Sunday, February 12, 2012

Daily Thoughts as i Work...

Sorta had some... creative indigestion the last week and a half - butt looks like the ice is thawing. Thanks for everyone's patience.

Instead of the usual talking about what and how I paint, i though today I'd what thoughts pop into my head during my usual daily routine.


3:30 am ~ wake up, look at clock, still not 4 yet. Getting up earlier than 3 usually makes me feel like i was up all night. Why so early? Had insomnia for years, the two low budget movies I made cured it. Hauling my butt up at 4am, almost ALWAYS means my heat hits the pillow like a baby that night.

I dreamed something about a roof shingle.

3:46: Still not 4 yet. Try not to check my clock. Think of other stuff. Various deadlines, juggled in my head. Some late. Some not. Remember a painting i wanted to start this morning, using a roof shingle I  found while walking our dog yesterday. It's lying i my studio. Visualize what i might be able to look forward to today, and what i'm dreading finishing. Feel guilty about not posting on the blog.

3:54:am: ~ Lie in bed, watching the clock for the next six minutes, waiting for 4am so i can officially get up. Stupid because i'm awake anyway.  Decide not to beat myself up about being late on the blog.

4:00 am ~ Okay - NOW... i can get up!  Tip tow down the hall past the dog so i don't wake him up, slip into my studio and flips on the lights, since 'it's dark outside still. Love working mornings, no distractions and there's a peaceful quiet, perfect for whatever floats to the surface.

4:03 am ~ always save any really creative ideas for this time of day, later it goes, the less creative it usually gets. It took me three minutes to muse over this trivial idea. I see the Shingle in my studio, lying on the floor. Inspired. Determined to post on the blog today, with a new painting.

4:05 am ~ Breaking out the pens and brushes now.  I like the grainy texture on the shingle, decide to use it in a painting, see if i can match the colors/textures with paint and sand and pumice.

4:10 am ~  Several other jobs call to me, but i figure if i can get this Nola painting done in an hour,  won't feel too guilty. I decide the back of the shingle has this soft feathery texture, and it's MORE interesting than the shingle's top side. So i glue that front down to the canvas.

430 am ~ I mix up a combo of Acrylic, glue and detergent in a cup.. have to work fast before the glue dries.. kinda pointless because acrylic is like glue and hardens too, but i love the weird surreal textures glue makes, (esp. with bits of other debris trapped in it.)

4:45 am ~ Am having fun now.  decide to add a few different nola faces on this page, very random and raw looking, the dirtier the better.

5:01 am ~ More faces. Their all over the place now. I cut out and down a bit of bristol board now, and ink and color Nola's face right over the back of the shingle. My hand starts to itch a little, must be tired.

5:25 am ~ going past my deadline now to finish in an hour.. hand feels like splinters. - then it DAWNS on me what this weird texture on the back of the shingle is, it's Fiberglass!!!!! Holly crap. I rolled around in some of that as a kid, took forever to get the hundreds of glass splinters out of my skin - Yikes!

5:30 am ~ I quietly ( so as not to awake wife and dog) wash, soak actually, my hand on warm water, trying to work out the splinters on the kitchen sink, cursing my idiocy for not realizing it was fiberglass!

5:43 am ~ amazingly, my hand didn't get too many stickers on it, just the palm side. Back to the studio. Now what do i do? rip it out of the backboard i glued it on? I actually glued it onto the cover of one of my big brown sketchbooks, so it'll get all over my table every time i open it. Double crap!

5:50 am ~ Sneak the sketchbook out into the shed and use a hack saw (as QUIETLY as possible) to cut the sketchbook cover off the book itself. Lucky it comes off pretty easily. I think of what a weird funny little story this might make for the blog, but right now, it doesn't seem so funny.

6:00 am ~ already lost an hour on the fiberglas-hacksaw fiasco, I decide Screw IT, i'll just KEEP the shingle in the panting. Won't scan it for fear the glass fibers  might scratch the scanner surface. Just snap a photo of it, that'll do.

6:00 am, editors at DC are getting into work now by 9, or checking their emails/text. I get a few, one editor is happy with a short 5 pager I did. Still have not looked at the printed Batman Hatter book DC sent me a comp copy of. I cringe at any printed work i do. So there it sits.

I have an hour till my wife gets up at 7 and we start breakfast, get the dog up. Meanwhile, from 6-7 i get some pages done for various companies.. I think back on how many fans I inspire or disappoint, or both? Maybe both at the same time?  This idea cracks me up. I start a painting of nola's  mother and father, Nola's mother's tummy pregnant with Nola.

Seems a nice gentle thing to draw between vampires, super heros and zombies. Which are cool too. Both side of my brain enjoy feminine softy fuzzies, and little boy gross-out, power fantasy stuff.

I get four more pages done, finish the nola painting, pencil Nola's parents, and start a...

Tree painting for an upcoming IDW project. It's almost 7:00 am.

My wife opens the studio door and our little dog jumps on my lap. Thus ends my morning... and time for breakfast. After that i'll dig into these post comments and see what's up!


cody said...

Fiber glass is horrible especially the dust. Love the tree drawing reminds of an arcitect drawing for a new bio skyscraper.

José A. García said...

That is a long, long day.

I like de draw of the tree.

Greetings from Argentina!


Fishdinner said...

Thanks Mr. Kieth!
I'm really glad you post these and I hope the blog isn't too much of a pain, because its *really* cool to see you at work.

ant said...

i really like the tree too, i like all the trees you do, especially the mossy ones, and you mentioned movies, so i thought i'd ask, are we nearing a release of the ojo movie?

Rafael Only said...

Hey, Sam!

I'm reading lots of works you did (actually, I think I haven't read all of your work because I'm saving some for later. I like the sensation of having "new" stuff you did in hands. I read the new stuff too).
How tender is the Nola's parents drawing! Really beautiful scene... I like both sides you draw: 'feminine softy fuzzies, and little boy gross-out, power fantasy stuff.' It's a perfect combination!

Thanks for all,


champloo said...

woah sam, that three painting reminds me to "el bosco" and the alchemist drawing style; amazing, man!

the danman can said...

Just reiterating others.

LOVE the tree and the "thought" process.

juvinwo said...

Love the post Sam, that tree is absolutely awesome. Keep up the good work!!! I'm so excited every time I hear about a new project your doing. I get em all!! Very very excited about the aliens project your doing with Layman!

jlosacco said...

Awesome post, It's great to see the process.

Love the tree.

VeganMike said...

Okay, I admit it. I love the paintings, but I'm equally interested in what kind of dog you have and hoping you'll post a pic :)

Paul Kasmir said...


Thanks for the honest musings about your endeavor of art making makes me feel good about my odd thoughts and how the thoughts can run around in the brain but the more I read about how your brain works it's encouraging to read about your process.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sam, I don't wanna be "that guy" but I have this collection of cards that you've done over the years I was was wondering if you can tell me if I'm missing anything. I know you're busy & if you can't remember I understand but, I'll just keep kicking myself if I keep on being to scared too ask. Thank you.
No Particular Order
1. Famous Comic Book Creators (1992) - #87 Photo of Sam
2. The Maxx (1993 Topps) - 1 Promo card #1-90 Base set, #1-6 Etched Foil
3. Wizard the Comic Mag. issue 21- #2 (Outback Maxx & Regular Maxx + Gold Foiled Regular Maxx. Three all together)
4. Darker Image #1 - Maxx Comic Insert Card
5. Advanced Comics issue? - #6 Maxx
6. Mtv Animation (1995)- Maxx Animated Series #120-144, #3 Hologram Chase Puzzle set, uncut promo (None Sam Kieth art)
7. The Maxx (1995 Wildstorm various artists) - #1-99 (#25-27 by Sam Kieth), P1-P9 The Maxx Gallery Chase set various artists & E1-E9 Sam Kieth's Private Collection by Sam Kieth
8. Wildstorms Collectible Card Game Unlimited Edition (1996) - 10 Cards: Outback Maxx, 2 The Maxx, Sara, Leopard Queen, Julie Winters, The Hooly, Isz, Mr. Gone, The Outback & You Are The Maxx!
9. Wolverine: From Then 'Til Now II (1992) - #5,20,21,82,86,87 & P2 & P4 Prism Chase set
10. Images of ShadowHawk - #18 Shadowhawk
11. The Incredible Hulk (2003 Topps) #40
12. Ghost Rider II (1992) - #11, 46, 75 & G9 Glow-in-the-Dark Chase card
13. Marvel Universe III (1992) - #9 Dr Stange, #22 Nightcrawler, #117 Cyber & H1 Hologram Chase Card The Hulk
14. Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.S. (1993) - #65 Maul, #85 M'Koi, #98 Warblade
15. Zen Intergalactic Ninja: The Haunted #1 (1993) - Zen comic insert card
16. Mars Attacks (1994 Topps) - #88 Martian
17. Star Wars Galaxy (1993 Topps) - Promo Jabba the Hut & #105 Salacious
18. The Savage Dragon (1997) - #36 Cover to issue 28 with The Maxx (by Eric Larsen not Sam Kieth), #72
19. Spawn series 1 Widevision (1995) - #7 Clown
20. Wildstorm Set 1 (1994) - C7 Chase card Troika
21. Satan's Six #2 (1993) - Frightful comic insert card
22. The Simpsons Series 2 (1995) - A2 Chase Card Bart
23. Batman versus Predator #1 (1991) - Comic Insert uncut card
24. Tribe (1993 Press Pass) - #82-90 card poster
25. The Prophet Collection (1996 Skybox) - #13 Prophet
26. Sergio Aragones Groo (1995 Wildstorm) - IG-5 Groo

Jim Doran said...

4:00am and no coffee??? I'm impressed. What time do you hit the sack? I guess you aren't a night owl.

Also: I don't think you should feel guilty when you don't blog. Making it into a dreaded tasks guarantees you won't keep doing it, and I hope that you do, when you have something to say.

jennifer kraska said...

I read this and felt like a slacker......sigh.

TCWJoe said...


This is the first time, I'm commenting on your blog, and I wanted to say it was great to read how your day progresses. I'm an early riser myself, and it was nice to read somone else try and be as subtle as they can be in the morning and try to accomplish stuff before the wife is up much like I do (my priorities are work out, prepare lunches for the work day and care for my three dogs).

I'll tell you what was like a kick in the nuts though, was I just recently started working on a graphic novel after having given up hopes on an art career years ago, and your productivity in such a short span of time is sickening. It takes me nearly half a week to pencil and ink a page to completion. I've actually gone digital to try and accomplish more by working on my breaks at work, but you in three hours accomplished what would take me (uninterrupted) a minimum of three days to do.

Keep up the good work Sam, it's always a pleasure to see what you've done.


Marcus Collar said...


Derek Oberg said...

Reasons to love Sam Kieth (aside from the obvious ones): Stories like this. Oh, and taking a picture with your nose 'cos your hands are full. Haha. Sheer awesome-ness.

Lee Kalba said...

If it takes me more than 8 hours to pencil, ink, scan, clean up, and color a piece, I feel like a slacker.
I always feel like a slacker.
I was inking digitally, for a while, but I've found it's faster to do it by hand, then just do clean up, digitally, so I feel like less of a slacker when I can get two or three pages inked, in a day.

bryan said...

@TCWJoe - I run into a kind of similar problem. I first come up with all the parts of the story and get these great ideas of how it'll look in my head. Then I go to actually scripting what each panel is gonna look like. Then when it's time to draw them out, half the page will look great and the other half needs to be reworked. Or even worse - I realized that I penciled something out and it looks awesome, but it only slows the story-telling down, so I need to ditch it.

All my illustration work is done traditionally and with color pencil. I'm color blind and was new to working on comic pages, so I decided to work digitally to save time and not ruin the pages. Working digital was a HUGE learning curve and took a lot longer than I hoped it would. When I was done with the first issue and stepped back and looked at what I did, I was really disappointed with the end result. It took me a while and a little more experience to start working on issue 2, but what I've done so far, I'm a lot happier with.

Sjors Trimbach said...

Thanks for the lovely insight in your morning.

Jeff Lafferty said...

Sam I love the blog! Just found it and I'm loving seeing all the process shots, really cool and inspiring stuff!


Marcus Collar said...

wait... TWO low budget movies? I can only find info on one cold you maybe add that info to the site in all your free time (yes that free time was a joke because your always with the deadlines)

Andy said...

I love that tree painting!!

Anonymous said...

miss you Sam.
hope all is well.

Marcus Collar said...

Before the net and after it SK will be!

James Clarke said...

Dear Sam,

I know this is unrelated to the topic at hand, but I know of no other way to get in contact with you.

I am a graduate student of English at Duquesne University whose lifelong love of literature was first inspired by having his mind blown when watching MTV's adaption of the first parts of the Maxx in 1995.

To this end, I'm actually writing a graduate school paper in my literary theory class on the The MTV adaption of The Maxx (at this time, page limit requirements prevent me from writing one on the whole series).

I wonder if I could interview you, via email correspondence, and ask you some questions about the literary theory applications of The Maxx. I won't ask you if you'll be writing any more Maxx material, as I already know the answer to that :P

I, of course, promise not to disclose your email address, and I will of course send you a copy of my graduate school paper before I submit it for review to my professor (to make sure that I'm not arriving at any unfounded conclusions).

I really hope that this won't be a Frequently Ignored Question, as, as an aspiring literary theorist and English professor, I believe that a cultural production's author is the best source for information about it. I wouldn't want to be completely off-base about the cultural significance, impact, and meaning of The Maxx.

Please email me at if you can spare some time to answer some of my questions about The Maxx.

Best Regards,
James Clarke
Graduate Student of English at Duquesne University

Anonymous said...

Awesome post. Great story too. I worked with some fiberglass one time - man does it ever itch.

Nick Fisher said...

COLD water works better for removing fiberglass! Hot water actually opens up the pores and allows the splinters to penetrated deeper....feels good initially though! I (unfortunately) speak from experience on this one.

Ever notice how the pink rolls of insulation look like cut strips of whale blubber?

Nick Fisher said...

COLD water works better for removing fiberglass! Hot water actually opens up the pores and allows the splinters to penetrated deeper....feels good initially though! I (unfortunately) speak from experience on this one.

Ever notice how the pink rolls of insulation look like cut strips of whale blubber?

Coach Factory said...

kate spade handbags, prada outlet, nike air max, louis vuitton, nike air max, louis vuitton outlet online, burberry outlet online, burberry outlet online, tiffany and co jewelry, michael kors outlet, gucci handbags, tory burch outlet, louis vuitton outlet, chanel handbags, jordan shoes, longchamp outlet online, nike shoes, louboutin shoes, red bottom shoes, coach outlet store online, kate spade outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet, oakley vault, coach outlet, prada handbags, coach purses, louis vuitton handbags, longchamp handbags, christian louboutin outlet, oakley sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, polo ralph lauren, christian louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet online, ray ban outlet, nike free, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet store, michael kors outlet online, coach outlet, true religion, ray ban sunglasses

Coach Factory said...

abercrombie and fitch, longchamp pas cher, north face, vans pas cher, nike free, nike air max, longchamp, tn pas cher, hollister, air max pas cher, michael kors canada, chaussure louboutin, oakley pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, ray ban uk, louis vuitton uk, hollister, new balance pas cher, lululemon, nike free pas cher, north face pas cher, scarpe hogan, nike trainers, air max, nike roshe, ralph lauren pas cher, barbour, nike huarache, burberry pas cher, guess pas cher, nike air max, true religion outlet, longchamp, lacoste pas cher, sac michael kors, ralph lauren, louis vuitton pas cher, michael kors uk, nike blazer pas cher, mulberry, nike air force, air jordan, hermes pas cher, louis vuitton, nike roshe run, timberland, sac louis vuitton, ray ban pas cher, converse pas cher, true religion outlet