Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Mexican Masters

You all know by now the most famous mexican painters like Rivera, Siqueiros & Khalo (these days). Little known outside their homeland, these are just some of the best artists, political cartoonists and illustrators México has ever known.

Jorge Carreño was a political cartoonist, painter and consummate student of the form, sharp wit and deadly accurate social/political commentary were his weapons of choice, I liked him because he was a fantastic cartoonist and caricaturist but I loved him for the way he drew and painted women. His art lives in his son, a talented cartoonist himself but for my money there will always be only one Jorge Carreño.

Ernesto  'Che' guevara

Martin Luther King

Don Quijote

Ronald Reagan


Agustín Pinochet

Picardía Mexicana

Armando Drechsler

Armando Drechsler

Armando Drechsler 2

Antonio Gómez

Antonio Gomez

Jesús De La Helguera

jesus De La Helguera 1

jesus De La Helguera 2

Vicente Morales

Vicente Morales


Sunday, March 27, 2005

More Of The Same

I dug out more prelims and screenshots from the past. This is my favorite of the bunch, I thought I nailed the pencil rough in one shot by combining 2 photographs but I had fits with the illustrator file, layering shapes to "color" the sketch while mantaining the main characteristics of the subject was a bitch, the illustrator version lost a lot of the likeness and charm I managed to achieve with the pencil. Right after this job I decided to stop using Illustrator for my personal work, with the exception of the DRAW! Magazine demos and a color cover here and there.

Fotos courtesy Allan Liang.

My preliminary pencil rough.

Paul Van Dyke Sketch

Layering shapes in Adobe Illustrator.

Paul Van Dyke Color


Friday, March 25, 2005

Self Serving Inner View

The following is an edited (some topics expanded for this forum to make myself look good, some grammar fixed to the best of my limited bilingual ability -my native tongue is spanish- and profanity added to make it real, like Evander Holifield, I like profanity) part of an interview given a month and a half ago to One2One Magazine for the "Creativity" issue , I don't know when or IF will be published or how much will be edited, so here's a good chunk of it for curiosity's sake.

Note: The links are in dark blue.

From: deepfriedcandy@mac.com
Subject: Re: Musings From The Wrong Side Of The Brain
Date: February 10, 2005 10:12:30 AM EST


What's your passion?
Women & drawing.

When and how did you get started?
I really didn't draw much as a toddler, as a matter of fact I didn't draw at all until I was a teenager, which makes a lot of sense to me now. I was a weird kid, what I did do was to manipulate images and objects and to experiment with any type of creative (destructive) process.

In first grade I grabbed a pair of scissors and butchered my entire text book, page for page, I carefully and selectively cut out all the illustrations that appealed to me, for no particular reason, I didn't do anything with the images afterwards but I do recall experiencing a great deal of enjoyment while vandalizing the book, I get that same exact feeling every time I do something of any artistic consequence as an adult.

Needless to say, that early exercise in self expression ended abruptly with a severe beating at the hands of my mother, who did not find it amusing at all. I remember the illustrations in the book as being stylish and iconic representations of common things, "C" is for cat and that sort of thing. I had a real cat but the cartoons seemed more interesting.

I became interested in producing art, in earnest, at 8, I can say that with certainty because at that age I watched an older cousin draw some dead president or other and was mesmerized by what I saw, what amazed me the most was not the drawing itself but the look on his face as he drew; he seemed as if he was in a trance of some sort, making all kinds of faces, totally oblivious to his surroundings, as far as he was concerned, it was just him and the paper. I stood there, quiet as a mouse for the duration. I've been infatuated and down right obsessed with the creative process ever since.

Another motivating factor for me to become a cartoonist was animation, where I lived at the time, one of the local TV stations used to broadcast really old cartoon shows, one of them was "The Woody Woodpecker Show", at some point during the program Walter Lantz (the creator) would come on and I would freeze in astonishment as he proceeded to show us kids a bit of the animation process, the first time I saw this it blew my mind, I knew right then and there what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Professionally, my first "real" paying job was drawing political cartoons for a communist paper, I wanted to become a political cartoonist, politicians and their ilk seemed like easy targets at the time.

What inspires you?
Everything inspires me, I was never bored as a kid, always found something "creative" (not necessarily constructive) to do, A.D.D. is a fine artistic quality, one which landed me in constant trouble.

My biggest source of inspiration has always been women, such a never-ending supply of artistic and emotional stimulation, otherwise I find inspiration in even the most ridiculously simple things.

What do you do for fun?
Besides sketching and occasional sex, riding my bike around NYC is a lot of fun, I'm an avid "Home Star Runner" fan, Strong Bad rules! I'm addicted to those silly web flash games, right now I'm playing Peasant's Quest. Music is terribly important to me as well.

Role playing games are hard on my brain and X-treme sports/fighting/shoot 'em up adult video games are too hideous to look at, I hate those polygons and the airbrushed characters. Bring back the Coleco-Vision console.

What are some of your influences in popular culture?
I dislike the term influence, is too strong a word to toss around, I prefer inspiration. Many artists would disagree with this because it's in our nature to cling to our objects of worship and either consciously or subconsciously mirror in our work what we consider great. Comic book artists in particular love citing this and that person as influences while mimicking their heroes' style and arresting their own development in the process, it drives me insane!. The result: most comics look like the same guy drew them.

I'd love to think that I get affected positively by a lot of the art I see, I think of my brain as a blender running on the highest setting, none of it sticks long enough to make me want to adopt a particular style or school of thought, style is the least of my concerns, self expression and problem solving, those are the main ideas. All unique styles are born out of the personal necessity to solve design problems within the artist's limited resources, knowledge and capabilities.

Here's a random list of pop culture heroes that come to mind as I write this: (Edit: Links added) A major inspiration is the great argentinian cartoonist Guillermo Divito, Tex Avery, Kurosawa, Le Corbusier, Richard Saul Wurman, Raymond Lowey, Moebius, Yves Chaland, Herge, and a slew of french comics. Egon Schiele, "The Golden Age" of american illustrators: Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, etc. and a whole bunch of american Illustrators from the turn of the century to the fifties (including John LaGatta, Herb Paus, JC Leyendecker, Enoch Bolles, George Petty & Gil Elvgren), Hitchcock's films, Paolo Garretto, Mary Blair, Aurelius Battaglia, Al Hirschfeld, Jack Kirby, Julian García, Jorge Carreño, Rafael Freyre, the first 7 full-feature animated Disney flicks, Akira, Astro Boy, Marine Boy (my favorite), UltraMan, Speed Racer and lots of old japanese cartoons are very inspiring, the movies of Pedro Almodovar, UPA cartoons, Rivera, Siqueiros, Guayasamin, Khalo, Graffiti, Tattoos, vintage illustrated movie posters, suicide girls, swiss graphic design, the Coca-Cola glass bottle, phew! I'm exhausted!.

Le Corbusier

Oswaldo Guayasamín

Rafael Freyre

Guillermo Divito

Jorge Carreño

(Please talk about specifics of some of the work that you've done for other companies)
As a whole, I have to say that I don't really like half of the "approved" work I've done for other companies, some was enjoyable, some was challenging, in particular the projects in which I was given a great deal of artistic freedom, but the majority of that work was watered down and rarely reflected my personal taste, for the most part those things were somebody else's ideas on how to separate the targeted consumer from his money, no redeeming artistic value whatsoever.

At major companies most art directors play to the lowest common denominator, hit all demographics at the same time. I'm not proud of the ton of crap I did commercially to pay my bills, but I don't regret any of it, I paid my dues ten fold, did what I was told, cashed the late check and went home and worked on my own stuff.

How would you sum up your life?
An HBO original series (with subtitles).

How did your upbringing allow you the freedom to become who you are today?
My upbringing was pretty shitty but fun, running the streets as a kid in a third world country without parents ( my father bailed out when I was 2 and my mother left her native Ecuador to find work in NYC when I turned 8) can not possibly be good for a shy and sensitive child of the artistic kind but it was perfect for a hyper-active freak with attention deficit disorder. Fending for yourself in a hostile environment forces you think outside the box and to wear many hats.
The positive results from such an upbringing: I have the passion and the work ethic of a turn of the century immigrant, I seek independence at all costs, I appreciate life and live every day as if it were my last, no job is below me, nothing is too difficult and I have zero tolerance for laziness.

The negative: I don't trust anyone except my wife and kids, I am not a team player whatsoever, I dislike working for others, I have no respect for money, I have no respect for authority, I isolate myself and my family from the rest of the world in order to protect them, I'm a stubborn fool, I use lots of comas, I always know what's best, even when I don't have a clue, wait, let me re-phrase that: particularly when I don't have a clue, I could go on you know.

How has your art evolved over time?
What I did last year doesn't resemble what I'm doing today.

How do you define art and culture? Is our generation cultured?
I don't feel qualified to answer that question, my views on what constitutes art and culture are so warped, it's not even funny. Everything is gut feeling for me.

Can you give our readers a crash course in how to get into art? For someone who has never
been to a museum or art gallery, it can be quite intimidating; how do they get started?
I'm sure there are plenty of self-help books for the art-challenged out there, I have no advice for your readers.
I know what I like and what makes ME happy, I truly have no idea as to what others like, or perhaps I do but I don't care.

What do they need to know to be an art collector not just for what melts the heart, but also what could fetch them some dough down the line?
I don't collect art for the sake of collecting. While I think I understand the concept of collecting to make money, I don't subscribe to that notion, collectors are scary people, they place value on crap for the most stupid reasons, makes no sense to me whatsoever. A lot of collectors who have bought Frazetta's original artwork, are counting the days until the old man kicks the bucket just so they can make a few extra bucks, ain't that nice?!. I have given people shitty preliminary sketches as gifts and later I found them in "collections". I'm not a businessman, I surround myself with art so I can touch it, feel it, be inspired and motivated by it; I take my toys out of the boxes and my comics out of the plastic bags and I play with them until they look like shit, "mint condition" is a foreign term to me.

What do you say to those traditionalists who believe that Van Gogh etc is
the only type of art that should be taught in schools or in museums? How the
old and new should be put in perspective?
I'm not concerned with what is taught or what is shown, art to me is a very personal journey, what melts MY heart -as you put it- is the only thing that matters to me. If an object or a performance elicits an emotional or aesthetic response from my brain (or both), whether is Rembrandt or graffiti in a public bathroom, THAT is art. Traditionalist thinking equates to narrow-mindedness, Van Gogh and his art were regarded as garbage by the traditionalists of the times. Art appreciation class for artists is a waste of time in my opinion, if you're an artist and need to be taught to appreciate art, you have problems.

What is creativity? If so how can someone tap into that aspect of themselves?
I honestly don't know what creativity is, but I wholeheartedly believe that every human being has been given a gift, this endowment is an entity all to itself, it may manifest immediately after we are born or it may lie dormant for years, as in my case and many others who tap into it later in life, a particular event or realization can wake it from its slumber, some people may never get to discover what's inside of them.

Artistic talent can not be acquired. Skills can be mastered by anyone with determination and a good memory, but true artistic talent is not skill, it's the vision to project a clear path to the understanding of what is beautiful and what makes it so, the sensitivity to perceive what is not apparent to others, a regular human being sees a red apple, no less, no more, depending on his/her state of being or the time of day, an artist sees yellows, greens, purples, blues, sin, desire, hunger, god, youth, decay, death and an infinite amount of possibilities. Talent is also the intuitiveness to recognize the sublime in the mundane and the grotesque in the majestic, the insight to apply acquired skills to achieve self realization through self expression.

Most human beings are quite capable of reacting emotionally to and be moved by art but that is not artistic talent, it's appreciation.

Are artists born or can they be made?
Artisans as well as technicians can be made, since the execution of a formulaic task merely requires skill, artists are born, if artistic talent is there you can tap into it, if not, you're wasting your time, go drive a truck or something.

How much is your most expensive piece? What is the most that you've been paid for your art? Where can we buy your work?
I don't sell my original drawings to the public, maybe in the future. If you invite me over and buy me dinner I might draw something for you :).

Have you ever altered your style for commercial gain? You mentioned that Disney Studios etc have the tendency to ask artists to change their signature to fit their mold
I've altered my "style" for commercial gain most of my life, I've made a living as a corporate graphic designer not as a fine artist, meaning I created logos, graphics and product illustrations for companies and services, that's where my money came from, style is important in corporate art but more often than not you must be willing to sacrifice your individuality for the sake of a unified look, I think I understood that concept and performed accordingly, I just don't want to do that anymore.

Studios such as Disney have to have everyone drawn their characters in the same style, it's understandable as they have certain standards they need to maintain, consistency is paramount in character recognition.

Figure drawing for me is not a financial necessity, it is a choice. I started drawing women in earnest 4 years ago, and with very few exceptions, that's all I do today, it's my passion and since I don't get paid to do it, I don't have to alter anything, it's what I've always wanted to do but didn't have the knowledge nor the time to pursue it with vigor, -and I didn't, precisely because I knew it wasn't going to pay my bills- not unlike most struggling artists out there, I couldn't afford to do "my thing" full time and on my terms. It's that simple.

Your art is fleshy and celebrates the human form, would you make your figures skinner or pornographic for profit?
The way I see it, a woman is a woman, it goes beyond the physical aspect, even Sarah Jessica Parker (who looks like a guy in drag with the voice of a 5 year old girl) has an air of femininity about her :), some artists prefer to draw asian girls, some rather draw and paint really fat women and so forth, I have no particular fetishes and I don't classify women. I do draw all body types but for the most part, I stay away from the "starving model" and the "morbidly obese" types, the 2 main physical differences between a man and a woman are: a wider pelvis and fatty tissue, drawing girls that look like 14 year old boys is not my thing, I like fat. Depicting pornographic acts does not interest me one bit, I don't care how much it pays.

Why do you refuse to sell your work in bookstores?
What I do does not appeal to the masses. On the low-end of the spectrum, there are no predictable stories to read, no random acts of sex and violence are depicted in gruesome Photoshop airbrushed detail and no muscle-clad super heroes prancing around in their colorful lycra underwear saving the world from impending doom. On the "intellectual" high-end, there are no stories recounting intricate tales of the human condition, the artwork is not poorly-drawn enough, nor vague and fuzzy enough to qualify as abstract, no pictures of empty rooms with say... rotten fruit in the middle or cow droppings, like we find in modern museums, no implied symbolism or hidden messages left to the interpretation of the educated viewer and no clever social/political commentary being made, just a bunch of socially irresponsible pencil drawings.

Just to clarify: I don't have anything against money, in fact, I like money. I wouldn't mind selling my stuff in a national bookstore chain, but it must be on my terms, I'm not going to draw bimbos with their legs wide open touching themselves, looking like they want to get fucked just because they sell better, I may do that if that is what I feel like doing. As my friend Bret Blevins puts it: "You can't adopt the undiscerning public's uninformed standards as the order of the universe--you've got to make your own order if you want to fully reach the privilege of being yourself--being the artist ONLY you can be".

I'm not taking a moral stand at all, I like porn as much as the next guy but that's not what interests me artistically. I don't draw girls for money and I most certainly don't draw for the fans, I do it to please myself, if all I ever wanted was to make money I would either go work at McDonald's or back to drawing corporate logos, same difference (except of course the amount on the "Mickey D's" check is way smaller ).

My personal work in book form is still very personal, even if half the world buys it (which is not the case), when you buy my books you're paying me to share my vision with you, I'd like to believe that you support my endeavors because you enjoy the work I do and quite possibly you would like me to continue doing more work for you to enjoy, you don't get to tell me what to draw, that is also why I rarely do commissions and I don't sell my artwork on e-bay, my sketchbooks are mainly bought by fellow artists and like-minded folks, that's just fine with me.

That may be called integrity in other cultures, in ours it's called financial suicide.

How has technology, proliferation of porn, 911, racism and today's culture affected your art?
Technology has been a blessing for me, it has made it possible for a lot of us artists to express ourselves without censorship while taking control of our own destinies, we expose our art to the world, research, promote, publish and sell our own work and more. Artistic and financial independence seldom go together, so I'm extremely happy to be able to maintain a certain level of both artistic and financial autonomy for the past few years.

Porn and technology however, do go hand in hand, is a well documented fact that porn is responsible for most major innovations in technology today: web browsers, search engines, still image and video compression, live web broadcasting, wireless billing systems, insanely huge servers, faster computers, logistics, and mass distribution systems, thank god for porn, huh?

Porn is also the cornerstone of a free society (heh, heh, I've always wanted to say that) porn itself is not the problem since sexuality and eroticism and any aberrations derived from them are human nature issues, porn has been around since day one and it will be here long after we're gone, you can't legislate it away, but the money that it generates makes people do stupid things.

I have always wanted to draw women, porn does not affect the intrinsic nature of my personal work, I 'd be doing the same thing I do now regardless of porn pouring into the mainstream, although it may affect your perception of what I do.

Having said that, today's easy availability of pornographic images has provided me with tons of reference material, as not all porn depicts hardcore sexual acts, thousands of naked and half naked models in a myriad of poses is a dream come true for me, if I had to pay a professional model to pose for me every time I draw a girl holding a gun I'd be broke.

America is still far from breaking free from racism. Prejudice and bigotry are very much alive and well, but it's also one of the most progressive countries in advancing the "melting pot" cause, since most people living here are from somewhere else. Racism does affect me personally but the subject matter I chose to depict is a different story, I don't mix politics with figure drawing.

Creative men tend to be more sensitive and in tune with their emotions, how does today's narcissistic/macho culture affect men in art?
The effects? younger males growing ever more disrespectful and abusive to women and girls reaching sexual maturity way faster than their brains are able to keep up, developing a total lack of understanding and respect for their own bodies and for themselves as human beings, this attitude is prominently displayed in pop music, music videos, comics and video games. No surprise "Girls Gone Wild" is a runaway best seller. There's a new kind of celebrity being emulated by the masses: "The Dumb Slut" with Paris Hilton as the ring leader.

How can one use art to create a romantic mood?
I don't know, I haven't dated since I was 16, I used to whisper custom made love poems in the ear of the victim, err, I mean the current object of my affections in those days, that used to work like a charm. My fantasy of an artistic/romantic moment is to draw a naked woman while listening to Cayetano Veloso's "Luna Llena Menguante".

Why do women love artists?
A male artist is the closest thing to a woman, heh, heh! just kidding. Heightened sensitivity and a disproportionate sense of idealism perhaps, I don't know.

What is the weirdest thing that's happened to you as a result of your art?
Weird things you say? ...how many pages do I have? This may not be the weirdest but it's a pretty cool example of life immitating art:

When I was younger I had a paper route to supplement my income as an in-house production artist for a local silkscreen company, I delivered the NY Times to a few apartment buildings along 34th Street on the East Side of Manhattan early in the a.m. My wife and I had gone through an excruciatingly painful year, financially, with an infant to provide for and a gloomy outlook, I couldn't wait for it to end. I was determined to quit art altogether and move my family to California in search for better paying jobs.

A week before Xmas I drew a cartoon self portrait and made photocopies to leave with my clients, as sort of a poor man's xmas card, hoping to entice my subscribers to tip heavy. Two days later at around 3 a.m. as I was about to drop a heavy Sunday paper at one of the apartments, an older woman opened the door from across the hallway and handed me an envelope, she said nothing, nodded, smiled and closed the door. I didn't make much of it at first since I had received tips in envelopes from subscribers the day before, I went on to finish my route, when I got home I opened the envelope to find a hand written note, explaining to me that she had been so impressed with the cartoon that she had written to Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, who was the publisher of the NY Times asking him for a job on my behalf, the publisher wrote back to her a few days later saying that they weren't ready to commit to hiring any artists at that point in time, promising of course to keep an eye on this young new talent, whether he was just refusing politely or being candidly honest made no difference to me, her beautiful gesture touched me in more ways than I could have imagined and renewed my faith in humankind (at least for the holiday season) at a particularly low point in my life, in which I questioned my own commitment and desire to do the "art thing".
I went on with my plans and moved to California nonetheless, I failed miserably and returned to New York 2 years later with bankrupcy papers to file and an additional mouth to feed, but I was never the same after that episode.


Thursday, March 24, 2005

Caricature Process Page (Adobe Illustrator)

A bunch of cartoonists posting photos of themselves to be caricaturized by their peers, lots of fun. Here's an updated version for all of you process lovers out there.

My preliminary pencil rough.

Layering shapes in Adobe Illustrator.

Establishing transparency values to mix colors and shapes.

Click on image to enlarge



50 Foot Queenie

A doddle inspired by the song of the same name by PJ Harvey.

Click on image to enlarge


Cuerpo de mujer, blancas colinas, muslos blancos,
te pareces al mundo en tu actitud de entrega.
Mi cuerpo de labriego salvaje te socava
y hace saltar el hijo del fondo de la tierra.
Fui solo como un túnel. De mí huían los pájaros
y en mí la noche entraba su invasión poderosa.
Para sobrevivirme te forjé como un arma,
como una flecha en mi arco, como una piedra en mi honda.
Pero cae la hora de la venganza, y te amo.
Cuerpo de piel, de musgo, de leche ávida y firme.
Ah los vasos del pecho! Ah los ojos de ausencia!
Ah las rosas del pubis! Ah tu voz lenta y triste!
Cuerpo de mujer mía, persistirá en tu gracia.
Mi sed, mi ansia sin limite, mi camino indeciso!
Oscuros cauces donde la sed eterna sigue,
y la fatiga sigue, y el dolor infinito.

This was done as a gift for friend at WonderCon last month.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Fatty You're The One For Me

Thanks to all the nice people I met at the WizardCon in long Beach CA and a big hug to all my peeps from the Drawing Board who stopped by my table.

A special THANK YOU to my partners: Howard Shum, Ed Reynolds, Rick Cortes, Sue & Rob, Keith Holven, Shane Corn, Corbett Vanoni, Andrew Meisner & Kir Bostic. pardon any ommissions.

Kudos to: Joel, Nikki and Buzz, Paige Pooler who fed me when I was hungry and Angel who gave me shelter when I was homeless :)

Something I was messing around with at the LBC this past weekend. Click on image to enlarge



Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Joys of Market Pigeonholing

Ah! Yes, there I was, typing for hours on end with one finger, answering the mandatory blog questionnaire. A fine idea indeed, marketing geniuses they are, I tell ya!

Technology helping people find themselves and others with similar attributes so they can be together, share long hot showers and exchange bodily fluids, sure, why not?. Perfect matches, carbon copies of themselves classified and sorted out by the things they love and hate. I never imagined a utopian state such as this "internet Starbucks", you mean I can list my individual preferences and the computer would match them to interesting people just like me? Amazing!!

Well, after filling out the forms the best I could, doing the impossible to appear as cultured, elitist and antagonistic as needed, clever and self-assured yet vulnerable and ultra sensitive, a cancer-pisces dream in fact, I was ready to find people of my own kind.......FREAKS!!

I clicked on one or two of the movies I chose as part of my favorites and I was instantly linked to several individuals sharing my unique characteristics, among them: professed pedophiles, telemarketers, communists, feminists, slackers, moonies, civil rights activists, "fat acceptance" practicioners, and a myriad of abortions that never happened. I found a guy who listed his interests as : "to have a girlfriend, to have a girlfriend, to have a girlfriend, to have a girlfriend, to have a girlfriend, to eat, to eat, to eat, to eat, to eat." I kid you not!

I believe a lot of these people are like me: fucked up!. Only difference is, they are looking for company, me? I want to lock myself in the basement, away from society, to prevent my destructive nature from corrupting and irreparably harming others (except for comic book conventions, those nerds are beyond help).

Who knows, maybe this systematic categorizing can be used as a dating service kinda thingy, match yourself to a fellow blogger and find true happiness (IN HELL!!!!) just kidding, just kidding :), who am I to say?, according to the Blogger computer it turns out I'm just another aberration of nature, a lonely misfit who can't get a date with his own mother, someone who lives with at least 8 cats and enjoys pain and sexual frustration, not that there's anything wrong with being single or in searching for a soul mate (or in sexual frustration as a hobby for that matter) all of which helps to shed some light upon a lot of my bizarre behavior, I know now more about myself than I ever thought possible. Quite frankly, I'm scared!

Trust the computer fellow nerds, she's right!

Speaking of freaks: This is a very rare treat friends, the artist as a 15 year old boy, with a face full of zits and a pocket full of ideals, >sniff<

Conceptual artist in the making or delusional wannabe?

Bottom: At 15 I moved in with my aunt Lucía and her husband Pablo, known lovingly as Buddah to the neighborhood kids and "Don Pablo" to his family and friends, (behind his back we all called him Pig Shit) he was a disgusting, old, fat, slob with a penchant for fondling little girls, the couple lived in a funeral parlor, my bed overlooked the coffins and other tools of the trade and it was from that vantage point that I used to watch him force himself onto a young girl from the neighborhood (possibly 12 years old), who oddly enough took him for more than a good chunk of money and left him with a mighty case of blue balls more often than he would care to remember, she was a pro.

Don Pablo used to go on drinking binges that would last a month at a time, his house was just as filthy and disgusting as his mind, mice and roaches roamed uncontested, he did have a wooden rat trap though, which rarely worked.

He caught a massive rat once, and asked me to help him get rid of it, ignorant of his intentions (but curious enough) I followed him right across the street from the funeral parlor to the park, he set the trap by the curb and handed me a 2x4 piece of lumber, he said: "Okay, as soon as I open the trap door you whack the rat with the 2x4...ready?" I go: "Wait! wait man, haven't you heard of rat poison?" "Why don't I hold the latch open while YOU club the rodent?" (well, not exactly using those words, but you get the point) He claimed to be suffering from an old war injury and released the vermin without further argument, ( I was thinking to myself, "hmm, Ecuador hasn't been at war since 1941") but anyways, I hit the rat with my eyes closed, she staggered, did a double take and scurried right between my legs and off I went chasing after a giant rat the length of Parque Forestal and down the street, not the highlight of my distinguished career.

Tía Lucía was nothing more than his personal slave, obeying the tub of lard's every command, he would fall asleep everyday at the same time while watching a TV news show called "The Street Told You So" in his custom made hammock, (which later traded for a Lazy-Boy) right after a succulent meal so full of saturated fat and animal entrails, it would make Jabba the Hut green with envy.

He was the main target of my teenage bile, he had a violent temper but couldn't touch me because I wasn't related to him, he used to beat his own kids on a regular basis (the main reason why they all left the house while in their teenage years) although I must admit sometimes he came dangerously close. I had very little common sense in those days and even less regard for my personal safety, I think about that everytime my kids do stupid things and put themselves in harm's way, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't even think about challenging the fat bastard. Looking back it must have been excruciatingly painful for him to have me at a striking distance and not be able to land a punch. See, he wouldn't dare fuck with his meal ticket, as he was enjoying a fat monthly check my mom was sending him to cover my bed and meals, I knew this and I toyed with him at will. Deep inside he was fully aware that I would make his life a living hell, so it served him better to leave me alone; strange dynamics we had going, he hated what he considered my arrogance and the fact that I was able to destroy him with the spoken word; fat boy, champion of morality was no match for my tongue lashings, on the other hand, I knew he could probably kill me with a blow to the head or by just sitting on me.

By then I had had just about enough with school, school assholes and the stupid jokes about living in a funeral home, I left that god-forsaken town at the right time.
This is just one of my many sketches in one of his "drunken stupor siestas", the only surviving drawing unfortunately.

Edit: Don Pablo Died of heart failure or some other artery-clogging related disease.

At 16 I was in "Art High School" but disappointed with the school uniform policies and the blatant ignorance of most of the teachers, I barely attended classes, all I did was to play street soccer, poke fat girls' behinds with sharp pencils and draw soccer players, teachers and rock stars, here's one of my favorite drawings at the time, Malmoë of Sweden.

I must have been 17 when I did this, my imaginary cover for Heavy Metal, a great magazine before they turned it into smut central.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Luke Skywalker Blue Print

This is the first character in a 3 way poster.

A fairly simple backround grid was created in Photoshop using the line tool ( an old drawing of the inside of a spaceship was used as template).

The BG layer was duplicated and the second copy was reduced and tweaked to add depth and to force a more acute perspective.

The SW logo was dragged and dropped directly from Illustrator.

A silhouette of "Luke" was drawn using the pen/path tool in Photoshop. The resulting path was selected (from the paths palette) was filled with white in a new layer and placed directly underneath Luke's layer.

"Luke" was scanned in from a blue Col-erase pencil and his layer was set to "darken".

Final.Click on the image below to view the entire illustration.

Luke Skywalker Blue Print