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Showing posts from December, 2015

Small Victories

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by Donato


There are moments when short windows of unstructured time unexpectedly arise in my schedule.  Rather than initiate the next major commission waiting in my queue,  I prefer to step to the side and experiment with small concepts to free my mind and exorcise the creative demons fluttering about at the edge of my eye.



To step into a major work requires a certain state of mind, emotionally and mindfully committed and focused.  I prefer to work on paintings one at a time, completing the 'thought' motivating the art as I immerse myself in the world, intent, and message I wish to communicate to my audience.  The internal vision I have for particular works tend to be unique and I seek to develop and bring that vision to completion before committing to another project.  Thus when caught by surprise by a change in my schedule due to delays with a client - drying time for glazed works, etc. - I seek to fill the down time creating works which present chances for small, creative vic…

10 Easy Year-End Deductions

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-By Dan dos Santos

Unfortunately, one of the most important aspects of running an illustration business is actually running a business. Amongst other things, this means everyone's favorite past time... doing your taxes.



Many illustrators wait until April to even start thinking about their taxes, and then get a really nasty surprise when they find out they have to pay the government a ton of money. And although there is little you can do to avoid that completely, there are things you can do to help reduce that expense greatly.



The fiscal year ends in two days, so this is your last chance to rack up some deductions on your 2015 taxes.



If you're an artist in the United States, anything you spend 'making' art gets written off your taxable income. That is, if you make $50,000 a year, but spend $10,000 on art supplies, you only pay taxes on $40,000 (This is called your 'taxable income'). This can make a massive difference in what you owe, depending on how much you write …

What's Old is New Again

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-By Dan dos Santos








I was walking through a Barnes and Noble bookstore recently looking for a book for my youngest son called 'Diary of a Minecraft Zombie'. The book is a blatant attempt to merge two hot products; the hugely popular video game 'Minecraft', and the popular book series 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid'.



Despite the unimaginative nature of the book, it was surprisingly successful in appealing to my child.

My youngest one is obsessed with Minecraft, and regardless of the quality of the writing, this book appealed to him enough to not only get him to read it, but to also request the next in the series.



But more interestingly, during my shopping I stumbled across a new series of classic novels which were also attempting to cash in on the Minecraft craze. This time, not in title, but by emulating the vintage 8-Bit aesthetic that Minecraft helped popularize and push to forefront of mainstream culture.



Below are some samples of these covers, published by Puffin Pixels (…

In Memoriam 2015

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-By Arnie Fenner






Let's take a few moments to celebrate the lives of the members of our art family who left us in 2015. This is, sadly, a rather long list; I've included links where I could so that you can learn a bit more about some of these remarkable creatives.










Jane Aaron b 1935 • Artist/Animator











Brad Anderson b 1924 • Cartoonist











Howard Anderson b 1920 • VFX Artist











Murphy Anderson b 1926 • Comic Artist











Steven Archer b 1957 • Stop-Motion Artist











Jon Arfstrom b 1928 • Artist









Henri Arnold b 1917 • Cartoonist











Paul Bacon b 1923 • Graphic Artist







Luis Bermejo b 1931 • Comic Artist











James O. Berry b 1932 • Cartoonist











Roger Bollen b 1941 • Cartoonist









Marcia Brown b 1919 • Artist