Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Prepare Ye! - Finished

After hours of careful screwups, and many attempts to defenestrate my Wacom - this piece is finally finished.

This piece was really difficult to pull off. One of the main concerns I had after posting the WIP was that the halo was making it look like a helmet. Not to say that Jesus wasn't into road safety, but it really didn't convey what I was trying to get out of the piece. I still wanted the halo there, but I was having a hard time conveying that over his enormous afro.

I tried posting to an artists group I'm part of for critique. They said the same thing about the helmet, but also that the heart didn't really read well as a heart. I tried numerous other ways to make it look like a heart. I posted it a few more times while in progress.. and it frustrated me to no end that the new critique was "You should do it X way"... with X being the way I had it originally. So, was it good or bad? I guess we'll never know. I finally managed to make it look more heart-like by giving it a bit more depth, and making i kindof 3D over the top curve of the forehead. I made it look like there was face paint surrounding a bleeding heart on his forehead. I think it gave it an interesting, unexpected visual.

I finished blocking out the lettering on the hair, but I didn't like how it looked. I didn't like that it was so rounded. I tried numerous things. I tried giving the hair a more textured look, but keeping the halo round. I tried     making the halo more of just an outside stroke above the hair, and keeping the hair AS the halo (which I really feel was what they were implying by it in the movie). What ended up working was giving the hair a little bit of texture by erasing out to leave some negative space, but giving the hair a stable arc to cut across. And then! Then! I had the FANTASTIC idea to give the HALO some texture! And that was where I was finally happy with it.

I have about 15 versions of this because I was not happy with how it came out each time. But after taking certain elements from several different versions, I finally have one that I'm happy with.

A good friend of mine made one closing critique on it that I agreed with her on, that the face makeup I had on the version I put up on my DeviantArt was not quite as it should be.. so the version down here has been adjusted for that, and I definitely think she was right. It looks WAY better now!

So, without further incident:

I emailed Stephen Schwartz's staff and requested an address to send a print of this to him. They sent me one, but with a note that he won't be replying since he's in "artistic hibernation". That's really fine. I just want him to have a copy of it!

And now - to work on something else. I intentionally made myself sit through the entirety of Godspell yesterday to make sure I wouldn't hate it forever. I love it as a movie and as a musical, and I think my life would be so different without it. The soundtrack to Godspell is one of my earliest memories. I remember my sister singing it around the house, and her having been in a production of it. This musical has a special place in my heart <3

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Prepare Ye!

This is the framework for a Godspell poster I'm working on. It's a well known fact that I am a huge fan of Stephen Schwartz, and Godspell especially. (However, Wicked comes a close second!)

There is a scene in the film version from 1973 with Victor Garber as Jesus that has this beautiful shot. It's right after the song "O Bless the Lord My Soul" and during the scene of Beatitudes. Judas says " Blessed are ye... When men shall persecute you and revile you... and say all manner of evil against you... .... falsly.". The camera changes focus from David Haskell as Judas/John The Baptist and back to Jesus again.. and there's this look on his face that I've always felt moved by. It's this "Yeah, I know.. and this is going to suck" face.

I am a huge fan of Victor Garber as well. I would love to make some arrangements to get a print of this to him when it was finished if possible.

His hair is going to serve as a halo as well, and I'm planning to put the words "Earth shall be fair and all her people one" inside of it, making up the texture of the hair.

I plan on keeping this mostly black and white, with the exception of the heart on his forehead. It's actually going to be quite minimalist, which will be new for me.

The contour of his face came out awesome. I am so proud of that.

Any critiques or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

And this will be Print #2

I decided to do a black one and a white one. I already posted the white version, so here is the other one:

I didn't really like how the black of the heart blended in so much with the star burst. I ended up making a new layer underneath the heart and using the same shape of it but with a thick stroke around it. I think it helps it stand out really well. I think this is my favorite of all of the ones like this I did. I think this will likely make the best print!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Or I could just print this.

I think this is is. I think this is the print!

So, Now I'm Torn...

I really should just either let dead things lie, or really work out what looks absolutely awesome before I post it. The only problem with that is that I'm constantly making things that could look awesome in several different ways.

Take these three for example:

I love all three of them. They each have their own charm to them. I think the gray and black one willbe the one I print, though. I might have to futz with it in Photoshop, though.. just to be sure everything is exactly how I want it printed.

Or maybe I could release them all? I just wish I could figure out how to make things that only looked awesome one way. Because instead, I end up bombarding my DeviantArt, my Facebook, and my blog with several versions of the same thing because I end up messing with something again after I'm "done" with it, and it ends up looking wicked. I think I have no fewer than 15 files for this thing alone.

I did end up toying with the starburst backgrounds, and I posted them to my DeviantAt account for people to use as stock backgrounds. I respectively named them "Pink Lemonade", "Watermelon", and "Electrolyte Imbalance". I named the latter because I did a blue/green one that reminded me of Powerade. That one seems to be the most popular so far.

On the plus side, I'm now ahead of the game. I was hoping to have 100 deviations by June when I went to Vegas for my sister's wedding. Now, I'm only 5 away!

Since I finally learned how to make the starburst in Photoshop, I will never stop using this XD No, I probably will... but be prepared for me to continue using it.

After messing with the another piece, I had a lightbulb moment and went "Aha!" and figured this would make an absolutely amazing background for my sacred heart piece.

I also made a version of this with lyrics from "Starlight" by Muse on it, but it looks absolutely ridiculous, so I'm not going to post it.

I made a few different gradient colors for the background, and I might toy around with them later. This one reminds me of Tie Dye, and there was another one I called "Pink Lemonade". I might just toy around with the gradient and starbursts and post them as stock for people to use for free or something.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Shot Through the Heart (And Donovan is to blame)

During the making of this piece, I was subjected to Donovan's "Atlantis" several times by Spotify. I had it on a playlist I made of oldies and classic rock. Somehow, it decided that I needed to be barraged by Atlantis. I think it might be psychic, since I was having a good laugh last night over some guy being beaten to death with Atlantis playing in the background in "Goodfellas".

I decided to revisit this because after last nights deviation, I compared it on my blog to another sacred heart I did years ago. I took the original from that piece, and created a new skeleton for this. I was going to re-create the layered piece I did before as a live trace, but I ended up doign this instead. I'm actually really pleased with how this came out.

I feel a bit sacrilegious about putting a Sacred Heart on a set of cross hairs, but there's something to it that makes sense. Please excuse the Bon Jovi reference as a title - I couldn't think of a better one (Though my husband suggested "Total Eclipse of the Heart")

I'm a little iffy on the little gradient dots on the edges, but I think I might leave them there. I like them.

Sacred Hearts

Just a doodle I did because my husband insisted I draw SOMETHING. Feeling kindof down tonight. Not really feeling up to drawing.

I drew a Sacred Heart because it was something I used to look to for comfort. I've never been Catholic, but the Sacred Heart has always been something I considered very beautiful. The idea that something in this life could be so beautiful gave me happiness and hope for a better day tomorrow.

I've always been drawn to the Sacred Heart. The Immaculate heart is beautiful as well, but the Sacred heart is something else entirely. While I know that the Sacred Heart doesn't stand for this, I always felt that the Sacred heart represented the love one had for Jesus and his role as lord and savior. I thought maybe if I could find what set my heart alight in that same way, it would feel complete. Somehow, this image is one of the only things that has truly set my heart alight in that way. I could draw sacred hearts all day. I used to. I used to have them all over my notebooks in high school. I made them into clay beads and pendents. I nearly had one tattooed on me, but my mother told me that was only for "jailers and sailors".

There's just something about an image that makes your heart ache in awe of its beauty. It sounds ridiculous, but I feel like this is what my heart would look like if I could just find that "one thing".

But I think I like this one below better: 

The black and neon one is one of my favorite pieces from my portfolio.

It's interesting to see them side by side (or, one over the other rather) since they're so different.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Beauty is in the Eye of the Bee Holder

So, here I am. Rocking out to Hanson, messing with Illustrator sans Wacom. I am an avid Hanson fan. I was a huge fan of them when Middle of Nowhere was released in 1997. I kept myself in denial for a long time, cause listening to Hanson wasn't "cool". But finally, I just said "The hell with everybody else. Hanson is awesome", and came out of the proverbial record cabinet. Hanson is an amazing band. Seriously. They are WAY more than people take them for. MMMBop is not by far their best song. I highly recommend giving some of their newer stuff a listen. But this blog isn't about Hanson - it's about my artwork!

I decided to play with a piece that I worked on before. I replaced the bee with something that I live-traced and then adjusted to my liking, instead of using clip art. It used to be a clip-art be with clip art vector filigrees. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. I saw this neat piece of artwork on DeviantArt that inspired me to work with just some basic shapes and layer them together. I thought it might be neat to play around with the piece I had before. This is what it originally looked like (well, after I switched out the bee and lost the filigree. That one isn't saved anymore! I accidentally deleted it):

This is also a minor variation on the egyptian "Eye of Horus". That was the inspiration for it. It started out with just a circle and some dripping lines, and turned into this.

It's interesting what the work of others and good music can accomplish!

Friday, April 6, 2012


I've been working on a brand name to go with my nom de stylus. (Haha, I see what I did there)

I settled on MÖSHRUMP. The logo will be stylized in a Helvetica font with tight kerning. I figured since a lot of the work I do is mushroom related, going with something that names it that way worked well. It's an old form of the word Mushroom (obviously). I already have the email account set up and everything. It's time to get professional, people!

I also set up a new Etsy account with the name Moshrump as well, so that once my stickers get printed up, they will have a place to go.

And now: for Google Visibility!

MÖSHRUMP + moeshrump + mushroom + moshrump

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Productive Procrastination

I'm avoiding working on my  lyrics piece AND my seahorse. For some reason, I just don't want to work on them. They're frustrating me. The seahorse is making me not want to finish it because I have to do it segment by segment, layer by layer. I'm honestly wishing I hadn't decided to digitize it. I'm sure I'll come back to it eventually, but for now --- something less frustrating.

I've been playing with a sticker series in Illustrator today. Completely original, drawn with the pen tool.  It started because I posted the cat sticker I made yesterday on my facebook. A friend from school said she'd like some, plus some bunnies for her car (to match the amount of pets she has). So, I started playing around with the bunny. Then, I saw another friend on Pinterest (The time-sink of the universe) collecting skull designs.. so I did a skull. I still wanted to do something else. I ended up doing an owl because my husband and I were discussing things that were marketable. Last week, I had lamented that my Threadless submission didn't make it. The same girl requesting the bunny had suggested that next time, I put a bird on it. "Hipsters love birds", she said. Plus, owls are pretty cute. Boom! Owl!

Here they are in their pre-production glory:

And now, I think I'll go try and work on the thing that might actually make me money. Although, I did get the money from my first print today! Win!

Somebody that I used to Know - Take 1

After the success of my Massive Attack piece, I decided I would do another piece of a similar kind for practice. I might actually have a market for this. I had this idea for the song "Somebody that I used to know" by Gotye feat. Kimbra. I hated this song for the longest time. It absolutely grated on my nerves that someone would use the phrase 'have your friend collect your records and then change your number". Records? Man. I know I live in Portland, but that's a little hipster-ish even for me.

Anyway. I finally got over my deep hatred for the Hipster Song, as I called it.. and decided to work with it. I made the outline, and Ben reminded me I could use a clipping mask to make the border on it. That way I'm not fretting over the complex outline of it. With the Massive Attack one, it had a little more give because it was mostly just curved lines. This one has a more complex image to it, so it's going to require a bit more control over how the words get placed.

Once this is finished, the outline is not going to be visible. I only left it on there as a visual cue for the artistic process. I'm still working on finishing the lettering on it, but once I do, I'm going to move letters up, down, and around so they're not quite so fine tuned. I also need to finish my seahorse painting, but I think I'll work on this instead to avoid working on that hideous atrocity!

Neon Cats, Ahoy!

 On my adventure to create at least one thing per day,  I decided to just mess with my tablet. For fun, I decided to draw a cat. I wasn't sure what to do with it, so I went with my usual and put it inside a circle. I liked the way it looked, and have provided an example below. I like the complementary colors I used. For most of them (I did one each in pink, orange, green, and blue), I kept the green eyes. It didn't look quite as good with the orange though,

I played around with outline strokes and paths til I found one that worked well enough. Then, I used the blob tool to make a background for the design. The black square behind these is only for demonstration. If I were to have these made into stickers (which I intend to), they would be die cut around the outline of the outermost color border. I'm mostly just amused that I drew neon cats!