I originally built this site as an artistic statement. That's one of the things that's usually 5 pages of "I strive to use the best of my art ability to create the ultimate of peaceful worlds with my magical brush strokes and little jars of art pee." Then they try to define their meaning of art which, in an ideal situation, should end up being either completely ambiguous or all-encompassing. Don't expect an artistic epiphany here, but I'm going to spend more time talking about stuff I do than systematically destroying the meaning of a word. So to get the definition thing out of the way, art must resemble a lunch box. It has to have the ability to act as a codpiece if necessary, and should never be purple. Lunch boxes don't count unless they contain a thermos.|
I never really claimed to have a statement in my artwork. I don't focus on social problems. I don't get an idea and torture it to death as I explore it from every angle, lighting, and medium. I didn't pretend to ever have much meaning to my work. It's always been pretty first, and narrative second. That means it's illustration. Every artist's favorite. It's usually put in the same category as doily making when people are discussing art. Then people start debating whether or not it's art or craft. If anyone asks me, I usually tell them I'm a craft major going for my masters in cheese or something.... I guess. I've actually never said that. But you can imagine how clever it would be if I did.
|I usually do comic illustration. The glorified gem in the crown of the art world. Hold back the scholarships, guys! I already have a Nintendo. All of the comics I draw are written by myself. And sometimes inked and colored, although I primarily consider myself a writer and penciller. I'm sure my writing skills are obvious from my very brilliant and profound articulation on this page. Sure I write like a tongue-tied geek hitting on the prom queen, but without all the remedial sexual innuendoes. But back to the subject on hand, one of the comic characters I draw is pictured to the right. His name is Big Red. He's also a friend of mine. He looks unfinished because he hasn't been inked. This is mostly because I'm not an inker. If I were to someday find someone who decided to pay me for drawing comics, there will be a guy that comes in later with a pen. He'll outline and complete my pencils. Inkers specialize in line weight, shading, and a bunch of other stuff that is as off topic as that prom queen metaphor crap.|
|I do, of course, ink and color many of my pictures since I don't have professionals waiting to do it for me. To the left is an example of a finished work. This is Big Red when he's old. It's from a science fiction comic he wrote and I illustrated. Like most of our comics, it's character driven just as much as plot driven. I think that characters are the most important part of a story, and if they're interesting enough, who needs ninjas and supervillains? Well, everybody. But all I'm saying is that it would still be fun without them.|
|Artists always seem to have unexplainable motivations that push them to do art, or at least that's what they say when they're not exploring their own inner magic. I almost thought one up, but I was really busy with legoes during class. Most art teachers were people I paid to tell me to stop drawing comic books and to tell me that human breasts aren't that big. I'd hate to think my motivation for being an illustrator stems from an immature "I told you so" aversion to authority, but it's entirely possible. And probably likely given the fact that I hate you. Whatever the reason, I've liked writing and drawing comic books since I ran away to shovel elephant shit at the circus. Although the target audience is usually illiterate children, comics are one of the best sources of narrative artwork you can buy. It's a lot cheaper than buying a Persian miniature anyway. And less breakable, easier to pull out of your ass in the case of an accident, etc. The picture to the right is a vicious cyborg battle between two more bionic men less sexy than Lee Majors.|
|And so now I've spoken for about two pages, and people still haven't received an artist's statement. That's because it isn't much of one. Art should most importantly be fun. At least for me. And I'm not talking about always being funny or filled with delightful madcap hilarity, but it should entertain and stimulate the mind. I'm not going to bad mouth work that is "just" pretty for not stimulating my mind, since if it's pretty, I'm having a good time looking at it. High brow art is great, but going over your audience's head is a pretty cheap ego boost. And what a splendid piece of art it is that only a few people can interpret anyway. Everytime I make a piece, I try to think about how my audience (usually my friends) will react to it. I don't want to have to explain the sarcasm, symbolism, or whatever, and I sure as hell don't want people misinterpretting my stuff. But honestly, who cares? No one analyzes and interprets comics anyway. Sure, I got me one of them education things, and there are some subtle artsty messages in the dialogue and situations I make in my comics, but it's rare that they're noticed. They're secondary to the first and most basic interpretations to campy banter and violent confrontations. You're supposed to be having a good time looking at this.|
|Some of my messages are a little easier to interpret. For example, this cheeseball to the right is the American Spirit. He stars in my comics as the charismatic leader of the government funded super hero team known as the Spirit Squad. They're probably more useful as a tool to keep kids off drugs than as super villain rivals. Is Seanbaby trying to badmouth our beautiful culture with super heroic metaphors? I heard he's that kind of guy. Anyway, this goon (to avoid confusion, I am now referring to the American Spirit. Sorry about the third person self reference. It disrupted the flow of this... whatever this is) usually spouts off lines like, "That's not the way we do things in God's great America, mister!" Or my personal favorite, "You can't stop the American spirit! We'll never give up!" Oh sure, it's juvenile, easy, and obvious iconography, but that's the kind of propaganda I grew up with. That, and a bunch of stuff about just saying no, standing up to the school bully, and washing my hands after going to the bathroom. Because no one wants to get hepatitis, and we don't want hepatitis to get you.|
|So now that we've all learned a valuable hygenic lesson and learned that Sean's political and social views might tend towards the rebellious anarchistic type so popular with the kids today, let's talk more about his art. I use a lot of different mediums to percolate my nurturing artistic messages down to my audience. Above, the American Spirit is wearing a combination of colored pencils and oil pastels. Then he was washed in turpentine and vigorously rubbed in a paper staining technique that is sure to please friends and coworkers alike. I'm not sure if I invented it, but no one showed it to me, so until I see the patent... [he wisely ends the pointless sentence and moves on. One can sense his apprehension.] It creates some very smoothly blended colors that sort of resemble air brush work. I've used this technique on a few pieces. Of course, now that I own Photoshop, I spent a few minutes making him prettier on the computer. However, to the left is the justifiably egotistical godlike chinese powerhouse known as Mo Shui. He is seen styling himself in thickly applied water colors and is famous for lines such as, "I am Mo Shui. You are nothing." I like to work in water colors sometimes, but water color paper is usually too rough to get the line weight I like with my already bad inking jobs. Also, my cat has a tendency to drink the water after I rinse my brushes out. Gross, I know.|
|Another oil pastel paper staining mixed media work of art is shown to the right. It is another of my friends who stars in the comic as an exaggerated expression of himself. The appropriately named Big Red enjoys walks on the beach, cybernetics, and Germanese insect style martial art forms. But that's a long story, and we're here to talk about what this means to my career and the art world in general. It means I won't have the money to visit Europe on the weekends, but I should have a good time not going, I guess. Hopefully I will get some sort of job illustrating my own stories, which I'm sure would delight many of my supportive teachers. They've all really encouraged the comics illustration. I think I've been called everything from an underachiever to... I think Kelly put it best when she said, "You have talent. You can produce good art when you want to, but it surprised me at how closed minded an artist you were." I had just recently created one of those design chairs in the style of Spider Man artist, Steve Skroce. I guess in the U of I handbook, it says, "Comic book projects = closed mindedness. Please inform the student of this." My figure drawing teachers were always really impressed at how much the nude models I drew resembled the Justice League of America, too. Some of the more daring said I was afraid to try anything new. I tried to explain that I had drawn a couple of different things, and I actually draw comics because I like them best. Evidentally, I need to graduate before I'm qualified to do anything I like. I don't know if it's agism, or just the fact that I'm wearing cartoon dudes on my t-shirt, but.... yeah... that's a complete thought. We'll leave it at that.|
|Nothing like an overdone stereotypical character like the one to our left. This overly aggressive Vietnam veteran is affectionately called Sargeant DDT. Sure, I didn't stay up all night thinking in bold new nonlinear directions to create him, but he... hold it. Why did I make him? Was it my homage to campy post war movies, or just the necessity of a character symbolizing our wise decision to stop communism by witnessing the effectiveness of guerilla tactics first hand? It could be a little of both. Either way, his main purpose was to make sure that no one took him or his allies on the Spirit Squad seriously. Because there's nothing I hate more than someone not sensing sarcasm. And, of course, everyone I've ever met is an idiot. So sometimes I make it a little too easy. Not as easy as like a Frita Kahlo painting (as the art world gasps, realizing that this Sean Reiley truly is some sort of heathen), but still... not uninterpretable. Kind of like Jeff Koons, but without all the vacuum cleaners and pigs.|
|I do some acrylic work, and when I'm not making comics, I do some portraiture. I'd hate to disappoint all of my former teachers, so I try to make these as cheesy as possible. Something you might hang next to your velvet Elvis, if you're into drug enhanced overweight pelvic thrusters. This particular painting to our right is international kung fu star, Jackie Chan. That last sentence was for the savages out there who aren't familiar with his work. Sure, I'm not making statements about the world at large, or even making you think much, but look! It's Jackie Chan!|
|I write more than just comic books, and I draw more than just comic books. For example, the picture to the left is an illustration for a game I've been creating. Oh. The characters look just like they're out of a comic book. That could be because I ignored my classical art training because of my intense volleyball schecule, or it could be because I think comics look cool. And I'm almost done with my B.A. in looking cool. Once I shave my head and cover it with trucker tatoos, my thesis will be done, and I'll open up a cool looking shop. Back on subject, the piece to the left was created with painfully firmly pressed colored pencil strokes. I've found that bruising your hand and knuckles and breaking a few pencils are good signs that you're making a nice smooth plane of color. One might say, when looking at my color work, that I use bright colors. They would be correct, and probably very eloquent. They would also win a prize. Bright colors just tend to be more fun to look at than... not bright colors.|
Although not nearly as fun as like a good episode of CHiPs, I think Eric Estrada would agree that this has been an informative and highly professional journey of artistic... stuff. I hope I've shown
good examples of my work and my ability to effectively articulate. I think I'd like to end this all now with a quote. I believe Seanbaby Reiley's immortal words from about a page up would be appropriate.