our stainless steel refrigerator did not have magnetic capabilities, so the bare walls of our house became our gallery space.

Here is the finished piece:

To this day, my son prefers to work abstractly and my daughter still leans representational. Whenever he and I are waiting somewhere, he will ask to paint on my Samsung Note Phone and produce a monochromatic color field. I suspect this compulsion will accompany him into adulthood.

Thanks,
@PixelColada


Mashups

I made these paintings back when these two guys were still alive.  I always thought Worf's hair resembled that of James Brown.

I also thought Ray Charles would look better in Geordi's glasses than Stevie Wonder.

For a while, I had these for sale as T-Shirts, but before my shirts ever took off they got taken down by a copyright even though they're parody.

In any case, this was an experiment using acrylics and colored pencils.  In addition, I also used Tombo Markers.

I'm planning to do more of these mashups.


Weigh In

This was a piece I did while I was freelancing for a company doing graphics for the UFC.  This was before they had their own in-house crew.

At the time, I didn't quite know what I was doing and didn't have a pitch prepared for the company.  Dana White seemed to like it. I was in his office to show it to him, but at the time, I didn't know who he was in the organization. In any case, it was a missed opportunity.

I got busy with other clients and I didn't do more of these, though I have some somewhere that are still in the drawing stage. But those fighters are long gone.  This was from the weigh-in before Randy Couture fought Josh Barnett.

This is probably my favorite painting technique. I really need to do more of these.

If I was asked, I'd do more of these as a commission. I love doing portraits.


Sheff_HotSauce

This is an old piece I did in an Advertising Class in school.  The assignment was to come up with an advertisement for a product.  I chose hot sauce.  Oils and acrylics. I was still trying to get comfortable with my painting process.

There's something about painting with traditional materials that brings risk to the table and makes the project a little more exciting.  Working digitally, is fairly safe and convenient. Painting with actual pigments and brushes is more satisfying, but lacks an UNDO button.  If you make a mistake, you have to paint it out or fix it.

I feel myself being drawn to working traditionally again.


SalsaMagic

This is a portrait of a friend of mine.  He taught me a lot of my salsa dancing moves.

When I was dancing with his group, I had gotten below 200lbs. I would like to be this thin again.

I also haven't painted large like this (I think it's 30 x 40in) in a long time.  I also haven't painted in oils in a long time either.

This is pretty close to life size, and I question whether or not I should paint that large.

I think I need to consider the size of paintings in terms of how easy they would be to package and ship.

There was so much I didn't know back then. Still, I learned a lot from this piece, about the things I should and should not do regarding mediums and glazes.

I haven't worked traditionally in a long time.  Most of my work has been digital. I've been wanting to go back to working traditionally.  I might as well since this work isn't for clients.