A note for Mr. Coppola.

Recently, I read an interview by Francis Ford Coppola that I found very interesting. 

In the interview, he says, " we enter into a new age, maybe art will be free. Maybe the students are right. They should be able to download music and movies. I’m going to be shot for saying this. But who said art has to cost money? And therefore, who says artists have to make money? "

As many of you no doubt know, I do a reasonable amount of artwork for heavy metal bands and seeing as he is referencing the music industry here, I feel that I should comment on his opinion. If you read the interview, basically what he is saying is that all artists (whether that be musicians, filmmakers, painters, whatever), should make art independently and without pay and use other ventures to fund their project themselves. While I certainly don't disagree with doing things independently, there are cases such as album covers where a band may not be able to make that themselves. So that is why they HIRE an artist. As a filmmaker, he has to HIRE artists to do make-up or props or sets. Are the people that are not the decision-makers expected to make free things as well? Why would they make your movie when they could possibly make their own?

This isn't about greed. This isn't even necessarily about "putting food on the table" as everyone always says. This is about someone giving me a reason to not work on my own artistic ventures. I have thousands of ideas in my head at any given point. These could be paintings, comic strips, comic books, drawings, characters, sculptures, installations, anything! All of these things I have sitting in my brain waiting to be unleashed on the world and I am not doing them right this second. But why is that? Because I am accepting your offer to compensate me to do something for you. You paying me is not making me rich like Metallica. You paying me is jumping you ahead of my own imagination's queue to do your idea above mine.

Your idea is likely very cool, too, of course. And that is why I love making album covers for people. It's challenging to realize what someone else has in their head. But the fact still remains, nothing will ever be as personal as a pet project. 

So Mr. Coppola, I do agree that trying to be an artist for the sole reason of becoming a millionaire is a bit silly. Unfortunately, I think your notion that "all art should be free" is completely ridiculous. If it wasn't, we wouldn't have entertainment as no true artist would do someone else's idea over their own without a reason.


Reign in Art - Top 5 album covers of all time.

Recently, REIGN IN ART (a site dedicated to celebrating heavy metal album cover artwork) asked me to list my top 5 album covers of all time. It was an incredibly difficult list to decide upon, because I have so many favorites. Also, there's a lot of "best album covers of all time" lists out there and they always list the same album covers for the most part. So I really stuck to my guns here and didn't consider what other peoples' opinions are and went with my gut instinct alone. Check out the link for the list!

While you are there, check out the rest of the site! REIGN IN ART is quickly becoming one of my favorite sites to visit and it should be yours, too! After all, heavy metal is primarily about the music, but the packaging is the first thing you see!


"Remnants Aflame" print now available

"Remnants Aflame" fine art print now available. This artwork was featured in the interior booklet for Oceano's "Contagion" album. The prints are individually signed, titled, and numbered of 100. Please visit the online store here for more information.


Emerald City Comicon, March 4-6, 2011.

Once again, it is almost time for my favorite time of year...Emerald City Comicon! If you went the last couple of years, you know that it gets bigger and bigger every year and this year, they have expanded it to a 3 day show so it will be huge. I will be setting up my normal table to sell prints of my work, of course. I have a lot of new prints and a new set up that I think will look really nice so if you live in the Seattle area, please come down! As I always say, selling the prints is secondary. I just like to meet people, talk about heavy metal, art, and horror movies with people. If you grab a print, I'll be eternally grateful, but the company will be treasured just as much.

In other news, a couple more things that I worked on last year are popping up online. They are shirts to support the Six Feet Under "Wake the Night: Live in Germany" dvd that I posted about a week ago. You can pre-order them here and let me know what you think! 

See you in a couple months at ECCC '11!


Happy New Year!

It's New Years Eve and I just finished a month-long self-imposed vacation from freelance art. 2010 was an incredibly busy year for me. I did 3 paintings for Oceano, a shirt for Cattle Decapitation, about 7 pieces of various merchandise for Six Feet Under, and many more. I figured after essentially working 2 jobs all year long I deserved a little break for the holidays to keep myself fresh for 2011. 

While a lot of the Six Feet Under is still under NDA, they have announced their new DVD entitled, "Wake the Night: Live in Germany", which I did the cover design for. I had a lot of fun with this one, because I usually just go for a straight up illustration approach, and this one was a little more "designy". I know that SFU is pretty excited about this dvd, so please check it out when it's released in April! It's sure to be brutal!

As for what I'll be working on, I do have a couple of announcements. Behold the Monolith is coming out with a new album and they have asked me to do their next cover. If you've been to my site you have probably already seen my previous album cover for them, so you can be sure it will be pretty nutty. That's still a little ways off, though. The next immediate thing I'll be working on is an album cover for Italian band, Dawn Under Eclipse. They have and awesome concept for their cover and I am really excited to start on it in a week or so. There's already a lot of other things lined up for the year, too, but a little early to announce them. 

So with that, I hope everyone has a very metal new year and stay safe!