Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hallowed Halloween

I was lucky enough to be invited to another joint Philadelphia Cartoonists' Society & Autumn Society show, this one's theme is Hallowed Halloween. 32 artists giving their take on all things Halloween with a focus on the traditional roots of the holiday- i.e. no Monster Squad tribute pieces. The show is at Proximity Gallery, opening October 1st. Proximity is located at 2434 East Dauphin St., Philadelphia, PA.

I did a lot of research about Samhain and other harvest/seasonal celebrations, settling on the idea of dressing up to ward oneself from the spirits that walk the earth at this time of year. It was believed that because this time of year was the time when plants and animals began to die off as summer fades, the dead could reach into this world. Men and women would disguise themselves as spirits and carry carved turnips that were lit with a candle to ward off the more harmful ghosts. I took to opportunity to draw a bundle of spirits, some inspired by myth/folklore and others purely imagined.

Some other info below. Sketch done in Photoshop which is then printed on top of paper to do the final drawing. Colored lines, then the flats which help to keep selections easy and streamline the color.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Goin' Hollywood

I had a new experience a few weeks ago, being asked to work on concepting for a local film project in Philadelphia. The director had seen my work and thought I would be a good fit for the project in developing concept art for the funding stage of the project. The script was a subtle treatment for a story that dealt with grief, recovery and the spirits of lost love ones. It seemed to be a story that fit me. Included are the three rough sketches that we developed in a back and forth. The short film is called Finding Father and I wish the project luck as they move forward.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Lip of Everything

The Lip of Everything
By Michael Taggart, Illustration by Tim Durning

You brought me to the plateau’s edge with sure steps. I would have turned back if not for such a firm path to follow. Footprints only guide my own steps; I cannot bear the whipping sand and dust when I bring my head up from a groundward gaze.

The seasons will change in moments, and the canyon below will roar with red wind. You say we’re light enough—and the wind will be strong enough—to carry us aloft.
What comes next no one has said.

Maybe the gale will carry us off to some other canyon. We’ll spend the winter there, and return when the seasons turn again. Maybe we’ll be too heavy and fall below the streams of red dust rushing through the canyon—down below hope. And maybe the wind will have mercy and set us down gently at the foot of the steppe.

Have you ever been this high? I can breathe the air so easily, despite the wind and the dust. Here it moves past you; at the bottom it hangs all around. This is glory.

You step off before I can say another word—so fast I can’t see where you’ve gone. Stepping to the edge, I don’t see you falling, but you could already have fallen below the red windriver.

Here I am at the lip of everything. Everything I stand to gain, everything to lose.

I’ve heard no worthier gamble.

© 2010 by Michael Taggart