It's a proven fact...art is more fun with friends. Mixing and matching combining your lions to form Voltron, always yields something greater than the individual parts (see our Rustbelt murals for examples).
Take this piece, my girlfriend Clare (Kolat) doodled this lil' diddy at Drink n' Draw, and then passed her off to me and I inked her, scanned her, and then colored her in photoshop. Clare draws nothing like how I draw, and I color nothing like Clare would color, but we met somewhere in the middle and created something new.
Not one of those showy, pointy hat style wizards like Merlin or Gandalf more of a stealthy, do wizardy things and fade into the shadows like Batman. He is the Batman of wizards. A quick disclaimer; this is NOT a post written by Ben cause our Bat-zard don't work that way. Our man does the work, puts it up and moves on to crushing another crazy difficult task!
Who else do you know illustrates....
Does animation and video production...
.....and is single handedly creating his own video game!!!!
It's true, we are very lucky to have Ben in the collective. In many ways he's our secret weapon. So be sure to keep an eye on his work here,on his blog, needyourdisease.com, twitter, tumblr, facebook, everywhere you can consume media.
One of the best things I've been involved with in the last couple of years is the Cleveland Chapter of the Drink and Draw Social Club. So so so many talented people in the area come out to draw silly things and get to know each other. Henry Pope of Pink and Nonook fame is one of those insanely talented people I've had the pleasure to get to know. The man is a MACHINE!!! One of the most dedicated, talented and motivated people I've ever known and is truly an inspiration.
This lil drawing is my take at his Pink and Nanook characters. A lot less sexy but fun to draw nonetheless. SO head on over to the website, check out his work then swing by his Facebook and wish him a happy birthday!
With Valentines Day around the corner, it was a good time to celebrate my love...of wrestling. If you've been following my Instagram, you know how just how often a masked gentleman will make an appearance. I'll take a wrestler over a superhero most days, but it might be because I don't own any capes.
Since Valentines Day is right around the corner, I've released this as a print and a sticker in case you've got a special wrestling nerd/mask enthusiast in your life. Stay cool out there, friends.
Not like Pete Best, the could-have-been drummer of the Beatles but GEORGE FLIPPIN' MARTIN!!! The grease in our crank case, the guy we lean on when we are in need of a third arm the sometimes our Face man, Ron Caruso!! Sure he's married to the lovely and talented Erin which would give anyone the reason to show up but our man Ron has gone the extra mile time and time again.
For example, the man is a talent in his own right and he's bent that talent to this fine, short documentary of our work that you can find on our YOUTUBE page.
Surely we've posted it before but it bears posting again, it's great and it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling every time I watch it. Thanks a ton Ron!
And while I'm at it throw us a subscribe on youtube. We do post things from time to time, important things like this mustache tutorial:
As this year starts moving and we get out and about expect to see more moving images of your favorite Rust Belt Monsters!!
Finally, I can pull from the darkness and head towards the light. I've been missing from the fold. Not from laziness, but from extreme busy-ness and secrecy. My little girl Violet turned one and I was working on a video for her birthday party. Because I wanted it to as much a gift to her as my wife, I had to keep it off the inter-web for it to remain a secret.
It worked. My wife seemed overjoyed and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
For people who are interested in this kind of thing, I thought I would break down a couple of the effects in the video.
First thing. All of the videos were taken with cell phones. For some reason, everyone takes videos vertically and not horizontally (as in wide screen movies). So my big problem was that I couldn't show video clips traditionally because of the black area on the sides. My solution? Show the videos with cropped edges. That's when I thought of doing the scrapbook. It would allow me to cut off the black edges and place them on top of fake Polaroids.
The next problem was that I wanted the pages to curve like normal paper. After Effects is a pretty flat program when it comes to 3D...for the most part. It can basically be like flying index cards around a 3D space. There is a normal page turn effect you get with the program, but it is just faking the turn. I wanted to do better than that.
So after some research, I found a script called Bend Layers by Jacob Danell. This program takes your flat image, asks you how many segments you want, and then splits that image in to a bunch of strips. 2 strips would be like folding it in half. The more strips, the smoother the curve.
With that problem solved, it was just a matter of flying the camera around past the pages.
I also wanted to give the whole thing a more cohesive look and better represent it in 3D space. So I added a particle effect to better sell the depth of field and the the camera was moving and banking around. I then loaded up Red Giant's Magic Bullet Looks, and did some color correcting and flare. I used to do a wash of film grain to make everything blend together better, but much prefer this way.
I also decided to do some pseudo 3D photos. The effect is from duplicating your image and isolating the subject from the front layer. Then you spread them apart and move the camera through the 2 images. A little play with the Lens Blur effect and it will work pretty well for you.
There were some smaller effects in there too, but these were the trickier ones. If you hung in this long, thank you.
Our first mural gig and we didn't even know it. The first annual Bal Ingenieux for Ingenuity Cleveland. Having started this blog only a few months before we were commissioned as a group of Art performers and we had the bright idea to create a comic, from start to finish in one night.
One group start a story on one side of the room.
The other group on the opposite side.
6 Artists, using cut paper, markers, whatever we had just making stuff up on the fly. Just getting to know each other, playing it safe, you stay in your frame and I'll stay in mine. The only collaboration was in the story and that's all.
That is till we got to the splash page in the middle.
IT WAS FUN!!!
Way more fun than the panels we were working on to the sides, (doubt those even exist anymore). We bumped elbows, worked on each other's drawings (we didn't paint as much then as we do now) and created something much more satisfying together than what we worked on alone. We were hooked!
In three years we are 30+ murals in. We've grown as Artists from working together, we've had the opportunity to work in some amazing and humbling venues, work with great people and in short become a family.
Thank you all for your support these amazing three years.
Happy New Year Rust Belters! If you've been following me on Instagram, you might've noticed that I ended 2014 with a flurry of posts. However, if you're only following me here, you'd think that I'm a lazy so and so because its been sparse at best. So, 2015 is all about keeping a schedule. You'll see something from me every single Friday.