Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sum New, Sum Old

Sum new in progress:

Sum old (click to zoom):

Days of Roses

Found some pics of my old Oakland studio. Tom Waits' "Martha" is perfect right about now:

And those were days of roses, of poetry and prose
And Martha, all I had was you and all you had was me.

There was no tomorrow, we packed away our sorrows

And we saved them for a rainy day.

This pic eventually wound up on the cover of my old, now defunct, online zine, These pics were taken with Lisa's old 35mm Pentax.

All I did was run, scratch and make beats.
The old do-everything table. Judging by the very first Scrapbook Jam to the left, this was right when I started drawing again. I hadn't tried painting yet.

Records and crates were everywhere, the collection growing like kudzu vines in the South. I was also so broke that crates doubled as furniture.

With all this gear, I also had yards upon yards of electric, midi, audio and computer cables snaking everywhere.

So much clutter, it spread to the bathroom. After I picked up running again, I taped a pic of Ivan Drago to the bathroom mirror (bottom center), so I could later crush him, a la Rocky IV.

A Polaroid of my beloved hooptie road bike from the Ashby flea market. I'd just finished the 33-mile Tour de Peninsula and thought the terrain and distance was challenging. ...

Yes, I crushed that old picture of Ivan Drago a couple years later.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Place for Everything

And everything in its place. As you might've guessed, in addition to updating this blog's template, I also started adding new and old prints at my Etsy shop. Items will be trickling in. Since I don't have all that much stock, I'll be adding a new item in every few days or so in an effort to keep at least one item somewhat fresh.

Speaking of The Safe Place, I found this canvas hanging file box to help keep track of prints and small originals and paper supplies and such.

I was considering a clunky flat file, but this will do nicely for most of my needs. Plus, it's sooo light and didn't set me back much at all. It also squeezes into an Expedit shelf nicely. Solutions!

A recent addition to The Safe Place, Lisa's DIY lightbox. Hardcore.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mallrat's Lament

Whoa. I guess I need to drop into the mall more often. (See, the gym is inside the mall.) First, from the skate shop, the designs on Sector9's line of bamboo decks are just super fresh. Some are so fresh, the absolute freshest aren't even on Sector9's own website yet! I'm talkin' fresh like Hokusai fresh. Lucky their site does have some designs up:

Then, at the bookshop, I spotted this curious art book titled How to Draw Hip-Hop, illustrated by Damion Scott. It's all characters here, just a tiny mention of lettering, which is understandable; I suppose a book titled How to Write Graffiti still wouldn't fly in Middle America. Nevertheless, as for characters, it's pretty darn great - mostly for the lively postures and perspectives. What really comes through, though, is Scott and co-author Kris Ex's love for hip-hop and their craft.


So, anyhow. I have indeed been getting stuff ready for the v2.0 release of We are "in production" or "in QA" as it's said, depending on the industry you're in. Some originals and some prints:

Sunday, November 4, 2007

And So It Goes

These When paintings are kinda tricky. Although they are cartoonish with not a lot of detail, they take forever to paint. And that's because, I admit, I'm not so nice with fine outlines, particularly at this scale (9.5" x 11"). So this requires a whole lot of negative painting: Paint the outline, then when painting the colors, go over the outline leaving just a little strip. The magnifying glass and detail brush were in full effect.

Looking at these after some initial coloring, I decided they needed some background element to help unify the images, particularly the Wandering piece since Nom-Nom the cat and When's nap sack were off to the sides.

Handpainting the Damask took forever, but it was so worth it.

Ka-blam! These are almost done. Just need to add a few details then clean up a bit.

Meh. Some close-ups.


Speaking of the Etsy hustle, check out Lisa's lovely Savor soap shop. She started just last week and is already blowin' up big time! I've watched her make soap and it's a lot like cooking. Makes it so good I don't wanna leave.

Creme Brulee soap. What!!!

I almost forgot that I'd picked up Justin Bua's The Beat of Urban Art earlier this year. Funny thing is, I'd always thought he was from an earlier generation cuz of his jazz paintings, like the popular Piano Man. It wasn't until his The DJ came out when I took a second and third look, mostly cuz he was the first popular artist I'd seen to render a battle mixer correctly. (Lots of underground graf artists still get this wrong.)

Anyhow. This book is rad, not just for the art (line drawings especially) but also for Bua's illustrated narrative of growing up in NYC in the '70s and '80s. What I really love is that a good chunk is dedicated to the painting process, from sketches to composition to color palette to drafts to finished piece -- and his thought process along the way. Exhibits A and B:

And so it goes...

The Beat of Urban Art, Justin Bua
The Good Fairies of New York, Martin Millar
Hand to Mouth, Paul Auster
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling
Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, Jeff Chang
Positively False, Floyd Landis
From Lance to Landis, David Walsh
Ten Points, Bill Strickland