Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Michael Hopkins Cartoons Vlog!

Hello All...

I apologize for the delay between blogs. Sometimes life get in the way of creativity, to succeed, one needs to find a way of combining both and I’m not an expert at that. Anyways…

First off, a “Hello” to my brother and his wife, who are currently visiting China. My brother is one of my biggest supporters and one of my biggest “pains in the derriere”, when I don’t draw...or write in my blog.  Cheers Brother!...I hope you and Fang are having a great time... and have a Chinese Beer on me!

"My brother Roger and his wife Fang"

I’ve been in kind of a subtle, depressionary state lately, over my pen and ink caricatures. Although I love creating them, when they don’t sell as quickly as I think they should, I start questioning my pricing, my marketing decisions and everything else! When that happens, I become prone to rash decisions, about everything! Oh well, at least they are decisions, right?

When I was a young, several of my idols were artists (Al Hirschfeld, Chuck Jones, Bob McCausland, Charles Schutz, Paul McCartney Johnny Cash…) and my love for their work, led me to become an artist. I read (and purchased) books and periodicals related to these artists (which included the comics, of course). I visited museums, art shows, purchased art, music and even tried to learn how to play some instruments (unsuccessfully). I immersed myself in all of this, because I valued these artists work and I wanted emulate them.

These days however, I believe that artists and their creations have lost some value in our society. Why? Partially because, society can enjoy an artists creation for free, via the internet. Why pay the artists (who created the art) for the actual work of art or an album, when one can see it for free? As such, the artist and their creations are of less value to a society.

Creators (including both artists and musicians) have to find ways to make a living in a society that doesn’t value the arts as much as much as it once did. We can collectively bitch, moan and complain about how  technology is making it difficult for us to make a living or we can begrudgingly embrace technology, try to use it to our advantage and grab some of the attention (and dollars) of those, signing their paychecks over to Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Intel...

I have chosen to embrace technology (nose fully plugged), because let’s face it, technology isn’t going away anytime soon. Although I already market myself on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook , I have now decided to take another step into the abyss... Welcome to my YouTube Channel, The Michael Hopkins Cartoons Vlog! 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Goodbye Petey

Petey Hopkins
2008 - March 10th, 2019

We'll miss you buddy...

My Alternate Reality

Hello all…

Just got back from my alternate reality (Las Vegas), to see my favorite band, Muse, get the kid his first tattoo..oh, and eat too much...and I mean, WAY too much!! This trip was probably the best one ever. The drive seemed shorter than usual...which makes no sense, ‘cause it’s the same 440 miles, however, it seemed quicker this trip...maybe I’m just getting use to it??  I don’t know...Yes, the best visit to Vegas, ever!

Muse was spectacular! I had never seen them live (except on YouTube) but, I love all of their music. This was their, Simulation Theory Tour and again, they were spectacular. My favorite Muse albums are, Absolution, Black Holes and Revelations, Origin of Symmetry and this new one, Simulation Theory. However being the Muse fan that I have become, I really don't think they’ve made a bad album...and I can't say that for any other musician or band. If you get the chance, you should definitely go see them. Did I mention they were spectacular??

It’s funny how my musical tastes have evolved. A few years ago, I was one of those classic rock fans, living in the past and refusing to consider the new. I refused to expand my musical horizons. I wore the classic rock blinders and refused to even consider new music. My mantra, was one I hear often from those of my age…”Rock music is dead” ..Well my friends, rock and roll is not dead, it’s very alive. For those of you (of my aged) still living in the past, consider these bands/musicians, Muse, The Killers, Ghost, Nita Strauss, Radiohead (yes, I know they’ve been around for a while, but their most recent album, “A Moon Shaped Pool” is amazing!) and although they’re no longer together, My Chemical Romance proved that new rock was still kicking ass,  when Mick turned 60. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing (much) wrong with those beloved classic rock acts, but they're not going to be around forever. Expand your horizons and embrace the new, you might be pleasantly surprised.

I don't know what it is about Las Vegas, but what I do know is, that it’s my escape. I use to think I wanted to move there, but I’m not sure any longer (stay tuned, as I’ll probably change my mind again, in a future blog). When I want to escape reality and clear my head, I go to Las Vegas. Imagine if I moved there...how would I escape reality? Las vegas would be my reality and then I would have to exist in escape?? Or would I cease to exist in a escape?? Maybe I could find a wormhole to escape my existence in my escape...

Anyways... I’m back on the road to Lake Tahoe Monday night. I’m drawing caricatures at a wedding reception. I’m really looking forward to getting the drawing juices flowing again. It’s been a few months since my last event (due to my self-imposed, I hate winter driving drawing ban) and I miss the challenge of drawing live caricatures. I especially miss the interaction with the  subjects I’m drawing, so I’m really looking forward to Monday night...I’ll try to post pics from the event, Tuesday or Wednesday. Until then my friends…

Talk to you soon...

Monday, February 4, 2019

The Boeing YC-14 Airplane Caricature

One of my favorite aircraft, the Boeing YC-14, was a twin-engine, short take-off and landing (STOL) military transport aircraft. It was Boeing's entrant into the United States Air Force's Advanced Medium STOL Transport (AMST) competition (the other competitor was the McDonnell Douglas YC-15). This competition was meant to find a replacement for the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The YC-14 (nor the YC-15) never entered production as the (AMST) project was cancelled in 1979.

I created this Aviation Caricature on February 2nd, 2019. It was created on Canson 10” x 16” Illustration board, with pen & Ink (and a slight wash).

Below are the various stages of the drawing.

Stage 1 - The inspiration ( the actual Boeing YC -14)

Stage 2 - The pencil drawing.

Stage 3 - After the inkin’...

Stage 4 - The final drawing (after a slight wash.)

Stage 5 - (Only on the Michael Hopkins Cartoons Blog) A cool color picture!

As with all my drawings, after I completed the drawing, I started picking the drawing apart (I am definitely my own worst critic). I found several things in the completed drawing that I wasn’t thrilled with (i.e., I didn’t like my lettering on the airplane and I wasn’t happy with the landscape I had drawn under the airplane). That being said, overall I’m actually pretty, pretty satisfied with the way the drawing turned out. I’m really happy with the actual caricature of the airplane itself and I’m thrilled with the way the wash turned out. If I was grading myself, I would give myself a score of 7 out of 10. So...there’s room for improvement, but I liked the finished drawing.

My next project, is to finish a drawing I started over a year ago. This is a caricature of Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute, from the television show, The Office. Also, I’ve also started another airplane caricature. This one is of the first Boeing 747. I’m drawing this caricature in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the 747 on February 9th, 1969. I should have one or both of those completed by weekend. If so, I'll post them on this Blog.

So until then...see you in the funny pages!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Back on Track

After my previous rant about not being paid for my art and deciding to put a little more effort into my Patreon account, I decided the next thing that I needed was a little motivation to draw. The question now was, how was I going to motivate myself to start drawing and get back on the creative track?..The reason that I needed to get back on track was due to the fact that, since I broke my arm last July, my art output has been almost non existent. As such, I needed something to get the creative juices flowing. So I decided to purchase a drawing journal and make myself draw SOMETHING every day.. For the first few days after purchasing the new journal, the results were pathetic. However, I then received some motivation from an unexpected source...my son. You see, when I bought my journal I also bought my son a drawing journal as well...AND HE WAS DRAWING IN HIS EVERY DAY?!?!?!? (*Note - the kid has some raw drawing talent!) Well, not to be outdone by a kid, I started drawing as well...

So that’s my story about how I got back on the creative track. Those pages will be posted on my Patreon account. If you’d like access to those drawing, just patronize my Patreon account. For as little as $1.00 a month, you'll get access to those drawings and exclusive Patreon stuff!

Also,, I have started a new episode on my Webcomic, Missed Approach (and this one’s in color!), If you’re interested, ckick on the link below and check it out!

That’s all for today kids, I’ll write more soon!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Pledge Drive

I’ve decided to invest my time (time is money) into Patreon. Although I love creating art, for the sake of creating art and sharing it with the world for free...

...I also need to make a living…What i’ve been doing, up to this point in time, is to work a full time job and draw when I can. Well, times, the are a changin. And Michael is a charging...for some stuff. Although to view my exclusive Patreon stuff, will cost you a small monthly fee, this Blog and my two Webcomics, Missed Approach and Cosmic Fowl will remain free. My Patreon page is a way for you to support my art and in return, get access to exclusive stuff on Patreon.

Now, don't get me wrong, I appreciate all the nice comments about my art, when I post drawings online. However, the nice comments haven't turned into capital (i.e., money). So I need to reorganize and prioritize. I’m going to start running my art as a business (and a profitable business at that). I realize I’m might upset a few of the Greta Van Fleet lovin’, Bernie Sanders following, tree huggin’ people out there..but that's the risk I must take to make a profit (and make a profit, I must - Yoda). I can't continue to make the the success of someone else a priority, while my success comes as an afterthought. So in 2019, my art (i.e., my business) is the priority. Patreon is the first step.

For those of you who think I'm becoming callous and money hungry, I have a suggestion. Tomorrow morning, go to the company you work for and let them know you have decided to work for free. Tell them, you’re giving up your paycheck and volunteering to work for free. Basically, this is what I would be doing, by continuing to post my art work for free.

I’m not asking you to give up your hard earning pay for nothing. Most of my patron tiers come with stuff in return (i.e., free caricatures, birthday cards from me, discounts...) and of course, exclusive access to new art!

So I guess you can think of this Blog, as my Patreon Pledge Drive. Check out my Patreon page and see what you think…

See you in the funny pages.

P.S. This Blog remains free!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Can't Sleep

12:14am. Cant sleep.

New Year, new me.

I need to pay more attention to my Art...so I shaved the goatee. That makes sense, right? Anyways, the thought behind shaving the face? What was I hiding? Facial hair is very common these days..and why? It’s high maintenance, irritating. Maybe it makes one feel more masculine? Maybe it's like a disguise? I don’t know...There’s really no benefit to facial hair. Unless of course, one’s in a very cold climate, say, Alaska? I'm not, so I shaved my face. I personally see it as a new beginning, which I needed. Moving on….

12:24am. Still cant sleep,,

I'm watching, Seinfeld, reruns. I like the show, but the bass music between every scene, is irritating...maybe I'm just tired. Favorite Seinfeld episode? I have two, The Merv Griffin Show and the episode, where George gets engaged.

12:30am. Still…

Yawning. That's a good sign.

My baby girl, just turned 36.

I need to draw more.

Building a wall is stupid. Wasn’t is Ronald Reagan (my favorite President) who said, …”tear down the wall”? Now Trumps got a, hard on, to build one. I hate politics.