http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1zw0NSVcCs This made me laugh so hard. Yeah it's a little mean (--especially the baby name part! I laughed, but as a new mom (not to mention, as a lady with a "unique" name,) also cringed. Geez Billy…) But basically, the manic screaming and general aggressiveness won me over. Ha.
So who's seen the Calvin and Hobbes documentary, Dear Mr. Watterson?? Did you love it? (No surprise I'm pretty excited about it.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRnnGfuS4vU
I think we're gonna wait and try to see it in our local theater, but apparently you can order it now as well. Which is tempting. You can hear a short interview with the director here on NPR.
Also, did you see this interview with him? The first one in years. Get the whole thing in the December issue of Mental Floss.
I can't say enough about Calvin & Hobbes. Like many of you, I grew up devouring them. With my cousins and siblings we'd spend meals quoting and riffing off our favorites. I read C.S Lewis' The Screwtape Letters after learning Mrs. Wormwood was named after a character. I was furious when Watterson announced his plans to retire the comics. My 16 year old self took it personally and frankly, thought him lazy to desire a less demanding schedule. (Of course, I relate to this now.) Creatively, his work had a huge influence on me. His technical skill, combined with wit, dry humor, and spot-on childhood observances, continues to inspire. So it's no surprise I love this piece by Gavin Aung Than at Zen Pencils that illustrates the fabulous commencement speech Watterson gave at Kenyon in 1990. As my husband and I start our own family, beginning to navigate that with working for ourselves, this becomes all the more poignant and timely to me.
I find routines really soothing-- the less decision making regarding what-to-do-next, the better. I'm constantly trying to perfect mine.
When I first started working from home I was obsessed with reading about other people's daily routines. How did they structure their day? How many hours did they work? Did they make time for themselves and family? I still find it really interesting.
Here are some links about Daily Routines
- Cup of Jo: Joanna interviewed a number women about juggling kids and creative careers-- some from home.
- Daily Routines: How writers, artists, and other interesting people organize their days.
- From the Happiness Project.
What about you? Any tips? What does your daily routine look like?
Poster by MySweetPrints.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFs9WO2B8uI] Found this clip on TED the other day:
Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist describes the real differences between the left and right halves of the human brain. It's not simply "emotion on the right, reason on the left," but something far more complex and interesting.
Plus its animated! ( by RSA Animate.)
Did you guys catch this hilarious SNL skit a couple weeks ago?
It made me laugh so hard.
The back story is that it was the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and in honor of the occasion, a Pennsylvania newspaper, Patriot News, issued a 150-year-old apology to President Abraham Lincoln for calling his Gettysburg Address “silly remarks.”
Um... any day now! I kept meaning to officially announce it, or something, on the wee blog here, but clearly that never happened. (Though if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you might have seen the above photo from a couple weeks ago.) Anyways, now that I'm officially on self-imposed (forced) maternity leave, and past our due date (or "guess date" as they say in the wonderful Hypno Babies class we took,) I feel like I have time to post such things...
I've rounded up some fun things that will automatically post, so this space will stay active even while we're hibernating with our new little chicken. I'll try to pop in with a baby update as soon as there is one:)
Wish us luck on our latest adventure!
Have you guys seen this crazy commercial featuring none other than Mr Jean Claude Van Damme? (Oh, and Enya. Natch.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7FIvfx5J10
Also the prettiest vehicle commercial I've seen in a long time, no?
(Here's a behind the scenes video, that I found hilarious, of the director explaining the stunt to Van Damme: "So the trucks will move apart and you'll do a split, mmkay?" Oh sure, no problem. Ha.)
I need to update the blog with all the work (that I'm really happy with!) from the Make Art That Sells class, but first I wanted to post about the Oh My! Handmade Goodness Calendar project!
2014 COMMUNITY LETTERPRESS CALENDAR
The OMHG community wants to spend 2014 with you + your friends & family! For our first Oh My product you can actually hold in your hands, we teamed up in our forums to create a letterpress calendar focused on the theme of community. 12 of our members (cheered on by everyone) created diverse and beautiful art that represents what community means to each of us.
This is a community funded project and we are offering 85 pre-sale calendars at flat rate shipping to the US & Canada to raise printing costs. Give the gift of community this year by being one of our first supporters! Click here for more details.
Looks gorgeous, right? Pre-order your limited edition copy here!
Part B of the Lilla Rogers class, Make Art That Sells, is starting this Monday and I have a confession to make: I realized the other day that I was dreading it. Uh what?
Yep, you read that correctly.
Fast forward to last week, when my fellow classmates all started bubbling with excitement over the impending beginning of Part B. It couldn't come soon enough for them! Meanwhile I was using words like "impending" and maybe "looming" when I thought about it. And I was ashamed to feel that way. What was wrong with me? Why am I being so lame? As a creative person, this should be like unlimited ice cream sundaes for five weeks. And instead, I'm dreading it?? WTF, Gaia?
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly...
I've been invited to participate in The Next Big Thing blog tour by my friend-- illustrator, animator and writer-- Greg Matusic! (Read about his hilarious upcoming book Pirates Go Shopping here!) Thanks Greg! The tour is supposed to bring awareness to authors & illustrators and whatever they're currently working on. I'll answer ten questions below and then tag three illustrators/authors you all should check out! So let's get started:
Week 3 focused on the picture book's market! Hooray, my favorite! Easy-peasy, rainbows and sparkles, right? Well, I thought so too, so I decided to not work in my own style, but to try something different. To experiment. Well, I gave myself a run for my money, that's for sure. Our main assignment ended up being a spread or cover of the story The Snail and The Rose Tree by Hans Christian Andersen. Lilla wanted us to focus on expressive characters, color story, and hand drawn type --if we had time. I chose to do a spread. Mary Blair, one of my (and everyone's!) favorites was talked about a lot. I was thrilled.
I wanted to play with the following new-to-me elements:
- flat, graphic shapes
- "cute" large eyed characters
- negative space
- limited color palette (so hard for me!)
- no pencil lines
- retro details
Lilla provided us with vintage book covers for inspiration and I gathered my own as well:
Last weekend we visited old friends in New York City for a few days. We hadn't been in SO long, so the whole thing was such a treat. On Saturday, my friend Lila (who is an amazing artist,) and I visited the MOMA to check out the Rain Room exhibit. Sadly, the member's line was over 4 hours long(??!) so that didn't happen. Sob. But of course the rest of the museum was wonderful. Since I'm taking the MATS class I've been thinking a lot about color, negative space etc. --Here are some random pics I took of color/pattern/texture inspiration for me. Series of monoprints with collage additions by Charlene von Heyl, 2007:
Ellsworth Kelly, 1951:
Diagrams of microchips (?!) from Hewlett-Packard and AT&T. (The prints were about 4x4 feet and were stunning.)
I guess I should apologize for all the crappy photos/lighting, but just believe me when I say the colors were completely awesome. Aaand, fellow classmates, look what I found in the store:
We're working on week 4 right now and I wanted to just quickly post these color studies. I was supposed to collect yellow, green and neutral colored items from around my house. I have tons of vintage paper and it was so fun to go through it!
I took a bunch of photos of green and yellow objects in the house as well, but I haven't uploaded them yet... We find out our assignment tomorrow and we'll see how we'll use all this!
For week 2, the market focus was home decor and our assignment was to design a couple plates that could be used as a collection. I drew lots of pods and "non-traditional" florals, mostly with a brush pen, for the first couple days.
Then, for my final plates, decided to work in "my style"-- pencil drawings, layered in Photoshop, with pops of colors. I don't usually work in this market, so it felt fresh and new to me.
I started out with this:
That turned into:
I liked where it was going, but the colors were tripping me up, so I moved on (without finishing it) to what became the design I submitted:
It didn't end up getting chosen for review, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out. The two plates don't quite work together as one collection. But I think if I adjust the colors in the first one, and uh, actually finish the design, they could work together nicely. I'd like to make one more coordinating piece as well.
The biggest thing that stuck with me in Lilla's overall critique of this project last week, was making sure that your design comes across small. Nine times out of ten, the buyer/client will be initially looking at your image in a tiny format-- a thumbnail on your site, or a shop online, a catalog etc. The basic composition has to be be visually interesting and graphic enough to grab them.-- To make them want to see the big version, with all the details.
This sounds obvious to me now, but it caused a huge shift in me. And as much as I love this design, it really isn't all that powerful as a small image. (She suggested we "test" it as 1 inch x 1 inch --the size of a promo button:)
Ironically, the design I started with, has a bit more punch as a small image, due to the large shapes/graphic background. It would have had even more if I had finished it and added in the pink color:
Anyways, it's something I've been trying to keep in mind ever since.
Children's Books, Week 3 next!
I mentioned a few months ago that I signed up for Lilla Roger's Make Art That Sells Class and it started last week! I'm really trying to use the class to get out of my comfort zone and explore other mediums that I don't really get to play with on a regular basis anymore. That said, I feel pretty out of practice, so I decided to use each week's Monday exercise to experiment and then I'll do the final exercise (the one we submit) however I see fit. Seems like a good balance so far. Last Monday I played with pen and ink, water colors, collage, pencil drawing, and water-soluble color crayons. (Turns out, if you want to watercolor you should make sure you're brushes are in good shape. Mine stink. Forehead slap.)
I think I ended up liking the collage the best.
On to the main assignment. Here's the progression of my final piece. From pencil sketches, to inking, to coloring in Illustrator. (--Which I'm really trying to master. Photoshop is my comfort zone these days, but I'm working on creating pieces in Illustrator that actually have some texture and aren't too over the top vector-y. Still needs some work!)
Final colored piece:
Some coordinates to go with it.
And here's the final piece that I submitted:
Phew! Week 2 is already underway...
Have you heard of Stories We Tell? It's a new documentary by Sarah Polley about her late mother's affair. It looks wonderful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=A_8BnZ471GY#!
It reminds me a bit of this documentary, In A Dream. Which is one of my favorite films of all time: