Sunday, October 23, 2005

One Year of Blogging

Well, as of October 15th, it's been one year since I started blogging.

As most of you know, I also contribute to 3 other blogs: The Alberta Movie Guide, Luxo: A Pixar Blog, and Palaeoblog, all of which take a good deal of time.

Why do I do it? Aside from sharing things I find of interest, working on the blogs lets readers know what I'm up to, helps me meet new people, hones my writing skills, generates possible work opportunities, and provides a forum to work on my ideas 'out loud.'

The first posting on the Digital Dream Machine blog dealt with the death of Christopher Reeve and his role as Superman, so I thought it would be a fitting tribute to do something related to 'The Man of Steel.'

Looking around my archives, I found this old 'Superman' promotional poster....

The Fortress of Solitude Travel Poster by Chad Kerychuk

Actually, this wasn't ever produced for consumers. This week, I decided to dust off my WACOM Graphics Tablet and Pen, get my illustration skills back into shape, and create an original digital image.

Between the paperwork, documentary editing, motion graphics design, and blogging, I haven't had much time to just 'sit and draw.' So I forced myself (yes, artists have to do that occasionally) to flesh out an idea I had kicking around my brain. Influenced by Jeremy Vanhoozer's fantastic 'Medusa' image (definitely check out his blog and website!), I intended to create a digital painting of Superman's Fortress of Solitude realized in the style of 1950's-era travel poster. Overall, I'm pretty happy with this image, and there's things I'd change if I continued working on it; however, for a piece that's meant as practice, I feel it's finished (for now) and ready for show.

The last illustration I remember working on was a 10th Anniversary of Hellboy tribute for the 2004 San Diego Comic-Con Souvenir Book. Like the fictional poster above, the 'Hellboy' piece took a great deal of time, and demonstrates why I don't turn out art as often as I used to. I really want to put my best effort into my work, and unless I can contribute the time to something, I won't take it on until I feel ready.

Even with all the digital technology I'm surrounded by, I really do miss the days of traditional sketching and painting for hours on end. Whether it was at high school in my art studio, or at home watching a James Cameron flick, I usually had my sketchbook or drawing board nearby. From icon roughs to logo mock-ups to character designs, my art skills were constantly being focused and my ideas became solidified on paper. All I had to do was find a page, grab a pencil, and start drawing.

The WACOM Graphics Tablet allows artists like myself to create images digitally. An input device shaped much like a traditional pen, glides along the pressure-senstive tablet, responding to our hand movements as if we were sketching with a pencil or even painting with a brush. Since the artwork is created on a computer, we have the benefit of being able to 'undo' our mistakes a little more easily and make revisions without affecting the original. The method isn't perfect, and it's not meant as a replacement for creating art 'the old fashioned way,' but it sure does let us do some pretty amazing things.

I've got some ideas for other images, so hopefully I'll find the time to create and share them with all of you. In the meantime, thanks for supporting the blogs and the effort I put into them! Here's a toast to one year of blogging, with potentially many more to come!

As a bonus, below is my Fortress of Solitude Travel Poster as if it had been printed yesterday. Enjoy!

The Fortress of Solitude Travel Poster by Chad Kerychuk

If you're interested in seeing a larger-size version, please e-mail me.

'Superman' and 'The Fortress of Solitude' are ™ and © DC Comics.


Rick said...


CDG Solutions said...

I just stumbled across this site because of an joke about my boss's fortress of solitude.

The illustration is fantastic. Thanks for sharing it, even if I'm finding it more than a year later!