Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It's Done!

And it is done! The first draft of the latest Wandering Koala tale (currently titled Modest Proposal) is finished!

It's an apocalypse virus story that I've been kicking around for a while (I even started writing a version a few years thinking it would be my third novel, but the story didn't go anywhere). I was inspired to write this when I started reading Contagion (a story arc in Batman comics) when I was a teenager. There was a TV movie with a similar theme soon after that solidified it.

The title Modest Proposal is an interesting one, because while I've read the famous Jonathan Swift essay, it didn't even cross my mind until I was almost finished with the first draft and looking for a title. The working title was Disease, but that just didn't sound compelling enough. I also thought about calling it The Third Horseman (or Fourth or Fifth) but that sounded too unoriginal. Then I thought of Final Solution since that sort of fits the plot, but World War II and Nazis have been so overdone that I try to avoid them. That's when A Modest Proposal popped into my head. The prologue definitely has some similarities and parallels, so I decided to go with it for now. (And anyone searching for the essay may 'accidentally' stumble onto my book, a bonus.)

Of course, now I have to revise, revise, revise, so the title could change. I doubt the story will, because it's already been thru so many drafts and versions that I'm pretty sure this is the one. It reads and feels like a Wandering Koala story. The last one, The Green Bull, didn't. That's why it didn't make it into paperback and why the site wasn't redesigned using artwork from that story.

And the image above has nothing to do with it other than they both feature everyone's favorite Silent Wanderer. The inking was a Zebra disposable brush pen and the background is a Google Sketch Up model that has been heavily painted over in Corel Painter.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


The Universe wasn't created from nothing. God didn't point his figure at a void and boom! everything came into being. There was existing matter that God organized to create "worlds without number".

Art is no different; it doesn't come from a vacuum. Every work is inspired and informed by something else. When I was in Art School, one of my instructors after an Art Seminar pointed to a speaker and mentioned how it was patterned after the golden section the visiting artist had talked about, and how the golden ratio was based on proportions Jesus had used to create the Earth. Ultimately everything an artist "creates" is a reinterpretation of part or parts of the world around us.

And that doesn't apply to just visual art. How many times have you read a book, seen a TV show, or watched a movie that reminded you of another story? Probably quite often. There are only so many plots and characters out there.

The wall hanging to the left was inspired by Japanese and Chinese prints. I know what you're saying--it doesn't look very Japanese. And I agree. But the approach was very much inspired by oriental art, but with my western and personal interpretation. It's that unique interpretation which makes a work "creative" or "original" when everything in it came from an already existing world around us.

And in case you were curious, I drew the figures with a Zebra disposable brush pen and then colored them and designed the backgrounds in Corel Painter.

Let me know what you think!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Peoples is Peoples

People never cease to amaze me.

There is a certain group on DeviantArt (starts with Bad and rhymes with grass characters) that has requested, on five separate occasions, to add my works to their group's galleries. After the third time I figured I might as well join the group and save them the time of asking.

And they rejected me. They said they viewed my work and didn't feel I qualified. And yet they have sought me out to ask me to add my work to their group's galleries. In fact, since the rejection they have TWICE requested permission to add TWO different works of mine. That's five requests that THEY initiated. (The illustration at the left is the latest one. It was drawn with a Zig Calligraphy Pen and colored in Corel Painter.)

So here's my confusion. My work is good enough for them to seek it out and ask my permission to add it, but it's not good enough to join their group? Huh?

Peoples is peoples, and peoples is very confusing.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Third times the charm

Covers are a tricky thing for me. I know what I love in a cover, but when it comes to create one, I struggle. This is my third attempt at a cover to The Green Bull. I liked the first one I did, but it was radically different from other covers I'd done, and it didn't seem to get a much reaction. So I tried something else, but I wasn't very satisfied with it. So I tried one more time.

This time I finally got the kind of image I want for a Wandering Koala story. It's moody, it's pulpy, and it is a scene from the story that whets one's appetite for the rest.

The story is now available for all eReaders at Smashwords, and is available at most individual stores and will soon be available at all fine retailers.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Joy of Sketching

When I started this blog, I meant it to be a place where I posted sketches, rough drafts, and work that wasn't included in my portfolio but was still worth looking at.

As time passed, I started posting more and more finished work, work that was also included on my website, and updating my website less and less. So I decided to take a break from that and post a quick digital sketch.

I love sketching. It's a way to explore ideas without getting bogged down by things like good composition, design, anatomy, and all the rest. It's a time when mistakes are ok and even encouraged, because they may lead to something wonderful, or at least interesting. I have tablet after tablet filled with sketches. The good ones usually make their way into a finished work, but they tend to lose something in the translation--a freshness and spontaneity. I always wonder if there is a way to preserve it while still looking polished, but then I realize the very act of polishing is to rub away the interesting character bits.

This sketch was created in Corel Painter using a 2B pencil to layout a basic composition and then inked with a custom brush I created based on the Crowquil Pen. I really love the action, the flow, and the pose. I may actually redo this in a more finished work. And I may not.

As always, let me know what you think!