The September-October Airbrush Action boasts exciting and extended content that adds up to one of the best issues we’ve ever done. Available in less than two weeks–the digital editions (iPad, Airbrush Action digital) sooner–the issue will feature the following:
The Urban Art of Leon Rainbow
A Demo of Artool’s New Killer Grunge F/X for creating alien skin, bone texture, acid-eaten surfaces, certain wood textures, aged aluminum, imitation galvanized steel, alien skin patterns, detailed flower patterns, pitted skin, pores, zombie flesh, cool camo patterns, and more, this stuff is, well, killer!
Rhianna’s Power Portrait Instense Step-by-Step by Javier Soto. To learn the process in its entirety the 3 1/2-hour, 2-disc DVD set is available in 2 weeks.
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2012 Pictorial
Johannes Wessmark: Photorealist European Art Sensation
1973 Corvette Stingray on a T-Shirt By Luc Boivin
2013 PAINT BUYER’S GUIDE. By popular demand, this is text only with the charts on display at www.airbrushaction.com
Weathered Signage By John Hannukaine. The weathered anything is trending strong.
And much more!
SHADING AND BLENDING ARE deceptively simple because just about anyone can achieve a reasonably good blend of two or more colors on a flat surface with little experience using a double-action airbrush. Nonetheless, the skill and control required to produce the subtle blends and shades commonly used in portraiture, complex graphics, murals, and more require a level of skill only attainable with a solid mastery of the dot, the line, and the dagger stroke.
For the complete how-to article go to http://www.airbrushaction.com/airbrush-tips-and-tricks/81/back-basics-shading-and-blending
A couple of years ago I called Drew Struzan to try to convince him to do a DVD on his technique. For those unfamiliar with Struzan, he is one of the all-time great illustrators, having done most of the movie posters for Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and many others. His poster credits include Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., the Star Wars series, Back to the Future, the Harry Potter series, and the list goes on forever. Struzan, whom I’m honored to call a friend, is very softspoken, shy, and modest. Anyway, when he asked what he could possibly contribute, I suggested a detailed demonstration on flesh tones. Struzan chuckled. ‘What’s so funny?’ I asked. ‘Flesh tones are a mystery to many,’ to which he replied, “It’s no mystery at all. Achieving any flesh tone is a simple matter of matching color.” I was speechless against that punchline! The DVD was never made.
To discover more tips from some of the World’s best, visit http://www.airbrushaction.com/airbrush-action-airbrush-tips-and-tricks
If an Airbrush Olympics were staged, which countries do you think would participate? And win the most medals? Best location (Vegas is always my vote; Orlando a close second)? I’m certain that artists from Germany (with a multitude of airbrush clubs and tradeshows), Italy, the U.S, England, Canada, and Australia would be among the strong competitors, but what countries am I missing? Do you believe an Airbrush Olympics could be pulled off? Your thoughts on structure: categories, events, etc. Let me hear from you.
I was pleasantly surprised by, and grateful for, the strong and positive response to yesterday’s blog, Is Print Dead? The State of the Airbrush Union. Your generous comments and supportive positions really motivated me. More comments are coming, of course, but if what I read is a fair sample of the collective thinking of Airbrush Action‘s readership (which I believe it is), then I’m stoked. Thank you.
What I failed to mention, though, is that in the September-October and November-December 2011 issues we eliminated about four pages of house ads (some were downsized or consolidated), and in the upcoming September-October issue we will remove about three more pages. This was and is being done largely in response to your feedback, and in an effort to trim the fat for more content. We have never rested on our laurels, and always strive to publish a quality magazine.
Now, as you can probably imagine, trying to come up with new ideas, artists, applications, etc., about airbrushing can be challenging (frankly, I’m amazed we’ve been able to do it for nearly 30 years!), and to prevent staleness (which, admittedly, can and does occur with such a vertical subject) I sometimes try to shock, which is partly what the July-August issue is about (the other aspect is that it’s a fabulous image painted by one of the greatest pinstripers, ever). I knew it would turn heads, be slightly controversial, and make people ask (which they already have, believe me), ‘Why pinstriping on the cover of an airbrush magazine?’ Inspiration and the promotion of a synergistic art form as a possible new way to make money is the answer. The Pinstriping course at the Airbrush Getaway does well simply because airbrush artists want to learn how to pinstripe. Also, I did envision “skinstriping” as a new art form that could gain traction. Ultimately, all can win here, especially with an open-mindedness to expand our arsenal as artists.
I wish everyone a great weekend.
The key to keeping the longest running airbrush magazine in history alive is a constant reinventing of ourselves, guerilla marketing tactics, the shear will to survive, and, especially in these print-challenged times, luck.
About 17 years ago, the advent of computer graphics and art spelled the end of photo-retouching by hand, and all but decimated hand painted illustration, Airbrush Action’s flagship application. Yes, for those who didn’t know us back then, we were primarily an illustrator’s magazine. Our advertising universe was quite respectable, we boasted about 116 pages an issue, and Airbrush Action showed continual growth in its first 10 to 12 years.
Then followed the enormous attrition of art stores. When I entered the art industry in 1983, there were more than 5,000 art retailers. Today, there are about 500, if that! Many of these retailers just couldn’t rebound or react quickly enough to the personal computer boom. It got so bad one year, in fact, that the difference between profit and loss for Airbrush Action was the rent.
“I don’t think anyone can argue that, ultimately, we have done far more
good than harm in making one of the largest contributions to promoting
and helping to sustain the use of airbrush.”
—Cliff Stieglitz, Airbrush Action’s publisher
We then redirected our focus to a new market: automotive custom painting, the last frontier of airbrushing as I saw it at the time. To compensate for the substantial loss of ad support, I realized that I had to step up our ancillary efforts by expanding our video library, further grow the Airbrush Getaway workshop program (more courses, etc.), publish more books, and explore any other products that wouldn’t compete with our advertisers.
Then, by the early 2000s the internet devastated print publishing across the board, including major magazines and newspapers. The New York Daily News, Time magazine, ad infinitum, are all in financial trouble. In fact, I just heard today that Newsweek may cease printing. The classified sections of newspapers are on the brink of extinction because of free posting, and effective, websites such as Craigslist.
Do I believe print is dead? Not yet. Our distribution remains strong and niche and mainstream magazines are still in demand. And as long as there are airports, bookstores, and special interests, there will be print. The big problem is that many advertisers believe that all their eggs should be in one basket, the internet. I certainly believe in the internet, and I most enthusiastically embrace new technologies. Airbrush Action certainly does its fair share of social media, PPC campaigns, and even launched its website in 1996, before most in this industry.
But, I firmly believe that many of the players in this sector (airbrush and paint manufacturers, and those who make art accessories, etc) are committing a big mistake ignoring the relevance and importance of print, and clearly missing an important and fresh parade of readers associated with each issue. Clearly. As much as we’re involved in the internet, you may be surprised to know that most of our Airbrush Getaway registration, and other response that leads to revenue, comes from Airbrush Action! We have spent thousands on pay-per-click campaigns on the net with only modest returns, and print subscriptions continue to be the champ over iPad and Web digital versions of Airbrush Action.
Although most of the feedback we receive is very positive, there are those who take issue (no pun intended) with our house ads, and I fully empathize with them. But please understand that if Airbrush Action cannot rely on the support of its industry, it must use other means to survive. Folks, even in good times an airbrush magazine is more difficult to sustain than you could ever imagine. In fact, two former competitors shared the same sentiment with me: “Cliff, I have a new respect for you, and would never attempt to publish an airbrush magazine again! I don’t know how you do it.” For those who may believe that publishing is glamorous, let me assure you that there’s absolutely no romance in the minefield of magazine ownership.
Unfortunately, I know I cannot please everyone all the time, yet I’m committed to my nearly 30-year passion to continue to publish Airbrush Action. I don’t think anyone can argue that, ultimately, we have done far more good than harm in making one of the largest contributions to promoting and helping to sustain the use of airbrush. However, the tradeoff for readers and enthusiasts desiring Airbrush Action’s continuation is being a little more understanding of our very necessary fund-raising efforts.
Your generous support in the form of Airbrush Getaway registration, subscriptions, the purchase of our books and DVDs is greatly appreciated and vitally important. I anxiously await your suggestions on how we can make Airbrush Action a better experience for you, so please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
80+ Pages of Art, Airbrushing, Attitude, and Ability –
In the July-August 2012 issue of Airbrush Action magazine pinstriping master Mitch Kim is interviewed.
Proving that “nothing is unstripable,” Kim shows off his considerable skills as an artist by “conquering the curviest and most dangerous frontiers of pinstriping, the female body.” Kim is an Oregon-based artist with four decades of “fine and steady” pinstriping experience—so “who better to bring the art of pinstriping to a novel next level?”
Seeking to find a smart balance between work and play, Kim said he “just wanted it to be about pinstriping and not the girl … but a naked female body always takes precedence, always.” A pleasing and provocative photo spread completes the story.
“We’ve coined it ‘skinstriping,’ and I believe it will gain traction as a new trend in the art world,” explained Airbrush Action’s publisher, Cliff Stieglitz. “From a creative and professional standpoint Mitch is the right guy to lead the way. The feedback from our readers has been overwhelming, with many expressing interest in trying it themselves.”
Kim shows off his considerable skills as an artist by “conquering the curviest and most dangerous frontiers of pinstriping, the female body.”
Also included in this issue:
• Plotters and Art: A step-by-step article on setting up an efficient and productive mutli-layer mask. The report comes from a Airbrush Getaway courses, Plotter Mastery, taught by Scott MacKay, a world-class automotive artist.
• Fast Times in New Hampshire: A photo essay on the nation’s oldest bike rally, Lanonia Motorcycle Week, where 200,000 enthusiasts showed off their wares.
• Into the Dark: A report on the challenging but spectacular art of painting a black light mural.
• Airbrushing as Religion: A behind-the-scenes report by an airbrush novice and professional journalist on the “Secret Priesthood” of today’s airbrush artist community.
• Crab Island Hijinx: This issue’s “T-Shirt Tactics” report comes from the Florida Panhandle where artist Eddie Davis pays airbrush homage to one of his favorite spots.
• You Must Project: Airbrush Action’s Annual Art Projector Buying Guide offers details and direction on this “very necessary piece of equipment” for artists.
As always, readers can browse and buy from our complete library of instructional DVDS, books, back issues, and Airbrush Getaway workshops.
About Airbrush Action Magazine:
Founded by Cliff Stieglitz in 1985, Airbrush Action magazine is the longest publishing airbrush magazine in world history. Distributed internationally through Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, 7-Eleven, all military branches, and many other mainstream outlets, Airbrush Action is edited for airbrush enthusiasts and art professionals. It covers all popular applications of airbrushing, including body art, automotive custom painting, T-shirt airbrushing, tattoo art, pin-up art, hobby/model uses, illustration, fine art, and more. For more information, Airbrushaction.com or contact Cliff Stieglitz, Airbrush Action magazine publisher, at email@example.com.