New York Comic Con

So as you know, I attended New York Comic Con and it was awesome. And packed. I live in NYC, so I’m used to the crowded mass that encompasses this gritty city, but even I was like, “hot damn, it’s packed like a mother effer!”

Pictured above: Mother-effin Packed.

But it was all good. My partner in crime and I, Sha-Nee Williams, willingly descended into that conglomeration of cos-players and comic book fanatics to get to where we really wanted to be – Artist Alley, which was aaaaaallll the way past that Walking Dead banner in the distance. Luckily, we took a short cut underneath all that crowded nonsense and came up on the other side.  I spent a lot of time in Artist Alley just gobbling up inspiration. There were so many talented people there! I even got to take a picture with one of the illest artists out there right now, Alvin Lee.

Me and Alvin Lee

Then I got to hang with Sha-Nee and Denver “Sketch Bravo” Thompson for a little bit. I have no idea what’s going on with me here. I think I’m falling asleep because Denver’s hugs are just so cozy and warm.

Me, Denver, and Sha-Nee

And I finally got to meet this awesome guy right here, Antonio Pomares, who I’ve done commissions for and who I happened to just arbitrarily find in a crowd of people on my first day of the con.

Me and Antonio

But one of the major highlights of the con for me was talking about Hip Hop with one of my favorite artists, Sanford Greene. He immediately put me on to this Hip Hop & Comics panel that was happening, which Sha-Nee and I attended along with our friend Tre Worrell. Sorry, I don’t have a pic of Tre, but I’ve magically turned his name into a link to his work.  So yeah. Click that.

Jean Grae was at the panel too, but unfortunately she came late so she’s not in the shot. I did get to shake hands with her though and tell her how dope of an emcee she is.

Oh yeah, speaking of Hip Hop, I also got to spit for Sanford Greene, which was pretty awesome too. This girl – you’ll see her at the beginning of the video below – apparently was like this secret ninja rapper, and out of no where was like “Spit something!” She was really cool though. We talked art and hip hop, and she was much braver than me for attempting a freestyle on camera.

Unfortunately, Sanford is the only person with the video from a front angle that doesn’t shift in the middle of everything. I’ll probably pay him a hefty ransom to get it. But in the mean time, I hope you guys can do with this.  Shout out to Sanford for taking the time to talk  Hip Hop with us, making this year’s con even more of an enjoyable experience.

But wait, you didn’t think we were gonna walk away without getting Sanford to spit something, did you?

Psyche. We totally did.

So yeah, that’s it. I did a lot more than this, like the Womanthology panel, the show floor, and meeting other people, but I’m terrible at remembering to take pictures of everything. Don’t hate me, guys. I’ll try to get more pictures next year.

And hopefully I’ll run into more of you in 2013. Until next time.

-Kia

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Rhymes N’ Updates

Hey guys!

Soooo…how’s it going?

I know, I keep pulling vanishing acts. New things on my plate, and hopefully with them, new opportunities. But I’m not here to make excuses. I’ve been bad, and I love you guys, so I don’t want us to break up…figuratively speaking.

Right now, I’m planning on restructuring how my blog is updated. To be honest, when a lot of things hit me at once, I’m the worst at staying organized. But I’m working on it.

Anyway, it’s important to me to keep this blog updated, especially where the artist interviews are concerned. There’s too much unknown talent out there, and it’s still my mission to bring you fresh doses of new talent on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to update those interviews weekly anymore, but I think doing one featured artist a month is more feasible. It gives the artists lots of time to get back to me, and gives me more time to write up the articles. I’ve met and interviewed some awesome artists in the past few months, and I want that to continue.

So while I work this out on my end, here’s something I recently did for Yvonne Nicolas, a writer of erotic stories and fiction. These are two of her characters – magic wielding priestesses named Indigo and Dominique from The Dragon Queen Series. It was colored by the awesome Kyle Chaney, and you can see him throwing down the colors in the video below. We’ve been working together on a few commissions for her, and I’m loving it so far.

And that’s not all. I have some ear candy for you too. Few people know that I actually write poetry and rhymes, and even fewer have actually heard it. So I promised a friend that I would write and record two things and put it out there for the world to hear. I called this one “Just To Be Rhymin” because…well…I just wanted to rhyme. No big story there.  Anyway, one down, one to go. I’ll post the next one on here too. Later folks.

What’s in the Headphones

Despite what people say about hip hop music dying, the mainstream taking over, etc., etc., I actually think 2011 was a good year for Hip Hop. But there are three albums for me, specifically that stay in my headphones from the past year.

 

Elzhi – Elmatic 

Nas’ Illmatic is, and will always be, one of my favorite albums of all time. There’s no question to that. I used to listen to New York State of Mind just to get my day started. So when Elzhi dropped Elmatic, I was skeptical because Illmatic has a special place in my heart. I was so wrong. Elzhi not only paid homage to Nas’ classic, but he did it justice and took it to another level musically. His renditions of songs like Memory Lane, Represent, and The World Is Yours really made me think back to the first time I heard Illmatic and made me fall in love with it all over again.  Like I said, Illmatic will always be in my top, but Elmatic earned a special spot in my hip-hop loving heart too.

 

 

Pharoahe Monch – W.A.R.

Pharoahe Monch’s W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) combines two of my favorite things – hip-hop and revolutionary lyrics. Some people might not like his style of spitting behind the beat, but his lyrics are undeniable. W.A.R. just so happens to be my favorite song off the album, but Evolve and Assassins are a close second, if for no reason than it features one of my other favorites, Jean Grey. W.A.R. also has one other thing that I think most albums are missing nowadays – a complete concept. From beginning to end, the entire album fits into the overall theme of revolution.

 

 

 

Kendrick Lamar – Section.80

Even though Kendrick Lamar had been on the underground scene for a minute, he recently started getting more recognition in the mainstream. People have been wondering when Hip-Hop is going to get back to raw lyrics, and I think Kendrick Lamar is evidence of the second coming of that lyrical era. I know HiiiPower is the song off Section.80 that everyone talks about (well, those who have heard it), but there’s good reason. Kendrick Lamar doesn’t spit about the usual, and when you listen to this song, you’ll know that this guy understands the power behind his words. Not many artists approach their music today as a craft, but Kendrick Lamar is one of the few who I think actually studies the art of rhyming. Anyway, dope album, dope artist. Go listen.

 

Artist Recap

Hey guys! Hope your holidays were nice, fun, all that good stuff.  Spray Paint and Ink Pens has largely been something of an experiment up until now. I didn’t know how the blog would go over with people, but a fairly good amount seem to like the articles, so the show will go on. I’m not sure where I want to take the blog over the course of this year, since it was just supposed to be a way of spreading the word about other artists, my random rants about hip hop culture, and whatever else comes out of my gigantic head. That remains to be seen, but for now, I wanted to hit you with a list of the artists that I did interview last year in case you missed any of them.  Shout out to all the artists who were nice enough to let me pick their brain and didn’t mind answering the tougher questions. Thanks, guys, and I wish you all the best success this year. Stay creative.

 

-Kia

 

Shawn Alleyne

Kyle Chaney Jr.

Michael Loh

Courtland “Illesigns” Ellis

Shawna Mills

J.T. Marques

Matt Johnson

Sean Tate

Justin Martin

Steven Sanchez

 

 

 

Happy Holidays!

So it’s that time of year again. That time of frantic holiday consumerism and busted wallets. God I can’t wait till Christmas is over. -_-

On the plus side, though, I get to spend some time with the family and snuggle close with the Wacom tablet I already know my boyfriend bought for me. *smooches baby*…that’s why I keep him around. 🙂

The down side? That means I’ll be away again this week and I won’t have updates. On the up side, it’ll give me some time to catch up on some much needed writing and put together some more interviews. And I can also get some commissions finished before this weekend. One I just recently finished was for Antonio Pomares, featuring his OC Bruiser. Shout out to Antonio for commissioning me. I had fun, like I normally do with OCs. His commission was part of my $25.00 Christmas/Holiday/Whatever You Celebrate special where you can get a fully colored 9×12 piece with a minimal background (limit 1 character). The sale is still going so if you’re interested, get yours while the gettin’s good!

Happy Holidays you guys. I hope you get everything that you ask for and that yours is a blessed one!

-Kia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sittin Sideways

Sideway: New York

Being a kid that grew up playing the NES, Sega Genesis, and Super Nintendo, I developed an undying appreciation for the nostalgia of platform games. So when I played the Sideway: New York demo last night, I appreciated the 3D twist on a classic-style 2D platformer. The thing that pushed it over the edge for me, though, were the graffiti and urban-inspired visuals.

In the game you are Nox, a graffiti artist from New York who just so happened to paint over the wrong guy’s tag. That guy is Spray, who ends up sucking Nox into his world where he is transformed into graffiti. Pretty simple story, but it sets up the rest of the game play where you control Nox as if he were a piece of moving graffiti, always attached to the surface of a building. Overcoming obstacles like drainage pipes and using windows and other graffiti tags as platforms, you move from building to building as they flip orientation placing you on another side or even on top of the building . Trust me, it’s not as confusing as it sounds and it’s pretty fun once you get the hang of it.

The animation is done by Wild Brain, the same studio responsible for Kid Robot, Yo Gabba Gabba, and the emmy-nominated, Ricky Gervais Show. This game, for me, is worth playing just to see the fantastic artwork. Not only that, but there’s some pretty dope music playing throughout the levels. My only problem with this game is that at times Nox feels detached from the rest of the environments, most noticeably when he jumps, which feels more like he’s floating than jumping. Other than that, it reminds me of games like Jet Grind/Jet Set Radio in a way, and it’s just fun to play.

This isn’t a real review, by the way. Just wanted to share with you guys.  Check out the actual trailer and art development blog below.

 

Later, guys.

-Kia

Steve Jobs: Building a Legacy

I’m sure that most of you have heard that Steve Jobs passed away yesterday. To be honest, I was never a big Apple person. I liked their products, don’t get me wrong, but I was never that type of person to check for the latest Apple releases, follow blogs about them, or do back-flips over their latest merchandise. I have a point in saying this. I want to make it clear that I was never an Apple groupie because of what I’m about to say next.

Steve’s passing yesterday had me thinking about the word legacy. Not just the meaning of the word, but how we as individuals impose our own meaning on the term. Like I said, I was never a huge Apple fan like that…but there’s no doubt in my mind that Steve Jobs left a legacy behind him. I think, even if you hated everything that Apple has ever created, you can’t deny that. People go back and forth all the time over why they prefer PC to MAC, why Apple sucks, why Windows sucks, etc., etc. But the fact that people are even having that discussion is case in point to what I’m saying. That in itself is legacy, because that debate will probably continue for years to come.

My blog is about art, comics, and Hip Hop, so I know the question is out there: What does this post have to do with any of that? I think each of us, whether you’re a Hip-Hop artist, a comic book artist, or a technological guru, are trying to build our own legacies. Steve Jobs was only 56 when he died. Fifty-six. That’s pretty young in the grand scheme of things. He co-founded Apple Computer in 1976. That means he built his empire in only 35 years. That might sound like a long time, but think about how old you are, and think about how many times you’ve said to yourself that your childhood seemed like it was only yesterday.

Listen, I’m not saying the guy was a saint. I know he wasn’t, and nobody is. But there’s no denying that Steve Jobs, along with Apple, revolutionized the way we think about music, the way we produce art, and the way that we communicate with each other, and those things will never be the same. One person did that. Imagine the legacy that you can leave behind.

I’m not going to make it a habit to talk about things like this too often in my blog, but I do think that it relates to our respective industries in a very real way. We all want to leave a piece of ourselves behind so that our legacies will continue to grow even after we’re gone. No matter what you think about Steve Jobs or Apple, he accomplished that.

“Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” – Steve Jobs

R.I.P. Steve

-Kia

KickStarter Campaigns You Should Check Out

Let’s be honest. It’s hard to get people to invest money into a project that you really believe in, unless you’re the best door to door salesman on earth (we should all be so lucky).

That’s why I like Kick Starter. You get to see what you’re getting into before you donate any money, you get perks for donating, and best of all, giving a little bit of money really does go a long way. So I found some Kick Starter campaigns that I think are worth donating to. Check these guys out and, if you have time, look at the type of work they’re producing. Their art can persuade you much better than I can.

 Oh Snap! Indie Comic by Ground Up Studios   

Oh Snap! is © Sean Tate

Any comic that’s about a sword-wielding girl in slippers and her gang of pirates is my kind of comic. Oh Snap! is a web comic produced by Ground Up Studios and illustrated by artist, Sean Tate. This campaign is aimed at producing, advertising, and distributing the first issue. Follow the links below to get to know Ground Up Studios a little better.

Kickstarter

Website

Facebook

deviantART

Up Up Ubi! by Notion Games  

Up Up Ubi! is © Notion Games

Founder of Notion Comics, Andrew Augustin, has expanded his studio to include a division for games, aptly named Notion Games.

Their first game, Up Up Ubi!  is an exciting arcade game currently aimed at a PC release. The campaign is to raise money to purchase the necessary Apple hardware to develop an iOS platform release. You can read up on Andrew and Notion Games at the links below:

Kickstarter

Website

Facebook

deviantART

Spray Paint and Ink Pens

Hey guys!

Welcome to my blog, Spray Paint and Ink Pens.

In a nutshell, I came up with the idea for this blog one day when I thought, “Hey, I like drawing stuff. I like saying stuff. I should just write about stuff.”

And here we are.

But I’m not just writing about any stuff. I’m writing about stuff that hopefully you guys care about just as much as I do – namely comics, art, and hip-hop. Even if you’re not a fan of hip-hop music, I think the comics stuff will be enough.

Why’s that you ask? Oh, you didn’t? Well I’m going to tell you anyway.

The comic book stuff is actually about YOU. And by you, I mean all you independent creators out there just trying to make a name for yourself, no matter how big or small. If you have good work I want to talk about you. Check out my Submissions Page for more info.

Sprinkled in there will be articles that I write concerning relevant issues in the comic book industry. You’ll also be seeing articles about independent creators just like yourself.

On the Hip-Hop side of things, I’ll be posting music from artists and poets that I love and anything Hip-Hop related that catches my eye (or ears).

I’ll also be uploading new sketches every Friday based on a theme. You guys can feel free to throw a theme at me by dropping a comment and I’ll handle the rest.

And please subscribe by clicking on the Follow button at the bottom so you don’t miss anything!

So I think that’s pretty much it for now. Email me with any suggestions for the blog or if you want to just talk about stuff.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

-Kia