I was commissioned to draw Yogurt from Space Balls on this sketch cover byJess Morales. He is one of the people that supports my work and has been doing so for a very long time. He is also one of the coolest dudes I have yet to meet face to face. I want to let him know I appreciate his business and his passion for my work. Click here to view more of my commission work.
I don't always get these requests, but they are fun when I do. Before I used to attempt to get the likeness of people and although some people love it, I always felt like the cartoony style served better. So, I was tasked to create the following. Let me know what you guys think down in the comments.
When I first started blogging, my main concern was "Will I have enough to post?" Since I started this, and with the introduction of videos on Youtube, I have been short of ideas on what to talk about here and what to write about. I am open to suggestions as to what you guys would like to see more of. In the meantime, I will try to post work-in-progress and small projects here and there. My ultimate goal is to share my creative challenges and achievements with you.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
This is the 5th time that we do a collaborative project with the Turlock Toon Skwad team and I feel I've grown with each one. The hardest thing for me to do is making the time to work on them since it always seems I have no time. The easiest part for me is to merge text with the layout. I think because I work as a graphic designer, those things come easy for me. When I am creating, provided, I am assigned to create something, my favorite thing to do is draw. If each project allowed me to draw, then that's what I would do. It just so happens, I only did one drawing in this one, Black Widow. The rest was done by Adam and Omar. I had to ink their work. This tended to be a little difficult because they both have such different styles, so I hope I did their artwork justice. I can honestly say, that I am happy with the final product.
Omar, what about you?
When collaborating on projects where your art is mixed with other artists, what is the hardest thing to do for you?
"I’ve only collaborated on comic style projects so the hardest thing for me is working in comic style while still trying to create and incorporate hints of my own ‘style’ into it."
What is the easiest?
"The portrait and caricature style is easiest."
What is your favorite thing to work on when you do these projects?
"I like drawing faces. Especially in the caricature style."
Are you always happy with the final product?
"Not always. The cool thing about a collaboration is that when it gets passed on to the next artist/step fixes can be made to help with composition or layout. So if you aren’t feeling something about your part in the artwork you have a few more sets of eyes to help fix issues. As long as the corrections and adjustments don’t take on too much of the look or style of the artist making those adjustments."
What about you, Adam?
"The hardest thing is understanding how to best interact with the other artists. If your style is normally cartoony, how will it fit with someone who is doing a more realistic area of the piece. You almost need someone to oversee the project; someone who has a vision in mind and can be dynamic enough to make those edits (change subject matter / direction) to ensure a seamless piece.
As an artist it’s easy to just do your thing. The toughest thing going back to the first question, is getting the layout right. Meaning making sure everyone is in the spotlight (talents utilized / character represented).
Working on these types of projects, the collaborative aspect is the best. A lot of ideas get thrown around and you get to focus on putting your best efforts forward.
As Jake Parker says, finished is better than perfect. You’ll always have issues with something you’ve worked on. The trick is to focus on not running into those same issues again. That’s how you grow."
Hopefully, this sheds some light on some of the work we do when we team up. Until next time, thanks for reading.
I've been so busy this last month that I've not been able to write any stories. So many projects, so many deadlines. I have seen an increase in The Show Fanart. Wow, I am so excited that to see people getting familiar with my characters and seeing them through the eyes of other artists. I want to thank each and every one of you who have submitted fan art on Instagram. If you are curious and would like to see what I am talking about, please click the button below to see. Also, if you have instagram, please be so kind and show these artists some love by visiting their page and checking out their work as well. I will be back with more stories.
Because I was born in September, I always had a Love/Hate relationship with my birthday. Unless some kind of catastrophe occurred, I was stuck going to school. It was usually the first week too; one of he most awkward times of the year, at least for me.
Not only did the first day and week of school shower me with anxiety about who my teacher was going to be, which other kids I was going to see, and what my classes were going to be like, but it took something from me. Because everyone close to my age was going through the same thing, my birthday was overshadowed. Not that I craved attention, but it was always nice for someone you know to remember that for some miraculous reason, so many years ago, I was born and because of it, this day is sort of special for me.
I Get That Feeling
Even though I’m not in school anymore, when I hear the sirens signaling the beginning of autumn and school, I get the same jittery feeling. I can’t explain it. It usually lasts a couple of weeks like a cold sore, leaving an invisible mark in my memory and a bad taste in my mouth. I would have thought that over the years the symptoms would die down a bit, but it’s actually the same intensity every time.
For more than a year now I have been trying to create a challenge for myself to draw at least one thing every single day. It's a challenge for me because I have a day job that keeps me busy and so, I don't always have a lot of time to get in a drawing or two.
When I started this venture, my intention was to establish a habit of drawing and improve my technique. It was by no means intended to interfere with any current client projects nor my own webcomic, but instead, help me manage my drawing time and hone my skill. I've noticed a great improvement in my speed and technique and now if I don't draw something on any given day, I feel as if something is missing.
I decided to use the #drawsomethingeveryday hashtag on Instagram to keep track. If you are an artist trying to hone your skills, get into the habit of drawing every day, I welcome you to join me and the other artists already on there, in populating this hashtag with your daily drawings. Let's inspire others who need inspirations are scared to start. Click the button below to see what's there right now.
My mom was always supportive of me drawing. She would always keep me supplied with plenty of pencils. I never really had a hard time requesting paper either. But, we were not rich, and the supply was limited. I remember using a pencil up until it was so small it I could no longer grip it between my writing fingers. It's amazing how when you have little, you make the best of it. And when you are abundant with things, you tend to take some for granted.
The Doctor Is Out
When I was a kid I also dreamed of being a doctor, but that dream was squashed like an intrusive cockroach. I was hospitalized when I was younger and the needle prodding and poking turned me away from wanting to pursue medicine. Mom always supported me nonetheless.
I was about eight years old when she bought me a doctor's toy kit. It was this blue case that held inside all the things that doctors used, except for needles. I don't think there were any in there, or at least I blocked it out of my mind. I tend to do that with things I strongly dislike. Science and biology, on the other hand, I loved. In class, I would always read ahead in the text books because I didn't have the patience of waiting on the teacher's assignment schedules. It was always just so much fun to learn new things. I sometimes laugh at myself because even now as an adult I still have the same curiosity.
If I could give anyone anything it would be the gift of curiosity. If they don't have it that is. It is one of the things that keeps me sane and in turn, happy. The ability to stay curious allows me to see things differently. That doesn't only come from being an artist but it from being open to new ideas, new suggestions, new ways of doing things. When we open our minds and exert the curiosity that children possess, we evolve; we learn, and in doing so we move miles away from the person we used to be.
As the years passed and I grew into the man I am, one poem I came across in my youth that has stayed with me and has resonated a chord in me every time I read it or hear it, is this one:
If— BY RUDYARD KIPLING
Because of the absence of a father in my life, I sometimes envision that these would have been his words to me, and I have been trying to follow every word.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
To relive my past in my mind can sometimes be hard to me, but I look at what I've accomplished since then, and I can be proud that I have not recycled the behavior that those women showed me. I don't treat my children the way they treated us. That's a big triumph. So many times I hear of parents that beat their kids using the excuse that they were disciplined in the way when they were growing. There was ONE plus side to being held captive, so-to-speak, by these women. I found a way to channel my pain, to divert my anger and helplessness through art. If that's not a positive from a negative, then I don't know what is.
I was threatened on a daily basis if I told anyone what they did to my sister and I. What did they do? Aside from beating us with any object they found, they would throw buckets of hot water on us. One bucket contained boiling water, and I still have the burn marks on my right arm to remember it by. They cower in fear when they did something like that thinking it would show and when my mom's family visited us, they would have to explain themselves. Sneaky ladies, they would do everything possible to cover it up, including threatening me to not talk or they would hurt my sister. My family never found out. Not until I was reunited with them, later on. Still, I learned to channel everything into my art. I communicated through my drawings. I learned to see the funny things, the lighthearted things in everything I look at. I began to dream.
To this day, I still do it. I want to share my art, my stories, my ideas with the world in the form of cartoons. Maybe everyone can laugh along side me, with me or at me; it doesn't matter, as long as they laugh.
Circa 1982. Right before I began my fascination with art it was hot and muggy, but then again, I just described most every day in the Dominican Republic. My sister and I were just told that our mom would be traveling to New York. We were to stay in DR and await our visas. "What the hell does that even mean?", were probably the words that must've danced in my head at that age. I'm sure it was explained to me in more detail because somehow I recall understanding that we were not going to see our mom for a while.
We were to stay with some distant cousins, (this is all the info I got later on in life after asking who the hell those people were). Why couldn't we stay not with closer family members? My mom believed my sister and I to be a set, akin to Batman and Robin, Hawk and Dove, Tom and Jerry, Abbott and Costello. You get the idea, right? So, she didn't want to separate us while she was going to be away, and every close family member she asked could only handle one of us at a time. Even though my mom was to send money to them for our care taking, it was probably too much for any one of them to take on two more kids. More on this next time when I continue the story.
It may seem like there are so many characters in this poster and how the heck could I tackle all of them by myself? It's easier when you are drawing digitally and using layers. I am able to can draw each character in separate layers and move them around until I get the composition that works for me, although I start with an initial composition in mind and have a rough sketch of what I want it to look like, sometimes things don't always wind up the way you intend them. Bob Ross called it "Happy little accidents".