A while ago, my friend and colleague Ryan approached me with an idea for a book of my drawings. I didn't originally want to relinquish control of my drawings to someone else to do something with them, but eventually I realized that I wasn't making a book any time soon, so someone else might as well.
People have been calling me the Bartist for a while now, and this book will be a collection of quite a few of my BART drawings from over the last few years. There are over 300 drawings and quotes and stories and ideas represented in this 200 page book. We really tried to do something fun with this book, and we're so excited about it.
You can go to the Rapid Transit Book site to sign up for a mailing list and to get more info as it becomes available.
Shiny things distract me, and I forget to do basic things. Basic things distract me and I forget to do shiny things. It is a vicious cycle. I want so desperately to have the time to do what I want, without worrying about what I must. But if what I want doesn't become what I need, then I'll never finish the things that I want.
I have been very... slackery about the portrait project lately. I'm getting back into it. I just updated it, whereas I hadn't in... months? Ugh.
I've also been putting a lot of work into my commissions site bronkula.com, and the art book I've been putting out every 3 months at portraitquarterly.com. These two things have been forward in my thoughts recently, as I attempt desperately to turn any social momentum I currently I have into some sort of fiscal reality. I am still not making any real headway in this respect, but I refuse to stop YET. I am certainly not done doing art any time soon, but it would be amazing if I was able to turn that into something.
That's me talking out loud. Somehow, this website is moving away from being my main website. I kind of like that. Maybe soon, this will turn back into the place that I can write whatever I want, because no one will ever read it. Probably.
You guys, It has been one of my life's dreams to have a book with my art in it. The fact that I made this book on my own bootstraps, using an awesome self-publishing platform like Blurb, shouldn't detract from this accomplishment. It's possible that it should even make it all the more impressive, but I might just be trying to convince myself.
I have plans for this book. This one is not the last. Notice the name is Portrait Quarterly. It is not San Francisco Portraits. It is not Hamilton Portraits. It is not Caricatures, or Drawings, or any other numerous names that people tried to convince me to brand this project with. It is just portraits, and it is almost certainly going to be quarterly. I made myself a promise and a goal earlier this year to make this book, and I have done it.
Now I have to do it again. And again. Every three months for the rest of my life, if it makes sense. But this book does not, should not, CAN NOT be just about me. I asked other people to participate in this first one, and through a number of different reasons, I ended up just pushing out the book with my own content. But I want this book to be a possible showcase for the works of many artists. I would love to possibly show your art in its pages. I am interested in putting out feelers for other artists, writers, photographers, or collaborators that are interested in participated in this thing I'm doing. The subject is "portrait". What can you do. Give me an idea for at least 10 pages of content, and let's talk about working together on a future release of Portrait Quarterly.
This book was 120 pages, and 10 of that was blank pages, and a number of pages of content were filled by December art. I think I can consistently fill 80 pages of content every 3 months. I need your help to fill up the other pages. Email me your idea for inclusion. I still don't know how it's going to work out. I need to think about how compensation works and such. I just know that I need to start the conversation now. So if you want to get in, get in.
When I started my Portrait Project, not many people signed up initially, because they thought that I would just let them in. But I'm trying to make schedules and stick to them. We've got 2 months until the next Portrait Quarterly needs to ship. Let's do this.
Alright. After getting feedback from my copy editor Andy Franzen, after getting a test print printed, and seeing any things that need to be fixed, after feeling it in my hands and rubbing it on my face, after resampling, and re-editing, and reuploading...
I am proud to announce that I believe you should purchase a copy of the PORTRAIT QUARTERLY! (hopefully the first of many)
This book features 120 Pages of art and words by me, and a little room for something by you. It is a 6x9 perfect bound softcover book that holds art that I created, mostly over the first quarter of this year. It features the wonderful Agnessa Vardani on the cover.
A lot of things are happening suddenly. Ben Hulan, a fellow teacher at the Academy of Art, and I started a webcomic called Open Mike Nite. Ben is taking on the writing duties, and I'm doing the art.
It's been a really fun process for me to learn about Manga Studio for comic creation. The fact of the matter is, Photoshop isn't the right tool for all digital art. Manga Studio creates a crisp line quality that just can't be equaled in Photoshop. It's the real difference for comic creators.
I've also been having a lot of fun trying to push myself with each new strip to improve my art and be free to move the look of the characters wherever it seems appropriate. It's really one of the coolest things I'm doing right now.
Speaking of things I'm doing right now, the Bold Italic Just did an article about me and my Portrait Project. I met up with Carolina Quijano outside work for a bit before going into teach, and it was really a fun interview. I even got to chat with her about statistics (even though she wisely left all of that out of the article).
It's worth mentioning that I only had 2 spots left when the article ran, and I now have over 50 emails to sift through asking for spots. So... There's that.
I'm also trying to put together a printed version of my bart sketches and instagram drawings. Stay tuned for more news on that soon.
I've been doing some things. I've been making stuff. I've been arting some arts. And I haven't been blogging enough, I apologize for that. I put up a few new pieces as prints on my deviantart account. I thought that I might as well mention them here.
Also, something is in the works. It will be awesome. I'm pretty sure it will be awesome. I hope it doesn't suck.
I have had a wonderful year that has given me many wonderful opportunities but one of the more interesting ones has been to get involved with Apple in a small way.
I never used apple products growing up. My dad always had a computer in the house, but they were always other brands. From an old zenith portable, to more modern HP systems. We usually either had DOS or Windows. I was institutionalized against apple products.
When I was capable, I bought myself a Wacom Graphire drawing tablet, and began experimenting with drawing on the computer. At first I would draw in pencil, scan the drawing, and then color in the computer, but then I began trying to draw direct into PaintShop Pro and once I did, I was off to the races. Eventually I tried Photoshop Painter and other fun products, and when OpenCanvas came out, I was HOOKED.
When I began trying to develop games, I realized that I should probably attempt to create something for IOS, and it turns out you CAN'T develop for IOS, unless you have a Mac. So I got one. I purchased the smallest, cheapest mac laptop I could. ... Which was $1200 dollars. An astronomical price for me at the time. But that little system has had legs, and it changed my thoughts about Macs and their capabilities. I still have that Mac, I still use it to this day, and it is still impressive.
My point in bringing all of this up is that I have tried it all, in my own due time. I have had many mobile devices, I have had many computers, and I have used all the software. When I give you my opinion on most of these things, it tends to come from a place of experience, instead of just institutionalization.
I am always astounded at how astounded other people are when I show them the art that I make digitally. Don't they know that this is possible, and has been for some time?
No. They don't and although I don't want to ruffle newfound friendly feathers, it is important to note that Apple is largely the reason people don't know that this is possible. Apple's current state of artistic creation is subpar at best. And people have tried it, seen how it is, and decided that's just the current state.
But that is not the case. Samsung has been creating devices that have touch AND pen capability for artists for years now. And they're good at it. The Note line of products all come with a Wacom pen that is paired with the device (not any particular app) and these products give you the ability to be an artist on the go. These are not silly toys with nubs on the end, they are full featured, pressure sensitive, art producing, power houses. And as artists, you should know about them.