Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Cancer Story

This last year has been very difficult for me, and my new little family. Last summer, a week after my wife found out she was pregnant with our first child, we learned that I had cancer. Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the tongue to be precise. Never been a drinker or smoker either, so it was a real shock to have oral cancer.

Over the last several months, Ive had four surgeries, lost 30% of my tongue from surgeries to remove tumors, had two neck dissections to remove tumors from when the cancer spread to my lymph nodes, a major muscle was removed from my neck in the process because of the cancer, lost my job because of all the surgeries and wasn’t able to do the physical work after the removal of my sternocleidomastoid muscle. Just a month ago, I finally finished the grueling process of radiation therapy on my throat and mouth, and chemotherapy. I lost over 60 pounds from chemo and radiation making it difficult to eat from chemo sickness, and swelling my throat from radiation. The chemo also gave me tinnitus (ringing in the ears). The chemo med I was on is a newer med, cisplatin, and fortunately I didn’t lose the hair on top of my head from it like you see in the movies and tv. The radiation though actually affected all my facial hair, and everywhere they shot me with radiation (below my nose down to the middle of my neck). My beard fell out, and now I can’t grow any facial hair. The worst part of the radiation is losing taste from targeting my tongue. I also can’t make saliva like I used to because the radiation affected some of my saliva glands.

As you can imagine, the medical bills for this have been coming in, and it’s been unbelievably overwhelming. My wife and I have been doing our best to stay afloat, but it’s been hard since I’ve been out of work for all the procedures, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. We’re at about $5,000 in bills so far from cat scans, PET scans, surgeries, hospital stays, biopsies, labs, and I’m still getting bills as we speak. I had a post chemo/radiation CT last week, and the estimated bill for that is $766.

My friends have been great, and started a Go Fund Me campaign. I know a lot of people don’t have the money to assist others, so I’m simply asking for you to share this blog at the very least. You can get to my GoFundMe campaign here:

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Illustrations!

I've started doing illustrations of Santa and his helpers in worldwide traditions and folklore. Here's my list so far:

Italian Folklore

In Italian folklore, Befana is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5) in a similar way to St Nicholas. 

Viene, viene la Befana
Vien dai monti a notte fonda
Come è stanca! la circonda
Neve e gelo e tramontana!
Viene, viene la Befana

Viene, viene la Befana
Viene de la montaña en la noche
¿Cómo es cansado! rodea La nieve y las heladas y al norte! 
Viene, viene la Befana

Here comes, here comes the Befana
She comes from the mountains in the deep of the night
Look how tired she is! All wrapped up
In snow and frost and the north wind!
Here comes, here comes the Befana!

Santa Claus
Rankin-Bass inspired design

Santa Claus, in a very Rankin-Bass inspired American tradition.

Alpine Folkore

Krampus is a beast-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries thought to punish children during the Christmas season who had misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts. Krampus is said to capture particularly naughty children and drag them off into the black forest.

Bonus Art: The Wet/Sticky Bandits!
Home Alone 

Harry Lime and Marv Merchants were the thieves in Home Alone 1 & 2.

I will update this blog entry when I get a chance to illustrate a few more characters. Trying to approach Zwarte Piet in a very racially sensitive intention. Some more characters in mind: Knecht Ruprecht, Hans Trapp, Elves, Zwarte Piet, Belsnickel, Père Fouettard. I also want to illustrate Santa in a more traditional Saint Nicholas image, and an old world Father Christmas image.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Illustration dump

Here's a bunch of art I've been doing. Haven't been able to fixate on a project recently. But I've come up with something I'm thinking of fleshing out over the holidays.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

October Art Shows

Yesterday I setup two art shows in Spokane for the month of October. Both The Blue Door Theater and Giant Nerd Books are going to have my Horror Icons silkscreen posters on display! I was very excited to have this opportunity, it has been maybe seven years since my last art show for myself. This is also the first time I have had my silkscreen work exhibited anywhere. Most art shows I've done were of my acrylic work.

Browse through the walls displaying my art at Blue Door Theater, and the latter half of the photos are process pics at the screen printing press. Yes, I hand made the silkscreen press!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture

I'm so incredibly excited to be teaching cartooning to the kids at The MAC in Spokane again. If a genie were to ask me what job I could have, it would be do teach cartooning and art of all degrees to young aspiring artists. I was telling a friend earlier that if it were up to me I'd teach a workshop once a week and they'd record it on public access for schools, then do some art on a cart magic with schools around the area.
My first art teacher was on TV, Mark Kistler. He hosted Imagination Station, and I learned so many art techniques from his show. He got me even more motivated and excited. I always have adored his show to this day, and wish to leave a lasting impression on others like he did to me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Silkscreen Postcards of Universal Monsters

Been working like a madman on a series of silkscreen postcards. The initial cards were drawn by hand, but finally got cozy behind my Monoprice digital drawing tablet, so the latest three are completely digital.

Three down, three left for the new series of six. I really want to work this series more than the previous three (Werewolf of London, Bride of Frankenstein, Nosferatu). The last ones were awfully plain. This time I'm pumping up the background with scenes of London, a full moon night, and a creepy dark castle.

What’s next? Frankenstein for sure. The Creature from the Black Lagoon, aka Gillman, Imhotep the Mummy, maybe Phantom of the Opera. From there I may have to do the more obscure or later era monsters like The Amazing Colossal Man, the 50 Foot Woman, and The Metaluna Mutant (This Island Earth). From there I may finally jump the pond and do Hammer Horror.

The final art will be printed six cards on 12x12 chipboard via silkscreen printmaking. Then I'll cut the cards to separate them. Previous runs I've done them individually and damn that's a nauseating pain in the butt. This will be much faster knocking out six cards at a time.

The current run of four are available on my Etsy Shop! Dracula, Wolfman, Invisible Man will be ready when I finish three more and get time to screen print.

The 16 Different Types of (Art School) Students

Chuck Dillon has been teaching for 10 years now at the Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia. After seeing students come and go, he decided to create sixteen different stereotypes he sees day in and day out. Though I've personally never gone to art school, I can appreciate these for what they're worth - a hilarious depiction of what students look like in this day and age

I saw this on my old acrylic painting professor's Facebook page, and loved it so much I had to share it! I was somewhere between the Metal Student and the Average/Good Student, with touches of anime, stressed, hippy, and goth/emo. If you can't laugh at this, you're probably still in school, or still insecure with who you are.