Last night, I started working on the poster illustration for my two man art exhibition with Greg Turner called “TWO-HEADED BEAST” at Newman University’s Steckline Gallery in Spring 2015.
When I was 13 years old my Uncle stumbled across an environmental postage stamp design contest sponsored by McDonald’s and the United States Post Office. He suggested that I enter the contest but I had zero desire to enter such a contest. I would rather draw Wolverine or Optimus Prime. You can tell by my cool haircut and my flannel shirt that I wasn’t interested in creating art for the “establishment.” I was a “real” artist. I drew superheroes not postage stamps. After some persistent harassment from my Uncle, I reluctantly agreed to enter the contest. I drew my postage stamp design in 15 minutes using a cheap ballpoint pen and some crayons. I put zero effort into the drawing. I wasn’t a crusader for the environment. I just wanted my Uncle to stop pestering me about this lame contest. To be honest, the drawing is really terrible. The lettering is a mess. The continents are drawn completely wrong (how the hell did I pass geography). The drawing is just a lazy sloppy mess. I was a real asshole.
My design ended up being one of 102 finalists from a pool of 150,000 entries nationwide. Two finalists from each state were selected to battle in a Mortal Kombat style death match and the top 4 designs would become official United States postage stamps. Ok… it wasn’t the Hunger Games, but McDonald’s gave me a free value meal and put my name on the marquee. The United States Postal service also gave me a bunch of stamps, a $100 U.S. Savings Bond Certificate, a poster featuring all 102 finalists and a framed reproduction of my design.
McDonald’s hosted an award ceremony for myself and the other Kansas finalist Brandon Purcell. I ate my free Quarter Pounder with Cheese and my mom annoyed me by taking way too many photographs. Ronald McDonald told us that the news media would film the event and we would be featured on the 10 O’Clock news. Unfortunately, the news media never came and my 15 minutes of fame was over. In my version of reality, the news media rejected a heartfelt story about two young environmentalist artists using their talents to save planet Earth through the power of postage stamps in favor of someone getting shot in the face. But I was mentioned in the local newspaper “The Wichita Eagle” twice.
What did I learn from this experience?
I learned that “not giving a fuck” will sometimes reward you with a free lunch and shooting someone in the face will get you on television.
Why am I talking about some art contest I entered in 1994?
One of my Facebook friends discovered my original stamp design on display at the post office and he posted a photo of the drawing on Facebook. I forgot that the post office kept the original drawing and I was surprised it was still on display after 20 years. I thought it would be fun to share the story behind the drawing and make fun of my terrible haircut. I looked like Simple Jack from “Tropic Thunder.”
When I was 5 years old my favorite television show was Hanna-Barbera’s “Challenge of the GoBots” cartoon series and I’ve always remained a huge fan of all things GoBots. I was super happy to discover that Warner Archive Collection was FINALLY releasing the entire series of “Challenge of the GoBots” digitally remastered on DVD. The first volume of 30 episodes, “Challenge of the GoBots: The Series Volume 1,” is now available for pre-order on the Warner Brothers online shop. Volume 1 will be available on May 6th.
You can pre-order “Challenge of the GoBots: The Series Volume 1″ at http://www.wbshop.com/product/challenge+of+the+gobots-+the+series+volume+1+%2830eps%29+1000486768.do?sortby=ourPicks&refType&from=Search
In 2012, I drew these vector illustrations of Leader-1 and Cy-Kill from “Challenge of the GoBots.” At some point I should revisit GoBotron and draw more GoBots.
For the past couple years, I’ve been using the same damn Photoshop brush for all of the drawings I create in Photoshop. I use a variety of brushes to “paint” or “color” my drawings but I always use the same brush whenever I draw something. The brush has a little more thick and thin variety than some of the other brushes. I also like using this brush because it is often really difficult to draw with and it gives my work a more chaotic / haphazard energy. I like things to be imperfect.