Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Iz The Wiz

Though it's a week late, I just got word that Iz The Wiz has passed away. A subway graffiti legend, and, if you've seen the PBS documentary Style Wars, you'll know him as the somewhat unkempt guy who maybe looks a little older than you're average graffiti writer.

It seems like he's had some health problems that many see as a direct link to heavy use of aeresol paints. In the 2002 re-issue DVD of Style Wars, he appears weak, and was having trouble with kidney failure. From what I know, Lee and Lady Pink were touring with Iz to demonstrate the dangers of using aerosol paints without proper masks.

Iz was responsible for many classic pieces including the legendary John Lennon memorial full subway car he painted along with Lady Pink. He used a pretty old fashioned, simple style of lettering that was reminiscent of the earliest days of graffiti art, but was one of the greats none the less.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

109 W 5th Street

In preparing for an art show downtown, I had the idea to paint the window with the logo from the book. The idea I had was a simple 'masking' method using tape, exacto knives and rollers.

With the image penciled reverse on the tape, I used exacto knifes to cut the letters out. When these were cut out, I went ahead and used a paint roller on the window.

A concern I had was having the paint be able to easily come off of the window eventually. I used a water based paint with this in mind. The problem was before our eyes, we watched the tape start to buckle and bleed. The stencil hadn't help up:

After letting it dry, and peeling the tape. I saw that this was in fact salvagable, and just used a razor blade to 'clean up' the bleeds on all of the letters. The final result (aside from the crooked 'G') seemed to work.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Joel Loya

I just ran into Joel last weekend (after 10 years). It reminded me of all of the great illustration Joel had put together. Being an illustrator, it's not hard to be reminded constantly of your influences over the years. One of mine was Joel Loya, who was a good friend during my teenage years.
He had an incredible artistic sense that was a bit contagious and made me really revisit and revise my work rather than settle for less. We worked together on a couple of zines that dealt mostly on our musical tastes at the time.

Joel featured a comic strip in every issue. The first strip was called Boing which featured skinheads and rockers battling it out in a post-apocalyptic setting, and traveling around on large hippity hops. The second strip was called Chuck Henrey- Dishwasher For Life. It was a pretty brilliant strip as it featured his character, put into the basic storylines of Charles Bukowski.

Joel was also the first one of my friends who actually had done professional work. At age 16 he illustrated an album cover by legendary Santa Cruz punk band Bl'ast. Some of his artwork featured a character named Uncle Meatknuckles, who served as a sort of mascot for us.

Joel went on to do numerous illustrations over the years for other magazines and some album artwork as well. I'm not to sure if he pursued it professionally full time, but, there's a large collection of his art scattered here and there, and, he continues to be a huge inspiration to this day (I'm still copying the guy!). Recently, he created the cover art as well as a comic book for the packaging of the Swingin Utters Live LP, Live In A Dive!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

NIneteen Eighty Five Mix Vol.1

When I decided to put together a 'soundtrack' mix for the book, I had a dozen or so songs in mind. Mostly stuff that not only I was listening to at the time, or taping off of the local radio show, but music that you heard just walking down the street. When presenting any 'music of the day', it's important to list what everyone else was listening to, as opposed to just what YOU liked (though some of the tracks on here are a bit before or after 85!).

This was the particular 'beta' mix I'd put together in SoundStudio, before PBW so graciously compiled the mix that's featured in the book now.

Download it HERE:

Nuance- Take A Chance
Scratch Masters Jam Volume #5
UTFO- Roxannes Back Side
George Clinton- Do Fries Go With That Shake?
Bad Boys- Bad Boys
Cherelle- Like I Will (Tokyo Mix)
Doug E Fresh- The Show
Paul Hardcatsle- Rain Forest
Chuck Chill Out- Hip Hop On Wax Vol.1
Mantronix- Needle To The Groove
Beastie Boys- Beastie Groove
Animation- Obsession
Russell Rush- Cold Chillin' In The Spot
Atlantic Starr- Freak-A-Ristic
Tommy Boy Megamix

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rennes Chateau

A new print that was finished has the Nineteen Eighty Five characters surveying the side of a bridge overpass. A sketch was made, and from there, key line inks. The bridge lines needed the aid of a computer as the angle was tricky. Once I had a color rough nailed down, I finally added them to the inked drawing.

The composition itself was inspired/borrowed from "The Arcadian Shepherds" by Nicolas Poussin (1637). It's said that the tomb depicted here is the actual burial site of Mary Magdeline in southern France.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Food Landscapes

Some new title work has me scouring for food imagery, and creating landscapes out of them. Hills made of lettuce and houses made of bread. I've even included some wild 'roast chickens' in there for good measure.

Usually food related imagery requires use of warm tones, especially reds and browns (think of all the fast food places with those colors). Blues and greens are usually a no-no. Considering I was asked to make things as 'lush' as possible, some blue sky was added.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Stones Throw Video Podcast

The theme here is all green screen videos. Some pretty classic stuff here!