Thursday, August 31, 2006

Just workin'...
For those who don't know my next solo show is at BLK/MRKT gallery in Culver City. It opens November 18, 2006. It's called "Cold Ice Age" That's the main thing I've been working on these days, and I'll start posting some pictures and in-progress shots.

Been doing some new stuff on paper- acrylic washes on Arches paper. It's real heavy duty paper I bought way back when I was a student, I think it's for print making (or maybe watercolor). Anyways, it's a nice change- paper is less forgiving so more of a challenge. I'm also working on some canvases for the first time in years. I still love painting on wood but you gotta change it up sometimes. Don't want things getting stagnant. I'll try to get some pics up here....

Pieces in progress- I like to hang them on the wall to get a good look from across the room. The Arches paper has a strange scent when it gets wet. I don't like it. I also have to re-flatten the paper when they're done so they can be properly framed.

When I work on a solo show I usually start by writing things out- jotting down notes, ideas, concepts, goals, and pin it all up so I can reference things while working on the sketches. The sketches are loose, I leave a lot of it to be determined on the piece as I react to colors and values. I like to work on all the sketches together so the whole concept of the show flows well into each piece. I also usually make a floorplan so I know how much work I should be aiming for.

Here's the fat cap Dunny I'm supposed to have finished. Geez, I've been swamped and I totally screwed that up, thought the event was October for some reason. Kid Robot's gonna hate me. I'll still finish it and give it to them for their next event.

Finally let the mylar ballon from Shannon's party free. Jennifer says whales sometimes eat these things and it kills them. True?? She wanted me to pop it instead but I guess the little kid in me just had to watch it rise into the sky.

Shannon fell asleep while eating! Guess she had a long day!

Here's some more blogs I've been checking out:

Souther and Saelee

Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong of Giant Robot magazine

Chris Ryniak

David Chung

Josh Cochran and crew

The Hundreds

James Jean

And, uh, I'll leave you with THIS, wow. Lots of pictures and some scaaary stuff. Whoa, female to male sexual reassignment...

Monday, August 28, 2006

I love prints!
by Jeff Soto.

We had dinner at Shaunna and Mike’s place last night and I’m always amazed by their growing art collection. They just picked up a small Bwana Spoons piece that’s really cool. I should have taken a picture. They have some really nice prints framed (Sorren, Viner, etc) and I always think about getting some of our prints framed some day.

Prints are cheaper than buying an original so it always opens up the door to collecting artists you otherwise can’t afford. I buy and trade prints pretty often, my collection is growing but nothing is on display yet, mainly because in our apartment there’s not too much wallspace. Here are some from our collection...

My first set of prints I bought. I don’t know anything about the artist but I believe they are wood cuts. I bought them from the Comicon in 1998 (I think), and wanted to meet the artist but everytime I came by he was off somewhere..

My next print was from Plankton Art Co., also known as the husband and wife duo Allen and Susan Crawford. I just thought it was a great print and bought it from “Tin Man Alley” the first time I made some money from my paintings. Later on in Philly I got to meet the Crawfords and they were really cool people, down with nature and all that. After the Plankton print I started trading and buying and collecting and now I have drawers of them.

Here is my studio wall where I display some of my favorites. They should really be in flat files or in frames behind UV protected glass. I put up some of my own prints so I can look back and keep the new prints related in stye or color. L to R- Jeremy Fish screenprint, Sammy Harham screenprint, Kozyndan, Dre Day!, Ryan Jacob Smith screenprint, Mr. Cartoon screenprint, Biskup Juxtapoz print, Michael Sieban screenprint, my Pressure Printing piece, Ben Woodward unicorn, Shaunna Peterson giclee, Meathaus screenprint, some of my screenprints, a Caroline Hwang screenprint, and a Shepard Fairey screenprint.

I have tons of prints, I couldn’t show them all it’d be a long blog. Here’s some drawers.

Rachel Sumpter on top, Dave Cooper, Ryan Jacob Smith, Scott Saw, Jeremy Fish..

This one isn’t a print but an original from the Robots have Feelings Too show I curated. It’s in the flat file waiting for a frame. Painted by James Fish.

An Alex Gross etching. This is one of my favorite prints, will be framed for sure some day. His work was just in Juxtapoz an issue or two ago. I was kinda disappointed he didn’t get the cover, (no offense to Blane Fontana) this was the second time Alex has had a major article in Jux and not got the cover. I love the mag but c'mon guys. Ah well, maybe next time.

Kozyndan prints are always fun to look at and really examine for a while. Anyone know if they have a blog? I could see that being really interesting...

One of my biggest inspirations from my youth was the British artist/illustrator Patrick Woodroffe. Not my favorite piece from him, but I found this print on eBay pretty cheap and I was happy to have a signed piece. I wrote him a long letter a while back and though he replied back in person, he seemed super busy and didn’t answer any of my questions. I don’t wanna say he was rude, but he was very quick and to the point, and I wonder if he even read what I had to say. Oh well, usually people you hold up on a pedestal for so long turn out to be, well, normal human beings that are busy just like you and me. It’s all good, I understood where he was coming from. Still one of my favorite artists of all time.

Ben Woodward and Jim Houser collaboration screenprint. Ben gave this to me when I visited Space 1026.

These were some postcards Ben screened by hand for a show at New Image Art back in 2001. Gold.

Some prints from Pressure Printing, Scott Musgrove and Jim Woodring.

Ryan Jacob Smith prints. I loove this dude’s stuff. We went to school together and I wish he lived closer. I think, even though we paint very different and are working towards different artistic goals there is something that we share, maybe we just pull influences from similar sources (we both have old textbooks and Time Life books).

These are prints from Michael Wong a NY photographer who came out to shoot me. We did some trading.

Sammy Harkham, artist and editor of Kramers Ergot made this beautiful print. It kinda freaks me out, it’s called “Wedding night”. There’s blood, sweat, urine, various bodily fluids apparent. I didn’t want to ask him what it was all about.

Here’s some stuff from the 2006 Comicon. Mark Todd with Skeletor, Unlovable by Esther Pearl Watson (those two have made frequent appearances in this blog..) and a Mars One litho.

Some Souther Salazar prints. Really cool. He gave these to me when I visited last week. I need to repay the favor and hook him up with some of mine.

Yep, those are some of my prints. There are a lot more but I'm probably boring the readers as it is.


Thanks for all the support with the apparel situation. At this point I really think the only way to combat companies ripping off my designs is to start my own line. I'm hoping to start working on it after my BLK/MRKT show in November. I want to make quality products- shirts and probably just hats and sweatshirts at first. Keep it small you know, limited editions, see how things go. Maybe sell off Potato Stamp at first and then to smaller boutiques. I just want to keep some integrity to anything bearing my name so I want to do this right. Thanks!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Nothing exciting going on, just working on my November show. Felt like posting some very random images from my iPhoto files...

Construx rule. Anyone remember these? I still like to build with them. And you can find big lots of them on eBay.

Bathroom at CBGB's NYC. Nice privacy with the toilet there, and up high kinda like a throne.

My dad with a sick crow. They found it gasping in the gutter, we wondered if it had Bird Flu.

When my Grandpa Jim passed away four years ago we found these hidden guns when we had to go through his stuff. I miss him.

See the lizard hanging out? Camoflage in action at Joshua Tree. Nature is pretty cool.

Brother Jesse with gigantic bloody gash, Morro Rock in the Sequoias.

The best Star Wars costume ever. Low tech Fett. Comicon (2003 I think).

Mummified Bobcat at Grand Canyon Caverns in Arizona. Poor kitty fell into the deep cave and broke it's femur (compound fracture). The cold conditions of the cave mummified it.

Downtown Los Angeles seen from a flight to Portland. I like how you can see the ocean. L.A. is huge.

Bellpeppers and onions are always good. And pertyful.


Monday, August 21, 2006

Jeez it’s been two weeks since my last entry. Guess I’ve been busy. Finished two painting commissions, Shannon’s 1st birthday party, finished a new Qee for Ox-Op (no I can’t show em, you’ll have to wait), Circus Punk stuff, working on new vinyl toy goodness, Fedex blows, Soto clothing line, met with Leonie Bradbury of Montserrat art college, did an interview with a local art school student, met with Mike from Versus in Temecula, worked on the F4D box set with Maxx and am working on moving into a 4 bedroom rental (yeah, goodbye apartment living!). Still have a deadline or two way overdue, but it’s all good. Random thoughts:

Saw a shirt on some kid the other day at the supermarket that looked like my artwork. I asked him and it was a shirt by a brand called Fyasko. Up close it looked very loose but positively was borrowed from my concepts. Kinda pisses me off, and I’m deciding what to do about it. Here’s the design so you, the reader, can take a gander. My artwork is the first image, the offending shirt design is below that.

I also saw another shirt Saturday night that I didn’t get a shot of, this one was a skull with flowers growing out of it- something I have been painting for a few years now. I cannot claim to have created that image (I copied it from Nausicaa) but on this shirt in particular it was super close to my style. People are telling me this is going to happen more and more because I myself never do any shirts and people want my designs. I have decided to start a clothing line and aggressively go after those who are hijacking my copyrighted images.

I went with Jennifer and Shannon to Gymboree on her birthday. Wow, can those little toddlers move! And the bubbles are badass!

I got some Circus punks from Paul. My first Punks, I love the Clayton Bros set and the Friends with You set as well. They’re all cool..

I was taught if you have something bad to say, you should just keep quiet but I can’t help it. For anyone who lives in Riverside, don’t you just cringe when you drive under the 91 freeway at Tyler? It’s a mural that shows staged scenes from Riverside. The painting technique is alright, it’s the content they chose that makes it so bad. Murals should be timeless, this one is already looking waaay dated and I think it’s been up for less than a year. I found some info on it: “ A city committee decided on a contemporary theme for the Tyler Street mural. The committee included representatives of the City Council, the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and the Riverside Arts Council. Cindy Roth, president and CEO of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, said committee members wanted to show people the variety of things to do in the city.”
No wonder it’s so boring. A city committee made the decisions. And to top it off it’s not even painted on the cement, it’s metal panels mounted onto the underpass. I think they could’ve saved $80,000 and let local elementary students make something that really belongs to the community.

She’s got purple shiny spandex pants- is that how contemporary rock climbers dress?

See the kid sitting down? Nice Manic Panic fluorescent green. My brother had that hairstyle... and it still wasn't cool 13 years ago (and our Iguana Pepito tried to eat his hair once- true story)! Wack kids skating- with full protective gear, you know, wouldn’t want any scrapped knees!

So... sorry about that, I just really dislike that mural. So boring and predictable. Well onto more interesting things. Shannon turned one year old with much celebration. Her party went off without a hitch and there was good food, good company, and everyone had a great time. Shannon was super tired by the end (which is when these shots were from).

There was an art show my friend Maxx organized the same night. I felt like a bad dad leaving the party but all the guests were gone and most of the cleaning finished so I headed down the 215 to Temecula around 10pm. There was an accident on the other side of the freeway, broken glass, twisted metal and tons of medical units at the scene. Looked pretty bad..

I got to Versus alive and well and the art show was nice. It was Maxx, Steven Daily, Regino Gonzales and myself. RG lives in Brooklyn and couldn’t make it out.

Me and Maxx and Steve.

Tons of cool people showed up. Jason Gallo and girlfriend Melissa, Deph and Nadia, Daniel Galvez, Menso, Jon Chase and Katrina, Gram and wife, lots of art fans from the IE and San Diego areas. I got there late so the crowd had thinned out a bit but still got to meet a lot of cool people.

Dayna Peterson Mason with Maxx and wife Rosie...

Maxx’s artwork...

Photographer extraordinaire Zach Cordner...

Some Soto ink...

The Dulok shaman was in effect...

Bobby from thehundreds came by...

Speaking of Bobby, he photographed me and Maxx about 10 years ago doing a mural in Deph’s bedroom... Back then we were Trek and Sag....

And now Jeff and Maxx through Bobby's lens-

Okay now that I wrote a book..
Jeff signing off...