1. The first thing I do when approaching a new piece is to douse myself in gasoline. The fumes give me a certain high that causes my vision to blur and the poison/danger-factor forces me to act quickly. Then, I clutch a pencil in my fist, snap my neck backward like in an early Sam Raimi film, and let the dark spirt of Gr’ocp’h guide my hand and scribble.
2. After showering the gas off and exercising the spirit from my body, I photograph the sketch using an ancient tool called a “soul-grabber”. Some people call it a camera. I then invisibly teleport this photo onto another ancient device called a “futuristic Trapper Keeper”. Using this ancient device, I consciously re-sketch my scribble into something that makes a lot more sense to me, such as this.
3. After the sketch is trapped inside the tiny Phantom Zone, I wave my hands around like an awkward windmill at a rave and all these colors start filling themselves in. Then I can change the colors by swiping my hands in mid-air like Minority Report until I decide on the perfect color palette. Inspired by Spawn’s costume, I decided to use yellow and turquoise as the main colors.
4. In the Phantom Zone, there’s only 2-dimensions. So I have to figure out how to transfer them to the 3rd dimension if I want to have any fun with them. Most of the time, as in this case, I look at the panel, then look at the computer, then look at the panel again and then the computer, and then I just stare blankly until someone comes in and goes “do you need me to help you?” And I do. So they do. Help is cool
5. When laying down the first layer of acrylics, the most important things for me are 1.) approach the painting from a new angle and 2.) wear my favorite hat.
6. When painting at this angle, I can pretend to defy gravity by making drips go upward. I learned this trick from WES CRAVEN and the famous rotating room from Nightmare on Elm St. It also helps me to imagine that I am painting with Johnny Depp’s bed-blood. #waycooler
7. The initial textures are important. Most of them will get covered up entirely by the end but they help you notice contours and shapes that you didn’t intend. And they also provide me with about 7 hours of extra work that will ultimately be invisible by the end, but my goal is to subconsciously learn something in the process, just like The Karate Kid. I get a lot of inspiration from The Karate Kid. I’m currently also collecting shirts with bonsai on them and attempting to befriend every old Asian janitor I come across.
8. Trying new things when painting is really important. In this case, I tried the new Oprah Chai from Starbucks. Although I am open to trying new things, in this case I wish I hadn’t. My short review: Oprah’s Chai tastes a LITTLE like chai and a LOT like her broken water from Beloved.
9. I often start really regretting putting all that texture down first because it takes forever to cover it up so maybe disregard everything till now. Ok so now in this stage I just watch the static-channel on tv and fill stuff in with crayons disguised as paint brushes while doing face-exercises so that my face is in shape in case I ever need to run a face race.
10. Use liquid colors to create solid colors. Then dance until you defecate. 💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💩
11. Shading and highlighting is like a game of good cop/bad cop, especially if you use both of your hands simultaneously and dress them up like a good cop and a bad cop. And you should make the bad cop REALLY bad, like make him punch people and have aggressive tattoos. And make the good cop carry around a tiny copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul, give him a cool-dad earring and make him really good at moderating. That’s the best way to approach adding shadows and highlights to your painting.
12. I’m almost there! More shading, more highlights, more evening out of the color. I’m terrible at patience, so in order to get a nice, even solid background color really fast I call my friend Mola Ram who’s really good at spell casting. All I do is a sloppily apply heaping spoonfuls of Nova Color acrylic paint and leave the room. Mola Ram spreads some glitter and says “Kali Ma” over and over until the color is even and I’m not antsy anymore.
13. I was pretty much done with this until I realized ANOTHER UNFINISHED ONE POPPED UP OUT OF NOWHERE BEHIND IT AND NOW IM A SLAVE TO IT. REPEAT ENTIRE PROCESS. I MUST FINISH.
14. After finishing a painting, however manic the process is, I usually ask the friendly and mystical “Guardians of the Galaxy” director JAMES GUNN to stand in front of it to make it THAT much more magical for when I show my parents. And if he accepts, as he gracefully did here, I use that time to whisper in his ear something close to “HOW DID YOU MAKE THE BEST MOVIE EVER THAT MADE ME CRY AND CHEER AND WISH I LIVED IN IT!?” And then I tear up while straring at him. And then the painting is done.
15. Say Anything you want to about it, but it’s ON SALE NOW