Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Rose City Comic Con and the Mid-20s Mutant Hipster Turtles

If you happen to be in Portland this weekend, and you also happen to be a nerd like me, you should stop by my table at Rose City Comic Con (Sept 19-20 at the convention center)! I'll be in the artist alley at table O15, and you can find me on the map here: http://rosecitycomiccon.com/artist-alley/.

Since I haven't done a con in a while, I wanted to do something a little special so I am happy to present my homage to my childhood: The Mid-Twenties Mutant Hipster Turtles!!!

Complete with generic hipster logo.

So what is a hipster? As far as I can tell "Hipster" is a term used by people to describe someone who is younger, cooler, and better dressed than they are, but you know, as a negative. Hipsters come in many styles, so I decided to use the boys to highlight some arbitrary attributes found across our fair nation. Without further ado, here they are:

-Exclusively drinks PBR and well whiskey.
-Jeans are so skinny he regularly loses circulation to his feet.
-Listens to a lot of music...Which bands?
Oh, you've probably never heard of them...

-Wears glasses. Has 20/20 vision.
-Emergency preparedness kit consists mainly of more skinny ties.
- Thinks you might be interested in supporting his new start up,
but doesn't think you'll understand what it does.

-His collection of artisanal plaid rivals the Pendleton factory store.
-Exclusively drinks craft beer in public, but secretly has a case of Oly in his fridge.
-Hooked up his tall bike to generate electricity for his heirloom tomato grow lab.

-Still says "Dude" and "Radical"....ironically.
-Still wears graphic tees of '80s cartoons...ironically.
-Hasn't actually changed at all since the '80s...ironically?

So there you have them! I'll have prints of each turtle, plus my other work, and if all goes as planned a special display, but you'll have to stop by to check it out. If the turtles aren't enough to bring you by, check out the rest of the Rose City Comic Con site because there are a ton of other amazing artists and awesome attractions (Princess Leia will be there!) so stop by, say hi and stay Rad dude!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Pony Club Sideshow

I haven't been using this blog too much lately, but I recently curated my first group show at The Pony Club gallery in downtown pdx and I thought i'd share some of my work for it and some photos from the show. The show was called "The Pony Club Sideshow" and all the participants were asked to create a show poster or portrait for their favorite real or imagined sideshow act:

The two pieces above are both in gouache and are a continuation of my new children's book style. I'm really excited with how this style is progressing and I'm excited to make more stuff like it in the future, but I also had to sneak in another piece in my more realistic oil painting style:

This is isn't color corrected yet but you get the idea.
Check out my Instagram if you want to see the ridiculous frame I got for it. 
 Anyway the show was a huge success and so much fun. I got to meet and work with a ton of new artists while curating the show and I'm looking forward to doing more shows like it in the future. On that note, I'll leave you with a few shots from the opening:

You can see more online at The Pony Clubs Facebook page.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Pony Club'n

Wow, I hadn't realized it's been nearly two months since my last post, but I promise there are some good reasons! The big news is that I became a member of The Pony Club Gallery in downtown pdx. The Pony Club, for those not from around town, is an artist co-op gallery based out of the Everett Station Lofts, with a focus on illustrative art. I've actually been in a few of their group shows over the years (like the last one I posted about) and have been visiting the gallery religiously ever since it opened, so i was super excited when i was invited to join.

There it is, my new art home away from home!
I've never been a member of anything quite like this, and my fellow clubbers are pretty amazing artists. That makes me a little nervous to live up to expectations, but there should be some great things in the future. My first real task as a member will be curating a show for this coming July, so stay tuned for updates on that. Until then....

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Updated Website

Just a quick post today to let everyone know I've finally got the "Children's" section of my site up and running! I'm still tweaking the portfolio a little, but go check it out and let me know what you think: http://johnnyacurso.com/childrens1.html

The main portfolio also got a little updating so feel free to browse around.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine's Day Show at The Pony Club!

This is just another reminder that I will have a couple of paintings at The Pony Club's Valentine's/Anti-Valentine's Day show this coming First Thursday (2/5). If you read my previous post you saw the first painting, but then I decided I wanted to offer something smaller and more on the cutesy side as well, so I busted my ass and churned out this little guy:

get a room.

Various terrible punny titles were tried out ("Screw it", "Nuts for you" Etc.) but I settled on "Pipe Dreams" proving that I will make an excellent dad someday based solely on my ability to make bad dad jokes. Anyway, there will also be some prints of this little guy available at the show and later via my store if you can't make it out that night. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Black Valentine

Hello all! Holidays are over, stress levels have returned to normal, manageable levels and I have a new piece to share! This coming First Thursday (2/5) I will be part of a Valentine/Anti-Valentine's Day group show at The Pony Club in downtown PDX. When they asked me to join in, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do a fake detective novel cover, which I've wanted to do forever. I'm a huge fan of old pulp covers, and while there isn't a huge market for that style of work, painting grizzled detectives and femme fatales all day is still my not-so-secret dream job. The first thing I had to do was come up with a title, and because of the show's theme, "The Black Valentine" seemed to fit pretty nicely.

Generally speaking, when I do stuff like this I try to change how the models look, so my characters aren't specifically attached to any real person, but Erin looked so badass in the reference photos, she is now officially the Black Valentine:

If you've seen any of my recent posts, you'll know I've been experimenting with gouache a lot lately. While the Robot piece a few posts back was technically my first complete painting (background and everything) using the new medium, this one is my first full size illustration using it. The original painting is 11"x16.5" and while gouache certainly speeds the process on those small paintings (as compared to my usual medium, oils), I found it took pretty much the same amount of time when scaled up. There are a lot of benefits to working in gouache over oils — less toxicity, quicker drying times — but there are also quite a few drawbacks. I found it more difficult to get smooth transitions, and much like acrylics (which I hate), colors tend to dry a significantly different color than when applied, making color mixing a challenge. All that being said, I'm pretty happy with how this came out and am excited for the show. I'll leave you with the FINAL final version with some extra campy text applied digitally.

MURDER!!!! (Lobo is named for our friend's dog)