Hot Mess Mom! The Comic

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WebSquare2For over twenty years, I’ve been drawing caricatures of hundreds of thousands of people at parties, conventions, and theme parks.  I’ve done non- caricature work for comic books, children’s books, Music CDs, websites, advertisements, etc., but the term “caricaturist” certainly applies to the bulk of my professional work thus far. I love what I do, and I’m very BLESSED to be able to do it. I’ve met so many wonderful people doing this.

But “caricaturist” is a label I’ve never been fully at peace with. Truthfully, I’m a cartoonist. Yes, a lot of my career up till now has been drawing cartoons with a likeness WITH A LIKENESS.  But they’re still CARTOONS, the way I do them.

I’ve always been a cartoonist, ever since I first started drawing. Comic books and comic strips have filled my life. My parents were supportive enough to not just tolerate them, but to even encourage them most of my childhood. Some of my earliest memories are at my grandparents’ kitchen table, reading the Sunday funnies. Comics helped me learn to read, and more importantly, LOVE to read. I used to do a self published comic book with my best bud Ted Tucker ( look him up… he’s awesomely talented ), but have never tried a comic strip. Until NOW. For the past two Sundays, I’ve been doing a strip called “Hot Mess Mom”. It’s based on and co- created by a high school friend of my wife- the real, flesh and blood Hot Mess Mom. We’re having a ton of fun doing it, and it’s taking off. We’re getting views of it on her Hot Mess Mom Face Book page that are astronomical for a strip. Much less a new strip.

Starting tomorrow, HMM the Comic will be coming out TWICE a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays. I’m making the announcement here on my personal site for the first time. You can read it on the Hot Mess Mom Face Book page, the Hot Mess Mom the Comic FaceBook page, or at HotMessMomComic.com. I hope you like it!

Body Fat Breakthrough: Fat Bomb #1: Negative Training

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Here’s another illustration I did for “Body Fat Breakthrough”.  Unfortunately, all of the illustrations were published in Grayscale, but I have them all in full color, so I can share those with you here!  I colored each one in full color, then converted them to Grayscale, and “tweaked” the grays here and there to make the contrasts look as good was possible. Here’s the published version:

 

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New Work: The Body Fat Breakthrough and Fat Bombs!

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Hot off the presses! A few months ago, I completed the cartoon illustrations for the new hit exercise book, “The Body Fat Breakthrough” for Dr. Ellington Darden.  It’s Published by Rodale ( publishers of Men’s Fitness and other magazines… the largest fitness publisher in the world ), and is available… EVERYWHERE, from what I hear.

It was an honor to work with Dr. Darden on the book and  illustrate his Fat Loss tips, aka “Fat Bombs” ( that term was one of my contributions, btw ). Here’s one of my favorites-

 

 

 

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More Gift Caricatures

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Wow, I guess everyone forgot about Christmas this year. I’ve been very busy with gift caricatures, both private and corporate for a few months now. But last week I got SLAMMED with orders. And they all were willing to pay Rush and Double Rush fees to get them this week.  Profitable, but more than a wee bit exhausting. It’s a good problem to have though…. that’s for sure. And I get paid to draw! Life is good. Anyway, here’s one of the ones from this week that I liked. The setting they requested was the Ralph Lauren Restaurant in Chicago:Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 8.25.51 PM

Super Hero Caricatures!

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Super Holidays!

I haven’t had but a few requests for large Super Hero themed group caricatures over the years. Which brings up the obvious question…. WHY NOT?!? Seriously, this was a ton of fun to do. And since the client requested that no “real” superhero costumes be depicted, because of copyrights and trademarks, I had to come up with costumes that were “homages” to existing characters. Which actually made it more fun! See if you can pick out all of the references!

Holiday Cards and Group Caricatures

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It’s that time of year again! The time of year when I get busy with Corporate and Family Holiday  Greeting Cards. I’ve got two groups in my To Do folder on my computer right now. One with ten people, and one with 25. Group caricatures are fun, but challenging, just because you have to leave room for everyone. Composition, composition, composition!  PLUS, you have all of the different faces and personalities. Most groups are great, with no problems. But every once in awhile…. you get the one or two people in a group who say stuff like “This is the only picture I like myself in, so draw from it” ( And the photo is fifteen years old), or “My hair, which is blonde, is normally curly like this photo but I want it straight. And red”. Both comments based on actual events, btw.

Here’s a drawing I did of a great, easy to work with group last year ( they got it done early then too, so they didn’t want any Holiday decorations on it ):Group

iPad Stylus Review: Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus , Part 2

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By the amount of hits I received on this blog yesterday, it looks like a LOT of people have been doing what I did… waiting to hear how someone ELSE likes the new Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus before they buy it themselves. ( I figured I had to say the entire name at least once in this post, and that was it! ).  Today’s post is just a quick continuation to yesterday’s, to answer a few questions people have emailed me, messaged me, or asked me on some private forums I’m a member of.

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First off,  see that little tiny blue light in this photo? It tells you the stylus is “on”, and then it blinks as the Intuos is connecting to your iPad via Bluetooth. Yes, this is a Bluetooth device. I am not a huge fan of that,  but it is MUCH better than the ultrasound pressure sensitivity styluses out there ( hello, JaJa Hex 3…. I’m talking about you….).My biggest problem with Bluetooth? Having other Bluetooth devices around you at the same time.

Case in point- when I and another artist were drawing iPad caricatures live at an event a few months ago, we were both using our Pogo Connects, another Bluetooth enabled stylus. Much to our dismay, our Connects began to do stuff on each other’s screens! It’s kind of freaky… and VERY FRUSTRATING.. when your line erases because the artist near you just clicked “undo” on THEIR stylus. Yikes! So, to be honest, with this also being a Bluetooth device, I don’t know how well the Intuos is going to work “in the field”. I’ve got some upcoming live events I’ll be at though, so I’ll let you know.  Still like I said yesterday in Part One,  even with the Bluetooth and therefore Pressure Sensitivity off, the “bounce” to the tip and  the overall feel of this stylus still makes it my favorite one I’ve used. And I think I have used them all!

Now, back to the blue light again. ( Did anyone else think of KMart when I said that? ADD! Squirrel! ) The paperwork that comes with this says that when the battery is getting low,  the light turns red/orange. Hopefully I won’t know that for sure for awhile. The Intuos uses one AAAA battery. Don’t worry though, one of them is included in the case with the pen when you buy it:

 

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Yes, I reused the same stock image that I used yesterday…. get over it. ;D

By the way, you are reading that correctly- that’s 4 “As”. I have no idea how much they cost when they run out and you have to purchase more.

 

WAITTT FOR IT…. ( googling )…..

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Eh, when the stylus itself is basically $100, that’s not too bad. As long as it doesn’t go through them too often!

In closing, because most of you reading this are probably artists yourselves, I should probably  show some more actual art I’ve done with this thing. Here’s a VERY quick drawing I did of my youngest the other night, as I was trying out the stylus:

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Gotta love a kid who loves and laughs hysterically that you drew the “holes” from her missing teeth! Anyway, for this piece, I  tried out a new version of Sketchbook called Sketchbook Ink. For my trial run with the app, and with the stylus ( this was actually the first piece I drew with it ), I figured it wasn’t too bad. You can already see some line variation. I switched over to ArtStudio, though ( the app I use the most), as I couldn’t find a good way to shade in this program, and I wanted my Custom brushes I’ve made in AS. But I DO like the “dynamic” brushes in Sketchbook Ink. If you haven’t tried it, you should!

 

Alright, that’s it for today. Thanks for reading. I gotta go draw some stuff…..

 

Keelan

 

 

iPad Stylus Review: Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus

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Drawing on an iPad to me is always like swimming upstream a bit. Things that SHOULD be easy… aren’t any more. But for the ease of transporting it, the ease of coloring with it, and the sheer coolness of it, I’ve made my peace with it’s inherent limitations. ( That doesn’t mean I’m not always looking for a better substitute though! ).  I have friends that do amazing work on them, using just their fingers. But I am a stylus guy and I have a TON of them for my iPad. NONE of them are perfect. But the newest one ( I bought it at Best Buy just yesterday ), is my favorite one so far. Let’s just jump ahead a bit and show you a piece I did with the WACOM INTUOS CREATIVE STYLUS last night as I was subjected to yet another episode of “Project Runway”. Hey, what can I say… I live in a house of girls. At least the “contestants” ( my LEAST favorite of whom I drew in the pic above ) are artists and it’s not that ridiculous “America’s Next Top Model” that I sometimes have to pretend to watch. It’s at least slightly interesting. But I digress…

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What YOU really want to know about is what this stylus can DO, right? Well, take a look at the photo here that  I took of my hand drawing in my favorite app, ArtStudio. Niiice line, right? The Intuous Creative Stylus gets its Pressure Sensitivity via Bluetooth, and it works pretty darn well.  It still has the annoying rubber tip, but this stylus is by far the best I’ve used so far on the iPad. It seemed to work really well in Art Studio, Sketchbook Pro, ProCreate, and the new Sketchbook Ink apps. Oh, and in Wacom’s own Bamboo app, too. But I’m not a big fan of that one yet. ( Still waiting for my second fave app, SketchClub, to support it.)

 

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WHY do I like this stylus best? For one, it has a great design and just feels good in your hand. It’s a bit heavy toward the tip, but not too bad. Very similar to my pen I use on my Wacom Cintiq each day. Plus, it actually DOES give you real pressure sensitivity, unlike most of the styluses ( styli ? ) I have tried thus far ( despite their claims ). I’ve been Googling for more info about this pen since I first used it, and it has something called a “Z-Axis”. Seems pretty technical to an artistic mind like mine, but they may be talking about the very thing I like best about it – it has a “bounce”, similar to a brush pen, or even a crowquill pen. I like it so much that even with the Bluetooth turned off, in programs like the aforementioned Sketch Club, it is still my favorite stylus for the iPad. Now is it worth $99? Yeah, I think it is. At least compared to all the other disappointing styluses ( styli ? ) out there!