Seeing life through the lens of a pin-up artist
Welcome to my blog. Let me share with you the how and the why I like to draw sexy images for a living.
What's up? I'm back... once again a bit later than usual, but back after all. If you've been following my work, you might remember that my last few weeks have been pretty packed with work and projects (the way I like it!). As a result, right now I'm just laying on my bed, finishing up the last few boxes I have of junk food, after skipping taking a shower for the 10th day in a row. In other words: I'm in relax mode. OK, everything that I mentioned in the past sentence it's a lie (no junk food, no skipping showers), but I am relaxing indeed. It is not uncommon for me to take a little break after finishing an image, or a group of them. Just a week ago I finished the first half of the line featuring sexy girls and marijuana, which deserves a break period to relax.
So, what did I do during these past few days? Sleep all day? Binge on Netflix? Learn a new language? Well, no, no and I wish. I actually spent most of my time doing chores and repairs around the house. I know, sounds as exciting as watching grass grow, but I honestly like to do those kind of activities. I wish I had more spare time to do those. In my particular case, I like to spend my "off-time", doing activities unrelated to artwork. It can be anything, from cleaning the kitchen to fixing the yard to fixing a ceiling fan. It is my way of "cleaning my insides", so the creative juices start flowing freely. That actually sounded pretty gross, more like a laxative treatment, but you know what I mean. :)
Why am I talking about doing chores and house repairs? This is a place to talk about art, right? Well, as I mentioned in the past paragraph, I do activities like those in order to clean my mind for new ideas, and let my body rest. That lets me be prepared for more long hours in front of my desk. And I think that keeping your mind and body fresh, is a very important part of being an artist, at least to me. By stepping away from my artwork and doing something else, I let myself have a better perspective. Drawing or painting piece after piece is great to 1) get more work done in less time, and 2) to keep the lines flowing. When I draw constantly, I am able to draw faster and more precise. Unfortunately, drawing "too constantly" has undesirable effects as well, like getting into a rut. That's when the drawings start to resemble too much to each other (I've been there many times). I mean, there's nothing wrong to doing drawings that look similar to each other, pretty much all artists do that, especially when they develop their own style. But, in my personal case, when I draw too many pieces of artwork right after another, my drawings start too look all the same... or at least I feel that way. And at the end, it doesn't matter if I'm imagining that or not, if I feel like my artwork is in a rut, I will not feel good doing it.
My humble opinion is that, in a way, doing chores and house repairs is actually part of my artwork as well, because it allows me to keep creating with a fresh new perspective. Never underestimate those little things that make a huge difference in your life. Being that said, I'm off to finish building a few solar screens for the windows at home (the scorching Summer is just around the corner). Does that help my artwork? Oh, yeah!
I'll be back soon to post the weekly sketch for this week, and then next week back to create naughty artwork. :) By the way, if you would like to support the creation of my fore mentioned naughty artwork, please consider joining my Patreon to become a patron of my work, all you need is $1, every contribution is greatly appreciated. Visit patreon.com/popeyewongart to join... check it out! Thanks again and see you next time!
What's up? I'm finally back! I feel like I haven't posted on my blog forever, and that's because this week I'm much later on my posting than usual. I decided to write this entry only after finishing the project of marijuana pin-ups, a project that I mentioned several times in my previous writings. Well, the time is now, and here I am, writing on the early hours of April 21, just a couple of hours after this year's 4/20 is over (the date where I promised I would finish posting the first half of the project.. and I did!)
So, for this entry, I'll write a bit about my post-experience working on this line of girls and weed. If you would like to read how this project came to be, please visit my previous post about it, by clicking here.
Well, how did it go? Was this project worth it? Was it fun? Yes, and hell yes. As I mentioned before, I've had the idea of painting images featuring girls and weed for a while now, so getting in touch with Sunnie, my partner for this project, was indeed awesome. I learned not only about concepts and details of the cannabis culture, but also about rendering techniques on my own. If you know me as an artist, you know that I'm always trying to push myself a bit with every drawing, trying to get better and better with each piece. That doesn't mean that it always works, but I do try. :) This project was no exception, and rendering these images back to back allowed me to address issues from a certain drawing, and work on a solution or variation on the next one. For example, whatever technique issue I found on the second pin-up, I would try to work it out on the third pin-up, by trying something new; same wise, whatever idea I didn't get into the third pin-up, I would try to incorporate it into the fourth pin-up, and so on. That's the advantage of working on a line with images back to back: there's a wider room for error.
I must mention that this is not the first line that I render. It is indeed the first line of weed pin-ups, but certainly not the first line in general. It's not something I do often, though, so when I end up working on one, I truly enjoy it. Not surprisingly, as with any other project, working on a line has its upsides and downsides. My biggest issue would be trying not to fall into monotony. I try to keep it varied, which in turn can be a little hard too. It is hard because I try to work my images in a way where each one has their own "personality", instead of being a cookie cut version of each other. On top of that, I must be careful to keep images somewhat consistent, because it is a line after all. This is exacerbated by the fact that I tend to switch to different styles from one pin-up to another, which results on images that don't look so much like each other. That is actually the main reason why I never really got into drawing comics... but that's another story. So, yep, working on a line can be a little harder than working on single images, at least for me. Another downside is that, obviously, working on a line of image take up longer than working on a single image. After all, a line is just a group of single images put together.
Now, let me tell you something: the upsides of working on a line make it totally worth it. As I mentioned before, I get to work on issues right after another. Did I have an unsolved issue with an image? Did I have an idea while working on an image but it's too late to include it on it? Well, in both cases, I get to tackle that in the next image. Bam! Done. That's a neat thing of working on images back-to-back, keeping the ball rolling. Another great thing is, well, how a line looks, aesthetically. A group of images sharing a theme or concept, can be a powerful visual statement. This is true even when the images are not part of a back-to-back project, as I've noticed with my pin-ups for Mexican Independence Day. I've worked on these pin-ups year by year, one by one; now, after several years, they are indeed a line, because I have several of them. The impact those images have together, are far more powerful than any of them on their own... even though I didn't work all of them at the same time. So, going back to the current line of weed pin-ups, it is definitely worth it to see this group of images together, especially when it didn't take years to do so (compared again, to the line of Mexican Independence Day images).
Last but not least, and leaving technical aspects aside: working on an line like this one allowed me to learn a lot regarding the cannabis culture, which I've always embraced. It is interesting to learn about terms, props, items, ideas, etc. It's a brave new world out there... and it looks green! :) I want to extend a big thank you to Sunnie for being such a great partner on this project, I did learn a lot indeed, and look forward to create the second half of the project.
That's all for now, but I'll be back tomorrow, not writing, but posting the weekly sketch. I'm so behind that the writing entry will go back-to-back to the sketch post. Gee, it seems like everything is back-to-back lately! As always, thank you so much for reading this, I like to share how my projects are going, and it's always nice to know that there's somebody on the other side of the line, reading my ramblings. Please leave your comments, they always make me feel even better... I'm serious, they do! :) See you next time!
What's up? I'm back once again, to share what's inside my head with you. I know, I know, it's annoying, unnecessary and maybe unsanitary... but I like to share my thoughts anyway :)
I want to share a chat that I had yesterday... well, not the chat itself, but what I talked about. I got in contact with the owner of a printing company, and let me tell you: we had an awesome talk, regarding the potential that my artwork has, and how we both can benefit from it. This chat was great mainly because this particular company is very focused on printing products aimed to the adult industry... a topic right up my alley.
As many of you know, I've been printing merchandise featuring my stuff for a few years now. And when I say "I've been printing", I mean it literally. I've been the one printing these items, like mugs, shot glasses, mouse pads, t-shirts, etc. However, the available time for me to design, print and organize merchandise has been greatly reduced throughout the years. The reason of this is simple: the more I focus on creating artwork, the less time I have to "manufacture" merchandise. It's pretty much a trade off. I mean, I do love printing my own stuff, finding new items to sell, get them ready, etc., but at the end of the day, I'm an artist first and art is my first priority.
So, during the last couple of years, I've maintained a very modest, or better said small inventory of my merchandise, selling a few things online, but mostly through shows. Why the small inventory? Mainly, because of costs. In order to keep costs down, I only printed what I "guessed" I would need on a show. Sometimes this guessing was accurate... sometimes it wasn't, meaning that I would run out of pieces of an specific item on any given show. Of course, sometimes the opposite happened: I would guess an overestimated number and end up with several items that didn't sell. This is in fact one big reason why didn't go crazy on my estimates: in a way, it was better to be sold out on many items... than having too much extra.
The second reason of why I always kept a small inventory, is lack of time. Even though printing merchandise is not hard labor or anything like it, the reality is that it's time consuming. Time that it's getting harder and harder for me to take away from creating artwork (oooh, my eternal /nemesis Father Time, always making my life harder and harder!). Due to this lack of time, my inventory has been getting smaller and smaller, which in turn makes it harder for me to be ready for shows.
Not long ago I realized that I'm pretty much maxed out when it comes to printing my stuff. My artwork keeps demanding more and more of my time. But even if it weren't, there's only so much merchandise I can print and produce. I've been making my own merchandise for many years now, featuring modest quantities, learning what sells and what doesn't, learning how my clientele responds, learning from my own hits and misses. In other words: learning how to optimize. Now, it's time to step up my game and go deeper, taking more risks.
Now, why didn't I do this before? Why didn't I go deeper when I began printing merchandise? Because, as most things in life, I had to hone my skills first in order to become confident about what I do. My artwork has better quality now, and I'm not necessarily talking about technique, but consistency, presence. In other words, my work is more professional than what it used to be years ago. Back then the spirit and drive were there... I just didn't have the experience.
So, why am I talking about this? Well, because of what I mentioned at the beginning of this post: I just talked to the owner of a printing company. Not a generic company, but a business that shares a lot of my own goals when it comes to the adult industry. Talking to this person made me even more sure about my conviction of stepping up my game. The time to bring yet one more way to use my artwork is now. I don't see my artwork as a one trick pony, but rather as a big pool of possibilities on how to use it, a pool full of potential. And talking to this person just added a big, big chunk of possibilities and potential to that pool. That, along with my current projects like the weed pin-ups (and many more) will keep me busy for a long time. And, if you know me, you must know that's the way I like it! :)
On a last note, I want to mention that I am excited to incorporate the upcoming inventory to my online store. My store is a clear example of how the lack of time doesn't allow me to make my inventory grow. I'm happy to say that I'm working on changing that, and it seems like the time to do it is pretty close now.
As always, thank you for reading this and for following my ramblings. It's a pleasure for me to share what my thoughts and plans are... and also share how those plans were accomplished. I look forward to post more about these new plans, so stay tuned. In the meanwhile, keep having a wonderful week. See you next time!
What's uuuuup? I'm back to write a bit more about what's inside my head. I don't have much there, but I'll gladly share it with you :)
For this blog entry I'll talk about a very cool project on which I'm working: a line of pin-up girls featuring marijuana, pot, weed, etc. With all the current changes going on at this moment when it comes to pot, it seems like a great time to do this line. But, even though this is the right time for this project, the reality is that it has been "in the making" for a year and half already. By saying this I don't mean that I've been drawing this line all this time, but that the original idea came up back in 2015.
First of all, let me mention that this line is a collaboration project that I'm doing with my partner in crime, the talented photographer Sunnie (Sunshine) Rizzolo. Sunnie, on top of having her own two companies related to the cannabis industry, she's also a photographer for Suicide Girls (yes, that's right, Suicide Girls). Back in June 2015, I got contacted by her, when she was looking to commission an artist to do some projects she had in her head at that moment, involving pin-up artwork and weed. She saw my work and that's why she decided to reach to me. When I saw hers, I not only jumped into the project right away, but also pushed the envelope: I proposed to her to partner up for this concept. As many people know, one of my long desired projects has been to do a pin-up line with girls & pot. Therefore, when Sunnie approached to me, I got so excited, because it was like a dream come true. Her project was exactly what I was looking for. She got excited as well, and we decided to do more images than what she originally intended.
Anyway, our main obstacle was our busy schedules. Between getting the photos selected, talking about the concept, sketching and rendering, time just flies. If you add to that, personal life, other projects, commissions, work, etc., time flies even faster. So, long story short, in 2015 we got to finish just two pin-ups, of a 12 total planned. Then, we had to discard one of them, at least temporarily. So, at the end of that year we ended up with just one finished pin-up. On 2016 the project was put on a long hiatus, for a whole year. However, even though the project was dormant, it was never dead. Sunnie and I kept in touch during 2016. Then, 2017 got here and with that, our line, finally. Our schedules are finally aligned... well, as aligned as they'll ever be, and the project is now more alive than ever.
The weed pin-ups line is scheduled to be released officially on April 20 (of course!) of this year, featuring the first half of the 12 girls total (we're releasing the second half throughout the year). By releasing, I mean that there will be merchandise for sale of these images. After all this is a line, complete with products. Sunnie has been working very hard to get the products and deals done, and I am excited to see them become a reality. In the meanwhile, we'll be releasing the current images, one by one, before 4/20. I just released the first one today, the pin-up that I rendered back in 2015. This image features beautiful Lindsey Jennings, a model that reflects exactly what this project is about. By the way, as I mentioned, I just released this image today myself to my patrons and fans, but Sunnie is a bit ahead of me. She has released four already (you know me, I'm always so slow when it comes to updates). So, if you would like to see a more current update of progress so far, visit her Instagram profile, under @sunniesunshine. Otherwise, you can just sit down and stay tuned, because I'll be posting those images myself as well.
I also wanted to point out a fun fact regarding this image. As I've stated, I rendered it back in 2015, and because of that, you can easily spot the differences to what my style was then to what is now. That doesn't mean that the artwork isn't good (it kicks ass!). I'm just pointing out that, as an artist, I tend to shift and move after a while. That's why it's so cool to see "artwork from the past", like this one. It's both refreshing and inspiring. One of the elements that I haven't included in my artwork as of late, are the little props or characters accompanying the pin-up model. You know, those little characters with big eyes and a long tongue sticking out that were a signature of my work in so many pieces, like the one featured in this illustration (oh, such a naughty weed leaf). For those fans of those little characters: don't worry, those little guys are not gone forever, they're just taking a well deserved vacation :)
Anyway, that's all for now. As you can see, I'm very excited about this line. And why not? This project is such a fun one. I do hope that you like it, especially when more weed girls start to roll in. So, stay tuned, more images of this kind are just around the corner!
Thank you so much for reading this, and please, don't hesitate to leave a comment, I love to read them. Also, don't forget to visit my Patreon profile if you haven't done so. If you join, you'll get to see the images of this line... or any new images for that matter, before anybody else. Plus, you get to support my artwork directly. What an awesome deal, right? :) Remember that I'll be back later on this weekend, to post the weekly sketch, plus another weed girl. In the meanwhile, have a great week and see you next time!
Pin-up artist by day… and also by night. Well, mostly by night, because that's when I love to draw the best.