Weird. It was three years ago today that I started this blog. Three years! That's kind of a long time. Especially online. Three years, one big huge art book published, another on the way next year. Wow. I'm really not even sure what to write here because so much of it seems silly. Yes, the time has flown by. Yes, so much has changed. Yes, all of that. Still, it seems important somehow, and as this day approached I spent some time thinking about the path I've taken from there to here.
It's true that it all started with Moby-Dick and that book and the White Whale are never far from my mind. No book, other than Mervyn Peake's astonishing Gormenghast novels has ever had such a shattering impact on me or meant so much to me. But more on Gormenghast in a few days. Today is for the Whale.
First, I want to say thank you, very very sincerely, to everyone who has at some point joined me on this journey, visited this blog, and shared their thoughts and creativity. I've made a number of new friends through this blog alone, and my life has been enriched in big and small ways by you all.
Second, thank you again for sticking around long after the last Moby-Dick illustration was complete. Especially through the long spring and summer months last year when I barely posted. Also through the long months after when I posted every image I had ever made, from comics to photography to art. And definitely for starting this new trip through Conrad's Heart of Darkness with me. I've lots of ideas and hope that there are many many more books and comics to come.
So yesterday, without even really planning this, the White Whale came to my mind and I found myself, brush in hand, painting three new images of Moby Dick. It was strange to revisit the story after so many months away, but, for good or ill, as soon as I started working it felt almost as if I had never left the deck of the Pequod. It was good to do these, but in celebration of this three year anniversary, and as a thank you to those who visit me regularly, I am giving them away.
Well, not entirely for free. Read on. If you would like one of these painted illustrations, here's how you can get it.
1) Leave a comment with at least your name, and the title of the piece you want. Only one piece per person, please.
2) I will turn off the "moderate comments" function so that there is no time lag between when comments are left claiming the art and when they are posted so that no one gets fooled.
3) You must then draw or paint or somehow create your own image of Moby Dick and send it to me, in exchange for the painting you've claimed.
4) Your art does NOT have to be professional or polished or slick or anything. Above all, I want to see HONESTY. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Just be true to yourself and let the book guide you.
5) These Moby-Dick pieces MUST be hand-made. Nothing digital at all. I can't stand that kind of thing. Sorry. Beyond that though, do whatever...crayons, colored pencils, paint, photos, anything you like. Just no digital anything.
6) Send me an email at mattkish87 at gmail dot com to get my address. As soon as I receive your Moby Dick art I will mail you the piece you've claimed.
That's it! I would like to post your art on this blog, along with your name and any online presence (web site, blog, etc.) you might have, but will only do this with your permission. If you'd prefer that things remain private that is fine with me.
Okay, below are the three illustrations. One for each year of the blog. I quite like how they turned out even though, like the chapters of that great great novel Moby-Dick each is different from the other. Each one measures approximately 11" by 15", each is acrylic paint and ink on found paper (pages from a TV repair guide) and, very important, each of these has a fold in the paper. This is because these are double-sized pieces of paper that were meant to fit in a standard binder that TV repair people could carry with them. The folds were created by the publisher, and I've actually always quited liked the way that these earlier elements hint at the paper's previous life. Also, for the first time ever, I have signed these pieces. A lot of people have asked me to sign my art, which felt quite strange to me. I've been thinking about it for a long time though, and I've decided to sign pieces that are not going to be published as illustrations, but leave everything else (comics, illustrative work, etc.) unsigned. Give them good new homes! Onward to the fourth year of the blog!
EDIT: ALL THREE PIECES CLAIMED. MANY THANKS!