Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Ah, it's the most fun and creative night of the year. Costumes, candy, music, movies, and parties abound.

Last night I went with Monika and a group of friends to a "haunted house" at the Boulder High School. I am hesitant to call it a house as it took place in the basement of the school. It was put on by the school's drama department and the kids did a hell of a good job. Thank God one of the rules was "don't touch the kids and the kids won't touch you." The feeling in the basement was creepy enough that if someone had touched me I would have just started screaming like a girl as I flailed my fists in the air making a run for the nearest exit. They really did a great job and it's a testament to the kids that, while the artistic part of me was marveling at some of the make up and ideas the kids had come up with, the little kid inside of me still had his back to the wall trying to stay as far away from them as possible. It was a really great time and it looks like the school made out great. The line to get into the fun was long and about a twenty minute wait. So, I hope they keep doing it year after year.

When we got home Monika and I carved out the pumpkins that Monika picked up that afternoon. Keeping mine pretty simple I just carved out a fun face. When I look at it now I realize how much it looks like the little rag doll character I have named Mr. Moocho. I guess, even when carving something, I have the same distinct style I draw with. Ah well, I've decided I'll take that as a good thing and leave it at that :)

Tonight's plans are pretty simple. My friend Lou is putting on his annual Halloween rock and roll show so I'm going to drag Monika along with me and enjoy some music. Lou always puts on an interesting show so I'm sure I won't be disappointed.

And, speaking of music, I've just uploaded a new Halloween type of song called "Walk Away". I'm not sure if it's an OilCan Drive song or not since it doesn't have the feel of a typical pop-punk band. But, in my head, when I record and mix something like this, I still see the band, Ryan, Vince, Henry, and Nicole, playing it. So, maybe it is an OilCan Drive song and they're just expanding their horizons. I don't know, I'll let you decide.

The song started with a simple riff I played one night and quickly built from there. Some songs take a long time to create and I still have guitar riffs from years ago that have yet to turn into an actual song. But this one really flew, from the moment I came up with the riff, to the lyrics just flowing from my head, and onto the recording. It all went really quickly and I'm very happy with the way it turned out. It's also the first song I've recorded where I was confident enough in my own actual drumming that I was able to dump the computer drums and wing it on my own. It's nothing fancy but it turned out well.

And, as for the sound, it has a bit of that Cajun, New Orleans, spooky type of feel to it. It led me to write the lyrics for the second time from Death's point of view. The first time I had done that was in the song "Tour Guide"(which, if you'd like, can be heard on the OilCan Drive MySpace page HERE). "Tour Guide" is the story of Death watching a drag race and waiting to collect one of the souls after the inevitable fiery crash occurs. "Walk Away" feels like the sequel to that song, after Death has collected his soul and is explaining how the afterlife works to its newest member and comforting him by telling him that everyone, in the end, walks away from life.

I hope you enjoy the newest creation and, above all, have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Like a Bowl Full of Jelly!

I've been part of the online art blog called Jelly of the Month for about a year now. The idea of Jelly is to come up with a different concept every month and then everyone submits their artistic take on it. I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I miss a month or two. Client work just kind of piles up and the next thing I know those thirty days of the month are gone. But, I do my best.

One thing I have realized and that I love about the Jelly blog is that it reminds me how much fun and easy art can be. As much as I enjoy doing art for clients and actually being paid for doing something I love, the wait for approval on some projects really slows things down. You do thumbnails, wait for approval, do the pencil art, wait for approval, ink the art, wait for approval, color the art and submit the finished product, wait to see if there are get the idea.

So, doing a piece of art once a month where I can conceive, pencil, ink, color, and finish a piece all in one sitting really reminds me why I love doing art so much in the first place. Sometimes, being as busy as I am, I forget that. So, thank you Jelly for reminding me.

September's concept was "childhood heroes". The only character I can remember constantly dressing up as (even going so far as to borrow one of my Dad's shirts, ripping off the sleeve, looping a jump rope through my belt, and donning a fedora) was Indiana Jones. The latest film notwithstanding, the concept and idea behind Indiana Jones will always be near and dear to my heart. Adventuring, fighting the good fight, and using your wits and fists to get out of jams never goes out of style. And, while I don't think I really captured the likeness of Harrison Ford that well, I definitely think I captured the feel and essence of all that is the good Doctor Jones.

October's concept was your "favorite monster!" Now, there are a LOT of monsters I love and almost too many to choose from. So, I figured...hmm...favorite? Let's look around the house and see what jumps out at me. I have a Milk and Cheese vinyl figure set on the mantle...nope, not monster enough. How about Kurt Cobain action figure right behind me in my studio? Nah, not unless I choose to make him some kind of rock and roll zombie. The Batman figure on the window sill? Nope. Ah, but there, on a shelf in the hall way. From Jeff Smith's immensely popular self published comic book, Bone, a stupid stupid Rat Creature! Yes!

So, check off September and October's Jelly of the Month off the list. And, as always, click on either image to see a larger version. I can't wait to see what ideas November brings!


Welcome to my second time around blogging.

For a few years I was using Live Journal for my blogging needs but was put off when they started to attach advertisements onto the right side of my blog. Seeing ads for the newest herbal shampoo or a chain of hotels next to a new piece of posted art or music really depressed me and I slowly just stopped writing entirely. I felt, with more than enough choices out there for blog servers, that it was finally time for a move. And, a lot of friends and family were using Blogger so I thought I'd give it a try.

But first, for those of you who don't know me and didn't follow me over from my previous blog, allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Sean Tiffany and I make my living doing art work for clients out of my home studio in Boulder, Colorado. I was raised in Maine and went to school for art in New Jersey at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art. A few years after graduating I found myself working for Marvel Comics and teaching at the Kubert School myself. But, something didn't feel right and in 1996, I left New Jersey and headed west. I didn't really know where I was going but I really felt like I was running towards something new and exciting. After two months of traveling, staying in motels, and couch surfing, I landed in Boulder. I loved it here immediately and made it my home. I've been here now for over ten years.

After roughing it in the comic book world, continuing to do work for Marvel as well as dive into self publishing my own comics, I finally opened myself up to other clients in late 2002. Since then, I've work on everything from major advertising campaigns, world wide teaching programs, to a variety of children's books. And yes, I still find time here and there to work on my own comic book projects.

So stick around. Most of this blog will be about the fun stuff I fill my life with, whether it's new art I have on the board, new music from my home recording studio, or just the adventures I find myself in the middle of while riding my bike around Boulder in the wee hours of the night.

So, welcome. I hope you enjoy the ride.