Thursday, May 18, 2017

In Memoriam: Chris Cornell

As a teenager, grunge music was a driving force in my life so it is sad to see the likes of Chris Cornell move on from our world.  His music spoke to a generation and I have a feeling it will be around long after I'm gone as well.  For today and until then, thanks Chris for your guiding voice.  Today, I created a visionary portrait in memoriam and jammed out to some Soundgarden...
In Memoriam: Chris Cornell (pen and marker on bristol board / 2017 / Brandt Hardin)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Pictures from Free Comic Book Day

Today was an absolute blast in Nashville, where I had the chance to see some familiar faces and meet plenty of new fans for Free Comic Book Day!  Special thanks to Rick's Comic City for hosting the event and having a fantastic turnout!  A fun crowd of fellow geeks kept me busy with commissions and conversation all day long- I enjoyed every minute...

My cousin Sam and his partner in crime, Ben dropped by to say hi and got a nice pic of the DREGstudios! Table

Thursday, May 4, 2017

New Art for Star Wars Day!

I hammered out a very surreal Vader today at the DREGstudios! drawing table. Enjoy and May the Fourth be with you...

Surreal Vader (pen and marker on bristol board / 2017 / Brandt Hardin)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Top 10 Concept Albums

To me, listening to music is often done by putting on full albums.  By listening to an artist's collection of music, it gives each song context.  Often, this roots from the style of music which they were making at the particular time the record was produced.  The very best binge-listening experiences come from a concept- a story which ties the entire record together.  These albums with fully realized stories are referred to as concept albums.  Something deeper is realized and told by the musician over the course of the tracks.  Here are my personal favorites... click on the album names to read their stories and let me know about your own favorite concept albums in the comments section below!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Rivers and Spires: A Thank You for the Memories and Opportunities

Here in my hometown of Clarksville, TN, The Rivers and Spires Festival has become an annual tradition and one I'll always hold a fondness for.  This year was to be it's 15th and final year, yet the remainder of the weekend was unfortunately cancelled due to inclement weather.  It seems this is a sad note for the community to part ways on so I wanted to extend my own heartfelt thanks and goodbyes.  

Rivers and Spires had been around a few years before I really got serious about art in my mid-twenties.  The festival became a local event where I first broke through some barriers as far as finding ways to display my artwork to the public.  I quickly found my work stuck out like a sore thumb, got funny looks, gasps, laughs, and eventually collectors who would seek me out and even become friends.  At first, I started out sharing booth spaces with other artists and splitting the cost.  This eventually gave me the courage to attend other art fairs outside town and now as of recent years, attend comic and horror conventions as well.

As I developed a relationship with our local festival, I also was honored to win their Poster Contest two consecutive years in 2010 and 2011.  It was a cool feeling seeing my custom artwork displayed on billboards, fliers, t-shirts, and the official festival poster around town leading up to the event!  It's an experience I'll never forget and one which gave me plenty of confidence in my abilities as a growing artist.  

Rivers and Spires began as a celebration of a recently-rebuilt town after the 1999 tornado which destroyed much of Downtown Clarksville.  Over the next couple of years, we'll see many more additions to the downtown area again.  As we feel the swell of ever-expanding Nashville, the city grows and grows.  I'm excited for the changes- a new downtown park which is about to break ground, a new arts center as the Roxy expands, and even a Barnes and Noble bookstore will all be here before we know it.  

The ending of Rivers and Spires will be the passing of a torch to a new Clarksville and I'm hopeful for things to come!   Many thanks to the entire event staff and every single local volunteer who offered their time to make Rivers and Spires a wonderful event each year (rain or shine)!