Category Archives: Illustrations

Monster Prints- Series 6 Dark Fairy Tales

I’ve just gotten my prints for Dark Fairy Tales series of Monster Prints. So excited to see these new ones printed for the first time! For those of you keeping track this is the 6th year in the series. I can’t believe it’s been 6 years since I’ve started these, and my overall 7th at Fan Expo Canada. They will be available for purchase at Fan Expo at $15 each. If you aren’t going and are interested in purchasing them, please email me at kgrachow@jnkimagery.com

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Aceyus- A prelude to what’s coming

I did a series of illustrations for Aceyus, a company that was in need of art for a few trade shows. They released one of the images, so I can now post it on the interwebs. Once all of them have been released I’ll do a full blog post on my process for the different pieces which presented some new challenges.

 

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Warm up Werewolf

During the drive home from Ottawa Comic con a couple of weeks ago, Mike Rooth and I had a great conversation about warming up everyday before you get into your drawing. This can mean drawing doodles for a couple of hours, going over anatomy, working on sketches of poses for the characters you’re supposed to draw, or just drawing something fun that has nothing to do with anything. Basically it’s just to get the ole hand loosened up and the ole mind’s eye sharpened. And it helps if you keep to a schedule on a daily basis.

I’ve tried to take that lesson to heart, and while I don’t do it everyday, (because sometimes I start a bit late) I have been pretty good about doing it most days when I’ve set my self up well with my schedule. I’ve done lots’ of doodly stuff that will probably never see the light of day,  but this one I had to share.  Mr. Hairy Face, started as a doodle, but sometimes the muses smile upon you . And since they were guiding my hand and I was very inspired, I worked on it a bit each day, until it was finished.

What’s fun about this one, is that I really had no pressure for it to be anything. I wanted to experiment a bit on line, colour choice and rendering, and it allowed me to do so without fear of it working or not working. And sometimes those are the best illustrations that come out. It kind of fits with my monster print motif, but it’s much smaller, so I may or may not make a print of it. Whether I do, or just let it be a fun experiment in doodling, it’s something I’m pretty proud of and wanted the world, or interwebs to see.

 

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Toronto Comiccon 2016

It’s been a while since I posted anything, but I tend to hibernate when it gets colder, and I guess blogging goes along with it. But with the coming of spring, and with lots of great new things on the horizon, I thought it was time to dust off the old cobwebs and restart all of the updates.

This year’s first post is about Toronto Comic Con. While I’ve actually done a con already this year (the fabulous WW Portland show) I really do feel con season officially starts with Toronto Comic Con. While it isn’t the biggest show of the year, it’s definitely one of my favourites. It’s where I get to catch up with my compatriots whom I haven’t seen for about six months or so, as well as show off some new material. This year I’ve got Arcane Awakening Book 3, which I didn’t have until late in the year, so for a lot of the fans it’s a new product. I also will have a print preview of my new book SALTWATER which will be out in time for Fan Expo in September. Toronto Comic Con, while quite busy, feels like a more intimate show, and because of that, it gives off a more relaxed vibe. I get to chat with all of the fans at more of a leisurely level which makes me feel more connected to everyone. I am coming out of hibernation after all.

SALTWATER Preview
SALTWATER Preview
Arcane Awakening Book 3
Arcane Awakening Book 3
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Holiday Commissions 2015

It’s that time of year again. I’m taking on a few holiday commissions for you and your family. If you’re looking for a gift for the holidays or someone’s birthday, anniversary or a wedding present, then get them a personalized illustration of your loved ones as their favorite tv show, movie or animated character, or even something completely original.  I’ve got a couple of slots available but book soon as spots are filling up fast.

It’s a very easy process, as you just let me know what idea you have and I come up with a composition from there. From there you can send me some images of your loved ones or let me know where to find them on Facebook. I do all different sizes so that it will fit on their wall as well as work with your budget. If you want to work out a payment plan, I’m game with that too, as long as you put down a small deposit so that I can slot you in to my schedule.

If you would like to find out  more feel free and email me at kgrachow@jnkimagery.com. You can go and check out more commissions here.

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The Business of Being an Artist – The Waiting Game

Part of being a commercial artist is running a business. While there are aspects of this that I’m horrible at and procrastinate on (accounting, marketing) and parts that I very much enjoy (comic book conventions, book fairs, meeting fans and showcasing my latest books, and art), I still have to do all of them. This series of my process blog will talk about different aspects of the business.

Fan Expo 2015 has come and gone. It’s a roller coaster of a show, with lots of people roaming the Artist Alley, many looking and buying and many just merely window shopping. It’s also the place where I’ve made a lot of friends, as well as made some professional connections. It’s been a testing ground for my new artistic products, and new set up, which then inform me what I should work on for the coming year and what I should maybe put on the back burner or try in a different way. It’s the show that makes me feel like I’ve gone into the gladiator pit, fought the lions and come out scathed but alive. And this year was no different.

This was the sixth year in a row that I’ve done this show. And as cliche as it is, time does fly. The days flew by and the show was over before I knew it. I feel like I’ve got a good sense of the show by now, knowing how much I’ll make as well as what will most likely sell. That being said, this year through me for a bit of a loop, in that the first two days of the show were what I expected but Saturday was way off in numbers, so because of that I had to reassess my figure for Sunday. It was a bit soul crushing because it meant that the show was going to barely break even for me. But then Sunday blew my expectations and made up for Saturdays loss. Did I mention it’s a roller coaster?

Continue reading

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The Business of Being an Artist – Baba Yaga

Part of being a commercial artist is running a business. While there are aspects of this that I’m horrible at and procrastinate on (accounting, marketing) and parts that I very much enjoy (comic book conventions, book fairs, meeting fans and showcasing my latest books, and art), I still have to do all of them. This series of my process blog will talk about different aspects of the business.

I am finally finished with Series 5 Monster prints. Baba Yaga was the character I had the least knowledge of and is probably the less well known of the three. I had really no idea about her other than she was a witch of Eastern European decent. The only time I’d ever seen her was in a Mike Mignola Hellboy story. What I wanted to do was something different from the other two monster prints, story-wise. The Invisible Man as I interpreted him was driven mad by his formula of invisibility and as a result attacked the woman he loved. The Phantom is again a mad character, but this time driven to take the woman he desires by destroying the man that is in his way. With Baba Yaga, she is a character that straddles good and evil. Sometimes she guides those in the forest that are lost, and at other times guides them to their destruction. With this illustration I wanted to capture that feeling that Baba Yaga may or may not be your friend. Continue reading

Up-In-The-Sky Cut Outs

Today I officially start pages on my next children’s book Above a Planet Named Up-In-The-Sky. I can’t believe this is the third book in the series! Here’s a little art to whet your appetite. It comes from a cut out series of characters we plan on putting on our convention tables starting in October.  The cutouts will be about a foot by a foot and be present on tables where we are selling our book series Up-In-The-Sky. Here are the roughs to the cutouts.                                        character-cut-outs-roughs-web

Here is the finished piece.

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