Over the weekend, I did these quickie sketches of Adam “Nergal” Darski, of polish extreme metal band, “Behemoth”. You may or may not know who he is, you may or may not like the kind of music that he plays and his point of view, but you cannot deny that he has an interesting story. He is a poster child for freedom of speech and thought (years of court woes in Poland over a blashpemy charge that was later dropped), a leukemia survivor, a bone marrow center charitable benefactor, as well as front man for what is probably the leading extreme metal band in the world at the moment.
I found reference of him online and sketched a range of different expressions positing them to my sketchbook online here as well as to my Instagram account. Just for the heck of it, I tagged both Nergal and the Behemoth band Instagram accounts when doing so. Lo and behold, the next day I recieved a message from Nergal, asking I would send them to him and if he could post to his Facebook. Of course I agreed, how could I not? I really didn’t expect him to see them, but he liked them enough to email me and post them to his offical Facebook page, so that was really cool.
See you when you come to Philly in August.
PS – If anyone wants to follow me on Instagram, my user name is michelemelcherillustration. Thanks!
Stuff has been percolating in the studio and I’ve been too busy to post. There’s a huge project that’s in the works that’s going to need some “audience participation” and I will let y’all know when it’s live!
We are in the middle of a nor’easter right now, so I best strap my snow shoes back on and get back in the studio. Really, I don’t have snow shoes, and my studio is in the upstairs of my house but the latter makes for a more romantic image, no?
As you know from my last post, I’ve re-decorated the studio and have since been crafting a carefully curated collection of interesting things to put in it. Over the weekend we happened upon a local antique shop that I had never been in. We came across this really awesome antique black walnut carved wood accent shelf. I am in love with it. It reminds me of the old german carved cuckoo clocks and it kind of makes me dream of sporting pigtails, leiderhosen and drinking a tall pint of hefeweizen.
Anyway, I scored a great price on it with the dealer (50% off yeah!), and knew right away that it would sit on the wall right above my computer. Brian suggested that I display my squeak toys on it. In his words, “a triumphant squeak toy”. A different one every week. And “Squeak of the Week” was born.
Every week, I will post a different vintage squeak toy from my collection. I have many. A few years worth, give or take a week. And they are all different. This will be fun! Follow along on my Instagram #michelemelcherillustration and on Tumblr at Squeak of the Week . ENJOY!
Happy New Year!
It’s always nice to have some sort of a fresh start with the New Year. I took a few weeks off over the holiday and decided to reorganize and paint my studio to do just that. The studio had always been a functional workspace, but I was never 100 % happy with it. Too much furniture in too tight a space made for cramped, dust-behind-everything conditions on top of it starting to become a catch all for junk. It felt like it wasn’t so much my workplace as much as it was becoming a storage room that I worked in. Worse yet, I had some serious studio envy when I look at other people’s awesome work spaces. I know, one of my first rules of sanity is not to compare myself to others but COME ON ….have you seen PRIMER’S space?
So I cleared it all out, including my filing cabinet and the studio crawlspace (which I could not even walk in) and heaved a bunch of crap to the curb and shoved the rest of it into the attic – ha. Below are some pictures of the before and the after. Sorry about the poor quality of the shots but the slanted ceiling makes it a hard room to photograph. The before shots are while the operation was happening so there is a bunch of crap everywhere. The after shots are what it looks like at the moment. There are still things that I want to do to the space, get a new light fixture for the ceiling, put some carefully curated stuff up on the walls, accents that will make the space “mine” but I’m really happy with the way it is turning out so far. I’m kind of going for what my version of a “man cave” would be since I am not a girly girl really at all. I love working in here now…even if it’s just to sit and drink my coffee while I read the news.
PS, I still cannot walk in the crawlspace.
It seems like it was just yesterday when I was writing my Happy New Year 2013 post. It has been a great year of growth for me professionally and personally.
Professionally, this year has been one of the best yet. I had the opportunity to work on so many awesome illustration projects – from web to print and even an animated commercial. To all of the new and repeat clients and Art Directors that I have worked with this year: thank you all so much for the opportunities that you have given me. As you probably know, illustration is not an easy career path and I know that I am pretty much a crazy person for deciding that is how I am going to make a living. But I am truly grateful every day that it is possible for me to do what I am good and and what I love.
Personally, I have gotten a lot better at the whole living thing. I know that probably sounds funny but it’s true. As a person hard wired to think in black and white in addition to being a chronic worrier, I am doing GREAT! It takes practice but I am finally learning to slow down, find the gray areas and be in the moment instead of worrying about the next thing right away. In today’s avoidance culture of smart phones, video games, TV and social media, truly being present in your own life actually takes a lot more practice than you think. You have got to make a conscious effort to find balance. In my case it’s more about realizing what is and isn’t important.
Worrying about things that you can’t control will only make you more worried and negative. I’m not saying that you should bury your head in the sand (or hours of bad television) when troubles arise, but to just acknowledge whatever it is and let it motivate you to move on. Concentrate on the things that you DO have control over. Focus on the good people and things that are around you. The less you feed the negative, the smaller it will become. Feed what’s positive instead and that good energy will grow and multiply. I’m sure that to some this sounds like total hippie-dippy, new-agey baloney but I have a sneaking suspicion that many of you reading might actually find it true as well. That being said, I am grateful for all of the good people and good stuff going on around me. It is nice to be able to slow down and appreciate it. And that is that.
I wish you all Health, Happiness and Success in 2014.
Happy New Year!