|Work in progress from sketchbook of Johnny Perez ©2018|
After more than a year of using my website's native blog feature, I regret that it just doesn't work for me. :-( There are many ...
January 27, 2018
December 31, 2017
|Winter Demon - Watercolor, Ink, Digital - ©Johnny Perez 2017|
It may be the biggest understatement to say that I am ready for this year to be over. Maybe it's not the worst, but it is a close contender. Looking back I see struggle after struggle, and yet I know that's not all it was.
I hesitate to write any more than that.
The real challenge here is to find the lesson, find the silver lining in all of 2017. Good things happened. I know that. Bad things happen too, and usually get all the focus.
Staying positive is the right move. But I'm here to convince you of that. I began writing because its the end of the year, and if I need to accomplish something, it has to start here, with my thoughts, my actions, my work. It has to start with getting back to what's important still. I may not feel like it, and it's been hard to focus, but when all is said and done, I cannot let the problems of 2017 take me down another notch before its over.
This is my art blog where I let you in on my process, my inspiration, and in essence my mind. It's chaotic in here guys, but please bear with me. This psychobabble has some purpose I think. For those that haven't a clue what I'm getting at, here it is. The events of 2017 have spurred a need to get more personal. These events began with recovering from a broken finger, consequently trying to stay afloat financially, sinking into a quiet depression, and ultimately the end of my relationship of 3 years.
|Detail of Demon sketchbook study - ©Johnny Perez 2017|
Finding pieces of myself that I've lost over the course of all this, has shown me that I don't have time to play around. There ARE bigger problems than these. That doesn't make it hurt less, but it at least helps put things in perspective. With that in mind, I recall the work I began with my last heartbreak. Years ago, my goal was to work through the pain with my art. I got pretty far in that endeavor, and honestly can't believe I'd lost most of that progress to find myself here again attempting to pick up where I left off.
It all began with the simplest of narratives, Good vs. Evil. Classic. Easy. I spent my nights photographing myself for reference. The Hero looked like me, as did the Villain. I had intended to make this short story comic book documenting my struggle with the Dark Side. As I began to sketch out the photos, it seemed like too much. As I tried to write a script, I realized I'm not that kind of writer. This was going to take time. Life happened, I recovered, and the project was benched. It floated in the back of my mind for years now.
|Reference photo - Self Portrait - ©Johnny Perez 2017|
Now in the present, I am back to finish it. Not just the project though, but the work I put into myself. This latest setback was a shining reminder of what I'd left undone both on and off the page. Things I thought I'd left in the past, reared their horned heads. The hero is back on his journey with fresh Hell to pay. This might get ugly. I hope this explains a bit the direction I'm going, though.
|Animated Winter Demon gif created by Werble app - ©Johnny Perez|
November 11, 2017
October 31, 2017
|Witches Brew - Ink, Paper - ©JohnnyPerez 2017|
Every year I am inspired to create during the month of October because that is when Inktober happens! Artists from around the world hashtag their work to practice, engage, and inspire using ink as the main medium.
This year I chose witches as my theme. All sorts of witches. I'm listing my creations this month in my Etsy shop. In celebration of Halloween, I am offering 40% for email subscribers! I hope you enjoy, and have a safe candy eating, horror movie watching, costume dressing day!
September 19, 2017
I don't really know when the first time I saw Labyrinth was. It released in 1986 and I was 4 years old at the time, but it must've been some years later when our family could afford a VCR that I was able to watch it. For some reason I remember thinking these movies had always existed and that my mom must've grown up on them, because she spoke as if she knew what was happening. I can only assume she pre-screened the movies before showing them to me and MAYBE she saw them in the theater.
All I really know is that since I did see it, it's stayed with me, along with many fantasy movies at the time. They are part of what made me want to be an artist, why I was reluctant but excited to play D&D in college, and why for many years I was in my own bubble of magic and glitter. There are few movies that are cut from this cloth, and I can't imagine them not being burned into my psyche.
|Ludo (detail) ©Johnny Perez|
September 2, 2017
|Studio Ghibli fantasy faces set by Johnny Perez|
In the last post I gave you some of the work in progress photos from face #s 12-18 I think. So here are some photos up to #23. This includes the last Studio Ghibli face: Yubaba, and The Dark Crystal faces of Skeksis, Podling, Aughra, and Kira!
|Yubaba from Spirited Away in watercolor by Johnny Perez|
I asked in the previous post to vote on the last set of 4 faces, or give me something better! I'm leaning toward Lord of the Rings, but Game of Thrones would be a hot topic. So I'll still be taking your suggestions in the comments, so let me know!
Now on to some art photos from the studio!
August 24, 2017
|The Dark Crystal group set by Johnny Perez|
|WIP drawing of "Howl" by Johnny Perez|
So I wanted to get ahead for a moment so I thought I'd just do well-known characters instead of making them up like when I started. That way I didn't have to spend so much time thinking of something. It helped and it hurt. LOL! These characters are some of my favorites so I wanted to do them justice, so while I was just playing and experimenting more with my own characters, I was now spending this "extra" time with details and trying to get a good likeness done. All in all I'd have to say I love doing them though, because I love having this type of fanart added to my repertoire (fancy), and I like knowing that I'm working (even for myself) on a franchise I love!
|WIP Harry Potter group set by Johnny Perez|
July 17, 2017
|Detail of "Fool" - Watercolor, Ink - by Johnny Perez, 2007|
We hear it all our lives as young artists...
Don't be an artist! You'll starve! You'll be poor! You'll never make it, it's too competitive!I mean its not entirely wrong, but starting out is hard for most people, and giving up too early is a common thing. I was lucky to have an encouraging family, and the fact that I grew up poor most of my life somehow made it ok or rather doable to live with no money. So if I wanted to pursue a career with no money but I was happy, then I was confident I could still live, even if it was on nothing. It really comes down to a matter of perspective for me.
I want to be real for a moment to say that I'm not some crazy successful artist, but neither do I consider myself less of an artist because I'm not "known." I don't pretend to be more than I am, but I do choose to look at the bright side. I do choose to think of myself as capable. And I choose to define success as a never ending goal to better myself. In that regard it is hard to lose. I am faced with the same challenges as most in the world, there is always someone out there better than you, and there is always someone out there more successful than you. So what? Am I just supposed to quit?
July 13, 2017
Blick Art Materials announced a daily watercolor art challenge for the month of July, and I had to jump on board! I like daily challenges because they force me to keep with art making when life gets in the way. I may lag behind a day or two but I'm quick to catch up and keep playing.
There was no specific theme so I decided I would do fantasy faces. I'm looking into classic fairy tales, and spinning some other familiar concepts. I'm hoping to end up with a wide range color and ideas for future paintings. To make it simple I'm keeping these small. On top of that I have to fight the daylight for attention, since I don't like to use my regular desk lamps, but I will if I have too.