Blog-age @ Monkeys vs Robots

The Blog/Ramblings of recovering artist @MonkeysvsRobots
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Review: #AlterEgoExhibit featuring @Klingatron @guymckinley @richtpaint @RobertMBall @SomeMug @WarwickJC @WasteStudio

May 10th saw the opening of the Alter Ego Exhibition held at Red Bull Studios, London, a show curated by Klingatron, one of the artists on show.

According to Klingatron, the idea of the show was to explore the idea of having a second identity, bringing together a variety of styles, with each artist studying the theme of a second personality through a mutual influence of popular culture comic books. What’s not to love!?

The beauty of this show is that you don’t need to be into street art to enjoy it, as the comics and superhero angle helps massively, especially coming so close on the heels the Avengers movie (I NEED to see that again!).

Anyhow, the exhibition welcomes a variety of illustration styles, including, screen prints, graffiti, stencils, street art and photo-realistic painting. 

Each artist brought a totally unique flavour and approach to the show. 

Klingatron: Deft n detailed Stencil action with a wicked touch off  freehand. That freehand element was most obvious in this HULK piece, which a friend of mine bought, making me green with envy…….. See what I did there?

Smug (SmugOne) is somebody whose work I got to see for the first time in Bristol last  year for the ‘See No Evil’ show. The boy has skills and his clever twist of crossing popular HipHop stars with Marvel heroes delivered with his photo-realistic spray can skills will amaze!!

Robert Ball’s work proved immediately popular and easy on the eye, especially with the females. His style comes from an illustration and design background and his Superheroes carried a unique and dynamic geometric feel. 

WJC’s distinctive scratchy controlled style, brought and instantly recognisable comic style to his sketches and illustrations and he should blatantly follow and do a full comic…….. just saying!

Waste brought masses of personality when creating his characters. His was the most varied in terms of media and I especially liked his screen printed DOOM! So I bought the Tee! (I now need to play MF Doom when putting it on)

Guy McKinley creates a look with his brush work for his paintings are just incredible. What made his work special was watching his posts as he built up the images. But they don’t do justice to the quality of the brush work up close.

Cottonmouth (RichT) is pure jokes! And shows in his ‘No One Likes Cyclops’ limited edition comic and reworking of classic Marvel covers. His wall pieces show a mass of comic influence and his use of black ink makes me jealous. (He’s also nailed ‘comic hair’, which I struggle with massively)

The show itself had everything: a full house, no one struggled ‘to get’ the work on display, heavy beats, free drinks and the Xmen cartoon on the big screen!…… Yeah I loved it!

Show is on till May 16th, get involved! https://www.facebook.com/AlterEgoExhibition

And links to the Seven artists involved can be found below: 

  1. Waste, @WasteStudio -  http://www.wastestudio.com/
  2. Cottonmouth (RichT) , @richtpaint - http://news.richt-what.co.uk/
  3. Guy McKinley, - @guymckinley - http://flavors.me/guymckinley#143/tumblr
  4. Klingatron, - @Klingatron - http://www.klingatron.com/
  5. Robert Ball, - @RobertMBall - http://drawtheline.posterous.com/
  6. Smug,- @SomeMug
  7. WJC - @WarwickJC  - http://warwickjohnsoncadwell.blogspot.co.uk/

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(via monkeysvsrobots)

Sketch: RIP Jim ‘the Dragon’ Kelly! One of my childhood heroes! You’ll know him as Williams from ‘Enter the Dragon’ delivering Iconic lines like “Bullshit Mr Han-man!”, “Man, you come right out of a comic book!” & the imortal lines every Black man lives by “Defeat?! I don’t waste my time with it. When it comes I won’t even notice. I’ll be too busy looking goooood!” LEGEND!!!

26 panels in 7 days = A wall of Bartkira

A little while back artist Ryan Humphrey (@Ryan_Humphrey) created an inventive mash-up of Akira and the Simpsons! (Jeez! Geeks will mash any and everything together! J) Those pieces can be found here http://ryanhumphrey.co.uk/Bartkira and are definitely inspiring because Comic book Artist and Designer James Harvey (@jamesharveytm)took the original idea and ran with it! Expanding it into the monster I signed up too. 

Bartkira – a complete remake of Akira with all the characters exchanged to be Simpsons characters. 

Here’s the brief!

“A comics event where every participant takes five pages from the original AKIRA manga, to collectively redraw the entirety of Akira, in our own styles, with characters from The Simpsons.

I saw Ryan Humphrey’s incredible Bartkira piece and realised ‘ok, this needs to be a whole book’. So I took this idea to him, he gave it the go-ahead. Milhouse is Kaneda. Lisa is Kei. Bart is Tetsuo. [sic]

I figured it all out. If you’re down, email the address below. In a few days, I’ll send you the cast list (which character from the Simpsons is which Akira character, though the minor characters will be left up to you) and I’ll tell you which 5 pages you’ll be working on. You can request a particular page, but it’s first come, first served.”

I was happy to see I wasn’t the only lunatic in town, because in no time 468 artists signing on for the task!

Checking out the #Bartkira hashtag on Tumblr reveals a group of artists from every quarter and level of skill. Something that was an instant confidence boost, I would be surrounded by other artists simply attempting to do their best to make the project happen. 

I’m guessing many of the artists joined the Bartkira project out of love of both or either source materials. And as James’ brief suggested the project would be fun and good exercise to attempt to merge them together, either faithfully or with a personal spin.

But I had other motives. I have been a massively lapsed artist, locked away from the thing I love. For years I haven’t been mentally able to put pen and pencil to paper. Bu with help I’ve recently been able to unlock some of those mental blocks and have started drawing again. To say its been therapeutic would be a massive understatement!

 

The reason for doing this project was two fold: Firstly, I’ve always wanted to be involved in making a comic since I was a kid. Creating and drawing a whole one, is currently beyond me, but surly 5 pages isn’t!? Secondly, through working on this project I wanted to test my ability to create a large batch of work to a deadline and keep a consistent style across that work.

 

So why did I think drawing 26 panels on individual A3 sheets was a good idea? Pfft! I have no idea! It was probably alcohol related! J  So it worked out to be 26 panels in 7 days! No surprise that I also delivered it late then! 

Ridiculously long blog-story short: Through attempting this project I’ve ticked quite a few boxes and put to rest a number of ghosts! Ultimately its simply just another step on my road to recovery, but also a step that allowed me to rediscovered my passion for drawing comics. I also now have 26 pieces of art to turn into prints, t-shirts and other stuff! 

Thanks to Ryan Humphrey and James Harvey for creating this project and the 468+ other artists who contributed, because when this project comes together, its gonna be an EPIC read!

*Also here’s hoping Katsuhiro Otomo-san and Matt Groening get involved!

My Bloody Valentine! Enjoyz!! 

Blogage - The London Games Festival: Games Art Exhibition


If you know me, or follow my posts and online ramblings, you’ll know that I’m a massive concept art fan. And so last year I was lucky enough to go to the The Games Art Exhibition, part of the London Games Festival curated by UKIE, in association with Special Effecta charity that helps those with disabilities through video games and technology. Together they organised a fantastic exhibition of the art of popular video games in London’s City Hall.

On display were over 100 pieces, showcasing concept and promotional art from a broad range of games and AAA titles as Batman: Arkham City and Dishonored to icons like Metal Gear Solid and Sonic, and even indie and mobile games like Buddha Finger and Eufloria. One stand out gem is the Batman: Arkham City soundtrack. Framed and signed along with the actual sheet music.

Check some of the other photos taken: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.545468088799778.126956.110310852315506&type=1&l=005d8b7003

The fact that this exhibition even happened was quite special, and helps the games industry’s battle to have gaming be taken seriously as an artistic medium.

I’m sure the exhibit would have helped move the art into a public domain outside of just the attention paid by dedicated gamers like myself. If you’ve played a good game recently, no matter what the genre, chances are some artist drew it into life


For me its always great to see the art behind games, which usually gets overlooked as just another part of the development process, be taken seriously as pieces of substantial work in their own right, and the artists recognised.

Anyone who knows or follows me, knows I’d encourage any fan of art and/or games to take a look at what incredible art books and fan sites are out there. I for one hope to see more of these events as time goes on.

 

Good art helps make a good game great! You might not always find game artwork hanging in galleries, but it’s always where it matters most, and that’s in the game itself.


In December 2012 London Games Festival organiser UKIE has revealed that its games industry art exhibition has raised a whopping £30,050.31 for charity SpecialEffect.

Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl, Gorillaz) on the joy of drawing- “Drawing Is An Escape From All The Unnecessary Things In Life That Get In The Way Of Being Free”

 “It’s about reaching that moment of pure ecstasy when a drawing just happens. Where every move you make with your hand and every thought you have in your head grows in front of you without any mistakes; no rubbing out, starting again and getting frustrated. It’s like being in a trance – it’s a fluid – and you almost don’t remember doing the picture. Drawing is an escape from all the unnecessary things in life that get in the way of being free

My favourite game is Homeworld, released on the PC in 1999.


I was going to do Windwaker, or Metroid Prime, Goldeneye, Unreal Tournament or even Skies of Arcadia, as it’s a struggle to dig out a true fav. But, in the end, I chose to do the one game that has been on my C.V. as my favourite game, since I entered the games industry some 11 years ago!


Homeworld is both an excellent game and one, considering it was the first fully three-dimensional RTS, that should have shaped the entire real-time strategy genre!! Unfortunately, no one can hear you shout, “BEST GAME EVER!!”… In space! (Yeah! I went there!)

Relic’s Homeworld is the sort of game that inspired deserved unbridled hyperbole in game reviewers. With its stunning 3D engine, uniquely challenging gameplay, great audio, and terrific story. But it is a largely forgotten game that wasn’t played by as many players as it should have been! A classic 10/10 game that no one bought! *sadface*


With a classic plot, simple and to the point and something you can quickly get behind. And, for those geeks amongst you, plays out a lot like Battlestar Galactica (minus all that spiritual nonsense!!)


It begins with an epic discovery; an ancient starship, buried deep beneath the sands of your home planet Kharak, contains evidence indicating that your people descended from aliens who colonized the planet many centuries ago. Spurred on by this discovery, your people construct a massive Mothership with hyperspace capabilities and undertake an expedition to find their trueHomeworld. However, you complete your first hyperspace jump only to run smack into a swarm of hostile aliens, which proceed to reduce Kharak to a burning wasteland. Now, with only the Mothership to call home, you must lead the fleet onward to your fabledHomeworld, exacting vengeance for Kharak along the way.


But forget all that! One of the main reasons I sat of hours on end, just playing the skirmish mode repeatedly was becauseHomeworld had some of the most impressive space-based graphics ever.


This 3D engine is stunning, with an acute attention to detail that is staggering. Every ship, from the tiny scout fighter to the lumbering heavy cruiser, is amazingly detailed, right down to markings on the hull and individually animated gun turrets. One of the coolest features in the game is the ability to zoom right in on a single ship and follow it through a battle –every turn, manoeuvre, and shot fired is brought to life, and you get a front-row seat for all of it.


The ship design itself is also pretty impressive. And though the two sides in the conflict have nearly identical arsenals (there are only two unique ship classes per side), each has a completely different stylistic approach that is consistent throughout the fleet. Weapon effects are suitably spectacular, and explosions are also very cool, especially when the doomed vessel is penetrated by a beam weapon as it blows up – an effect that recalls those great ship battles from the Battlestar Galatica. And the large scale battles!!! Oh shit the battles!! 


Hollywood on its best day has yet to capture the feel of the massive fleet battles in Homeworld!

And the audio? Ahhhhh the audio, the always forgotten element that can make or break a good game! In a word. Awesome! The audio in Homeworld is just as impressive as the graphics engine. The score (a score that won the Best Score Award in 2000)alongside the unit acknowledgments and sound effects does a great job of setting the whole “space is really, really BIG!!” mood of the game.

The slick presentation of the game also extends to the plot injections. Most of the plot unfolds by way of simple yet elegant cutscenes, created using the game’s 3D engine. The game also makes use of some slick hand-drawn animation to convey other elements of the story. These black-and-white scenes have a simple but gritty look to them, and they work exceptionally well with the flashy 3D cinematics. They hold up to scrutiny even now and proof that flashy FMV’s aren’t always the way forward.


But the most obvious difference between this and other real-time strategy games and some that has only really been recreated maybe by EVE ONLINE (but far more complicatedly than required) is the true 3D nature of the game world.


You’re in deep space (and you’ll sure as hell know it!!), so there is no restriction on the direction in which your units may travel. As a result, you’ll have to learn to think and move using three axis at all times.


To keep that true cinematic feel going, there are practically no HUD elements to see!! This can be extremely confusing if you jump right in especially with no difficulty settings to test out. But you are taken through Homeworld’s excellent tutorial (a useful tutorial? remember those?), which are perfectly paced and required, regardless of your experience with real-time strategy games.


Fortunately, I never minded retrying some of Homeworld’s missions a few times until I got them just right. (This was usually me stealing/salvaging as many ships as possible.) This is because Homeworld nails one of those elements few games give you; you never get the sense that the computer is cheating you. (What!? No difficulty setting??!! Just a perfectly balanced game!? Surely I jest?).

And would you believe this game came out in 1999!!!?? They, literally, don’t make games like this any more!! – And what other game built 12 years ago, looks and plays like it was made yesterday? (Duke Nukem sure as hell didn’t!)


So Homeworld:

  • ·         Amazing Graphics, both in Design, Tech and Audio
  • ·         Brilliantly-told story
  • ·         A tutorial (that doesn’t take you out of the game) that actually teaches you how to play
  • ·         Immense sense of scale and vastness of space
  • ·         Revolutionary 3D interface and controls that somehow work!
  • ·         Perfectly balanced difficulty
  • ·         A forgotten Masterpiece!!


Homeworld
  - The game I use to convince industry peeps that I know what a good game is!

This is my favourite game.


Homeworld GOTY box

A blog for http://thisismyfavouritegame.tumblr.com/

#Currentlyenjoying the ‘Everything is a Remix’ series produced by @remixeverything aka Kirby Ferguson, a New York-based filmmaker. #Art #Film #Music #Creativity

The series has currently tackled:

Music - How Led Zeppelin copied but just did it better than the originals and Hip Hop the ultimate remixers!

Film - How Stars Wars and other popular movies have copied massively and of course Tarantino the ultimate mashup director ,

And now Creativity (which is the movie above) which explores how innovations truly happen.

Key Quote: “Creation requires Influence” 

Which is something thing I’ve always believed. No one can create/design in a bubble, no one truly invents anything new anymore.

Copy -> Transform -> Combine Variation + Quality = Great Work (sort of) 

Watch the rest of the series so far here: http://www.everythingisaremix.info/watch-the-series/

(via monkeysvsrobots)

#currentlyenjoying the work of children’s book illustrator @fentonjs AKA Joe Fenton #Illustration #art #Amaze

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Using an massive amount of patience and talent, Joe creates huge mural sized canvas pieces made up of tons of small intractly detailed drawings using pencil, pen and ink

While Joe Fenton is from the United States. He studied locally and got a sculptor degree from the Wimbledon School of Art.

Rumor has it that he only started drawing a year and a half ago!! 

Feel free to weep with me! And while you do that, check out the rest of his site: http://joefentonart.com/ 

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(via monkeysvsrobots)

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Cement Eclipses by Isaac Cordal, a set on Flickr.

Yo tengo el nuevo libro de @isaacordal - Cement Eclipses #streetart


Via Flickr:
Small interventions in the big city

Product Description

Isaac Cordal …is a sculpture artist from London. His sculptures take the form of little people sculpted from concrete in ‘real’ situations. Cordal manages to capture a lot of emotion in his vignettes, in spite of their lack of detail or colour. He is sympathetic toward his little people and we empathise with their situations, their leisure time, their waiting for buses and their more tragic moments such as accidental death, suicide or family funerals. His sculptures can be found in gutters, on top of buildings, on top of bus shelters - in many unusual and unlikely places in the capital. This book is the first time his images have been shown in together in one book dedicated to his work. Many images never seen before Cordal’s concrete sculptures are like little magical gifts to the public that only a few lucky people will see and love but so many more will have missed. Left to their own devices throughout London Cordal what really makes these pieces magical is their placement. They bring new meaning to little corners of the urban environment. They express something vulnerable but deeply engaging. Left to fend for themselves, you almost want to protect them in some way, or perhaps communicate with them. Of course the 25cm high sculptures of people in everyday poses the artist creates in are not real, are they? Well you’ve opened a whole can of worms with that question. Yes, the little scenes in Concrete Eclipse are somewhat poignant but they do not invite you to weep passively for lost worlds you never knew. They are there to provide a one handed clap to shake you from your reveries and plug you back in to the world. So Cordall’s men in grey are a little message of hope in spite of their forlorn appearance and they are there to remind you that pessimism is not common sense, it’s just pessimism. So make sure you do something inessential today. Go on, the grey men don’t want you to.

http://www.carpetbombingculture.co.uk/index.php?action=what&subaction=cementIII

#currentlyenjoying ‘Plastic Life’ on the amazing photography site of Vincent Bousserez

Plastic Life: a collection of pics containing Little people carrying out day-to-day activities photographed by Vincent Bousserez

The quirky French photographer Vincent Bousserez has created an entire world of tiny plastic people carrying out day-to-day activities.

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The amusing snaps show the tiny folks climbing breast mountains, perverts, voyeurs, peps hailing unseen cabs, washing windows, reading a newspaper and shaving a man’s face with a lawnmower

His work totally reminds me of streetartist Slinkachu but thats for another post

Check out the rest of his work: http://vincentbousserez.com/art_photos/plastic_life/index.php

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(via monkeysvsrobots)

#currentlyenjoying the work of Japanese stencil artist @mikitoozeki

Using an insane amount of patience, Mikito Ozeki quite literally freehand ‘draws’ with a blade and creates stunningly detailed stencil pieces.

In his ‘Body Paper Cuts Series’ he has made these heavily detailed ‘paper cut outs’ into what almost look like intergalactic space creatures or complex Robots

Check the man at work and other pieces on his site: http://www.mikito.jp/#imageimageimage

#Currentlyenjoying “Arms&Crafts” The work of Catalan sculptor Roger Krasznai (@KrasznaiSt) of Krasznai Ceramics #ff

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting sculptor Roger Krasznai. He specialises in ceramics and works out of his studio/workshop, Krasznai Ceramics in Badalona, just north of Barcelona (He’s a lucky lucky man!!).

He was exhibiting at Top Drawer London and I had time to talk about all manner of art, design and ceramic-based subjects. Those chats showed how much his character and humour came through in his work. It felt like he had a drive to make people appreciate handmade ceramic objects and believed ceramics was a captivating form of creativity, with potential to unleash amazing things.

All his works are handmade and/or slipcasted ceramics. When questioned about his work, he repeated the idea of their ‘behaviour’ coming through in the pieces. Each one of them is a little bit different from the others, giving them a human feel.

The piece above is from his collection “Arms&Crafts”, which I happily own (winning!!). The inspiration came to him when he found a discarded doll’s arm on a beach, and you can clearly see the “behaviour” coming through with this ‘milk carton’, giving a damn good impression of being surprised. This creates a funny interaction between the object and the observer.

Below are couple more pieces, which I sadly don’t own.

Check out his latest collection on his site: http://www.krasznai.co.uk

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MAKE GOOD ART by Neil Gaiman - Maybe one of the most creatively inspiring words you’ll hear ever or at least today!

If you are in any sort of artistic or creative field, or you aspire to be, you absolutely need to watch this!

Obviously you to NEED to watch the video, but thought I’d highlight some of his thoughts and comments that resonated with me the most.

There’s no need to introduce Neil Gaiman, you know who he is, and about the most amazing worlds he creates, (and if you don’t know, you need to get to know!) but in May he did something even more important, he gave back. Cause he’s a very nice man.

During an address to the University of the Arts Class of 2012, he not only explained what it was to be and live as a creative, and provided solid and invaluable advice for artists or any kind of creative, to be used at any stage in their life and career — but particularly when starting out - he also inspired, explaining how all that was needed was the desire to create to get you to your goals and achieve your dreams. These are my top 10 thoughts:

1.       Don’t put so much weight into training. Neil never went to Uni!

2.       If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that

3.       Approach your creativity with joy, or else it becomes work. (I’m trying!)

4.       Enjoy your work and your small victories; don’t get swept up into the next thing before being fully present with the joys of this one.

5.       Embrace the fear of failure. Make peace with the Impostor Syndrome and the Fraud Police when it comes with success. Don’t be afraid of being wrong. (I’ll try to remember this when it hopefully happens)

6.       The problems of failure are hard. – “The problems of failure are problems of discouragement, of hopelessness, of hunger. You want everything to happen and you want it now, and things go wrong”.

7.       “The problems of success can be harder, because nobody warns you about them”

8.       “Make your art, tell your story, find your voice — even if you begin by copying others. - The urge, starting out, is to copy. And that’s not a bad thing. Most of us only find our own voices after we’ve sounded like a lot of other people. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can”.

9.       “Make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for you being here”.

10.   Make good art”.

“Make good art.

I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.

Make it on the good days too.”

Thanks Neil!

The full keynote text can be found here http://www.uarts.edu/neil-gaiman-keynote-address

#Currentlyenjoying the #streetart of Pablo Delgado! Especially the ‘Putitas‘(Mini paste up prostitues)

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Artist Pablo Delgado has started decorating East London with miniature humans and has joined the ranks of London’s little people streetart following on from the tiny figurines of other artists whose work I love - Slinkachu and Isaac Cordal

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Though unlike the sculptural offerings of the other artists mentioned above, Delgado’s representations are 2-D. A semblance of depth is given by shadows painted onto the ground in front of the figures.

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The rest of these little ’Putitas’ can be found on his site, which includes Painting, drawings etc as well as other Street art: http://www.pablodelgadomc.com/