Friday, April 27, 2012

Tantes Contrails

Zdepski's illustration of the Tantes understanding of jet contrails.

The Tantes didn't understand contrails from jet engines.

They thought the government was seeding the clouds.

They made that jump all by themselves.

This is an amalgamation of my great aunts, Tante Marta and Tante Lydia and old-lady Brown. They were quirky old hens that always thought the sky was falling, either with Soviet Missiles, or our own government spying on the citizens.

The drawing is graphite, scanned and moved around in Photoshop CS 5.5 - Click the image to enlarge the piece.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Heights - Coaster Buggy

zdepski's illustration, Coaster Buggy

I grew up on top of a hill. My dad, the mason decided to build a "brick cart". Nearly 100lbs, small front tires and the capability of 40mph... the brakes just smoked.

An early Corporal Punishment piece from 2010, "The Coaster Buggy". We seriously believe our dad had thoughts of bumping us off with this little jewel. The tales of woe and road-rash can fill a book. Neighborhood children grew to adulthood with gravel embedded in joints. The front wheels were prone to cut hard 90° causing the whole buggy to cartwheel like the worst F1 crash you've ever seen. Carnage...

I can still hear the tread on the rear tire whining up to a scream as it plummeted down the hill.

My Brother James reacts to this post...

Very Funny! I was thinking of this a few days ago. Rich Heckman... was one of the kids who came over for a play date, we rode that death mobile down the hill double team bobsled style. Hit the out wash of gravel from Kappus road and had one of those epic wipe-outs starting at Segreaves driveway. Somehow I fared much better. Rich was road rash and torn clothes from head to toe. Lucky for mom he was the youngest of his family too so his mom had seen it all before, he wasn't an Armour hotdog "Sissy kid". Now that I have kids I have often wondered what Mrs. Heckman thought we she saw him torn up head to toe.I don't think he ever came to play again.

Dad never really thought it through, the difficulty trying to hold that steering straight with one hand and hanging on the hand break white knuckled with the other. I don't think I ever made it past Mr. Anderson's with out a wipe out. That gravel just started those front wheels whipping back an forth until it launched you like a Trebuchet. If you were lucky you landed in someone's yard. What the heck would we have done if a car was coming up the road? And we did it over and over. Forrest Gump's mamma used to say "stupid is, as stupid does"!

James Zdepski - 4/20/2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Entering Shows

Zdepski's illustration of Arias With A Twist - Joey Performing in front of a stage curtain.

Why do artists spend so much time, money and travel to enter shows that don’t have any guarantee of success or coverage? A very talented landscape painter asked me a similar question. I can only answer from my own experience and financial position.

As an illustrator, painter and professor, I need to be recognized as relevant in the field to maintain a good professional standing. This means being published, selling artwork and hanging in gallery shows. The cheapest way to do all three is often by taking the chance of entering juried shows. Occasionally a prize can be won, the artwork can sell, a gallery show is hung for a month or two, and often a chance interview is given.

The cost to the artist is as cheap as $25-$40 dollars, with commission or free, depending on venue. Some colleagues use a massive flux approach to these shows, entering as many categories as possible, with the largest number of pieces they can, including cross entries of the same strong pieces in multiple categories.

The reason is that larger shows have many different judges for their show categories, and what one judge likes, another may shun. You stand a better chance of “hitting” when you cast the wider net. I’ve seen this work to the artists’ benefit. The main problem to this approach is the cost. You are required to pay multiple times for each entry in each category. However, if you’ve budgeted wisely to make this part of your business marketing strategy, you will approach it as if you’re buying ad space or creating a direct marketing campaign.

If the show you’ve entered is a big player, such as the Society of Illustrators of NY or LA, an entry of a hundred dollars can net you an international audience and introduce your work to publishers and art directors in a way more effective than a postcard or trade advertisement. This also works regionally, as many Metro-Regions have locally focused shows.

Do the math. It’s foolish NOT to enter competitions.

Mailing a promo packet to a choice set of potential clients could run you a couple of hundred dollars in stamps – that is AFTER printing your promo and packing with care. Show participation can help you to maximize your precious marketing budget with a guerrilla tactic that is low-dollar and high-visibility.

I have just spent a hard earned $200 on one regional and one international competition; the Richmond Illustrator’s Club (RIC) and 3x3 Magazine’s Children’s International Illustration Show. Well-respected professionals judge both shows, and each has its own level of visibility within the field. Will I get in? I don’t know. I’ve presented my best work in various categories.

It’s up to the judges.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sing Sing T Shirt

zdepski's Tshirt design for Sing Sing

Sing Sing - T-Shirt design

Vocal Hazel is Singing for the Nurses.

My mini-comic, Sing Sing: A One Act Opera needs to be published by a real life printer, rather than me printing on my Epson 1400, cutting, collating and stitching the signatures by hand. I did a dozen and it killed an entire weekend.

So, I'm planning a Kickstarter campaign, of which this T-shirt design will be a premium for those that wish to help out. I'm still working on the details, and will be announcing it to my email list when it's in full effect.

More Sing Sing pages here

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ex-Thriftshop - 1986

Zdepski painting Ex-Thriftshop and Cat, 1985

ex-Thriftshop and Cat, 1985
16x12 inches - oil on canvas
Best in Show, 12th Annual Outdoor Art Show, 1986
Friends of the Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Paul Zdepski, Hunterdon County Democrat, June 5, 1986 - photo by Jeffery S. Colquhoun

Paul Zdepski, Hunterdon County Democrat, June 5, 1986 - photo by Jeffery S. Colquhoun

A moldy Oldie - This was my old backyard in Philadelphia at 1312 Rodman Street. The buildings in the painting are the backside of the abandoned buildings on 13th and South. Not a nice area, and we were prone to have a rat or two run in the back door.

The painting was done from my third floor window, looking down at the cat sleeping on the little roof above the back door stoop. Trees and weeds seem to envelope the entire area, as if nature wanted that piece of Pennsylvania back.

That's me in the article below. I thought I was pretty cool back then. Note the Dirty Harry glasses, Lettuce-Picker hat and hairy chest... OH - MULLET, too! what a dope!