Saturday, October 24, 2015

Inktober Days 21 and 22

Things got busy again so, these and the next 3 days will likely be super quickies. I'm looking forward to when my life stabilizes again and being able to get back to a few hours of drawing POST workday. The restrictions of Inktober have been good for me to get a better understanding of some things I need to work at.

It also has given me an appreciation for the time I used to have for post-work art when things were bit more settled.

Got a pair of eyes for you and a quick Edward Elric aka the Fullmetal Alchemist.

- Conduct Lionhardt

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Inktober Day 20

Okay, initially I was thinking of doing random days where the art would be inked sequential pages. I have a special project in mind that basically doesn't require a lot of set up or too much figuring things out BEFORE drawing. But I had a few shifts in my schedule and plans for this month that made starting that next to impossible (although...maybe some thing for the coming month. hmmm...)
Anyways, this is from something else entirely, a thing I once tried to get a grant toward but didn't pan out. In terms of story, I have this one fleshed out almost to every single beat. Its a cool idea that has only somewhat been tread before.

All that said, (and yeah, I know its vague as all get-out) this is a sneak peek at an important image near the end of a sequential series I will get to at some point, hopefully in the very near future...

- Conduct Lionhardt

Inktober Day 19

I really just wanted to draw a cute goth-y punk chick with attitude and cool hair style. No real story to this one. Laid off the heavy dark inks, though.

- Conduct Lionhardt

Inktober Day 18

Ming The Merciless!!

Any Flash Gordon fans here? (or, ya know, anyone at all? haha) Flash's main foe popped into my head and I decided to attempt it. My brush pen is gnarled somehow and line width control is a process. I'll need to get a new brush for inking, it seems. This Ming fared well, despite it, though. I might just start getting into a groove on these things yet!

- Conduct Lionhardt

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Act of Helping WITHOUT helping.

This morning, I had someone decide that I needed some "help" with my life going "better."

They proceeded to detail how I do not put in any effort and play a genie-wish game with God, looking for Him to just magically place everything I could want or need on a platter while I sit and put in zero efforts to make stuff happen for myself.

Sigh. There's a part of me that would love to detail how much I do to explain just how idiotic someone saying that to me truly is. Like, its BAD how off that sort of commentary on my life is. Especially this year, which has been my busiest year all around on moving a LOT of things forward and working a TON.

But, I don't think its worth the effort nor is it the sort of thing that would likely help the issue at hand.

Pride is a serious drug for us all. Its about time we realize that...even if it's unlikely humanity ever truly will.

Pride can create a hill upon which you can look down on other people with words and actions, even if you have convinced yourself that your perspective gives you grounds of which to "help."

Human beings have a great capacity and desire to step in when we see others in difficulties or circumstances. We feel an urge in us to do SOMETHING when its someone we care for. But, the trouble that can come from that is when the desire to help overlooks who the person IS, what the person could possible NEED to experience, and whether or not we have LISTENED well enough (or watched) to understand what the circumstance calls for.

Since we have a natural impulse to help, helping is good but, with the difficult web of existence and its many layers, "help" isn't singularly defined. It can be subjective. And it is the subjectivity of what "help" means, that can create a gap that is very difficult to properly, and respectfully, cross.

These are my three consideration which I use when feeling like I should assist. I am not saying my method is capable of being the universal means to do things properly.  I can only share and hope it is not unsound:

When someone speaks on things they need help with, take time to listen to the issue as well as to the PERSON. By knowing more about who they are and what they do, you will be able to figure out how best to be a REAL helpful friend to them. Asking questions, can also be key, especially full conversation where you leave feeling you have most if not all of the picture.

After the first step, if you know there is something you can actively do, then proceed to do it. This can be as simple as checking in on someone, making a connection they might require, or putting in a good word for them. Sometimes we feel it needs to be this huge thing, like opening up your home or giving someone a sum of money but, often, just small but distinct means of helping can "assist" someone in their OWN EFFORT. That way they walk away feeling like you supported them but didn't do ALL the work.

Again, this is my list so, prayer was always going to be a part of it. Sometimes the help needed is bigger than your network, or ambiguous than a simple phone call to an employer. Or, you might not be able to fully understand it from your perspective despite conversing fully with someone. Thankfully, I think God can handle things larger than your ability to perceive or the range of your reach. Often, I find, prayer is the BEST option. It not only gives you the chance to speak with God about someone but people tend to feel it is neat that you are asking your source of power or inspiration (whether they believe or not) on their behalf. If nothing else it very clearly displays your moral support without overstepping any bounds there may be.

Bottom line is, no one wants to "help" without actually helping someone. You'll feel bad if your effort to be nice makes someone feel like you're being ignorant or not nice towards them, when they are in the midst of crisis. I think that we should help one another if we can. Consideration of whom and how others are, should be the first place in getting to the destination of assisting, though.

Don't end up looking or sounding like a jerk. Be a TRUE friend who is actually helpful.

- Conduct Lionhardt

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Inktober Day 17

Now THIS is a bit more like it!

Broke my rule and decided to spend more than the shorten time length I said I was going to do and came up with this illustration of Kyle Barnes (as played by Patrick Fugit) in the upcoming show "Outcast" (which is based off the series by one of my favorite artist, Paul Azaceta, and writer Robert Kirkman.) Its an atmospheric and creepy book about possession and NOT for the weak at heart and easily offended. I found a picture of the actor and tried to capture it via attempting an Azaceta-esque way of drawing it. It's not how Paul would draw it, I'm sure, but I feel its a decent middle ground. Maybe. haha.

Best thing I've done since my Casanova and Friday Foster pieces. Gonna try to stay at this level going forward. Enjoy!

- Conduct Lionhardt

Inktober Days 14-16

Animated Batman, Mr. Freeze, and Captain Cold. Respectively. Sorry for the rush job on these and the shoddy pics. I need to work on finding the best lighting to capture stuff well.

- Conduct Lionhardt

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Inktober Days 12 and 13

Here's the quick ink sketch from yesterday and today. I have a TON of going down on my end and none of it good. Hence the dip in quality. In order to try and bring up moral, I may break my time limit rule (which I haven't even been using to its full length) and do something in the next few at a higher (read: normal) quality. We'll see though. Lots of pressure and I'm am physically not in a space that allows for focus on doing decent art.

Chief Man-of Bats (for Indigenous People's Day) and the Renee Montoya version of The Question.

(sorry, no links today)

- Conduct Lionhardt

Monday, October 12, 2015


Sorry folks, I been hitting the daily posts with solid frequency (if not the best quality) but today I won't be able to make an Inktober post. I'll double post tomorrow.

Sorry again.

- Conduct Lionhardt

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Inktober Day 11

Today I give you a two-fer of DC heroines, Huntress and Zatanna.

I like each of these characters for separate reasons.

Huntress is an interesting character that comes out of the Batman family of books, in that she occasionally has killed and is a bit more morally interesting to watch go through things than, say, a stalwart character like Batgirl or Robin. You're not really sure what she may do sometimes. That's fun to read.

Zatanna is actually a great concept that (outside of Paul Dini's work with the character in animation and comics) hasn't really ever been done well. She's a magician in places like Vegas and what not yet, she also is a sorceress of the highest order. There's such potential for her as a solo character but she is constantly paired up with people or teams. (that last bit will be funny by next weekend. Stay tuned.)

- Conduct Lionhardt

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Inktober Day 10

One of my all time favorite female characters from DC Comics, is Big Barda. I always thought she could be a great character on her own but, the relationship between her and Mister Miracle is one of my favorite couplings in all of comics. Read up on her origin and, though its hard to come by, you should read Jack Kirby's Mister Miracle series as it details both that hero and Barda from their time after leaving Apokolips all the way up to their marriage. Its really great stuff.

(Sorry about the image quality. For some reason the lighting or something was off and this was the best I could capture today)

- Conduct Lionhardt

Friday, October 9, 2015

Inktober Day 9

I decided to do something now that was supposed to be inked later in the month, in an effort to help kick me out of my drawing funk.

As I am sure you may have noticed, my off-the-top drawings thus far have been beneath the quality I usually have on display here. Someone even had the gall to send me a question asking if "this is what it looks like when you can't trace with a light table?" Honestly, I can see why someone would say that, in comparison to past work I've posted on here. Thing is (and I'm sure you've seen this said elsewhere) I'm one of those "good art takes time" illustrators. I generally spend a day on the pieces of art I post and, if I ever can manage to get video of me doing a piece, you'll get a clear understanding of how meticulous (aka nit-picky) I am with every detail in the pencil stage. I put in the maximum amount of time in effort before I do the ink and tones (which go quicker than pencils, due to my having figured out what I am going to do after the time spent in that stage.)

Inktober, however, is a reality check and a challenge for myself. I limit the usual process by HOURS and I do the LEAST amount of pencil work that I've done on anything since...I dunno, middle school? It is actually, at times, debilitating how much the work looks so unlike what I, myself, even consider to be "how Conduct does illustration." I totally get the critical questions comparison can stir up. I'm the one making the most commentary about it to me.

So when you catch a peek at today's post (and, hopefully, the next few days worth...which I think will go as well) you will begin to see a shift in the quality somewhat. NOT like the majority of things posted on here before October, but certainly better than the last week's worth of things. I've made adjustments, I'm not selecting a random subject off the top, and I'm using my portable drawing board (as opposed to the last 8 postings, which were done sitting on a couch in random pads.)

I've found that making the trappings of where and how I work, as well as having proper pre-selected subject, allows me to produce a better quality cartooning. This should (focus and schedule willing) create a much better set of images coming from my pen.

But, ya know, we'll see. I would, however, encourage anyone who has found a rhythm in doing something, to occasionally attempt going at it different and shaking things up, like I'm attempting. You may do a face-plant. And that is perfectly fine because you'll find your limitations. Or. Maybe you will discover something that takes you further out than you were allowing yourself to consider possible.

I'll let you know what the journey of Inktober brings me to, when its over and I can reflect on it. Till then, behold: Black Canary!

- Conduct Lionhardt

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Inktober Day 8

A very quick ink-sketch of Mike Baron and Steve Rude's Nexus. It's easily one of the best indie comics of all time and has been going (in off and on spurts) since around the time I was born. I have bits and pieces of the series and plan on getting a hold of the lovely full volume collections Dark Horse has been releasing the last few years.

Sadly, things have been a bit rough and focus was off again today when it came to doing a quick ink piece for Inktober. I wish I had less things going on pulling my focus from art lately. I can't stand doing stuff that could rock with more time and better refining. Sigh. I'm dedicated to doing Inktober all month long, whether good or crappy art. Looking forward to when I get passed the hurdles and do some GOOD ILLUSTRATING.

Do yourself a favor and look into the series. Its really a neat and sprawling tale and Steve Rude is a MASTER of pretty much every form of art he's tried out.

- Conduct Lionhardt

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Inktober Day 7

Today's image is of Friday Foster. Who is Friday Foster, you might ask? Well, this is Friday Foster.

First time drawing her but, it won't be my last...

- Conduct Lionhardt

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Inktober Day 6

This whole Inktober has been a challenge. Having to fit it into a time of my life that is very difficult and unfortunately full, schedule-wise. I've yet to take time and focus well enough to have done a drawing I'm actually pleased with and proud of. But I dedicated to do it so you all have to bear with my lackluster quality until things get better or I manage some sort of breakthrough in limited time illustrating.

I chose Luke Cage and Iron Fist as today's piece since Marvel announced a new series for them, by writer Brad Walker and artist Sanford Greene. These two guys on a title is the second big step by Marvel to get black creators on books they publish so, for those who were unaware, it is kind of a big deal.

(I tossed them in Sanford's redesigned costumes. You might notice the similarities of the figure work too. Sanford is WAY better than I.)

- Conduct Lionhardt

Monday, October 5, 2015

Inktober Day 5

I've decided that the work I am doing on these posts for Inktober (done late in the night, and long after my best energy has been exhausted) isn't all that great for the outcome of things I actually want people seeing. I'm a pretty harsh self-critic and it is rare that I enjoy something I've illustrated when I look at it the next day.

All that said, I will be switching things up and doing my pieces earlier in the day as well as putting a bit more time into them (so I can at least not cringe at what I posted late the night before.) And, in a classic example of loopholing, I will likely draw a few of the subjects I already have to a far better degree of detail and quality.

I took on this challenge for a reason and its time to really use it to challenge myself and hopefully come out on the other end a better talent, for it.

Tonight's is a really rough sketch of a sleeping Ninja that is in a series of stories I use to get my niece and nephew to go to sleep. My plan (copyright pending) is to make the stories into picture books for kids. Here's the sketch which I have decided isn't close to the final look I'll want this lazy dude to have:

- Conduct Lionhardt

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Inktober Days 3 and 4

Double your art, this post!

Got tied up and wasn't able to post these on their individual days.

October 3rd was "Fullmetal Alchemist Day" and, being one of my favorite animes I knew I wanted to draw something for that. Unfortunately the day ran long and I had to settle for the logo instead of a pic of Edward and Alphonse. Since I technically didn't draw them it won't break my rule to do so at a later date this month.

Today, I decided on a quick illustration of Mike Mignola's wonderful character, Hellboy. Despite his gnarly look and the absurd nature of his story, I've always loved that HB was so down to earth and human, reacting to the weirdos and craziness with such a level of, "sigh, okay." I didn't realize it till now but this series is heavily inspiring the wandering aspect of a project I will likely start work on after Inktober.

Enjoy! I may attempt to take things up a notch tomorrow.

- Conduct Lionhardt

Friday, October 2, 2015

Inktober Day 2

Today's 2nd post and Day 2's drawing is of Matt Fraction, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon's fantastic spy character, Casanova Quinn from the series "Casanova" published by Image Comics.

It's seriously a wild, trippy, crazy book that is about a spy but also about a million other things. Cas is always getting further and further into interdimensional hi-jinks.

here you go!

- Conduct Lionhardt

Inktober Day 1

After years of sitting on the sidelines and watching, I have decided to do Inktober this year!!

For those not in the know, THIS is Inktober.

Back? Gooood. While the rules for Inktober were listed on there for you to read, I wanted to us this as a chance to REALLY challenge myself and I am implementing my own:

1.) I will only use two ink pens (Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and Faber Castell Pitt Pen)

2.) I am limited to one hour max to illustrate. (my usual work is done in a few hours)

3.) No repeat characters/subjects

Cool? I hope so. I also hope that I can fit it in between my work and stuff.

Sorry that this post went up a day late but, hey, DOUBLE POST DAY!!!

Day 1's image is Cartoon Network classic, Samurai Jack!

- Conduct Lionhardt

Monday, August 17, 2015


So, a big apology is necessary from me to all of you (whoever you are) out there. I was in the process of a move from my apartment (a woefully dramatic situation, that place was. I'd get into the details but its over and done. Me and my former roommates are better off with not being under such...pressures) and I decided that since I'd be gone so long, I should set up a few posts to automatically drop ever 2 weeks. Thing is, having not done that ever before with this blog, I kinda messed it up and didn't click the right things and well, obviously, nothing posted in that time. So, yeah, I apologize for falling off the face of the earth.

That said, having gone back over the posts I realize that a few of them don't reflect my frame of mind about the subjects and others spoke on stuff that recent events in the world the past month have given me more to think on. The art, however, is still worth showing.

I'm kinda still in between places as of this moment today and all the fun that comes with it so, since the only new art I have done this past month is work related, I'll try and space these out over a couple of days so you guys can feel like I'm being far more productive in "fun art" than I actually am at the moment. haha.

Scotty, ("beam me up, Scotty!") from the original Star Trek.
9x12 brush pen on Strathmore bristol board.

I may toss some background on this at some point. A few of my things are in storage right now otherwise this (and other things I shall post) would show the process from from pencils to final inks. I really wanna do a whole "how I do it" process post but that's gonna wait till things get settled and I'm back in my usual groove.(peep that I'll be shouting out the equipment I use from now on. Maybe the love will allow me to get an endorse me. haha.)
Talk to y'all soon,

Conduct Lionhardt

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Raps (Part 1)

So, I’ve been spending a lot of time in prayer of late.

For me, prayer is just about the only time I get to be 100% open (sadly due to a lack of GENUINE interest in what’s going on with me below the surface) and I use it to really process through the good or bad. I also feel that it is a great time to consider the little things, subtle bits and pieces that I honestly take for granted and should be a bit more thankful for.
I suggest you give it a try sometime. You may find it to even be a cathartic.
(note: Some people ascribe to ‘meditation’ in the same way. Besides the inclusion of a deity in the equation, I don’t see a huge difference between the terms “prayer” and “meditation”… ya know, despite the Dictionary says.)

I haven’t spoken of music in a while, despite this blogs log line of it being my thoughts as an artist AND as an emcee. I figured that maybe I should remedy that a little bit now.

I get a lot of surface questions in life and, of late, for whatever reason, my music has come up. Questions like, “Do you still do music?”, “How’s the music coming?”, “Oh, you rap? Is it…like, Christian rap or…?”, etc, etc.

People are funny that way
I know a decent amount of argument in and around music is on how we label things. As a consumer culture we need signifying terms to properly compartmentalize what we take in, mostly for sake of justification for (or against) the worth of our entertainment. I once was a debater (not a very great one) and jumped full on into those sort of disputes.
Blame it on age or perhaps levelled up maturity but, now, everything to me is the simple definitions. I am, yes, a Christian (both by government name as well as religious affiliation) and I am an emcee who raps. To me it is that simple a classification (even though I may now be creating an argument by making a statement, as such.)

My process of creating raps is a bit complex to some but, it too is simply defined: My music is another extension of my illustrating. Every song is a series of images in sequential order (think: comic panels OR, for those who don’t prescribe to reading comics, storyboard illustrations) that creates a narrative. My main intention in rap is to lead to thoughtful consideration of the sequential narrative.

I write raps because I do not have time (nor am I paid well enough) to draw ALL the things I would like to communicate and get people thinking and/or talking about.

My last two releases were “Earth”, more than a few years back, a collaboration with my long-time best friend Jordan Santana (we go by the illustrious nom de guerre, “The Royal Applebaums”) and a solo album called “Finite.”

In the years since, I have accumulated two and a half more albums of songs, which have yet to be recorded beyond demo stage.
Someone recently posted a splendid little rant on social media about the fact that people’s need for more frequency in their entertainment consumption creates worse and less thoughtful product. That, in a literal sense as it said in Philippians 3:19, "their god is their stomach." We need to be fed frequently with what we like and we can't wait very long for more of it. This is probably why you will note that so many sequels keep happening in films of late.

In the first song I ever recorded I had this line, "I am a thought for the art that most forgot to start." That sort of became my goal to this day. I want to think about my work in ways I don't see commonly done by others. I want to lead people to thought. To THINK. If I happen to make them groove or bob their head, that's cool too.

There's a lot going on out there. I am sure you have noticed. I think it is time to start writing new things to be considered.

- Conduct Lionhardt

Monday, June 15, 2015


Whew! Busy times. A lot is going on so, no real 'blogging' today. Just a peek at some art in and around the desk. I do plan on looking into prints, though. Someone said that it might entice a few busy and isn't all that expensive. We'll see though. 2015 has been an odd year in people showing interest in illustrations like mine. I'm weighing in on whether prints are a pursuit worth taking on.

In the meantime, here's some art!

Agent Tripplet (Agents of Shield)


Agent Simmons (Agents of Shield)

Agent Coulson (Agents of Shield)

Blade (based off an AWESOME cosplayer)

Bryce Swan. (Author of the forthcoming, "Doctor Divinity, Bookseller!")

- Conduct Lionhardt

Monday, May 11, 2015

You can't Control the Narrative

Hello. It's been awhile, hasn't it? Yeah, I took a break from social media for about a full month's time so I could work on a pretty substantial project (time-wise). Occasionally, and possibly more so with those of us in the creative fields, you need to make sure your head-space is clear for focus and creativity to get playing room. (This should be understandable to most though. I can't be the ONLY person who finds all the debates, jokes, and constant stream of images on social media as something that could fill up mind-space.)

But here is an interesting little thing that happened: Despite a pretty substantial and brief description of why I was away from it all, when I returned I found several messages with people voicing a whole number of reasons for my "social media sabbatical." (And some of it was just craziness that I won't go in detail with on here. Like, seriously weird reasons to NOT be on social media.)Taking that first day to ease back in and reading through these odd questions, I gained a realization that connects with something I mentioned a few months back about expectations:

You CAN'T control the narrative.

I think we all like to think that even in this digital age of sharing your life, thoughts, and information via the wondrous media platforms that you can in some way, shape, or form, create a story that describes you clearly to the world.

I am sorry to say, though, that this isn't anywhere close to the truth. And its not close to true not from a lack of you not going about it he right way. No. It isn't true because an individuals desire for constructing their narrative in the eyes of others can never overcome people's preconceived expectations.

For me, I told a short version of what I would be doing while away. But the expectation of others for me to be as present as I had been on social media, led them to feel that this explanation was NOT the full story. Those portions were required to be filled.

I have had at least a good half dozen friends who have shifted from a job, church, or location in the last 10 months and, on a very similar note, they have all ran into the odd and intriguing issue of "narrative control" that I'm describing here. You share your reason for doing something and think that you've placed a definitive stamp on it...only to find that one, two, or ten people have decided to look passed your statement of intent and begin attaching, deleting, or completely re-writing what is or has happened to fit their definition of a better narrative for YOUR story.

A part of me finds great concern in this. I recently watched a poetry piece where someone asked if Mandela would have done what he did and spent 30 years in jail and say what he said if he knew that after his death the very REAL things he said and did would be scrutinized and picked at and deleted and re-written (to some degree) by people trying to make THEIR sense of what his life was. I was floored by the thought, knowing full well that I have sat through (whether in person or online) NUMEROUS discussions by people doing this exact same thing. We are extremely comfortable with questioning every bit of a person, every action, every word, and every expression, taking a life and chopping it into chunks and then looking at each of them to try and structure a story that makes us feel good or infuriates us to no end. This is an acceptable practice. Kids do it, adults, everyone. We keep trying to define things and people BEYOND what they have said of themselves, beyond what they have shown. Its a common act to do and, in all personal honesty, a part of me is wondering if it is really something that we should be doing.

I'm becoming more and more of a fan of questioning what are beneficial pursuits of my time. I think its easy when you are young and still in the process of ironing out what exactly your niche is, to be spending time trying to express yourself in a way you might deem definitive. That yelling to the clouds how you'll be a captain of industry, or sports god, or a great family person, is worthwhile to do. You hope that in all your boisterous billowing, something will stick. And while you wait for that to happen, you can also talk A LOT about others and what they have done, how you would do it different, better, or more courageously.

Heh. Maybe its my age and the fact I feel I've seen so much of that (and done a lot too) that the sum of my observation is a realization of how much LIFE I've missed out on trying to "get" what others narratives are, lost time while trying to redefine others from MY vantage point of them.

I'm not trying to say I've solved this puzzle but maybe, MAYBE, when someone says something about why they've done certain things, its true. Perhaps, SOMETIMES, people are what they look like they are. Possibly, it is OKAY to trust what people are telling you is their reason for making the choices they do.

I know. Sometimes we DISAGREE with them. This will happen. We're all flawed creatures, prone to HIGH moments of emotional expression. Its what makes the human experience so interesting. Its part of what allows things to feel fresh and new. If everyone was the same, you'd lose that spice of life, the dramas would be less compelling and we would all TRY a lot less.

So, what is this post all about? You'll never be able to please everyone with everything you think, say, and do, but THAT'S OK. State your narrative and walk it. If others choose to not take it at face value, warp it to make themselves feel better, or attempt to tarnish the image you've put out there, SO WHAT? I have yet to see one person whom, by doing their very best towards themselves AND towards others, not eventually get to a place that opinions opposite, lose the sting of their sharpness. Your life is YOURS. You walk all those roads in your own feet, not anyone else.

Write your story. Make it good and keep it on your terms. I'll be praying for you every step of the way to make the most of YOUR life and to live it to the BEST of YOUR ability. That is something you can control. Your choices. So choose well, and choose for YOU.

- Conduct Lionhardt

P.S. - Below is some artwork to check out. Computer-scanner is on the fritz so, bare with these photographs.

Agent Peggy Carter. inks and water color on watercolor board. (Her show just got the 2nd season renewal so, YAY!)

 (unfinished) WWE wrestler, Dean Ambrose. inks on Bristol Board.

(unfinished) Nelvana of the Northern Lights, cos-player. Line art inks on Bristol Board.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Liz Love

Hey folks!

Sorry I didn't post this one over here on the day but I finally finished up that piece of Liz Taylor (and one her many fellas) that someone commissioned me to do then, changed their mind. I posted it up a few places on Valentines but seemingly forgot to place it on here. Whoops!

I feel like my art is getting a tad bit stagnant so, I'm looking to try a few different things in the weeks to come. My other work has been keeping me a bit busy to really throw down on some pieces like I want but I think I will have something neat (or somethings) to post up for a look, soon.

I'd love to share a few thoughts too but, at the moment, I have several things racing around my noggin. Give me a little more time to focus and properly articulate them and you'll have some things to read through.

Till then, Love some Liz:

- Conduct Lionhardt

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Girl in the Flowered Dress

I happen to be quite smitten with the talented Ruth Negga. There is just something about her look and how she approaches her performances that has always caught my attention. So you can imagine my surprise when watching the first season of "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" and she showed up as Raina, the enigmatic girl in the flowered dress. What I believe was initially supposed to be a short stint on the show, Ruth's performance was so well received by the showrunners (as well as us viewers) that the character of Raina continued on through the first season and well into the currently on-air 2nd. Hopefully this means a lot for the actress, who has only scratched the surface of American TV and film.

As usual, I did this with blue pencil and brush pens on Bristol board. For the most part, this is done. I may tweak a bit with the tones but, that all depends on if the brush pens I have set for grays can get what little I see as needing to be messed around with. Haha. Enjoy!

- Conduct Lionhardt

Groundhogs Day

I drew this image of Bill Murray's character in the film "Groundhogs Day", FOR Groundhogs Day. If you haven't seen the film, this is one of the first occurrences of the plot where a character continuously relives the same day until they get it right. I always thought the film was well done and, as such stories seem to teach, an interesting way of proving that sometimes what you think you want, isn't what you need.

Considering the idea of getting to relive a day until you "get it right" I think we can all conjure up a date of which we wish we could have that option. But the more I thought of it...(well, I may be in the minority here, with this thought) I question whether or not trading in a bad experience would somehow effect some of the good ones I made as a result of coming back from that failure? Wins, by nature of both substance and title, give you a great feeling. Yet, it is a loss that teaches us things, that gives opportunity for change and growth that could effect the long term in ways that a win never can. Don't know if I could trade my learning lessons for some victories. It is an interesting thing to ponder, don't you think?

- Conduct Lionhardt

Monday, January 19, 2015


Today there will be plenty of love (and in some cases, hate) cast at the celebration of the life and actions that Martin Luther King Jr did. It is a curious and, yet, familiar occurrence that someone who becomes the go-to representative for a movement, is placed in both the light of fondness and the darkness of controversy. For some reason, we just love to do that to people, questioning while praising, sneering while also conceding to mildly applaud the facts we can't easily tear down. (This is ESPECIALLY true now that we have all embraced the uses of social media and the Internet kingdoms we all set ourselves up with.)

For me, thinking of a day given to honor Dr. King is both joyous and sad. I am laden with melancholy while grateful and celebratory while deeply troubled. Ya see, what King wanted to happen, didn't fully materialize. And there's a part of me that doubts we all still have the urgency to continue the movement toward its full realization.

As I said at the beginning, there will be a lot of stuff said about MLK jr today. Quotes slung about to both inspire and to use as a clarion call to the injustices we still see happening in there days. Its your right to express the lines you find some meaning in from ALL that he said. His "I have a dream speech", the letters he wrote from jail, about the Vietnam war, and all the way through the 15 chapters of his great book, "The Strength to Love." (as a personal side note: If you are capable of reading a book, considering it in the moment, THEN applying your belief or opinions on the subject AFTER you've finished the read, I encourage you to take in this book. He was as intelligent as he was religious and I don't think that, for those who prescribe to either side of things, you can walk away from it without some consideration, however brief, for the other.)

For me, though, my quote will be about why I feel like what he wanted didn't come to pass YET and it happens to be a small piece of the "I have a dream" speech:

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

Yes. This quote.

I have a few friends that, if they should happen to read this, perhaps may bristle at the above quote. Truthfully I think a lot of quotes I could post up (by King or others) would have that reaction. And that, sadly, is a subject for another time, looking into why we get up bothered by certain statements that, on some level, we may question whether or not we agree with or find fair.

King's above statement has always stood as a polarized line that seered into my brain at a very young age. It mostly did so because I had no real, pure, experience with that issue until I was in my mid-20's. My childhood was, for reasons I still can't figure out, incredibly diverse. Rarely would I find myself in a place where I was capable of being singled out based on the color of my skin and, even if I were the only one who looked like me in the room, no ill or negative words or actions came my way. The first real time I realized I was being judged from my appearance didn't even happen in America, it happened in Canada!

But, when I was young, that statement became ingrained in me from the moment I heard it. Perhaps it was, for a young mind, the preposterousness of it all. Having the experiences I had, from my diverse section of social interactions to Mister Rogers always saying on his show that everyone was unique and special, I couldn't wrap my young mind around how anyone would judge a person based on their skin color. It was just an absurd concept to me.
(kudos, should be shared with my mom and other family members for this. Despite having uncles and a grandmother that loved them some "drank" and all the problems that come from that, neither them nor my home life with mom and her friends, ever presented the idea of statements about different races. I never heard "the white man this" or "black people that" things said in my childhood. In fact, I'm pretty sure the first time I heard some stuff on that level was in a cable film or when I got to the 6th grade and discovered bullies.)

So, for me, a person was always judged based on whom they were, not what their skin looked like. The "content of their character" was what became the point of how I determined who my fellow man would be.

But ever since my first step into high school, I've discovered that no one else seems to think like that. And, what's even worse, in my adulthood I have been privy to more uncomfortable exchanges about this subject than I ever thought could be imaginable.

For all the changes that Dr. King's actions and speeches have brought to America, for me it is disheartening that a greater desire to judge LESS on appearance and MORE on content of character, isn't one of them. In fact, that may very well be the thing we are the MOST selective about using to define the humanity around us with. I could regale you with stories of conversations I have heard from groups of men AND women, talks about the worth or lack of worth in those who's appearance fits one or many ideals of what makes someone "right" and "OK." The fact it is so commonplace in the way that we assess is something that constantly troubles me...and even more so when mentioning it causes people to get EXTREMELY defensive.

I don't think it should be this way though. It is likely one of the greatest things I have had guide me through life, making sure that I question whether or not I am keeping to King's hope for a humanity that looks to character as a place for deeming worth. I am no paragon of virtue and have faltered in times. I too have been tainted by distance from the first hearing of those words and what they were truly trying to get across. In a time where it seems that mankind has less and less humanity every day, where it seems as if no MAN is KIND, this one part of his speech is a priceless tool. It is a priceless tool that we all need to dust off, brandish in our hand, and keep building. We should all realize that the movement is still necessary, and that to achieve the sort of future that we'd like those younger than us to be a part of, its time to challenge ourselves, our societies prejudices, and redefine what we use to define people's worth with.

King felt that he should use a large part of his life to help change and uplift those in his lifetime...and beyond. Can we do no less? I think we could all do MORE. Let's get to work.