I see far too much of this bullshit on the interwebz:
“I’ll do your rendering for $100!”
With “rendering” meaning “a loosely cobbled-together bunch of photos I Googled and then made attempts to stitch together with the two tools I can sort of use in Photoshop.”
One last time, kids: NOT a rendering. Not on the best day of your life. And if you’re paying for, and supporting this crap, well, you’re not “on a budget”, you’re “A BIG FUCKING PART OF THE PROBLEM”. While it’s great that some cars have a huge-by-enormous budget for exotic and one-off parts, you simply need to realize that care and planning can make even a home-built ride a stand-out. If you’re willing to cheap-out on the very design of your project, well, it’s a given that you’ll do likewise in the build. And please don’t come to me in the eleventh hour of your SEMA proposal deadline with some fucking sob story about how you need a rendering, but you already threw money away on the photo-hack you just received from the kid on the forum. You knew going into it that some $100 rendering wasn’t going to make a manufacturer all hot and bothered, and squeeze out a new car for you. Too many things wrong with that mindset to even approach it here.
There are professionals out there who do great things in Photoshop, should that be the look you’re after… and plenty of other artists working in all media (should one of those be the look you’re after) who can craft something to actually be proud of, versus bragging that it only cost a few bucks. A rendering is a work of artistry and design, and a good one brings years of experience and knowledge to the table… Not simply some shit that your seven year old could pull off in 30 minutes. Keep in mind that the photo-hack of the Hirohata Merc will always be just a photo-hack of the Hirohata Merc and not YOUR Merc, no matter how many layers of flames or how big a set of smoothie wheels with poor camber and perspective some douche pastes on there. And for the record, you’re not “helping some new artist get a start”. You’re simply enabling yet another talentless hack with either a trial or pirated software to further soil a part of the industry that works its ass off to be continually undervalued. You deserve a series of ingrown toenails and festering boils on your heels, you dirtbag.
A rendering should represent YOUR vehicle, and showcase the pride and planning of your project. You know, thinking about it, maybe some projects are best left at this level anyway.
/drops knowledge AND the microphone; heads off stage.
Spent some time with Kevin over at V8TV (and V8 Speed & Resto!), and we recorded a podcast for your enjoyment.
We talk design, cars, the future of the custom car industry/hobby and more… before devolving into custom vans, and a plan for the ultimate SEMA show display vehicle and and interactive pavilion to house the thing. It’s genius.
I had a blast talking with a good friend, and can’t wait to do it again! HUGE thanks again for having me on!
Give it a listen here: http://www.v8radio.com
It has been a while since I posted anything here to really do with the actual drawing of cars… I mean, shit, that is the name of this whole mess, after all. I suppose that I could throw a few doodles into the mix now and then, right?
Going through some of the older sketchbooks and whatnot, I’ve compiled a little peek behind the scenes; the stuff that goes on before the vector and digital voodoo-type sorcery. Let’s start with this piece:
I had wanted to do a cartoon-y piece for a while, and the opportunity presented itself back in ’08-ish, so I went at it with some gusto, and created the ultimate swap meet find moment, with this happy gent scraping his way home with a brutal ’55 Chevy in tow. From markers to the scanned and re-drawn, vector art, you can see the importance of staying as true as possible to the original work. All pen tool… no brushes, auto-trace, meshes or other preset nonsense. It’s all about retaining the original line quality, and saving that hand-drawn looseness, but gaining all of the good things that a vector piece can supply!
I do a lot of t-shirt work, and to be honest, I enjoy it a lot more than the hot rod work, especially as things progress with my neuromuscular condition (more on that soon), and it really gives me a chance to play around in my imagination. There are so many things you can get away with, stretching reality on a graphic, versus having to make things work on the street!
This piece was a fun one in so many ways:
My pal Jon had wanted a cool tee for his shop. He knew he wanted a pinup girl with a retro feel, but wanted to include two of the more well-known cars they’ve painted… However, those cars are decidedly modern Pro-Touring style rides, so the challenge was on to make these elements work. I decided that I’d use the opportunity to include elements from some of my favorite science fiction spacecraft, lending a little bit of a retro/space feel. And what space-age pinup would be complete without a glass dome helmet and a ray gun-turned-paint gun? Naturally. Sketch to color-blocking in marker took what seemed like forever as my hands weren’t cooperating too well at the time, but I had managed to bust this out over a couple of days (from sketch to final vector work):
Speaking of tees and posters, here’s a little one from 2012:
This is a peek at that weird moment where the sketch meets the digital work. For me, this is a bittersweet moment at times, knowing that some elements in the original design will probably change, be it to make things more print-friendly, of due to a client’s request… And some of the really neat little bleeds and whatnot in the marker stage will be lost forever to the super-smoothness of a vector curve. I pay a TON of attention at this stage to keep as much of that hand-hewn character and personality in there!
The completed vector art:
Let’s peek at the rendering side of things with a little ’50 Chevy pickup piece. Starting with a pencil sketch (you can find the whole process on this particular illustration as part of a quick tutorial, if you’d like), I refine it to a point where I feel confident that I have enough information to move into the digital side. This one got a bit carried away, as I was putting that how-to together, and thought I’d have an expanded version for the upcoming book:
Mostly pencils with just a touch of gray marker making its way in, just to nail down the shading.
Once it’s all vector drawn (again, I’m a strictly pen tool kinda guy on these personal pieces, as it’s more about getting m,y own hand and style into the art, versus banging out a piece to feed the kids. After a bunch of hours and hundreds of layers and detailing, we get this:
Sketching on-site is always fun, and this piece was the highlight of a fun weekend, hanging in Burbank. While the plan was to go full digital with this one, I decided that it just had too much going on to lose the feel, and decided that markers just fit the bill, and, well…
…it worked out pretty well! Experimenting sometimes with a technique or style that’s outside of your everyday working methods can often bring exciting results! In this case, I had really intended to keep it looser, and get that cool plein air feel… but in the end, I forced a bit of my tighter rendering style in there. Maybe next time!
Dear Peter Jackson, kindly head forth and fuck yourself one more time, please.
Oddly enough, I lost the battle of the five Stupskis a few weeks ago, and found myself staring at the screen in utter disbelief for three hours, once again, trying to figure out just how you managed to turn the shortest book in a series into the longest trilogy of all time. Seriously, WTF??!!
At least there was popcorn. And the soothing sounds of the morbidly obese couple to my right struggling to force both oxygen AND nachos past their strained thoracic diaphragms in one shot, creating a subtle (yet soothing and nearly hypnotic) low, whistling-meets-gurgling cacophony that grew to nearly orchestral in arrangement at one point. It was a magical journey, and I soon found myself imagining that I was shrunk down, all Fantastic Voyage -like (OK, the mental picture was a lot more Dennis Quaid in Innerspace, but humor me), riding one of the chips on a sea of cheese and other things, to discover that the guy’s stomach was probably like that of a shark, containing boots, a sofa, and perhaps a tire or two, judging by the bouquet emitted as he belched, yet I digress.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s something to be said for stretching the living shit out of a story… but damn, man, you really took some liberties. It opens the door for others to do likewise, which is fantastic news for those of us waiting patiently to see Stanley Kubrick’s eleven-part adaptation of Judy Blume’s immortal work Superfudge. I can hardly wait for the part about Superman and the Transformers as they battle on Endor. Oh, that wasn’t in the book? Who gives a flying fuck? It’ll sure as shit be in the second part. Why not?
I’d imagine that the first creative direction meetings would go a lot like this:
“Hey, this book is only 190 pages long. It barely warrants a shitty animated version that we can stretch to 45 minutes.”
“We can add a battle scene. And a sub-plot about two characters you could give a shit about falling in love. A lot like ‘Titanic’, but this ship will sink a lot slower. We’ll have Oprah reprise her role as that sun-burned, obese meth addict that crashes though walls.”
“I think you’ll find that Rosie O’Donnell played the Kool Aid pitcher.”
“Good call. If she’s unavailable, we can just get the fat kid from Superbad, and deepen his voice in post.”
“Are there any parts that we can market to theme parks as a ride?”
“I’ll whip-up something that can work as a log flume or roller coaster, but using a shopping cart.”
If you haven’t yet seen this third-in-a-trilogy of time wasting, by all means, bring closure, and sit idly by as your brain is turned to goo through poor dialogue and phoned-in-at-best acting. The visuals are great, for the most part, but again, did we need THREE MOVIES, reaching nearly EIGHT HOURS (7.9, to be exact) ?! No… no we did not. Eliminate the second movie entirely, squeeze in the attack on the town and subsequent death of the fucking dragon to the first three minutes of the third helping of Hobbit droppings, and presto! I save $8.50 a head and three hours. Or, if you’re going to elaborate and make shit up, present me with some mystery, something to take home and ruminate over. Let my brain work as it was designed… not be lulled into near slumber with the fat guy next to me.
And THAT FACT ALONE would have brought me back to see another Jackson film. Instead, well, I believe it’s time for Peter and his dragon to piss off. I may forgive my clan for involving me in having seen this slop, but rest assured, on my death bed, my final words will be “…and I hated those movies. You know that, right? Oh yeah… ‘Rosebud.’”
A Merry Christmas to you and yours. Or those you may rent. Or happen to have on Lay-a-Way. Or may be thinking of purchasing soon.
…or should we say “Kiss-mas”?
For years, I’ve been thinking about writing a series of short stories (or short films!) all with plots based strictly on band names, and while I may never get to them, I figured it best to throw the idea out there, and ask for a percentage of sales, should you be so inclined to tackle the idea yourself.
Consider that “Thurston Harris and the Sharps” could be the gripping tale of a germaphobe janitor working in the ER of a busy hospital in the inner city. Or “Butthole Surfers”, which has “animated feature” written all over it. Making a tapeworm appear personable may be a challenge for some animators, but we can always consult with Obama’s people for tips.
Mind you, there is a band named “Evil Edna’s Horror Toilet”, which is fucking brilliant (and we haven’t even mentioned their cover art for their EP “Too Much Gristle In The Blancmange”, which features a creature with very ambiguous genitalia, sparking the question as to which toilet it might use in the first place… which, in retrospect, may be just the horror of it all to begin with). I’m just going to leave that there. Along with “Midget Handjob”.
Although “Insane Clown Posse”, if written as a 1940’s serial would be awesome. They could hunt Nazis, and we could tie it in with “Adolf Hitler’s Nipples” (BETTER: A time-travel, space opera that crosses over into “Disco Tits”, “Jefferson Starship”, and finally “Frankie Goes to Hollywood”, the tale of a one of the posse who splits off all Lancelot-style, to become a third-rate actor who makes it big playing cadavers in true crime period works, only to have his career become the spark of a never-ending war, culminating in a three-hour Peter Jackson adaptation of the second paragraph of the story, which merely involves Frankie going to the store for deodorant… Having the whole thing (finally) wrap up in grand Arthurian style with it being revealed that Hitler is Frankie’s father, and a whole “father-kills-the-son-and-the-son-mortally-wounds-the-father” sort of tradgedy, but with a little Shakespearean twist involving an affair and many made-up words).
As fun as that would be, one that has me fascinated as a title is “Suburban Kids With Biblical Names”. OK, and “Son of Dork”, which my son could write. We’ll leave the easy ones, like “Supertramp”, “Buster Poindexter”, “Bronsky Beat” and “Ned’s Atomic Dustbin” for later. “Adam and the Ants”, while a great comic book title, may work even better as a side project of this side project; I could take a band, and follow it as they splinter-off, writing tales based upon the names of the new bands formed. Imagine “Bow Wow Wow” as a sort of William S. Burroughs tale (there would be a sort-of precedent here, seeing as Steely Dan is named after a marital aid in “Naked Lunch”, which really brings this idea full-circle). However, there is a guy who wrote stories based on Springsteen songs, but those work from, well, imagery already there, so this is off in a land all its own, and probably begging for a cease and desist or two.
…and don’t even get me started on the potential of “Chumbawumba”. Or “Sha-Na-Na”. Either of these in the style of Clive Barker would be fascinating.
As a fan of pushing the limits, and making the most of one’s talents, I have to admit that while I may not like shows such as “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent” or “The View”, there is something to be said about taking amateurs with little (and often misguided) vision and strapping them into a vehicle that could rocket them to fame, no matter how lacking they may be in the content department. Sit back and drink in the magic of going from a nobody to having YOUR OWN VEGAS SHOW! Your name in lights… tickets being sold at a deep discount at a kiosk outside of a hotel on the Strip where people stop abruptly to take photos on an overpass amongst the homeless. It’s what dreams are made of. Or at least the outer lying fringes of dreams… but with far more talking animals, strange indoor weather and a smell that you can’t quite put your finger on (and live in fear that you may have stepped in). And, should you recall my earlier dream of becoming a world-class Olympic Figure Skating Choreographer, well, this just builds toward that, my friends.
That said, in keeping the underlying “solo sex tape” theme from a prior post, let’s really stretch this out, and throw down a tribute to Liberace. After all, the man personifies the Vegas of old, so it just feels right. But as a traveling, one-man show that would one day find its way into a theater in Vegas, baby! We set things as a retro-looking piece, inspiring the glory days of that city in the desert, featuring Brian, Master of the Hands-Free Piano. A jaw-dropping spectacle that’s loads of fun for everyone. Can you see it? I can:
“He really works to put the ‘penis’ in ‘pianist’. Really an eye-full!”, raves Variety.
“Re-MEMBER your favorite classics as Brian tickles the ivories with his giggle stick!” —People Magazine
“A festival of testicles… and something else we weren’t sitting close enough to get a really good look at.” Entertainment Weekly
“It was all over so fast. And pretty much all over.” — Clarice Gimbalson, front row, center at the Harrisburg YMCA show
The show, in a nutshell: I take to the stage, riding atop one of the old Siegfried & Roy Tigers, decked-out in roller skates and having a gold-plated chicken on its head (at the matinee shows, we’ll have matching gold-plated chickens). The chorus will rise into an a cappella version of the “Axel F” theme from Beverly Hills Cop, and little custom Skittles, coated to look like Cialis will fall from the ceiling into the crowd. I’ll pound-out classics like “I’ll be Seeing You”, “The Beer Barrel Polka”, and “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing”, and putting my own spin on favorites with versions like “Begin the Big One”, “Everywhere My Love”, and “Spellbound Cockcerto”. We’ll use the intermission as a refractory period, and allow for a costume change (and a cleaning crew to, uh, do their thing). Come to think of it, if we can get Clorox on board, this will be great. Ponder, too, the sheer genius of having the theater lit by blacklight, and then incorporating a laser show… We could do a planetarium tour, and change-up the show with some Pink Floyd. This is going places.
Actually, I jumped the gun there. We save the cleaning crew for AFTER the finale, which would be a back-light and laser light spectacular! Sequins and ropey jets all aglow, the relentless pounding of the ivories, a triple-stacked set of grand pianos and a trampoline are but the beginning! Axl Rose will join me in a gut-wrenching duet of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows”, on which we’ll have to write our own lyrics, but he’s good like that. We’ll drift into a medley, highlighted by my unique spins on classic with “Semen Mixer”, “Brian Rag” and the visual tour de force “El Cockbanchero”, finally closing it all with a reprise and disco remix of “I’ll Be Seeing You”… and a walk through the gift shop, thank you very much.
I want people to think of this as not only a tribute to the days gone by in showbiz, and not just a cross between Zumanity and a Gallagher show from the 1980’s, but a commentary on what people perceive as celebrity. It’s everything that you never imagined Vegas could be.
Ponder the genius of this being televised on New Year’s Eve, and the natural tie-in to the ball drop. Naturally, we’ll have to stage this someplace much warmer than Times Square, but sometimes we have to make concessions. Suck it, Seacrest.
As I’m sure that you know by now, the theatrical release of The Interview has been scrapped. This hits me hard, no simply because we have another telling tale of a lily-livered leader caving to some megalomaniacal fucking jerk-off, but because I will be denied the movie poster I was waiting for.
If you know me, you know that I love film, and movie posters even more. I love the art… GOOD art, anyway. Not these stinking, non-creative turds they pass off regularly featuring a low/back-lit photo of protagonist/antagonist in front of (INSERT MAJOR MOVIE SET PIECE HERE), surrounded by typography and copy obviously created by a seven year old with better things to do… but really good work, like that of Drew Struzan, or Boris Vallejo (I mean have you SEEN his National Lampoon’s Vacation artwork??!), John Alvin, the Hildebrandt brothers, Frank Frazetta, Saul Bass, and on and on. As a filmmaker trapped in the life and career of an illustrator, I live vicariously through this medium until I can one day make that leap. But I digress.
You see, I was looking forward to grabbing a 27×40-inch, double-sided hunk of poster-y goodness from the film. It embodied many things that I enjoy: Propaganda-style art, great color pop, spectacularly tongue-in-cheek typographical layout, and it would be a great replacement for the Army of Darkness piece that my wife hates. She obviously is lost on the genius of John Bolton’s work there. Whatever. I mean, it would have been a Guardians of the Galaxy poster (full theatrical release version, thank you), but those have gone crazy in price. Think of how great that poster would look as guests stop by for an…. wait for it… INTERVIEW on a podcast??!
Anyway, I had attempted to place the order weeks ago, knowing that prerelease posters have been hanging around since Summer, and wanting to beat the rush… but was met with “Order Delayed” messages. Apparently, these were the hot item. Good deal… I’m in no rush, I’ll wait. Now, you can’t find them, and all orders are suspended. This PRECEDING an “official” announcement regrading the film. Hmmm. Conspiracy? Another red herring? Just another deflection of your attention? You do the math.
(Don’t get me wrong, I could drop a few hundred on eBay for one now, but we decided that that was money best spent on food, clothing and toys from the less fortunate, and that has me feeling a lot better than hanging something on a wall.)
I mean, seriously. It’s a comedy. A genius premise, and certainly a grand stage for slapstick and subversive humor. But to make threats to people for showing it… or SEEING it?! What in the fuck, Chuck?! This nearly harkens (almost wrote “Harkins”, ha-ha!) back to my days in Catholic grammar school, when the Czar… I mean “Principal” had threatened us kids with disciplinary action, should we dare to go home and watch the TV movie The Day After (looking back on that, I now see that I understand far more about the Book of Revelation than the so-called “leader” at that school, and that her claims of nuclear armageddon ca.1983 was far off from what the book describes. It pays to know the mindset and capabilities of those in charge, I’ve found…), as we’d suddenly be faced with some sense of mortality, and then have to write an essay about how bad that can be. I compared mine to the fear of ABBA appearing on The Love Boat, and then having said ship become beached upon an iceberg, and the band playing on, as hundreds perished… the final soundtrack to their icy deaths being “Dancing Queen”. Oh, the horror. Looking back, those essays helped to shape who I am today. The joke is on YOU, sister! I’m drawing cars AND writing dirty words, and not living under a bridge… yet, I digress once more.
The poster. I will not be getting mine. “There will be no Christmas”, quoth the beast. Simply because of a “hacking” incident and some threat. If these guys were really looking out for peace, they’d have shut down any number of shitty movies, and let this one roll. Seriously. I STILL want a refund for my time having to sit through that steaming pile “The Hobbit 2: The Desolation of a Viable Screenplay” (should you have missed my feelings on THAT shit festival, scroll back a ways). I mean, if this were a publicity stunt, holy balls it would be great. But when you can’t even grab the poster? That’s either a sign that the marketing firm behind it all is absolutely inhuman brilliant and committed to detail, or that it’s the real deal, and we just sold out to bullies.
If these folks at Sony were REALLY interested in cyber security, they’d listen up. Hell, they’d have already done this, but let’s not split hairs. You can either implement this genius plan, or make a movie about it (and then scrap it when some freak sends a letter):
You grab the laptop from some porno addict, and you plug that hairy, sticky, probably-would-blind-you-and-burn-your-shadow-into-the-wall-if-placed-under-a-blacklight tool of debauchery into the network as your honey pot. Hacker logs on, and BAM! Enjoy your “free” trial and bajillion pop-ups, you fuck. Give me a shout for the rights and title ideas. The simplest of solutions often eludes us. I’m here to help. Hell, I’m always here, usually working, as I don’t golf or vacation much, and still have yet to receive reparations for the Polack jokes my people have suffered the ill effects from.
Mr. Rogan, I appeal to you thusly: Please sell me a poster from The Interview, as I’m having little luck in finding one on my own. No freebies or other nonsense, as there are much better outlets for charity… I simply want to celebrate the creativity you put into the film. My other options have wavered between a nice Hellboy first-run piece, or the iconic “The Thing”… but what I really wanted was my damned first choice, and I’m certain that you can empathize, much as I do with your situation. Wishing you only the best, sir.
Realizing that we’re officially eight months into the Christmas season (for those of you going by the decorations on display in your local Lowes), I thought it best to take a moment and reflect on the wonderous joy that listening to Christmas music brings me. If by “wonderous joy”, one means that it breeds to sort of feeling “similar to slamming my privates in a car door over and over again”. Pa-rum-pa-pa-pum.
It’s not that I hate this season. Far from it. I love the temporary feeling of giving that people have for a few short days, or watching morons brag about how they gave a buck to the Salvation Army Santa that one time. I hate (yes, “HATE” may be a strong word, but it feels nearly anemic in this case) the blatant commercialism, and made-up bullshit that surrounds it all, and we’re not even going to delve into another made-up holiday here. That would be like discussing the existence of UFO’s, and then expecting people to follow along as we turned to Godzilla and the possibility of giant mechanized robots taking over Tokyo and that a logical defense would be to create a super-human using gamma rays via an old microwave oven during a lunar eclipse while listening to Blue Oyster Cult backward. You can only stretch belief so far, and in my opinion, it stops at the whole gamma ray/microwave/BOC backward/eclipse thing, still many, many steps from “Kwanzaa”. You might find a richer history in “Festivus”, which shares an eerily similar point of birth of that other one there. 1966-67 must have been a hotbed of holiday manufacture. Strangely enough, How the Grinch Stole Christmas was released in… 1966. A YULETIDE CONSPIRACY! And let’s not even dare venture to the 1967 Bob Hope Christmas Special, which featured “Miss World”, Madeleine Hartog Bell, which was an obviously biased contest, as no formal invitation was sent to Miss Godzilla, spurring the alternate dimension battle ending with, as we all know, the great Microwave-Gamma-Ray battle which would propel Blue Oyster Cult to fame across all known realities, plus two additional ones we don’t yet understand.
But I digress. It’s not even a hatred for Christmas music in general. It’s having to listen to it from October through, well, whenever the heck the next commercialized bullshit begins… Which is usually Valentine’s Day, and you can expect those cards to hit shelves on 26 December. And it’s one shitty remake after the next. How many different ways can you sing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”? At last count, seventy-three million, with eleven million of those coming from Whitney Houston alone. And don’t even get me started on the bullshit “It’s a CLASSIC!” ear worms like “Wonderful Christmas Time” by McCartney. This pile of reindeer shit from the guy who penned “Paperback Writer”, “Eleanor Rigby” and “Penny Lane”?! It’s nearly as annoying as “Last Christmas” by Wham!, or, well, anything else recorded after 1959. You can feel my pain, I’m certain. As a season of giving and all that, I hope that you’ll take time to give to those less fortunate, and continue that all year. And for you, in keeping with that theme from the start of the post, I’d like to make sure that you get a little Pussy this year. “Pussy with a CAPITAL ‘P’, Brian?!” you may be asking, “this must be high quality stuff! You shouldn’t have!” What can I say? I’m a giver.
And yes. “Pussy” was the name of one of the dogs in this masterpiece, which illustrates clearly just how terrible the music of the season can be. I would pay a lot to hear the studio out-takes from those sessions. “Come on Pussy! Louder!” It’s the Christmas music equivalent of watching your dog drag its ass across the carpet, yet, you’d probably stop this song long before yelling “STOP THAT!!” at poor Fido.