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Devious Journal Entry

Journal Entry: Sun Feb 16, 2014, 8:30 AM


I must confess that coming back from cancer and chemotherapy was a hard road, one that I am still on, but now at least I feel life flooding back in.  In March it will be one year of being cancer free.  In this past year I faced a lot of hardships, financial troubles and the loss of friends. Yet, I learned to find a deeper faith, deeper strength, become more resourceful and the friendships that remained grew deeper.

One thing that was a consistent thread throughout my life and the thread that also gave me release through this ordeal was drawing.

I am not nearly the artist I want to be nor am I the artist that I need to be, I am still growing, learning and striving. 

Those of you that have liked and commented on my work I really want to thank you. Much of what Deviant thrives on is community. Some in the community really moved me with some of their comments and their fav's.

I know it is tough to get noticed on Deviant. We are flooded with so much work done by so many talented people. It is hard to be distinctive or simply get noticed.

When I was a kid I was drawn to many artists, Barry Windsor Smith, Michael Kaluta and of course the Master, Frank Frazetta. I knew I could never aspire to be a Frazetta so I sought to develop a style of my own often inspired by people like Windsor Smith but also with the wit and the Macabre humor of an Edward Gorey or a Charles Addams.

I don't know if I succeeded, but that is where my heart lays. 

For those of you who "get me"...thank you. Sometimes my art does take on a serious bent but often I can't resist falling into dry wit with some pieces. I don't know if I should label myself as a cartoonist or an artist, maybe they are both in the same.

I wish I would have spent more time in my youth developing my skills and being more dedicated to my craft but you cannot spend your remaining days in a perpetual state of "what if".

I am really not out for my art to be taken seriously...but to entertain or move. If anything I am a Dark Gothic Fantasist.   Sometimes humorously, sometimes poignantly. I really cannot aspire to anything greater than that.

Although much of my work deals with the Reaper, I do not worship Death, I see him as an intricate part of life, in celebrating him one also celebrates life so to speak. 

I always had a love for mystery, the spiritual as well as the dark. I suppose I am an oddity in this day an age, a throw back if you will to the days of Gorey and Addams. 

All the comments on my work mean a lot, it has motivated me to do more. In a sense I suppose I am a niche...though there are many other artists out there like me, we are unique I suppose in the day of the digital age where Super Heroes and Modern Technology seems to be the predominate thing.

If anything I suppose I would call my art a craft, though I am not adverse to using digital means to obtain my goal, I think craftsman would more apply to me than really being an artist.

I simply love to draw and I could not stop anymore than I could force myself to stop breathing...it has been a blessing and curse. But I suppose I wouldn't want to have it any other way...   



Devious Journal Entry

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 13, 2013, 10:16 AM


"I am not greedy for many followers" ~ Buddha


Have you ever craved more followers? Wanted your work faved more? Wanted your prints to sell here on deviant? Who hasn't? Yet to be honest sometimes, not always, but sometimes it really isn't about you. Some may take what I am saying as bad advice or worse simple cynicism. Yet you have read all the tutorials on the web about being noticed on deviant and your have done the work, submitted your work to groups, posted in forums, commented on other people's work and tried to make yourself a presence.  Still, your pageviews haven't grown, the number of your faves never exceeds over 200 or worse 40. You become disenchanted, frustrated, you band your head against the keyboard and curse your monitor. Well, take it easy on yourself. It is deviant after all and you are basing the caliber of your work on one avenue, that is the killer.


Let's be honest, not all mediums are popular here and that is alright. Deviantart's core is digital art, there is no denying that. Sure, some exceptional traditional artist do well here, but the majority rather limp along trying to draw attention to their work. In this, traditional groups are your best bet and even some of them can be harsh, not all but a few. Before I continue I do not have anything against digital art and I in fact own a Wacum tablet and digitally paint myself though in that arena I am still much of a novice but my first love is and always will be pen and ink. Let's stop there for a moment, you might be damned here. Pen and Ink? Well that is for old folks who read black and white comics right? Not really it is all a matter of taste. Relax, the medium you have chosen is fine but the avenue you have chosen is a harsh mistress. It is like a codependent relationship, one that demands much and gives little in your choice of medium. It is ok though, deviant isn't the only avenue. 


Before I go any further I need to say I love deviant and met some very good people here. I have been a paid member for almost 7 years. But I have no illusions, this is a digital world. But if you dig deeper into deviant and look at its underbelly you will see so many talented people that still doing traditional pen and ink that is simply wonderful. In fact, pen and ink has become more than just an art form, it is like  C.J. Bradford the fantasist once told me, "it is a craft". I agree. 


Which brings me to my earlier point, deviant isn't your only avenue. For instance Tom Brown aka copperage does wonderful pencil work that he digitally colors and did a webcomic. He receives little attention here but his webcomic got published by Archaia Press and now is being sold in beautiful volumes. Personally I have only sold one print here on deviant but average 5 or 6 a month on cafepress or zazzle. Your caliber as an artist isn't in question here at deviant, believe it or not it largely depends on self promotion and self promotion among other artists is often harder than it is with the public. 


So in the end this is what I have to say, venture out. Leave the nest and fly out into the web and venture into other formats to promote your work. Deviant is excellent for a bed of artist to collaborate and critique each others' work but in the end, it is a nest, a nest filled with other artists trying to promote and sell their work among other artists. Think about it. 





Devious Journal Entry

Journal Entry: Fri Jul 5, 2013, 9:33 AM


It has been over a year now since I was diagnosed with Stage 3C cancer.  I am still around trolling the sod. My creative spirit has rekindled and I am feeling like I went through a rite of passage. 

Not only has the creative spirit been reignited, I feel the need now to continue to create, to draw and learn more about digital painting. There has been some of you in the Deviant community that have been supportive and I thank you. 

Chemotherapy is something I would not wish on anyone. If you know someone suffering from cancer, give them your support. Cancer is an insidious thing, it can strike you unawares so if you are over 40, get checked out by your physician. Catching cancer in its early stages can mean the difference between a surgical procedure or a regime of chemical infusions. Even those who live healthy life styles are not immune to cancer, it is no respecter of persons. 

To all you cancer survivors out there, I call you sister and brother. To those battling cancer, feed your will. You are not alone. 

Oh and get a cat...they are great chemo buddies.



Devious Journal Entry

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 16, 2013, 11:21 AM


Ity has been a good day. There is much to be grateful for. I had an appointment with my oncologist and things are looking beter. She gave me a perscription for the numbess in my hands and feet. It is a neuropathy drug and takes a week to become effective.

Hopefully it will work and I can get back to drawing again.

To those in Boston, my prayers are with you.

To those that have bought prints on cafepress and zazzle, thank you.


Devious Journal Entry

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 9, 2013, 3:32 PM


I have finished my chemo rounds and have returned to the call center where I work.  There has been a side effect though, my fingers and feet have an comfortable numbess. I can still draw though sublte details have become harder. I have been assured that it will pass, but it is a matter of time. Fortunately the walcom tablet does not argue with the numbess much. In time I intend to return to Tales of Obscuro as well as crafting new pictures.

Chemo was a trial and no party. But in the end it seems for now all is well.

Thanks to all that were concerned and like my art. I am not done for yet and I am harder than a cock roach to kill. =)


Late of updates and a request

Journal Entry: Fri Oct 26, 2012, 6:48 AM


First, the reason for lack of updates.

Last June I was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in my colon. I didn't look at it as a death sentence because the advancements in treating cancer, but I did look at it as a major inconvenience. Fortunately the tumor was operable but my lymph nodes showed that the cancer was stage 3C and would have to be followed up with chemotherapy.  Now for me, one of the 30%, chemo does not react well with me. There are periods of nausea, extreme fatigue and due to the other supplements that are involved with chemo, cold fluids and cold air has an effect similar to an evasive feeling of your nervous system short circuited leaving a very discomforting feeling. This is turn has had an effect on my creativity, since I have already been diagnosed with pernicious  anemia, fatigue is heavy and sleep is the only remedy. I was fortunate to go on Short Term Disability from my work place but that has been exhausted and with no income coming in I will have to return to work.  I don't know how all this is going to work out but we will see.

I suck at self promotion. It's true. I hardly sell any of my art here on deviantart. I get many fav's, people seem to enjoy my work but sales are nonexistent. I have had more luck on my zazzle account www.zazzle.com/vintagecrow and on my cafepress account www.cafepress.com/poeticcrow. But frankly the sales haven't been stellar, usually 2 prints a month but since July, none.

Now artists need to create whether they sell or not. I tried to be faithful to myself and do art that I felt was something that was true to myself and not set up for commercial appeal. Perhaps that is my failing. Yet I get many compliments, many fav's but little sales. Artists need validation to be sure, I feel validated as an artist but I have yet to reach a status of success that makes me feel that I am in reality an artist or someone who does this as a hobby. I have actually been pretty generous with my artwork, allowing people to use them free for tattoos as well as requests for other things at no charge. But I am making a request...

If my art appeals to you...please purchase a print, if not here, then at the other two aforementioned sites, personally zazzle does great prints but lousy Tee Shirts where as cafepress does so so prints but great Tees.

Any purchase would be truly appreciated.

Right now I have reached the end of medical benefits and the income from sales would really come in handy now.

Enough for now, Sanctus Sanatorium will continue once I regain some stability. Until now, thanks for reading this. I hope it does not come across as needy.


Sequential Panel Comic Book Art

Journal Entry: Fri Jul 15, 2011, 11:15 AM


The whole process of laying out a graphic novel page has taken me back to school in so many ways. I would be the first to admit some of my attempts have been clumsy and awkward. Yet as Sanctus Sanatorium continues I am hoping that my story telling skills visually will evolve.

Right now the first 8 pages have been rather text heavy.  This is not intended to be the case throughout the rest of the story.  I needed to build a back story as well as develop some atmosphere.  In fact Chapter 1 is in this way almost a prologue.

Sanctus Sanatorium is being done in a rather unconventional way. It is penciled out first then digitally colored in Photoshop. My Photoshop skills are mostly self taught through tutorials and such and just playing with the software. If I traditionally inked my work then I would never finish due to the fact I am a meticulous inker =). I find that pencil and digital colors go hand in hand and also help move the process somewhat efficiently for me. I also like the way the finished pages look.

I recently joined the group Serious Comics, serious-comics.deviantart.com/… have been very impressed by the work going on there and also very humbled. There is a lot of great stuff there.

I know that many do not see comics as a serious art form, yet it is one of the oldest outlets for illustrators that remains alive today. I also learned and was inspired by comic book artists in my youth. Artists like Jim Steranko, Barry Windsor-Smith, Bernie Wrightson, M. Kaluta and others had me breaking out pencils and pens when I was a lad trying to emulate them.

In fact growing up, all I wanted to be in life was a comic book artist.

That never happened.

Yet the desire to tell a story in a visual medium such as comics never left me though often I would discard the idea due to the amount of commitment required. That is until now. So in my own amateurish way I have come full circle. Queue Harry Chapin's "All My Life's a Circle."

I am enjoying doing Sanctus Sanatorium and also I am learning again. Not just in the area of visual story telling, which I am a novice at, but also humility in realizing that what I am doing will not strike a chord with everyone but most likely a select few. Trust me, I am totally alright with that. I would rather have a good impact on a few then a minor one with the many. I also have an ace in the hole in respect to this. I am not being published so like a corporation that has to play to the share holders, I can be rather true to my own creative vision.

I never was good at marketing =)

So to those that are enjoying Sanctus Sanatorium, its for you.

Anon


Devious Journal Entry

Journal Entry: Thu Jul 14, 2011, 6:54 PM


Finally finished page 8 of Sanctus Sanatorium. I realize for some that the story line may be moving rather slowly as well as updates =), but rest assured Sanctus will be filled with fancy, horror, steampunk as well as madness. It is a Sanatorium after all.

Sanctus Sanatorium Page 8 by EzekielCrowe


Thanks to all who have taken the time to follow and read Sanctus Sanatorium. It has become a labor of love with me and I hope it shows in the art as well as the story.  I would be the first to admit that I would benefit from a good editor but this is a one man show right now, not out of choice, but out of necessity.

Work unfortunately dictates my ability to update and it seems that the work place has become rather chaotic and hectic as of late and I have no idea when the dust will settle. But I do remain committed to Obscuro and to its future tales.

One of my hopes is that the readers will get attached to the characters, and trust me there are many that will pop up, as well as the town of Obscuro itself.

So once again, many thanks for those that are peaking inside my somewhat demented imagination and are having some entertainment there.

Anon


Page 7 is now online

Journal Entry: Thu Jun 30, 2011, 8:36 PM


Page 7 is now online.

Below is a panel for page 7

The Sentinel by EzekielCrowe

The full page, lettered and complete is below

talesofobscuro.com/page_7.htm


Page 6 is now online

Journal Entry: Fri Jun 24, 2011, 11:12 AM


Page 6 is now up and here is a panel from the page

Panel from Page 6 by EzekielCrowe

The entire page can be found below

www.talesofobscuro.com/page_6.…

I am really having a lot of fun doing this and I hope you are enjoying the story thus far as well as the art.  I know it may seem slow going doing only one page a week but with work commitment (job) as well as everyday life it is going rather well. I don't know how long I can continue the pace of a page a week but so far it has been pretty much on schedule.

If there are any delays or if things become so hectic that it may turn into being just updated twice a month I will let you know. =)


Tales of Obscuro Page 5 is Online

Journal Entry: Thu Jun 16, 2011, 2:08 PM


Testing out playing with Journal skins, nothing fancy here yet, but at least I have something to occupy my time.

Also Sanctus Sanatorium Page 5 is now online.

www.talesofobscuro.com/page_5.…


Tales of Obscuro

Journal Entry: Sat Jun 4, 2011, 10:30 AM


Sanctus Sanatorium has move to its own domain.

The new link is  www.talesofobscuro.com/

The site is in its infancy and will most likely go through some revisions but it is up and running with a blog section.

www.talesofobscuro.com/news/


Sanctus Sanatorium

Journal Entry: Sat May 28, 2011, 9:40 AM


Sanctus Sanatorium's first two pages are complete and online.  members.cox.net/obscuro/sanctu…

The site itself will go through revisions it is basically thrown together right now. It's design will change and it is possible that I may move it to another domain, but for right now if you want to see the first two pages they are up. So far I have been averaging a page a week. I do not know if I can continue that pace or not, but the story will be completed so for right now I am not making any commitments on how often it will be updated. There is still a lot of work to be done just in designing the site, adding a faq page as well as other things besides just doing the story itself.


Devious Journal Entry

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 30, 2011, 10:31 AM


Lately I have been so busy with work and projects that I haven't really updated this journal in sometime. First off, thanks for all the faves and watches.  I try to keep up here on my deviant site but since I started running a blog and also due to my regular employment I fall behind very easily.

I am rather enjoying Deviant and am very happy to be part of the community. There are so many groups that cater to my tastes and genres that I feel quite at home.

I also have two projects in the fire but I am hesitant to talk about them.  All I can say is that hopefully it is something I will follow through to the bitter end. =)

Other than that the blog has been updated recently if you are so inclined to check it out  phasmagorium.blogspot.com/

Anon


Neil Gaiman's The Price

Journal Entry: Sun Nov 7, 2010, 8:38 AM


I have been a fan of Gaiman's since his early work on the Sandman series for Vertigo Comics so when the series ended I naturally followed some of his work and picked up the anthology of his short stories, Smoke and Mirrors. The one short that stood out more than the others was his piece called The Price. Later this short story was adapted into graphic novel format (comics for big kids)with my favorite Sandman artist Michael Zulli.

Now The Price is taking on another format, a short film by Christopher Salmon with Mr Gaiman's blessing. This film is in animatic format. You can read a bit about it at my blog with links to both Gaiman's input via his blog on the project and Mr. Salmon's blog as well. There is also a preview here phasmagorium.blogspot.com/2010…


Blog has gone under a change, sorta....

Journal Entry: Thu Sep 30, 2010, 2:34 PM


When I originally set out to create a blog it was themed to be about the weird, esoteric and odd. Instead of creating a new blog I decided also to combine "art blogging" with it. I will still continue for search for the odd but I feel that I need to forewarn those that venture to it that it has become a tad, "self serving" in the respect of adding the art aspect to it.

A name change may come, I haven't decided, I actually kind of dig Professor Pym, but he just isn't real, as if that really mattered =)

phasmagorium.blogspot.com/


I started a Blog...

Journal Entry: Thu Jun 17, 2010, 11:36 AM


...don't worry it isn't about me, it is more about an accumulation of oddities on the web that primarily focuses on art, media and just the plain odd. It isn't an in depth scholarly view but more of pointing you to places of interests that hide in various crook and crannies on the internet. So if you have a liking for the odd and the obscure you might find it of interests. Of and Professor Pym isn't really real...k?

phasmagorium.blogspot.com/2010…


The Master is Gone R.I.P. Frank Frazetta

Journal Entry: Thu May 13, 2010, 11:28 AM


If you know anything about fantasy art, then you know Frank Frazetta's work, if you don't know who he is, you should. Frazetta elevated paperback book art into an art form. The truth is, a book would sell simply because it had a Frazetta cover. Lancer publishing company knew this and commissioned Frazetta to do the covers of Robert E. Howard's Conan. A character written in pulp magazines then being collected and published in chronological order depicted the life of the Cimmerian from his leaving the ice covered hills into the dens of civilization to ultimately gaining the crown. Good stuff.  But no one can deny that the covers Frazetta did actually attracted people and helped Conan become a house hold name.

But the Frazetta legacy is much broader and deeper than that. Frazetta also illustrated and painted numerous books by Burroughs. His depiction of the human form even standing still exuded energy. That was Frazetta. He was a Master of the human form. Working from his imagination Frazetta was able to freeze intense action capturing all the raw frenzy and with a color palette that blew everyone away, actually created works of art that rivaled the Old Masters.

He was larger than life and so was his works. Often imitated but never rivaled.  You can see his influence even in the works of artist like Julie Bell, Boris, Kelly Jones, Michael Kaluta, Bernie Wrightson and others.

But what stands Frazetta apart was that he was what he painted. Passion, energy, lust, power and beauty. There is nothing stiff or posed about his works, instead there is a real intensity of movement even when standing still.  Being an athlete himself he knew the human body well, knowing how muscles worked, how the body would twist in motion.  Frazetta was a primordial ballet.

Then there were his oils. A pallet that even today some try to emulate, sometimes well, but who would have thought that he could take some of the oddest colors and render a human form or a misty background in such hues that would literally pop out the composition? That was mastery of the craft.

Frazetta was the quintessential artists of the 20th century.  He now follows his wife of many, many years that passed just a couple a years ago as it happens with most couples that have lived together so long.

Good Night Frank, thank you for all the wonderful works you gifted us with and the generations of artists that you inspired. For me, you were the Master Artisan.


Muses are Whimsical

Journal Entry: Wed Mar 31, 2010, 8:38 AM


It is interesting how the Muse changes her whims.

There is a transition happening now in more than one level. The change of shifts at work has definitely effected my productivity. I have started a few pieces but none have I been able to follow to completeness. One issue is time the other is that I am looking for something more.

If anyone could label any periods, that is if anyone ever took me seriously as an artist than myself, they could definitely see I had a "Reaper" period. My love for Dark Gothic Horror and Fantasy remain yet something else is drifting in so subtle that it surprised me when it finally took root.

One of my greatest loves for any period or collective group of artists, besides Durer, has been the preraphaelites. A group of artist back in the late 1800's and early 1900's that walked away from the modernistic art movements of the day and went back to a classical form rendering mystical and romantic visions of Arthurian Legends, Mythology and Lore. Artists like Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Hunt, Morris and later artists like Howard Pyle and even later contemporary artists like Barry Windsor-Smith found a rich realm of inspiration.

I have found myself toying with it and being seduced by it. It has also had another effect. It has made me want to work to make the human form more relaxed and not as stiff and posed as much of my previous work.  The problem again is time.

I am not successful at what I do. Sometimes this really fills me with a sense of anger that becomes stifled and freezes me with resentment at the scheme of things, the need to work at a mundane job just to be able to provide a roof and to allow me to create. At one point I had made peace with it, looking at my art as a hobby but now I have to step back and re-evaluate a course of action.

I was doing much art at work actually, I had time between calls, I work at a call center but that has changed. I knew basically that now I had to start working more at home and even set up a small studio. The problem is energy and lethargy.  Though ever artists ideal is to have a life dedicated to just creating, reality says it isn't so.  Also I have made too many wrong turns in life due to either lack of faith or just basic needs to really achieve that kind of dream.

But my art is what it is. Even though it may not hit a cord with the populace, even here at Deviant (I am grateful for every fave I received) and sales lately have been abysmal lately at Cafepress I still retain that insanity that what I create is at least important to a few or to myself. As one once said, "I would rather hit a huge cord with a few, that a small cord with many."

Then again, perhaps I delude myself.

But at the core I have spent too much time honing my meager skills and the sacrifices have been great due to this obsession in either the work arena or even more in personal relations. Face it, artists are bad security risks, emotionally unstable and often down right self centered.

Yet I persist. I know the world is going digital and yet I can't leave traditional completely. It is a palette that gives me the most control and often the most enjoyment. It also leaves a physical trail. I like that, physical trails. I will have to remember that.

Last night I reached an apex with the Creator himself and I am not going to was theological. He either created me to create or He didn't. It is a pretty much black and white question.  I won't elaborate on this apex any further. Like I said, I am not up for a theological debate.

My art is what it is. Flawed? Yes. Imperfect? Yes. But it is mine, an extension and I don't think anyone can deny at least I have not been true to myself. In this I find much peace of mind and solace.

But I still have to work and speaking of work...I have to get ready.

Anon


A Murder of Crows, A Conspiracy of Ravens

Journal Entry: Sun Feb 21, 2010, 7:40 PM


Those that are acquainted with me know that I have a fascination with the inky fowls. Recent studies have actually equated the intelligence of crows to even chimpanzees. Both Crows and Ravens are regarded as highly intelligent creatures given the term "bird brained" an overhaul.

Below is an interesting video by Joshua Klein that shows these highly thinking birds have not only the ability to figure out devices like vending machines but also have the ability to use tools.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXQAgz…

There is also an article from Curious Expeditions regarding the emotions and behavior of ravens and crows. For instance both are known to grieve the loss of one of their members as well as form bonds with humans. It is also interesting to note that ravens are known to fly ahead of wolves and alert them of game and as soon as the wolf makes its kill and eats to its fill, the ravens will then finish off the remainders.

Also in this article it discusses Charles Dickens own pet raven, "Grip the Knowing" which Dickens was so fond of that he had Grip stuffed and mounted after his death.

curiousexpeditions.org/?p=361

So it is really no small wonder that Ravens and Crows have been the subject of writers, poets and artists. Here is a selection of Corvus Art that I have come across Deviant. Stunning stuff by some very talent folk.

Raven portrait on basswood by pallanoph Raven Portrait no. 2 by pallanoph
Thought And Memory by pallanoph Commission - Blue Raven Tea by MeredithDillman
:thumb99895507: :thumb135755911:
:thumb135757473: Undercover by JLGribble
Raven's Tale by galefra :thumb9962588:
         tree portrait by inkslinger-42



Anon