AKA More than you ever wanted to know about the art of Steven Griffin!
As a little kid I drew a lot of comic strips cuz I thought my jokes were better than what was in the paper.
I sent off submissions to newspaper syndicates, eventually receiving rejection letters, but didn't give up my goal to be a professional cartoonist!
Then when I was 14 I picked up Jim Lee's X-Men #1 in a newsagent, immediately realising that comics were a far more challenging artform to master then anything else I'd discovered (hence greater chance for showing off!) and became obsessed with comic book art and making it my career.
All my teenage money went into the cash registers of Perth comic book stores.
I worked long hours for years to be good enough to be published.
Before that happened, in 1995,
I made use of my comic strip skills by creating the first ever internet game with graphics,
BIG HEAD'S AMAZING COMIC STRIP ADVENTURE GAME!
(Though the lead character is female, Big Head is inspired by my own huge cranium.)
I grew up enjoying choose-your-own adventure books
and Sierra and Lucasarts adventure games
(and had already programmed my first adventure game in Basic when I was 8)
so wanted to make use of the interactivity of the internet to make something
as entertaining online.
The biggest problem was that the internet crawled back then, so there's no way I could program a traditional, animated adventure game and have it run at a playable speed on dial-up.
So I came up with the solution of using B&W comic strips
that I got down to a size of only around 8KB each to portray the action,
so it ran as fast as an offline game, with short wait times (excluding the wait time for me to create more of the game! Which angered a lot of passionate fans, whoops!)
But rock n' roll is bumpy business.
With hundreds of thousands of players,
Big Head was extremely popular for a 1996-sized internet population.
But as it was designed for Netscape circa 1995, it's sadly now long gone from the internet!
In 1998, I already had the fanciest, funnest Flash websites on the internet, and a failed online video game store
(cuz I didn't think to first invent Paypal and lost all my money to credit card fraud.)
So I moved on to a new challenge and created the first ever Flash game, a virtual pet/tamagotchi parody called Virtual Staph, where you raise a pet
Creating a game aimed purely at microbiologists
seemed funny to me at the time.
It was written in the then-barely functioning Flash Actionscript language.
It was such a pain in the butt (a bigger challenge than even Assembler!) that I didn't make another game after that.
I then did some Flash animation cartooning, just because I hadn't done animation before, then turned my focus back to breaking into the comic book industry.
In 2003 my first comic book HAWAIIAN DICK was released through Image Comics
to universal praise,
but due to long, long hours of daily work and severe injuries I'd accumulated since childhood,
I couldn't keep up with the fan demand for new issues and eventually had to move onto focusing purely on my health and healing,
work I'd never had the chance to dedicate time and energy to before.
Since I was little my focus had always been primarily on lifting the mood of others with my artistic entertainment. It's still a big motivator, but I now give far more thought to my own health than I used to, having learnt to be at least a bit selfish (which in the long run will help others, once I'm healthy enough to be of better use than when I'm overworked, sick and injured.)
These days I eat like I'm an injured athlete on steroids,
and it's working quite well for me.
This is the most serious thing I've ever written.
Which is why I've never written a bio before.
I did with some cool, sweet girls in Sydney.
I lost contact with them years ago, so I hope they're happy with me sharing pictures of my time with these beautiful ladies.
As with my visual art, I create my songs straight out of my head and have made 11 albums out of the thousands of songs I freestyled between 2016-2019.
They're in the order they were recorded.
Everything is freestyled. No rehearsals, no warming up.
I just push record and see what comes out, like a real conversation.
I'm singing over music that I'm simultaneously composing and playing in my head.
I'm mostly singing the orchestra.
I'd always dance when singing, cuz it made my voice dance like it does on the recordings.
All tracks are date and timestamped from when they were recorded in YYMMDD-24HourMinuteSecond format, which is neat.
No edits, no cuts, no filters. Just my voice, raw off the mic.
I don't even clear my throat.
I just push record and capture the moment as authentically as possible.
Then I push stop and it's done.
No cuts, no edits (not even volume adjustment !), but I usually sang loud if you need a hint at the correct volume.
Each album playlist has the tracks in the order they were recorded,
cuz i makes for better art that way.
Covers are either the first ever attempt at singing the song, or the first in years,
cuz the fresher the performance the better.
Plus not remembering much how it goes gives me a good excuse for getting creative.
The way this project came about is...
When I was young I had a great voice and could sing anything, but didn't have the confidence to write my own songs.
Then in my 20's, due to health problems I lost my singing voice.
Then a few years back, after switching to a high protein, high fat, low carb diet, my health improved and I regained the ability to sing a bit.
But rather than being a boring robot and doing singing lessons or standard vocal training, I decided to record myself whenever I felt like singing, and track myself regaining my abilities the fun way!
So these albums are just hours of me having fun in the most vocally challenging (and show off-ingly) way possible in that moment.
But I'm basically just trying to vocalise the pop orchestra I have playing in my head sometimes. And push my brain to its maximum problem-solving speed.
As well as that, I believe that music activates many regions of the brain at once, so I figured that if I recorded myself singing a song in a good mood, listening to it would help re-wire my brain more permanently to the state I was in when singing. Which would then make my next song slightly more positive,
and it would have a continued layering effect over each new recording.
It seemed to work, as listening to my songs has pulled me out of low mood many times now.
In fact, they have so much power that when I was in hospital with heart failure at the end of 2019, my docs were shocked at how upbeat I was all the time!
The doc in emergency first diagnosed me as having a heart attack, and rather than sulk about it, I spent the next hour singing and dancing in bed to kick-start my recovery and cheer him up (he seemed depressed when delivering the bad news.)
He had an Irish accent so I sang Linger by The Cranberries (also on the STEVEN10 TRUE LOVE album.)
And 7 months later my heart is now normal,
so guess I did something right!
BTW heart failure is different than heart disease/a heart attack.
My arteries were "clean as a whistle" but my heart was too big and barely functioning (due to damage from an old medication mostly)
I ignored not being able to breathe too much for 15 days before finally walking into emergency once my extremities were swollen like a cartoon from all the fluid retention (that a functioning heart is needed to pump out)
OK this got way more serious than my bio.
And then ten days into being in hospial I had a stroke which paralysed the left side of my body (caused by a blood clot formed by my heart failure) and the first thing I did after was dance in bed while listening to Red Velvet.
And after just a few weeks of rehab I learnt how to walk again! Music heals!
I also noticed that when my health went backwards, my songs came out with a bit more of a blues/country sound to it. And the healthier I got, the more poppy and upbeat the songs!
This is the earliest set of quality songs I freestyled after buying my first proper mic as a birthday present to myself in January 2017 (before that I was just recording on a laptop mic and losing a lot of vocal quality.)
I haven't put together an album of my earliest work yet, cuz I figured I'd let people hear the higher quality recordings first. I mean, I already have imaginary instruments!
People don't wanna hear no instruments AND a bad mic! Well not unless they're even more arty than me somehow!
Like all musician's early work, I'm still developing my voice during this early album.
Though three years later it still soothes my soul when I'm in the mood for it.
170803-195753 Bubble Chew
17-0828-015540 Silly Ticket To Ride
171004-031556 Ushud Uno
171009-040544 It's Kinda Funny Hunny
170810 Steppe Cool
171010-053822 Wait Until The Morning II
171010-053822 Wait Until The Morning III
170922-041446 Entering A Sandy Village Drunk On A Sober Horse
170922-042510 Back On The Trail (Music From A Japanese Western Set In China Near The Indian Border)
For this set I was sick in bed from eating a buncha carbs (marshmallows) and couldn't sing or sleep so just started freestyling sleep-deprived jokes/nonsense in the hopes it wore me out and put me to sleep.
I eventually got to sleep so guess it worked! It's freestyle stand-up, but in bed and without an audience. So comedy for ill loners. Yeah, that highly sought-after demographic!
The song's called called 'Hearts (Couch Autopilot singing)' cuz I took my freestyling upa notch by managing to turn off the self-editing part of my brain altogether and not think at all about what I was singing, hence autopilot.
Risky, but it came out good.
I always try to sing on instinct/feeling alone, or as close to it as I can get,
but Hearts is as close as I've come to pure braindead singing.
And curious lyrics considering I had developing heart failure at the time.
But more importantly it has the continuation of my quality WA tourism song.
180413-040534 Hearts (Couch Autopilot)
180413-043810 Playing With Buttons (Hearts V)
180422-232849 Doin Sweetest Taboo by Sade III
180426-171859 Doin Nothing Compares 2 U by Prince
180426-223220 Thrill Ain't Gone II
180430-112706 Dance By The Bae VI
180430-112731 Dance By The Bae VII
180501-230613 Just A Song About A Christmas Present (The Big Dick State)
180509-035033 Sorta Lovesick (Doin Lovesick by The Cardigans)
180519-230844 Space Out
180525-185119 The Big Dick State II
180607-235717 Seated Hearts
180608-215902 Dancing Hearts
180609-014540 The Thick Dick State
180609-020846 Tuning To The Inner Orchestra II
180609-022348 Tuning To The Inner Orchestra (With Words)
180610-001655 The Heavy Dick State
180610-002306 Dick Pop
180614-002310 Feel The Sunshine V (keys for 3rd time ever)
180614-004759 While Eating A Soft-Boiled Egg
180615-024246 xoxoxH Feel The Sunshine VIII
180615-031350 Feel The Sunshine IX
180728-020424 Doin Burning Desire by Lana Del Rey
180728-020530 Doin We Built This City by Starship
180728-023731 Leads To... (Risktaking)
180728-024900 Pouring Rain IV
180729-004158 Heart's The Same
180802-021431 Tuning To That Song (That Song But Huskier)
180830-035625 Flat Pop Song
180907-014815 Doin Lana Del Rey III
180907-022417 xoxoxH Doin Can't Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli
180917-144059 Doin Ariana Grande
180917-222329 Flat Pop Song IV
180918-114407 Breed (Doin Lana Del Rey VIII)
180918-173759 Doin Lana Del Rey XII
181003-205238 Boiling Eggs Doin Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head by Hal David, Burt Bacharach and B. J. Thomas
My favourite song (and music video) of 2019 was Bad Boy by Red Velvet.
It boosted my mood many times.
So in this set of songs I tried singing it for the first time.
I also had fun singing a whole run of songs that were ridiculously out of range of my testicle size, and as usual just jumped right in and tried to make it work with the state my voice was in in the moment I came up with the thought to sing it.
During this album I was also doing a lot of bodyweight workouts and gaining strength and muscle.
I was still thinking about my friend Rebekah who I missed a lot, but I'd discovered Red Velvet. so the singing is mostly more upbeat and poppy.
But when doing Lana Del Rey songs,
I was thinking about her.
For 'Lips Together', I was showing the birds in the trees outside who's boss.
Just like how my hair shows any lions I cross paths with who's got the best mane in nature.
190503-013030 Rainbow Connection Wish Tree by Kermit The Frog and Red Velvet
190503-013245 Doin Addicted To Love by Robert Palmer
190503-013532 Doin The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens
190503-013754 Doin My Favorite Things by Rodgers and Hammerstein & Julie Andrews
190503-013913 Doin End Of The Road by Boyz II Men
190503-032645 Doin I'm Not In Love by 10cc
190504-044430 Hornet's Nest
190504-045149 Calling The Night
190504-045853 Doin Hakuna Matata
190506-002921 Two Days Later Glow
190506-050705 Bad Girl (Doin Bad Boy by Red Velvet, reading lyric video)
190506-051008 Bad Girl II
190506-051216 Bad Girl III
190506-051451 Doin Bad Boy IV
190506-051723 Bad Girl V (Doin Bad Boy)
190506-051917 Actually Not Wearing Any (Bad Girl VI)
190506-051917 Bad Girl VI (Doin Bad Boy)
190506-052032 Bad Girl VII (Doin Bad Boy)
190506-061917 Bad Girl X
190506-231432 Next Night Doin While My Guitar Gently Weeps IV
190507-192422 Singing Over Lana Del Rey For 1st Time (Every Man Gets His Wish)
190507-192938 Singing Over Lana Del Rey For 2nd Time (Back To Tha Basics)
190507-195523 Whistling Over Lana Del Rey For 1st Time (Put Your Lips Together)
190507-195906 Whistling Over Lana Del Rey For 2nd Time (Put Your Lips Together)
190507-232234 Lips Together
190507-232411 Lips Together II
190508-014838 I Know It's Over Interlude
190508-204643 Doin I Know It's Over by The Smiths III
190510-154811 Doin I Know It's Overr by The Smiths V Boxes