Well 2012 did not end the universe, no worries. I have a solution.Read More
I'm going to write about my current addiction here, this goddamned game called fallout 4. Not that I wanted to write about this nonsense but It has been occupying a large swath of my time (much like I knew it would: Thanks Alan :P). Perhaps this post will provide a lengthy explanation for my current addiction.
I realise that what this actually boils down to is PUSHING BITS OF LIGHT AROUND IN AN IMAGINARY WORLD. The term I think is: Fruitless endeavor. I get that. However, I will attempt to justify this activity to hopefully regain merit for this behavior.
As with all my other posts, I put this shit live and will be updating as I goddamn feel like it. Spell check and grammar correction TK (possibly). Oh and of course the point to this post...well I'll get to that.
Heres what I have been up to re:
Fans of this game will know what I'm on about, for those who aren't familiar with these types of games (minecraft, skyrim, second life...etc)...I'll give a explanation on these later, or maybe I wont. Who knows..."as is my want".
Draft: (BTW...I know this is live...this is my thought process)
Addiction comes in many forms. Is this an addiction? Am I talking about the whole notion of videogames as an addiction? No. That ground has been covered pretty extensively with no real answers. If there was; you can bet your ass the powers that be would have slapped a schedule c (or whatever it is they call "dangerous" pharmaceuticals) on it.
What I am talking about here is a very specific subset of the videogame genre. Namely "player home" construction. This is where the player can fabricate a unique home or base station from which to play an open world type of game. Few games do this really well. Fallout 4, IMHO does this with great aplomb. Its not perfect - with its glitches, long load times and learning curve. However having a unique and simple construction set and play mechanics - this game is the best of breed so far. The sheer numbers of players, subscribers on youtube watching other players build things, and the large community of twitch videos and mod content(where clever players have built expansions/new content) has me convinced that this is a new and distinct type of gaming experience.
The fact that this game can be experienced and configured completely differently by each player is not new. The level of community engagement and player created content is, to me reminiscent of the half-life community just before STEAM was introduced.
Why am I talking about this on my blog instead of submitting this to the bethesda(makers of Fallout 4) forum site or IGN?
Because whether you believe this or not - this is art.
I'll explain more later, or grab me an demand I explain myself. Oops gotta go, expand on this later...or not.
Concept art. The concept is, they will pay you for your art.
…the reality: it's the JOB that's the concept. Case in point, this lovely series I had the misfortune of dragging into reality from the recesses of my fetid imagination. But first here’s how that particular job came into light.
Responding to an ad for an illustrator in craigslist ny. Not so much a desperation move - I do this from time to time…you luck into some great work that way. To be fair, it does sometimes feel like this scene from (link: Flash Gordon. )
Well, this project did not culminate into a tribal space ritual involving tree scorpions. In a way I wish it had, that would have been kinda fun. This was the opposite of fun....anyway, this is how it began.
Looking for illustrator to work on sci-fi concept art for hot new tablet app! Must be clean vector work. Writing in a realistic - rpg style a big plus. Pay plus royalties.
While suspiciously terse, it was almost too good to pass up. My head was already filling up with notions of epic space battles involving regiments of these maniac space beings.
I mean App commissions are like pots of gold, how was I gonna pass that up? Was almost wetting my pants thinking how my awesome work would be received. I would be compensated by a distracted internet Midas nonchalantly waving to stacks of cash and stock options (I imagine him talking like Biggie Smalls), “Ugh…yeah. Twist dat Cabbage son.”
Fat Stacks! I’m in…I always wanted to do this…I was ready. Create an entire universe for these savage things to inhabit...got it. Detailed backstories for character classes...ok. Descriptive inventory information of various weapons...sure thing. Large swaths of my life spent on pushing video game rpg characters around on gaming consoles had given me all the fuel I needed to start crafting my own little pixelated universe.
Armed with that and years of online job hunting prose I crafted my most subtle and poised job ad response.
This was no mere “Hi, my name is blank, Im an illustrator. I have worked with/for blah blah blah…resume…blah blah please consider me for your project blah.” This was a scientifically formulated response engineered through copious editing and revisions to affect an almost pavlovian response“…yes, I would love to have you work on this project!”.
You sir/madam, are fortunate.
(this brash statement - with the sir/madam modifier will appeal to their sense of humor and if not present will at the least keep them reading onto the next sentence.)
My highly lauded services are open for a project as exciting as this.
(part praise, part continued boast - all still keeping their attention, and piquing their further interest with that highly lauded bit)
You will find my work experience @ www.gilosan.com. (This sentence is fabricated as a hypnotic power of suggestion - they WILL find my site. You see how I did that?)
Thats it. Simple, brief and interesting. Dare you not to look at my website after reading that. Anyway…worked like a charm. They contacted my next day.
Truthfully, I doubt it was the prose and I know when I was hiring for designers in my last position - I remembered that sifting through volumes of resumes was a serious pain in the ass. Simple email with a link ALWAYS got my response- I didn't have to read much, it was like a gift. (BTW - helps tremendously if your work is good). That's not ego - its FACT. If I came across sucky work...your clever alliterations mean dick.
We love your work! Please send us 2 character class art with backstory and some weapons and we'll go from there.
Off and running, two days of effort spilled out of my carpal tunneled wrists via adobe illustrator and my sketchbook to this:
Returned email correspondence:
Hey (Guy who gave me the job),
Here is a draft of the concept Uf F-Troop: back story as well as some weapons.
uF F-Troop Heavy Infantry Division “Brush Cleaners”
Cast: Ibererate (generally it is this cast that serve in the F-Troop)
Weight: 720-750 uL(united letrons)
Height: 52-57 uMPD(united micron planar distance)
Rank: Elite Infantry
The “Brush Cleaners” have been in the uF service for over 50 uTCC . These troops are among the most feared units of the uF ground battalion. Highly motivated and disciplined, they serve with fanatical loyalty and charge headlong into battle seemingly impervious to pain and fatigue. Rigid training and fierce exercise regiments keep these seemingly rotund fighters in top shape. The development of the F-Troops physique is largely due to the specific diet and training they receive, their girthy statures belie the battle hardened musculature beneath their armor. They are among the strongest physical specimens of the uF, the most specialized of these go on to the uF highly decorated “Bezerker Brigade”, famous for never losing a battle on any hostile territory during the massacre on Valis Nebulas Titras Moon and in total earning no less than 52 uF icons of distinction. Brutish and thug-like in mannerisms and style of warfare, they are sent in first to “soften” the enemy for later divisions. They're implementation is called for whenever ther is need for immediate and overwhelming force. They are not meant for surgical and controlled authority over an enemy. They exist to hammer the opposition to relent as quickly as possible. As the sole survivor of Thalius Harkken put it, “...when we looked on the horizon and saw that swath of green fury that was (the F-Troop) our commander said but one thing...hunker down boys, they’ve just sent in our deaths...”
sample weapon description:
So yeah, that was the submission. Couple o' sleepless nights went into those.
Seems like a good starting point, no? I could actually see the 2d pixelated art characters delivering devastating status effect and HP damage to each other on ipad screens across the globe. The gravy train with biscuit wheels was en route!
Then, no response for two maddening weeks, and after my 3rd battery of emails inquiring to the status of the project, I get this infuriating hard bounce notice:
firstname.lastname@example.org>: host mail7.hotmail.com said:
550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable
"Shit...damn...muthafucka"(yes I'm quoting Maxwell) Craigslist job posting has burned me again! Jeebus! What the hell was I thinking? I shoulda gotten a more concrete communication with this invisible bastard before I started drafting pages of notes on uF Universe canon. Phone number, website addy, mailing address - something. Shit! Mostly disheartening was the instant evaporation of "assured" financial success! Damn, no fat stacks!
Lesson? No lesson. This kinda shit happens. Just a little more wary and cautious before I go headlong into a project like this.
Although who am I kidding? This is my modus operandi. As my brother put it..."Man, you like to go FACE FIRST into EVERYTHING! Don't ya?"
Goddamn Craigslist Fake-bait Project got me again. I feel ya pain Peter Duncan...well probably not.
<Alt Title>: Not as easy as you think...or as easy as I thought. Shit.
My first serious attempt at writing a novel was VERDANT. This was to be a sprawling space opera based on a planet in some distant future galaxy. The whole planet was a thick jungle tropic zone teeming with strange beings (An entire week was spent just on the morphology of these things*. The predominant life forms evolved from what could be referred to as amphibians... or reptiles (honestly couldn’t decide which- my feeling was… whichever looked better on the cover).
VERDANT would be the main stage in a epic drama of several other neighboring and similar planets, each with their own intelligent evolved creatures. Mostly humanoid all tied to each other by the need for a rare material found only on the main planet. Story, which would closely follow the subtle interplay of several ruling social factions, would highlight the struggle or power and control over all these planets.
The many groups would bring with them a litany of sub-factions, religions and disciplines, which would enrobe the characters highlighted. From merchant classes and royalty to religious groups and dissidents. Each would bring their own unique take on the desire for themselves or their group to be the dominant force within this cluster of worlds.
Pages upon pages were drafted, from subtle dialogue interplays that foreshadowed more important events on the horizon and large scale battles for control of specific key interests.
Characters were laboriously and carefully crafted, each caring a carefully cultivated pedigree and backstory as well as a motivation. They would jostle and interact with each other in order to progress their individual desires. Relationships were built, battered and betrayed.
This would be my magnum opus, a story which would continuously unfold and evolve. To be eventually wrestled into media submission in the form of printed novels, action figures and finally culminate into hour long episodic masterpieces to be distributed by HBO(or at the very least AMC…honestly whomever would pay for my Ferrari). Well that was the dream.
Then I watched DUNE again for the 100th time.
Fuck…it’s basically just DUNE only instead of a vast desert, I placed these things in a goddamn swamp. Nice, my subconscious is a fucking retard. Oh, and instead of the SPICE which they were all fighting over, it was some viscous green algae …GRIS which powered everything and was valuable as hell.
Damn, I hate when I do that. Honestly though, there is just too much shit out there not to be influenced in some for or another - I mean what am I supposed to do READ EVERYTHING? Man, fuck that! Let some OTHER asshole rack their brains trying to make some expansive universe.
I am DONE, if I ever decide to write a sci-fi novel, I’ll just get it vetted by a heavy hitting team of cosplay geeks who troll the Syfy channel fanboards. Should be easy, just got to get them laid, or perhaps drug them…or both? Whatever, its been done... Artemis Fowl is basically Richie Rich...that dude is laughing all the way to the bank.
Just gonna chalk it up to another failed attempt at literary greatness...oh and don’t get me started on my space smuggler concept - Jupiter Thunderballs.
I get asked this a lot. Well maybe I don’t, how would you know. "Just what the hell is a Gilosan ?"
As well as being a village in Gujarat India, it’s been my moniker for a very long time. Where’d it come from? What the hell does it mean?
Prepare yourself for an anecdotal explanation.
Picture this: boisterous young lad and design flunky, gets hired by a startup real estate company looking to list all properties in manhattan on this revolutionary new database. Images are needed thus, the job is to photograph and catalogue all the major business offices in manhattan. Kinda fun, kinda goddamn monotonous.
Anyway, during my tenure as in house designer/media archivist the company had piqued the interest of a large Japanese conglomerate looking to purchase hot new technologies. This news had been floating around the office and most of my colleagues were wary of the company's future. Hence, the air in the environment was charged with a palpable sense of dread and worry. I kept my usual outward air of aloof disinterest. Whilst on the inside I was a seething cauldron of job insecurities.
Enter the assessment crew. They monitor and observe the inner workings of the office environment before the final agreement to purchase the company outright.
So, they had this cat sit in my office to observe my working behavior for a week. All week this dude sits in the corner and scribbles furiously into a notepad as I go about my routine. Doesn’t say a fucking thing. By Wednesday I had come to the conclusion that he was probably a deaf mute or something.
Shrugging off the presence of this revenant (eh, the jig is up) and continued about my daily work routine. This involved trolling the internet for anime porn, entering online sweepstakes with my bosses email and the rare and occasional sporadic flurry of scanning and cataloguing.
On Friday my boss calls me into his office. Homes’ is sitting there as I stroll in with his notepad and pen resting neatly in his lap.
Me: What’s up Brian?
Boss: Ron, Mr. Takagi here has been evaluating your performance. You are aware that there is a Japanese company looking to purchase us, right?
Thinking about it now it, seemed very odd that they gave no one a heads up about the evaluators. Maybe it was to get us to work our best in front? Old school tactic, effective I suppose. Apparently, didn't work so well for me.
Me: That’s the scuttlebutt.
Boss: Well I have been talking with Mr. Takagi and he's got some interesting things to say about your performance.
Me: Oh yeah. (I could actually feel myself sweating from my EYES! Which is almost like crying but without the hiccupy gasping and lip tremblings.)
Boss: (Pointing at me and looking at the dude sitting next to me.) This is Gill.
Mr.T: (Looking only at my boss.) Ahhh. Yes, Gilosan. (Nodding as he pronounced it Ghee-ru-san) I watching him. All day... I watching him. He do NOTHING!
Surprised by his enthusiasm. I begin racking my brain here trying to figure out what I did to piss this guy off? He never talked! I guessed, he was pretty eager to impress. That, or he heard me refer to him as the “Evaluator 2000” in the room.
Mr.T: Yes, Gilosan (Points at me. Slowly shaking his head, then looks at me like it's ok, it happens.) He do Nothing! He sitting at desk. I no see working. (Calmly and resigned.) He do Nothing. (Then looks at the big guy and smiles)
So, I’m pretty fucked here. This cat’s dimed me out and I resort to; complete and utter resignation followed by a smattering of truths and a healthy dose of corporate jargon. (This tactic will prove to remain solid well into my other titles.)
Me: Look Brian, I realize that what may seem like nothing is just from the standpoint of the observer. It’s a slow week, lots on backlog, waiting for proofs and stuff to come in. You know, that kind of stuff.
Boss: You bullshitting me?
Me: Naw, just really...slow week. Also, this guys’ no designer. What’s he know about what I do?
Boss: He says you were playing some video games?
Mr.T: (Perking up at the term video games and pointing towards me using the end of his pen.) YES! He plays games!
Me: Now hold up, I will play some solitaire when there's downtime for uploads and such. Who doesn’t?
Mr.T: (Laughing making shooty hand gestures...>dammit<) Pow pow boom, ha ha. (Shaking his head with the shots...>this guy<)
Me: Minesweeper? I dunno whats this guy on about? Is he cracked?
Boss: He doesn't speak english too well. But I think he's right, I really don’t know what you do in your office.
Boss: Ha...ha, not that funny Ron.
Me: This guy think it is. (Using my thumb to motion towards Mr. Takagi is still smiling but now solemnly nodding his head.)
Boss: Ok Ron, I’m going to have to talk with the team some more on this. You should think about how you are being perceived in this office.
Me: Um, ok Brian. Then I look to see if he’s serious...I get nothing, the man had the best pokerface I have ever seen. Guess I’ll go.(Not fully knowing what he meant by that and leaving me with this new found sense of pending unemployment, great.) Oh and thank you Mr. Tagaki.
Mr.T: (smiling and nodding) Gheeru-san.
Later I find that bossman was just trying to rile me up and make me sweat. There was no intention to sell and he could not care less about my style of work (I found out later he referred to my work style as aggressive non-plussed-ness a.k.a Ron's kinda dicky - Ya, he was a funny dude.). So for the next week it was "Hey Gilosan! You do Nothing!" After that, kinda stuck...Gilosan (Ghee-low-saan).
So there Gilosan, aren’t you glad you asked?
Looking back at this quiz I took when I was 26 it is painfully obvious that my mental state has not matured in ANYway. All these answers remain valid and when blindly given this quiz again they were eerily similar. I can look at this in two ways…developmental stagnation or a stalwart adherence to fundamental personal ideology.
I’m going with the latter since it paints me as a principled iconoclast rather than the mannish-boy I probably am.
Initial email subject line: READ IT, COPY IT AND FILL IT OUT; THEN SEND IT BACK...THE LONGEST QUIZ YOU WILL EVER READ...
Today's date: July 1
Full name: Gilosan Watanabe
Where do u live?: Dumont, NJ
Height: 5'7" AGE: 26
Boyfriend/Girlfriend: I leave them scattered throughout the world.
Favorite T.V. shows: breast implant surgery
Favorite movie: same
Hobbies: Doing nothing..how 'bout you..huh..you got some good ones...huh?
I hate: The smell.
Dream occupation: Fly-dupa-supa-fly
What do u c yourself doing in 10 years from now?: breast surgery
Nick name: rat/silly monkeyface/monkeypaw...recently: tank ass, supa fat ass, fat thing, fattie and luscious jackson
If your arm got cut off what would your immediate reaction be?: To try again.
Would u go up 2 any random person and kiss them?: Fuck no...are you mental...thats so sick and unsanitary...plus I'm never that impulsive and I'm real shy...and I would be sooo embarrassed especially if it didn't like me back...but no...thats sooo not me...gross...I mean....you know...ewww.....................................yes.
Would you date someone of a different race than you?: Only if they were really hot...hot...or a fantastically deformed
Would u ever sell your body 2 science?: You mean again?
How many fingers do u have?: 9 5/8
Do u shave?: Where?
Do u wear a watch?: No.
Do u take showers or baths? Hose downs.
Pepsi or coke?: Gimlet.
Do u have a split personality?: Yes I mean,no...wait...we...think....no.
R u afraid of death?: Are you?
How many kids do u want?: Yes...I need to have a large cult following surrounding me at all times. So like 30? That chick better have an Ironclad uterus.
What will their names be? ron.ronella.ronvis.count ronula.run.ran.running.ronning.runt.ront(my fav).eduardo... and pip the human flea
What's under your bed?: Who told you...those aren't mine...I'm HOLDING them for someone.
What does your screen name stand 4?: Nothing asshole...where is this line of questioning going?
Birthday: When? Who's? Cake involved?
Astrological Sign: Saturn.Sega.Saturn.
Siblings: They havent been able to validate that statment.
Hair Color: Black, like my soul.
Eye Color: The deepest amber hue with tiny speckles of shiny blue which duing the day look like...ok...black...jet black...damn black...(sigh) black like my soul...there...you happy?
Have You Ever
Used tobacco?: Used how?
Drank alcohol?: Drank, no....I'm not finished.
Thought you were going to die?: Once...when I was little...oh this is a good story...once when I was little I saw this turtle and...what...oh...uh...yeah.
Ran away from home?: Sure. Who's asking though?
Broken a bone?: I'm not that kind of person.
Lied?: When? No...um...why do you ask? Wait, what? No. I mean...NOOO.
Cheated on a test?: Whenever the opportunity presents itself...only way to take those things anyway.
Played strip poker? Naw...shit...going to...someday...yeah someday...
Do You Believe In
Ghosts?: Damn yeah!
Heaven?: Hell no!
Hell?: Fuck you.
Nike or Adidas: Yo momma...you wanna start some shit...What is this a psych test?...fuck you no!
Oranges or Apples: Big banana up u ass...
One pillow or two: For what...what you wanna know...what the fuck!
Deaf or blind: You gonna be deaf and blind you keep this shit up fuckhead!
Pools or Hot Tubs: Oh...now yuo saying I'm poor...right...you know I can't afford either..
Righty or lefty: Good question.
Tall or short: Shortishly tall...for my age.
TV or radio: Go away!
Paper or plastic: Bakelite.
Gay or straight: Straight Gay Hetero-phob!
About The Opposite Sex
Honestly what do you notice first?: Vulva/uvula
Must have personality traits: Ennui.
Hair long or short?: Long, real long an....long.
What kinds of things do you find romantic?: Whos your DaDDY!
Things you love the most about 'em?: Dirty things!
When Was The Last Time You
Took a shower?: Good question.
Watched Bambi?: Another good question.
Ate Pizza?: Really?
Cried?: Last september.
Went to a movie?: Oh yeah?
Talked on the phone?: Nice.
Played Poker?: Years.
Punched someone?: Everytime I see my brother.
What Do You Think Of
Abortion?: Never had one...never will.
Premarital sex?: See...US Constitution...Amendment 5.
Rap?: Subtle social commentary...plight of the urban plighters.
Oldies?: You mean like...20's music?
Where were you born?: That is an irrelevant question.
Favorite food: Mom's food.
Favorite cartoon: Any one with Daffy Duck in it.
Favorite candy: Steak.
Favorite actor: Earnest Borgnine.
Favorite actress: Earnest Borgnine.
Favorite perfume/cologne: RightGuard.
Favorite flower: Coconut.
Favorite restaurant: Billys Topless Tavern. It's on 23rd.
FAVORITE BOARD GAME: Monopoly.
FAVORITE MAGAZINE: Cat Fancy/Juggs
FAVORITE SMELL: Dirty things/farts/assholes/you know...things like this.
FAVORITE THING TO DO ON THE WEEKEND: Breathe.
FAVORITE SOUND TRACK: The Godfather.
FAVORITE BRAND OF GUM: Beef jerky.
FAVORITE KIND OF MILK: Breast.
Favorite Things To Do in summer: I love you.
Favorite things to do in Winter: I hate you.
Favorite Vacation: Trip to fridge.
Favorite Fast Food Restaurant: Jack in the box...seriously?(this was before I discovered In-n-Out.
Favorite Day: Thursday.
Favorite Month: September.
Favorite bras: Underwire support front snap clasp.
Favorite town to chill in: New Milford.
Favorite soda: Dr. Pepper.
Favorite type of music: Everything except most country...or Reba Mcentire.
Favorite salad dressing: Tossed salad salad dressing.
Favorite website: www.fuckchimp.com
Favorite sport to watch: Women's Volleyball
Favorite hangout: Billys Topless Tavern.
ONE OR THE OTHER
Black/White: Always bet on BLACK.
Smart/Stupid: Stupid...soooooooo stupid!
Baseball/Basketball: Women's Volleyball, I told you already!
Theres more but it was lost in some email corruption thingamahbobber. Plus that's prolly enough of that nonsense. Suffice to say, I really haven't changed much over the years and it is highly doubtful that this path will differ in the foreseeable future.
Frankenstein’s Army 2013
Directed by: Some Git
Find: Found this crap on the Netflix
This post has nothing to do with anything but I wanted to share, so...enjoy!
Ok, this little gem of cinematic wonderment had been lingering in my queue for quite some time now. Decided to finally pull the trigger and post my “feelings” about it on this page:)
Heres the elevator pitch: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevator_pitch
Wolfenstein (Video Game) > Saving Private Ryan/Enemy at the Gates > Marilyn Manson Early Music Video > Saw (any after 2) > Blair Witch style cinematography
I liked this movie but what is odd is that this dreck has all the elements that should have made me enjoy it more.
Glimpse of WW2 infantry squad relations from the Russian front. Honestly western cinema dominates with views of soldier interactions in regards to the American theatre, which statistically speaking was only a small part in the overall campaign against the Axis.The Brits and Russians were in it far longer than the GI’s – pacific theatre aside. Unless you are willing to suffer through subtitled Russian front films or long winded British films of the 50’s (I don’t wish that upon you…ever) then you only get the viewpoint of the American solider.
Case in point, the Ghurka soldiers involvement in WW2 during the mostly british CBI (China Burma India) campaigns. Read 'Davis" by (damn I can't remember the author right now, oh yeah John Scanlan) for a good view of the CHINDITS, Vinegar Joe and WW2 jungle combat. More of that please and less of insipid rom-coms trying to make me think Jennifer Aniston is still desirable, you dumb ass hollywood tardos!
Ah, the eternal bad buys.I can watch these momo's all day like I’d watch a reality show about Star Wars stormtroopers…all day. I know people are people but you put them in bad guy outfits and bingo suddenly they become more entertaining. Nazi’s surfing(already a movie has been made about this…go talk to the Trauma Bros.), dancing, playing pool, eating breakfast…interest piqued at the very least.
I mean you could have put the prefix Clowns in those scenarios instead, but you see…mildly funny but not as gripping.
RED DWARF:LISTER:Rimmer, can't you tell the story is not gripping me? I'm in a state of non-grippedness, I am completely smegging ungripped. Shut the smeg up.
Put some monsters, ghouls, nazi, corpses - nazi corpses? or scantily clad vixens...then BAM...you have my interest by the short and curlies.
Steampunked bio morphed reanimated nazi corpses.Everything about the previous sentence is like looking at into box of gourmet doughnuts.
Frankenstein- well its Frankenstein, so…yeah.
Tons of Gore.Ever since Bad Taste (Peter Jackson–1987, only to be outdone by his followup 'Meet the Feebles'*), gore has been crucial to my bad movie watching criteria.Like alcohol is a social lubricant, gore is its movie equivalent (for me…maybe not you). Obviously you can go overboard, but sometimes that can be hilarious fun and shamefully regrettable - either way in regards to movie watching…gore or its equally appealing counterpart sex (watch Piranha 3d - seriously go watch that shit)…needs to be present.
I mean from that list alone, if you have the same tastes I do(I feel sorry for you dearly if you do) then you should be wetting your pants with gleeful anticipation.
What you get is poorly acted. To be honest - this never really factors into my judgement for a entertainment experience - and sometimes really poor acting can bolster an otherwise mediocre movie, i.e. Iron Sky (review TK). That said, in this case bad acting derails the squad interactions. Most of which were actually coming along pretty well and you got the sense of a solid unit that had seen several skirmishes together. Until quarter way through, then it became a jumbled mess of who cares about what character development is about anyway.
The creatures were/are the stars of this mess. Sadly never fully realized in front of the camera, maybe this was the directors choice - if they really did get some spotlight time, you’d see how poorly they were constructed.
Granted they looked like sketches from a 2nd year concept artist portfolio come to life but I could have sworn that was the point, we should have seen more up close time of these things.
I still think they could have interacted with the characters more, what winds up happening is the squad is chased comically by these things reminiscent of a NJ halloween scare factory - there’s one in Bellevile, NJ (The Scare Factory); October if you are interested.(see you there)
Here were a few that I felt deserved more face time:
Propellerhead guy: I mean he’s half goddamn airplane. I think theres even several manga series about this alone.
Drillbit face/ Black Nazi trench coat dude on stilts: This is what made me think of early Marilyn Manson videos. Like a nightmare circus performer had sex with a Tim Burton claymation in SS gear.
Giant Surgical scissor hand: This guy looks like he was directly ripped outta some concept artist sketchbook -2nd year (that's being generous), think I mentioned this.
Giant metal lobster hands: C’mon whats not to like here, Godzilla fought a 50ft version of this dude at some point.
Sexy nurse/ Bride of Frankenstien chick: honestly she was in it like 10sec - and you know you wanted to see more of her! (I definitely did) 2 words, fetish nightmare.
Ok so anyway, here’s the take away:
If your bored, drunk, stoned or on some form of hallucinogenic compound.This movie is worth the 15min it takes your inebriated mind state to wrestle it on your device of choice.
It is rife with foam latex madness and gore. It contains a promising storyline delivered through ham-fisted writing and slipshod direction which will wreak all sorts of wonderment onto your hapless retina.
Gore. Poor acting. Violence. Rinse - repeat.
There are better bad movies (I know…oxymoron)out there but this should hold you until I find some other piece of garbage to extoll.
Sure, if you don’t watch it your life will probably be better off, but chances are – if you have read this far…your Friday nights hold little regard for substantial cinema veriate…so, AVANTE!
*Meet the Feebles - this damn shit is probably something Salvador Dali would have painted if he saw Sesame Street.
So, its a glorious august afternoon this summer and I’m sitting in the company of couple of fellow consultants. One in marketing the other in design both of whom have worked/are working with very large high profile clients. Talking about recent viral marketing ads that caught our attention, the topic of language usage in copy came up.
Here are a few key bits from that discussion:
Colleague 1(designer): Did you see that last ad from that TNT channel? Was very well done. There was this button in the street that said push to add drama. Very funny. There's a bit in there I'm sure you'd like Ron.
Me: No. But theyknow drama.
Colleague 1(designer): Ha, yeah that's their tagline. I'll send you the link. It's gone viral.
Colleague 2(marketer): Those viral campaigns are great, lots of return on practically very little investment. We had that at 'BLANKETYBLANKBLANK'(very large Tech Co, you probably have heard of them... three letters) an entire section of marketing was devoted to trying to make our ads go viral.
Me: Yeah, It doesn't work like that most of the time. Consumers are pretty savvy as to what is trying to be that new viral campaign. Lightning in a bottle.
(then the conversation drifts towards campaign copy grammar or lack thereof)
Colleague 1(designer):and and and…working on an ad piece the writer was using “and” as a punctuation to enthusiastically promote their products features. It does this AND this AND this. Ugh, there are more proper ways to do that.
Me: I feel the same way about the use of a comma before the word AND. It was beaten into me in school (funny, it seems this is the ONLY grammar rule I consistently adhere to) Also, have you noticed the amount of type-o's in the NYTimes in the past few years? (I dunno why I said this…seemed relevant)
Colleague 2(marketer): Yeah we would get letters and calls from the spelling errors on campaigns we ran.
Me:Really? I always wondered who calls and complains about those things, I mean who has the time to do that?
Colleague 2(marketer): It’s generally retired ex-employees. They would get on the phone and say things like…”Back in my day…”. The ones who own stock and have a vested interest in the health of the company…mostly live in Florida.
(topic then switched to typographical aesthetics)
Colleague 1(designer): I love using em dashes. Its just an elegant way to pause in a sentence. I was working on this one campaign where they had me remove the spaces before and after the dash. It looks so…I like just a little space before and after. Just gives it that nice little…umph.
Colleague 2(designer): em. Yes, em to create a pause in a sentance — like a comma. An 'en' dash is to connect things like 'years 1942-45', can be used like a semi colon though . I was using Quark at the time and had a shortcut created to slightly shorten it, 80 percent and just tighten it a little. So whenever I needed to it would break up the sentence just so.
Walking back to my area, I realized how bizarre my writing style had become. Changing from a very rigid and calculated prose to this hurried mish mosh — which I thoroughly enjoy hammering out. It is akin to my painting style fast, heavy handed and bold or verbose, run on and profane. Hmm.
When did I develop this kind of behavior. I mean, I went to a good school, was taught how to properly enunciate and craft dialogue/correspondence. Grammar structure was beaten into me from an early age. When did my wiring evolve (devolve?...yeah I'm gonna go with DEvolve) into this mish mosh of blog postings with little regard to spelling and even less to proper sentence structure.
Was it my strong loathe for anything formulaic and prosaic? I have read both these lovely tomes on proper english language structure but really don’t see them as anything I should strive to emulate. I don’t care to, you can fall in love with these books and their regulations much like you can fall in love with a font family, style of dress or a martinet wallflower (see - ex wife) but if you are anything like me your personality will chaff and become irritate by its overbearing rigor.
When I type, its like a faucet, I think and it spills out…should I sift out the detritus and properly sieve through its contents so that I more aptly follow its guidelines? I don’t do that with my paintings. That would take away the immediacy and enjoyment I have in its creation. Constantly reworking art/sentences to a polished sheen seems like eating a pizza with a fork and knife. Clinical and joyless.(did i mention my ex-wife?)
Um, no. It's more like:
Like the distressed typefaces that littered the landscape of 90s design. I enjoy the rough around the edges and unrefined prose that I churn out. Maybe l will tire at this and look back on this period like looking back at Raygun*** magazine.
For now here is my end point. Does it matter? I am not advertising for goods/services of any kind. Nor is this intended to be some kind of classroom lesson on style... I am speaking my mind here…and this is how I talk! (:43)
Yeah, well my writing style can best be described as writing as if you have a gun to your head.
Commas? ...put them where ever. Elipsis…use ‘em like commas. Parenthesis should be the goddamn voices in your head. Quotes…quote everything that comes outta any speckled pie hole. Spelling...check only if it looks way teh fuck off.
Why do I write like that…why not, are you still reading? Do you get what I am on about? (affect a british accent when reading that) then fuck STRUNK in the ear and WHITE in the other ear! As for Chicago…this nonsense from the same jackholes that gave us Da Bears, Shel Silverstein(seriously, his wrote that gibberish BEFORE crack was invented) and Dr. Seuss(c'mon).
Oof that was harsh, huh? Where did that come from? Seemed excessive.
Again, maybe I’ll look back on this period and be embarrassed. I seriously doubt it but if you tell me that in the future I will regret it. Maybe I'll listen. More than likely I will tell you that fortune tellers and soothsayers belong in the 8th circle of Dante's Inferno with their head twisted backwards to stare at their own ass for all eternity. …so yeah.
I'm gonna keep writing this way until it bores me. Bores me...or until shame, embarrassment and regret finally find me.
Sometimes I feel as though I am a representative for two very disparate schools of endeavor. My coexistence in the art world as well as the business world leads me to an often asked question from both sides. Usually at shows, events, meetings, gatherings, what have you. This is how that question comes up:
Them: So what did you say you did again?
Me:Well I paint robots and also I’m a Digital Asset Manager?
Them: A what?
Me:Digital Asset Manager. (I’m guessing they understood the painting robots bit, though sometimes they ask me what color do I paint the robots…mouth-breathers.)
Them: Never heard of that, what does a Digital, did you say Asset…manager do?
Me: Yeah asset. D.A.M. Short answer, think IT librarian, thought its more complicated than that.
Them: OOOh.I get it.(when they say it like that...I'm thinking,no.) I give them a few seconds here just ‘cuz i love seeing that lingering confused look on peoples faces.
Me:Its like this, you take a lot of pics/videos on your cell phone.
Me: Well corporations have the same thing from marketing materials (posters, ads, banners…etc), event photos, even the pic for company employee badges. Thats a shit ton right there. Somebody has to sort it out and make it usable for groups in the company. In a nutshell thats what I sort out.
Them:Well hows the Robot thing fit into that.
Me: It doesn’t. That’s a separate passion. Though they help each other grow.
Them: I gotcha…you do what you gotta. Pays the bills. Nice. The painting is the passion…I get it. Wait...what do you mean by they grow each other?
OK. Here’s where depending if I like you enough to continue this conversationI would elaborate and explain fully the Janus syndrome I've acquired or just nod and agree.
Me: Yeah they help each other grow. Did you wanna hear how? (I will give anybody an opportunity to opt-out of my long winded diatribes whenever possible)
Them:Yeah, sure. Wait first, what is this digital thing again?(told you they didn’t get it)
Me:Ok, well. First let me explain how I got into it. I went to SVA for illustration, after that the first gig I landed, like most of my alumni, as a graphic designer. Which lead to a senior graphic designer, which lead to an art director, then during the economic downturn…back to designer, then freelance which then went again to blah blah blah.
However, because most of the companies I worked at had large repositories of images I found myself always sorting and cataloging these materials (assets) in some form or another. Specialized systems developed and as a result I became very fluent in these programs. Things like Chuckwalla, Canto Cumulus, Xinet…blah blah blah, lol… like you care. This experience landed me a crucial role in several very large firms that needed my expertise in this area. Then, whammo, this field which had always been there finally was given a name. DAM or digital asset management.
So this interest…and it is an interest because I actually enjoy not just organizing but creating workflows for designers to get their work done more efficiently. I had been on the design end and hated the frustration with mismanaged assets and stilted design flow. So you see it is kinda related since it started out in the design world.
Them:So why robots?
Me:I like robots.
Me:You need more? Like a goddamn thesis or something? Look I can mesmerize you with dizzying references of Orwellian future-scapes I think are gonna happen, or the collective conscious of a pop culture driven society as it relates to the human condition or even the androgynistic nature of robots as in reference to my thoughts about the numbing of both myself and society…I mean are you gonna see it in my work?
Maybe…especially after I tell you thats why I painted it…you will or you could say: "Wow is that Point Break with robots! Sweet!". I’d much rather you enjoy it as the latter.
Them:Uh, huh. Ok. So how do they help each other grow.
Me:Well this is a bit longer to explain…you game? (another chance for escape here)
Me:Ok, so a couple of years ago while I was living in Sacramento I stayed with my cousin. This hotshot bigdick Oncologist at some large medical center. Anyway, he said something to me that really stuck. When I asked him how he handled juggling the pressure of his work and raising a family. Instead of answering that question he took me to his Martial arts school and enrolled me into the Choi Li Fut Shaolin Kung Fu training program. Just like that, no answers…just a lets go for a ride…a long silent ride where I was thinking he’d bury me in a field near Folsom prison just for asking that question. He’s an odd bastard, so my fears were a little warranted.
So, after reaching the school and enrolling the classes, he told that he had been doing this for years and showing me his black belt said I take this as seriously as I do treating my stage 4 patients. It is a discipline that is wholly different from my work but requires that I give it my full energy and focus. Its doing this that keeps my work from absorbing my life and taking me away from my family.
Them: Ah, so Kung fu helped you, huh?
Me: Well, its not really Kung Fu, though I love the regimented methodology behind the training. Y’know I really love Kung Fu, it’s an art form thats beautiful to watch, thoughtful and spiritual. Unlike Krav Maga and all the other popular MMA’s that are out there, which are just an exercise into mashing another human being into wet paste. Wait, what was I talking about?
Them: Kung Fu helped you…
Me:Right…no. Well for me it was Choi Li Fut, but it was also the notion that any discipline that is structured…and this is the important part…wholly UNRELATED to your job or other primary focus will help restructure your thinking and increase your capacity for problem solving. What I mean by this is that in the number of articles I have read in med journals and Sci-Am (Scientific American:before it became the hodgepodge poor mans almanac and science rumor tabloid it is now – don't ask me why I read these damned things) that backs and illustrate this notion.
In directing your complete focus on to various structured activities can help form pathways in the brain to tackle challenges and problems more quickly. Something called neuroplasticity(maybe you have seen that insipid phone app that claims to do this via mini-games - I raise my eyebrow to that), same shit on the phone apps thing that claims to help you accomplish. Only this method requires you to put the damn phone down and get out of the fucking house.
More on this, If you like reading or are some kind of insomniac:
Then:Hows that work?
Me: Heres an example, when I’m working on a taxonomy problem for DAM or I’m having difficulty creating a base structure for a controlled vocabulary in the metadata. I will take a break and let my subconscious tackle it. Stop thinking about it and trust that my brain is still working on the solution. I know this works because in painting I use the very same tactic with similar results. Working on a series and I am having trouble with the color composition or lighting per se…I let it go and start a new canvas or work on another piece that I know what needs to be done.
I do this now for all problems I encounter with work and to a larger extent life. Rather than force a solution, I refocus my full attention onto another problem. I find that the removal from that road block and moving into another direction, fully. Then returning some time later will ALWAYS grant me a new vantage or option I was not able to see prior. This has been a gift and I am finding that it ALWAYS works for me. It’s SCIENCE bro…SCIENCE. I mean, I didn’t do an MRI on my brain but my results have not come up by themselves. This is what I mean by Painting and DAM helping each other.
Them:So its like, step away and chill then come back at it with fresh?
Me:Yeah, but more neuroplastiky-ish (deadpan) yeah thats a word... your brain creates new pathways that allow you to think faster and approach problems from different angles. But what I’m on about, neuropathways have developed for one field that helps look for solutions in the other. There is the 2 very different trains of thought that your brain goes through while working in both fields that drastically improve this phenomenon. In my opinion, when you shift your focus and full energy to another endeavor that is as deeply structured and complicated, you get your brain to start thinking faster by creating new pathways to retrieve information quicker.
I have noticed this in both areas of my work fields…the more I work at one the more the other starts to progress. The reason the subconscious works at this level is because there are more neuropathways for it to look for the solution, thus faster results. There are slow down times of course, i mean if you take that model at face I should unlock telekinesis in three months time.
Them:So you improving your brain by training yourself in 2 separate fields.
Me: 2, 3, 15 whatever as long as they are deeply structured and require your absolute focus.
Them: Wow, that sounds really interesting…(warried glance as if trying to discern my level of insanity...I have become very familiar with this look)
Me:I know, huh!
Them: So...you like strippers, huh?
Me:Depends...yeah. I mean,no...wait...are you a stripper? Where you going?
A.K.A.Your’e doing it wrong link: (Here's My BIO VIDEO)
Plunging face first into RAW event. June 19th. This was my first foray into taking these 'bots into the public eye. I'm not counting the kickstarter project, as that was an internet promotion - plus it didn't take off like I expected it to. Neither did this, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
It was fun. No seriously. Was lotsa fun. Here...see.
Stubborn reluctance to go the traditional gallery show route was the primary impetous for this event. Why this route? Dunno, feels right...right-ish?
I did my research before going into this and got a lot of background info on these RAW: Natural Born Artists guys (...yeah, i know...the name is goofy, right? Sounds like some hippy commune). Whatevea.
A couple of warning flags came up where quite a few posts on a number of artists blogs and websites mentioned this showcase as a scam directed towards just filling a venue. They mentioned that the artist's themselves would have to sell tickets and promote their work using their own social media network and that overall it is not a theatre for serious artists. ( The last bit holds no relevance for me since there is nothing about me I'd consider SERIOUS, lol.)
RAW does promote artists for the venue, but this is mostly a quick banner or blog post in social media circles that really do little to promote the work. If you have a strong social media following, this would help you more. Honestly if you DID have a sizable fanbase - what the hell would you be doing here?
Another warning flag was the fact that I have never heard of these guys before( not a deal breaker since I just recently learned who Katy Perry was and have a lot of gaps in my knowledgebase). They do have shows all over the country however, there is an unmistakable allure that you could do an event in Tulsa, OK - if it tickles your fancy. A wry smile draws itself across my face when I think of subjecting hapless Oklahomans to my Robotic madness.
So, armed with all that reasearched info, my critical analysis was pretty much standard.
"Warning flags, Schmorning Flags...I'm the GILOSAN....engage."
Anyway, I paid for all my tickets and gave them away. I didn't feel the need to hawk friends and family into going to a show for me to sell stuff. Like asking them to pay to see me operate a lemonade stand...nah, save your cash buy me a beer.
Not to say that is is a scam or you shouldn't do it. For building a network and getting your work out in the world, its a pretty good resource. Aside from the anemic social media promotion given, you do get a photographer to snap some head shots. I'm gonna put them here 'cuz their very cheesy and make me laugh:
You WILL not be taking home gobs of cash, however.
This is not that kind of event. Truthfully, I don't think it will ever be that kind of event. The mix of artistic genres, like painting, photography, jewelry, make-up, and fashion. They kind of all don't really jive that well together - I mean people looking to buy photographic prints aren't really interested in purchasing make up or jewelry. Of course that is a generalization but its backed up by my sales receipts or lack thereof.
For the most part, the attendees don't buy much of anything. If they are not in the artists click, then I didn't see their reason for PAYING $20 and going to the show...on a Thursday...in a Hoboken Lounge...to buy art type-things in a multitude of genres.
The highlights were the fellow artists all struggling to bring their craft to light and meeting them in a very comfortable and friendly environment. I found this to be very enjoyable and rather eye-opening. I learned a lot, met a lot of cool people, people I'd wanna work with in the future and people I'd wanna work ON...Oksana I'm talking to you momma!
Ok, off brand here...what? Oh yeah:
The downsides were the serious lack of foot traffic. I mean that's what we were there for, the foot traffic - to sell our stuff, right? Well Im not gonna say I walked away with nothing, these things sell themselves. But as for ROI, barely - I mean, I hit it proper (you saw my booth in the photo up there- fabricating that was not free.) As for walking away with 'Fat Stacks', uh...nope.
Your bound for disappointment if "mad lootcake" is your modus operandi. Instead, I feel it is a great starter for beginners to see and experience what an event can do for your exposure. At the very least...this is a fantastic start into the foray of self-promotion.
And that is, I feel, the KEY to any worthy talent-based endeavor.
So a couple o' weeks ago. On our way to see X-men ‘days of future past’. Oh, and as a huge X-men fan I was a little disappointed and thought they could have done more i.e. Wolverine/Colossus cannonball special- pretty much where Petey hucks Wolverine 'claws out' at the Sentinels, I mean c’mon, that would have been the tits!
I’m gonna stop geeking out on that, ‘cuz this is not a film review site or comic book nerd barrack.
…so, to continue…whist driving my crew and I spot this painting on road, lying on the side in the trash for garbage pick up the next day.
As I am usually on the lookout for this kind of thing to bolster my inventory of solid frames to re-stretch and paint my madness on. I hawk this thing, mostly because of its size and striking color palette. 28”x60”-ish and light purple/green abstract composition.
“Whoa…Pull over and grab that painting. I’m a gonna re-stretch dat sombitch!” We snag it and dump it into the car.
After the flick, which was a lot cheaper than I imagined. Forgot that it was matinee also the Starplex theaters' food court is stupid cheap -$1 hot dogs (I know barfy…but whatever, $1 hot dogs y’all!) score! We had never gone there before and found the re-vamp of what was once Loews Cineplex, pretty amazing. The full size motorized leather recliners (per person- what!) have made this place our NEW go-to movie viewing location.
What was I saying? Oh yeah, so after we got back I put this thing on Bucephelous(my outdoor easel) and was prepping to strip and re-canvas this thing.
Looking at it and muttering to myself...“What we have here is...failure to communicate.”
Actually, maybe not. This is an elegant concept that needed a little tweaking. I liken this project to the scene in Tim Burton’s Batman where the Joker and his crew runs around the Gotham Museum vandalizing/slashing paintings.
About to knife Francis Bacon’s “Figure with Meat”-1954 , Joker uses his cane to halt his henchmans’ blade and says, "I kind of like this one, Bob. Leave it.”
Addressing the dog watching me paint -"Yeah, I kinda like this one, Luna (My nieces' chihuahua) I think I'll leave it." Unimpressed, she continues to yelp at it incessantly - tiny art critic.
What I think the artist was trying to represent (in abstraction) a blade of grass or something. I could see where they were going. Simple line structure using thick paint and texture effect to add interest to the basic shapes. Not bad. The color palette was a little too pale and it needed a bit more going on in the background. But for some reason, the play from the composition, it's color range and negative spaces interested me.
So rather than throwing some robot madness on this hapless canvas void - I thought I would try and more fully realize the attempt in my own fashion. Hope the artist doesn’t mind - I mean it was IN the garbage so I’m thinking…no.
I upped the vibrancy(is this a term? whatever-I think it's a Photoshop option- I'm using it.), added texture and detail via color rather than the impasto effect that was originally used. Which, to be honest, kinda made it look like a Lifetime channel home art project. Except that the frame was really solid and the canvas was like 20oz cotton duck. (go figure)
The image now seems to resonate better within its size and shape…at least to me.
Since I already have enough paintings crammed into my already limited space. If anyone wants it and is willing to pick it up (this bitch is BIG)…its yours, just send me an email…cheers!
I love the smell of "turps"(turpentine), it is the odor that would emit from my makeshift paint box (old re-purposed tackle-box - I dubbed "Mr. Tacklebox", because I'm clever) in beginners painting 101 with Marshall Arisman in Manhattans Prestigious* SVA. Bits of half dried burnt umber and alizarin crimson in the corners of my pallette knife that are heaven and heart-lifting.To be honest though at first it smelled like shit, like the oily rags in my fathers garage after he'd change the oil in his cab. However, after that year, oil paints and its trappings now carries a robust symphony of poignant memories that tug my heart strings. I adoringly HATE when it does that.
Each time I walked into that sunlit East 23rd St studio I was blasted in the nasal cavities of the previous classes lingering aromas of linseed oil and cleaning solvents. Also faint hints of jasmin, patchouli and weed - this was an art school after all. Prior to that year though I had never been inside a "real" painters studio, high school art class and my stint at community college did not boast the same scale or singular purpose. There would always be a mix of different chemicals in the air from, printmaking paints to the earthy/minerally (is that a word? No.whatever- Andrew Zimmern uses it alla time) clay odor from the potters section next to the kiln to spray adhesive and rubber cement.
The 3 hr class had a generous 30 min pre and post painting prep and clean ritual that left further reinforced these odors that - to this day continue to transport me back to that bucolic time. Early nineties, summer, long hair, skinny as fuck and just broke enough to arrogantly profess myself as a "real art student" in the heated debates that would manifest themselves with my peers on the subway ride to classes.
Young, eager and impressionably naive I was transported to a world so alien and fantastically daunting yet also deliciously comforting and inviting. Like being in the back seat of my Chevy nova with my first girlfriend, only without the anguish of hitting my balls on the shifty knob, it was an ' 84 hatchback - so...like a clown car, only less funny.
Ok, enough of this heavy nostalgia, this is starting to sound like some weepy old heart achy reminiscing flarf. Gonna stop talking about the smells of oils now, suffice to say. It pleases me greatly...but so does gasoline, yet I don't go all gooey eyed about that, go figure.
Isn't as romantic, I guess.
Ok so what was I saying. Yes. Oil paints, there is an allure there, this is probably why I got so homesick about them. There is an allure to them - outside of the "Oh, im a real artist 'cuz the masters - Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Velasquez, all these momo's used oils." and "Acrylics, pfft...acrylics are for bored housewives, posers and the pre-schoolers."
The allure is you feel like a pro using them, like when Japanese swords-makers hammer out a katana with just muscle and ancient mastery.
You feel like that...master craftsman. Plus, They blend so effortlessly and when done properly, deliver a life to what is essentially a two dimensional image. The shit makes your paintings glow.
Now this can be closely achieved with acrylics, takes longer though and is not really the same thing (IMHO). The boys at Golden paints, my go to source of painting supplies, have done a rather remarkable job in emulating a lot of its properties. They do well in making a painting come to life, though with considerably more effort.
But just like bacon (my apologies to any Muslims, Jews, vegetarians or any other unfortunate groups that have not experienced this) veggie/ tofu /soy will NEVER taste as good as the real thing...never. I have had a number of ex girlfriends try to cram that shit down my gullet-all singing the same refrain "See it tastes like bacon, right?" -wrong...oh so very wrong.
This analogy is apt because of the health benefits of both acrylic paints and turkey/whatever bacon. They both will do less harm than oil solvents and fatback. Though I prefer the latter, I am very aware with the caustic tendencies of both. Especially oil solvents.
Example:Oil paint 101
Always use oil based paints and the solvents used to clean up in a very well ventilated area.
Do NOT, I repeat Do NOT paint large canvases in your small studio apt walls and leave unopened paint thinner cans with the heat on full blast...in the winter...with all the windows closed...then pass out after feverishly painting for two days straight.
You will, and this is from experience here, you will lose the ability to SPEAK for an entire week afterward. Ok, I'm exaggerating...the power of speech returned after day three however, it was a full week before that and I still had to consciously and with GREAT EFFORT try to hammer out even small sentences.
"I...go..to..outside, in car to ...store ...for Food...things."
It was another week before I had regained my command of the English language. A relatively frightening time for me was made worse as my friends who thought my thick Bulgarian accent was coming along swimmingly.
"I think Ron's trying to become an actor, he's pretty dedicated, see how he never breaks character. Hey, Ron you should try a Chinese accent next."
"I, should...go doctor...but...too money much."
"Hahaha, you sound like Georgi(my roommate in SVA dorm), classic."
Needless to say this was my last foray into oils.
Acrylics, on the other hand is akin to my feelings on ketchup, it gets the job done as far as condiments go. But will never brighten up my meal as a generous slathering of sriracha or tabasco will...thought my GI tract will vehemently argue otherwise.
Just noticed I do a lot of food based analogies...gotta stop watching the food network prior to writing.
Thinning- water or gel media(basically acrylic paint w/o pigment) Clean up, soap and water. Brain debilitating vapors : none. Hallucinogenic effects, zero. Heartfelt twinge of days gone by...well you get the idea.
Overall, I will probably get back to oils just cuz I still miss them. But only when I can afford the adequate space and proper ventilation that it necessitates. They still hold a mystery and there is nothing like the notion that only oil paints will make you feel as if you are communicating in a language few truly have mastered. Like latin only without those damned conjugation tables.
For now, I will have to remain content in coaxing this viscous plastic medium to do things oils maintain with ease.
Think Prius vs Mustang. Both will get you there, just depends on how fast. There are many debates on this subject harsh , vicious and heavily opinionated discussions on this topic that continually rages non stop. I am not involved in that kind of behavior.
I just know I'm right. You guys can stop fighting now the topic has been settled. You're welcome:)
*We jokingly called it that...prestigious, the running gag was that all the airbrush/ tattoo artists /illustrator flunkies went to SVA and the photo majors and aspiring graphic designers we're all stationed at PRATT.
This was an interesting project. A friend of mine had recently come back from Nigeria and purchased several local artist paintings. They were done in acrylic and arrived rolled up.
Him: Think you can fix these? I unrolled them and they started flaking apart. I got them for my Moms.
Me: ...Yipes, they look like they been in the gullet of Sarlacc! Didn't know he was in Nigeria too. Him: #$% you. Can you do it.
Me: Jeez, I'd say only a masterful painting genius could fix this mess...so yes.(I am humble only when its funny- ...so rarely)
Him: These mean a lot to me, don't @#$% around.
Me: Don't worry, done this many-a-time, they are in good hands. (I had never done anything like this...seriously how hard could it be?)
Him: You da man, maestro!
Me:Yeah, you know this is gonna cost ya. (...gonna cost me if'n I screw these up...eesh.)
Ok so onto the task at hand:
After carefully unrolling them... which was like unrolling the dead sea scrolls. Think teeny tiny bits of paint flecks falling everywhere. My highly trained and detailed forensic analysis was...HOLY CRAP! These ARE partially digested!
I mean look at the state of this one (which was by and far the worst):
Here's a detail of the nightmare I had gotten myself involved with!
Trying to figure out how to repair this mess, the probable cause began to manifest itself. The paint was applied in a very thin layer, probably to conserve pigment. So lots of water was used to extend the paint and probably speed drying time. This is never a good idea as this greatly reduces the effectiveness of the binding agent in the paint, um...probably.
Also, he had mentioned to me that the painting was rolled up and placed in the luggage compartment of the plane. So coming home it was exposed to some pretty cold temps as I am pretty sure that part of the plane is SIGNIFICANTLY colder than the temperature controlled passenger cabin. Combine that with the ambient air temp of Nigeria, what you get is thermal expansion/contraction that will shatter the paint surface bond. Wow, I sound like I know what I'm talking about here:)
Luckily the painting style was easy to replicate - quick broad strokes and solid colors made that part an easy match. Picking the paint flecks off my rug and using gel medium to glue them back into place is something like a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, only much less fun.
After filling in the dead parts(flecks lost in transportation or eaten by my rug) with pigment/medium blend (what kind?..um, its proprietary and none of your business). I repainted the surface to match the original but upped the color vibrancy. Then sealed the beast with heavy lashings of gloss gel medium...this thing is now bomb-proof! (well not really- but it can now laugh at airplane cargo storage compartments) I did manage to take a couple of liberties with the foreground, both he and I agree it looks better than the messy cloud from before.
He was ecstatic and I would say that it was all worth just the look on his face. But I'd be lying...it was worth the money and some of his wifes' hot sauce...which is soo damn hot it makes me weep! If you got anymore paintings to save brother, you know to call...bring more hot sauce I'm almost out!
Acrylic on Canvas 40in x 25in (101.6cm x 63.5cm)
Here's another piece done on commission. This time for a huge Bob Marley fan...duh, really? Anyway. This was the list of "must haves":
Him: Simple man, so simple. This is all I want. Bob, but in your robot style, he's smoking like in this picture (see pic A), um, gotta be dreaded up, holding a Jamaican flag up, playing soccer like this (see pic B)- gotta be wearing a hoodie like mine and also I need it to be all yellow, red and green...(nodding his head, YEAH like the FLAG) - so it looks good on my wall. But its gotta be CLASSY bruddah, I don't want it to look like any other shit out there.
(*if you are an illustrator/artist/designer you are probably VERY familiar with these kinds of conversations)
Me: You want him seated or playing soccer?
Him: Yo, just like this pic (see pic A again...only this time placed 2 inches from my face)
Me: Got it.
Him: But you know, YOU'RE the AR-TEEST. So you have control, I trust you man. Just don't make it suck or I won't pay you...haha. Just kidding bruddah. (-then he throws me this serious look as if he's not kidding)
Me: Phef...thought you was gonna gimme something hard to do. (confident lying tactic/pokerface)
I have been placed in this situation many times. The best thing to do in this instance is keep the client in the loop at key phases - preliminary sketch(line), composition (this is where you can take their input as to backgrounds and details) color blocking (underlying base tone color). Do all this and generally you don't get the dreaded "What? This is not at all what I was thinking you'd do." Generally, it still happens though.
Here's the problem. My man is NEVER around to discuss any of this and appears/disappears like a damn genie with ADD.
My solution: I chose the seated position as it would be easy to incorporate the flag into the body and hoodie. The palette was already decided for me, classy...that was relatively subjective so I was good there and as for the playing soccer whilst seated: I just ignored that logic puzzle.
In the end Bruddah was quite pleased and decided he would pay me, 3 months later:) This is the kinda shit Bob Ross never talks about.
SCARFACE SERIES #2
Acrylic on Canvas 40in x 25in (101.6cm x 63.5cm)
This commissioned series came about from the client's notion of having me, as he put it "robotize" his fav Brian DePalma movie - after he had seen my other piece for Breaking Bad.
At first I did not want to even approach this, I was working on a set for Br Ba and several other scenes from rather obscure movies; Das Boot, Day of the Dead (1986), SHAAN (70's bollywood film- MY FAV!), and Westworld (1973) - still in progress...will resume when client decides to pay,lol. (yeah that was a jab, but in fun - they knows it).
I really did not want to do it. Actually, this is how that particular conversation went:
Me: "Dude, go to Hot Topic or something and just buy the damn t-shirt. Its everywhere."
Him: "YOU HAVE TO, c'mon it'd look soo dope!"
Me: "I dont think so, how 'bout you commission one of the Larping Robots, they are big and would look fresh over your fireplace!"
Him: "Man, I don't even know what LARPING is."
Me: "Oh its cool its like Dungeons and Dragons meets..."
Him: "Stop...no, I didnt say I WANTED to know...two words...CASH MONEY, SON!"
Me: "That's 3 words...FINE, but only if I pick the scenes."
Him: "...and you know this...MAN!" (he seriously talks like this...but then again so do I,lol - big Chris Tucker fans)
Great...bills needed addressing and this was my dilemma, I felt that the world did not need another b/w silo or "the world is yours" sniznoz painting. Also, I did not want to spend the time painting something I saw at a Walmart bargain bin. So I sat down and watched it for the umpteenth time. But this time with the idea to showcase Tony's character development in 3 underrated(in my opinion) scenes to, what I believe to be his zenith of power - before the money splurge montage- there was already enough of that.
I wanted to show the character in 3 stages :
1. Seeing Opportunity
2. Risking Everything
3. Taking Control
Obviously these are not finished, but I wanted to have you take a peek at what's inside the studio at the moment and kinda my thought process involved. This is the first time I am trying this format. If there is positive feedback on it, then I will incorporate it into a more timely and scheduled fashion.