Monday, January 31, 2011

Computer issues and Mondays always get me down...

Delighted with my computer finally being fixed, and confident that my technical issues were behind me, I boldly decided to turn off my computer, unplug the wires connecting the keyboard, monitor, mouse, and speakers and snake them down through my computer cabinet in an effort to tidy up my work station. All went well until I turned everything back on. The computer sprung to life, the indicator lights on all the accessories blinked on, and this came up on my monitor:

I unplugged it and plugged it in again. I removed and reattached the monitor to the tower. I tried a new connector. I even plugged in a different monitor. Nothing worked. So it's back to no computer for me until I get it fixed again. I seem to have the reverse Midas touch when it comes to technology. I'd better put this iPhone down before I break that too!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Team Durkin's Dragons: Logo

Since we plan on attending as many DS fund raising events as possible, I thought I should design a Team Durkin's Dragons logo and have it on shirts and Jerseys for us to wear at the events. Here is the working logo.
I'm sure I'll have to redesign it slightly if there are ever any "additions" to the team in the future!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Back and better than ever.

"I asked for a car, I got a computer. How's that for being born under a bad sign?"
Ferris Bueller, 1986

That was the mindset back then. Computers were these clunky things that only nerds possessed or understood. Of course, a lot has changed since then. We all have computers and want or need better ones that those we currently have. They have become a central part of our lives. For the visual artist, this is exceptionally true.
I've been limping along without a functioning computer since October 25th 2010. But now it's finally fixed and is better than ever.
See how happy he is?

Friday, January 28, 2011

DSFF Bowl-A-Thon

We (Durkin's Dragons) are participating in the first ever Tour of Champions Valentine's Bowl-a-thon event this February 13th from 1-3pm at Colonial Lanes.  The Foundation is all about striking down barriers to inclusion and we'd LOVE for you to support our team by sponsoring us. 

All proceeds from the bowl-a-thon go directly to programs and scholarships that support members of the Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida. This is the same group that has given Jett scholarships for his speech therapy/evaluation, swimming classes and therapeutic music classes.

Registered participants will be eligible for fantastic door prizes as well as prizes for the most money raised.  Each team that raises over $1000 is eligible to participate in a grand prize drawing for a special needs trust!  We're looking forward to a great event that's fun for everyone.

Go here to donate:


Andi, Kenny, Kathy, Alex & Jett

Thursday, January 27, 2011

More gig pics

Here are a few more caricatures I did from an event I drew at a few days ago.

This guy was from Argentina, but now lives in Canada. I combined his favorite hobby with his current residence.

Speaking of combining themes, this gentleman was into horse racing, poker and martinis. I felt obliged to include all three.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'm laughin' at clouds...

Yesterday a fierce storm rocked Central Florida with high winds, heavy rain and dangerous lightning. I was stuck outside doing caricatures at Animal Kingdom, but I wasn't about to let a little thing like a storm get me down.

So I did this little caricature of myself.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gig pix from last night.

As promised, here are a few of the caricatures I drew last night. Sorry for the mobile phone pic blurriness.

In other news, I just received word that my computer is fixed! I'll be bringing it home after a long work day and hopefully I'll be able to tinker around with it first thing tomorrow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

One from last night.

I don't know why, but I kinda like this caricature from last night.

Off to draw at an event tonight. I'll try to take some pics.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Green Bay Packers:

I've been a Green Bay Packers fan my whole life. I've watched the team at their worst and at their best.

Today, I couldn't be prouder of my team as they just beat their long-time rivals, the Chicago Bears 21-14.

Next stop, Superbowl!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Computer guts

Far too long ago, my computer died. Since then I have had it improperly repaired to the point of still being inoperable. It's been rough. I have a ton of files and references that are currently trapped on the old hard drive and working on loaner computers has made a serious dent in my productivity. Fortunately a friend of mine has graciously offered to revamp and upgrade the beast. I gave him everything I had a few days ago and he just sent me a pic of the computer in it's current state. Warning: Graphic computer innards ahead.

He assures me that the computer is salvageable, and should be better than ever in no time. Can't wait!

Friday, January 21, 2011

All the young dudes.

One of the trends I've noticed lately is the increase of boys aged 10-12 getting their caricature done. I remember what a fun age that was. Young enough to not be a teenager (ugh) but old enough to have more freedom and responsibility than a little kid.
The latest crop of dudes are unabashedly individuals happy to express their uniqueness through their attitude and appearance.

Dig that hat daddy-o! These guys were great fun to draw.

In the past, this particular demographic would always want to be either riding a skateboard or playing video games. This new group of guys are being more creative, like this cyborg here.

I love improvising, and I appreciate it when the guests give me an opportunity to draw something different. The inventiveness of these cool guys sure helps.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Triangle Hero

As promised, here is some video of budding musician Jett playing one of his favorite instruments, the triangle.
By the way, this video is from about a month ago. He's been practicing ever since and is a triangle expert now!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dolphin girl.

In yesterday's post, I offhandedly mentioned riding a dolphin as a body situation. I received a few requests to post how I normally draw a caricature of a person riding a dolphin. Just had one tonight in fact...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Sometimes I'm asked to draw multiple people in a live caricature. Usually the subjects agree on a common theme, but there are times when the individuals want separate situations even though they're both in the same picture. It's pretty easy when the themes are similar, like when one person wants to be waterskiing while the other wants to be riding a dolphin. But what about horseback riding and a mermaid?

As you see, I drew the mermaid above the water and the horseback rider on the shore. Easy solution, but what about horseback riding and a beauty queen?

In this case, I couldn't rely on the picture being outdoors, where I could just place the figures anywhere, so I put the beauty queen on the stage and the horseback rider on the floor with the audience. Instead of cluttering up the scene with word balloons, I let the viewer come up with the narrative. In this case, the gentleman surmised that he was sweeping the beauty queen off her feet after her victory. It became their story, not mine, though they appreciated the part I played.

There are a number of occasions when I've drawn as many as five faces and bodies on a live caricature. I'll dig around and see if I can find the pics I took of them.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jett the musician

As you know, Kathy is quite the trumpet player with a passion for music. But she's not alone. Her little brother Jett has also expressed a great interest in music. He takes weekly music classes and even plays a few instruments. Hey Jett, show the folks how well you play the maracas...

Wait! Don't eat it! Get that out of your mouth! Here, try the cymbals...

Oh no! Not again! Sigh...
He really does play those instruments folks, as well as the triangle and the tambourine. I guess he's not on the groove today. I'm going to have to get some video of one if his performances, and when I do, I'll post them here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A post about nothing.

Today I have nothing. Nothing to post. So today, I will post about nothing. Come back tomorrow, and there will be something, but today, nothing. Nothing at all.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:World Dr,Kissimmee,United States

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Good luck Kathy!!

My daughter Kathy is a master trumpeter. Currently she is in the prestigious symphonic band at her school, but she has her sights set on an even bigger accomplishment.

She is relentlessly practicing for All-County, a band comprised of the best musicians from all of the schools in her county. She needs to master all of her seven scales with arpeggios, the chromatic scale and other select music. All need to be memorized and perfected. She practices at least an hour every day. Her audition is January 27th. Wish her luck!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The little green mermaid.

I'm posting this picture today not because it's a particularly good caricature (it's not), but because of the refreshingly unique little girl I drew, Rory.

Rory literally had a style all her own. Like most four year old girls, she was most interested in being drawn as a mermaid. But Rory had a few special requests. Her favorite color was green, and not only did she want a green tail and top, but green lips and hair too. Her mother instantly approved and I quickly realized this was no ordinary little girl. We talked for a while, I found out she dressed up like a Skeksis for Halloween. They're a creature from the movie The Dark Crystal. You know, one of these guys:

This year she's going to be a werewolf. Not a princess or a kitty...a werewolf!

It was incredibly encouraging to encounter a child so boldly embracing her individuality. She was completely unencumbered by conformity, and she had the full support of her parents. We need more Rorys in this world!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jett: 10 1/2 months

Here's the latest from Jett. He's recently hit a few milestones.

He can sit up unassisted for several minutes. He can also crawl on his belly...

...and get up on his hands and knees! He wants so badly to start walking, but he has to master crawling first. He's an expert at clapping his hands, and loves playing the triangle, cymbals and tambourine. I'll try to get some video of his musicianship posted here soon.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fave of tonight

Just finished drawing caricatures at Wilderness Lodge. This is the one I liked the best. Good ol' Denny.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

AK self-portrait

Me at Animal Kingdom today by me.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 10, 2011

I can't show you.

So far on 2011, I've posted very little of my artwork. I actually have quite a stockpile of it saved from last year, but I can't go public with any of it until my clients go public with it first. These projects include:

• TWO children's books
• TWO toy designs
• A T shirt design
• A logo design
• A (really cool) package design

And this year, I already have three character designs I'm currently working on. When I have clearance from the clients, I'll be able to share the artwork with you here, so stay tuned!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Go Pack!!

Just got word that the Packers beat the Eagles and are advancing to the second round of the playoffs. Go get 'em boys!

(I had a "sad" one of Jett as well in case they lost. Let's hope I don't have to use that one this year...)

Saturday, January 08, 2011

How to kill time with your kids.

Set up your camera to take a picture every ten seconds, and get goofy!

Check out that "Blue Steel" on Jett. By the way, Alex and Kathy have their faces painted because well, I know this face painter you see...

Friday, January 07, 2011

A few caricatures from last night.

I love when I have a few extra minutes to add a bit of finesse to my caricatures.

By the way, I never use pencil in my live caricatures, these are all freehand, straight up in marker.

On a completely unrelated note, the consensus view among the comments and private messages is that I continue to post on thus blog every day. I will certainly try to do just that, but if I miss a day now and then, go easy on me!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

AK co-worker: Terra

Yesterday I drew one of my fellow Animal Kingdom artists, Terra.

Upon seeing the result, she was pleased but suggested that the next time I draw her I need to make her "nose bigger and her eyes squintier". Now THAT's how to be a good caricature subject.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Wall of overalls

Last one of last night. These two big bubba twins were definitely a nice break from the princesses and mermaids I had to draw all night!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 03, 2011

2011: The Resolutions

At long last, here are my resolutions for 2011. As you see, they're very similar to the resolutions from 2010:

1. Lose weight/get in shape. Ahh, the old standby. Everyone has this one, and no one does it. Thing is, I'm turning 40 this year, and I'd like to be in the best shape I've been in for years, if not my whole life, at that point. I still need to lose about 20 pounds, and I'd like to run more than 50 feet without having a heart attack. I have my nutritionist/art director/publicist/wife working on a plan for me, and with her support, I should soon be seeing some results.

2. Publish MORE: Black Cat Bone issue 3 has been taken out of mothballs and dusted off, The book of Scraps is being compiled as is the expanded version of Durkin's Dragons: Parodies and Tributes. All three will be available at Megacon this year. I'm sure there will be other projects cropping up this year too.
3. Conventions: I'm locked in to Megacon, and I have no excuse not to attend the ISCA convention as it's in Florida this year. I think two cons a year is plenty.

4. Expand the Durkinworks empire: Online I mean. It all hinges on my new computer, which I will be getting soon. When that happens, expect a major overhaul of this blog, Cafepress, Zazzle, Deviantart, and and .net which have been lying dormant for so long. Look also for live shows via Ustream and maybe even a podcast.

5. Continue posting regularly on the blog: Now here's the one I need some feedback on. I've been posting every single day. But sometimes it's not easy, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to get it done. I don't mind posting daily, but is that too much? Or do you visit every day to see what I'm up to? What do YOU think?

I think that's about it. Again, I have some personal resolutions as well which I'm not sharing here, but as I said before, I have some great feelings about 2011, and I'm off to a terrific start.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Last year's resolutions: The Verdict

Every year, most people make some sort of New Year's resolution. It's likely at some point throughout the year, the resolution will inevitably be broken (sometimes the same day its made). I really like New Year's resolutions, and stick to them for the most part. There's a certain level of discipline involved that I aspire to and a great deal of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment when I am faithful to my yearly challenges.

Last year I made several resolutions. Let's see how I did.
1. Post more on the blog. 
 I went so far as to promise to post EVERY SINGLE DAY last year. A herculean task in my mind, and despite funerals, traveling, Jett being born, non-stop busy days at doctor's appointments and work, computer failure, illness and other distractions I, in fact, posted EVERY SINGLE DAY. This was huge for me. It was amazing to see what I was capable of.
2. Attend more conventions. 
I was an attending artist at MegaCon and went to Star Wars Celebration. Missed the ISCA convention, but two cons a year isn't so bad.

3. Publish more books.
I promised a return to Black Cat Bone. Didn't happen. But I did do a Durkin's Dragon's: Parodies and Tributes book, and illustrated two children's books, due out some time in 2011.
4. Increase my presence on the web. 
Well, I sort of got this one right. I suppose daily posting on this blog didn't hurt. My presence on Facebook helped as well. I'll be getting a new computer soon, which should really turn a lot of things around for me.
5. Lose weight.
*crickets chirping*
Not so bad eh? A few missteps here and there, but for the most part, a stellar performance. I'm especially proud my daily blog posts. Tomorrow, I'll share my 2011 resolutions (way to stretch things out). See you then!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Super New Year!!

Go get 'em, little guy.
Got some good vibes about 2011. Today I'm just enjoying a day off with the family. Tomorrow back to work, and I'll post about my favorite part of the new year: RESOLUTIONS! We'll see how I did last year, and what I plan to accomplish in 2011.