Much needs to be said about my Art Portfolio, and the loss of data that has occurred over the last 2.5 years despite my best efforts to protect that data using more than one back-up external hard drive.
The first thing to be said is that I have gratitude for what I have recovered-- specifically the logos for my other website and DBA business WhiteOakAmplification (found without current SSL cert at whiteoakamplification.com ), now I can run these found jpg.s into PaintShop Pro X-- my ancient venerable favorite art IDE which I use with quick dispatch on basic tasks such as joining, merging, blending, and resizing, resampling, mirror imaging, and increasing/decreasing color depth.
I also enjoy the entire panoply of Adobe CS 6 tools, but these were also lost with my data and portfolio and business information.
Most of my 3D work is done in ZBrush and a combination of Autodesk 3D Studio MAX/Maya/Engineering Programs, or open-source Blender.
However, what was recovered was recovered from my Adobe Acrobat XI 14 page, 183 Mg, .pdf document. And I used my Linux Mint 18.2 "Sonya" Cinnamon Screen Shot program to photo each page from Okular from the Linux side of the system.
I do not have access to the Adobe Acrobat XI any more on the Linux-side of things, and Okular and other pdf programs for Linux are simply not up-to-date because they are open source and expect text documents, as opposed to image documents.
But perhaps the greatest all time thing Adobe has ever done besides Vector format-- which goes hand-in-hand in with the aspect of .pdf (PostScript Document File format), is that any information cut and pasted is rendered by the front-end viewing device from the information stored in the back end, so the information can be rendered perfectly in any size because it is vectored, not rastered.
So where a .jpg or even a .png would lose detail as it is enlarged, a .pdf used for images is capable to be massively resized if one has a viable .pdf viewer, and thus much of my art was able to be saved from a simple 14 .pdf file found here:
You will see these messages because it is REALLY big for a document download and so here are the screen shots you will see as warnings before you can download it and view it in Adobe Acrobat XI or greater--so have no fear.
The other problem with recovering my data from this method (although it was the only method available unless I get access back to my two external hard drives storing my data), was that because the portfolio was designed to be public, it was created with an extensive (though in my opinion "tasteful") watermark ~
And so this watermark will be more or less obvious throughout the portfolio, and can be distracting, and so as I "screen-shotted"/captured everything I could find, I did so in hopes of being able to remove the watermark to recover some of the WhiteOak Amplification data, and what this means is that as I recover those proprietary logos, I will be going down to the pixel level and re-editing the photos by the pixel. Also, to "blow my own horn" a bit (though I had to dedicate to extensive Raja Yoga practice to achieve the capability....), I created the watermark to be easily usable in negative image and fewer colors as I move between many and fewer colors and negatives in my work, and yet it is quite visible across a wide number of types of document. Also, the watermark is a 3D version of a space station that is not obvious until someone sees the original documents containing it in the Horsehead Nebula (actual pic from NASA).
So in places where I could or chose to, I removed the watermark, in others where the document my be even "worsely" or "more poorly" used, I made sure it remained so I would not be that involved in any legal action taken against me while preserving the integrity of ironical nature of the pieces and artistic display thereof.
And that's my quick explanation up front, with more detailed explanation down below....
From my perspective, recovering my work and deleting what is necessary and reformatting it keeps me from having to start from scratch on work that took hours, and is worth it because I have done such work before-- I also find new derivatives and this makes it a part of the long-term artistic process rather than mere data recovery. The poet William Carlos Williams noted that poetry is not static, and rewrites occur throughout the poet's lifetime, and these different versions can grow or be pruned as the clarity of the poet's vision is enhanced with experience (this is a paraphrase). But I try to keep this in mind, especially with commercial art for other people because sometimes in branding, there simply will be a new logo of the future no matter how much work was done in the past.
These are some examples of new work based on the found images:
But I mention it here as it is pertinent to the viewers' enjoyment and comprehension of my art, and why it is commercial art, and there is an irony in that I would watermark certain pieces that were overtly "stolen" in terms of certain subject matter and used without permission or payment or credit (except in these pages-- not for money but only for ~~academic use~~ and in the interest of artistic license, of which there is no such thing, which to quote a well-known Canadian songwriter "isn't it ironical!?!").
This is the first page of my .pdf portfolio:
Throughout my portfolio, part of my intent is to examine the limitations of the artist's right to embrace the reality determined by his or her or it's own perceptions by outside forces that either state that they own the object or image or sound that the artist experiences or that the image or sound or experience itself is verboten ~ illegal to even perceive and certainly illegal to replicate. I do this as a function of my civil right to Freedom of Expression guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States in the First Amendment.
Having said this, I would like to explain some of what appears on my first page of my portfolio:
The image at the top of character Wilson Fisk, "The Kingpin" is owned by Marvell Comics and was probably created by Stan Lee. This image and the statement "Free Wilson Fisk" was in response to the new DareDevil television program where I find the DareDevil to be essentially preachy and unlikable and too absolutely sure that his ethics developed as a blind man and secret superhero are superior to those of industrialist Wilson Fisk. There have been few times in television I found so satisfying as Fisk slamming the attorney Matt Murdoch's head repeatedly into the stainless steel metal table inside of a prison. I do not think it was an ethical act, but that guy had it coming, and I find myself repeatedly cheering for Denofrio's Kingpin. Thus this graphic was developed as graffiti art that was never realized.
Second, the next major image manipulated and "mashed-up," is perhaps the most famous image from the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide published by TSR and the artist is Dave Trampier; the piece is known as "The Ride of Emirikol the Chaotic." Dave Trampier did my favorite pieces Emirikol or whether it was "the Rakshasa:"
Here is information on Dave Trampier, who supposedly passed in 2014, but his death had been widely misreported in the past and I hope he still walks the multiverse. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_A._Trampier
And here is more info on Emirikol the Chaotic for those of you who want it: http://thecampaign20xx.blogspot.com/2016/03/dungeons-dragons-guide-to-emirikol.html
"Now why did I include Trampier's iconic well-known graphic in my portfolio, was it to take credit for it or steal from him!?!"
No, at the time I was involved in learning digital matte painting, a discipline which is a technological derivative of screen printing and glass painting and glass photography. Matte painting is used in creating distressed or fantastical features on photos of normal things, implying depths in 2D images that are functions of optical illusions and assumptions on the part of the viewer that may be biologically hardwired in the eyes and mind. There is also a branch of fine art known as optics that was developed in the late 1800's and 1900's that is the science of using color to affect the perception of viewer involuntarily by the art itself. All of this goes into matte painting. Much of my matte work was lost, and yet I had a quick idea of morfing the buildings of Emirikol to an actual processed photo of a mosque in the highlands of Asia that i had worked on, and I added a part of the space shuttles scaffolding behind the alleyway, making it seem like Emirikol is riding through a space-time more complex than we know. This led to the need to ever-so-slightly colorize a part of the actual Trampier piece implying the colors from the background had resonance in the foreground as well.
Finally, the mosaic found at the top of the Trampier piece and reproduced in different colors along the bottom left are from a captured architectural window screen from Mongolia that was then pixelated and colored by me.
Other features are artistic rendering the improper logical statement which is definitively improper according to Aristotelian logic, so is TRUE. Also present is my name Arnold spelled in Ogham alphabet.
f(x)=Dominion is a video game in progress which I am prototyping and developing.
My face in negative appears. And some other stuff which I can discuss if asked, sometimes things are just for looking at...
Page 2 of my portfolio:
"In the Mind of the Dying God" is another possible project I am working on, and it was created as a working title on which to test e-book cover publishing graphics. By this, I mean on Freelancers.com a website dedicated to contract work of all types, there are a lot of e-book authors looking for cover artists to make their published copies look "legit" as opposed to "self-published," also I have worked on the graphics necessary for printed and woven fabrics. So in the upper right and along the top, we have graphics that are dedicated to being backdrops for the text of published works-- whether that be text books or advertising guides.
There is an enlargement of a mosquito because it was during the time of the ebola outbreak and that disease that affected native childrens' head size, where they were born with shrunken heads-- and mosquitos were to blame.
It was also the time of the attempted Turkish coup on the same day as the new Nintendo Pokemon video game was released, so this is another image of a well-known character which I consider political art:
"Squirtle Affects Turkish Politics"
Beneath that important piece is a treated photo of a spider web tunnel in some bushes, and finally the seemingly human head is a 3D rendered object created in ZBrush, my favorite 3D modeling program, which is then taken to any number of platforms like AutoDesk AutoCAD or 3D Studio MAX or Maya to be put directly into video games, or into programs like Adobe Illustrator to be turned to vector art, or Adobe PhotoShop or PaintShop Pro in order to be colorized in 2D, which is what happened here. The face is somewhat serene in keeping with the "dying God" motif.
Pages 3 and 4 of my portfolio:
The model is web-cam entertainer and comedienne Kati3 Kat from www.myfreecams.com
Every artist goes through some training in human form and the depiction of human form whether that person is a sculpter, line artist, photographer, or digital artist.
Several years ago I was offered the administration job of being a working moderator at her performance website, it would have been over 40 hours a week and would have paid well.
The logistics necessary on my end were not in place to make the offer a reality; but I remain a big fan of hers to this day primarily due to the fact that she is one of the funniest physical comedians I have ever witnessed. I saw her ride a hover-board in an inflatable sumo suit and ride a unicycle down some stairs.
I have also known her since childhood.
The aspects of Buddhist art were to celebrate her 10,000 follower on either Twitter or SnapChat or Instagram; she really does have a personal army of some 2500-4000 viewers every night she is on webcam.
So as a performance artist, I want those who have publically performed before to consider a crowd of 2500 people: that is the size of many larger venues for live music, or the typical crowd at a 5A High School football game in the stadium seats-- it is a lot of people.
And through her demeanor and stage presence, she keeps her crowd in the most intimate circumstances.
These treatments of her are done in the "camp"-style of late 1950's and 1960's girly mags and overseas offerings for our GI's in Japan and Korea. The Kanji graphics spell "Talent Girl" and the effort is again to promote a style appropriate for publication, just like the text book art in pages prior.
I can discuss this further if there is some awkwardness on the part of potential employers in regards to the erotic content implied in these two pages, which I consider a viable legitamacy in the artistic handling of a well-known performer.
Example page 5 has my effort at the representation of the Grim Reaper (just in time for Halloween), two treatments of a 3D abstract piece from ZBrush, in the bottom right an abstract 2D piece eligible for printing on canvass for either an orthodontist's office or as wall covering for an European hotel. And in the bottom left, what i consider the source of the original "Raptor Jesus" meme, but rather than have Christ in the form of a raptor, we have the gentle Christ comforting the reptile with appropriate Japanese censoring covering the eyes as per animae; finally the Greek characters spelling the word "telos" which is a Classically philosophical term now used to discuss the human treatment of animals in experimentation, the fur trade, cosmetics, and the like. I feel strongly about "telos," and I have written on it myself.
Here we have in upper left a screen shot of my multimedia project: The Wizard of Menlo Park, which is a deconstruction and treatment of a famous photo of Thomas Edison which now seems timely as there is a new film out about him with Benjamin Cumberbatch.
To the right of Edison is a portrait of my Dad.
Beneath Edison there are two record album covers with music that can be found on this site in the future under the Music tab or at Soundcloud.com The covers are from the band The Barbarous Tongues and they are called Music for Andrea and Music for Elsewhere.
To the right of Music for Elsewhere and beneath the portrait of my Dad is a mosaic that looks like a brown cross that is the plans for a floor mosaic of either an entry hall or the bottom of a swimming pool. This was an expensive project.
Beneath the cross is a hand-drawn colored pencil piece called "Imperial Monkeys."
Imperial Monkeys is intended to be viewed from a rotating point of view and as one rotates it, different faces appear, and the faces were those of my friends at (roughly) the time of the founding of The Houston Blues Society, and the acts prevalent at Dan Electro's Electric Guitar Bar-- though specifically, those in connection with Carolyn Wonderland and The Imperial Monkeys which was Carolyn Wonderland, Eric Dane, Screamin' Kenny Blanchet, Erik Colflatt, and Chris King. Also present are people like Cary Winscott and myself as friends as colleagues. This was part of a colored pencil series now mostly lost that used Spheres as a conceit and as a focal point around which to rotate the pieces in that collection. For instance there is a sphere at end of the candy cane pulling the Grateful Dead skeleton from the pic like Vaudvillean act, and then also there is a sphere making up the upper-brow of my self-portraited face looking into the sun once rotated.
As I said, the spheres were an experimental conceit from the 1990's....
Next to the imperial Monkeys in the bottom center of the portfolio page is My Point of View, another colored pencil drawing from that time, which was my point of view looking at my bare feet....
On page 7 we have treatments on a digital photo of Los Angeles, a commercial sign for a Pho Shop, and a flier for the Barbarous Tongues show in Houston in 2011, and another window from Mongolia being used as a template for a game board, possibly for f(x)=Dominion.
These are either e-pub book covers, prints specifically for fabrics, or mandalas for a coffee table book. Finally, the overlay is a Pente game with designed pieces intended as a paint print roughly 3 foot by 4 foot. The white pieces won, and this was from an actual game played against artificial intelligence.
Page 9 contains nothing but mandalas from the mandala coffee table book. I believe the proofs and images are now lost among the data from the two lost hard drives. There were over 65 unique mandalas.
Page 10 is an effort to show my 3D work as a game and toy designer, using Unreal Engine 4 and ZBrush.
Thank you for perusing my portfolio,
John Blake Arnold