Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Was it not so, O Don Miguel!"

As I mentioned before, there are at least a few more pieces of Moby-Dick related art I had wanted to complete before moving on to something new. These are things that I either did not have the time or the room to complete over the course of the general 552 illustration project or pieces that are inspired by the novel but perhaps not directly related to a specific line or scene.

The piece below is the first in a series of 4 drawings that will be based on the named whales from chapter 45: The Affidavit. I already did a piece illustrating this particular whale, "Don Miguel," for page 197 so this is simply another view. The next three will have a similar composition but the whales will look very different and the color palette, while still monochromatic, will vary.

So, the official title of this piece is Was it not so, O Don Miguel! thou Chilian whale, marked like an old tortoise with mystic hieroglyphics upon the back!

12 inches by 8 inches
ink on watercolor paper
February 17, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Favors, selling art, I'm still alive, etc...

It's been about two weeks now since I finished the final illustration. What have I been doing? Well, I've stayed pretty busy but haven't been in the studio at all. The time has been taken up mostly with the day job, spending time with my wife, trying to get to the gym more, struggling to survive the brutally cold temperatures and the ice that covered us for a few days straight (there are still broken trees and branches I have to find the time to cut down and dispose of), shipping off the art that people bought from my Etsy shop (all but one drawing sold, which shocked me) and thinking a bit on what a next project might be. All in all, nothing too eventful, really, although honestly I am still a bit tired.

I never ever expected the outpouring of kindness that my final post elicited. 32 comments! That meant the world to me. Really. Rather than answer every one in that thread and clutter the whole thing up, I've been working on a post to more properly address it. I should be able to share that in a few days. And I still have a few more comments I need to answer on the final illustrations as well. Slowly but surely I will catch up.

So, a few things I do need to update every one on. Quite a few people, who I think might have come to this blog a bit later in the project and understandably missed the "Questions people ask me" post about selling these Moby-Dick illustrations, have written to me to ask if these pieces are for sale. I will be selling almost every single one of them this year, probably in late summer, after the book is ready to be sent to the printers. There may still be a gallery show in Columbus, Ohio but that won't be until the book comes out in October or November. I am going to be selling the majority of the art in my Etsy shop, probably in 50 page chunks. If you'd like me to email you to let you know when I am going to be adding new art to the shop, send me an email ( mattkish87 [at] gmail ) and I will add you to the list. Your email address will be kept totally confidential and I will BCC all the recipients, so your privacy will be protected.

Second, if you are interested in obtaining a specific illustration and you'd like me to hold that for you until I am able to sell, please email me and let me know which one. Regretfully, I can't absolutely guarantee anything, especially if multiple people want to buy the same piece, but I do have a plan to help ease that. What I will do is, when I am able to sell certain pages, I will contact the first person who emailed asking me to hold it and let them know the price. I'll give them a few days to get back to me with whether or not they would like to purchase it. If they decline or don't answer, I will move on to the next person, and so on. Any unclaimed pieces or pieces that don't sell this way I'll just put in the Etsy shop.

I'm sure a lot of you are wondering about what I will charge for the art. Honestly, I don't know that exactly yet, but I can give a few rough guidelines. Simpler pieces and pieces from the first 100 pages or so will probably run between $30 and $60 depending on their size and complexity. Pieces from later in the book will probably be $50 to $90. The larger pieces, generally the ones on the double-sized electrical diagrams which measure 10.5" by 15.5", and the really complex and detailed pieces will probably be $100 to $300. I will definitely work with anyone who is interested to allow for partial payments and shipping all at the same time to save on costs. If you have any questions, please let me know and I'll do my best to answer.

Finally, I have a favor to ask. I am leaning very heavily toward doing an illustration per page of the 1922 Gnostic science fiction novel A Voyage To Arcturus by David Lindsay. It's another book which has always been very important to me and has really shaped some of my thinking. The copy I first read was a beautiful little paperback from the Ballantine Adult Fantasy line, with an amazing cover by artist Bob Pepper. Here it is...


Disappointingly, I loaned it to a friend in college in the early 90s and never got it back. I have a newer trade paperback edition, but the cover is just dreadful. Apparently a lot of people agree with me because I couldn't even find an example of it online and believe me, I looked for a long time.

My favor is this. If any of you out there reading this either have a copy of that Ballantine paperback in good condition that you're willing to part with, let me know and I would be happy to buy it from you. Or if you know where one lies, or regularly haunt used bookstores and have seen a copy, let me know. I know I can get this from a secondhand seller on Amazon for relatively little money (it looks like there are copies available for around $3.50) but I'd rather see if I can get it from one of you first. Somehow I feel like it's a bit more meaningful that way, and I'd rather work through this new illustration project with a Ballantine paperback because that is my first connection with the book.

Alright, more posts coming soon. More art. More Moby-Dick art, more book news...lots of stuff.