Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Protec ya Pens at all times

If you've ever used KOH-I-NOOR Rapidograph Tech Pens size 3x0/.25 and smaller you know how temperamental they can be. I've just started using them again for certain things and finally feel like I've got a hold on the clogging issue. These pens are so damn expensive and unfortunately over the years I've bought the same pen multiple times. I figured maybe I could help someone out by writing my findings and eventual triumph. First of all, always use new-ish ink! If you've had the same ink sitting in a dusty back drawer don't expect it to work. It'll clog quickly and you'll end up chucking the pen across the room like a 2 year old. Secondly, if you are going to leave your pens sitting unused for over 2 days, clean them with the Pen Cleaner (It's probably just dish soap and water but it's really cheap and comes with a neat little plastic strainer thingy inside). It's a pain in the arse to clean them but so is buying a new 20 dollar pen. I haven't decided whether or not the Pen Cleaning Kit is worth it for regular maintenance but it is pretty good for trying to get super old pens working again. If you are inking over pencil lines use a harder lead pencil. The softer graphite is a big part of why the small pens get clogged so easily. Don't shake the pen violently at all. If it clogs while working, I personally keep a small piece of paper-towel dipped in pen cleaner nearby then I put the metal nib in the cleaner and bleed the ink out. Works fine for me. I saw a new pen on the market that claims to be clog-free...but I don't believe it.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Punch In the Face At War With Everybody LP

The new LP for Chicago's Punch in the Face has been released. 'At War With Everybody' LP on Lengua Armada records. I think there's going to be a CD as well.

Punch In The Face

Saturday, December 8, 2007

World of Warcraft Massive Tome!

World of Warcraft, Blizzard, Upperdeck and Chronicle Books teamed up to create an enormous, hardcover, horizontal format book of art from the trading card game. It's an epic book filled with a bazillion images oozing with brutal toughness. it's pretty metal if you ask me. I suggest sitting down with a Mountain Dew and the Live Maiden album while flipping thru the pages. I was lucky enough to get 3 pieces in. BattleOn, Mike S.

World of Warcraft Trading Card Game

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pinback Courtesy of Herc

Spoof. Great. Check it out:


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Beast Within: The Red Herring

Hello. Check it out I'm Kenny Bloggins. Ugh. Well, when I was asked to be part of the Beast In Me show, I was really excited. This idea came bubbling up, to do a full on oil painting with little windows where you could see thru to a layer below. Similar to how traditional animation cells are done but using plexi-glass for more depth between the two panels. So here's a look at the first attempt at something like this. I hope I can revisit this process soon, as I have a bunch of ideas I'd like to do. I really enjoy James Jean's informative Blog and he has influenced me to showcase more of the process. -BattleOn, Mike S.

Pencil drawing:

Back panel: Drawing on Rives BFK paper mounted to masonite. HOW?-Donato Giancola's Method

Top Panel cut out and ready to be mounted

Two panel sandwich ready for painting. One masonite, one plexi-glass.

Background panel half done...ish-ish. Acrylic with spray paint. In addition to regular brushes, I used Rags and toothbrush here.

1 Laying down Acrylic. Slowly realizing how hard it will be to keep paint off the plexiglass. You can see the protective plastic is still on the back of the plexi glass in the upper left.

Reference Desk



4 Starting to put Oil paint on top of the Acrylic

Final Frame is store bought then damaged a bit with tools. Painted with black and polyurethane finish. Painting is 12.5x17.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Refill 7 Tokyo

image from Synchronicity

Refill Seven, the exhibition of lasered skate art, is travelling to Tokyo, 22 selected artists from the original event will have their decks on show at Shibuya's Tower Records from Friday 9th November to Wednesday 14th November.

The artists included in the Tokyo event are Ben Brown, Estevan Oriol, DeltaHouse 33, Aaron Horkey, Faf, iMode 2, Michael Leon, Todd Bratrud, Rostarr, Bigfoot, Monster, Children, VC, JEric Elms, Jeff Staple, SSUR, Mike Sutfin, Marok, Usugrow, Seven Stars and Pushead.

Refill 7 TOKYO

Friday, October 19, 2007


Supertouch has organized an art show BEAST WITHIN to premiere Halloween night 2007 at New York's Showroom gallery Featuring art by over 65 artists including Pushead, Phil Frost, Stephan Jay Rayon, Doze Green, Eric White, Ron English, Louie Cordero, Tristan Eaton, Andy Cruz/House Industries, Mars-1, Steve Bliss, Shepard Fairey, D*Face, REAS (Todd James), Travis Louie, Rhode Montijo, Friends With You, Nathan Cabrera, Tim Biskup, Eric Elms, Kelsey Brookes, Jim Woodring, Mark Dean Veca, Erik Foss, Gary Baseman, Slick, Nathan Jurevicius, James Jean, Usugrow, Glenn Barr, Mike Moon, Gomez Bueno, Pete Fowler, Rick Griffin, Nate Van Dyke, Stanley Mouse, Andrew Brandou, Makoto Kobiyashi, Miran Kim, Peter Taylor, Scott Campbell, Jordin Isip, Melinda Beck, Joel Dugan, Jeff Soto, Elizabeth Huey, Jacaeber Kastor, Mark Smith, Carl Dunn, Junko Mizuno, Mike Sutfin, Rich Jacobs, Taylor McKimens, WK Interact, 123 Klan, Jeremyville, Esao Andrews, Filth, Calma, Mark Bode, Mysterious Al, Superdeux, Interspectacular, and many more

Showroom Gallery

Confessions of a Curb Dog

Neck deep in work. Real posts coming soon...complete wiith art and pictures of how I make stuff. All day long and thru the night. For now check out pirate colas:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pinback Autumn of the Seraphs Released 2007

Sometime during the Winter of 2000 I heard Pinback for the first time. My friend Garrett brought over the 'Some Voices' EP for me to check out and I think we must have listened to 'Manchuria' play into 'June' 3 or 4 times in a row. This was an exciting yet frightening time when I decided to drop the day job and try to make a living as an artist. For the next 7 months or so I worked to complete a book of Character drawings for the New Star Wars Essential Guide to Characters (Del Rey Books/Lucas Ltd.). I remember freezing to death in my studio attatched to the garage, drinking crazy amounts of coffee, drawing Luke Skywalker and company. Pinback was the soundtrack and it really did rule.

Touch & Go Records

Cover/Back Cover Sketches:

Digipak inside spread:

There were several versions of the Inside Lyric Forest Spread:

Thanks for checking it out.
Mike S.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

@ 24SF Gallery Sept. 30

This Thursday there is yet another art showing at Upper Playround's 24SF gallery. Todd Bratrud's offering of small paintings and illustrations is titled 'Half Assed' along side Maya Hayuk's 'Forevers'. Todd combines skill and humor in a triumphant and modest way. Looking forward to my introduction to Maya Hayuk's work. Check it out if you can. Here's some links for those interested:

Todd's Blog
Design Collective Todd
Bulesque of North America
New colaboration for Jeremy Fish:
Todd's Wheel Company:
Teenage Runway Blog
Maya Hayuk.com

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mini-Interview Thursday: Pea Hix

I'd like to proudly present Mini-Interview Thursday Special Guest Pea Hix! The man is a humble guy that knows his stuff, takes it seriously and can back it up! Some may know Pea as the Keyboard player and part mastermind of the Lo-fi (up till recently) Musical act Optiganally Yours. They have released two albums to date: 'Exclusively Talentmaker!' and 'Spotlight On' as well as appearances on several compilations including 'Better than the Beatles - A Tribute to the Shaggs' and 'Powerpuff Girls 'Heroes & Villains'. Keeping with a somewhat simple and stylized approach the group consists of only 2 members: Pea and Rob Crow (Pinback, HeavyVegetable, Other Men, GoblinCock, Thingy & More). Oh, and the live shows simply amazing! With backstage players and multiple costume changes you will be thrown into a whirlwind of emotions. I think I almost cryed during a live performance of my favorite song 'The Oar' once but then realized I was looking at half naked men wearing capes and plastic viking helmets. Read on and please check out Pea and his hella interesting interests.

Mike Sutfin: Two part question: Can you please explain what first attracted you to the optigan as a musical instrument? How many of these wondrous machines do you own?

Pea Hix: i've always been into obsolete and also-ran technologies. the nice thing about musical instruments is that, unlike some other types of technology, they never really become "obsolete" completely, because there's always some sort of unique character to an instrument that just can't be replicated in any other way, and if it's a sonic color that you need to use, then it's not obsolete. i've always felt that the character of a musical instrument is most importantly defined by what it *can't* do, rather than what it *can* do. that's why so many modern synthesizers are really boring- they all do everything, to the point where it's difficult to distinguish one from another. but something like an optigan is so limited, yet theoretically had huge potential to provide an *unlimited* variety of sounds. that, in fact, is how it was marketed. to me, it's far more interesting to work within a set of limitations rather than having an infinite number of possibilities available. to me, having too many options tends to stifle my creativity- i spend too much time trying to choose what i want to do, and second-guessing whether or not i should have done something else, rather than just getting on with it and making the most of a limited set of options. because, you know, there's always an infinite range of possibilities even within the narrowest of confines. but back to your original question, it's not just the fact that the optigan is a very limited instrument that attracted me, it's of course the actual sound of it as well, which i find very haunting and mysterious. and to me, mystery is the most important element of any kind of art.

PH: as to how many optigans i own, the answer is... who knows? it all depends on whether the gutted ones count, etc, but the last time i tried to nail it down, it was something like 12?

MS: You are an accomplished man of the outdoors. You recently hiked entire Pacific Crest Trail (A trail reaching from the Mexico border all the way to Canada). I won't ask you to reiterate your experience since you already documented your journey in a detailed Trail Journal. I'm just wondering how you came to decide to take on such a huge challenge? Was it at all scary to just say to yourself Ok, I'm gonna hike 2663 miles?

PH:i've always been into hiking, but have only taken up backpacking in recent years. i don't believe in astrology at all, but for what it's worth, i definitely identify as a classic gemini, in the sense that i tend to be an all-or-nothing type person. so, going on a weekend backpacking trip never really appealed to me much- too much hassle for just a short trip. i'd rather just go day-hiking with a bottle of water in my hand. but hiking the pct was a completely different idea. it allowed me to fully give myself over to that world, for a long period of time. long-distance backpacking isn't like normal weekend backpacking. it's a full-time job. your main task is to make lots of miles every day. there's not alot of time for sitting around by lakes, etc. it was a regimen that really made sense to me. i'm not sure if i would describe the idea of hiking the pct as "scary," more that it was just daunting. and it must be said that i, like most folks, didn't just wake up one day and decide to hike the pct. over the course of 3 years, there were several shorter hikes leading up to it, which gave me the skills and confidence i needed to tackle the big trail. you really don't get an appreciation for just how epic this challenge is until you get, say, a little past the halfway point. at that point, you feel like you've been out there forever, and that you still have forever to go. that's when most folks end up quitting- it really hits them that this is a BIG thing. and the psychological challenge is much greater than the physical challenge.

MS: I know you like going to garage sales bright and early seeking out forgotten and discarded Ebay gems. What's the most valuable item you've procured?

PH: hmm... good question. tough to say exactly, because some items strike me as being more exciting/significant than others, regardless of how much actual profit i made. i always think of this one really rare record i bought for .70 and sold for $1900-, but almost never remember this rare speaker i bought for $20- and sold for $3500-. also, there are other scores where i bought a lot of items in one bulk deal, that i tend to think of as one thing, even though there were several distinct items. i bought a closet full of old hi-fi gear for $50 that i made a total of about $8k on. and i bought a large collection of books for $10 that i made about $6k on. i've been doing this for about 10 years, so the list goes on and on and on and on... but i have friends that have made much bigger scores than me. last year a friend of mine bought a coffee table for $100- and sold it for $62k.

MS: Any hopes in terms of a new Optiganally Yours album? ETA?

PH: you know, it's funny. the new OY record, called "OY In Hi-Fi," has been in the works for years. i was just thinking about this, and realized that we started work on this record right around the time that pinback was just starting up. so yeah, it's l-o-n-g overdue. rob always seems to have bigger fish to fry, and i'm a notorious procrastinator. we work on it occasionally, but just haven't managed to hit that pocket of time where we can just crank it out and finish it. BUT (and i've been saying this for awhile), i think we're getting close to hitting that pocket, and when we do, it shouldn't take us much time to finish it up. in the meantime, i've posted various demos and things on the OY myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/opyrs

Optigonally Yours
Pea's PCT Trail Journal
Optigonally Yours MySpace

Thanks Pea! off to sleep...

Sketchbook Aug. 16th 2007

Did this drawing while waiting to meet some friends in the city today. I had a blast and think I will try to do more sketching when I can. Started out just drawing Valencia St. then Willie Nelson came on the radio and I drew the beardy guy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Meet Van Stone

I've done a few projects for Van Stone over the past couple years. I just do it because I'm afraid if I don't I might get my ass kicked or something.

Debut Album Cover
T-Shirt Design/Turbonegro Gigposter

Colored version of the Logo

Dave Sheridan, Um I mean Randy Van Stone happens to be a man of many charachters...

Newest Video 'Beer Run':

Add to My Profile | More Videos


Monday, August 6, 2007

Viking Mania

Took this pic on the way home from Long Beach. Apparently Viking attire is catching on rapidly.


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Stick my blog on your fridge

A new sticker! Heavy doody 2 color on clear vinyl (3"x4.5"). Pavillion Nomme Sansqartier translates to 'Flag of No Quarter' which basically means 'Take No Prisoners'. Pirates would raise this flag, and if you ever saw it flying, you're days were numbered. This design is my take on an old Pirate Jolly Roger. I left all web info off the faceplate so it could stand on it's own like a mighty warrior. Sticker available for $1 in the STORE section of my website.


Usugrow x Nate Van Dyke

These two incredibly talented artists are teaming up and sharing Upper Playground's two-story gallery space located at 252 Fillmore St. San Francisco, CA 94117. Usugrow has traveled from Japan and will be on hand. The opening reception starts at 7 this Thursday [Aug. 2nd 2007].


Nate Van Dyke