Steve Wacksman
April 2007
I love dogs of all sorts. But I try to be realistic about them. American Pit Bull Terriers, APBTs or simply pitbulls are a good example.

Purebred dogs all exist for a reason. Rottweilers were butcher's dogs used to pull carts, and drive cattle. Dauschhunds were used to hunt burrowing animals, especially badgers. Newfoundlands to retreive fishermen's nets from deep and cold water.

Pitbulls? To fight.

This doesn't make the 'bad dogs' to me. Terriers have a heightened prey drive; we bred them to so they'd be good ratters. Pitbulls were selectively bred for a hightened prey drive coupled with intense tenacity and strength. HUMANS made them that way. When they fight, they're doing what they were designed to do.

I don't condone dogfighting- I think bloodsports of any type are barbaric and inhumane. But in the recent past every country in the world had their own versions. Pitbulls are a remainder of this culture in America.
Assault By Mail
Hound doggies and corn-squeezins!
Throughout my 'career', postcards have been the most effective means of advertising. I've tried websites and sourcebooks, skywriting and cold-calling. I hired a gentleman outside my local methadone clinic to wear a sandwich board and hand out free kittens. Still, I've found nothing that equals the postcard for sheer simplicity and effectiveness.

WIth that, I give you a peep at my latest entry; an image I call "Hoedown". They're my first I've done with Vistaprint and I'm pleased to pronounce their quality 'satisfactory', if not awe-inspiring. You get, as the saying goes, what you pay for.
Howdeye Doodat?
Thanks for the gig, Nickelodeon Magazine.
Apart from my ability to wriggle through a keyhole and shoot armor piercing lasers from my baby blue eyes, my third most mesmerizing talent is illustration. No matter where I roam, people stand in awe of the rich and colorful tapestries I weave out of nothing more than a cupful of imagination and a handful of determination. How, they ask, did you do that?  They often assume some witchcraft is involved.

In order to dispell this notion, I offer you a rare and priveliged look behind the curtain. As it were- there's actually no curtain involved.
Here's a vignette that depicts a young man finding out his services as an actor are no longer required.

The designer I worked with, Catherine Tutrone, had this idea in mind and described the scene to me when she contacted me. Any excuse to draw a critter, that's my motto. I cheerfully accepted. She gave me dimensions, etc, and turned me loose.

First, pencils. In this case I concentrated mostly on the central image, figuring I'd build the scene around it.
Once satisfied with the pencil sketch, I scan it in and open it in Adobe brand Illustrator. I trace the important shapes and delineate colors. Also here I work out my layout with simple, blocky shapes.
The "Sketch"
After reaching a satisfactory composition, I open the document in Adobe brand Photoshop. I ice the cake with some scrawlings on the trusty Wacom tablet, then flatten the whole shebang. This is shipped off via electronic mail to the client ( in this case Ms Tutrone) for her notes.
Once the sketch is approved, I refine the illustrator paths until fully satisfied. I'll then print out a low res copy and ink all linework on a vellum overlay. My preferred ink is made from the spittle of Madagascar's giant fruit bat, but in a pinch FW Waterproof will do the trick.
Lastly, the whole shebang is sandwiched together in Photoshop . I'll keep everything layered so I can fidget with colors and add some texture. And, of course, I'll sacrifice a goat on a marble dias while wearing a mask made of corn husks and gopher teeth. Brings the whole thing together nicely.
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