Monday, May 20, 2013

Getting Closer

Apologies once again for letting so many days go by between posts. But, you know I've been busy working on all kinds of cool stuff so I hope you forgive me.

The inks have been laid down on the back cover illustration I showed off last week and it's already been scanned into the computer and toned for final printing.

There has been so much stuff that has been flying off my art table these last sixteen weeks that it's been really hard to keep up and show off everything that I've been working on. But, here is a piece I did a few weeks ago for the cover of the first ever OilCan Drive EP album.

The good news is that I finished up the album late last night and submitted it for production at 1:04 am. This means I should have CDs in hand for the Denver Comic Convention on May 31st and, after that, they will be available to the world.

You can't hear it yet but you can see a cool preview of what the finished album sleeve and CD will look like HERE. After working for so long on it it is really cool to see something like this brought to life, even if, for now, it's just on the computer screen.

After recording the songs for the album for weeks and weeks I knew the drop dead deadline I had to get everything complete and in my hands by the convention was approaching quickly. I originally planned to have it all done by the end of April but I could never seem to find the time and mixing the album wasn't going as well as I'd hoped. I finally got some decent mixes earlier this week but I still needed to make them as perfect as I could. I would be mixing songs, listening to them, and mixing them down all while jumping back and forth between the music and sitting at my art desk drawing either something for OilCan Drive or for a client. It was multitasking at its finest.

Finally, last night, after multiple mixes and sending files to a friend in Nashville who kept telling me they needed a little more work, I finally got everything almost buttoned up. I kept going over and over the album, listening to all the songs in sequence a bunch of times. I knew I was on to something when I could listen, not hear any of the mistakes (which I'm sure there are still a bunch of), close my eyes, and see the band in my head playing the songs. When the song took me out of seeing the band play the songs on stage I knew there was a problem. I was trying to make the four songs sound like a set played in sequence to an audience or on TV. I really don't know right now what the hell it came out sounding like but at 1am last night I pulled the trigger and sent the sucker off.

I took a bike ride at 2am, got home, drank a glass of milk and watched an episode of Dawson's Creek, and then passed out.

It feels surreal waking up this morning knowing what I accomplished. I've been wanting to do something like this for ten years. It's something I've dreamed about since I came up with the concept of this band and the first time I picked up the guitar again at age 32 to learn more than three chords. Getting on the radio with the one Bob Dylan cover song years ago was great but really scared me at the same time. Now someone was saying I was good and now I felt I had to be good and wasn't just goofing around anymore. Someone out there was listening. I think that might have done more harm than good, even though it was cool. So to finally break out of that fear and finally get it done is a huge thing for me.

Now, all that's left is the book. And I have one week to wrap this sucker up.

Right now, I feel like I can do anything. There is a lot of work still left to do bu there is no longer any fear or nervousness. I can do it. I didn't believe that until last night. But, wow, I can really pull this off.

One more week left. Have a great one!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Week Fifteen Begins

Well, this is it, the final stretch. When I wrote out this crazy schedule I've been on back in January it seemed to make sense. I knew it would be thought but I figured if I could stick to the schedule I'd be okay.

I am now on the fifteenth of sixteen weeks I've given myself to get all of the OilCan Drive project done. I'm happy to say that almost all of the merchandise has been completed and is still either out at the printers or in my hands.

The album has been recorded and I'm in the middle of doing the final mixes now. I need to finish the songs up, get them mixed and mastered, and get all the art done for the packaging this week. Unfortunately one of the songs had to fall by the wayside since the deadline is so tight. So, while I did record all the parts for the cover song of The Outfield's "Your Love" I won't have time to mix or master it before the deadline. I'm looking forward to tackling it again and giving it out as a free download once the convention is in my rear view mirror.

The last thing that needs to be done is the OilCan Drive comic book itself. The whole book is penciled but I still need to ink two and a half pages this week. Once that is done I need to gray tone about half of the book, write the script, and letter the book next week. It's tight but I think it will be okay. I don't know if I have a few sleepless nights in my future but, knowing me and the way I work, I know it will get done.

Some of the pages from the book have already started appearing on the OilCan Drive site so if you want a preview of what is to come head on over there and take a look.

As I said in a previous post the website crashed and burned a few weeks ago so I've been rebuilding it from scratch. It's still not exactly where I want it to be but I am putting it back together when I find the time. Hopefully, once the book and the album are out of the way, I'll have a little more time to tackle the problems of the site. Right now I'm hoping it will be all back up and running by the time the con rolls around.

Add all that to a bit of client work this week and it looks like it's going to be a busy last two weeks for me. I'll get it done but thinking about it all at once right now makes my head spin. I just need to take it one task at a time and everything will be good.

Above is the pencil sketch of Ryan for the back of the OilCan Drive book. A little ink and a little color and I'll be able to cross him off the list.

Sorry the blog has been so quiet lately. As you can read I've been a bit busy. I'm almost there. No longer is the only thing left to do everything. Now the only things left to do are a few things.

I'm getting there.

Have a great day.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Happy May!

 Things have been so busy around here lately that I totally forgot the month was changing and I needed a new header for the blog. I'm glad i finally remembered even if it is a few days late.

The OilCan Drive project has been going well but there still feels like there's too much to do and too little time to do it. I got a bunch of the merchandise art done for the project done so all I'm left with now is about three and a half pages of the comic and mixing the album. I got the vocals done for the album done last weekend and now I'm trying to put all the puzzle pieces together and make some decent songs out of them. It's been a bit frustrating and, to be honest, I've thought about chucking the music side of the project altogether, but I still find myself sitting down and playing around until something almost sounds good. So, I'll keep going and see what happens.

And, since it is May 3rd the cover to the new OilCan Drive "TRACKS" story was posted today. You can go over to the OCD website and check it out HERE. The site still needs a lot of work done to it to get it back to where it was before the crash but I've put that on the back burner so I can get the rest of the work done first. It feels like just one more thing to do but I am glad I got it back to a point where I can post new pages and tell the story I want to tell.

 With all the work I still need to do chances are the blog will be quiet for just a little while longer. I'd usually draw out showing off all of this art but since I know I won't find the time in the next few weeks I thought I'd bombard you with all the merchandise art I did for the project that I'll be rolling out at The Denver Comic Convention on May 31st. Geez...only four weeks to go and still so much to do.

The pieces below are the business card, postcard, four foot by eight foot banner (yes, it's going to be HUGE), t-shirt, silk screened vinyl sticker, and trading cards.

Enjoy the artwork, enjoy the spring days of May, and I hope I'll see a few of you on the weekend of the 31st! Be good!