Wondercon: exhibiting and visiting. 

“Wow!”         ….I can’t think of any other way to start this post and describe this convention.   First I’d like to point out that we really didn’t get the warmest of welcomes. Actually, compared to some of the cons in AZ, it was a terrible welcome.   But as an exhibitor I was, in no way, prepared for the massiveness of this convention.  After realizing how massive and important this convention is, I suddenly felt very small over in the corner at my little “Artist Alley” table.  Once I got a hold of myself I realized that this weekend was going to be amazing.   Wondercon kicks ass,  and also kicked my ass

At first I was a little offended when I heard one con employee refer to the crowd as the “sheeple.”  Once I saw the size of the crowd I understood where he was coming from.

The massive crowd began roaring when the announcer came on the PA and said (the convention floor is now open). It shook the walls.   if I had to compare it to something, I would say it was like the first time you heard the dinosaur roar in Jurassic park.  Frightening.

Well.  Three amazing days go by.  I take a ton of pictures.  I did really well exhibiting in artist alley.  But even more importantly, I learned so much and I got tons of information and experience about being successful in the future.

Upcoming conventions where you ca find me:

small one in tucson April 18th.

Phoenix comic-con may 28th.

For now, please enjoy these following pictures I took at wondercon. 🙂

wondercon comicon
this was a small portion of the crowd an hour before it opens
hulk artist  alley srawing snetch.
striking a pose at the booth
death star. starwars  star wars.  sketching. art.
sketching at the con, i actually ended up giving this away.
commission i did for a fan. this is one of my favorite characters from my all time favorite game. cloud strife
comic-con, wondercon, batman, art, sketch,
a batman drawing i did for the con. sold it for $20 🙂

comic art, games, gamers, wondercon fanstt
these were some amazing figure sculptures
light saber,  comic-con, wondercon,
my boys having a light saber battle
wondercon comic-con cosplay characters marry poppins
i freaking loved these two. they were absolutely perfect.
cosplay cosplayers wondercon comic-con
arent these two cosplayers cute
vivi final fantasy cosplay
the absolute best cosplay ever. i fell in love with this person. absolutely epic. this costume made the whole convention for me

1969 Chevelle Colored Pencil Drawing. 8″x10″

Custom car drawings, classic cars, custom drawings portraits and design by andrew horvath.
69 Chevelle, Colored pencil on paper 8″x10″

I had a lot of fun drawing this car.  It’s actually the second 69 Chevelle I’ve been asked to draw, and it is quickly becoming my dream car.  What a beauty.  I wonder what it was like to buy this as a new car, instead of the new cars people are buying these days.  Contact me if you are interested in custom drawings, or if you just want to discuss some art.  I have been busy for the Holidays, but I still have some spots open for commissions, custom artwork and original art.

Our Visit to the ‘Video Game Art Exhibition’

 videogame art, artist, pop culture

I recently wrote a post that expressed my love for videogames, I also reflected on their relevance as a source of education for many young people.  This was inspired by the Phoenix Art Museum’s (PAM) installation of a video game exhibit.  I finally made it to the exhibit and today I will be sharing with you my response as an artist and videogame fanatic.

Let me start off by saying, this exhibit didn’t fit the hype.  It wasn’t a bad installation,  It was somewhat stimulating, but I have to say, it was kind of one note.  It just didn’t reach my expectations.  I had a feeling this was going to be an interactive exhibit.  and it was, but I expected tons of  artwork too.  I expected storyboarding, sculptures,  and scripts.  I was expecting a little more depth.   The exhibit consisted of 2 smaller rooms and 1 large main room.  Within these rooms I came across a glass case that had some concept art inside.  These drawings are awesome!  You can tell how quickly these artists work.  Almost as if their hand can barely keep up with their brain.   As  amazing as these drawings are, there was definitely something left to be desired.  It may have a lot to do with the fact that I love drawing so much. And that I went there with the expectation of being surrounded by storyboards and sketches.

concept art, sketches, amazing drawings,
Concept Art for Fallout 3 and World of Warcraft

If you’ve walked through a used videogame store then you’ve seen most of this exhibit.  There were some older things and a few rare systems that are worth mentioning.  Old systems like the Sega Masters System and the Intellivision System.   But as I was leaving the exhibit I thought, what about hand-held systems?  I was also hoping to see some remnant souvenir from one of the video game events.  In the late 80’s early 90’s there were some amazing video game contests.  During these events they would have rare items and release innovations for the future.  For example the Nintendo Powerglove.  Oh man,  I just don’t think there was ever anything as epic as the Powerglove.   The more I reflect, the more I realize this exhibit lacked a lot of consistency.

design, custom art, nintendo art
Nintendo Powerglove

powerglove 2Okay,  that was a little brutal, and now I’m feeling guilty, so let’s talk about some positive things about this exhibit.  I loved seeing the transitions that videogames went through since the early 80’s.  There has been a lot of growth and development in the last 30 years.  Development in video game styles, graphics and technology.  Now you have videogamers who prefer action packed ‘first person shooters’ or realistic sports games.  But me, I am an adventure, RPG (role playing game) super fan.  Games like Zelda and Final Fantasy.  After talking videogames with a few fellow nerds, the consensus is that Zelda clearly paved the road for fantasy video games. Even though I love Zelda, my heart belongs to Final Fantasy.  And there was barely any Final fantasy at this exhibit.

NES,  Nintendo, ZELDA, art, artist, design, art
The Legend of ZELDA
(NES)

 

portrait artist
The Legend of ZELDA:  a Link to the Past

I gotta say,  Seeing some of these systems and videogames streaming on different monitors was very nostalgic.  Being at the museum, watching people get excited about videogames is something I’ll always support.  Videogames are such a huge part of the culture and community.  But if I’m going to be honest, it didn’t take long before my kids said “Dad, I’m bored.”  So we went home, plugged in the old SNES and started playing Mario.

videogame art,

BLOG’S BEEN SLOW, BUT I’VE BEEN BUSY!!!

I have been incredibly busy.  I have been traveling, I started a new painting series.  I have so many amazing things to share.  I will be rolling out some awesome new posts about local art, cooking, home brewed beer.  I’ll even be starting up my tutorials again (based on popular demand).  And as Always, I’m still booking commissions. and doing custom drawings.  

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Here’s a progress photo of a drawing I recently started for a client.  I love doing these drawings, but, I may have to raise my prices soon, which I don’t want to do.  The fact is that I can’t keep investing this much time into each drawing.  It makes my wife cranky.  seriously though,  I have so many other responsibilities, that, at 100 dollars a pop, I can’t spend 2 days drawing a picture.  I may even have to double my prices for my portraits if I want to do this as a long term thing.  But, for the time being, I am probably going to keep things where they are.  

I will definitely keep things fresh,  I will try and manage my time better, and I will be sharing my adventures with you all very soon.  Keep your eyes peeled!

Videogames Shaped my Education. A post in Honor of Phoenix Art Museums Video Game Exhibit.

Phoenix Art Museum (Video Game Art Exhibition)

The Phoenix Art Museum (PAM) is featuring an exhibition all about video games.  This is one of my favorite places to visit and it is an amazing tool and resource that promotes both art and education.  Once I heard there was a video game exhibition coming to town I began reflecting on whether or not video games should play a role in the world of education.  Video games clearly provide an outlet for art and fantasy, and after reflecting a bit, I realized I definitely needed to write about my feelings towards video games.  Both from the perspective of an artist, educator, and fan… or should I say, ‘Superfan!’ 

As a teacher I’ve been approached about video games by everyone, from other teachers to students and parents. A common complaint from teachers and parents is: “Our kids play too many video games!” This makes kids defensive but I understand how the kids feel. They want to ditch school to stay home and play video games all day. As entertaining as video games are, they also played a huge role in me developing a passion for art. The question is – are games responsible, at all, for my education?

The truth is, some video games are violent and some are inappropriate, but this also relates to a common misconception that anything that plugs into a PlayStation is intended for someone 12 and under. This is most certainly not the case. I might also add that many of these inappropriate games were of no interest to me.

I played a little Mario Bros in the 90’s just like every other kid. By the time I hit middle school I was conquering whole worlds, saving planets, and obsessing over RPGs. I had demanding parents who said I should put away those games and actually read a book; I was “rotting” my brain. However, if they would have stayed with me for an hour, they would have watched me read for at least a third of that time. They would have seen me problem solve and brainstorm. In RPGs like ‘Final Fantasy’ you are required to follow detailed directions (even take notes at times) and apply prior knowledge from the game and from life.

In games like this you grow to be compassionate for the characters, villages, societies and cultures. In final fantasy you watch how a monarchy and a democracy play a role in different towns and distant places. You have to know how to balance a budget and some games even ask you to run an entire community. Then there is the fiction! The amount of fantasy and creative art is just erupting from every corner. From subtle quirky characters, to elaborate landscapes and purple sunsets.

I have been an educator for 3 years. I have worked in several different public schools and listened as teachers and parents continue to blame video games for destroying our childrens’ minds and diminishing their ability to learn, which clearly isn’t the case. At the same time, I hear these parents mention how violent and inappropriate these games are for our kids. I want to say to these colleagues, and parents that the next time they watch their 9 year old play ‘Modern Warfare’ or ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ try not to decide at that point that video games are to blame. Be advised that there is a sticker on that game that says, “Intended for Mature Audiences!” I certainly don’t want my second grader playing a game like ‘Grand Theft Auto.’ You can apply the same advisory when reading books to children. Believe me, I think books are amazing for kids, but when I was teaching kindergarten I never invited my students to the rug for story time so I could read them excerpts from Fifty Shades of Grey.

As a child I hated school. I got all Fs since elementary school and I was labeled as a big fat failure! I would skip class and I would daydream about my fantasy world. I couldn’t wait to get back there. A world that I never shared with anyone else because they just couldn’t see it as the positive thing it was. I hyper focused on those games. I have an obsession with story telling, fantasy, art, drawing, and imagination. I want to surround myself with fantasy and creativity. I may have failed a few math tests when I was in school, but did I rot my brain playing video games instead of studying? The answer is no. They gave me the education that public school didn’t. It made me the artist, teacher, and compassionate family man I am today.

custom drawings, portraiture and design

custom drawings, portraiture and design

I love drawing portraiture. I also love drawing custom work. Althought I’ll be starting a new series of anatomy drawings. This will help me understand anatomy, improve my drawing skills and I’d like to prepare for a career in art instruction. I have enjoyed branching out from just portrait drawings of people. Enjoy these educational drawings.

Portrait artist, pencil drawings, custom art and design. Thank you internet, for letting me share what I do with the whole world.

So summer vacation is officially over.   And my summer of portrait art is over.   My first attempt at becoming a portrait artist was a success.  In 2.315 months I was able to draw all of the pictures you see displayed.  These custom drawings and commission works were all a result of selling custom drawings on etsy, using google adwords to promote my website, even getting jobs off my facebook page.  I had a blast.  I worked my butt off,  and I’m not making as much money as I was teaching, but this custom drawing, doing portrait drawings.  It’s what I was born to do.  Thank you internet, for making it so easy to share what I do with so many people.   Check out andrewspencil.com if you want more drawingsImageImageImageImageImageImage

drawing, pencil artist, pencil drawings, awesome drawings, realistic drawing Hulk bust, fan art,portrait drawing, professional artist fan art

Teacher who has turned into an artist…. custom art, portraiture, drawings, design; I draw cars, I draw pets, I draw people. Accurate affordable drawings done by a professional artist!

Summertime is right around the corner.  “Summertime, and the living’s easy.”    Although, I can’t be too lazy!  I have a lot of commissions to wrap up and also, I landed a pretty interesting summer job. I’m going to be promoting “Art Instruction School.”   It’s a pretty neat school. It offers a lot of unique classes.  and it’s very personal, students work from home.   A lot of famous artists went there.    … one more week and my current job is over.   … and my co-worker just bought me a burrito from the local mexican restaurant.   Today is a very good day! 

I have been doing a lot of custom art lately.  Many portraits and drawings are available on the website, but also on etsy, art galleries, and the downtown art walks.    All of this exposure has kept me pretty busy.  Which is an incredibly rewarding feeling.    I did a custom drawing for my brother recently of Data from star trek dressed as Sherlock Holmes.  He loved the drawing, I just asked him to let me hang on to it for another day or two while I touch it up.  well, during the art walk last week….. This woman begged me to sell it.  I told her that I wouldn’t.  …I couldn’t….     …. …. But I did.  I caved.  She loved it so much, and it made me feel so good, how could I deny her the geeky satisfaction she would get from owning a drawing done of Data dressed as Sherlock.  

Okay, I have got to run.  But I have so much more to say.  I’ll be back.    Just remember I do lot’s of custom drawings, portrait art, and many more styles.   custom art, portraiture, drawings, design;  I draw cars, I draw pets, I draw people.    Accurate affordable drawings done by a professional artist!  But for now enjoy this drawing of data~!

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MESA art walk tonight. wedding portraits, drawings and custom art.

I’ve been working on some fan art lately that has brought back some good memories.  I really miss gaming all the time, reading graphic novels, and being part of that community.  Some of the games and comics get a little cheesy sometimes.    I just got on youtube and browsed some old games and music.  It made me feel very nastalgic.  it gave me goosebumps and made me feel empowered.  music from musicians like Apocolyptica and two steps from hell,  ignore the name, because the music is very classical sounding.  It’s a very specific genre and style that I really miss.  …What happened to me!  Somehow it’s about 10 years later, and now I’m a responsible adult and parent.   HOW BORING.  heh, all kidding aside, I love my family and the life I have created.  It’s been exhausting but also very rewarding.    Now, I have more time on my hands.  My kids have school and homework and lots of activities that keep them busy and productive.  So, I have been pursuing my art as a career.  It has been a blast, and I have been spending a lot more time in the comic book stores, working on computers, playing games and feeling like my young nerdy self again.   what a blast!  

Tonight is the second friday of the month and every second friday, Downtown Mesa AZ has an art walk.  I have a booth displaying my artwork and i hope to get some commissions going to.   I am very excited about tonight’s evening.  Wish me luck! Time to get to work with some drawing. I want to do some car drawing today, maybe a portrait of my child