Monday, February 11, 2008

DeadMeat, Monkey vs. Cobra, and Timbuk2

Tonight's post mixes a little bit of The New with a bit of the Not-So-New.

The New: My lovely lady and I have been collaborating on apparel designs since we met. But, recently, we've decided to give it a bit more structure. Namely, "DeadMeat," the creative spawn of her Deadbeatsister skillz and my Hiredmeat mayhem. Our first design under the new imprint is a little diddly inspired by the Plato quote, "Only the dead have seen the end of war."

One of the themes for my gallery show in August is war, and a few of my sketches for those pieces have involved daisies (as in, "Pushin' up daisies). That, along with my admiration of the quote whipped around in my head and resulted in the ink drawing to the right. We'll be launching this on shirts at Wondercon in a couple weeks. I'll post the final, colorized piece (along with photos of the shirts) when they're done.

The Not-So-New: Last fall/winter, Timbuk2 (designers of fine messenger bags) invited me to take part in their Artists Originals program. They sent me the chewy canvas center strip of one of their medium-sized shoulder bags, and let me paint whatever I wanted on it. Being a total nerd for kung-fu movies, I got stuck on the idea "Monkey vs. Cobra".

I started with these simple sketches of the beasties. I researched ancient Chinese art and tried to give them a sort of Asian flair.

From there, I came up with the mischievous darlings above. I think I was reading a TON of "Blade of the Immortal" when I was doing this stuff, too. It makes sense... that book KILLS! Great characters, and fabulous artwork.

From sketch to canvas, things went sorta like this. Sorry I don't have a better photo of the Monkey portion of the bag. But ya get the gist of it.

Painted and done, I ran my strip of canvas over to the Timbuk2 shop near my spot. And a few weeks later, their slave army of elves had turned it into a full-on messenger bag. Amazing!

In December, Timbuk2 held a Holiday party at Ritual Cafe (this sexcellent coffee shop down in The Mission district), where they were selling the Artists Original bags, with part of the proceeds going to charity. Unfortunately, some fine young woman bought my bag, like, 3 minutes before I got there and could take better pictures of it. Fortunately, some fine young woman is walking around San Francisco, sporting my art on her bag for everyone to see.

Anyway, I'm off to more misadventures in inkblots.

Bunker, iggety-out!

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