in progress… for real this time

Look at me!  I actually have something to post on Wednesday.  This guy is apart of that dog project that I’m doing for my friends (refer to an entry two weeks ago or so). 

Again, the basic gist of the dog.  I have one more dog in this series. 

Drawing and doing cut-outs of dogs makes me miss having a dog.  There are dogs all over the place in Baltimore.  I want to pet all of them!

Happy Thanksgiving, all!  For the holiday I am heading to the homeland-northland-Kansas City, MO.  I won’t be bloggin’ during that time (Thursday and Friday).  I just want to enjoy being there without an obligations. 

See you all on Monday!


AOL becomes Aol.

I think a decent blogger is one that is up to the minute on the breaking news.  Look at Perez Hilton, for example.  He’s breaking those stories, probably sitting at his computer all day (having started early in te morning) just so he can be the first to report on a celebrity scoop.

I, unfortunately, am not that sort of blogger.  I’m not sure if it’s quite necessary for the kind of blog I have.  Regardless, I’m sure most of you have seen this out there already, but I find it very compelling so I thought I’d share the link. 

AOL becomes Aol.

The Brand New blog is a blog that compares old logos and idenities with the new redesigned ones.  The link above gives a great analysis of the new logo of AOL-  The company is breaking away from Time Warner (whom its been linked to for many, many years) and on December 10th will be on its own again… with its new logo.  I personally wasn’t crazy for their old logo but really dislike their new one. 

The Aol.  is paired with a myriad of pictures and is revealed through those images (which I find pretty generic and not at all engaging).  A large problem with the idenity in that it is a san-serif font (that anyone with a computer would have), and you’d then be able to slap Aol. onto any number of pictures (as was pointed out in Brand New’s review).  I can just see a site like Something Awful having fun with it. 

What happened to AOL?  I used the program in elementary school and loved it (and will always have a soft spot for my old AOL days)!  I used AOL Instant Messenger up until the time that I left for college.  It sort of dropped off the radar for me.  I moved on.  AOL didn’t really get any better and eventually became a free, probably in attempts to keep up with competitors.  The innovation and magic was gone at this point.  It looks as though that’s trying to be regained, but with this current reveal of their new identity, I’m not impressed.

mostly monday

Today has a below-average Monday.  It’s always hard to get up after having a couple days off, but that coupled with, rain (in which I had no umbrella) and a mediocre work day has led me to indulging my desire to read more passive-aggressive notes here.

I finished An Invisible Sign of My Own this weekend.  I enjoyed it, although I will need to go back and reread parts of it in order to get a better understanding of it as a whole.  I didn’t like this book as much as The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, perhaps because there was less surrealism and whimsy in this book as there were the short stories.    (The topic of whimsy has come up recently in my circle of peers.  Anti-whimsy.  I think whimsy can work when it’s not the only thing a story is relying on.)

The novel is really about control and the crippling effect of fear.   In terms of control, it’s not as much about controlling others, but partaking in activities that help you feel like you are gaining a sense of control. Superstition, compulsion, even arbitrary signs are all sources of it within the story.    Numbers are a really powerful device for her story – a vehicle to communicate sadness, loss and fear.

I’d recommend this book.  It’s a smart, quick read and extremely poetic.  Aimee Bender really knows how to fling that english around!

Artist Fridays: Jillian Tamaki | Guest Blog- Stephanie Leung

Sara and I like stories about people.  How did we get to Jillian Tamaki? I remember rummaging the internet looking at Sam Weber’s website. It was my first time looking at his work and I had been introduced to him via stories that Sara would relay to me. Sam Weber is a well-known illustrator and happened to guest teach a class that she was taking at the time.  The only things that I can recall about him now was his self deprecating humor and mentions of his wife.  So, wife!  As I look through Mr. Weber’s site I see mention of a Jillian Tamaki and then it was a dot, dot, dot, —-jump—jump—jump– CONNECT! This is the wifey! She’s an illustrator too! Wahoooo.

And I was really blown away by her work. Jeez, if there’s anything that gets me, it’s artist couples.

There’s something about her markmaking. When I can sense the repetitious lines of  pencil or pen, the pull in a brush mark, the wash of ink, or the rub of graphite, it fills me up like a good meal.  Her work is a mix of digital work and hand work and hey, I say that’s great. Work with it all, or even just some, just make it work for you.

Jillian Tamaki has a sketchblog and I appreciate that it’s mostly just for her. Comments were never enabled; she just wanted a place to post process and sketch work daily.  She has a snarky sense of humor. I do enjoy it. Her humor also has a perfect outlet in comics.  It’s the combination of humor fitted to the right context and the ability to tell a story that makes it work.

Jillian Tamaki has a graphic novel out called Skim. I would highly recommend it. Or if you live in the vicinity of Sara Barnes you can ask to borrow it. Just kidding.  I kid, I kid.  So long!

beautiful teas

Having never been a big tea drinker, I would always decline when my boyfriend offered me a cup of tea in the morning.   Having come from a family of avid tea drinkers, he’s been drinking it for most of his life.  Eventually he got the better of me and I broke down and tried a cup (after having been prepared correctly*).   Since then, I’ve been hooked on black teas.

During my lunch break today, I walked to one of the nearest cafes and bought a cup of tea.  I immediately noticed the beautiful design of the tea bags – from Harney and Sons.  The design is very elegant and visually stunning – clean, yet not boring.  I love patterns, and I think the packaging makes excellent use of a pattern to brand the tea, but not overwhelm the viewer.

Does nice design make something taste better than it already is?  I’d wager so.

* Black tea with a bit of (whole) milk and a few spoonfuls of sugar

in progress…reading

As you might have read, I’m going to be applying to an MFA program in the future.  I wanted time to work on my portfolio and to create a new body of work to apply with. 

For my senior thesis, I illustrated short stories based on Aimee Bender’s book The Girl in the Flammable Skirt.  I loved reading the book and enjoyed illustrating the stories even more.  Her writing lends itself well to the type of images that I like to make. 

I was reminded of Aimee Bender recently after a friend from college (who helped me with my thesis) sent me part of Aimee’s writing that had appeared in the Washington Post.  I had forgetten how much I enjoyed reading the prose, so I promptly ordered An Invisible Sign of My Own, a novel.   I started the book and thought it’d be perfect for me to work with on my porfolio.  The novel has a certain whimsy to it, but also deals with issues such as cancer, death and loss in a quietly heart-breaking way. 

So, that’s what I did this past week.  I’ve been reading to try and finish this book.  I’m excited to start working on images and really delving into the text. 

Upon searching for this novel, I learned that the book is actually being made into a movie.  With Jessica Alba.  BARF.  If there is one Hollywood actress I dislike, it’s her.  I think she makes terrible films.  I am saddened.

luke best

Luke Best is an illustrator I’ve been looking at for awhile.   I love his application of media and shape design.  I find it so very interesting.   His blog also showcase his sketches, which show insight to his creative process.

Luke is also represented by the Heart Agency (London-based) which is also worth checking out.