Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Uncanny Art of Bobby Calabrese

Back when we first started the band we needed artwork but we didn’t know who to turn to. I remember seeing Bobby’s doodle drawings and thought they would be great to use for the band. So I took his notebooks full of doodles from high school and scanned them into my computer. I didn’t know what I was doing so I would line trace the images then color them with the paint bucket tool. I remember it would take hours to convert them into full color but it was fun. I still have a box full of Bobby doodles that I thought would be great to color for the band. I didn’t get much done before we ended up meeting artists online, like Big Tony O'Farrell and Andrew Barr, to fuel our horror rock image.

I asked Bobby what he remembered about his early doodle drawings.

“I suppose I was out of high school when I did those drawings, and if so, I was around 17 or 18.  The only thing I can remember is wanting to raise the level of awesomeness with the band.  At the time, we didn't have shit for art, so I took it upon myself to doodle around and see what I could come up with.  In high school, I was way into comic books and the idea of writing/drawing my very own series was a huge goal for me.  Looking back, i wish I kept up with it because by now I bet I'd be damn good!  Or completely delusional with crappy art.  Who knows?

So we started the band.  It was a great opportunity to blend two loves, music and notebook doodling, and I think it turned out pretty well.  Obviously, everything was colored in on Paintshop by you, Jimmy, making my quick and sloppy drawings into pretty cool and slightly disturbing art pieces! 

I had a weird style.  I drew a lot of inspiration for indie comics because the art seemed do-able and the story lines clicked with me.  Nothing was too over the top and there was no way I was gonna start drawing like the top dogs! (big boobs and burly muscles are, like, super hard to draw) So I picked my style, which seemed to be a mix between big heads and vague, dead eyes.  I liked it 'cause it purposely sloppy and somewhat appealing.  I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a certain "charm" I was going for, like Charlie Brown with seven fingers. (I had a hard time drawing hands)

I still draw this way -- a goofy mummy and an alien with a jet pack are in my Top Go-To Doodles.  I like to draw people with ripped up limbs, too, but there's only so much of that before people start questioning your sanity. Also, I remember thinking these were great!  As soon as we started hiring people to whip up Calabrese art I kinda backed off a bit.  If you want the best, you go to the best.  You DON'T go to the 18 year old hunched over a stack of paper in a poorly lit room drawing zombies in red Chuck Taylors.  Ha!”