Sunday, May 13, 2007
Am I truly back? It feels like I never left…
This has been my expression of angst lately. Thanks to a crudded-up computer, I’ve been out of online commission for roughly two weeks, which for me is a very big deal. A stinky little virus kept me from e-mailing, blogging and accessing such programs as Photoshop and my Kodak program used to download pictures off my digital camera. Had it not been for a conveniently-timed dry spell in my art gigs, the loss of these programs alone would have been devastating to my income. Fortunately, Laura knows computers and made it all better at the zero hour, when a gig came my way for which Photoshop was a must have. So long story longer, all was fixed, I’m back on track and bursting at the seams with a new blog to share. So here we go…
Laura just finished up a two-week run in the show CATS at the Bay City Players. I cannot speak highly enough about this production, due to the remarkable quality of the show itself, as well as the wonderful experiences that both Laura and I had during the course of this show. During the multi-month rehearsal schedule, as I’d drop Laura off at the theater, I was brought in sporadically to create scenery artwork. I also spent a lot of time sitting in the back of the theater or backstage getting to know the cast and crew. Towards the end of rehearsals, when it was still up in the air as to how the makeup for the cats themselves would be created, I offered my limited experience in stage makeup application and design. As it turned out, the show ended up using two extremely talented airbrush artists, respectfully known as The Airbrush Cowboy (known to all of us as just Cowboy) and Greg (seen in this photo, Cowboy in the hat and Greg with the beard), to apply the makeup since they’d already airbrushed color on the costumes (Dig the photos of Laura in mid-airbrush mode, mid-makeup mode and the great end result of each).
But I was still brought aboard to do more intricate makeup touch-ups after they applied the main blocks of color (such as on Laura's eyes, my best makeup work probably). These photos show Danielle as the cat Cassandra, whose eye makeup I did with the points going off into her temples...
Andres as Mr. Mistoffalees, whose mouth, whiskers and eyes I created...
...and Alyssa, whose whiskers I created.
This proved to be an incredible experience for me, as it allowed for close working environment with the artists, actors and techies, and I made some very good friends in the process.(These are photos of Rayechel as the cat Jemima, and without her makeup at our after-show party)
During the run of the show, I drew some colored pencil and marker caricatures of Laura and I couple of the actors from the show. These proved popular enough that a couple cast members had me draw them without their makeup when the show was through. These photos show dancers/singers Danielle and April, sans makeup, in the flesh and in the ink.
Being even as small a part of this show as I was made me feel incredible, like I haven’t felt since doing Christmas Story last December and in my days in CMU’s theater dept. So I’ve decided that I’m going to audition for my first show in about three years, “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel”, a play by Mitch Albom being produced at The Bay City Players. That place has really grown on me, like a second home, and to do a show there again would be such a thrill, so I’m going to take steps to hopefully make that happen.
I mentioned in my last blog how my Florida friend and puppet builder Michele had commissioned me to create artwork for her Ebay page. As a sort of barter for my services, she built a puppet of my Children’s book character, Pillow Billy. Which turned out just wonderful. Here’s a couple photos showing the result. I intend to use the second pic (and the puppet itself) as publicity for my Pillow Billy children’s book whenever the time comes.
On the art front, I’ve had a lot of gigs and commissions in the past couple months. My latest have been pretty unique. A woman and her husband from Bullock Creek (just south of Midland) are starting a pet care business called “The Poo Patrol”, and they hired me to design the logo for their business. When they contacted me to do it, my computer was still all ganked up, but right after I drew it all out, Laura brought my system back to life, and I was able to color it in Photoshop. Here’s the end result.
Another commission came from a client of my birth mom. The lady wanted a caricature of her friend who was turning fifty. She game me a photo for reference and made some suggestions to incorporate into the drawing. I pulled it off pretty quickly, and I’m happy with how it turned out. See for yourself.
I’ve got a bunch more gigs coming my way in the next month or so, which is always good news. I’m currently in deep negotiations for a project I’d mentioned before. It’s all very hush hush, but I can say that my potential clients chose me above other artists for the project, and we’re currently hashing out a fair pay scheme. Once that’s figured out, I’ll probably begin creating the art. This has the potential to be the biggest project of my career, with good odds of future work and potentially a steady position with the company if this project becomes successful. So crossed fingers, knock on wood and all the hoohah. I need every bit of good luck hokum I can round up.
Next time I post, I’m hoping to have some pages from my recently completed Dead Duck origin story to showcase, if not the entire story (we’ll see if I’m feeling “saucy” enough). There will be other stuff to share as well, and lots more verbal rambling from yours truly. Until then, thanks for hanging in there with me. I appreciate your audience and friendship.