Pick a card—this one please! I’ve entered a contest with Playing Arts, maker of artistic playing cards. Each deck features the work of 55 artists from around the world, and I hope to represent the 3 of Clubs in the next deck. I need your vote!
Follow this link, and click like– kthx!
I’m doing a thing—one of those 30 day challenges everyone goes on about, but I’ve never been able to complete. This time, however, I think I’ve got it—I have an accountabil-a-buddy, a co-challenger with which to share, brainstorm, and critique. And that’s important.
It all started when we went to hear illustrator Sarah Lawrence speak about the project that made her famous, Draw Shit Everyday, in which she handlettered the same four-letter word every day for a year.
So, for the month of July, while Kristin explores ampersands, I’m doing #30daysofBowie. Each day, I choose a song from David Bowie’s vast repertoire and I spend anywhere from 15 minutes to 8 hours drawing out the title or a line from the song. My goal is to generate a big ol’ pile of sketches and ideas that I can further develop and refine into final pieces next month. And I’m experimenting with lettering styles and techniques as well, and also (happily) becoming increasingly obsessed with The Man in the process.
Check out the project so far.
Tom Robbins has been one of my favorite authors for many, many moons. Villa Incognito is one of his newest books. It’s got all the familiar Robbins tropes—the distinct spicy flavor and colorful phrasing, outlandish plots and kooky characters… but sadly, the story doesn’t really hold together very well. Tom was quite advanced in age at the time of Villa’s writing (2003); and since he’s previously written many a brilliant and delightful book in his career, he will be forgiven for …this hot mess.
Tom was still kickin’ it in the Pacific Northwest last time I checked. Hope what I said about this book doesn’t get back to him. I love Tom, I do. See how I put his name down at the bottom with the tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog/trickster spirit)? That’s my tribute, see.
If you’ve never before read a Robbins, don’t start with this book. Get you some Skinny Legs & All, or Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, or Another Roadside Attraction, anything from that era.
Truth be told, I stalled out on this bookcover, having finished the book months ago—but I had no ideas whatsoever, and was overwhelmed with a certain malaise of disappointment and inertia. And weirdly, I felt like I couldn’t move on and read another book until I’d fulfilled my commitment to draw a cover for this one. Afterall,
…a promise one makes to oneself hurts twice as much when it’s broken.
And now I am finally free to move on to the next great read, yay!
I have a rather visceral reaction to taxidermy, always have. Nevertheless, I went to the American Museum of Natural History in New York a couple of months ago. The museum itself is a walk through time, as much a museum of museums as of natural history. One can see the evolution of exhibit design while moving through the halls in endless ancient didactic displays and forays into educational design, and always, always—taxidermy.
The place is immense; we all but ran through as much as we could in 5-6 hours and only saw about 40% of AMNH’s offerings. The gift shops are very high quality—some of the best I’ve found in NYC. I have a rather visceral reaction to museum gift shops too, but on the opposite end of the Spectrum of Feels from taxidermy.
A few of my friends and I get together on the semi-reg for Nerd Nights, in which we build a blanket fort in my living room, project Star Wars movies on the wall and eat themed food. Last May the Fourth, we had some delicious pulled bantha meat and womp rat skewers. We always play the mustache game during the movies, in which we each place a paper mustache on the screen. When a character lines up with it, we giggle maniacally and take a drink. We are nerds, and we have fun.
This is Imogene. Lest she be forgotten—for alas, we hardly knew ya—this post is a loving tribute to the cutest sloth I’ve made so far. Barely 2 months old at the time of her adoption, she’d only been in the Etsy shop for a few weeks. I shipped her out to Chicago yesterday. *a single tear*
Imogene is sewn from upholstery fabric found in the remnant bin at the craft store and a bathrobe bought on clearance and worn once to a costume party. So… ahem. This sloth is made from couch and bathrobe—literally made of lazy.
Imogene’s pattern is of my own design—I’m sort of making up these critters up as I go along, letting the patterns evolve through trial and error. I’m currently working on an otter, because otters are cool. I’ll probably also start another sloth this weekend, as I only have one left in the shop and they’re pretty popular right now.
In my ongoing fascination with animals doing people things, I give you Boys Who Brunch, a cut paper collage featuring all recycled materials: paint chips, security envelope, greeting card envelope, hang tag from a screwdriver set, and a magazine page.
I really should do more like this.
Inspired by a recent visit to the Pinball Museum in Asheville, NC, where I followed a friend around as he played, making chirpy noises about the lights and graphics and themes and all the binga-ding-ding crazy whirliness and hey-neat-o things that they do… and bemoaning the distinct and poignant lack of cat-themed pinball machines in the world.
The Pinball Museum is a magical place, and they have like, ALL the machines.
But not a single one is cat-related. Sad.
Finally, the next installment in my Book Report project (in which I endeavor to illustrate every book I read in 2016); I actually finished reading this book several weeks ago and I’ve spent much too long dawdling about on the illustration.
Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a charming little tale by Salman Rushdie, with a distinctly Indian flavor. I love Rushdie’s writing—I can hear the accents in his dialog, and smell the curries in the air. He paints a lovely wordscape and vivid, vibrant characters to populate it. In the right hands, this story would make a great animated film.
Instead of drawing multiple small covers like I’ve done before, this time I drew one full-page, rather elaborate doodle in marker, pens, and color pencils. I wasn’t completely thrilled with the overall effect, so I worked with it a bit in Photoshop. Still not 100% satisfied—the photoshopping is a bit too obvious, methinks, but it’s better. There’s a lot going on there; I really like the various parts of it, just not all together. I can hear my inner Art Director telling me to make the bird bigger, and simplify, simplify, simplify.
I paid off my car three weeks ago, which means that, precisely two weeks ago, every scary warning light on my dashboard started lighting up like a pinball machine. I dropped the car off Friday, and the mechanic pronounced it totally unsafe to drive.
Somehow though, the planets aligned with the Julian calendar and my work schedule to allow me a four day weekend with no car, no obligations, and no Valentine. These being the perfect conditions for a creative storm of making and sewing, I took full advantage of the solitude.
I made a new cat– Snickers, designed and made a new sloth (sloth 2.0)– Moe, made a faux leather pillow for my couch– BlackStar, and started a David Bowie doll with his own little leather jacket made from scraps. Snickers and Moe are available in my etsy shop. The Bowie stuff is MINE.