Thursday, September 28, 2023
Wednesday, September 27, 2023
As well as attending Lightbox Expo 2023, I'll also be doing portfolio reviews and giving a talk on "Creating An Art Bible for a Fictional Universe." Come by and say hi, and go here http://lightboxexpo.com for the complete schedule of talks and panels!
Friday, September 22, 2023
People who bought "Neil Blevins Sketchbook Vol 1: Spaceships" on Monday are receiving their books. Love seeing them in the wild, thanks so much for the support! Grab a copy today:
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
A closer look at some of the pages from my new book "Neil Blevins Sketchbook Vol 1: Spaceships", print edition available here: https://amazon.com/Neil-Blevins-Sketchbook-Vol-Spaceships/dp/B0CJ43Z89J/ Thanks so much to the people who've already bought a copy!
Monday, September 18, 2023
"Neil Blevins Sketchbook Vol 1: Spaceships" has been released!
Physical copy here:
Digital copy here:
And to my international friends, the physical copy should also be available on many local amazon marketplaces, so feel free to visit your country's amazon marketplace online and search for Neil Blevins, it'll save you shipping time and money.
To everyone who buys a copy, thank you so much for the support, hope you enjoy it!
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Wednesday, September 6, 2023
Announcing my third book, "Neil Blevins Sketchbook Vol 1: Spaceships", a softcover sketchbook of my pen & ink spaceship drawings. 64 pages, 8.25" x 8.25", 119 spaceship doodles from the past 6 years!
As many of you know, I started getting back into traditional pen & ink drawings in 2017 during Inktober, and have basically been hooked ever since. I love digital work, but there's something so satisfying about the low tech of paper and a pen, a simple stroke of ink can carry so much information and personality.
As with many of you, the advances of Generative AI have been an existential crisis for me. Putting aside questions of career for a moment, if a computer can make nice polished digital paintings, what point is there in me making them? Is there any personal joy left in producing this sort of work? Any satisfaction? Will there be an audience, or will we all choke in a deluge of generated imagery, making it impossible to find what truly connects with us? I feel doing these pen and ink drawings is a part of my process for answering these questions. It is a way to reconnect with my roots, with my early joy of creating. Yes, Generative AI will eventually be good at making lifelike drawings that will certainly flood social media, but there's something about going to a convention, and someone right there in front of you is making you a commission, you see their mind and soul going onto that paper, you know they have touched that surface and are giving you a little piece of themselves. Every mistake is a reminder that we're all human, every successful line a symphony. While I doubt I can make a career of fostering that connection with the audience, the attempt at making those types of human connections is why we're all doing this in the first place, right?
As a second more practical reason for doing this book, I'm trying a little experiment. My second book "Megastructures, the Visual Encyclopedia" was printed using Offset Printing. The reason to use this process is because it makes paintings look gorgeous. The downside is you have to pre-print your books, which is a big upfront expense, and shipping the books myself world wide is even more prohibitively expensive. So this book is printed on demand by KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). So no pre-printing 1000 copies, shipping is cheap due to Amazon's shipping system, and for pen and ink drawings, the quality is excellent, I doubt Offset printing could make it look any better. I won't do all future books this way, for anything painting heavy Offset is the only option, but I'm testing the waters on how easy it is to print some of my future books using the print on demand method if the particular artwork is compatible with the process.
So if you've been following me on social media for the past 6 years and seeing my spaceship doodles, here's a chance to own a collection of the ones I feel are my most successful. As 2 bonuses, the book also includes a discussion of my tools and process, and has a few drawing vs final paintings in the rear of the book. Neil Blevins Sketchbook, Vol 1: Spaceships is scheduled to be released Sept 12th 2023, and I hope you pick up a copy. If the little experiment is successful, I suspect a vol 2 won't be too far behind.