Thursday, December 31, 2009


So, Monika and I tried to go see James Cameron's Avatar in 3D last night at a 6:15 show here in town. I figured, "it's Wednesday shouldn't be too crowded."

But, as I stood in line and looked up at the digital screen of show times the words "sold out" rolled across the time that I wanted to see it. The next 3D show wasn't until 10:30. Beaten, Monika and I left the line and wandered into Border's Book Store. We stayed for a bit and I even bought a few books for Monika of a manga storyline she's recently fallen in love with. We did have to leave when a father and daughter came in and started gushing to one of the sales people how wonderful Avatar was and how she just "had to go see it in 3D!"


So, I'm not sure when we'll get a chance to try and see it again. I am guessing that tonight will be just as packed since most people have no where to go tomorrow. And, with the schedules Monika and I keep it's hard for us to both have time off together to go see a movie in the theater. So, we'll see.

I did get to come back home last night and watch the second airing of the Colorado Avalanche hockey game. So, it wasn't a total loss.

I also played around a bit with my music recording software and discovered some new things about mastering already mixed and finished tracks that has me really excited. The difference I was hearing of the before and after mixes was like night and day. The new mixes were bright and clear with all the different instrument parts nicely separated. It made the old ones I had been doing and calling finished sound, at best, muddy by comparison.

So, it wasn't the worst night ever.

But, it still felt like a kick in the stomach for most of it.

Today, back to the drawing board so I can actually show you a new project I am working on. As much as I love the music side of the OilCan Drive project it does make it hard to blog about. But, when and if I get into the full tracking of the album (hopefully soon) I have some ideas of things I can write about here that will go along with the music.

Have a great New Year's Eve and stay safe!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pulling Strings

Not much creativity happened in the last few days so I didn't have much to blog about yesterday. I was going to start laying down tracks for the OilCan Drive album but realized I hadn't played guitar in any serious way in a week or two. So, I decided I'd spend the day with the guitar in my hands loosening up a bit.

But, I couldn't just sit on the couch and play guitar while I watched TV all day (only part of the day). So, I hit the computer and started scanning in and cleaning up some of the new artwork I'd inked over the holidays.

With guitar on lap I scanned the art and started laying it out into the last few pages needed to complete the interior of the new OilCan Drive book. It was nice to be able to play guitar and do something with my hands as I stared at the screen and made decisions on the layouts of the new pages. All in all, it was a good day and my hands are feeling loose and ready to play.

And, I even came up with a new riff that could be the nugget of a new OilCan Drive song.

So, yeah, a good day indeed.

Monday, December 28, 2009

More Inking

With the finished inking of these two pages all the art for the interior of the OilCan Drive book is complete. Oh, they still need to be scanned to the computer, cleaned up, and laid out in some sort of design but as far as the art by hand goes, the interior is done.

So, that's one more little victory I can claim on this project.

It feels like this is taking forever and I'm not working fast enough. But, I'm doing it when I can, between client work and friend and family obligations. And, it is getting done. Slowly...but it's getting done.

Now I just need to design and draw images for the book cover, CD cover, and sleeve cover.

Oh, and do an album full of music.

But, I have a feeling some of that will be tackled this week. I'm feeling that itch to really start get this moving again.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sneaking in Some Inking

Over the last few days of holidays, friends in town, families to visit, being tired, and having a stomach ache, I still managed to sneak in some inking here and there.

The main image seen here of the OilCan Drive band will be used as a header for an exclusive one-on-one interview I plan on doing with the guys sometime soon. The smaller head shots will be peppered throughout the article with sound bytes from each character.

The interview, as of now, is tentatively titled "Pulling Strings."

After drawing the piece, and seeing how Vince was re-stringing his guitar and stretching the new string, it seemed appropriate.

Friday, December 25, 2009

From the Vault - Holly Christmas 1999

From ten years ago, have a Holly Jolly Christmas, one and all!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Henry Holidays!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Here is Baby Henry, all ready for his first Christmas tomorrow morning. He's been really good and has been trying his best not to open every wrapped present he sees in the house.

So far, so good.

One of my favorite things about Christmas Eve is sharing with all of you my favorite Christmas song that you've never heard before. It's Bruce Springsteen singing a song that may or may not be called "Pilgrim in the Temple of Love." It's the story of how Bruce decided to spend one Christmas Eve in a strip joint and all the people he met and the adventures he had there. It's probably the dirtiest and funniest Christmas song I have ever head Bruce do.

And, if the player above does not work for you, you can hit the direct link to the song HERE.

So, enjoy your Christmas Eve and have a great, safe time!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Since I wanted to do something special tomorrow for Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day I wanted to do a special Christmas "From the Vault" I figured there was no better time than now to show you all my Mr. Mucho 2009 Holiday card and wish you all a happy holiday.

With snow blanketing Colorado this afternoon it definitely has a white Chrtistmas feel around town.

So, have a great and safe holiday and say hello to all of your friends and family for me!

Be good!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Running Back Dreams

This is the second image I did for the Jake Maddox book, "Running Back Dreams."

The first try at it the main character was turned a bit to the right, running off screen. Editorial felt it might be a bit more powerful if he was turned just a little more towards us. Not much. Just a little.

Well, of course, turning a character you've penciled on paper isn't as easy as just clicking a mouse or pushing the F4 key. So, back to the drawing board I went and re-penciled the character.

I do like him a bit better now than my initial try. I like that you can see the joy and happiness in his face directed at us, the reader, than at some unseen thing off the side of the page. So, while I may not like redrawing things they usually do end up better for the extra effort.

Now, it's back to the drawing board to do some little extra pieces for the OilCan Drive book. It always seems those little extra efforts always pay off in the end.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Linebacker Block

Well, Survivor ended last night and, while it wasn't the exact ending I was hoping for, it's always fun to watch the finale of that show. I can't believe the next season of the show will be its 20th! Where does the time go?

I finished the third book in my current contract for the Stone Arch books last Monday and decided to take some time for myself during the holidays to work on some personal projects and finish the fourth football book in January. But, ever since I finished that third book and had more than two seconds to breath I'd been utterly exhausted.

After three days of not doing anything I thought I was doing better on Friday. Then I found myself trying to open the inside of my condo's door (you know, the locks you just turn) with my keys and thought, nope, not better yet. Even the small task of making a list of things I wanted to accomplish was almost too much for me and I didn't even tackle that until Friday.

But, Friday night I made my brain shut up and drank a few beers and addressed and signed Christmas cards. That seemed to do the trick because, by Saturday, I was clear headed again and ready to face anything. I cleaned the house, restrung all my guitars, and prepared for the week ahead.

So, things are back on track and getting done. The OilCan Drive album is prepped, demoed, and ready for me to lay down the multiple tracks on every song. My list of things to do is written and things are already getting crossed off. My Christmas cards are in the mail and I've laid down what I need to do to finish the OilCan Drive book.

So, things are getting better all the time. It's just nice to finally be awake to enjoy them.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Speed Receiver

Well, I finally got to sit down, relax, and watch a complete Denver Broncos football came. In the last few weeks, I missed the Thanksgiving game, Monday night games, and the early, start at eleven in the morning games. Even the games I have been able to watch I've always been working to get projects done for Monday due dates.

But today, for a 2:15 start against our rivals, the Oakland Raiders, I got to sit down and watch the whole game.

I saw two Raiders quarterbacks hit so hard they were taken out of the game. I saw the game stop because someone in the stands was pointing a laser pointer into the players eyes. I even saw one of the Raiders lose his pants after a big tackle.

Unfortunately, I also saw the Broncos lose to a Raider touchdown with only thirty seconds left to go. Ah well, you can't win them all.

Now it's on to the season finale of Survivor. Hopefully that game turns out more to my liking.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Quarterback Comeback

Here is one of the first cover illustrations I came up with for the four book Jake Maddox series about football.

I'm not sure how the finished cover will look. When I started with Stone Arch I would do the full cover, figure and background included. On the last bunch of covers I have just provided the character in a layered format so the designer can plug him into some sort

So, how will these covers come out looking? You guess is as good as mine.

But, I'm really looking forward to seeing the results!

Friday, December 18, 2009

From The Vault- Iron Man 1991

Here is another piece I found under my bed while I was in Maine.

I know this piece was done during my second year at the Kubert School but I'm not sure if it was for an actual assignment or not. The fact that it's still in its penciled stage makes me think I did it just for myself. But, who knows, it might have been for some odd design project where I just happened to depict Iron Man. Past Sean is not always good at leaving clues for Present Sean.

I do remember, at this time, that I was trying to figure out how to depict shiny metal in a black and white piece. I hadn't quite figured it out yet. I think I really got the grasp of metal once I was in my third year, working at the McNabb Studio, and looking at a lot of Soryama's art while Mark, my boss, did a great job explaining why it worked.

While doing the Iron Man piece I remember the best someone tried to explain it to me was telling me to make it kind of look like links of sausage. That still makes no sense to me.

But, that's what school is for. To try and figure out all those questions you have running around in your head. If nothing else, I like the layout and design of this piece.

Even if I hadn't figured out a shiny metal technique yet.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Number 200!

Well, it took me from last October until August to hit my first one hundred posts on this blog. And, now, only in mid-December, I've hit two hundred posts! I guess posting almost everyday does pay off.

The biggest thing that has changed since last time is that I've moved my pile of art from a stack behind my desk into this giant plastic utility tub. So, even though it's still in danger of a house fire, my art can now survive a flood if the waters ever rise to way up here on the third floor. So, I've got that going for me.

And, yes, I am still working on the seventh incarnation of OilCan Drive. But, the interior of the book is done and things are still chugging along. Unfortunately, that paying client work does get in the way. But things are on track and hopefully, if things go well, I'll have some news soon.

Here's to the next one hundred posts! I'll see you all at 300!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


While browsing around on YouTube late last night I came across this video for Apocalyptica's Path. Who knew that four guys playing cellos could rock so hard? This is making me rethink a few things musically and I may have to go out today and see if I can find a cello bow to play some of my bass parts with.

Nothing like experimenting with new ways to make noise!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Let's Play Some Football!

Late last night I finished up the third book in the Jake Maddox football series I've been doing for Stone Arch Books.

For a book that I started really strong at the start of the week it really broke me down by week's end. Maybe it's because I did three of these books in a row, did all the covers, and all the little bits of interior art to accompany the stories, in the span of seven weeks straight.

By Friday night, at around eight, I was fully dressed and passed out in my bed.

But, the first three books are done now and I am taking the rest of the month off for the holidays and a few personal projects. I'll finish the fourth book in January to make the final February 1st deadline. But, the first few days off are always the hardest part. After seven weeks of always having something you need to work on it's hard to just stop. I was very antsy last night after I finished. And, because of the cold and snow on the roads I ended up doing laps in the building's underground garage on my bicycle.

So, three quarters of the steps out of the way and some time to myself. Let's see what kind of trouble I can get myself into.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Mark Hoppus Auction

So, the Mark Hoppus auction I blogged about here and here finally ended on Tuesday morning.

If you'll remember, my highest bid maxed out at a touch over three grand.

The auction ended and the final bid was $7700.

Too rich for my blood, Mr. Hoppus, too rich for my blood.

But, the good news is that I'll be finishing up the current kid's book I am working on in the next few days. Then, I'll be taking the rest of December and the holidays off to record the OilCan Drive album. It might not be as cool as being out in Los Angeles and working with Mark but I'm excited nonetheless!

I'm sure I'll be driving myself nuts in the next few weeks while I work on it so stick around, it should be fun!

From The Vault- FedEx Ad 1991

How far will FedEx go for you to deliver a package?

Well, according to this piece I did for an advertising class back in 1991, pretty darn far.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Space Chocolate

One of the jobs I do from time to time is quick key frames for an advertising agency out in New York City. They usually email me with a bunch of stuff they need done and, of course, they need it yesterday. So, it's less a "how good can you draw" assignment and more of a "how fast can you draw and still be able to tell what's going on" kind of assignment.

So, I put away the good bristol board and the ink brushes and inkwells and pull out the cheap cardstock and the sharpie markers. Everything is quickly roughed in with a non-repo blue pencil (that way I don't have to erase anything when I am done inking) and then inked with the sharpies. Scan that into the computer, maybe add some color, and, voila, job done!

The only problem is I'm never quite happy with the art. I know I'm going as fast as I can and I can still tell what's going on in each panel but the perfectionist in me always hates what I did. Honestly, every time I do a job like this I'm afraid it will be my last because the drawing, in my mind, is so awful. After six years of working for this client you think that voice might go away. Not yet.

This latest job was some quick key frames for a campaign to bring a French cereal over here to America. One of the panels needed to show the two main characters flying a vat of chocolate to a landing platform in space. What liked about these panels is that, while they aren't full color, I was told to use brown and sepia tones to highlight the chocolatey goodness of the product.

So, I really liked the way the monochromatic coloring looked. I may have to use this myself someday in my own work. It's gives the whole piece a touch more atmosphere without going to full color. And this is one of the pieces I was actually happy with.

Maybe I am getting that little voice inside my brain to finally shut up.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


OK, after a week plus of featuring stuff I did way back in high school I figured I'd start back into the new art with a bang! If you can ignore this new piece of art then I just don't know what to say.

I can't believe I had to go all the way back to the June archive of the blog to find out when I inked this piece! Has it been that long? Geez, how the time flies around here!

Since then, this piece of art has been sitting scanned into my computer waiting for color. I finally found some free time on Sunday night to paint her up and call her done.

Sorry it took so long. A beautiful naked lady should never be kept waiting! And this girl had to wait FAR too long.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

From the Vault WEEK- Exit 6 1989 Part 8

Hey, another transition panel with me trying to draw a cool sky in black and white.

Even then, before going to art school, I was doing transitions pretty much the same way I do them now. Instead of a caption box saying "LATER--" I would always do some panel that showed a lapse of time. Looking back, I think I pulled that from watching so many sitcoms. If you really watch closely any transition in a sitcom is done by showing an exterior of where the next scene is going to take place accompanied with a nice little bit of music. So, I think that's where I pulled that from.

And, in this page we learn a little bit more about Keith's life. How his Dad left, how his Mom seems to date around (she must have very low standards if she ever dated Keith's father, The Count...I mean, the guy looks like a cross between a mole, a hamster, and a rat.)

Of course, Brian wants to hear none of it. Because, you know, that's what friends are for.

This is the last page of this version of EXIT 6 I found under the bed in Maine. There is one more page that must have been from a different story but it didn't fit in with these pages. So, maybe I'll save that for this coming Friday's "From the Vault."

I hope you all enjoyed this look WAAAAAY back into the vault. It's been fun for me to look back to where I came from, where I've been, and how I've grown as an artist over the years.

Now, it's time to get back to the new stuff. See you tomorrow!

Monday, December 7, 2009

From the Vault WEEK- Exit 6 1989 Part 7

A real friend is the one who will laugh at you when you're down.

And this is probably one of the only times I've actually attempted to render a sunset in black and white. I'm amazed I had the nerve to try such a stunt. But, it was a vampire story. And what vampire story is complete without both a sun going down and a sun coming up scene?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

From the Vault WEEK- Exit 6 1989 Part 6

Wake up, Keith, WAKE UP!

What teenaged boy sleeps all day and doesn't wake up until the sun goes down? This idea is something I must have pulled from "The Lost Boys."

And, unlike the published Exit 6 series, Keith actually has a friend. I must have gotten darker as I hit my twenties and took everything away from Keit. But, when I did these pages, I was still nice enough to give Keith a buddy named Brian.

Of course, later in the story, I'd turn him into an evil vampire and have the two fight, but that's a whole other thing.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

From the Vault WEEK- Exit 6 1989 Part 5

Keith's thoughts about his dreams continue.

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Header

Oh, and if you haven't noticed, I've added a new header to the blog. I've had the idea for months now but have never had the time to pull it off. So, while watching Survivor last night I sat down and built the template for the new blog header.

My plan, now that the template is in place, is to change the header's look from month to month. This month, being a holiday packed month, features Mr. Mucho, doing his best to play Santa. I figured a blue tinted background would work well for this chilly month but, don't fear, the original colors will be back come January.

Building this new header also solved a problem I've had for a long time. Since I started this blog, because of the way I placed my art into the header, its had a title like "img.scrn.text.seantiffany.jpg blah blah blah". It was a pain in the ass and because of the way I set it up I didn't know how to fix it.

But, with the new art the official title is now "Sean Tiffany Art and Illustration"

So, feel free to tell your friends.

And have a great December!

From the Vault WEEK- Exit 6 1989 Part 4

See, I told you it was just a dream. Phew! No need to get too scared.

Another odd storytelling choice I made on this page is on the last panel. I actually had Keith break the panel plane and grab onto the bottom of the panel. What an odd decision to make for no reason at all.

Ah well, it was still about six months before I'd go to art school so I'll forgive my old self this quirky choice.

I was experimenting and learning. And, hopefully, I've gotten better since these pages.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

From the Vault WEEK- Exit 6 1989 Part 3

Ah, the eternal struggle between good and evil. Unfortunately, I didn't have the tools yet in my arsenal to make sure the reader knew this was a dream sequence. But, don't worry. I spell it out to you (literally) on the next page that, yes, this is a dream.

All the skills weren't quite there yet (backgrounds, who needs backgrounds?) but I was trying. And I was doing my own thing.

And I was having fun.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

From the Vault WEEK- Exit 6 1989 Part 2

Putting information about the cast of characters on the inside front cover of a comic book was something else I picked up from the Japanese manga books I was reading at the time. It served as an easy way to get to know the characters as well as a great way to recap the previous story.

And, it's within this old, inside front cover where we can see how different the original Exit 6 idea was at the time.

The original story focused more on Keith's life than it did Courtney's. In fact, at this time, Courtney wasn't even around. It was a girl named Pam. Keith had a friend, named Brian, and even, gasp, a father who looked like a cross between a rat and a mole. Of course, this guy, so eloquently named The Count, was a vampire and Keith's vampiric powers came from him.

From what I remember, Keith was going through some changes. His vampire powers were coming into full bloom as he grew older. His father, The Count, came back to reclaim Keith. The Count sent in Stephanie, one of his vampires, to seduce him. When Keith couldn't be turned to the dark side, I'm sure because of something Pam did, Stephanie turned her attention towards Keith's best friend Brian. She turned him into a vampire so I'm sure, at some point in the book, there would be an epic vampire battle between two old friends. about a different story than the one that saw print ten years later.

Tomorrow we'll start looking at the pages I started doing for this project. It's a trip!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

From the Vault WEEK- Exit 6 1989

The first actual issue of the self published comic book EXIT 6 was published in 1998. Before that I had used the characters from the book in many a class assignment when I was at the Joe Kubert school in the early nineties.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to find a bunch of pages under the bed in Maine that pre-dated even those college assignments. These must have been done in my senior year of high school. I remember I conceived the idea and the characters in the early years of 1989. Who knew that I was so ambitious that, in just the few short months after, that I would have an initial storyline in place and a few pages under my belt?

Exit 6, at the time, was simply called "Keith Howard: Vampire." Not too flashy or original but, you know, you got the point of what the book was about right off the bat.

At the time, I was reading a lot, and really loving, the few manga books that Viz Comics was putting out in the late 80's. Unlike today where your neighborhood Borders or Barnes and Noble has whole shelves devoted to the Japanese comic book art form in the 80's I think I only had three or four titles to choose from. Two of these books that captured my imagination were Area 88 and Xenon: The Heavy Metal Warrior. Using those books as inspiration, these pages have a lot of gray wash and a bit of zip-a-tone on them to mimic the work I was seeing in those books.

Another funny thing to note is that I was sharing the writing credit with my brother, Josh. I'm not sure how much we really collaborated on these pages or what ideas he and I knocked around. But, it was fun to create with my brother who, at the time and probably still is, a HUGE horror fan. Who better to work on a book about a vampire with?

So, over the next few days I'll show you some of these old pages. Up tomorrow will be the inside front cover of the book, featuring the characters from the story. And, if you think you know the story of Keith Howard and Exit 6, then you're in for a surprise. This original story is totally different.

Have a great day!