Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A new 'Artist You Should Know' entry! MU PAN!

Hi all! Welcome to another installment of the 'Artists You Should Know' series we occasionally run. Today's artist is not a artist long since dead, but a current working Illustrator, also a graduate of my alma mater; SVA (NYC).

Many of my favorite illustrators working today coincidently came out of the same program I attended at SVA. I did not know this before entering into my undergraduate studies, that was not my motivation for applying to their BFA Illustration/ Cartooning program, but it just coincidently worked out that way. As it turns out, many of these artists studied under the same professors I did, so I know many of the techniques many of today's big names employ, and whom they specifically learned said techniques initially from. These techniques are no big secret or anything of the sort, not exclusive to SVA, but there a few professors in the program there that are pretty consistent in their curriculum. This totally draws on the classic tradition of Master teaching the Apprentice. Professors share their knowledge and then encourage their hatchlings to fly with that information for themselves. That's what we Art Educators do. At times this can be difficult, because in a way, you are helping to train your competition. But this tradition is hundreds of years old. We are a community, us Artists. But in this specific case of one of this Artist's main approaches to work in my opinion is…(I'll just say this, as a hint):

                       P R A C T I C E    F A I L U R E

'Rob E.Lee as 47 Ronin', 2009,  40" x 30", drawing on paper, Mu Pan.

With that said. You should be knowing the work of Mu Pan. His work fits the above mentioned bill. Long story short, we studied under the same teachers, that is how I initially discovered his work. I have been following his development over the course of the last few years, and I admire his work greatly. His attention to detail astounds me. In addition to this, dude's imagination combined with historical narrative and text creates a really interesting aesthetic. Please check out his full portfolio @

Further3-D ADVENTURES using recyclable materials!!!

What to do with an empty container of disinfectant wipes? Make a giant 3-D sculpture of a can of aerosol paint of course!!! A little of this, a little of that, and POW! Eat your heart out Krylon!

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Ok guys, I am a fan of what Jaybo Monk is laying down. His approach and attitude toward work is inspirational in my mind.

New work by Illustrator Alessandro Conti!!!

Italian Illustrator Alessandro Conti just killed it on his new series 'InHumane Anatomy' by offering up a variety of internal illustrations of some of our favorite cartoons! Love it! Kudos! Check out his DeviantArt page to see the full series!

                                                  Alessandro Conti new work!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Control, Gouache, and a Portrait of THE PAINTER as a Young Man

This week I’ve been thinking about “Control”. There is no refuting the general consensus that life can be extremely challenging at times. In general, it seems to me, to be a series of learning experiences and milestones, sugar coated by a clustterf*ck of confusing emotions and confusing relationships, both good and bad. 

Within this complicated journey of life, I’ve found that we really have very little control over many everyday things. As an A.D.D fueled artist with borderline creative compulsive disorder, one component that I am drawn towards in my creative process is Control. What do I mean when I say Control?  Please allow me to expand: Artists study and explore the different mediums available to us. Whether it’s charcoal, oil paints, silkscreen, oil pastels, watercolors, or crayons. We learn and experiment by pushing the medium’s capabilities in creative ways. We dialogue with our materials, and develop relationships with certain mediums that sometimes last for years. Myself? I’ve been dating Watercolors for a good four years now, but have begun to see Gouache on the side. In some ways, I view creating art like a mad scientist. I’m just pouring crazy unlabeled chemicals together into collective jars to see what happens, and laughing about it wildly and loudly as I do so!!!!!


I am normally a very energetic person. People close to me might describe me as hyper or they might say I have “positive energy” (is that the polite version? I dunno). Although I do enjoy my personality, and it’s who I am, it is at odds with who I imagine my ideal self to be. My ideal self is focused, calm, mature, a great listener, and some one who is in control. Reaching this Machiavellian place just isn’t realistic for me on a regular basis, but it is who I strive to be. It is no easy task to make changes to one’s personality, it is near impossible, but I do believe it is possible for one to try and monitor their behavior, but it requires great CONTROL. For me, this has never been easy because I am just too hyper. It is too challenging, and I really have to be on my toes to achieve it. 

But what I can do is control paint. When I paint, I am calm and focused. All distractions fade into the background. I trust paint. I know paint. I tell paint where to go, and what to do. Gouache as I’ve recently discovered, is great for this, maybe even ideal for this. Gouache is more opaque than watercolors, and depending on how much water you use to dilute the gouache, the layers of washes one uses are up to them. The less water you use results in really bold and graphic SuperFlat colors. I love the way it looks and moves on a surface.  Here are some examples of recent experiments.