Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Yenadloshi -- The Skinwalkers

I've been working on a screenply for a little over a year now involving Yenadloshi-- Navajo warlocks who gain supernatural powers by wearing the skins of animals.

These are a couple of the concept sketches that I've done along the way.

Look you can see his butt!
This charming little fellow below was ripped off from Bruce Beresford's The Black Robe. He's the director behind such masterpieces as Tender Mercies and less masterful pieces such as My Alibi.

Highly recommended. After you're done watching it, watch Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublyev. And you'll see evidence that Picasso was right when he said, "good artists borrow, but great artists steal."

I like the idea that the Yenadloshi--or yenas as they're called around the Rez--don't morph into animals like a werewolf would, but wrap thamselves inside of the the animal skins. So you end up getting these sweet ghoulish monsters that look like they're crudely stitched together.

I also like the idea of ripping off Mike Mignola. I must be a great artist!

There's this scene where this giant floating head appears in our the hero's bedroom This is what he's supposed to look like:

A very special link

Well so far I had more visitors to my sight searching for my buddy Gibbs Rainock, than searching for my own name.

I think this at least deserves a link to his sight, so visitors looking for Gibbs can find the way to his web presence.

He and his wife Keri do freelance motion graphics and Illustration. I've had a chance to work with them on several projects and let me tell you, they know what they're doing, and they are very agreeable folk.

I highly recommend them for your next motion graphics or illustration needs.

Just don't give Gibbs any caffeine!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A smattering of sketches

I just bought a year pass to Hogle Zoo for a mere 40 bucks! After seeing such artists as Claire Wendling that do awesome animals, I've decided to do some weekly animal sketching, and I was going to go for the first time this last Wednesday, but I got stuck working late with a client and by the time I was done it was too late to go.

But stay tuned for next week. I guarantee some animal sketches, although I don't guarantee they'll be any good.

Now if I can just find a good figure drawing session.

In the interim, here are some sketches.

Next post...the nefarious Yenadloshi!

Links--For Real

Just wanted to include some of the sites that I check out frequently for inspiration. Its an incomplete list, just the ones that came to mind at the moment. I'll add more in the future.

Some of the links I've mentioned in my blog before:

John Krifalusi
Kristen's blog
Pablo D.
Keith Holven
Shane's blog
Frank Cho
Phil Noto and
James Jean

You can go back and look what I said about them before, if you really want to know, but you can also just follow the links yourself.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Links--and some politics

I'm proud to announce the adding of links to my blog.

I'll give a little run down on the links, and then you may pursue them as you will.

The first one to make the list was the link for . He's running a super up-hill race against incumbent , and frankly, needs all the support he can get.

The main reason I'm supporting Pete Ashdown is to unseat Senator Hatch. Hatch is a career politician in the worse sense. He votes in the directions of the campaign contributions. Especially where copyright and patent are concerned, he's in the pocket of the wrong people--creating barriers to greater artistic and technological innovation. I'd like to do whatever I can to stop him.

This is important to us artists out there. With the current copyright law, copyrights can be extended retroactively, and expiration deferred indefinitely. This means a couple of powerful intellectual property holders can sustain empires indefinetely with a couple of choice properties (think Mickey Mouse), or bury important works away from the public for decades.

The original framers of the consitution intended for copyright to be an incentive to create artwork by giving artists a limited monopoly on publication of their work. It was meant to last no longer than 14 to 28 (in the case of death, to support widows ect.) After which the work was to become public property, and a benefit to society at large.

A good example of what is wrong with our copyright system and the possibilities of reformed system is Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life. The film is considered a Christmas classic today, but when it was first released it had little success, and spent decades exchanging hands of copyright owners. It wasn't until a clerical error in the seventies that the film accidentally ended up in the public domain and began being played by TV stations. In the eighties, the popularity of the film soared and it became the classic it is today. Because of this crack in the copyright system millions of artists and non-artists alike have been inspired, and created better art as a result.

Our current copyright law also means its harder to break into business than it otherwise would be, because up-and-comming artists are competing with and unable to use established intellectual property powerhouses.

Wait, you may be saying, isn't a business that's hard to break into a good thing. Isn't that competition?

Not really, the more accurate term is , meaning its harder for competitors to even enter the arena. So although some very talented people are able to get into the business, its not necessarily the talent that selects for who is there. More often than not who you know, where you live, and how slick you are, are more deciding factors.

The other downside of our current copyright law is the deterioration of intellectual properties. You know how when you see an awesome movie, and then the sequel comes out, and its not quite as good, and then another sequel comes out, and its even worse, and then before you know it you have Aliens vs. Predator?

That's because one of the downsides of having a monopoly on a succesful intellectual property, is that the brand itself has value. Without adding anything to the quality of the branded products, the products will sell. And when one person or entity has a monopoly on that brand, they have no incentive to maintain the quality of the branded products.

So while George Lucas had to bust his butt to establish Star Wars as the epic of a generation, once he had sold it, he no longer had anything pushing him to maintain the quality of the product. Thus episodes 1,2, and 3 were each suckier than the last.

But enough from Mr. Knowitall. This is a sketchblog damnit! I expect to see drawings here, hopefully of sexy women.

Okay, twist my arm. More drawings coming, and more links.


For more information on intellectual property law and how you can get involved, check out

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I hate Star Wars

Before I get firebombs thrown into my house for that comment, let me restate: I actually love Star Wars, I love it so much sometimes that it hurts.

That's why I've been so crushed by the 3 prequel movies.

So, so dissapointing. And everytime I thought Lucas was going to redeem himself, they just got worse and worse. But I don't blame Lucas as much as I do our failing copyright system, which creates incentives to make lousy art--but that's for another time.

Suffice it to say, because of my dissatisfaction with the prequels I sometimes ponder how they could have been better.

These two sketches are a result of some of that pondering. I'm sure I'll post more sometime.

We just like it!

Some sketches I liked with little to no continuity. Some commentary may be included.

This one should have been included with my last post.

Look at this ugly noise in the lines. All my scans have been coming out like this and it was driving me nuts! I finally figured out I had this sharpness filter set on my scanner. All better now, but too lazy to rescan my sketches.