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Hey everyone!

Holy monkey; I'm approaching 22k pageviews? What the hell is everyone looking at!? GIF Gravity Falls - Celestabellebethabelle  In all seriousness, I'm very grateful to everyone who's taken their time to look at my stuff.

Wanted to drop a line and let you know I hadn't forgotten you guys. I still lurk around here every few days, or if I forget at least once a week. You may notice that I haven't posted too much lately, and the main reason for that is that at the moment I'm wrapped up in a number of things and still doing tons of digital painting, none of which I'm able to share at this point. Keep your eyes peeled later this fall, and I'll be able to share more information and reveal the big project!

Other than that, I've been very busy being dad, being chauffeur, being cook, and being part-time-employed-hours-without-part-time-paycheck working on my art.

On top of all that, I've been actively engaging with new colleagues at the #OatleyAcademy and #oalive. For anyone who wants to up their game in terms of their visual storytelling, I can't praise it highly enough. Season 1 is almost up, and season 2 I'm sure will be starting probably shortly after the new year. Check 'em out.

I'm also auditioning for a very exclusive online composition class, jockeying amongst nearly 100 other equally-motivated applicants for a handful of slots. I've written my letter of intent, and am gathering my references. Hopefully they aren't as tired of me as I am, and if everything goes how I'd like, you should a dramatic improvement in my subsequent art pieces.

Last thing I'll mention; most of what I like to put up here are what I consider my 'finished' or at least 'developed' pieces. For my everyday sketching-for-fun stuff, check out my Instagram, and only because it's a necessary evil in this artist-self-promotion thing, it also cross-posts to that roiling cacophonous cesspit of evil and intellectual decay if that happens to be your particular social media poison.

I'll be going to CTNX later this year so if you happen to be going as well, let me know! I'd look forward to putting faces to a bunch of the names who've been in it for the long haul :-)

God bless!
Garrett
P.S. Catch up with me! I'd love to shoot the breeze! Official | Twitter | FB | Instagram | Tumblr
  • Drinking: Black Coffee (yet again)
Alright, alright already! I get the hint.

You kids and your social media *grumble grumble*....

I went ahead and created an Instagram Account, for those how would like to follow me there. I'll be posting a lot more of my everyday-sketches and WIP's over there, while still putting up the more finished pieces over here and my site.

Again, you can Insta-my-Gram here. Or, if you're contrarian, here. How about here? I learned that trick from raising my kids; giving the illusion of choice, while still guiding them where you want :-)

And as always I am (gumble-grumble-darn kids and their technology-grumble-grumble) also on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. I will always write back when written to.

I appreciate those of you who check in regularly, you have no idea. You've been more encouraging than you realize, or than I deserve and I will always be grateful. If you would ever like to just drop a line and chat up over nerdy art stuff, don't hesitate! I'm really, REALLY not a big deal, so don't be afraid to reach out!

Sincerely,
Garrett
  • Drinking: Black Coffee (yet again)
Alright, I finally get to level with you guys...

The big thing that I keep alluding to is that I finally fulfilled a life-long ambition, and can say: 

I've officially produced art for Disney

disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog…

About a month ago, I was contacted by a friend who works in the ad division at Disney (most you who know me can probably guess who) and wanted to produce a poster for "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party" at Walt Disney World that runs through Sept and Oct. My part of the project was to depict one of the doomed denizens of the infamous Haunted Mansion celebrating, so I picked Organist throwing an awesome dance party where the scariest of the Disney cast get together to commiserate.

Take a look at the blog post, leave a comment, and be sure to check out the other 999 Happy Haunt contributors. It was a blast to be a part of this project, and hope to do another one soon!

  • Drinking: Black Coffee (still)
Hey, ever'body.

Wanted to do a quick update, to keep you in the loop.

I'm trying to get better at utilizing social media in all its myriad incarnations and be more proactive in creating engaging content. It's a little difficult, only because I feel like I'm writing the same thing in just four different places, four different ways. I understand that there are resources around that let you sort of 'omnipost' your content in one interface, that gets distributed to all the necessary channels that I may look into.

Also, it's been a while since the last post because relatively little has been going on for me in my art related endeavors until much more recently. That's changed quite a bit, in a very short time. To get some more interaction with like-minded and enthusiastic artists, as well as trying to make sure I'm always trying to push myself, I've enrolled in the Oatley Academy in their Magic Box course to find ways to enhance my creativity and workflow in PS. If you aren't familiar with it, it's an entirely online (and more importantly, AFFORDABLE) art school directed by former Disney character development artist Chris Oatley, who left Disney to pursue his passion of teaching and mentoring the next generation of artist. Great guy, and can't recommend the course enough.

Secondly, a number of projects are about ready to release. Not just one, but two children's books that I illustrated will be making their way to shelves soon. Also, an as-of-yet undisclosed project for a company with whom you're likely familiar. When that one is ready to be made public, you'll be sure to hear about it.

Third, I'm going to attempt to be more deliberate about my artistic output. Everytime life gets in the way and I put down the pen, I get rusty and have to almost relearn the whole process all over again. That's why the last few deviations I've posted are slightly more experimental than the older stuff. I'm at a point where I'm not sure what I like, so I'm trying to gank a bunch of other artists' workflows and styles to see what I like doing the best. We'll see.

Hope to catch up to you soon.

Later,
Garrett

Official | FB | Trippin' | Tweety
  • Listening to: Five Iron Frenzy
  • Watching: Agents of Shield
  • Playing: Forza 4
  • Drinking: Black Coffee (still)
...but I now have a Tumblr

Seriously, I don't know why; as a cranky old man I hate the internets and all the meme-hypertexting-tweetbooking-wizardry it entails. However I noticed that a lot of artists I like and admire had posted several journals to the effect of "Sorry I haven't been on here! I post a lot more often on Tumblr!"

Long story short, I should just learn that resistance is futile and embrace the suck.

If you could find it in your heart to also embrace the suck and follow me on Tumblr, I'd be grateful. I promise to be 99% gif-free.

Also, Facebook.

Sincerely,
McGillustrator
  • Listening to: La Vie En Rose by Louis Armstrong
  • Watching: BBC Sherlock (yes, just now)
  • Playing: Professor Layton and the Unwound Future
  • Drinking: Black Coffee
Quick update, everyone!

Thanks for your continued patronage, or stalking--whichever you prefer--and your patience while the content generation has been fairly slow.

To keep you all in the loop, I'm currently working like crazy to update the official mcgillustrator.com site, making tweaks, adjustments, image-optimization and fussy non-essential changes before unleashing my site's horribleness once again upon the world.

You may have noticed, if you've ever been half-bored enough to check it out, but the site as it currently sits only works in one or two browsers, and even then only about 29.563% percent of the time do the images display without breaking. One would think, being an artist's portfolio site, that would be a problem, and you'd be right.

Well, thanks in no small part to one Ms. Christy Jackson of Dandlion Design for setting up the new theme, as well as one Ms. Lauren State for helping to figure out how those stupid lightboxes work, the brand-new mcgillustrator.com should be up in a week or less!

I thank you all again for your continued support!

Sincerely,
Garrett
  • Reading: The Ender's Game saga
  • Watching: Marathon sessions of Frasier
  • Drinking: Black Coffee
Doctors are incredible individuals. They save people's lives and improve their quality of life. They work at all hours of the night and day. They even spend time away from their families to work holidays like Labor Day.

That said, I am not a doctor, and thus I'm-a takin' this Monday off, so check back next week for another piece in the "Trust Me" series.

Sincerely,
A lazy guy
  • Watching: Mulan
I tried to get this one in under the wire, but hopefully you can find it in yourselves to forgive me. 

You see, tomorrow is the little man's first day of Kindergarten, so things have been a little crazy. 

Plus, I really had to work on the resemblances. They were a little off and took some ca-jiggering.

Thanks!
  • Watching: The Adventures of Pete and Pete
I have a personal plea;

Ever since I received my Cintiq, I've been struggling with optimizing my setup to allow it to run smoothly.

I'm running Windows 7 SP1, on a rig that is about 4-ish years old that includes an Intel Celeron dual core processor running 2.20 Ghz, two 4GB sticks of DDR2 RAM, and a servicable mid-range Radeon video card (don't remember the model number). I have googled every process that is running in my task manager, trying to disable or remove or disabled on startup everything that doesn't seem absolutely necessary in order to run the machine.

However I am still encountering severe amounts of lag when drawing in Photoshop CS4. I was working in some high res documents, but downsizing to lower resolution didn't do much to help. There is a good 2 to 3 second lag behind every brush stroke that is making it increasingly difficult to work.

The most maddening thing of all--and the fact that I didn't write down what I did to make this happen--at one point I had apparently disabled the exact combination of stuff to give my strokes a 1 for 1 movement (aka, realtime rendering), only to have it revert to the current situation I have today after shutting down and restarting.

What I have already tried:
1. Optimized the OpenGL settings in Photoshop
2. Disabled or uninstalled every process or start-up process I felt safe enough removing without crashing the machine in Winconfig. (inb4 "delete Win32 folder")
3. Set process priority to highest using Task Manager

For any of you who are using Cintiqs and have encountered this problem, is there anything I'm missing or something I should be doing differently? Also, switching software isn't financially viable right now so if your recommendation is to switch to Manga Studio or Autodesk Sketchbook, I have to stick with Photoshop for the time being.

Thanks in advance,
Garrett

  • Drinking: Green Tea with Splenda
"Work for Free"

This was the title of a recent event sponsored by the local design community group, LGDA, for the designer/illustrator Matt Stevens (link: hellomattstevens.com/).

What at first glance might seem like an odd piece of advise began to make more sense as the humble, talented speaker further explained his recent experiences.

The short version of his lecture: while he had been doing professional, ordinary design work for a firm, Matt found that he was deriving very little creative satisfaction. So, after work he began to do side projects about things that interested him---things that you can see posted on his site, projects oriented things like comics, sneakers, even dunkin donuts. What wound up happening was that his work began attracting clients who were far more interested in the projects he did in his spare time than the ones in the professional portfolio, and he landed projects with much larger clients that allowed him a great deal more creative control than he had at his steady day job.

Obviously, what Matt was able to accomplish was a best case scenario, aided not only by a measure of good fortune but also his commitment to working constantly, and his dedication to improving his already-prodigious talent. But, the outlook he presented also jibes fairly closely with a sentiment expressed by legendary fantasy illustrator Dave Rapoza (link: daverapoza.blogspot.com/ or davidrapozaart.deviantart.com/ ) during one of his livestream events; work on what you are passionate about and the right people will come to you.

So with that in mind, I wanted to formally announce a project that I have been thinking about ever since Mr. Steven's lecture:

"Trust Me"

The thrust of the project is to force myself to produce one simple poster at least once a week, depicting nearly every fictional doctor in comics, tv, movies and video games. The main purpose is to force output from me while at the same time trying to improve my workflow, composition and caricature skills.

I laid out a few ground rules for myself:
1. If the character has a "dual personality", then "Doctor" has to be the one which people associate with them first (ie, Dr. Bruce Banner vs. the Hulk, so Banner is excluded from the list)
2. The Dr. has to be a fictional character as opposed to a "handle". As much fun as it may be, I decided against including people like Dr. Kevorkian, Dr. Dre or Dr. J
3. Concerning medical tv shows (for example, ER), I want to only do a handful of characters. Otherwise, every freaking person on the cast gets a poster, and let's face it; some of them are just boring to look at.

Naturally, there will be some doctors who are a little too obscure ("Oooh, do Dr. Mazakawa Onichi from my favorite 6-episode anime, Hyper Cutie Death Laser Girls!"), so don't be disappointed if you make a suggestion and I say "Thanks, but no thanks."

Anyway, I already have a few on deck so there shouldn't be a "drought" for at least a month. I hope you enjoy and as always, feedback is appreciated!

Sincerely,
Garrett
  • Listening to: My girls giggling
  • Drinking: Diet Coke (I'm old and fat now)
Daily deviation? Really?!? I can't believe it! Seriously, can't believe it! I mean, what does that even mean? I've heard of it, but I figured it was for far more established, professional deviants than me. I'm just stunned.

To all of you new followers, welcome, and prepare to be underwhelmed!  I log on today, expecting to clear out my normal 100 or so watches to which I'm currently subscribed, when I hover over the little envelope and notice the number says 1,431.

I blink, stare at it for a second, worried that maybe I got spammed or hacked, but slowly as I start checking the comments they are from actual people, saying actual pertinent things about the pieces.


I want to sincerely thank Vashtastic vashtastic.deviantart.com/ for suggesting me (to whom, I don't know; I'm still kind of new here) for the DD and to DomiSM domism.deviantart.com/ for featuring me! I'm more than flattered that somebody took time to notice my crap, and I'm deeply appreciative for all the comments and faves you guys have given me.

Just a quick note: It's a personal policy of mine to thank comments and faves individually. Unfortunately, I got about 100 or so in before dA stopped me, thinking I was spamming. So, for those of you who haven't gotten thank-you or a llama for watching, please be patient. I'm not snubbing you! People can only be as successful as others recognize, and I've always felt it was the fitting thing to do to be appreciative to people who encourage you and say kind things. The art community is probably one of the most word-of-mouth driven communities there are, and as such I plan on building as many bridges as possible.

On a related note, if any of you happen to be good friends with John Lasseter, Craig McCracken, Gendy Tartkovsky, or any of those guys, would you let them know that I'm available? ;-)

Also, for anyone who may be interested, you can buy prints of nearly everything on here through my site at: www.mcgillustrator.com
Prints are shipped UPS and printed on high-quality glossy photopaper, and are signed and personalized by yours truly.

Thanks again!

Sincerest personal regards,
Garrett
  • Listening to: my little girl screaming at my little boy
  • Eating: $0.99 Mac 'n' Cheese
  • Drinking: Citrus Drop
When in the course of trying to utilize one's talents to achieve so great an end as to leave the world a better place than when you encountered it, I am often prohibited by none so great an adversary as boredom. By which I mean, I lack the insprational spark, that bit of fire that starts in the back of your mind until it has consumed your every waking thought and can be slaked by nothing less than total and complete execution of that thought.

Right now, I lack that flame.

I put it to you, the handful of watchers who intermittently check in from time to time to see whether I've produced anything of consequence or worthy of a sideways glance, to answer me this; what gives you inspiration? How do you find it when everything that once provided entertainment and flavour to life seems as bleak as the overcast sky that makes discerning the time of day impossible?

If you would have any words of wisdom, I should be grateful for them.

Neither hot nor cold,
this is getting old
  • Listening to: my Daft Punk pandora station
  • Eating: Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Well, had an exciting weekend at the Louisville Arcade Expo. It was a lot of fun getting to meet so many different people and getting so much direct feedback from real live people (no offense, digital-deviantArt-people...) and getting to network with a few local artists, like ~shinemon43 who actually recognized my art from offa here!

Overall, the show was fairly successful. Turnout on Friday was pretty scarce due to a deadly tornado that flew through our state, but over the course of the weekend I sold enough prints to turn a proffit, and handed out tons of business cards. It was definitely a learning experience, so I feel like I'll be much better equiped for the next go-around.

Gotta decide which one to head to next; there's a comic con coming up in June, and I'm pretty sure I'll hit that one up. From there, who knows?

Later on.
-Garrett McGillustrator