I want to share something a little more personal than usual. Above is an illustration I made for my wife’s birthday. She is both a leap year baby and a Harry Potter fan. This year we celebrated 9-3/4 by visiting London and I wanted to give her something to commemorate the trip in the style of J.K. Rowling’s illustrations.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the coffee shop…
I’ve been mulling this one over for a few years now and I’m very happy to finally bring this creepy guy to life while it’s still a viable flavor profile. I had some trouble settling on a tagline for this imaginary horror movie.
“Revenge is a dish best served spiced!”
“In spice, no one can hear you scream.”
You guys have any suggestions?
I am pleased as punch to share my book’s first official review! The fine folks over at SciFiandScary.com were kind enough to take the time to check it out.
You can read the review here.
If you’re a fan of science fiction and horror, I recommend that you spend some time there and then subscribe. I’ve discovered quite a few new books that I now must read and movies that I must watch.
Forgive me if you’ve seen it already, but I nearly forgot to mention this here on my own blog. I have a new book available! Below is the description from Amazon:
” It Came from the Basement is an illustrated, inky homage to monsters and monster movies accompanied by a collection of thirty-one ridiculous rhymes to make you laugh uncomfortably in the night.
Darkly humorous, M. R. Kessell’s It Came from the Basement lies somewhere between Edward Gorey’s The Gashleycrumb Tinies and Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy.
Intended for the monster kid in all of us.”
Available in print and Kindle format on Amazon.com
You may have seen here on my blog that I published a new creepy illustration and rhyme each day of October 2017 in celebration of my love of Halloween. I’ve spent the past few months cleaning up and compiling all of it into this weird little book.
I am self-published and totally independent. Please check it out or pass it along if you or someone you know is a Monster Kid too!
His empty hands dripped with sweat as he approached the altar on his knees. The creature with a million dead eyes was waiting, its many orifices watering, towering over the small human.
“I know that you crave constant stimulation,” he said, “and you demand new content continuously,” he put his hands up, “but as an artist, I just can’t do it. I have nothing of value to offer today.”
The beast reared back and howled, pulling taut the thousands of cables running from its body. It thrashed. It shrieked. Drops of saliva rained down. The artist shielded his head and vital organs, anticipating a swift yet painful execution.
But the beast turned away, laughing and gurgling, distracted by another’s offering; something loud, flashy, and viral. That would buy the artist some more time.
He crawled into a dark corner of the temple, where, being enveloped by the whirring of giant cooling fans, he could have a moment to just be human and think.
Going uptown, the F train was packed. With my back to the doors, I stood, studying people’s footwear. A baby wailed. Some teenage girls chittered like squirrels. A garlicky dude was barking into his cell phone.
Across the way, an older man faced outward, his nose pressed to the glass, grocery bags swaying at his sides. As we hurtled through the dark tunnel, he cried out:
“Oh, there they are”—everyone else on the train got quiet—“those teenage mutant ninja turtles. Workin’ on the tracks.”
I smiled as we rode on in silence.
As a creative person, I think I have a problem with certain types of social media. I don’t have a healthy relationship with things like Instagram and Facebook. I admit that now. It’s good to get it out.
I get into these phases in which I begin posting quite often, maybe giving updates on a certain project, and I become addicted to the likes, to the attention. I check obsessively to see if there are any new followers. I’m a genius right? Shouldn’t I have thousands of adoring fans? Like so-and-so over there?
I begin comparing myself to those others who don’t seem to offer the same quality work that I provide. Or I begin questioning why seventeen thousand people would follow such an account. What do they know? Are they even real people?
I begin thinking up strategies on how to draw these followers to my side. I begin churning out junk that I think could be popular with certain crowds. It usually ends up being subpar and rushed.
I ignore the one person’s opinion that really matters in the end, my own.
It’s like Kurt Vonnegut says: “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”
So, what do I intend to do about it?
I need to step back and have some quiet time, some “me” time, to reflect on the art and story ideas that really excite me.
That’s what I did this past week. I’ve chewed on the subject of this post for days. I also sat down with my sketchbook and thought about social media, these accompanying doodles are the result.
I should not invest so much time and energy in social media apps. I will try to connect with real people on the internet, only when I have a free moment here or there. I’ve joined the community at AbsoluteWrite and I hope to make some new friends, have some good conversations, and learn some things too.
I need to remind myself that Instagram is a tool that I can utilize periodically, like a hammer or a toothbrush. I don’t need to obsessively use it every day.
I’ve been extremely busy lately with a big project and I just want to share a little piece of it with you.
This one goes out to all you monster kids. Please stay tuned for more creepy, crawly creatures!
Somewhere deep in the back of my mind palace, at the end of a quiet corridor, through a small hole in a wall, lives this little fellow, hiding from the world and hoarding his treasures. This is my spirit animal.
This illustration is a combination of ink, watercolor paint and watercolor pencils.