April 29, 2010

Irezumi Ink Drawing

Irezumi for Quarto London's book on tattoo art

japanese ink on cold press paper // 9" x 12" 

I'm thinking about leaving my iTouch at home for my 4 days in New York. I'd like to think I can survive without the precious, warming glow of the internet.  What I do need is music for the hours of travel time...

Imagine!  Writing directions down on a slip of paper and putting it in my wallet!  Instead of jumping on HopStop and getting frustrated I can't type on this freakin' tiny keyboard...

» Sometimes I think about selling the iTouch and getting a really basic Shuffle just for music.  The only thing that keeps from doing it, is that the device has saved me twice now with client calls - being able to see proofs on the web while talking to them about it.

And yes, I looked like an idiot on the phone with an art director, fumbling with the iTouch web browser saying "Oh wait - I typed in the URL wrong... okay, now I see it..." trying to hold my cell with my shoulder.  But happily only Elaine at the museum front desk could see me.

Last weekend Andy took me to see the site of his old childhood home in Crown Hill.  It's since been torn down and there is a lovely park there. (top)  I have no memories of my first home in Boston, but my parent's house now was where I spent my teenage years, and I think it would be sad to see it go completely.  This yellow house is just a random nice home we saw in passing.

April 27, 2010

Irezumi for Quarto London

 finished art
 original sketch
Quarto Publishing of London contracted me a little while ago for some art in their new tattoo book coming out.  I've done a few tattoos in the past, but it was very cool to get the "Irezumi" assignment.

Irezumi is a style of traditional Japanese tattooing; in which a sharpened shoot of bamboo literally stabs ink into your skin. [ire = "to insert" + sumi = "ink"]  Yakuza (shhhh Japanese mob ...) often see full-body tattoos as a test of courage and dedication, since the process is incredibly painful.  These full-body tattoos often cost upwards of $30,000 (USD) and can take a lifetime to complete.

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In a few days I'll be back in Manhattan visiting some good friends, I'm very, very excited to see Misha and some SVA peeps from '03

The last time I was there, something wonderful happened.

I found these old pictures of Chinese New Year 2005 spent with Misha + Hilary on Canal St.

(I hope you guys don't mind me posting these, I think they are ah-dorable)

Hilary / nolita / 05

 Misha / 68th St / The Gales at Central Park / '05
Both of these ladies are astoundingly talented artists.  Misha illustrates + animates, she worked on that cool Sonia Bravia commercial when all the animated rabbits jump out of the TV. {Watch it here} Hilary makes the best comics ever - you should eat them up with your eyes.

April 24, 2010

The Farm Girl

Hey everybody, 

I was reminiscing about our 2008 roadtrip the other day.  Andy and I drove 3,000 miles round-trip from MA to Des Moines to see my grandparents, and I have to say, it was the greatest vacation of my life.  There aren't many people I can work with / live with / drive with for 12 hours / and not want to kill But Andy and I had a great time!  I posted day by day about it ...

I bring it up with this sketch because have been asked by a number of people about the kind of girls I like to draw; ... never really thought about it.  But looking at this sketch and some of my previous work, apparently I'm really drawn to sun-kissed farm girls with easy braids, sometimes sprinkling of freckles, and large, light eyes.  

My family's old farmhouse has a quiet, majestic Americana quality to it, so it's romanticized for me.

Interestingly enough, by this time next week I'll be in New York City visiting friends, which is like a second home to me, and about as far away from farm-nostalgia as possible.  (cue "Green Acres" theme song)

I've been eating massive amounts of cookies lately - pretty much eschew all other nutrients to fit in more cookie-time - my insides must look like a sugary mess.  It's late in the studio and I'm working on more pages of our Pirates of Mars graphic novel, and snuck in some vanilla macarons to munch on.  (Trader Joe's.... not bad)

If you are in Boston, please check out GET YOUR FREAK ON! at Space 242 gallery April 30th!

Lots of my super-amazing artist friends have work in, and I can't wait to see what they've created.

You can see my piece here, in a previous post ... Shalimar, the Snake Charmer

April 22, 2010

Rollerderby Logo

A few years ago, the Boston Derby Dames had approached me to do some of their poster designs, which was super fun.  I didn't realize that right around the corner in Worcester, some buddies of mine were competing with the Switchblade Sallies for the Central Mass. Derby League.  I was more than happy to work on their logo with them.  (Some preliminaries and the final)

I've never been to a roller derby bout - probably because I'm too afraid to watch.  But I wish them luck in their spring competition season!

I've been crazy busy with work lately, and Andy could tell I was running on empty this week, so he left me this present //

and that is one of the many reasons I'm marrying him.

Oh! and because he finds cool place to have breakfast, like Lucky's which is actually underground in the basement of an old mill, and looks like a romanticized French cafe ... I like their antique tea-wares

this is polenta, Andy thought I ordered "placenta"  ....

April 19, 2010

What to Wear - Rosettes + Slacks

H&M Rosette tank // vintage linen slacks // Jeffery Campbell patent heels

Last weekend Alexa and I made our way into downtown Boston, specifically so I could find this, from H&M's new Garden Collection.  It was their last one ♥  Why?  Because it looks an awful lot like a ModCloth dress I wanted to get married in, but was sold out ...

Close enough, eh?  So, wedding-excitement satiated, for now.  {But not really - let's do this thing!}


In comic-related news, how about a look at all the Pirates of Mars pages I've penciled so far!  This project has been very awesome for me, personally - working with a writer is definitely my niche.  When I draw my own stories, I have a tendency to get boring really fast.  The characters have no real voice, the story arch is more like a squiggly-line, et cetera ... 

Working with a writer pushes me into unfamiliar drawing territory.  I didn't grow up sketching complex, gigantic air ships engaging in sky wars.

I drew pretty girls.

Sitting in fields and stuff.

Which I guess I still do.......

Working with a writer makes me a better artist - drawing what is best for the story instead of images that come easy to me.  But - is it awesome that the main character is a pretty lady?


Whooo-wee!  60 down, 36 to go.  Feelin' good! 

April 17, 2010

Subconscious Shoes

You can tell a lot about a person from what they doodle.

I read in a sociology book that teenagers will usually doodle their names in notebooks over and over. It's meant to be a subconscious way of trying to figure out their identity. One of my SVA teachers, Thomas Woodruff, used to doodle entire alphabets in different fonts while talking on the phone. Andy likes to draw Batman when he is thinking about something, and it seems that I, oh yes, have an obsession with vintage shoes.

When I'm working on comic book pages for Pirates (I know I don't talk about that project as much as I should, but I don't want to give away any spoilers before it's release!) I often get stuck trying to decide on a shot or angle for a particular panel. As I think about it, I'm sketching unrelated stuff on the side.

Here are my doodles while trying to work out other visual problems :

I finally got Photoshop CS3!   
 My clients were starting to think I wound up my computer 
with an alan wrench and/or lived in the digital dark ages

Here are some with a quick color treatment ...
These are all loosely based on : Seychelles, See by Chloe, Marc by Marc Jacobs and 80% 20%

In other news ... 

I was struck by a new Dior advertisement recently, found while walking through Copley.  I'm not really into high-fashion, but I am into old movies, and I was thought I was doing a Lauren Bacall double-take, but instead it was 17 year old Karlie Kloss

Way to go, Dior, going all "To Have and Have Not" on us! (below // Lauren Bacall is 19 here)

Bacall - original cool

Lauren Bacall fell in love with Humphrey Bogart on the set of this movie, and quite literally, you can actually watch two people growing smitten with each other!  Quelle romantique! 

April 15, 2010

Shalimar - the Snake Charmer

I completed a piece for SPACE 242's upcoming show "Get Your Freak On!", featuring all side-show themed artworks.

I am very happy with this piece; usually I draw and re-draw endlessly to get the idea where I want it, but this one just went down on paper and I didn't bother to lose sleep over it.  Hopefully it doesn't seem sparse or ill-designed.

This piece will be for sale at SPACE 242 BOSTON starting at the end of April.  

I'll post more of the show details next week ...

April 12, 2010

Spring in Boston

It's spring in Boston again!

Andy and I crawled out of our cave- er... studio and into the warm sunshine this weekend.  After the initial screaming (not used to light) and burning (we are pale), we had a great time meandering around the city with Alexa and Adam.

We got tapas on Newbury Street (try Tapeo for their amazing $5 deal at the bar) and walked from the Common to Downtown Crossing and in a big circle back again.  It was so refreshing to see the trees budding, baseball games in the park, and the scent of candied almonds from street vendors (love those)

Bonus! Alexa and I found this in an alley way in Government Center!

Even more awesome?  Andy and I have a love for Andy Bernard on the Office, and love the episode where he is listing his acapella group buddies to Angela and one is "Broccoli Rob"

Soon I'll be able to show more of the projects I'm working on, but they are mostly under wraps at the moment. 

April 9, 2010

Perforated + for sale

Still drawing comics + freelance projects ... but took a few hours to go meet some family in Natick for banana crepes *yum*

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Oh! and that reminds me //
Would anybody like these boots?  

I love these immensely but they are just a wee bit too tight for me.  I've only worn them three times despite owning them for two years.  I hate to get rid of them; they are super cool, but I'm just half a size bigger unfortunately :* /
  • size // 8 (US women) 
  • sole length // 9.65"
  • height // flat - no heel  // top folds extend to below half-calf
  • material // synthetic base, leather uppers
  • condition // like new but wear on the sole

PRICE // USD $15  
S+H // USD $10 (domestic US) $15 (int'l)
all shipping is Priority Mail // 2 - 5 days est. delivery time

Contact me if you're interested!

April 7, 2010

Pink Stripes

Wearing the bunny slippers Misha gave me, a vintage poofy shirt, and distressed jeans.

Always, always drawing ... but took a break to eat this piece of heaven ...

" What light through yonder Dunkin' Donuts breaks? 
It is the East, and maple frosted donut is the sun ..."

April 4, 2010

Dreamers and Pretenders

This is the inside cover to a program I designed for POP EUPHORIA, an international art show I curated at the Aurora Gallery a few years back.  I was going through some archives, updating my portfolio, and realized I really liked this page a lot and thought I'd share the quote as well.

I used a version of this for my Twitter background, which probably makes me seem like a crazy toy-maker instead of illustrator haha

Great news! - after years of hard work and saving, we are finally going to enjoy the fruits of our labor.  Between getting married and moving, we'll be doing a lot of traveling...

Both of us have taken on as much work as we possibly could.  It's exhausting.  We work 10 hours a day in the studio, usually 12, leaving time only to go grocery shopping or take the dog for a wee.  We're both teaching, doing freelance work, committing to gallery shows - everything to earn as much as possible.

We've had to bail on a bunch of fun stuff like gallery openings, dinner with friends and parties, which hurts.  

But it's all going to be worth it really soon!

May - October 2010 : New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland OR, Kyoto/Nagoya/Shizuoka/Tokyo Japan

In the mean time, we are just enjoying the work we're doing; looking at each other from across the apartment knowing what's to come.

April 2, 2010

What to Wear - Friday Bunnies


I've noticed an interesting pattern this month; all the gifts I've gotten have been rabbit-oriented.  Oh my goodness - I'm not complaining about it.  After all, spring is here! ... Finally!  Which didn't come soon enough - every winter I get to about mid-January and just want to shake my fists and yell at the cold like a crazy old man.

Exhibit A : poster by Alison 
(her blog is amazingly hilarious, by the way, one of my daily reads)

Exhibit B : two color archival print by Ansis Purins
(we love collecting his work, and were stoked he gave this to us as a gift)

Exhibit Cbunny slippers from Misha
(Misha, you are the coolest ever)

music for you ...