Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Awesome like a Possum

Now presenting Awesome like a Possum by the Electric Keychain Collective!

A well spoken alligator contemplates whether it would be more fun to be someone else. A pharaoh sparrow, or a steampunk skunk perhaps? Possums are awesome, moose are footloose, but as our alligator decides, it’s always better to be your magnificent self.

Awesome like a Possum is drawn by the seven different artists that make up The Electric Keychain Collective.

Tatiana Dengo: She's got a cat!
Arielle Katarina: She likes water.
Julia Dianne Marshall: She likes pushing buttons!
Carly Strickland: She's really, really short.
Karen Swartz: She loves drawing birds.
Jessie Wright: She likes staying up late.
Jackie Yu: She loves Fantasy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Please allow me to present you with Four Awesome Reasons why it's a great idea to hire me to make an art catalog for your gallery:

Printing has never been easier! Order two or two thousand copies. There's no print minimum with print-on-demand. Are you a fan of traditional printing? That's fine too! I'm ready to go, no matter which is your cup of tea.

Art catalogs are hip complements to a show. They're sleek promotional materials that double as a celebration of an artist's work and enrich the experience of collecting.

I design to emphasize the art, and preserve the integrity of the work, the artists, and your gallery. I'm uniquely aware of how important this is, because I was raised by a successful figure painter.

But mostly you should hire me to make a catalog for you because I promise it will be awesome.

Look at me still talking when you could see for yourself:

Learn more about me, or contact me HERE!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Just Say, "No," Kids!

Say No to Sparkles is for sale on Amazon!

Say No to Sparkles is a fully illustrated anthology of quirky, spooky, comedic, and outrageous vampire stories-- one of the world's oldest myths told with a fresh voice. It features vampires that are blood-sucking killers, mothers, CEOs, and are killed by sunlight. This book is completely devoid of perfect smiles, haunted looks, shirtless werewolves, and sparkles.

Say No to Sparkles was written by my brother, Kyle Strickland, and illustrated by ME!

 How do you say, "No," you ask? It seems so easy to bend to peer pressure. But do not fret! There are a few simple tips to remember:

1. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Vampires are soulless killing machines. They will not love you, only kill you.

2. Remember, you can have the upper hand. All you need is a window or a UV lamp.

3. Accept that vampires are not people, it makes it easier (emotionally) to slay them.

4. Never, never laugh at a vampire (unless you are reading Say No to Sparkles). They are very sensitive about their complexions and eating habits. If you make a vampire uncomfortable, they will certainly rip you limb from limb.

5. Above all, remember that if someone sparkles in the sunlight, that is not a vampire, but you should try to slay it anyway.

Buy Say No to Sparkles on Amazon in print and on Kindle:



Closet Case is now available on RedBubble as a print, iphone case, or shirt.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Old King Cole

This time last year I was working hard on my NaNoWriMo Mothership Goose. I didn't get it finished last Novemeber the way I set out to, and since then one project after another has taken precedence over it. Finally after a year of busybusybusy, I can finally get back to my retro scifi madness!

Here's a preview of a new image I'm working on for Old King Cole.

Old King Cole
Was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe,
And he called for his bowl,
And he called for his fiddlers three!
And every fiddler, he had a fine fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he.
"Twee tweedle dee, tweedle dee," went the fiddlers.
Oh, there's none so rare
As can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

Edit: This book is now available for sale on Amazon!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Upcycling or Put an Alien On It.

What is one to do with an ugly old paint-by-number? I'm thinking add some aliens. Aliens make everything more awesome.

I got my paint by number at an outdoor junk shop on Tybee Island that had a particularly flirtatious salesmen. Hello Patrick.

It had been stored outside, so it had some warping 
from water damage. This painting was just on a 
piece of cardboard, so it was pretty easily fixed. I heavily wet the back down with water and piled a crap load of books on it. That's it under my copious Star Trek graphic novels. I did this twice, and while the warping got better, it wasn't fixed entirely, so I mounted the picture on foam core.

Because the painting was old it was cracking and I coated with with some matte medium before I did anything else because I was worried about it flaking off.

I scanned the piece and designed the aliens and the abductee in Photoshop, because recently I've become incapable of drawing on paper. I really need to work on that. 

I printed off my drawing and used graphite transfer paper to transfer the outlines to the board. This actually turned out to be a problem, because I assumed I would be able to erase it, but the matte medium just didn't want to let go of the graphite after I was all done. 

Demon deer sees into your soul.

Then I painted. I tried to copy the colors as close to the original deer as possible, and got a little lesson in acrylics not drying the way you think they're going to. Yay! I wasn't too worried about it because I knew the tractor beam was going to cover him up.

My totally sweet set up, paints on the floor to the left, pallet straight ahead, computer on my right playing House M.D. Aww, yeah.

 Final touches of neon green glazing. OOH SPOOKY.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Art V Cancer - Live Long and Prosper

I was recently chosen to show at Live Long and Prosper, an exhibit in Manchester, England by Art V Cancer. The show's theme was Star Trek and living well.

My piece that was selected

Art V Cancer is an organization that sells art to help raise money for CLIC Sargent (Children and Young People with Cancer) and CALLM (Caring for Adults with Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma) Manchester Royal Infirmary Charity.

There's my picture on the wall! (picture from Art V Cancer's Facebook)

You can buy New Life here for $32 to support cancer research!

or take a look at some of the other pieces: they're really kick ass.

My favorite- Earl Grey by Alan Dalby

Art V Cancer's Site

Read about the companion pieces to New Life.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Site Construction!

My website is under construction so you might get some nasty 404 errors! Don't worry about it, because soon it will be super pretty! Here's a preview!

(I hope you're as excited as I am)

EDIT: Website is launched! Click here and enter a magical land of pictures!.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Incognito Project- It's Kind of a Big Deal.

The Incognito Project is kind of a big deal in my family. Mom (Terry Strickland) got an idea a couple of years ago to do a large scale show of portraits of people as their alter-egos. It was deeply collaborative between Mom and her models, going back and forth about who they wanted to be when they grew up and if any of them had secret identities. When it came time for the photoshoot (20 something people in one day- whew!) the family stepped up to be the support she needed for the day! Dad handed out model paperwork and kept the schedule, my sister-in-law did costume make up, my brother took interviews about the alter egos, and I worked as Mom's assistant, moving lights, adjusting models, and serving as a second set of eyes for the photos.

So here we are several years later, the paintings are done, but the family is not! We have joined together to make The Incognito Project into a coffee table book. We've got the writers writing and the designer (me) is designing. It's going to be awesome!

It's got all kinds of stuff in it. Essays about the significance of certain identities, statements from the models, and giant glossy images of the paintings. It's laid out like a detective's file, revealing the way Mom has become a people detective. Through her art she has discovered other's true selves and laid it bare for us all to see.

(click the spread to enlarge!)

We're running a Kickstarter to fund the printing of the book. This is the largest project Matter Deep has created so far. If you donate 50 bucks you get almost a hundred pages of beautiful paintings, fantastic writing, and stunning details! There's a bunch of other swag you can get too if you don't have 50 bucks to donate, or if you've got more so check it out!

If you've never seen Kickstarter here's a quick run down:

You pledge to donate a certain amount of money. If the campaign reaches the needed amount, then your donation goes through. If we don't reach our goal, then our hopes and dreams are shattered, you don't spend any money, and we don't get any money. It's completely safe, and your payments go through your existing Amazon account. Amazon has (rigorously) verified that we are who we say we are, and essentially what you are doing is not really donating, but pre-ordering a book! More about it here: Kickstarter's Frequently Asked Questions

Read about The Incognito Project Event!
See the whole project gallery!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How Many Times Do I have to Photograph a Watch To Get It Right?



53. The answer to "How many times do I have to Photograph a watch?" is 53.

Watch is a prop from The Incognito Project. More on that soon!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lost in Reality- Movie Poster

This is a poster I did for an indie film my sister-in-law was in. That's her on the right! 
Hi Amy!

"Seduced by the lure of reality TV fame, Angelo becomes entangled between two opposing worlds. This twenty something struggles to maintain his own identity in a celebrity crazed environment that, for the most part, perceives him as The Animal, a character conceived and manipulated by studio heavyweights to line their own pockets . Life at the Zoo House, despite its glamorous trappings and undeniable perks, is inhabited with drama and friends of questionable motives. Can Angelo survive being LOST IN REALITY?"

Poster at the premiere with the stars! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Book Review Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover

The Monster at the End of This Book is my favorite kids book ever written forever and ever. The love I have for this book is visibly displayed by tears and tape and coffee stains and the missing back cover.

Review under the cut!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Someone on the Internet is (Always) Wrong- AKA Female Role Models

My family has a joke. When it is said, it is shouted with much righteous indignation and a shaking fist and it goes approximately like this: "There is someone wrong on the internet! I cannot rest until they know how wrong they are!"

The word Feminist brings to mind a woman who is confidant and asexual, who doesn't shave her armpits or wear makeup or care about the way she looks. She is masculine. She has become the feminist ideal, and is the oposite of the traditional female ideal. The most important thing we need to remember as feminists, as women, and as people is that being sexual and feminine is not wrong. The women that choose to wear makeup and high heels need as much support and encouragement as women who wear boots and don't wax their eyebrows.

Warning: This post contains rampant feminism, some 
coarse language, boobies, and nerd talk.

Today there was a graphic floating around my Facebook titled Female Role Models.

Female Role Models: pop culture vs geek culture

Funny right? I thought it was. Because obviously kick-ass, gun-toting, space-faring ladies are superior to Snookie. Duh. And I've always planned on buying my future daughter a ray-gun, because ray-guns are awesome. But this picture's caused quite a bit of rabble in the crowd.

Lets analyze. The images were well chosen, as far as communicating the message goes. The pop princesses are not wearing very much clothing and are posed suggestively (although not necessarily flatteringly) while the geek goddesses are buttoned up and posed more confidently. So our subtext is:

If Pop=Skanky and Geek=Badass, and if Badass>Skanky then Geek>Pop

This equation made someone somewhere yell, "There is someone wrong on the internet! I cannot rest until they know how wrong they are!" And for good reason. There are plenty of things wrong with this image. Including that: 
1. Most of the pop princesses are real people and the geek ones are fictional
2. Lady Gaga totally rocks
3. They've implied wearing a short skirt makes you a bad role model. Snookie is not a bad role model because she wears revealing clothing. She's a bad role model because she's a mess, irresponsible and glorifying a dangerous, unrealistic lifestyle.

I was floored to see which part that particular someone took exception to.

So you see what they did there? They've tried to point out the hypocrisy of the maker of the image with half-naked women from geek culture. But to me, they've made it worse. Instead of trying to raise up the injured party (the pop princesses) by finding good role models they're trying to put down the nerds. NO FREE PASSES is reproachful and scolding.

Bad nerds. Looking at hot ladies. You should be ashamed. 

(Nevermind the fact that Leia, Powergirl, and Leeloo are completely badass. I don't know about the others, but it's likely they kick butt too.)

Then there came this third graphic rolling across my Facebook Feed.

Unfortunately this was the final straw for me, and I started shouting, "There is someone wrong on the internet! I cannot rest until they know how wrong they are!" Apparently I cannot abide people completely missing the point.

The NEW point this graphic is making is that anything can be made to look however you want if you chose the right images (this is a cornerstone for advertising and journalism since the creation of time). The problem is their examples are horrible. Rachel Maddow is not pop culture. She's a liberal news anchor. Female sports are really unpopular. Some of the geek girls are villans, not role models. And the lady from Game of Thrones just happens to be naked, which in that show, there's a 75% chance of someone being naked at any point in any episode. She's not even doing anything sexual. 

It's completely ignored the premise of the first images (What makes a good female role model, and Who is Iconic) and has skipped straight to condemning a group of people (geeks) because of the sexuality of their characters.

This is called Slut Shaming. Wikipedia says, as of today, "Slut-shaming is the act of making a woman feel guilty or inferior for being sexually active, having multiple sex partners, or acting or dressing in a way that is deemed excessively sexual." Slut shaming also applies to men who enjoy sexual women. If those sexy ladies are gross, then so are the men that like them.  All three images are full of it, and it needs to stop. 

"The sexual revolution was 40 years ago, people. We like sexy things. Sexy=Good. Lets move on." This is the sound my righteous indignation makes as I shake my fist at the sky. And it is this sound that fueled my twitching eye as I made my own version (below) of this slut-shaming meme to correct those people on the Internet.

Thank you sexy ladies, for being heroic, gun-toting, mystery-solving, genius badasses.

Feel free to share.

My ladies are: 
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Kate from Lost, Abby from NCIS, Merida from Brave, and Kate Beckett from Castle
Power Girl, Leia from Star Wars, Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager, Lara Croft Tomb Raider, and Ripley from Alien

(I tried to put Katniss on here, but I couldn't decide which side she belonged on.)