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Opening night at the Nucleus Gallery's
Harry Potter tribute art show.
Alhambra, CA, July 10th, 2011

Remembering NIMH

Artists I admire

Now featured on TurningArt! It's a rather novel idea where subscribers can rent art prints for a monthly fee, as well as collect credit towards the purchase of both prints and original paintings. My page on their site can be found here.

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Art News
 
 

10 years gone.
May 21, 2016

So...today marks the 10th anniversary of my mother's death. In many ways, it feels like yesterday. And yet forever.

Some good things have happened in the years since: a solid foundation of trustworthy friends, a new home, new loves, a young niece and nephew, and a creative film project that is now underway.

And, of course, there's been bad: I've been crippled by writer's block, don't paint or draw nearly as much as I used to, some dreams of youth have died or faded, while toxic personalities have come and gone. Health issues. Lost friends. And some family relationships are now broken; what I once considered "family" now seems distant, if not irreparably lost.

Most of all, I just miss my mother -- her friendship, her voice, and the unspoken, calming knowledge of her presence in my life.

If she were here now, no doubt she'd be thrilled with her grandchildren...while furious with the actions of others, who I shall not name. (No need.)

I wonder about the type of person I *would* have been, had she remained in my life another ten years. I guess I should just be thankful for the 32 years we had together.

It never would have been long enough, anyway.

 
 
     
 
 

Introducing McDaniel Whiskey!
April 1, 2016

After nearly twenty years of living and working creatively in California, I've decided to change careers and embark on a new path: resurrecting my family's once proud whiskey label, which previously met an untimely end during the suffocating rise of Prohibition.

This 184 proof whiskey, with natural cinnamon flavors, is distilled for the most discerning & disgruntled curmudgeon.

Like its namesake, McDANIEL WHISKEY blends flavors from Scotland and Ireland, though the exact history remains a contentious matter among certain willful family members. It has been proven to possess certain medicinal properties, is ideal for family use, and has a curious effect on forging friendships*.

*It can also destroy them.

Disclaimer: Not recommended for nervous persons, individuals of a distemperate demeanor, women with child, responsible clergy, or those of a cruel disposition.

Those interested in taking pre-orders, please contact me. A full project proposal may be found here. Other images cvan be found on my newly added Titles & Graphic Design page.

 
 
     
 
 

The post where Adam, like, you know, follows up on misc. nerdy wannabe stuff...
March 20, 2016

To follow up on my post from January 3rd, I now have a shared page on Shutterfly where you can buy copies of my art book.

There are two versions: a 12x12" hardcover and a 10x10" softcover. I know the prices are steep, but they reflect only the manufacturing cost for print on demand. I make no profits or residuals from any sales, as it's designed only for showcasing my artwork for those who want a keepsake. On the plus side, Shutterfly often has discount promos for their subscribers.

Hardcover 12x12"
Softcover 10x10"

I also have a new page at TEEPUBLIC.com, where select artwork is available at pretty competitive prices.

I forgot to mention that to coincide with my interview in INDYMAG's newly released issue #9, profiling my "wannabe" artwork and obsessive Indiana Jones fandom/nerdom, I'll be giving away a free print of my Indiana Jones artwork. You can get the digital edition of the issue here, or buy a print edition.

 
 
     
 
 

Indymag and ImagineFX magazines.
March 15, 2016

I'm happy to be featured in INDYMAG's newly released issue #9, profiling my "wannabe" artwork and obsessive Indiana Jones fandom/nerdom. You can get the digital edition here, or buy a print edition.

Special thanks to Junior Jones and the entire Indymag crew for all their support and enthusiasm!

I use the term "wannabe" regarding my art, with both a sense of humor and humility. Earlier this year I had to deal with a little bit of drama involving a rather toxic personality, who ended up hurling more insults and threats at me than a psychotic schoolyard bully. Suffice to say it's good for me to keep things in perspective (and in check) with a little self-effacing humor; what one person considers an insult, I'll take as a compliment. The outpouring of support I've received from my friends, associates, artists, and co-workers over this situation has meant the world to me. It's helped me to move on, to move forward...and most importantly, to try to forgive. Karma has already done its part; I need not stress over it anymore.

I also use "wannabe" because, when compared to *REAL* artists, that's essentially what I am -- and I don't feel slighted in the least bit. Such artists are profiled in the March issue of ImagineFX Magazine, which dedicated its cover story to Classic Fantasy Film Art, celebrating what was the last great era of illustrated movie posters.

Richard Amsel was among the illustrators profiled. I had a nice exchange with writer Garrick Webster about the late artist's work, though it resulted in only a few small snippets within the article itself.

Now that the issue has been on news stands for some time, here's a PDF of the cover story. You can buy a copy of the full issue through this link. Issues can also be found in select bookstores.

 
 
     
 
 

At last it is happening -- www.richardamselmovie.com launched!
January 17, 2016

The documentary Amsel: Illustrator of the Lost Art presents the first in-depth profile of legendary illustrator Richard Amsel (1947-1985), detailing the artist’s remarkable body of work while chronicling anenigmatic life marked with personal heartbreak, celebrity friendships, creative genius, and a tragic end at the age of thirty-seven from AIDS.

  

Amsel remains a titanic figure within the realm of entertainment art, with work ranging from celebrated movie posters (Raiders of the Lost Ark), to iconic album and concert posters (including famous portraits of Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand), to magazine covers. Yet while the artist’s work garnered considerable popularity, little has ever been revealed about the man himself.

This is not just a documentary about a movie poster artist. It is a human story of an artistic savant who achieved his first extraordinary success at the age of 21. It is a time capsule of New York’s gay culture in the seventies...and the onslaught of AIDS in the eighties. It is a reconstruction of a fractured life told through friends, celebrities, and colleagues, as well as a re-appreciation of an artist’s work.

I've been doing a number of interviews over the past few months, but there's plenty of road ahead. Nevertheless, I wanted to get the documentary's website off the ground early, as filming it will no doubt be a complex journey, with twists and turns in directions I can't yet imagine.

More importantly, I felt it necessary to reach out to the public, as, in the months ahead, I hope to connect with those who either knew Richard Amsel, or whose lives were touched by the man or his work in some way. There will also be a crowdfunding campaign in 2016, which is still in the planning stages.

The teaser poster, presented here, features a modified photo of Richard Amsel by the late photographer Kenn Duncan. Special thanks to the permissions office at The New York Public Library for allowing me to use Duncan's photo for this early internet campaign.

 
 
     
 
 

My first art book!
January 3, 2016

I never really thought I'd have enough presentable artwork to warrant it, but what the heck -- it's a new year, and time to forge ahead.

I just finished the layout of my first "coffee table" art book, and am awaiting the hardcover proof from the printers in a week or two. It's admittedly short (merely 24 pages), but I'm excited by the way it looks so far.

I've done this mainly as a compact way to present my art portfolio to potential clients, but if the hardcover proof QC turns out OK, I'll be publishing a more affordable print on demand softcover version, for anyone who's interested. More info to come.

UPDATE 1/17/2016:

A number of people have asked me about copies of the book, now available on Shutterfly. The $37.95 price I know is a bit steep, I know, but it reflects only the manufacturing cost for print on demand. I make no profits or residuals from any sales, as it's designed only for showcasing my artwork for those who want a keepsake. On the plus side, Shutterfly often has discount promos for their subscribers.

 
 
     
 
 

Happy new year! Time to be Daring!
January 2, 2016

There are so many things going on right now that it's hard for me to process them all. I'm feeling the post-holiday blues, while trying to force myself to have a positive outlook on the new year.

I'll be writing more on the late Ken Robinson soon. I've recently talked to his husband and cousin, and they plan on having a small getogether in L.A. around the end of the month. Ken and I had talked about my visiting him in his new home in Sacremento this Spring. Alas, that is not to be.

In the days between Christmas and New Year's, I had some time off, and wrapped up two creative projects. The first was this illustration of DRAGON'S LAIR, inspired by the current Indegogo campaign by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, to develop a short animated film pitch for a feature film adaptation of the classic cartoon videogame. (Dirk's pose here relied on a patchwork of different source elements from the DRAGON'S LAIR comic book, drawn by Fabio Laguna. It's only fitting that I give credit where credit is due.)

The artwork was painted in gouache on paper, but I opted to use my fancy new Cintiq to color it, and add the fire. I'm slowly trying to get into the modern age of digital "painting," but I'm pretty stubborn. However, the money I spent on the Cintiq is proving to be a wise investment.

Not that I was ever any good at playing the damn game. I must have spent serious moula as a kid at the arcades. A recent visit to L.A.'s 82 only proved that my skills faired no better as an adult.

The second creative project I'll be announcing tomorrow!

 
 
     
 
  If you're wondering where some of my previous news entries have gone, they've been archived by year -- and you can find the link to each of them at the very bottom of this page. I have a lot of new stuff going on, and have to make room. :)  
 
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All original writing, illustration, and artwork featured within this website (unless otherwise noted) copyright (c) 2015 Adam D. McDaniel, and can not be used without written permission.

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