In the Spirit of the Black Whirlwind

This is feeling really good so far and it feels good to keep it going.

My apprehension dies a little more every time I talk with someone about the things that I do that fulfill me, and this site is a part of it. I feel emboldened; urged to do more than yesterday and race into any creative endeavor that comes to mind. There are so many projects that I’m working on, so many ideas that I’ve got in my head and maybe for the first time ever, I can say that I’m going to do them all.

This piece best sums up where I’m at now, creatively and personally. I did it many years ago, but it was based off of one of the heroes from the Chinese epic, “The Outlaws of the Marsh.” Li Kui, the Black Whirlwind, a mad brawler known and feared far and wide for his thirst for combat. He would charge into battle butt-naked, wielding two battle axes ready to cut down evil where it stood. I can’t say I’ve got anyone trying to readily cut me down, but I can tell you that everything is being taken head-on these days.

I can kill it or it can kill me.

Personally, I like those odds.

#TBT #indieartists #likui #blackwhirlwind #axes #axemurder #illustration #digitalart #drawing #sketches #chineselegends



Monday Motivation…even though Monday is almost over

Pardon the lateness of this post; today proved to be busier than initially anticipated.

When I returned to the notion of sharing my art, I said that I also wanted to motivate people. That starts today and it starts with a very simple idea:


If you’re anything like I used to be, you’re the type that needs all your ducks in a row before you can do something. You need things to be in and of a particular order before you can initiate an idea, a thought, a plan of any magnitude. There’s something to be appreciated in that; the meticulous calculation, the patient scrutiny, the cautious sequencing that all stand as testaments to our levels of care and concern for that idea. That said, that fine silk used to make a bed can be used to line a coffin, too, and all too often, folks like me lose themselves in the preparation and the idea never comes to fruition.  I used to compartmentalize and measure everything down to the finest detail. When it came to art, I’d complete a piece only to go back and stress the smallest details for no real reason beyond saying I did it. Looking back, I attribute much of the scrutiny to being afraid of something and “care” is, in the wrong mind and hand, a great thing to hide behind. It was all done in the name of the absolute best final product. The execution, the carrying out of most carefully-laid of plans, is a beautiful and marvelous thing to say the least.

Then again, so is just saying “Fuck it” and charging at that loose semblance of an idea with all you’ve got and the sheer will to give it shape.

It took me maybe-too long to finally learn it, but there’s something special about just starting something. Got all the materials? Nope. Know all that you need to know? Nah. All the funds, resources, contacts? Hell no. Fine. Pick it up, learn, strengthen as you go. The time spent plotting and manipulating is good and has its value, but so does breaking into full sprint toward the goal and accepting that you’re going to make mistakes and missteps is equally of value, maybe even more because you’re in motion.

As we all know, an object in motion stays in motion. Conversely, a motionless object is probably already dead.

All that we want and deserve will only come through action.

Go. Now. Start. Attack.

Word Press Post template

The Many Faces of my Creativity

It’s been a busy past couple weeks, but I’m trying to make updating a regular part of my day. There are some work-in-progress things coming, but I thought I’d share something a little different this time around.

As visual as I am with my imagination, it always begins with a story. I’ve been creative writing (at times, competitively) since middle school. I’d been into creating my own stories since I was in grade school care of my dad’s exposing me to comic books. I couldn’t really tell you any particular hero’s backstory as I was too concerned with making my own, but it’s been something that’s stayed with me ever since. In truth, you could probably trace it back to my dad reading me Greek myths instead of bed time stories when I was a little kid.

This story, The Unbeloved, is actually reverse-engineered in this respect. I started drawing to pass time while I was away from my wife and family one summer in Thailand. Time spent among relatives over there and training kept my mind occupied, but in the down time, I struggled with actually having people to miss back home. Sketches started to formulate a horror/ thriller story in my mind, and years later, here is its incarnation.

If you’re a fan of religious-themed horror or thriller novels, you might like this. Hidden prophecies brought to fruition on behalf of an arrogant and careless mankind if that’s your cup of tea. It’ll be free for download from July 11th to July 15th, so if you think it’s in your vein, pick up a copy. Fair warning: it’s got graphic descriptions of violence and gore, so if you’re squeamish you might want to steer clear.

Here’s to hoping some folks will give it a read. If you do, please feel free to leave a review.

Thanks; more creative carnage is on the way.


I Dip My Pen in the Tides of Cocytus

It feels good to be back.

It feels even better to be back with a purpose.

Tenmao. When I started doing this, I just wanted to put my art out there. That was it. To become an art celebrity in no time at all would have been great, but ultimately, the aim was to just get my art on to apparel and out into the public. It’s a simple goal, really, but it’s a process that has a fairly shallow objective and categorizes you a “whore” before anything else. Art that began as sincere images that came from the heart became calculated studies in demographics, trends, and marketing. I hated it in no time at all, lost the will to keep doing it, and let it die.

Flash forward toward near-the-end of 2016. My first son was born and I felt something in me come alive. I held him and made a promise to be the best father I could be. In my mind, that meant prioritizing him and the family first; anything that I enjoyed would wait for the betterment of my family. Some are reading this and thinking, “yeah man” while others are shaking their heads saying, “dumbass.” It’s a romantic idea that I watched my own dad do when I was a kid so naturally I’d do it, too, and I did.

Art stopped. Writing Stopped. Workouts stopped.

I stopped.

In spite of his political/ideological leanings, I was always a fan of Phil Anselmo and Pantera. An interview I’d read of his way back in the early 2000’s contained a quote where he said something to the effect of “if you don’t nurture the known talents within you, they’ll turn on you and beat your ass.” I learned every word of it is true. I gained crazy weight and my creative talents grew frail. Trying to call on them on a whim became a painful exercise that showed me how far my skills fell. Burying myself in what I’d re-prioritized as the important stuff (i.e. work, etc.), I’d look at a picture of my son and I my wife had taken and fail to recognize the man in the picture. I’ll never say I’m the prettiest pig in the pen, but I looked beat up. My son was sleeping but I looked like I was the one who needed the nap. “How long before this makes me no good to him?” I was exhausted, I was angry, and I was only falling further, faster.

It took a visit to a doctor to reveal to me that, much to my surprise, I was depressed. I’d always thought being depressed meant you cried alone in a dark room and wanted to die. That wasn’t me, ergo, I wasn’t depressed, but I learned it’s something much more sinister. That said, it became clear what had happened and what I had to do: to be the best man for my family, I had to get back to me and all the elements that shaped me. Art. Writing. Training. Family. Difficult balance to keep but for them to get the best version of me, it had to be done and the return to this page and all the gears that I turn is one step back on my road with many more to follow.

I’m fuckin’ busy like you wouldn’t believe…but I love every minute of it.

The inaugural piece comes from the two ideas that drive me daily: all sides of me must be nurtured and no half-stepping. In the past, I treated this as a side thing, a hobby. Now it’s what I do unfailingly, not just for the sake of staying balanced, but because, well, hopefully it’ll help someone out there stay centered as well.

In whatever you do, never forget to take care of YOU and perhaps above all else, when it comes to your goals or your aims, hold nothing back. Greatness can’t be attained without great deeds and there is no deed greater than conquering yourself.

                   Your dreams, your goals, give them everything; give them Hell.