Thursday, December 31, 2009

yadda yadda Elfwood yadda yadda yadda

An update on my previous post about Elfwood. You can get caught up by reading it here but in a nutshell my painting When Giants Attack...Cincinnati was rejected because the moderator deemed it fan art. So I responded by informing them of the difference between a fan artist and professional artist and by removing my art from the website. That email was sent on December 8.

On December 23 I got this email:
*Hello Billy

firstly an apology for taking such a long time to respond to your email.
Normally Elfwood moderation responses are more timely, but unfortunately
Elfwood Support had quite a "spam" attack over the last ten days.

I take onboard your succint arguements, and agree entirely that Elfwood is
predominantly geared towards the "amateur" artist, in that Elfwood
moderation does not take into account the "artistic skill" of submission
(although we do draw the line at 'stick-art').

Elfwood does however enjoy the presence of a few professional/commercial
artists, if only to provide another internet presence to showcase their
talents.

With regards to the disputed artwork. I agree that the moderator in
question was perhaps too hasty in dismissing "When Giants Attack" as fan
art. Having viewed the artwork, I think it falls into the "parody"
category, given that the monster depicted in no way resembles 
Godzilla, and
as such, shuld have been accepted.

At Elfwood we have approximately 90+ moderators, of which approximately 50+
are processing submissions at any one time. Usually when in doubt about a
submission on any basis, opinions of other moderators are sought. This,
unfortunately, was not so in this case.

Not all of our moderators are as widely skilled as could be desired, and
sometimes items will be rejected when they should not be. I hope you
appreciate that this is in no way a reflection upon your skill and
integrity as a professional artist.

kind regards - Maxine Cox - Elfwood Support*



Interestingly this reply came not from the Head-Mod as it normally does but from Elfwood Support. Which suits me just fine because as I've noted and Ms. Cox points out (n)ot all of our moderators are as widely skilled as could be desired. 


Just as I suspected this email shows that not everyone at Elfwood has their heads up their asses! Thanks to Ms. Cox for the professional response. Unfortunately this does not change my feelings towards Elfwood.


The problem does not lie with Elfwood itself. The problem is with the concept of a moderated art gallery. Moderated art galleries are very much like Communism, they both look good on paper but human nature manages to screw everything up. Let me explain: Simply put Communism is a system in which there are no rich people, no poor people and the government takes care of you in a worry-free Utopia. We all know how that turned out! Moderated art galleries are similar because when you visit one of them you can rest assured that the art you are viewing has been approved by a moderator that has been trained to only accept work that meets certain standards of quality...except that the moderators are humans. Flawed humans. 


Art is subjective. There are no hard, fast rules that apply. One person's art is another's garbage. Example: I don't think Andy Warhol was an artist, just a screenprinter that was a marketing genius. I'm sure there are those that would disagree! Another example: As mentioned in the previous post Epilogue has a rule that art on a plain white background will not be accepted. I recently met an artist that does work for major gaming companies. Work that is of the highest quality. Work that consists of characters on a white background because it is interior art with wrap-around text. Work that even though anyone that has glanced at a game would recognize it wouldn't be accepted because it is on a white background. 


And then there's the fact that humans tend to be a bit more lenient to their friends and a bit more strict on enemies. It's natural. Or fans of vampires may be more receptive to allowing lower quality vampire art. Or art that is predominantly blue will appeal to moderators whose favorite color is blue. I think you get the picture. That's why moderated art galleries will fail. 


I have a simple solution to the moderated art gallery. Moderate the artists not the art. Have artists submit a body of work and if they are accepted they can put whatever the hell they want after that. Or stop moderating all together! 


And as I said before, if you're an artist a moderated art gallery will do nothing for your career. They will only cause you stress. Set up your own gallery. Learn to moderate yourself. And keep track of what images get views. The public will tell you what you're doing right. 


Happy New Year everyone!
Billy



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 in review

2009 is almost gone and what a year it's been. I remember going into '09 was scary as hell. The economy had tanked and folks were losing their jobs and their homes. What was in store for Billy Tackett Studios? I was afraid that relying on the sales of prints and sinking so much time and money into the line of shirts may have been a bad move. But from our first show of the year, Con Nooga, to our last one, Who ARTED?, you guys have shown us that we're doing the right thing. You have welcomed us into your cities and towns and treated us like family.  You've shown us that you appreciate what we're doing and for that we are forever grateful!


You can never have too many Fannies! ConNooga


Heather with Samantha Newark

On the subject of towns and cities, some folks have commented on our 2009 schedule and to be honest it amazes even me! Going to shows every weekend can be pretty grueling but it is worth it. We zombified 17 cities at 25 shows!

Dead White & Blue forever! Imagicon


David Michael Beck, Rocky Karlage & me

Along the way we got to hang out with some old friends and make a buttload of new ones. We've had the opportunity to hang out with some legendary figures in music, movies, literature and art! (Anybody have any advice on keeping the inner fanboy in check?)

Impaler, bitches!


Heather & Kane Hodder

Shane Moore's Abyss Walker series continues to gain momentum with a new book launched this year as well as other news that promises the series will only get bigger and better.

Forces to be reckoned with!


Me with Richard Green

Dead White & Blue series has really proven to be a fan favorite. The graphic novel is still a work in process as well as my art book For The love Of Monsters. With the busy schedule and more commissions than I could shake a stick at these projects have taken a back seat. But we have promised them and we will deliver! 2010 will bring some news related to these publications that promises to take Billy Tackett Studios into some new territory.

Sharin' space with living legend Larry Elmore


Us with the mastermind behind ZP International, George Bonilla


The charity art show we sponsored, Who Arted?,  was a huge success (which I still need to do a write up about) that got a lot of attention. So much that we will putting together another next year.

Heather with the slightly creepy Sean Taylor


Ami & Daniel Taylor, John Dugan and us

2009 shaped up to be a great year. Things have begun to move in a direction that will make 2010 to be the "Year of the Zombie". This year we have laid groundwork for some projects that could turn out to be huge for us. We are working on new merchandise as well as some high profile commissions. We've already added several shows to our calender. And I am always trying to come up with that next super-duper art for a t-shirt or art print. Billy Tackett Studios will continue to zombify America. Who knows, maybe Fannie the Flesheater will start her campaign to become the first female President?

Us with Gunnar Hansen


Jim O'Rear loves him some Zombie Sam!


We're expectin' a lot more of this...

...and this...

...and this...

...in 2010!!

Once again we would like to thank everyone for making this year so great. So to all the old friends we miss, the new ones we made and the ones we haven't met yet...


We wish you a Scary Christmas and a Happy New Fear!


Billy & Heather Tackett

Thursday, December 10, 2009

blah blah Elfwood blah blah blah...

I guess I should start this out by referring to my previous post where I talk about online galleries and social networking sites. In it I talked about my disdain for art sites that were moderated and made mention of my particular dislike for Elfwood. I would like to take the time to elaborate on the dislike. Vent a little. Publicly. 


So I've heard people talk about Elfwood for years. One day a year ago I decide to get a gallery there. I upload a bunch of stuff, Zombie Sam, Fannie the Flesheater, Sgt, Rot. Y'know, the regulars. Months later they are approved. Apparently I hit the site right in the middle of an overhaul or something. 


So one day I upload my Frankenstein's Monster pic:




Here's the response I get:
* - Rejected: 'Frankenstein's Monster'
Reject: Copyright Violation.
Elfwood's rules state: 'Direct tracings of or copying artwork that is not your own is not permitted. All such artworks will be immediately removed from your gallery, and any further infractions will result in your suspension from Elfwood. This includes instances of copying from photos, magazines, screenshots, screen captures, etc'. If you upload copied pictures again, the moderators will be forced to report you to the ERB which may result in your gallery being suspended. This item is copied from http://i.inhaps.com/frankenstein_painting.jpg*


Here's the image they send me:




That image was painted by the ultra-talented Thomas Blackshear II and was for the United States Postal Service set of Classic Movie Monsters stamps.




Both works of art, along with thousands of others, were referenced from this publicity shot:



First of all I see why the image would not be allowed. No biggie. It just bugged me that they thought I "copied" someone else's art rather than use a photo for reference so I sent this reply:
 *REquest for further explaination for the rejection of Frankenstein's Monster. The image was not copied from the painting, it was referenced from a publicity photo. The same photo the mentioned painting was referenced from.*


The moderator's reply:
*I'm sorry, but I agree with the moderator in question that the picture is a copy from that link submitted http://i.inhaps.com/frankenstein_painting.jpg Elfwood has a strict copy rule, whether it be tracing or freehand copying, so your image will not be allowed in Elfwood. The general rule of thumb we have is that if it's recognizable where it's from, then it most likely will be rejected as a copy. If you want to read up on more concerning that rule regarding copying and copying vs. reference we have 2 articles from our e-zine with examples that explains the rule:
http://www.elfwood.com/woodworks/2003/issue06/copying.html
http://www.elfwood.com/woodworks/2003/issue07/copyvsref.html
The rule also applies to parodies, since they're often judged to be copies as well. The reason I'm mentioning this is that when looking at your gallery just now I remember a report we've recently received about your gallery. You have 8 parodies based on celebrity photos and war propaganda posters that are all considered to be copies by Elfwoods rules. You will at some point be contacted by the ERB (Elfwood Review Board) about them. While they're very creative and beautifully executed they're judged to be copies and as such you will be asked to remove them.
Monica
Elfwood Head Moderator and Forest Manager*



OK, so apparently I raised too much of a stink and she just "remembered" getting "a report" about my gallery. Convenient. My response:
*...And not that it matters but the drawing was referenced from the attached publicity photo. The same photo the painting you refer to was referenced from. 
So if the others aren't allowed why were they OK'd in the first place? *


Hers:
*Moderators are humans and they make mistakes, which is why we have the ERB  (Elfwood Review Board). They deal with anything already published in Elfwood that may violate the rules, and they work mainly from reports received from the public. When we received the notice about your other pictures being copies (parodies) I contacted the moderator in question, whom wasn't familiar with those sources.*


That was July 1. I did not respond after that. I figured I would prepare my arguments and take on this omnipotent ERB. My chance never came. But if the Head Moderator said my stuff was not allowed surely the ERB would be beating down my virtual door with virtual pitchforks and virtual torches. That never happened. Why? Because of this:



What is this? This is the screen you get after you upload an image. This is where you choose a few keywords for your art. See that highlighted section? "Parody". I never got contacted by the ERB because parodies are allowed. I guess Monica was right when she said "Moderators are humans and they make mistakes". Point proven.


Fastforward to November 23. I upload my latest piece "When Giants Attack...Cincinnati". 



I got this email on Monday:
*- Rejected: 'When Giants Attack...Cincinnati'
Reject: Other reason...
Sorry, all pictures based on existing visual media, such as movies, cartoons and 
computer games [Godzilla movies in this case], are Fan Art and, provided they are not copies, should be uploaded to your Fan Quarter account. Your artwork is very good, you should definitely consider openinng a Fan Art gallery though.*


Here is my response:

*Just a little clarification: First off, thanks for the compliment. Secondly, I know it is impossible to read one's tone in an email so this message, when read, may seem angry please keep in mind it is not. Frustrated yes. Angry, no. 
The creature in the image is not Godzilla. It is a commission piece asking for a "Godzilla-like creature". I know a lot of Godzilla fans that would be slighted by your classification of my monster as Godzilla.
This is not the first time I have had my art called "Fan Art" by an Elfwood moderator. This is not "fan art" because, for one, I am not a fan of Godzilla movies, and two it is a commission piece, both of which take "fan" out of the equation.


"Fan Art-Usually, it refers to fan labor artworks by amateur artists, or artists who are unpaid for their fan creations--so that, for example, professional comic adaptations of the Star Wars films would not be considered fanart while a version done by an unaffiliated fan would be. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_art"


"Fan Labor- ...most fans provide their creative works for others to enjoy without requiring or requesting monetary compensation. Fans respect their gift economy culture and are often also fearful that charging other fans for products of their creativity will somehow fundamentally change the fan-fan relationship, as well as attract unwanted legal attention from copyright holders. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_labor"


I am a professional artist and illustrator. People pay me to draw and paint pictures for them. Everything I do I make money from. Even the art I create for myself is sold as prints and t-shirts. The above definitions have not applied to me for several years. 
It has become painfully aware to me that your site is designed for amateur artists. It seems as though professionals have no place here because our efforts and paid commissions are delegated to "fan art". You guys really need to work on your classification process. 
Thank you for your time. 
Billy Tackett*



Notice I said "It has become painfully aware to me that your site is designed for amateur artists". This is what I just read from Elfwood's About Us page:
*" ...Elfwood's mission is to provide a place for amateurs from all over the world to share, teach, and inspire a new generation of dreams...
...We strive to promote the creation of art and fiction as a serious and meaningful hobby for the young generation, introducing them to painting and writing, helping them to create their own material and finally giving them the option to publish what they have created. This is a value we cultivate at the site in relation to young people. It is our goal to continue our work with young amateurs in the field of art and fiction... 

...Letting all amateur fantasy artists and writers show their work for free, helping them to get a name and reputation, as well as useful, creative comments and new contacts...
...We intend to keep Elfwood as a free-to-join site, without any fees or strings attached, giving new and upcoming artists an unparalleled opportunity to publish their material here...
...If you are an amateur fantasy artist, we would love to feature some of your work on this site....*


Boy, do I feel like a dumbass. Here I was bitching about the how unprofessional this site is! 


Here's a little bit of advice: This site is specifically designed for amateurs. Nothing wrong with that...if you want to stay an amateur. you will not get a "name and reputation, as well as useful, creative comments and new contacts"  from Elfwood. if you want "useful, creative comments" talk to a professional. Want new contacts? Talk to a professional.


Everybody starts somewhere. If you want to evolve professionally or creatively you have to rub shoulders with people that have traveled the path before you. Elfwood may be good for making friends but that's about it. Here's my final evidence for that:


Elfwood offers tutorials. I decided to scan through and clicked on one titled Painting Hair in Photoshop by Kelly L. Johnson. Zipping through the images the tutorial looks pretty standard until I get to the finished product:




The hack used a photograph! No this isn't the reference, this is supposed to be the final product. Again: the HACK ARTIST IS PASSING OFF A PHOTOGRAPH AS HER FINAL PRODUCT! And the tutorial has been online since 2006!! And people are leaving comments complaining that they will never be that good. It's a photo, morons!!


You want good tutorials go to deviantArt... no, better yet go to www.conceptart.org and read their tutorials and spend a few hours going through the forums. There's some pros for ya!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Being a professional artist - Tip #Whatever

Occasionally I used to do a post about being a professional artist. I can't really tell you to do this, this and this and you will make it. What worked for me probably won't work for you and you can get that kinda information from other places anyway. There's no shortage of artists out that would rather talk about their careers than to further them. The info I try to give is the little stuff that really isn't so little. Gems like "If you're gonna to make a career out of art you have to approach it the same way as any other business", "If you wanna get your name out there you gotta use it for emails, websites, yourself etc" and "Being a professional and acting like a professional are two completely different things".


Here's the new tip: If you are going to maintain an online gallery (which you MUST do) don't depend on sites like Elfwood, deviantArt, MySpace, Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket and so on and so forth. I'm gonna list a few reasons why you shouldn't use these.


1. Dependability. So say you have all your images in a Flickr gallery. This gallery address is the same one you've been giving out for five years now. It's on your business cards, your t-shirts, you even had it painted on the side of your house and, being the savvy marketer you are, you paid your 19 year old neighbor to have it tattooed on her lower back! But wait! The Wall Street Journal proclaims that Flickr has just gone bankrupt and a company run by the Norwegian Mafia has bought the domain and will now put up a porn site dedicated to transvestite amputees. So when people go to your gallery to see your wonderful watercolors of unicorns and fairies guess what they'll see now...


2. Accessibility. Some of these site requires that you sign in order to view the images. Not everyone that wants to see your pictures will want a deviantArt membership. 


3. And some of these sites are slow as hell at loading and they're plastered with obnoxious ads that are designed to draw the visitor attention away from the page at hand. It's free for you but they have to make money somehow, right?


4. Do you want an art director from Wizards of the Coast looking at your pics and seeing comments your friends and foes alike leave such as "Looks like ur mommas sxy ass" or "ur so gay"?


5. Control. You have absolutely no control over your art on these free sites. Sites like Elfwood moderate what you upload so if they don't like your stuff they won't let it on their site (see rant below). And sites like Photobucket are responsible for what is uploaded which means if someone bitches about one of your pix they delete it. No questions asked. I have my copyrighted images taken off of websites all the time. All it takes is an email. I once had some images of Nazi uniforms in a Photobucket gallery for use as reference for the Dead White & Blue Comics graphic novel. One day they were all gone. Don't know what happened to them. My guess is someone was offended or something.


6. Some of these sites now allow visitors to put your images on merchandise like coffee mugs, clocks etc. And you don't get squat for it! Someone else is making money off your work and you get no credit and no cash. You can usually opt out of this but that sometimes requires you make the gallery private which takes it out of the search engines' reach. 


These sites are social networking sites or image hosting sites. They should not be the online face of you, the artist. Your website needs to be how you want your potential clients to see you. It should be themed and easy to navigate. Doesn't have to have a ton of bells and whistles. You can get an inexpensive web host and use a pre-made layout. 


These site do have their places though. Image hosting sites are a good way to save bandwidth for your site and social networking sites are a good way to...well...network socially. Especially the art related ones. I've used a few myself over the years. Below are my assessment of some of the sites I've used.


Facebook- A good place for keeping in touch with people you know or knew in the industry.


MySpace- Not a good place to get your work out there but a great place to keep in touch with folks who are already familiar with your work. I use it as a kind of email list, sending out bulletins and posting blogs about new art or events. The down side is that once you get over 2000 friends you no longer get bulletins updates and once you get over 5000 you can no longer search your friends list. Kinda makes it less personal. Another down side is that people abuse the site and spam the livin' crap outta you! 


Several times I have friended an artist or band that I admired only to be inundated with bulletins and messages wanting me to "Check out my best bud's page" or "Add so-an-so" or "Come to my event which is over 900 miles away" or "Take my quiz" or "Join my online game" etc. If you're gonna use MySpace for your art business use it for just that. No games or quizzes or crap. And if you're gonna use it to announce an event or show, which is regional, target those people that are in the region. They are the ones that might actually make it. 


*NOTE* Keep in mind that a majority of people that frequent art sites are artists followed by art admirers and in distant third would be art directors.


deviantART- Not a bad place to connect with like minded artists. There seems to be a lot of drama with kids and amateurs but if you're selective about who you connect with you can meet some cool folks. Keep in mind that there are a lot, and I mean A LOT, of cg artists and anime/manga artists here so analog (also known as traditional) and realist art tends to take a back seat. The good thing is pretty much anything goes here. You can see some of the most crudely drawn fan art to some highly professional illustrations by some of the best in the industry. 


Epilogue- A fantasy/sci-fi art site. This site is moderated which means your your submitted art must meet their "quality requirements" before it will be allowed. I understand the reasoning behind this; to raise the quality of the site. And the site does have some really nice galleries. I'm even proud of the fact that my own gallery is ranked fairly high even though the site is not horror friendly. The problem with moderated sites is that the moderators are given quality guidelines and art is very subjective which means guidelines are subjective. Here are a few of the guideline problems:
"Background / Setting All images should have at least a suggestion of setting or scene, even if it's minimal."
"Technique Because Epilogue represents the best, highest quality artwork, we will not accept artwork that is lacking on a technical level. This does not exclude stylistic or painterly techniques."


I take these "guidelines" to task because they do not take into consideration the intent of the artist. They are at the whim of what the moderator likes or dislikes. I have submitted pieces that were rejected only to have the accepted when they were re-submitted a month or two later. 


Epilogue also has a "Reject Reasons explained" page. Let me elaborate on a couple of those:
"No background or setting - Epilogue only accepts finished-looking art with some form of background or setting. This can be as complex as a full landscape, or as simple as a stylized design in the background--as long as the image looks finished and complete. No matter how good the technique is, images of characters "floating in space" will not be considered."

"Unrefined or lack of detail - This rejection message causes a little confusion. If your art is very detailed and you received this message, it means that it's the "unrefined" part that applies. If your work is highly detailed and you've still received this message, the problem may lie in one of these areas:
  1. The basic shapes underlying the details may be weak
  2. The textures aren't realistic in an image that's intended to be realistic
  3. The levels of detail are needlessly inconsistent in different parts of the image
  4. Some areas of the image appear unfinished (a gradient-fill sky in an otherwise lovingly-rendered image, for example)
  5. The style is confused or inconsistent.
Painterly styles, impressionism, and even abstraction (as long as it somehow incorporates fantasy themes) are all welcome--the "unrefined or lack of detail" message has nothing to do with style--it indicates a problem with technique."


Again, these, like the guidelines, in theory, make sense. That is until you try to upload this image:






It was rejected for no background or setting. Why the hell would I want to ruin this piece by adding a background? That would ruin the composition and drama created by the shadows. Strangely enough this image was allowed:

Even thought the former image has a white background it is not "floating in space", the neck and shoulder takes care of that. The latter, however, is most definitely "floating in space". The white outline does that little extra to show this. Yet it was allowed. Why? My only guess is because they don't have rules against images on black backgrounds.


This image was rejected because it was "Unrefined or lacking detail". 

Yes the outer edges are lacking detail. That's intentional. As an artist I use details to guide the viewer's eye. The important things here are the head and sword. That's where the story lies. 


Again I understand why site feel the guidelines are important but artist's intent should be taken into consideration. That is the folly of all moderated sites not just Epilogue. Which brings me to...


Elfwood - I have had a gallery on this moderated site for a year. Yesterday I took down all my art. Elfwood is Epilogue for amateurs. I say this not because of the quality of work but by the comments made by some of the moderators. I have had some interesting back-and-forths with them which has lead me to ask the question: How many moderators are there and where do they find them? I'm not slamming all of them but I know for a fact that there are a couple that have no business doing what they do. I'll be posting more on this drama later but for now...


Elfwood is a very poorly designed site. I'm pretty net savvy and it took me for ever to figure it out. I have yet to browse the works of other artists there because I don't have time to figure it out. I get absolutely no site traffic from here. It really isn't worth the time for the set up and the learning curve. 


Another bit of advice: Stay away from public critiques of your art in forums! If you feel the need to ask complete strangers to anonymously tell you what is wrong with your art stretch your nutsack out on a concrete block and ask your weird Uncle Frank to give it one good whack with a hammer. it amounts to about the same thing and doesn't take nearly as long. If you want critiques find an artist you admire, on one of these sites or someplace else, and ask nicely for one. And sack up because it may or may not be pretty. 


PART 2 coming soon...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Who ARTED?

My least favorite time of the year. Why? Show season is over. Ain't comin' back around until February. So what to do? While trying to figure that out my wife and I decided to sponsor a charity event called Who ARTED? A TWISTED Art Sale & Exhibit.

For Who ARTED? we put out a call to artists and asked some of our friends to donate a piece for the auction. All artists were given an old 33 rpm LP to create their masterpiece with. Some have used it as a canvas, some have made sculptures and some have--er, well, you just have to see for yourself!

Who ARTED? will be held at the Leapin' Lizard Gallery, 726 Main Street, Covington, Ky, on Dec. 5 at 7pm. There's a $2 cover at the door. There will be snacks and a cash bar as well as non-alcoholic drinks. And here's the important part: Proceeds will go to the American Diabetes Association.

Members of De Los Muertos will be beltin' out some twisted Christmas carols and the Pickled Brothers will be doin' some of their bug eatin', fire breathin', bed of nails layin' entertainment for your enjoyment.

Some of our contributing artists include:
BILLY TACKETT
JEFF GAITHER
MARK KIDWELL
DICK STARR
J. COBB
TRAVIS FESSLER

SUSAN FESSLER
JIM O'REAR
DANIEL EMERY TAYLOR
GEORGE BONILLA
MIKE MAYDAK
JAIMIE FILER
HEATHER TACKETT
MADISON LAWHORN
TYLER HAROD
SAM FLEGAL
SHANE MOORE
ROB MEYER
RICK HOFFMAN

EL WRAY
AMBER WAVES

DEREK TOEBBE
GAYLE HOFFMAN
TIM GOLD
LIZZ GODFREY
RICHARD KERN
RACHEL BREWER
KAREN DENGLER
JOSH RICHERSON
JAYME RICHERSON
AMI TAYLOR
COURTNEY BOUTWELL
JUSTIN STEWART
MEGAN CLEPPER
BILL MACFARLAN
D

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Horrorhound

Hey kiddies, just droppin' a note about the last big blood fest of the year. I'll be set up at Horrorhound Weekend in Cincinnati OH this weekend. Who's gonna be there? Funny you ask. Just Gunnar Hansen, Linnea Quigley, Don Calfa, Michael Gross, Tom Savini, Kane Hodder and artists like Dick Starr, Cypography, Joel Robinson and myself. Oh, and someone named Elvira is supposed to be there as well...



Friday, November 13, 2009

Morehead Art Guild Show tomorrow

I'll be displaying 3 original pieces in the Morehead Art Guild's Annual Art Show at the Carl Perkins Center in Morehead KY tomorrow. Just so there's no confusion: I will not be selling prints or shirts at this event. I along with my wife Heather and youngest daughter Madison will be entering original art and photography.


One of the pictures I'll be showing is the art for the My Bloody Wedding movie poster. The movie and poster art features Morehead native David Fultz who plans to be there for a little while.

The following article is from the Ashland Independent and has more details.

Morehead Art Guild’s 26th annual Art Show (MAGI) will be Saturday at Carl Perkins Community Center.

Hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration for artists will be Friday between 6 and 8:30 p.m. and continue Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Entry fee is $15 per artist for three pieces. Additional entries may be entered at $5 per each additional entry.

The exhibit has five divisions: fine art, photography, sculpture, folk art and computer art. Fine art and photography (analog or digital) have professional and non-professional classes. All of the divisions will compete for Best of Show, the winners will receive a trophy and cash award.

Ribbons will be awarded to all classes and each category. There will be several purchase awards presented ranging from $100 to $500. Cash awards and trophies will be given for the winners of the Betty Gregory Award, The People’s choice Award, Rich Heritage of Kentucky, the President’s Award, the Mayor’s Award and the Morehead Woman’s Club Award.

Live demonstrations will be offered throughout the day by artists Dreama Perry, Jerry Mifflin and Sandy Gullett.

The judging will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The judges are Yvonne Honeycutt Baldwin, Morehead for Fine Arts.

Door prizes will be given out throughout the day. Refreshments will be served at noon; a donation of $5 is requested.

For more information, call Pine Grove Gallery at (606) 784-6238

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

CharCon re-cap

Back from CharCon, the gaming convention in Charleston WV and what I now refer to as the Best Little Gaming Con in America! This con is ran extremely well and is ran by some of the best folks out there. These guys know what they're doing!


They asked me to attend last year but I was already booked so they gave me a rain check. I'm kinda glad because I got to spend some time with their other artist guest, the legendary Larry Elmore. Larry and I met down at Con Nooga back in the spring and realized we were both from rural KY and even though artistically we are different our similar backgrounds gave us a lot to talk about. Larry should be considered a national treasure.
We were asked to participate in the Wits & Wagers game. They teamed us up with horror author Edward A. Holsclaw II.
We were off to a rocky start but in the end we decimated our rivals!
The winners with the man that rules CharCon with an iron fist, Travis Reynolds.
Larry and I were also asked to judge the costume contest and miniatures painting contests. My first time judging these types of competitions and it was tough!
The winners received gaming mats that were customized by Larry and myself.

Best in show award was one sketched on by both of us. One hell of an honor to share space with Larry! I drew the zombie BTW...
The winning entry with the award.
We met some wonderful people at CharCon and got to hang out with some old friends. And it was a pretty lucrative trip. We won a copy of Wits & Wagers of course. And then Heather and I got some raffle tickets and tried for some other prizes, 5 to be exact. To our surprise we won three of those! A Zombies!! and Smallworld games and a Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars hardcover book. It was a good weekend...until the flat tire!
Here's to you, Tire God!
Thanks to everyone at CharCon for their spectacular hospitality! Can't wait until next time...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CharCon...here we come!

Just a little plug. We'll be packin' up and headed to the gaming con CharCon in Charleston WV this weekend. We'll be in good company because Larry Elmore is scheduled to be there. Come to see me, come to see Larry, come to play games...Whatever! Just be there, ya goobers!


Monday, October 19, 2009

WHEW!

Gotta take a minute to catch my breath! We're in the midst of the Halloween rush with one more "away game" to go and the rest of our shows are here in our backyard. That seems nice but I really do enjoy traveling. And I love driving. Heather doesn't...Anyway...


Last weekend we drove up to ZombieConX in Milwaukee WI. Our first time in that area. The people were so nice we thought we had made a wrong turn and ended up in Tennessee! Except for the fact that the accents were a little different. And it was colder than a witch's tit. And there was cheese everywhere. Other than that it was just like being in the South!

This first year event held some firsts for me as well. This was the first time I/we had:
...shared Southern accent stories with Edwin Neal.
...Sid Haig eye-hump my art.
...Scout Taylor Compton mutilate one of my shirts.
...Scott Reiniger call me a talented bastard.
...drinks with Joe Pilato, Gary Klar, Jonathan Breck. That was an interesting conversation!
...made some new friends such as Chris from Hop Comics, T. Glenn Bane & Theresa Bane and all the great staff at the event!

This past weekend we headed down to Nashville for the Comics & Horror Fest. Not sure where to start with this one! This one was chock full of weird-os, freaks and ne'er-do-wells! And they're all folks we call friends, both old and new!

I'm just going to run down this list: Daniel & Ami Taylor, Jim O'Rear, Ben & Stacey Dixon, Bobby Nash, Sean Taylor, Samantha Newark, Traci & Ben Eller, Mark Swafford & Renee Mack, Jason Crowe & Roni Jonah, Scott Blair, UrbnPop, Sam Flagel, Mark Kidwell, Jeff Preston, Jeff Gaither, Mike Christopher, Cypography, Garret Blair, Robert Freese and Joel Robinson. The highlight had to be meeting Richard Harrison Green. An animator for Disney he worked on The Rescuers and Beauty and the Beast. A wonderful guy! We bought the Creature sketch from him. Can't wait to get it framed and hang it up!

It was Ami Taylor's birthday so after a raucous dinner we headed out to celebrate. Scott Blair graciously allowed us in his home...and he will never be the same again!

A great show with some great folks. Thanks to Marc Ballard for the hospitality!