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New Year, New Ventures

Happy New Year! I'm not one for resolutions, but I do have some goals that I plan on accomplishing. The first of which is finishing, editing, and publishing my collection of short horror stories, "Dead Still Forest." I've been spending a lot of time looking up things to make sure that I get pasts and backstories historically accurate, and trying to organize the stories in a fashion that makes sense. In addition to to finishing this book I've also been toying around in Blender and Unreal Engine. I would like to make a small independent game around the DSF universe. My intention is to translate the opening story, "Blackbriar Manor," into a game. I even have ideas for Easter eggs that I would like to include that alludes to other stories (and universes that I'm creating). It's a lofty goal, to be sure. That doesn't mean that I'm going to be slacking off on art. I've got one new illustration of the New Year under my belt and I'm itching to start working on the next once inspiration hits. I would love to do some more book covers and illustrations, too. I only worked on a handful of covers the past year, but I did a lot of beta-reading. Pretty busy year all in all. And lastly, my Redbubble store. I've slowly been getting more purchasers than just myself. It seems that my reaper illustration "What Have I Done?" and my Home Alone homage have been what catches most people's eye. But I update the store constantly, even going as far as to update earlier submissions as I get better at laying out the designs. So here's to a roaring 20s and cheers to you.

Something for the kids.

It's a bit after the fact, but I've illustrated a children's book written by Dog Fashion Disco musician, Todd Smith. It released the same day as the second Moonlight City Drive novel just a few days ago. The book, Poof and Snoofin, has been in the works for quite a long time. Brian, Todd and I were discussing the book as far back as when the first MLCD novel was being written. It wasn't until around November or December of 2018 that I was reached out to again to come up with some designs for the titular characters. Todd liked what I was doing and it became quite a mad dash to get everything finished in a timely manner Needless to say, being a huge fan and practically foaming at the mouth at the prospect of working on this project, I took everything in stride. Maybe eventually I'll get a chance to design a t-shirt or something for the band. But I can at least take solace in the fact that absolutely no one else will be able to say that they created the looks for Poof, Snoofin, Sinister the Wolf and Pearcy the Rat. With any luck, maybe I will get to illustrate some more books like this. I've always kind of shied away from a project of such magnitude because, well, it's a lot of work. It's months and months of time and dedication. It's deadlines and changes. But the rewards ... well. You know what they say. It was all worth it and the kick in the pants I needed to pull myself out of a self-wallowing laziness. So thank you Todd for the opportunity to work on this project. And thank you Brian for helping me get my foot in this door. Poof and Snoofin can be purchased on Scout Media's website as well as on Amazon. There is also a shirt you can purchase. Cheers for the beers.

Disco's Not Dead

Moonlight City Drive 2: Electric Boogaloo has an official release date. MLCD2 is the second installment in the Moonlight City Drive trilogy based on the Dog Fashion Disco album "Adultery." I spent a good portion of my summer working on this cover and the merch that will be sold along with it, and I think it's better than the first. The cover is loaded with Easter eggs and I'll be interested to know who can find them all. I had the good fortune of reading the first draft as it was being written and hoo-boy is it a doozy. And that was just the first draft. Rife with inconsistencies and clutter. (I'm embellishing. Brian is a damn fine writer and who doesn't hit the wrong key while typing in q fugue state.) ((I left that in there on purpose.)) There will be a release show with Dog Fashion Disco at Dingbatz in New Jersey on June 14-15. I probably will not be able to attend once again, despite being from NJ and knowing where Dingbatz is (damn it), but oh well. That's what I get for moving to a different country, I guess. Along with the release of MLCD2 there will be another project I'm working on unveiled. I can't say too much now. Shh. Check out the link provided to preorder your copy of Moonlight City Drive 2: Electric Boogaloo and some of the sweet limited merch. Later gators. (Nope. Still terrible) http://www.brianpaone.com/moonlight-city-drive-2

The Bumble Beginnings

I started creating art at a very young age. In fact, the first piece of art I sold was a pencil portrait of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in around 2002, and I was paid with a sandwich from the local sub shop. I was approached by friends to doodle up something for them quite often. One of those doodles, a skull and crossbones, is now a permanent tattoo. Fast forward roughly thirteen years. I'm browsing a Facebook page for one of my favorite bands, Dog Fashion Disco. There are whisperings that the album "Adultery" is going to be turned into a novel. I am overjoyed. "Adultery" is the album that got me into the band and a novelization is more appealing than a taco wrapped up inside another taco. The city, for lack of a better term, close to my hometown in New Jersey has a fairly iconic looking dirt-cheap, pay-by-the-hour, hopefully-you-won't-get-murdered motel. The sign sticks up from the sidewalk like the street is holding the building hostage at knife point. It's perfect. Dusk is settling in and I decide that I want a Whopper. Luckily for me there is a Burger King directly across the street from the motel. So I park, traipse across the street, snap a couple pics of the motel with its threatening sign and front lit word "Motel" that casts a looming shadow of the letter "o" so that it resembles a mouth mid-scream, and get myself a well-deserved flame-grilled burger. Seems like there's a correlation between art and food with me. A short time later I post a hastily cobbled together mock cover for the book in the Facebook group. This was done for fun. I never intended it to be anything more than for fun. Then the author, Brian Paone, commented on the picture with some suggestions. Months later I had made two full versions of the book cover for Brian before I even knew that this was actually a freelance project. I was having too much fun making the pieces that when talk about release dates came up in discussion did it finally click that this was a job. Thus began my career as an artist. The Dog Fashion Disco book, titled "Moonlight City Drive" hit bookshelves with my cover adorning its face. Shortly after I was being recommended to other authors in Brian's Facebook writing group "Fiction Writing." Two more covers followed. First was a fully designed cover for author Pam Van Allen and her book about The Traveling Wilburys and then a colorizing and touching up for author Laurie Gardiner. "Moonlight City Drive" was so well-received by the community that it has now been extended into a trilogy. The second novel, "Moonlight City Drive 2: Electric Boogaloo" is set to be released in late 2019. I have to give a big thanks to Brian for kickstarting my freelance career. If it hadn't been for some kind of divine intervention I would probably still be doodling pictures for my own sanity instead of doing so to relieve someone else's insanity. Moreover, with his help I've also been given a leg up in writing and am also a published author now myself. My short story, "The Noises that Quiet Makes" can be found in the book "A Flash of Words," published by Scout Media. If you've stuck with my bumbling this far then welcome to my blog. I'll be updating this space as projects come to me and giving my readers insights and inside scoops on what I'm doing. Now I just need a cool catchphrase to close these posts out with. Rock on? No. See you on the flip-side? No. Just ... just wait for it. I'll come up with something.