Friday, February 12, 2016

Illustrations and 2-Dimensional Musings

Ever since I was 3 years old I've been drawing or painting, creating some sort of visual art.  Of course, you could say that of any child really, refrigerators are full of drawings by children all across the globe.  But how many of those children who are encouraged to imagine and explore with their creativity continue past age 10?  Maybe 13?  Sure we all see doodles in the margins of notebooks, but how many teenagers carry sketchbooks with them on a daily basis, or ask for new art supplies for their birthdays?

For 35 years now I've been drawing and painting.  For 35 years I've listened to my dad's voice in my head from when I was a child saying that I could do anything I wanted to when I grew up.

Well I wanted to be an artist.

With that in mind, as I got older I set three goals for myself as an artist.  I'm beyond thrilled to say that I've actually accomplished those initial three goals...

Goal 1:  Become a published Comic Artist.
10 years ago I was given the opportunity to draw for Cracked Magazine, back in it's last year of physical publication.  For those of you who don't recognize the name, it was in the style of MAD Magazine, and back in the day actually sold better at one point.  A writer named Steve Strangio had me do a couple character concepts for a story of his, and liked my style enough to vouch for me to the editor of Cracked.  I ended up doing a two-page spread spoofing Queer Eye for the Straight Guy that Steve wrote.  It was an amazing experience and below you can see how it turned out.  My only regret is that I didn't do more to make the most of that opportunity.

Now I realize that this might not be what I had in mind when I was in high school and wanting to work for Marvel or DC, but it's also a darn sight farther than I thought I would get after I got married.  It checks the box for me, that's for sure.

Goal 2:  Design the Cover for a Published Novel
Also 10 years ago, during the time that Goal #1 was in the works, I was doing some freelance concept illustration for a serial story website,  Sadly that site has been down for some time as the owner decided to move on to another publishing venture.  However I was able to do quite a bit of banner design, character design and more for various authors during my involvement with them.  One of the authors there, Elijah I. Toten, contacted me to create a cover for his novel "Overpopulation: The Choosing".  He was much younger then, 17 or so I believe, and we worked out a deal that we were both happy with.  Take a gander at the cover below.

Of course, I look at it now, and know I can do better.  Considering though where I was as a designer back then, I'm actually still fairly happy with it.  Once again, there's that box being checked.  Would I like to do more?  Sure I would.  Anything is possible.

Goal 3:  Show in a Gallery
Now this Goal is only partly/mostly checked off, I think.  Mainly because in order to graduate with my Bachelors in Fine Arts, I had to actually put on a full-blown show instead of a research paper.  That meant securing a location, coordinating the opening with a reception, catering it myself, hanging the pieces, etc. etc.  The only reason I say this only partially checks that box is because it was indeed a College project.  However, I walked away from that show with 10/11 pieces sold, and the 11th I donated back to my school as a thank you for allowing me to use the gallery.  All 11 pieces were ink paintings and It was a blast to do.  A lot of hard work, bot all worth it in the end.

...I only wish I had had the presence of mind to photograph it all.  I really regret that.

Trying to show in a gallery now?  Well, I won't say it would be impossible, but I would have a very long road head of me to do it, and I have other goals and aspirations at this point in my life.  Someday again, perhaps.

So is all of this leading somewhere, or am I just rambling for the sake of it?  Well, about a month or so ago, I purchased an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.  Ever since, I've been experimenting and really trying to put the pair of them through their paces.  While ultimately, I expect to purchase a Wacom Cintiq, these two product have seriously put that purchase off for a while.  The way they interact with each other is flawless, and I'm not an Apple fanboy either.  They really and truly are flawless in their design and purpose.

I've completed one illustration already, very much hobby related as it's subject matter is in the 40K universe, and I plan on many, many more.  I'll start posting them here, as well as the time-lapse videos of them on my YouTube channel.  May as well get some use out of it, eh?

No, This isn't going to turn into a 2D art only blog.  I'm still very much involved in the Tabletop Miniature scene and it will very much influence my artwork as well.  That said, look for some diversity of posts within the blog as well when it comes to my artwork and illustrations.

I'm looking forward to the future of this blog and my artwork both growing!

- Tim


  1. You know what? i just recently got back into 2d art and have been enjoying it as a way to keep my creative mojo up when i hit mini painting block. I WISH i had kept up with it all these years :( I will be showing the odd project on my blog too and look forward to what you do with the ipad pro. Sketch book on the ipad mini is bad, but free so I'll deal with the 2 layers i get for that price as i am just now starting to dabble in digital art and still prefer ink and paper :P I am all for minis and art colliding!!!

    1. Can't wait to see what you come up with Zab :) Maybe we should think about doing some sort of gaming/40K art exchange with other artists across the blogosphere??

  2. Same here (what Zab said) ... I wish I had persisted in my love for art at a young age. I drew constantly, everyday for years but it all kind of petered out gradually. In the end, horrible disinterested art teachers at school completely killed my love for art until I hit my late 30s. Better late than never I suppose. :)

    1. Screw disinterested teachers of any sort. I was incredibly lucky all through my schooling with my art teachers and professors, thankfully, but no one should ever influence you so heavily in such a negative fashion man :(

      really god to hear you're getting back into it though. as you said, better late than never is absolutely right!!

  3. This post really resonates with me, probably because I've gone the other way and basically given up drawing at some point and now occasionally wish I hadn't done that. I've also recently taken another look at my early drawings for a blog post over at Eternal Hunt, so your post arrived at an interestingly fitting time...

    I think that novel cover is really rather lovely, to be honest, even if it might have profited from a slightly more restrained use of typography (because the illustration really works rather well on its own). I am also really looking forward to seeing your 40k related artwork, and if you should ever want for things to draw, I am sure the World Eaters' 4th assault company as well as some shady INQ28 characters would gladly squeeze in a sitting at your atelier ;)

    1. NOOOOO!!!! Don't give it up forever man. Mind you, I don't need yet another thing to envy from you, but get back into it!!!

      Whenever I look at the novel cover now, I'm proud of it, but there is much I would change for sure. But that's growth, right? :)

      Stay tuned, my friend :) The first piece to go up is indeed 40K centric :)

    2. Haha, maybe I should give it a try again one of these days? Anyway, if you want to find out what kind of artist the world has lost by my giving up drawing, head over to my blog and expect the worst.

      Again, I cannot wait for the 40k artwork! I remember some very cool b/w illustrations from you for the Dornian Heresy, so this should be good!