Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Milton's Midweek Music Recommendation: 2nd edition

Song: Sparkle City

Album: Inspiration Information

Artist: Shuggie Otis

Favorite Moment: The baseline shifts at 0:51 & 1:10

Favorite Lyric: Enjoying' all the sites throughout the ride/ Let my chill be my guide 
(disclaimer: all the sites that I looked up to double check this lyric have it down as "Enjoying all the sides throughout the ride, led my cheer be my guide" but I don't agree. Each site was just copy pasted from the last one and contain many of the same errors. I'm going to say I know what I hear in my heart on this one.)

Shuggie is one of the greatest guitar players of all time and a pioneer in R&B, Funk and Soul.  You may have heard his Quincy Jones produced Strawberry Letter 23 before (Which by the way was printed on a strawberry scented vinyl, that should give you some idea on how dope this guy is...) but Sparkle city may not be on your radar.It should be. Truthfully every song Shuggie's ever written should be on your radar, but I chose Sparkle City cause it's the one that really sucked me in. We are treated to some of the grooviest bass and guitar licks for two full minutes before Shuggie's  vocals strut into your ear holes.  After that all you got to do is close your eyes and enjoy the ride. If you don't start bopping your head you don't deserve a neck. 

If you want to know more about Shuggie I would recommend listening to his interview with Jesse Thorn here 

Friday, September 23, 2016


Started off with a simple line drawing to work out proportion plains and shadow shapes.

Next I refined my line drawing and add values. Start to render details like the helmet and jacket. Try my best to work out an issues with value at this stage, it makes it much easier when I move into color. 

I create and overlay layer and block in the color. Next I flatten the image and paint opaquely over top of my color layer to refine details and add more value and color accuracy.  

Add some transparent holo screens, a cool space chair and a big star window and I'm all done. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Milton's Midweek Music Musing

Everything is Free Now

Gillian Welch

Favorite Moment
Instrumental interlude starting around the 1 min mark

Favorite Line 
I can get a straight job, I’ve done it before/ 
never minded working hard, it’s who I’m working for. 

If you’ve ever seen O Brother Where Art Thou, or heard the sirenic soundtrack then you’re familiar with Gillian Welch. She was an associate producer on the album and sung on both I’ll Fly Away and Didn’t leave Nobody But the Baby.
But her original song ‘Everything is Free Now’ off her 2001 album Time: The Revelator, is what I’m recommending you add to your playlist this week. Gillian’s somber songbird vocals over a  fingerpicked guitar make it more than easy to listen to without lessening the weight of the impactful lyrics.
This song came in the wake of Napster’s success. The music business had been changed forever, and while it directly applies to music I feel like the message rings true to anyone who is battling to make what they love what they do.
There’s a lot I could say about the message of this song, but I want you to just listen to it for yourself. I’ll leave you with this however in a 2009 interview Welch told NPR this song was part lament yes, but also a threat saying “It’s the ultimate threat that the artist has at any point to stop sharing their art with the world.”
If you enjoyed this song or let me know! 

A simpler view

Over the past week I have been exploring a flat path. I've always been impressed and inspired by the illustrators and artists in the midcentury. I think Charly Harper is the epitome of the flat minimalist style, he created some beautiful illustrations. You may have seen one or two of them in your old science book and not even known it. I definitely was look at his work as a touch stone while creating these past 4 pieces.