1973: Thanksgiving

Rerun Saturday is being swapped out for a Throw-back Thursday this week. It’s hard to admit to not being as rugged as I was “back in the day” which in my case means not being able to multi-task to any great extent. I’m being overwhelmed by the Kickstarter campaign, on-going creative projects and the limitations brought on by A/S compounded by knee problems…yet I still get up each morning convinced that if I push myself just a little harder I can still get it all done.

I wish.

While I cam catching my breath I will share a Thanksgiving post from a couple of years back.

David R. Deitrick, Designer

Thanksgiving is like the hot cheerleader’s younger sister –the one that everybody chats up just to get a chance to meet her much lovelier sibling. Stores start putting up Christmas displays right after Halloween and when people discuss a day of that long weekend in November they’re more apt to be talking about the day after Thanksgiving – scoring bargains on Black Friday. That wasn’t always the case and in 1973 my Thanksgiving was infinitely better than my Christmas despite the lack of deep discounts on home electronics.

I was winding up my third and last semester at Ricks College and I was on a roll. I was working hard and doing very well in my classes, I had lost thirty pounds and was in great shape…and in a month, I would be reunited with my Best Friend. The Thanksgiving holiday was almost more a hinderance than a respite and…

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Kickstarter Update 7: Superhero Support!

It looks like pledges have leveled off a bit but that’s to be expected at this point in time. We’re not quite halfway through the campaign and I know several people (most of them family members!) that still intend on making pledges so there are still good things to come.

You may have noticed that whenever the dollar amount reaches an odd number it will shortly round up to the next five-increment (as in 122 mysteriously becoming 125). Well, I’m here to tell you that we have a superhero in our midst, a would-be X-man named 5ive whose mutant power it to transform numerical totals to the afore-mentioned five-increment. He’s registered under his secret identity’s name but out of respect for his privacy I’m using his code-name.

…and I’m also sharing an image of him out of my sketch-book.

Thanks again for your support. If you haven’t done so already please share the Midnight Son link with your friends and family.

Best wishes,

d –


“On your mark…get set…g-“


This is the URL for the prelaunch page for my Midnight Son Kickstarter project. At this point the intestinal Stukas are diving and bombing with a vengeance as the launch inches closer and closer.  It’s been a challenging experience learning a new process like Kickstarter while coping with my recent medical developments and I would have given up long ago if it weren’t for Marc Miller’s guidance and efforts.

We’re tying up all the last details so keep checking periodically – and please get the word out to your family, friends, co-workers – anyone you can think of.  With FaceBook’s infamous “friend-algorithm” I have no way of knowing if my post there will reach more than 25 people, so I can use all the help I can get.


On Falling

This time around I am stretching the definition of Saturday Re-run to include the three-day weekend – especially since recent tumbles have contributed to my recent slow-down in production.

David R. Deitrick, Designer

(Facebook has been a blessing and a curse – it has helped me keep in touch with friends and family all across the globe but it has also turned into a time-sponge. Frequent changes in format and software can be frustrating too and I find it  difficult to find older material…so I will be reprinting some of that “stuff here, to include:)

One of the surest signs of middle age is the fear that something as inconsequential as a fall can have for you.

In between classes one day I made a quick trip to a nearby comic store called The Great Escape, I must have been there 20 or 30 times so it was quite a surprise when I tripped on the way as I was walking from my car to the store. In retrospect I think I know what happened: there is one spot on the raised sidewalk, just in…

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More Workshop Stuff!

timeline photo extract

If truth-in-advertising laws applied to higher education only twelve of the thirty-six months I spent earning my Master of Fine Arts degree would judged as being worth the tuition I paid –  oh, I was busy all the time and made great strides in my work but that success was due primarily to faculty members from other departments, visiting professors and my own hustle. The regular tenured faculty members I had to interact with on a regular basis were less than effective – one professor in particular took great pride in scheduling office hours for the most inconvenient times possible in order to  (and I quote) ” avoid being bothered with those pesky students!”

….however there was one time when she actually did come up with a decent idea when she tasked the members of the graduate seminar to create a autobiographical allegory of our lives in a design motif. I came up with a pretty nifty solution to the assignment and while I don’t have an image immediately available I have a copy of one of the components on hand.

Make that “partial image”.

I’m still trying to get used to this new printer/scanner and I was able to get only a portion of self-portrait time-line from that 1991 project. Hopefully I will quickly get that issue resolved and find a place that still can make a print from a 35mm slide.

…so why am I going to all this trouble? A couple of months ago I wrote that in the wake of not having my contract renewed at the college I was considering conducting workshops just as I did after leaving Nossi College of Art in 2010. I am considering a year-long series of on-line sessions documenting the creation of another allegorical artist autobiography, starting with the initial research and ideation through the construction and display of the final project. As I know just a smidgeon about the way media works on WordPress and even less about Patreon the project won’t be starting for a while yet  – but I think it’s going to be fun.

I look forward to your comments and concepts!

How Much Skin is “In”?

It’s only been five years since I first wrote this post but given recent changes in our social fabric I wonder if I would have come up with the same words if I was composing it for the first time today…

David R. Deitrick, Designer

2014-11-02 Sun Worship

Women are beautiful.

No surprise there I guess. It makes me think of a comedy routine I heard back during the late ‘80s when every show on cable featured a brick wall. (You know the brick wall that aspiring stand-up comedians would do their bit in front of?) I can’t remember the guy’s name but his routine went something like this:

“Women are beautiful – but they are crazy. They’re crazy because women love men, and men are ugly!”

I was cursed/blessed with the inability to draw women very well until I slid over the crest of the ridge in middle age. It obviously was a curse because it made my job as an illustrator that much more difficult, but it was also a blessing. Who knows what would have filled my sketchbook at age 18 had I been able to draw women like I can draw them now? I know my buddy…

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BEYOND INFINITY: sketch/final comparision

sketch final comparison Beyond EternityThis cut-paper sculpture figures prominently in a post I wrote a couple of years that was entitled 2003: Have You Ever Heard of an Artist Named David Deitrick. 

(You’ll find information about the BEYOND INFINITY – the book it illustrated)

While rooting through old files today I found the preliminary sketch and I thought it would be kind of cool to show the two versions side-by-side. For both personal and professional reasons I’ve always put a lot of effort into my sketches- creating the final art is made much easier and it’s harder for clients to complain if the sketch they approved beforehand is meticulously followed.

Fantasy Games Unlimited Sketch

historical combat sequence

One of the first publishers I encountered when stumbling into gaming in 1977 was Fantasy Games Unlimited. As an ardent H.Beam Piper // Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen fan I was delighted to score a copy of ‘Down Styphon!” in a Seattle bookstore and proceeded to read the covers off the book as we alternately drove up then down the Alaskan Highway that summer…so when I started freelancing full-time FGU was one of the first clients I pursued, even when publisher Scott Bizar apologized about the low rates he had to pay.

I ended up doing two jobs for him in 1986, the titles of which I have completely forgotten. The first was a book full of man-to-man combat rules that could be adjusted for various time periods and tech levels and this drawing was a preliminary sketch for a group of secondary characters that would end up about 1/3 the way up from the bottom of the cover. Unfortunately the original is long-gone as is the right half of this pencil drawing, which included a mail-clad Norman knight swinging in the same arc as the others.

I’ve loved the idea of sequential photos/images showing closely spaces stages of action. I first encountered the concept in the opening credits for the fourth series of The Avengers, also known as the first season featuring Dame Diana Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel and the last season to be shot in black & white.

( A clip of those credits is at   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V–6WPKFtk )


Keeping an Eye on Things

One of the scariest aspects of ankylosing spondylitis is the effect it can have on vision. It’s all tied in with way A/S can mess with your immune system but to be frank the technical details don’t interest me as much as the physical symptoms. No one likes to have their vision impaired but for a visual artist blindness = death. As best as I can tell Iritis is the worst case scenario and so far I’ve dodged that bullet, but general photophobia is also common, and anyone who has known me for long is familiar with my ever-present squint, as documented by every photo taken of me from infancy on.

Sunglasses have been a godsend to me and at 66 I am close to blind in the noon-day sun without them. Sadly enough vision problems impact on my production as well – while LCD screens don’t take the same toll on my eyes that cathode ray tube displays did,  I still have difficulty staring into a screen or working under a desk lamp for any length of time and sometimes that difficulty translates into a gap in posts for this blog.

…and yes, the title is a terrible, terrible pun.

Dimensional Illustration: Mote Warrior


Saturday Re-run: One of my dimensional illustrations that Charlie Ryan ran on Aboriginal SF (as mentioned in yesterday’s post). I might add that my avatar – the Pak Protector I wrote about a week or two ago – was also used as a dimensional illustration on an AboSF cover.

David R. Deitrick, Designer

Dimensional Illustration; Mote Warrior

Dimensional illustration was a niche specialty that saw most of its popularity in the ’80s and ’90s. The term referred to sculptural work that was photographed and used as illustration in lieu of flat work and it did well enough to warrant its own annual awards presentation (I won a Bronze Medal in 1993 for an interior I did for Amazing Stories).

I did several dimensional pieces for my friend Charlie Ryan at Aboriginal Science Fiction but the overwhelming influence of computer-generated imagery smothered the use of “real” dimensional work.

This is how I imagined the Mote Warriors from the SF classic The Mote in God’s Eye; the environment measures 16″ X 24″ X 8″ and is built of wood, Bondo, plastic, paper and paint. The figure is made of Super Scuply and Pro-Mat.

Photography by Roy Buckener of Kennesaw Creative.

From the collection of Jeff Barnes.

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