Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Explosions of activity

Detail from Incredible Hulk Anatomy.

Recent news from my studio:
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The Incredible Hulk Anatomy image did very well. 

  • Published it on Symbiartic, got some good traffic, over 70 Facebook Likes and a few comments there. 
  • Editor-in-chief of io9.com, Annalee Newitz published it there, and it's up to about 24000+ views in 4 days. 
  • This Tumblr-er posted it, and it's been re-shared and Liked more than 370+ times. 
  • I had some fun viewing it on Google Ripples.
  • My Symbiartic post about fine artist Marc Quinn's Self also got a shout-out on Gizmodo.


    I don't have time to do a lot of fan art: but it is a useful tool to getting noticed by a wider crowd, much like how many 90's goth bands did covers of popular Depeche Mode and New Order songs. It's a lot of fun to do though. Wonder what I should tackle next?  Always wanted to finish something with Cloak and Dagger. 

    - - 
    I revamped my professional portfolio online. 



Instead of awkwardly grouping artwork by mediums used (painting, drawing) as I used to do, I think I've made it a little more editor and art director friendly by arranging the galleries by topic. 
New galleries are:

Hopefully this makes it easier to navigate. I also tried to pick some really strong images for the first image in each gallery. 
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I'm pretty close to revealing some of the work I did earlier this year. It's my first time doing actual scientific illustration instead of the surreal stuff I'm usually commissioned to do, and I'm really pleased with how they turned out. After doing these, I think I shed my imposter-syndrome that flares up a bit when I consider myself a part of the science blogosphere. #Iamscience

For now, here's a little Instagram-preview of one of the images:

© Glendon Mellow



Expect more posts about this project pretty soon!  There's also 4 more projects in the works...


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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite © to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

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Find me on Symbiartic, the art+science blog on the Scientific American Blog Network!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Incredible Hulk Anatomy

(This post originally appeared yesterday on Symbiartic, the art+science blog I co-author on the Scientific American Blog Network.)
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Like millions of other superhero comic fans, I loved Joss Whedon's & Marvel's The Avengers when I saw it (in 2D) opening weekend. Motion-captured Mark Ruffalo turned in the most incredible version of the Hulk we've seen yet on the screen.  Squeeing and cheering, it reminded me of a drawing I had made back  in 2002.  I drew this fan art of Marvel Comics' Incredible Hulk, dissected and analyzed. Here it is with a new lick of paint. 

Hulk © Marvel Comics. This fan art has moral © Glendon Mellow. Feel free to share under Creative Commons.

At the time, I tried to draw on not only my mother's nursing school anatomy textbooks, but also gorilla and hominid ancestor skulls (such as Paranthropus, though my murky text  identitifies it with the outdated Zinjanthropus name), inspiration for things like the cranial ridge and large jaw muscles. I included details such as 3 scars on the bone (I'm Canadian: Wolverine wrecked his face a few times and I wanted to document that) and perfect glowing teeth. If anyone has perfect shiny teeth, it needs to be Hulk.
The science and geekery site io9.com recently listed 10 Science Concepts that Could Spawn Awesome Supervillains (by Esther Ingliss-Arkell). Established characters borne of exaggerated real world scientific causes could probably use science-inspired revisions too.  Can't wait to get my hands on The Art of Marvels The Avengers to see what scientific concepts the pros who designed the movie concept art came up with.


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As a bonus not featured on Symbiartic, here's what the labels around ol' Jade Jaws' head say.
TOP LEFT
  • The Hulk Reviewed
  • Points of interest concerning the osteological and muscular systems. 


TOP LEFT: The Skull

  • Note muscle-anchoring protuberances and ridges not found in average frontal and zygomatic bones. 
  • Enlarged and bifurcated nasal cavities; see Appendix 3.1 for discussion and speculation of respiratory efficiency. See also; ribcage and spinal cord sinuses. 
  • Note disproportion of maxilla to mandible. 


TOP RIGHT: The Skull
  • Grossly enlarged frontal fontanelle, similarity to Zinjanthropus found in 1959. 
  • Three scars unhealed grazing left ocular cavity; unusually, no traces of foreign molecules present. 
  • Connective tissue spurs above eyeteeth at gumline. 
  • Note complete absence of tooth decay or erosion. 
  • Analysis of blood vessel to marrow ratios reveals skeletal system itself surprisingly fragile relative to comparisons with muscle and tissue tensile densities. 


BOTTOM RIGHT: Musculature

  • Layers of cartilage and dense marrow-like tumours surround blood vessels; protecting both vessels and braincase simultaneously. 
  • Jaw muscles extend to skull ridge homologous to gorilla. 
  • Note muscles allowing subject to shut nostrils: unheard of in primates. This trait normally found in desert-dwelling ungulates such as dromedary camel. 
  • Jaw may lock while mandible is at any degree of extension. 
  • Elasticity of muscle tissues allows striations and contractions on 4-axis per muscle. Eyes and mouth can close using enormous, continuous pressure. 


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Above image done in pencil and painted in ArtRage Studio Pro. The Incredible Hulk is © Marvel Comics and I did this piece of fan art without permission but with respect.  I claim only a moral copyright to this specific rendition of their character.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite © to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

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Find me on Symbiartic, the art+science blog on the Scientific American Blog Network!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

My professional portfolio on deviantART - stay or go?

The last few years if you've looked at glendonmellow.com , it's whisked you away to the URL otherwise known as daportfolio.com/179939 - I have been using the popular art site deviantART for my professional art portfolio hosting. I'm considering a change and would love some opinions. Below I have my pros and cons.

Before I say much more (an oh, I'm gonna), there is a big difference between a standard dA account page and their portfolio service. I'm not planning to leave dA entirely, just considering whether or not to stop paying for Premium and using their professional portfolios.

Here's the visuals:


Standard dA bio page

Portfolio bio page.

Standard dA gallery page.

Portfolio gallery page.


I pay about $30 a year for the Premium service (last year with some very welcome donations from fans for this new dad). The Premium Portfolio means:


  • I can customize the URL, hence the very original glendonmellow.com.
  • No ads from deviantART appear on my page.
  • I can make new portfolios, add specific page URLS through my domain host (like published.glendonmellow.com
  • There's lots of image storage. 


Those are all decent features in the plus column.

Here's a couple of other things I like:



  • Layout forces me to stay clean and simple for potential clients. 
  • It really easy for me to change and add or drop artwork. 
  • Limits on how much art per gallery forces me to keep it fresh for return clients.
  • I occasionally add my entire resume to it as a pdf download - not there at the moment, but that's neat-o. 
  • I love how it looks. 


But here are the features in the minus column that have me wondering if my $30/year would be better served somewhere else. 


  • Not enough links. The text on the bio page is insanely limited and includes the HTML - so when something helpful to my business like say, Google+ crops up, I have to delete another important - actually important, not just for fun - link from the link list. They limit the text so that the whole portfolio has no scrolling. Yeah cool. But to link to my Scientific American gig and increasing Media list, I had to drop links to two other blogs I have contributed to. 
  • I pay for no ads, but I get pranks. This past April Fools' Day, deviantART thought it would be funny to pretend they were taken over by cats and there was a pop-up that if you wanted, would lead you further into the joke. Or you could disable it. Each time you went on dA on April 1st, it would pop back up. Kind of funny stuff, but I pay for no dA ads, and here's a silly joke I had no part in designing that any potential client was going to get stuck figuring out for a whole day. Pissed me right off. 
  • No links in art descriptions. Click on the little letter "i" under the art, get some neat info about the image. But no links to further information, and it's reduced to about two short sentences. I do science-based art. It sometimes needs a bit more explanation about the client, project, subject and materials. You know. The professional details. 
  • No statistics. This is the worst. The HTML I am allowed to use is on the bio page only, and is very very basic. No third party html widgets or gadgets to track stats using SiteMeter or Statcounter or even Google Analytics. When the portfolio service first launched I assumed this was coming at some point (dA offers crazy amounts of stats for their basic accounts). That was 2.5 years ago. Last year, when Annalee Newitz of the popular geek site io9.com featured Trilobite Boy and some of art in a fun article, they appropriately linked back to glendonmellow.com . And though I can see on the io9 article that it had over 14000 views (most just in those first few days) I have absolutely no idea how many went through to my own portfolio.



So. Do I stay or go?  If I go, does anyone have any good suggestions?  


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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite © to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

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