Posts Tagged ‘digital art’

Digital Art Sunday: Bugs Bunny Appropriation

About a year ago I messed around a little with making some appropriation art. There’s something about it that doesn’t totally sit well with me, which is weird because there is a lot of appropriation art that I do like. It just makes sense that if I like some of it then I should make some of my own. Why not put my own spin on appropriating popular images? Because, let’s face it, there is a lot of questionable appropriations out there. I certainly wouldn’t be able to single handedly ruin the art form. I don’t really have to dig too deep to realize why appropriating makes me a little queasy. Simply put, it’s just low hanging fruit. There are so many artists, especially on Instagram, who seem to have made an entire career out of painting other peoples images. Some of them do it in a clever way with their own unique twist and others are straight up knock offs. The outsiders perspective (mine, at least) is that all of them are laughing all the way to the bank.

Quick interruption, shouldn’t the phrase “laughing all the way to the bank” be phasing out by now? To get with the times we need to start saying, “laughing all the way to Venmo” or “laughing all the way to Square” or “laughing all the way to PayPal”. Ok, moving on…

And it makes sense that some artists have made appropriating a career. It’s the same reason there are so many remakes/reboots in the movie industry. The path has been paved. Why risk making something new that nobody knows about and attempt to make that new thing popular? It’s so much easier to take something that is already popular with a built in fanbase and just remake that. Like I said, it makes me a little queasy, it’s low hanging fruit, and in way it sort of lacks integrity. After I drew my first appropriation piece (my take on Jiminy Cricket) it took me about three months before I posted it on Instagram. Before that I only showed it to maybe three people. The people I showed it to were supportive of it, which was nice, but I still waited awhile before posting it online for the whole internet to see. I finally got over my apprehension because I realized I’m the only one thinking this much about it, meaning nobody cares. And at the end of the day, making art is fun and if I enjoy the process of making something that’s the important part for me. If the outcome is a success that’s just a bonus. Also, what I did wasn’t a straight up knock off. I added my own style to the original source, which, in the world of appropriation art, is taking something that exists and making it your own. That’s a big difference compared to the artists out there taking something that exists and copying it. I tried my best not to do that.

I could go on and on about this topic, but I’ll stop for now and file it away for another time. Anyway, I posted this Bugs Bunny piece on Instagram back in May and all I wrote for the caption was, “What’s up, Doc?” and now I’ll expand on that. I grew up watching Bugs Bunny. I know a lot of people my age did, but I was really into it. I even had that Looney Toons book with the real life animation cell in it. That totally fascinated me. I had no idea how cartoons were made and when I saw that animation cell in the book it was pretty mind blowing. What I’m trying to say is that I chose Bugs Bunny to appropriate because he really meant a lot to me and I’ve been a true Bugs fan for as long as I can remember. This wasn’t just a mindless decision based on the fact that Bugs Bunny is popular.

I have yet to make an actual painting appropriating a popular character from our culture and I’m not sure if or when I will. For now, since I’m sticking to the digital realm with my appropriation art, I thought it would be fun to throw the characters into my own photos. Here’s the original photo that I used for the Bugs Bunny piece.

I took this photo in the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park earlier this year. It might seem random, but to me it makes perfect sense for Bugs Bunny.

I’m curious what your thoughts are about appropriation art. Not just mine, but the art form in general. Let me know.

Hope you had a fantastic weekend.

– Jeff

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Want to see more?
Check out Jiminy Cricket. I chose him as my first one because he’s not only a cool looking character, but the shape of his head was perfect for the faces I paint.
And also Fred Flinstone. I chose him because I watched the Flinstones when I was a kid and I mistakenly thought Fred’s head was also the perfect shape for the faces I paint. It turned out super ugly, so I hope you get a good laugh at it.

Digital Art Sunday

Ok, first things first. “Digital Art Sunday” is not a thing. I just suck at coming up with titles. At least you know what you’re in for by the title alone. So, here we go!

All of these were made using the Procreate App, iPad Pro, and Apple Pencil.

I don’t really have a title for this guy yet because I might add some more stuff. Other than the perfectly spaced dots that make up his hair and the drips coming off the bottom of his face it actually looks like it could have been painted. At least the background and the white splatter. This is kind of funny to me because my brain tells me if I’m going to draw digitally I should embrace that and make it look digital. If I want it to look like a painting I might as well just make a painting. Ah, but that’s my own silly struggle. In the end I suppose this is a good mix of the two. On the other hand, I just like making stuff and I usually only draw on the iPad when I can’t paint. You know, like when I’m in the car waiting for Elliott to get out of school or when I’m at Red Scooter Deli waiting for them to make me an Iced S’mores Latte.

I love bunnies. When I look close at this I find myself asking, “what gives it away that this is a digital drawing?” The victorian design in the back could really go either way. I’ve used extremely similar designs on paintings with screen printing as well as spray painted stencils. If I didn’t know any better it could be a tough call. However, for me, the whiskers are a dead giveaway. The perfect oval shape of his little bunny nose too. I love this background and the fun thing about digital art is that I can easily change the colors and use the same background image on another piece.

This one doesn’t look painted at all and that’s great. I’m trying to do that more and more because, like I said earlier, my brain struggles with this and I need to embrace the digital look. I do love that Procreate has a “brush” that makes the woodgrain background. That’s fun. Also, I drew the majority of this while at Red Scooter Deli waiting for them to make me an Iced S’mores Latte. Because that was almost the only time I worked on this it probably took me about 2 months to finish, which, if you think about it, is a great testament to how fast Red Scooter can make one of the most delicious drinks I know.


Yes, it’s Jason Voorhees from Friday The 13th. I drew this on the last Friday the 13th that happened in September and you can expect to see it again in December when we have another Friday the 13th. This “appropriation art” is a whole BIG topic I would love to get into, but I’ll save that for another post.

Another blog down. Eleven more to go.

I hope you’re loving Blogtober.

See you tomorrow!
– Jeff

P.S. I always feel douchey when I say “I made this on the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil”, but I did use those things. It just makes me feel like I’m trying to brag about having cool shit and that’s not the case. It’s just that some people want to know the tools that are being used.

Anyway…
Thanks for looking!

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See me do more douchey stuff on YouTube.
And I would love if you followed my shop on Instagram: @vivapaso.

Time Lapse Tuesday: Pirate Digital Doodle

So, I got this GREAT idea last month. You know how every day is National Something Day? Like, National Donut Day, which is one of my personal favorites. Well, for every day of the year there are actually multiple things honoring all kinds of random shit for that particular day. There is even a National Day Calendar to keep track of all of them. Take today, for example. You may not know it. In fact, you probably shouldn’t know it and I almost feel bad taking up your time telling you, but today is National Cheese Curd Day. It’s also National Grouch Day as well as National I Love Lucy Day. Why do any of these things get a day? I have no idea, but back on September 19 it was National Talk Like A Pirate Day. And this is where my GREAT idea came from. I figured I could use the absurdity of some of these National Days as a prompt for something to draw.

True to form, I did it once and then never again. I actually attempted a few more, but ditched those digital doodles because other things took priority. I do love the idea though and totally encourage you to give it a try if you find yourself stumped on what to draw on any particular day. What made it a GREAT idea to me is the hashtag possibilities. Obviously, I am not the first person to think of this. National Talk Like A Pirate Day was trending on Twitter and there were a lot people using #nationaltalklikeapirateday on Instagram, so it could be a good way to find some like minded individuals as well as promote your art and maybe pick a up a few fans along the way. Ok, enough jibber jabber. Here’s the time lapse.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading and watching and hanging out.
See ya!

– Jeff

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Was that enough? Are you not satisfied yet? Well then…
Check out these “stump paintings” from five years ago.
If you like painting time lapses here are some more.

I’m An Appropriation Artist Now

Yes, it’s true. Not really though. I could never give up “my” art to be a full fledged appropriation artist. I just don’t have it in me. Sort of like how I don’t think I could ever be a full on abstract artist. At least not at this moment in time. With that said, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and play around with the idea of making appropriation art and Jiminy Cricket’s head was just too perfect for the faces I like to paint.

For a long time he lived on my iPad. Just him with a solid white background. It didn’t seem fitting to throw him over the top of one of my typical layered and textured abstract backgrounds. Eventually, I started looking through my photos and came across this one I took in the subway and it seemed to work.

After Jiminy I started making a list of cartoons that I watched as a kid and scoured the internet looking for images that I thought one of my faces would work well with. For some crazy reason I thought this image of Fred Flintstone would work well.

It turned out way uglier than I had anticipated, but that made me laugh and what’s better than cracking up at your own jokes. Nothing! Like Jiminy, I needed a background and found this photo I took one early morning in front of Sunshine Donuts. It seemed to work too.

I watched A LOT of cartoons as a kid, so the list I created is quite long. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to making all of them, but it’s been a fun escape from what I normally do.

Hope you enjoyed them.
– Jeff

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Not bored yet? Want to hang out a little longer?
Check out my YouTube Channel.
Stalk me on Instagram.

Oh yeah, boring BONUS stuff for those of you that want to read about the process. So, I found an image of the character I wanted to appropriate online and saved it on my iPad. Then I used the Procreate app to make the artwork. Procreate is now my go-to art app. I use it more than any of the others. I also use the Apple Pencil and if you draw a lot on an iPad I highly recommend it. It actually has made making digital are a lot more fun for me and I’ve had a big problem with making digital art in the past. Ok, see you next time.

New Video: Making a Timelapse With Procreate And Why I Hate Digital Art

I’m calling him “Truth Seeker”. Anyway, I’ve been using the Procreate app very sporadically since I first downloaded it a few months ago….until now! The past couple of weeks I’ve been using it a lot more and am starting to see that I finally “get” it. Let me explain. Obviously, I get how a drawing app works, but you know when you use something for the first time there is a bit of a learning curve and the only way to understand the thing is to spend time with it? Well, I finally reached a point where I’ve spent enough time with Procreate that I feel a lot more comfortable with it now. I’ve seen and used a lot of the features it offers and there is no doubt why it’s become the industry standard for drawing apps. Even my 6 year old loves it.

He sort of gets it too. Admittedly, the app has so many features and ways to customize brushes and whatnot that I will never be an expert with it, but if a 6 year old can have fun and be creative with it you know you have something awesome on your hands. I sat with him and showed him a few things like how to pick/change colors, brushes, and brush size. He didn’t quite get the idea of using layers, which makes perfect sense because when you’re 6 and used to working with markers and paper there are no layers. You just draw your thing and you color it in. Done.

If you have a minute please check out this video.

If you know me, you should know how uncomfortable I am talking to the camera, but I’d like to go a little deeper about my hang-up with digital art. When you’ve done something one way for 30 years it can be a bit of a challenge to change your ways. At a very young age I stopped drawing with pencils and only used ballpoint pens. It probably has something to do with commitment issues because using a pencil means you can erase what you don’t like. In other words, there is no commitment with a pencil. With a pen I forced myself to deal with whatever I put down on paper. If I drew a face and one eye was bigger than the other eye I had to deal with that imperfection. If I accidentally smeared the ink I would have to turn that smudge into something and work it into the drawing somehow. I’ve always loved this type of inventing and letting chance play a role in the creative process. Digital drawing throws all of that out the window because it’s so easy to erase or undo your last step. Just in the past week I’ve started to get over this hang up of mine and am trying really hard to think of erasing as a tool instead of a hindrance. Using the “undo” option as a benefit as opposed to seeing it as a handicap.

This probably seems obvious, but painting with a brush on a wood panel is different than using an apple pencil on the glass surface of an iPad. Even though I know they are different my problem is that I’ve been thinking of drawing apps this whole time as synonymous with painting. Sort of like how driving one car is practically the same exact experience as driving a different car. You might have to adjust the seat and mirrors, but the steering wheel works the same. The reality is that making digital art on an iPad is wildly different than painting on a wood panel or a canvas. Instead of throwing the two in the same category and thinking of them as being synonymous I should have been thinking that the two are synonymous with creating, not painting. Now that I’ve come to this realization it’s getting easier for me to embrace and enjoy making digital art. It’s a totally different beast and needs to be treated as such. Why am I talking about this? Because making art, whether digital or physical should always be fun. It can and should be challenging at times because that means you’re making progress, but it’s not supposed to make you frustrated or mad and that’s what drawing on the iPad was doing to me. It was making me mad, which is crazy because I love creating and making things. What it comes down to is this. I was using a hacksaw to do the job of a hammer. I was putting a band aid on my elbow when I had a skinned knee. I was boiling an egg when…oh, I don’t know, but you get the picture.

I’m not sure if you’ve had this or a similar hang-up, but the lesson here is something I got from watching Big Hero 6 last night. “Look for a new angle.” If it worked for Hiro it can work for me. Thanks, Tadashi.

Thanks for reading!
– Jeff

P.S. – Spoiler alert, but Tadashi should totally not have been killed. Freaking Disney!

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I know that was a lot, but if you’re not sick of me yet…
Follow on IG: @jeffclaassen
Subscribe to my channel, or at least watch some of my videos.

New iPad Doodle

Off My Meds
“Off My Meds”
5″ x 7″ limited edition print on wood, signed and numbered on the back
$50, plus shipping

I drew this using Adobe Ideas for iPad.

I’d get more in depth about this, but I currently have a weak wifi connection and am trying to post something before midnight (which is 10 minutes away) to meet my “blog a day” goal.

Thanks for looking!
– Jeff

Doodle On iPad With Sketchbook Pro

sketchy head doodle - sketchbook pro, ipad

I forget if I posted this on here, so I apologize if this is a repeat. Anyway…
I made this while talking on the phone with my mom. Phone calls are the best doodle times.

Enjoy!
– Jeff

A Waiting In The Car Doodle

I really don’t like grocery shopping. Coral, on the other hand, loves it. At least it seems like she does. I developed this particular shopping behavior in which I only buy what I can carry in my two arms. Because of this I rarely spend more than $20 at the grocery store at once and my perishables stand a much better chance at not perishing. To me, it’s a win-win. Grocery shopping with Coral is a totally different experience that ends in handing over a $100 bill and involves a cart overflowing with everything from cereal and tortillas to string cheese and arugula. In typical man fashion I try to avoid these grocery shopping excursions as much as possible. Today I was lucky enough to dodge shopping by sitting in the car patiently, which gave me some doodle time on the ipad.

sketchbook pro

Fat Tag, Adobe Ideas and Sketchbook Pro

I’ll be honest, the Ipad is a fun toy. I find myself killing a lot of time with that thing in my hands. When I get frustrated with my inability to get three stars in every level of Angry Birds that exists I try to make some of my Ipad time productive. Lucky for me, making art is my job, so I can call doodle time “working”. There are a lot of drawing apps available in the Apple App Store. I’ve tried out a bunch of them and have whittled down the list to comprise only my favorites.


For this doodle session I used the following apps, in this order:
Fat Tag
Adobe Ideas
Sketchbook Pro

By no means is this post intended to be a tutorial, so I won’t be getting in depth on any of the steps. I just love “behind the scenes” stuff and assume everybody else does too. Don’t lie. You know you do.


Quick doodle using Fat Tag


I took a screenshot of my Fat Tag doodle and opened the image in Adobe Ideas to trace over the pixelated sketchy lines. Adobe Ideas is awesome because it automatically turns every line you draw into a vector image. Yeah, it’s totally sweet. Oh yeah, to take a screenshot on your Ipad just hold down the power button then hit the home button. The screen will do a little blink like it’s taking a photo and your screenshot will be saved in your photo app.


It certainly helps to zoom in a lot when you’re tracing over a sketchy line. Just look at those yummy vectors in comparison.


And the tracing is done.


Here you can see the drawing layer and the photo layer.


I might have done more work than I had to here, but I was just winging it so this is the best I could come up with. I opened Sketchbook Pro and put my traced version of the doodle on one layer and the screenshot on another layer. I could have added the drips anywhere I wanted, but at the time I thought it would be best to keep the drips similar to the original doodle.


I tossed some yellow in there and…


Voila!

Digital Finger Painting at 2am

sketchbook pro @ 2am

A little something I did with Sketchbook Pro when I couldn’t sleep the other night.

Sitting in Black Horse Coffee Shop


iPad doodle

Rode bikes with @cerezasytigres to Black Horse, where she treated me to a yummy drink I had never had before. While sipping (well, let’s be honest, gulping) my delicious drink I made the above image using SketchBook Pro on the iPad. It’s an amazing program and I recommend it to all.

Check out the Flickr group to see what other people are doing with SketchBook Pro. Some of the stuff is truly amazing.

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