Progress Report: What’s Up Doc?

Under Exposed Screen

Failed screen exposure, February 27, 2015

Ack! I’ve been derelict in my blogging duties again. Here is a progress report.

The Love Poem Project

Unfortunately my Kickstarter project was not successful. I should probably be more disappointed, but just because I didn’t get funding for the prints doesn’t mean the idea is dead. I hope to use the words and some of the imagery in future projects even if these exact posters don’t get printed.

Job Leads

A couple things of interest have come up. Most notable is a possible lead out in California. That’s a big move and a big change of scenery, but maybe it would be a great opportunity. I hope to be hopping on a plane shortly to go check it out.

Art & Music Making

Early last week I set out to drawing an old character of mine, the Samurai Space Bot.

Samurai Space Bot

Samurai Space Bot. Digital Comp

The Samurai Space Bot is a something I created years ago as part of a series of Sharpie marker drawings. I recently came across a cache of old artworks and found his image and decided to redraw him. The above image is a digital comp that I put together to determine how I wanted a final printed version to look. I think it will get a darker green fade background, but you get the idea. My initial instinct was to add color to several parts of the figure, but even though this was drawn in pen I decided to keep the figure in the theme of the original black and white Sharpie drawing. The failed screen at the top of this post was to be for the background and red flames.

Although this image is quite a bit smaller (about 1/4 the size) of the Guitar Playing Robot, I did the drawing and separations for this in two days. The Guitar Playing Robot from start to finish was almost a year working on it in my spare time. Part of that was being dedicated to getting this image done and another part was using the many lessons learned during the last design to cut down on time now.

Haven’t written any new songs, but learned to play a few ones from the likes of Johnny Cash, The White Stripes, and Blink-182. How’s that for an eclectic mix?

Art Business & Odd Jobs

Earlier this month I got a card from my grandmother. Inside was a check and an image clipped from a catalog. She wanted me to make this sign and I obliged.

"Welcome To The Porch" sign

Family Commission

I think I might do a future post about this project and how it inspired some other ideas. It is pretty far from my usual style of things and if you’re thinking about commissioning me for something similar you should think again.

My sister’s family has moved into a new house and I’ve been painting a couple rooms for her and will probably paint a couple more. Prior to my last job I was a painter’s assistant for Chicago Muralist, Eulojio Ortega, where mostly I prepped and painted walls solid colors.

Recently I have taken to Instagram and Twitter more frequently. Dealing with visual art it usually isn’t difficult to find at least one picture to share a day. Honestly, I’m still not exactly sure what Twitter is good for, but that doesn’t stop me from sharing nuggets of absurdity from time to time.

Also, my printer is working on the aforementioned Guitar Playing Robot print this weekend and I should be picking it up shortly. If you’re following me anywhere you should get a heads up when it goes on sale.

Screen Printing

Shortly after I purchased my house I started investing in screen printing equipment, but only now with newfound time on my hands have I really been trying to make it work. This last week has been a little trying, but I think I’m close to printing my original designs in my very own studio.

Here is my quandary. It takes a real amount of time and some expense to get a screen printing studio going. With the real possibility that I may be putting my house on the market, how much time and money do I want to put into it at this point? There are plenty of artists that produce screen printed works without their own printing setup. They simply pay another printer to produce their designs. And yet there is something about the struggle that I like about it. Maybe it’s just the ability to have control over the production process. Do I keep investing time and money in it now when I may not have a place to put my printing studio in a few months?  Too often I feel I abandon projects before they are realized, but sometimes you have to cut your losses. Decisions, decisions.

The last few days have been spent largely trying to get good stencils out of my setup. I think I may take the next couple of days to get things cleaned and organized and maybe just do some drawing. Work happens so much better in a clean environment, but when I get going on a project I get really messy and the whole house is in a state of disarray right now. There’s a painting on my kitchen island, a typewriter and drawing tools all over the dining room table, and so on. Once my space is organized I hope to organize my time and setup a regular routine.

Work is a funny thing. Even though many of the projects I’m working on are not bringing in money right now, I have no problem spending 10-12 hours working a day on them. I’ve been getting a couple of odd jobs to help pay the bills, but they won’t last forever and I’ll have to find something else.

And now it’s 4:00am, the subject of a favorite Ted Talk and title of a favorite Our Lady Peace song. It’s well past time for me to be asleep if I’m to get back to any kind of routine.


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