Last night I found out that HBO was streaming the Watchmen series for free this weekend and I binged thru all 9 hour-long episodes today. From what I understand, HBO is doing this for Juneteenth to highlight "Black experiences, voices and storytellers." The show is sort-of a sequel to the 80s comic book, not the 2009 movie. This series deals with racism and has superheroes and police wearing masks to hide their identities. The series opens with the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre which was a real event that I never knew about until this tv series premiered.
A few days ago I started using a fresh Copic marker and today as I was warming-up I saw a little thread hanging from the tip. I pulled it, thinking it was lint, and it turned out to be the nib itself. It was damaged and I made it worse by yanking it. I was pissed off at myself. I tried cutting with an X-acto knife what I had pulled but I couldn't get it back to normal. Afterwards I didn't want to use the marker anymore and I didn't have any extras. I thought I wasn't gonna be able to work on my piece for a few days till I got new markers delivered. When I went on Michaels.com I saw that the store closest to me had black Copics in stock, and was doing curbside pickup, and had a coupon for 20% off the order. I ordered a couple Copic markers and a Pentel brush pen and they were ready to pick up in less than 30 minutes. I lost a couple hours, total, trying to fix it and picking up a replacement it but it was better than losing a few days waiting on a delivery. I don't know if Michaels stores have been doing the curbside pickup the whole time during the pandemic, or if they just started doing it, but it saved my ass today. And this is not an ad or endorsement, shopping at Michaels is usually pretty disappointing.
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 is turning out to be the most challenging and the most fun to ink because every eye & mouth is different and it keeps me from getting bored. It also forces me to tackle each character with different pens & techniques.
I finally got around to filling in the background. Before inking the piece I did a mock-up in Photoshop, printed it out, and made a few edits. When I started I didn't take into account the black space between shapes so some areas barely have any background showing through. My solution was to shave some shapes down to allow more black to come through. I did everything on the photocopy before transferring them to the piece. I also tested Sharpies vs Copic markers on the same photocopy to see which black is blacker. The Copic was just a tiny bit darker so I'm been using that to fill in the background.
Rot. In. Pot.
Today my little aloe vera plant finally bit the big one. This morning I saw that the last leaf I was trying to revive was half rotted away. The plant was a gift from my friend Amanda. She gave it to me in August and apparently I've been overwatering it since then. I sketched the bone plant drawing after the first leaves fell off in February and digitally inked it tonight to commemorate Planties short life and long drawn out death.
This is kinda what it looks like when you go to @sanjoseday on Instagram and scroll to my post. It's one long seamless image broken down into 10 slides. I laid out a bunch of different digital drawings & designs I've made over the past few years. It was fun making this and participating in the virtual art show since we're all still sheltering in place. The actual San Jose Day event has been postponed to July 18. Hopefully we'll be over the 'Rona by then. Fingers crossed.
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 digitally inked this sucker tonight. I used Adobe Fresco on the iPad, which is a replacement for Adobe Illustrator Draw. I've been using Draw for a couple years. It's what I used to draw the vector based graphics for my t-shirts. Fresco is taking a little getting used to but it seems to be a much better app than Draw.
Today I and counted all my shirts after the Local Color Daytime Market on Sunday and updated my inventory online. This is the part of the job that sucks the most so I'm always trying streamline and improve the process to make it faster and easier to do. Everything from the way the shirts are folded, stacked, stored & logged has had some thought put into it. I recently made changes to how I log the info so I can see how many total shirts I have in stock per design/style and made it so I can quickly figure out how many of each size & style has gone out. Making those little tweaks are fun and the data it provides is valuable.
My good friend Arely was recently asked to display her artwork at the Jennifer & Philip DiNapoli Gallery inside the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library. She hung it up a few days ago and today I went and checked it out. She's a bad-ass artist and I'm glad she was asked to exhibit in this space. This is the same gallery I'll be hanging my work in in a couple months. I already started asking her questions about the installation process :)
Arely's work is on display for the whole month of March so please check it out if you're in San Jose.
Also visit her website: www.arelycardenas.com
I didn't do a good of tracking business related mileage last year. I downloaded a mileage tracker on my phone last year and never really checked it till this weekend. There are probably thousands of trips logged on the app and it just gives me the addresses at every stop. I have to click each address and zoom in to figure out the locations. I reviewed a bunch of trips today from 2019 and figured it would take me days to go thru all of them so I went and did all of 2020. I want to be better about logging mileage going forward so I'm gonna try and review my trips everyday before bed. Wish me luck.
Not really a problem, just more work. I earned more business income this year doing murals/painting, graphic design and t-shirt sales compared to last year just doing t-shirts. Now that I'm preparing my taxes I have to figure out the income and expenses for each type of work. I wasn't fully prepared for this so I've spent the last couple days going over all of my 2019 business transactions again, making sure I have all the data I need to calculate everything. Going forward I'll need to take even better notes on all business transactions for 2020.
I'm getting ready to file my taxes so I went thru last years tax stuff and found I picture I drew of myself. It was my first year filing business income & expenses for 2018 and it took me a few weeks to go over all my records and file. It sucked while I was doing it but felt great once I finished. I think I did better job at keeping records for 2019 so it shouldn't take as long as last year.
I waited till the last day but I paid it on time. All the sales tax I collected from t-shirt sales in 2019. I would have forgoten if my friend Arely didn't ask me about it. Last year was her first year vending so she got her first notice to pay from the CDTFA. This is my second time doing it. Any questions I had this year I figured out by looking at my old records. I'm glad I got it paid in time and that I saved the money to pay it. Next up are the federal and state tax returns. I'm just waiting on my W-2 from work, and maybe a few other forms. I can't wait to get it done & over with and see how much money I'll have left over for merch.
It's hard to see the pencil lines but I wanted to show my progress on the piece I call Hearts & Stars & Hearts & Stars... I drew this a couple years ago and it had a 2 inch blank border around the edges which I'm now filling up. A few days ago I started adding more hearts & stars starting from the middle of the left side (in the pic) and tonight I wrapped around the bottom right corner. Once again, it's hard to see.
The reason I worked on this piece tonight, and this has happened a few times now, was because of this daily blog. Instead of trying to think of something to write about I can just post progress pics of my work. It's easier for me to draw than to write.
Redux on the left. Original artwork on the right.
When I printed the EMN shirts with the original artwork, a lot of the smaller details were washed out or blurry. Now that I'm going to print more I decided to redo the parts of the image that weren't so sharp. I printed the original artwork in black & white on paper then highlighted the parts that came out blurry on the t-shirt. I then digitally made some of those lines thicker and redrew others completely. This should result in a better looking print on the next batch of shirts. I feel like I did what George Lucas did to Star Wars when he released the Special Edition versions of his original trilogy.
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.
It's time to reprint more EMN shirts and replenish my inventory but first I'm going to make a few edits to the artwork. There were too many fine details in the digital artwork that came out blurry or washed out when screen printed onto shirts. I took this into consideration when I made the EMNSJ (San Jose) shirts and made sure not to make any lines that were too small. Now that it's time print more I'm going to fix the mistakes and get a better looking image next time around.
Tonight I finished adding the second coat of white paint to the 3rd Redwall Studio mural I've painted. I love red paint but it's a pain in the ass to work with. I bought the top shelf, "one coat" paint and it still needed a second coat. Even the "one coat" white needed a second pass. The plan was to have this done by New Year's Eve but it took a few extra days. Now I know. If you wanna hire me to paint your walls please send me a message.
I've never been a fan of year-end wrap ups, best-of lists, top-9 pics... none of that. But I do want to shout-out everyone whose rocked a Frankie Mcfly t-shirt. Every time I saw a picture online of someone wearing one a took a screenshot. I made these collages today and uploaded them to Instagram. It makes me happy to see all their smiling faces. Some in beautiful places, some rocking out and some just doing their thing. Thank you so much to everyone that's been supportive of me and my lil endeavor.
Cheers and Happy New Year,
I am tired of staring at spreadsheets. The whole reason I started doing this now, instead of waiting till February, is because of Covered California. I have to update my information before the end of the year so I can continue getting healthcare coverage. I went and figured out how much money I made from DJing, t-shirts, murals and graphic design work. Then figured out my business expenses and how much I can deduct. Once I got those numbers I went to the Covered California website but kept getting stuck. I spent a couple hours trying to figure it out till I got frustrated and decided I'll just give them a call on Monday. At least when this is all said & done filing taxes should be a breeze.
I was almost done logging all my 2019 transactions. All my spending was done but now I'm working on logging all income. Every dollar made in 2019 from DJing, t-shirt sales & side jobs are being consolidated into one doc. I'm figuring out as I go what are the best ways to log things like fees & sales tax so it's taking a bit of time. Once this is done I'll have a complete picture where all my money went, and came from, in 2019.
Today I finished going thru all my credit card transactions from 2019, till now, and made sure they were all properly logged and categorized on a separate spreadsheet. After every purchase, I'd log the date, dollar amount, who I paid, how I paid, category, and notes on the doc. A lot of damn work. I made a Google Form and saved the link on my phone to make it easier. I mostly pay everything with credit card so this took me a very long time to go thru. I've already logged my business debit & checking transactions, all I have to do is go thru my personal checking transactions and make sure they're all been entered properly. Once I'm done I can start figuring out what's tax deductible and have a head start when I file taxes.