Saturday, December 26, 2009

Caricatures and Non-Traditional Portraiture

Does anyone remember a couple of summers back, when the Simpsons Movie was doing a promotion where you could create a Simpsons style character of yourself? Or really, anytime there are celebrities featured on cartoon programs? Or even seeing different styles of animation mashed together?

I love the idea of drawing people I know, not just making up characters. I am used to traditional portraiture, drawing and photographing from observation, but I'm about to try creating caricatures and cartoonizing portraits. My new plan is to draw people I know in a caricatured fashion. Not so much about exaggerated physical features, but with personality traits, interests, (and how I see them).

Leaving you with a fantastic illustrator, Ed Wexler, who has done several drawings for The Hollywood Reporter, and has a pretty exciting portfolio of portraiture.


Best Imitation of Myself - Ben Folds

Who Are You? - The Who

Express Yourself - Charles Wright and The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band (Mocean Worker Remix)

P.S. Illustration Month Starts January 1st!

P.P.S. Thanks to Stereogum/Pitchfork/MTVNews for the image, and Matt Groening for the awesome.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gjon Mili, Stroboscopy, and Light Painting

Gene Kelly's Grand Jeté, Picasso Drawing With Light, by Gjon Mili.

Gjon Mili's one of my photography heroes. He photographed for LIFE magazine, and did a lot of work with stroboscopy, showing whole series of movements on a single frame instead of one movement on a freeze frame. This breathed new energy into formerly still portrait photography. It also utilized long-term-exposures, one of my favorite techniques in photography. His work was the inspiration for several of my light paintings (I like the neon-esque effects).

Video: Gene Kelly Dancing with Stewie and Jerry

Bonus Video: Lightpaint Piano Player - Ryan Cashman (Thanks to the folks at Drawn! for this.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Have You Heard? Earplug Earrings!

I love kitschy things and found-object earrings. Whether decorating your ears with zippers, Legos, Rubix Cubes, or bacon, there's no end to what can adorn your earlobes.

Recently, I've gone to several concerts where the sound systems were rather deafening. How convenient would it be to have your earplugs handy at a time like that?


No Diggity - Blackstreet

I Can Hear Music
- The Beach Boys

I Heard It Through The Grapevine
- Marvin Gaye

Heard Them Stirring - Fleet Foxes

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Reading List of Phenomenal Art Books

I love artbooks. And now, I'd like to present my favorites in...

A Reading List of Phenomenal Art Books:

An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers - Danny Gregory

Over and Over: A Catalog of Hand-Drawn Patterns - Michael Perry

Hand Job: A Catalog of Type - Michael Perry

National Geographic Image Collection - National Geographic, Michelle Anne Delaney, and Maura Mulvihill

Through the Lens:
National Geographic Greatest Photographs - National Geographic and Leah Bendavid-Val

Design for Obama - Posters for Change: A Grassroots Anthology - Steven Heller, Aaron Perry-Zucker, and Spike Lee

The Art Book - Phaidon Press

The Photo Book - Phaidon Press

The Arrival - Shaun Tan

1000 Record Covers - Michael Ochs

And anything published by Taschen or Phaidon.


Wrapped Up In Books - Belle and Sebastian

SOFA so Good!

Chicago recently held the SOFA (Sculpture Objects and Functional Art) conference. Held at Navy Pier, it featured works from ceramic and glass artists from around the globe. It was really fascinating to see what everyone was making out of essentially the same few basic materials. Glass, clay, and wood are extremely versatile. And the Corning Museum of Glass was doing demonstrations with their own portable hot shop!

Artists' work pictured here: Lauren Kalman, Kurt Weiser, Anne Lemanski, and Anna Williams.

A Playlist for SOFA: Songs/Videos:

Sofa Song - The Kooks

A Spoonful Weighs a Ton - The Flaming Lips
Lip Gloss - Lil Mama

Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me) - Paul McCartney and Wings
You Ain't No Picasso - Bishop Allen

Jaws Theme - John Williams
Fins - Jimmy Buffett

Talking Bird
- Death Cab for Cutie
Lullaby of Birdland - Ella Fitzgerald

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Illustration Month

I'm starting up Illustration Month. After hearing a friend talk about NaNoWriMo, I was intrigued by the concept, but would much rather illustrate a novel than write one.

From the Blog:

Inspired by NaNoWriMo and the 24-Hour Comic Marathon, Illustration Month runs from January 1st to January 31st, 2010.

The Premise: To illustrate, using the media of your choice, a novel, continuing news story, or any piece of literature in the span of one month.

The Process: You can draw, paint, photograph, print, sculpt, sew, or digitally create your images. Sculpt with clay, draw with ink, flamework with glass, or photograph with a DSLR or a point-and-shoot.

The Presentation: Document your work for yourself and post it on the blog if you’d like to share your images.

I'm really excited about this. Check out the Facebook page, too.


Every Picture Tells a Story - Rod Stewart

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Have an Etsy Now.

I have set up my Etsy shop at last.

I'm going to celebrate with Ninjasonik.


Art School Girls - Ninjasonik

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Recently I went to the Art Institute of Chicago and got a chance to see some of the famous work of Neon/Video/Sculpture artist Bruce Nauman. I was floored by the amount of neon letter work he has done over the years. After having studied different techniques of neon bending, I have an enormous appreciation for anyone who can create numerous uniformed letters out of glass.

I had heard of his neon work before, but not his video or sculpture. I was actually frustrated trying to watch his clown video piece, although he accurately conveyed the mood he had intended with that piece.

His neon, however, is presented in an easy-to-read manner, with an overwhelming attention to detail and craft. He was featured on the wonderful PBS program Art:21, which explores the work, lives, and processes of modern-day artists.

Bruce Nauman's work is intense, both visually and emotionally, and his technique is inspiring to neon students all over, and this neon bender is no exception.


Life In Technicolor
- Coldplay

That's Life
- Frank Sinatra

Human - The Killers

Death - White Lies

Modern Nature - Sondre Lerche

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hey Snow White...

I tend to go a little line-heavy when I draw, almost to the point where shadows overtake the drawing, and values become hard to read. So, I drew a reminder for myself.


Hey Snow White - The New Pornographers

Uptight (Everything's Alright)
- Stevie Wonder

It's Alright - Huey Lewis and the News

The Kids are Alright
- The Who

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dante's Inferno. The Movie.

Recently I mentioned Sandow Birk. He recreated Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy with images and wrote/produced a film adaptation of the Inferno. I saw a screening of it back at Alfred, and was thoroughly impressed. Its the story of Dante's journey through the various circles of Hell, told with hand drawn puppets. The artistry is very detailed, using numerous puppets with different expressions for each character. I really like his style of drawing (gotta love line work), and the painstaking effort to set the story in the present. Check it out.


La Damnation of Faust
- Hector Berlioz

Requiem for O.M.M.2 - of Montreal

Requiem: Rex Tremendae - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Two Lost Souls - Gwen Verdon and Tab Hunter (From Damn Yankees, song starts at 3:15)

Bonus! Two Lost Souls - The Muppets: Sweetums and Robin (From Damn Yankees)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Draw Me Lines, Draw Me Sweet Little Lines

I recently discovered Micron Pens. They have absurdly tiny points, this one being a 005 pen. Great for detailed, Sandow Birk-esque drawings, although the pen didn't last too long (about a week and a half from usage and pressure).

Here are more of my Illustrations by Request Series... seahorses and shetland ponies.

Songs/Videos to Match:

Tell Me Lies
- Fleetwood Mac

Bestia - Hello Seahorse

My Rifle, My Pony, and Me - Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson

The General Specific
- Band of Horses

Dig a Pony - The Beatles

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Did You See the Words?

I usually use this blog to talk about my own artwork, but I'd like to talk about some other artists and designers whose work I am excited about as well. Today's artist is Yulia Brodskaya, who's getting a lot of web-press for her beautiful and meticulous word-crafting (out of paper!). Thanks to the folks at Wooster Collective for showcasing her work. I like the way Yulia plays with negative space in her embellishments of simple words and phrases. It's old fashioned illuminated text re-wrought for the modern design world.


Did You See the Words?
- Animal Collective

Paper Planes - MIA

Paper Planes - I'm From Barcelona (not an MIA cover)

The Word
- The Beatles

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Everything Leads to Chuck Berry - Six Degrees of Music Separation, Part 2

Here's Part 2 of the Six Degrees of Music Separation Playlists. Today's list proves that everything relates to Chuck Berry, whether its Back to the Future or Lily Allen. All links lead to YouTube.

Chinese (Lily Allen Cover) - Capital Children's Choir

Naive (The Kooks Cover) - Lily Allen

Violet Hill (Coldplay Cover) - The Kooks

You Only Live Twice (Nancy Sinatra Cover) - Coldplay

Run for Your Life (The Beatles Cover)
- Nancy Sinatra

Roll Over Beethoven (Chuck Berry) - The Beatles

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Know Your Onion! - Six Degrees of Music Separation, Part 1

I love cover songs. Standards are set, revisited, and transformed through covers. These interpretations can all be linked together by Six Degrees of Music Separation.
(Thanks to Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good for the idea.)

From Beck to Fleetwood Mac, All links lead to YouTube, unless noted:

Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games (of Montreal Cover) - Beck (HypeMachine)

Know Your Onion! (The Shins Cover)
- of Montreal

We Will Become Silhouettes (The Postal Service Cover)
- The Shins

Against All Odds (Peter Gabriel Cover) - The Postal Service

Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (Vampire Weekend Cover) - Hot Chip and Peter Gabriel

Everywhere (Fleetwood Mac Cover) - Vampire Weekend

Monday, October 5, 2009

Illustrations by Request

I wanted to get back to drawing, and I like having an assignment to work on. I asked friends what they'd like me to sketch.

Here's the results of round one. An octopus, the chest-burst scene from Alien, potatoes in a frying pan, and the Chicken vs. Egg question.


Octopus's Garden
- The Beatles (YouTube)

Let's Call The Whole Thing Off - Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong (YouTube)

Hello My Baby - Michigan J. Frog (YouTube)

A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off
- The Magnetic Fields (imeem)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

They're Found in Koala-walla Washington.

I made a koala bear cake. It is both delicious and awesome.


Mahna Mahna - Cake

Australia - The Shins (YouTube)

Mr. Violin and Dancing Bear - Page France

Dancing Bear - The Mamas and the Papas (YouTube)

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear (YouTube)

Bros - Panda Bear

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Nickelodeon's Orange Spectrum

My final semester at Alfred I took a class called Drawn to Diversity. It explores diversity, in all forms, in animation, comic books, and advertising. The program presents for fellow students, for kids' schools, and at Comic Conventions. Our class focused on animation, and specifically, I studied Nickelodeon, the children's television channel.

Nickelodeon's Orange Spectrum, my video.

You can also see it on Youtube at


Orange World - Jake Shimabukuro (YouTube)

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Alfred University presented a light show Friday night during the Glass Art Society's conference in Corning, NY. The Corning Museum of Glass is a hot spot for all glass enthusiasts, including my flameworking-friend Ruth and I. The student glass exhibit was fantastic and the light show was beautiful.

I entered two of my pieces, the Basket starfish and the Shrimp.


59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) - Simon and Garfunkel (YouTube)

Blinded by the Light - Bruce Springsteen (YouTube)

For the full set of pictures, see my Facebook (friends only).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hope You're Handy. Hands down. I've Got to Hand it to You.


This is my drawing for this weeks' Illustration Friday topic: Cracked.

I really want to get back into drawing. I like textures, and want to render the detailed texture of skin. Here's a starter. Stay tuned for more zoomed-in drawings.

Clap Hands - Beck (Video)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Senior Shows!

Senior Shows went very well. My fabulous show partner, Jodi Veeder, made beautiful, meditative, computer-programmed animations. I made a number of bioluminescent sea creatures. From the Show:Basket Starfish.




Spiny Starfish.

Danger! High Voltage! - Electric Six

She's Electric - Oasis

Energy - The Apples in Stereo

Keep Fishin' - Weezer

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stuffed Shrimp

I am making a jumbo shrimp light. It is a plush shrimp that will have EL wire sewn onto it.

Here is the shrimp before adding the light:

"Hold Tight (Want Some Seafood Mama)"
- The Andrews Sisters (Youtube)
(The Fats Waller version is pretty nice, too.)