Or creating a punk band...
Since I'm committed to drawing every day, the sketchbook is a nice catchall for a variety of ideas that don't quite have a place yet in my commercial work. Spending time creating science fiction images is my favorite way of exploring drawing techniques without "copying what I see". I'm at my best when I'm making up and working out all these exotic forms.
Vulgar, yet hilariously thought-provoking, this short little tale is by Steve Krodman, a man of many talents and a gregarious nature whom I had the pleasure to meet a few years ago. He gave me this collection of 100-word stories that he wrote and published under the title, "Shorts in a Wad" (available at his site, Lost In The Cheese Aisle).
I went through it like John Madden through a Brett Farvre highlight film. It was weird, clever and disturbingly funny. I still peek at it now and again because I always think up some illustrations that might match each wonderfully goofy 100-word story.
So I took a shot at this wacky story called Abstract Art. I'm sure I'll do a few more out of curiosity. Designing the page to accommodate the illustration was the biggest challenge. The actual published work, with over a hundred little gems, has no illustrations.
By the way, his book has many sharply crafted tales that DON"T involve bodily functions.
This illustration is for Martin Lindeskog's webcast from Sweden. He's got a few irons in the fire over there and I've enjoyed helping him with his media ventures.
Disney's live-action epic, "Lone Ranger" has bombed at the box office. Turns out the kids aren't digging the 1950's pop culture icon with the mysterious past and a penchant for silver bullets. $250+ mill is a steep losing bet for a company known for animated pabulum. The Walt Disney Studios will now leave bloody, live-action pictures to the grown-ups.
And casting a white-bread Hollywood screen idol as the notable stoic Native American sidekick did not help.
This is another entry from Steve Krodman's neat little book, "Shorts In A Wad", a collection of his odd tales all told within a hundred-count of nouns, verbs and the odd adjective.
The illustration is my own and not found in his book. This whole page is my attempt to explore how my illustration style might look along the side Steve's delightful writing.
You can purchase his book on his website, Lost in The Cheese Aisle
Allen and I puzzled out an angle to represent paint manufacturer's ongoing concern with misuse of their products in repair shops. This is why I like trade papers; it constantly challenges my desire for striking, "fun to look at" solutions to what might be considered wonky material.
The hostess will ask you if you know anybody there and are they expecting you.
THIS SKETCHBOOK WAS DONE IN THE PERIOD BETWEEN NOVEMBER,1999 AND MAY 2000.
THE BARE FACTS:
Starting today and running until this Wednesday 10pm, the 24th, this sketchbook will be up for auction. It has 40 pages (over 90 drawings) and measures 18 inches wide by 24 inches deep. Bidding will begin at $400. Please make your bids in $20 increments or more. Last, highest bid up until 10 pm Wednesday, the 24th will be accepted as the final bid. ALL BIDS ARE TO BE MADE IN THIS COMMENT THREAD, AND ONLY THIS COMMENT THREAD.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
The work you see posted (close-up images) is just a small sample of the kind of work you'll find in these pages. Lots of academic style figure studies and a handful of pages where my cartoon style kind of came to fruition. This sketchbook represents what I was into 6 months before Allen Forkum and I began doing our editorial work. 9/11 was still in the future and all I wanted to do was draw, draw, draw. It turns out I made some discoveries that would eventually lead to years of productive collaboration with Allen.
This collection of developing styles and ideas is the only large format sketchbook I've ever done. Working large and seeing all that detail helped me determine my visual aesthetic; bold and simple with lots of light/shadow interplay.
I enjoyed the first sketchbook auction of February, 2011, and I was asked to try it again. But with a twist: this sucker is 18" x 24" BIG. I like to think that any two or three pages is worth the starting bid price. 40 pages? I'm sure it'll knock you out.
Good luck! Please feel free to post any questions you might have about this sketchbook in the comment thread below and I'll be happy to answer them.
You may recognize a couple of the sample images from other postings on this site. I certainly enjoy going back into my archive of older work and see what kind of reaction they get.
Alright, Ladies and Gentleman, I'm going to make my sketchbook auction just bit more interesting: the winning bid (same rules apply as noted in the original July 22nd auction announcement) will receive the sketchbook AND a bonus 14" x10" watercolor and pencil portrait, by me, of your favorite pet.
Auction ends 10pm Wednesday, the 24th. PLEASE BID ON JULY 22ND AUCTION ANNOUNCEMENT POST COMMENT THREAD.
NOTE: BIDDING NOT ACCEPTED ON THIS COMMENT THREAD.
Pulling and pushing limits
Of righteous vision.
John Cox is a painter, cartoonist, and illustrator for hire. For information about purchasing existing work or commissioning new work, contact him by e-mail at john555cox [at] hotmail.com.