Tag Archives: comic books

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

Goldilocks-3-bears-web Jack-And-The-beanstalk-web Little-red-riding-hood-web

laura-mccann-web

Opening up Commission list-July

I’m opening up a couple of slots on my commission list. These commissions, or what I like to call Personalized Illustrations, are one of a kind and unique to you and are great for gifts or special events.

So what are they? Really, they can be anything you want. It could be you and your loved one as characters from your favorite movie, or a superhero team from a popular comic book. They’re not limited to just comic books or movies. They can be from video games, tv shows or even made up. I’ve done mash-ups like Doctor Who meets Willy Wonka. It can be an imagined meet up with Tiger Woods on the golf green, giving your dad a winner’s jacket, while you and your family are in the background holding up a banner which celebrates his 60th birthday. Or it can just be you and your fiance, on a romantic date, sitting in your living room in front of the fire imagining your futures together. It really is anything.

The whole process of creating this personalized illustration is really quite easy and effortless for you. All I need is some moments of your time to go over any ideas you might have and from that I hope to create a composition that will blow you and your loved one’s socks off! Once the composition is taken care of, then I go through my process, from rough sketch to finished drawing. This part of the process still involves you and so you get to see the illustration develop before your eyes.

So if this sounds like something you’re interested in, and would like a booking, please contact me soon at kgrachow@jnkimagery.com as slots are limited.

Cisco-Live-web

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.

 

are-you-ready-for-the-show-web

The Business of Being an Artist – New Website

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’ll make this short and sweet. My website is finished! My website is finished! Well, the infrastructure is all done. Now it’s time for me to add content, go through the existing content and update it, or just get rid of content that doesn’t represent me any more. It’s always a work in progress, but now I can officially show it off to the world in all of its glory!

 

arcane_logo

The Business of Being an Artist – Working on a long form project (or how to keep running in the race after you’ve just fallen flat on your face).

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 just wrapped up the art on the final book in The Arcane Awakening trilogy for Mess Bucket Comics. Created and written by Dom Riggio, The Arcane Awakening is a sprawling epic battle for control of the earth fought by the forces of good lead by the angelic Ministry against the forces of evil lead by the dastardly Blight. It’s a real fun read, with lots of action, as well as some thought provoking dialogue and moral dilemmas for the main protagonists. It’s also been a great learning experience! I’ve had the pleasure of being the artist since book 2, and just finished book 3. Each one brought different challenges, but the main unifying factor for me is that they were both marathon races of a project that I had to pace out over several months of a year. I’d like to chat a bit about the mindset I had for each one and how I dealt with working on something that would require focus and discipline for such long periods of time.

As a commercial artist, if you want to make money, you need to figure out a process that allows for the amount of money you are receiving to equal your standard of living. In other words you can’t work on a piece of art for too long before it starts to become a money suck. That’s a luxury you might have if you are independently wealthy (which most of us aren’t) or if it’s a personal project that you can space out over years of your life. Projects where you get paid require you to have a set schedule, so that you can make sure that you are able to pay your bills on time, and not become the clichéd, starving artist.

For The Arcane Awakening Book 2, Dom Riggio and I set out to have a schedule where we had a pretty good idea when the book would be finished. That way plans could be made to premiere the book at comic book conventions, as well as let all of the fans know when they could receive their copy. We took into consideration the amount of pages I could pencil and ink in a week, and allotted time for my con schedule as well as post-production of the book. The book consists of 52 pages, as well as additional work for a cover, back and interior of the cover plus lettering and design. The series was also created from a screenplay, so it wasn’t in comic book script form on the outset. So we had to go through the pacing of the book before hand to make sure we knew what was going to happen on each page. We figured it would take about 5 months or so to get it finished at a reasonable rate that I could handle.

Continue reading

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 8.54.08 AM

Ottawa Comic Con 2015

Ottawa Comic Con is just around the corner( May 8th-10th). This year will be my 4th year attending (I’ve been going since it’s inception) and each year seems to get better than the last. In addition to having Concrete Martians Part 2, I’ll also have What Does Slog Do? the second children’s book  in the Up-In-The-Sky series available. I’ll also have my Monster Prints, Pooh in Space Prints, and will be doing commissions, as well as signing up people for personalized illustrations! For those of you that are interested in animation, I’m also hosting a panel with Kurt Lehner called Breaking into Disney Animation which will be held on the Friday at 5:15pm in Meeting RooM B. It’ll be moderated by the boys of  the End Credits Podcast. You can listen to my first chat with them here.

So if you are going to the con, you can find me at table 2510 in Artist Alley. I hope to see you all there!

OCC-2015

children's-book-What-Does-Slog-Do-inside-cover

The Business of Being an Artist – Doing a Chapters/Indigo Book Signing

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.

On April 18th I’ll be at the Burlington Chapters/Indigo doing a book signing for my second children’s book “What Does Slog Do?” For those of you interested in coming and getting a book signed, I’ll be there from 1-5pm. The great thing about Chapters is that they do allow for single day consignment, which means that they will allow you to sell your book at full price for a single day in their store. To find out more about this all you have to do is talk to either a manager or someone in charge of the children’s book section. FYI, they do take about 30% of the book cost, but it’s a great way to get your work out their outside of conventions and comic book stores. It’s also a great way to build a relationship with your local bookstore. Some of the stores also allow a certain amount of self-published authors to carry your book on their shelf. Every store is different in regards to how many self-published author’s books they will carry and for the length of time they will allow your book to be in their store. You’ll have to inquire when you do your book consignment. All in all, it’s been a great way to get more people’s eyes on my book, and to make a bit of extra cash as well. Here’s the link to the Burlington Chapters/Indigo I’ll be at. Hope to see you there!

Keith Grachow's Biography

The Business of Being an Artist – Toronto Comic Con 2015

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.
Convention season is starting up for me, so what that means is that I will be on the road for the next several months, meeting lots of new artists and fans as well as selling my wares. First stop is Toronto, which is my old haunting ground. It’s always fun to do a show in T.O. because I get to see friends I haven’t seen since the last Toronto comic con. I also get to apply some of the tweaks to my table presentation, as well as try out elevator pitches on new products. It’s all around exciting and scary, even though I’ve been doing this for half a dozen years now. For next week’s blog I will report on how Toronto went, the trials and tribulations of the show as well as my take a ways to apply for the next con. Hope to see you all there!

Torontocon2015promo-web

logo-website-2015-72

The Business of Being an Artist – Updating My Website

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.

Every few years I like to update my website. I find that as my art evolves, so does the way I want my website to represent my art. This time, I’d like to use it more for a gateway to my business; a place where prospective clients can see my portfolio, or purchase items from the store. It’ll be where I blog about my process as well as let everyone know what events I will be at in the coming year. I’ve decided that I want my social networking to be more about personal things; articles that I share because I find them funny or informative or photos of me involving beer. I also will use it to put sketches or illustrations that are just for kicks and not necessarily business related.  Updating your website is kind of like spring cleaning. It allows you to lift away some of those cobwebs, get rid of the clutter and things you’ve outgrown. It’s a way for you to refresh and feel like a new person!

Mcfarland-Fam-finished-web

The McFarland Family

Recently I was approached by my good friend Carrie, about doing a personalized illustration for her husband, Chuck’s, 40th birthday. They love going to Disney World and one of the things they always related to while there, were the Incredibles. The McFarland’s have 3 kids, so it kind of makes sense. And when I started visualizing a scenario of them as superheroes, it easily fell into place.

One of the things I’ve done often is match up living people with characters from movies or tv shows. This takes help from the client if I don’t know the people they want me to caricaturize in the illustration. But there have been times when I do know the client and their family, so it’s always fun for me to take someone I know and match them with characters that have similar traits as they do.

Continue reading