Sunday, May 10, 2020

Funny Airplanes and a Muse

Happy Mothers Day everyone!

How’s your weekend going? It appears that we're starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel in regards to our collective virus crises around the world. I hope everyone is okay and we can pull out of this insanity soon. The most important thing I learned for this crisis is that I need to be more prepared for times like these in case it happens again. Lesson learned…

So on with the drawing!

If you look to the right you’ll see my latest creation, The Michael Hopkins Aviation Caricatures website! This website is dedicated to the selling of my Aviation Caricatures (obviously, right?), both prints and originals. I created this to cut out the middle-man (more aptly named the middle-corporation) in the process of getting my art out to the public. I found that going through third party websites adds costs to my prints and I have less control of the quality of the prints I'm selling. Through my site, I can offer prints (of my art) at a reasonable price and ensure the quality is intact. At the same time, I can also offer my original drawing, through the same website. Of course the originals are much more expensive (based on the value I have placed on them). However, now that I offer prints (at a fair price) more people can afford to own my work. So there ya go! Please check it out and let me know what you think.

WARNING PG13 DRAWING/INFO BELOW! (What?!?! On Mother's Day???)

Instagram is full of many things. I find it as a decent marketing tool for my art and a way to communicate with family and friends. Of course, as many of us know there are the IG “models”. These are women (and I guess some men?) who are fortunate enough to be blessed with a beautiful face and body (or really good Photoshop skills), use said attractions, to gain followers. What do they do with these followers that they gain? Well, for the most part, they offer their followers links to sites where (for a small fee) they can see their photos uncensored (NAKED!!). So I guess what we have here, is the Playboy Magazine of the modern era. Except in this incarnation (for the most part..I think??), these women get to keep the money they make (as it should be). 

Of course, I have encountered people who negatively judge these women for what they are doing. However, it is my belief not to judge others actions or choices (on or off Instagram) and for those of you who do judge their actions, a suggestion, open your bible to, The Gospel According to John, chapter 8 verses 3 - 7.

Given my love for the female form (and my love of women in general). I must confess, I do follow some of these Instagram accounts. One in particular that I am fond of is (WARNING!! LINK CONTAINS PARTIAL NUDITY!) @bellolesya. She is my definition of perfection. So much so, that she is the Muse behind my latest drawing. In fact, come to think of it, she probably is an actual Muse…

Other than Bellolesya, life's been consumed by aviation caricatures and fueling those aircraft...Not a bad life at all :)

See ya next time...

Monday, April 27, 2020

It's All About My Happiness

I'm pretty happy these days. I know that may be the politically incorrect feeling to have, given the state of the planet, but I'm pretty happy. Sure I have things to worry about, my income has taken a hit since this virus arrived (as such, I'm behind on bills...but who isn't??), my weight fluctuates too much and I seem to be tired a lot (Hey, wait a minute...maybe there's a correlation between those last two things??), but overall, I'm pretty happy. I believe at the root of this politically incorrect happiness is the fact that I'm creating some really special art.

Brian May

Of course, "special" is my biased opinion, however that biased opinion is now the only one that matters to me, when it comes to my drawings. Not too long ago, I needed (sought??) the approval of others when it came to my own satisfaction with my art. I was creating art for everyone but me. When I didn't receive the majorities approval of my work, I was disappointed and unhappiness followed. Even if I liked the art I created, if I didn't receive positive feedback (to put in into terms "today's world" can relate to, "LIKES"), unhappiness ensued. Why did this awakening occur during this pandemic, honestly I'm not sure?? However, I believe it had something to do with the forced isolation and the time that isolation gave me to spend time with my consciousness, without being bothered with meaningless distractions. Whatever the reason for my enlightenment, I am a happier person for it. 

I believe William Shakespeare's words, said it best, “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man."

Peace out dudes!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Radio is Dead

Happy Easter! 

I hope the Easter Bunny was good to everybody. However, rumor had it that the bunny was quarantined in his cage, eating wabbit food and pooping wabbit balls in the corner.

I created another caricature this weekend. This time it was a caricature of my favorite country entertainer, Dwight Yoakam. 

Those of you who are not familiar with real country music, might not be familiar with Mr. Yoakam.  I’m speaking to those of you who follow the pretty boy, country singers of today, who wear their baseball cap backwards and couldn’t sing without Auto-Tune. These guys are, in actuality, “pop music singers”. These ”enhanced” pop singers then take on the label of a country singer, throw in an occasional steele guitar and walah! You have the modern country music singer!  This is exactly the type of crap country music that gets played on Modern Country radio stations today (which is the reason I don't listen to modern country radio stations any longer). The fact is, that most of the “music” on any Modern Country music radio stations these days is unlistenable. What you hear on these radio stations is the least offensive, formulamatic,  politically correct, bland electronically enhanced crap, they come up with to subvert the brain dead public (i.e., the people that still listen to radio stations). 

Of course, all this really doesn't really matter anymore (stepping off my soapbox), because, radio is dead. Queen warned us about this and we didn't listen…apparently, no one still loves you...

I myself, don't listen to radio any longer (unless it’s the Seattle Mariners!) If I want to listen to music, I choose alternative methods (albums, CD’s and downloads and YouTube and going to concerts)...and by the way, thank God for YouTube, (although they are themselves the definition of large corporate behemoths) at least, talented musicians can still get their music to a public starving for good, new music. 

Thank you, thank you very much!

(Michael has left the building)

Monday, April 6, 2020

A Ruslan, Abe and George

Its slow at the airport...then again, it's slow everywhere (except maybe the grocery store). I hope everyone is doing ok. Last week was also slow at the airport, however, at least it was exciting. The Reno/Tahoe Airport had a visitor. The Antonov An-124 Ruslan paid us a visit. The Antonov An-124 Ruslan is a cargo airplane that was designed in the Ukraine, back when the Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. Although I'm no expert, I believe it's the second largest cargo aircraft in the world (right behind its counterpart, the Antonov An-225 Mriya). From what I could decipher, it was delivering parts for the Tesla factory (a few miles east of Reno). Anyways, it's an amazing airplane to behold and it was even more amazing to watch its departure, when finally left us last week. Here's a few pictures from the "event" and of course, being the aviation nerd/caricaturist that I am, keep on the lookout for an aviation caricature of the Antonov An-124 Ruslan to follow soon.

Now, let's turn our attention to people caricatures. Due to the "social distancing rules" in effect, my drawing output has been inspirational lately (even if I'm only inspiring myself). My latest, are two that I am very proud of. The first is a caricature of President Abraham Lincoln (did you figure out the clue, from my last blog?).

My latest is of George Harrison.

The George Harrison drawing was created the old fashioned way. I used pens dipped into black India ink on Canson drawing board. The Lincoln drawing was created with India ink as well, however I used drawing pens, with the ink already in the pens. Can you tell the difference? I can. I prefer the results of the of the pen & ink, as opposed to the drawing pens. Even though it takes twice as long to create a drawing, I find the results much more satisfying. Which is one of the reasons, I charge more for the original pen and ink, drawings. Both original drawings will be available for purchase soon on the Michael Hopkins Original Art website and at Fine Art America (where prints can also be purchased at a lower cost than the originals). So check it out and that's all for now, folks!

Hang in there everybody,

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Time on my Hands

Hello All!

With time on my hands, I've been drawing a lot lately and have been extremely satisfied with the results. Prior to this virus' takeover of the world, I found it difficult to sit down and draw every night. However, now with less distractions to take away my focus from my art, I've found the drive/motivation, that had eluded me lately. So if there's any good to come from this, forced social distancing, it's (at least for me) increased creativity. Sould art historians someday, look back on my life (yes, that's a stretch) they will probably call this, Michael's Corona Period….and hopefully people wont assume I turned to beer with salt and lime.

The first drawing I want to share is an, Aviation Caricature. It's of a British Airways Boeing 747-8. The inspiration for this drawing, was my love of the airplane. I like the classic Boeing airplanes (707, 727 and 747), more than I like the current lineup. The current Boeing airplanes seem, "cookie cutter" and unimaginative, compared to the classic generation. Although I have to say, the newest 777X is kinda cool. Anyways, here's the drawing….

My next drawing is of a former customer of mine, from my bartending daze (pun intended). After her charming personality and beautiful smile, the thing I most remember, is her drink of choice, vodka soda (with limes). I believe that most bartenders associated their customers, with their drink of choice. Sometimes it's easier to associate a drink with a face, than to remember a name. However, I never had a problem remembering anything about Traci....she's very memorable :)

What's next? Here's a clue, Ford's (not the automobile). 

Have a great day!


Monday, March 23, 2020

Unplanned 3-Day Weekend

Good morning! At this time of day, I’m usually headed to my side gig (fueling airliners), however there are substantially less airliners to fuel these days, so I get an unplanned 3-day weekend. With an unplanned 24 hours of time on my hands, I decided that instead of sitting around and binge watching the entire nine seasons of The Office (again), I'm instead, going to write in my blog and draw some more pictures. 

This has been a very productive weekend for drawing. I created two drawings that I’m very proud of (which is unusual for me, given the fact that it usually takes me a while to appreciate the drawing I create). This is a major accomplishment for me and a huge step forward. The two drawings I created are both caricatures, an Aviation Caricature and Human Caricature

The Aviation Caricature is of a McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender. This caricature originated from a conversation that took place at my most recent event, the wedding reception of Rachel and Garrett. While drawing caricatures of Garrett’s brother Colt and his girlfriend Hannah, the topic of aviation came up. Unbeknownst to me, Colt, was a USAF pilot who flies the KC-10. 

Of course being the aviation nerd that I am, this piqued my curiosity and we had very interesting discussion about the USAF tanker and the future of tankers, including, the Boeing KC-46 Pegasus (which is another interesting story in itself ) While discussing his profession, we shared some ideas, including my idea of going to air shows and drawing caricatures on drawing paper that are pre-printed with different caricatures of airplanes. Colt shared some interesting ideas as well, including the fact that he believes that there is a significant market for aviation caricatures among pilots. So we’ll see what develops from our conversation. In the meantime, here’s the first result of Colt and I’s conversation….

As for the other drawing, I really can't say much...except for the fact that this woman is a dear friend and a beautiful person. Inside and out :)

So now that I've written in the ole’ blog, time to throw on some, Laurel and Hardy and start drawing. I have to be back at work in 22 hours…


Friday, March 20, 2020

My Two Cents

Hello everyone! Greetings from Reno, Nevada. I hope you are well and doing what you can to avoid the COVID-19 virus (I guess that's the official name??)...anyways, I hope everyone is ok and if you have the virus, please take care of yourself and get better soon. Although my cartoon revenue has taken a hit, I'm sure things will get better after this passes. We all have to stay positive and work together, to get through this "crisis". Also, let's remember to help those most vulnerable to this virus, the elderly and those who have underlying conditions. One more thing, can we all try to be a little less selfish? I know everyone is feeling confused and feeling a little panicky, but when we go shopping for food and other supplies, let's only get what we need and not become selfish hoarders. Remember, your neighbors and others need food and supplies as well. There's plenty of food and supplies to go around for everyone if we just think of others, while we're shopping. It's the human thing to do. 

I'm like most people and feeling a little stressed this days. I'm trying to lead a normal life (if that's possible, given the conditions) and I'm trying not to obsess about the situation. It's hard to do, but I'm doing my best. I'm going to try and get back to the drawing board and create positivity (through my art)  and not obsess on the news and fall into despair, (which is difficult, but I'm trying). Obsessing, panicking and hoarding wont make the virus go away. Live your life, tell your family and friends that you love them and keep in mind, those less fortunate. We'll all get through this together. 

Lastly, if you're a reader of my blog, you know that I am exploring, digital caricatures. Well, here's the first few examples of my new "digitals"

What do you think? Personally,  I like them. The entire creation process is weird (drawing on a screen, as opposed to pen, paper and ink), but in think the results are cool! I hope these caricatures' smiles, bring you a smile!

Hang in there!