I think this is the first time in my life I have ever commissioned a painting. And I'm stunned by its strange and wonderful otherness. Go check out my character Trilobite Boy as painted by award winning illustrator and my good friend Eric Orchard.
On Symbiartic, the art and science blog on Scientific American.
This high five goes out to my bloggy buddy-cop policing science-art, Kalliopi Monoyios. Kalliopi and I co-blog on Symbiartic, the art + science blog on the Scientific American blog network.
For the month of September 2012, we set out to post 30 pieces of science-art, in a SciArt of the Day feature - and we made it. At times it was a bit of a marathon, but the wealth of art out there and the graciousness of the many fine artists, illustrators and creators we tapped on the shoulder was amazing. Thanks everyone!
We showed art by a viking blacksmith, horror illustrator, abstract expressionist, trompe l'oiel, superhero comic artist, cartoonists, fermented bacteria clothing, steampunk Renaissance rhinos, polarized micro-thin rocks, concept art and much more. The attempt was in part to challenge perceptions on what effective science communication can look like.
What does the future hold? We have more plans, lots of long and short posts on the go, and we'll continue to showcase creators and their images relating to science communication, education and entertainment.
(This post originally appeared yesterday on Symbiartic, the art+science blog I co-author on the Scientific American Blog Network.) - - Like millions of other superhero comic fans, I loved Joss Whedon's & Marvel'sThe Avengers when I saw it (in 2D) opening weekend. Motion-captured Mark Ruffalo turned in the most incredible version of the Hulk we've seen yet on the screen. Squeeing and cheering, it reminded me of a drawing I had made back in 2002. I drew this fan art of Marvel Comics' Incredible Hulk, dissected and analyzed. Here it is with a new lick of paint.
At the time, I tried to draw on not only my mother's nursing school anatomy textbooks, but also gorilla and hominid ancestor skulls (such as Paranthropus, though my murky text identitifies it with the outdated Zinjanthropus name), inspiration for things like the cranial ridge and large jaw muscles. I included details such as 3 scars on the bone (I'm Canadian: Wolverine wrecked his face a few times and I wanted to document that) and perfect glowing teeth. If anyone has perfect shiny teeth, it needs to be Hulk.
Recently, over on Symbiartic, I posted a piece ruminating about copyright and the utility of good scientific illustration, called Dinosaur Couture Should Be Open To All. I hesitated putting the post up, since although tangential, I thought some sort of illustration riffing on dinosaurs and high fashion would enhance the post.
Squeezing in time to make any sort of artwork is next to impossible the past couple of weeks: our son is teething, not sleeping well and I'm very behind my self-imposed deadlines. So I spent some time and tried to work on the sketch above, thinking maybe a model with some sort of fossil couture outfit could be fun. The face is pretty flawed, I didn't use an actual model. Perhaps I was thinking of Eva, from America's Next Top Model season 3?
Ultimately not happy with it, I decided instead to attempt a breezy fashion design sketch, using watercolours in ArtRage.
C'mon, the hipster pants and shoulder pads on the right not doin' it for ya?
I was scrambling to complete it before posting and heading out the door...in the end, I erased the two dinos on the sides, and went with the parasaurolophus in the spring dress.
Ok. Not my best work. But I hope a splash of colour livened up the post.
I feel hopeful about getting some sort of studio and blogging schedule back on track soon. We're going to try some new things with Calvin's sleep schedule to allow him to be more rested, and in turn, me more rested. I love being a stay at home dad and freelancer: it's a balancing act that's tipped a bit askew, that's all.
Last year, I was pretty excited to start blogging at Scientific American. Around the same time, my university's alumni newsletter had sent an email asking for stories and entries, "where are they now" kind of features. Unlike many of my peers (and most people in post-secondary education) I'm actually still directly using a lot of the skills from my degree, though more for illustration than the fine art gallery-scene.
So I sent in a little blurb about blogging for Scientific American.
I didn't realize they actually published something. Here's the entry.
Mellow, Glendon (BFA Spec. Hons. Winters) is a graduate of York's Fine Arts Visual Arts studio program. He married Michelle Follett, a primary teacher for the TDSB, and they recently had their first child, Calvin. He is a speaker on the intersection of arts and science on several radio programs.
Well yeah. That's all true and a matter of public record. And being married to Michelle and having Calvin are two of the most amazing things in my life, certainly things I'm proud of.
I dunno though, I sort of thought this was a newsletter for catching up with professional accomplishments? I guess it's like Facebook-old school.
(While thinking a lot about copyright over on Symbiartic, I thought I'd repost this piece from a couple of years ago. Originally appeared May 2010 both here on The Flying Trilobite and at ART Evolved.) - -
In the past few posts of Going Pro, we've looked a lot at copyright. Again, a lot of people have opinions, but it's important to see what the legal definitions -and what steps you can take to protect your creations- really entail.
Today though, I want to propose a question.
Suppose you post a nifty image of a prehistoric critter online. It's awesome, you're proud, people give you kudos. You put it under a Creative Commons Licence, the most restrictive one that says your image a) must be attributed to you, b) cannot be altered, c) others cannot profit from it, and otherwise, it's okay to post and share.
1. Then someone copies it. Another blogger. Does their own riff. Are you okay with that?
2. What if they're more famous than you, getting lots of illustration gigs, but they notice it, do their own version, and give you a nod for your cool idea. Still excited, feeling the attention?
3. What if your painting happens to hit the zeitgeist and goes all viral all over the interwebs. Everyone is sharing it. There's a day on Facebook where all the users switch to you image. But you haven't made a dime. What do you do?
We're in interesting territory. Personally, I don't believe overly restricting images (insanely huge watermarks, disabling right-clicking) are helpful to make a successful career anymore. But neither is completely open sharing.
It makes a strong case about question number 3, doesn't it? But how do you capitalize on that image going viral? How does it put food on the table?
I suggest it's how you parlay that viral dinosaur image into getting newcontracts.
As for questions number 1 and 2, consider the post-modern, remixed, mash-up, variant-cover culture we live in. Think an Indiana Jones video game is fun? What about Indiana Jones Lego! Like Batman? Sharks? Lightsabers? Ta-da! (artist here) Authoring mash-ups and riffing on others' work is an integral part of pop culture.
Painting gets started at about the 4 minute mark in the video above.
In the past, I've sometimes been the dissenting voice here at Art Evolved about all those posts showing past-art about upcoming themed galleries. I dislike them because sometimes attribution to the artwork cannot be easily found - though yes, as Peter and Craig have pointed out to me, sometimes we attribute an "orphan image" after the post goes up when a reader identifies it.
I'm uncomfortable with those posts because in a world of remixes and fun Photoshopped images, attribution and authorship can sometimes be your only coins to bank on. Literally.
Everyone has different comfort zones. Where do you feel comfortable with your images on questions 1-3 above?