The Artist Returneth With Announcements


Hello readers! Resident artist here to tell you that good things are on their way. As many of you know, The Object: Book II will begin it’s serialization in May. That’s right, in just a few short weeks you’ll have access to the continuing saga of our heroes and villains.

Secondly, I’d like to go ahead and state that I’d like to change the art style up a little bit, and this is where I’d the help of you, the reader.

https://i0.wp.com/comicrelated.com/graphics/chew_cov02.jpg

Artwork by Rob Guillory. A step away from realism, but caricatured characters can sometimes be much more expressive.

I’ve always been a fan of graphic novels. I’ve been reading The Walking Dead, trying to get caught up with the show (although it deviates so much from the book that it could hardly be called catching up, right?) and also Chew.  I love the art style of those two. The man who does the covers for The Walking Dead (Tony Moore) is flat out excellent, and I love the quasi-realism that his work has. I also enjoy the flexibility that a step away from realism offers in graphic novels like Chew. With illustration styles such as this, more work can be produced in a lesser amount of time.

So, that’s one style I’d like to work with.

https://i1.wp.com/www.imaginistix.com/images/centaur_image2.jpg

An example of the work of Boris Vallejo. Truly a new master.

However, I’ve always loved concept art and illustration from Wizards of the Coast and White Wolf Publishing. Collectively they produce all things related to Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and World of Darkness. Not to mention I always had a soft spot for the old-school RA Salvatore book covers, and old new-masters like Boris Vallejo. The clarity and reality of this style of illustration is unmatched in bringing a person into the world of the story, yet the downside is that it takes countless hours to produce just one work of art.

So that’s another route entirely.

But seeing as how any foray into uncharted territory is good for building character, I’d like to know what you think. Post below what kind of style you’d like to see more of. A more gritty, visceral graphic novel style, or an expanded polished illustration style.

Second on the announcement list is this:

I’ve finally gotten my Etsy shop open! After badgering for months. Months. M-o-n-t-h-s… I’ve finally taken Winston’s advice and created a Facebook like page, and my Etsy shop…

Neat, eh?

If you all would like to see more of my art, click the banner above, or just visit here every once in a while, I’ll be doing posts about new art as I make it.

And finally, I do want to mention one more thing, pertaining to those who live in Louisville specifically…

Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.

Me and Winston often venture out of our caves to set up and do some street promotion. Recently we’ve been spotted on Bardstown Road between Cafe 360 and Hey Tiger just down the block. We take up residence for the afternoon spreading the word of The Object, and I bring out any available art I have to sell as well and display it. The next time we’re out and about, come meet us in person! We love networking and meeting our fans, so if you happen to be a local of Louisville, don’t be surprised to see two strange men with a stack of books and a stack of art posted up on any given warm weekend.

I will return. Until then, stay classy, readers.

Advertisements

The Artist Speaks – Part 1


Hello readers. It is I, the artist for The Object.

A metal cast block showing a Cthulhu like squid figure.

In late June 2012, a relic was found in modern-day Iraq, dated to roughly 20,000 BC, depicting a strange, squid-like creature. Tests are being conducted at Boston University to ascertain the origin of this artifact.

I’ve remained voiceless for the entirety of the Object’s youth. Why?

Because I’m the art guy, not the writer.

But now that The Object has matured and blossomed from its humble beginnings, it may be time for my presence to be known.

And after all, haven’t we all got a story to tell?

What I’d like to share in this first part of my introduction is just a foray into my process and patterns of thought when making art.

On an average day, it goes a little something like this:

Text Message Received.

Winston: Hey I’d really like to see a picture of the small squid creature.

Justin: Ok, what’s it doing?

Winston: It’s outside the window of Lillia’s house, on the roof.

Justin: Neat. Ok, let me see what I can come up with.

And that’s basically it. Winston takes his thoughts, loads them into the double-barreled shotgun and fires them in my direction. I must then catch each of the mind-bullets and translate the world that Winston sees into a visual language.

Take the picture below for instance.

A small glowing squid Cthulhu type creature floats.

Cute little thing, right?

The difficulty with creating the above image was this: How can I portray that this creature is on a roof, outside a window, and still get a detailed close-up? The only way to show the window on the roof is to be far away; if I only made a close-up of the squiddy, the window might not be noticeable as that particular window.

So I split the middle, and drew both. The top panel gives the necessary sense of scale and luminosity for the little guy, and the bottom panel gets you up close and personal with our orange cutie.

We hope to one day see plushies of our glowing little guy in Barnes and Noble.

The giant object over Louisville hides the sun.

Half the time painting this, the piece was upside down.

Speaking of colors, that tends to be another theme in The Object; the deep oranges and reds, colors of rust and dirt and fire, colors of sand and lonely sunsets.

I envision Louisville under the Object as a land of perpetual dusk, where the sun’s light struggles to edge around the massive sphere and climb through alleyways and abandoned roads until the once radiant sunlight crawls as a mere cinderous glow.

The image to the left is one of my personal favorites. It is also the longest, top to bottom, of any image I’ve made so far. This encourages the viewer to “read” the image.

You start at the top, noticing details of some unusual landscape. You continue, slowly realizing that you are looking at the bottom of something, and that the bottom of the image is actually a skyline.

Beyond the flat facts of a picture, though, is something much more important. It’s my opinion that a piece of art should try to evoke some emotion or mood. The best kind of artworks tell a story, raise some questions, and most of all, make you feel something.

A blind homeless man holds a sign that reads The End is Nigh.

This originally began as a quick portrait to test a few new painting techniques, but I got carried away.

The above painting is one of my favorites, for two reasons.

1. It is one of my best works, in terms of technical ability, message and mood.

2. I really love the television trope of “the blind homeless man that somehow knows too much“.

With this piece, I really stressed the feeling of desolation. When looking at this image, I want the viewer to be uneasy. I want them to feel the stillness of mad certainty. I want them to be haunted.

What originally started as a way to play around with some new Photoshop brushes turned into a fully fledged painting, and Winston liked it enough to include it in the story.

When your art can inspire the writing, you know it’s damn good.

That, or you’re working with a truly great writer.

Stay tuned for more awesome posts, and the second part to my introduction, which will show you, step by step, how I create a piece of art for The Object.

If you’d like to see more of my work, click here.

Take care, my friends.

~ Justin ~