Thursday, December 11, 2008

One of those...

I've had this nagging mental itch for a couple days now. It's that feeling you get when you walk out the door and as you're halfway down the street, you remember you forgot something but you can't remember what. That's how I've felt. Anyway, I'm sure I'm just in the usual holiday creative slump and it's got me a little down. I've got another round of postcards ready to be sent out right after the holidays. And in the meantime, I should keep doing personal work and taking care of loose ends. This time of year always makes me feel kinda detached from the whole art scene, mostly because there's so much going on that it's hard to devote the usual attention to it. On a positive note, however, I'm printing my holiday cards as I write this.

One task at a time...

Does anyone else just hate feeling sidetracked like this?


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Incredible edible evil...

I did a new piece today which has been uploaded to the gallery. It's mostly a study of shape and form but with a humourous twist. 'Cuz let's face it, not everything has to be terribly serious all the time. It's an homage to one of my favourite snacks. Have a look. Hope you enjoy!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy turkey day from Medford!

Giving Thanks.

I've just added two new images to the library. The first is a landscape i did recently... it was for a contest i'm still awaiting the results from, so cross some fingers and so forth. The other is a piece i did today after having recently been reading lots of Lovecraft and having rather bizarre dreams as a result. I thought the two images provide an interesting contrast in terms of my polarity. So please enjoy!

Also, it's early thanksgiving morning. Today is one of my favourite holidays not just because of the gluttonous aspect of it all, but because it's just one of those days that gives you no excuse not to take stock of all you've been blessed with. Even in today's economic peril, we can still find things to be grateful for.
..So, take a moment today and let someone know you're glad they're around.

And make sure to call your Mom and tell her you love her. She likes hearing from you.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

In a moment of inspiration...

as those who know me are already aware, i have a distinct fascination with all things spiritual and arcane and... well, unusual. symbolism is something i've always admired greatly. and i have a certain 'thing' for eastern philosophy and aesthetics. so i got out the ol' calligraphy set today and came up with my own rendition of a traditional chinese 'chop' or a Baiwen seal. you'll probably be seeing it on my work from hence forward. just thought it was kind of a cool thing, so there it is.

also, if anyone knows anything about making rubber stamps, i'd like to talk. thanks.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes, he did.

it's a new day in America.

today i'm proud to be a citizen of this nation. centuries ago, we massacred the native inhabitants of this country and slavery was commonplace. just a few decades ago, racism was rampant. one of the great modern peace leaders was struck down. then came the cold war era and just eight years ago, we began the great decent that was the bush administration. little by little, the tide began to change. ideas evolved and today, on this historic day, we can finally leave the ghosts of the past behind us. america has elected the first black president in an unprecidented landslide victory. it's a different time and attitude in the same old place. today, we can look forward to a future where the lower class and minorities in this country can TRULY believe that they, too, can grow up to become president. ideologies of the past are irrelevant. america and the rest of the world have spoken and we've laid the groundwork for a fundamental change that will pave the way to the future.

this is a bbc article that really sums up what today means to the rest of the world:

this is a blog written by one of my favourite people that sums up EXACTLY how i feel:

i urge you to read and celebrate what's happened here. and also, i must say, Sen. John McCain took the defeat like a man and stepped down with class and dignity. his concession speech was delivered remarkably well. despite the negative campaigning, he took the high road in the end and earned the respect of myself and, undoubtedly, many others.

it's been an exciting election season and in a way i'm glad it's finally over. part of fme will miss the lunacy of some of it because it made for some great entertainment. but i look forward to the future and i'm happy to know that today america has spoken and i think this will open countless doors and change the way we think all across the nation AND the world.

congratulations, President Obama.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Samhain

...or Halloween. whichever suits you. :) in the spirit of the season i present you with this:

in other news, remember to vote this tuesday. if you're registered, do it. i don't care who you're supporting as long as you're making your opinion heard. it's a luxury we're afforded in this country that many around the world simply don't have. so go out and do your civic duty and let's have our voices heard. the nation is in some trying times and we're all eager for new leadership. let's make a difference. it's been a strange and, at times, alarming election season and i think i'm going to miss the craziness a bit once it's over.

also, when walking home from work, a van turned the corner ahead of me. i heard LOUD bass-thumping disco, yes, disco music blaring out the windows. as the van passed me, i saw it was a police wagon... a police wagon. i laughed the rest of the way home.

finally, the world's largest pinata is being constructed a few blocks from my apartment. it looks not unlike the trojan horse dressed in drag.

i think art bell was right when he said 'the quickening' is upon us. strange things really do seem to be occurring more and more frequently.. hahaha

be safe out there tonight!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

61 degrees and falling.

it's a chilly one today. i always loved this time of year... i always feel most inspired around the fall. maybe it's the colors changing or the 'electric' feeling that just seems to hang in the air. it seems like everything in nature just tries to cling to vibrancy a little more just before the snow. it's like last call at the bar... everyone wants to keep the party going but the guests know there's only a little time left so they party a little harder to make up for it.

the other day i saw Choke. i'd been waiting a year to see it since it was announced, and if you're reading this you probably know how much i love chuck palahniuk's work. the movie did not disappoint. it certainly did the book justice. with a running time around 1:45, they managed to include almost the entire storyline without editing much. and all the dirty awful objectionable parts made it in. so go check it out and have yourself some guilty laughs.

that same day i took a trip to borders to buy some books and do some research. i ended up buying a couple resource texts about the buiness and contact info, etc.. book stores are a GREAT resource for freelancers. your market is publishing, right? so why not go right to the source and read a few mastheads? all the info you want is right under your nose, quite literally. bring a notebook and a digital camera and get your research on!

a little thing i'm trying with my new batch of mailers is including reply cards. i've heard mixed opinions of them (people rarely use them, they might just end up in the trash, people would rather email, blah blah...) but i thought i'd give them a shot. i made reply mail cards complete with stamps and a comment section and a simple checkbox system in case the recipient is pressed for time. check the appropriate response, toss it in the outgoing mail. 'nuff said. i'll let you know how many i get back.

finally, i've been working on some new pieces when i haven't been doing mailer and promo stuff. i'm trying to get in gear to participate regularly in illustration friday ( check it out. it's a fantastic idea and i've been wanting to get involved for a while. i'm also working on my company's christmas card and some personal work too just to keep myself sharp. here's the newest illy i put together. personal piece, mixed media, digital, etc...


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

storm grey is the best grey.

i cannot recommend calumet enough. their prices can be somewhat high, but their house-brand products have never let me down and they're always far more affordable than name-brand equivalents. and you're not sacrificing quality, either. case in point: i just purchased a slick new backdrop support set and a seamless roll of storm grey background paper. it's awesome. and they're great for used equipment too. i'm thinking of upgrading my camera system through them... but that's another story altogether.

in other news, my first round of cards are in the mail. now the waiting process begins. in the meantime, you can't do much else but wait by the phone and do more illustrations 'till somebody calls. i've also gotta update my -actual- portfolio with new prints and so forth, so it seems the to-do list never ends.

this past weekend i spent alot of time outdoors. sunday i went up to bushkill falls with the family for my grandma's birthday. it was a blast. if you're into that kinda thing, it's really beautiful. it's like a big chasm opened up in the middle of the poconos and a big waterfall and some rapids just kinda happened. seems kinda out of place, but that's part of what makes it so cool. it's a really clean park too. and a real nice walk. then on monday i drove back down to philly to work with my mentor. we went out to this amazing remote stretch of forest in the NJ pine barrens called 'apple pie hill' to shoot photos off the top of this fire tower in the middle of the woods. the view is unreal. you can see 35 miles in each direction from the top. on a clear day you can see both philadelphia and atlantic city at the same time. it's wild. go check it out, but be aware that the surrounding area really gives you the 'deliverance' vibes. kinda creepy in a way but at the same time it's one of the coolest views i've seen in some time.

lastly, as promised, this is specially for simay... i shot some photos of Ophie last night. here they are:


Thursday, September 11, 2008

the recovery process...

my envelopes have finally arrived and this time they fit. thank god. i've been a little under the weather for a few days (i'm blaming hay fever) but i'm back on my feet and ready to rock. in the process of calibrating my printer for the moab paper last week, i burned through the little 'starter' cartridge that came with it. so i gotta go get a real color cartridge and then print the crap outta these cards.

i'm also trying out a couple different label designs for the front of the envelopes. i want something funky and cool that ties my work, the website, and the mailer all together. if i've learned one thing so far, it's that as a freelancer you're essentially selling yourself. not in a prostituting way or anything, but in the sense that you're an inventor and you're branding your product. image matters and a clean, well thought-out finished product will do much better than something half-assed or something that makes the person seeing it ask, 'what was he thinking?'

so that's my mission for the next two days between the day job and sleep. i'm going to take the weekend off to spend some much-needed time with the lady. we've both been a little off lately and we owe it to ourselves to have a nice romantic relaxing weekend out of the city. and sunday night, it's back to printing labels and sticking stamps. looks like i've got my work cut out for me!


PS- simay, i'll be posting an entry just for you this evening when i get out of work. i promised photos of the kitty and i plan to deliver. :)

Monday, September 8, 2008


so my replacement envelopes arrived in my area on saturday. i missed the delivery and they were supposed to be delivered today between 10 am and 2:30 pm. so i waited around all day. no buzz at the door. so around 3, i went downstairs to find a note on my mailbox saying i missed their delivery, despite my being home all afternoon. i can't figure it out either.

at roughly 6:30 i spoke to my buddy dan, with whom i had plans to hang out with. when he arrived at 7, i talked him into coming down to the UPS station in south philly so i could get my package which was guaranteed to be there for pickup. by 8pm, i was told (for the second time) that my delivery was "being taken off the truck and will be ready in a few minutes." mind you, this is an hour after i heard this the first time.

i gave up and left.

so here's my useful fact of the day....

UPS will hold a reserved package for 24 hours. this means, you can call to have your package held at the station and you can pick it up anytime within a day of its arrival. i was under the impression (and their automated service leads you to believe) that it will only be held an hour or so. this is not the case.

if you're shipping materials for your business, be aware that you don't need to spend an hour waiting to get what you paid for. you can call, have it held, and pick it up on your lunch break the following day. which is what i plan on doing.

moral of the story: don't waste time when you don't need to. make calls. that's the way the world works these days. you'll get shoved around and the guy who ordered a rug will get his delivery before you get your tiny package of envelopes. call ahead and make an appointment to pick up your delivery in-person. i don't know if this happens to everyone, but even with something as mundane as a shipment of envelopes, UPS won't deliver it without you in person to sign for it. go figure.

and in the end, dan and i had a drink and played pool and had some good food, so everything worked out.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

doing your homework...

so my custom envelopes finally arrived. excited, i tore the box open and opened the pack, and slid my mailer inside AANNNDDD.... the envelopes are too small. by one sixteenth of an inch. you gotta be kidding. so now i need to order another set of envelopes. not a big deal, but what a headache. and now i've got a whole stack of unusable envelopes sitting in front of me. awesome. know that old saying, "measure twice, cut once?" it applies here.

on a similar note, i also went out and got several packs of this great paper from a company called Moab ( it's really high quality and i've seen outstanding prints on their paper. i got a bunch on a whim. as it turns out, my printer doesn't have a profile for the paper. so i spent 6 hours yesterday trying to create a custom color profile so my prints would look the way i want them to. and i'm still not done. but it's going to be worth it... it's just going to take time. the prints in the end, however, will look amazing.

the moral of this story is to do your homework. call companies to get any information you can think of before you go and make purchases like i did. it will save time. it will save money. and it will certianly save you a headache when you get into the 7th hour of stuffing small envelopes full of oversized, funny-colored prints. and when you do end up in a situation like mine, it never hurts to make that call and talk to customer service. being polite and cordial can get you far on the phone. case in point, i had to buy new envelopes, but i explained my confusion to the operator and he helped me pick the exact size i need. in the end, my shipping and processing fees (about 1/3 of the price) were waived and my new envelopes are being rush-delivered (which normally costs an additional $12) by the end of the week at no cost to me. don't be afraid to admit you made a mistake. it'll benefit you in the end.


Friday, August 29, 2008


act one of my mission has been to do a real honest-to-god mail blast. i'm in the process of assembling little press kits to be mailed out to a slew of art directors whose work in the print business i admire. i'm slowly starting to realize how involved this process is. the initial list of contacts is around 15-20 with at least another 10 right behind that. in two months i've got to repeat this process and two months after that and so on and so on...

i've found the trickiest part about doing a mailer is getting everything you need. after comparing prices on several different postcard companies and weighing the option of buying a new high-quality printer and the paper required to do it myself, i decided the economical decision for the time being was to do at least the first few rounds of mailers myself. this involved shopping for printers, buying good paper, ordering custom envelopes, buying postage, and making lots of labels. it's been a bit of an undertaking (and i'm not done yet) and it ends up being alot to think about. but this is, after all, work. it needs to be done to reach the end goal. it just sucks that i missed the UPS guy today and i'm probably going to have to pick up the envelope package at their offices.

so a little advise, in my research i came across several services i really thought were useful. i'm making a little list in case anyone reading this could use the info as well...

postcards: does an impeccable job. their paper is outstanding and their color calibration is spot on. you get what you pay for, however, and they don't come cheap. i'll be using them down the line but the budget doesn't allow for that at the moment. rough price: $145 for 300 plus tax and shipping.

printers: after trying out a bunch at local stores, i really came to love canon. i've always been loyal to their equipment and their printers seem (so far) to hold up to the same standard of quality i've come to appreciate from their cameras. check out staples, best buy, target, and wal-mart for some good back to school sales on homeoffice stuff like this. you can find a deal this time of year.

paper: believe it or not, staples does indeed make some nice paper. my test prints came out crisp and clear and looked great on their 4x6 photo paper and their matte 8.5x11 photo stock. no color loss, no tint to the paper, just good solid results.

i'm going to try this first round on a budget and so far the results are good. hopefully the recipients will agree. and as i come across more useful info i'll gladly be passing it along. until then.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

the innaugural post

it's 2am on a tuesday. i just finished a crapload of work on the website. i'm tired and undoubtedly a little cranky considering i've got to stay awake 'till 4am. but that's life. so... without further adieu, welcome to my new blog-ish thing. i haven't really blogged in a while and i'm just getting back into the swing of things, so please be patient with me.

currently, i'm in a transitional state where i'm doing my best to get on top of my freelance work. so i'm sure this blog is going to become sort of a transcription of the thoughts of an independent artist trying to make a living on pretty pictures. this should be interesting. see, since my graduation i've done jobs here and there, but it's not exactly paying the rent, if you follow me. therefore, i found it necessary to get out of my slump and do some real work. do more pieces for the portfolio. get a few more contracts. and eventually, i hope to have an agent to get said work for me so i can spend more time... well... doing this sort of thing. and, of course, pay the rent with the work i receive. i hope some of you continue to read my rants and follow me on this little quest i've established for myself. if you feel so compelled, please feel free to leave comments and words of encouragement. this is going to be a frequent thing and i plan to keep everyone who reads this (hopefully more than just my family) up to date and entertained with the developments of this humble artist trying to make a name for himself in a tough business. it may not always be happy; it may not always be profound or insightful; it may not even make sense half of the time, but it's going to be honest and pure and it's going to shed light on what it's like to be a dude in my shoes. and hey, if that interests you, i thank you.

it's going to be an interesting journey.