Saturday, December 18, 2010


I don't know how to say this.

If you know me well, I'm never truly satisfied with a lot of my artwork once I've "completed" it. You might hear other artists say something similar: "The next one's always better." In many ways it's true.

But that's not the way I feel about Instigatorzine.

I can honestly tell you that Instigatorzine is the only thing that I've helped create that I can continually feel proud of. I'm proud that Keith, the IZ staff and contributors and myself help to put a solid product that has no equivalent on the newsstands. Instigatorzine is one of the biggest reasons that 2010 will stand out in all the years I've lived.

That said, the future for Instigatorzine is a bit weary and mysterious. Several key members of our staff have departed for greener pastures and it leaves me very concerned for the one thing I've diligently worked to create. I'm not going to complain or cry about it. We're going to try our best to keep delivering the best we can. (I'm aware of our typo rate, but we're trying our best.)

Support your (only) local Instigatorzine today. There's good stuff in here. I promise.

(P.S.: The fancy cover is by Erin Dodge.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Johnny Cash Project

Hey so, I'm sure everyone knows who Johnny Cash is.

There's this website called in which people all over the world can come together to celebrate the man in black.

I tried it out, but I'm not too efficient in digital art yet. I didn't spend much time on it either. A lot of deadlines are ready to strike.

Here's what I contributed anyway:

I think I will be doing another one, though.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Is anyone else doing artist sketch cards? I think I have a couple to trade of my work if anyone has any.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I'm kind of cheating this one, since it's being used for a larger, finished piece, but times are tight.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


So, Thursday evening, I come home and my little brother, Jonar tells me he has a project for his music class. It was something involving percussion instruments and a posterboard. I suggested, or I accepted the challenge of, drawing TWENTY percussion instruments. It was probably my own fault for trying to do something so out of the way, especially since I have so much homework and projects to finish up. I had fun, though, and I'm pretty happy with how a lot of the instruments came out.

Yes, I etched "MORE" on that cowbell.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Did I mention that this is a daily challenge?


Elias Jimenez recently issued a challenge to me to draw a character I've been developing. He would do the same with a character he created. It can be a sketch or a full-fledged painting. The art just has to center around that one character. Here's a start of many false starts.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What to do. What to do.

So, Afua Richardson, Marc Bernadin and Adam Freeman created, "Genius," a comic that was featured in Top Cow's 2008 Pilot Season (the name implies what it means).

Today, Newsarama had a spotlight on "Genius" and the image to the left just drew me in immediately.
(Post wrap-up: The image on the right is a pin-up I finished in mid-July 2010. I'm not really cheesed about it. The composition is different, and the comic series itself doesn't touch on any of the concepts that I want to explore through my narrative. I will say though, that Richardson has improved a lot since "Genius" first appearance in 2008. Obviously, I still have a lot of work to do (everyone does, really).)

That's that. Good thing I took a whole day to write this post.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Winter Scene

I won't have access to a scanner in the next two days, but I'll try to upload something I did not too long ago. In fact, it was a week ago. Two weeks ago.

I was selected to develop a painting for the Vice President of NJCU. Well, me and Stephanie Herrera. The VP had an art auction going on, and wanted some student artwork in it, too.

To cut some corners, I made this illustration into a letter for a greeting card I was also a part of developing. Obviously, I had the letter 'E' to illustrate, but I wanted to to a nighttime scene, as opposed to the obvious snow man for the winter greeting card.

See you here in two days.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Granted, I'm not very good at any of the Call of Duty or Modern Warfare games. I don't play enough to be very good at any game. I love fighting games, shooters, platformers, action/adventure. I know I don't have any time for RPGs, but I do give some a try.

(Mass Effect 2, you'll be done soon enough!)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Riot Laugh

I usually don't like uploading until illustrations are published (even if it is for my own magazine), but I can't find anything else I've scanned at the moment.

You can find this one in Instigatorzine 9.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

100: Retribution

Hi. So, my initial plan for my 100th post here was a special illustration of either Dexter, Firefly or Caution, my own personal project. I started thinking of a kind of mash-up with the three groups, but then it started to get out of control. While I'm still planning some kind of special illustration, for now, I present to you how I worked through an Instigatorzine spot illustration for a short story by Robert Jason Clark, called "Retribution."

First up! Pencils. Not actually first up. I went through, maybe, five pages of thumbs trying to get something interesting. This first drawing, which is actually the last in the story, took forever for me to figure out.

For Retribution, I decided to do something different from the usual brush and ink finish. This might look like ink here, but it's really grease pencil (Chinese marker or whatever) on acetate.

'Cause paper don't shine like this.


Usually, if one chooses to use this method, the image underneath the transparency is fully rendered and realized. Here, I just blocked in some colors to save time.

And here are the finishes.

I was inspired by a post on the Today's Inspiration blog, featuring Bob Peak. It quoted him using grease crayons on acetate. It was an interesting concept. Probably try to work with it some more.

Maybe at the next landmark-numbered blogpost, I'll be prepared with something special.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Via Gurney Journey: How Ink is Made

Gurney Journey: How Ink is Made: "This eight-minute documentary shows how they make commercial printing ink. The colors and textures are so delicious that you’ll want to eat..."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Taking a break (Be Your Own Pet)

I needed a break from doing homework, magazine and "client" work, so I decided to draw something relevant to what I was listening to: Be Your Own Pet.

I first discovered Be Your Own Pet when Stephanie Herrera burned me, "Get Awkward," BYOP's second and final album. It's very good, and you should probably spend your drawing time with this as BGM.

Here's Jemina Pearl (former frontwoman of BYOP) rocking out.

And here's the reference:

Did this on Yupo watercolor paper. Pretty neat.

This seems like something I could revisit one day, perhaps at a different angle, so I can make the drawing mine, and not just a riff from a photo.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Achievement Unlocked: Coloring in Photoshop

Achievement Unlocked: Coloring in Photoshop

Peers have instructed me how to color in photoshop without messing your inks or lines, but the process never clicked with me. Until today.

Facepalm: me (for not understanding it; it's so simple.)
Thanks: Jared Reyes for visually showing me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blow'd Up

Crazy night at the Society of Illustrators in NY on September 10, 2010. Tomer Hanuka, Yuko Shimizu and Sam Weber were all featured in an exhibition called BLOW UP. I only realized why it was called Blow Up when I got there.

One, the place probably could have blown up, since the amount of people in there made it hot enough to start a fire from all the friction. Two, each of the artists' selection of paintings and drawings were "blown up" to be larger than life. It's a really neat sight, considering that most of these illustrations are only seen in magazines, where the biggest image you might glance is no larger than 8.5x11. It's really cool to see each illustrators' work this large.

The basement floor of the Museum of American Illustration displayed some of the illustrators' sketches and preliminary processes when it comes to composing such wonderful images. Also exhibited was Weber's, Shimizu's and Hanuka's sketchbooks, tools and references. I think I liked that part the most. Seeing all the steps necessary to create something that seems so flawless and inventive. (And seeing that "wonderfulness" doesn't appear out of nowhere is reaffirming.)

While the Air Force exhibition was upstairs, and it was considerably more comfortable, temperature-wise, it was not as populated as the event on the main gallery floors. The art upstairs was just as excellent as the stuff on the walls on the first floor. I appreciated it. Both exhibitions provided me with the same amount of inspiration. That's all I can say.

The one thing I noticed when it came to the three illustrators featured in Blow Up is Hanuka's larger-than-life prints. They didn't necessarily translate as well to a larger size, compared to the smaller sized environments in magazines and other editorials.

At the end of the night, or by the time that I had to go, I wish I could have seen more. Or maybe just spent more time with the prints. Maybe I'll go to a Sketch Night @SI sometime soon. Anyone up for it?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Elk Tribute

I had a friend once.

He was an interesting person to say the least. He wasn't on the wagon, and he introduced me to some really great music. His artwork motivated me not to draw something that I'm not. He was into animals and nature. Maybe skateboarding, too. I was never to sure about that, to be honest. He was friends with everyone. He was friends with me. He passed away last year.

I painted this for him today.

His name is Jared Martin, and I miss him.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Caution, Pin-up (ver. 1)

I can't stop plugging Instigatorzine 6. It really is a beautiful issue.

This pin-up is also good, but I'm never satisfied with anything I finish. Luckily, I have more interest in this subject matter than I do in others. So, I'll be revisiting this specific subject, probably with more of the figure involved (making it a fully-realized pin-up).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

NJCU Gothic Knight

A project for New Jersey City University.

Here is the Gothic Knight, NJCU's logo/mascot.

Here's the Gothic Knight with armor.

Here's the Gothic Knight with armor, again.

I think it's coming out alright. This is one of the cards I was really anticipating to do, since the official Gothic Knight looks like it was done by an amateur.

I think though, with my sketches, there appears to be something odd with the posture. It's either the arms or the legs I have to fix. The arms need to appear like they're going forward, into the image, instead of behind the knight. The right leg appears to be bending.

All need to be fixed.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Instigatorzine 6

Instigatorzine 6 is now out in stores. Here is a list of stores that carry Instigatorzine:
  • MoonShadow Comics & Collectibles - Jersey City, NJ
  • Vector Comics - Bayonne, NJ
  • Garden State News - Bayonne, NJ
  • Keep It Fit Cafe - Bayonne, NJ
  • Jim Hanley's Universe - New York, New York
(Check it out! We have FIVE retailers selling our product! Tell your friends! Support Instigatorzine!)

Also, in commemoration of our sixth month of producing this wonderful editorial, IZ6 has two covers by Elias Jimenez and Madelynne Dela Rama, respectively.

Instigatorzine #6 is brought to you by the pin-up. Enjoy.