Thursday, May 31, 2012

You Are Being Watched


Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go sleep for a million years.

(seriously, though, Person of Interest)

Edit: This is the next thing I'm working on. It's easier to find some of the flaws on the blog than in photoshop sometimes, so ya'll're getting a sneak peak.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Another art rec from dA

I have seen a lot of really spectacular body art over the years, both in person and over the 'net, but oh my god, this...I'm just going to leave this here for you all (link goes, once again, to the dA account in question)

If I ever find myself in Russia, I am going to track this guy down, for sure. And yes, I do know how big Russia is, I do not care.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Website dresses

Ok, this is neither my work nor anyone I know, but I've been seeing these website inspired dresses pop up on the internet, all clearly designed by the same person, and then I found out who was doing them and also they uploaded a blogger one today. This being a blogger blog, I had to share:

Link goes through to the designer's deviantart page, please go take a look.

Monday, May 28, 2012



Ver 1:

In which Finch's face is finished and Reese is a blob.

Tomorrow is extended family time, so here is what I've spent today working on:

I put an earlier version up on both tumblr and dA, and there's still a lot to do before this is even close to done, but this is the first time in a long time I've done something in photoshop without doing lineart and I felt like celebrating.

Except looking at this now I realize that in addition to other problems, Reese's head is way too big. WHATEVER I AM WORKING IN PHOTOSHOP I CAN FIX ANYTHING. PARTY ON.

Current version, because I only worked on this for about another hour today. More to come in the future"

At one point I had to lasso and move his ear, so now the overall shape of his face is better, but the transition between head and neck is...wrong. Plus I figured out that I was putting his eyes too close together, and when I fixed that it made his mouth too small. Haven't had a chance to address his forehead or hair yet, even though I think that that really needs to come up soon. And then, of course, the lightning inconsistencies. I don't plan to entirely resolve them, but, one or two, y'know? 

Edit 2:

I swear I was going to go to bed. 

Edit 3: It is now the next morning; I'm just gonna throw up subsequent versions as I get to interesting parts without labeling as separate  edits.

Last one for tonight, I think (and hopefully I'll figure out exactly what I want to do with the background by tomorrow):

EDIT 3: New day, continuing onward.

Last one before I finish:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Still Life: Decommissioned 04

Unless I start going into a lot of theoretical things, I don't know that I have a lot of things to say about these anymore? So I probably will start doing that with the next one; right now I'm just not feeling it, though.

Was going to wait to post this so that it was a bit more spread out from my last one. Whatever! No regrets!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Honey B and GD

Two posts a day? what is this ridiculousness.

Anyway, there's this thing going on on tumblr that is, I think, just some big creative hurricane/contest/whirlwind of death thing. So, of course, I had to take part.

A few years ago, I came across a website that was set up similarly: people would come up with characters, and then each week two people (or more, I guess) would agree to a bout, which mean that they would each do a comic of a certain length, and then people would vote on which one was better. This is a bit more organized: there are judges and they're going to be doing brackets.

But the thing that I really like is that they're talking about including a way for people to participate even after they've been 'eliminated,' which, y'know, I think is a good step.

Should be fun :)

Only the Paranoid Survive

I've been pretty fanart heavy the last couple of days, huh?

No regrets!

Harold Finch from Person of Interest. The season finale just happened and it's CBS so there are no places to legally stream episodes online, but I'm going to suggest that you go online and watch them anyway.

I don't know who is in charge of bottlenecking digital distribution at CBS, but I seriously want to slap them. Do they understand that they're actually hurting their shows and their profits by not making things, y'know, available?

Auf, gah, whatever, I am not in charge. Obviously.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Korra doodle

I'm working on a couple of other things right now, but doodles are, y'know, available for immediate upload. So here's me, uploading. Immediately.

So much love for Legend of Korra. Have I mentioned that? That was rhetorical; I know I have.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Process 01

Didn't start this as soon as I should have, probably, but I really like it when other people upload progress stuff, so, to balance my recent wordyness, we're going with excessive pixels. 

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

And then the final version:

I think I want to figure out a way to set up a camera, do a time lapse thing, because I rely a lot on the transparentness of the oil paint, so I'll put crazy colors underneath other things to get the results I want.

As always, glare from the lights, please forgive. 

review to come

To the mystery person who got to this page using the search terms 'mica post bac program review,' I hereby promise you and everyone else who might be interested that I will be posting throughout the year about the program.

It may not be a formal review, but believe me I understand how frustrating it is to go look for someone's first person account and find only official literature.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Seven Birds

A few years ago, I read something (an article in a magazine, a section of a book, I can't remember specifically anymore) about how flocks of birds can fly together without running into each other. Because for the big swarms, from a human perspective, something like that just shouldn't work--they're so close together and moving so fast. Researchers figured out that the birds weren't paying attention to the movement of the whole flock, that would have been overwhelming and lead to disaster. Instead, each individual bird was paying attention to the seven birds closest to it and adjusting to them.

I read that, and it stuck with me just as a really cool nature thing, like the fact that some jellyfish can effectively live forever or that some varieties of rattlesnake have family groups and huge territories. But, let's face it, these are birds: it was eventually going to default into metaphor.

While I am sure that the idea could be applied to society at large (the movement of the flock as a standin for society, the aggregate movement of our combined ideals and mores) I haven't really considered it in that context and am not actually interested in exploring it myself. If you are/do, please let me know--I'd be interested in your thoughts. As with just about everything else on this blog, this is about art.

Art that exists in a vacuum is functionally useless. I think I can say that without anyone being too shocked by it. Some people might quibble with the idea that art has use, but I suspect that anyone who feels that way will not be spending a terrible mighty amount of time on my particular blog.

So, ok, art: what does this have to do with that? Well, a lot of people seem to have this idea stuck in their heads wherein art is this magical thing that people go away to do to express only themselves in a way that has nothing to do with anyone else. And, y'know, some people do do it that way. Generally, you can kind of tell because what happens when you're not paying attention to what other people are doing is that you get art that is likely to be both technically poor and emotionally and intellectually cliched. Human beings have remarkable capacity for both difference and sameness, but if you don't look to your differences, you're gonna be the same. And when I said the thing about art in a vacuum earlier, that it's functionally useless, that's part of what I meant. If you're not producing something new, then what is the point, exactly?

Which is not to say that a person has to (or even, necessarily, can) come up with something absolutely unique, because that's a kind of vacuum too. If you don't give an audience a way in, a prior framework from which to allow people to view and understand what you're doing, then people are going to write it off. Folks are busy, they don't actually owe you their time and/or attention, let alone their consideration. Sad, disappointing, but true.

The way to make sure that you're not just making things and then casting them into a void is to pay attention to what other people are doing. You don't even have to overtly react to everything that you care about, just, y'know, watch, be aware. That awareness will bleed through. It will make your work better. You will no longer be required to walk down certain paths because someone else has already gone that way and explored it for you. And, hey, maybe they missed a side path that you think looks extra exciting, maybe it gives you the chance to bring their insight to someone else's path. Maybe you even give all that up and find something new to think about.

And there is a glorious freedom in that. As a people, there is a special place in our collective heart for high functioning polymaths, but there's not a clear way to achieve that sort of thing consistently. It may not even be possible for most people, and that is fine. It may even be better that way. There is no need to hold yourself to the standard of the idealized exceptional if you are willing to focus, work, and find the realms in which you yourself can become exceptional.

Heh, all advice being autobiographical.

But getting back to the point: the seven birds thing. If you are reading this right now, then you are probably on the internet. If you are on the internet, then you've probably been struck by how terrifyingly vast human experience can be. There are so many more things to know about then you even knew anyone was considering knowing. It is freaking nuts out there, dude. I mean, you can try to keep track of everything all at once. Be my guest; when you're done reading wikipedia, let me know, because that's just the start of it.

No one person can know everything. People hate being caught not knowing something, but I truly, honestly, have no idea why anymore. And the art world is no different. It's huge and it moves quickly. Can it even be considered just one thing anymore? 'The Art World'?

I mean, I know next to nothing about fine art photography, and exactly nothing about commercial photography. Well, not true. I do know that cameras are involved. The important thing then becomes to not let that lack of knowledge bother me; if any photographers fly close to me, then I will pay attention and defer to their expertise.

And that's what it's all about: if you see someone who is doing awesome things, pay attention to them. But don't just pay attention to one person. Pay attention to as many people as you're brain has room for and don't fret when you run out of room. In return, your job is to put stuff out there, because if you're seeing things and having thoughts and making work based on those things, there are other birds out there who are going to need to orient themselves based on what you're doing, too.

This is a pretty long post for me, I know, but I'm going to go ahead and make it a little bit longer.

While it's all well and good for me to just say all these things, I do try to follow my own goddamn advice. Plus, is there anything more frustrating that someone who posts something theoretical that could have real world applications but never once mentions what those applications might be? The DMV, taxes, and the dentist, I suppose, but don't sidetrack me, we're getting too close to the end.

In keeping with the metaphor: right now I am at the edge of the flock. I am still finding all sorts of new birds to watch, all the time. I find individuals on tumblr, in blogs, in magazines. And, fortuitously, these things all point to each other and to new things with frequency. If someone you like posts about someone they like, it is in your best interest to follow that link. It might be the best thing you've ever done for your brain.

When it comes to displaying my work, making myself known, I'm still figuring that out, day by day. I post here, I've got my website, I revived my deviantart, I've got a tumblr and a twitter, I'm trying out society 6. If there's an anthology or a contest with an interesting theme, I go for it. In the coming years (and hopefully it only takes months, rather than years) I want to move into more physical world display spaces. Primarily, that means galleries, but there might be things, opportunities, out there that I could never have conceived of.

So, there you have it, full disclosure.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


A couple doodles from the other day :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Signal Boost

Life is a strange sort of thing sometimes. And where life is strange, the internet is noticeably stranger.

The story goes like this: if you spend any amount of time on the internet, chances are pretty good that you've gotten to know someone that you've never met in real life before. This is fine, it comes of having common interests. When this does happen, you tend to know that person by their screen name. It doesn't matter if their name is posted in a million places in 72 point font on their profile. To many people across the interwebz, I am only sparksel, for example. So, anyway, I became aware of this person that I know as kandinskysdick.

And then, one day, kandinskysdick posted a picture of a group of friends who got together on Saturday mornings to watch The Legend of Korra (which, I've mentioned you should be watching that, yes? yes) and holy crap, there's my sibling front and center! So now there is a another connection.

Why does that matter at all? Because of this: kandinskysdick does art, and kandinskys dick could use some funds.

It'd be a lie to say that I don't happen across enough posts on a given day of artists in desperate need of funds, and I could pass on each of them to you, but I know how small my corner of the internet is and how exhausting that sort of thing can be to read, knowing that no matter how many people you help, there will always be someone else, still asking. But this person, I figure, I can do my bit for, and because you know me, and I know them, then you can do your bit too, maybe.

If you, or anyone you know, are interested in either a sketch commission from kandinskysdick or a print, please please contact away.

I leave you now, with some examples:



I won't often make claims like 'this person deserves your attention,' but I think, in this case, saying such a thing would be absolutely correct, so here is me. Saying it.

If you've got five dollars lying around, gathering dust, consider art. Specifically, from kandinskysdick 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Still Life: Decomissioned 02

A companion to yesterday's

This one was a bit more rushed, but I'm dashing off pretty much right now so this post is pretty rushed too. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Still Life: decommissioned 01

A wild painting appears! 

I picked up a bunch of stuff at the MSU surplus the last time I was in East Lansing, including some old and/or broken chemistry equipment. Definitely gonna have to get some more--these things are great still life fodder.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lineart: The Boxer

I've been catching up on Person of Interest, and because I can't seem to sit still anymore ever, I worked on this at the same time. I'll post a version that's flat colors and one that's final rendered colors as those happen. In the meantime, there'll probably be PoI fanart, so, just, be aware of that.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Tired. Want to work. Cannot work. Make doodle.

Have officially adopted homestuck eyes, I think. Totally ok with this.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Been working on this the last couple of days. Obvious influences: Gotye's Somebody I used to know music video and Andres Hussie's troll characters. 

Plus! Figured out how to do halftones in photoshop. I am now unstoppable.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Society 6

I've been toying with the idea of getting a Society 6 account to sell prints through for quite some time and so I went ahead and did it. Like a boss.

If there's anything of mine that you've ever had a passing thought about maybe wanting a copy of, please let me know. I'm not always sure about which pieces of mine people actually like.

Book Rec: Imagine

Imagine: How Creativity Works

It's been a while since I uploaded anything new so I figured I'd do a quick book review (image should link to amazon) 

There are certain things that I like to read about because they either jumpstart my own creativity or because they give me methods to make my own output more useful. This book does both and is a great read to boot. 

Although I will say this: if you're looking for a book about the imagination and art, this is not that book. Jonah Lehrer works for Wired when he's not publishing books or (possibly) being Batman, so you'll find lots of examples of exemplary innovation in technology and a few graphic design examples. There are parallels, though, if you're willing to find them. 

And, actually, I think that's something worth talking about (this is no longer about the book, btw, just something that it made me think about): does it strike no one else as odd that graphic designers can comfortably keep company with software designers and inventors, but other artists rarely do? What is it about the story that we tell ourselves about our profession that keeps that barrier up? What myths are they telling about us that they never look our way? 

There's a section of the book that explores how important it is for people to share information across disciplines, how it's often outsiders who come up with the most revolutionary solutions. I suspect that we're doing ourselves a disservice or twenty by not working to bridge that gap (those gaps?) more often. 

So, yes, anyway, good book! Go read good book! Yar.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Oh god what have I done

I did it...I've revived my deviantart account.

Which is not actually what I want to talk about. Anything that I put up over there will be here first. I just...need people that will understand what I mean when I say things like 'methods of abstraction' and 'relationship with the viewer.'

No, what I wanted to talk about was that I was briefly in charge of this thing over on dA called the 1 hour contest (along with another person), but not long after I left it ground to a halt and died. But I'm bringing it back, so if anyone reading this has a deviantart account and is interested in taking part, head ye thisaway: The 1 Hour Contest.

How it works is this: each week, the host chooses one of their characters as the subject of the contest. Everyone who participates imposes a 1 hour time limit on themselves to get their work done (this is, of course, on the honor system, so if you fudge it a bit no one will know or care.) At the end of the week, the host chooses a winner, and the winner then becomes the next week's host. We're starting this off with a two week time period to drum up interest so even if you don't want to participate yourself, if you know anyone on dA who might be interested, please send them our way.

suddenly, a wild guilt appears

I am very bad at being an adult, and feel pretty guilty about that. And then I feel guilty about feeling guilty. Although sometimes I just feel guilty, cause not needed. 

It's....a more persistent problem these days. Not many people around to talk to, I think, is the biggest problem. Ah well, come August I'll be in Baltimore with a whole slew of new crazy people to get to know, and that suits me just fine. 

Ascalon and proud, sir

Last weekend was the first Guild Wars 2 weekend beta event, and...yes. Just yes. 

I spent my weekend as a human ranger with a pet bear named Zachary. Unfortunately, I failed to get a screencap of the character select screen as I had planned to do before they closed the beta down again on Sunday, so this is mostly from memory. Except for the bear--I grabbed a reference off of google for him. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

yes another post from the witching hour

I was gonna go in and render the hair like the rest of it, but I really really liked the graphicness of it next to the organicness of his face. 

My plan was to talk about how excited I am for Friday and the Avengers, etc etc etc, and all of the excitement is still there, but...

I've spent the last two weeks shoving homestuck into my eyeballs and earfunnels. I am now officially caught up. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahmy brain is so happy right now, you guys have no idea. Time travel, paradox space, and magic powers are all equally valid ways to my heart, no doubt.