I confess it took me a while to get into Tumblr.  My first impression it seemed to be just a place with horrible design aesthetics where people mindlessly re-posted stupid photos and animated GIF’s.  I had one briefly under my own name, but it ended up being a mere extension of what I already do on this site and “Oh Goodie!“, so I quickly lost interest and later deleted the account.  I couldn’t figure out what was the point.

It’s easy to get “blogging burnout” (as I call it), trying to have a “presence” on every social media just for the possibility you might get one extra fan there.  But I’ve found there’s no shame in being signed up on multiple platforms as long as that platform fulfills you in a unique way.  Facebook keeps my personal life in check.  Twitter lets me send out random thoughts I have into the ether of the internet, then go about my day.  Tumblr, I’ve found, works best when you have a specific theme or interest, like re-posting pictures or facts about Osamu Tezuka.

So I thought “What am I interested in?”.  And I thought this around the same time I was taking my first steps back into the gallery world when I displayed my “Muse” series during the “300” show at the People’s Art of Portland in December.  I thought “What kind of gallery art do I want to make?  What would I be interested in?  What can I create and talk about at length that enthralls me?”.

Well, ink and pen has always been my forte.  I’ve always been much more comfortable as an inker than anything else.  And since I started doing “Oh Goodie!” regularly, my inking technique has grown by leaps and bounds.  And since I started incorporating it into the strip when I was producing “Volume 2”, I’ve developed an interest in half-tones, most of them digital but also analog as of late.  In fact, I can barely describe my delight when I discovered a box of genuine screen-tone sheets lying around the workspace of the IPRC when I started volunteering there.  Stuff like that is almost impossible to find outside of England or Japan thanks to the advent of Photoshop, and it’s a part of art and design history that’s going the way of the Dodo.

Then I realized, there’s a huge breadth and scope to black and white art.  Not just comics and cartooning, but also graphite, charcoal, ink wash, scratchboard, photography, film, you name it!  It takes just as much skill (if not more so) to render something with a limited palette as with a limitless one.

So…why not make a Tumblr based around that?

Bearing that in mind, I’m proud to announce the launch of “Gray Man Art“, a new side project of mine exclusive to Tumblr where I’ll be creating and celebrating black and white art all through 2013, and hopefully beyond.  Aside from experimenting with the various mediums and styles I just mentioned, I’m also hoping to do interviews with great black and white artists and talk shop with them for your enjoyment.  I already have a few lined up and I’ll be posting them as they come.

The site just properly launched today, so if you’re on Tumblr, please follow “Gray Man Art”!  Sky’s the limit when the palette isn’t!