Friday, January 30, 2009

NEW YORK CITY COMICON 2009




CABIN FEVER, CABIN SHMEEVER!
It's that time of the year, Woohoo! The convention season has begun and after the brutal winter which has kept us indoors for weeks, here in the North-East, it's good to finally have a great excuse to leave the house and battle the elements.

This year I am honored to have my good friend and legendary character designer/illustrator Shane Glines of CartoonRetro.com fame, as my guest, joining Yours B. Truly in the Brandstudio Press booth. Shane will be debuting his brand spanking new art book at the show so if you were in need of a good reason to hop on the train and brave the cold and the big city crowds, you won't find a better one. Shane rarely does conventions so don't miss this chance to meet a true trailblazer of the animation industry. There will be plenty of copies of his new book on hand, which he will be signing, so stop by and pick one up, stay a while and talk shop.

BOOTH # 2342, BE THERE OR BE SQUARE
As always, all of you are invited, although only a few of you can come, so if you live in the Four-State area: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut & North Pennsylvania, come to the Jacob Javits Convention Center on 34th Street and 11th Avenue next weekend: Friday February 6, through Sunday, February 8th. Free sketches from yours truly to all human beings who identify themselves as friends of this blog. All enemies, however —as it's customary— will be slaughtered on sight and in full view of their loved ones.

PRODUCTION UPDATE
For those interested: The latest Eye Candy installment is being delayed but not derailed. We have met some snags )what else is news?) but we're moving forward, I'll have more definite info on this volume as it becomes available.

Same goes for the Carlos Meglia Sketchbook, we want to get this right so at this point we don't have a final release date. I will keep you posted.




SHANE GLINES' NEW HARD COVER BOOK

Cartoon Retro The Art of Shane Glines Vol. 1
By Shane Glines



48 full color pages, hard cover, Perfect bound-Sewn Pages
There is no content crossover with Sparrow and very little crossover with S*Curves (now out of print). The book will premiere at the New York Comic Con, Feb 6-8. Come and get it signed by Shane himself, if you can't make it to the show order it from the Brandstudiopress.com online store by clicking on the link below.

Price: $24.95 US Dollars plus shipping and handling.























THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE NOW AND WILL BEGIN SHIPPING ON THURSDAY FEB 5th.

Price: $24.95 US Dollars plus shipping & handling.

TO OUR INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS: 
PLEASE NOTE Our international shipping module is fully functional now, we accept orders from all over the world

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ORDER:








All images are copyright © 2009 Shane Glines/Cartoonretro.com, please don't reproduce without permission.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

SKETCHING IN 3-D 4-REAL





The pic above belong to a character I wanted to draw a turnaround for. The idea was to "Sketch/sculpt" something quick and basic to have as reference for the turnaround drawings.




This was so much fun, I kept going. I modified the pose to model a woman combing her hair.















Modeling the hair proved to be a stiffer challenge than I thought, particularly since I had (or wanted) any preliminary drawings to go by. So I decided to 'erase' and redo the arms. I gave her a plastic gun I found in my toy box and positioned her left hand resting on her left knee.
Not nearly as ambitious as the 'combing hair" beauty but fun nonetheless, I still want to do a woman combing her hair, maybe one of these days. 



TURNAROUND PICS
























This is what I ended up with, The one thing I love about sketches is that they don't need to be finished, some parts of this one are sleek and some I avoided altogether :)


Abrazos,
—Alberto

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Memento Mori




AN HISTORIC YEAR, A TRANSITIONAL YEAR.
2008 is gone, I really don't know what to make of this past year, a black man was elected president of the most influential country in the only world we know; I certainly never dreamt this would happen in my lifetime, I am glad it did, if for nothing else than what it represents, a giant step forward in humanity or in what we think being 'human' means. It was something truly remarkable to witness. I see him more as a smart man who understood how the system worked and how the game was played. He played the game brilliantly and then turned the game upside down, using the same techniques designed by those in power to perpetuate themselves and their kind. Don't kid yourselves, this is and will continue to be a racist country and Obama is not the perfect president, this country is controlled to a considerable degree by corporations, so concessions will have to be made, that's just the way things have worked for centuries, otherwise the U.S. would have never become the global power that it is, remember, empires are not built on sentiment. Yet for all his faults and imperfections, Obama is not Bush and that is cause enough for celebration. On a more personal note, I watched Brandstudio Press grown into what I always wanted it to become, a hub for artists of all persuasion, regardless of style or notoriety. We cemented our role as a player (small player as we might be) in an industry which for the most part is not friendly to relative unknowns. I took great pleasure in boasting to the world: "We are not part of this industry of shit so we will not play by their rules" That was fun because it is true. Not bad for a sophomore year.


BRANDSTUDIO PRESS "PUBLISHING"
I've received tons of emails from artists from all corners of the world, kindly asking to be considered for publication. My answer is pretty much the same to one and all: "Brandstudio Press is not a typical publisher", just a bunch of self-publishers, united by a common goal: INDEPENDENCE. Even though I have said this before, it bares repeating, since I keep getting questions regarding this issue. Most of the artists featured in Brandstudio Press invest in their own books. Given the state of publishing these days and since we don't play by the same rules, Brandstudio Press does not have the means required to finance every single project that comes to our attention. All of my personal resources (including the profits from the Brandstudio Press online store) are dumped back into Brandstudio Press to produce or help produce more of these titles.

Typical publishing companies pay for your book's printing, they also pay for the promotion and advertising of said book and give you some money in advance towards future sales of your book. Since they pay for everything, they control everything, including the look of your book and the tiny percentage you'd receive from the sales of your book. See, we don't work that way, we cater to the type who wants to have some measure of control over their own destiny.

THE WAY I SEE THINGS
I'm a firm believer in independence. I've been a freelance person/artist (for lack of better adjectives) since I was a child. I don't trust my livelihood and that of my family to anyone. Although I love sports, I was never a team player, those who know me since childhood can vouch for my "selfish" nature. This is not something I'm proud of, or ashamed of, just the way I am. I'd love to think of Brandstudio Press as a team of independent players, each one doing their own thing.

When I used to play soccer I was hated by my own team mates because I did not like passing the ball, I did score lots of goals but I missed more than I scored. My love for playing the game blinded me from coming to terms with the fact that I didn't belong in a collective effort, eventually I did come to understand my reality, not without a healthy dose of frustration, wasted youth, sleep and resources. 

When I finally realized my true individualistic nature, everything changed for me. I say this because a lot of artists out there are similar in nature and it could take a lifetime for a person to "discover" and deal with his/her inadequacies, particularly because we are taught since childhood to become "Team Players" and to fit in, so we keep on banging our heads against the same wall without positive results.

SELF OR EGO
I do enjoy sharing knowledge, my blogs are an example of just how much I love sharing, so for me it's not a question of selfishness, really. The issue is that in my twisted mind I always know (or think I know) I can do things better when I have full control over my work. I'm convinced that no one cares as much as I do for my own stuff, this is false, there are people who do care but it is hard for me to read people's true intentions and to give up control. 

I am not interested in controlling others or their work or their money, just my own. I have no hidden agendas, I make it very simple: it's all about me, all of the time. I have no desire of being the leader of any group or for that matter the spokesman for anybody or anything, I can barely take care of myself as it is. I don't care one bit about building empires or taking over the world, it takes too much from my drawing time, however, I must confess I do have a strong desire to do/build things of consequence, things that I hope will be here long after I'm gone. I want to leave something of artistic substance behind, other than the smell, what that would be? I don't know. It troubles me to think we come and go through this world like dogs, without at least attempting to change it for the better, in whatever little we can. I strongly believe in Art as a catalyst for change, real change, not bullshit political rhetoric.

In other words: don't fuck with me 'cause I sure as heck don't want to fuck with you, I'm too busy day-dreaming, not interested. 
I may not be selfish but I am indeed full of myself (as you can tell by the length of this rant) or rather, individualistic to the core. Somehow I feel it's important that you, the person reading this, know where I'm coming from, just in case we ever meet and do 'business' together. I don't want you to get the wrong idea.

ALONE DOES NOT MEAN LONELY
Even though I can't bear working with others —my past experiences doing that for the most part, were not at all pleasant— I don't mind working for others, provided I get to do what I want or at the very least have my creative input respected, as in the case of Brandstudio Press, something, which may I say, is nearly impossible to do when others are paying you to do what they want, so I don't take money in exchange for art anymore, I still owe a good friend, an Elvis commission and one day I'll surprise him for sure.  I despise most art directors, and/or editors; I wholeheartedly believe the world's dependency on Middle Eastern oil would be drastically reduced  if we could somehow gather all the art directors in this world and burn them for fuel. 


Perhaps because I attended a catholic elementary and a military high school I developed a healthy  dislike for authority figures, I hate being told what to do by lesser human beings than myself and to obey without questioning makes absolutely no sense to me, my hatred for cops and priests has been well-documented (by me, of course). And while I did suffer a great deal in those institutions, I also learned to seek and value my independence. By the same token, I hate telling others what to do, I don't mind giving advice but I don't want people under me, except my wife :P

Maybe all the aforementioned stuff is why I chose to work alone. Believe me, I've tried being part of teams and working in house for companies, but in the end I always wound up quitting or getting fired and going back to doing things my way, please don't get me wrong, it wasn't always my employer or collaborators who were at fault, most of the time it was my own fault, my heart was not in it, I often stopped giving a shit minutes after starting. 

I have no fear of failure and no regards for money, everything I do is doomed to fail someday because I lack the desire to repeat myself and the key to success is consistency and repetition, that pretty much guarantees I will never become a rich man. This is particularly (and painfully) true in art, where in order to "make it" you have to do the same shit over and over and over again, once the public accepts you and your "style" they want you to continue repeating yourself until you die, the minute you decide to take an artistic risk to grow and explore, they drop you like a bad habit.  

Failure, art and sex are the main driving forces in my life and you already know what I think of money; any asshole with half a brain can make money. It is so incredibly easy to put a few lines or colors together, no matter how crude or unrefined and come up with a "profound and mystical" meaning behind the crap you want to sell and have people throw money at you like it's going out of style, trust me, I've done that to fuck with people and I can tell you without a hint of hypocrisy, it's so easy, it's almost criminal. 

People in general are gullible and they love being told how to feel, what to wear, what songs to listen to, etc.... they love to think that there has to be some  deep and mind-altering meaning behind what you do, most people are incapable of understanding that artists sometime do things just for the fuck of it, they have to be spoon-fed a reason to like something, specially if the person brain-washing them is (or claims to be) a celebrity of some sort. I find no pleasure in doing that. 

At one point I thought seriously about writing a book entitled "How to Make Money and be Financially Independent" but I figured it would be a waste of my time, nobody would buy it because the book wouldn't feature any celebrity success stories and all of my solutions would involve working hard, cultivating self esteem and living in the present, 3 things the people who buy these sort of books hate to do. 

Donald Trump is the dumbest retard on two feet, every single time he opens his sewer of a mouth, shit flies all over the place and yet, he is one of the wealthiest men out there, or at least he claims to be (the fact that his daddy gave him a fortune so big, he couldn't lose it if he tried, didn't hurt none) enough said. 

To make money for the sake of making money is not a challenge to me in the least, it's boring. I am wired like that; to make money doing things my way and to do it while going against everything they tell you in art and business schools, that is what I love.

I DON'T MAKE THINGS FOR MONEY AND IF YOU ARE AN ARTIST , NEITHER SHOULD YOU
I understand not everyone wants to be an independent artist, Brandstudio Press is not for everyone, most people are not art kamikazes, nor are they egocentric mad scientists conducting social experiments with axes to grind,  not all artists are misfits like me. Most artists love collaborating with others, they love being part of something bigger than they are, that is a selfless and beautiful thing for sure, something I hold in the highest of regards, although sadly, not a trait I harbor. There are some who can balance working for the man and satisfying their need to do their own thing, I have lots of respect for these people and I welcome them with open arms, because they understand what we do.

Brandstudio Press is not the right fit for those who love having others do everything for them. If you don't want to get involved in publishing your own book and prefer to let others do it (even if that may mean exposing yourself to being taken advantage of) I understand. Doing it yourself does require some leg work and a decent amount of research and it's boring stuff, but don't despair, you are very lucky because there are thousands of publishers out there that can help you, you don't need me, Image Comics may be the perfect thing for you, they pay for and do everything, you do nothing. Lulu.com, Blur and other "Print on Demand" companies can also print and sell your efforts with minimum effort on your part and at a fraction of the cost
Barring a couple of exceptions, which merit my personal involvement, Brandstudio Press was created solely and exclusively to help people who want to help themselves. I don't charge a penny for my services but you MUST be involved somehow. You invest in yourself and you reap the rewards, yourself.

Think about it! there is nothing, I do mean NOTHING publishing companies (including Brandstudio Press) can do for your book that you, yourself can not do. Being an artist, you can put together your own book, there are many writings on the subject and free articles on line regarding the layout and design of books, they make it so ridiculously simple, just Google the words "self publishing" it's a crime to not do it yourself. 

You can find a printer or I can recommend one for you, you can promote and advertise your book, you can submit your book to a distributor such as Diamond (whether or not they consider your book worthy of distribution is another thing), you can open your own PayPal account and sell it right off your blog or site, or put the book up on Amazon.com all by yourself. You can also purchase a booth or a table at any of the many conventions, nothing can stop you from doing that and from displaying your work and selling your books at these events. You don't need to be a so called "professional artist" to get a table at any of these shows, nobody knew who the fuck I was when I paid for my own space at the San Diego Comic Con, they took my money with a smile, just download the form and send the check, trust me, they WILL take your money, that's the one thing you can always count on: someone out there will ALWAYS take your money. 

You can do anything you want but whatever you choose to do, don't have money as your main reason for self publishing because chances are you will be painfully disappointed, unless you happen to be a distributor, there is very little money in publishing no matter what the public's perception may be.

My goal with Brandstudio Press as it is now and going forward in whatever future re-incarnation, remains the same, publishing and co-publishing the most fun, helpful and inspirational books (and other goodies) by artists, for artists. like I said in previous posts, I don't give a shit about the so called "fans", they can fend for themselves.

In this new year I wish all of you all the love, health, prosperity and artistic independence you can possibly handle. May 2009 be the year in which you publish your own book. Have faith and believe in yourself, work hard at becoming better than you were in 2008, that should be your primary resolution, draw until your fingers bleed. There are no secrets out there, only solutions. Life is short, live it to the fullest.


Abrazos,
—Alberto