Vaughn Belak’s Dodging Knives and Throwing Bullets


I received an early copy of Vaughn Belak’s Dodging Knives and Throwing Bullets ebook brought to us by BlueBlood. I loved it. This is why I love backing Amelia G’s Kickstarters. They are all people worthy of our love and they all deliver in a highly kick ass fashion. Vaughn’s book extends Amelia G’s hitting streak to damn perfection.

The ebook look gorgeous on my iPad Pro. I love seeing the fonts scroll to infinity and being able to pinch zoom Vaughn’s art. The detail is amazing. If you are a backer of the Kickstarter, then chances are you have a copy of the ebook. If you aren’t, then why the hell aren’t you? For the price of less than my weekly Starbucks habit, you too can support killer artists bring their craft to our living rooms.

I love the ebook but nothing beats holding the printed page in your hands. The hardcover came in a few moments ago and I haven’t been able to put it down since. The pages are gorgeous as are the artwork and words of wisdom.  I really love how Vaughn brings this art work alive. It’s a mix of savvy sage advice from a master mixed with inspirational quotes to keep us going in our own meditations. The quotes and the advice work within the artwork concept as the full title for this book is The Dark Art and Inspriation of Vaughn Belak: Dodging Knives & Throwing Bullets. It’s art and inspiration rolled into one and boy does it deliver.

‘Set your goals so big they make you nervous.’ This is the first quote we see on the pages and it made me reflect. I’ve done this in different aspects of my life and it has always paid dividends. Was I doing it in my art, though? Why not? This made me reflect on a few things and kick my own production ‘up a notch.’ Vaughn’s strength in the artist community is his business sense and his ability to relay this to other artists. The book starts us on a journey with him—A statement, a process, and selling. These are the topics Vaughn kicks the book off with and I think they are invaluable to any artist budding or long in the tooth. This is something I have seen Neal Adams discuss before as well as Stephen King. If Neal Adams and Stephen King are on the same boat you are, then that’s a damn good sign that Vaughn’s advice is well centered.

The art work is dark. It is gritty. It is power. I can look at these works of art for ages and try to deconstruct them. Everyone I show the book to (I was at a comic con this weekend so that ‘everyone’ was a lot of fecking people) had different favourites and different aspects of the art that popped for them. For me, it is the smoothness juxtaposed with the textured. The static combines and intwixes with the gloss. The smudge pops the sharpened line. It’s the combination of blacks and shades of mixed with the yellow and reds of the eyes (and what gorgeous eyes they are). It’s not that Vaughn uses colour in his art but it’s the how and where that counts. Every drop, ever inch of canvas, counts and it all builds to the masterpieces we see in the book.

I cannot do the artwork justice. There are favourites of mine and some I can even share with you (so I do, below), but these SFW favourites but scratch the surface of what is a truly remarkable collection of art from a modern master.

If you like anything BlueBlood as ever done, the dark and gritty, the blending of light and darkness, words of wisdom and power, or if you are an artist needed a kick in the boot to kickstart (no pun) your own image  and lifeline, then this is the book for you. I love it. It is my new ‘this is what you lot are getting for Christmas’ go-to and it’s barely (of this writing) May.  You can pick up (and you should) a copy here.


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