The Deadline for entries to Spectrum 22 is Today!

kc

Today is the deadline to submit to Spectrum 22! Each volume is only as good—as representative of our field & community—as the artists who take part. Show everyone that the class of 22 is the best yet! Join in!

Enter here!

Reminder: If you have any questions or if you need help with anything feel free to email us at info@fleskpublications.com or call at 408-206-2346 and we can help! We are here most of the day on Sunday and all day and night on Monday.

All mail entries need to be postmarked by the 26th. All digital entries need to be posted prior to midnight on Monday night. (Pacific Standard Time). The online portal will be turned off once Tuesday hits.

Thanks everyone!

John

John Fleskes

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Text and copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. All Rights reserved.

Wendy and Richard Pini Visit Flesk! The Art of Elfquest Coming This Fall!

Flesk-wendy-richard-piniI had a great time with Wendy and Richard Pini for two days last week! They honored us by visiting our Flesk offices in Santa Cruz where we enjoyed a series of extended working sessions reviewing The Art of Elfquest together. This picture shows myself talking with Wendy and Richard about some book ideas. After a few years of research and planning the book is on track for a fall 2015 release! I’ll post the cover soon!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes

Flesk Publications
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Text and photograph copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Spectrum 22 Submission Tips. The Call for Entries Deadline is Monday, January 26th!

Flesk-home-banner-27Hi, all,

With the Call for Entries for Spectrum 22 ending on Monday, January 26th I have written a series of submission tips. You can submit by mail or online! All artworks in all media embracing the themes of science fiction, fantasy, horror and the surreal are eligible. There is no unacceptable way to create art. Imagination and skill are what matters. Work chosen by the jury will be printed in full color in the Spectrum annual, the peer-selected “best of the year” collection for the fantastic arts.

(Spectrum submission link)

Spectrum 22 Call for Entries Submissions Tip #1

Is there an advantage to entering my art online or by mail as a print?

The important thing to know right off the bat is that one option does not give you an edge over the other option. Both digital and print submissions get equal attention from the judges and you have an equal chance of getting selected regardless of how you enter.

For Spectrum 21, eighty percent of the submissions came in online. Out of curiosity I paid attention to the percentage of art that was selected in both the digital and print areas to see if one had an advantage over the other. They were both right in line with one another. One method did not visibly outweigh the other.

The jury views the digitally submitted art on individual 24″ screens (not projected to the group) and the prints are presented on tables. Each jury member votes anonymously and at his or her own pace. Discussion and grouping is discouraged (with the exception of the awards selections) to keep the selection process fair and truthful. To get into Spectrum you need three or more of the five jury member’s votes. It’s not easy to get in. Historically around eight to nine percent of the submissions make it into the yearly annual.

Spectrum 22 Call for Entries Submissions Tip #2

Give Yourself the Best Chance to be Seen!

Take advantage of the artwork submission guidelines by submitting good quality prints or digital files. We can’t stress this enough. We want everyone to have the best chance to be seen by the jury.

If you are submitting online take advantage of our maximum size at 2000 pixels wide and/or 2000 pixels tall. (JPG file no larger than 10MB.) Each jury member uses his or her own large screen when viewing the artwork. Make sure your art fills the screen so they can take a good look at it! Don’t send in a small postcard sized thumbnail. Take the time to prepare a proper presentation.

For submissions by mail, I recommend sending in a print out of your art no smaller than 8.5″ x 11″ and no larger than 18″ x 24″. I think the best sizes range from 9″ x 12″ to 11″ x 17″. Yes, some people send in massive poster sized images. It’s just too big. Just like art displayed too small can make it hard for the jury members to view, art too big doesn’t necessarily mean you have a better chance. The print submissions are placed out on tables for the jury members to view and vote for individually.

Spectrum 22 Call for Entries Submissions Tip #3

Dimensional Category Allows Three Views!

Anyone submitting to the Dimensional category is allowed to submit up to three views. If you are submitting a sculpture we recommend a full shot from the front, a side view and a back view or detail. We want the jury to see these multiple angles of your work so that they have adequate visual information to base their decisions. This is especially important if your art is considered for an award.

Another tip for this category is our recommendation to get a clear, in focus, quality photographs. Don’t take simple, quick snaps with your phone. If you do not have a good camera then take the extra time to find someone who does, light your piece well and make sure the details are visible in the pictures that you send us.

Spectrum 22 Call for Entries Submissions Tip #4

Does my artwork have to be fantasy related to submit to Spectrum?

Yes: Spectrum’s focus is on “Fantastic Art.” HOWEVER keep in mind that focus covers a sweeping range of possibilities. Fantastic Art can be subtle or obvious, traditional or off-the-wall, painted, sculpted, done digitally or photographed: Fantastic Art chronicles places and peoples and creatures and events that aren’t or never were. Just as there is no unacceptable way to create art, there are no set rules that say one piece qualifies while another does not. Spectrum doesn’t define Fantastic Art: what YOU do and what the JURY selects does. We do not pre-screen submissions and we do not arbitrarily restrict the type of art that is submitted. We make sure every submission is viewed with fairness and an open mind by the jury. We embrace all art works in all mediums embracing the themes of science fiction, fantasy, horror, the surreal, fine art and more. Each type (and types that we may not have even thought of) is eligible for this show.

Spectrum 22 Call for Entries Submissions Tip #5

How do I know that my submission arrived?

We take great care in reviewing the details of every submission that arrives. For online entries we check your online form and artwork to make sure your name, the art title and all other relevant details match. Once this is done we send an official email confirmation to notify you that your submission has been accepted. For submissions that arrive as prints in the mail, once you see that your payment has been processed you can rest assured that we have processed your submissions.

If we have any questions or if any art is missing we will contact you by email or by phone. We take great care in making sure all submissions look their best for the jury.

Spectrum 22 Call for Entries Submissions Tip #6

What is the #1 mistake people make when submitting online?

Not labeling their art when posting it. A small percentage of people do not include their name or art title when uploading their art. In this case we send an email asking for clarification or new art files properly labeled. Please label your art by first and last name followed by the art title!

Click here for more details and to submit.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes

Flesk Publications
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Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2014 Victo Ngai. All Rights reserved.

 

New Frank Cho Drawing Video!

Hi, all,

Here is a pair of new videos. As a reminder, we get a new video posted every Tuesday on our Spectrum Fantastic Art website.

The first video is a time-lapse of Frank Cho working on a section of a large battle drawing that was used as a gatefold in Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method. I filmed this while visiting Frank in his studio in June of 2015. We were wrapping up the book at the time. While Frank was drawing I was scanning art and designing portions of the book for Frank to review. It was a fun week. (Order the book here.)

This second video is our online promotional video for The Book of Giants by Petar Meseldzija. Petar spent a year writing and drawing this book. It came out amazing. We’re working with the printer now to get this book printed. (Pre-order it here.)


Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes

Flesk Publications
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Spectrum Fantastic Art
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Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text and photograph copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

Bill Carman Painting Video and Candid Interview!

In July 2011 I took a stroll around our neighbors booths at Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA and came across Bill Carman painting at his booth. I had my camera with me, and started filming over Bill’s shoulder while asking him some questions. This video and candid interview is the result. Enjoy!

Bill:  One of the hardest things to do is get food while you’re at the convention y’know?

Flesk:  I do know.

Bill: I can’t go for too long because I don’t want to leave you watching my painting forever.

Flesk: I’ve not quite seen someone use their hand that way before.

B: One of the reasons I stopped using oil paint as much as I used to is because I would start to do the same thing to oil paint and that’s a bad thing.

F: What are you using there?

B: Acrylic.

F: I see.

B: I picked up this habit from James Christensen.

F: Oh, alright.

B: Do you know his work?

F: Yes.

B: He was my teacher. Teacher, mentor, now friend. He would tap it with his finger. I do it a lot with my hand like this because my fingerprints tend to show up too much. But he got me into that habit. I love this part of finding the texture. It’s like a game, finding and building up texture in the right places, dancing around. It’s very fun for me. I do very random things and then get focused in areas.

F: What are you painting on?

B: This is alder.

F: Do you buy those and cut them yourself?

B: I usually work pretty small so I can find a lot of it for free. Alder is a really nice wood. It’s soft enough and pliable with a tight enough grain so there’s really not a problem with excessive grain texture.

F: You really move around when you’re painting

B: Yeah, I do. There are a couple reasons for it: One, it’s just a habit I’ve gotten into. The other is the balance; seeing value so I can sort of step back, see what I’ve done then balance value out in other areas. For me it’s more exciting that way. There are people who can just focus on one thing for so long. Donato seems to have a very systematic approach when he paints. It’s really hard for me to work that way. He’s adapted over the years though. Early on his demos were different, the things that he would show on his site, the steps and stuff. It almost seemed that he would start in one corner and work all the way out methodically. Now he seems to move around a little more.

F: Do you use rough sketches and work things up, or is it all in your head?

B: It depends. This one, I sketched for the composition, finding where the shapes would go.

It started as a very rough sketch and changed tremendously from start to finish. It’s one of the things I enjoy talking to Rick Berry about. He works in a very similar way, just sort of responds, makes marks, responds and builds. I relate to that. For me it’s just more exciting working that way than having to plan it and sketch it out. Of course I plan and sketch for illustration and specific projects, working with an art director, but this way can be more exciting, the unknown. There is a fear that things can go wrong and I’ll never be able to dig myself out of the hole. Exciting.

F: Do you ever think about how different a piece would look, say if you were drawing now, and if you stopped for ten minutes and you talk to someone and you start it up again. Could that change the whole look of a certain area of a piece?

B: Oh yeah, I could certainly focus in a different way. It would be great to have several different realities working, changing as they progress. Distracting myself then seeing what happens when I return. These are still the stages where I’m building and responding to texture. And I love these stages, but once I’ve sort of established what the look will be, the texture and everything, then I … I’ve got to show you the brush I work with. [bends down to search for brush. It’s not as small as you’d think but it’s pretty small.] So when I get to a point like this I start to do the massaging. It’s this wonderful hypnotic process of building up mark, marks that start to blend together because of so many layers. I smooth things according to my dialog with the piece.. but I make the smallest marks with this, so I can fill in and get it perfectly smooth or I can leave textured areas. I go in to these darker spots between the white I wipe them out if I want an area really smooth. I’ve developed to the point where I can feel those, and get a perfectly smooth area if I want to. I guess I’ve done it enough that I can work pretty fast at it too.

F: You’re obviously comfortable working around people and with noise.

B: I’ve got a house full of people at home. I’m used to hearing somebody yell “Dad!”,
“Bill!” Breaking up the fighting dogs or any number of other things [laughs].

F: Do you think it helps in some way? If it was perfectly quiet do you think it would change things?

B:  Oh, I don’t know. I can work when it’s quiet too. I think it can help. But I think we have to learn to focus and adapt to our environment. I love being able to work at home, even with the distractions.

F: What tools do you use?

B: A bristle or watercolor brush like this to make texture and mix color. I have to add just the right amount of water to it and it’s sort of this bubbling affect, you see that?

F: Oh, yeah.

B: So I can just sort of scrub like that and it’ll leave, depending on what I do with the brush, different kinds of texture.

F: With my not being and artist, I look at that and it looks like you just messed it up. It looks scary. You painted right over your fish!

B: Oh yeah, risk is a big key. No discovery without it. See, all this stuff here will be painted over again with color.

F: Ah, ok.

B: That’s how I get color, by glazing the color into the value work. And yeah, people are horrified because I’ll work hours and hours to get all this built up with value and I’ll take one color and I’ll just wash over the whole thing. My students go ‘Ahhh!’ when I do that, and it just sort of freaks them out. But it ties things together and makes sense when I work on it more and start pulling things out again. It’s a pretty amazing process.

Maybe it’s less a painting process. There were a lot of true painters throughout history but there are also contemporary artists who are true painters. Guys like Phil Hale, Greg Manchess, they’re real painters. They have a feel for paint, a relationship with it. They put down a mark, they mix color, put colors next to each other. And for me this is all about… It’s almost like I draw with paint. It’s all about exploration with color and I never know quite what I’ll get. I can control it to the point of getting exactly what I want, but that can be really boring to me. So I push things, I wreck things and I bring them back out again. That’s exciting to me, I love that! I’ve never considered myself a true painter. Guys like Petar Meseldzija, he’s just a true painter, just has this, this mystical, almost, relationship with paint. His brush strokes and the way he puts paint down. I’m telling you, he’s got a spiritual relationship, built up from experience, with paint. I’m looking forward to meeting him. I feel like we’ve got this kindred spirit thing going. We work very differently but I think he’s a great painter. So I draw with paint, he paints with paint. That’s fine with me. I love drawing.
[He leans back to view his piece.]

F: I want to see what you’re going to do with this!

B: You see, at different stages, I can let this dry and the dark areas will stay dark or when it’s almost dry I can do this watch. [presses palm to surface]

F: Oh yeah!

B: See how it lifts it out and it causes a different kind of texture? The bubbling thing? And then comes the stage where I refine texture. I’ll show people techniques to make textures and they leave it at that. It usually looks a mess. But here is where I’ll come in and start to dance around the texture. Give it a peak like this and edge like that, so it looks like the light is coming from the top. When I don’t like some of it I cover it up. If it’s too much texture I’ll paint over it, but it’ll still show through you see? So there are all these decisions I’m making on the fly without really thinking about it. This is what I call “The Dance”, the discovering texture dance. It’s one of the most satisfying parts of what I do. Acrylic is so much about getting the right consistency of paint. If there’s too much water it gets watery like this and puddles around. Too little water it’s too thick. So getting it to the right consistency for the right stage is really important. This is where many people won’t have the patience. They say, “That’s what you do? Ok, I’ll work another way.”

F: So you’re doing this building effect, when there’s a perception that you’re doing it all in one layer.

B: Right, it’s layer after layer giving me the edges and sort of a deep quality to the flatness. I’ve had people call it ‘flatround.’ Not sure how many people are working this way.

F: I’ve never seen anything like it. James Christensen, he taught you the approach of using the hand, was it also the layering that he taught you?

B: Yeah. I mean this is sort of a bastardization of the old masters’ way of working, artists like Van Eyck. Northern renaissance artists would build up a grisaille, a value painting, monochromatic or grey. Colors would then be glazed over the value study. So technically it’s manipulation of the old masters’ way of working. James learned that from the old masters while combining it with Robert Vickery’s egg tempera techniques. He taught it to me and I’ve gone my own way with it. The funny thing is I learned how to paint with acrylic paints to a certain degree, and then for years I never used them. I went to oil paint. Then I discovered these Golden fluid paints. The pigment content is high, making colors vibrant and rich. I can do a lot more immediate textural things with acrylics too.

See, in my warped mind I see a really great little section of texture there that I’m going to build on. Then I do some “sculpting”, digging in with whites causing an area to pop out like that you see? Oh man I love that stuff.

F: And when you use your hand to blot, are you also feeling that too, does the touch of it help you?

B: It helps me feel how wet it is. I make contact with my board, or whatever I work on, a lot. I love doing this kind of a thing and experiencing it tactilely too. That’s another reason I love working with acrylics. I couldn’t do that with oil. Sometimes when I work with oil paint I forget and pat with my hand. “Oh god, I worked on that for an hour and just smeared it!”

But I love being able to feel it as part of my whole process. The tactile quality. And these are still really the beginning stages. I’ll shape this with value so it’s darker at the bottom and has areas of highlight. So as I massage some of the texture will be lost but some remains. Then when I glaze in warm and cool colors, edges turn more and more. That whole combination of things hopefully creates some magic.

 

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Interview copyright © 2015 Bill Carman and John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2015 Bill Carman. All Rights reserved.

The Flesk January 2015 Update–New Books and More!

Up until a few years ago we used to have short periods of downtime that I used to catch up on personal projects. Those slower times became briefer, while the distance between them became more distant. Mid-January to mid-February was one of those slower times. Now–especially since taking on Spectrum–January through March are just as busy as the summer months. Now it’s all out action all year round. You won’t hear any complaints from me about this.

As we enter this bright and fresh new year, I would like to thank all of our supporters and the artists who have helped with our continual growth that we have been so very fortunate to have.

Storms at Sea by Mark Schultz!

Storms at Sea by Mark Schultz!

It is my pleasure to bring you up to speed on some of our projects.

1. The Book of Giants by Petar Meseldzija. We are putting the final touches on this book. The interiors are done. At the moment we are added some binding and material upgrades to make the deluxe edition extra special. This book will go to the printer in one or two weeks.

2. Storms at Sea by Mark Schultz. The art and story is complete. We are wrapping up the interior design now. I expect to send it to the printer by the end of January.

3. Portfolio:  The Complete Various Drawings by Mark Schultz. This oversized version is going to be amazing. We’ve put a lot of work into overhauling the design and format. Mark is writing new captions which should be done and placed in the book by the end of the month. I expect to have it ready for the printer in early February.

4. The Tribes of Kai by Lance Haunrogue and Daren Bader. Lance is putting the final touches on the story and Daren is working on painting the last few pages. The design stage will start very soon. This will be ready in the summer.

5. Harvey Dunn: Where Your Heart Is…: A modern reprint of the definitive biography on Dunn. I am packaging this book for the South Dakota Art Museum. It features all new scanned art and photographs for a premier collection.

6. Spectrum 22: The Call for Entries deadline is January 26th. Then we will prepare the art for the jury who will convene on February 28th. I’ll post an individual blog about this soon.

7. The Nexus Chronicles by Steve Rude: The design is nearly complete. This book will include some of your favorite Nexus stories shown in the original art and/or pencil form with a sampling of sketches from Rude’s sketchbooks. This is on schedule for a fall release date.

8. The Art of Elfquest with text by Richard and Wendy Pini: This has been a massive and rewarding project that has been in the works for a few years. It will be a big collection showing a complete visual overview of Elfquest. This has been a lot of fun. We will have this wrapped up by summer for a fall release.

9. Imagery from the Bird’s Home: The Art of Bill Carman: Bill’s art is some of the most weird, intriguing and genuine art that I’ve ever seen. Purely extracted from his brain without outside influences he embodies what being an artist is. Surreal and like nothing else you have ever seen. This collection will have a batch of sketches, drawings and a large section on his paintings. It is coming this fall.

10. The Spectrum 22 Awards Ceremony. We are having new Spectrum awards made by Colin and Kristine Poole! We’re not ready to show the early designs yet, but they will be stunning. We will unveil them during the awards ceremony on May 23rd at the Folly Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri.

11. Spectrum Fantastic Art Live will run on May 22-24th. I will be bringing in a group of Flesk guests to the show again this year. I’ll have a separate post on this topic coming soon, too.

There’s more going on here, but this should tide you all over for the moment.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes

Flesk Publications
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Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Storms at Sea Artwork © 2014 Mark Schultz. All Rights reserved.

The Book of Giants Final Day for Bonus Goodies

BookofGiants-promo-graphicHi, all,

Today is the last day to receive an assortment of bonus goodies when pre-ordering The Book of Giants by Petar Meseldzija through our Kickstarter campaign! Here’s the link for you to learn more!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes

Flesk Publications
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Text and photograph copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

New Video: Career-Spanning Interview with Petar Meseldzija!



In October, 2013 I was visiting The Netherlands while exhibiting as Flesk at the Strip Festival in Breda. The day after the show I visited Petar Meseldzja in his studio where we discussed a series of topics that spanned his entire career. In celebration of Petar’s The Book of Giants being available for pre-order we spent the last few weeks reviewing the footage and producing a two-part feature. I have posted the first part today which covers his career from his earliest days up till how he became the artist that he is today. The running time is 19 minutes. Next week I will post the second part where Petar offers his thoughts on “technique.”

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes

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Text and photograph copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

Announcing “Portfolio: The Complete Various Drawings” by Mark Schultz

Mark-Schultz-Portfolio-CompleteMark Schultz and I worked together this week to create a rough layout for the interiors and to finalize the cover design for Portfolio: The Complete Various Drawings. This will be coming out in August 2015.

We have been talking over the last year about collecting all of the Various Drawings collections into a single large format book. This 272 page, 11.5 x 12 inch collection will gather all of the material from the five volumes. We are also going through and readjusting all of the scans. This is going to be stunning!

Here is the official book description.

A compelling showcase spanning seven transformative years.

During an impressive period—2005 through  2012—Mark Schultz turned his attention to producing a body of personal works and private commissions. The results, collected in the five Various Drawings volumes, focused on subjects about which Schultz feels most passionate. Among them are characters and tableaux pulled from mythology, science-fantasy and pulp adventure, featuring steely warriors and  femme fatales—his popular pulpette women included. Schultz’s Xenozoic world is profusely explored through a series of dynamic compositions with his protagonists, Jack and Hannah, placed in a variety of impossibly dangerous situations. In addition to his self-generated pieces, there are many examples of Schultz’s commercial works done for comics, film and books, as well as renderings of newly discovered dinosaurs and more.

Portfolio: The Complete Various Drawings compiles the 275 drawings found in the original five volumes as well as the cover illustrations and special bookplates. Reformatted into this oversized version, the scan for each image has been reviewed and meticulously adjusted.  All images originally reproduced in black-and-white are now presented in full color.

Found within are fully rendered drawings executed in brush-and-ink, carbon or graphite pencil. In addition, Schultz shows his process with a wealth of preliminary sketches done for a range of projects, including his upcoming Storms at Sea illustrated novella. Add to this rare sketchbook material  and Schultz’s increasing exploration of color-tinted imagery , and you have one fascinating and diverse portfolio!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes

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Text and photograph copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

New Videos! Steve Rude Sketching at Rose City Comic Con

Hi, all,

We have such a blast producing these new videos for every Tuesday!

We went through our footage compiled during our visit to Portland, Oregon in September 2014 when we exhibited at the Rose City Comic Con.

Steve Rude sketching at our Flesk booth!

Brom, Terry Dodson and Steve Rude signing and sketching for fans at our Flesk/Spectrum booth. Thanks to everyone who visited us!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
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Spectrum Fantastic Art
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Text and photograph copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

The Book of Giants Stretch Goals Announced! Pre-Order and Get Special Bonus Items!

BOG-cover

Hi, all,

Both Petar Meseldzija and I are thrilled to have met our initial goal with The Book of Giants Kickstarter campaign through the generosity of our supporters. We will be sending the book to the printer immediately after this campaign ends in early January. Here is a summary of bonus items that people will receive if pre-ordered through Kickstarter.

1. Both the trade hardcover and deluxe edition are $10.00 off the cover price when ordered through Kickstarter!
2. Free USPS Media Mail shipping in the U.S.
3. Free exclusive print!
4. Free Book of Giants journal!

I would like to announce two stretch goals in the hope that we can offer you more bonus items.

The first is a 30 minute online streaming video of Petar creating the giant portrait that you see in the Kickstarter promotional video. I filmed Petar over the course of two days as he worked on this piece. He discusses and shows how he prepares his palette, then continues with the pencil underdrawing, followed by the underpainting, then the application of the oils.

The second stretch goal that we are adding is a full upgrade to the deluxe edition binding and slipcase. This would include quarter-binding, an inset plate on the front boards and a premium cloth on the slipcase. This would enhance the deluxe book with a much improved package. As with our previous Kickstarter campaigns we will be using all of the raised funds toward improving the production values.

These new features will come at no additional cost to those who order through Kickstarter if we meet our stretch goals.

Please note that the deluxe edition will be limited to only 500 copies and not 1000 copies as previously advertised.

Thanks again for your support!

Here’s the link to the campaign.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/448120746/the-book-of-giants

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text and photograph copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Pre-Order The Book of Giants by Petar Meseldzija and Get Free Rewards!

BookofGiants-promo-graphicHi, all,

Today we have launched a new Kickstarter campaign to take pre-orders for The Book of Giants by Petar Meseldzija. The art, text and designs are done for the book. We plan on sending it to the printer immediately after the campaign ends in early January.

Please visit this link here for the full details, to watch our promotional video, to view sample pages and to see the original art options and free rewards that are available when pledging through our campaign.

If we reach our goal we are making available some fun gifts to thank our supporters with. We also have a number of stretch goals in mind. Should we be fortunate enough, we will continue to add value and more gifts along the way.

One of the reasons why we like using Kickstarter is that it helps us to fine tune the final production components of the book. For instance, with our Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method Kickstarter campaign, its success allowed us to add all the bells and whistles and editions that we had hoped for, and let us reward our early supporters with a lot of bonus free goodies. This new Kickstarter campaign for The Book of Giants will determine if we can produce the deluxe edition and finalize the binding and extras that we can include in the book. The more advance orders we receive, the more upgrades we can include.

For instance, with the Frank Cho Kickstarter campaign funds that we received earlier this year, Frank and I poured all of the money, and more, into the book. Our goal is to have a beautiful book–something that we can be proud of. And that is the same philosophy that I have for each new project that I work on. I won’t work with people whose focus is the money. To me, that is the wrong focus and one that will blind and doom the project. Instead we focus on the work, the art, the designs, the book, the process and on our supporters. That is our definition of success and reward.

We invite you to take a look at The Book of Giants by Petar Meseldzija.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text and photograph copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

 

 

Flesk Update. New Books and Titles in Development

book-of-giants-ks

Petar Meseldzija’s “Book of Giants” coming from Flesk in early 2015.

Greetings, everyone,

This year has been one of great transition. While it is still not over, it will remain a year that has resulted in a series of significant changes that I felt were necessary to take if Flesk Publications, Spectrum Fantastic Art and myself were to continue to grow in a robust fashion.

In the summer of 2013, while everyone was congratulating me on taking over the reins of Spectrum and on the recent Flesk books successes–most notably with The Art of Brom–I knew how quickly success could become something of the past when it should instead be viewed as a stepping stone. I’m not a pessimist by any means, but instead one who can fully grasp reality and situations for what they are at the moment. I playfully told people that summer that in 2014 I would either be bankrupt or three times stronger. I was actually being serious. I’ve seen many companies reach a certain point of growth, achieve a series of successes and then make a series of detrimental decisions and disintegrate in a matter of months as they have no idea how to handle their new found growth. It was the end of that summer of 2013 that I began to focus heavily on revisiting the infrastructure of the business. It’s always best to be in a position to take this step when things are going well, rather than when they are going poorly.

The first thing that I did was to set aside all Flesk titles for nearly a year. I instead poured much of my energies into upgrading every process revolving around Spectrum. I then critically reviewed every process in the Flesk offices. I did both by asking myself the question, “How would I run these two brands if I just walked in the door today.” I treated each as if I had never been involved with them. I made a series of big decisions and took action to rebuild every function. I then took the time needed to enact each change. The result is a robust new Flesk and Spectrum. I feel confident that I am far better equipped for success than ever before.

One of the most significant changes for 2014 was the move to Publisher’s Group West (PGW) for our book trade distribution. PGW is one of the largest distributors in the country and their reach goes worldwide. PGW has a massive sales team and superior fulfilment facility. The result is greater penetration into the marketplace which means we will be reaching more stores and new audiences.

Another big change was moving into a new space in Santa Cruz, California. We now have a proper facility for handling a far wider assortment of opportunities. For instance, even when receiving twenty-two pallets of books and having six people working on fulfillment at the same time we had plenty of elbow room.

Additional changes involved gathering a hardworking, friendly and dedicated crew to help with the increased workload. I am very fortunate to have a great team.

Now, as we are primed for 2015 I have been gearing back up on Flesk books.

The Book of Giants by Petar Meseldzija is almost complete. We will be taking pre-orders through Kickstarter beginning on December 1st and sending the book to the printer in early January.

The artwork and writing is complete for Storms at Sea by Mark Schultz. We are designing the book now.

The Nexus Chronicles by Steve Rude is well into the designing phase. This book will be wrapped up in a matter of a few months.

The Art of Elfquest by Wendy Pini is roughly laid out and will be another title coming out in 2015.

Harvey Dunn: Where Your Heart Is… by Robert Karolevitz, a revised and expanded edition of the 1970 definitive biography on Dunn is slated for the printer on February 1st. This book I am honored to be packaging for the South Dakota Art Museum.

The Tribes of Kai by Daren Bader and Lance HaunRogue, a stunning new graphic novel will also be available in 2015 as it is now nearing completion with the designs starting shortly.

The World of Payne by Frank Cho and Tom Sniegoski is written with Frank working on the artwork now.

Spectrum 22: The Best on Contemporary Fantastic Art will round out the year!

These are just some of the examples of the over thirty titles that we have in development!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text and photograph copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

New Video Interviews with Cory Godbey and George Pratt

Hi, everyone,

Our latest new videos feature interviews with Spectrum 21 jury members Cory Godbey and George Pratt. Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art is now available!

Enjoy,

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
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Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

New Video: Shelly Wan Interview!

Hi, all,

This week’s new video features an interview with Spectrum 21 jury member and Sketch Artist at Pixar Animation Studios, Shelly Wan. Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art will be available this month!

Enjoy,

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
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Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

New Video: J. Anthony Kosar Interview!

Hi, everyone,

This week we have an interview with J. Anthony Kosar which was filmed during the Spectrum 21 judging event.

We are currently packing all of the Spectrum 21 orders, complimentary copies for the artists and the Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method books. We are shipping hundreds of packages each day and will not stop working around the clock until all of the packages have been sent!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

Allen Williams Interview Video and Craig Elliott Time-Lapse Video!

Hi, all,

Here are another pair of videos for your enjoyment!

The first one is an interview with Allen Williams filmed during the Spectrum 21 judging event. The second is a time-lapse video of Craig Elliott during an oil painting demonstration at our Flesk Publications booth at the Alternative Press Expo in 2013. This was conducted from life over a three hour time-frame.

 

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Frank Cho at Lee’s Comics on Tuesday, October 28th!

Hi, everyone,

Frank Cho will be at Lee’s Comics in Mountain View, CA this Tuesday, October 28th from 5:00 to 7:00pm. We hope you can stop by and meet Frank!

Frank-Cho-KS-printsThe Spectrum 21 and Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method books will be showing up any minute now. We have the Frank Cho special prints for our Kickstarter supporters. We also just received the Spectrum 22 Call for Entries posters. We will include one poster in each of the Spectrum 21 books shipped direct from Flesk.

S22-CFE-posters

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2014 its respective artist(s). All Rights reserved.

Flesk Book Sale Going On Until October 24! Early-Bird Price on Spectrum 21

Spectrum-21-cover

Hi, all,

We’ve got a generous book sale going on at the Flesk website. Limited quantities of the discounted titles are available at these greatly reduced prices. These prices are good until October 24th!

1. The Prince Valiant Page by Gary Gianni only $9.95 (cover price $29.95)

2. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea adapted by Gary Gianni only $9.95 (cover price is $24.95)

3. Flesk Prime with art by Elliott, Gianni, Meseldzija, Schultz and Stout, only $9.95 (cover price $24.95)

4. James Bama: American Realist only $14.95 (cover price $34.95)

5. James Bama Sketchbook only $9.95 (cover price $24.95)

6. James Bama: Personal Works $14.95 (cover price $45.00)

Plus, take advantage of the new Spectrum 21 book that is arriving with us at the same time as the Frank Cho book. For a limited time, order direct from us for a special early bird price.

7. Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art paperback only $29.95 (cover price $34.95)

8. Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art hardcover only $36.95 (cover price $44.95)

Plus, there many more books on our Flesk site that you can add to your pledge.

Let us know if you have any questions!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2014 its respective artist(s). All Rights reserved.

Spectrum 22 Poster Art by Victo Ngai! Call for Entries Now Open!

Spectrum-22-Call-for-Entries-FleskWith the Spectrum 22 call for entries now open, I would like to highlight the poster which was done by Victo Ngai this year! I was thrilled when Victo agreed to do the poster. She was my first choice and someone who I feel represents the current state of illustration in a fresh way that helps define a new generation of artists who will be paving new ground for decades to come. Victo’s art is aptly titled “Rule Breaker,” a theme that has always been prevalent with Spectrum. The posters are being printed and will mail out soon. Online submissions open tomorrow! –John

Learn more about Victo here: http://victo-ngai.com/

Submit to the Spectrum 22 Call for Entries here.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2014 Victo Ngai. All Rights reserved.

New Video: Pierre Alary Sketching Part Two


 

The first video we posted of Pierre Alary turned out to be quite popular. We’ve gone ahead and put together this second video of Pierre during his signing at our Flesk booth at Comic-Con International in San Diego in 2011. Pierre’s appearance was sponsored by Stuart Ng Books while he was there to promote his new titles. Watch as Pierre creates a lovely drawing for a lucky fan.

Be sure to visit Pierre’s website to see his latest work.

And remember, we post a new video every Tuesday. All of them can be found here: Spectrum Fantastic Art website video area.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Frank Cho at New York Comic Con This Weekend

Frank-Cho-she-hulk

Hi, all,

Frank Cho will be at the New York Comic Con this weekend! He can be found at his artist alley table number Z2. Frank is bringing some books and prints with him, as well as some art and sketch covers like the sample shown here.

Information about the show can be found here.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
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Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

New Videos! Warren Chang and James Gurney

Hi, all,

There’s two new videos to share this week.

Warren Chang discusses his upcoming exhibit at the Monterey Museum of Art. Over a dozen paintings will be on display including a series of preliminary studies and drawings at the Monterey Museum of Art La Mirada running from October 23, 2014 to April 6, 2015. The opening reception is on October 23, 2014, 5:30pm-7:30pm. Warren Chang is nationally recognized for his realist paintings of biographical interiors and local fieldworkers of the Monterey County area. Chang creates subtle narratives that celebrate the human spirit. A native of Monterey, his work is also inspired by the novels of John Steinbeck and the magnetic beauty of the region. An exhibit catalog produced by Flesk Publications, the Monterey Museum of Art and the Winfield Gallery will be available direct at the museum during the exhibit and from the Flesk website and at the Winfield Gallery.

Did you see the Australian postage stamps illustrated by James Gurney that was released in late 2013? The stamp issue is called “Australia’s Age of Dinosaurs,” and it includes six stamp subjects against a scenic backdrop. Watch the following video made by Helpful Bear Productions to see the imagery created by this Spectrum Grand Master and member of the Spectrum Advisory Board.

And remember, we post a new video every Tuesday. All of them can be found here: Spectrum Fantastic Art website video area.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Flesk Exhibiting at the Alternate Press Expo This Weekend!

Craig-Elliott-APE-demo-picture-06

Craig Elliott painting demonstration at APE in 2012. See him paint this weekend!

We’ll be exhibiting at the Alternative Press Expo (APE) in San Francisco, California this weekend. Come by our tables #222 and 223 to see what’s new and flip through sample copies of the books coming out this Fall: Spectrum 21 and Drawing Beautiful Women by Frank Cho! We’ll have copies of all of our books that are in print, plus some dinged copies at reduced prices.

We have secured our models for Craig Elliot who will doing painting demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday.

We hope to see you there!

Learn more about APE here.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
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Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text and photograph copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Frank Cho Video: Storytelling

 

Here’s a new video of Frank Cho working on one of his sequential pages included in the storytelling chapter of Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method. The book is shipping from the printer and will be here soon!

And remember, we post a new video every Tuesday. All of them can be found here: Spectrum Fantastic Art website video area.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Videos © 2014 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

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