Monthly Archives: December 2009

MuddyParasol.com has gone live!

After wading through the murky sludge of technobabble and legalese I have come back victorious. Having stripped off the .wordpress.com of childhood I move on to the adulthood of the .com!

You can now find my blog at muddyparasol.com

Huzzah! There’s not much different, only a name really, pure vanity, but the price was right and I gotta admit… it feels good. Real good. 8)

Anything as shiny as a new domain name will often have it’s own little quirks and bugs to work out (computers seem to dislike change even more so than that crotchety old guy living down the street), so if you do have any problems with my blog please drop me a comment and I’ll see what can be done.

Cool Head Gear

Cool Helmet

This cool looking cap is thanks to Kazu Kibuishi. I found it in one of the Flight anthologies and just stopped and stared and stared at this cap. This has got to be one of the coolest hats ever! I had to draw it. I like the worn and rough look to it, like it’s been used lovingly for many ages. I had a hard time getting the arm holding the light just right. No matter what I tried I couldn’t quite get it to look 3 dimensional, but overall I like how the drawing turned out.

In other news, just yesterday my copy of Copper by Kazu arrived in the mail. It has all of the Copper comics I love from Kazu’s web site and several new ones. The quality of this book is top-notch. I’m excited to have my favorite web comic in print. Ahh the color filled pages, the feel of the paper between my fingers and that new book smell! Already I’m halfway through the book. If you don’t have it already, get it, and if you’ve never heard of Copper before you’re in for a real treat, check it out.

*wanders away to read more of Copper*

Childhood Drawings

One of the best gifts I ever received as a child was given to me by my aunt Traci. A large blue hardback book filled with nothing but blank sheets of paper. The possibilities were endless! As a child I carried it around with me everywhere, scribbling in it nonstop. It has been lost for a long time, but several months ago my brother found it hidden away. I cleaned off the mold that had grown on the cover, wiped off the dust and have made sure that it never leaves my sight again. It’s a great time capsule of my younger years and flipping through the pages I see that back then I had the same offbeat sense of humor that I have today. I’m posting a few of my drawings from my old blue book so you can see a little of where I’ve come from and maybe give you a sense of where I’m going.

Okay that last little bit was pure nonsense, but it sure does sound good. 🙂

All of the following drawings are from around 1993, I was 11 years old

T-Rex

Dinosaurs were a favorite of mine growing up. I dreamt of being an archeologist and knew more about Dinosaurs than just about any adult. I drew countless dinosaurs, stomping their way across the pages of my old blue book.

In case you’re wondering, that’s a volcano erupting in the background.

Aliens

With T-Rex taking the charge in my boyhood sketchbook you know that aliens won’t be far behind. I am an unabashed SciFi nerd and thanks to my Trekkie mom, my nerdom started early in life. I was surprised to see as I flipped through my old book that a constant theme of my drawings were saving the environment and stopping pollution. I didn’t know I was so concerned about the environment at that age.

Portrait of a Friend

I was also surprised to find many portraits in my old book, none of which I remember doing. This is a portrait of an old friend of mine, I haven’t seen her in many years. When I did this portrait, despite what the forehead wrinkles lead you to believe, she must have been in her early twenties. I can’t imagine what she was thinking when she saw all those wrinkles I drew… maybe that’s why I haven’t seen her in so long. 🙂

Cowboy

Dinosaurs, aliens and cowboys, what else did you expect from a young boy’s sketchbook! Actually this is the only cowboy I found in the entire book, but it is a good example of my sense of humor both then and now. I guess it’s a good sign that while I was going through the book, several times I would stop and laugh my head off. I’m my own best audience.

My Brother

A portrait of my brother Kyle. Looking at this drawing you might think that we’re Asian, which would be wrong. It’s not a bad portrait and my brother is enamored with the Asian culture, so I’m sure he loved it. Maybe that’s partly why I drew it as I did.

It’s great looking through this old book. Every young boy and girl should have a sketchbook of their own. And if you do have a sketchbook of your own, make sure you keep it somewhere very safe, years from now it’s going to be a precious treasure that you’ll look through with great delight.

Thank you again aunt Traci! And thank you Kyle for finding my old blue book!

Panda Knitting the Sequel

Panda Knitting

I had so much fun with my doodle of Delano Laramie’s panda that I tried my hand at it again. This time I used Delano’s picture as a reference and tried the upside down drawing technique that I had used with the Picasso drawing. I really got into drawing the shapes just so. My panda turned out a little chubbier than the original panda, but I think I have the technique down. I had a blast with this one!

Legality of Fan Art

Last night I got into a discussion about the legality of fan art and wether or not it’s right to post fan art. It seems the legality of fan art is somewhat up in the air.

On Wikipedia it states:

The legal status of fan made art in America may be tricky due to the vagaries of the United States Copyright Act. Generally, the right to reproduce and display pieces of artwork is controlled by the original author or artist under 17 U.S.C. § 106. However, fan art using settings and characters from a previously created work could be considered a derivative work, which would place control of the copyright with the owner of that original work. Display and distribution of fan art that would be considered a derivative work would be unlawful.

However, American copyright law allows for the production, display and distribution of derivative works if they fall under a fair use exemption, 17 U.S.C. § 107. A court would look at all relevant facts and circumstances to determine whether a particular use qualifies as fair use; a multi-pronged rubric for this decision involves evaluating the amount and substantiality of the original appropriated, the transformative nature of the derivative work, whether the derivative work was done for educational or noncommercial use, and the economic effect that the derivative work imposes on the copyright holder’s ability to make and exploit her own derivative works. None of these factors is alone dispositive.

I’m not as concerned with if it’s legal, but I am very concerned with wether or not it’s “right”. These are often two very different things. It’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought to before. Now that I am posting my own fan art here on my blog it is something I’ve been thinking about. My main concern is how the authors of the original artwork feel about this, second how you the reader feels and my third concern is to make it clear to the reader what is an original drawing conceived of and drawn by me and what is fan art.

My main purpose for this blog is to chart my progression as I learn to master drawing. As such I try to post as much of my work, both the good and the bad, here on my blog. As a person learns to draw it’s common to look to artists that he admires and attempt to emulate their drawings. This plays an important part in learning and so it seems only natural for it to be included here in my blog.

My own policy is that anytime I copy or try to reproduce a drawing by another artist I will credit them and link to the original artwork wherever possible. If the original artist would for any reason ask me to remove my reproduction of their work I would of course remove it immediately. Obviously I don’t seek any sort of profit from these reproductions and they are included here only to show my progress as an artist. Posting fan art is one thing, but making profit on it is just plain wrong.

What do you think?