Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The lunch-time scene at Flatiron Beach.

Man, there's just art all around the building today.

There be tree forts in Madison Square Park.

These will look great in a few months when they are covered in snow with black spidery tree branches popping out their tops.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Book Art

I'm sure everyone here is already seen this via Drawn, but it's just too good not to mention:

Go to
Dark Roasted Blend to see an amazing collection of sculpture made from books. Some may be horrified at the idea of "defacing" books but I am firmly in the camp that says books are to be used.

On a similar not -- past post on my favorite photographer, Thomas Allen.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

New York Anime Fest

Usually when I hear the words "manga" and "anime" my eyes gaze over, but if you add "festival", "cosplay", and "in my backyard" to that, then I'm there! I spent about an hour running around New York Anime Fest. I swear, it's like walking into Candyland -- I have never seen so much neon blue, lime green, and baby-doll pink....and a whole lot of flesh. (Should there something slightly disturbing in watching crowd of 12 year-olds shrieking "Fan Service! Fan Service!"?)

For more-better pictures, check out Fanboy.com.

Indulging Obsessions: Animation

I begged the PTB (Powers That Be, in Buffy speak) at Tor.com to let me run a series of cool animations that I have, or will, run into. The actual email said:


From the Illustrators Partnership of America

From the IPA. Spread the word.
Orphan Works: Risking Our Nation's Copyright Wealth
. The Senate has just passed their version of the Orphan Works Bill. Now we must try to stop the House Judiciary Committee from folding their bill and adopting the Senate version. We've supplied a special letter for this purpose.



--Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of the Illustrators' Partnership

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sandman Exhibit in CA

Sometimes opening email is just depressing. I got a press release for this Sandman exhibit and I am no where near it. Those lucky to be in CA, the exhibitors lit is amazing. Go. And then tel us about it.

Endless Reflections
Alahambra, CA
October 4-20th
Opening Reception, Oct 4, 7:00-11:00

Todd Lockwood, Step by Step

I asked Todd Lockwood if he would be willing to let me show one or two progression shots of his painting for Pyr's The Stormcaller. Instead, he gave me a comprehensive step-by-step. Check out Tor.com to see him go from thumbnail to final.

Todd Lockwood, sketch to final.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It turns out, driving a nail through a book is fun.

Andrew Jones

I did a quick write-up on Andrew/Android Jones on Tor.com, where I say: His use of repetitive patterns and layering creates a skeletal effect, not unlike H. R. Giger's death-obsessed work, but in Jones' hand these elements speak to a life affirming sense of time, movement, and collectivity.

To read the full article, including a trailer animated series, Illuminated, click:
Andrew Jones, Live Painting, and The Illuminated.

Raw carrots are very loud.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Animation Panel Discussion

I just got back from a lecture on "The State of New York Animation." It was more on the state of independent feature length animation more than a regional thing, which was fine by me. It was nice to see the place packed, in fact many of us were sitting on the floor in front and up the the aisles.

A few random notes from the evening:

On where to get funding/started:
Like illustration, there does not seem to be any one way to get a career moving. Each panelist had their own story. They all stressed getting yourself out in front of producers. Tatia Rosenthal had the best statement all night, "It's not so much who you go to, but how much you put into your work."

On loving what you are working on:
Emily Hubley stressed creating projects you really care for, "You have to make something that will interest you for the duration." Many of these movies are nearly a decade in the making. Bill Plymton alluded to that sentiment early in the evening when he mentioned spending a lot of time and money creating what, he thought, would be his big break-out success. It got a luke warm reception. After that, he decided to stick to his own darker, more internal, sensibilities and, of course, that movie is receiving great attention.

On following your artistic goals:
Hubley, "You can be the crazy person that talks about the movie you never made, or you can be the crazy person that talks about the movie you did make." Rosenthal, "I had no idea how hard it would be, which made it easy to start."

On building an audience for independent animation:
Plympton, "It's an exploding star. Animation is in a second golden age." He went on to talk about the variety of animation widely accessible nowadays -- Pixar digital, Miyazaki and Peresopolis hand drawn, Nick Park's stop motion, etc. I forget who said it but the conversation went back to creating films that excite you and letting that passion reach out to an audience that will love them. Obviously the Internet broadens accessibility exponentially.

Amid Amidi talked about the simple fact that the more variety people are offered the more they will crave different kinds of films. "If all you have is an apple tree, you're happy eating apples. If you are offered a cornucopia of fruits......" I got a personal chuckle from that, since I have heard my boss give that exact same speech, ohhhh, maybe one thousand times. Except my boss uses ketchup and horseradish (or some other kitchen condiment) as the example.

On magic bullets:
Someone in the audience asked what software is best to use. Michael Sporn said, "Anything. They all work." He then went on to say the only way to make films is to watch movies, and watch movies, and watch them again. Frame by frame. In other words, know your craft and know the history of your craft.

On Censorship:
Plympton, "Blockbuster cut four sex scenes out of one of my movies. None of the violence, of course."

And, that's about all I can remember.

I ran into Bryan Beus on the way in - apparently my tweet lured him in. Always nice to see Twitterettes in the real world.

I haz bloxz!

Christmas in September. I've been sent blocks!
And now, I hereby decree that all book covers be made of foamy letter blocks.

Mr. Potato Head

Having overshot my usual lunch-time deli, I ran into a baked potato store that displays a series of Mr. Potato Head drawings from a 1970s animated commercial.

Monday, September 22, 2008

John Jude Palencar's Christopher Paolini's Brisingr's Tor.com post.

I live right next to one of the larger Barnes & Noble stores, where they tend to do a lot of their events. So, despite the fact that I have never read a Christopher Paolini book, I thought it would be fun to walk by and see the party gathering for the midnight release of his Brisingr. Little did I know the B&N crew would be so well prepared for the would-be chaos that anyone standing near got sucked in, corralled upstairs, seated and told to sit still before you could say, "Hey, I'm not with the band." Alas, I ended up in a sea of appreciative ten year olds and their supportive parents. Truth be told, it was fun seeing so many doey-eyed kids excited about the release of a book.

Best of all, the evening was an excuse to have a near-midnight conversation with John Jude Palencar to talk about the covers. Anyone that knows John, knows what I mean when I say, you can ask him about work and in no time you're talking about chipmunks in the backyard, the state of the family pets, and just about everything else under the sun. Email is wonderful but it has taken many of these lovely meanderings away, which is sad.

Anyway, for thems that care, my report of the evening is over at:
"Christopher Paolini's Brisingr release. Or, I can only talk to artists" on Tor.com.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Society of Illustrators Call for Entries

Illustrators 51 Call for Entries
The Society of Illustrators is now taking submissions online. Deadline: November 7th


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Goro Fujita's Robotic Speed Paintings

Come on, admit it: These totally made you smile.

Goro Fujita

Check out his demo reel, "Interview with Carl Hawkins". Very funny and cute.

Rick Berry in Soho

I had a lovely time meeting up with Rick Berry Thursday night (twice in one week!) at the opening of a group exhibit at the Arcadia gallery, along with his amazing wife, Shelia, and their daughters. A number of NY artists let themselves out of the studios for night, Donato Giancola, Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon, Randy Gallegos and his wife Monica. Good art, good food, and good friends. Extra shout-out to Andy the gallery guy and fellow WNYC member.

September 18 - October 1, 2008

PHOTOS: Rick Berry and Donato Giancola. Zelda Devon, Randy Gallegos, and Rick. One of four of Rick's paintings in the exhibit.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thomas Tenery Interview on Tor.com

When I gave our Tor.com moderator the heads-up that a Thom Tenery post was ready to go, she wrote back to say how stunning his work is. She's right. Thom's work is stunning. Thick with atmosphere, rich color in low values that remind me of watching undersea documentaries. (Sad, but true, I love undersea documentaries.) Everything in Thom's images seems to be alive and growing, even the ships and hardware.

Thomas Tenery Tor.com Interview


Favorite painting you did in the past year?
I really enjoyed doing "The Ark," [top image] an establishing shot for Alien Race. In an inspired moment, I spontaneously kitbashed a couple of color sketches that I had done about a year and a half earlier, sketches that I liked but that had never really gone anywhere, and then added the elements necessary for the storytelling aspect of the scene depicting a huge space vessel in port delivering cargo and race animals to the alien planet. It came together very quickly and managed to hit the stylistic sweet spot that I often try to achieve somewhere between loose concept art and a more finished illustration.
Click for the full interview....Go on, go now.

Tom Doherty

My boss talking about Tor.com.

Bookmaking Explained!

Via Hang Fire Books. Most Awesome.

Printing a Book, Old School from Armin Vit on Vimeo.

Yes, even Greg Manchess is sick of "Talk Like a Pirate Day"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Shelly Wan turned me on to this amazing art site, CGUnit.net. A mix of traditional and CG art with more than a dash of photography, rolled up into fashion, fine art, and illustration, all with a scifi/fanatsy kink.

I'm so not cool enough to be hanging out there, but I'll visit daily nonetheless. (In cyberspace, no one can see your Birkenstocks.)

The site is semi NSFW. It's almost difficult to find works that are not half naked, gothy, future/fantasy girls.

FIRST SET: Oleg Duryagin. Alex Kanevsky -- one of my favorite contemporary painters, earlier post here. Chen Man.
SECOND SET: Amy Sol. Chris Bernes. Phil Noto
THIRD SET: Jeff Simpson. Kazu Kibuishi. Jason Chan. Sam Weber.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Joshua Middleton Interview. (And somehow I sarted to rant about website design...again.)

OMG, I have such an art crush on Joshua Middleton! So, there is now an interview with himon Tor.com and he has been added to the Tor.com Galleries.

Joshua Middleton Tor.com Interview:

Do you have a set image in your mind when you first start sketching or do you start out abstractly and let the process of doodling take over?
If it is a commercial assignment, then I probably have some elements I must include in the composition, so my sketching process usually starts with those general puzzle pieces in mind. I don't always have the luxury of time to doodle, so I have to work out a lot of drawing in my head before the pencil days, which is often the case with comic book work. If the work is purely personal...
For the full text, click on the above link.

And may I add....

I spent hours at his website last night. Mostly, of course, because I love the work..but also because the site is designed such that you can spend hours there without wanting to hang yourself. Clean easy navigation. All the images load up quickly and fully, all at once -- no need to click round meaningless details and then forgetting which closeup of an eyeball was that cool crowd scene you saw ten images ago. No messy watermarks. No time wasting pop-ups. And, best of all, fully sharable -- every image has it's own URL and is copyable. Ironically, because it was quick and easy to get around, I ended up spending much more time there than I would have on a site where I had to click through to see each image.

But all of this is besides the point, what really matters is that he an awesome drawer that creates dreamy images with an economy of style that makes me wish I could step into his world.

Matthew Kalamidas, Art Director for the Science Fiction Book Club

Over on Tor.com:

An Interview with Science Fiction Book Club art director, Matthew Kalamidas.

A sample:

What are the exciting and/or scary aspects about working with an artists you never worked with before?
There’s always the concern that we stay on schedule, the work meets everyone’s expectations and that the entire experience is a good one. It’s always a thrill to make a new connection with an artist and to talk through a project and develop what we all feel is a great result. I prefer a very fluent relationship where I can go back and forth with the artist and bounce ideas off of each other (as time permits).

Full interview on Tor.com.

(What I didn't ask, and really should have, was how did he get that super awesome Donato "Wizards" painting. Hmmm....follow-up time. Stay tuned.)

Rick Berry in SoHo NY Exhibit

Rick Berry has four paintings in Arcadia's annual small works exhibit. I had the pleasure of meeting up with Rick when he dropped them off and got to see a bit of a preview. Looks like a great show, with Rick's work being among the most visceral and expressive. (Who's surprised?)

I believe the opening reception is Thursday the 18th. (I'll update once confirmed.)
Exhibit runs September 18th through October 1st.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Spectrum shows off Peter de Seve sketches for Call for Entries 16.

I just Twittered this but I think those of you on RSS feed are not receiving those posts in the right hand column? (Don't worry, you are not missing much -- only a quarter of it is art and illustration related.)

Cathy and Arnie Fenner are showing two sketches from Peter de Seve for their Spectrum 16 Cal for Entries, along with instructions on how to get on the mailing list. They are teasing us by not saying which sketch was chosen...and I'm glad I am not the art dircetor that had to choose. Peter, without question, does some of the wittiest and charming illustrations around.

Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon. Or, Never Enough Octopi!

I'm going to look like such a copycat but, I swear, I saw this Cleptopod drawing and was going to post about Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon just a few days before they appeared on uber art site, Drawn. (Congrats, guys, for the well deserved exposure!)

A particularly fun aspect of my job has only become apparent in the latter half of my career thus far -- watching artists "turn on." I've enjoyed meeting Kurt and Zelda at various conventions and Society of Illustrators events for the past year or so. While there is a whole like to like about their earlier work, there is a clear and steady progression from good to even better.

Further congrats for their silver medal in Spectrum 15, due out November 1st.

Further reading: An iterview with Kurt and Zelda on What to Wear to an Orange Alert.

And one further note: Zelda has the only tattoo I've ever seriously envied.

Peter Chan: Frequenaut

While putting together a Tor.com post, I came across the name Peter Chan. A quick Google scan to his blog and I fell in love with his drawings for the newly released, Ignatius MacFarland Frequenaut. Between these drawings and the write-ups the book is getting, I'm sitting here resentful that my local Barnes & Nobel is closed at 12:18 on a Sunday night...err, Monday morning.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday on Governer's Island

After being a very cocky winner of the first game of croquet, I came in dead last in the second game. I would like to say that they all ganged up and kept knocking me off the field but that would have meant I was anywhere near them in the first pace. The higher you are, the farther you fall. Oh well, I lovely day of flappers, straw hats, and good times.

Downside: I now have a ton of ch
eese leftovers and no willpower to keep from eating it. Would it be wrong to eat an entire wedge of manchego like a slice of watermelon?

PHOTOS: Mark, Christine, Mina, Patrick, Kurt, Zelda. Dancing to Michael Arenella and His Dreamland. One-Shoe Magoo. Years later, the New York skyline still doesn't seem right without the towers.

Adam Rex is a freak.

As proven by this video. But he's a funny freak, so...

Politics 08

Last night was the opening for the Society of Illustrators' Politics 08 exhibit. It's always tough to see a show during the opening but even through the hubbub of the party this is clearly a knock-out exhibit. It's curated by Edel Rodriguez, former art director for Time Magazine. Being in the middle of this terrifying election and in an era where editorial illustrators are often forced to soften their statements, it was wonderful to see many well crafted and strong opinions. I'll looking forward to a second look.

The party itself was a blast. September starts off the Society's new season, after refurbishing the galleries. They look stunning. The place was jammed packed. I had a great time talking with Chris and SooJin Buzelli, Eric Braddock, Peter de Seve, Scott Brundage, Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon.

PHOTOS: People in the gallery. Edel Rodriguez and other artists addressing the crowd. John Kascht and Phillip Burke. Barry Blitt's infamous New Yorker cover.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Radio Update

Second time in two days for "It's Only A Paper Moon." I'll gladly be humming this all night long.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Concept Ships

Holy smokes, if you're all about the hardware, be prepared to spend a lot of time at the ConceptShips blog. The layout is a bit overwhelming but if you settle in, there is tons of great work to see.
TOP: Jae Cheol Park MIDDLE: Sparth BOTTOM: John Wu