i’ve been listening to a lot of the ‘This American Life’ podcast on NPR. i have already told you i’ve been bed ridden, what did you expect me to do? in any case, one story in particular caught my attention. the story of a Brahma Bull named Chance.
to make a long story short, this beloved family bull (who was actually quite the celebrity – as far as bulls are concerned) passed away. in an effort to “bring him back to life,” the mourning family not only had him taxidermied (and placed in their front yard under his ‘favorite’ tree), they also elected to have him cloned. and the best part? the cloned Chance was renamed ‘Second Chance’ – clever, eh? that’s all i can say to justify explain this drawing i did in my moleskin (the single best sketchbook ever). did i also mention i was on pain killers and muscle relaxants at the time i drew this? regardless, the podcast is still worth listening to.
[pen + colored pencil in my (beloved) moleskin]
i found this beautiful photograph on a website that i don’t remember and by a photographer that i don’t remember (for shame, i know – but in my defense – the domain name was quite obscure), but as soon as i do remember it, i’ll let you know.
the site was chock full of amazing/enviable photography and this photo, in particular, caught my eye. it was originally taken in a sepia tone and, as per usual, my technicolor brain botched it and adjusted accordingly. the photo looked a lot like my best friend, Katie – so i decided to make a portrait from it.
[pen + acrylic + colored pencil in (over-sized) sketchbook]
i love typography. i really do. i have many books that examine the history and evolution of typography. this is just one simple sample from a notebook of lined paper i used to draw in during my more boring classes in school (miscellaneous history and english classes – you know, the type of classes that require you to make presentations and write papers – i did not go to art school to write papers). so, i would draw pictures and type during those classes. there really was nothing better to do.
that said, you’ll see a lot of hand drawn typography throughout my work. i’m not sure why exactly i have always felt the need to interject words into my pictures. i fought it for some while until a great teacher of mine (and brilliant illustrator) named George Bates encouraged me to run with it – so, i have – thanks, George (if you visit his site, you’ll see why he, of all people, would encourage my i-must-write-words inclination).
[bic pen on lined paper]
(reason enough to return my moleskin)
(deformed palm reading)
(marj & fosco)
(outside a london flat)
(joe’s (signature) jacket)
these are just a few samples from the first moleskin i have ever owned. are you familiar with moleskins? they are leather bound wonders. you can find them in the form of a notebook, address book, sketchbook, and so forth. their adaptations are endless and i now own three (be still my heart) and though you have to shell out a little cash for them considering their size (mine are no bigger than what could fit into a pocket) – they are well worth it.
you can whip them out, make a quick drawing, and revisit it later when you have more time – comforted by the fact that in the few moments you made that initial drawing in a pocket sized moleskin you most likely captured the essence of your ‘subject,’ making it not only convenient to re visit it later, but also enjoyable. for instance: the final image is of my friend Joe’s jacket. i began that drawing on new year’s eve 2008/2009 and just finished it a few weeks ago.
and as for the ‘reward’ – i think a batch of rice pudding is a just reward, right? i make a mean rice pudding, seriously. you would only be so lucky as to find my moleskin and return it to me for such a labor-of-love reward. now i’m craving rice pudding, i’d better go make a batch.
[pen + sharpie on moleskin]
just some random samples of work i’ve done in my sketchbooks over the past few years. there’s far too many to post, but this gives you a general flavor of the work i do in my sketchbooks. i am obsessed with powerlines. not unlike the horse posts i will do my best to keep my powerline posts to a minimum, but seriously – i can’t get over them. i know i’m not alone in this (because, i’ve .. um .. done a little bit of research on the obsession matter). i haven’t actually come face to face with anyone who feels as strongly about them as i do, but i am still holding out hope that one day i will. i’m sure you’re out there, whether you know it or not.
[pen + colored pencil + acrylic + mixed media in various sketchbooks]
i started (religiously) keeping a sketchbook during my sophomore year of college. these are only a handful of covers from the sketchbooks i have kept; all of which are named ‘love.’ i will post some entries along the way, but i really wanted to stress the fact that sketchbooks are really quite important. i am well aware of the fact that many people do not enjoy sketchbooks and refuse to work in them because it feels unnatural and what have you. but let me say this: a sketchbook is almost like a girlfriend or a boyfriend (stay with me here, i’m trying to make an analogy). when you visit your favorite art store and pick up a sketchbook, there should be chemistry. i kid you not, you should feel a certain draw towards these blank bound pages; a certain je ne sais quoi (yep, that’s right, i took eight years of french).
in my opinion, one should be incredibly picky about their sketchbooks and ONLY purchase the one(s) that sing to the them. am i getting my point across, yet? in any case. after graduating Parsons, i took a bit of a sketchbook hiatus only to return to them with more vigor and lust than i had once felt before. perhaps i am crazy, but i have met a (growing) handful of people who feel the same way. i rest my case. go find your soul mate at your local art store. go on now, why are you still reading this?