I’ve a very lousy memory –surely the result of all that implant tampering by the aliens. Bastards!– but one thing I can recall is I’ve always loved to draw. Maybe it’s because it comes naturally to introverts, and it helps to cope with a lack of interpersonal skills, but there’s no denying drawing is one of the favorite escapisms of the socially obtuse.
So when you like to draw, and you keep at it long enough, it’s hard not to get good at it. Or at least, good enough for people to take notice AND start asking you to draw for them –greeting cards for the auntie on Xmas, a school assignment for one of your siblings –who’s blackmailing you with uncovering your secret Playboy stash if you don’t accept– or even something your own father needs for the office; like this one time he asked me to design a whole stained glass motif that was meant to decorate the waiting area in one of the car agencies owned by his bosses –as payment my father gave me two choices: either a cool black leather jacket (“something you can use when you go out on a date with a girl… eventually,” he said) or a Nintendo entertainment system. Yep, you already know what I chose!
For a long time I dreamed of becoming an animator and working for Disney, which was kind of a pie-in-the-sky dream because there are no schools in Mexico where you can learn animation art –I could’ve moved to the US, I guess, but I’ve always had a knack for sabotaging my own dreams…
So when the time came to choose a college minor, I picked Industrial Design. It wasn’t my first option, but somehow I managed to get convinced it was a great career opportunity, because now that NAFTA was established between the US and Mexico (this was 1991) surely there would be an uprise of new industries established in Mexico, and industrial designers would be in much greater demand like say, architects and engineers!
26 years later, the promise of all those new industries never came to fruition. Oh sure, there’s plenty of car plants and many maquiladoras established near the border, but what those seek is cheap labor, NOT creative people.
[“Dammit, why did this turn so political all of the sudden. Anyway… moving on”]
I opted to specialize myself in interior design, and for more than 15 years I was relatively happy with it. But then the little studio I worked in went through one of the usual financial bumps, and I was let go. I didn’t mind that much because by then I felt there was nothing more I needed to prove in that company, and had also learned all I could learn there. The time had come to move on.
Well, turns out you reach a certain age in the Mexican design world, and the doors you try to knock are mostly shut. Of the all-too-few job opportunities you do find on the classified section of the newspapers or other online job search engines, 99.9% are looking for tweens with zero experience, and willing to work 60 hours a week for peanuts –oh, and forget about social security! Freelancers have ZERO safety net under them.
[“Jeez, would you just GET TO THE POINT! This is getting depressing”]
Ok, so all that needless venting was just a prelude to this: I’m offering my services as a digital artist to whomever wants me to make a caricature portrait of them.
Yeah well, there’s dozens of online artists out there, right? “So HOW”, you might ask, “can you possibly compete with them, RPJ?”
Glad you asked! You see, I just don’t want to do a typical (booooooring) caricature portrait. Heck, there’s even an app on Facebook or something that can do that for you using one of your photos!
Nope. What I’m offering here is WAY COOLER: A chance to fulffil your deepest, fondest, geekest fantasy. The kind of thing you always dream of or imagine every time you catch your favorite movie on TV, or when you’re listening to your playlist during your daily commute.
Are you a Trekkie, for example? I bet you’ve always wanted to know how you would look seating in the Captain’s chair aboard the Enterprise. Well, I can help you out!
Or maybe you’re a Star Wars fan instead. Too timid or busy to go to ComicCon and cosplay? Well my dear padawan, my little tablet and I can make a true Jedi master or Sith lord out of you!
Getting the picture? well, if not, here’s a few examples of previous projects I’ve already been commissioned by a few friends over Facebook:
Not too bad, eh? I hope you can agree that what I lack in artistic/technical skills, I try to compensate with sense of humor 😉
And if you too, are interested in commissioning me for your very own fantasy portrait, just contact me by leaving a comment on this page, or look of for my Facebook page (@redpilljunkie)
Now let’s talk $MoneyMoneyMoney$: My starting price is US$50 for a good, web-quality image*, and only require a few photos I can use as reference. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a very defined idea of what you want: If you give me some pointers about your movies and such, and trust me enough, it will be my pleasure to come up with something based on your tastes –so far I have never had any patron complain 😉
Of course, if what you have in mind is considerably elaborate –say, you want to pose along ALL your favorite NBA players of all time– then we might have to raise the price of the art accordingly. As you can see in the examples above, I never try to cut any corners when it comes to the quality of the art delivered, no matter how complex the idea.
So, what say you? 🙂
(*) : What I mean by “web-quality” is an image that will look fantastic in your social media, but you will not be able to print it into a large format. I usually deliver them in a 2560×1600 pixels in resolution, which means it will look pretty good if you print it in a letter-sized page with your home printer, but if you print it in a larger format it will not be as good. This is just a result of my current technical limitations, although I’m trying to sort them out. Of course, if what you need is illustrations for some book project or something, I’m sure we can work it out 🙂
UPDATE (July 2018): Hey you! If you scrolled down and reading this, and if you’re still interested in commissioning an art piece, there’s a few ‘policy changes’ I made:
1. Thanks to some great updates on the Autodesk app I use for most of my work, I’m no longer constrained to just ‘web quality’ images. I can now do pieces that are large enough to be printed on a letter-sized page at 300dpi –meaning it will look GREAT. Even bigger sizes are possible, but the app tends to crash occasionally. And if need be, I have another app installed which has allowed me to work with tabloid-sized pieces.
2. If you’ve checked out some of my most recent pieces, you would have noticed they have increased in quality –the good thing about practice 🙂 — but that also means I’m devoting more time and effort on them than I expected. As such, I’m now raising the original starting price to $75, which I still think it’s a pretty good deal because we’re not talking about your typical cartoon portrait with simple background; I’m really devoted to fulfilling my patron’s fantasies to the best of my abilities, to the point that YOUR fantasy and MY imagination should be the only limit.
(Of course, if your idea is not too demanding, I’m more than willing to be flexible)