Recently visited my home in Cebu and went rifling through my trash. Found this fan-service-intensive pin-up of Urban Animal from 2002, when it had a different title. To be honest, I don’t even know who those three women are, or if I ever had any intention of writing them into the story, but yeah… boobies.
And today I bring you the music of one of my favorite artists. It’s fairly difficult to get copies of her singles, but I have the distinct advantage of living with her. So suck it, fools. Below are two tracks from Jad Montenegro with percussions by Dave Ibao, and bass by Pjoe Sabanpan — the finished radio edit of Guitar Man, followed by a rough demo of Invincible. Enjoy.
Posted by johnamor | Filed under Research
Anyone who knows me is well aware that I have a keen disinterest in fairytale pastiche stories. The Shrek films just leave me tired and depressed. Like someone just peed on my head. I understand some people are into that, but they’re not here.
Garulfo is a French allegory told by way of the fairytale comedy — minus the anachronistic pop culture quips of Shrek that made it hard for you to take the story seriously. Written by Alain Ayroles, drawn by Bruno Aiorana, and colored by Thierry Leprévost, it tells the story of a little green frog who is sick of being every predator’s favorite meal in his home pond. Garulfo (the frog) envies man’s place in the food chain and asks a witch to enchant him so that he may walk, talk, and live in man’s world. In this fresh take on the Frog Prince fairytale, Garulfo eventually finds himself in the king’s court.
Needless to say, with Garulfo’s awkwardess in the royal court, hilarity ensues, but not without later leading to Garulfo’s realizations about man’s abuse of nature. This seeded theme plays into the entire six volume series.
Of course, such a theme betrays a more mature book than appearances indicate, but do keep in mind that Garulfo is a comedy first and foremost. The art is stunning, as the detail in the pond scenes are rich and vibrant. Same goes for the castle and countryside settings. The people and faces however are not necessarily as strongly done as most background elements, but they still convey the book’s comedy nicely.
All in all a good read. European books never fail to cause equal parts inspiration and horror, both resulting from the sheer craft put into them.
Posted by johnamor | Filed under Art
To keep in theme with my previous journal entry, I bring you yet another thing I did to get over my artistic block — I started a daily sketch blog called Pencil Flex. And not only that, I kicked it off with two artist buddies whom I greatly admire: Kathryn Layno and Miko Punsalan. We’ve burned through the first week with a bunch of Lord of the Rings illustrations and decided to do it for one more week since there’s simply too much stuff to cover. Here are some of my scribblings. Visit the site to see how much better the other guys are.
I hit a bit of an artist block in the past couple of weeks. Not sure when it raised its ugly unproductive head, but it did, and very apparently so that I’d be reading and re-reading work scripts and absolutely nothing of any interest would take shape in my head. I was stuck.
And in a freelance profession where income is directly proportional to output rather than “hours spent at the desk,” creative constipation is no joke.
But I seem to have gotten over it and I’m back in full swing, but not without proper remedy. And so, my friends, I present to you Johnny’s Five-Step program to Getting Your Life Back.
Consume – Most artistic blocks i.e, obstruction of output is usually caused by a lack of creative input or inspiration. It’s a universal law — you can’t make something from nothing. So plunge your head into other people’s work, other books, other stories, films, new music, and let it all seep in. Enjoy it. Don’t think of it as work, and appreciate it for what it is. Art.
Commune – But perhaps more important than surrounding yourself with media is surrounding yourself with people. For comic artists, a hermit-like lifestyle is pretty much the norm; but it’s easier to go stir-crazy than most people think, so meet up with friends, visit family, or just simply go out into the world and take your hat off. Spoiler: the sky is blue.
Control – Fight the urge to go back or stay at the desk until you “get through” a block. It’s not a physical object. It’s not a boss at the end of a video game level. Your head is hungry. Feed it. Your mind is tired. Let it rest.
Compose – It can take a day, it can take a week, but when ideas start flowing freely again, it’s incredibly easy to tell which is forced and which isn’t. Think your process through. In my case, I like to go back to my illustration and sequential basics, and more often than not, the rest just takes shape for me.
Commit – If you’re something I like to call a human being, any creative endeavor will come with a healthy amount of self doubt. And you know what? That’s okay. It’s okay to suck. The important thing is that with every pen stroke and every new panel, you try to suck a little less. Accept that what you put on paper was the very best you could do at the time, but drive yourself to get better.
There you have it, guys. The Five (unintentional) C’s of how to get over a case of artist’s block. Of course I realize that not all artists are alike, and this could work only for me, but if you ever feel like your creative output needs a refresher, you might want to consider at least giving this a try.
Posted by johnamor | Filed under Photos
Posted by johnamor | Filed under Research
Interesting video I came across while I was scavenging for Dyson Sphere material; collects a world (heh) of stirring factoids (if you can call them that).