Author Topic: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!  (Read 1956 times)

Offline Angry Ewok

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Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« on: June 29, 2005, 03:37 PM »
I'm writing a short story for school, its a 'Fear and Loathing' styled paper on my adventures at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. My assignment is not only to write the story, but also to illustrate it. I'm not a very good writer - I pretty much suck at writing, but I'm trying my best. To go with the wild (drugged up) story, I've done a handful of very "out there" illustrations.

None of these illustrations are very close to my "norm" in terms of style - it's been very fun for me, but the results are somewhat frustraiting, though - it seems alot of people expected a particular thing from me, so once I popped out with something so different - they were either thrilled or completely disapointed. The worst part of this project has been trying to gauge people's responses.

 :-\

Here's the title, which I inked -


And my name, also inked -


Along the way to Bonnaroo, we saw a number of cars that had "Bonnaroo Or Bust" written on their windows with that sloppy "glass chalk" paint stuff - for whatever reason I decided to name the story "Bonnaroo Or Burst"... There's really nothing else behind the name. Looking at the cars that had been painted on, I somehow made the connection to Ralph Steadman's sloppy paint style - so I went with it. I think it works.


In one bit of my story, I witness an alien dancing across a muddy lake... Sound freaky? It was.


This is inked and then watercolored. I know, it's a little weird - and the drawing is not the least bit 'realistic' - but the experience was so unreal, it'd be wrong to try and depict it as anything but crazy. I like it, especially the feet.


Here's an illustration depicting my encounter with a Mud man...


This is completely inked with brushes and pens. The mud man was having a really bad acid trip, or something. His whole body was caked with mud, his hair had dried up with mud to the point where it looked as if he had small branches growing from his head, so that explains that.


Here's my encounter with a Peacock woman.


It doesn't really look like a peacock to me - more like a large ostrich or something - but I don't care. Right now it's only inked and has a light dab of acryllic on top of colored pencils, but I'm going to go in with markers and really mark up the vibrancy of the colors.


Lastly, here's a crazy guy climbing a big tree...


This happened during Jack Johnson's performance. A guy climbed up this huge tree, in the rain, and eventually fell - only to get back up and climb it again. I really need to figure out a way to add rain, but I'm not sure what'd be the best way with ink... any tips?


So, do you hate it? Like it? I'm honestly pretty nervous/anxious about how this is going to turn out - so all feedback is greatly desired!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2005, 03:45 PM by Angry Ewok »

Offline Famine

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Re: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2005, 05:39 PM »
Give the tree some brown on a few strips of the bark. It reminds me of one of those paintings you'd see on a piece of wood some one varnished and hung in a 60's-70's type cabin.

I like.

Kevin
The picture kept, will remind me...

Offline Commander CuDa

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Re: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2005, 12:36 AM »
 ;D GREAT WORK  ;D

CHECK OUT MY WEB SITE TO VIEW AND BUY MY COLLECTION !

Offline Thomas Grey

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Re: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2005, 03:25 AM »
Being the fan I am of the 'Bad Craziness' Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman works, I'd say this direction is appropriate and good for you. I'm not sure what to say other than I admire your courage to use media that is new for you and to express your perceptions and observations in such a raw, humorous and freeform way. These are by far the best things you've done. Why? Because they are you. Pure, raw, expressive, insane, intense and also light-hearted, fun, free and at times very simple and playful. I think this is exactly what you needed. An opportunity to just create and express without feeling like you need to impress anyone but yourself. You are finally revealing your artistic essence. While you are doing things that are similar to some established art and artists (Steadman and I also think of the Beatles 'Yellow Submarine' art and the art in 'Pink Floyd: the Wall'), you are reaching something within that I am not sure you even thought was there.

The mudman is amazing and I think your writing is fine. You don't have to be a writer to make sense or to get a point or an idea across with the art that you are putting with your words. You seem to have stripped your writing and artistic approach down to the bare bones and put down on paper what you felt. It's beautiful Brad and I really think it is a big step for you and could be a breakthrough for you. Keep tapping into that part of yourself when you do any art and see how it relates or comes out in other contexts. I m really impressed and proud of you for taking such a large risk. I have nothing critical to say because this is the most personal art I've seen you do and I am only an observer respecting your choice to share this all with us. Thank you and we will talk soon.
"There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny."

Offline mastermatt24

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Re: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2005, 03:56 PM »
I like it.. Its really interesting to look at because its so different.  ;D

Offline JesseVader08

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Re: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« Reply #5 on: July 1, 2005, 03:47 AM »
I can't really offer a lot as a critique, but I must say this has a lot of potential to really blow people's minds open.  It's such a wild collection of varied styles, I must say I like it.  Please show us more as it develops.   :)

Offline Angry Ewok

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Re: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« Reply #6 on: July 2, 2005, 04:34 PM »
Thanks for all of the replies, you guys - its really good to get feedback.

Here's the latest piece I've done - this is an illustration for a particular scene where I, in the eyes of a druggy, am engulfed in the flames of hell. Or something like that. I did three seperate illustrations, which were dropped in together.


The first is an egg-shaped Nazi. This took only a few minutes, as I was only trying to come up with something bizarre but at the same time pretty freaky/scary. I used red acryllic for the blood.

The second is a self portrait. I came up with a dumbfounded expression, as I'm not seeing any of this scary **** happening - but am being seen through someone elses eyes. I love the expression. I used photoshop to drop a nice distancing shadow in, in the same way I would do with an airbrush - I think this makes a nice pop-out/pop-up effect. 

The third is some sort of banana-headed nazi, slashing a dagger around. It's all very self explainatory. The arm band is red acryllic. For this character I did something that I thought was a little more deep than with the other two - I tried to crosshatch his sleeve and chest in the way you might see a geographical map crosshatched. Something of a 'global' effect. I don't know if it worked or not.

In the background of all of this, behind the smoke, is jagged plates of glass, or rocks. something of a cliff. I originally planned to put Disney at the top of the jagged mountain, as a little homage to Thomas - but decided against it... didn't want it to detract from the focus - me and the monsters.

Thoughts on this?

Eventually I may post a sample of my writing, but I've never been to happy about my writing...

Offline Thomas Grey

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Re: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« Reply #7 on: July 4, 2005, 11:07 PM »
I'd lose the Nazi stuff. If you want to be offensive, then keep it. If you want to be artistic and creative, then fill it with demons, skulls, skeletons and hellish creatures. Make it offensive because you have exposed sex organs or details of maggots and flesh dripping... Nazi stuff is useful for historic purposes or if you are coming from a Jewish perspective, but not just to whip out and use as an image that reflects hell. While they were evil, it isn't a very artistically responsible move. I actually have a few pictures I did of my Black Diz concepts that used the swastika. I think I used it as the 'S' in Disney. But it was more for shock value and to create controversy than anything and I dropped it because I thought it was more tasteless than cutting edge. I myself am of Jewish heritage and while I am not a practicing Jew, I have ancestry that endured and died in the holocaust. Sorry to preach, but I think you can come up with something that is a bit more expressive of HELL considering all you've been through. Make the imagery more personal than general. That's what made your first batch so effective and unique!

The other thing I would suggest is to drop the 'drop shadow'. Create vertigo and insanity behind you with detail, shading and texture that pushes and forces your figure forward dramatically. I like that you used several different drawings. I just think being quick is one thing, but don't sacrifice the element of emotion when you are.

If I was looking at you and on a bad bad acid trip (not that I necessarilly would know what that is like...), I would think that you would look like you are being sucked into a vortex or dripping into the abyss or being engulfed by it all, swallowed by the fire, crawling with creepy things, half of you skeletal and leaking brain worms and grubs.

I want to post an example of what I mean, but I am having a heck of a time currently. When I can, you will see a drawing I did in 8th grade (I think) and have worked on the color since that time here and there. Hope you understand my points and take them the way I intend them to mean.

"There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny."

Offline Angry Ewok

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Re: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« Reply #8 on: July 4, 2005, 11:40 PM »
This is the 2nd time I've redone the hell thing... and I see myself doing it many times over, actually.

I'm going to have to do alot of thinking about the Hell thing, which is unfortunate considering most of my work thus far is so fun because its nearly completely brainless.

I actually dropped in the swastikas as something I think alot of people think of when they think of people in hell. I don't want it to be seen as a cheapshot at trying to be offensive. I don't necesarrily want to be offensive, per say, but I do want it to be incredibly dreadful. I wasn't sure how to make it personal without it seeming like my hell...

I dunno, I'll likely set this one aside and revisit it with a clear head later.


Offline Thomas Grey

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Re: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« Reply #9 on: July 5, 2005, 12:08 AM »
here is a little hell...
"There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny."

Offline Thomas Grey

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Re: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« Reply #10 on: July 5, 2005, 12:12 AM »
and another...
"There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny."

Offline Angry Ewok

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Re: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2005, 08:31 AM »
Just wanted to bump this up with an update -

For the past two weeks I've been balancing school, work, and this project. No social life whatsoever. I've spent most of the time working on the story. I feel my writing is weak, but the few folks who have gotten to read samples of the stuff seem to enjoy it and think that it works for me perfectly. One of my pals, who is a huge fan of Hunter Thompson, says it's great Gonzo stuff, and definately still has a my individual touch - which is a compliment, I think.

Through sending out samples, I've had a few people ask me about pre-ording the book... So I've taken steps to see if I might be able to print about 100 copies with a staple bind. From the rough estimates I've seen, unfortunately I won't be able to afford printing in color, though. Major bummer. With the estimates I was given, I'd have to ask $15 per book just to break even. This book isn't that big, and its a damn staple bind, for god's sake - $15 is not what I wanted to hear.

Anyway, I'll figure something out.

Before I mass print any copies of this book, I'll probably send out a hard copy and e-mailed roughs to a few people to read over and get their critiques. I think after I hear what a few folks think of the near-finished product, I'll feel more secure about trying to print and sell.

Basically, I don't have any expectations with this thing. I don't expect to make a dime by selling copies, that's for sure. I just want people to read it and enjoy it for what it is.


In terms of artwork...

I've finished up three more pieces, none have been scanned. The 'Hell' thing is still on the side, as I really don't want anything to bog me down now that I'm at a good pace with the story and occasional sketch-up. There's always the option to just go w/o the illustration, and I wouldn't be beyond doing such a thing if that's the way it has to be.

I'm considering making a few prints of some of the art, and offering those up on my website - but I really don't think there's much interest in it. We'll see what happens, I suppose.


Anyway - big thankyou to everyone for the support and feedback.

Offline Thomas Grey

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Re: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2005, 05:47 PM »
What kind of quote is that? You are being ripped unless you are planning to do some kind of glossy cover. Crap Brad, you could do it yourself and staple it and save a lot of money. I think the quote you are getting is ridiculous and you should shop around. The other thing you could do is look online for art grants and submit it to get a grant to print it and publish it. That's how Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve) got his stuff going before Drawn & Quarterly picked him up. But, do not pay $15 a book to have it made.! You can get around the printing costs if you are as creative in getting it done as you are in your writing and drawing. Do not rush into it just to have it done. Get it done right and get it done so it doesn't set you back too much. While I like you and your art, I probably would not shell out $15 for a copy. Not that it isn't worth it, but more due to the fact that I know you could get it done for less. Let me know if I can help you find some resources and I'll start digging. You could also look into submitting it to different edgy literature rags and fishraps and see if you can get it published in a collective book or something. There are also plenty of independent comic and magazine publishers that are always looking for something fresh and risky like this. DO NOT PAY $15 A BOOK!!! You can do better!
"There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny."

Offline Angry Ewok

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Re: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2005, 09:01 PM »
Well the funny thing is - I work at a ******* print shop. I have a better idea of what the costs would be, better than whoever though I'd believe $15. I have decided to print the book black/white, including the photos (which is a bummer) - and I'd like to keep the price down to $5 or so.

As far as being published - that is territory I am completely scared of. I'm so paranoid that I'd be taken advantage of and screwed over, that even if someone came to me with an offer, I'd likely turn it down out of sheer fear.

Offline Thomas Grey

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Re: Bonnaroo Project - Critique's requested!
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2005, 11:32 PM »
Why Brad?

1. Why do you feel that this needs to be so upscale in quality that you'd shell out $15 a pop? I know you work at a printing joint and they must be pretty tight. I guess the only way to cut the price, is up the print run, but you don't want 1000 copies sitting in boxes. How are you laying it out? Computer or just setting up pages and having them printed from the original art? How much do you save by binding (stapling) them yourself? I'd do a small first printing as a portfolio/promo piece for friends and family. If you have the right equipment, you could do it at home dammit! I know you know the business, but there have to be shortcuts you can take and still maintain the quality you want...

2. Why are you scared? Write a freaking © or ® or tm after your name and date it and you are fine. Send it through the mail to yourself and never open it. The post mark will serve as proof that you own the rights to your work. No one can mess with you. It's really far from complicated to copyright your work. If anyone wants the rights or for you to sign anything, tell them to blow off. Or find a lawyer and have them glance it over. Lucky me, I have a father in law. But as long as you signed it and put the © and date, you are fine. Just do not sign anything. Send copies with your copyright and do not worry about it. They can't steal it from you. We can talk about this further, but you should try to do whatever you can to get this thing in print and for as little scrill as possible.
"There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny."