HEY THERE TRUE LURKERS!
In a few months I'm going to be releasing the "AZATHOTH INVOKED" print and throwing in these killer usb cards! USB Memory Direct printed my painting on them as you can see below and they look rad!
Here's the link to check them out! http://usbmemorydirect.com/
On each usb I will have the song I wrote for the time lapse. Get ready for it!
I sit here writing this less than 24 hours after watching the final-cut of the newest Mastodon video that I had the privilege of creating along side some of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with, and which I will say more about soon. Watching this project come to fruition has been an incredible experience during which time I learned the true nature of real creative collaboration. Like most artists I know, I’ve spent most my life being a control freak about my work; needing things to be a "certain" way to match my very specific vision of a creative project. Asking for outside opinions or interpretations of my work has never really occurred to me, which understandably, has made me a pretty tough dude to collaborate with.
That is, until a few years ago when I started to let go.
I don't know if the shift was brought on by overwhelm, or because it was just time to see things differently and transform from an uptight control freak to more of a free moving collaborative, but once I was open I became a kind of magnet for attracting awesome freak energy that could be added mine. Like sometimes I'll have someone sculpt some crazy ass figure for me, and they're interpretation isn't really too much like the drawing I did for it, but I end up loving it. I don't know man, maybe age has squished my ego, or maybe I just don't care about getting recognition for my distinct style as much as I like to see what happens when I let myself work collaboratively with others.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that my art is not going to disappear if I compromise. I still make it with my hands, but I like to see what happens now more than ever when my art goes through the filter of what others bring to it. It's so much fun seeing what someone can do. And to be honest, I’m finding that people are getting into these projects as much as I am, if not more!! It's absolutely incredible to put yourself out there into the universe, openly, and get people that are into it and have faith that it's going to be, not just ok, but fucking amazing! People are really good at what they do and sometimes it's just best to let them do that.
With so many creative cooks in the kitchen, the video I did for Mastodon could have very easily turned into a train wreck. But I guess most everything I do feels like it's bordering on train wrecking while I am wildly trying to build track before it flies off the rails. I don't know if that's good or not, but it just is that way for me. The truth is, I think if you put yourself out there in a big way (with a pretty big amount of risk) you will attract the kinds of things that it will take to make it great, or you'll learn from it not ending up the way you would have liked. Either way you actually win. Sorry if I'm being annoying and positive but having faith in things has been kind of my weakest trait. I have had no faith in anything most of my life. Maybe it's some banal childhood darkness that has trained me to be that way, but that shit needs to go to bed when there's a chance to do something great! You have to reach out there and see what could happen. Sometimes the right people reach back and the Mastodon video is a great example of the perfect storm of creative, freaky cats coming together to make something epic! Looking back at it, I couldn’t be happier with how the video came to be, or how it turned out!
People have been asking me how I got the chance to art direct a video for Mastodon. Well here’s how it happened: One morning I asked Brann, "What do you think your cat does at night when it goes out the cat door? (Brann has an incredible one-eyed giant cat named Don). Do you think he goes on some insane cat adventure?" This is how my brain works when I'm getting that coffee buzz going in the morning. Plus, I've long been suspicious of secret cat adventures for years. Since I was little I’ve thought," What the fuck are they doing out there all night?" Anyways, Brann said," That’s a cool idea. Why don't you write a treatment for a video?" AND THUS IT SHALL BE!
I took the next day off to stay at home, smoke pot, chill with my cats and listen to King Crimson records while I wrote out the story for the video. Somehow this strange idea just started wriggling its way out of my brain and there was not a moment that it felt like a struggle to put together. It came out fast as I could write it, which is rare for me. I think it’s rare for most creative, except maybe Jack Kirby, RIP. Anyway, I wrote this sumbitch' out like crazy, all free-hand, and then I typed it up, drew out the storyboard, and sent it over to Brann! Months and months went by and I kind of forget about it, because stuff takes time and you never know what will happen, and Mastodon tours all the time, and you just never know what will stick and what won't in this world. Besides, I figured Warner Bros might read the treatment and think ,"Cool! People love cats! We can work with this," but then read the whole expansive subterranean psychedelic hero cat journey universe and think something like," Wait, what the fuck is all this other stuff? This will cost us millions! Shut it down!" Like I said, life’s a crapshoot. So time goes by. Then one day Brann hits me up and says," We should make that video." AND SO IT BEGAN! We reached out to Shane Morton from Silver Screm FX lab, the greatest practical effects guy ever, and an inexhaustible wealth of creative knowledge of horror films, comic books, the occult, and all things wrestling. Shane is an unending art tornado, a juggernaut. Trust me, I thought I was a juggernaut, but no, this guy puts me to shame. Shane quickly put together a budget based on the treatment I wrote, we turn it into Warner Bros, and with some coercion from Brann, and some advocacy from the Mastodon team we were able to convince Warner Bros that we knew what we were doing. After a month or two of them deliberating (no we didn't have to blow anyone...this time) the project was approved! Now the only thing we had to do was start, and make it awesome.
Because I'm an ambitious nerd and because Brann is one of my best dudes, I wanted to something absolutely insane-- better than all the Star Wars movies and Dark Crystals combined! I’d have had to rise to the challenge, but luckily I love a challenge! When I got to Atlanta where the filming would take place, Shane had already started work on the sets. I'm talking whole rooms transformed-- big ones. Everyday we added more and more and more. All the people I got to work with on this project were incredible. I made so many friends and got to be around this incredible rebel art spirit everyday. It felt like some kind of bohemian apocalypse puppet art school! I learned so much from everyone there. Thinking of them now makes me miss them all over again. But for almost three weeks straight we worked together building sets, crafting puppets, painting totems, carving mushrooms and sewing costumes. It was absolutely crazy and I loved it! I met Chris brown (not that Chris Brown) who is this wild puppet making genius who trained in Europe and did all this prestigious puppet Illuminati shit that I can't really talk about. I was completely enveloped and the project eclipsed everything else in my life for those weeks. I met video Rahim (director) and Ashley Simpson (assistant director who kept all of us on point person) and they brought an amazing working knowledge of how it could and should be! Together, they've done a ton of amazing videos and are killing it in Atlanta. This amazing crew of young dudes came in to do lights and camera work and it was awesome to see them do their thing, especially since the shoots ended up being over 15 hours a day. The last day we shot for a full 24 hours! It was bat shit crazy, but we needed to do it to get the shots in the time we had.
Rahim directed the shit out of us, and let Shane and I do some directing too! You should have seen me with my long cigarette and beret hat! I fired and rehired everyone like 6 times-- it was awesome! The first cat we tried out for the video was having a hard time not being distracted so we got this other cat! Her name was Skye! She's so beautiful! You can see in the video how cute her face is. She was a natural! The only problem was we had planned on making the cat puppet look like the first cat so we needed to change the fur over to look like Skye (puppet drama).
Luckily it all got figured it out because Shane is the only person I know that actually does better when he's screwed in the moment because somehow some other magical shit happens and he figures it out and then he walks away all smug like he just solved the Rubik's cube of your life and he knows it. It's pretty great to watch. And he does it like 5 times a day. Anyways, while I was painting this ancient one eye cat totem (an homage to Brann's one eyed cat, Don) I got a message on Facebook from Hey Beautiful Jerk who wanted to know if we needed any help with Digital FX. I thought it couldn't hurt to watch their reel, so I stopped and checked it out and Holy shit man! It was absolutely wild, and you have definitely all seen stuff they have worked on! Katy Perry, Rhianna, a bunch of commercials, Adult Swim stuff, Run The Jewels and much more. They were looking to do something really creative and collaborate with us since seeing my ridiculous posts of us in Shane's spooky shop. I immediately replied YES and they said they were going to be in Atlanta in the next day for a wedding and we should meet. Now tell me that isn't some insane synchronicity. Shane and I talked very openly before I flew out to Atlanta about the only way this project would work, and that would be if we came at it like Alejandro Jodorowsky. We would attract spiritual warriors, just like in Jodorowsky's Dune. (Of course his version of Dune never got made but let's not focus on that for now). We needed spiritual warriors, baby!! And they were flying in from NY and they had no fucking idea how insane we were! So Mark and Gina from Hey Beautiful Jerk became a new element of the video. Mark cruised in with an Electric Wizard shirt on so I knew I wasn't gonna have to translate much. They understood exactly the vision for the video. Rahim had made a sick animatic trailer out of my horrible drawings and it was on! Things were poppin'!
After getting the sets done and the puppets ready and the cat all set up, we started filming. It was total chaos and I both loved it and didn't know fully what was happening. Brann insisted I be the stoner guy on the couch at the beginning and end of the video. I'll be honest and say that I secretly wanted to be that guy, but I was open to anyone who looked better for the role. Luckily for me, I got chosen for it (I'm ready for my close up!). Over the course of 3 days we did scene after scene. I got to puppeteer and help direct. Rahim kept it all going with the help of Ashley's schedule. It was clear to me that some magical shit was going on and I was really sleepy! Ha!
Gina from Hey Beautiful Jerk flew in for the last two days of shooting so that she could consult us on what they were able to do with effects while we made the shots. It was good to know what was and wasn't possible because we needed way more time than 3 days to shoot this thing but we didn't have it. It was completely insane to start the shoot at 10:00 am and end it at 9:00 am the next day. The camera and light guys were definitely spiritual warriors at that point because I don't know a person alive that could have kept going like that. I felt so much appreciation for everyone that was there. They stayed up late each stressful night, not knowing if this was going to be the best thing ever or not. They all kept it going and I am eternally grateful. I wrote this insane story and they were bringing it to life. When we wrapped on the last the morning, I hugged everyone and got on a plane. I had to get to LA for a film festival (I had a mini film debuting at the Lovecraft Film Festival). When I got home, Mark and Gina were in the editing process, adding even more animation and FX elements with my art infused in them! They encouraged me to get more wild with a medium I was familiar with, so I paint and illustrated a few sick ghosts that they thought would take the finished product even further. Well, I more like drugged out smoke hallucinations, but they look like ghosts. I did some font changes and title cards and some cat transformation sequence illustrations. It felt like doing two totally different styles of creation for one video and I loved it! First was going to puppet school, then I got to do what I normally do (painting and illustrating) as well! It was incredible! It felt so freeing!
Then I worked with Gina and Mark to add the last insane effects, the flow and the sequence. They were super attentive to what I thought would honor the original story I wrote as well as adding their strengths to make it something bigger. The timeline to get this beast into the cage and delivered to Warner Bros wasn't leaving us much time, so I put my faith into what Gina and Mark could do. Besides, I really wanted to see what the spirit of collaboration pulled out of them. I was blown away at what was pulled out after going above and beyond to bring what started as an afternoon writing down a cool cat hero story, into this 6 minute long epic of cosmic proportions! Everyone involved went above and beyond! This whole thing was limited to budget and time and the people involved did what they had to do in the time allowed and they all did more then they had to go beyond what any budget would allow. With love and vision and involvement this project became everyone's baby. It's beautiful and its what happens when you don't play by the rules. It's what happens when you treat a project as a process of learning and collaborating with others. When you see what happens when you don't limit yourself. When you do your best and pass it on to the next person to theirs. You watch it grow through the filter of the next person…it's almost spiritual. I had have faith in it, in the people I was working with. I had to believe in it in a way that left no room for doubt. I know that sounds ridiculous but watching something happen in this perfectly strange, perfectly beautiful way that can't be quantified by what a demographic likes or what the kids think is cool or what an executive wants to go viral. It’s rare and special to me that this beautiful collaboration happened, it was a gift. The experience, the friendships, the struggles, the times waking up tired and having to do it all over again. It was the best gift I could have received because I learned more about myself and what I'm capable of than I thought was possible. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do. I get a little emotional watching it cuz I know what went into it’s creation and I'm an emo baby. If you get the chance please check out the links I've provided for the people involved! I think you'll love them as much as I do!
Doing A print for My favorite band for their 30th anniversary of being the BEST†band in the world is an honor! THE†GREATEST†HONOR! for a show in Seattle no less! asked by Secret Serpents!! let alone the fact that the7y were made by Monolith Press! The whole thing is an epic combination of forces that could only bring about something special, and I am beyond excited to have done it! I thank The Melvins, Justin at Secret Serpents and Maus for making it an incredible experience! I am releasing these 9 artist proofs on my site here†shopcriticalhit.com/products/melvins-limited-edition-artist-proof-silkscreen-print for $75...5 color silk screened madness by monolith press so you know its good! i THINK THERE MAY BE A FEW OF THE REGULAR RUN LEFT ON SECRETSERPENTS.COM BUT LAST i CHECKED THEY ARE GETTING LOW, so hurry up if thats what you are looking for! I also still have a few of the Tomahawk artist proof prints i did with Secret Serpents as well so check em out!
THESE†WILL†BE†AVAILABLE†MONDAY†(8/25/13) at NOON!
As many of you know My friend Hal Rotter has been helping as my assistant for little over a year now and has done alot to help expand my empire of art and brattiness..He is moving on to pursue his own career as he is a really great and esteemed metal and strange horror artist...He has worked with alot of great bands like Skeletonwitch and Cattle Decapitation and has helped assist me in creating art for bands and shirts as well..It has been great to work by him and I have learned alot and now he is going solo...so if you find yourself in need of album art, cd layouts, shirt designs or logos hit him up...He is really turning out some great stuff and this is his breakout year! 2012 year of the wizard!! here is some samples of his beautiful work!!
hit him up! 'like' his art page on Facebook or follow him on Twitter...
Shit where do I start on this...Ok so the Butcher King's show was an incredible adventure with my buddy Alex Pardee..we got to really indulge in some weird action that was documented in video as well as the small Butcher Kings manifesto which is available for $10 on the Zerofriends site...I will have some with me at New York Comic con so come hit me up if you want one...they are pretty great and have most of the paintings from the show in them...LA was insane and I saw Wiz Khalifa at Universal Studios...did a great Podcast interview on smodcast.com...totally obnoxious and fun...If you want to hear Jenson try to keep me on topic, which lets be honest...is being "on Topic" really that important? Yeah that's what I thought...There's still some really affordable stuff left at Gallery 1988 (click here to view them) ..so get it while you can I think half the show is already gone so go check it...Here's some links to videos and interviews and such...
Funny or Die.com -- G4.com and SpankyStokes.com also did write ups on our show! Go Check them out!
Also While I was getting ready for the Butcher Kings show I recorded with my heavy ass band Ungoliant for our upcoming album "No More The World of Man" we are going to release all the songs soon but heres one of them buy the first track for $1
and a review by Doommantia.com...check it...also, follow or (like) us on facebook.com/ungoliantdoom
And so...I also just finished a poster for the Primus tour and I will be selling it as soon as I get back from Cuba on the 28th...I am really proud of it...its here on the Primus Facebook page
So...I am going to be painting live at New York comic con and selling very limited prints there with some other amazing homeys...check it here
...I am also selling custom Ollies at Lash's booth which I don't know where it is...Mutant Vinyl Hardcore...
be lookin' at our twitters or something...I personally will be selling custom Ultrus Bogs which will be as rad as the ones I did at San Diego Comic Con...So try and come find my ass and I will get you laced up...I will be at the LuLuBell booth on Saturday I think...maybe noon or something and then also chillin' at the art hustle booth...I don't know when exactly but i will tweet on my twitter as soon as I know...hit me up if you have any questions ok? peace out!
HEEEEEY! heres a pic of the Mural i did for H space a couple months ago altogether in an easy to see kinda way..Havent been able to put it together this way.....its 40 feet by 18 feet tall!!!!!!
...also Heres some pics of the K street beautification project I did with the teens of the WIND center...working with them is very therapeutic for me and really puts the privilege of my life into perspective....young people trying to figure their lives out without parents or people that care...I love them alot...I can see their beautiful spirits while we joke and laugh and paint together...K street down here in sacramento is full of buildings that the city has reclaimed for some reason...its really stupid..this city could not be run by more emotionally unevolved disconnected and elitist morons...K street has been an endless project that millions of dollars has been wasted on by the Rockwellian delusions of a group of bickering adolescents we call "city council" oh yeah anyway...we put our paintings up inside buildings that have sat waiting to be used for something for years in an effort to quell the blight that is K street...It took the artistic efforts of some homeless teens to fix something that a council of overpaid miscreants could not...I am proud to say that I was apart of something organic and real that did something to brighten the day of people walking by abandoned buildings...I encourage everyone to do something in real time to change the conditions of their environment instead of waiting for people you don't know or trust to do something that you would not like anyway...WIND center rules!! Power to the people!
†Heres a link to the rest of the pictures on my Flickr! http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvMoCyk
Heres some flags I painted for my homies in the band Of Legends...stage banners for their upcoming tour...you should go check them out!!!! they are killing it right now!
Also I want to bring some attention to 2 local artists that live here in sacramento...amazing and brilliant people that I admire and respect....Gale Hart who is basically the hardest working artist in Sacramento whom I admire for her tenacity and ability..totally more powerful than anyone could guess by looking at her diminutive frame...an incredible animal rights activist and advocate for the arts in sacramento...I just wanted to share some of her stuff because it is severely underappreciated and crazy talented!! http://www.galehart.com
Andy Steele is another local artist who just had a rad show at La Luz De Jesus in LA (Click here to view his work at the gallery)...I have known him for a little while now and the dude is just ripping! getting better and better... was probably influenced byhis loose and splattery style for my last show on a subconscious level..or conscious..I cant tell the difference anymore but check out his stuff!! It rules.... http://www.andy-steele.com/
So yeah thats my post about some stuff...now I gotta get back to work on my show for October with Alex Pardeeee...
Gonna be bitchin'!!!
Hey! Thank you to EVERYONE who came to my opening saturday night at the shooting gallery! All the people who came from San Francisco and beyond...you won't know how much I think about it when I have a moment of quiet...That the reason someone like me can do what I do is because, I am offered the energy and consideration of friends and Strangers...I think about it often and so I will continue to be accessible and loving to everyone I can...I want to be having as much fun with everyone and scream loudly and long into the night with all my friends....Justin has been really good to me and allows me the space to take alot of risks in my art and grow as a weirdo and an artist..Dayna, jenny, Lauren and Tova are really supportive as well and let me laugh and annoy them so they are cool with me...My girl, Kristie who supports me so much everyday...I love her and she looked really cute at the opening with her shirt she made and her hair was all beautiful and smelled good!! anyways..all my friends that came and even the ones who offered me love from over the interwebs cuz they couldnt make it, THANK†YOU!! so heres some pics and such and vids if you havent seen them....
SO!! also!! This weekend is the OUTSIDELANDS†FESTIVAL in San Fran and they are using my art for the Twin Peaks stage so i am pretty excited about that!! if you go look at my obnoxious art 42 feet high by 24 feet wide! 2 of them! aaaahahaahahah!! so crazy...I am really stoked! I will also be there painting live and getting sunburned...come give me a hi five and some sun burn lotion ok?? ok great I will need that!! ---click to read more---
So Zombie cat is all good and taken care of....I went to go visit him at his new home with my friend Christina who is so sweet and kind...AND responsible which is really good for me so that I don't have to worry about my little buddy...I went over to go take his stitches out of his little arm and got this great pic of Christina holding little Zombirellie..His fur is soft and clean, His little face is healed up and he is super happy so that is a happy ending for the little howling street roamer...
Finished some killer shirt designs for Holy Grail and Skeletonwitch...
They are two ripper bands I really like and am happy to get evil for them..Im gonna do a couple more for them in the next month or so...they are great and easy to work with..My buddy Hal Rotter also did some designs for Skeletonwitch also and I got to pose for one of them which is rad! check his stuff out at RottingGraphics....He has really stepped his game up and is wrecking shit!
Another Ridiculous thing I did was work on a panel that is going to be apart of the worlds largest clock at Burning Man this year...It is actually sponsored by the Guinness Book of World Records which is a rad nerd bonus for me...Its kind of a killer nerd dream come true...Anyway..they are going to have a bunch of artists do the art for the different sides of the markers of time and theres going to be lasers and shit...I dont know...some burning man type shit...I wont be going but your parents might and they can tell us all about it! boooom...heres the panel i did...the theme is supposed to be Rites of Passage...
I did mine based on David Icke and his reptillian agenda...And Im pretty sure that reptiles ass rape and impregnate burnt out rockers in order to fulfill world domination...Hey!! dont look at me like that!! Its the reptillian agenda man!! This shit must be stopped...also my friend Kirsti told me about a snake man that comes out at night and rapes..I thought that was kind of cool..and the burn out rapee is holding a chilli limer which is awesome!! I could drink like 20 of those things and just thrash into the middle of hollow earth...tell you what...You keep me drunk on bud light lime twist chilli limers and i will smash reptiles all night...why not...
So I also did this shark painting to raise money to stop shark finning...Im sorry Chinese traditions but shark finning sharks into extinction is fucked over x a million and its stupid...I will drink 20 limers and punch all that soup out of your old wrinkled traditionalist head...cuz im a dick like that and i love animals more than your stupid last tooth hanging in your ancient shrunken apple head..Its just begging to get punched out...anyways its true...stop eating tiger dicks and shark fins you fucking weirdos...just stop eating meat alltogether and kick back and have a bud light chilli limer with me!!!.....