kids wall art

Catching up with blogging

Hey Ho everyone, and to you too December!  We have full snow covered ground here in Spruce Grove, and are feeling very festive with Christmas now fast approaching.  So before I get even further behind I need to get this post done.  So please prepare yourselves: Firstly, I've been doing some sketching lately of my raccoon hero character.  So this is what I have in regards to that:

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Some while ago I was discussing an idea with someone that I've not been able to get out of my head.  So it became my next image that I worked on:

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I've called it "The Search for the Great Pink Elephant".  My nieces have definitely had an impact on me and I wanted this little girl to look like she was ready to take on any adventure.  The boy holding the action figure has been inspired by my own son's recent obsession with heroes and action figures, especially Batman.  In fact, here is a little testament to that statement:

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You can't see it, but I'm sure he has Spiderman Socks on too.  Oh, and this instance he's informing me that he requires that lego batman game because HE'S Batman!  It was very hard to argue with him.

I've often talked about Illustration Friday as a fantastic exercise to stay sharp and push myself further.  Many of my favorite pieces and prints in my store are actually IF drawings.  A short while ago I discovered Sketchaholic, a fantastic new site by Bobby Chiu of Schoolism and many other mastery on the web.  On Sketchaholic, Bobby conducts live interviews of industry professionals from Dreamworks, Pixar and many others.  It is very informative, but also a new challenge as well.  Every interview is also a contest, as the interview-ee poses a topic or subject and then chooses a winner at the end of the interview.  Christophe Lautrette was scheduled to be interviewed on Sunday and the subject of his contest was "Marco Polo in Asia".  I happened to be looking for a doodle to do, and this topic caught my eye.  I like history and so I began some wiki reading on Mr Polo.  After some reading I did this:

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It was a great interview and in the end Christophe ended up choosing me as the winner!  I was thrilled of course, as the winner usually gets an original piece of artwork from the interview-ee and since it was sponsored by Corel, I also won a copy of Painter 11!  Happy Day!  Thank you much to Sketchaholic, Bobby Chiu and of course Christophe Lautrette.

Then just yesterday I was discussing an idea with a friend, actually it was my friend's idea.  A Dwarf with a big axe, hammer in his belt and shield on his back charging.  This took me back to my youth when all my time drawing was focused almost completely upon drawing fantasy characters.  Elves, knights, dragons, and other mystical creatures.  It has been too long and so I quickly found this pour out:

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Well, I think that's all for now!  Thanks to anyone who actually read this all haha!

Take care,

-Mike

Commissions Commissions

Hey ho, it's that time again.  Blog post time!  Yeah. So recently I've taken on quite a few commissions for people.  Ever since I did the one of the BFFs a month ago, other people have been asking for me to characterize their kids.

First up we have a picture I'm calling Team R.  The clients wanted me to have  both of her sons in one illustration.  As per my usual practice, I ask for some background so I can try to add some of their character into their...well character.  The older son was into robots, video games, space, and science.  The younger was into, well, "Cool".  So based off that I decided they would make a nifty superhero team.  This is the final result:

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Next commission that came in saw my "movie poster" concept (above) and asked me if I could do something similar for her three kids.  Her oldest was into video games like Halo, second oldest was into skateboarding, and the youngest was into cars and princesses.  After a moment of thinking I immediately had a vision of something along the lines of spykids, mission impossible, ironman, and The 5th Element with a little Mad Max thrown in for fun.  The idea is that they are some sort of team (as well) who are just making off with some important data they just made off with.  I called it Plan B.  Here are a couple stages of my process on it:

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You can see from these stages to the final there are quite a few changes.  The front end of the car changed a lot more than three times too, and it became a night scene.  I really struggle with drawing inanimate stuff like cars and especially cities.  So although it was fun, it was tough.  Here's the final:

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I had a really good time working on these commissions.  #1, I like sci fi/superhero stuff and #2 I haven't done many pics with kids in this age range.  It was a nice change.

Well, that's all for now folks!  I have another couple things I want to share, but you'll have to wait!

Take care,

-Mike

Just an art update

Hey Ho everyone!  My blog is in need of an update and I've had some art that I've recently finished off so: Firstly, this was a sketch I did with my son a while back.  He asked for a crane with a rabbit operator.  Done I said.

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Next is a commish I recently finished and should be available in my store soon (along with some other goodies).  Was a lot of fun to do.

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Next is another recent commission.  This was for my Aunt, and the car used to be my grandma's!  I remember many rides in that HUGE automobile.  Man cars used to be massive.

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Next two are some sketches I did at a recent Book signing at a local Chapters store.  It was a lot of fun and I was drawing most of the day for kids.  One kid came and asked for the Elephant knight, so I said "sure!  Here you go Bud".  Only he had to clarify, he wasn't looking to get that drawing, he wanted another that looked exactly the same...only with a larger sword...that looked like a knife...

"Ok Sure!" I said.  Kids are hilarious.

Lastly, I have one last commission that I did for a friend's business.  She was looking for a caricature of herself, with a little hair flair, to go along with her catch phrase.  I don't do many caricatures, but I love challenges.  Jason Seiler is my current favorite caricature artist.  If he saw this I'm sure he would have more than one bucket of advise and tips for me.

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Well take care everyone.  I'm working on a couple more commissions so I hope to have them up before Christmas now haha!

-Mike

Purrcasso 2009

Hello everyone.  It sure feels like fall outside the last few days.  The summer came and left all too quickly for my liking, but in a way I am grateful for the seasons too.  Fall is beautiful, and rather than going from nice weather straight into icy roads and snow, we sort of get broken into it. Well onto other things.  A while ago I was contacted by Bill Robinson, an amazing artist and talent and genuine guy.  He found me through the Terrible Yellow Eyes contribution I was a part of a while back and participated himself.  He asked if I would be willing to donate a piece for Purrcasso 2009, a charity auction for the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society in Berkeley, CA.  There are some amazing talents who contribute to this and it is an extreme honor to be asked to participate.  Here is the piece I am donating.  It is called "Morning Walk".  I love the idea of dogs walking their owners, and how innocent they are in it.  They just are loving life and trying to get at it as early as possible, often much before we are ready.

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If you are interested in donating a piece and can get it there rather quickly, please go here and contact them.

Take care,

-Mike

Facebook & BoldtmanStudios, plus some other updates

Hey everyone, I hope you are doing well.  I know there hasn't really been much reason for people to update their links to the new site/blog yet, so here's a post. I finally joined Facebook.  I've been avoiding it for some time, but I caved.  A good friend finally said, look, you need to make a Boldtman Studios FB page.  You NEED to.  So I did, though he did give me a lot more reasons than just what I have written there ;)  So go here and become a fan.  The perks of becoming a fan will soon become known ;)  Plus right now I am needing some advise as to which version of an illustration I should be sending to Purrcasso...

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And speaking of contest giveaways ... some other exciting news: I just received the proofs from my "Gophers in Farmer Burrows' Field" book and they looked great.  They're on their way back now with everything pretty much approved or fixed and I hope 4-5 weeks from now to have the product on my site.  I will have a Farmer Burrows launch party with lots of treats and goodies, so be sure to stay tuned.

Now for a little sample of my next book that I've been working, here are the first couple of pages :

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(these may be subject to change - but are still completely copyrightedness by me so no copycopy shinanigans)

That's it for now!  So go join my FB site and become a fan!

See you soon,

-Mike

IF-Caution: things are not always as they appear...

Hello all.  So the end of another week leaves us with yet another IF topic.  I know I've said it before, but I sure love Illustration Friday.  I wish it could be my job just to do illustrations for a topic each day of the week. This week's topic is Caution.  So today I drew a sketch that has to do with using caution, as things are not always as they appear - especially with little girls.

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This one also is a shout out at my niece, the one who "really is" a little princess.

Take care,

-Mike

Terrible Yellow Eyes!

So a short time ago I was contacted by Cory Godbey, an artist I find inspirational and have followed for a while. He does amazing mixed media works and his work just seems to flow like liquid. I've had his link on my "check em" list for some time. Definitely Check em out! Cory contacted me and told me about a little project he was (is still) putting together called Terrible Yellow Eyes. As it turns out he is putting together a tribute site to Maurice Sendak, creater/author/artist of the legendary Where the Wild Things Are and other works. Mr. Sendak is turning 81 shortly (June 10th) and Cory has asked a number of absolutely amazing artists to create pieces of artwork from his book as a Birthday Present to him. To be asked to join a project in the company of such amazing artists is a little overwhelming, but also a tribute to a children's book creator that I personally have found so much joy and inspiration out of his works is beyond discription. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity. Please check out the Terrible Yellow Eyes web site and see all the amazing works so far here. Here is my contribution. I can only hope that it brings a smile to Mr. Sendak on his birthday.

Take care,

-Mike

Hello 2009!

Well here I am again. First post of 2009. I said there was a lot of stuff keeping me busy these last few months and here I am to finally spill the beans. But first things first. Illustration Friday. I was feeling very stale drawing lately. Not a good thing. So to bust out of that funk I decided to get back into a old habit of posting more often (how often have I said that eh?). I really think doing this not only helps me out technically but creatively too. It gets me thinking outside of what I am working on. So here it is. I just did this this morning special for all you IF people (and the couple who visit my blog by other means). Instinct is the word. Enjoy.

Here's the short detail list. Started a new job, blessed with the birth a new beautiful daughter, and I turned 30. The last of these having almost no influence on my my absence while the first two did considerably.

First of all the most important. My new daughter. Now she was born a while ago, way back in October actually (the 16th) and I feel terrible that I have not posted this news earlier because she is so so so precious to me. Naomi Layna. What a blessing and a perfect little baby she has been. She already has such a personality it's amazing. I had forgotten how fast kids grow up but she reminds us of so many of the memories we had with our son Eli. Here is a picture of the cutest little girl ever (biased I know, but I stand by it haha).

Secondly, for the last 6 months I've been working for a company developing iphone and ipod-touch games. It's been quite a blast. We have two out and they have done fairly well. I had quite a bit of fun doing them, in fact so much fun that I am now considering starting my own company and partnering with another to continue to do more games. We have some great ideas that we are looking into developing. It's a very scary market and very competitive, but I still feel that our ideas will even stand out. You can check out here at LaunchKidz.com. If you don't have an iphone the two games are mix n match style, and on that link are some screens of some of the work I did. Also IF YOU DO have an iphone or ipod touch, the site has links to the itunes store where you can get them. They are free too!

Also here is a photo of the largest job I've ever had. It was for Design+Communication. And they were doing a job for the Please Touch Museum in Philly. It was a lot of fun and I appreciated working with them. Their cafe is teddy bear picnic themed, there are a few other illustrators whose work is in there too. As I said in an earlier post, these pictures are huge, I think they are over 16 feet tall.

So that's it for now. Maybe not a great reason for my absence, but it is what it is. I'll keep you all "posted" on our upcoming ventures and new IF and doodles as they come!

Take care,

-Mike