Thursday, August 4, 2016

A public service announcement of new Doritos flavor like announcement levels!

Yeah, that's right. I'm setting up shop, on the corner of 822.

Gonna flex, show my might, gonna bring legit art to roll on you.
I'm going to lay down some mad rhymes, on this funky fresh update.

And then disappear like Nixon's eighteen minutes of incriminating tape.

You want art, you want to see a mad visual flow?

Then 822 is the booth you want at the KCCC show.

I'll make you react to the abstract, and massage your eyes.

With colors so delicious, you'd think I painted with french fries.

I'm no rapper, yeah, I'll admit it, and shout it out loud.

But I'm a funny talkative artist, who stands out in the crowd.

See you all at KCCC!

Mario, the Artisan Rogue
Illustrator, Podcaster, Writer, Toy Collector, and Animal Rights Activist

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The more things change, the more they stay insane.

(Left) Andrew Sloan with one of his last collaborative works with artist Heather Gottfried. (Right) The "Dre" character based on him in Pagan Zoetrope.
The last three weeks have been a blur and a hell of a lot of stress, peppered with a significant amount of sadness, change, and abrupt things happening.

I was struggling through trying to find my feet with work and creating stuff for an upcoming show when just a few days back, I found out that one of my best friends, Andrew suddenly had passed away.

I sat out in my backyard watching the birds at the feeders hanging from my tree, and felt a loneliness and sadness creep over me that was just haunting, and I thought and later wrote down...

Death has escorted my dear friend and fellow artist, Andrew Sloan, to the lands where I cannot venture.

I know not what lays beyond this world, except for an old stone bridge I once glimpsed as a youth before being brought back from a serious drowning incident in New Mexico.

Wherever you are my dear friend, I will miss your humor, your view on the world, and the meet ups we had talking about the corporate bullshit of companies, and your love of your children the many times we sat at Crown Center.

Rest in peace, and may all the colors of your desire be at your fingertips so that you paint the sunset tonight in a defiant Angry Irish way that only you could.

I first met Andrew in illustration class at CMSU (UCM now) in Warrensburg Missouri, and we had a mutual love of Warhammer, video games, history, pirates, art, brunettes, and heavy metal music. Always a fellow of serious seeming outset, he had a seriously bizarre humor to life and was one of the toughest and most hardcore dudes I have ever known, with a heart of gold that came to full fruition with the birth of his two children some years later.

Our paths touched over the years as we did gallery shows together on occasion, played games, and eventually both ended up working at Hallmark at various times. But he ever stayed a friend, tried and true.

I thought long and hard about actually retiring his character of Dre from the stories of Pagan Zoetrope, but I have decided otherwise. Andrew had a lot more to say and do in life than he was given time to do in the 40 years he had here on earth.

There is an old saying that so long as names are spoken, then people are never really dead or forgotten. Rest in peace wherever you are buddy, I will keep telling your stories.
Mandy and Melanie. Mandy with headphones.
Thanks to those of you that reached out to me and asked how I'm doing. I'm breathing. I'm still fighting, learning, and working on art. Nothing really stops that. In some weird ways, my creative push for working on news issues of Pagan Zoetrope has reignited in a series of ways that I had not anticipated, but will be sharing over the coming months.

Of course, when I feel down, I sink into side hobbies on occassion, and Pokemon Go! (which I did a recent podcast about), has been a good mental sidebar for me to cling to.
I know it shows level 9, but I just today hit level 17,
I know the game has been getting a lot of heat recently from a good portion of it's players, because of the radar aspect, and some other glitches in the game, but for me, it's also been a wild social experiment to observe from not only a marketing standpoint, but how overwhelming the demand for a vastly popular app can be on server strain, demographic grab, and handling a legacy IP like Pokemon for new and old fans alike.

It's something that as I began working on my own game designs and concept artwork for some of my own ideas, I've allowed to swim in my head. Hey, if you can, learn from the movers and shakers when it comes to not only triumphs, but tribulations as well.
Concept game art, featuring a cameo of the Tourbillion ship from my wip novel, Gauge and the Emerald Children.
I got to working on the game I have in development, using this insane game engine platform program called BuildBox, and the trial was just amazing. It's one of the next goals I hope to save for and use my Patreon income towards.
Last version of the side scrolling game I was working on.
And of course, I am getting ready for KCCC, and will be there, once AGAIN, on a corner booth (I don't know how this keeps happening to me at shows, but I like that. I like it a lot.), with some of the newest art I have featured in my illustration portfolio area, as various sized reproductions, as well as a few new wood panel originals for sale as well.

For any of you looking, I will have a giant banner with Artisan Rogue and Mandy on it, and the table will have my logo on it, and the walls will be black carpeted panels, and I will have art you will want on your walls and if you've not read Pagan Zoetrope, there will be graphic novels and issues of it available for you to purchase (and each one comes with some extras as well).

Be sure to check Twitter (@theartisanrogue) and follow me on there to see where the hell I am in the show, because like the elusive Nessie, no one but people with blurry cameras, can ever seem to find me.

Expect photos and updates galore after the dust from KCCC has settled, but while you wait, check out all the rest of the great streamlining I've been doing to the site here. Including the new page for ICWXP!

Until next time, support your local artists, call up that friend or family member you've been meaning to, be kind to your fellow beings, and always take the path less traveled!

Mario, the Artisan Rogue
Illustrator, Podcaster, Writer, Toy Collector, and Animal Rights Activist

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Stay on target...

First attempt at learning to build a platform video game.
I know, I know! Kansas City Comic Con is coming up in less than a month's time now, and that is definitely something I am trying to prepare myself for. I've got new artworks in progress and will get some of that up for you all to see in the update just prior to the show.

Otherwise, I've still been busy. I've been working weird hours now, and have been taking a good chunk of this weekend to slow down some, and work on starting and finishing various things I had going on.

The other day, I had a moment of inspiration strike...
"Earlier today as I was unpacking old games, I found my old cassette Walkman, I put some batteries in it, and as I pushed the play button, the cassette, Cinderella's Long Cold Winter started up. I had not touched this thing in 21 years or so, and the music sent shivers down my spine moment was when I realized the song was "Take me back". I suddenly was back in high school memory overload and remember the exact moment I pushed stop on the song. I've had that song stuck in my head all day and have been writing down some old memories I had forgotten. So freaking weird."

with the end result of it being that I wanted to learn how to build a platform game. I mean, inspiration hit, and this idea that I could do with that, came into focus so strong, I had no choice but to see how to solve this.

So I spent Friday night in a span of 5 hours quickly working on rough random graphic elements in Illustrator and bringing them into a game engine to see how fast I could learn how to set up a quick interactive game.

The result is this screen cap recording below of a few minutes of debug testing play time on a very rough platform based game.
I have a direction I am planning on taking this, but in the mean time, I will keep attempting to learn more about just the general building of games, and slowly start working on the graphic assets for the idea I have, so that when the time comes, it will all hopefully go together rather smoothly.
Commission of the Bubblegum Crisis character Nene Romanova. 9"x12" on Bristol Board in markers.
In other things, I had been doing a run of illustrations from commissions like the one above of Nene Romanova, to Lily Spitfyre's new logo just below...
Logo design created for the awesome Lily Spitfyre.
To bringing Topsybot 5000 into being. I love all the bot designs that ICWXP has, but Topsy is probably my favorite.
New artwork created of Topsybot 5000 from the world of Incognito Cinema Warriors.
And here's a time lapse video of the creation of this particular illustration as well!

One more unique commission I was requested to make was one using a very cool set of armor design from the creators at Brick Warrior, who make wonderful LEGO compatible items.

The suit painted up very nicely, and there are two of these armor suits in progress at the moment. I'll have more pictures and a full review of this custom job in progress soon over on Tenacious Ninja Toy Blog.
Brick Warrior custom job in progress, to be featured in my next update on Tenacious Ninja toy blog!
Last weekend I was down on South 13 HWY on the way to Clinton, and had realized that there were more than a few dilapidated and worn down abandoned buildings around some areas of the drive.

I had not seen this place in a good while, but man was it ever perfect for photographing for illustration reference, and possibly for using for some filming if anyone was in the need for an abandoned place.
When I have time on weekends, I am always on the lookout for odd or abandoned places for reference.
So that's about it for now. I hope to have more up soon, but adjusting to new work hours, projects, and all that, has me in a bit of a spin.

Thanks all for reading and listening and following my odd little endeavors. If you want to support me in a cool and more direct way, I am updating my Patreon acct once again this weekend, and that's a great way to help me keep at what I am doing now.

Till next time, enjoy Pokemon Go, your family, the simple things, and laughter.

Mario, the Artisan Rogue
Illustrator, Podcaster, Writer, Toy Collector, and Animal Rights Activist