Saturday, November 29, 2008
I really enjoyed designing the pimped out pad of this famous rock band, Stitchface and the Fingerpuppets. I mean, if you were a successful, interstellar emo band, you'd own giant lava lamps right?
I had the pleasure of attending THE OTHER DRINK n DRAW last week. Riley invited me along and it was a full house. I was too shy to really make any good conversation, but I did drink and draw and try something new, so Mission Accomplished! There were a lot of nice, talented folks there and I definitely plan to attend again sometime soon. Here's a cowboy I drew that night:
Because I'm a big jerk, I neglected to mention two new sites that you must visit soon and regularly if you love your eyeballs. The first is jemapellerobot.blogspot.com. It's Chris Johnston's blog and he's a co-worker of my roommate's and is acting Art Director of New Machine Studios. Needless to say, he is awesome.
The second is cognoman.com, the brilliant webcomic by mystery member of VA, Cognoman. I am baffled at the sheer volume of ridiculous, poignant, demented things that leak out of his brain and into his pencil.
Have you told your eyes that you love them today? Check these guys out.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I attempted to ape Dr. Seuss' style for this pic, while still inflicting my personal style upon it and I think it worked out. The composition is kinda wonky thanks to some misplaced book stacks, but I think I can get over it...I think. And it's always nice to have another colored piece floating around. I went with a very simple coloring scheme, similar to what the Almighty Seuss went with in his books.
Went to Drink n Draw last night after a looong hiatus. It was tons of fun as usual. And here's all I got done:
I know what you're saying: "The Holiday Men, again?" Yeah, well, they're tons of fun to draw and I'm right about to jump back into it and I want to fool around with their designs a little more. Val especially. Trying to get his head just right, and then keeping it consistent, has always been a challenge. But I like this new head. I think I'll keep it. Drawing St. Nick is almost becoming second nature. I threw some PS color in there to keep things interesting too.
Well, it's my BDay tomorrow. Turning 26. Here's hoping this year involves me working harder, being more productive and fucking shit up a little less:) My outlook...is good.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Like right now, I'm crazy for Daredevil. I've got DD Fever. Just got the first Bendis Omnibus and it's kicking my ass. I'm starting to think that one day, I may just want to do a DD story. And god, do I ever want to see them take another shot at the movie. I just watched the Affleck one again last week.
My god, does it blow. Jesus, it blows.
I think it blows worse after watching Dark Knight, which is essentially is the greatest Daredevil story never filmed if you ask me. Which no one has...yet. But there is a one hour documentary on the DVD that interviews the likes of John Romita (Jr. and Sr.), Gene Colan, Frank Miller and Bendis, and it is one of the most inspirational things I've ever seen. It's chock full of passion and insight, from both the writers and artists, and always give me chills. I mean, Frank Miller talks about Daredevil like he's a real person. He calls him "Matt", like he's a friend that he's known for years.
What's so alluring about the character? Matt Murdock is this guys always trying to do good, but has a tendancy to fuck up. And when that happens, he loses control. He gets pissed off. And he makes more mistakes. But regardless of how low things end up, he keeps fighting his way through the muck and the mire. He gets the shit kicked out of him and he gets his heart broken and he breaks a few of his own.
Everyone talks about how Daredevil is Miller's character, but I really think Bendis is the man to take that mantle. He really made DD his own. He shook things up. Made changes. Took risks. And kicked a few asses himself:)
Jeez, I've had a few beers here to be honest. And sometimes, after a few, all I want to do is talk comics. We just recorded our first VA Podcast last Tuesday (hopefully we'll release it soon) and I found myself totally caught up in this conversation with Gord about Brian Wood's LOCAL. Great book. And fun to talk about. I think I sometimes take for granted being able to talk comics with all of the talented folk in this town. I'm lucky to have this.
Anyways, I drew a bunch of DD pics the other day and here's one all colored up.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
So Fiona, Steve and I went down to Edmonton for Pure Spec and it was a blast. I knew the costume ball would be worth the trip up and I was right. Here is proof. Me preparing to partake in a dance off with a human sized cow. I won. Aw yeah. I also did this drawing of Steve as a zombie, because he's always drawing people as zombie's so I figured he'd like to know how it felt. Suck on this you bastard!
Okay, so the following week, last weekend, was 24hr comic day in Calgary. I understand the international event was held two weeks ago, but who gives a crap right? Here's is a picture of myself, filled with despair and self loathing, the usual mentality of a 24hr marathon artist at around 3AM.
But believe it or not, I actually finished (thanks in no small part to Fiona for helping me ink and Conor, Dan, Gerald and that weird kid Neil for filling the day with laughs and entertainment.) My story was called ME AND I and it featured two best buddy doppelgangers. It's some of the cutest, most adorable work I've ever produced, but it ends in utter tragedy. I didn't even consider another ending but I'm not sure why. It was a low blow to see if I could make the reader feel something after lowering their guard with cuteness, I think. Cheap shot, I know.
The style I used was very simple just to keep things quick.
Well, that's all for now. Hopefully I'll have Space Monkey done very soon so I can move on. Ugh.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Nick: Yeah, sorry. It's been pretty quiet around Nick Soup lately. Honestly though, it's been pretty quiet on all fronts regarding my current production levels.
A: Any particular reason?
N: No, there's a few. I mostly just hit a rut lately, despite the fact that a lot of really exciting things have been happening. But like I said before--
A: This isn't a whiny blog about your life.
N: Exactly. I want to focus on the cool shit. The art. The stories. The process. There's a lot in the works right now, I just haven't been doing much lately.
A: Alright, well I know you have a tendency to be rather vague, so I'll bite. What are these "exciting things" you're working on?
N: I just finished my first paying gig as a freelance illustrator working for an ad agency called Verasoft. My contact there is a great guy with some cool ideas and so far, the experience has been really positive. Here's the first finished piece.
Not sure when or where it'll hit, or how much they'll mess around with it. But I was pleased. With everything but the label anyway. Just couldn't get it quite right.
A: Looks great. I like the colors.
N: I tried pretty hard to get the right palette here. I don't work with color often and as you can see, not a lot of values or texture is used. I do all my coloring with a mouse at the moment (which is, needless to say, a huge pain the ass) but I plan on purchasing myself a sweet ass Cintiq soon. Learning up on color will be my first priority.
A: Good to hear. Are you still working on the next VA Anthology ROCKET JUICE? Wasn't that supposed to debut this month?
N: Yeah, I missed the deadline on that one. I'm not sure why it was so hard for me (or the other VA guys) to pull this one together but we just couldn't. I suppose we're all really busy doing our own thing at the moment (paid gigs, lifting the kettle bell, growing a beard) but it'll definitely be ready for the big Calgary show in April. In fact, it'll be a better book with that extra time. As it stands, I'm really pleased with my story so far. And everyone else's looks great.
Fiona Staples is in the book. She's actually the only one that finished on time:) And it looks awesome (despite what she says.) Very funny. Her first written work, too. Makes the rest of us look bad. Maybe we should cut her outta the book...
A: Assuming you don't want to make any money, that would be a wise choice:) What's this I've been hearing about a secret project? Are you trying to build a buzz by pretending people care what you're working on?
N: Ouch, dude.
A: (laughing) I'm just being a prick.
N: (Laughs) You writers just can't help what you are on the inside.
A: But seriously, what is it?
N: I don't really want to give away to many details, as it is still more of an idea than anything, and I hate talking about ideas too early on. But the final draft of the script is finished and I'm getting some very positive feedback.
A: Script? So it's a comic?
A: Movie? Play?
N: No. I'll keep you posted. I'll keep the cat in the bag for as long as I'm able. But I'm pretty excited to dig into it, so that probably won't be long.
I'm still doing illustrations for Beatroute magazine as well. I've got a few more gigs out of it with the possibility of another big paying gig from a contact who's moving up. It's nice to see that thing happen, as I'm always telling people "make contacts and connections and they'll be your doorway to more work and blah, blah, blah," and it's actually true! That actually works and is happening to me right now.
Jesus, this interview is long. You're going to edit it for space, right?
A: I've already satarted to. I cut out all that stuff you said about maybe going to art school. It was just kinda boring.
A: Are you still working with Andrew Foley.
N: Oh yeah. That's too much fun to ever stop. I am chomping at the bit to finish SNMF just so I can get back to drawing Episode 2. I have slight redesigns for all the characters and my pencils have gotten a lot tighter since the first part. I can't wait to see how it turns out.
Plus he sent me the first 5 pages of another script that we may pitch to Zuda. It's hilarious and riduclous. Ridicularious, I'd say.
And he's also helping me develop an idea I had a ways back to possibly pitch as an animated show. That's very exciting as well as it is an all ages concept, which I don't do very often. I like kids n' all, I just like nudity, swearing and violence more:)
A: On that note, I'd like to thank you for your time.
N: No problem. Thank you. This interview forced me to update and think a bit about what's on my plate.
A: Good. Maybe you'll get off your lazy artist ass and have more to show us.
N: Sooner rather than later.
A: God willing.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
HOT SUZY is a character that's been shacked up in my head for awhile. I never thought I would draw her. I was quite intimidated by the thought of drawing this lady/man because of my lack of experience with the female form, especially since she is a character that flaunts her sexuality. But one of my main pieces of critique when I went to Seattle was to work on my ladies. And work I did. Still have a long way to go, but at least les Femmes de Nick don't look like men with tits anymore:)
I saw a movie called THE FALL last week. It's directed by Tarsem, who directed that weirdo JLo movie the CELL. It comes with my highest recommendation. It's a beautiful, visually stunning movie filled with laughs and heart and tears and sea elephants. Please watch it.
So I have been working on this other secret project of mine (not so secret if you talk to me in person for more than three and half minutes) and it's got me giddy with excitement. It is probably a good reason for why my comic work is going so slowly. But it's going to give me an opportunity to work with many of the talented people I've become friends with over the past few years and it'll give me a chance to scratch a very persistent itch.
Oh, and I've been absolutely OBSESSED with British comedies lately. Especially THE I.T. CROWD. And the MIGHTY BOOSH. And BLACK BOOKS. But especially THE I.T. CROWD.
This is a long post, huh? It's the first time I've ever updated my blog on a Sunday morning. I'm really fighting all my primal urges to start spewing retrospective, life shit. But this is an art blog and shall always remain an art blog.
I just remembered I have a lady drawing from Drink n Draw this week (which was an absolute blast, by the way, thanks partly to meeting Fiona Staples' cool friend Karen, from the UK. I think she said she's from Gladsham. My roommate Chad and I hounded her about accents for far too long:) Anyways, behold the splendid glory of the more experienced female form:
Oh, never mind. My scanner is being a douchebag:(
Next time, my friend.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Well, here's page 3 all penciled. Pages 2 and 3 took a while to render, thanks to the many ravaging space pygmies I had to draw. But now they're dead! And things will be easier!
Though now I have to draw a hot space lady for the next 5 pages...
Will it never end!?!
I'm coming close to a final piece for an ad agency I've been working with. I've been doing a lot of fun stuff for them (some of my fave pieces of late) but I haven't been able to show many people. But I'll be sure to post it as soon as I can.
In other news: blurgh.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
As promised, here are the first two pages of Space Ninja Monkey Face. I'm really pleased with these so far (page 2 still needs some work) and I was surprised to see that drawing these pages was not at all like pulling teeth. I'm trying to focus on the basic shapes and composition of a page before actually committing to the details (in fact, I've been trying to do that for the last couple years) and it seems like it's starting to pay off.
And it may be tons more work, but I'm going to do all of the lettering by hand for this one, though there is the risk of the pages looking a little more sloppy. But I really like the look of hand lettering (especially after seeing work by James Stokoe and Sheldon Vella) and I really want to train on how to make it better. If anyone has any tips, I would love them. The tips, not the person. Well, both.
And now I get to sit back and watch Cognoman work his magic:) I'll post a finished page as soon as I've got one.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
An update at long last. I've been busy working on a few projects lately, though I'm not able to show all of it at the moment. But here's a glimpse of what I've been up to.
Last weekend, VA had a 5 Year retrospective panel at ConVersion. That's right, August marks the 5 year anniversary of Vicious Ambitious. Exciting stuff!
There weren't a lot of people there sadly, but there was jokes, chocolate cake, videos and it's not everyday I get to wear red booty shorts while shaking my goodies to Eye of the Tiger. Anyways, this TronNick pic was for the free poster giveaway at the event. We still have a bunch left so we'll probably be giving them away at the next con in October.
After that we have two pics for the upcoming Alcohol Issue of Beatroute. It was fun to get to do something new for the Beatroute crew aside from a CD review and while I only sorta like the Horny Toad pic, I'm quite pleased with the Bouncer one. Plus, there's a chick in it that actually...gasp...looks like a woman! I've been working hard at improving my rendering of the female form and it is slowly but surely paying off.
In other news, I'm working on pages of my Rocket Juice story and will scan them very soon to give you a peek at the pencils before Ink Wizard CogNoman works them over. I was trying to do this comic very quick and simple, but the first page already has more background's than ever. I'm very excited to show it off, and will post some pages soon.
This morning, I also finished the first script for a secret project I'm working on which will see the light of day sometime in the winter, I'm hoping. It's going to be tons of fun and I'll keep updating as work progresses. It's not a comic, but it is about comics.
And I think that's it for now. I'm going to finish the layouts for Holiday Men very soon and am eager to start drawing in September. Realistically, I think we'll start up again in October.
Oh, you should check out Tropical Thunder too. It's hilarious! Oh, and read some books by Stephen King's boy, Joe Hill. Heart Shaped Box was freaking great! And his short stories are wonderful.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
It has indeed been a while since the last update and I just couldn't bring myself to go to bed before posting one. Thanks for gentle nudging, guys.
First and foremost, I must direct your attention to the fifth issue of superstar artist Fiona Staples' Wildstorm series HAWKSMOOR. Not only does it continue the awesome tale of Jack in San Francisco, but Fiona was nice enough to sneak in the logo for everyone's favorite indie comic studio with a name that rhymes: Vicious Ambitious! Thanks, Fiona! And congrats on wrapping up the book. (She drew the shit out of it!)(...that's a good thing.)
Next up is a peek at a pic I'm working on of Man Crush #24: Racer X from Speed Racer. I just saw the movie last night and my god wow. (insert horrible mental image of eyeballs ejaculating here) What a visual feast. And I couldn't stop grinning every time Matthew Fox was on screen. He's just so badass! So awesome! Anyways, I'm hoping to get this pic all inked up sometime soon...
Then we have Gary, the soon to be star of my Rocket Juice story, SPACE NINJA MONKEY FACE. Did I mention it'll be inked by none other than Cognoman!?! Of course I have. I'm just really excited.
And lastly, my #1 favorite superhero of all time (at the moment): Daredevil. I drew this at a party. Not my usual time and place to decide to do some drawing, but sometimes you get the itch and you just can't help but scratch it.
Exciting news: I'm working on some full color comic strips for an ad agency and it's turning out to be a lot of fun. Will post when finished. And what of Holiday Men? Still working on layouts. Sorry Foley.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wow, it's been way too long since my last post. I'm surprised no one's called me on it. But here's a nice peek into the the process to make up for my silence.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
I spent the entire weekend out in the sun trying to hawk VA wares and it was pretty freakin' wonderful. We were part of the U of C Park Sale on Saturday, and we were at Olympic Plaza on Sunday (as we will be for the next 8 weeks or so.) It was here that I experimented with a different style, drawing straight to ink and having crazy amounts of fun in the process. The result was the pic at the top.
I did a similar pic of the guitar playing fellow who hung out at the Plaza providing some very soothing background music, but it was purchased by a kind couple from England, I believe. They promptly walked over to the musician and showed him the pic while I waved shyly. He shook his fist and said "I'll get you for this!" I yelled back "What? Are you gonna write a song about me?!" I'm pretty sure it was all in good fun. Pretty sure...
The elf was a doodle done at work. I can hear him shrieking in a Zim-like voice "Oh my god, I fucking LOVE snow!"
The last two pics were from last Drink n Draw. I love the boxer mouse guy and kinda want to do a story about him now.
So back in Junior High I saw the play Of Mice and Men. It was so good that I became horribly sad for a week. I was such a delicate flower.
If I don't see you tomorrow, Happy Canada Day!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Alright, so the Art Market at Olympic Plaza wasn't that bizarre, but I couldn't pass up such a great blog post title. And really, we all know that post titles are what differentiate the good blogs from the great ones...right?
Monday, June 16, 2008
I thought it fitting to show off a pic that I did up last year after joking with my friend Abby about inappropriate greeting cards and invitations. This one is for a baby shower:
Thursday, June 12, 2008
... are just a few of the madcap topics that get kicked around at the local Drink n Draw. So here's a sampling of delights from the past eve, the first being another character design for the upcoming Holiday Men arc. It's a Nutcracker Bot and I like it. The original design was very clunky and far too simple, but I'm happier with this one. They should be a blast to draw.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Almost didn't make it to Drink n Draw last night, but I'm glad I did. I told myself I HAD to clean the bathroom (company's coming over on the weekend and I might not have time tonight. Oh and if you feel like dropping by my pad, now is the time. The place is looking cleaner than it has in a while. But I digress...) and I had to finish a long overdue commission for my friend, Twyla.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Once again I have some Drink n Draw pics to present. Do I ever draw sober? Maybe. If it's any indication, I'm sober right now...but I'm not drawing.
Tonight is another Drink n Draw. Not sure if I'll go or not. I'll see how much work I can get done before 7:30. But if I do, I'm sure I'll have something to post for tomorrow.
Oh and you simply MUST check out the new VA vids on YouTube. They're impossible to hate... unless you hate awesome that is. In which case I feel very sorry for you:
Monday, May 26, 2008
Secondly are the rough pencils for a pinup I'll be doing of Gabriel Bautista Jr.'s I LOVE HAM characters. These guys are tons of fun to draw.
And finally, here's the Slacker Hero who needs no introduction, SCOTT PILGRIM. Also tons of fun to draw. I look forward to inking and coloring his rambunctious ass. I've got lots of writing to do this week, so here's hoping I can squeeze some drawing in. It'd be nice to get started on The Holiday Men Episode 2.
--Oh, and on a completely unrelated note: I saw Indy 4 on the weekend (didn't like it too much) but on the way out, my roomie Chad spotted the HIVES! The very band we had seen the night prior at one of the best shows I have ever seen. I actually got to shake Howlin' Pete's hand! I managed to maintain composure unitl after he left, at which point I hid behind a column, grinning and giggling like a maniac. It was magical... I regret nothing.