Been a few months since my last update. I’ve been a busy boy. Anyway, click above (or here) to check out a photoshoot I did in Tokyo last November with my buddies Bob and Teshi, of the band ELLEH.
Exploring an abandoned aquarium with Fumi
Hey cats and kittens, I just posted the best shots from the other photo shoot I did with Fumi. Click above, or here to check them out! She and her friend / frequent collaborator Sayuri showed me a really awesome, secluded, abandoned aquarium that was by the waterside outside of Sasebo. I’ve done a lot of exploration of urban ruins back in the states, but this was my first time doing it in Japan. All the good locations for that are hard to access from Nagasaki without a car, so it was nice of Sayuri to take use there. I had an old-lady jacket that I’ve found at a thrift shop that was covered with my favorite pattern (“asa no ha”, which you’ve seen in many of my artworks), that I’d been dying to shoot with, so Fumi donned that, as well as my favorite sunglasses, and some edgy attire of her own, and we got to exploring!
I had a lot of fun shooting with Fumi, and for the first time in a long while, I’ve found a local model who I’m on the same page with and who wants to do fun crazy shoots. You’ll hopefully be seeing more of her in my portfolio in the future…
Anyway, enjoy the photos! / クリックしてください！
Fumi, among the sakura trees
I just updated the Photography gallery with a a recent shoot I did in Sasebo with Fumi! It was the middle of cherry blossom season, so we shot some photos with a big beautiful sakura tree. I also did another shoot with her that day, in a more apocalyptic-looking place, and I’ll post those soon, once I get a chance to edit them. Click the above pic – or here – to check out more of the sakura photos!
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.
- Other 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.
- 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!
I posted a new music track that I’m quite proud of, as well as artwork to go with it! It’s a tribute to the future, how we used to view the future back in the ’80s. It’s sort of like a space hip hop wall of sound and has a lot of moody atmospherics. Best listened to on good headphones or speakers with BASS 🙂 If you want to see more about the visual art, go to this page in the design section.
As a bonus, here’s a nice big wallpaper of the fake Famicom label I made for the video.
I made a rather chilling new music track, as well as art to go with it. It’s called “Street Meat”. Listen to it above!
So the good news is that since moving to Japan, I’ve been super inspired and in a great mood most of the time (which is conducive to making art for me). The bad news is that I’ve been so dang busy that I haven’t been able to make as much art as I’d like. Also, my model network here is basically nonexistent, and despite the large amount of pretty girls and handsome dudes in Nagasaki, it’s hard to find people who want to pose for fashion-type photos. That said, I’ve done a couple shoots for my friend Mai, who runs “Clair”, a dress and accessory shop!
Recently, Mai’s friend Ren posed with a bunch of different dresses. It was her first time modeling, and I think she was stunning! There are a lot more on the gallery page for it, so click here, or on the Ren pics to see more than what I’ve posted here. Here’s a sample…
Next up, a few shots of Mai herself, rocking some fabulous dresses and jewelry. As with before, click here, or below, s to see more! Mai looks quite good here too, I think 🙂
Despite having to leave my big Profoto strobe set back in the states, due to size / weight / cost restrictions, I’ve not been without strobes as you see here. I bought an extra Speedlite, a wireless trigger, and some various accessories. I don’t have quite the power and consistency of light quality that I have with my Acute 1200s set, but the tradeoff is that my Speedlite setup is battery powered and super compact, so I can shoot anywhere without being tethered by a power cord. Also, if things break, it’s a lot cheaper to replace a Speedlite than a strobe head…. Stay tuned! As I get to know more people around Kyushu, as well as planning ahead for shooting when I visit other places, I’ll be posting more fashion and portraits once again!
I should add, as a post-script, that I’m still taking tons of photos. I shoot about 8-10 Gigs per week here, just in snapshots, and I’ve been doing more event photography for the schools I work for. Pretty fun!
Alicia & my Fiat
Right before I left for LA, I got a chance to do a proper shoot with Alicia Echevarria. (I’d previously posted a quick one-off shot I took of her back in August, btw.) It’s too bad that I didn’t meet her earlier in my time back in Michigan, as I would have loved to shot more, but I’m happy we managed to fit this shoot into that last week of packing and scrambling. Anyway, she’s super photogenic, so I think you’ll dig these photos! I’d been meaning to do a shoot with my beloved project car, a 1975 Fiat Spider that I’ve been working on since I got it in 2010, so I figure I’d let the green machine guest-star in this shoot.
I tried to go for a ’70s vibe for the photos, to match the car and wardrobe (especially the green dress, which was my mom’s in the late ’60s), and opted for a slightly hazy look, with selectively muted colors and sun flares. I’ve always loved the way 35mm photos from the ’60s-’80s looks, and I’ve been chasing an elusive goal to try to achieve that look via digital tricks. (I guess I could just use Instagram like everyone else, hur hurrr). Oh! Here’s a little behind-the-scenes shot:
Anyway, thanks again to Alicia for posing for the shoot, to my mom for supplying the wardrobe for the second half of the shoot (she had some killer style back in the day), and extra-special thanks to my friend Peter Stylianou, owner of Cozy Corner Coney Island, for letting me use the yard behind his super-delicious restaurant!
Click here or any of the shots in this post to see the rest of the photos!
Raven’s Fan Service
Hello folks! I’m typing this to you from Los Angeles, where I’m now living for the foreseeable future. I just added a few shots from a couple of Zivity sets that I did with my frequent collaborator, the lovely Raven Le Faye. These have been up on Zivity since early summer, but I wanted to share a few of my favorites here. Raven has quite a bit of fans on that site, and wanted to do a set to oblige some of their requests. You If you click the above preview, or here, you can see the shots I posted on this site. If you want to see the rest, you’ll have to check them out on Zivity (set 1 & set 2) As is the case with all my Zivity sets, they are NSFW, and for 18+ only, due to copious nakedness.