Let’s Go Blues!

Hey Hey and welcome back to the Timid Lion Blog! Today, I wanted to talk about the St. Louis Blues. I know, I know. Everyone is tired of my posts about the Blues. While I have been posting quite a bit about the team, I can’t help it. I’m excited! I’ve been a Blues fan since the early-90s and them winning their first Stanley Cup is something I wasn’t sure I would ever see.

I started watching the Blues back in 1995. Brett Hull was in his prime, Al MacInnis was a new Blue and we were on the verge of trading for Wayne Gretzky. It was a great time to be a St. Louis Blues fan. A year before, my Mom bought NHL ’94 for the Super Nintendo. I’m not sure how I ended up getting the game as I had never watched hockey. My Mom was a very generous and giving person. She would get paid every two weeks and she would always take my family out to eat and then we would go shopping afterwards. She wasn’t a big spender, we would mostly get items we needed for the house and an occasional splurge. She was always willing to buy my brother and I something, as long as it wasn’t too expensive. So, I’m assuming that during one of our shopping trips, we spotted NHL ’94 in the discount bin. She wouldn’t have had an issue getting it for us.

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NHL ’94 – SNES Box Art – Courtesy of Moby Games

This is one of my favorite video games of all time. I’m assuming that I received this game in 1994. The game was released in October 1993 for the SNES, but as I mentioned, I’m sure we would have gotten this much later from the discount rack. This was my first intro to hockey. I’m from St. Louis so I played as the Blues. Right away, I fell in love with the game and the sport. It was quick paced and the simple idea of putting the puck into the net was easy to understand. Back then, local television station, KPLR 11 had broadcast rights to some Blues games. The television my brother and I used didn’t have cable. But I began watching games on KPLR during the 1995 season. We would later have cable installed on that television as well. That allowed me to watch many more games.

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KPLR LOGO – 1990 – 1998 – Recreated by Timid Lion

My first season saw the Blues make it to the Western Conference Semifinals against the (mid-90’s juggernaut) Detroit Red Wings team. As good as they were, the Blues made it to Game 7, double overtime. They were one goal away from going to the Western Conference Final when Steve Yzerman scored on Jon Casey. That goal ended the season and welcomed me to Blues hockey. It also brought about my disdain for the Red Wings. They aren’t as hated anymore as they have since moved to the Eastern Conference. We only play them twice per season. Admittedly, I would love to face the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Final someday.

Fast forward 25 years and we are in the 2018-2019 season. I won’t recap the entire year for the Blues. Suffice to say, they were in last place in the league on January 3rd. They mounted an amazing comeback which culminated with them beating the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, lifting the Cup for the first time. It’s been amazing and I still don’t believe it. Hockey fans are a superstitious bunch so you aren’t really allowed to talk about winning the Cup, in fear of jinxing it. I’ve fallen into that trap before, although it doesn’t really matter. What will be, will be. However, now that they have won, I can finally produce a cartoon of myself hoisting the Cup. Oh Baby, how sweet it is. Let’s Go Blues!

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“The Wait Is Over” – ©2019

Caricatures of the Week #6

Whew! What a week. The St. Louis Blues have advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970. I’m a huge hockey fan and I have to be honest, it has been hard to concentrate on anything other than this playoff run. I’ve listened to “Gloria” by Laura Branigan way more times than I care to think and I hope I get to listen to it 4 more times. Here are a few of my favorite caricatures from the past week. Grab your caricature here.

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Before and After #3

Hello once again ladies and gentlemen and welcome back! Thanks for stopping by. First, let me say thank you to everyone who has purchased a piece of art from the Timid Lion Etsy store. We recently surpassed 300 sales. It may not seem like a big number but when I started the store back in 2016, my goal was to hit 20 sales before 2017. Things have slowly been building there and we are very excited about where things are heading. We plan to add more pieces in the future and look forward to working with all of you on your next creative project.

Today is Monday which means we are ready to kick off another week here in Timid Lion world. Monday means “Before and After”, where we take a look at a finished piece of art and the sketch that laid the foundation for it. Several days ago, I made a post about Charles Glenn. For those who don’t know, Charles is the anthem singer for the St. Louis Blues. He is set to retire after this season. Last season, the Blues had a promotion for fans to design a puck. This puck would be used during the warmup skate and given away to the first several thousand people through the door. Normally, I’m not a fan of design/art competitions because I think they compromise the artist’ foothold on being paid a living wage. For this I made an exception because it was more a “fan thing” than the Blues using a competition to get free art.

So, I set out to create a puck design. My thought was that everyone would be using players or the mascot Louie for their design. Seeing as Charles Glenn is a huge part of the game, and that I thought it would stand out, I made my design based on his likeness. At the time, I was working almost completely digital. I would start with a sketch and finish with a piece of art that was made completely in the Adobe Creative Suite. That was the direction I wanted to head for this piece. Here is the initial sketch.

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“Charles Glenn Puck Design” – ©2017-2019

After several rounds of sketches, I found a design that I was happy with and began the process of completing the illustration. Here is the final illustration:

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Now, of course, this needs to be placed on a hockey puck. The Blues supplied a template to accomplish this. Unfortunately, I did not win. I’d like to think someone there saw it and liked it well enough but it didn’t make the cut. While I can’t remember the design that did win, I do remember being underwhelmed with it. I don’t say that to be bitter or negative, just my honest opinion. Sometimes being an artist feels like you are screaming into the void, begging for someone… anyone, to notice you. It feels like you are pleading for attention, desperate to showcase your creation. You crave the feedback and wish for nothing more than thousands of people looking at your work. At the same time, there is a fear that comes along with that. The fear of rejection. The fear of bearing your creative soul to an audience only for it to be stomped and thrown away. It can be difficult but I try to create art that makes me happy and not worry too much about who sees it. I’d be lying though if I said I wasn’t craving an audience to look at my art. I think it is something that every artist feels. Most of us put everything into our art and the fear of all of it being forgotten in time scares us. I ramble. Here is the final puck design 🙂

Mon-PuckI appreciate all of you who have came by and took a second to read through my artistic stream of consciousnesses. Tell a friend, share the link, we appreciate any new friends who join the Pride! Until next time, so long everybody!

Let’s Go Blues!

Hello once again everyone and welcome back! Last night was the start of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. My beloved St. Louis Blues are back in this year after a miraculous turnaround. At the end of December, the Blues sat in last place in the entire NHL. Most of us were expecting to be high in the draft lottery and were looking at that #1 pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. However, they turned it around and collected 60+ points in the second half and almost won the division.

Game 1 against the Winnipeg Jets kicked off the playoffs last night and what a game it was. I’ve always enjoyed playoff hockey as I don’t think there is anything like it. The Jets home crowd was fired up and in the classic “White Out” attire. The Blues gave up a goal in the first but climbed back, scoring 2 goals in the third period to win the game. It was a fun one to watch. Maybe I wouldn’t have thought so if the Blues lost, but they played a great game.

Here is a print that I created back in 2017. It’s called “Let’s Go Blues”. The idea is that Blues have just scored a goal and everyone is excited, except for three Blackhawks fans who are upset. I inked this on an 18×24 sheet of paper that comes in a frame that you buy from the store. As I was halfway through the inking process, my mother suddently (and unexpectedly) passed away. So this one was placed on the back burner for a while. I did eventually finish it and have slowly been finalizing it with color. So, I figured I would share the progress. There is still quite a bit to color. There are two more rows of people that I cropped out at the top of the print. Here is to another Blues win tomorrow night. Let’s Go Blues and until next time, so long everybody!

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“Let’s Go Blues” – Digital – 2017 – 18×24

Win for Glenn!

Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge St. Louis Blues fan. I started watching in 1995 when I was 10 years old. It was the best introduction to being a Blues fan. The team traded for “The Great One” near the end of the ’95-’96 season. With Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull and Grant Fuhr it looked like we were headed for a deep playoff run. Of course, we would go on to be eliminated in double overtime of Game 7 in the Western Conference Semifinal by a Steve Yzerman blast. I still haven’t forgiven him or the Detroit Red Wings.

I digress. As a Blues fan, one of the best parts of seeing a game is witnessing Charles Glenn sing the Star Spangled Banner. I’m not an overly patriotic man so I could live without pregame anthems but if we must have one, Charles is the guy to perform it. He never fails to hit it out of the park. He has announced that this will be his last season, after dealing with some major health issues. One can hope that the Blues will fire off a nice playoff run to extend his anthem singing career 🙂

Here is an illustration of Charles that I created a few years ago. Thanks for the memories Charles. I’ll be sad to see you go. Good luck to your replacement.

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“Let’s Go Blues” – ©2017 – Chris Grant/Timid Lion