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Modbook Pro Artist Feature Story: Tommy Castillo and the City of Angels (Part 1)

From napkin sketch to Modbook Pro rendering.
© 2013 Tommy Castillo

Veteran artist and comic book creator Tommy Castillo offers an exclusive look behind the curtain as we follow this colorful creative wizard on his from-the-napkin-to-the-screen adventure to the City of Angels, complete with flying machines and, of course, his trusted “Excalibur.”


Welcome back and hello to everyone who is just coming on board!

Tommy Castillo here! If you haven’t read my previous article, let me give you a quick explanation of whom I am.

Twenty-five years I have been in print and art… and writing for all that time. I have worked for more companies than I can count, and I have loved (and hated, LOL!) them all.

OK, let me explain. I am getting on a flight to L.A., six hours of flight time. As I’m waiting for my flight I get the call. You know the one I can’t talk about: signed non-disclosure agreement and all. So, I get the call and I am asked to design up my dream job. So, I grab a napkin and draw up the idea with a pen I borrowed from some business guy. I shot the pic with my phone and emailed it to the head-editor-guy at the secret movie company and myself! I pull out my Modbook Pro and logged into my email for the pic as I wait for them to respond.

Oh, and the thing is they need it for the meeting I am heading to L.A. for.

“ If not for my Excalibur… there’d be no chance in hell I could get it done. ”

So, major time crunch. If not for my Excalibur (that’s what I call my trusted Modbook Pro), there’d be no chance in hell I could get it done. So I’m on the plane and the flight attendant is giving me that “turn off your phone or be catapulted from the plane” look. Seconds turn into seemingly hours when my phone finally rings and everyone looks at me like I have the plague.

“Go for it, Tommy!” says Editor Big Shot!

Finally, I’m allowed to pull out my Modbook Pro and get to work. Now, I am a traditional artist and work mostly in oils and acrylics, but I live in the present and a computer is a must. So why not have the best? I have worked on PC tablets, but nothing compares to having the power of a MacBook Pro and a full Cintiq in the form of a Modbook Pro in one’s hands, anywhere you go.

Now, let me tell you what I did. I took the pic and made it into a layer in Photoshop. Turned the layer into a multiply and started redrawing it clearer and detailed. It went from a napkin sketch to a full rendered black-and-white finished piece. So, I put on the Dr. Dre Beats Pro headphones my wife got for me, and I am off!

As my plane makes its way across country, layer after layer and the file grows and grows.

But here is the beauty: no lag, no freezing up. I find myself laughing at the power of this prize as the art comes to life. I worked on the art for the next five hours. And my Modbook Pro’s battery held its own the whole time!

“ Nothing compares to having the power of a MacBook Pro and a full Cintiq… in one’s hands, anywhere you go. ”

I love to create art, but I never knew I could also sing along out loud with my music as I make art. My wife just let me be and had fun watching people trying to see what I was painting… and what I was painting it on.

Unfortunately, I can’t share the art I made for said secret movie project yet, but I have included art that was made in the same fashion. From a simple idea on a napkin, to the state-of-the-art computer for a final piece. The Modbook Pro has become a mainstay in my artistic arsenal. If you take what you do seriously, then you have to decide if you will depend on the best or take your chances with mediocrity.

My name is Tommy Castillo, and I thank you for taking the time to check in and see what adventures a working pro and his Modbook Pro are up to next.

Thanks! Talk to you all again soon!

Tommy Castillo

Don’t miss Part 2 of this Artist Feature Story, in which Tommy finishes his adventure in the City of Angels. Sign up for our newsletter!

Tommy Castillo
About Tommy Castillo
Veteran artist, writer, illustrator and comic book creator Tommy Castillo has worked on an eclectic array of projects, including Legends of the Dark Knight, Batman Detective and Dragons, Myths and Mayhem. His latest, The Darkside of Oz, is a dark reimagining of L. Frank Baum’s fantasy world.
Want to talk about your experiences using the Modbook Pro? Let us know and we’ll post it here!

Modbook Pro Resources:

The Modbook Pro is an enclosure conversion kit that transforms an original Apple MacBook Pro notebook-style computer into a tablet-style computer. Apple Inc.’s warranty on the MacBook Pro base system is voided by the conversion and replaced with the Modbook Pro Protection Plan, which covers the entire hardware solution, including the base system.
Modbook and the Modbook logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Modbook Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Apple and MacBook are trademarks or registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Wacom and Cintiq are trademarks or registered trademarks of Wacom Co., Ltd. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Adobe and Photoshop are trademarks or registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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