Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Ok, yes, back into the old water trap, but hear me out, this time it's a desert forest swamp type deal. And there's a monster. Even a little short story!

The little eyes were a last touch that I thought might add to the scariness. I believe the bloody trim was improvised, because I was working with this new pair of textured brushes, which are simply wonderful for gruffing up a piece. I used the more drawing-oriented brush for most of this and then textured it with the more sandy dooder.

I also experimented with some half-tone accents around the border so it is hopefully not too traumatizing or intense, and falls more on the outlandish, fictional side of things. It's only scary if you really think about it, I'd say.

This was done on one layer, hence minimal making-of steps, but all the layer effects, blurs, etc. are of course loaded up on top.

Not normal,


Monday, May 29, 2017


I wanted to draw something for Memorial Day, and this WWII scene suddenly leapt to mind with only about an hour left on the clock.

I took scarce glances at references for the vehicle and rampart things, but tried to keep it as gut-fueled as I could from imagination...I believe that's called a "mood painting."

Plus I'm trying to get more comfortable drawing from imagination, since I tend to rely on references almost as a crutch.

This is how it actually looked with "my" colors, before tuning down the saturation and adding all the blur effects.

Side note: it sickens me that soldiers and civilians around the world are dying for and because of that Orange Fraud. What greater shame is there?

Not normal,


Friday, May 26, 2017


Every day I try to sketch something and post it to Twitter and Instagram by midnight Pacific. Sometimes ideas don't really go anywhere, and I just improvise something else. Today are two ideas that stalled out and I pulled the plug on because they just didn't feel like they were working. This was a medieval knight sorta sketch.

This one was supposed to use sharp yellow, a bold color I don't really use much, combined with my love of rain and umbrellas. Again, this just didn't quite feel like it was going anywhere, but it's not so hideous that I'd DQ it from appearing on Removal. I tend to keep older drawings unpublished that I feel have potential down the road, and maybe I'll develop these a bit more at some point, but I dunno.

Not normal,


Wednesday, May 24, 2017


I wanted to try designing something nonsensical over the digital inks I did over a live-inked sketch from a while back. I chose the name Laura because pretty much all the female editors of papers at Yale were named Laura, so it felt author-y.

I just wanted to dress up the lines a little, but the final, quasi-magazine cover treatment idea came some time after this draft sat for a bit. I just love drawing scarves and negative space, but other than that, this is just a totally random train sketch.

I inked this with a new brush I'd just gotten, that they say is great for inks, and I agree. It's super smooth and crisp, but I do like the slight grit from my trusty Steve Ahn's Ultimate Brush, so I generally stick to that one. I bet it'd look killer with Lazy Nezumi or at least a Cintiq.

Not normal,


Monday, May 22, 2017


I guess this might have been vaguely inspired by my earlier "horror" sketch, but it was mainly because I listened to a podcast or an interview about the new Friday the 13th video game starring Adam Sessler.

I'm not actually into horror movies because they never scare me more than my own imagination. Side note, I am sick of hearing how great The Grudge and The Ring are--we laughed right through that stupid vocal-fry, five-hours-before-anything-kinda-happens movie. I love Japanese stuff, but come on...I'm not giving it a pass.

Anyway, I thought a neat gimmick would be for this Jason-y guy to have a green glove and a red glove. I presume each has different powers. Look, I just wanted to draw a lake/forest scene without relying too heavily on water since that's too much my go-to on these landscape paintings.

The only horror movie I really like is the first half of Jeepers Creepers. The second the reveal the monster after it gets hit by the car, it's like a totally different movie, and I totally check out.

Another good one is, what is it, Detour or Wrong Turn? Some car-related term. It stars Captain Stottlemeyer from Monk, as the trucker villain, and he calls the main character "Candy Cane" over a CB radio. Such a great performance. Apparently he played a more famous character I'm supposed to auto-associate with him from Silence of the Lambs, but I haven't seen it. Not really into movies...!

Not normal,


Friday, May 19, 2017


I saw someone mention an online, in-browser auto-sketching program and wanted to give it a try. The idea is it builds a library of images for people to "autodraw" from, like autofill guesses what you're typing to complete the word, but this guesses what you're trying to draw and completes the drawing for you based on what it has in its bank of art that matches your mad scrawlings.

I wanted to give it a try but it was clunky, a little hard to work with, and was more meant for lineart--the colors I added here were mainly just big chunks of coiling lines filling the space I wanted to color. But the deal breaker was that it froze up on me and so the Link I drew got locked in that state, at which point I was done wiff dis.

It's a neat idea and has great potential for more designy or logo-y art say for posters around campuses and stuff, but it's currently unable to be pushed for more complex drawings. If they can ensure it doesn't freeze up and make it so longer drags don't move your selections of smaller lines or stutter the program, I could see giving it another shot.

Not normal,


Wednesday, May 17, 2017


I saw this striking BWR Steve Ahn sketch and wanted to try a similar take with Vicky since she's all about the black and white and red all over.

I wanted red to take precedence over the original's heavy blacks since that's her signature color, and it would distance the image a little more from Steve Ahn's, but I did want to see what a black treatment version might look like.

I've also been wanting to be super limited in colors, so I wanted to be sure to try a minimal, plain red version. Note the final has a memo she wrote to Fred.

Here's a plainer black version.

And here's where we tried to get a little fancier with the text.

Not normal,


Monday, May 15, 2017


I'm writing this on 7/24/17, as I've been away from updating Removal for a couple of months...absent like a ghost you might I can't actually remember all of the backstory to this. The main point of this site is largely so I myself don't forget what little details and inspirations went into the art I make, so joke's on me.

No real reason for a horror theme, but I remember I was short on ideas and the daily Twi/Insta deadline was close, so I just went with the tried and true random-color-blotches brainstorming technique that usually leads to an idea. I just stumbled on ghosts, which led to the haunted house, and then for a kicker, I plugged in a Jason/Freddy-type serial killer.

As I was uploading this, I remember precisely thinking, "Man, this is idiotic and unappealing, why am I posting this?," and yet this is one of my most popular pieces on Instagram. I still don't think it's that great, but whatever works, I guess.

Not normal,


Friday, May 12, 2017


I once worked with an artist who said that even though he puts out a regular amount of art, each with a little hype cycle to it, truthfully, he really doesn't like some of the stuff he puts out.

He said that despite his distaste for a particular piece he's not proud of, he still has to pretend like it's the greatest, hottest new thing, just the same as if it were one of the pieces he takes great, legitimate pride in.

The trick, he said, is just to treat it like any other piece, despite whatever you're feeling about it. Let people who like it in spite of the flaws you see in it like it, but keep your hatred of the work to yourself, try to learn from it, and move on to the next one.

This one was sorta just splotching non-green/blue colors on the canvas to see what would emerge, turned into an underrepresented desert scene, and then ended with plopping an aerodactyl-style creature in there. It didn't make any more sense at the time, apart from just wanting to paint stuff I tend to avoid, and avoid stuff I tend to gravitate towards.

Not normal,


Wednesday, May 10, 2017


I saw a photo of a placid lady dressed in white standing in an utterly, overwhelmingly vast jungle, and wanted to paint something similar.

The red dot represents Japan, or love, both to be held close to the heart. I love using negative space, and this felt like an excellent opportunity to try some out--the person here is the absence of being, anyone can be here, overwhelmed, but clinging to what they love.

The version posted to Twitter and Instagram is just passable, but the final version for Removal features some additional post production: with these color sketches, I usually stick exclusively to Steve Ahn's Ultimate Brush on a single layer of drawing, but for the post production I used additional drawing layers for some "star"/dusty brushes for the jungle sparkles, and the KNKL Chalk brush for additional lighting effects.

I'm trying various blur combo effects, too, such as the motion blur at a totally vertical angle to give the trees more height, and a zoom blur to give it a slightly eerie feel, or at least so it's less strictly comfortable or peaceful as a happy-go-lucky forest scene. Another change up was when RGB shifting, I set the blue layer to a unique layer style from its cohorts.

Tangentially, I was also kinda inspired by Dance Gavin Dance's latest release, apparently a cover to a pop song called "That's What I Like." The idea of whisking someone away and making them happy is quite captivating. I mean, that's sorta ultimately the goal with art--take people away and make them happy.

Or something like that, at least.

Not normal,


Monday, May 8, 2017


I just wanted to try drawing something on super loose lines, almost jumping to overpaints asap, and this was inspired by the recent French election, where at long last evil lost.

So I just sketched in a super rough skeleton of a drawing and flatted it, then went to coloring and collapsing! the two in short order.

I then dropped some filtery layers over top and generally tried to keep it as straightforward as possible, with allowance for roughness and sketchiness.

I wanted to try drawing a darker skinned person, as I think it's kinda neat when you think about how much we abused and disrespected black people here, meanwhile when they went to fight in the war, they felt welcomed in France.

And now here we are looking to Germany and France, etc. to be the heroes, and we're stuck as some trollish villain for the time being.

But we'll get there. Related, I also wanted this to be a female here because I was also inspired by Sally Yates's utterly heartening, unflinching patriotism in the Senate.

Not normal,


Friday, May 5, 2017


Just pull the plug, it's Sick Little Suicide #32, "Glow," in which we witness the evil of apathy.

They just passed that orange fraud's new healthcare bill in the House (I'm writing this on 5/4/17), and it's simply abominable, the evil that voting yes means. Among the frankly unreal list of horrible aspects of the bill, one of the most intolerable factors that should have been a deal-breaker to any reasonable human being is how cruelly it determines and handles pre-existing conditions. The most heartless consideration being how this label manages to strangle rationality to include under its hideous reach domestic abuse and personal violations. This spits in the face of no less than half the population, and forces women into the unthinkable situation of having to tolerate and suffer through domestic abuse for fear of reporting this and having their situation taken as a pre-existing condition, which would then preclude coverage.

What nightmare betrayal do you invite upon people in such unthinkably dire circumstances? How evil do you have to be to tolerate any bill that allows for that? Our very partners in existence, our co-pilots in humanity are not worth decency--basic, human decency? What third world country is this?

Anyway, I was inspired to draw this response by Nancy Pelosi's speech denouncing the bill, where she mentions towards the end that even if the bill is defeated in the Senate and people vote yes in the House just to get it into the upper house so they can iron it out, a "yes" vote means you approve of the bill as is, regardless of how it ends up in its final form. "Yes" means you not only condone but affirm what the language of the bill says right now, that the people who stand to suffer and/or die because of this or any successor of this bill are not worth any further consideration or due protection. The extended quote is as follows:
This is one of the best civics lessons we can engage in. Because of what happened following the election, the American people are engaged. They are paying attention. I'm not saying in a political way, I'm saying in a personal way. A former Speaker said, 'All politics is local." In the case of healthcare, all politics is personal. And so, this civics lesson will teach the American people a number of things. As special as we think we are when we come to the floor here, most Americans don't know who their member of congress is. But they will now, when they find out that you voted to take away their healthcare. They will know when you put an age tax on them or undermine Medicare, Medicaid, and the rest. Oh yeah, they're paying attention, because it's really personal with them and their families. So, I think we have to get ready for that.

Our colleagues who have the mantle of being a "moderate," you vote for this bill, you have walked the plank from "moderate" to "radical." And you're walking the plank for what? A bill that will not be accepted by the United States Senate. Why are you doing this? Do you believe in what is in this bill? Some of you have said, 'Well, they'll fix it in the Senate." But you have every provision of this bill tattooed on your forehead. You will glow in the dark on this one. You will glow in the dark. You will glow in the dark. So don't walk the plank, especially unnecessarily. Our responsibility to the sick and the hurt is biblical. It's fundamental to who we are.
-- Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, 5/4/17

Drawing this goon kinda reminded me of this old SLS, but this guy was just drawn to look evil--though I recall that being their motive way back in 2010, too, are these people existing? That old comic was about denying 9/11 first-responders. Anyway, I wanted this character to be an old white guy, because that is precisely who is behind this. Look at the self-congratulatory photos. You'll see an old white lady on occasion, but it's these people who refuse to show kindness and openness to their fellow humans and who are simply dead-set on making the many suffer for the benefit of the few, encapsulated in this "health" care bill that serves to release funds from health so that they can cut taxes for super-rich people who in no way need the help. That is why the character also had to be fat. It's greed driving this.

Greed is the basis of everything here (and so much more in the world in general, come to think of it). Greed makes you unable to tolerate giving up anything and you just want more and more. A life-changing quote came from early Bill Burr podcast episodes, where he unwittingly outlined a succinct life philosophy in his question, "how big do you need your yacht to be?" That sums it up quite neatly: if you are doing well, great, that doesn't mean you need to dominate. Just accept that you are rich or otherwise well off, and stop questing for even more obscene reaches beyond. Be happy with being set for life. It's like in Magic--there are so many "win more" cards and effects that are pointless once you're already in a winning position. It's not only pointless to win with overkill, but then when you develop a need to do so, then you're just jumping off into dangerous, evil territory that inevitably will clash with the greater good. In Magic, you start cheating or dirtbagging to assure domination, in life, you mistreat people to assure you get every ounce of everything you feel is or should be yours.

For the art direction on this piece, I thought of Tyler The Creator photography, and that haunting Childish Gambino album cover, which I first encountered on the plane back. I wanted the piece to be basically monochromatic, but with a reddish tint for the Republican party's official color, as well as to reflect the diabolical nature of these evil, cruel monsters--the hair even spikes up into horns, along with creepily pointy ears. Freaky, freaky stuff.

So, I guess it comes down to: how freaking evil do you have to be to vote yes? Every single Republican representative from my home state voted yes, which was further disgusting. Some would even hang up on you if you called their office, like the infamous Darrel Issa. Ring ring click. These disgusting un-human villains must be voted out in 2018. People will die because of their pettiness, ignorance, and greed. We must never forget the betrayal against our own people that they condoned and applauded. All for what? So that already rich people get to be even richer. You disgusting, shameless monsters. Great calamity upon you, least of which should be eviction from your seats in 2018.

Not normal,


Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Not quite an SLS, but I wanted to do something vaguely political, and then thought it might look interesting as a magazine cover.

It's vaguely inspired by the leaks inundating that Orange Fraud, but particularly for the text, I wanted to keep it just general enough to apply to almost any time plausibly.

Easter Eggs: Some of the names come from Yale classmates and our Freshman Year dorm; Watergate source Deep Throat; and John Oliver's old podcast, the Bugle. The headlines are vaguely inspired by Flynn's firing and the impending Comey testimony (I'm writing this the Tuesday before his scheduled 6/8/17 testimony). The sky is orange and horrific for obvious reasons. The faux mag's motto means "Understand Everything in Time."

Fun Facts: Yale offered bus service to go see President Obama's first inauguration, but I passed on it as I felt it wasn't that big of a deal; I don't regret the decision per se, but I do feel going would have made the current situation feel a little less disgusting. I fully intend to be as politically apathetic, though perhaps never again as much so, as pre-2016, once all this idiocy is over and we have adults in charge again.

Anyway, the idea was to have some vile flood invade vaguely Washington, DC-esque buildings with dramatic perspective. The liquid started as water but eventually went to something like blood. This is again drawn on one layer with the SAUB, and then stacked with a bunch of post-production.

Not normal,