One of the design projects I'd been working on over the last couple months was finally revealed Saturday night. It was the album artwork for my buddies' band The Wet Bandits. They finally released their new album, "Elysian," on Halloween and made it available to stream on Spotify & Apple Music and purchase via iTunes. My friend, Adam, the guitarist, asked me to design a beat up version of the Warner Brothers water tower. I think it was originally going to be a sticker but obviously turned out to be much bigger. Below are the original sketches from Adam's stick figure drawing to my detailed sketch that eventually turned into the digital illustration. There's also a timelapse video at the bottom of how I began the building out the tower then beating it up in Adobe Fresco. I eventually moved it into the desktop version of Adobe Illustrator to finish it. I also did the CD layout which is currently in production and I can't wait to get my hands on a physical copy
My buddy, Adam, contracted me to design the cover for his band's upcoming album. I finished it a few weeks ago but he recently asked me to also do the layout for the CD packaging. He sent me the photos and I had to do a bit of editing to finesse them into supplied templates. I also had to drop in the lyrics for 8 of the 9 songs. Once it's approved, and I get permission from Adam to share the artwork, I'll post it on here and Instagram. This will be the second CD I've done artwork for and can't wait to have the physical copy in my hands.
I ordered a small drafting table this afternoon that's scheduled to arrive on Friday. I've been wanting a table with an angled drawing surface for a while. After working on those large ink drawings for weeks my back began to hurt, most likely from being hunched over a flat table for hours at a time. I put off working on my "protester" drawing, which still isn't done being penciled, till I got a proper desk. It wasn't very expensive, so I hope isn't dogshit. The reviews were pretty good and I like that it's very basic, just the tilting surface and height-adjustable legs. I even got the last black one in stock.
And in other news... I was going thru boxes of old drawings and snapped a few pictures of drawings I did in my early teens.
1. Power Rangers Suck (1994) - I think I drew this in summer school between the 5th & 6th grade. I don't know what my beef was with the Power Rangers but I copied the cover of Green Day's album, "Dookie," to shit on the them.
2. Ozzy Osbourne (1995) - This was long before the The Osbournes TV show. I copied the characters that were pulled off the internet in 94-95. I think my cousin Dani printed out a webpage for me at her parents house one day. It might have been my first introduction to the internet. I took the pages home and redrew the little Ozzy characters.
3. Inside an Alien Ship (1996) - I'm not sure if I pinched this too but I definitely took Alien Workshop, an actual skateboard brand, from the ads in Thrasher magazines. I still love this drawing, there's so much to look at, I might redraw it.
About a week & half ago I asked people on Instagram to send me song requests so I can record a mix. I got a whopping 3 requests. They were, "Big Pimpin', Lookout Weekend and El Sonidito" (the beep beep beep song.) Today I set up the rig and recorded a 5-minute mix using 5 songs.
I'm taking requests again for the next mix.
I recorded another quick-mix set. 14 minutes of 80s rock. It took me all day to pick songs and set cue points but I'm happier with this mix than yesterdays.
My work requested some recorded mixes of music I'd play at weddings, that's quick-mixed in & out of. I tried a few days ago and couldn't do it. My mixes fell apart after a couple songs. I feel that most music I play at weddings sounds better when people are dancing to it. Without an audience, most wedding dance music feels flat to me. Today I tried again but used a few songs I wouldn't normally play at events, focused on what makes me dance and had fun with it. It took a long time to choose the songs and listen to them to find the in & out points. When I finally recorded it it took me two tries to get it right/good-enough. In the end I made this 13 minute mix that starts in the 60s and works its way to the 2000s
This afternoon I went on Instagram Live and DJ'd a 90-minute set and only stopped when I was booted off Instagram, when it detected certain copyrighted songs. There was a 30-minute chunk from my set, all 80s music, that Instagram won't let me share so I did a screen recording and uploaded it here. The 1st, 3rd & 4th sets (as of right now) are up for a another 18 hours on my Instagram (@frankiemcfly) Enjoy!
I'm calling this one finished, even I could have spent many more hours tweaking it. I originally drew it 8 years ago. It was inspired by my walks to school every morning, listening to cassettes on my Walkman.
I went LIVE on Instagram again tonight and drew this dude. I prepped music from my "60s & Older" playlist on Spotify before hitting Record. I learned from last time to check my phone every few minutes and make sure I'm still broadcasting. About 15 minutes in I saw that I was no longer Live and there was a message saying I got booted because of the copyrighted music in the background. I skipped whatever track was playing and hit record again. I was able to broadcast for 30 mins before the video stopped again. I think that's the limit. I fired it up one more time and was able to finish my drawing. The first 15 minutes are gone but you can watch the rest on Instagram (@frankiemcfly) till tomorrow night. I watched the playback and realize it gets kinda boring just watching me draw. If it wasn't so late I'd be talking while drawing. I also need to figure out a way to read the messages while I draw. The rig I built holds my phone 2 feet above my desk and I need to stand up and check that I'm still broadcasting. I want to be able to check the status and respond to comments without stopping what I'm doing. Hopefully I'll have that figured out and make it more entertaining next time.
I shot my first Instagram Live video today. I built a rig to hold my phone over my desk to record myself drawing. I made an hour long playlist on Spotify of 80s music because I read Live videos go up to 60 minutes but my video got cut off around the 30 minute mark. I freestyled the pencils then inked it with Sharpie and Copic markers. I finished it by coloring in the inside shape with a yellow highlighter but no one got to see it. Next time I'll plan for a half hour video.
Follow me on Instagram to catch the next one @frankiemcfly
I had a really shitty day today. It also happened to be the 61 year anniversary of The Day The Music Died:
On February 3, 1959, American rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and "The Big Bopper" J. P. Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, together with pilot Roger Peterson. The event later became known as "The Day the Music Died", after singer-songwriter Don McLean referred to it as such in his 1971 song "American Pie". (via Wikipedia)
I took a bunch of photos while I was working on my first Cells painting years ago. I knew I wanted to make something with the photos afterwards so I made a time-lapse of the cells multiplying from the center out (starts at the 1:22 mark) Everything leading up to that is the painting process, cans I used, my workspace, feral kittens, and notes that I scrawled everywhere including the cans.
Here are a few details about the piece: The red can of MTN 94 is only used once as a 5 sided shape in the center. Everyone other color was used multiple times to make 5 & 6 sided shapes until they bled off the sides. I made sure no shape was touching, or too close to the same color shape, so they're all spread out evenly. The 2nd large scale Cells painting I made (Cells MK2) looks very similar but I used a completely different process. For the second one I mapped it all out on my computer first then painted one whole set of the same color at a time.
I originally posted this on an old YouTube which is still up bit no longer active. Before using the alias Frankie Mcfly I used the handle I Draw Weird Stuff. The song I used is "Singing' In The Rain" by Mint Royale (used without permission) and it synced up almost too perfect.
Another year of changing in restrooms. Tonight's gig was a Roaring 20s themed so I played ragtime & jazz during cocktail hour (it sounds better on paper than at a party) then electro swing at dinner to liven up the event. During open dance I played modern music from the 80s thru 2010s. It's weird to think that all new music going forward will be labeled "20s music." My Spotify is ready. I just hope the new 20s music works better at events than the old 20s.
This was truly a challenge and I'm happy the way my drawings came out. I like them much better than my drawings from the previous two years. This year I drew everything on a separate sketch book before drawing it again in my main book with pencil then inking it. I basically drew each image three times. I used different sized Micron pens, including the Graphic pens and brush pen. When I made booboos I used a white Gelly Roll pen to cover it up. All 31 drawings are original, even tho I copied a few things from last year, and I didn't use any of the official #inktober prompts. If you haven't already figured it out, the number for each day serves as the border to the drawing. If you followed me on Instagram, and viewed my stories, you saw that I added a song to each drawing. The songs usually had something to do with the number or image. That was my DJ brain getting involved.
I DJ'd a corporate event tonight and dance floor was empty soon after we opened it up. Not just the dance floor but the whole room eventually emptied. Everyone went outside to the patio. It's a beautiful venue with string lighting outside, fire pits, heaters, and a bar so I can't blame them. But it got me thinking about my first few years DJing. I used to hate when nobody danced. I felt like I failed to do my job. It would ruin my weekend, sometimes my whole week. What made it worse was playing fast, upbeat dance music to an empty dance floor. After a few more years of DJing I realized there will be occasional empty dance floors but instead of playing nothing but dance songs I've started playing more laid-back & less dancy music. Stuff I usually don't play during dance sets. I figure if people wanna lounge I'll play more lounge type music. Today I don't feel bad if no one wants to dance.
The video below is from a wedding I did exactly 3 years ago today. It was as hot as hell inside and everyone, except for one older gentleman, was hanging out outside or had already left. It was just this one man sitting in a chair directly across from me. The song was the bride's request and it was just too funny so I filmed a bit of it.
Saturdays are for weddings. I've been DJing for 5 years now and this is my usual routine:
And that's it! Super easy, right?
Haley, the Program Manager at Local Color, invited me to come vend at the SoFa Street Fair this Sunday from 2-9pm in Downtown San Jose on South First Street. I and other vendors will be near the Reggae Beach stage. This will be my first time vending at this event but I've attended as a guest a few times. There are art vendors but it's mainly focused on the live music scene in San Jose. I have a few buddies in bands that are performing this Sunday. Aris, The Wet Bandits and Novel. Check out their flyers below and come out this Sunday!