Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sketchbook: Entry 1

The Shape Of Things To Come title is a description of where I think my artwork is at as I continuously develop a new body of work as an artist and illustrator. Of course it also hints at the conceptual stages from thoughts, pencil roughs and studies to finished paintings. Here, I hope to share the adventure of how the works take “shape” and what “comes” out of the process.
And if you have a copy of my Sketchbook, I’m going to discuss the drawings in the book page by page. It shows glimpses of where I have been as an illustrator and hopefully where I think the work is headed. And I welcome your interaction.

The Sketchbook is a collection of my drawings and roughs that have been appreciated by clients and friends. Many suggested that I begin to show them as a separate portfolio or a devoted section on my website. So my friends at Olympian Publishing shared my vision and helped me select a “behind the scenes” showcase of seldom seen drawings and we got it to press.

The book opens with a “Foreward” by my friend Jim Steranko, much to his surprise I’m sure. Because it is actually a postcard he sent me in response to a fan letter I sent him when I was 13 years old, and it is very important to me. I vaguely remember the drawings I sent him but more importantly he inspired a young artist by responding to me! I was an avid comic book reader and collector (as well as clipping illustrations out of magazines and collecting paperback covers) and among the artists that I followed and copied was Steranko. I admired him (and still do) for the craftsmanship in his comic book illustrations and then his switch to paperback covers and then back to comic book covers and then to his own publishing company. At the time it guided me away from concentrating on just being a comic book artist to the possibility of being an illustrator as I began to seriously consider a future career as an artist.

And on my “Introduction” page there is my drawing of a planned portrait of “La Bete” from Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, one of my many favorite films. Originally a study for a Beauty and the Beast painting from a few years ago, it has been sitting in my studio as I work out color roughs in between projects and deadlines. And he waits in all his majestic glory and grandeur.

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