March 27, 2014

Helmutt the Dog redesign

It's been about 6 months in the making for my part, and only about a year for the entire staff incorporating the Higgins Armory collection into the Worcester Art Museum.

Helmutt at the Higgins with a troop in 1952

in the lobby of the Armory 2002

I was very lucky to be brought onto this project by the Audience Engagement Team to develop an illustrated version of the Higgin's beloved Helmutt the Dog statue, a fixture at the Armory since 1942.

Through cartoons, standees, wall vinyls and digital iPad graphics, Helmutt will guide the visitor throughout the exhibition and eventually the museum itself.

I think the main purpose is to make the body of work all the more accessible for the viewer.

It was important to me that a few things happen:
  • The design look like the original dog (which is plaster, not taxidermy)
  • The voice of the character be mature, like an older-sibling (think Wishbone)
  • The character would be approachable for kids and adults alike

Crossing my fingers, this is my first time doing such a large audience engagement project - very exciting!

(ABOVE) early sketches -  somewhat too literal interpretation

(BELOW) later ideas - taking more cartoonified license

Once we decided on the crowd favorite (center), it was adapted into more iterations
We had fun with the idea of Helmutt being a cross-dresser, putting him in the dress of one of the key European portraits in the WAM Spanish collection (bottom left)

putting it into the space (photo credit; MASSLive)

Thank you to the team at WAM for the opportunity & support


Please excuse my dumb face and stay tuned to see my incredibly wonderful husband talk about the Keaton Batman suit. (Which he facilitated in bringing here)

March 25, 2014

It's spring somewhere

A lovely package from a lovely friend!

From Shippoya in Yanaka and a character catalogue from the YuruKyara Summit in November!

Makes for hilarious reading.  They rank all the prefecture mascots in Japan and list all their vital stats such as birthplace, blood type (?), and favorite things,

Even found one that looks like my dear Lindsay!!


Been a crazy month, hardly time to write or blog about it.

But I'll be able to reveal a project soon that I've been working on for a museum for 6 months now, which is exciting.  Opens this week - whoosh and it's hear before you know it.

Attempting to go vegan one day a week but it's difficult for me to give up yogurt.  My diet is about 90% vegetarian as it is so you'd think it'd be a short jump...  

Also been taking milk thistle to help cleanse my liver and have to say I really like it, I think it's even helping my skin.

Anyway, between dinner with friends, movie dates and constant projects (thank you Jesus) we are busier than ever.  I'm grateful for that because this long and brutal winter is killing me and I'm desperate to take my mind of it!

March 16, 2014

Frogs at Gero Onsen 下呂温泉のカエル

As New England winter drags on, my senses are being painfully and slowly dulled by this brutal season… I have to turn to iPhoto and sift through pictures of my trip to Japan last spring

from April 5th, 2013:

My in-laws and I went to probably the loveliest place I've ever been to, Gero Onsen, in Hida Prefecture.  It's about an hour N x NW of Nagoya by train. 

"gero gero" also happens to be the mimetic for a frog's call, so of course there are lots and lots of frog-themed stuff.

Above & below are pictures of the Frog Shrine

I tossed in my change, rang the bell and clapped twice.

see the frog topiary on the left by the door?

matcha … not frog flavored

Had to take a snap of this cute baby butt

Nobody told this cat it's all about frogs here

March 13, 2014

Safe Zone x Edith Nourse Veterans Hospital

I was fortunate enough to be contacted by the good people at the Edith Norse Rodgers Memorial Hospital to create a "Safe Zone Ally" identification graphic.

Below are some existing SAFE ZONE graphics that I quite like and was inspired by.

Below is their current logo, and the LGBT flag,
which I tried to combine on the first run of drafts.

Unused drafts

Because I love solid black in graphics, I went bolder :

 I ran many versions by them over a period of a few weeks and they picked B on the last round, and asked that it be translated into black & white as well.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thank you to the
Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital
for the opportunity!

This was more than a job, it represents something I believe in personally and was so happy I could help in some way!

March 12, 2014

Dig Boston Cover x St. Patty's Day

Hello all,

The folks at Dig Boston asked me to create a cover for their St. Patty's Day issue, to go along with their top story, the very recent legislation legalizing then un-legalizing "upskirt photography".  They sent along and idea for me to go with, specifically with this kid taking an upskirt of an Irish Bagpiper.

Scott Murry had this idea, which works both topically and aesthetically.
Thanks for the art direction, Scott :D

I know that some people found this image disturbing and creepy, which I understand.
Scott and I discussed different scenarios.

* Should he have been sleeping and accidentally take the picture?

* Should he have been trying to take a shot of a girl and get the kilt instead?

In the end we went with this, and it isn't meant to exonerate the punk kid with the cell phone as if he's funny or cute.

He's breaking the law, a law which has only been around for 7 days!  Thankfully MA changed it's mind on that issue, thanks Deval :)

March 6, 2014

Adventure Time painting

Finished a new painting for Gallery 1988's Adventure Time show!

Mixed media seems to be my bag lately ...

Do you know who it is?