Saturday, July 25, 2009

Black in America 2: Part 2: Pursuit of Happiness

There is nothing greater in this life than joy. Feeling good about yourself. After the Black an America series I had been thinking a lot about the challenges in life. In the film "Pursuit of Happiness" a man dragged his child all over the streets of new york homeless and in shelters trying to do an internship that paid nothing for 6 months so he could get on wall street. It reminds me of the persistence of the human heart.

One man on the Black in America series talked about how he wanted to open a high school where 100% of his students graduated and went to college. And he did. Many of the students coming from the street and broken homes. Everyday he stood outside the front door and greeted each person as they got off the bus and went in the building because he wanted to make sure that his kids knew he cared. He had the highest expectations of his teachers and if they couldn't cut it he didn't keep them in his school to infect his student he just let them go.

Man I wonder sometimes what my life would be like if I had attended a high school like that. Where they take pride in educating students. What would the educational system in the US be like especially if Af Am neighborhoods. In my area they get closed down all the time because of lack of money, lack of parental participation and just down and out teachers going through the motions giving up on young people.

The series also makes me think back to my days at the Joe Kubert School. Honestly even though I was working my ass off to improve, just like everyone else there, I found it alarming to here that some people didn't like the work I did no matter how I tried to have good quality professional look. After my first year some of the roomers started to catch up to me. Guys that had smiled in my face and complimented my work secretly hated everything I did.

I thought it was crazy. During that school year I had tried to rally the girls of the school together, the few that there were, and get them to put together a art book. I called it QB Dolls. You can see a link to it on the side. Me and another young lady did all the work of collecting the art and scanning the pages and assembling and designing everything. Though the book had it's issues we actually got it done. On the side of doing ten assignments a week and drowning in homework.

When the book was done almost no one that was in the book actually bought copies for themselves. We actually lost money on the project because students in the school refused to buy it saying they thought it cost to much. In fact, the teachers are the only ones that really bought it. I was kinda sad. I was selling it for less than what it cost to print. By the end of the year though when it came time for submissions for a scholarship I think aside from the portfolio I submitted, the book played a major role in helping me to get the scholarship.

I think what hurt most though was when I started hearing how people didn't like my art because it was more for girls and it was too anime. One guy actually told someone I didn't deserved the scholarship cause I drew in a manga style. The word manga in English means comic. Personally I thought I worked my ass off for it. I heard someone say once that if you are not being hated on you aren't doing something right.

I guess what i am trying to say is no matter how hard it seems a person might work in this life we gotta tread though a lot of B.S. to get what we want whether we like it or not. It is our attitude that will make or break our success. I feel last year I had the wrong attitude about my life. I have alway thought to my self just wait untill I get out of this situation and things will be great.

Little did I know, it never got better and the months turned to years of waiting was just a waste of time. The other thing was after the rumors and the B.S. I started to think there was something wrong with me if I wasn't drawing explosions and battle scenes and fitting into a hip hop "style" that people felt I needed to fit into. It never worked for me. Then I think back to being a child and just being myself and doing what I love. That is when things fell into place on a mental level.

The obstacles I face these days are a direct result of not loving myself and trying to fit into someone else's box. I got people telling me how I should draw, what I should draw, to draw for them, to put off drawing and get a real job, to draw on the side, and the famous "not everyone goes into the profession they went to college for." Hell, I didn't spend $60,000 to go to college and work as an in home care giver changing adult diapers and cleaning poop. This job has become yet another obstacle I have to over come so I can get back to really living.

Some people don't know this, but I am a huge fan of Bobby Chui. I love watching his video podcasts. My favorite story he tells is how an old women was stealing his t-shirts, that he designed, out of the drier and folding them up with her laundry and claiming that she bought them. He has this philosophy that for every really bad thing that happens to you you can look forward to something amazing taking place in your life soon after. I think though that you have to be ready for it because you might not see the great thing if you don't pay attention.

They say if you try longer than anyone else eventually you get to your goal because you are the last man standing. It may be a long wait for great things, but they will come. In the meantime I have resigned to try to think good thoughts no matter what they situation. I was in a car accident not to long ago and my car is broken and my paycheck is gone already, but you know what, today I had an amazing day.

I went to church I gave my ten percent and my mom actually came with me because she had to give me a ride, and if that was the only good thing that comes out of not having my car well I am happy because she walked out of that church with a book on prayer, a ton of information about women's health and heart protection, and an ear full of gods teachings. If that isn't something to be happy about I don't know what is.

Anyway you should check out yourself some Bobby Chiu. I hear that Imaginism Studios is more incorporated. the man is moving ahead in the game at lightning speed.

God Bless,

Black in America 2: Part 1: Poverty, Failure, Victomization, and Mediocrity

Is this the reality for Black people in America. Yesterday and the day before there was a series that came out called Black in America 2. It was airing on CNN. They had a few people on the show talking about how black people get stereotyped as being this poor and victimized race of people even though it really is just only one side of the story. There are people of all sort of back grounds that live in the Af Am community in the US.

More importantly I think that it is time people of all races recognize how alike everyone really is. Class and money are just a matter of fact in American society but my question to you is who's fault is it really. People have been working there butts off to over come these issues all over the US no matter what culture they come from. I think it is time we stop looking at all the bad things in our society and stop scaring each other out of taking a chance to be great in life.

One of the people they had on the series was Tyler Perry. I found his story exceptional and a breath of fresh air. He gets to go down in history as the first Black man to own his own film studio. Now personally I think his characters can be over the top sometimes but he still brings something to the plate and that is the Black story. It presents something to really relate to in this society where people let television raise there kids. Something other than booty shaking and hip hop. Something that happens to be real on one level or another.

Do you know that he sold 100 episodes of the tv series "House of Payne" for $200 MILLION DOLLARS! So here is a yet another question. What got him there? He said the first time he did a play only 30 people showed up and the show flopped. But he did it again and he got a popular gospel singer to do a song and it was a hit.

He said the first time he tried to pitch "Dairy of a Mad Black Women" that producers told him black people didn't go to church. So he packaged the play and sold DVD's and suddenly people are calling him begging the him to make the movie. The movie sold out opening night a grossed like 3 million dollars.

I am sure everyone heard the story of how he use to be homeless and how he grew up in a broken home but the story he mentioned that inspired him was how his dad worked as a carpenter when he was little and he fixed up this mans house for $800 dollars and the man sold if for $30,000. He said he decided he wanted to be the man that owned the house after that. You can't blame him though. There are so many amazingly talented people in this world. Even people that don't believe they can do great things will find that the second they start believing they are able to be more than what they are, their whole life will change for the better. Not say there won't be hard times cause there will always be hard time, but they will look forward to a time of peace in there heart because they went after and got what they wanted.

"You and all you are concerned with are moving toward completeness. Nothing can check this forward movement but yourself; and you can only check it by assuming a mental attitude that is at cross-purposes with the mind of God. You have nothing to keep right but yourself: if you keep yourself right, nothing can possibly go wrong with you, and you can have nothing to fear. No business or other disaster can come upon you if your personal attitude is right, for you are a part of that which is increasing and advancing and you must increase and advance with it." Wallace D. Wattles "Science of Being Great."

In other word, if you set your mind in a positive way and believe you can get what you want you can be assured you will get exactly what you want in life. It goes both ways though. If you think you are a failure and a victim and that you will always be poor then that is exactly what you get because you don't stand up and demand more from yourself. Stop watching t.v and go to the gym, or write a book or heck read one. You will be surprised what you will find out. Study people that are doing great things and try to do what they are doing for yourself and you might just find that your whole life changes and you become great. Did you know people waste hundred of hours of there lives just watching T.V. Imagine what you can do with that time.

When I went away to school we didn't have working t.v stations so me and my roommates found other ways to occupy ourselves. I think I learned more in all that time just reading and listening and studying things I enjoyed then ever in my life. and guess what? It was fun!

Perry said in his interview that one day he started keeping journal and that journal supplied him with the stories he needed to write enjoyable plays It is amazing what can happen when you burst out of your shell and share yourself with the world.

On that not here is a video. I don't agree with the language but I remember when this came out on BET it was surrounded with controversy. It was crazy! you judge for yourself and don't forget to go out and be great today! See ya tomorrow.

God Bless,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Zatanna Pinup Art Walk Through

Here is a walk through showing the process for getting to a finished piece. This was a commission done for a wonderful guy that wanted to help me out with going to the Mid Ohio Comic Con. Hope you enjoy and that it give you a little incite on my process.

1. I start with a doodle on some loose typing paper. I often do a series of them untill I find one that the client might enjoy.

2. From here I blow the pic up by either scanning and reprinting it to size or using a photo copier. This allows me to keep the fluidity of the original sketch that I other wise might loose from just redrawing the image at a larger size.

3. I ink and paint the image. Often I will use a color ink liner (prisma makes some really nice ones now) so I can have a color hold effect on the line work. I think it makes the image look brighter. I will paint on either watercolor paper or Bristol board using Dr. Martin transparent watercolors. They are bright, but can fade over time so I also spray the image with a UV protecting acrylic clear gloss spray fixative.

That's all folks hope you enjoy.

God Bless,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sceince of Getting Rich

Those that have been viewing my blog the last few days will have noticed I have been talking a great deal about a man named Wallace D. Wattles.

Actually my fascination with his work began over a year ago when I was trying to find a way to escape the snowball of financial problems in my life so I could honestly live my life as an artist and still make enough on my God given talents to live on. So I bought "The Science of Getting Rich" audio book on ITunes. I never finished the whole thing but I have been revisiting it cause there is a lot of wisdom in the writings of this man.

With the hard times our nation is having these days I think it is becoming more and more important to invest our time in our local communities and not to mention creating financial stability in our life. Personally, the best way to do that is to stop relying on a big company that could lay off at anytime all over the US and to rely on our own abilities and talents to have a stable financial life. I never understood a person that could work 14 - 40 years in a job they hated because it paid well but not being aware of the fact you could get laid off at any time. I mean face it. People can't work on jobs for that long anymore. If you start making to much money they let you go for a younger person that will work for less and do the same job much faster and has a college degree.

Even in the animation industry they would rather bring in a college intern to work for free than pay a 40 year veteran what he is truly worth. Our society has reached a point where quantity is much more important than quality. They bombard the American people with as much crap as they can and eventually some of them will buy your crap and they get paid.

Even the comics industry right now seems to have that mentality. I have talked to many people in shops that feel they are being bombarded with merchandise that isn't exactly flying off the store shelves.

I think there is a better way to approach living in this economy and being successful and the key is investing more in our local companies and helping them grow so they can pump money back into the pockets of our towns and neighborhoods.

But enough about that.

These little guide books are a good investment for someone that is depressed about there living situation. You can find the books online for free just by searching on Google and Wiki. If you want to own it you can literally get a copy for 3 bucks on Amazon. Heck if you find any of the books from his series give it a read and tell me what you think. In the mean time if you drop by I will be sharing a quote from time to time. Here is the opening to Chapter 1 in the Science of being rich. Please enjoy. (P.S. I am not a money crazy hungry person. I just want to live comfortably and everyone deserves that)

CHAPTER 1: The Right To Be Rich
WHATEVER MAY BE SAID IN PRAISE OF POVERTY, the fact remains that it is not possible to live a really complete or successful life unless one is rich. No one can rise to his greatest possible height in talent or soul development unless he has plenty of money, for to unfold the soul and to develop talent he must have many things to use, and he cannot have these things unless he has money to buy them with. A person develops in mind, soul, and body by making use of things, and society is so organized that man must have money in order to become the possessor of things. Therefore, the basis of all advancement must be the science of getting rich. The object of all life is development, and everything that lives have an inalienable right to all the development it is capable of attaining.

God Bless,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lunch in the Park

Another quote from "The Science of Being Great" by Wallace D. Wattles

"You are not made great by the location in which you happen to be nor by the things with which you may surround yourself. You are not made great by what you receive from others and you can never manifest greatness so long as you depend on others. You will manifest greatness only when you begin to stand alone. Dismiss all thought of reliance on external, whether things, books, or people."

He also has some other other books as well "the Science of Being Well" and "The Science of Getting Rich"

Anyway I really want to do what ever I can to change the circumstances of my life. If anyone likes these sketches enough maybe I will sell them or something. We will see.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Nother day another sketch!!

I want to try and upload something new as often as I can here since it is my own personal space. So since I am so bogged down with my job and I only have time to sketch in my sketch book I wanted to share the sketches I was doing.

Also as promised I will post the X-men Archives cards here so anyone that wants to see all of them. So here they are. On a side note: I am aware there are doubles. these cards were done at a hasty speed cause I did not have enough time. Originally I was supposed to complete 100 but only finished 36. If you are interested in Buying a card they can be found in the Ritten House x-men archives box sets. People are pulling the cards also and you may find them on eBay.

I would like to end this blog with a quote from a book I have been reading called "The Science of Being Great" by Wallace D. Wattles. I started reading this book because it baffles my mind why I am not doing better as an artist business wise and I was honestly thinking to myself maybe it will help me solve my riddle so I can get back to doing art for a living.

This is from Chapter 14 Action at Home

"Do not merely think that you are going to become great; Think that you are great now. Do not think that you will begin to act in a great way at some future time; begin now. Do not think that you will act in a great way when you reach a different environment; act in a a great way where you are now. Think not that you will begin to act in a great way when you begin to deal with great things; begin to deal in a great way with small things. Do not think that you will begin to be great when you get among more intelligent people, or among people who understand you better; begin now to deal in a great way with the people around you."

God bless!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Arie Monroe Sketchblog

As many of you know I can be found in a lot of differt places online, but I have decided that I would like to have a personal sketch blog for myself outside all the many place you can find me. The reason being is I really want to dedicate more time to my personal work in a more professional manner.

I have had my website up and running for some time now and I want a blog to compliment my personal website and to be able to spend more time in my own ventures rather than getting lost in very huge community like DeviantArt where only artists might see my work.

Tweening Art will also still continue and I want to invest more time in it, as well. Anyway, I hope you will come back from time to time to see what I am doing. Untill then here is a little bit of my recent work.

I not to long ago completed some work for Ritten House Xmen Archives and these are the Sketchcards that I did. I hope you enjoy them I am not going to post all of them yet. I know some people will be wanting to see the entire set so they can look for them on Ebay and purchase them. I will make a separate post with all of the sketch cards I did for this series.

Arie's Sketch Dump