Old Holiday Cards
I was going through some old stuff in my closet and I found these holiday cards I made back in 1997 and 1998. In those days I used to make hand made cards every year, each one depicting me with glasses and facial hair. I would then have them printed on card stock. The original cards were entirely hand painted and the decorative lettering was created by gluing down cut paper. The dot patterns were made with Letraset sticky film. I haven’t done many holiday cards since then but seeing these makes me kind of want to do them again.
Posted December 5, 2011 Tags: Hand Type
Welcome to another peak inside my sketchbooks. I’ve decided to no longer set the sketchbook posts for Wednesdays. Instead, I’ll just put them up whenever I have something to share.
In this week’s installment, I present a bunch of rough sketches I did for a sports themed illustration. As you can see by my sloppy attempts to draw ball players, I don’t know much about sports.
(Click them to enlarge.)
Posted September 30, 2011 Tags: Sketch
Things I Collect: Vintage Skull Mugs
These days, skulls on anything are as ubiquitous as Hello Kitty (and about as scary). But I’ve always enjoyed them as an icon and one of my collections is old skull shaped mugs. Turns out there are many out there to be had. I try not to spend much money on mine but a few of mine are rare and I’ve seen similar ones on ebay for close to $500. I just use them to hold my drawing tools and things like that. Sometimes they have funny sayings on them as seen in my “Good Health” and “Spirit Drinker” mugs. One of them is really not so much a mug, but rather a glass candle holder by Kosta Boda. Here’s a tip: don’t buy that one. I had a candle burning in it for a while and suddenly it split right in two and spilled wax all over my drawing table. I repaired it with some kind of crazy epoxy.
Sketchbook Wednesdays 09-07-11
This week’s sketchbook example is about the sketchbooks themselves. A while back I mentioned that I had started making my own sketchbooks because I can never find ones that are just the right weight and paper that I like. I had begun just stitching them together by hand and then running some cloth tape or some interesting paper down the spines to further bind then and conceal the stitches. But recently my lovely partner K. figured out that she could make them nicely and rapidly on her industrial strength sewing machine. She’s experimented with a few paper stocks and a few light cover stocks. Here are a few examples without the tape binding added yet. You can see the fine row of stitches that holds them together beautifully. “Real” book binders often create so called signatures, combining stacks of smaller groupings of folded paper. But with this sewing machine method, it’s not really necessary or feasible to do it that way. Anyway, I’m excited about the possibilities. The covers are just waiting to be decorated or screen printed or whatever. Now if I can only find an ounce or two of inspiration and energy to put something inside them….
Posted September 7, 2011 Tags: Sketch
Sketchbook Wednesdays 08-31-11
Hello, scribble fans. This week I introduce to you a couple characters I’m working on for a card I’m designing. More on that later. Here we have Lucky, the lucky pony and Valentine, the love letter carrying bird. If you get a visit from either of these two, you’re not doing half bad. I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of them. Thanks for looking.
Posted August 31, 2011 Tags: Sketch
Things I Collect: Flattened Pennies
I collect all sorts of stuff but perhaps one of the weirder obsessions is flattened pennies. They come from a do it yourself machine which usually costs about $.50 to use. You put in your two quarters and a penny and turn a big crank. Sometimes it lets you choose from a few designs such as images of the Empire State Building or slogans like, “good luck.”
Some collectors are way more particular about it than I am. I don’t really care where they come from or anything like that. If I see one of those machines, even on the throughway, I get flat pennies. Avid collectors call them ‘elongated coins’ and you can learn more here, for example.
True story: when I was a kid, my friend and I figured out that if we pounded a nickel with a hammer, we could flatten it to the size of a quarter and some vending machines would take them.
So I guess flattening coins has always been in my blood.
You can click to enlarge these photos and derive hours of pleasure from them as I do.
The Boy Who Wouldn’t Eat His Breakfast
Among the things I collect are Golden-Books-era illustrated books. This one wasn’t put out by Golden Books but it recently caught my eye anyway. The main reason I noticed it is because the character looks like me! Don’t you think? I think anyone that knows me and/or my work would agree. The hair! The cuffed jeans! The striped socks! That’s me! When I saw this I almost couldn’t believe it. It was published in 1963 and, unfortunately, the illustrations are only so-so. I like the cover and inside covers the best. But come on! How much is that kid like me? Well, except that I eat my breakfast. Especially if it’s waffles. I’d kill a man for waffles. Or at least put him in the hospital.
Posted August 28, 2011 Tags: Treasure
Sketchbook Wednesday 08-24-11
For a few months this year, I was growing a big crazy beard. So now I’ve been experimenting with drawing myself with a furry face. Not sure I’m going to continue “bearding”, but here are a few sketches that have come out of it so far.
Posted August 24, 2011 Tags: Sketch
Sketchbook Wednesdays 08-17-11
This week it’s ‘before and after’, part 2. I went back through some work from earlier this year and collected a few sketches that came before more fleshed out works. In this case, the finished pieces are part of a larger personal project and were done mainly in acrylic on 4 inch square boards. Enjoy.
Posted August 17, 2011 Tags: Sketch
Sketchbook Wednesdays 08-10-11
This week it’s the before and after edition of Sketchbook Wednesdays. Besides acting as journals, most artist’s and designer’s sketchbooks serve to try out ideas that are often leading up to larger projects. When I’m working on designs or planning illustrations, I often draw a few takes on an idea before executing it in its final format. In these examples, you see the sketches and then the finished illustrations (acrylic on board). You’ll notice I often stick very closely to my sketches in the final pieces. Enjoy.
Sketchbook Wednesdays 8-03-11
Hello, art fans. Today’s installment of sketchbook scans includes a splash of color. Over three years ago, I treated myself to a new box of super high quality watercolors. They were so nice that I was afraid to use them so they just sat on my desk all this time. Last night I decided it was time to crack them out and color some little devils.
Right now I’m working on a series of drawing with certain letters of the alphabet. The D’s are devils and the M’s are mustaches. You can also see a couple of the S’s making their way in with skulls and snakes.
Click to view larger.
Sketchbook Wednesdays 7-27-11
Like most artists, when I’m working on an idea for a design or illustration, I draw it over and over again until I find whatever it is I’m looking for. Here are some sketches of me using a computer. Oh, and a few pigeons.
Click ‘em to enlarge.
Posted July 27, 2011 Tags: Sketch
Ok, art fans, one of my favorite pieces in my collection is this portrait of yours truly made in thread by my good friend, artist A. B. Bailey. She normally works in oils but a while back she did a small series of portraits using colored stitches in thick layers on canvas. In this portrait I’m wearing glasses and have a very short beard. This little art piece measures only about 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches. Crazy, right?
Posted July 26, 2011 Tags: Treasure
2268 Shoe that I Appreciate
I have what you can call an obsession with engineer boots (currently own four pairs). That’s the buckled boot often favored by bikers and that Marlon Brando wore in The Wild One, for example. For some reason, they have always struck me as the perfect boot. I started wearing them in college and it’s been a staple of my uniform ever since.
But I am very picky about my boots. It is very hard to find ones that are well designed and well made any more. For years I wore a Carolina boot with steel toe. I like the way the steel toe gives a bit more roundness to the boot. But, like so many things in USA, the quality of that shoe has gone down over the years. You can find vintage ones here and there but they usually go for hundreds of dollars. Frye makes a pretty nice one. I like its slope heel but it doesn’t have a steel toe.
Eventually I settled on the Red Wing 2268. It does so much right. The steel toe, the terrific pinched/slope heel and the leather quality itself. Problem with the 2268 is that it is hard to get. For some reason, it’s only sold in foreign markets even though it’s made in the USA. I own two pairs of them, both of which I had to special order from different vendors.
Another thing about the Red Wing is it’s not what I’d call a “comfort shoe.” It is brutally stiff and, since I walk around a lot, my feet often hurt at the end of the day. But, as I often say, style is not about being comfortable. When I die, please bury me in these.
Sketchbook Wednesdays 7-20
Owls and skulls are always cool and lately I’ve been really digging them. Here are a few takes on owls and some other random scribbles from my sketchbook, as if you care. If you live in an urban area like I do, your senses are probably bombarded by juvenile scrawls everywhere you look. Anyway, show some love for my hand-bound sketchbook that I made, all you DIYers!
Click ‘em to enlarge.
Memento Mori Ring
I came across the fantastic work of Nick Postash about two years ago and immediately made up my mind to commission a bad-ass ring from him as soon as I could. Here is the “memento mori” (from Latin meaning, essentially, “Remember you will die”) ring he designed for me. The skull reminds us of our mortality and to cherish the moment. The wings represent freedom. The heart represents strength or courage or…heart. And the red gems are just…um…added bad-assery. Check out the other fine work on Nick’s blog. Terrific stuff.
Posted July 17, 2011 Tags: Treasure
Sketchbook Wednesdays 7-13
I always enjoy looking at the sketchbooks of other artists and designers. Besides the intimate look inside, there’s an energy and quality in sketches that doesn’t always exist in more “finished” works. I always have at least one sketchbook in the works and have been keeping them for decades.
I’ve recently started making my own sketchbooks because I simply couldn’t find one that is the right weight and feel for me. I begin with some heavy stock, cut it to size and then stitch together a stack of the drawing paper I like. Once it’s all stitched together, I add an extra strip of heavy craft paper or whatever glued to the spine to conceal the stitches. They are quite sturdy, the weight is excellent, and the possibilities to customize them are endless. So, here are a few of the chaotic doodles that fill my sketchbooks.
Many of these are studies for illustrations or designs I was working on. More to come.