Saturday, March 20, 2010


Even though I've been having trouble lately staying put on an artistic technique or style, I feel as though everything is resonating and going on a good path.

I keep jumping around with ideas and use of media, everything from painting acrylic on seram wrap to sketching on long, long sheets of paper (think of the paper rolls for older, print-calculators). Other art and artists keep pushing, influencing, and driving this jumpy, subject-to-subject, artistic ADD I am experiencing. And I don't care.

Actually, I care a little bit. I get frustrated at the idea that I can't keep still, yet invigorated at all the fresh ideas streaming through my head. Very conflicting, I know.

The whole resonating thing keeps cycling through, and I can feel it everywhere. It might be sort of influenced by the Museum of Northwest Art's newest exhibit, Resonances: Contemporary Echoes Modern.

Four Northwestern curators (of galleries and art museums) have come together to do an excellent show. Each curator chose an older Northwest artist, and then paired their work with the work of another, present day artist. Some of the pairings were obvious, some subtle, but you can see the works all resonating.

It is this vein of at-one-ness that I feel. Maybe because it's Spring time, and everything is changing? I don't know, but we'll see where it takes me.

If you were curious about what sort of things have been inspiring me, here you are:

Resonances: Contemporary Echoes Modern, new exhibit shown in a local (and well-known) art museum, where I've interned for a while.

Tran Nguyen, who I found through Barry Quinn (see below). She is a young Georgian (US) artist. Her name is pronounced "Tron." Most of her paintings are realistic people, with hints of the ethereal and other-worldly.

Barry Quinn, who I found through DeviantArt. He is an Ireland artist, and I like his progression through characters and green-minded tendencies. He also posts about other awesome artists, so its a great reference.

Every Person In New York (aka Jason Polan), who I found on the Yahoo! mainpage. He is fervently trying to sketch every person in New York City, and has been working on it for two years now. Gotte admire the drive.

Alex Pardee, a Californian graphic designer of awesome shirts, as well as The Used's heart-logo (since redeisgned). You just have to see his art for yourself.

BLDGBLOG, which I have no remembrance of how I stumbled upon it, but have loved it since. A blog pertaining to architecture, and pretty much Everything surrounding and paralleling the field. Very intriguing ideas.

Northwestern weather, you gotta love it. If you don't, then wait a bit.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Frog Hospital Shirts

My friend, Fred Owens: local coffee-shop personality, blogger, have-funner, historian, and contemporary commentator (I think that's redundant with blogger), asked me to design a graphic for his shirts he's selling.

The shirts were for his blog, Frog Hospital, and he told me what he wanted.

"A frog. But nothing about hospital. Some years ago a woman created a frog with crutches for me, but it didn't look right," he told me over coffee. "Also, green and blue, like the Seattle Seahawks."

After talking ideas some more, I got to work. A week or so later I sent him a few sketches of frogs and styles so he could choose from them.

He liked the variety, and I told him once he chose a frog look I could clean it up and make it look better. He ended up sending a cropped version of the big, blue one in the center to the printer and ordered shirts. (My money was on the little buy next to Big Blue).

Now you can buy them from him, or order them from his blog. I'm going to be doing a redesign to a more logo-looking graphic this time around. Maybe I can make something as awesome as this!

I'll post links and all that good stuff when the reboot version is up and hopping.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tulip Graphic Reveal!

Alright, as promised, I have revealed the tulip-themed design on Wednesday. It is now 12:02 am, Pacific Time at the moment I'm typing.

So, the saying "Nuke the Tulips" isn't in any way my creation--it is a local phrase that has been uttered since the day locals despised Tulip Season. Also, the idea of making shirts with this phrase has been done before, according to Google-ing "Nuke the Tulips".

[Of course tourists bring economy and all that, but a lot of locals still sigh heavily, and lock up their doors for all of April anyway.]

I haven't seen this image on a shirt before, so this is why I did it; as well as for the anti-tulip-sympathizers in the Valley.

I don't mean disrespect to anyone that likes tulips--I myself think they are awesome colors and inspiring in those huge fields (red especially)--but I also whisper "Nuke the Tulips" when the first batch of tourists drive in.

And so, I proudly announce my new graphic for T-shirts!!
[None of the graphics are expandable,
you have to wait until the shirts/other products]

Now, the graphic might not be available for print as you read this--it is 12:09 am, and I work this morning--but it will be available definitely before April. (I can't promise before tulips bloom, because I don't think anyone can guarantee when that will be this year) I will include links to said items once they're available.

EDIT: Here is the link to said items. This will be available through orders to my email, as running a CafePress shop wasn't worth it with low volume sales. It has also been slightly edited to look better on shirts.

Short version of the process:

I first sketched out a very basic explosion and tulip field from the angle I wanted. I didn't sketch with pen, it was entirely my tablet and stylus from start to finish this time. I used a transparent brush on GIMP (Free/awesome version of Photoshop) to start off the sketches. From here I roughed out the lineart for the nuclear explosion. The tulips were later and on their own copy-version. I kept the explosion in the background so I knew how to space everything.

The tulips were definitely harder to finish lineart for. I had many layers going with different parts of the plants and everything. It was a mess, but I knew what I was doing, and I don't want to bore people. At first they looked like moosh (above), and then once I had lines and colors sorted out they looked good (below).

From here, I took the JPEG versions, and threw them over to my awesome (and also free) vector graphic software: Inkscape! Each of the colors above were on their own layers, so I could load them in separately. This may be time-consuming, but it's the way I found works for me. (The layers went as follows: Yellow, red, purple, white, green, dark green, pink, and lineart).

The reason I used Inkscape was to get all the edges very smooth and curved, so they'd look nicer as a final product. Also, each color is its own shape, so I could control the end result for each color very well.

The same process was used for the background: the explosion and sky. The layers used were: blue, cloud shadow, orange, yellow, dark gray, and lineart. The red was added on the final product.

I put everything together on one Inkscape document, lined it all up, tweaked, and voila! Now it is finished, and I am off to bed!
(12:39 AM)