Monsters and Spacemen

First off… as promised, here’s a copy of the comic strip that ran in the Missoulian‘s Comix Issue:
hip_replacement_strip_hi_res_2

If you’d like to see the rest of the comics, here is a link to the full issue online. I heard from an editor of the Missoulian that the Hip Replacement Strip was one of people’s favorites. Given that many of the comics bent toward doom and gloom, thanks to the theme of “Missoula in the Future,” that’s less of a surprise. But still gratifying! And I loved having my strip next to that of Theo Ellsworth, whose super-creative illustrations are the bee’s knees.

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In other news, it’s time to get furry, drooly and unintelligibly excited, because here comes the…

Gallery_MMP
And who doesn’t love Monters?! [sic]
From the ZACC website… “Originally conceived by nine year-old Asa Smetanka, this show is a collaboration between children and adult artists, working together to create monster art based on monsters dreamed up by the children. Kindergarten classes from three Missoula County public schools will create original monster and assigned local adult artists will  interpret the child’s monster using his/her own unique style and medium. The results will be displayed in a September 9th, 2016, art show, featuring both the original child-drawn monsters and the artists.

“This project’s purpose is to bring more art into the public schools! In an effort to foster that, a minimum 50% of the earnings from this show will go towards bringing MCPS (Missoula County Public School) kids to the ZACC for art classes.”

So cool. As one of this year’s adult artists, this is my match, a monster in need of a friend:

Monster_79

“Here are some facts about Monster 79: My monster likes to play with other monsters, feels like playing in the dirt, eats earrings, and thinks about playing in garbage.”

Oh fer cryin’ out loud. That is freakin’ adorable. How can I ever create a worthy pal to this rainbow rocket of teeth? My work is cut out for me.

By the way, it’s not too late to get in on the action, if you’re a Missoulian! Here’s a link to the art call. Have fun!

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On the side, I’m taking a “Drawing for Fun” class from Bob Phinney at the Lifelong Learning Center. He makes us draw something every day, so I’ve sketched landscapes, Little League games, still lifes (which I then eat), and diners in the GFS deli. (That last spot is a great place to practice drawing from memory, wherein you look at your subject for one moment, then blink and let the after-image burn into your eyelids, then rapidly sketch as much as you can remember. Because nobody likes it if you sit in the corner with a sketch pad and stare at people.)

A lot of the class concerns perspective drawing, something that generally comes easily to me. I finally realize why: as a kindergartener, I learned the 3D drawing principles of foreshortening, shading, contour, surface, size, overlapping, and density… from, god help us, TV. It was a PBS show called The Secret City, starring a dude in a fake spacesuit, who called himself Commander Mark. Anybody remember it?

I sent away for the special kit with a cube eraser, some pencils, and a little guidebook. I think it was seven dollars. As a result, though I did not draw many monsters, I drew an awful lot of robots. It was a solid investment: despite not having formal art instruction until taking a couple post-bac classes at the University of Montana, I was on firm ground as a renderer.

The gaps, of course, were design and content. Pretty big gaps that I could spend my whole life trying to fill! That is the curse and the beauty of a good vocation. The more you learn, the more unknown spaces open up before you in every direction.

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Finally, the latest sign work, a logo on the exterior of the new Drum Coffee on South Ave:

8 drum coffee complete

This is one cool coffee shop. They have a turntable and were spinning classic R&B and Prince while they brewed. The in-house bakers make delicious brioche and other pastries. The staff is awesome and took great care of me on the beautiful spring day when I was painting. This assignment was a new challenge, as it was on rather textured siding, eight to ten feet up. I decided to give myself a break and have Staples make me a giant printout to use as a template.

2 drum pattern
Is this cheating?

I cut out the shapes bit by bit and traced them onto the siding with a pencil. I washed the wall, then used Sherwin Williams Resilience paint in Toque White to fill everything in. Here are the results from below:

7 drum complete
Although at this point, “Coffee” still needs its second coat of paint.

Next challenge: delicate, two-toned logos on curved oak barrels for the North of Broadway shops… and, of course, a certain monster. Stay tuned!

 

3 Replies to “Monsters and Spacemen”

  1. So many cool developments! P.S. Does Theo Ellsworth live in Missoula now? I actually have a couple of his zines from years ago when (I think) he lived in Portland.

  2. Love the hip replacement strip. From the number of people I know with new hips and knees it is definitely in the future for many.

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