I Pranked OK Go

posted in: Art Process | 1

Illustration of OK Go Adds 503 New Band Members at Secret Audition

Last week’s illustrarticle featured one of my favorite bands, OK Go. I wrote and illustrated the story, “OK Go Adds 503 New Band Members at Secret Audition” – which you can read here: http://illustrarticles.com/exclusive-ok-go-adds-503-new-band-members-at-secret-audition/

okgo-clsup1 okgo-clsup2 okgo-clsup3

Click the above thumbnails to see the closeups of the painting.

okgo

A couple weeks ago, I attended an OK Go live show at Lincoln Hall here in Chicago. Basically, it was awesome. I bought the ticket back in May and later, the show was sold-out. The venue was tiny for a now popular band that originated in Chicago. The maximum capacity of Lincoln Hall is 507. It was a very intimate setting and I managed to get to the front. One of my favorite things about the band is their creativity. I love their videos and the way they interact with their fans.

This photo is of the audience at Lincoln Hall, which was taken by the lead singer, Damian Kulash. Can you find me in the crowd? Hint: I’m the screaming brunette in the center, behind the two dudes by the mic.

okgo-show2

okgo-show1

Can you tell that the show was very colorful? The band sounded amazing, too. Their new album, Hungry Ghosts, is coming out in October. At the last song of the set, the band invited some of the audience to climb up on stage to dance.

Here’s the photo I took while I was up there. It captured my perspective of that moment EXACTLY: trippy lights, confetti, jumping & screaming fellow fans, and the back of Damian Kulash’s head.

okgo-show3

Long story short, I sorta immediately got inspired and the result was this illustrarticle.

okgo-sketch

okgo-painting-wip

I had a show of my own coming up that weekend, Chicago’s Bucktown Arts Fest (my upcoming post), so I was pressed for time to finish. Still, I managed to get everything done.

My goal with this illustrarticle was to make OK Go laugh. Upon posting the illustrarticle last week, I tagged each of them in the IllustrArticles Instagram post, hoping they’d see the illustration and where to read the article. And, it sorta worked.

OK Go Adds 503 New Band Members At Secret Audition
OK Go Adds 503 New Band Members At Secret Audition

I cannot confirm nor deny whether any of them actually laughed, let alone read it, because I don’t know. But look:

 

okgo-damiankulashlikeDamian Kulash’s seal of approval! Printing this out and laminating it!

Cakewalk

posted in: Art Process, Blog | 0

Cakewalk

 

The latest story on IllustrArticles is about a trouble-making pastry’s run-in with the police. Read “Traffic Jam Caused By A Cake And Her Cups” here: http://illustrarticles.com/traffic-jam-caused-by-a-cake-and-her-cups/

 

Cakewalk-painting

Cakewalk-sketch

The above is how the sketch started off. I doodled it on the side of my sketchbook pretty quickly last week. It’s loosely modeled after California Street in San Francisco.

During my trip to SF back in March, I hopped on to a street car on California Street and held onto the side while riding down. The street cars don’t go very fast and stop constantly, but it seems strange to me that people are allowed and encouraged to just cling on to a pole and stand on the side while riding. So if you’re standing, there is no protection between you and the passing cars. Your only safety is your hopefully strong grip.

Cakewalk-oops

Things got a little intense as I was finishing the illustration. One paint brush was injured during the making of this illustrarticle. I must have leaned a little too hard on my new paint brush while inking and nearly dozing off at 1 a.m., a few hours after getting home from my job.

Cakewalk-wallpoter

IllustrArticles has its own new store! There are posters, and pillows, and bags, oh my! Shop for fun stuff here: http://www.redbubble.com/people/illustrarticles/shop

Plus, every time you buy something from the store, a new illustrarticle gets its wings.

Bark in the Dark

posted in: Art Process, Blog, Uncategorized | 0

How do people even keep up with multiple blogs?

This blog here is more of a behind-the-scenes thing, in case it helps anyone. But my main focus is IllustrArticles. I’m pushing myself to take more in-progress photos.

In the past few years, I’ve been pushed by several people to try teaching art that I actually started to consider it, but then my thoughts were like, “Uh. What?” and “Uh. Thank you! Here, buy some of my artwork, instead! :D”

I was lucky that I had good teachers in high school. Teaching takes a lot of planning, dedication, and patience. Yeah, I couldn’t be a teacher. Or maybe I just don’t want to teach…? I don’t know – not even thinking about it!

Anyway.

Here’s an illustrarticle I’ve recently finished:

BarkInTheDark

It’s for a story about a dog I heard barking in the distance as I tried for fall asleep one night. A lot of dogs bark in my neighborhood. Basically, I don’t live in the Rogers Park neighborhood. I live in Rogers BARK.

After I wrote the story, the illustration started with this little sketch:

WDB-sketch

Then, it turned into an outlined final sketch:

WDB-outline

And then, a finished painting:

WDB-painting

Ta-da! Those little hearts were originally sketched out as dog skulls & cross bones. But right before inking the illustration, I realized that’s not the direction I wanted it to go. You can read the illustrarticle here: “Why Dogs Bark At Night”

An illustrarticle is it’s not quite a comic, not quite a blog. It’s an illustration with an article. Can’t have one without the other. Thought I should clarify that. New IllustrArticles are posted whenever important stuff happens. And sometimes, Thursdays.

“Bark in the Dark” illustration is available is a poster, framed print, tote bag, and more at the IllustrArticles shop.

The 9 Secret Steps To Drawing The “Kooky” Illustration

posted in: Art Process, Blog, How To | 0

I documented my work process from start to finish for my illustration “Kooky”. This was drawn for an illustrarticle called “The #1 Secret Ingredient For Baking Delicious Cookies

"Kooky" - Buy Print
“Kooky” – Buy Print

Kooky-01
Step 1
Before starting the illustration, I wrote the story “The #1 Secret Ingredient For Baking Delicious Cookies“. These are my initial notes in my tiny moleskine sketchbook that goes everywhere I go. After these notes, I write the complete story on my laptop. Then I edit, edit, edit.

Kooky-02
Step 2
I sketched some thumbnails of what the illustration might look like. Since the #1 Secret Ingredient is amazing, the illustration had to be, too. So I chose the last thumbnail and added circles that would later be painted as a bokeh background. Bokeh is a photography term. I love photography and it’s in my background. So naturally, it influences my illustration work.

Kooky-03
Step 3
The thumbnail was then redrawn with more detail, on a larger piece of plain paper. This is the sheet that is sandwiched between my lightbox and a sheet of watercolor paper. I turn on the lightbox and start to lightly trace the main lines on the watercolor paper, with watercolor. It’s all freehand-permanent-no-going-back from here so it has to be perfect. I’ve had to redraw and repaint entire illustrations before, if they didn’t turn out like I’d imagined.

Kooky-04
Step 4
And when I started working on the final piece, I started thinking of even more ideas to play with. No more lightbox from this step, forward. So, then this goat made an appearance. And a car. The planet Saturn. A shoe. You know, all those things you’d normally find in a delicious cookie.

Kooky-05
Step 5
Color! Here, started to color the smoke/steam and the new cookie ingredients. I usually do a few color tests on separate sheets of paper to determine which colors will work with the illustration.

Kooky-06
Step 6
Here, I inked the hand and the cookie. And after I painted the background and some bokeh, I decided that the smoke/steam needs to be toned down. Since the story is not “The #1 Secret Ingredient For Making Amazing Smoke,” I painted over most of it.

Kooky-07
Step 7
Then, I painted the steam/smoke with a few highlights using acrylic. Now the focus is more on the cookie/bokeh/awesomeness instead of the smoke.

Kooky-08
Step 8
Illustration is complete! Yes, total completion deserves its own step. You can see the color layers I added to the smoke, through which some bokeh can still be seen.

Kooky-09
Step 9
I was just kidding about total completion. This work process isn’t complete without this step: Put your Kooky where your mouth is!

The story is not far from how I bake cookies… I don’t usually attempt cooking fancy stuff, and stay in the pre-mixed items safe zone. So, one of the recipes I like to do is from the back of Betty Crocker’s Sugar Cookie Mix.

You could use another brand, I guess. But I’ve only tried Betty Crocker’s. I thought it would be good to add white chocolate chips and dried cranberries into the dry mix because I’m adventurous like that. Add 1 cup of each of those, and then add the 1 egg and 1 stick of softened butter that that sugar cookie mix asks for. Mix everything together to make the batter.

Then, after I bake the cookies like a crazy person, I let them cool for a just a couple minutes. Stick them into a ziplock bag or airtight container right after that, so that the steam stops escaping the cookies. That keeps the cookies soft.

I’ve made these White Chocolate & Cranberry kookies for my friends and coworkers a couple times, and they keep asking for more because “these cookies taste like cheesecake.” Since I don’t want to quit illustration to become a cookie-mix baker, I’ve written my recipe here because with practice, anyone can make these into their own recipe.

Now go out there and make some of your own kookies, you daredevil, you 8)

9 Before & After Sketches of IllustrArticles Illustrations

posted in: Art Process, Sketches | 0

This coming Sunday, my project IllustrArticles will have been running for 9 months. For fun, I put together a bunch of before and after sketches of some of the illustrations I’ve created for the site. The left side is the initial sketch of the idea. The right side is the completed illustration:

BeforeAfter-FoolsGold
“Fool’s Gold” from 4 Awesome Reasons Why Thinking INSIDE The Box Gets You Ahead

BeforeAfter-BagOfChocolates
“Bag of Chocolates” from 4 Awesome Reasons Why Thinking INSIDE The Box Gets You Ahead

BeforeAfter-PickOfTheLitter
“Pick of the Litter” from 4 Awesome Reasons Why Thinking INSIDE The Box Gets You Ahead

BeforeAfter-CallOfNature
“Call of Nature” from Learn Your Life Purpose By Drinking Coffee (It took every fiber of my being to stop myself from calling this one “Call Of Doodie“)

BeforeAfter-FloodedBasements
“Flooded Basements” from 3 Reasons Why Your Flooded Basement Is A Great Thing

BeforeAfter-ThePigeonWhisperer
“The Pigeon Whisperer” from Average Heroes

BeforeAfter-TheHygieneGenius
“The Hygiene Genius” from Average Heroes

BeforeAfter-CupsOfRoyalTea
“Cups Of Royal Tea” from What Does Your Halloween Costume Reveal About You?

BeforeAfter-DrinkingGameForColds
Drinking Game For People Sick With Colds

So far, I’ve managed to speed up my drawing process by cutting out some steps that I used to do. I used to draw the entire sketch with a non-photo blue pencil onto the watercolor, ink it, erase any showing pencil, and then do the watercolor.

Now, I just scan the small sketch, printed out a larger size of it, and then put that printout on a lightbox, and put the watercolor paper on top. From there, I ink out the lines right onto the paper with brushes. After that, I paint the watercolor. Sometimes watercolor goes on before the ink. Cutting out the steps of drawing in pencil on the watercolor paper has made the process faster and makes cleaner illustrations in the end.

The Tale of Tattletail

posted in: Art Process, Blog, Illustration | 0

I’m excited to be a part of the SPECIES Showcase by Animal, coming soon to New Delhi, India. Artists were asked to create artwork of an animal. The only rule is that it had to be in the shape of the Animal logo. So, I created “Tattletail” inspired by parakeets.

Tattletail_500x300

The title of my Animal artwork is Tattletail, emphasizing the long tails of parakeets. When I was a kid, I got an aqua-colored parakeet named Kesha for my birthday. He was a sweet little bird, who learned how to talk and even tried to compose his own phrases. Eventually, he passed away. I missed him a lot. Years later, I did what any well-adjusted teenager would have done: I got a new aqua-colored parakeet and named him Kesha. But this one had a completely different personality and didn’t talk. That’s when reality hit me like a ton of bird droppings: No matter how similar the characteristics, each animal is unique and tells its story in its own way.

Additionally, here’s a tiny video I made that shows the drawing process and close-ups:

(Song: “I Like Birds” – The Eels)

The Making of “Brainstorm” Illustration

posted in: Art Process | 0
Brainstorm
Brainstorm – 11×14 Watercolor & Ink for IllustrArticles 3 Easy Steps To Total Mind Control

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain” – Vivian Greene

This might be one of my favorite illustrations I’ve done because of the spontaneity behind it. Most of my “brainstorming” happened subconsciously! It was created for IllustrArticles “3 Easy Steps to Total Mind Control.” The idea for the illustration came from a mix of a million things, such as:

– A thunderstorm that unexpectedly drenched me as I was walking down the street one day
– An apocalyptic dream I had, in which it was very windy on a field near a beach (similar to the one I live next to) and the sky was changing colors every few seconds (probably prompted by walking into that thunderstorm the day before).
– The Stepford Wives movie I watched
– I’ve been noticing cloud formations for about 2 weeks straight.
– Stress I’ve been dealing with around that time

I pretty much saw the gist of it the image in my mind before I even started doodling it, and kept making small changes as I went along. See if you notice them. These are some of the thumbnails and sketches I did, first:

IMG_2543IMG_2545IMG_2544IMG_2542IMG_2541IMG_2538

And then I scanned them and arranged them in Photoshop, and traced my computer screen on tracing paper. This is the tracing paper line art and the finished art:

tracing paper lineart & finished illustration

I should have photographed this step, but I forgot! Basically, after that, I attached the tracing paper line art to the back of a blank watercolor paper sheet, and placed them on top of a lightbox. From there, I went straight to inking with a brush. Then, I used watercolor for color. Last, I scanned the finished illustration and corrected the colors in Photoshop so that it looked on screen just like the original.

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