You may have noticed I’ve been on silent for a bit. I recently experienced a car accident. Everyone is ok, thank GOODNESS! I am very grateful to be alive, and happy, and going on with life. Still, this whiplash I got is really quite the troll. It is hard to be at the computer, and really not possible to be doing anything artsy. So, any schedule I had planned for the possibility of being ready for COMICON is out. I am playing it all by ear, happy to be alive, and being really unproductive for a bit.
So right now I am posting this from my phone. I took an Instagram photo, and I am attempting to share the link through this Android WordPress app, which has a nice interface, btw.
Stocked up some Smooth On since last night my casting was a wash! Went to Reynolds Advanced Materials in Burbank. They were super friendly and very helpful.
I recommend walking in there and starting a project!
I’ll post pictures of my process soon! Now if I can only find a way to seamlessly embed photos in here from my Instagram feed when its appropriate for art talk, (instead of just a link) that would be pretty nice.
This Friday my internets have been filled with a surprising amount of jolly posts, beauty shots, and hopeful expressions. However, this video made me reflect on how we carry each other through loss ; thinking about it feels like wiping the dust off a shiny surface.
Full Smithsonian article here. The following is a quote from it:
“The first coffin I ever built was for my child.”
Those somber words from coffin maker Marcus Daly immediately give you a sense of how much the craft means to him. For Daly, crafting the final resting place for someone is a personal experience and he sees it as a doorway to something else. Daly believes the most important aspect of a coffin are the handles and the ability to carry them.
“I think we’re meant to carry each other. I think that carrying someone you love and committing them is very important for us when we deal with death. We want to know that we have played a part and shouldered our burden.”
And now for something more like Friday, while these thoughts settle:
On occasion I write an open letter to artists that inspire me. In this case it is creature creators Chris Ryniak and Miss Monster. Both are prolific, on the interwebs, kind to fans, and a source of inspiration to many Creators.
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Dear Chris and Mel,
You are inspiring me to be a better artist.
Melita, my friends and I fawn over your creations, and cheer when they go up on ebay. You have single handedly made me get into casting seriously. I have a page of bookmarks dedicated to your process photos, so whenever all these new terms and new workflow gets overwhelming, I look at your photos and I find calm. Then I get back to work.
Chris, your drawings and paintings make every line look so effortless and character driven. I hope to be able to cast such a spell with my work some day. Your sculpted work blows my mind, and makes me wonder how on earth that creature can exist for REALZ!
You both are giving a lot of us artists a fire in our bellies to keep at it. Recently you two had a bit o’ discussion on your tumblrs/blogs. I am quoting here:
This is something that has been addressed many times by creative professionals and entrepreneurs, but it never hurts to repeat. MOST of my day as an artist is not spent in an absinthe fueled rampage of feverishly tossing paint onto a canvas …sorry. MOST of my day IS filled with drudgery: writing emails, planning projects, fielding phone calls, brand management, event planning, researching and gathering materials, design work, social media promotion, prep-work, varnishing, sanding, packing, shipping…etc….and somewhere in there is drawing, painting and sculpting.
For the audience, my job is to make it look like all I do is my artwork, but the truth is that I fill every position from CEO to janitor of Chris Ryniak industries.I have the added role of a single father, oh and I ALSO have a full-time job on top of all of this, not to mention owning a house that needs tending as well as all of the minutia that goes along with being a functioning human.
So what is the point? well, I get a lot of comments like ” I wish I was where you are in your career” from young artists. And the simple fact is, that much like losing weight, becoming a functioning and mildly successful ANYTHING takes work, not wishing.
Of course, this all depends what you want to accomplish, and how far you want to take it.
The point is that next time you see your favorite artist doing really well, know that they doing a lot of work that you will never see.
YEP. If if Chris doesnt mind id like to add to this: My full time job is art and im extremely grateful for this. But what some people, esp newer followers, dont realize is that i have been working towards this for over 10 years.
Some people get lucky and get a good break that allows them a solid career very quickly but a lot of us… it’s years of making art when you come home from a full or part time job, making work you might not be all that into to build your reputation and honestly a lot of time fielding bullshit/getting burned on projects/learning how to deal with people and clients. And some of us even have kids which is a full time job in itself ( so much respect for folks that can handle that on top of it all! )
I don’t want to discourage anyone from wanting to be a career artist but i do want to prepare you for the reality. Nobody did that for me and i wasted a lot of time not knowing what the hell i was doing and learning the hard way! And like Chris mentioned it’s a lot of not so fun backstage work that adds up really quickly. There have been many days where i dont even get to touch any projects because im packing orders, buying supplies,running errands, researching,doing cons, prepping for cons, reading, emailing, organizing, cleaning the workspace or um …writing stuff on tumblr. Guess i should get back to work!
As someone who works full-time, leaving evenings and weekends for my art, this is a wonderful read. My schedule makes minutes feel precious. When I am working on everything that supports my art, or spending time learning instead of making, I get anxious. I get down on myself for not being productive enough with finished art. Its discussions like the one above which encourages artists like me to take a breath and just keep going forward, one step at a time. And when it comes from artists we respect and admire, it has extra longevity in our little spastic brains. (OOOh SHINY!)
Anywhoo, very many thanks.
Keep at it,
The power of the internet surges and tumbles, tweets, pins, and posts. Across the bandwidth waves, I float and discover artists who are new or have been around forever and I am a total noooob. Is Canada overtaking my interwebs and filling my posts with cool artists who I am now following, pinning, and pleasantly stalking?
HEY! Canada! Hey! You listening? I’ve only ever been to Toronto – and that place was full of badass bilingual ladies with cool hair and beautiful tattoos. I figured I got lucky and Toronto was a little Oasis of Awesome in a giant, snowy wilderness I knew nothing about. Other than you having the highest population of wolverines, which only goes to further your badassity because they are one of the coolest carnivores EVER. Also your maple syrup and food there was bonkers good. Now you are showing me your shmancy artists and I have to say: Dang. What is UP with CANADA?!?
So, here is my list so far – please feel free to add in the comments. I probably follow more artists that are Canadian but had no idea since I wasn’t there when they mentioned it in a post. Yes, yes, tons of amazing artists from all around the world, just giving some of the love back right now to those who have been dressing up my tumblr and twitter feeds these past few weeks!
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Renee Nault – Illustrator, comic artist – check our her work. Just BEAUTIMUS. Her comic Witchling will be at the Toronto Comic Festival, which sounds glorious because its so far from me and I’ve never been (On their homepage they feature Taiyō Matsumoto whose work I lurrrrrve….gahh… Reign it in Brain….stop diverging. You are talking about Renee right now.) You can also buy some of her arts at her shop or follow her on twitter!
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Genevieve F. T. – I’m telling you, Candadians be poppin’ up on mah tumblr, twitter, or featured in comic blogs. Blushing, stylized pinups as well as adorable character art with a great sensitivity to silhouette and color. Just delicious. Yes, also on twitter and facebook!
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Jeff Simpson – concept artist at Ubisoft with incredible textures, moody palettes, and makes fantastical structures on humans look possible and mystical. He worked on Snow White and the Huntsman, – just LOOKIT some o’ dis concept art. He’s also doing a live painting tutorial with…
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Keita Morimoto – isn’t this Canada thing bonkers?!? ITS STILL GOING! A fine artist from Japan, but moved to Toronto. On his website you will see some works that have been filling tumblr with quiet scenes that are rich with energy. People might be sitting still, or gazing off canvas, but the colors and composition he chooses make them vibrate, like they are anticipating something. Follow him on Twitter or Google+. And hes doing that live painting thing with Jeff Simpson. You in Canada? Go to it, then tell me about it so I can sulk behind my computer screen.
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Tim Skinner - gifted sculptor and a brilliant twitter conversationalist, I think due to the fact that he’s also writer. Dem peeps whoo eez gud wid der werds! Technically, I have been following him for a while, but we’re talking about Canadians and he was my first clue that the frozen North was up to something beyond the wall. YOU KNOW NOTHING JOHN SNOW! I digress. He posts great process photos and beautiful finished works at his blog expatiation.blogspot.ca.
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Karl Kerschl - overall badass accomplished artist who I have been stalking for a while. I discovered him through the art and story he makes for his comic The Abominable Charles Christopher, the most adorable snowman you will ever meet. Had to include him. Yes, facebook and twitter.
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Chris Hadfield - Slightly diverged, but still on point in my mind because he’s an artist of mind, music, and the stars. He’s the astronaut who sang Bowie in space. Let us take a moment and enjoy his music video again. <swooooon> He has his own youtube channel. SUBSCRIBE TO SPACE MAGIC!
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In my surprise of all this Canadian beauty, I did a websearch for “Canadian Comic Artists” and whobam! Lookit this post by the the Joe Shuster Awards. Time for me to dive in and take this from odd accident to figuring out: What is this magic in the frozen north?
Canada. They make wolverines, artists, and astronauts there.
I like that so much I did a quick sketch. Hmm – maybe I should do a little illo whenever I post. Meh, more work. I’ll do it sometimes.
I’LL BE SHOWING IN ILLINOIS!!! AHH! With a museum/gallery/community art building that has shown Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and de Kooning!
It started with a generous invite from the nonprofit Peoria Art Guild to be part of their Día De Los Muertos event. Being there in person isn’t really a possibility for me, since I’ll be celebrating Día De Los Muertos here in Los Angeles and Burbank, but it’s pretty cool that my art will be travelling more than me! I’ll be shipping some Mini Muertitas and embossed prints signed by myself and Chris Rigg.
But wait, theres MORE! Chris’s photos of my Winter Muertita are on the invite! Yes, the invite they send out to everyone, that invite. Such an honor! Below is the emailer they designed, plus some easy links right here for you to join in:
I can’t believe I’m going to type this, because it turns my stomach.
Disney applied to trademark “Dia De Los Muertos”, since their upcoming movie is themed as such, and they want the rights to sell Día De Los Muertos themed things.
Listen, I’m a little gringa from SoCal, I love and respect the Mexican culture that surrounds me and influences my art, but you don’t need to have an affinity with a culture to understand that this is just wrong.
Here’s a Huffington Post article about it;
Also a Latin Times article about it;
You can follow the tweets with #DíaDeMuertosEsDeMéxico (thank you Luis R.)
Image below from Fronterasdesk.org article about it;
I can’t believe this is happening.
I feel like I want to Clorox my soul.
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MY EDIT ADDED WED MAY 6
Disney heard the outcry and has
WITHDRAWN their trademark filing!
Link to FRONTERAS DESK article
Link to LA TIMES article
Visual proof Disney made good on their word, by Fronteras reporter @MOrtizUribe