Tuesday, August 18, 2009

URBNPOP Issue 1 - My entry into comics

My friend Chris Hamer recently rallied myself and a handful of our artist friends to write and draw comic stories based on characters that he created. The goal was to self-publish a minimum of 4 issues of a comic anthology, featuring work by our talented cronies, under his moniker URBNPOP. It was an exciting and lofty prospect as we all enjoyed the comic medium, but few of us had much actual experience doing this type of art. So we went to work, each artist putting their own stylistic spin on Chris's characters - and boy is there an eclectic mix of work! After a month of toiling on the book, and then another month at the printer, the first issue arrived today and I think we're all pretty proud of it. 

Here's a little more info about the book. The artists and writers involved in the project are: Chris Hamer, Craig Henderson, Andrew Bellury, Ryan Shuckhart, Eric Langley, Eric Peterson, Zano Ludgood, Nik Ceaser, Bobby Nash, Wayne Cordova and Ted Murphy. The book is 28 pages with full color cover and black and white guts.

Click the image to see it larger

So, this image is the intro to my section. I contributed a 3 page story that I wrote and drew, a character concept drawing of my lead, and did the majority of the layout for the book. I had a lot of fun with the story-telling process and ran with the opportunity to experiment beyond the bounds of traditional comic artistry. 

Right now I have a limited number of these books for sale. I'm putting some in my Etsy store, Enchanting Aberrations, under 2 price points: 5 bucks for the comic itself and 10 bucks for the comic customized with a personlized sketch and signature from me. If you live in the Atlanta area, you can forgo the Etsy part and shipping cost. Just let me know if you want one (customized or not) and we can meet up. I'll upload the cover and a few sample pages to Etsy for you to check out. I think they're gonna go quick though, so let me know soon. If you're interested, you'll want to get this first issue before it's gone, as many of the stories (including mine) begin here and will continue throughout the 4 issue series.

Thanks for your time and much love - Ryan

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Some art shows and their impact

I’ve had some work in a few art shows lately. They were just small shows but it’s been fun to be involved with the low brow art community here in Atlanta and to be able to share my stuff with like-minded folks. It’s been great for my growth too, as the shows were themed, which has forced me to rethink my entire approach to making art. But that’s another story I'm still writing. For now I just wanna share a little about the last 2 shows and the work that I had in them. Please click the images to visit them on Deviant Art and then click again to view at their full size.

Done for the annual Windows show at Mint Gallery in the heart of Atlanta (mintgallery.org). The gallery gave contributing artists a window, recycled from a demolished building to use as their canvas. I got involved late and initially felt like I got a crappy window - but really I just expected something different, and I think all the windows were pretty much the same anyway. In the end I’m pretty happy with how the piece came out. I just wish the concept read a bit better.

Which is: In the near future, humanity will fall to a terrible plague. If you don’t believe, just turn on CNN for a few minutes. Anyway, in the absence of us, vegetation thrives, swallowing much of the footprint of humanity. Trees evolve into huge conscious beings that radiate life force. The few humans that survive worship them like gods and attend to their every need. Or something along those lines...

Big Fat Delicious by ~ryshu on deviantART

This one was for the “To Dough or to Donut” art show at Sublime Doughnuts in Midtown Atlanta. The show will stay hung for a month and pieces are for sale. If you live in the area and are interested in checking out some great local low-brow talent or just want to experience the best donut Atlanta has to offer, Sublime is at the corner of 10th and Hemphill - right by GA Tech.

Anyway - this is my piece. Conceptually I think it speaks for itself. Technically, kind of a new direction I’ve been working in. Using as much recycled and found material as possible and then working in my own drawing and painting. The style is still developing but I like the direction it's going. These works have really been created to see in person, especially because of the textural and relief nature of them. The photos just don't do them justice. But I digress. I worked on the donut piece almost non-stop over 3 long days and nights. And while I’m happy with the overall outcome, after some rest and time away from it, I feel it could use a little more polish. If it doesn’t sell I’ll probably work it a bit more - but don’t let that stop you from buying it. :)  

Well, thanks for stopping by - and a huge thanks if you made it out for either event.

Much Love- Ryan

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Camp Crystal Lake Reunion

I exhibited some drawings last weekend in a "Horror Rock n Art Show" as it was billed. It was at East Atlanta's Ice House, which has a restaurant on one side and a nice show space/bar on the other. See Flyer:

There was a pretty nice turnout, but the focus was definitely on the music, more so than the art. Which was cool actually, all the bands that played were entertaining and the crowd was diggin it. Some of my friends were doing live painting that I contributed to a bit. I didn't sell anything, in fact I don't think anyone did, but I was happy just to have my work out there in front of people and ended up getting some positive comments because of it. Here are the pieces that I showed (please click on images to see them full size):

"Famished" Pen, Pencil, and Marker on off white paper - I did this piece especially for the event and am really happy with it. I'm really loving working with markers and pens lately.

"Foot Fetish" Pen and Marker on paper - This was the original idea for the "Famished" image above. I decided to go with a cleaner image for that piece, but when I had some extra time before the event, decided to flesh this one out, too. Pun intended.

"Disco Demon" Pen and Marker on Marker paper - I drew this back in January and really like the style of it. I thought that it sort of fit with the show and brought it in to exhibit.

Big thanks to Chris Hamer, Chris Shu, Craig Henderson, and the Ice House. Hope we get a chance to do it again soon. 

Yur Bud - Ry

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tattoo 2

subtitle: February 26, 2009 - the day I became a man.

For those of you who don't know, I just got my second tattoo. It was an insane experience and I'd like to share the story and also feature some incredible photography of the event, captured by my buddy Eric Langley, aka The Visual Guy. Please check out his Photobucket site to see the entire series at full size.

I have been following the work of a tattoo artist from Charlotte named Tom Michael, or known to some as Ugly, since he did a guest spot at Decatur's Ink & Dagger Tattoo last year. All of his work is really incredible, but it's his Japanese inspired work that I fell in love with. When I found he was coming down again for another guest spot I decided to get in touch with him.

Ink & Dagger Tattoo Parlour - Atlanta area custom tattoo studio
Ink & Dagger Tattoo Parlour - Atlanta area custom tattoo studio

And if you're wondering, Ink & Dagger is a class-act shop. All the artists are extremely talented, friendly, and seem to respect each other as a team. And I think it's important to note that the music playing was great, which is important when you're spending the better part of a day being repeatedly jabbed with sharp needles.

For months I had been studying these old Japanese prints. The ones with samurais and other warriors really spoke to me so I started collecting images from the web, trying to come up with an idea for my tattoo that would be strong and timeless. When I found this print, it touched me immediately and while I continued to look for more reference, I kept coming back to this one. I'm so glad too, because when I showed it to Tom he recognized it as being from one of his favorite artists. We decided to keep a classic look to the tattoo, and to retain the soul to the original print. The one change from the original image that I requested was that he draw the warrior wielding a weapon instead of throwing stones, as I didn't think it would read very well as it was. He agreed and made other small revisions of his own to really make the best tattoo.

Here's the info on the original image:
The Chinese warrior, Zhang Qing,on his horse throwing stones (c. 1823)

So, let me say, when we approached this project, I was expecting a tattoo about 2/3 the size of this one. In fact right up until the stencil was put on my body, I was thinking smaller. But because there was so much detail that we wanted to include, and to naturally flow with the shape of my body, Tom and I agreed that this size was right for this tattoo.

It took 5 hours to do the incredibly detailed outline. While there were some tender spots, it wasn't too painful for this part of the session.

This is right after the outline (and red lightning bolt) were finished, as I said almost exactly 5 hours. We could have stopped here and picked up at a later time, but because he was traveling from Charlotte, both of us wanted to finish in 1 session, and decided we would do our best to do so.

By the way, that's Tom. He looks all tough and mean but he's a real down-to-earth guy and was very professional. Check him out on his MySpace site to see some galleries of his work or for info on getting a tattoo from him.

The entire shading and coloring process was painful and a challenge to endure. Basically he's going over all the places he just outlined with a single needle, but this time blending tones with a machine with multiple needles. You try everything from breathing exercises to zoning out on music to day dreaming to talking to the artist in an attempt to forget about the pain - but it still manages to get through. Right when this photo was taken, we were into the tenth hour and about 15 minutes from being done. I got really queasy and couldn't decide if I was gonna puke or pass out, but knew something was bad was about to happen and had to ask Tom to immediately quit and give me a few to let me rest. He said I was looking green, but the photo shows more of a white bed sheet color if you ask me.

Shortly after rebounding from my near-puke experience we got back to work and finished it up. This was the final painful wipe-down. About 10 hours under the needle and 12 in the shop - we were both hungry and beat but totally stoked about the tattoo.

Here's the finished piece. I couldn't be happier with it. The line work, the color, the detail, and how the composition fits on my body are all so beautiful. At the beginning of the project, I had really high expectations and Tom blew them all out of the water.

Here is a detail of the finished piece. Thanks again Ugly for an extraordinary piece of artwork, and to Eric for capturing this amazing life experience! Please check his photobucket site for the entire series at full size - they're quite incredible!

Sorry if the formatting in this blog is all fucked up - I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing with it. I'll post new photos and a follow-up once the tattoo heals. Thanks for stopping by.

Much Love-

Monday, February 23, 2009

When Things Start to Crumble...

title: When Things Start to Crumble, Keep the Good Things Close.
Like pepperoni pizza... or a good pair of kicks... or even a devilish owl robot thing.  It could even be a best friend... a tiny chihuahua... a feral cat... a bike... an art book... but those things wouldn't fit on the page. Maybe for the sequel to this piece...

Anyway, you get the picture. We all get down and things sometimes seem bleak. When that shit happens you gotta focus on everything good in your life. It's so easy to forget about that stuff and just hold on to the bad, but in the process, you're only hurting yourself further. So the next time life hands you lemons, throw them fuckers out and order a pepperoni pizza.


Music is one of those good things for me. In fact it's an essential element that I must ingest in large quantities on a regular basis to stay healthy and sane. And everyone knows that 90's music is the best, most nutritious music there is. Well, sensible and intelligent people are aware of that at least.

Which brings me to the featured song of the blog:

title: Flow Like a River
artist: Gutter Twins

So, first off this isn't a 90's song, but it sounds like it was plucked directly from that decade. And there's a reason for that. It's performed by the Gutter Twins which is a band fronted by 2 treasures from that time: Mark Lanegan from the Screaming Trees and Greg Dulli from the Afghan Whigs. These guys are incredible singers and in my humble opinion some of the most underappreciated talent in music - from the 90's through today. Separately these guys have had their hands in tons of different projects, which more than not, really shine. Together they create one of the best rock harmonies in rock music today. Their first album Saturnalia was one of my favs of 2008, and when I saw them last summer at Lollapalooza - they completely blew me away. By the way, thanks Adam for erasing all the videos you shot of them playing before we could even watch them once. I still love you though.

At least Adam kept a few photos of them performing from Lollapalooza 2008.Thanks buddy - this one's my favorite.

Recently, they had a second release called Adorata, which is an 8 song EP comprised mostly of covers. While I don't quite like this work as well as their first, it does have a number of strong songs on it. Stylistically, this EP has a lot of depth on it, but "Flow Like a River" is a full-on return to 90's grunge complete with big crunchy guitars and a catchy chorus I can't get out of my head. The song is actually a cover by a band called Eleven whose members worked with a lot of 90's acts. Usually I try to post featured songs on my MySpace profile, but this song isn't available there so I posted some of their other songs. My advise though is to just go out and buy both albums. I promise you'll love them, unless of course you're deaf or have abysmal taste.  ;)

I realize that these blogs are going to be too long if I keep the art and music together. From now on I'm gonna do separate entries for the music stuff. Thanks for stopping by.

Much Love - Ryan

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Sculptured Ice Fountain

I just posted a new set of photos on my Flickr page that I took in January, but just got to editting today. Here's the scoop: We had a bad freeze that lasted a few days and the fountain in my complex was left on. It's a big sculptured fountain with 3 semi-nude ladies whom I prefer to think of as lovers. During the freeze I noticed that Ice had been building on it for days giving it kind of creepy look. The last night before it was supposed warm up, I went out, braving the frigid temp to make some photos. I think they came out pretty cool, but there's a few different things I want to try if it ever happens again. Oh, and as a note, I was originally gonna edit these to black and white, but the detail in the marble and awkward night lighting ended up looking better in color. Check them out on my Flickr page and make sure to hit the "all sizes" button to see them as they were intended. www.flickr.com/photos/ryshu
Let me know if you dig 'em!


My music post yesterday could be considered a little sappy. So today, I've decided to post somethin with a little edge. This will be featured on my MySpace profile playlist for a week or so if you wanna check it out. I'm gonna do this whenever I can with Music I feature here.

Todays feature song:
"You Ain't Know" by Birdman & Lil Wayne
album: Like Father, Like Son 2006

Great high-energy hardcore thuggish song with an infectious Scott Storch beat. I've been playing this shit non-stop for the last couple days.  

Saturday, February 14, 2009

So, this is my first post...

Just so you, know my main aim in starting this blog, was to start creating more art, and then to share it with anyone that's interested. I already have a deviantART site for my completed work, which I beg you to explore first, if you're not already familiar with my stuff (http://ryshu.deviantart.com). The particular piece featured here doesn't quite exhibit the high level of quality that I would aspire to exhibit for my opening post, but the point is to showcase my output here, even if it's a little rough or a bit off. Besides I've learned over the years that everyone's tastes are different, and things that don't work for me may, completely intrigue somebody else. 

Artwork title: 
"So Many Birds"

This is a sketch book drawing that I've been working on for a few days on and off. The medium is pencil, marker and black pen on brown paper. There wasn't a big concept here but I wanted to remind myself that when I get down, I need to remember that there's still so many birds. You figure it out from there.


On top of possessing a deep affection for visual art, I'm also a sucker for music. In fact, music is engaged in a very tight race for "My Favorite Thing in the World" with my chihuahua Doby. Sorry Doby, if you happen to be reading this. Anyhow, I'm gonna feature a song for each blog post I make, that I think YOU should go check out, and then buy if you like. If you are unaware, much of today's music can be listened to, in full, for free on MySpace. And just so you know, the song may have everything, or nothing at all to do with the rest of the blog.

Today's feature song:
"Joey" by Concrete Blonde. from the album - "Bloodletting" 1990

There was a time, a long, long while ago that I liked this song. I'm not even sure exactly when that was, but really, it doesn't matter. The truth is, this is just one of those trancedental songs that either works for you real good, or not at all. For me, it's real good.