Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A New Adventure

With the help of a very kind and generous site building novice I've started a new site for my creative outlet. So, if you have time to kill stop over at my new location at we are open seven days a week, forty-eight hours a day. Have a nice day and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Whisper of the Pup

Here is my latest short film. Being an uncle is great. I get to have so much fun making these little movies with my wonderful nieces and nephews who never cease to amaze me at their timing, their innocence and their ability to pretend and have fun.

We did this at my parents' house last week on a whim. No script or practice, we just went along with a basic premise. Nothing complicated.

For the record, Emily ad-libbed about half of her lines. I also want to mention how well my father did in this. I don't think I gave him a single line. He knew where I was going with this little tale and went for it. Good work dad!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

To See or Not to See

Movie ticket stubs from my past. Yes, I saved these.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that movie theaters are RAISING their ticket prices for several different reasons during our economic calamity.

Ever since I was a child I've loved going to the movie theater. I can remember my father taking me to see Return of the Jedi when I was four years old and how upset he kept getting when I'd tell him I had to go to the bathroom every twenty minutes. I remember going to see Walt Disney's Peter Pan with my mother and sister during the re-release in 1982. I think we missed the beginning and the attendant at Movie World let us attend the second showing for free. I enjoyed it so much that I intended to see the third showing until my mom threatened to leave me there if I didn't come with her. As a scared three year old with limited survival skills and abandonment issues I reluctantly went with her.

Cinema Paradiso is a beautiful movie and example of how films can capture our hearts and imaginations, how they sweeten our memories and link us as humans in ways unseen in other art forms. Yet, greed and short sightedness could eventually destroy this. Where else, besides a religious ceremony will you see that many strangers sit quietly together for nearly two hours?

Record companies didn't plan for the digital age and file sharing, Ipods and mp3s. The movie industry has been trying for years to crack down on pirated material, how long do you think they have before they find themselves in the same predicament as the record business?

For a low to middle income family to enjoy a professional sporting event or a movie experience they must forfeit an obscene amount of money to do so. It is why my mother and I only go to one Cleveland Indians game a year, why my father and I will only go to one to two movies a year together, or why my wife and I only go to Drive-ins during the summer months. I'm tired of these greedy mongrels who take advantage of the fans and hard working people who just want to escape for a few hours and to share experiences with loved ones they will cherish for a lifetime.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sold! To the Woman in Black.

My piece was purchased last night by a woman who was very familiar with Stephen Crane's poem The Heart, and really enjoyed my interpretation. She enjoyed it so much that when introduced she had me give her my information so she could commission me should her name not be chosen from the raffle. I received many compliments but it didn't appear as though I had that many bids. I find it weird how this stuff works. I guess it reaffirms what I've been telling myself lately, don't worry about what I think other people might like but concentrate on doing what I like and if does not sell then I have something that I've made and enjoy.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


I'll be entering a piece for this show. As of now I'm working on a sculpture to enter. Let us hope it turns out. The show is in Highland Square in Akron at Revival and Square Records from 7-9. If you are in the area you should stop by and say hello. I'm sure there will be plenty of interesting items for sale. You can buy clothes, you can buy some music and you can buy some art all in the same night! Where else can you do this so cheaply in Ohio while you support local business and hungry artists?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Polar Bears Fight Cancer! Despite the Weather

I'm officially a polar bear thanks to the generous support of friends and family who helped me raise over $385.00 for the American Cancer Society this weekend. I was truly amazed at how much my peeps came through for me on such sort notice. I lost my friend, Lindsy, who was 29 years old to cancer in the fall and a grandmother who had beat breast cancer once only to lose the rematch to a different form of the disease over a decade later.
Meghan listed the names of my donors on the left side of my back and the last names of those who lost the fight, who we love and miss dearly on the right.
Lindsy loved butterflies so Meghan drew a butterfly on my back for her.

I can't say that jumping into a frozen lake in February feels good. In fact, it actually hurt. I experienced an extreme case of brain freeze unlike anything I had ever known before. As soon as you hit the water you immediately want out like a cat getting a bath in acid. I've been scuba diving in a wetsuit with a 42 degree water temperature, I dove into a friend's pool that still had ice on it, mimicking a scene from Cliffhanger, on a five dollar bet in high school, I've fallen through the ice on the river up to my waste as a child, but none of those events compared to the cold I experienced on Saturday.My sister asked me if I'd do it again. You bet your tangerines I would, if it was for a cause like fighting cancer.

Thank you again to all those who helped me raise money for this worthy event. This was for the loving memory of; Lindsy Jarvis, grandma Tollefson, Mark Price, Gloria Sheville, Dean Beretich, and Richard Alberini.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Recently, I've been visiting a website called Rad how to written by a fella who works for Dreamworks Animation. His website is brilliant for giving novices such as myself advice on learning the art form. Sometimes I send emails to artist I like or want to know their process. Sometimes I get snubbed or lost in spam, and sometimes I get a response. Well, yesterday I decided to contact Rad and ask him for some advice.

He responded, twice! And, not with vague "just draw and have fun" advice but with honesty and detail on what I need to do to get where I want to go with my work. I cannot tell you enough how jazzercised I get when professionals respond to my queries. I once emailed someone who worked on The Corpse Bride and an artist wrote me back with a list of resources to explore. I find it so encouraging and inspiring when these people take the time to write blogs and respond to the novices who come looking for help.

When people do this it reminds me of how much we really do want others to succeed. As if we profit from their success. This demonstrates that it is not always about "me" but that it comes down to "us" to mankind's culture and progress. Through posting pieces on Illustration Friday I have had visitors to my site from nearly every country on the planet. I've had people I've never met from places I've never been give me compliments or offer me advice. This makes me marvel at how kind and connected people can be from all over the world and we have the internet to thank.

Sorry for the rant, I don't normally do this. I was just so charged this morning that I felt a need to compose this diatribe. So, Rad's advice to me, copy. Copy those I wish to draw like. Spend at least two years working on developing good structure and the fundamental skills necessary to make my work proficient. Aye aye Captain Rad. I gave up on art for over ten years and if I want to do anything with this in the future I'm going to have to put in twice the work to make up for that time. Once again, it comes down to time and the sickening feeling that there is never enough of it.

After getting his advice I reached over and picked up a book called, How to Draw Wizards, Warriors, Orcs and Elves by Steve Beaumont. I turned to a random how to draw _____ page and started to follow the directions on how to draw an orc. The finished piece would like this:

I started much smaller and chose a different color to paint my orc, but the overall form was close.
My porportions are off and my shading/color could use some work but overall not bad. Maybe I'll draw an ogre next.