Sunday, December 21, 2008

Why are you so paranoid?

Hello Loyal Readers!

I feel a bit of explanation should accompany this this post, so bear with me. I spent this weekend hanging out with very close friends, drinking Colt 45, listening to music, reading a whole bunch of new material and eating copious amounts of food with my family. Needless to say these activities have had a peyote and Perrier style effect on me, in other words, I feel refreshingly altered.

Now, I would like patently and unapologetically declare my love for Kanye West's new album. Kanye delivers a dynamite pop music experience and does it without sounding like a spoiled four year old throughout. He recently did an interview with the folks at The FADER and if what he says is legit he seems like he's attempting to turn over a new leaf, a leaf that apparently doesn't come from the hissy fit tree. He also keeps a blog that astounded me with it's 'freshness'. Thank-you Mike and Rob for playing Paranoid and changing my opion on the young Mr. West's ability to write quality music. Songs of note on this album: Love Lockdown, Robocop, Paranoid and Coldest Winter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Last one!

Hi Friends,

I've been on a Nintendo kick lately. This is my last Smash Brothers related painting...for a while.
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About 80% of the way through this one I completely lost interest and found myself just putting down more and more color and not improving the painting. So this is a MOSTLY finished sketch that I probably won't ever get around to finalizing.
Next week I'll switch to figures or something more realistic/classical in nature. If anyone has suggestions for what I should do let me know.

On completely separate and unrelated tangent, everyone is always making a big deal about Hokusai's Great Wave and frankly, I'm unimpressed. Japanese Woodblock Printing can be extremely subtle and sophisticated. Look, for example at the work of Hiroshi Yoshida. The composition and the nearly photographic attention to value mixed with organic colors makes his prints some of absolute favorite images.

Solemnly Swearing not to paint more Nintendo Creatures,

Friday, December 12, 2008


Dear DefunctProduct,

Last week you requested that I "DO YOSHI!". Though I'm not sure who you are, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of your manners. Even though we're on the internets, a please and thank-you are still appropriate when a special request is made. Additionally, the use of all caps denotes YELLING and I'm sure that isn't necessary. That said, I was happy to oblige the request.

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This took me about 3 hours today and 45 minutes the other day to learn how to draw Yoshi and come up with a pose. I hope everyone feels free to make requests for drawings and such, it gives me a reason to get busy on the Wacom.

Check out Defunct Product's blog here: The Shortcomings of Sebastian M. Elias

With Holiday Cheer,

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dear Friends,

I love Pikachu. This took me about four hours today.
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Excuse me while I catch 'em all,

Monday, November 24, 2008

Economic Darwinism

Dear Friends,

Imagine for a moment that you are a baker. You run a nice bakery and you specialize in cakes...delicious cakes. For the last three or four years you've noticed that things in your neighborhood are changing. People don't want as much cake as they used to. They want different flavors and fat free icings and fillings. But you decide, "Fuck them, I'm the fuckin' baker." and continue to make the same huge, fattening, boring, ugly cakes that you've always made. Now imagine that your sales crumble and you are going to have to close the bakery if things don't drastically pick up. So you spend the remainder of your budget on ridiculous Rube Goldberg style commercials and moderately famous spokesmen to rescue you from oblivion... BUT YOU CONTINUE TO MAKE THE SAME SHIT CAKES!

Now, do you think that your bakery should be saved with a huge amount of money from the people who don't want your stupid cake?

If you answered "Yes." that question you are either, (a) an idiot or (b) an executive from Ford, GM or Chrysler. Thank God we're on the verge getting a government with a functioning ability to use logic.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Of Rabbits.

Hello Friends,

For the last six months or so my Mom has been feeding a wild rabbit that hangs out in the front yard. She gives it scraps of carrot or celery that are left over from making dinner. She makes sure our dogs don't bark at it while it chills in the shade under the big maple tree. Apparently the little lagomorph even ate right from her hand a few times.
She never brings it into the house or tries to capture in a cage. Pets are denied their freedom in exchange for a lifestyle that by animal standards is nothing short of decadent. This rabbit may get cold and lonely sometimes, but it remains free. My mother maintains this distant harmony with the rabbit and thus I think she considers it a friend, whom she'll care for and pay attention to but will never try to disrespect by wrangling too close a hold on.
Mom told me she found her little friend dead on the side of the road the other day after not seeing him in the yard for a week so. She's a tough woman, but I heard her voice crack and I felt her pain. Whether the bunny fell victim to a neighborhood cat or a careless driver, I'll never know but I sure wish it was still around, the whole situation just seems terribly...unfair.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Dear Friends,

Spare four minutes from your undoubtedly busy day and give Dr. Sagan the time he deserves.

Thank-you Carl,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I love the Beatles.

Dear Friends,
I saw a blog that got me started up on The Beatles today and figured I'd give a list of some of my favorite songs. They're in no order what-so-ever and there are certainly other songs that deserve big praise that aren't on this list. Brother Nick's Picks are below mine and needless to say, he has impeccable taste.

Glass Onion - The White Album
The White Album is both avant-guard and retrospective. This song specifically references a bunch of The Beatles' previous work and puts them into a nonsense context. I'm partial to John's weird darkness in the later recordings and this song manages to be gritty and psychedelic instead of the more pop oriented like Lucy In The Sky and I Am The Walrus.

Baby Your A Rich Man - Magical Mystery Tour
The Boys liked to mix up pieces that Paul wrote (Baby, you're a rich man) with stuff that John had written (One of the beautiful people) and the band as a whole would make them work to together. The song is abstract, ironic, quirky and light hearted. The combination of the various rhythms, the hovering Clavioline (an anolog synthesizer invented by Michel Gondry's grandfather) and the chanted chorus offer up a perfect weird balance that all Pop Art should possess.

Dear Prudence - The White Album
This song is slow build from start to finish that swirls and thumps it's way to a tear drop climax. John wrote this because his friend wouldn't leave her bedroom...I bet she came out to play after she heard it.

Here Comes The Sun - Abbey Road
This song makes the list for it's technical facility as well as it's sentiment. The recording procedure on Abbey Road was by far the most advanced of it's day and this song contains so many layers, dubs, synthesizers and harmonies that it remains one of the deepest and smoothest recordings ever. On top of all that gadgety stuff the sentiment of the song is optimistic and sophisticated. Truly a work of that agrees with my aesthetic almost entirely.

A Hard Days Night - A Hard Days Night
One big twelve string chord and some cowbell makes us all fans of The Beatles! This song is definitive of the band's early sound and demonstrates the level of intensity they were planning on bringing to the music scene. Also, Ringo didn't drum this well again until Abbey Road. When I hear this song I'm reminded of why I love The Beatles.


All You Need Is Love - Magical Mystery Tour
Without a doubt one the most powerful songs I know. Possibly one of the most powerful songs of 60's and 70's. Soothing, true, and just GOOD(not to mention the song was released world wide in one day and recorded in one take).

While My Guitar Gently Weeps - The White Album
This is the reason George is my favorite Beatle. The voice overs on him just sound awesome. The backing piano and organ give this song a very eery tone, while George literally wails on a screaming, crying, weeping guitar. I love it!

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window - Abbey Road
A song which can not be over looked on the B side of Abby Road. Paul's voice and funky bass, John and George with rolling background harmonies, and Ringo......just holding a perfect Beatles beat, all come together wonderfully. Not to mention a chorus that remains my favorite chorus of all time. Makes no sense, but great harmony with another tasty time change.

We Can Work It Out - Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out Single
A song released way ahead of its time. A perfect 50/50 among John and Paul regarding song writing, pure singing ability and harmonies. I think the chorus in this song is brilliant. A beautiful mixture of John and Paul vocally, with a time change that is unmistakably perfect. And finally, the harmonium. An instrument which usually gives a song a sort of rusty squeeze box feel, puts this song in a shiny gold chest!!

Here Comes The Sun - Abbey Road
By far one of my favorite songs of all time. George managed to take you along for a beautiful, bright, and happy trip. Building each verse up to quite possibly one of the most pleasant choruses I've ever heard. I also feel this is one song where Ringo really was the only fit... Without a doubt one of George Harrison's finest!

Please leave a comment and tell me your favorites.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Last Night's Dream

Dear Friends,

Many of you know that my dreams are, for the most part, completely ridiculous. For example, I've roller bladed through a parking garage in Metroid armor killing robots. Liz and I have had to team up to 'solve' a continually collapsing pyramid. On numerous occasions (and I mean frequently) Nick and I have had to battle ninjas. But last night's dream was an entirely different experience, allow me to explain.

Things started off in my astral journey emotionally. I'm not sure of the initial details but I wound up in a hospital with my family, sobbing and hugging my grandfather. Evidently, from this point I was transported to a jungle where I had to RUN FOR MY LIFE because I was being chased by what can only be described as the most insanely terrifying thing anyone could possibly imagine. What was this awful beast you ask? It was Yoko Ono, in a chariot led by five black horses FLYING THROUGH MID-AIR after me...and no, all you skeptics, I am not making this up.

After I lost Yoko and her horse drawn death cart from hell I stopped running, sat down, and calmly enjoyed a movie that was being projected on a large screen hung from the branches and vines. When I turned around, things got weirder. I found myself in an elevated parking lot full of Chevrolet Coupes that presumably have not been designed yet. The most disturbing part of this experience? I am now a WOMAN who looks a lot Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. Naturally, all the cars in the parking lot start to drive themselves across a metal bridge that connects the parking lot to a incomplete building across the street. As they are driving away I try to get into one which evades me by doing k-turns and reverse 180's all over the place. I give up on the car and without difficulty get on a motorcycle and drive down the ramp of the building.

Once on I am on the ground outside the building the motorcycle becomes an exoskeleton style power suit that allows me to fly up the frame of a neighbooring skyscraper. Once on the top of this building I get a 360 degree panorama of the city which is a sprawling Metropolis on the coast of an ocean. This most recognizable building in this city? The Paris Opera that is sitting on the beach like the Asbury Park Convention Center. I then wake up to the sound of my alarming playing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and immediatley feel like I need a drink.

So folks, this is what I deal with while I'm asleep. Aren't you jealous?

Exhausted and Confused,

Monday, October 6, 2008

Shameful Mathematics.

Hello Friends,

Here's a a disgusting little tidbit I just read on the news feed. The chairman of Lehman Brothers, you know the gigantic bank that collapsed last month and begged the government (I.E. you and I) for an even more gigantic assistance package, collected over $480 million of bonuses and payouts since the year 2000. If my math is correct...and the calculator says it is, this man ALONE could pay off 2,244 mortgage loans in the United States based on the average home price of $213,900. The best part about this guy? When the congressman from California asked him if that seemed fair he responded by saying (and I paraphrase) It's not that much money.

Now let's figure that there are maybe two hundred people in the US that have received that kind of money over the last eight years. That equates to $96 Billion, divide that by the average home price and we come up with 448,807 fully paid off homes in the US. I know that some people make more money than others and that some people borrowed way beyond their means. But why should some family who has tried their best to be responsible foot the bill for people who are irresponsible? Why should men with literally TONS of money not help the people who have made them rich? It's immoral, it's unethical and frankly, it bums me out.


Monday, September 29, 2008

New Painting!

Hey Folks,

I just started a self portrait.

Day 1

I'm about four hours into it including the drawing (but not the canvas prep...yuck).
Here is the Palette I'll be using.

My Palette

It's organized and based on a palette that can be found in Parker's "The Painter in Oil". If you don't have a copy of that book, you probably should get one. From left to right the colors are:

Terra Vert
Ivory Black
Cobalt Blue
Burnt Umber
Burnt Sienna
Alizarin Crimson
Cadmium Red Light
Crementz White
Naples Yellow (which I'm going to run out of soon)
Cadmium Lemon
Cadmium Yellow Deep
Yellow Ochre
The two little satellite colors are:
Cadmium Orange and Transparent White (which is to quote Randall Cabe, "Completely useless.")

I'll be using Winsor Newton Oil Medium and Gamblin Galkyd as my mediums. A word to the wise, don't use Liquin for anything. I tried using it in the background on Tommy's portrait and had to use A LOT of varnish to make the paint look even slightly deep and shiny.

Here's hoping this one goes smooth and steady.

High on Medium and Turp,

Monday, September 22, 2008

Walt Disney

Dear Friends,

Many of you will remember the enthusiasm which I received Walt Disney's explanation of the invention and operation of the multiplane camera from a 1957 episode of The Disneyland TV Show.

In this video Uncle Walt uses incredibly understandable visual language to not only tell us a story but to also break-down the workings of a rather complex machine.

Recently I saw a blog post by an animator which explains the how the Disneyland TV show was planned and filmed. Walt used a specific system of shot planning and storyboarding to make sure his audience understood what he was saying with absolute clarity, without having to pander them with boring, incohesive, step by step illustrations. As was his usual style, Walt took us on a journey with him and we're all able to walk away entertained and, dare I say, slightly more intelligent than we were when we sat down.

Lately I've been a big advocate of artists showing respect for their audience. If you happen to be an artist (or producer of any kind) and you happen to be reading this, please, for all of our sakes, take some time to plan out what you're going to be saying to your viewers and how you're going to say it.

As guilty as I am preachy,

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Concerning Football...

Dear Friends,

I was going to write a long rant about how I lament Football today. But that would be pointless. All I'm going to say is that I think football pools are essentially telling your friends that you're smarter than them and then TAKING THEIR MONEY! If you want to really support a franchise (which is all a team is) buy stock and root (advertise) for a company, at least you'll get returns if they 'win'.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sure, why not?

Dear Friends,

Anybody up for a war with Pakistan that we can't afford? No? All the President's men seem to be...and they've been right for the last eight years so I figure we should all jump on board.

Oh! By the way, technically, the President is warmonger. Go look up the definition...try to argue with me. If any of my friends are still proud of voting for George W. or looking forward to voting for John McCain, I recommend they read up on the last 190 years of American policy. At no time in our history have we had more reason to be really ashamed of our leadership than right now! Wars leading young people to die and bankrupting the country, banks failing because of lack of oversight, and one of the major US parties not taking the blame for policies they were once proud of. Aren't you proud of us? AREN'T YOU A PATRIOT?


Friday, September 19, 2008

Finished Painting and Thoughts.

Dear Friends,

Here's the final stage of "Tommy".

Final Stage
I'm surprisingly satisfied with the final look of the painting. I learned a lot about scumbling and glazing, timing, varnishing and charicature while working on this piece. I apologize for the crumby pictures throughout the process but I've been painting in my bedroom and don't even have the proper space for materials never-mind photography. Please let me know what you think.

That said, let's move on to less exciting matters.
Do you know what I really love to do? I love to go out on Friday night. I love it when I get to dance with people, get drunk and wake up naked in a bed full of strangers. I love doing that...most of you knew that already.
But instead of doing that, I'm sitting at home writing a blog entry and watching re-runs of the Daly Show on Hulu. And you know what you're not doing right now? You're not reading this blog entry, because you're out, on a Friday night, dancing, drinking, engaging in casual sex with anonymous strangers and I am jealous.
I hope you've all had fun this Friday, I haven't. I also hope you all take good care of those sweet sweet dancing feet and please everyone, get yourselves tested...those are strangers you're sleeping with for god's sake.

Green with Envy,

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How I feel about this election.

Dear Friends,

I offer an HONEST AND SINCERE APPEAL TO ALL OF MY FRIENDS; Conservative, Liberal, Democrat and Republican alike.

How on earth do John McCain and Sarah Palin have enough credibility to be running even with Barack Obama and Joe Biden? Call me the most far left person that you know if you must but I'm speaking from a position of COMMON SENSE. John McCain has switched an alarming number of his positions in the last few weeks and all anyone knows about Sarah Palin is that she is a hockey mom who ACTUALLY BELIEVES IN CREATIONISM! I don't care if you like Barack Obama and Joe Biden or not, just listen to what they're saying, not what any news organization is saying about them. They have a consistent message and frankly a repectable set of goals for the country.

Please folks, use your best judgment here. One set of people has decieved us in the past and is showing all the signs that they're going to do it again and the other is showing that they are actually THINKING about what is best for their country, not their party.

Don't be fooled, they're up to their same old tricks again.

With Genuine Concern,

Monday, September 8, 2008

First Post!

Dear Friends,

On a whim, I started a blog today. And I want to make a promise to any potential readers I might acquire:

I promise that at some point during the course of this blog, I will offer some bit of information that will completely blow your fuckin' mind.

And I'm not talking about giving you a moment of clarity or any of the cake-eater stuff either. I'm promising a total, irreversible, paradigm shifting, Blogasm from which you shall walk away naked and so mentally satisfied that everything you hear, read, see or think about for the next week will seem as insignificant as Michael Bay's movies.

I don't expect myself to fulfil this promise soon, in all honesty, it could take years. But it seems to me that a blog should be a longterm exhibition of thoughts and ideas and eventually some of those ideas will be good...real good and when that happens you're all in for a treat.

I also promise to write a real post in the next few days.

With Great Regard,