Self promotion is like peeing while doing a handstand...

... its a good trick but to be honest you always end up feeling kinda dirty. Anyway anyway anyway! I set up a Society6 shop for the Comic Sans Gangsters tshirts (and totebags and prints and stuff like that). It was kinda fiddly and sort of complex and weird but I think I pulled it off nicely. The downside is that it isn't that much money per tshirt sold, the upside is I don't have to print stuff myself and pay the printer and handle the logistics. Which is great.

So heres my handstand! Go Buy My Tshirts! I Will FOREVER Love you if you do!!11!!! <3 snuggles <3 Ponypony! CLICK THIS PARAGRAPH!!!!

This is the way they look! Brillo, no?

Totebags and Tshirts?

Its been a while but here goes - my plan is to start printing up Tshirts, either via Society 6 or myself. It'll be a series of them, probably four per series - the first one being an idea of thug-style animals called "Comic Sans Gangsters"...

So a friend asked me if I could be a guest-watcher for the local morning newspaper here in Gothenburg, GP. Basically you figure out something to talk about that you think others should know about Gothenburg, or stuff to do here. I got stuck at Libraries. I love 'em.
I usually bring my laptop and a wacom, pen and paper and just sit there "working" (IE I read comics) and it amazes me that people, other freelance people, will pay huge sums to get access to some smarmy office in town when they could just bring a cup there. So thats what I talked about.

What amazed me even more is the fact that I have no images of myself acting somewhat normal. They asked for a photo and I could only find a single one where I'm not looking insane, drunk or as if I am reciting poetry wearing a silly hat.

Anyway, if you speak Swedish you'll be able to read. If not - well I'm just gushing over libraries and why we should use them more. I call them the "commons of the intellect" (which is perhaps more relevant here in Sweden where a common is... ehm more common)

Sudden creative block... wtf?

Ok so all of a sudden I am struck with a creative block. It doesn't happen very often so its sort of a new feeling for me, kinda like I dunno... being zapped by a spaceship or something.
(that has yet to happen to me, although I believe that if there are aliens and if they did come to this planet I can only assume that they would pick up me as a prime example of humanity - anyway I would be equally shocked and surprised if they did as I am now)

Its supposed to be a comic. Four pages long, about a dude named Henry who's friend/relative is writing his other friends/relatives that he is fine and that he's on a trip of sorts. Thats all I got to work with.

I think I should be able to spin something out of that straw. Maybe not gold, but still - some kind of alloy at least.

Something dark, something based on Little Nemo in Slumber Land maybe?

Gah... Oh well I have a few days more to come up with something really fun, new, cool, interesting and worthwhile.

DIY vs the Economy

Illustration is absolutely not the rich mans gambit or anything. No one gets wealthy doing this but we get to draw allot!

So yesterday two friends got married - and being short on cash I drew a wedding present instead.

What I use.

Ok so this has popped up a few times as a question: "What software do you use?" or "What hardware?" I might as well answer here.

I use Open Source software. I use an old banged up wacom and a stationary computer that was, when bought three years ago, not top-of-the-line. More end-of-the-line. One of those HP's that had gotten a new little casing and resold for "not very much".
The wacom is probably the key-thing here. It was cheap, its a Bamboo-fun in A5 size and its been chugging along for four years. Its not fancy in any way and it didn't cost a huge amount of money.

Besides that I have a lightboard. It didn't cost allot of money (well I wouldn't know as it was a gift but it wasn't very expensive) and its one of those desk-things (basically a light box).
I use pens and paper. Any old paper and any old pen.

As for software I use open source and free alternatives. I know I know, allot of people download Photoshop and just use that but when I switched from Windows to Linux I realized that there where a huge amount of brilliant software available that really gave Photoshop and Adobes Creative Suite a run for its money and some that really had them beat and I didn't have X-large sum of money to drop and I felt that it was not only dishonest but also dumb to download something when there where alternatives.

My go-to-program is without a doubt Krita. Its essentially an insanely good "from-scratch-illustration" program. Its made for artists, illustrators and comic book artists by people who really made a true effort trying to figure out what we need and stay true to that instead of making a catch-all program.
If you have any interest in illustration and want to use a computer doing it. This is the one you want. Its been ported to Windows with an installer and all and for Windows 8 there is Krita Sketch - but for stability you do want to consider using it in Linux. It is in itself an argument to switch to Linux. Yes its that good.

Second its Das Gimp. I know the Gimp is seen as second best to Photoshop and yes, in a way it is. Lets be honest with each other. Photoshop is better. Photoshop and Adobe has funding, full time staff and it costs... ALLOT. Gimp doesn't.
But what Gimp does have is a large group of collaborators. Animation in Gimp? Someone has set you up with that. Color Correction? Done by magical elves.
Gimp is insanely good. Ridiculously good. Its just a little bit behind Adobes Photoshop in quality and it does it for free.

Then you have Inkscape a free vector-program. You got Scribus a well used professional layout program. You have Openshot or Kdenlive for videos. Audacity for audio. Blender for 3D. All these are used by studios and companies at a professional capacity. All free. All with the same community support as the rest of the Open Source programs out there.

So just like the majority of you all that use Android Phones or Google Services (or maybe a Chromebook) my behind is firmly placed in the lap of the Penguin. Why? Because its better. Yes you heard me. Its better. Thats not an objective thing of course - its my personal opinion. I prefer using it and I think I benefit from using it.

My point is - none of this is very expensive. Sure the computer, the wacom board, the lightboard - all those cost money but not as much as say "a really really good computer" + "a cintiq" + "Adobe Creative Suite". There is a thousand euro leap between the two.

The lightboard can be replaced by a window with daylight, a clear sheet of plexiglass and a light-bulb.

Its just a pen and a piece of paper thats really really necessary, that and creativity. The rest is icing.

Holy Frijoles, Batman! New Portfolio!

Ok so you may have seen the awesomeness that is my new portfolio page already. Perhaps you haven't - in which case I salute you, for the gates of heaven still awaits! Yup this is level A, topnotch, angels dancing on a pin, naked people kind of good awaiting you!

Lets start by saying that none of this would have been made true without the help of Anders Flink who works as tiny-tiny-codemonkey at Dear Friends. Not only did he supply the tiny-tiny-codemonkey-skills that was needed to make my mad ramblings and silly images appear on a screen, he also happily added fun things and sort of riffed of my silly images. Fun.
Co-conspirators are always better than co-workers.

Second! Is this page cluttered? It lacks that sleek-lean-scaled-down-swedish-look you might expect? Did it break the laws of graphical design and turn it into a jumbled mess of colorful images that requires a Higgs boson of fancy-design to tie together? Hell yes.

Let me tell you why that is a "good thing": The Baroque. The Early Roman Baroque to be precise.

What a former teacher once described as "The Baroque was really Rock & Roll" while swiveling his hips suggestively at the class room.

The baroque was, as any wikipedia page can tell you, the architectural movement of taking the strict, retro-hellenistic or Roman, imagery of the Renaissance with its obsessiveness with Vitruvius, and just throwing it all out of the ballpark with a new found love of weird shapes, over worked details and dramatic gestures. Light and shadow, movement and an almost organic formation of theatrical gestures. All there.
It was the precursor of the Rokoko art-movement in kinda the same way the Rolling Stones was a precursor to the Punk era (a statement which is true in more ways than one, since Rokoko kinda was the "upper-class punk" of its day).

Anyway thats where it was headed from the start. "More is more", "Horror Vacuii" and spandex leopard pants.

Hope you like it and prepare for more blogg-entries in the future!

First of three bookmark fronts finished

Hopefully I will manage to get them all to the printer before the Gothenburg Book Fair... aiieeee panic panic. The back will have my name and portfolio link on it and there will be two more - not so grim ones aswell....

Great Cthulhu wants you to "Read More" ("Läs Mer")

Links to high-res Jpeg's of the Library posters

So some friends who are librarians liked the poster I did and asked if it was ok to print it - which of course it is, anything for the public library (print it, put it up, make it into a hat, use it as a hanky - as long as its any public library doing it consider this my very legal and real allowance for you to go nuts with it). But I wanted to set up a high res version of it though.

So heres one in Swedish:

And (after a very nice Norwegian librarian asked me) a Norwegian one::

If anyone else want one in their language, send a translation of the text: "Welcome to [country's] least exclusive club - the public library" (or if someone can figure out a better translation in english, tell me) - and I will be as quick as possible fixing it for you in high-res for free under the assumption that you work at a public library :)

Drawing at the library

Spent the day in the public library which - for those of you who didn't know - is a brilliant little institution for the education of all. So I got one speed painting done and then a poster. Its in Swedish and for the library (no one ordered it or anything, just felt like making one while sitting there amongst kids and adults all using this very unique kind of commons).

If you have a public library near by. Go there and read, draw, study or write. Or just sit down for a second. Enjoy what is Ours, that common, and make sure it remains.

The poster for the library. It says "Welcome to the least exclusive club in Sweden - the Public Library"

And then the speed paint.