Art Inspiration: Staff Cartoons Steampunk Tea Time: Steampunk Man (The Captain)


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‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.’ Aristotle

 

‘This world is but a canvas to our imagination.’ Henry David Thoreau

 

‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’ Walt Disney

 

Inspiration and Imagination, something every artist needs and is elusive as an island of tranquility in a sea of chaos. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life, people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people. Whether it be a child asking me about Mythology or adults asking me about their children or even just talking to people about a number of different topics, they have inspired me to create and use my imagination to bring the impossible possible.

A prime example is when I draw the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures. It started one year around Christmas when we have our Christmas concert and staff dinner. Always after the concert, we go out for dinner and we exchange gifts, such as a Chris Kringle. I wanted to liven things up and instead of giving Christmas cards, I decided to create my own with the staff members as a caricature.
This specific year the inspiration for the caricatures came from own person exploration of a style known as Steampunk. Steampunk is a subgenre of science-fiction and fantasy that came out of literary works such as Jules Vern and H.G. Wells to name a couple. But Steampunk can be best described by breaking up the word. “Steam” represents the era mostly the early industrial age around the Victorian Era. “Punk” represents rebellion or going against the norm.
The “Punk” or rebellion goes for going against what is expected on the technology level as well as societal norms. On the technology level you see cars that are steamed powered, flying dirigibles or airships the size and look of sailing vessels or steam-powered walking machines.   Yet when it comes to rebellion on the societal side it affects women the most. During this time women were relegated to subordinates to the men, covering up themselves, not taking up employment or independent behavior. That is why in Steampunk you will see many women showing cleavage or wearing short skirts and showing a lot of leg to show off their stockings.
It took quit a while to create the caricatures but once the staff received them they loved the cards and caricatures. In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

Steampunk Man  (The Captain)

 

The last caricature of “Steampunk Tea Time” is, me. After creating all the staff caricatures I also had to create mine. Yet I had already created one and I could not improve on what I had already created. I had created it as a character in a story I had started about a year earlier, The Captain and the Baroness.
This is a story I created for someone special as a birthday present for them, but I decided to continue the story after a time. I was going through some difficult issues at the time and indulging in my creative side helped me through it. The story was loosely reflecting the issues in my own life and when I wrote chapter three I was going through a lot of change. Therefore I decided to change the look of the character ‘The Captain’ in the story. The character was my caricature of me dressed as a pirate, aka Jack Sparrow. So I changed my character and my new caricature was created.
I began by basing his outfit on that of a naval office during the Victorian Era. He is a captain after all so it made sense. I drew him with grey pants and a vest and a royal blue jacket overcoat with gold trim, then I added a white poufy shirt, a royal blue Ascot tie and black riding boots. This is in the steampunk style; therefore I added two holsters with side arms.   I added a small dagger to his right and a rapier on the left with a couple of belts. If you look closely, the rapier guard has an inverted engraved image on it. It is a falcon symbol. I am Maltese and adding a falcon creating the idea of the Maltese falcon went well together. The last touch of the outfit was a pocket watch hanging from his belt. It makes sense; a captain needs a watch to help navigate. The hair was very similar to my hair and the beard and mustache (Van Dyke) was very similar to the one I had grown at the time, and there you have it.
The staff did not see this caricature until the final group portrait and they all loved it. A few had a couple of things to say, yet I did tell them that I did create this caricature as a character in a story I wrote. If you want to see and read the chapters I posted you can click on the link below.

 The Captain and the Baroness

 I hope you too will enjoy the twelfth and final steampunk caricature from “Steampunk Tea Time.”  Next week i will post the final portrait with all the caricatures.  
Steampunk Man - a.k.a. The Captain

Steampunk Man – a.k.a. The Captain

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The Captain and The Baroness: Whom We Trust


 

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“Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath.” Solon

 

Growing up, it has always been difficult from me to trust people. I have been hurt many times by people I thought I could trust. Yet I believe that there are more good people than bad out there. When I wrote this chapter I did not know whom to trust. I had been hurt by someone whom I trusted and cared for. I was confused and thoughts that I was the only person who felt the sting of a love lost. But the one thing I discovered was I have cultivated a wonderful circle of friends and family. They supported me in my time of despair and they rallied around me to quench the embers of doubt I was feeling from my break up.

This chapter is the result of cultivating friendships and surrounding myself with people whom I trust and in return trust me. Familiar habits, routes and relationships with people became the foundation for me to rebuild my trust in people and my life.

In this chapter the Captain embarks on his plans to free Pilsdreana from a tyrant. His training over and new friendships built, he looks to familiar surroundings to help in the next task that awaits him. There are some small tests of loyalty. Whom does he stand loyal with? Does he trust the Baroness and the Royal Guards or his own people? Does he sacrifice his people’s interest, for the chance to rekindle the spark with and old love? Or does he stay true to himself.

If you would like to read the previous chapters, below is a link to the chapter list for The Captain and the Baroness. 

The Captain and the Baroness

 

I hope you enjoy the latest chapter of The Captain and The Baroness: Whom We Trust.

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The Captain and The Baroness: Training


 

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    For many of you out there, the story of The Captain and The Baroness is not familiar to you. To be honest, it has been a year since I posted a chapter from the story of The Captain and The Baroness. For obvious reasons it took a back seat as I focused on my studies at teachers college. So it has remained on the shelf since them. But once I finished I still had chapters written and a story to finish so I decided to return to it and continue the story.

For those of you who do not know, this story started as a gift to a special person on her birthday. When we first went out and I got to know her and she so inspired me that I came up with an image of a character she could portray in a story or comic.  I began sketching and soon came up with a character. The Baroness, a Victorian style Steampunk knight/teacher, with a Hammer of Justice.

She was my muse and I did not stop with the drawing.  I wrote a story around the Baroness meeting a Captain (I have always seen myself as a pirate at heart, with a conscience) and thus The Captain and The Baroness: True Peace came into being. She loved it and that was to be all of it. Unfortunately we broke up and I found that the best way to help me get over the breakup was to indulge my artistic talents. Therefore, I decided to continue writing the story using the original as the first chapter. I wrote and wrote that in the end I had so much material that I could not place it all into one document or post; therefore I divided it into chapters. You can see chapters 1 – 9 in the story section of my blog; The Captain and The Baroness.

Each chapter was a way of me reflecting on how I felt after the breakup or something in my life at the time. The characters became extensions of what I was feeling and what I was doing to cope with the situations in my life. In the end it became very therapeutic and I truly enjoyed writing and illustrating the story. Yet it takes time, from writing to reading then rewriting, not to mention the illustrations I created, so it has been a long process, but an enjoyable one.

The latest chapter has to deal with training. I often look to quotes from historical figures, such as Shakespeare, Aristotle, Sun Tzu or Churchill to help inspire my creative juices. The following quote did such that;

 

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”   Aristotle

 

This quote reminded me of a conversation I had with an artist one day when I was just beginning to flex my artistic muscles. I asked how did he get to the level of just drawing what he saw? He answered by asking if I was good at anything. I told him that I was the lead trumpet in a couple of bands. He asked how did I get to become lead. I said I practiced about 1 – 2 hours a day. He said that is exactly how he got to the level of drawing what he saw.   Practice, Practice, Practice, and he was right.

At the time I was and still am working hard to keep healthy and stay in shape. At the time of the breakup I found that working out helped me to focus my mind on things other than the breakup. It also had the extra bonus of lowering my blood pressure and I had lost a lot of weight. This chapter is all about me retraining my mind and body and in the process I discovered what kind of person I am.

In this chapter the Captain embarks on training with the Royal Marines for their part of the liberation of Pilsdreana from the tyrant Baron MacVine. In the process he is reacquainted with the Baroness and reveals something to her that makes her realize what kind of person the Captain truly is.

 

I hope you enjoy the latest chapter of The Captain and The Baroness: Training.

 

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The Captain and The Baroness: A Plan


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 The Captain and The Baroness: A Plan

“Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.”   Confucius

 

Wisdom comes from experience; courage from within the individual; yet compassion comes from the character of the person that wisdom and courage has shaped.

For me compassion for others has been ever-present, maybe because of my teaching background. But at a time I had temporarily stopped feeling compassion for others. It was after my break up that I had felt disillusioned with people/women and I did not have any compassion for anyone but myself. I made the mistake of being selfish and not caring for the needs of others. But the more I closed myself off from feeling compassion for others the more distant I felt. I was hurt and was more interested in my needs. I realized, after some soul-searching, that showing others kindness, caring and consideration they returned it in kind.

This chapter is a result of opening my heart to others and in my own way I began to understand why things happened, including in my relationship. I replaced mistrust and being cynical, with hope and understanding for others, women and as well as, for my ex.

This chapter is about replacing the mistrust with hope and understanding.   The Captain is finally talking to the Baroness and is being told the circumstances behind the Princess’ fate.   The Captain comes face to face with a monumental decision. A decision that will affect the lives of 10s of thousands and the very person responsible for his break up with the Baroness.

 

I hope you enjoy the latest chapter of The Captain and The Baroness: A Plan.

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Art Inspiration: Staff Cartoons A Pirate’s Life For Me: Male Pirate Crew 02 ‘The Captain’


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   Inspiration. Something every artist needs and is illusive as the Lock Ness Monster. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people. Whether it be a child asking me about Mythology or adults asking me about their children or even just talking to people about anything, they have inspire me to create and use my imagination to bring the impossible possible.

A prime example is when I draw the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures. It started one year around Christmas when we have our Christmas concert and staff dinner. Always after the concert, we go out for dinner and we exchange gifts, such as a Chris Kringle. I wanted to liven things up and instead of giving Christmas cards, I decided to create my own with the staff members as a caricature.

This year the inspiration for the caricatures came from the children’s concert. We were doing a Pirates Christmas and at the same time Pirates of the Caribbean was out. Also for Halloween I dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow and everyone loved the costume. It made me imagine, what would it be like if the staff where all pirates? From these simple beginnings I decided to draw all the staff as pirate caricatures.

Well the staff loved the cards and caricatures and in the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

Male Pirate Crew 02  ‘The Captain’              

The last caricature of “A Pirate’s Life For Me.” is me. After doing all the other staff I had to create one of myself for the final portrait and I was eager because I had this caricature in mind for some time. This was the easiest to envision because I had already dressed like this caricature for Halloween, Captain Jack Sparrow.

I did not only dress like Jack Sparrow, I used his inflections and gestures to really bring the character to life. I walked around the school like Jack and everyone had a big smile when I talked or walked by. The costume was a big success and I wanted the caricature to have the same effect.

I began with the face, hair and hat. I had grown a beard and mustache for the costume and I had a few pictures of me to go by (I had shaved them off after Halloween). The clothes were simple enough to give that pirate look, I made sure that the jacket was a bit free-flowing to give a wind surf look. I added the boots with the over lapping cuffs as well with the jacket. The last touches were the beadwork in the hair, beard and hat. Lastly I added a sash to give a wind-swept look to the jacket and caricature. And that’s it.  If you have read my story “The Captain and the Baroness”  we will recognize this caricature from that story.  It was the inspiration for the look of the original Captain.  

The staff enjoyed it and were not surprised by the look of my caricature because of the costume I wore. Some commented that it was the perfect character for me. A rouge with a conscience, or a pirate with a heart. I hope you too will enjoy the tenth and final pirate caricature ‘The Captain’ from “A Pirate’s Life For Me.”

 

However watch out for the final portrait that will come out soon.

Art Inspiration: A Pirate's Life For Me: Male Pirate   02 'The Captain'

Art Inspiration: A Pirate’s Life For Me: Male Pirate 02 ‘The Captain’

The Captain and The Baroness: The Truth


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The Captain and The Baroness: The Truth

 

‘Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.’ George Washington

For only in the truth shall your soul be free of its burdens and then can you truly soar.  Sometimes it takes awhile but the truth will come out in the end. 

I have always been a firm believer that you should be honest and truthful with people even though it might be difficult for them.  Many times when I am truthful with people they say that was insensitive.  But I just say back, “If you can’t handle the truth then next time don’t ask the question.”  Its true, lawyers never ask a question unless they know what the answer will be. 

Through my many years of contract negotiations and dealing with children and people, I was taught to notice the little details of when they are lying or holding the truth from me.   When I wrote this chapter I thought back to my relationship and how it ended.  My experience told me that she was holding back the truth from me.  Yet I saw the little details and knew the truth.  I told her that I could handle the truth and I would work it out, but sadly she refused.

In many ways this chapter is a vindication for many who knew the truth and had to suffer because of it.  I too suffered, but writing down my thoughts helped me move on. 

In the eighth chapter, The Truth, the Captain faces the Baroness for the first time in months, since their break up.  What she has to say could be rewarding or devastating to Gauchia.  But the burning question continues to plague the Captain and many around him, why?  Why is this entire nightmare happening?  The truth finally comes out, but is it something the Captain can handle or does it lead to disaster.

I hope you enjoy the latest chapter of The Captain and The Baroness: The Truth.

For previous chapters you can click on the Stories tab and go to The Captain and The Baroness tab.  You will see the first seven chapters waiting for your enjoyment. 

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The One-Year Anniversary Of Starting My Blog


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It has been one year since I started my blog and much has changed since that wide-eyed moment. 

  At that time many people have said that I have inspired them with what I have done.  Either through my artistic pursuits; such as drawing, painting, writing and music, or through my teaching of the children.  The truth is that these people inspire me to create and teach.  Whether it is creating a cartoon caricature, a poem or a story, or even teaching children about dinosaurs or baseball.  These people have so touched my life that I had to express it. 

  I started this blog at a very disheartening time in my life.  I was and still taking night courses to upgrade my ECE degree, at the same time I was concerned about losing my job and I was looking for a new one.  Add to this my family was having difficulty with a member undergoing surgery and to top it all off, I had just broken up with a special lady that I had cared for deeply.  All in all, I am amazed I served the emotional roller-coaster ride. 

But I did survive and this blog helped me. Sharing my stories, art and opinion with others was a form of therapy.  It helped me focus on a task of helping others because …

I discovered that when I inspire others, they in turn inspire me.  This wonderful realization is the inspiration in creating this blog.  

Today I have over 100 posts under my belt and there are many more topics to pursue.  My comics are a joy to create, as is my work with the children.  The Captain and the Baroness story has a few more chapters to be released, as well as some inspired art from my interactions with amazing people. 

So, to everyone who has followed my blog and liked my posts, I have to say a warm-hearted Thank You.  You are the reason I write and share my inspirations.  And thank you also for being there because I know that you reading my posts helped me through some difficult times, and for that I am eternally grateful. 

See you in the Blog-o-sphere. 

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