zondag 26 februari 2017

Flashback to when I made three illustrations featuring this charming pitbull...

Flashback to that time, back in 2013, I was asked to create three illustrations, which were to be published in the special 25th Anniversary of the Rotterdam pop festival Metropolis. I really liked working on that comission, because Metropolis is truly one of those Rotterdam festival icons, headlining bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins and The Prodigy before they rose to worldwide fame.

Metropolis, in other words, is known for showcasing ''The Best You've Never Heard Of'' and has been doing so now for over 25 years. And I even though I myself have missed out on the last editions, I cherish many fond memories of earlier editions, so I was really proud to have been asked to help contribute towards this special 25th anniversary publication.

There is a little catch to this series of three, as you can see a very charming but characteristic pit bull making an appearance on all three drawings. It's a quirky reference to the days when Metropolis carried the nickname ''Pitbull Festival'' with pride, a nickname given by especially those who were not from Rotterdam and found themselves travelling ''all the way'' to the southside of the city, deep into ''Zuid''.

Deep into that part of the city known as Feijenoord - an area in it's core a worker's district (more so 25 years ago, but still today), where most inhabitants are devoted supporters of soccer club Feyenoord and where dogowners have developed a special relationship with the canine breed commonly known as ''pit bulls''. And a significant number of those owners walked their dogs, their pits, in the Zuiderpark, including those days the park hosts events and festivals like Metropolis.

This earned Metropolis the nickname ''Pitbull Festival'' as one of the columns I had to illustrate, clearly refers to this, I obviously had to draw a pitbull - and I just couldn't stop at one, so I created one who'd appear in on all three drawings.

He's what you would call, a handsome dude, a little rough around the edges, with a very down to earth and robust charm and certainly not a dog of many words and whose bark is way, way louder than his bite - if he does so, only when he's challenged to, either to defend himself or the ones he cares for.

Reason why I bring all this up now? .. Well, it's because it seems that this charming fella will reappear in my work. In what way, now, I will have to keep that a bit quiet for now, but I promise all will be revealed, SOON!


Going ''Up And Down The Rabbit Hole'' is a system labyrinth in itself


Some of you may have read this earlier blog, in which I posted some previews of my new series ''Up And Down The Rabbit Hole'', which, although its title might have you believe otherwise, is certainly NOT about or related to the whole ''Alice in Wonderland'' story. I also promised to write a blog about which children's books and stories did make a lasting impact on me, enough to inspire me both as a child and as an adult, and enough to influence Witty Art in some way or another. 

Well, that's a blogpost I am currently still working on - as I want and need to take my time for that one. So you will all still have to wait for that one just a little bit longer.

BUT I can show you some works from this series ''Up And Down The Rabbit Hole''. This time, I chose to work exclusively with graphite pencil, just adding a bit of charcoal when I felt it was necessary to create some contrast or a bit of depth to the drawing. Yet, at the same time I wanted to produce some clearly defined, cartoon style lines, creating a pretty much graphic result in the end. 

As the phrase ''to go down the rabbit hole'' (yes, courtesy of Lewis Carroll, ofcourse, so much for claiming not to be inspired by Alice, huh?) basically means ''to enter a period of chaos and confusion'', and is basically ''a metaphor for an entry into the unknown, the disorienting or the mentally deranging'' or even a ''slang expression for a psychedelic experience, from the same usage''. There might also feelings of ''adventure and discovery and maybe even some excitement', while stepping into unknown.

The whole point with rabbit holes, is you often don't see them. You don't always have a well-dressed, well-mannered rabbit-in-a-rush leading the way. Or there might be a rabbit, but you just don't recognize it and you're not even aware that you, in fact, have already entered its burrow and you are well on your way into the unknown.

And for some, that means adventure and excitement, full of opportunities and possibilities. For some, it means a period of worry and uncertainty, of anxiety and depression even.

Because entering the rabbit hole comes with change, sometimes severe change or a series of lifechanging events. And, unlike Alice who in the end just wakes up from her dreams (or hallucinations), you cannot go back. A real life rabbit hole basically has its own event horizon, its own point of no return, once you have entered, you will have to experience the whole journey, every single step of the way.

And while you are walking ahead, climbing, stumbling, falling down and getting up, you will discover that there is not one, but an seemingly endless series of rabbit holes to go to, all intertwined, all connected - a whole damn' system labyrinth of it.

It will take a lot of steps going forward and backward to keep on going - untill you will find your way out.

donderdag 23 februari 2017

Upgrading this blog while rediscovering unfinished Witty Art

Currently, I am busy with a proper upgrade of this Witty Art Blog. As in: removing bad quality pictures and replacing with perhaps not the best ones, but at least better ones, updating and expanding the Series and Singles pages in particular, as I was also lagging behind with posting previously unpublished artwork.

You now can check the following updated pages:

Witty Art Singles, Part 2 (2015-2016)

Witty Art Series, Part 2 (2015-2016)
Witty Art Series, Part 1 (2011-2014) 

To me, the good thing about an upgrading process like this, is it makes me go through all my files again, rediscovering a whole bunch of stuff I myself had more or less forgotten about. That is especially the case with the work I was working on when I had to move out of my home and my studio, during the summer of 2015. During that very turbulent time, I basically store away all my artwork in boxes and containers, making sure it was stored safely at the home of a good and trusted friend, untill I'd be able to move into either a new home or at least, a new studio to work in.

But with most of my work stored away and more or less unaccessible to me, I lost track of some stuff I had been working on. But by going through all my files on my harddisk, looking for and sorting better quality pictures or enhancing them digitally, I also stumbled across many photographs I'd taken of work shortly before I had to leave my old studio. Amongst these pictures were many of works-in-progress, like the ones I am publishing on this blogpost.

Looking at many of these files, actually meant a big motivational boost for me. It's not that I really had forgotten about them, it's more that I saw the progress I was making at that time, and as my art developed even further over this last year, I can't wait to start working on this now almost two year old works again!

Works, that are undoubtedly waiting patiently for their time to come.

Well, they don't have to wait that much any longer - as the really, really good new is ...  I will definitely be able to move into a brandnew creative studio over the coming weeks. A new place to work in, to draw, paint, create with whatever means and materials I feel like. A place, where Witty Art can and will be created.

A move, that will also mark a new creative collaboration as well! I will elaborate more on that in a later stage - but for those of you who cannot contain their curiosity, it's got everything to do with the new workplace & projectspace of Studio PuRRR!

Please keep an eye on this blog for more detailed information coming up SOON!


maandag 13 februari 2017

More EarthRocks & MoonSwings travelled to a happy new home!

A while back, I wrote about the new additions to my series ''EarthRocks & MoonSwings''. Started back in 2012, I never thought that this Galaxic Bromance would turn out to be one of my most popular and best-selling series.

Part of the reason why this series is so succesful, I think is because of its almost unbearable overdosage of cute - this is a series primarily about unconditional friendship, of a bond that can't be broken, for being there for each other, no matter what. Relationships like those are very hard to come by, as Life constantly shapes and influences friendships and puts them to the test.

So, when asked to draw more of these because one buyer had absolutely fallen in love with them and really wanted to give one to his brother who was getting married, I felt motivated to draw a couple more. And in total, 11 new ''EarthRocks & MoonSwings'' have seen the light! Will add them to the Series Galleries soon!

And guess what, almost immediately after sharing them on my Facebook page, another buyer stepped forward and purchased one, too. And so, a couple of weeks ago, ''EarthRocks & MoonSwings #44'' moved to its happy new home - and judging by the picture buyer sent me the other day, I think they are in really great company!