Thursday, October 31, 2013

"They All Float Down Here."

Stephen King's "It" was on TV last night.  I had originally seen the first half of the movie when I was about 12 years old at family friends house.  Leaving at the half way point, I was stuck not knowing how the story ended.  At that point in the movie, most of the characters were roughly the same age as me which really helped with my fascination with it.  Sadly, this was way before you could just go out and rent the DVD.  So I went to the local book store and bought a paperback copy of the book.  Holy crap was that a lot of words.  Not to mention way scarier.  

I'm not the fastest reader and didn't get even as far as I had seen in the movie.  A couple years later I would strike up conversation with a friend who had the whole thing recorded on VHS.  I cannot express the extreme amount of closure that I received from watching it.

I had a few extra minutes at lunch and thought I would sketch out the above picture.  I tried not to mimic Tim Curry's version of the character, but still keep some of the touchstones.  Happy Halloween everyone.

The Creature

A better Scan.

The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Happy Halloween! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Bicycle Horror

I love drawing these blob-y ghost monsters, especially this time of year.
Stay tuned for colors by our own Tim Switalski!

Monday, October 28, 2013


It was a crowded, makeshift gallery in the Factory building of the Cleveland Institute of Art.  It was the late summer of 1993, we were standing around before empty walls waiting to hang the "best" of our High School work right before the opening of the new student show.  As I recall it was essentially a mixer before classes started and our parents went away and left us to become whatever we were to become.  I had the luck and the horror to hang my work near Amanda Cook.  She was so very good and honestly, as I looked around the room they were ALL so very good that I started to seriously consider going back to WV with my parents.  Amanda had seen me hanging my, whatever it was, and being the exceedingly kind person she was decided to strike up a conversation.  We talked about many, chit chatty things but what I remember was she had also set her sights on becoming an Illustrator.  A part of my brain thought, "oh great, competition," but a larger part of my brain thought, "oh great! Illustration class is going to be awesome!"  I wasn't wrong.
Amanda was consistently outstanding.  She is one of the best Draftspersons I've ever had the pleasure to study with.  Her drawings were so rich, her eye so trained, I learned to render volume and to feel the line carve into and out of the object by being in the same class with Amanda.  From that first show on, I always looked for and learned from Amanda's work.
We were fast friends as I am sure anyone who was fortunate enough to meet her could say.  Her kindness, and friendly nature was one of the things that kept me from hopping in the car with my folks and getting the heck back to West Virginia.  Her smile was everywhere!  I walk into the drawing room, Amanda would smile, stroll into Art History, a smile, tip toe into Design, a weary smile. Even on days when the pencil wasn't hitting the paper the right way and I would feel a fraud, Amanda was there so things weren't so bad.  
   She cared deeply about all of her friends.  Amanda would ask me about home, how things were going, we would talk about things we saw and stuff we did over breaks and when she found out the name of the girl I was dating (and would eventually marry) was also Amanda she wholeheartedly approved!  I'll always remember that when Amanda and Mandi finally met it was like they already knew each other but then that's how she was.
This last weekend our friend Amanda passed away after long suffering illness.  She leaves behind a beautiful little boy, a loving husband, a great family and scores of friends, old and new that will miss her very much.

Amanda loved nature but if she were to have a totem animal it would be the manatee.  She absolutely loved them, did her part to help conserve them, drew them like no one else could.  So today when I sat down at my desk the only thing I wanted to draw was a manatee.  This little guy will be a place holder till I get the color one up.  


 Lots of stuff happening at the Crider compound, and I'm pretty sure halloween is passing me by this year.  One of those things is spending a lot of time in Adobe Illustrator, where I had the chance to cartoon up the great Gil Elvgren. 

In the beginning, one of the things that brought us monsters together was a love of classic pin up art, so it was a real blast to get a chance to honor that in my own style. 
Original Pencils

Original Image

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

9 Days until Halloween: Godzilla

Hail to the king baby! No time to ink, pencils only (+photoshop). 

"Some places are like people: some shine and some don't."

I had the privilege of participating in the Creep Show last weekend in Cleveland.  Originally wanting to do an homage to the Creature From the Black Lagoon, I was side tracked by an article on The Shining.  Not soon after, I started drawing the above piece.

If you'd like to see the original (digital) pencils and inks (including a sinking eyeball that I caught while coloring), then head over to my personal blog: 


Monday, October 21, 2013

10 Days Until Halloween

And we're back... So my ill-fated attempt to do a monster sketch everyday this month got derailed by life (2 gallery shows and a full-time job), but there are 10 days until Halloween,  and starting tonight , I will do a monster sketch a day for the next 10 days ( I hope).


This one is a tad off my normal style but it's one of those that I just started and just had to finish.  I blame this last weekend's mural for my color choices.  Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Reanimation Initiative is 2 Days Away!!!

We are just 2 days away from our first RBMC art show.  In honor of the event, I thought I would post up a work in progress of one of my pieces for the show.  Besides displaying our murals and found items we collaborated on, we are including solo pieces for sale at the show.  If you live in the Cleveland Area, please come join us on Friday, October 11th at Bay Arts.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Mummy

Day 7/31: the Mummy!

...cue action music

Probably the most asked questions we get while painting a mural is,  "What are you going to do with it when you are done?" "Are you going to sell it when you are done?"  Well part of that answer happens OCT 11, at BAY ARTS!!!!  We've painted on nearly everything and now you can take it home with you!  Want a piece of a mural?  Want a whole mural just not as big as our full murals?  WANT A FULL SIZED MURAL FOR YOUR WALL?  Want a painting of an eyeball with lightening coming out of it on an old hard hat?  If you answered yes than come to Bay Arts in Bay Village this Friday night.  Say hi, see cool stuff, have a great time at our FIRST gallery show!!!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tales from the Rust Belt

BOO! Ah-hahahahah's baaack (October)!

Greetings boys and ghouls, October is "Monster Month" here at the Rust Belt blog, and to celebrate the best month of the year, we'll be filling this thing with fearsome frights and devilish delights!  

We've chained our creepy contributors to their drawing tables and "convinced"(mercilessly tortured) them to draw (until their bleeding crippled digits fall off) an eerie new etching every day in October!

So stay's going to be a hell of a ride Ah-Hahahahaha!

-the "Management"