And then suddenly I was back online. It’s been an adventure, but hopefully I have found a place to settle down for a while. During my time as a vagabond, I lived for a time with three different families. I don’t know if any of them will ever find their way to my web page, but if they do, and are reading this right now, thank you! I am very grateful to all of you!
And now, here we are, in the present. The wheel turns. A new card is drawn. One number disappears and another takes its place. We have moved forward.
While I was away I made a few new models, sketched a ton of model ideas, wrote two more books, and drew a zillion pictures. I read a lot too, and added a vast landscape of new inspiration to my creative impulse. Or something like that. I can’t describe it. It’s just cool, that’s all.
So, now that I can get some work done, I need to finish making the rest of the Series X templates. This will be done, but it will take some time. I am trying to go a bit crazy with this one. That will make sense in time.
So yeah, uh anyway, more new Boxpunx, coming sooner than they were yesterday. And this series isn’t necessarily Egyptian-themed either, as I have seen it referred to elsewhere. I like to think of it as more mystery religion-themed. But I will admit, that isn’t very clear yet. Teehee.
What little time I have had with my computer as I weaved in and out of other peoples lives produced the colored drawings. I plan to start selling Boxpunx art prints. Hopefully they won’t be too expensive. I don’t think I plan to make them very big. So far most of my drawings are on 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper, because America is covered in it. But I do like the idea of making a couple big ones, so we shall see.
Oh well. Yay me. A new post. New art and a link to new Boxpunx. Finally, I can sit back, relax, and create for a while.
I have created a new page on Facebook. Hopefully I won’t get hacked again. If there are good hackers out there, please befriend me and post their accomplishments on my wall for all to see. Until that day, I will speak only negatively about such subversives.
My new Facebook page is at:
So everyone understands, my computer is in storage and I have been couch hopping for months. I am creating this post slowly on my stupid but useful smartphone. So I don’t even know what’s next. I had planned to do a number of things before my life changed so dramatically, and maybe one day I will get back to some of them. Regardless, the sites still here, and there are many things to see, do, and build so hopefully Boxpunx is existing just fine on it’s own for now.
And when my current adventure is over I’ll return and we can have some fun together. Okay?
I had planned to post these pics yesterday, but I woke up with a splitting headache, and really could not work up the strength to do anything except play Little Big Planet. Anyway, here are two pictures of the models that I made for the PAPERTOY MONSTERS book.
The first one is named Scarleah, the goblin witch! She is very boxpunx-like. Don’t let her appearance fool you, she is very generous and friendly.
The second one is called Nishwyndym, and although he can be a nice guy too, I still recommend keeping any and all small animals away from him.
These two characters and more can be found in PAPERTOY MONSTERS, now on sale! Click the picture below to be taken to Amazon.com to check it out!
Next post: who knows? I am starting a new book, called “Black Dirt And Pink Ocean.” And I have been working on some papercraft, not boxpunx, but some customs for some people. But know this: soon, both Boxpunx series TEN will roll out, then sometime after that… PersonaFAN series 5: Fan Boy Black Heaven. I have been working on both of these series for a while and will continue to do so until they are super tight. Here’s the promo for Disgaea 4. Finally, the moment in sprite-based video game history that I have been waiting for… art that is not pixelated, but SMOOOOOTH. And this game looks very smooth. Cheers.
Alright, download it if you would like. If enough people actually care, then maybe I will release the rest of it. Maybe I will self publish it, I don’t know. It is my first attempt at trying to write a book seriously, so it is hard for me to think that it something so great. BUT… maybe the next one, using everything I learned while making this one, will be the great one! All I know is that it was a BLAST writing this thing. I have lived in this world of mine for the past year, and I look forward to expanding upon it. The next story I want to write is called “Black Dirt and Pink Ocean.” It should be crazy, if all goes well. Anyway, feel free to send me your thoughts through email or facebook or come to Austin and tell it to my face. Whatever.
CLICK PICTURE ABOVE OR LINK BELOW TO DOWNLOAD:
the first 106 pages (8 chapters)
Here is a cool little Anna and the Elements boxpunx, not a character from the story, but just something with the logo on it. It’s my first papercraft of 2011!
But ok, all right, and all that. Thanks in advance to anyone who downloads my story, and double-thanks to anyone to attempts to read it. Tomorrow I plan to post some pictures of what the models I made for Castleforte’s “PAPERTOY MONSTERS” book look like. Until then…
Not too long ago I mentioned that I might be trying to write a book. Well, here I am almost a year later and I am half way through it. It’s already a couple of hundred pages and just reached the 70,000 word mark. But of course, none of you are here to get info on that, you are probably here for the papercraft. So how does someone like me go from making hundreds of papercraft models to suddenly writing a book? Why does an artist post things on his blog and then never finishes them? What the hell is wrong with this world, anyway?
The answers to these questions are rather simple, when you consider the history of what someone like myself has been doing for the last couple of decades. I enjoy experimentation and collaboration. I like trying new things and working with others. Sometimes when you try out something new, you end up really enjoying it and doing it for a long time. Other times you find it tedious, and not as enjoyable as you may have expected prior to trying it. Take airbrushing for example. I love the end result of many airbrush pieces, but when I tried it myself, I found the work difficult, and I wasn’t as good as it as I had hoped. The opposite happened with papercraft. I already loved to collect small toys, like Dunnys and Bearbricks, after seeing what some of my favorite artists did with them. I already had notebooks full of weird little characters, so at first, it was sort of easy. I never expected it to take off like wild fire, but now that it has, I can see how it makes perfect sense.
People need something to do. The cheaper, the better. The canvas has not gone out of style or anything (could it ever?), but for some, the canvas can be intimidating. Anyone who loves to draw, but can’t seem to figure out the best way to fill a normal flat canvas might find a home on a new 3-dimensional canvas. That’s basically what happened to me. I never really wanted to be a painter, and I certainly did not want to spend all the money on supplies, but I love to draw, and desperately wanted to find a canvas that was right for me. The rest, I guess, is history.
So how did we get from papercraft to a novel? What happened to that magazine you wanted to make? When is series ten coming out?
Papercraft to a novel… I guess that is how it looks, but really, I had this whole life before I ever built my first paper model, and although much of that life involved drawing and graphic design, writing has always been a big part of it all. In other words, before becoming a papercrafter, I wanted to be a writer. I never thought I was a very good artist, decent sure, I am not blind, but I never seemed to rise up to the level of my favorites. But I could not deny my imagination… it is always full of ideas, and I am grateful for this.
But how to present all these ideas? This has been the journey of my life, really. When I was real young, I wanted to play guitar in a band. I got a guitar when I was 15 and have played ever since. I played in a few less than serious bands, and jammed with many. The most enjoyable times were the improvisational sessions I took part in, because every time we played it was always something new. not always good, hehe, but definitely new. So although it was fun, I never really really tried to pursue it. In the end, I think I just wanted to taste it.
Back then I could draw, and because of this, I figured I should put all my effort into that. There were other distractions in high school, such as skateboarding and girls, and a few other things I shouldn’t mention, but the clever among you will probably guess immediately. This is the mid eighties by the way.
I skated and dated and made little fanzines and wrote lots of poetry and short stories. While writing these stories, I discovered that I could transcend my illustration work with the written word, meaning, in simple terms, I could write about things that I never seemed capable of drawing. At least not as fantastical as I had imagined them. I loved writing as much as drawing now, and although music was and will always be a big part of anything I do, I knew I would never be in a band. I was going to either be an artist or a writer.
Blah, blah, blah. So I dabble. I guess it’s like that phrase, “Jack of all trades, yet a master of nothing.” I didn’t intend for my life to be like that, initially, but looking back, that’s what it has been all about. TRY EVERYTHING, OR ELSE YOU WON’T KNOW ANYTHING. That was my motto for the longest time. I am almost forty now, and I believe it is time to focus on something, and try to put all my experience to some kind of use.
Hopefully that makes a little sense. We didn’t go from papercraft to writing, we went from drawing to music to drawing and writing to doing graphic design for a while, THEN we arrived at papercraft. Papercraft has been good to me, and it’s the first art project I took part in where people actually know my name! You may have seen my art or my typefaces before, but you never would have known that I created those things. I created so much work during my almost eight years working for Apple computers, most of which only employees saw. I enjoyed the work, but I wanted to have a name. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so.
I am coming up on forty years old. I have spent so time time on this planet learning and experiencing and trying. Don’t worry, this is not about to turn into a “so I am leaving papercraft forever!” No way, I love papercraft! I love vinyl toys! I love making things out of nothing! But above and beyond all other things, I love that papercraft is FREE. I know some artists are packaging up their creations and selling them, which is awesome, and I wish them all the best. I am not against this idea, it’s just not what I envision for myself. I want Boxpunx to be what it is. If I don’t do anything else, it can stay in it’s current form, loved by many, and I can be happy about it because I didn’t ruin anything with it. I don’t want to be like one of those bands where you love the early stuff, but in the later years, all their new stuff made you hate what you used to love.
In other words, I should treat Boxpunx with care. I always have, and I will continue to do so.
Okay, Jason. Thanks for rambling on and on, but what about the magazine? How does that relate to any of this?
Here it is. In an attempt to collaborate with my roommate, Vin (who takes pretty much all the Boxpunx photos) I thought it would be cool if he took some photos of my collection. I have downloaded and built many toys by other artists, not just my own. I thought he would enjoy taking some creative pictures of some other toys. And while he was doing that, I could make a comic strip for the zine. The artist responsible for Three-eyed-bear posted a comic he had drawn on Nice Paper Toys, and I thought, why not have a place where artists, specifically papercrafters, could show off their drawings? I wanted this, and after seeing his comic, I figured others did too. So, since I wanted to take a break from creating new boxpunx, but did not want to stop papercrafting, I thought maybe I was the man for the job.
Vin took some photos, and I started illustrating a boxpunx-inspired comic. Then a couple of things happened, causing my interest level in the project to drop. The first I guess had to be the photos. They were all awesome, no doubt, but I was finding it difficult to create a layout with them. With Boxpunx we would take a lot of pictures, and I would pick what I thought was the most appropriate one. With the magazine, I envisioned the pictures having more variety. Maybe even different settings. We talked about this, and ultimately what I got out of that conversation, is papercraft is something I want to continue doing, but it was not something he wanted to continue doing.
The last thing I want is to make anyone do anything they don’t want, especially when it comes to art projects, so I just let it go. I approached him to take pictures of the IMPS, for series nine, and that is the last thing we have worked on together. He is now working on music, has talked about making a podcast, and I believe he is trying to take pictures of live models, which is what he has always wanted to do anyway. Vin is not just my roommate, he is also my friend, so of course I want him to be doing what he loves. I am going to keep doing what I love, thats for sure. ^^
That’s one thing, another is the comic itself. So, I wrote this script for it, and I really liked it. It was funny and bizarre, and represented Boxpunx in a way that I felt was completely insane. Exactly what I was going for. I started drawing. I penciled and inked about 24 pages, thinking I could put 12 pages in the first issue, and then shorten it to about 6 pages for the next two issues. I started coloring the pages when a thought hit me, right across the face. “The story here is way better than any of the drawings.” Ouch, but it was true. Some pages were awesome, most were kind of dull. I certainly did not want to re-draw anything, so I stopped the magazine right then and there and thought hard about what I could do with the work that had been done.
There is a third element to all this, that comes in the form of a RPG scenario I was writing. We had been playing Dungeons and Dragons occasionally, and I hadn’t ran a game in a long time. I didn’t want to run a D&D game though, I wanted to run a Gamma World game, and I wanted to try to use the old rules, if only because that’s what I have! I wrote tons of text, did some drawings, made some maps, and even created some new rules of my own. That was so much fun!
So, while working on the zine, and the Gamma World adventure, I started reading this series of books called the Dark Tower, by Stephen King. They were so incredible, in my opinion, and the one thing I loved about the books more than anything else was his use of modern elements to create a fantasy story. This concept is typically the basis of any Shin Megami Tensei game, my favorite video game series. Things were coming together in my mind. What if, I took the best ideas of the Gamma World adventure and combined it with the humor of the Boxpunx comic, and wrote a novel, in the spirit of The Dark Tower, or a Devil Summoner video game. Instead of doing a bunch of little projects, why not combine them all into one big project?
So, I stopped everything, and began writing a novel.
I brushed up on my grammar, and began reading everything anyone would recommend to me, or anything I saw that caught my interest, or anything that I knew I had to read, but hadn’t got around to it yet. I won’t list them all, some of them I have already listed, but in the past year, I have read fifty or more books, and learned a little something from each.
Especially the books on grammar, specifically.
Wow, you actually read all of that? Thanks.
Okay, I think that is enough. Even though you know me for papercraft, behind the scenes I have always aspired to be a writer, illustrator, or musician. With this novel I am trying to be all three at once, in a way. The image at the top is simply a mock-up cover I made, just for fun. The first section of the book is being edited right now by my good friend Mary Ann, whom is a super smart girl and I hope she will help me turn this into something really special.
What’s it about, Jason?
Well, to sum it up in as few words as possible, it’s about bored immortals. Using a few more words, it’s about the truth behind Earth’s past. It’s about sex, drugs, rock n’ roll, and magic. It’s about the most notorious punk rock cover band in the universe. What it’s not about is… well, it’s not about papercraft.
Maybe I will write a story about papercraft one day, but I figure I should see how this one turns out first.
What about series ten! I still plan to do it, but for now I am going to save it, and work on it slowly over time. If I spread it out just right, getting photos taken will hopefully not be an issue. If I can actually finish this book, I will then finish series ten to celebrate!
Before I go, I wanted to leave you with a few models that I have made but never released. My hard drive has a number of these misfits, and I may release a few more as time goes by. Right now, papercraft is exploding. So many people are making models and it is an exciting time for fans of the hobby. If you don’t know where to start, check out Nice Paper Toys.
Enjoy the models, and your life.
The model above is a larger version of the imp. The Steeping Room is the name of the tea shop I work for. You didn’t think I actually made money giving all my art away for free did you? P.S. Here’s a video, to make this post complete. I love Interpol. The new album is amazing.
Jason Harlan XXXOOO
Thanks again for visiting my website! I hope you find something you like!