Thursday, September 30, 2010


So I have not written anything for a while. Hell, with me drawing all the time I don’t think I am capable of writing anymore, more like drawing words. And it is not that I have writer’s block either, I just DO NOT have the time. Ok, enough excuses! I have postponed writing this blog for too long, or until I got used to the new schedule in my life. But as you can see, not even in the face of Armageddon I will stop to communicate my feelings which are of utmost importance (This in reference to my fellow Ecuadorians who are in the midst of a civil unrest due to the fact that the police just felt like they weren’t being paid enough so they decided NOT to work! I think I will write my perspective of this issue in my other blog “La Espina” in Spanish, or maybe not, because like I said before I have NO time at all!!!).  Anyway, it has been more than two weeks since my last entry and to tell you the truth I was hoping you didn’t notice it. Perhaps you didn’t, but it is good to dream that somehow you miss my anecdotal yet funny journals!

What have I done in the past two weeks that I claim I had no time to write this blog? or paraphrasing a little bit, I had the nerve to neglect my audience? The main event was in the first weekend, which I went to Miami to spend time with my beautiful girlfriend and lovely family (Sadly it was not the whole clan). Actually my birthday was two days after the trip but I knew beforehand that I was going to be alone that day so we “pretended” that my birthday was on Saturday, in Miami, with my family.  I know you must be asking yourselves “How in the world Jose would be alone in his birthday? Has he not has any friends at all being the friendly and so easy going kind of guy?” I know, I don’t get it either (sarcastic spasm). To tell you the truth, I have made like two friends, but this is New York and logistically it is a nightmare to meet up with friends during regular weekdays. I had a great weekend in Miami and my family even got me a surprise gift. I was not aware that my brother was going to meet me in Miami. They got me there :)

Since that was just the weekend, the rest of the time I have spent it drawing, painting, reading, doing homework, starving or eating too much junk food, and of course, riding my bike. Yes, Scott Pilgrim and me are one and only (The brand of the bike is SCOTT, so I named it Pilgrim as an homage to Preacher* Comics, clever huh!).

Following I am going to give you a brief description of my feeling about each class and probably post some pictures of my works for the fans (thank you mom, I Love you!) who are supporting me one hundred percent. Following the infamous yet brilliant classes:

·      Painting. - Am I allowed to say that I hate it? It is not that I hate painting; I just loathe all the chaos it creates to make one piece of artwork. It is not entirely soothing because even though you start relaxed creating a nice painting on a white canvas, all the paint, the turpentine, the medium get in the way and it gets messy pretty fast. I am a really neat guy and I need most of all ORDER. So I have to deal with the fact that I need to learn how to paint and also understand color values and mixing. No easy task let me tell you. I am posting two works that I have done at home, they are supposed to be Mondrian rip-offs, one in values of black and white and the other is of tonal values of mixing two composite colors, both in acrylic. The actual painting that we are doing in class is a work in progress, but I can tell you that is a boring still life. I need to take two semesters for this class and then I don’t have to take it anymore. Of course I will paint, but I hope I will be painting digitally. In any case, the career I want to pursuit as a cartoonist does not require me to paint my own work (although it is most advisable to know how to color it) because the mayor publisher have colorists of their own. I just have to worry about understanding the script (if I am not the writer of course), thinking the composition of the pages, panels, etc., pencilling it, and maybe inking it (There are independent inkers too, and very good ones, and it is usually because of a time factor or a better finishing material). Anyhow, I am getting ahead of myself with this, but since we are talking comics, lets cover the next class, Storytelling.

·      Storytelling. - I love this class. This is a sophomore class that I am taking in my first year because I did not have to take Western Civilization (guess what: I took it fourteen years ago). This class is the only one related to cartooning and is amazing how much I enjoy this stuff. For some people it may even sound irrelevant, but for me is the learning of how to tell stories visually. The fun fact is that you don’t even have to know how to draw properly!!! You may even tell a story visually using lines and circles but comprehending composition, sequence and all the fun terms I am learning but won’t share with you to avoid sounding as a complete geek (Too late maybe). In any case, I am sure that my pals at Toys & Comics will appreciate my newfound terminology :) I am not posting any work from this class yet because all we have done are thumbnails (layouts), which means drafts of future works.

·      Drawing. – Fantastic but also very challenging. We just go to the class and draw. Sometimes we draw a nude, or a still life, and most of the time we end up drawing some things that I would have never chosen to draw. That means that I am learning new things. For instance, yesterday we drew a shell. Let me tell you something that you may already know, it is BORING, but also very very hard! This is the class I enjoy the most. Here is a picture of a homework that took me around nine hours to finish. It is incomplete though, perhaps in its 75%. Needs more shading and maybe some background but in any case I am really proud of it. I am also putting the original still life for you to compare and be critics! (My friend Konanz is always giving me a hard time with proportions).

·      Art History. - I have so many things to say about this teacher. He is the most theatrical person I have ever encountered. A lecture from him is like assisting to an underground play performed by Greek actors from the classical period at the Epidauros theatre. I think it is fair to say that I am learning a lot from this guy even though sometimes you cannot even imagine there are people so sophisticated and eccentric as this man.  He is a character all by himself. His teaching style is slow and sometimes very infantile, but everything is now stocked in my head so I am sure that his method is effective. Also I must declare that he has a talent to see art EVERYWHERE. Some classmates have turned in some pieces of “artwork” that I am pretty sure they have done it in fifteen minutes and with a quasi permanent hangover, nonetheless, he has claimed that those pieces are glamorous, brilliant, and exceptional… all this for a napkin full of geometrical figures (not measured, no straight lines). My homework was the least intellectual. I didn’t care for that comment but afterwards I answered correctly and he made all of my classmates to applause my genius response.  I was on stage and shining!

·      Sculpture. – I am sure I said it before, this feels like daycare, but it is getting more fun and weirder by the minute. I do not have many anecdotes since all we have done is make a lot of plaster forms in order to do a sculpture. I am posting a picture of the finished elastic paddle that I talked about in the previous post.

This is it, as Michael Jackson would have said it. The hours are adding up and I am closer to my goal, at least closer than the week before. It is just uphill from now on ;) I hope I did not bored you to death and that more awkward things will keep happening to me to keep you, my loyal fans, entertained!


José Luis 

* You may not know who the preacher is, but rest assured that when HBO airs it I will have to tell you that it was first a comic book (not a “graphic novel”), like I have made so many times by now. I feel like Hollywood is stealing from my underground collection!