Illustrated with watercolor and India ink.
OK, so I'm a little behind the times. I recently finished watching Lost through a streaming service. Anyway, here's my illustration for this week's topic, John Locke, aka, the Black Smoke.
Illustrated with watercolor and India ink.
Since I started Weight Watchers back in October 2014, I have lost over 45 pounds. After meeting my goal weight, fitness has been my next challenge to take on. With my weight loss journey I added a lot of walking to my fitness regimen but I have always enjoyed running as a physical activity. I think it goes back to my childhood when I would run home from school just for fun. That was a good half mile. In high school I ran cross country and track and in the off season I took up running 10k’s and half marathons. I even got into doing triathlons for several years.
That was my first running incarnation. After meeting and dating my future wife, my priorities shifted to less exercise and more time with my honey. Exercise wasn’t totally out of the picture, but it was sporadic. My second running incarnation was after I joined the Army – I joined later in life, thinking it might open some opportunities in the long term. By age 30, I was fitter than most people my age, running 10 miles on a weekly basis by the end of my Basic Training/AIT. However, once I settled into my weekend warrior status, I slowly backslid on my level of fitness. By the time my contract with the Army was over, I was in a sedentary job with pretty much no activity in the off hours. I ate a lot and my weight soared. When I hit the over 200lbs. mark on the scale, I decided it was time to make some changes with my priorities and start treating myself better.
So before Weight Watchers, and also during, I tried getting back into running, but my Achilles tendon would flare up after a few weeks, resulting with me being barely able to walk. I tried all sorts of programs to no avail. Even the Couch to 5k program was too much for me. So I decided to wait until I lost my weight to start running again. Since I had many years experience designing my own running programs in the past, I decided to do just that in order to get back in running shape, but at my own pace. I started slowly running only 10 minutes a day for twice a week with lots of walking on non-running days. That is much less than what the experts say to do, but it was what worked for me. I increased the length of my time running on a monthly basis, not weekly or bi-weekly like many of the experts say. Instead of several weeks it has taken me several months to be able to now run over 30 minutes without getting injured. My thinking is what’s the hurry. I’m at a healthy weight. I’m already exercising and eating well. Improving on my running is just an extra thing that I get to do, and so I have the rest of my life to work on it. I’m blessed to be able to do it.
So now that I have reached a certain level of running fitness, I decided that I want to run my first 5k since losing the weigh - it’s been many years! I thought it would be neat to pick a day of significance, so I thought my birthday would give me a good amount of time to condition myself for the challenge. Plus, this year’s birthday falls on Friday the 13th so I thought that would be extra fun. I thought I would save a little money and hold a fun run in my own neighborhood. I also didn’t want to travel to a running event because it can be a bit stressful and I wanted my run to be as low key as possible. It’s just going to be me running, although my wife said she would also walk the course. Of course every run has to have a t-shirt, so I designed and printed off some shirts for me and my wife to wear during the 5k. After I finish the 5k maybe I can consider myself a “real” runner again.
With this week's IF topic being "smart", I just couldn't help but draw the first thing that popped in my head.
I'll let the viewer fill in the blanks.
Illustration created with watercolor and India ink.
Here is a work that I am entering into an art exhibit called Art Against Violence (the sketch is not included. I just thought it would be interesting to show it in this post.) The theme for this year's show is "Not One More." The exhibit obviously addresses the issue of violence in our community. However, more specifically, it addresses gun violence. I think that violence is a symptom of a bigger problem in our culture's general worldview, or lack of. My belief is that it stems from society's lack of moral value and apathy, though I am sure it is even more complicated than that. Here is a write-up that I included with my entry for the show. I believe it will be included in the exhibit for viewers to read.
Culture is a nebulous characteristic of society. It defies logic or rational thought. It is often assumed to be “common sense” or just the way things are. Consequently, it ceases to be the sense of the common if one has to think about it.
With my artistic contribution, “Stick ‘em Up!” looks back to a time and culture where children playing with toy guns was not an uncommon experience. I look back with fond memories of playing cowboys and Indians, dressing up like an Army guy and throwing pretend grenades at imaginary enemies, and shooting at my friends with makeshift sticks fashioned as ray guns and arguing who shot whom first. It seemed to be good-natured fun which allowed our bodies and our minds to be active and burn off youthful energy.
Fast-forwarding to the present, it seems there is a common effort to do away with the perceived violent play that restless children seem to gravitate. Games such as freeze tag or football are too dangerous. Forget about pretending to shoot anyone with a laser gun. That might get you arrested! In the shadow of school shootings and gang violence it is easy to understand why adults and parents are so uneasy about the possibility of violence escalating in our schools, neighborhoods, and community. It seems that the pendulum has swung from letting kids be kids to the other side of spectrum of helicopter parent.
Is there any room for a happy medium? Why can’t children just have fun? How do we define violence? Are guns bad? Has our society become too politically correct in trying to stop violent behavior? Are we seeking the right solutions in the name of common sense? Is our culture too soft regarding issues of violence? Is our culture too harsh regarding issues of violence? What can I do to promote peaceful relations in my community? These are some of the questions that I want people to think about when viewing my artistic piece.
It's been a while since I've done an Illustration Friday challenge, so here it is. The topic for the week is "old" and so this is a loose self portrait of how I may be when I am well advanced in age.
Taylor took a stand against Apple and won. Or did she? Seems to me like it could have been staged PR for Apple. We'll see, in due time.
It seems in a society where a relative sense of right and wrong is more and more common, lying is one of the few vices that seems absolute. At least it is for Rachel Dolezal.
Who is David R. Vallejo?
I am a visual artist, illustrator, and creative extraordinaire. Here you will find lots of art, works in progress, and some gibberish.