Sunday, November 11, 2018

Smile

It’s that time of the year again. I’m starting to book events for next year.

Looking back at the event caricatures I’ve drawn over the past few years, brings a smile to my face. Not just from the thousand of caricatures I’ve created, but mostly from the joy my drawings have brought to others. Although, that statement sounds rather, self-absorbed, I have the smiles to prove it.





It wasn’t always this way....

Not too long ago (during and after an event), I was way too critical of my caricatures. Did I draw that nose correctly?...Did I make his forehead too big?...Should I have made her boobs that big?? (Just kidding...boobs can never be too big :) When an event was over, I’d come home and relax...and then the self-psychoanalyzing, would begin. I doubted the importance of my life’s work. I knew that they were just caricatures (and I don't know what I expected from myself), but I do know that I questioned the value of what I had to offer. I set the standards for my drawings exceptionally high and if I didn’t think I met those standards (and I usually thought, that I didn’t), the self-psychoanalysis began. It’s was an exhausting cycle and occasionally made me think, that I never wanted to draw at event again.

What changed? I focused the the smiles. I focused on the joy that I brought to others. I think we sometimes try to find something that’s just not there..and ignore the wonderfully obvious.

The best parts of life are the smiles.






Sunday, October 14, 2018

Dead Inside

I am dead inside without my art. It's what drives my soul, creates my happiness. Without happiness, I cease to exist and merely try to survive. I liken it to working on an assembly line (or what I perceive, as what that would be like). Connecting the widget to the whatchamacallit, for eight hours a day, five days a week, for the rest of your life..or at least till you "retire" and spend the rest of your life acting as a mere participant, on the path to that inevitable end. Not that there is anything wrong with working on assembly line (it's honorable work) I just couldn't do it.


I am an artist. An artist who occasionally wonders to himself, what if I would have taken the path of others, I have known? What would have happened, if I kept that union job at 18 and continued to spend the rest of my life, sleepwalking. However I didn’t choose that path, instead I chose to follow my passion...as if, I had a choice.

As an artist, you don't have a choice. Or actually you do. You can choose to ignore your calling and spit in the face of the blessing you have received or you can choose to embrace the blessing and share it with others. I have chosen is the latter. This is not a financial choice (I have to keep reminding myself of this fact). If you make this choice to for financial gain, you are a fool. You make this choice, because you have no choice. A true artist, can’t live without creating. Without creating, you cease to exist.

Over the last few months, I have started to cease to exist and have paid the consequences. No creation, equals a declining lust for life. Besides loosing sight of my passion for my art, I was loosing my passion for life, the thrill of the chase, for lust in life. I missed the touch, I missed the endorphins..I missed life.

Life is back...

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Clearing the Track

All Aboard!!


I have restarted the steam old engine. Now comes the part, clearing the track and getting this “antique” rolling down the track again...towards its destination.




I believe that clearing the track, may be the most difficult part of this journey. I come to realize that I may have unconsciously piled blockades on my track to impede my success (a sort of fear of success??). I need to get these blockades cleared before this train can start heading towards its destination. Sometimes it’s easier to pile unconscious excuses in your way to impede your success, than to actually succeed and deal with everything that comes with that success. If success was easy, excuses would be easier.


I think the first impediment to my success, is thinking that these creations are going to create themselves. Seriously.  It’s easier not to create, than it is to create, especially when money is not the issue. I can probably continue working 8 to 430, 5 days a week, watching Frasier reruns, going to bed and doing it all over again the next day...FOREVER!!!. It takes much less effort than being creative. But alas, I’ve grown so tired of this routine. I'm bored and going slightly insane.


So I need to climb up on the edge of my proverbial cliff, strap back on my ACME Jet Pack and catch that  #$*&$#$%& Road Runner!!!




Fine Art America - Michael Hopkins





The above, Michael Hopkins original drawings (as well as other Michael Hopkins Originals and prints)  are now available on Fine art America. If you’re interested, please check out the following link! https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/4-michael-hopkins.html

Sunday, September 23, 2018

I Am My Art and My Art Am Me

Lesson learned. A broken arm can destroy a psyche, even if the broken arm, isn’t the one I thought was important. I tend to forget how much my drawing depends on my total well being and I how much my psyche depends on my drawing. As is common in my life, I often focus on things that I believe are vital to my well being and take for granted things that are really vital to my well being.

Oh,What A Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice To Deceive (Ourselves?) - Sir Walter Scott

I am my art and my art am me - Michael Hopkins (Yes, I know it’s horrible English, however you get the point).  

Although a trip to Las Vegas can seem frivolous to those who don't know me, this regular journey to my future homeland, does wonders for my mental state. It clears the cobwebs and assists the thought process for future endeavors. Las Vegas may be my final stop on this journey and the planning has begun. Being originally from the Seattle area, I miss living in the city. Las Vegas offers the same large city opportunities as Seattle for both me and my art, without having to deal with Seattle’s penchant for self-destructiveness.

So the next destination is set and the countdown has begun. Stay tuned and I’ll take you on this journey with me...

As for this last trip, I arrived in Las Vegas last Monday. My main goals were to get my mojo back (after breaking my arm at the end of July) and see my favorite band of all time, Queen (with Adam Lambert). Success was achieved on both goals! However, as happens quite often when I go to Vegas, temptation (in the form of an opportunity) was there to seduce me when I arrived and try to take my eyes off the prize.. So once again, I had to ask myself, Is a bird in the hand worth two in the bush? Or in Vegas, one might ask, Do you keep the full house or do you go for the four of a kind? If the four of a kind, equates to happiness..Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!

Which leads to me to another question, why am I always being tempted, when I’m so close to happiness??

So many unimportant questions, so little time…just draw.

Oh and here are a few pics from Las Vegas.

Elvis Was Here

See, I told you so...

QUEEN + Adam Lambert

More QUEEN + Adam Lambert

and more...




Monday, May 14, 2018

Control of My Destiny

Greetings! So last week at this time I was in Las Vegas, going through a metamorphosis of sorts. As dusk was approaching over the strip, I  realized, how good life can be.. Having just returned to our room at Mandalay Bay, after having a quick bite at the, New York, New York’s, Sirrico’s Pizza (I highly recommend the deep dish mushroom pizza) I sat in our room realizing just how happy I was. Looking over the strip at sunset, I wondered to myself, why am I not this happy all of the time?


The answer was simple, for eight hours a day, I am not solely focused on achieving my success and happiness. For those eight hours of each day (5 days a week) I am committed to achieving another person’s goals and success. So, you’re probably thinking, Hey stupid, that’s called employment!! I realize this and I'm OK with it (and I really do like my employer and “enjoy” most aspects of my job) but to achieve complete happiness I need to be in complete control of my life.

The problem with working for someone else is that they decide and regulate your happiness. An example; To achieve this brief period of happiness in Las Vegas, I had to put in succumbed to other’s demands, orders and decisions for for a extended period of time and then ask for permission for this “very brief ” period of happiness. The simple fact is, I am not in complete control of my life.

So I’m going to fix it. How do I do this? The plan is to focus every minute of my time (in which I am control of my life), to eliminate those eight hours when I’m not in control of my life.

  1. For 8.5 hours a day, I’m going to ensure my future success, by ensuring my employers current success.This way, until I am no longer working for my current employer, I am going to make as much income as I can, (from my current employer) to pay off as much of my debt as possible and try to be as close to debt free, when I’m finally working for myself.

  1. Spend 15.5 hours a day focused on my art ( i.e., draw, draw again, think about drawing, dream about drawing, write about drawing, draw some more, draw again, go to Las Vegas and think about drawing, come home and draw, draw some more……).

That’s 24 hours and that’s all I’ve got to achieve this goal...or is it? Hmmm? May I can find a way to use the, space time continuum, to find some more ??


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Janis Joplin - 4/22/2018

This is my latest, Janis Joplin. I created this drawing on April 22nd, 2018, with black India ink on white drawing board. 



The inspiration is missing, but she's always there...

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Justin & Caroline's Wedding!

Last night was the second, Michael Hopkins Event Caricature event of 2018. I was at West Shore Cafe & Inn in Homewood, California (Lake Tahoe!) to draw caricatures at the wedding reception of Justin and Caroline. The wedding was beautiful, the venue was spectacular and I have to say, I think I was pretty, pretty, good, myself. Of course it helps, to have such a courteous and professional staff at the West Shore Cafe & Inn, hosting the event. With all the perfection around me, my job was easy. Here’s a few pics from the event...













Of all the locations I’ve drawn caricatures at Lake Tahoe, I can honestly say this was my favorite. If you’re planning a visit to Lake Tahoe, you should definitely visit the West Shore Cafe & Inn! Here’s the link below, give it a look…

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Update - April 7th, 2018

So I'm back on the drawing board and here’s my latest…


This is  my daughter Jennifer and her beau Eli. I’ve never met Eli (mostly ‘cause they’re 700 miles away). However, being the expert facial analysis/caricaturist that I am, his facial features suggest he’s a nice guy. I drew this caricature using, Faber-Castell, PITT Artist Pens



The major advantage is, that it makes the drawing process much quicker, while still providing good detail Although they do work well, I feel like I don’t get the depth from the drawing that I do when I use pen nibs and ink.

Last Saturday I performed at a gig, at The Ballroom of Reno. It turned out really well and it was an enjoyable way to kick off the 2018 Michael Hopkins Caricatures roadshow. Following are some of my favorites from that event. Next Saturday, I’m back at Lake Tahoe where love is in the air and I’m drawing caricatures among all that love.





On the Little Red Haired Girl front (see the January 11th blog), I’m making progress. There were major advances this past week. Stay tuned…

AND...although I stated previously that Cosmic Fowl is returning..it still is.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Distractions...again

I’ve had a bit of an artists block lately. However, to be honest, I’m not sure if it really is an Artist Block?. I’m easily distracted and there are plenty of distractions (“like butterflies are buzzing ‘round my head” - from the 1989 Paul McCartney song, Distractions) anyways...Is there such a thing as Artists Block? Personally, I don’t think so. I think to be a successful artist one needs to put their art, above their distractions. I create many distractions on my own, watching YouTube and Netflix, donating money to various local casinos, dating sites (yes, I know…), letting moronic things at my bartending gig (i.e., Gnomes with over-inflated, unjustified egos-bigger than they are, get to me) and of course dealing with the “walkers” (I’ll go into that another day...or maybe not...it’s not politically correct). So, tonight I’ve decided to try and let go of many of these distractions and focus more on things that pump blood to the right side of the brain.


Believe it or not, one thing that helps me think and in turn, starts pumping blood to the right side of the brain is golf. Although, I am not a great golfer (and I don’t care) I find the game of golf fascinating, relaxing and peaceful. I’ve gotten some of my best ideas on a golf course. I don’t worry about my score, I just relax and let all the stress go, for a couple of hours. While golfing, I’m in another dimension and become one with my thoughts. I believe that a lot of us have lost the ability to separate ourselves and our happiness, from this Facebook world we have created.


Another activity I miss is road trips, with no destination. I use to do this when I owned a motorcycle (back in my 20’s) and coincidentally speaking, that was also that same time I was producing some great cartoons.  Hmmm..maybe I should buy another motorcycle???


So we’ll see what happens. In the meantime below of some examples of my, Cosmic Fowl Webcomics. I don't know how many of you are familiar with them, but this is one of the projects I’m currently working on. Enjoy them...and if you like them, please visit my web comic by clicking the link below,










By the way, the Michael Hopkins YouTube is still coming….


Stay tuned.

Michael

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Little "Red-Haired" Girl

Love is not defined by the end result, love is defined by the journey.



She walks into the room...again. Your eyes and attention focus solely on her. Your heartbeat increases and that spell, that she has unknowingly cast upon you, consumes you. Everyone and everything that is happening around you, becomes insignificant, to the point of disappearing. What were you thinking? What were you doing, prior to the point in which she walked into the room? It doesn’t matter, for she is the sole focus of your universe. You’ve never seen anyone like her before and you know, you’ll never see anyone like her again.

This is the moment from which love songs are inspired and love stories are written. We all wait for this moment, but alas, it taunts us with paralysis. We can’t act. Life has taught us to be cautious to point of being jaded. How would one dare to approach such an immortal. For we are mere mortals and now our attention is focused on the unattainable. There is no place on this earth, where one who bows down before, rises and captures the heart of the princess like her.

So we move on...and yet we never forget.

Today you think she noticed you, or was that a mere glance of courtesy? When she is not looking, you capture her essence..a photograph for your memory. We all take moments to dream.

Days turn into nights and nights turn into tomorrows. Our indecisiveness causes our paths to divert. One path not taken, creates a new path and changes our future forever.

By Michael Hopkins - January 11th, 2018
*Peanuts by Charles Schultz

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A New Year

Happy New Year everybody (albeit...a little late). As 2017 disappears in our rear view mirror and 2018 stares us in the face, I would like to thank you for continuing to read my blog. Although I updated my blog more often in 2017 than any other previous year, I hope to increase those blog updates in 2018 and give you more reasons to follow Michael Hopkins Cartoons.


Here’s a few more reasons to stay tuned...


Reason #1 - I’ve had a few new ideas for my webcomic, Cosmic Fowl. As I stated previous blogs, I struggle with webcomics (especially strips style, web comics) so when I think about drawing more, Cosmic Fowl!, webcomics, occasionally I break out in a cold sweat...On the Other Hand (by the way...one my favorite, Randy Travis songs) if I don’t follow through on these ideas that pop in my head, I feel as though I wasting inspiration. Besides, Cosmic Fowl! is a panel webcomic which I enjoy drawing much more than a strip webcomic. So I’m going to follow through, create a few new Cosmic Fowl! webcomics and see what happens. I should start publishing these in the next couple weeks


Reason #2 - I’m starting a YouTube channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/MHopkinsCartoons. I’ve actually had this channel for a while, but recently I’ve decided to take it a bit more seriously. I only have two videos on there at the moment, however I’m working on an another one and I will publish that one as soon as soon as i figure out how to edit videos. I’ll post it on the Michael Hopkins Cartoons Blog, as soon as I figure it out :)


Anyways, enough for now. I’ll be back soon!