25 June 2012

Throne of Lies, or black metal goes Montucky Mountains

Erin Gillett can shred. And shred and shred and shred. He shreds more upon waking up than most rockers do when fully warmed up, onstage in front of  a packed house, and 3 shots of whiskey into a hard rock tunnel. Which might be why I like him so much, enhanced by the fact that this Montana boy does Black Metal like nobody's business. I wrote a year-end review over at the Modus Operandi zine blog featuring some of my favorite local bands this year. I hadn't met Erin yet, but I had to mention Throne of Lies out of respect for their sheer radness.

Later I was lucky enough to be approached by Erin at a show and asked to whip up a Throne of Lies band logo. Apparently, Rachid from Zebulon Kosted had told Erin that my design work might be up his alley. Lucky me! I busted this puppy out during a week in which I had 4 other deadlines, but I believe it came out more awesome than it would have on a quiet week. I have included both raster and vectorized versions for your perusal, although the vectorized piece is actually just a .png of the vector itself.


and vectorized:

You can notice some subtle differences in cleanliness and detail, so there you go. I would like to link to Throne of Lies website, but alas, there is none to be had yet. I will, however, post more about them as they expand their empire of villainy. Hit me up if you like what I'm doing, need a logo made, or would just like to talk about, you know, things 'n' stuff. Peace!

23 June 2012

Regicide and the Wandering Monk: Shramana Album Cover

My good friend Reggie Herbert started a band a couple of years ago called Shramana, which is a special kind of anti-superstitious wandering monk, here in Missoula. Reggie rocks guitars and sings the songs while Levi kills and kills the drums, and they've written a killer/sick/rad album called 'Dreaming As Punishment.' They've got tight grooves and bring forth mountains of sludge and dirt from the underbelly of the Rockness Monster.

At their inception, Reggie was awesome enough to ask me to print their first round of t-shirts and patches, and we spent an awesome afternoon getting those done. Fast forward two years, and Reggie asked me to bust out the album art and a revised logo for 'Dreaming As Punishment.' Of course, sir! Would love to! They put the image on both the album and some full color pins, which was a great bonus! Here's the original art for the cover:

My god, this one was fun. All crit and feedback appreciated as per usual. You might want to check out Shramana's band page or Reggie's local music blog to get a good feel for these rad dudes. Thanks!!!!!!!!

22 June 2012

Opius - alt metal friendship and the Art/Rock Nexus

Years ago, my friend Scottie Matthews taught me about rocking a guitar nice and hard, Black Metal, noise rock, and a bunch of other skills and ideas that fall squarely under the heading, 'Radness.' Scottie has always been, and will continue to be, a thunderbolt of guitar prowess and metal erudition. Since those fateful days of my early twenties, Scottie has moved his family to Madison, WI, put together a truly talented group of dudes to form the band Opius, and has almost finished his full length.

Scottie needed artwork for the full-length, and I had waited the better part of a decade to make him some rockin' images for whatever band he was steering. This included front and back art, as well as developing their logo. At some point I would like to post an in-depth process of illustration for this, but for now the final pieces:

Opius official band logo, painted in MyPaint (I only rock open source these days). Next, the album cover:

And finally, the back cover:

Once again, any and all feedback is greatly appreciated! I will do my Montana best to address all comments posted. Thanks!

21 June 2012

Elephantitus of the Punks

Missoula=music=bands. Simple equivalencies aside, I have to give props to my friend Joey Running Crane - who, if more bands = more radness, would have to be a giant playground of raditudes for the number of bands he fronts or plays in around town and indeed the country.  The list:

Goddammitboyhowdy!, Gretchen, Holy Family Mission Band, Bird's Mile Home, ex-Bridgebuilder, and now King Elephant!!!!! I'm sure I missed some other bands in there, and he jams a mean one-man banjo band thingy as well. When does he sleep?

King Elephant has everyone's overalls in tight, excited twist with the rockrockrockpower they bring to both their live shows and recorded material. Also, for having been together such a short time, they've wrapped their tentacles all around the US, having already toured, recorded, gone to New York (New York City?!?!), and finished a Kickstarter project to tour again with a documentary filmmaker!!!

Here's the humble logo, expressly done black metal style at their request:

I can't wait to wear this t-shirt (hint hint, Joey). I wish them all the best of luck, the finest of gas station hot dogs, the least amount of van troubles, and the most fun out of anything ever.

20 June 2012

Foul Beastie for a Good Friend

Here's a piece of concept art I rendered back in March for Robert Parker's "Rogues and Reavers" blog, where he simultaneously dives off the deep end into the Old School Gaming Revival (OSR) and builds his own swords & sorcery world called Krul.

Mr. Parker has lived and breathed gaming and weird fiction for the better part of his life, and when he asked me to develop a critter for Krul, I happily accepted. You can check out his full description of the Varmints here; for now, gaze your eyes on this nasty little nightmare-eating beastie.

If you'd like me to mock up some monsters for your campaign world, game development, or story ideas, just drop me an e-mail; I would be happy to work within your budget or for trade. Check out Rogues and Reavers for a dose of pop culture sword & sorcery analysis and some old school gaming. Thanks!

19 June 2012

Attack Formation Delta: Iron Image Retools Its X-Wing

All hail! I've decided to take Iron Image in an entirely new direction, seeing as how my livelihood has shifted from screen printing to illustration, graphic design, and concept art. I hope you'll follow me down this new hard rock tunnel,  as significant advances have been made in a short amount of time.

The screen printing biz here in Missoula, MT, has been heavily overloaded due to two factors. 1) The pro market is saturated in the valley, with more shops and indie printers springing up than any one of us cares to admit, and 2) low-tech screen printing methods have spread like wildfire across the DIY community, meaning that anyone you meet has an equal chance of owning a guitar, a screen printing rig, or both! I love printing; however, I don't think its in my best interests to run this particular rat race, as fancy and as talented as the cute and fuzzy rodents (me, too) might be.

Instead, I have chosen to take the plunge and teach myself how to generate concept art. I started walking down this road in February, and have already come into some modest success! I intend to publish finished works here, discussing methodology and ideas while presenting some of my more successful pieces. Feedback, discussion, and critiques are all welcome in a constructive environment, and I expect my abilities to continue to grow and evolve. Thanks again and stay tuned for more - this blog is about to blow up activity-wise.