Gavin McInnes

First I have to apologize that this doesn’t look very much like the person it’s supposed to be. I’m not a classical illustrator who can crank out spitting image likenesses of people easily. Sometimes I can brute force my way to something close with enough hacking at it – but not my usual forte.

… But my lack of skills aside, this illustration is my humble homage to the legendary, Gavin McInnes.

I could write paragraphs on the genius, accomplishments and hilarity of this man. But since I don’t have that kind of time I have to unfairly, brutishly sum him up in ugly bullet points:

Like Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin is originally from another country (Canada) but lives in the US now and fights for America’s future by pushing back against social and political nonsense (normally coming from the regressive left). In my opinion he is brilliant, hillarious and a true American hero and I “like him more than a friend.”

I’m proud of your boy, Gavin.

Artwork

Original Sketch:
Color Version:
Inspiration for sketch:

A bit he does on his CompoundMedia.com show where he talks about books while he cooks by the fire … cracks me up every time.
My Southpark/Hero version of him:


More Links

Moonlight Window Flower

You know I think I have some weird obsession with the moon. If you go to the main page of my blog right now 4 of the pictures there have a giant, full moon in them. Weird.

Anyhow … a few weeks ago I got the urge to paint a window scene of some kind. Here’s the final result after kicking it around for a few minutes every couple days. 

The most fun I had with this was doing the curtains and the wallpaper. Neither of them are amazing or anything but something about making them was fun and a bit outside my usual techniques. The thing I feel most bad about is the small picture frame to the right center. I wish I could have found a way to shine more light over there because that little picture was fun … but since it’s so dark over there you really can’t see/appreciate it. I also I really wanted to introduce some kind of animal or character in there but I think it would have been too crowded so I resisted … maybe next time.  As usual I used Procreate on the iPad to make this. 

Until next time! … 

Wooden Clock: Tibet!

Ever since I created my Wooden Clock for iPad app I wanted to update it to have the option of letting users pick from an assortment of different clock types for some variety once in a while. Well after over 2 years and many early weekend mornings I finally got around to doing that and the update just went live in the App Store.

wooden-clock-settings-201502The new skin – the first of hopefully more to come in the future – is the “Tibet” clock. I’ve been fond of Tibet for quite some time … probably in large part due to the film “Seven Years in Tibet” and my eternal fascination with Mount Everest – so I figured that theme would be as good as any to start out with.

The App Store database isn’t entirely updated yet so here’s the details of the new version in case it doesn’t appear in the App Store yet:

A brand-new clock has been added … the “Tibet” clock!

The new Tibet clock was hand-carved, assembled and painted in the majestic foothills of Mount Everest near the city of Lhasa. Ok … actually it was all done in Photoshop and a text editor in a dark office .. but that’s almost as inspiring right?! In any case I hope everyone enjoys the new clock!

Seven_Years_in_Tibet_coverFirst – in standard fashion I have to insert a disclaimer here that while I am calling this the new “Tibet” clock, I in no way am implying that I am capable of producing authentic, Tibetan artwork nor is the clock I’ve constructed anything anyone who actually lives in Tibet would recognize or find attractive at all. This is simply my humble attempt at creating a visual homage to Tibet … as well as a geek from the US suburbs is capable of anyway.

I did do some research on Tibetan furniture and artwork before starting. As one might imagine a large part of Tibetan culture and artwork is based on the Buddhist religion – but for various reasons I steered clear of that route and went with a more general, flowery and colorful approach instead. But even with that generic approach, I do hope the final product gives that classic Tibetan vibe … the bright yellows and reds against a bright blue (mountain) sky. On a technical note – the flowers and leaves on the clock were painted with the Procreate app on my iPad and the rest of the clock was created using Photoshop.

While I was packaging things up I went ahead and updated the app icon a bit too. I’m not in love w/the new version but like it much more than the last one I used.

New Icon

Old Icon

The update with the new Tibet clock went live on the App Store today so users will get it the next time they update. If anyone has ideas or suggestions on new clocks I could add in the future swing by the Facebook page and post it!

Oh yeah – here’s the short app preview in included in this update – it shows the new clock in action!

Adobe Flash Graveyard

Ok so the silly graphic I made for this post is not entirely accurate. Adobe Flash did not die … but for all intents and purposes it did back in 2010 when Steve Jobs wrote his infamous letter about it. While Adobe made some smart moves since then to stay in the game it definitely was somewhat forced to move on from being the primary, most popular platform for creating slick animation and interactive experiences on the web.

While I do enjoy the new frontiers of design and development my job and hobbies involve that, sadly, have little to nothing to do with Flash, I have to say it’s a lot more work to produce stuff as shiny and fun w/the new, non-Flash tools we use today. That may just be a reflection of my skill/experience levels not being what they should be … but I also think it’s just a fact that nothing has come around yet that allows designers and animators the ability to create stuff as quickly, as creative and as polished than Adobe Flash did.

Much of my early career invovled a lot of Flash work but as the years go by it becomes harder to keep track of them – let alone keep them online somewhere where eveyone can still access them since no Apple phones/tablets can view them anymore.

Anyhow … I know this whole topic is years old but recently I decided I would create some screencast movies of some of them for safe(r) keeping and to provide a more convenient way to share them w/a world that has for the most part moved on from the “Flash Plugin” days. Anyhow … see below for the Flash things I’ve archived so far. I may/may not add to the list. If you’re bored feel free to play one or two of the below … make sure to click the HD and fullscreen buttons! 🙂

My Portfolio: 1998-2008

What’s It Going to Be 2008

What’s It Going to Be 2006

Baby Announcement (Lincoln)

Super Golf

Guitar Chord Tutor

Think or Swim (Wheel of Fortune)

A Day to Remember

My 1999 Website (so old and cheesy!)

Christmas Card 2014

The printed cards have finally shipped out so it’s probably safe to share the digital version now. Head over to http://cards.chris-emerson.com for more detail about this year’s card, related sketches and artwork and a really cool time-lapse video.

As always – if you usually get a paper version in the mail and haven’t gotten one yet feel free to wait for that before checking out the online version. And to those who didn’t get a paper version please know it’s only because I either forgot, ran out of time/materials or simply don’t like you anymore … but usually not the latter. 🙂

The Ice Cream Man

Sometimes Corgan and I will sit down with an iPad in each of our laps and she will decide what we paint (she loves to be in charge). So we’ll paint for a while and maybe pick it up in a day or so (together or on our own) to finish. Anyhow a few weeks ago we had another one of these sessions and this time she decided we would draw an ice cream man on a bridge in a city … so that was where this one originated. Since I took this one farther than I normally do I figured I’d post it … because who doesn’t like the ice cream man, right?

Here’s Corgan’s final version btw 🙂

Suburbs: You Are Here

I’ve been watching a lot of war documentaries this year from WWI to WWII to Korea and Vietnam – so I guess it’s no surprise that some artwork like this would come out. All these documentaries inspire me to create artwork that pays homage to the soldiers and the human achievements and tragedies from all the different wars … but so far I haven’t come up with much besides this yet. 

For what it’s worth this piece isn’t really what I intended it to be as it was originally going to be a standalone WWI scene more along the lines of that intense WWI scene in Legends of the Fall – but it morphed into something else. Anyhow even though it falls quite short of conveying what I’d like it to and the fact that it skews things a bit too much towards the USA – I figured I’d finish it off and post it anyhow. 

Beyond whatever issues myself or others may have about any given war, at the very least learning about each of them makes me appreciate (and feel plenty guilty about) just how fortunate I am to be able to raise a family in the safety (bubble) of an American suburb. Here’s to all the people, from the past to the present, who have put their lives on the line to defend the freedoms I enjoy today.

 
(My Grandfather’s WWII era photos)

Bear Catches Fish

Man I go from nothing for months to 4 posts within 2 weeks?! Anyhow – here’s another sketch-to-iPad painting that had been sitting around for a while that I’m calling done today. Fortunately I didn’t lose the original this time so here’s the starting point sketch.

 The final painted version lost some of the charm of the original sketch I think – but who doesn’t like a sunset by a pond right? I attempted to include the decorative illustration framing in the iPad version but it just didn’t look right so I tossed it. Also for the record this one ended up too dark on computer screens so I had to fuss w/the color in Photoshop so the gradients and color is a bit messy.

PS: This is not that Little Bear character on Nickelodeon … the character voices on that show creep me out!

Robot and Potted Plant

Here’s another sketch-to-iPad painting I finished today. Somehow I lost the pencil sketch so I can’t include that here for reference – just imagine this drawing w/out color pretty much.

This scene was just one of those “drawing at the end of the day” type situations where I’m drawing with the kids and I just start drawing whatever comes to mind – so no deep meaning in this one.

I tried a couple times to get the nerve to drop the black lines and force myself to paint it enough to stand on it’s own w/out lines – but I opted (as usual) to take the fast/easy route to crank this out and move on.

Owls and Pals

Here’s a new iPad painting I’ve been kicking around a while that I’m finally calling done so I can move on. As with the last one, I started this one from a sketch I did while drawing w/the kids.

I had fun with this one but it definitely reminded me how hard it is to make realistic water – let alone with reflections, shadow and stuff! But I gave it my best shot.

Original Sketch