Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 6 Albums of '09 or Why Lady Gaga Makes Me Want to Vomit.

Passion Pit - Manners

I was always a big fan of the postal service and this band seems to capture a lot of the reasons I was into them. Fun electronic music with fun, clever sounds and retro-styled songs that stay endearing instead of annoying. It's got heart and it's cheesy but fuck it's great!

Tanya Morgan - Brooklynati

It's been a bit since I found a really good, solid hip hop album since Outkast has been on other projects and MF Doom falls more into the rap genre. These guys have exactly what I've been looking for by having a good balance of witty lyrics, amazing beats and cohesive, well thought out tracks over a great album.

Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca

It took me a bit to get around to listening to this album since it seemed like every one was creaming their jeans over this and it kept raising my expectations. When I finally did listen to Bitte Orca, it nearly exploded my mind. It was such a smart combination of jangly guitar work, experimental tweaked noises and thoughtful, lucid lyrics and verses that it had me listening to it on repeat, almost over and over again that week I had brought it with me on a trip to Austin. I'm almost sad I didn't get to this album sooner.

Super Furry Animals - Dark Days/Light Years

Super Furry Animal's are so constantly wonderful I feel like I barely even need to explain why most every year they release something that it's usually one of my favorites. They know what they're doing and this album shows that off yet again.

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

So like Super Furry Animals, Phoenix doesn't know how to do a bad album. They got a lot of attention this year and they fully deserve it. If you like pop music even in the slightest this album is pure gold.

Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle

It's hard to say that an album is simply beautiful but I can confidently say that about Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle. This album is just so aesthetically sound and gorgeous I can't recommend it enough. GET TO IT SON!

And to finish 2009 and a decade at that, let me just say, "FUCK YOU, Lady Gaga!"

and not in a good way.

I dragged you back a sleepyhead

So my last regular post for the year. After this I'll be posting my usual best 6 albums of the year.

I've been drawing with no clear goal lately and just doing doodles in general. It's not really accomplishing much but it's so enjoyable. Sometimes it's good to get back to the basics.

As for reflecting on this year it's been pretty busy yet fulfilling. I finally have a set date for graduating next spring, I passed Illustration portfolio review, I've been in an art show and I've been working at Altgeld Art Museum for a year now. I feel like I've accomplished a lot for getting where I want to be as an artist but at the same time I have fallen short in a few areas. I wanted to finally finish a small comic/zine to sell at Quimby's and have still put it off a year later. This has to be the year I do that or I might just explode!

As for reflecting on personal things, well, it's a lot! I've come to enjoy where I am with friends and family and just enjoy being myself. I've made a strive to be less lazy and do more constructive things like making music, creating things and posting on this blog more often. I think my biggest hurtle is still apathy and laziness but I am slowly getting through it. There's so much we can do to improve ourselves and others around us I'd hate to look back in another decade and feel like I've been living a wasted life. Something to think about in '10.

Closing the last usual post of the year with some more Passion Pit. Definitely going to be one of the albums in the top 6 for the year.

Keep it surreal in '10!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is this the way I'll always be? Oh no, Oh no.

So my semester has been over for the last week and I've just been lazy getting around to posting here but damn, am I enjoying the break. Not much to say other than how much I love sleeping in till 1pm again :3

Some end of the semester art:

My final set of plates for my intaglio class on a split fountain woodcut. I like how it turned out but I wish I had more time to do bigger, individual plates for each one on its own split fountain. Maybe next semester. The title is "Scientist studies" off a deathcab for cutie song I quite like, capturing that familiar feeling of self realization and distance. A rearrangement of tarot cards to represent myself.

And the colored version of this guy


The end of the year is drawing close and I feel myself on a weird edge, realizing it's almost the end of decade again. I guess I am trying to formulate that all into more cohesive thoughts but until then, this song captures some odd combination of emotions I am feeling:

I was in love with this song by Passion Pit but the music video as well captures this cool, energetic atmosphere. I love when pairings turn out so nicely.

Also in review of reading all this text, I'M SO GAAAAAAAY.


Monday, November 30, 2009

You're dealing with a kid that doesn't have a clue

Well November was a wonderful month. Kind of sad how fast fall goes, it's my favorite season and I never feel like I get to enjoy it and it's already freezing and just waiting to snow. My brother came up to visit most of the month and he heads back tomorrow, kind of bummed to see him heading out. All the more reason for me to hurry my ass up, graduate and get out to Austin.

Anyways, the art!

Finished intaglio plate set. Really happy how it turned out and it's a nice, big size of 30" by 15", I think. My printmaker teacher wants to put it in the school's archives so I am happy but at the same time that means I need to do another edition of it, during finals.

Also been drawing Scott, my little imp guy. I need to get back to working on my comics which is a possibility with break a week away.

And most of all, Crunkodile

As for music, enjoy a cute ass, catchy music video from +/-

See you later fall, you were always my favorite~<3

Thursday, November 26, 2009

They go we go, I want you to know, what I did I did

Finally got a working scanner again. Basically I got a new computer and my last scanner was so old they don't even make software compatible for it with anything Windows vista and up. So uh, it's a little later than I wanted to post for November but I still got that chance to make 2 more post. At least one more.


Intaglio plate series I am working on. The less said about it, the better, until it is completed :3

A gouache painting for my illustration class. We had to pick a company or business to illustrate so I went with Anti- records. I noticed that most of the artist on their label, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Tabacco and Man Man, all seem to have themes of drug use so I had this idea of a baby and mama robo pill.

Second off, Seeeeeeeeeeeelf looooooooathing! I've been kind of mad at myself for getting all psyched up and starting a new comic again and not getting further into it. I have been good this semester at drawing regularly and struggling to get better but I really want to get back to doing a comic a week. I am busy; I have school full time and work two jobs but fuck, that's an excuse. No matter how busy I do get, my art should be a high priority and I want to do comics and graphic novels one day as well as illustration.

Third off, Grizzzzzzzzzly Beaaaaaaaaaaaaar!:

My love for them, their music videos and their new album only continue to grow like some beautiful melodic tumor :3

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween post whoo!

I have this tradition that every Halloween I listen to the Cure's album Denigration. So I'll cut to the usual music link right away:

A good song, still a bit cheesy but it's got that potent power of nostalgia for me.

Anyways, here's some recent art as well:

This Illustration was on the subject of identity and that can be a little rough for me. I know myself well but when I present myself to others, it can get a bit depressing when I explain. Basically I wanted to capture my fixation on mortality, self worth and just constant recurrence of being trapped in the past by throwing in a lot of personal symbols from my life. I don't know how I feel about the poorly rendered smog but I feel it was successful otherwise. This was done in goauche on a 16" by 20" board and the title is from a Man Man song called Doo-little.

And a recent intaglio plate, 9" by 12", about a strange dream I had a few weeks ago about this weird, shrouded druid like figure. This one doesn't need as much explanation but I feel like continuing this idea for my next series of plates.

Whoo, two post for October. Next month, three, and all with better art and music, FOR REALZIES!

Friday, October 23, 2009

What did you want to see

This month I swear I am going to make two post and then next month, three! I am so tired of doing these large updates and basically having to rush everything into a few paragraphs and pics. Also the large blocks remind me how much I haven't gotten done. I am hoping for a little more diligence caused from more updates.

Here's a woodblock I finished. This was done on multiple blocks, about 4 in total:

It's a bit more abstract and blurry in form but I like the murky colors and feel. I've just kind of been in a similar mindset lately, muddy with no clear path. It's reflecting in a lot of my work lately which could be good or bad.

and heres a finished ilio for my illustration class. I did it based off a short story I really liked about a tengu. The poor guy gets struck by a bolt of divine lightning sent down from the buddha himself at the end of the story due to a forgetful monk. Basically the best way I can sum that up in one sentence since it's 4 in the morning here.

Typing too much, this image doesn't even need to be explained:


As for the usual update on new music I've been listening to let's go with Atlas Sound's new album Logos

This is a fantastic track off of it. At first I just really liked the tune but the lyrics made me fall in love with it. Especially the lines "You find yourself lost again, The better things you left behind, But looking back you may go blind." Something I remind myself of every day now.

See? If I had more updates this post wouldn't be so wordy and shitty. I'm setting a good example of a bad example for myself. GENIUS!

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm caught up in a storm that I don't need no shelter from

The new semester has been going pretty well. I just got back from a trip out to Austin to go to the GDC since I've been doing concept art for my bros company, Red Fly Studios. Each time I visit Austin I seem to find something new I love about it. I am crossing my fingers when that grad school application goes through in January.

As for my mental state, it's been in a weird state between melancholy and content. I'm getting work done, drawing a lot and enjoying myself but I feel like somethings a bit vacant about myself lately. Maybe it's just adjusting to the usual work load again but I just find myself thinking back to stupid things that don't matter. Maybe one day my brain will start working together as a cognitive whole.

Here's that suicide woodblock I finally finished. It's a nice 20" and 16" and took FOREVER.

I was trying to capture that state of mind I've been in for the last year or two but put a positive twist on it with a nice little Posada style theme and colors. I could go deeper into the piece but I really like leaving it up to the viewer to decide the meaning. It's title is "Something bad inside me went away (those to come)" after a delightful Shins song I thought inspired/captured the mood.

and some doodles, the last one being a prelim sketch for a bigger water color painting I am going to do for an illustration project.

and some music of course.

Finally got around to listening to this new Dirty Projectors album and it's fantastic as everyone has been saying. It's a good balance of weird, sensiable and catchy with gorgeously deep lyrics. The odd cheerful tone mixed with a sense of depression in this song is definitely appealing to me lately.

Yup, back in school still means huge blog post for me. Oh well, better than nothing.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


School has started for me again and I am quite enjoying the classes. Got photography, Spanish, intermediate Illustration and Intaglio printmaking this semester. They all seem pretty enjoyable and I am hoping this helps me pump out some more art (and post here) these next few months.

I've also been made president of the other art club at NIU, Ars Nova. So I'll be busy with that as well but hopefully it'll get me in the mood to be more productive art-wise. I even get my own little office at school since it's an official SA club. Usually that access to a little extra privacy can be helpful to get me drawing.

I am kind of bummed I didn't get more art done this summer or further into the comic I am working on. I had a really great summer otherwise, getting to hang with friends, go to Georgia and enjoy some concerts and that pitchfork music festival. I am still trying to figure out that perfect balance of getting art done and getting out. It sometimes feels like I have to shut myself in for a few days to get anything done.

Working on still life and figure drawing again, one of those areas I got to sharpen up technique wise.

Should have some wood block prints and comics within the next week or two.

Also I've been on a blur kick again, mainly listening to Think Tank on repeat. They've been one of my favorites for awhile and also one of the first bands I ever really got into. They always tend to bring up nostalgic memories of my earlier teen years.

Nostalgia is going to kill me one day.

Friday, July 31, 2009

We are the robots

So I am making more than two post this month, hopefully I can make twice as many in August. Considering school's starting and a lot of stuff is up and coming, shouldn't be a problem.

I had to recently sign the NDA with red fly studios for the game concept art I am doing so sorry guys, no art until late on that! None the less it's got me feeling PUMPED.


Why must it all be so catchy? It never leaves my brain. I recently got their album Radioactivity on vinyl and it's been on repeat quite a few days now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bustin' out the new lay out

Liking the colors and new header. If anyone feels otherwise, let me know because I am not a good judge of such things sometimes.

In case things go poorly and I not return

So I have returned from all my vacationing and music going and general dumbassery with some drawings and comics. Most of them are ideas and sketchs so I am only posting two:

I started typing up this post wanting to write something deep and nice about the recent comic and idea I am working on but I am so tired of talking shit up I just want to get more pages done and feel half way decent about finishing an idea. I am such a huge gay nerd baby who loves run on sentences jeeeeesh.

I am going to see about readjusting and making this blog look a little better within this week but for now here is the usual music I am going to post that people should take a gander at with their ears:

Seriously fantastic song, Bill Callahan has made the best album this year so far and he has a beard in this link. Work that beard Billy, work it like you mean it!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Now I go out alone if I go out at all

Going to to the Atlanta Suburbs, returning with lots of art and comics. Take this if needed:


Friday, June 12, 2009

We're not old, old at all. Just too old.

Been getting back on track with doing art daily and painting and such. Here's some watercolors and doodles I did for some friends.

I've started scripting and drawing out the rough sketches for the comics I want to do and actually print myself. I am still a little iffy on a few of the ideas but I'm hammering them out and feeling pretty confident all around with how it'll turn up.

Some of them are a bit personal too and I don't know if I am comfortable enough to do them or even if I should. Doubling that up with the usual self doubt of an artist, I'm wondering if I should even do a rough sketch of them. Fuck if I know.

Life is pretty confusing in general lately but it's a nice kind of confusion. Tomorrow I am heading off to Chicago to check out the new modern wing at the art institute of Chicago which will hopefully be very inspiring and if not, there's always the stop at Rotofugi's to help with that. Beats sitting at home and watching Docotr Who, which is sadly what I've been doing most of this week :[

And for the usual music I seem to post at the end of each entry, I've really been in to the Antlers lately. This track, Bear, is so wonderful:

Albums called hospice and it's a really good companion along with Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest. I think it captures that word's feeling in a morbidly beautiful way, cover art included.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm cheerleading myself, I should've made it matter.

Summertime always seems to remind me that I am more lazy than I should be and a recent purchase of the Optic Nerve mini-series has reinforced this with some intensity. Adrian Tomine is one of my favorite artist and I am still blown away by the fact he was doing comics like the ones in this collection from when he was 18 to 21. Also it comes in a neat little box that contains all of the reprints of the 6 zines.

Even came with free stickers, hot damn!

This summer I need to get together my own comics and work on a new one and finally get it altogether in a nice little zine. No excuses this time, I am just getting older and it's one of the few things I have a passion for in this weird life of mine.

At least I've been doing some comics again recently but I need to get a cohesive idea of what I need to do and get it done before late August rolls around. I've passed so many personal mile stones lately but this is still one of the bigger ones to me, which seems funny and small but it's just something I have to do.

Also recently I've been listening to the leak of Veckatimest, Grizzly Bear's forthcoming album, obsessively. But it's having a weird affect on me at the same time. It's something so beautifully done that it brings back all of these old memories and feelings of places I am not anymore. The more I thought about this, I really want to do that with my comics and art one day. I am not expecting to accomplish this anytime soon but one day, that's what I want achieve.

The song Cheerleader , off of Veckatimest, gets me every time.

Also enjoying this fan video, I use to watch the incredible Mr.Limpet a lot as a kid.

I miss so many beautiful things and people but maybe this is just one of those facts of life.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Donde Està La Playa

So here I am, it's summer time and I finally feel rested after a long stretch. Granted I've been sleeping in till 1 most of the days now and working the others it's something I needed.

A lot has happened since my last post. I passed my portfolio review with flying colors, went to an amazing illustration show that lead to my last night out in Dekalb for the Semester with a lot of crazy happenings and finally accompanied a few friends to a local anime convention full of strange, strange folks and odd smells this last weekend. I'd write in more details about these but the two key things to know are 1. on the night of the illustration show a crystal skull full of vodka was purchased and 2. at the anime convention I accompanied myself with a large, 1988 sears model boom box also known as a ghetto blaster and went around blaring rap music and garage punk as loud as possible inside of elevators and small hallways.

Here is some art I've done since the last post:

Here is some music video you should watch:

That is all for now, I'll take time for more thought out post as this summer goes by. Wish me luck strangers.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Shit I said I was going to be better with updating

but here we are, two weeks later, with so much happening and no updates in between. Alright, after this I'll try to update every few days or at least make sure a week doesn't go in between each one.

ANYWAYS, I finished up two more of the 4" by 6" copper plates. Continuing my fun little series of dead cowboys with various animal skulls, here they are:

This one being titled "Waves Of Rye."

and this one is "In Ear Park."

I also finished up that acrylic painting of a delightful cassowary, possibly the coolest birds ever:

and as always, pugs, lots of pugs:

As for the Jay Ryan show, talk and Dianogah playing, all of it was fantastic. He was probably one of the friendliest artist I've met, was really engaging and funny and taught me some cool stuff and techniques for silk screening. He even told me to stop by and talk with him at Pitchfork since he'll be at the flat stock poster convention and his band should be playing either Saturday or Sunday. Heavily considering looking for an internships at Flat Stock.

and oh my god, the line up for the pitchfork music festival this year is downright amazing. Wavves, Vivian girls, Yo La Tango, the Walkmen, the pains of being pure at heart, grizzly bear and most of all the Flaming Lips. For anyone who knows me, reads this blog and lives in the area, you need to go or you are crazy and hate fun things.

I've got more to write about and say but like I said, need to break up these post and update more often. Watch this for now:

Phoenix has a new album coming out and the first song out for it is called 1901. Fantastic song from a fantastic band and they're going to be in Chicago in June. Fucking great year for music so far, hope the same goes for my own art by the time December gets here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

When you wake up, feelin' old

Last night was the opening reception of our printmaking suite show at the Altgeld Art Museum. It was fan-fucking-tastic to say the least so here's some pictures of the set up:

I got to meet Jay Ryan (of the fantastic today as well as attend his workshop. Which actually turned out to be just us helping him do some silk screen prints but I am not complaining. It was fun to talk to him and he's one hell of a nice guy, he even gave me two free prints of the posters he did for the show.

Tomorrow Jay Ryan's band, Dianogah, is playing the house cafe so I should be getting some pretty sweet pictures as well as uploading pics from the opening night and the posters he gave me.

As for my own work lately it's just been sketches in my book since I'm in the process of finishing an acrylic painting for an illustration assignment and doing two more intaglio plates which take up so much time but look so bad ass when they are finished. It's definitely a fair trade.

Anyways, some random sketches:

and a pronto plate I forgot to post last time:

Words are a title to a Wavves song. Wavves is the best. Here is proof:

As for personal things I've been considering grad school in printmaking and have been looking at a few programs for it out in Austin by my bro. I love Chicago but I don't know how much more I can take of the Midwest. It makes me feel so stale after each winter and I miss nice, warm weather and sandals. I've also been looking around California, in the San Fransisco and San Diego area, and maybe even Oregon or Washington. I've been up here for 8 years and that's the most I've ever been in one place at one time, I think I am just too used to moving every few years now. Home for me is with people, not places.

That's it for now, more art and pics from the show and other things soon. God I need to learn how to make these post shorter ffffffffffffff

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Intaglio and other fancy art words

Life has been getting crazy hard lately. I'd bore you with obvious details as to why but this blog is more about art and less about bitching and crying about life in general. If you wanted that well, you pretty much could go to anyone because we all got something going down in some way. A friend of mine had to drop $3500 on a new engine for his car and another one has a freaking bed bug infection in his house leaving him with no place to sleep for the last few nights.

It's good to always remember that someone always got it worse and problems make a better person, so you know, chin up and stop being a huge baby and I dunno, listen to the ponies or wavves or something and get those fist pumping in the air or make run on sentences that never end with horrible analogies.

Anyways, been working on some Intaglio plates lately, getting ready to do a series of prints of dead cowboys with various animal skulls. Also for shits and giggles each one is named after a song from the department of eagle's album In Ear Park

I really enjoy the process, especially for all the different ways you can approach Intaglio and copper plate printing in general. In the next few days I should have some soft ground and aquatint plates to print that work off a similar method like this but with less acid baths and dangerous shanking tools (Sadly).

And have some doodles, no need to explain these really.

I've got some more stuff to update, like about the (finally) upcoming Jay Ryan show and other stuff but I'm trying to keep these post a bit shorter. Get to the real meat and bones and less of the general faggotry that is Brandon Kirkman.

And hey, spring is finally getting its lazy ass in gear and it has been quite nice out. One last wintery-esque music video before it's too late to capture that great depressing force that is the Midwest winter:

Midlake - Young Bride. I've probably watched this video and listened to this song like a million times. It's a shame this album didn't get as much attention as the Fleet Foxes first LP. Get this album if you don't got it :3