My artistic “eye”.

I’ve been doing a lot of drawing recently. Having been enrolled in an art class certainly has helped encourage my desire to put pencil to paper. I know I should be writing on here more but I’ll admit I’ve been putting my creative energy into my artwork. That being said I thought it would be nice to put my most recent piece of work up for anyone who still reads this (or stops by) to view, critique and/or offer helpful suggestions.

Anyway below is a first attempt at drawing a realistic human eye. It’s been years since I put any shading skills to use so I’m pleased how well this turned out. Came out pretty sweet I think.

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Anyway thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog/work. I hope to find a balance between drawing/writing and start posting more frequently.

Mike

(Photo/Artwork above is credited to me and is not permitted for reuse)

Reigniting my creative spark

So drawing has always been an interest of mine. I was often doodling and cartooning when I was a kid and started really finding my interest in it through my teens to my early twenties. But somewhere along the way my drawing began to slow down, finding myself not able to put my imagination to paper. I hit my peak it feels like and my well of creativity seems to have dried up.

When I decided to go back to school and embark on a career in Design and Illustration, I started getting nervous about my lack of creative inspiration for these past few years. Maybe I’d lost my focus, maybe I just hit the apex of my creativity. It’s frightening to think that something I’ve treasured about myself since childhood has disappeared. This roadblock has me deeply concerned that I’m choosing the right career.

So I’ve been debating enrolling in a drawing course of sorts for months now. Thinking it would be a good idea to maybe go back to the basics and attempt to reignite the creative process. Though I’ve been hesitant to spend the money on it because my actual schooling required the investment more. Now that I’m finished upgrading and working a well paying job I’m in a position to consider it.

This Christmas my awesome girlfriend gave me an amazingly thoughtful gift and bought me an 8 week/class course in drawing fundamentals. Including all my necessary supplies. I haven’t been this excited about a gift in a long time. I attended my first class last week and had a blast. It was crazy just how much of the basics of drawing I’ve lost over the years and how my skills have been shaped by the fundamentals I retained growing up.

Even in my first class I’d relearned a few important skills regarding perspective and observation. I know it’s only been one class but I’m encouraged at the possibility this will be a serious boost in regaining my creative spirit. While doing my assignment for this weeks class, I noticed I’m finding drawing fun again and not as much of a frustration/disappointing experience. It’s really good to feel this way.

At most I’m hoping this course will help me branch out from the cartooning I usually do and improve my portrait art. At the very least I hope that I find the fun in art again and stoke my creative fire till it burns brightly.

Feeling the Christmas spirit.

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HO HO HO!!

Love my hat? It certainly is an awesome hat. I feel like Santa Dork. But I’ll admit I have been wearing it for 3 days. :p

December has been one busy month for me so far. Work has been crazy, but I’m hitting the final stretch of the busy period as we get closer to Christmas.

I have a large family so every year I’ve always tried to be a generous guy in spirit and in giving. But with my plan to further my schooling, this Christmas I’ve had to tighten the purse strings. Though I did make sure to get something for my sisters, grandma, mom and girlfriend. I also signed up for the Reddit Secret Santa Gift exchange this year. Which so far has been an exciting and fun experience.

My match was a fellow Canadian from Montreal who was a lot like me. Since we are both aspiring designers and Star Wars fans, I sent them the Star Wars Concept Art book. I saw a lot of the actual art at the Star Wars experience exhibit a few months back. So I was excited to share this fabulous experience with giftee. My match already received their gift and they loved it. The reaction from them over what I sent was better then I expected, seeing as we are complete strangers. It certainly made my day.

While I haven’t received my gift yet, though there’s still time before the deadline passes. I’m excited to see what my match sends me and hope it’s well though out. Over all my experience so far has been quite awesome and I’ll definitely be taking part in it again next year.

Otherwise I’m not sure how often I’ll post until the Christmas rush is over. I’ve still got some shopping to finish. I get 2 days off for the holidays so I am hoping to blog Christmas Day (Expect plenty of gift/food photos). Until then I hope everyone has a safe, happy and meaningful holiday season.

Mike

Weekly Blogging Challenge #7: The art of doodling.

I’ve always had an interest in drawing for as long as I remember. When I think about it I believe it comes from my interest in watching my mother create doodles of flowers. She used to leave them everywhere on everyday items that she doodled on, usually while chatting on the phone. When I was younger I was a lot like her in that regard, only instead of flowers it was always some cartoon character I created. 

My interest in cartooning has grown and developed as I’ve aged. I always loved art class in school. In fact in junior high my art teacher published some of my cartoons in the school year book, and when I look at them now I laugh at how terrible they are. When in my early twenties I drew a comic, along with a friend of mine, about a violent, sarcastic, maniacal robot named Killbot, (I know its not overly original) which I still consider adapting into a web comic.  But eventually over the past few years, I stopped drawing often for various reasons. Mainly because I find myself overly critical of my artwork.

Proud as I am of some of my work, over recent years I’ve struggled to finish most drawings because I can’t seem to stop looking for flaws. Eventually I stopped drawing almost entirely, doodling randomly andrarely finishing a project. I guess I hit a creative block of sorts. Since I went back to school in an effort to get myself into a career in design & illustration, I’ve been trying to draw more often to get over that creative block. Drawing is really the only talent I have had for the majority of my life and to be honest I feel like it’s my key to being successful. 

For today’s post I want to share a drawing I did this week, inspired by a friend who was going through a rough time on her birthday. I started this drawing as a way to cheer her up. I decided to post it because for the first time in a long time I didn’t struggle with finishing it. As much as its not perfect and I can point out a million flaws, I’m proud of how it came out. 

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(Image created by me. Any unauthorized use or reproduction of the above image without my permission is prohibited) 

 

Weekly blogging challenge #4: Write a list post

I attempted to complete this challenge late last night but due to WordPress being stupid it was deleted along with my draft. So I went to bed instead of writing it again.

Today’s post was inspired by 30 days to build a better blog by Darren Rowse as well as from reading other blogs. Lists seem like a common theme.

I’m not normally one to write lists. In fact I tease my list crazy gf often about her penchant for creating uncountable lists about everything. Although as much as I tease her about it, I understand the practicality of using a list, as I see first hand how it makes her organized and efficient in her life.

In creating my post I figured why not share a list of things that have helped shape who I am.

1) Person: George Carlin. My favorite comedian and modern philosopher. His love for language and his unwavering honesty about humanity makes him one of my personal heroes.

2) Video Game: Mass Effect 1,2 & 3. Bioware is based out of my home town and had made another game I enjoyed calle MDK II. My best friend even worked for them on Mass Effect, so my expectations for the game were pretty high. But I never could have expected just how awesome this game series is. Commander Shepard is now my all time favorite Science Fiction hero. Bioware really set the bar high. I was so emotionally invested in the story, the characters and the mission I truly felt I was Shepard. By far one of the greatest games ever made.

3) Book: Enders Game by Orson Scott Card. A gripping tale of a young boy genius, destined to be earths last hope in a war with an Alien threat and his emotional struggle to save earth as well as his humanity in the face of genocide. It’s sister novel Enders Shadow together combine for one of the best science fiction stories I’ve ever read despite the religious undertones. Soon to be released on film this year starting Harrison Ford.

4) Music: Strung Out. Southern California punk rockers have a heavy blend of Punk/Metal. My all time favorite artist. I’ve seen them 13 times, traveled multiple cities to see them, own too many T-shirts/merch to count and sport a tattoo of their logo the Astrolux. Love them. Check out http://www.strungout.com

5) Artist: Vincent van Gough. Creator of The Starry Night. His blending of color and use of dark/light contrast, added with his unique painting style has always left me fascinated with this painting. A crazy yet wonderful painter.

6) Website: Strong Bad and the gang at www.homestarrunner.com.
Created by The Brothers Chap. This flash cartoon was all the rage a few years back. From its wacky characters, interactive website and it’s classic cartoons like Teen Girl Squad. This website is already awesome to begin with. Add in the epically hilarious Sbemails and it’s like 100000 times more awesome. As an aspiring cartoonist I can’t help but be inspired by the world created by those talented brothers.

7) Historical Figure: Carl Sagan.
I know not overly historical as he only passed away in the 90’s. But as I’ve gotten older and learned more about him the more his words, his hope and his never ending quest to understand the universe have inspired me to view the world more openly. He did so much for us in regards to the space program and put forth some of the most historical accomplishments in humanities quest to understand the universe.

8) Place: I’ve mentioned Fiji before (which I love) but the most important place on earth for me is the Rocky Mountains. The raw beauty and sheer magnitude of these natural wonders have played an important part in my life. Some of my most humbling moments have been in the Rockies. I’ve seen them from afar, in the heart of them and from high above and no matter how I see them, I’m reminded just how big our planet is despite how small we are in the universe. Makes me curious about what other wonders are there to see, visit or discover on this planet and beyond.

9) Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A emotional tale of love and memory starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as a recently split couple, struggling with the emotional turmoil of losing each other over their failed relationship. I saw this movie as I just ended a long term relationship and never has a film touched so close to home.

10) Food: Fondue, I’m a horribly picky eater. To the point it’s made things quite frustrating for my foodie Gf. But a few years ago we did Fondue for my birthday and had a blast. Cheesy, fried, or chocolate I love it all. I put this in the list because of how much my willingness to try new foods has changed. I’m still picky but I’ve eaten some pretty crazy stuff I never would have before if it hasn’t been for Fondue.

Thanks for reading today’s post and I apologize for the sporadic posting recently. Things will become more normal next week.

Mike

How music has left its permanent mark on me.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but music has always been an important and defining part of my life. I find it quite interesting how most people define themselves by the music they listen too. Each of us influenced by a song or an artist in a profound way, leaving a lasting impact on who we are as individuals.

 As I’ve mentioned in past posts, for as long as I can remember I have defined myself by Punk music and the subculture associated with it. Now I enjoy various types of music genres ranging from Ska, Rockabilly, and Metal to Classic Rock and Jazz. But Punk Music has always been my one true love. 

To give you an idea I’ve been to 300+ concerts (lost count years ago), traveled across 2 provinces to make it for the traveling punk festival Warped Tour on a few occasions, I’ve seen my favorite band 13 times and counting, own multiple cd’s, vinyl, stickers, posters, t-shirts and other merch in support of the artists I listen to. I’ve likely invested as much money into supporting my favorites artists as one would put into buying a car over the years. 

So as you can see music has been a huge part of my life. Despite the fact I’m not overly musical myself (Oh man, I was a terrible bass player) I am who I am today because of the music I hold dear.  In fact when I was turning 25, for my birthday I got a tattoo of the logo my favorite band (Strung Out) uses. (see photo below) Image

I got that tattoo to celebrate turning 25 as well as to serve as a reminder of my punk and nerd roots. While I love my tattoo I’ve been itching to add to it since the day I got it. But have been struggling with when, how and what to get to add to the existing ink. Well now that school is ending in a few weeks and the fact I am celebrating a major accomplishment in my life, the idea of getting a new tattoo to celebrate has been on my mind often. 

So I’ve come up with a concept I am happy with, as well have saved up $150 so far for the work. With music being so important to me and already having a musical inspired tattoo, I’ve decided to get a select score of music from a song by my favorite artist that’s very important to me. I hope to have it turned into a sleeve on the same arm as my existing ink. Below is a concept photo I found using Google Image search (Artist unknown)

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Now this is only just a concept of the tattoo I want inked. I’m hoping to find an artist who is willing to take this picture along with the music I provide and personalize it a bit more to me and have some colour added.  But I definitely love this tattoo. Now I’m not exactly sure when I will be getting the work done, but I’ve definitely made the decision this is what I am going with.

So what do you think? I’d love to get an opinion from readers about this tattoo idea? Do you like or hate it? Do you have an idea to improve upon the design. Or are you like me and have musically inspired ink and just want to share your story/pics. Whatever your opinion is I’d love to hear it. 

I’ve included a link I found on youtube to the song that inspired my next tattoo. The guitar solo in the final minute of the song is the part of the score I want inked.  I picked it because it’s one of the few songs that no matter when I hear it, my emotional attachment to it still leaves me with chills. 

Thank you again to all who read this. Enjoy the music. 

The Misanthropic Principle – Strung Out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z2ioOKKGiE

 

 

Weekly blogging challenge #1.

We’ll its Wednesday, which means today’s post is the first one in my weekly blogging challenge. For today’s post I wanted to share a piece of writing I completed for a class project. I know it’s a bit of a cheat using something I wrote already, but I wanted to share it because it’s one of the first pieces I’ve done where I felt like I wrote something worth merit.

The image below is the inspiration for this piece of writing. I’m not sure who the artist is but its one of my favorite pieces of digital art.

Before I share today’s post, I wanted to caption it with a quote that fits the spirit of the essay

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we would go nowhere ~ Carl Sagan

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Curiosity and the power of imagination

In this image the artist is showing that curiosity and imagination are what provides us with the ability to understand the world that we live in. Our curiosity is what leads us to discovery, but its our imaginations that allow us to put meaning to experience and understanding to knowledge.

The are two feature characters in this image, a young boy and a cat, both of which are known symbols of curiosity, either through youth or through instinct. The bright and colorful glow of the painting, which is the focus of the boys attention, is representative of how curiosity draws us in. The boy being in the attic, a part of the house that is rarely visited, reinforces his childlike curiosity.

Each of the items the boy is carrying are examples of his imagination at work. A cardboard sword turns into a powerful weapon, a ball of yarn becomes a lifeline back to home and his teddy bear becomes a trusty friend. Though each item alone is powerless, their strength comes from the boys imagination.

The artist has filled the picture with a rich collection of objects that show what curiosity and imagination can bring. These relics symbolize knowledge that has been gained. For example we can see a bust of Homer (Omero) representing philosophy, a globe representing our understanding of the world we live in, and a telescope representing our understanding of the universe beyond. The variety of objects suggests that the rewards of curiosity and imagination are universal to all types of knowledge. In addition, by being in the attic, the artist hints that these objects are rewards gained from previous adventures.

Overall this picture represents life’s great adventure. If you embrace your imagination, and face life with a creative and open mind, the treasures gained through life’s experiences will be rewarding

Thank you for reading today’s post. Always welcome comments, opinions or questions. Next weekly challenge I’m planning to post some new ideas.

Mike