Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Fun Weekend...

OK, I admit it, listening to lectures and taking tests isn't fun. That being said, I have to say, I am glad I did take the NRA Certified Firearms Instructor course this last weekend.

When I got there, I met Mike Abromovich. His job as the Instructor was to train new hopeful future NRA Certified Firearms Instructors, and give them some insights into how to do it successfully, while remaining safe, limiting liability and encouraging us to enjoy what we do in the process.

Mike Abromovich

We started the weekend off by finding Joe Foss Shooting Range in Buckeye, AZ...

Joe Foss Shooting Range

As the weekend progressed, Mike went over several safety items that each instructor would possibly encounter over time. He also went over the fundamentals of teaching range based content (Which is the most fun to me). Everyone had fun. Here are the pics from this weekend (and many more), and below are some of me having fun.




Overall it was a fun and encouraging experience. Mike loves what he does and it shows. His efforts, and others like him that encourage a safe gun culture are part of what makes me proud to live in AZ. We could use some more people like him.

The picture below sums up the weekend pretty well...

More Work soon, Just wanted to keep you all up to date on what's going on. If anyone in AZ Wants to learn more about Mike's Business "Certified Instruction & Training, LLC" you can find it by following the link I provided. He also has a Facebook & Twitter Page. So go say hi, he loves helping out new and experienced shooters.

If you're ever in AZ and want to go shooting, just shoot me a message anytime, I love the sound of brass hitting the deck!

Cliff England Comic Art
"Stupid is a choice.." - Jim Brown

Monday, May 13, 2013

Upcoming Certified Firearms Instructor Academy

Welcome back,

    This week will be a busy one. I am in between classes, but decided to keep busy by taking some training courses that interested me before Summer Courses begin. That training I speak of is the NRA Certified Firearms Instructor Academy.

As many of you know I grew up in rural Missouri, and I am a Former Marine. Guns have always been a part of my life, and I admit to being an NRA member. I would never push guns onto people because I realize a small segment of society are uncomfortable with them, due to liberal policies and agendas trying to demonize guns and breed a society that is ignorant  of gun safety, and void of gun ownership, which is unfortunate in my opinion.

Overall, I encourage gun ownership and I have seen a dramatic increase in the need for firearms assistance in the fields of Usage, Cleaning and Safe Storage due to first time gun buyers in my area due to this administrations Anti-Gun Agenda and the fear it has instilled in the general populace.

Firearms are a touchy subject for some people.  What I thought was normal firearms experience growing up was quite the opposite. I owned my first .22 Rifle when I was 12, my first .410 shotgun at 13, Shot my first handgun (My dads Revolver), and his 30-06 Rifle by 14. I hunted Deer in Missouri when he felt I was able to handle the Large Caliber Rifles better from that point. He did a good job teaching me safety when it came to firearms, may he Rest in Peace.

When I got older I joined the Marines, and in there I learned about military weaponry like the M-16/AR-15 Platform, the M-249 Saw, multiple Semi Auto pistols & even some sniper platform rifles on the weekend from marines that made a lateral move to the Air Wing side. By the time I got out, I was adept at several pieces of equipment that I saw as "Normal" but in the last few years I realize that most people have not only never used these types of firearms, but they don't even know how to clean the firearms they do own. And even worse,some people have never owned a firearm period. It sent me into shock. It just never clicked with me that people didn't know about this stuff.

I tend to be a resource for many people when it comes to guns in my life, and if I can help to provide safety training and keep people from hurting themselves or others I feel it is the right thing to do. I don't hunt anymore, I shoot as a hobby mostly, and work on basic marksmanship. I hope to get some hunting in in the next few years as my kids get older. But if I can help teach new shooters basic firearms safety and possibly prevent people from negligently shooting themselves or their loved ones, then I feel obligated to do so. This course will allow me to do that by helping to teach CCW, Armed Guards, 4-H Activities and more, helping to spread firearms safety in my personal community.

With all that said, it was the basis for my Adobe Illustrator Course Project, and knowing that you can understand why I made it now. It was designed as a generic template for Certified Firearms Training for future website development. I learned how to do many things in Illustrator during this seasons course. Below is the result, all using Illustrator.

CFT Shield

The above images were the basis of a "Button" or "Icon" design I was going to use as the platform for my project.  Called it the "CFT Shield"

CFT Flier

The Image above is the 8.5 x 11 "Flier" that I created for part of my project. The goal was to create a flier type image that helps display and advertise your focused material. I think I did OK and it seemed to resonate with everyone else. "Clean" is the normal response I get, and that is high praise, because all too often I see ads that don't really grab you or even portray what they are advertising very well.

CFT Poster

Above is the 11 x 17 Image I did for the other half of my project. It was developed as a "Poster" for the material we were coming up with. I used brushed metal, and other stippling in both pieces, I made it much more pronounced in this piece, but still kept it subtle. Again, this was a generic "Template" for future firearms training if I choose to go into business.

I will more than likely start up by assisting with other instructors classes to make sure to view how they interact and train their classes, and then when I feel comfortable, I will begin teaching classes myself. In the meantime, I will be taking some web design classes this summer, and hopefully be able to assist the other firearms instructors in designing clean and helpful websites to reach a larger customer base so they can help spread firearms safety to as many people as possible.

 Thanks for dropping in, and I will have more to show you soon. Wish me luck on my course. I'll try to post some pics from the range next week!

P.S. - I love my XD

Cliff England Comic Art
"Stupid is a choice.." - Jim Brown

Monday, May 6, 2013

Angela - Image Work

Welcome back,

     Last year I did my first Angela pic from the Spawn Series. I myself never got into the Manga Weapon Genre, but as a request from my colorist, I gave it a whirl. The result was a fairly awesome image, as you can see below. I took my own spin on the character, as I do in many cases, but spin that I thought worked out for a descent image.

My goal was to produce a pseudo manga type Angela that was fun to look at, while still portraying what Todd McFarlane created on paper. I grew up looking at his style, and to this day, I say the scariest job in all the comics industry has to be inking that man's work. lol.


Angela is Copyright Neil Gaimen

There was a sizable fight for the rights to this character after a messy copyright and ownership struggle between Gaimen and McFarlane, but the Character lives on in past comics and there are rumors that the character is supposed to end up in the Marvel Universe at some point now that Gaimen has won the rights in court. Only time will tell, until then, please enjoy what I have drawn. And send Kudos to James Anderson for Providing the wonderful colors in this image.

Thanks for dropping by, keep checking in!

Cliff England Comic Art
"Stupid is a choice.." - Jim Brown

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Welcome back,

     I wanted to showcase a little image I did last year. It was of Magneto. I wasn't particularly happy with some  elements, but other elements drew me and others I know into it. So I kept it as an example of foreshortening. So please take a look, enjoy and let me know what you think of this sketch turned inked piece...

Magneto is Copyright Marvel Entertainment

Keep checking in, I should have some more stuff up by Monday. Let me know if there is something you want to see.

Cliff England Comic Art
"Stupid is a choice.." - Jim Brown