Friday, December 17, 2010

Episode 88--An interview with Jeff Menges and listener questions galore!

The latest episode begins with an interview Jeremy had with friend and fellow illustrator, Jeff Menges, book designer and illustration historian.
Later on Patrick, Drew, Kieran, Socar, and Jeremy join forces to discuss listener questions...and anything else that comes to mind....

Jeff Menges -----
Dover Books ---
Horace Spielgelman Gets Made Redundant-----
Shadow Girls ----

VAPN -------

Ryan Friant -----

Chantal Fournier aka "Qitsune" ---

Friday, December 03, 2010

Episode 87--Illuxcon3 Wrap-Up!

This episode begins with an interview with monster designer and illustrator, Christopher Burdett.
He and Jeremy are resting after a frenetic four days of Illuxcon madness.

Afterwards Ralph Horsley, Drew Baker, Joe Acone, and Jeremy compare notes about their experiences at the symposium.
We hope you will enjoy the show.

You can also look forward to a number of interviews Jeremy was able to get while in Altoona.
They will appear in future episodes so stay tuned!

To get more details of Jeremy's experiences at Illuxcon, head on over to the following post found on his blog site.

Some links of note:

Don't forget to post links to your blog write-ups about Illuxcon, if you have them.
If you have photos to share, please do!
Listener questions are always encouraged! Drop them in the comments section, if you have some!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Episode 86--A year gone by... where are we now?

In this week's misadventure Patrick, Drew, Socar, Kieran, and Jeremy take a look at some of their very latest work and compare it to the work of a year ago as featured in Episode 44!

Be sure to subscribe to the Ninja Mountain Podcast on iTunes or we will send Jared McNewcastle to your house with a copy of "Ishtar" that you will be forced to watch over and over. He so loves "Ishtar"....

Thankfully, our latest efforts somewhat outshine those discussed in episode 85....

It is one more episode with a strong visual component, folks.
We hope you will follow along and enjoy!

Don't be afraid to share your latest efforts in comparison to your work of a year ago as well.
We'd love to see it in the comments section!

We are a proud member of the Visual Artist Podcast Network.
It is well worth checking out!

And now, the art...

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Episode 85---Bravery in failure.

First off--Many thanks go to fellow Ninja, Kieran Yanner, for his musical contribution to the changing sound of the Ninja Mountain Podcast.
Kieran, besides being an amazing artist, is also a talented musician and has developed new music for this program.
We know you will enjoy it!
In this episode Socar, Patrick, Drew, and Jeremy take a look back at some of their worst printed work. The stuff of failed legend.
The skeletons in our studio closets have swarmed the Mountain!

These are not those cute little high school doodles that every artist shares with fond memory.
Oh no.
These beasts were produced after spending thousands of dollars on education and were part of our respective burgeoning freelance careers.
Each of us had done better work prior to these examples and continue to now, but they represent those moments where work simply fell flat on its face for any of a variety of reasons in the early days of our careers.

The light of experience and hindsight allow us to look at these examples with objectivity... and humor.
Okay--mostly humor....

The images below appear in the order that they are mentioned on the show.
Where a larger version exists, a link has been provided beneath the title.

In the Comments Section of this blog post ---

We encourage you to have fun with these by offering captions for them.
Also--Give us your vote for the worst of the worst!

If you have a failed piece that you feel brave enough to share, then join in the fun and share a link with your fellow Ninjas.

And now--the artwork:

Port of Entry-- Jeremy

Port of Entry

Autopsy-- Drew
This piece is actually an example of Drew's more accomplished work from the same period. It is offered in stark contrast to what follows...


What followed:
Zako -- Drew

Kyrga -- Drew


Everyone -- Socar


Zheoljhe -- Socar


Weird Wild West -- Patrick
Weird Wild West

An Alien Land -- Patrick
An Alien Land

A Single Glimpse -- Jeremy

A Single Glimpse

Imbalance ( aka. The Stars) -- Drew


Gone Fishing -- Socar

Gone Fishing

Bad Moon -- Socar

Bad Moon

Lucky -- Patrick


Before the Fall -- Socar

Before the Fall

Pavilion ( apparently an experiment in minimalism) -- Jeremy


Tubeway Entrance ( aka. "Two Boy" Entrance) -- Jeremy

Tubeway Entrance

Thank you for joining us this week. 
Additional links:
Visual Artists Podcast Network
The latest debacle in Copyright ignorance ( this is one hot topic right now).
Kieran Yanner

Friday, October 29, 2010

A few changes and announcements. Aidan's Monsters.

Hello fellow Ninjas.
We wanted to let folks know that the show will be seeing some changes in future episodes.
Nothing too drastic.

Our work schedules and collective sanity oblige us to alter the show release schedule to a more leisurely bi-weekly calendar.
This will allow us more time to produce a fun show and give people more time to catch up on the 84 episodes we've so far released!

For episode 85 we are considering the topic of "How has your work improved in the past year?"

Please post in the comments section about your artistic experiences of the past year, or links to blog posts about it, and share with the Ninja Mountain community. Next week, several of us will be sharing our own stories as well on the podcast.

We would also like to let you know about the bravest little artist you will likely ever meet.
His name is Aidan.
He battles a monster right now called Leukemia.

His weapon of choice? Paper and anything that will leave a mark.

He is drawing monsters and the family is offering his pictures for sale to help offset the costs of his high medical bills and lost wages as they oversee his daily care.
It has been a success so far we are pleased to learn.

If you would like to learn more about Aidan, please head over to:

You will be inspired.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Episode 83---Sketchy ain't it?

In this week's episode Drew, Patrick, Socar, and Jeremy discuss their use of the secretive discipline of sketching for fun, profit, and sanity...

The sketches and their progeny for your viewing pleasure...

Patrick's sketches:
You may recall the confusion we shared over which sketch I was describing...
I was talking about these sketches---

Patrick was actually talking about these lovely pieces of work!

It eventually led to this most excellent finished illustration:

Here are Drew's sketches for your viewing pleasure. His thumbnails are a great way to tackle tough assignments!

Below is the finished Einhorn piece based on the man sketches that Drew developed.

Below are sketches for a piece of card art featuring a large serpent.

And the finished piece based on the many sketches the artist produced as he wporked out the composition...

Here is Socar's contribution to the discussion. We can't wait to see the finished piece when she can share it...
Here are a few pages from Jeremy's sketchbook. You can see what he means by using it for his own entertainment...

Jeremy does sketch for his contract work as well. Thumbnails are usually scanned into the computer and refined to roughly what you see here...

After about five minutes extra work Jeremy delivers this to the client...

The same routine was followed for this second assignment as well...

I think this one took ten extra minutes of work to finish after the rough was approved.
Jeremy stopped for a coffee....

If you keep a sketchbook, we hope you will share a few pages with your fellow listeners here in the comments section!

Don't forget to check out the Visual Artist Podcast Network for other great shows!
See you next week!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Episode 82---The Future of Publishing Royalty...

In this week's episode Socar, Drew, Patrick, and Jeremy discuss digital publishing and the topic of royalty agreements along with the true purpose of the iPad.
Not to be missed!

We are a proud member of the Visual Artist Podcast Network!

If you have ever worked under a royalty agreement, please share your experiences with us!
What do you see as the future of publishing?
Do you currently own any game titles in digital format? What do you think of how it compares to printed materials?
Where do you see things headed for rpgs and board games?

And -- give Patrick a good experience with royalties and buy Starkweather: Immortal, available for immediate shipping from and other wonderful retailers everywhere!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Episode 81--Children's Illustrator, Donna Berger. Plus a bonus podcast!

In episode 81 Socar, Drew, and Jeremy sit down to an interview with children's illustrator, Donna Berger.
Donna has illustrated numerous children's books and shares her work and experiences with us.

We apologize for missing last week's release, but our fearless editor was sick as a hell hound ( we can't just say "dog" around here---we're fantasy artists).
We hope you enjoy the discussion!

Also this week, we have an additional short podcast for you to listen to. Jeremy is the current president of the NH Creative Club and recently had the opportunity to interview a networking guru on the joys of person-to-person networking.
Have a listen and polish your interpersonal skills as you prepare to press the flesh at your next convention!
Here's the link:

Make sure to subscribe to the Ninja Mountain Podcast on iTunes or we will send Jeremy over to your home to cough on you!

Next week Patrick, Drew, Socar, and Jeremy sit down to talk about the future of digital publishing, and royalty deals...

Donna Berger

Picturebook Directory of Children's Illustration



Friday, September 17, 2010

Episode 80---Motivation, Mentors, and Money...

This week, Socar and Jeremy join up to discuss a listener question from Stuart Hatt regarding motivation and the role of family and friends in getting past the challenges of painting.
This leads into discussion of Jon Schindehette's recent Art Order Blog post regarding mentoring.
Later, the dynamic duo discuss that most frustrating creature of all--the flaky artist---only this one took the money and ran!

We hope you enjoy the show!

Don't forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes or we will send Jeremy over to throw spaghetti at your drawing board!

A link to the article we discussed today...
Art Order's talk about Mentorship

A question for publishers--Have you encountered an artist that left you high and dry? How did you deal with the situation?
Do you have a mentor? What impact have they had on your life?
Are you a mentor to someone?
How do you stay motivated in the studio and how do family and friends help you get over the bumps in the road?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Episode 79---Intimidating Dragons! It's what we do...!

Episode 79 is here and, with it, a fair-sized collection of Ninjas and friends gather.
Drew, Eric, Patrick, Chandra Free, and Jeremy discuss Dragon Con, and a host of other topics that followed the meandering path of this week's conversation.
We also take a question from artist, Brian Bowes.
Thanks, Brian!

Be sure to subscribe to the Ninja Mountain Podcast on iTunes or we will tell Chandra that you mispronounced her name.
Jeremy did it once and he continues to walk with a limp and now has a phobia of pickle spears...

Links of note...
Chandra Free
The God Machine Graphic Novel
Starkweather Immortal
SideBar Nation
New York Comicon
Mega Con
Illo Deli
Brian Bowes

For other great podcasts, go to the Visual Artists Podcast Network!

Were you at Dragon Con? Let us know how it went!
Have you ever dealt with the those feelings of intimidation when viewing the work of your fellow artists? How do you overcome it?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Episode 78--Drew and Jeremy catch up with copyright , board games, and extensions...

In this week's installment, Drew and Jeremy kick back and chat over hot topics of the day.
Copyright and fandom
Board game slavery
Extensions ( for deadlines...not your bangs)
And anything else that occurred to them as they carried the weight of this week's episode on their brittle backs.

Subscribe to The Ninja Mountain Podcast or we'll turn your entire on-line portfolio into free wallpapers for folks to download! Yes--even the quarter-pagers featuring headshots of goblins!!

Check out other great shows at The Visual Artist Podcast Network!

Names we shamelessly dropped this week--
Joseph Acone ( no link---I just put this here to shame the poor man...)
Heather Kreiter
Piya Wannachaiwong ( He solved the URL challenge quite handily)
Franz Vohwinkel

Questions to listeners--
What is your policy on fan requests to post your work to the net?
How have you dealt with infringement of that sort?
Have you taken steps to make infringement difficult on the web?
Are you headed for DragonCon? Share your experiences with your fellow artists.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Episode 77--Ink Bloom, Steve Ellis, NDA's and Zombies

This week features the final two interviews that Jeremy was able to cram into his trip to GenCon.
First we are joined by Chris Seaman and Jim Pavelec to discuss their innovative book, Ink Bloom.
Then Steve Ellis joins the fray to discuss his comics work and digital distribution and Comixology.
Finally, Socar and Jeremy are joined by talented illustrator, Mu Young Kim to talk about Non-Disclosure Agreements, video games, Zombies, and haggis. Not to be missed!

Make certain to subscribe to the Ninja Mountain Podcast on iTunes or we will unleash the zombie hordes upon your sleepy, unsuspecting town.

Don't forget to check out the Visual Artist Podcast Network!

Also, feel free to tout your zombie survival skills right here in the comments section.
If you've read Ink Bloom, Box 13, or High Moon let us know what you thought of them!
And don't forget to post your listener questions or favorite topics for us to discuss on future episodes.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Episode 76---Blame it on the Llhama!

Jeremy returns from GenCon to join Socar Myles, Kieran Yanner, and Patrick McEvoy in conversation on business ethics, apprentices, conventions, and llhamas! Later, we interview a few GenCon attendees for your listening pleasure!

Sarah Frary, Kyle Thomas, Christopher Burdett, and John Stanko.

Be sure to subscribe tot he Ninja Mountain Podcast on iTunes or we will send a herd of llhamas to your studio. The mess will be epic...

The Visual Artist Podcast Network

Tune in next week to learn about Chris Seaman and Jim Pavelec's new collaborative book, Ink Bloom!
We will also be posting a fun conversation with cartoonist and illustrator, Steven Ellis, about his work and the state of digital publishing. Both recorded at GenCon 2010 in those rare quiet moments...

Friday, August 06, 2010

Episode 75 - This place is bugged!

While Jeremy is away at Gen Con, we have a return visit by the long lost Ninja Kieran Yanner! Kieran, Socar and MC Patrick answer some listener questions and spend way too much time talking about various bugs. It's a strange and beautiful exploration into the minds of three human illustrators, none of whom has the slightest idea of the horrors that await them...

Subscribe now on iTunes. That is all.

Other great podcasts can be found on the Visual Artist Podcast Network!

And, Patrick says: Starkweather: Immortal is now available for pre-order on!

The date listed has been pushed back another month, but we have it on good authority that it will probably be out in just another 2 weeks or so!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Episode 74---Painting the Prose and Cons...

In this week's episode, Socar, Drew, and Jeremy take a few listener questions from Eve Archambault, Tom Hermann, and Shaun Patterson.
As you can probably guess---the conversation just devolves from there....

Subscribe to the Ninja Mountain Podcast or we will send Socar over to your house to hog your PlayStation and/or XBox 360.

Next week Drew and Jeremy are off for GenCon!
Road trip!!
The shiny red recorder will be going with the gang for another GenCon Special.
Stay tuned!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Episode 73---Questions, back-ups, and crits...oh my!

Thanks for sticking with us, folks. Jeremy's computer crash forced a postponement of last week's episode, but now we are back in the fight with a new installment.

In this week's episode, Socar and Jeremy field questions from listener, Shane Smith ( or as Socar has re-named him, Horace Shabooballah...). Sorry, Shane. The two then go on to share their various computer woes and wrap it up with a critique for Preston Stone's ( aka Razwit) and his preparatory drawing for the Art Order " Gotta Have a Hook" Challenge.

We hope you enjoy!

You had better subscribe to the show before another technical catastrophe strikes and causes the internet to become sentient and finally assert its will on subservient humanity...

Preston's most excellent drawing for your consideration:

Art Order's "Gotta Have a Hook" Challenge

Open Gaming Convention!
Preston Stone ( aka Razwit)
Shane Smith
The Visual Artist Podcast Network

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Patrick is San Diego bound!

Hey ho, it's that time of year again! Patrick McEvoy here to say that the ultra-awesome San Diego Comic-Con is upon us! I'll be there with 130,000 of my closest friends (including Ninja Mountain Podcast contributor Chandra Free) enjoying the fun and making lots of connections and sales. (Well, hopefully...!)

My new Graphic Novel will be available for sale, I'll be doing commissions and selling prints, cards, and more! I'll even be on a panel with my publisher Archaia on Friday. Find out all about my schedule here:

In addition, I hope to get some fun interviews for an upcoming episode of the podcast. If you see me and mention Ninja Mountain, rest assured I'll ask you if you want to be on the show.

I hope to see you there!!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ninja Mountain Episode 72 - The Birds

Dare you enter the terrifying, spine-tingling world of Ninja Mountain? Masters of suspense Socar, Drew, Jeremy and Patrick lead you into the dark passages of death and mayhem, as the very forces of nature marshal against them.

Thrill as a seemingly normal podcast is surrounded by deadly flocks of wild birds, waiting just outside the door to devour the flesh of the humans within!

Cower as Socar and Patrick actually disagree about something for only the 600th time!

Scream in fear as Jeremy attempts to host this deadly mayhem!

Flee when Drew attempts to say things that might actually be of use!

Don't tell your friends the exciting and shocking ending!

Also, we discuss realism in illustration, and critique a sketch by Socar. Refreshments available in the lobby.

Subscribe now on iTunes and maybe the birds won't peck your eyes out... though they probably will anyway. We make no promises.

Other great podcasts can be found on the Visual Artist Podcast Network!

Here's the sketch we discuss from Socar

And here's Drew's idea

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Episode 71--The Doldrums...

In this weeks' episode Socar, Drew, and Jeremy discuss "the doldrums"--those occasional periods of inactivity in the studio when no fresh contract work appears on the schedule. What to do??
Other topics include LinkedIn and Drew's experiences at the Illustration Master Class.

We hope you enjoy!

Subscribe now on iTunes or be found adrift on deathly quiet seas...with nought but Socar playing the xylophone to keep you entertained...

Other great podcasts can be found on the Visual Artist Podcast Network!

The Illustration Master Class!
Drew Baker's Blog!
Art Order Ning Group
Mike Burns

What were your experiences at the Illustration Master Class, you lucky few?
How has a site like LinkedIn been of service to you?
Are you in the doldrums right now? What are you doing with your time?
Any ideas for future show topics? Post them here!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Episode 70-The ASFA Wants You!

In this week's episode, Jeremy sits down to talk with Mitchell Bentley, the current president of the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.

In the interview, we learn about this non-profit educational organization, its history, and its goals for the future.
The ASFA is revitalizing the whole organization and is preparing to unleash many exciting programs for the benefit of current and future members as well as our entire community of science fiction and fantasy artists.
We hope you enjoy the interview and will seek to learn more about it.
The ASFA is in need of passionate members and volunteers as well.
Now is a great opportunity to join in the fun and help mold the organization for the future.

Be sure to subscribe to the Ninja Mountain Podcast on iTunes or the philistines who hate fantasy art will have won!

Additional information about the ASFA can be found at the organization's website.

The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists


Don't forget to check out other most excellent podcasts on the Visual Artist Podcast Network!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Episode 69-Another lion of illustration has passed...

In this week's episode Patrick, Socar, and Jeremy take some time to remember Al Williamson--legendary cartoonist and inker.

The conversation later moves onto the topic of choice of medium and whether more time spent in the studio necessarily makes for better work.

We wrap up with a lengthy discussion on some of the additional costs associated with operating a freelance studio and how late payment and ( Heaven forbid) non-payment can hurt our business.
To publishers who don't realize this already---creativity is not the only outlay that studio artists contribute to your projects...

Of course, more finds its way into the weaving path of conversation, but you'll have to tune in to find out.

Make sure to subscribe to the Ninja Mountain Podcast or you may miss out on all the awesomeness! Each episode totally takes like six weeks to prepare!....Seriously! Why are you laughing??

More awesome shows can be found at the Visual Artist Podcast Network!

More about Al Williamson can be found at the following links

The Word Balloon Podcast

Don't hesitate to join in the conversation via the "comments" section of this very blog post, folks! As always, we are seeking your thoughts on these weighty topics.

Friday, June 11, 2010

This week---No podcast, but a great book review!

Because all the Ninjas are too hunkered down under the weight of deadlines this week, we were unable to get a show recording together, but rest assured that we will be back in the saddle every shortly with an all-new episode.

In lieu of a podcast, Jeremy thought he would offer up a review of the latest title to find its way to his book shelf...

Hey there, my fellow Ninjas---

I hope folks won't mind me pointing listeners in the direction of a most excellent book I've recently acquired.

James Gurney is the creator of the ever-popular Dinotopia series of books, and more recently authored an instructional book on realistic illustration entitled, " Imaginative Realism-How To Paint What Doesn't Exist".
For those of you who have not looked at this book, I would like to offer my thoughts and high praise for what I feel is one of the best treatments of the subject I have yet seen.

While many instructional books are available on the art of fantasy illustration, few have proven to be as valuable and as well-executed as Mr Gurney's.
The author is a master of his craft and has once again proven his willingness to teach those who aspire to follow in his foot steps.

Mr Gurney's intellectual curiosity and his intense research of the techniques of the master painters and golden age illustrators informs each chapter along with examples of the various principles as seen in his own expansive body of work.

His section on composition is worth the price of admission all on its own.
He introduces terms to the reader such as "spoke-wheeling", " shapewelding", "counterchange", and " repoussoir".
Techniques to help focus one's compositions are offered with an enjoyable and accessible writing style that both beginners and more experienced artists will appreciate.

He offers advice on how to gather and generate reference for your imaginative work to help create verisimilitude when depicting even the most outlandish subject.

The book concludes with overviews of various illustrative disciplines and some excellent step-by-step description of painting procedures.

The bottom line for this reader is that it is fast proving an invaluable resource.
I am already planning to apply many of the concepts found in this book to my own contract work.

I think those who aspire to more realistic modes of illustration should have this book in their studios whether they be digital painters or traditionalists.

Get it from your local library or, if you are into more permanent ownership---
Check it out at your favorite local book store or hit the internet with credit card at the ready.

To learn more about the artist and his work, he maintains a very informative and entertaining blog called, " Gurney Journey". I make sure to head over there every week for a good read and I think you will enjoy it as well.

If you do pick up the book, let us know what you think in the comments section of this very article !

Also, if there is a book you think your fellow Ninjas should check out, don't hesitate to share your suggestions here on the mountain.

Thanks for reading, folks. We'll be back soon with a new podcast episode to share!

New episodes of your favorite illustration podcasts are available at The Visual Artist Podcast Network...

Friday, June 04, 2010

Episode 68--Ideas and ID's...

This week Socar, Patrick, Drew, and Jeremy discuss the synergy of dynamic paradigms...or something like that....
We also discuss the challenge of being original in the genre market along with setting out your shingle.

Make sure to subscribe to the Ninja Mountain Podcast on iTunes or Socar will come to your studio and take your all your lunch money.

You should also head on over to the Visual Artist Podcast Network to check out all the great studio listening!

Many thanks to KiiChan and Brian Bowes, two very talented artists who stepped up with interesting topics of conversation this week!

Here are some fun question for listeners---
What was it like setting up your business?
What is the most egregious job title you've encountered?
What obstacles to originality have you encountered in your work? How did you conquer them?
Fantasy Illustrator or Fantasy Artist---which are you?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ninja Mountain Episode 67 - Technowizards

Like a booming 303 bassline from some acid-fuelled 90s dance music nightmare, our flashlight-bespectacled technonerds don their boiler suits and take to the stage behind their enormous racks of dubious looking gadgetry to bring you: Ninja Mountain Podcast Episode 67.

67 dude! (yeah I know it's not 69. It's a joke.)

In this, Jon's final show as part of the NM Podsquad, the ninjaneers discuss the impact technology has had on their businesses: Networking, squirting things down a wire, distraction, buying sable brushes through the infrawebz and a whole host of unsavoury topics which quite rightly hit the cutting room floor.

Turn on, tune in, become mildly disappointed and tinged with a general unplaceable feeling of ennui. Ninja Mountain 67. Simply the best.

Or as always subscribe to us on iTunes!

The Visual Artist Podcast Network

Show notes to follow!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Episode 66-Episode of the Beast...

This week two squads break ranks to pursue their devilish designs.
In the wilds of the untamed European continent Socar, Andy, Jon, and Ralph talk style and artistic improvement on the job.
Socar then teleports to North America to join the U.S. Squad in varied discussion including chat about professional life outside of rpg's.

Be sure to subscribe to the Ninja Mountain Podcast or you will receive a visit from "Old Scratch". We were old school buddies. He owes me a favor...

Jeremy makes good on his threat to share some of his early work...
Wanna see an example of the horrors that escaped Jeremy's early drawing board???

Fear not...He got better...

Perhaps you listeners out there are willing to bring forth the skeletons in your studio closet??
Show us your worst and your best! Wipe fear from your breast and join in the ghoulish fun. :)

Also be sure to head over to the Visual Artist Podcast Network to check out some awesome programs!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ninja Mountain 65 - Remembering Frazetta

A great illustrator passed away this week, and we got several Ninjas together to talk about his life, and how he has affected us and other artists. Frank Frazetta remembered, this week on Ninja Mountain.

Or as always subscribe to us on iTunes!

The Visual Artist Podcast Network

Friday, May 07, 2010

Episode 64--Are we done yet??

This week we join the North American crew as they discuss a listener's question about knowing how to tell when one's work is done.
Then we are whisked away to Europe for the Foreign contingent's weighty discussion of improving one's work while in the throes of freelance professionalism.

Make sure to Subscribe to the Ninja Mountain Podcast, or be prepared for a visit from Dark Lord Baggadix!

The Visual Artist Podcast Network

Friday, April 30, 2010

Ninja Mountain Episode 63 - "Sometimes I Just Wonder - What it's All For?"

Strap on your jet pack of chat and blast off into the wild blue yonder with your Ninja Mountain friends! On this episode it's a cross-Atlantic team up megashow, with Silent Andy, Jeremy, Jon, Ralph, Socar and early bather Torstein. Under the lazor-scope this week is the weighty topic of workload and self improvement. But fear not! It's not all content!

Subscribe at the iTunes store: You know it makes sense.

Show notes to follow if we can think of any...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Episode 62 Concepts and Comics...

In this episode, Jon, Andy, and Ralph arrive just in the nick of time to rescue concept artist and illustrator, Torstein Nordstrand, from the clutches of volcanic ash to discuss his work and career in concept art. 
Later on, Patrick, Socar, and Jeremy join up with Chandra Free to talk about comics.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Episode 61--Business on the side. Wonder Con!

In Episode 61, Patrick returns to the mountain and with the dust of the road still on his boots he joins, Drew, Socar, and Jeremy to discuss other ways of generating additional income from their work.
We also join Patrick as he engages in an inebriated after hours conversation with friends Kat Rocha, Josh Finney, and Chandra Free at WonderCon!

If you have any other fine ideas for generating income from your work beyond the initial sale of copyright, we would love to hear them. 
Also, if you know how to help Socar with the technical difficulties her website is currently facing, please do drop in to the comments section of this post. I have no doubt that Socar would be all too happy to follow up with you.
Thanks for listening, folks, and we look forward to hearing your ideas!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Episode 60--Mind walks and digital talks.

This week the Ninjas of the Euro Zone enjoy intellectual discussion of the freelancing life and the associated  psychological landscape while the North American contingent discuss the leap from traditional to digital tools and back.

We hope you enjoy episode 60!

Because Jeremy sometimes has to explain his obscure humor...

Be sure to tune in for Episode 61 next week where Patrick will share his WonderCon recording!
Not to be missed!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Episode 58---Intellectual Conventions and Chandra Free!

In this week's episode, Patrick, Socar, and Jeremy are joined by the talented Chandra Free ( aka. Spookychan), illustrator of "The God Machine".
Together they discuss their dream projects, a bit about conventions, and other stuff.... 

Make sure to subscribe to the Ninja Mountain Podcast on iTunes or we will be forced to ask Jeremy to attempt to pronounce your name during a future broadcast.... I heard him mispronounce "Smith" once. The boy's got talent...

To learn more about Spookychan's most excellent artistic offerings, head on over to her studio website.
Head on over to the Visual Artist Podcast Network to learn more about other great illustration programs!

Some conventions to check out!

A bunch of FRIENDS having a great time at Dragon Con....You could be too!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Episode 57--It's a Family Affair!

This week, Socar and Jeremy are sitting down with 3D modeler, actor, and evil doppleganger--Joshua McHugh. 
It's a family affair this week folks--though we at the Mountain doubt it--those two boys get along too well...

We talk about the pursuit of goals and the need for herculean effort and constant self-education. 
Other topics include 3D modeling and "catch 22" situations.
This week presents an uplifting tale with uplifting music and general "upliftment" ( I swear it's a word---check wikipedia)...

If you don't subscribe on iTunes we'll be sending another of Jeremy's clones to your home and you will be absorbed by the mother brain.

Also don't Forget to check out The Visual Artist Podcast Network to find other excellent shows produced with the working artist in mind!

Below are links to some of the items mentioned in this week's show!

Some of Josh's 3D modeling in action can be found in the following videos:

Useful links to 3D modeling packages and resource sites:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ninja Mountain episode 56 - An Englishman in the dark

This week sees Andy Hepworth (Scottish by birth, English parents, living in Scotland), Jon Hodgson (Scottish grandparents, English by birth, living in Scotland) and Ralph Horsley (Born in Scotland, living in England) confusing the Dickens out of our colonial cousins with their Britisher ways.

Put the kettle on, toast your bread on both sides, butter a pikelet, and sit back and enjoy a nice china cup of Ninja Mountain fresh from the pot*.

It would be truly a fool's errand to try to offer a summation of what this episode is about, so just have a listen.  We talk about all kinds of things.

*No pot was used in the creation of this show.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Ninja Mountain episode 55 - Epic Self-Loathing

More questions from listeners will hit you where you're most vulnerable - your cold and atrophied heart! Also, learn what the Ninjas think about things like certain comic book artists, Shutter Island, and getting hit in the balls. Join us as Patrick, Socar, Drew and Jeremy pump up the art-volume to 11 million!!

Subscribe on iTunes for free or prepare to feel the pangs of self-hatred.

Show Notes:
Rob Liefeld

Nick Simmons

Let us not forget that we promised some answers to Steve Argyle's most excellent follow-up questions from the wonderful Linda Kattwinkel of Owen, Wickersham & Erickson ( ).
Linda is the author of the copyright law column, "Legalities"!

Here is the Q&A follow-up between Steve Argyle and Linda Kattwinkel.

"Fan art." Paid, or for fun: Infringement in both cases, right? As the work may be original, but the characters portrayed are copyrighted.

Fan art is technically infringement. But so long as the work is not being exploited commercially (e.g., the fans are not selling t-shirts), most copyright owners take the wise course of allowing it. Remember, it is always the copyright owner’s prerogative to grant permission to others to copy the work, on the copyright owner’s terms. Fan art can be allowed with the copyright owner’s explicit or implicit blessing.

...But is there a line of fair-use somewhere in there? Most of us started out by submitting portfolios jammed full of craptastic Wolverine vs. Darth Vader drawings. And sites like Deviantart are 95% fan-art.

Private portfolio pieces, in order to show prospective clients that you have the skill to illustrate famous characters, is probably fair use, IF you are clear about it, and especially if you are showing a prospective client renderings of its own characters. Where you could get into trouble is making such portfolio pieces public (e.g., on your website), especially if in context it looks like you actually did them as actual paid work for the owners of those characters (that would be misrepresentation and unfair competition).

I imagine pros should just plain steer clear. I know I've turned down plenty of private commissions because the request was for copyrighted characters. Is there ever a non-satirical scenario where it's ok?

If someone wants to commission you to create work based on copyrighted characters, I agree, it is wise to turn down the job. In that scenario, you are earning money for creating the copy, which puts you squarely in the infringement camp (along with your client). The only way to safely accept such a commission is to have a written contract in which the client warrants that it has permission to do this, and agrees to indemnify you against any infringement claims. Even then, you should make sure the client has the means to pay for defending you in a lawsuit if it happens, otherwise the indemnification may not help you.**

**You are right, the only exception is “fair use,” which generally requires your work to be a critique, comment or parody of the copyrighted character. Non-satirical copies won’t qualify.

(I've actually tried to purchase licensing for creating artwork based on some of the big franchises. Even the ones I work for just sort of shrugged.)

And a contracts question:

Publishers all have "boiler-plate" contracts, and some of them can get downright draconian. Most artists are simply super-excited to be working, and barely read the contract, let alone understand that in some cases, they themselves are no longer allowed to use or display the work in any context.

Is there a "boiler-plate" contract outline that artists can purchase, perhaps from your firm, Linda, which an artist can use for various scenarios?

There are some good resources for form contracts for illustrators to use in various scenarios. The GAG Handbook has several:; and Allworth Press has many books full of sample contracts: These are good starting places, but I strongly recommend that you have an attorney review your proposed form before you start using it. There are always individual circumstances to consider, and they might be ill-served by the form.

Lastly, I've had a number of this ghastly beast: "Surprise! We rewrote your contract!" Now, I realize that in many contracts, there is written provision for modification after signing, but what is the scope of what can be changed? I've had contracts rewritten to remove my rights to display the work and sell prints. I've had contracts that were rewritten from temporary license, to work-for-hire. I know that at least some of this isn't legal, but I'll be buggered if I know which parts, and what my rights are in this sort of situation.

As a matter of contract law, once you have made an agreement, the only way to change it is by the mutual agreement of both parties. One side to an existing contract cannot just unilaterally change the terms. In order to change it, under contract law you essentially have to make a new agreement, which requires that each party provides “consideration” for the new terms. Consideration is something of value that each party gives the other in order to make the agreement legally enforceable. Generally, when you enter into the original contract, the consideration from your client is money, and the consideration from you is your illustration services and license for the client to use the art. Later, if the client wants to eliminate your rights to display the work and sell prints, giving up those rights would be a form of new consideration they are getting from you. What form of new consideration are you getting in return from them? If the answer is nothing, there is no enforceable change to the contract terms. If you are presented with such after-the-fact changes, you can just say no.

One caveat: if your client presents you with new terms that would apply only to future work you would do for them (rather than for work you have already created per your original contract), that may legally be considered an offer for a new contract, which you can either accept or reject. Their bargaining power comes in if they can say you won’t get any more future work unless you agree to the new terms. Unfortunately, this seems to be a common tactic.

I've got more, but I'll stop now. Thanks so much for your time!