Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A piece to appear in this year's Spectrum Fantasy Arts

I recently learned that my piece "A Midsummer Night's Dream" will appear in the book "SPECTRUM 15- The Best in Contemporary Fantasy Art", to be release later this year.
This piece was created for The Pioneer Theatre Company's production of the play.

Here is the Spectrum Web Site --See "about" and "books" sections.

Prints are available at my Etsy shop.

Click the above image for a larger view.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A little too personal

Now for a few fun facts about Michael Phipps that will help you get to better understand the artist. ALL of the following , err, "fun facts" are true except ONE:

1. I lived in England at the age of 9, and had one line in the school play: "Come with me. You can't stay here. You've got to move off these parts." Not much of a flow, is there? Well, a tall, popular girl in the grade above me mocked my stony delivery. Fast forward a few decades- my sister calls to tell me she saw her former classmate being introduced as Simon Cowell's girlfriend on American Idol. How appropriate. And yes, I know I may have spelled his name wrong. I'm not going to look it up.

2. I have twice jumped out of a plane and lived to tell the tale. This coming from someone who has never jumped off a high dive.

3. Two of my friends and I added an extra name to our own to be read at our high school graduation ceremony. My bonus middle name? Elishma. My friends' names were Shmool and Eureka. My parents took it well.

4. On my honeymoon my wife and I went snowmobiling in Yellowstone. We started out far too late and ended up on a beautiful (but eerie) drive over the moonlit hills of snow and steam, trying to get back to the lodge. The snow was falling hard and I had to strain hard to see ahead. All of a sudden a buffalo was merely a few feet in front of us and I BARELY swerved to get around it. If we had of crashed, you'd be reading that buffalo's blog right now.

5. I once looked into the fridge only to find a gallon of lemon juice sitting on the shelf. I proceeded to pour myself a glass and {{GAG}} it wasn't juice- it was ammonia. I coughed and sputtered, drank a lot of milk, plead for my life, and so on. If I had of drank too much you'd be reading that buffalo's blog right now.

Okay, so they're all true. Most of them didn't end up sounding too unbelievable, so I decided not to add a fake one. Oh, and don't assume these represent the 5 most significant moments in my life, just a handful that happened to come to mind at the moment.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Ali'i Warrior- New Book Cover

I recently finished a book cover for author Jon Shute, who is self publishing his new book "The Ali'i Warrior. Kudos to him for his hard work in getting his book out (he's almost there), I'm sure it's been a lot of work and a lot of money. A second Kudos (and a thank you) to him for wanting to get a proper illustration for the book cover, as opposed to finding some clip art or filling the cover with REALLY BIG TYPE. There was a lot of mental energy into deciding what would go on the cover- whether to pick a specific scene, a collage of images, or something symbolic. The end result is sort of a scene from the book (though not quite) with a lot of important symbols from the book. Enough with the talk, though, here's the cover (sans the type):

I consciously tried to add more color than I am usually wont to do. It's strange that sometimes I try to do so and I end up muting them too much all the same.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Displaying shirts

Okay, I need opinions here- which t-shirt display method is the most appealing? I guess the real question is, which is most helpful to a potential buyer on the web? I've created a poll on the right- vote there and leave a comment here if you vote "other" or for whatever other reason. Thanks!

Shirt laid out flat?
Hands shirt at Etsy

On a mannequin?
Women's turtle shirt on Etsy

Or on a human?
Men's turtle shirt on Etsy

I'm switching to fashion design (Okay, not really)

Starting out a career as an illustrator has been exciting and challenging. I've had a steady stream of work since making the plunge over a year ago, but the finances can still cause a lot of worry- I'll get paid for a job (usually late) and be okay for a little while, but the graph (as I see it in my very visual brain) starts its immediate descent.

All that to say that I needed some kind of steady income to act as a financial base in between jobs. It needed to be something art-related and something I could be passionate about, so I decided to put artwork on shirts by way of screen printing. Though I paint in a very detailed and meticulous way, I do like doing more graphic (err.. bold, not violent) images, and it's a way to relax a little in between the more mind-consuming painting jobs.

Starting up a screen printing shop can cost thousands with professional equipment, so instead I enlisted my friend Dan (a common ally in creative ventures) to help me build something. Well, here's a picture of the press, albeit without any screens attached:


I've been using it for the past week now and it works wonderfully. The fruits of my labors can be seen at my Etsy site:

So far I've just used some of my existing artwork, but I've got a few new things planned for the upcoming weeks, including a maternity shirt. I never thought I'd be designing maternity shirts...

Michael Phipps, the anti-blogger

I've been anti-blog ever since I heard the name. Examine the following list of words:


Fits right in, doesn't it? It sounds like a slimy lump in the back of my throat. Well, I'm trying to set aside my bias against the word itself, and see if writing about my art (and perhaps a few other things) proves fruitful, fun, or otherwise worthwhile.

Blog Haiku:

bleak bog of foul verb
like rotting log or sink clog
flogs my feeble mind

Well, that was fun.