The Home of the Creative Mind

Welcome to PooBahSpiel, the online voice and home of the creative mind of Mark Monlux, Illustrator Extraordinaire. Prepare yourself for an endless regaling of art directly from the hand of this stellar artist. And brace yourself against his mighty wind of pontification. Updates are kinda weekly and show daily sketches, current projects, and other really nifty stuff.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

TAIP 11: Coloring 02


I decided it would be faster to color as I usually did with one color at a time rather than one object at a time. This is how I typically think. I usually have an idea as I put the image together what colors are going to fall where. So, I save a little time by going around and dropping that color in everywhere I think it belongs. I can then change my mind later on as the image fills up. Initially, I was worried about the file overloading, but that doesn't seem to be an issue.

If you want to add your support, you can always buy one of my many movie-inspired items at my online store.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

TAIP 10: Coloring Begins


This is the start of the coloring process. Earlier, while I was creating the elements and determining the layout I was also selecting the colors. Since I want each person to be drawn and colored with colors that are associated with them by their friends, I decided not to rely on color for composition. What I could do to create a sense of unity is use the same consistent palette through the image. And, to make the work best represent me, I would pull upon two palettes of color I created already. The first was a set of colors I created for a Mermay challenge. I went on to use those colors in most of my work for the rest of the year to create a consistent look for my portfolio. When you look in my Instagram you will see that as a result of my color selections, all of my images complement each other.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

TAIP 09: Line Work Completed


It's been a while since my last posting. I was dragging my feet on filling in sections of the image which were giving me problems. I'd yet to make up my mind on how I was going to approach some aspects of the drawing. Since part of this project was me growing, I allowed myself to puzzle over various elements and choices. Perhaps the toughest choice was to decide to move past the ink stage. This would mean I would have to live with my choices. 

I will be facing some interesting challenges due to my technology choices. I decided to create the image inside ProCreate on my iPad Pro. But, because the size of the image is substantial, at a decent resolution, I'm limited to only five layers. Only five! Normally I would have had a different layer for each person and often those layers would have sub-layers. That can't be the case. I must also plan for the scenario that the file might choke. So I will fill in the image via quadrants instead of all over at the same time, which is what I normally do. 

It's time to charge ahead! Here's a time-lapse of the inking. I want to thank the Tacoma Arts Commission again for having faith in this project. Without the Tacoma Artists Initiative Project, I'm not sure I would have ever pushed this past a daydream. Now it's becoming a reality.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

My friend Leilani Lisa Lawrence can be found in the project.

I've been a bit depressed. When I began this project I thought I might incorporate friends as characters into a scene. It quickly became a theme. Kristopher Brannon, also known as "That Sonics Guy" was a friend and I wanted to honor him by having him as a character. One of the first people I sketched for the project was Leilani Lisa Anderson. She was very pleased when she saw the video of my drawing her fire dancing. Unfortunately, Lani became very ill, and just as she was going to start a treatment she died. The abruptness was shocking. She was a vibrant person in my life. I think she would like to have a small cartoon version of her fire-dancing in a jigsaw. She'll go on performing for people in a surprising way. As I progress with this project new unexpected aspects I didn't anticipate the result. And I have to smile even more. Finding the hidden is what this project is all about.

Lani interacting with one of my chalk
drawings at Frost Park in Tacoma. 

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Tacoma Artists Initiative Project - Compiling Sketches

Here's a video showing an update on my project. I'm compiling elements of various sketches into the whole.

Here's one of the videos showing my sketches.

Monday, April 5, 2021

My Tacoma Artist Initiative Project

In March I received word that I have the Tacoma Art Commission's backing for a Tacoma Artists Initiative Projects. Of the forty artists who submitted applications, I was one of 24 selected for this year. I'm very honored to be one of the chosen and I'm looking forward to sharing this adventure with you.

Here is the gist of my project. As children, we were taught to find objects in our surroundings. Sometimes these would be out of context, such as in drawings when objects were hidden within a scene. Like a spatula hidden in the bark of a tree, or an iron in a field of flowers. Jigsaw puzzles were another way we learned to organize our thoughts. Our reward would be a view of a larger picture with a sense of accomplishment. In 2019 I lost three family members and became familiar with hospice facilities. There was a constant between all the facilities I visited: jigsaw puzzles. On tables by bedsides and in the communal waiting rooms I saw jigsaw puzzles being constructed. They brought forward a familiar welcoming feeling of those bygone times of play and learning. It was a perfect low-key activity that brought enjoyment, of pieces coming together to form a big picture, a gratifying feeling of coming full circle. Those hospice moments inspired an idea. I’ll be creating a puzzle picture. It would be a busy scene filled with people, animals, plants, and buildings all bustling with activity. Within it, there would be hidden objects, like a spoon making the hand of a clock. This image will in turn be turned into a jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle will become a public puzzle as they are hidden around Tacoma to be discovered by provided clues or chance. And, of course, a few will be donated to local Hospices and retirement centers. I’ve started live broadcasting of my work via my Facebook profile. You can also follow my progress via my other social media portals; YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.

"Arena" was one of the sample images I submitted to give the review panel. It provides an idea of my style and the activity I was looking to apply to the image.

This is not the first time I've done a Tacoma Artists Initiative Project. About five years ago I created two one-minute public service announcements informing artists about their copyright rights. Click here to see those videos.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Comic Critic Reviews "V for Vendetta"

“Divide et impera” is Latin for “divide and conquer,” which gives you an idea of just how old and how long this political tactic has been in use. In its simplest form, you might think of using it to dilute the effectiveness of your enemy on the battlefield. But what if you think of the general population as the enemy? The same tactic could be applied. And one of the best ways to implement this is to convince one sector of the population that it does not have the same merit or worth as another sector. By installing a sense of superiority into another part of the population, you can then easily create a class system. To reinforce this false superiority, you spread lies and monger fear. They’re told that unless you back the system, what little you have will be taken away from you. And if you are fed this diet consistently, you might believe that it is true. And next, you’re fighting to defend lies and ignorance. Take a look at the history of slavery in the United States. The white sharecroppers of the south were led to believe that what little they had would be taken away from them if slaves were to be given freedom. This instilled such a deep, irrational fear that the country is still trying to battle back to sanity. Look anywhere in history and you will find the seeds of mistrust, fear, hate, and ignorance being sown so that a few can more easily reign over the many. V for Vendetta pulls the viewer into looking at what defines Fascism, Totalitarianism, Anarchy, and Rebellion. The movie’s core message is only true fights should be towards an equal and just society for all. Is it then so surprising to see the mask that character V wore to suddenly spring up and be seen at protest rallies, or worn by the representatives of the hacking group Anonymous? V for Vendetta will retain its legs long into the future as its message is one that counters those who seek to reign unchecked, that is “United we stand.”