New Workshop Finished and Phasing-out My Virtual Existence

#cmralph, #theundisclosedstudio, art, book illustration, Commercial Fine Art, Glass & Wood Engraving, illustration, pen & ink, Photoshop, Second Life, the studio, Uncategorized, Wood Block Print Making

Workshop FInishedNew Workshop set-up for Glass & Wood Engraving and Wood Block Print Making

Exciting new projects are beginning at The Undisclosed Studio Workshop. And with them come changes to the priorities and schedules in my life.

Effective immediately I have begun phasing-out my virtual existence in Second Life. As much as I have enjoyed the past 9 years I find that building virtual objects and vehicles holds less and less interest for me and the money I make from them does not cover the outlay I spend monthly on my virtual land rentals. ($50.00+ a month) I have also found that I have a dwindling interest in it as a social outlet – too much negativity and drama lately which is a real turn-off.  I prefer reading a book, listening to music or watching a movie or YouTube for entertainment and relaxation.

Right now I am focused on wood & glass engraving and my introduction to learning wood block print making. One of my first inspirations as a young teenage artist was from the woodblock prints of Gustave Doré and Hiroshige’s Floating World of Edo (Ukiyo-e) of Japan I used to see in library books. I have since added many of these editions to my own personal library. But it was not until I could realize a fully-functional working studio/workshop space that I could finally begin exploring this process myself, first hand.

takezasa

So I am really exciting to begin this new adventure and see where it leads!

Until next time –

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Studio Growth & Service Expansion

#cmralph, #theundisclosedstudio, Advertising, art, book, book illustration, Commercial Fine Art, conceptual drawings, digital effects, digital matte painting, illustration, Life, motion graphics, pen & ink, Photoshop, positive energy, Second Life, the studio, the undisclosed studio

Hello I amI am very excited to share with you that the re-branding of the studio is now complete and I have just drawn-up a business plan for my expansion of services to include:

Personalized Original Fine Art Prints for Home and OfficeAD

Personalized Original Fine Art Design For:

Gifts, Home Décor, Motivational Posters, Marketing Materials, Product Photo Mock-Ups, Visualization & Labeling, Book & Magazine Covers, Custom Tattoo Designs, Digital Marketing, Customized Fine Art for Business, Corporate and Nonprofit Spaces. 

So – Please Stay Tuned! In the coming weeks I will be releasing more information about new product offerings.

New Year, New Web Presence

#cmralph, #theundisclosedstudio, art, book, book illustration, film, Illuminated Animals, illustration, Life, pen & ink, Photoshop, positive energy, the studio, the undisclosed studio, Uncategorized

waterman nib 2018

Welcome to all the new folks who have joined my journey this year! I hope I will create images that inspire and delight you.

What’s New –

The web site is going through a major overhaul with a simpler new look and feel.

I have decided to handle all sales directly rather than use online shopping platforms and have ceased all online marketing. The reasoning behind these decisions was simple – they did not work.

Besides this website I will continue to share all new work on Facebook for friends and colleagues.

What’s on the agenda for 2018?

A Legacy of Forgotten Names – Documentary Film in production

Illuminated Animals – Pen & Ink Drawing Collection – ongoing

More making-of videos – ongoing

Re-Issuing Print Publication of my Children’s Book, WillowMouse

Several other ideas that are a bit too nebulous to mention at this time.

As always – I am grateful to have you join me on this adventure!

Until next time …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Illustration for 2017

#cmralph, #theundisclosedstudio, book, book illustration, illustration, Photoshop, the studio, the undisclosed studio, Uncategorized

engraved portrait

From The Illustrated Fantastical Compendium of Imaginary People, Places & Things. circa 1800 – The International Society for the Preservation of Paracosms employed the services of a mysterious explorer, known simply as ‘The Traveler’, to expedite their efforts in locating and securing paracosmic portals.

Letting My Imagination Run Wild

art, book illustration, conceptual drawings, illustration, Life, pen & ink, Photoshop, the studio

Secret Society of Pen and Ink Illustrators

Tonight I was thinking – what if there were Secret Societies for Artists much like the Illuminati, who passed down their knowledge and closely guarded secrets from one generation to the next? What would their seal look like? What would their secrets be? How would one become a member? Just imagine having the inner working knowledge of illustrators from the Golden Age (1880’s to 1920’s) or even before that! How they mixed their inks and fashioned their pens. What was their work ethic? How did they define aesthetic arrest?

Anyway – I had so much fun doing this – I just looked-up at the clock and it’s nearly 4:00AM!

 

Sneak-Peek Work in Progress

art, book, book illustration, conceptual drawings, digital effects, film, illustration, Life, pen & ink, Photoshop, the studio, Uncategorized

Picture 59

The owl is slowing coming together. I’ve had some issues with the camera that I am using for the filming of it but thus far I have been able to make adjustments and improve the process.

Every new project is a learning adventure and that is what keeps things interesting and exciting for me. I look forward to going to the drawing table every day.

Happy Monday! Hope you all have a good one!

The Power of “What If”

art, book, book illustration, comic book, conceptual drawings, digital effects, illustration, Photoshop, Second Life, the studio, Uncategorized

Bartender

My latest fun project is a web comic entitled: “The Adventures of Atomic Betty in the Virtual World”

I’ve wanted to do a comic book project for many, many years but just never had the time to experiment and create a process pipeline for images. Now that I am retired and working full time in the studio I have that luxury.

The premise for Atomic Betty came to me one night while exploring in the virtual world of Second Life. I wondered – what do our avatars do after we log out? What if they have a whole other life we know nothing about?  What if their existence is filled with adventure and intrigue? What if our avatars become sentient beings when we are not around?

While still in the experimental stage – I am very happy so far with the results of building this process pipeline. I’m using a combination of ‘windlight’ settings in Second Life and post processing in Photoshop to achieve this color halftone printed look.

I’m having a blast working on this. It’s a nice break from the drawing table.

 

I am now a Proud Member of the Lake County Arts Council

art, book, book illustration, gallery, illustration, pen & ink, Photoshop, the studio, Uncategorized

Become an Artist

I had a wonderful visit to Lakeport, CA yesterday where I visited the Lake County Arts Council and Gallery, became a member and made some new friends!

I am looking forward to producing work to be shown and sold through local galleries here in Northern California.

Both my children’s books and selected engraved glass works will be sold in their gift shop.  This is a very exciting prospect.

http://www.lakearts.org/gallery/gallery.htm

 

 

 

Re-Thinking Social Media

art, book, book illustration, conceptual drawings, digital effects, digital matte painting, film, fine art america, illustration, motion graphics, pen & ink, Photoshop, positive energy, Society 6, the studio, Uncategorized

It would avacado

Felicity online preview

Yesterday I did an interesting experiment. I posted a pen and ink drawing from my latest collection on Facebook and then I posted a picture of an intricately carved avocado. The avocado was 20 times more popular than my drawing.

Now, if I were selling carved avocados this would be great news.

Back in January, artist Noah Bradley left social media – he observed: “And now I’m thinking that maybe I don’t need any of the social networks in my life. Maybe the idea that to promote myself as an artist and have a following I need to be on social networks is wrong. Maybe there’s another way. Maybe I can focus instead on creating more, better work and let things spread as they will. Maybe (just maybe) other people can share my work for me and it’ll spread at least as well.”

I am seriously re-thinking my marketing plan and use of social media.

ADDENDUM: After receiving some “blow-back” from angry people on Facebook after I revealed that this was an experiment on Facebook I wanted to add my reasons for doing this experiment.

Based on my personal observation of Facebook “likes” and trends – my theory was that the general public reacts more favorably to images that do not require any thought or work on the part of the viewer.

And YES I do realize that using Facebook as a resource for social experiments may be upsetting to some people. I apologize to anyone who was offended by this.

My artwork requires much from the viewer. It is intricate, highly detailed and in the case of the Unfinished Illustrations, it requires that the viewer work out what is going on in the drawing.  Like Felicity here, she murdered the man in the tub by putting the radio in it and electrocuting him.  This would actually take work on the viewers part to ascertain. My theory is that most people would rather be immediately visually gratified by an image than take the time to “work it out”.

Identifying this proclivity of social media users better enables me to market my work to the correct audiences.  Based on what I have learned from this, I don’t think using social media for marketing benefits me as an artist.