illustrated-photography

VERSION 3.0


evanhaydenart.com version 3.0 is now live!

Hello world!

 

It’s finally done… After five years I finally gave my art site a complete overhaul and it’s now online. This is my biggest site redesign yet, and I started over from scratch. Here are some of the changes I made:

 

  • New aesthetic design. The theme could best be described as “rainbow”.  Each gallery section now has its own unique color scheme, for example purple for Illustrated-photography, blue for Photography, and so on. If you’ve been visiting my site for a long time, the background may seem familiar. I always liked the random jaggy thin-line pattern background of the old pre-evanhaydenart.com days, so I brought it back, but in this case, it’s a different color in each gallery. Also making a return is one of my favorite typefaces, Herb Lubalin’s “Avant-Garde”, making up the navigation section lettering. It’s a more sedate usage of the typeface than he did, but I think it works fairly elegantly for the nav boxes. Speaking of typefaces, I stopped using Lubalin Graph (Another Lubalin classic. He was an amazing designer!) since I used it to death on version 2.0’s design. I’ll still use it on blog post promo images, because it is my favorite typeface, but for the main site, I went with something a little more familiar… Georgia! Yep, everyone has this font, and maybe it could seem boring, but I like it a lot, so hey… In other news related to the new design,  all the thumbnail images and text is a little bigger now, to account for larger monitor sizes and resolutions, and to make for easier viewing on mobile devices. Also, the page headers still show a different image upon each page load, but now they’re color-matched to the rest of the page. So many different files were made for that…
  • Flashier index page(s). Speaking of rotating images, the new index splash page is definitely splashy! A new background loads upon each visit to the page, and fills the screen. I’m sort of picky about the new trend of GIANT leader images for articles and whatnot, but I think for a gallery front page it’s fine. I also tried to make this page work a little better on mobile devices.
  • New, wider layout. I ditched the two-column design for a single-column design, allowing me to use bigger images (seems fitting for an art gallery site, right?) The navigation is now at the top of the page, under the header.
  • Big big big! About those big images, I apologize for anyone on slow internet connections, but I decided to go all-out this time… Each gallery page has big 1000px wide images for the artwork, and in the case of some pages where the art is a series of pictures, several of those big images. I feel that for an art portfolio site, big splashy images is good, and enough people have high-speed internet these days that I feel pretty comfortable designing for that now. It might be a headache on mobile networks if you’re at 3G or below, and I know that’s where a lot of people view the internet these days, but I firmly believe an art site is best viewed on a decent sized monitor.
  • Mobile-ish. On the topic of mobile-internet, I haven’t yet figured out how to make a totally mobile-friendly site yet (I’m not a programmer, I just struggle my way through each redesign when I absolutely have to), but even though some of the images are pretty big now (which load just fine on 4G), the layout this time around is at least a bit better for mobile. There’s some text you need to expand to see better, but the site doesn’t totally fall apart when viewed on a cell phone like my old site did. If I had the time, I would make a separate version of the site just for mobile, and have the code redirect you there when you view it on a phone, but I’m way too busy with work right now to do that, so please hang in there until I can :-)  This site took long enough as is to redesign (a couple hundred hours, easily) so I may have to wait until I can afford to hire a designer to make a more mobile-friendly version for me.
  • my Society6 storeOther changes… I reorganized the site. After seven years apart, the fashion / portrait photography and automotive photography pages have been consolidated back into a Photography page. Since I haven’t been doing many proper shoots of cars lately, that page seems a little flimsy to warrant its own separate gallery. Also, all the separate gallery archive pages have been consolidated into one Archive page. Another change now involves the bio, links, and store pages being consolidated into an About page. I added some stuff to that about page. The resume / biography is still there, as are links. I added a FAQ page, a Contact page, and a proper Store. The FAQ exists to try to handle some of the questions I get repeatedly over the years… the Contact page is pretty self-explanatory, and now doesn’t involve me having to divulge an email address (thanks Foxyform!)
  • Store! Finally! The store is the big addition… After, oh, seven years of promising I’d add a store to my site to make it easier to buy prints, I finally did, with Society6. Part of what caused the delay for so long was my 2008 hard drive failure, which caused me to lose a lot of original art. Once I rebuilt my portfolio and had some good stuff to sell, it was a combination of being busy and being honestly a bit intimidated by the whole thing. Society6 should be a good solution because I don’t have the time right now to print and send orders myself, and doing so from Japan is its own kind of headache. Society6 fulfills the orders for me, and they have a good quality to their work. So yeah, finally, if you want to order prints of my work, or other stuff (pillows, cell phone / ipad cases, laptop skins, leggings, duvet covers, shower curtains, etc!), please check out my store!
  • NSFW-avoidance, if you want it. I separated the NSFW / 18+ only artwork a bit more from the rest of the content. I don’t want to censor myself, but given the nature of my day job, teaching kids, I wanted to make it a little harder to stumble across stuff that might not be suitable for the office or for younger eyes. Now, when you go to certain galleries, such as Illustrated-photography, the subsection with nudity or violent images is clearly labeled as such, in English and Japanese, and separated from the other content. If you’re using the back / forward buttons to navigate from page to page, it will stop when it gets to the NSFW content, sending you back to the main gallery, and you’ll have to click the thumbnail of the NSFW stuff to see it. No passwords or any stupid stuff like that. I just wanted to keep things accessible to those who want to see it, but stuff harder to have an “oopsie” moment and see it when you weren’t expecting it.
  • I mentioned Japanese… One thing I was planning to add to the launch, but decided to wait on a little bit longer, is Japanese translations for a lot of the major content. I already did them, in my mangled Japanese, but I have a friend who’s helping to smooth them out, so I’ll add said translations soon. The site is still prominently English-language, but at least for the main gallery indexes, there will be Japanese as well. For the individual artwork pages, there will be just English, but those are more about the imagery anyway, and I type too much sometimes, so maybe I’m actually sparing my Japanese viewers a bit!
  • New blog. As mentioned in the last blog post, the Blog has been 100% redone. After I bungled things and lost my blog archive, I took the time to redo all the old entries based off of salvaged data from the Internet Archive (but lost the comments, sadly). I also added some “from the future!” content to some of those old entries, ie: photos from events that happened. The new blog works much better on mobile devices. Well, to be honest, I used some WordPress trickery to make the site load a separate version for viewing the blog on a cell phone, and it’s not super pretty, but at least it’s not broken. It’ll do for now, until I can figure out how to customize it to make it have a bit more in common, design-wise, with the desktop site. new art!
  • What else? I added a TON of new artwork to the site… The Illustration gallery now has a section dedicated to educational art, of which I’ve been making a lot at my day job. This section includes an in-depth look at the “Hello English Picture Dictionary”, which is a publication I designed, edited, and illustrated. Also featured are worksheets I’ve made art for, and the “Word-of-the-Week” whiteboard that I draw each week for my students. Go check all that out! The Photography gallery has a new “Etcetera” section now, with photos of cats, birds, urban wreckage, night photography, and other things! Also added to the Photography page is some of the photos I’ve shot over the years of mangled and neglected vehicles and more robot photos! Growing up in the rust belt made for many such opportunities. I added new art to the Illustrated-photography gallery – an ink one, my first such piece like that in eight years. It’s of my lovely girlfriend Miwa. Finally, I added some new stuff to the Design gallery, including more mix CDs with custom packaging, more flyers, and a more depth look at my manga lettering.
  • B-B-B-BONUS. One thing you’ll notice on many of the artwork pages, is a lot more bonus content. More details, more behind-the-scenes, more more more! Also for each artwork that is available to buy on Society6, it’s linked within the page, and for manga and zines, there are links to buy the books from their respective publishers.

 

Okay, I think that about sums it up! Jeez, sorry to type a novel here, but this is the biggest update ever to my art site and there was a lot to cover! I’ll have more art coming soon, so stay tuned!



Amethyst


Amethyst

Howdy boys and girls! Here’s something I whipped up recently… The release image for my single “Amethyst”. I put it in the Illustrated-Photography gallery, even though it’s about 90% illustration, 10% photography (as opposed the roughly 50/50 split of most of that work) because I thought it fit in better thematically. Not manga-ish like a lot of my pure illustration work is…

 

I’m sort of fascinated by crystals, in terms of their shapes, and also with polygon graphics and early computer graphics. I decided to put these themes together for the rather surreal lady you see here. If you want to listen to the track that I made this for, check out the video below:

 



“Automaton JDM” – remastered


Automaton JDM

I’m on a roll right now, in terms of working on creative projects. A little over 24 hours ago, I posted my brand new illustrated-photography piece, and I just finished finished something that is both new and old at the same time.

 

In 2008, I made “Automaton JDM”, the image you see above. At the time, it was a personal milestone, in terms of detail, concept, and execution, and I think it blew my first Automaton piece (from 2006) out of the water. More recently, you’ve seen the third piece in the Automaton series, from last year, which is even crazier than the 2008 example. Anyway, back to 2008… After making “JDM”, as well as a couple other pieces around that time that I was quite proud of, my hard drive died and I lost the original hi-res / layered files, as well as a ton of other stuff. (PROTIP: Back your stuff up kids!) I was devastated at the time (it still stings a bit to think about), but I plugged on ahead with new work, and rebuilt / salvaged some of my older pieces. Lacking the digital files, I made high-res scans of prints that I’d previously made, redrew things, and tried my best to smooth out the colors and textures. On one particularly challenging salvage, I didn’t even have a print to scan, since I’d made the piece a few days before the crash. All I had was a tiny jpg, and an insanely difficult task of scaling it up to a decent print size, redrawing the whole thing from scratch, and doing a lot of damage control on horribly-enlarged pixels. Despite my best efforts, I was never fully happy with the results of some of these salvaged versions, as they always looked muddy and dark compared to the original digital files, but after the hard drive disaster, I didn’t have much that I could print out for art shows, so I had to make do.

 

Anyway, I was especially bothered by how much less vibrant Automaton JDM looked after salvaging, compared to its original form. All I had left of the original was a 750px wide jpg (which you’ll see top-right.) I salvaged that one in early 2009, but was never happy with the results. It was too dark and murky (see bottom-right.) It basically did the job for printing, but I felt a pang of guilt selling prints of it, as I knew it was not as good as it originally was, but there was certainly no way I could sell prints of a 750px wide jpg, unless I was going to go into the postage stamp business! (Actually, HMMM… new business venture?)

 

Since that first attempt, I happened to find a DVD with some of the layers of the original high-res 2008 file. Just the background, and the ladies in the foreground, but it was a start. Also, I’d purchased a better scanner since ‘09, and rescanned my original 8×10 print, getting much better results. Still not as smooth as the original file (it can’t be, given the dot-tone), but more subtle color shifts and shadows. Armed with this elements, I got to work last night making a second salvage attempt, and in the process, I decided to update / improve the piece as well, using newer techniques. Maybe it’s disingenuous to go back and do a “director’s cut” of old art, but I’ve done it before, on my comics, and I enjoy it. It’s like visiting an old friend and finding that they are doing better than ever!

 

The main improvements center around making the robot stand out better from the background. I simulated depth-of-field with the background, getting blurrier as it gets farther away. I also added a bit of a faint glow to the night sky, not just to make the robot stand out, but also because when you’re in a busy, electrified metropolis like Osaka, there’s a ton of light pollution in the sky. The other change I made to the background involves glow. I thought that the insanely bright neon signs of Dōtonbori were not properly represented by my original, so I added a subtle glow to the signs. I also tweaked the robot a bit to add more light reflection on its edges, to better fit it in with its brightly-lit background. The other change I made, was cropping things to make the piece as a whole fit better with my now standard dimensions. My old pieces were all over the map, which made framing a nightmare. Anyway, I think this new version is a success in that not only do I feel better about having an “Automaton JDM” that I can print without being slightly embarrassed, but I think this version’s better than the original one in multiple ways. I’ll probably do this with more of the pre-crash pieces that are in limbo, as well.

 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy seeing this old friend again, this time wearing a fancy new set of clothes :-)



“Bluebird”


After a year’s hiatus from my illustrated-photography work, here’s a new, and quite cheerful one! A lot of my work, as you’ve maybe noticed, revolves around themes of sci-fi, horror, surreal scenes, and general dark & weird stuff. For this piece, I decided to make something cute, and loosely in tribute to the Disney movies I watched as a kid. Thanks to the always photogenic, always creative Raven Le Faye for modeling for this. Hard to tell it’s her with the wig, huh? That makes four illustrated-photography pieces in a row featuring her (to refresh your memory, here are thepreviousthree.) If you guessed that she’s one of my favorite models to work with, you wouldn’t be wrong!

 

Anyway, to go to the gallery page for this piece, and check out details, click the image above, or here.



“A Love Letter to My 13-Year-Old Self”


Guess what kids, I’m not dead. Although I would forgive you for thinking that due to the conspicuous lack of updates around here lately. Let’s just say that life punched me in the face, but it wasn’t a TKO, so here I am posting some new art! At last! You may remember in my last blog post (6 months ago, argh!), I posted a little sneak preview of this in it’s very early stages (after only 2-3 hours of illustration / compositing). Well, 60+ hrs of work later, spread out over several months, here it is:

 

A Love Letter to My 13-Year-Old Self

In the midst of an epic battle, twin psychic school girls deal a decisive blow upon a towering giant robot. Pretty much my magnum opus thus far… It’s the third in my giant robot series, but there’s more to it than just that. From my middle school days until the early days of college, I was a huge anime nerd. I also read a ton of manga. These two mediums have had a profound effect on my art style, techniques, and favorite themes to this day. Though I am still being a big manga fan, I don’t watch much anime anymore. I got sort of burned-out, and didn’t feel like I was seeing enough variety in the modern-day anime (with the exceptions of auteurs such as Satoshi Kon, Mamoru Oshii, and Katsuhiro Otomo).

 

Despite the disaffection with modern anime, I still have a strong love of the stuff I grew up on, tracing back to being a 4 year old and watching Robotech with my older brother. That had a profound effect on me. In this piece, I pay tribute to that, as well as Mai the Psychic Girl, Gundam, Domu, Project A-Ko, Cutey Honey, and other bits and bobs of Japanese pop culture that I grew up with, as well as a little dose of Transformers. Basically as you can see, giant robots and psychic battles are two of my favorite subject matters!

 

I shot this (the girls and part of the background at least) with one of my favorite models, Raven Le Faye, in Berkeley over a year ago. The robot is made up of over 20 different cars that I shot in Michigan and California. I shot the distant background in Los Angeles. Lots of stuff going on in this… I’m very pleased to finally be releasing it into the world after so long.

 

On a semi-sad note, this is going to be my last “super epic”, super detailed piece for a while.. It took me too long to make (over 60 hours) as I work much slower in Wacom than anything analog. Most of my illustrated-photography pieces take me between 15 and 30 hrs, which is also a long time, but this one was ridiculous. Just the robot on it’s own would have normally been a piece on its own, but I decided to take this piece farther. That said, I really need to buy a Wacom Cintiq, for a more 1:1 drawing experience – as opposed to the disconnect one gets from drawing on the desk and looking at the screen. I think this would speed up my workflow considerably. Problem is, I’m broke, so until I can scrape together the extra cash, I’m going to have to stick with more simple pieces for a little bit, otherwise I’ll only get one new piece done every several months, which is not enough for me. Good to pause this era (for now at least), with a BANG! (literally, in this case, hence the explosion)

 

the making of

I decided since this new work is particularly special to me that I’d throw in a little bonus. Click the above image, or here, to see a detailed “Making of” / behind-the-scenes for this work.

 

Special thanks to Raven for modeling for this. You’ll see her in a couple other works on the site, and you will be seeing her in more work soon! For example, another illustrated photography piece, a much more simple one that I’ll be getting to soon… Also, she modeled for a pin-up / alt / fetish / nudie set that I’ll be submitting to Zivity soon. That’s very new territory for me, and was a fun experience. Once I get that posted, I’ll direct you there (all of you over 18 yrs old, at least!). Also, I’ll be posting an EGL shoot I did with her soon (and if you didn’t see these really cute pics from a year ago, you should!) Thanks also go out to Ryan Sands, David Murray, and Dawon Kim for giving me feedback at various stages along the way of the creation of this beast! Also thanks to Lady Gaga, Skrillex, Wham!, Dschingis Khan, Arabesque, and the TalkRadar and Gamespy Debriefing podcasts for supplying background sounds for the big push this past week.

 

In other news, I have more stuff to post soon. Other stuff that I’ve been working on over the past few months, but haven’t had the time to organize into gallery pages yet. A shoot with Beau (some of which is edited and done, some note)… Also the ongoing product photography work I’ve been doing for my buddy Seibei / David Murray, and also product photography I did for Babushka Designs / Tatiana Jimenez. Both of those coming soon (or you could just look at those links and buy some awesome stuff!) You’ll also notice that I upped the font size on the last stuff I uploaded. I’ll be doing this throughout the site soon, I’m just super lazy right now. the old text looked great on lower-resolution screens, but I’m finding it hard to read on my 22″ Samsung, and I’m guessing you might too! Okay, gotta get a little sleep now! It’s after 7am and I’ve been in a creative trance!



things keep happening


things keep happening...Hey dudes and dudettes.. Yes, it has been a long time since my last post. This summer was pretty crazy busy, and fall got busier. Since my last post, I moved to Los Angeles in early October. I’m here possibly temporarily, hopefully long term. It just depends on how my job hunt turns out. I’ve also been applying for things up in the Bay Area, so I could end up back there. Or I could end up back in Michigan again if I don’t get something stable set up here by the time I run out of money. Maybe I shouldn’t be so forthcoming about that stuff on my art blog – perhaps it makes me look unprofessional – but hey, just being honest. It’s a rough economy out there for everyone, and a time when there are a lot less opportunities for us creative professionals. Let’s just say that for every graphic design or photography job I’ve applied to, I’ve applied to two retail jobs. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m just hoping to get something stable enough out here to stay, and keep working towards… THE PRIZE.

 

Anyway, despite not getting much real art done this last four months, I have been making some stuff. The problem is that a lot of it is freelance graphic design for secret projects, or for internal corporate documents & presentations. Not as exciting as making big colorful illustrated-photo pieces, or comics, or fashion photography, but it does pay the bills when those fun things are hard to rely on in an economic pinch. Anyway, I should be able to show some of that work sooner or later…

 

I did actually make quite a bit of changes to the site, both in flow and mechanics. A lot of it you won’t really see, but trust me, it helps. I guess you could say it’s evanhaydenart.com, ver 2.1. Since coding is not second nature to me, I had some big bugs that had been waiting to be squashed since the site overhaul. The last bit of them involved problems with the CSS involved in my links. So if you saw visited links showing up as white on white (not very user friendly), that’s why. Usually it’s as simple as changing a style property, but this was a unusually complex problem, under the surface. I wanted to extend my gratitude to my buddy Vivian Hui – an amazing graphic designer and web designer – for helping me fix this problem!

 

Other changes around the site include:

  • New background on all pages but the intro page. I love the way the colorful pink & purple splash background looks on the intro page, but on the regular gallery pages, I thought things were looking a bit too busy, and that the background distracted from the content. The new background is darker, which should help the content stand out more, and still has that eye-trickery that I like… If you stare at it too long, it starts to get a bit of a moiré pattern to it…  I apologize for any headaches it may induce!
  • Shuffled around some of the Illustrated-Photography and People Photography pieces. Deleted some of the old stuff, and took some of the old or less-potent stuff and moved it into archive pages. Basically these archive pages have work that I’m still fond of in a way, and want you to be able to see if you so desire, but don’t have the same punch as the newer and/or better work that I wish to showcase. If you want to see the archives, they are linked on the bottom of their respective galleries.
  • Simplified code throughout the site. Many of the pages should load faster and cleaner now. There was a lot of redundant/junk code that Vivian pointed out, and I tried to strip away a bunch of it. Also, since the new background is about 10% the file size of the old one, that should load faster as well.
  • Rearranged the links page a bit for better visual parsing.
  • Took the links to all my different automotive Flickr sets out of the Automotive Photography page. You can still access them, but I realized that I didn’t need them all listed there. Took up a lot of space, and was too much to maintain every time I made a new Flickr set (which I do often). So now just click to check out the collection, and go from there…

 

As for things still on my checklist, I realize it’s been two years since the new site launched, and I still don’t have a proper shop set up for prints. I’ll get to that soon, hopefully, if my life stabilizes anytime in the near future. What originally held me back was when my hard drive died in ‘08, and I lost the originals of a lot of my work. I had to redraw a lot of them to sell any prints, and I now feel that those redrawn ones, in addition to my new work since, has given me a good base to work from, when I do get the store set up. In the meantime, just email me (skeletron  AT  gmail  DOT com) if you wanna buy some thangz. Also, I know that the music page is pretty barren. I’m still on a music hiatus. I want to get back into it soon, but again, life has been too hectic, busy, and unstable this last couple years.

 

In other, more exciting news, see that pretty face up there? The one with a few outlines, but still none of the nose? That is a very tiny segment of my next illustrated-photo piece. It’s going to be a very epic one. I’m about 4 hours into it, and I estimate it’ll take another 40 to finish. It will contain a lot of different themes that I enjoy, all jammed into one big piece. As for those themes, I’ll keep them secret for now… I will just say that it’s my first illustrated-photo to contain an explosion! Also, the theme could be referred to as “a love letter to my 13-year-old self”. I’ll keep that vague for now. It’ll all make sense when it’s done. Anyway, adieu for now. Hopefully less than four months will have elapsed by the next time I write.



Prison for Bitches – on sale now!!


Prison for Bitches

Hey kids. “Prison for Bitches” – the new zine by my best buddy Ryan Sands – is now available to buy online and at select stores! If you like Lady Gaga, indie comix, illustration, meaty articles, photography, or any of the above, I bet you’ll dig it. This is the zine that I created the “Lady Galaxy” piece for, and features so many goddamned talented people that I don’t even know where to start! For example: Michael Kupperman, Johnny Ryan, Hellen Jo, Derek Yu, Lisa Hanawalt, etc etc etc! So yeah, get yet credit cards / cash / buffalo hides / space bucks and go to the website and buy it! Trust me, there’s a lot of good stuff in those pages.



“Lady Galaxy”


Okay, it’s definitely been a while since last post, but here’s something brand new and very shiny…

 

Lady Galaxy

It’s called “Lady Galaxy”, and is my piece for the upcoming Lady Gaga fanzine “Prison for Bitches”, being published by my buddy Ryan Sands.  This was a lot of fun to create, and since I’m really into Lady Gaga, it’s exciting to be in on the zine. I guess you could say that it’s the second in my series of musician-inspired pieces, following “Lionheart“, my Kate Bush inspired piece from 2006.  Special thanks to the lovely Raven Le Faye for modeling for it.  We shot five different shoots that day, so look for more work with her in it over the next couple months.  Here are some details from the work:

 

So in other news, believe it or not, I’m moving back to Michigan again for a few months.  Times have been tough, money-wise, and I have to help my parents get their house ready to sell (lots of painting and varnishing), so I’d rather just do it now when the weather there is really nice, and while I have no career commitments in San Francisco (other than occasional freelance work that I can do remotely).  Of course, it’s very hard to leave my friends, my girlfriend, and this beautiful part of the country, but I don’t have much choice about it really. The plan is to help out as much as possible, make as much art as possible, and come back to California in the fall – more than likely to LA this time. We’ll see though… I’m trying not to think too far ahead this time, since life is anything but predictable.

 

Anyway, I’ll be on the road starting this Saturday, and will be busy at first, but look for a lot more art soon, as I will be much less stressed-out this summer hopefully (stress does not equal good art for me).  Ciao for now cats and kittens!



“RESET.”


RESET.

Here is my latest illustrated-photography piece, entitled RESET.  It’s more personal in theme than my usual work.  The last few years I’ve been having some problems with depression, and the way it tends to hold back my ambitions in life.  I’m hoping this year to change a lot of things about my life for the better, and sort of hit the “reset button”.  I am almost 30 years old, and want to start off the next decade of my life feeling good, like I did the first half of my 20’s. Anyway, the model is yours-truly, and I am accompanied by a toy space gun and about 30-40 different flowers that I shot pictures of around California, Michigan, and Ohio. Here are some details of RESET…

 

RESET. details