Sunday, December 20, 2009

Connected

Meet Caleb. He is one of the connected people. He has both a Facebook account and a Myspace (but only for the band pages). He blogs. He owns a Verizon touch phone and he is on the unlimited texting plan.

Today is the day he decided to fossilize himself. Fossilize in a very real, dinosaur bones in the ground kind of way. It isn’t suicide, this much he is sure of. No, Caleb wants to “be” forever. And now he is waist deep in concrete in his bathtub. It began as a dream.

On the night of the dream, Caleb blogged about his day. School was horrid, and he was particularly angry at the slow progress of the economy. How will he get a job fresh out of college like this? The internet heard him. To wind down, he wrote a small poem. He thought he was pretty good at this, and maybe he could publish some of them. The internet listened.

Caleb was satisfied after speaking to the masses, and he pulled off his pants and brushed his teeth. Caleb worried that he was balding, and spent ten minutes staring at his scalp. There were no text messages on his phone. His sardine-can apartment was chill, and he dove into his bed to squirm uncomfortably until his sheets were warm. Caleb took a sleeping pill and turned on his TV. It was a Discovery Channel nature special on…

Caleb stood on a thickly weeded shore at the edge of a pond, fishing with his ex-girlfriend. In the dream she looked part platypus, but he knew it was she. It was dusk, and they were both looking towards the opposite bank.

“I think you don’t have much of a chance catching fish here,” said his girlfriend off-handedly. She scratched her rubbery muzzle and pointed to the reeds near a willow tree. “They like to hide in the shadows—the brush.”

Caleb sighed and didn’t speak, shifting his weight from one leg to another. Finally he said, “Are you done fishing? I’m spent.”

His ex, Dana continued to stare forward as if she didn’t hear him. Her six nipples wobbled with her impatient breaths.

“Did you hear me? Let’s git.” Caleb touched her on one furry shoulder this time, and she looked at him with a start. “What?”

“Let’s go.” He said.

Dana shook her head and pointed to her ear hole, indicating she couldn’t hear him. So he yelled. None of the birds in the trees startled. He was mute.

Easy. Caleb whipped out his cell phone to text Dana. The battery was dead. No problem. Caleb pulled his laptop from the weeds and tried to e-mail Dana. It was also dead. Dana looked at him for a long time, trying to gain some kind of understanding from him. Sadness filled her eyes, and she slowly turned and waddled into her burrow. Caleb started sinking then, being sucked slowly into the marsh. No one would ever know he was there. Or even was.

Caleb woke screaming, “Let’s get out of here!” The internet didn’t hear him this time.

From this, Caleb decided two things. Firstly, that platypuses are loveless creatures and weird looking, and second, that Dana had more in common with those creatures than he at first realized. Caleb tried to shake it off, but the dream clung to him for the rest of the day like a heavy fog.

After classes he came home and turned on his computer, slipped off his shoes, and got out bread for a peanut-butter jelly sandwich. At this point he drove his foot into a heavy metal cabinet. Shortly after quite a bit of hissed profanity, Caleb realized none of the lights in his apartment were working. Nor was his computer. Walking outside, he found that the entire complex was out of power.

He peered down the hallway at the icy mess on the street. Caleb brightened. This is different! With no power comes no responsibility! Classes will surely be cancelled! What a wonderful distraction, thought Caleb. Now that he had free time, he could just watch TV all night and not feel bad about it.

He actually hit the power switch before remembering there was no electricity. Caleb felt dread spread across his body like a damp wool blanket. He looked at his phone: one bar of battery life. Caleb jumped up with a yelp and ran through the front door, across the hall, up the stairs, and knocked heavily on room 215. “Chill!” came the muffled reply.

The door opened with a sigh. “Hey man. What’s your rush?” Mark’s steely rebuke softened when he recognized his best friend. “Dude, you got me, knockin’ so fast like that.”

“Sorry,” Caleb panted, more from stress than effort. “I just—uh, the power’s out.”

“Yep, noticed.” Concern entered Mark’s eyes. He stepped back and left the door open, “You OK, Caleb?”

“Yeah, uh, yeah just…” Caleb followed after, shutting the door and shaking his head. “I had the feeling that I was completely disconnected. You know, like, if the power just stayed off, and I just died or broke my leg or something. No one would know.”

“Fuckin’ deep, Nietzsche,” said Mark. He went to the refrigerator and grabbed two Coronas. “Get ‘em while they’re cold.”

“Sorry, I just got freaked out for a moment. If someone needed me at this moment, and my phone is dead too, what can I do, yano?”

Mark deflated into his futon with a huff. “Yeah. Makes you wonder how people survived without all this stuff.” He took a swig and looked thoughtful. He was an art major, and prone to this behavior. “Or maybe they actually did live life, right? All we do is so, I don’t know, intangible.”

Caleb sat across from him. “Any lime?”

“Refrigerator, crisper drawer.” Mark sat up and said, “But seriously. Do we have real photo albums anymore? Like, stuff you can flip through? Facebook. Or, uh, books, yano? We’ve got Kindles and online books and shit. Give it ten years and we’ll be living Fahrenheit 451, man. Burning the books so we can be green, but it’s all down the tubes.”

“We don’t need to fear the nuke anymore dude. EMP.” Mark looked at home in this topic, as if he had rehearsed it in the mirror. He made his hands wide in a mock explosion and his eyes widened. “Boosh! Phwap, that’s it. All our computers are fried, our phones, our power grids. Years of information, click. Gone. Goodbye civilization.”

Caleb didn’t feel better after this. Mark might as well have been the great platypus prophet, wobbling his nipples and pointing Caleb out among the crowd to be struck by God’s vengeful lightning.

From this, Caleb decided two things. Firstly, Mark wasn’t the guy to go to if he wanted to be calmed down, and second, he needed to make a mark on this earth; something real and palpable. Someone needed to know he was.

The power came on after two hours. Caleb turned on all the lights, his computer, the television and the microwave. He warmed a ham and cheese hot pocket. Then he set to work on his blog. Typing furiously, Caleb wrote one of his best works. Nuanced, clever, and hardly preachy, he smiled proudly as he went to post it. He also wrote a poem:


Behold the rock amidst the plain

He is a solid gray blue stain

A spot against his time and age

Bookmark inside season’s page

‘Gainst eraser war he’ll endless wage.

Caleb liked this poem. Maybe it could get published. Caleb was beaming, pushing the mouse along its path to posting. Then the internet went out.

Furious, Caleb ran into the kitchen and finished making his peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He paced back and forth, tearing his sandwich violently with his teeth. “I had… it was…” He tried desperately to remember what he had written, even a speck of it, but it was no more in is mind than his computer. All was lost.

Suddenly he looked up from his sandwich carcass. That was it! Caleb could simply go back in time and do something very archaic. He could write his thoughts on paper first, with a pencil, no a pen! Permanent marker, even. Like a man in a trance he drifted back into the bedroom. Caleb’s sandwich laid, broken and bleeding jelly, on the counter.

Caleb landed in his room with a thud as he looked for a pen, a pencil, a stick, anything for him to make a mark with. He found a blue Sharpie in his sock drawer, and an old Dinotopia college ruled notebook beneath his bed under a shirt behind an over-due Spanish textbook.

“This is Caleb,” he spoke as he wrote, his eyes a shiny sort of crazed. Caleb did not duplicate his online epistle. He bested it.

Tepid ocean green, I am the moon.

Rise because I say, fall because I am gone away.

This Caleb wrote in large block letters at the top of the page, mainly because he forgot how to write in cursive. Its thick mark bled through the pages. With his statement made, Caleb decided to have a celebratory macaroni and cheese. As many college students know, peanut butter and jelly and macaroni and cheese are akin to a thick steak and nice bottle of merlot.

Caleb strutted into the kitchen with his first journal entry and turned on the stove. Pot, pan, boiled water, macaroni, cheese packet, thick flowing black smoke… Caleb paused. There was something not quite right about that list.

Too late Caleb realized that the wrong burner was on. By the time he had put out the fire, his prize notebook was well done. This was a cosmic joke. This was a malicious force. No, Caleb decided, this was exactly what should be expected.

The kitchen was filled with smoke, and Caleb barely had time to pull the batteries from his smoke detector before it screamed at him. Mark pushed the door in just as Caleb carried his poor notebook to the trash.

“Should lock this,” Mark said, motioning absently to the door. “The fuck’d you do, Bradbury? I mentioned 451 as a caution, not as a blueprint, dumbass.”

Caleb looked up at Mark with red rimmed eyes. “I’m cursed. Everything I do is erased. Everything… I… do.”

Mark eased up a little. “Hey man, relax. You got shaken up and now you’re just getting ahead of yourself. These things happen in threes, dude.”

“I had a dream,” blurted Caleb. His words mocked him once they left his mouth. Mark simply blinked. “And?”

Caleb sighed heavily, “Well it was a dream and it had Dana in it, except she was this platypus thing, and we were fishing and I thought it was about her being a bitch,” Damn straight! chimed Mark, “but I think it was about being completely without connections and powerless and helpless to do anything but disappear and just be gone.”

Mark blinked again. “Are you taking the sleeping pills again?”

“Yes, but that’s beside the point. I need to be heard. I need to have something really real, like my own Stonehenge or my own Easter Island heads or something.” Caleb tried really hard not to look crazy and failed.

“You could always fossilize yourself.” Said Mark. He laughed, and looked around the room. “Dude, you need to get out of here. Find a girl or something. I’m serious.” Mark turned and went for the door: “Text me later, we’ll play some Xbox.”

Caleb stood still and silent. A Fossil. Like a damned Tyrannosaur for the ages. Here lie the stone bones of Caleb Meisk, creature for eternity. Melodramatic, but not half bad.

Caleb brought a fan from his room, opened all the windows, and put on a coat. While the smoke cleared he went to his computer and Google searched fossils. Wikipedia was the first entry to show up. Caleb clicked on it and smiled: Mark called Wiki the “hive-mind of our generation.”

Fossils (from Latin fossus, literally "having been dug up") are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past. The totality of fossils, blah blah blah…

Yes, these were. Insignificant plants, fish, and shells, known for all eternity. They were markings for their time and age. They were here before computers and the internet and Wiki, and they’ll be here when all of that is gone and the powerlines are just mysterious black lines in the earth. Caleb googled concrete.

Caleb turned off the fan, shut all the windows, looked sadly at his crispy notebook, and fit his shoes back on. It was time to make a trip to Lowes.

And so we find Caleb sitting in a bathtub, pouring quickcrete in gallons around his body. No note needed. This isn’t a suicide, but a preservation. Caleb was very sure of that. He had cleaned his room and put away his shoes, hiding the dirtiest of his socks in a corner of his closet. Fossils shouldn’t have cluttered rooms.

Once the messy gray stuff started to flow over the lip of the bathtub, Caleb threw the final package at the trashcan in the corner. Missed, dammit. A fossil who is a bad shot.

Caleb slipped slowly under the surface, first his belly button, then his nipples. The cement was heavy, and made it hard to breath. Caleb was in past his shoulders, up to his neck, and with one final hard-fought breath, he pulled under entirely.

This was a necessary step. Even with all his connections, Caleb would be utterly lost, just another zero or one in the binary code.

And when his signal went out at the end of his life, Caleb would be just an electronic memory, like an angel: never seen, only whispered about at the edges of the internet. Who’s dry dust is this? ‘Caleb’s’ His leftover dirt would answer. But no one would hear. As a fossil, surely Caleb would stand as a mark of society. Scholars would pore over his stony remains.

“This boy was from 2009,” dissertations would begin, “He is truly a lasting impression from the generation we like to call the invisible years. After the great electronic collapse of 2304, centuries of data were wiped, and this young male homo-sapien is one of the only remains of his time.”

That is why Caleb was initially very disappointed to be pulled from the tub. Air burst from his mouth, and he coughed violently as he threw out an arm to stable himself. His right hand landed on the rubbery nipple of the platypus prophet. Condemner, savior, egg laying mammal.

“Hey!” shouted Dana, slapping his hand off of her boob. “What the hell?”

“Caleb, Caleb buddy,” said Mark, holding him by the chest. He was panicked, “Hey, wake up man.”

“I dizzo hav’t.” Caleb thought the words were much more sensible in his head. He couldn’t see anything, the heavy sludge weighed his eyes. “My eyes, I can’t see.”

Mark tenderly scraped his face off, muttering foul mouthedly about what a fool Caleb was. Dana sat back in the corner and looked mournful. “Hey, man, I called Dana because you were bein’ a freaking weirdo. She might be a bitch,” Dana shot him a sharp look from the corner, “but she does care about you. Not as much as me, but she does. You got a lot going for you man.”

“It’s hard to move my legs,” said Caleb, looking shakily around the room. Mark pulled off Caleb’s pants and Dana got him a towel. The three of them sat on the floor of the bathroom for a while.

“I’m sorry,” said Caleb, and, as an afterthought, “I had a dream about you, Dana.”

No one talked for a long time. But his friends forgave him, this much Caleb knew. Wearily, Caleb looked from the tub, to Mark, to Dana. Finally, Mark said, “Dude, you can’t use your tub anymore.”


“Were you trying to kill yourself?” The words came out as barely a whisper from beside the sink. Dana’s eyes were filling with tears.

“No, I—I guess I was. I don’t know.” Caleb shrugged noncommittally. “I just didn’t want to disappear is all.”

“Oh, Caleb.” Dana sobbed quietly.

They all sat quietly again for what seemed like ages.

“Alright,” Mark announced. “Up, up, let’s go. We gotta go do something. Dana, you’re in the club again.” He turned with a stern finger pointed at her. “For now. Caleb, you need pants. Mark needs food.”

Mark got Caleb into some pants and a shirt after a shower at his place. Mark then put Dana and Caleb in his car and took them to Steak and Shake. “First things first, we’re gonna act like fuckin’ friends, and not text other people while we talk. Second, I’m paying for this, and that’s final. Any objections? Tweedle-dee? Tweedle-dum?” With this Mark pointed in mock aggression at Caleb riding shotgun quietly.

“No, dad.” Dana and Caleb said together. Caleb liked this. The car was warm and rode smoothly through the sludge. Radiohead blared from the speakers. Art majors were prone to such music. Caleb felt at home, and he didn’t care if this moment stayed his secret forever.

It was two in the morning when Mark dropped Caleb off. “Do I need to bring my sleeping bag and watch you tonight?”

“No man, I’m sorry,” Caleb said, leaning on the door to his apartment. “Listen, could you just pretend this whole thing didn’t happen? I kinda flipped my shit for a second.”

Mark smiled warmly. “Relax man, you’ve had a lot to go through lately. College, Dana, that family stuff you’re dealing with, just take a breath. You’ll beat it. If you need me, I’m upstairs.” Mark stood there for a second or two, trying to think of something else to say. “I… you’re a good guy, Caleb. We all fall down, we just don’t all try and cement ourselves into our bathtubs. Call me tomorrow, K?”

Caleb said thanks, and that he would call. All the lights were still on in his place, and he turned them off one by one. He turned off his computer, and put his phone on silent while it charged. Then he crawled into bed and closed his…

Caleb was flying. Beside him was Mark, just standing in the air like it was normal to do. “We need the catalytic converter if we have any hope of stopping them.”
That made perfect sense to Caleb, and they both dove towards the ground. “There.” Caleb pointed to the warehouse in a craggy red-rocked ravine.
“You know it’s a fucking trap.” Said Mark, foul mouthed as ever, even in dreams.
“That’s why we have to do it.”
When they landed giant cheese people streamed from the doors, and Caleb and Mark grabbed nearby pretzel sticks and started swinging, beating them off in an epic cheesy battle.
When the dust settled, there were three figures standing in the room, which used to be a desert valley. “So you’re the one.” Mark said dramatically.
“Did you ever doubt it?” Dana was sitting in a plush roller chair behind a desk with a stuffed platypus on it. “What you didn’t know is that I was on your side the entire time.”
She opened her hand to show them the converter, which looked more like a bottle of cologne.
When Caleb woke up this time, he couldn’t remember much of the dream, only that it had a sweet storyline and could probably make a good movie if he could remember it. He decided it meant nothing whatsoever, and he promptly rolled over to fall asleep again.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Your Heart

Your heart cannot love.
Not that it wouldn't, if it could.
Or that it couldn't, if it would.

You're run by a bloody piston
A four-banger with rusting valves.
Can you feel its ruddy shake?

Aye, well oiled are you machine,
Idling gently 'neath sternum hood.
But an engine cannot love.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Something

well like i said, it's something... i just needed to do a painting. so i did. sadly, my brain made a direct jump to phil hale, who, while awesome, is not me. regardless, this is the image i am working on, so far two hours in the making. it's gonna be link. and hopefully it will be more me and less hale soon. meh.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Something

It is a blessing and a curse to have lots of ideas. It feels wrong to say something cliche when you are trying to express originality... meh. This is, however, true.

I feel pulled in three directions at once, always thinking of something new and exciting while in the middle of another project. This causes me to get bored halfway through all of my work. Unless I finish that work really, really fast. Which I don't, these days.

Poems, stories, drawings, paintings, some days I feel so full of it all that I don't do anything at all. Those days I really feel like I'm full of "it." So after weeks of doing nothing (except work on the whole car fiasco that will define my 22nd year), I declare the beginning of...! Something. Maybe narrated illustration animations, storyboard style. Maybe illustrated poems (don't even say the name Shel Silverstien). It really doesn't matter. What does matter is that I do something.

And so I am telling you. All of you who may have actually stopped reading, what with my lack of postings. I am telling you because if I tell no one then I will let myself down. Tomorrow, I will present to you the beginning of Something. And it will be grand. Or at the very least, much more grand than the more recent of my posts. Which have been understandably ungrand.

Post angrily if I don't. Because if you let me by this time, I'll just act out more. You know how children are.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Trial and tribulation

I don't have problems. Me saying I have problems is like saying I'm going hungry when my belly growls. Plenty more people have it plenty worse than I. But to say that I've enrolled in the school of hard knocks, and my recent grades were shiny "D's" for dumbass, that might just be accurate.

I hit a guardrail going 45 mpg. This is not some fuzzy metaphor, I just did it. I didn't do it on purpose, mind you. That is, butterfly effect style, why I feel so whittled now. Like a sad little block of wood that was going to be a pipe or something cool if the carver had stopped earlier. That was a metaphor; I am not a block of wood, whittled or otherwise.

So now every once in a while I look around and am tempted to think, damn, this is rough. But I have an apartment and food, sometimes a car, and all the minimum luxuries afforded the entertainment-run American regular. I even have a job, for what it's worth. I work at Jo-annes.

Yes I wear an apron at work, and yes I work with a majority older generation. But I am in the framing department, dammit. Plus, I'm super popular with the more experienced denizens (see that euphemism? not hard to see why, is it?), I got called a tall glass of water by an eighty-year old woman the other day.

I don't have much money, I have even less idea of where my future lies, and I can't imagine the steps I need to take to get to my dreams. Other than sleep. Which I do. Which is one up on some. Did you hear my stomach that time? If you'll excuse me, I've got to go take my lumps.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Earthquake

The ground turned to water
Pulsing, heaving inward.
The buildings fell like
Great glass giants
Their steel bones screaming

What was a city became
A dryer. Everything tumbling
The solid earth is something
We all take for granted.

It began as two opinions
coming together angrily
Their argument grew
Mountains. And destroyed
Futures. I am a plate tectonic.
And it is all my fault.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Arg! Ickblat! Mmmph! Angry noises!!!

More recently I have been dealing with the saga that is my crashed car. Two weeks ago, I smashed my car up but good on the ramp to 270. Outside of my crashing, everything else went wonderfully. The cop was awesome and didn't give me a ticket, I didn't get hurt at all, and the towing guy tried his best not to screw me over.

Since then I have been riding buses, bumming rides, and riding bums to get where I need to go. All was well in the world of carlessness, and I had my poor beat up vehicle resting in the parking lot of my apartment complex. A mysterious green patch appeared on my car then: dated 10/16/09, it gave me ten days to get my car the eff out of there. Then things went awry.

This morning, 10/20/09, I woke up with a list and a smile. First I'll drop off mail and cash my check, thought I, and then I'll do artwork or some semblance thereof! Upon stepping into the beautiful fall day that it certainly is today, I noticed my car was missing. Apparently, Essington Village doesn't give ten day notices, they just put stickers for 24 hour notices that say 10 days on them.

Awesome.

Monday, October 19, 2009

False start

Begin.
Shouting at the page, the canvas, the tempered hope.
Begin.
If only to take that first step, slay the white fear of nothing
A nothingness that would have always never been without that
First mark, because after that everything falls into place.
Mostly.
Mindtheft is a victimless crime unless promising futures have value
Mostly
They do, but how do you rate that? Would that I knew
Mostly.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The art my hero produces.

Unless you know me personally, you probably don't know how close I am to my family. My family is the reason I do what I do. Why I am humorous, why I am expressly positive, and why I do artwork. My parents gave me the greatest childhood one could ask for, and for that I am forever grateful. My parents are the reason I graduated college entirely debt free, and for that I am forever in debt to them.
Their example of love and courage and humor should be learned from by all. My favorite quote from my mom is "screw 'em if they can't take a joke." Tonnie and Gary Hovey just recently celebrated their 30th anniversary, an increasingly uncommon milestone for marriages. And they still love each other.
I obviously have alot to live up to.
My dad is one of the funniest people you'll ever talk to. My endless jokes are all from him. About a year before I started at CCAD my dad began doing stainless steel sculptures with nothing but flat-ware. The sale of these bad boys are what got me through college. He worked a full-time job and worked on sculptures every night on the side to support me, my three sisters, and my mother. My dad has had Parkinson's Disease for the past fifteen years. I don't know if I could do what he's done in one hundred percent health, and yet he continues to be an example of great believing and humor in every situation.
Case in point: Dad will stumble often enough, and so he carries a cane. Most times he just walks with it by his side, not using it for support. When asked why he has the cane if he doesn't walk with it, my dad said that if he does fall, he can throw the cane at the ground to break the surface tension. I don't pick my heroes for nothing.
He finished his most recent, and my personal favorite, sculpture: Great Neck. How cool is this!?

The website looks terrible, but his work is beyond cool: hoveyware.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Robots and Kincade

Well this has gone through heavy change, and the change will only continue. Little miss unfinished in the background will get an overhaul, and the greens will be majorly toned down, not to mention the highlights made to be not-so-prevalent. We don't need everything in the picture to look like it's plastic wrapped, now do we? What do you think of it so far?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ender's Game


New cover progress! Sorta. O.K. so I've been working on my own ideas lately, but those won't help me land a book cover as well as a painting of an already published book, right? Hell, I don't know, but it's worth a shot... This is just the black and white study in charcoal. The finish should be in oils...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Portait


When it comes right down to it, I am not a painter. I draw. 'Tis my specialty. Charcoal is that fine line between the two, and the one media that has taught me more about painting than even paint. I love portraits, in any case. Anyone want their face up here? Anyone want to sit still for an hour?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I am alive



So these are terribly awful shots of my painting in progress, but I had to prove to someone, perhaps myself, that I was indeed being studious. The shadow behind our main character is actually going to be another person running, so this painting has a ways to go yet. But it's pulling together kindly.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Project #2


I am doing a piece based on Oondu's theme, robotics/mechanical. Someone will be running for their life in it. To get reference that wouldn't look posed or stiff I would need to capture someone in motion. The painting will look sweet. This does not. This, in fact, looks mildly insane.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Bandit


Here it is: Cowboy piece. I really slowed down on the noir piece. It wasn't pushing me in any new direction, so I got frustrated. Thus I busted ground on "The Bank Robbery." I started this sucker on Friday night. It is most of the way done, I might touch up some things here or there, but mostly I want it to keep a very messy energetic feel. And if anyone would like, I would love to hear which artist you think (out of that list) I was most inspired by for this piece. It might just be kinda obvious. The light made the thing look really yellow, but i used mostly burnt umber and yellow ochre, so one can imagine how very not-saturated this painting really is...

AMAZINGGGGGG

Ashley Wood
Jeremy Geddes
Phil Hale
Jon Foster

These are the living, working denizens of my inspiration world. They are truly the limit of all that is illustration greatness. I pee my pants in admiration. The dead ones are obvious:

Norman Rockwell
Maxfield Parrish
Howard Pyle

New Cowboy piece coming soon.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

So I watched the new Transformers movie...

I want to say this first: The robot fights were really flipping cool. And what do you go to a Transformers movie for? Robot fights.

O.K., now that we all know where I stand, I'll mention that the rest of the movie was akin to being beaten in the head with a stupid stick. There were at least five counts of robot flatulence. The entire time Shia and Lips McGee were doing their whole "I won't say it first" shtick I was praying for Megatron to show up and do evil, explosive things to them.

Also, leaps of logic like, "I'm a random dude on a radio, and I demand you fire your extremely classified and impossibly long range weapon into mainland Egypt directly at a pyramid" are damn near criminal.

But lets face it. We've all heard the critics jump onto their high horses and parade about declaring that this movie is below them. I am not here to condemn an already shit-upon movie. Nay, (no pun intended) I am here to defend it!

How do you defend a movie where robots hump legs and humans go to robot heaven? Easy. Let us all go back to the beginning: this is a movie based on a cartoon series based on a toy. Transformer toys are Tonka trucks that turn into ugly people. The age range on that starts at two and ends at frickin' thirteen at best. What the critics don't realize is that they've been duped. We have all spent countless dollars to watch the most expensive, glorified CHILDREN'S movie in decades.

So bring on the fart jokes, little robo-humper. Bring on the loose-toothed cane hobbling antics, grandpabot. As long as Optimis Prime is in his rightful place as true ass kicker of the universe, then all is good. And he was.

Pick on someone your own size, critics: I hear the Jonas Brothers are coming out with a real winner.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Pillow King

The Pillow King is overlord in both fools and dreams.
Swimming those sweet currents of the ink black nocturne streams
Eats he up the starlight with his boiling hungry shroud
And to me he lends a dark hand, as he speaks silent and aloud:

"Come, come, sweet songbird,
We have such things to see
Fly, fly, my wonder,
In my kingdom, you are free.

"Close your eyes and journey, we must cross the night-time sea
We'll meet the Moonlight Queen and seek her orchard trees.
Grand branching ancient woods, thick with sparkling fruits,
Perhaps she'll let you venture, and step among their roots.

"Come, come, sweet songbird,
We have such things to see
Fly, fly, my wonder,
In my kingdom, you are free."

A silverfish our vessel, tracing each dark cloud-reef
The earth is now our canopy: cloud countries in relief.
I ride beside the Pillow King and drink the drought of sounds.
Ancient rumblings from the deep, and again his song resounds:

"Come, come, sweet songbird,
We have such love to live
Fly, fly, my wonder,
And take what's yours to give.

"And at the shore of my kingdom, look you at the land,
built of hope and virtues with kindly earnest hands.
And looking at the earthsky, see your home above
A cold and distant city-star, which would you rather love?

"Come, come, sweet songbird,
Now join my quiet land
Seek, seek, my wonder,
And sift away your sand."

"Your lover stands beyond the light, at the edges of the beach
The one you always sought for, now in easy reach."
'Join me now my darling!' Joy is the song I sing.
But low intones the somber voice of the tyrant Pillow King:

"Come, come, sweet songbird,
You can love but never cross,
Seek, seek and wonder,
For I am the everlasting lost."

The Pillow King is overlord of both fools and dreams.
Swimming those sweet currents of the ink black nocturne streams
Eats he up the starlight with his boiling hungry shroud
And for those hours of his reign, I cherish all I've found.
But neither his grand enticement nor the riches at his hands,
Would make me join his kingdom for I belong to sun-kissed lands.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I lied

I'm not doing a space painting. Sorry.

I watched The Maltese Falcon, and was so inspired again by film noir that I had only one option: this painting, called the interrogator. Here we have my shitty sketches and some beginning work. I want to keep this one pretty monotone, although I might put either warms in the background or even cooler cools. The jury is still out on that one. Enjoy.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Excuses

Ever since moving back I've been working eight hours a day, then crashing. This is ridiculously frustrating for me, as all I really want to do is begin like three paintings to cap off my school year or at least get mailings and whatnot done. As it stands, all I have are five minute scribbles and mixed up subjects. Should I paint the English meeting an African tribe? Another period piece. Oi. Should I do another cowboy piece? Maybe, but I want more original ideas. I think I've finally settled on doing a mars piece. I'll have sketches and all that jazz up soon. Have you met space marine Blake Joseph Kuck? Introductions will begin soon, for sure.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cell Phone
There once was a man named Ben
Who turned off his phone and then
With no one to call
And no text at all
Was never heard from again.

Rant time:
There will be no flying cars in the future. Flying personal transport will never happen. Face it. Let us review the facts:
It takes years of training and specific physical specifications to learn to fly
Even now with so little air traffic, comparatively, planes still collide
There's no such thing as stop signs in the air
Oh yeah, and people are really bad at driving on a two-dimensional plane. Give them three dimensions and its like cutting your vegetables with a machine gun: make a stupid mistake and you no longer just get nicked. Plus, cutting vegetables with a machine gun is dumb in the first place, you really trust yourself on the highway of the future?

I am sorry I had to burst that bubble, really I am. But it's a stupid dream. A wonderful, stupid-ass dream. I loved you, Fifth Element.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm alumni now. Oh.

Today I graduated cum laude from Columbus College of Art and Design. BFA of Illustration, Minor in writing. Today I join the ranks of CCAD Illustration Alumni, and those are some big shoes to fill. Even all of my RA responsibilities are over and done with. When I move out tomorrow, all ties to college will be severed(for now of course, I'll stay in touch)!

It is certainly a wierd feeling, like sitting on the front car on a roller coaster at the top of the first hill. For four years I rode to this crest, and now I have to keep it together for the plunge. It's scary and exhilerating up here, but I have never been more ready.

The teaching I have gotten here at CCAD, and the experiences, and people I came across have made me the professional I am today. Success, I'll send you a text once I get on the road, I'll be at your house pretty soon.

Friday, May 8, 2009

DONEDONEDONE

Well I am done. I got seven A's and one B+. Talk about finishing strong! Now I am going to go party(responsibly). See you on the flip side!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Closer yet.


I am posting just to prove to myself and others that I am alive. Three paintings more now... times like these breed great poetry. When you have time to write it. I don't. Yet. But I got this:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

See you at the end of the homework apacolypse

I have two days of class left. That is forty-eight hours to top off four years and eighty-thousand dollars worth of learning. I have six paintings still to finish. At least my tenior here at CCAD is ending with a bang...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Directions

The Illustration seniors put together a great show last Wednesday, which only a few select employers decided to witness. This made alot of people angry, mainly because they were required to go, and subsequently ignored or worse in some (not many) cases, belittled. My admittedly sarcastic write up is below.

Today we are holding a meeting, dreamt up and run by Shannon Moore, Angie Andrews, and John Olsen. The items on the dockett being: How can we either change directions for the better or build a separate illustration function? What helpful critiques can be made to build the illustration department in terms of curriculum and faculty and facility? What can the seniors do to make the experience of the under classmen meet all the expectations that we found lacking?

I am very excited that Directions happened this way, because it lit the metaphorical fire under the illustration seniors' asses. Now that we're hoppin' mad, hopefully we can channel this into a positive and lasting change for the school and for our community.


Here is, by the by, what I experienced at Directions:

I hate being sick. I hear swine flu is really terrible to have. I try to avoid getting sick, don’t you? But sometimes, social events get people together, and some of those people may have swine flu. It is very difficult to avoid getting sick when greeting a lot of people. I am the perfect picture of health today, thank you for asking. Where were we? Ah, yes. Directions:

Where to begin? I did not have the highest hopes for Directions. I tempered my excitement with soft, cooing words of acceptance: there will be no jobs, they aren’t there for you David, or even, at least you will be able to shake professional hands.

And that is where I was wrong. Not only did I shake a grand total of four hands (one of which I forced upon my viewer—he didn’t seem to want to look in my eyes), but I hardly spoke. I wasn’t sheepish, and I have excellent public relation skills. The fact of the matter is that no one wanted to give us a chance, and many of their reactions to our area where verging on rude.

Quick glances, avoiding our eyes, looking straight ahead and ignoring the fact that there were living, breathing people with four years of work sitting on the tables in front of them was the order of the day. At least I was not in danger of getting swine flu.

Like I said, I wasn’t looking for a job. I didn’t plan on walking out of there with a pay stub and employee benefits. But I wanted a chance to show my work, or at the very least some experience presenting myself as an artist. There was no chance given to any of the illustrators there to do anything but stand in one place for four hours (which we did with aplomb). There were many reasons for this.

One, they put the students all the employers wanted to see in the front of the gallery, allowing the flow of professionals into the illustration area to be all but staunched. Two, they labeled us. We as illustrators can design every bit as well as the ad-graph people. Illustrators know the programs, know the mediums, and know how to connect to audiences. But because we were labeled illustration no employers expected us to have experience in design. Directions should be a free for all. All majors, every table, no labels. It makes the experience longer for the employers to find a suitable fit, but by labeling certain students as something that they don't want, it limits the potential of other majors to fit into their needs. I know quite a few of my friends in illustration who have a separate and excellent advertising portfolio who were never once glanced at. This was an offense.

Personally, I can say this: I was happy to have all my artwork out. My website is done, I am branded, and I am feeling more professional than ever now that my portfolio is finished. I loved setting up my booth and being able to see the work of my peers. I loved that I could grab business cards from all of my friends. But Directions was a colossal waste of my time. It was four hours of standing in place watching people pass us awkwardly. Four hours I could have spent on the last of my homework. Four hours I could have spent online doing tons more for myself than Directions ever did. Either this has to change, or illustrators should not be forced to do it. Maybe they should be told to avoid it. Avoid it like the swine flu.

Notes upon shopping

I was in Walmart the other day. And Target on another occasion. When I looked at their graphic tees, I realized that there were probably a grand total of five shirts from their collections that did not have skulls in the design. Some cultures openly embrace death and the rituals associated with it. Ours has made it a selling point.

It doesn't end with Hot Topic either. Television: Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, Six Feet Under. Movies: goes without saying, really, any zombie movie, Nightmare Before Christmas, The Virgin Suicides, any horror movie with sharp objects and teenagers, Hostel, Saw, you get it.

Instead of the Dia de Los Muertos, we have Dead: The Movie (based on the book), with promotional tie-in t-shirt and shoes of the dead, which had a short television spin-off follow-up of the dead, and topped off with a smattering of straight to DVD Dead sequels.

On a side note: I watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit for the first time in ten years last night. Number one: Roger is the most annoying cartoon character ever. Number two: the ending with the bad guy and the cartoon eyes and the saw blade and fake face and stuff? Holy crap, it was just as scary as I remember it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Landscape of Payne!

This is one of the more recent paintings I finished for C.F. Payne's Seminar class. It's a whole lot of work in his class, but every long (sometimes really long) hour in that class is worth it.

If you are an illustration major at CCAD, and you don't take his class, you are being foolish.

Don't like his style? Too bad.
Don't want to paint big headed people? He won't make you do that.
He has 32 years of experience in freelance illustration!
And in a recession he is still making money. Good money.

There is no reason not to take this course!!! I have done nothing but improve greatly in his class, and am very grateful for his expertise. Take his class. Submit to the Payne. If you can't handle it, then you weren't built to make it.

Ahem, tirade aside, can you say mixed berry yogurt label?

Troy!

I just can't stop posting about this project! But with the type, and photoshopped onto a book, I couldn't help but show my proud baby.

Fahrenheit 451



This is a book cover I am working on for the book Fahrenheit 451. These are steps three and four. I hope to put up steps one and two soon...

Portrait class


Ah, yet another portrait. This is a two session thus far, and will soon be a three session. I really like charcoal reduction, since it is the closest to painting a drawer can get while still drawing.

Video games


I forgot about this little gem! This was a drawing assignment from Illustration Methods Sophomore year.

Logo final

Here is the final version of my logo. You can see I use an abbreviated version of this logo already on my blog.
I liked having the directionality of the explosion, and chose to do a cloud instead of the cliche light bulb so that I could signify the "brainstorm." Initially these two ideas were separate. Why not combine them? I said.
I may use just the cloud more and more, as having to look at myself every time I load up an image or my resume could get really annoying. I am, alas, not that much of a narcissist...

The end is nigh!

Alright, so. I have been doing a multitude of things: printing my portfolio, readying my business cards and mailers, and finishing paintings that need finished. The work I have done is immense, and I hope to be able to share it soon with all of you, my online compadres.

In less than a week, my actual website will be up! I guess I can't be too hard on myself for falling off of the wagon in sketches once or twice considering this is senior year, and I make no promises for the future.

As long as I can keep the creative output going, then the debt has been paid, aye?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sketches #21 &22!!!


The Lost City of Neyork: Journal 1/24/344

It is an oddity, many scholars admit, that the previous society had done little to preserve their culture. Only small scraps of plastic and metal, and endless miles of rubber and wire are left in the wake of this peoples' staggering legacy. These small remnants are incredible in their complexity, but share nothing with us to interpret how they were used or why they were made. Our ancestors must have been extremely advanced in their technologies.

Vast cities have been uncovered, with once tall buildings and wide streets. Many believe that these buildings could have reached many hundreds of meters into the air. Even more amazing are the large, insect-like shells scattered through-out their streets. Many have fine, detailed characters scrawled into their sides. Toyota and Ford are two such interpretations made by experts in the field of Engleich, the lost language of the ancients.

The oddest thing about the world of the Amerikai is their peculiar loss of history. Somewhere between what they labeled 1970 to 2014 A.D., known to us today as 583 to 627 B.G., information on their culture and society became more and more scarce. It is believed that they found a more impermanent way of relaying current events. Some say that the wires had much to do with information gathering and transfer. Scholars have yet to get any reading from these seemingly pointless tubes of metal.

I kept one of the perfectly round, flat shapes we found on the dig this morning. There were many hundreds, all of the same size, but in different colors. It is so small and perfect in its delicacy, it was not hard to hide in my nap sack. In the center another perfect circle was cut through the brittle plastic. The disc was in poor condition, badly cracked and stained. On one end was what looks like an irridescent mirror, and on the other was a complex ancient pattern. With my poor translation skills, I managed to get this from the script upon it: Rock og lovf: Seasom 1. I have no idea what it means. Perhaps these wide discs were used as jewlery or armour plating.

Friday, April 3, 2009

New Cowboy piece! Any crits?


Now then, in staying true to my promises, I present to you the latest illustrated adventure of our late hero. This is, of course, before the first chronologically. Still fleshing out the text. Stay tuned! This guy, just like my last one, is rather huge, so the photo ended up getting shadowy on the bottom. Any crits anyone?

More PORTRAITS!!!



You like these, right? Well, you better.

Sketch post one is actually going to be a two session. For the first session, the teacher wanted us to focus on the hands.

Oh my!


The finished Zoo promotion.

Wanta Fanta?


I'm back in sketch mode! Here is today's work, and no, I won't try to catch up on the days I missed. Oi.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sketches.

Alright. So I kinda got off track during spring break, but who can blame me? Soon, soon sketches will flow once more like the great rapids of a dense waterfall. Well, you know, more or less. Anyhow life is crazy, I am tired, and tomorrow is the opening of AOI, in which I got a piece. Ha ha! This means that now I sleep, tomorrow I blog, and the rest of you might as well show up on the second floor of Canzani ready to get your socks rocked off by CCAD's illustration department.

Friday, March 20, 2009

John Lee Hooker


I am going to get back into this piece and work on the background, as well as fully string the guitar. Other than that, all finished.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I don't think I ever put this guy up on the blog... It's funny how stark the contrast is between my daily sketches and anything else I do. Muscled weight lifters, or intense Mormons? Or, in this case, "live wire"

Humorous Illustration 2, color


OK. Well, this only took until six in the morning on the second all nighter in a row... The color is mostly right. Acrylic, 9x9

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ice to meet you.


O.K. If I am counting correctly, then I have fifteen sketch-a-days (including portraits-I already told you that was part of the cheat) and this would be sixteen. If not, then hey, counting was never my thing. Here's batman, if he were played by a piece of taffy, rather than Christian Bale. I didn't finish inking him, my micron died. :(

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mr. Wang is sweet, and this is what I do in his class


Here's what I did in Portrait Drawing. I do so enjoy that class.

Portrait of my dad, update 3


Here this is, my daily sketches will be up soon. If only MY scanner worked... (mumble mumble)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

STRONG MAN

Mustache? Check
Hair poof? Check
Spandex and bikini? Check
Shirt? Nope, too sexy.

Ah! Up and running!




Here we have sketches #10, 11, and 12. On Friday, I was asked to supervise a skating trip from our dorms, while at the rink, listening to the ridiculous onslaught of eight year old voices (who found it necessary to win arguments with who's voice was louder) I decided to sketch. The self portrait was done during holiday break in the mirror. Why am I counting it? Because you guys haven't seen it, therefore it is new to you. Meow.

Sketch #9



If you think my counting is shoddy, just recount. And make sure to include the portraits. Anyhow, I need to scan my other drawings, so this is a placeholder for now. Copies of Norman Rockwell, sorry I can't take credit for his awesomeness.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Portraits




Here we have an update on my dad's portrait, as well as two other portraits I have done in class. The teacher of this class is most excellent, and I recommend him to anyone who wants to push their drawing to the max.

Monday, March 9, 2009

sketch #6


OK, so this is homework, and a little more than a sketch, but so? This is a portrait for Wang's class, and it is of my dad, the venerable Gary Hovey. check this: www.hoveyware.com

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sketch #5


Well, this isn't the most flattering portrait, but I saw this as a profile pic on Facebook and had to draw it. Thanks Lena, for your unknowing involvement.

Sketch #4


About a 1 hour study. Thank you, Silver, for sitting patiently for me.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sketch #3


So far, so good.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sketch #2


Portrait drawing class counts. It has to, at any rate.

Sketch a day #1?

Maybe, just maybe, I can squeeze one of these in a day. It would be nice... If I can I will, and if I can't, well, don't act too disappointed. This is heavily inspired by the venerable Thom Glick, if you couldn't tell. I will make a slightly serious-er one for my cowboy story (which relates directly to my painting Cowboy Carrion), but until then, the story goes thusly:

Well now here’s a story. I can’t tell you it’s an entirely true story. Heaven knows, a man can think something he even seen with his own eyes into a lie. So I’m not here telling you it’s true. But it is a story. That’s true.
Sit down there, friend, that stone’s flat enough. An’ make sure you can see my eyes. Some say they’s the windows of the soul. Me, I say they sure are pretty. An’ they tell you if’n a man is dead as well as his heart does. But I never seen a ghost floating around in there. Seeing your eyes, though, makes it easy to tell if you are listenin’. So do well to look.

Anyhow, let me start by sayin’ there ain’t no way to properly start some things. Birth don’t seem the right way to start life. It as close to death, and with more blood. And some things just don’t start. The prairie was. Is. Will be, I reckon. Grass and trees and water and those damned buzzards is gonna outlast all the gold and the people and the oil put together. Benjamin, he never had a start neither. I reckon he was just dust at some point. Dust that, one day, decided to put hisself into a shape and walk into a saloon on the far side of nowhere. But he had an end. That much he had.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Humorous Illustration 2


For project two, we are supposed to make either a social or political comment. So I made this. It really annoys me that people are starting to pronounce texting acronyms. Perhaps that will be the soap box I choose to stand on when I get old and craggy. I have many years before then to find something better to be bitter about. But until that day, I comment on you, cell phone culture. This is a sketch for the final color piece.

Pirates!


Here is a painting that I dropped at the end of this summer. I will come back and finish it soon, there is simply too much done on it, and too much going well with it. I figured I would show it, and a little bit of my workplace. Can you tell how often I use myself as reference? I am not a narcissist, I swear. I just can't get people to make strange enough faces for my liking.