Redbubble Test Batch 1

Some of the art from last week’s posts featured lots of cute little animals in stylish mod clothing. Aside from monsters, that’s just about my favorite thing to draw. The first batch was for a shirt, but while I was drawing those, I started investigating Redbubble as a print option for my art.

I have used several other services, and while decent, none really grabbed me. I ordered some stickers featuring those same animals, and a couple of Gorinka images, and crossed my fingers.

The stickers came today!

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I really couldn’t be happier; the colors on the animals pops nicely, the screens on the Gorinkas are crisp, and the stickers themselves are a really nice vinyl. I ordered these about 5 days ago, and got them today in a cool little mailer. Color me happy.

If you’re interested in cool little stickers of your own art, I highly encourage you to open a Redbubble shop. If you want some of MY cool little stickers, you can find them right here.

Change of course coming up for the next few weeks, as I have some miniature commissions to get to. I will, however, be posting progress pictures and reports here just for fun!

A Little Star Wars

Rogue One knocked my literal socks off. Well, kind of. The day after we saw Rogue One, I was told by a man claiming to be a doctor that I had pretty severe bone spurs on my right foot, so I haven’t been able to put socks on in a few days. Here, for those of you who like pictures of hideous freaks of nature, is an x-ray of my emergent mutant powers:

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Enough about me, though. STAR WARS. I have loved Star Wars since I was a sad little kid who wanted to see the Rescuers so badly that he cried when his dad took him to see some stupid Space Movie instead. I was furious. I was livid. I was hooked for life.

Yesterday I drew two Star Wars characters I haven’t drawn yet, the Gauvian Enforcer, and then Bobbajo, the cool little merchant dude that wanders around Nima outpost. These were a lot of fun, and there will definitely be more to come!

On the Creative Impulse

I used to manage the entire overnight operations of the banking arm of a Fortune 500 company. I was promoted to the position because I could see inherent flaws in certain types of operational practices and came to the table with multiple solutions that might work to solve that problem. Said company was impressed, and thought “let’s give this guy a team comprised of student loans specialists, as well as a smattering of investment ninjas from the consumer banking department.” There was a parade, balloon animals, and all was good in the world.

That was, to put it bluntly, the second worst decision made in any of my vocational arrangements. The first worst decision was me accepting the job. I am not in any way a Leader of Men. I don’t have a lot of compassion for people who don’t want to work, and I have little patience for laziness. I work my ass off, and if anyone is working with me, I expect the same. I don’t work well in the traditional American Corporate Management structure because I don’t want to babysit, coddle, or motivate anyone… I just want to get the job done. Quickly, and in a preferably efficient manner.

The first realization that they had made a terrible mistake was when they had me take the Carnegie Strengths in Business test. The typical Strengths that a strong manager would have were WAAAAAAY at the bottom of my list, whereas problem solving traits were towards the top. Something called Ideation was the giant cherry on top.

What is Ideation? Well, it’s a mindset that is always thinking of new ways to do something, or just new somethings in general. I do it all the time. I am doing it right now. Imagine, now, working for someone who isn’t in the slightest bit worried about how your work performance is today, because he’s thinking of ways to streamline the way you do your job in the future? It’s a trainwreck scenario for a call center. For a creative job, though, it’s pretty cool. It’s the kind of thing that turns a mundane afternoon of reading history into the life and times of vampire Andrew Jackson.

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I am self employed. I get to make decisions that could make or break our business, and that keeps me pretty motivated to stay on task and keep things moving. The only time it gets bad, though, is when my brain starts working on something else altogether. We might be working on new menu items for the restaurant, but my brain is trying to figure out how to work a gear on a puppet. I don’t make puppets, but my brain is trying to work it out. I have to shove that aside right now, and focus on the task at hand.

Here’s the problem, though; I have this idea for a game literally rampaging around the brain right now. Yesterday, it was a variation on the traditional Rummy card game, but instead of face cards and number cards it would have been body parts and sabotage cards, with the goal of laying down a stitched together monster before your opponent can sabotage your lab. Today, it’s a deck building game. (I don’t know anything about deck building games…) Tomorrow, it might be a traditional board game with dice and pawns. By next week, it might be a fully interactive RPG using puppets (what is the deal with freaking puppets this week?).

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Puppet Shatner? Just putting it out there. Might explain a LOT.

This is the curse of the creative process. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. It’s a huge part of what makes me who I am, and part of how I go from drawing a graphic novel in July to having a published coloring book in August. The creative ammunition is crammed in there, waiting to be fired off. I just need to aim a bit.

 

Tis the Season (for Shameless Plugging)

The wonders of the internet, folks. Seriously. I have been slogging through Shopify for the last few days, uploading art files for shirts and other goodies. When I got to this one, though, I just had to share! I am actually buying this for my own phone… I LERVE IT.

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It’s already one of my favorite pieces that I have done, and being able to protect my super-sweet iPhone with it? SOLD.

Anywho, Shopify is pretty cool. It might be the smoothest, easiest to set up, goofball proof system I have played around with. I would seriously recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good plug and play e-Commerce solution. I’ll break it down a little more in a later post.

If you’re interested in this item, or some pretty cool Gorinka shirts, please feel free to click the “Grimmleighs Custom Tees” link on the right. I will be posting new stuff there weekly!

The Wax Statue

During the earlier part of November I was able to fulfill a long-standing, bucket-list level personal wish and spend a few hours wandering through Guillermo Del Toro’s collection of monster and comic book ephemera. It was, to put it mildly, a life changing experience.

We arrived at the LACMA early on a Saturday morning, and were greeted by a statue of this fellow:

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That was just the beginning. A whole wing of the museum had been set aside to showcase the collection of my absolute favorite director. I saw props from movies going back to the beginning of the art form. Wax statues wearing actual costumes from movies like the Bride of Frankenstein, Crimson Peak, and Hellboy.

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I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off. It was like something was following me around the building, but I couldn’t put my finger on it…

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There where original pages from comic books going back to the 1960’s, and statues of genre giants like Ray Harryhausen, H.P. Lovecraft, and Edgar Allan Poe. The Poe statue was pretty cool, and the room he was in was full of Victoriana. And a really weird wax of someone I couldn’t place. He was propped up against the wall, like some sort of diminutive, vaguely Asian Tor Johnson wannabe. He was also one of the few standing waxes, and the only one propped against a wall.

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I got a little closer to the Poe, trying to figure out who the dude against the wall was. I needed to be a little sneaky, since there were super cool film nerds all over the place, and the last thing I wanted to do was let on that I didn’t know who this guy was. Just look at him, though: He had to be someone

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I got closer to the guy, and right when I was about 5 inches away, he reached up, scratched his nose, and went back to sleep. I choked back a scream, and tried to act like my sudden ability to levitate was perfectly natural.

My wife pointed out his ID badge, and really, it should have been a pretty strong clue to his being a real, live human being. Then again, he looks like a freaking wax statue, and if there is anything I have learned from Westworld, I really shouldn’t take any chances, right?

Regardless, it was the visit of a lifetime. I wish we had more time, and that the building had been empty. It was really hard to stand and gawk at everything for the appropriate amount of time. I could have spent an hour looking at these guys alone:

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the Lionfish

I was working on a mermaid concept for the mythology book last night, and realized that I didn’t want your standard fish lady to represent the Undersea Realms. So, I looked up a bunch of different fish and got really into the lionfish. They are pretty amazing to look at, and have some really neat spines, patterns, and colors. I decided that the lionfish would be the basis of my mermaid design, and here she is:

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I still need to work out a background image for her, it’ll probably be a shipwreck of some sort or another. My grandfather loved old sailing ships, and I inherited a little of that. I love the haunted mystique of a wrecked ship on the sea floor.

Making a Splash

Water is hard. I don’t mean in the jump-from-too-high-go-splat sort of way, either. It’s hard to draw. Fluid, in general, doesn’t like to be constrained to two dimensions.

The latest pages from the Miller’s Daughters see the ultimate demise of poor Ophie, and that meant some water needed to find its way to paper. It turned out pretty nicely, and will be even better when I add shading later this week!

The second page shown is the Rake, sauntering off out of the woods, his murderous mischief quite managed.

the Vodyanoy

A friend of mine recently remarked that some plumbing problems we were having were due to Vodniks; my confused, vacant-eyed response led to a really fun story about some Czech friends of hers that blamed Vodnik on any plumbing problems that came up.

It’s been a few months now, and as the resident Cryptozoologist of Salt Lake City, I decided to do a little digging on my drippy little house guests.

The Vodnik is the Slavic cousin to the Russian Vodyanoy, a far more sinister fellow (they are all males) that haunts lakes and rivers. The Vodyanoy are frog like creatures, with aged bodies, froggy faces, fish tales, and long, stringy beards and hair. They paddle about on half sunken logs with their webbed hands, looking for unwary locals to drown. They seem to like wandering about without any clothes, too. Sound familiar?

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The Vodnik, by contrast, seems more human like in features, although they are a greenish tint and tend to be covered in moss. They wear tattered, cast off clothing, and also loiter about lakes and rivers. Unlike the Vodyanoy, which are mostly malevolent, Vodniks can be beneficial or dangerous, depending on their mood.

One area that Vodyanoy and Vodnik overlap is that they keep little ceramic containers with them, in which they store the souls of people who have drowned in their domain. The crockery is considered currency to these folk, and a large collection of souls is a sure sign of wealth and influence. If the crockery is opened, however, the soul escapes in the form of a bubble, leaving the vessel it was in worthless.

Fishermen and people who make their living on the water will leave offerings of tobacco to the vodnik, in hopes that they will leave them alone or help them in their industry. A vodnik who feels slighted may attack local water features, such as dams, well, (possibly plumbing) and locks. This behavior has also been reported with Vodyanoy.

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artwork ©2016 L.G. Kade