6 Months Later …

It’s become somewhat of a joke — every new blog entry opening with the following words: “It has been six months since I posted my last,”  but what can I say? I’m not much of a blogger. At best, I’m a seasonal one, but probably not even that. But hey, at least this way, when I blog, you can bet I’ve got something to say. And boy, do I have some news to tell you! I’m talking N-E-W-S News here! Plural! That’s right. So keep reading.

Let’s start with the big news. About four months ago, I migrated to Norway because my better half was made a job offer she couldn’t refuse even though it meant — well, moving to Norway. As you can imagine, it has been a bit of a busy and hectic time. Funnily enough, me emigrating was, paradoxically, also a bit of a non-event, not least because, for the first two months, I had to do without my computer and drawing gear and, of course, I also had to settle in from scratch. So, in a way, my social and creative life came to a halt.

Well, I’m all settled in now — my computer is at my place in the picturesque city of Bergen, I got my music, and my new friends. I got everything I need to get shit done … and, nope, there’s no “buts.” I’ve been churning out cartoons and other illustrative work at a steady pace. Let me show you some stuff.

  • Sint is Dead

I drew this cartoon in reaction to the ongoing “Black Pete” debate in the Netherlands in which one gets labeled a racist no matter what one says or thinks about the Dutch Sinterklaas celebration.

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  • The Teddy Project

I’ve been doing some character designs and model sheets for some guys at the Bergen University who are working on their first indie game.

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  • The Grand Gnome

I don’t know why, but for some reason, I have a fondness for gnomes. Perhaps it is because, as a child and youth, I spent many enjoyable hours drooling over the gnome illustrations of Rien Poortvliet and watching the televised adventures of David the Gnome.

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  • Dauthuz

Currently I’m working on some album and T-shirt designs for everyone’s favorite Death Metal band, Dauthuz.

death-metal-manga


There, now you’re all to speed on what I’ve been doing lately.

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Bumstein

So, what’s cooking? Well uh, I started doing a course on video game character design. For my first homework assignment, I had to draw some variations of a character design. I chose to do a character I was already working on for a webcomic — which I hope to publish sometime… well, sometime next year.

Cartoon, illustration, characterdesign, character design, video game, Bumstein, webcomic, conceptart, concept art, Gerrit Rijken, Iosua

Also, I’m currently laying out the plans for a collaborative art project together with my sister who, by the way, is well on her way of becoming an airbrush master. I’m really excited about that!

And uh… of course there are still some commissioned pieces I need to finish soon.

 

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

It was Thursday yesterday. So it was that day of the week on which we throwback to, well, old shit we’ve already posted. Anyway. I was looking through some old sketches and I came across these cutesy princesses. I didn’t feel like resharing them since I never really liked them in the first place — I do think they had potential, though –, so instead I decided on revamping their design concept.

Princess, cute, cutesy, children's book, illustration, cartoon, drawing, fairytale

In other news, I did another Shape Challenge which spurred my creativity.

Viking, troll, hunter, cartoon, illustration, WhatMalDraws, ShapeoftheWeek

Finally, I’m currently working on — you guessed it! — yet another makeover for portfolio purposes. I know there isn’t much to show yet, but for those who are interested in seeing how I start off my work process…

work in progress, cartoon, illustration, scoot mobile, scooter, elderly, senior, old man

Shape of the Week: Return of the Gnome

I haven’t done much drawing for the past few days since I was bent on finishing reading Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. It’s a great read with imaginative, inspiring characters in it — like, for instance, industrial remade chimeras, sapient talking birdmen, and human-like women with chitinous heads. But yesterday it came to me that, arguably, the greatest of all characters is New Crobuzon, the city in which the story takes place. I say ‘arguably’ but it seems pretty clear to me that Mieville spent more time fleshing out its background, history, politics, demography, etc., than detailing or explaining the characters — bar one exception, perhaps. So the city becomes more than just a backdrop, it becomes an active agent in the story… Anyway, why am I telling you all this? Well, here’s the thing, I was thinking of ‘cartoonifying’ some of the book’s characters. I thought of how to draw machinery, feathers, and city scapes. And then I went on thinking… and thinking… And during all that time, the (digital) canvas remained empty. Which brings me to the point of this post.

Today I decided to ‘kickstart’ myself, again. But instead of going through my usual routine — participating in a design contest, always against my better judgment — I decided to partake in a challenge set by Mallory Carlson at the Nickelodeon Artist Program. Let me tell you, it has been a fun experience. Not only did it get me drawing again, it’s also been really inspiring to see what fellow-artists came up with!

Gnome, dwarf, concept art, character design, cartoon, illustration, whatmaldraws, nickelodeon artist program

 

The Rush of the Sprint

This week, I participated in a design contest for some marathon event. I was to draw a Viking helmet with a Viking running on top of it. So I came up with this idea… to make the helmet look like a naturescape, a runner’s paradise of sorts, with some running figures on the path. But sadly, the contest holder deemed it “too colorful,” so that was it…

Floating island, viking helmet, cartoon, illustration, trees, mushrooms, scenery, exterior

I say sadly, but in truth it was a “bi-winning” experience nonethelesss. After all, the contest provided me both a deadline and an opportunity to practice drawing scenery — which I have been wanting for months but which I have kept postponing –, and in the end the drawing came out pretty decent. So, uh, the takeaway from all this is, that sometimes it’s good to have a deadline.

Full disclosure: As someone who majored in history, I know damn well that Viking helmets in actuality never had horns attached to them. But, let’s face it, they do look better with horns.

Closet Monsters

Here’s the first batch of some — redesigned — monsters I’m working on. For an aspiring children’s author, by the way.Closet MonstersPro tip 1: if you use Instagram to show off your work, upload your files through Dropbox. Don’t use your phone with its shitty inbuilt camera. (Unless, of course, obviously, it’s a very good camera.) I only just found out what difference it makes.

Pro tip 2: Don’t lose your Dropbox password, like I always do.

Symbol of Chaos

A friend of mine has been pressing me for some time now to make a tattoo design for him: a variant of the Symbol of Chaos — specifically, one based on Morbid Angel’s seminal album, Altars of Madness. Last night I was like, ‘Alright, let’s go for it.’

The image below shows a first fleshed-out sketch. I think it looks promising already.Chaos Symbol, tattoo design, illustrator, graphic design, concept art, occult, illustration
Fun fact (or supposed fact, according to Wikipedia): the Symbol of Chaos has its origins in the fiction of Michael Moorcock. You know, the guy who wrote, among others, the Elric comics? I always imagined it to be derived from the occult, like from, say, I don’t know, Aleister Crowley’s magical diaries… Heh.