Hey you guys!
Today I would like to share something that is very close to my heart and very personal! (Just to warn you guys… there are explanations below the pictures in this entry, so to avoid any confusion, it’s a good idea to go and read these later after you’ve read the main text!! Explanations are inside the parenthesis (). Bear that in mind!!!!)
Self Portrait from 2004!!
Self Portrait from 2005!!
Long before I even though of picking up a guitar my main interest was visual arts!
Music was still my biggest source of inspiration, but drawing was something I did every single day!
“Every picture an artist makes is a self-portrait” is how the saying goes, but as I never really plan much when it comes to what I draw I guess I prefer to say that ” these pictures are a snapshot of how I feel at the time”.
Still I guess they say a lot about me, just like the rest of my creative output which is quite substantial.
Believe me when I say that the only reason there is no album out there from me with original material is due to lack of funding NOT due to lack of ideas!
I do however have an album with Classical Music available. An album that I’m incredibly proud of! If you want to hear me play violin music on the guitar or hear me sing opera you can check it out here: http://www.commandermusic.com/store.html
When we started out with this whole “Commander-In-Chief” business 7 years ago, it was a very different “product” that was presented to the world!
We started off my Myspace page with 2 original demo-tracks, with illustrations I had made for the lyrics and an animated “artsy” video I had made myself!
From my animated “Battle For The Mind” video-2008.
( I spent months working on the animated video! Very high pace, full of colours and artsy stuff it got me my first fans over on Myspace!).
My initial vision was that music and art was gonna be part of a whole since I visualise my music when I write it! This was going to be an artsy project and I was initially not even planning on using photos of myself to promote what I was doing.
The Bush Administration, taken from Hail To The Chief 2007/2008
( The picture above was inspired by the Bush administration and/or the leaders of the world. I had written a song called “Hail To The Chief” long before I took my artist name! I was very politically involved when I was a teen. All my lyrics were strictly about issues in society for a very long time. I was surprised when I discovered the Dead Kennedy’s, as I realised that they had already covered many of the topics I was writing about! The picture below is more recent and was made in 2012 as part of a Pledge Campaign! It’s an illustration for my song “Famous”. The song is strictly about reality shows, not talent shows or celebrities who are famous due to skills.)
Illustration for “Famous” from 2012
We saw however that pictures of me created “buzz” on my pages and got a good reach.
When I started out I had only been playing for 3 years and had no interest in shredding, I considered myself a songwriter more than anything else.
My original idea was to have a male singer singing my music, but I was advised by the producer I worked with that it would be better to “not-give-my-songs-away”.
It took me sometime to get used to the idea of being a vocalist! I had already started taking singing lessons from my mother, but I did this initially as I thought it would be a shame to turn down singing lessons in opera when the offer was there.
The 2 demo tracks we promoted caught the attention of indie-producers that had worked with pretty big names, in fact some of the biggest names in the genre, but I knew that I wanted a heavier sound even though my songwriting was catchy/commercial.
Things changed and developed over time and considering how much time and energy “artist development” can take if you are going to do it properly, visual arts went out the window.
I started drawing again in late 2012 and I also illustrated ( and wrote) my first children book “The Freezing Snowman” which we released in 2014!
Original drawing from “The Freezing Snowman”, First Draft, from 2013.
( The drawing above is part of the “first drafts” I made for the book. They were all made on cardboard. I got the idea for “The Freezing Snowman” when I made a snowman with my siblings in early 2012).
My original artwork will now be for sale on my website right here: http://www.commandermusic.com/art.html
and I’ll take the opportunity to share the stories/ideas I had behind some of these pictures!
As always, thanks for the support everybody! If you like me as an artist keep on supporting what I do by buying what I put up for sale!
ALWAYS support original art, whatever form!
You gotta keep the ideas coming and the art alive!
“I’m your new neighbour” I don’t think this picture needs an explanation!
( I like to draw facial expressions that are exaggerated! And I love colour, I spent a lot of time making this one.)
( I was using something as a reference when I drew this, but I quickly departed from that as usual. The man is obviously not happy. He is thinking about what he could have done differently in his life.)
(This man is being pulled in all directions to such an extent he is literally being torn apart. I was inspired by one of the villains from Spiderman! Believe it or not!)
( I have no idea what this is. A strict italian guy. He certainly looks like a villain to me!)
( I made this back in high school. We were supposed to draw our comfort zone and then add an element that would turn the comfort zone into the total opposite. I picked my bed room and added an entity that was not supposed to be there. I guess this is my ultimate nightmare in many ways. I used myself as a reference, then I used one of the guitar players from Dimmu Borgir as the reference for the guy in the closet! I just loved how he looked like in their band photos!)
( This is me dreaming about new children’s stories. I’m not gonna go into detail, but you see the Snowman on the right looking happy for a change. I have several other characters I’ve created!)
( This is a Thug God. My youngest brother Eric wanted me to draw a Buddha. Me being me though the Buddha ended up being a thug, rub it’s belly and you will be sucked into an endless pit, or I guess the greed for more will devour you. He is also holding a baseball bat. Try to take his gold and you are dead!)
( I started a political zine with a friend of mine back in 2007. One of the articles I wrote was about the “Big Brother” state America was turning into due to the increase in surveillance cameras everywhere. Freedom was lost in my opinion and it was only going to get worse. During that period I sketched a whole bunch of spy-robots, in 2013 I went back and turned these ideas into something tangible.)
( My socialist grandfather with a deep fascination for everything Russian, brought me this chessboard. It’s Russian and I used it as a reference during art class. The picture is fittingly called “Russian Revolution”.)
( Not my best, but the idea is cool. This is again inspired by the “Big Bother” society we live in. When I made these sketches I had still not discovered 1984! This picture is supposed to represent cloning. I guess it could look like I was inspired by “Brave New World”!)
( I have no idea what this is. I had no reference when drawing this. She is a lady about to get murdered. She is next but she doesn’t know.)
( Another take on the spy-robot, that will get to you no matter where you are! Nowhere is safe I tell you! This robot is pretty much alive, it’s an organic robot I guess you can say! It’s one of my favourite pictures.)
(And this ladies and gentlemen is Lady Justice in all her might! This was one of the illustrations I started my MySpace page with! The illustration for ” If The Dead Ones Could Talk” a song inspired by Chicago mobsters. It’s suppose to symbolise corruption needles to say!)
Here is my explanation for the two “self-portraits” at the beginning of this entry! It seemed a bit confusing to let it be where it was originally!
( I’ve always enjoyed making “self-portraits” that are based around an object I own or how I feel inside. The dragon represents my fire, passion and drive. I made it back in 2004 as part of a school project, I grew very fond of the picture even though its old and made by a child. The picture below was made a year later as part of an art school application. I was supposed to draw my shoes. I thought this sounded very boring and uninteresting until an artist I knew told me ” it’s a great challenge, it’s not about the shoes really, it’s about how you see the shoes”. Brilliant advice! I immediately drew the shoes to represent me, therefore I see the picture as more than just the picture of shoes. Like the one above it’s a self portrait. Maybe the coolest self portraits are the ones without the “self” present).