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Recent Update. Dec. 20th, 2010

Hope everyone is having a great Holiday season!
Today I come bearing an interesting image:

As many people don’t' know, part of the North West Pacific tradition of art, is asking permission. A lot of non community members think it's ok to randomly throw together something that looks "in the style" simply because they can, and the style is "cool".
This is NOT the case. Aboriginal art is very deep rooted in the cultural traditions, and many of them have specific rules as to how one draws something, portrays something, or if they even have the right to.
I lived and worked within the community for 10+ years now, and if there is one thing I am STILL doing is asking permission. This NEVER stops.

When I was in Vancouver visiting some friends in the local Community, I had the pleasure of going down to one of my friend’s houses and attending a family gathering, that included a lot of members from their community.
During my attendance, I had figured that I would try and “obtain” some permission to do some artwork that breached out of the “norm”. After all, this would be a perfect time, as when the Elders and family gets-together, and they ask if anyone has something to get out in the open... now’s my chance.

Push comes to shove, I asked, discussed, reasoned, and gifted [paid the price] to get the rights to do some stuff. But there were 2 instances I REALLY had to discuss my POV and this picture is a result of one of them.

Most of the Elders were not pleased with the idea that European folklore would be depicted in this style. When I asked about some of the supernatural beings, they plainly refused. It was only after I brought up the fact that another NWP artist- who is half Irish in decent- already broke that barrier to design a “Dragon”, did some of the Elders shift their consideration. Turns out, it wasn’t that they were against me doing it; simply, they wanted me to fight for it.
That too, is a cultural mentality.

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Recent Update. Dec. 3rd, 2010

The concept of transformation- and transforming into animals- is one you see regularly in the Oral Traditions or many Aboriginal cultures. Here, we see a human, transforming into a Wolf... the legs beginning to deform out of shape, and the last reminisce of the human body- the hand- is evident. The Hand is a symbol of Healing in Aboriginal cultures- Healing, Medicine, and Remembrance.
I wanted the hand evident to indicate that the transformation is a Healing one, and one of remembrance- back to a time we were inseparable form nature and from The Natural World.

In the image of the Shark, some of the shapes I used in the image were to induce the "water ripple" effect- multiple lines that look akin to waves and ripples. But I also mimicked and stylized some of the shapes to be reminiscent of the traditional fishing tools of the NWP aboriginals. It gives a very all-encompassing concept, what with the shark being a predator/fisherman of its own kind.

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Recent Update. Nov. 28th, 2010

Sometimes I like to "trade" with fellow artisans designs and concepts, so that we end up drawing each others characters in different styles. It's refreshing, and lets you harmlessly play with ideas that might have not come across your own mind.
This one was traded with “Patto”.

For some odd reason, from the first time I drew her [Jessica's] “Death Spirit”, it reminded me of something African. And not because of the tone of skin, but rather its construction, skull "mask", loin cloth, and even the "tattoo" pattern on its body. It kept striking me very African in context, which is why I selected to make an African setting, as well as African decorated border.
At first, the sketch seemed as if the rabbit had passed, and almost comically; this giant, otherworldly spirit was gazing upon the cute fluffy thing.
However, I wanted to achieve another concept- not comical, but comforting. I wanted to reflect a different side to a very "tragic" concept of life. Death was, and always will be a personal thing. No one can share it with you. THAT is the most terrifying aspect of it. The fact that you are alone. You die alone.
I wanted to reflect those last moments, but this time, in a more comforting light: when death comes, you do have one companion there with you- and it's Death itself.
It forgets no one, and leaves no one behind.

Now, the image feels as if the rabbit is close to passing... and it's only comforting companion is the spirit that will take it from this world, and venture with it to the next.

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Recent Update. Nov. 26st, 2010

These next two pieces have very interesting approached to them respectivly.

The Husky seemed like an obvious depiction- similar by much to a Wolf, except for small variations that would make it unique; the colors would be the most notable, but also the small turn of the ears. While traditionally, you draw the ears with the "Feather tail" point facing back, I flipped it forward to relate a more familiar concept of "floppy ear" on a domestic dog. While not a trait of Huskies, it does help that subconscious relation to “Domestic” animal, as opposed to “Wild”.

The second is a depiction of a Buffalo. In Ojibwa "Bison" is called "Mishikode-bizhikeh". This is actually a compound of two words: "Fire" and "Cow".

The reason Bison are called this is because the plains on which they live are notorious for burning up- plain fires are common, and would make the Bison flee.
From here stemmed the term; whether it was because the Bison fleeing the fire would make them seem as if emerging from the fire, or perhaps the fact that they were also engulfed in the flames while running, or simply because the local Aboriginals were associating the local environment with the type of cow - it makes for an interesting term.

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Recent Update. Nov. 21st, 2010

Back from the beautiful West Coast, and I can say that I am rejuvenated and inspired! So many wonderful little adventures, and now, I can start posting some of the artistic endeavors that came along from being in such an art-centric city like Vancouver and Victoria.

The series I am going to begin uploading from tonight contains the North West Pacific style of art, but coupled with a bit of a design challenge for myself. As opposed to working with line weight and thickness, I wanted to test my hand at using color and shape alone. While the concept was mono-chromatic only, some of the images may have more but not exceeding 3 colors.

Seen here, Blue Raven [Yaahl], and a Black Jackal.
While traditionally the animals depicted were local, I think I breached only slightly out of the norm to include some local animals that are not depicted in the style, and maybe a couple fantastic animals to boot.

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Recent Update. Nov. 6th, 2010

I'm heading off to the West Coast tomorrow! I'll be in beautiful Victoria and Vancouver BC for the next 2 weeks, so you can expects some great updates when I get back!

Until then, keep watching those cartoons!

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Recently Added; Oct 27, 2010

And now, for an image of two men who are far more beautiful than I'll ever be.

I personally loved Season 3 of True Blood. I know a lot of fans just couldn't stop complaining about it, but I was on the edge of my seat pretty much the whole season. I also adored Russel and Talbot very much- for whatever their relationship might have been, it was Russel’s “Goodbye to Talbot” speech that had me in tears. I suppose it was because it was frank, true, and honest – and something we don’t get to see in relationships today anymore. Basically; love. Unconditional, and uncompromising.

That, and it was Dennis O'Hare delivering the lines. The sheer awesome of that man performing literally leaves a tear in the fabric of space-time-continuum.

I also noticed a scene where I think Russel was wearing a fish-net like stocking… and I was like DAMN… that DUDE is wearing those far better then I could EVER wear them.
Oh well.
The roses nearly gave me an aneurysm. But they were worth it! ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Recently Added; Oct 24, 2010

Second one in my series of True Blood Portraits.

No matter how many times I see Bill or Sookie, the first thing that runs across my mind is how Bill says "Suu-keh".

I'm particularly proud of myself since my mom actually recognized Anna Paquinn in this one. She doesn’t watch True Blood, so she doesn't know who any of these people are... but she did remember Anna from another of her movies.

Fever is mildly here. But I'm feeling much better today- I think I'll go to Aikido tomorrow.

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Recently Added; Oct 22, 2010

I have the flu.
And this is what I do to while away the time with a 39.7c [103f] fever.
I also passed out twice while working on this... turns out, my childhood fainting-of-fever still continues to this very day.

I have the flu.
And this is what I do to while away the time with a 39.7c [103f] fever.
I also passed out twice while working on this... turns out, my childhood fainting-of-fever still continues to this very day.

I love True Blood. It's such an awesome show. I wish I could get my hands on the Gordric T-shirt or the Lou Pine's one. I'll be doing more of these so long as I am sick. I can't focus on my bigger projects since they demand more concentration, so portraiture keep me preoccupied enough to just forget about how bad I'm feeling.

My scanner totaly mangles the contrast on these things. Some places it's higher, others so low saturated, it looks like there is no toning. Can't stop complaining about this enough. :)

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Recently Added, Oct 14, 2010

Back in 2003, I was attending my first year at Animation. During that time, I had caricatured one of our teachers [Kaj Pendal] as a Bison. This was amongst the first concept for my “Raven” film.
However, as time went by, I realized there was no place for a Bison in a film that was NWP… and I don’t like mixing concepts, so the Bison had to go.
It was about 2006-8 (can’t remember the exact year) where I stumbled upon a powerful opening dialogue/forward to a television documentary series. It immediately sparkled a idea for a short, and what do you know? The retired Bison was the perfect visual match to the talking voice, and to the concept. I brushed him off, and re-designed him to fit the new short.
The design isn’t complete, but it’s a current stand in for the boards. I completed them [the boards] and will be doing a full character rotation.

I have a very good, talented and devoted helper this time in my endeavors… and she will be helping in the production process of the film. So let’s hope in 2 months time, we will have polished final!

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Recently Added; Oct 04, 2010

This one comes a little late but with good reason: I have begun production on another animated short. So my time is now dedicated between multiple part time jobs, these tarot cards, commissions, and an animated short.
Don’t you worry, I’m still aiming for minimum 1 a week with these babies!

Into the flames with us!

In my deck, I changed the elements of the specific suites; particularly between Swords and Staves [Wands]. Because I associate wood with air, and swords with aggression- hence fire- I switched them in my deck. While this image is reminiscent of the Staves [Wands] Knight, because of its aggressive association I switched it to Swords.
And I can do whatever I want because this is my deck so na-na-na-boo-boo.

A little note about the “horse” Anakin is ridding. Years ago when watching the prequels (Episode 2 just came out) I was a little disheveled that the “Knights” did not have “horses”. You can’t be a “Knight in shinning armor one a white horse” if there isn’t any horse!
So obviously, I took it upon myself to create horse-like creature, but keep some obvious “alien animal” qualities to it (Dude, ANLTERS!). Of course, since then there were a number of “mounts” used I the SW saga, but I’m partial to my “horse” thing because it’s mine and I think it’s cool and I used to SW RPG with one!
SO THERE.

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Recently Added Oct, 2, 2010

This month, EMG-zine on-line magazine is running an interview with myself!

EMG-zine magazine is an on-line magazine dedicated to the art and literature of Fantasy and Sci-fi. Go check it out!

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