Friday, January 4, 2013

My Art

Awhile back, a company I applied for an art-related job at asked to see some more samples of my work, in a variety of styles.  This inspired me to look through my old folders, dig out my favorite pieces, scan them in, and process the images.  I must have sent dozens of examples to the person who asked to see the work.  Never did hear back from them again.  Well, to heck with that.  I'm going to share my work with anyone who cares to see it.

Okay, this one is obviously a tribute to one of my favorite comic-book artists of all time, Paul Gulacy. But none of this was traced. It was all done by eye, with a "Flair" pen. I'm not kidding. The original is 22" x 14", and for some years used to hang on my bedroom wall (until I needed the space for something else).
"MOON BASE"  (October 1986)
Guache.  This was a project for "perspective" class.  The teacher, Mr. Cedarstrom, said it was a subject that people either understood instinctively, or, nothing he could do would help them.  He saw his role as mostly sharpening the skills of those who did get it.  This was a tribute to Robert McCall's work on 2001: A SPACE ODDYSEY, with a bit of OUTLAND tossed in for good measure (see the shuttle in the background, as well as the planet Jupiter).
"LOST IN SPACE"  (November 1986)
A 1st-quarter "color design" project for Carol Schwartz' class at the Art Institute of Philedelphia.  Carol was one TOUGH, INTENSE lady. She stressed methodology, and an infinite amount of sketches, roughs, semi-roughs, etc., etc., essentially working any idea to death to get a single, final image that was the best possible result.  Which, frankly, was totally at odds with the mindset of someone trying to design comic-book storytelling panels. Anyway, I did learn a lot from her, even if I could only barely get along with her at all.  I wound up basing one of my GUN! villains on her in the long run. She became the closest I ever came to creating my own "James Bond"-level villain. What a hoot!
This project had to do with creating an image that would incorporate a "color chart" in it.  And it had to be done in an "interesting" way.  Which is why I wound up with the severe perspective.
This features John Robinson, Debbie The Bloop, The Robot (I love his pose), the Cyclops (you know the Jupiter 2 must be parked on a cliff for him to be able to look in through the window that way), and a pair of generic Irwin Allen aliens-- shrunken to mini-size,  as happened on so many of his TV shows. All done with guache.
Perhaps my favorite 2nd-quarter project, a "promotional poster".  Rather than hide my interests, I decided to flaunt them. Another one in guache, this reprersents a mythical weekend film marathon I've often wished I could put together for some friends, and includes (clockwise from top left) "Star Trek", "This Island Earth",  "Star Wars", "2001: a Space Odyssey", "Logan's Run" (never cared for the film, but loved the design of the city), "The Day The Earth Stood Still", "Destination Moon", and of course, "Forbidden Planet".  The logo itself is patterned after the one used for the 1980 "Flash Gordon".
"JOHN STEED"  (January 1987)
After spending several months learning to paint in color, it was almost a shock how easily working with pen and ink (and zip-a-tone) came afterwards. Some people's likenesses are more difficult to capture than others, but Patrick Macnee's was surprisingly easy.
"I'D RATHER EAT MY HERSHEY"  A  (March 1987)
What could make "Godzilla, King of the Monsters" turn away from his favorite past-time,, fighting the Japanese army and destroying Tokyo?  An ad design project, done in markers.  The teacher thought it needed some refinement, so I did another one.
"I'D RATHER EAT MY HERSHEY"  B  (March 1987)
Like the previous one, also done in markers.  MUCH more intense image this time, and the biting the letter adds to the practical aspect of the advertisement.
"LET ME FINISH MY JELL-O"  (March 1987)
3 marker comps in a row.  As you can see, my tribute to "King Kong" involved much more work and took much more time than both "Godzilla" pieces combined.  Nowadays, I'd just have started with a photograph and tinkered with it in Photoshop!  How computers have changed the way we do some things.
"DRAGON"  (March 1987)
Colored pencils.  Everyone was supposed to come up with their own idea of a "Dragon".  Mine was inspired by the style of 1960's Hanna-Barbera Saturday-morning cartoon shows!  This piece has actually never been finished.  My intention was always to do a "beach party" scene, crammed to the gills with cute, furry critters of all sorts (ducks, bunnies, etc.), and the Dragon, stretched out so cool as he was, would be the "life-guard"!  But I got over-worked with so many projects, I was lucky just to get the main focus of it done.
Another one done in guache.  I forget what the purpose of this project was, but as you can see, I took another of my favorite childhood interest, ancient Egypt, in this case a tomb-painting, and gave it a "humorous" twist.  The title is a tip to a "Wings" songs.  This was another one where I ran out of time and never quite finished it originally.  Guache can be a problem, as you need to mix enough of a color inadvance to get a consistent color, otherwise it's virtually impossible to mix that exact color again and match it.  I ran out of paint for the background here.  Decades later, I "fixed" the background, in Photoshop, by first laying down a solid color to match the existing one, then adding a "grain" filter to it.

"QUEENS MUSEUM"  (April 1987)
A 3rd-quarter "typography" class project, technical pens & markers for the color, I think.  The challenge here was to create a simple yet expressive "logo" for a tourist attraction.  As you can see, not every piece has to be that elaborate.

(Continued in Part 2)

More as I go!

All Artwork Copyright (C) Henry R. Kujawa
Shang-Chi, Master Of Kung Fu, Lost In Space, John Steed, Godzilla, King Kong, and the various movies depicted are all the properties of the various Copyright holders.

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