Comic creator. Painter. Kaiju enthusiast. Nudist. Pan. He/him. 

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October Game, part 1/3

The first leg of the Bill Counts October Game is finished, and it’s been going fairly smoothly so far. Here are the first eleven pieces of art I’ve done for the challenge, plus some words on them.

Day one: “this pain will be useful”
I didn’t actually have this written in my sketchbook, I got it from a picture that someone reposted on Tumblr recently. I went for something to symbolize this 31-day art challenge, so there are 31 pieces of paper. The figure wasn‘t meant to be a self-portrait, but it kind of came out that way so sure, why not. Who hasn’t drawn or painted naked from time to time?
Day two: “no end of the world prediction has ever come to pass”
Adam Tan’s paintings occasionally appear in my Tumblr feed and I always enjoy seeing them. I had read a day or two before making this that he had actually died just last October. An incredible talent, just a few years younger than me, gone far too soon. I felt like paying a little tribute to him and his art, even though his work is (I believe) traditionally painted. I also wanted to draw the Smoky Mountains.
Day three: “the wave of unconsciousness failing to break over me”
We got hit with a lot of rain for a few days, and it was awful. Living and working at a storage facility, the rain hammering against metal, the wind howling along the length of the storage buildings, rattling the big metal doors of the units, it wouldn’t stop. It kept me up the night before, and the morning I drew this, I couldn’t concentrate at all because of it. I eventually managed to sit down and quickly crank this out on a smaller piece of paper, looking at an old photo I took as reference. No pencils, just straight ink. I think it sums up how I was feeling until the rain ended.
Day four: “the spider’s legs keep growing”
First all-digital piece! I had this written at least twice in one old notebook, and maybe once more somewhere else. I don’t know why. It’s such a cryptic line, I have no idea where I got it from. My original idea was to do a landscape with a giant spider in it, with massive, long legs like Dali’s elephants, but this idea occurred to me while I was taking a bath and staring up at the ceiling. The arachnid in this is a Tasmanian cave spider.
Day five: “they’re using the end of the world to justify hurting others”
Paraphrasing something my friend KT said while describing a dream they had. It felt relevant to…I don’t know, a lot of feelings I’ve had lately. So I twisted the words into some weird cult shit using charcoal pencils for the creepy robed dudes. Also, phallic symbols all over the place…not the best idea in hindsight.
Day six: “none of them knew they were robots”
This is the title of a Mr. Bungle song that’s stuck with me for years. The colored pencils aren’t very strong, a little overpowered by the ink, so this isn’t quite as striking as I’d hoped it would be. I only used one red pencil for all the coloring in the original, and changed the background to blue in Photoshop when I realized that’d make the figures stand out more.
Day seven: “contemplating beauty leads one closer to god”
I was partially inspired for this after watching the 1972 eco-horror film Frogs, starring a young, mustacheless Sam Elliott. The idea mutated from a basic frog prince concept to a stranger, more religious experience to suit the title. Also, at least as far as the amphibian itself goes, I think I’m getting better at digital painting.
Day eight: “what does black noise sound like?”
I broke out the acrylic paint for the first time in years…and realized that I’d forgotten everything I learned. I couldn’t mix the colors I wanted, I was picking the wrong brushes or using the wrong strokes, everything is too messy and undefined here. It’s my first real dud this go around. The subject is my poor doomed astronaut that I did some mixed media paintings of and who appeared in Stranger Rains, printed in Burst Reach 3. You can read it on the site here.
Day nine: “viral payload”
I’ve been obsessed with the basic shape of bacteriophages since taking biology in college, and based this off of an electron microscope photo of one that I found last month. They’re just really cool looking and fun to draw. If I ever get any tattoos, I want one of these guys on me.
Day ten: “you’ve got disaster on your mind”
Why did I try painting again? I don’t know. I was out late the two previous nights, running on little sleep, and it got cold and rainy again so I rushed this thing without much thought. The background color is a blue that I accidentally mixed on day eight. Not wanting to waste paint, I slapped it on this little canvas. Hopefully this is the last time I try acrylics this month. Or the last time I truly screw it up. I do want to create more existential android hitman stuff like Shouting at the Void, though.
Day eleven: “your existence deforms the universe”
This was a pretty quick one. So far this month has been busier than I’d like so I haven’t really devoted as much time to any of these as I’d like to, and this one wasn’t much of an exception. It came together out of desperation more than anything else, but I’m somewhat happy with the result.
Okay, that’s all for the first leg. Now I’ve got to start on today’s art…


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