Sunday, November 29, 2009

Things About The Girl Who Blogs Here

I'm being friends with this cool girl who has a blog that's introspectivy with words, not with drawings like me. That is not how we roll here at She Sure is Sketchy, but I like it. Jerry and I kicked back and watched about five hours of In the Actor's Studio the other day. Here is the marriage of the two.

(sometimes I sit in studio audiences)
This is my stab at Jimmy James Lipton's ten questions.

  1. What is your favorite word? magic
  2. What is your least favorite word? Don't
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Tracy effing Chapman
  4. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? rules
  5. What sound or noise do you love? the tearing of velcro, the clip clop of stilleto heels on cobblestone, always and forever the crash of the sea on the sand
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? angry yelling, Chris Martin, canned laughter
  7. What is your favorite curse word? I'm particularly fond of the word 'bitch'. example: This rain is a total bitch.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I'd like to work with animals maybe in a zoo, but maybe in the wilds of Africa
  9. What profession would you not like to do? I would hate to be a lawyer and have to defend things that I have to know are bad or wrong
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Well, look that wasn't that hard, was it?
So here's where I should probably stop, but everyone is doing this 25 things on facebook. I haven't decided how I feel about that kind of sharing on that site. I feel much more at ease sharing on my blog. I have been thinking about some random things about me and sense I am being introspectivy today. I thought I'd get it kicking here for a horse of a different color.
  • I want to hate Katy Perry. I just can't. This annoys me.

  • I'm terrified by heights and escalators.

  • I know how to make horse shoes

  • I'm actually really effing good at making horse shoes

  • If I could take any work of fiction, film, musical score or character that's ever been and claim it as my own, I'd pick Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes and I wouldn't think twice.

  • When I was five I used to go to the bathroom in kindergarten and cry uncontrollably while I slid down the wall ala Lifetime Movie. Usually my tears were for the world. The most memorable time I cried because the whales were going extinct and my future children might never see whales

  • I cared a lot more about my future children at five than I do now. Hand me that electric blanket.

  • I still believe in Santa Claus.

  • I can tie a cherry stem with my tongue. Twin Peaks inspired me to add this to my repertoire. I don't really like cherries, but I like being able to do this.

  • My BFA is in film with an emphasis in animation. I always thought I'd use this to create an independent masterpiece of genius. Lately I just really want to direct a GAP commercial.

  • Growing up my bedroom was closer to the beach than it was to the living room. I'm sometimes envious of kid-me.

  • I have the movie 'The Parent Trap' memorized in its entirety

  • I fall in love at first sight

  • I have a book of tattoo ideas in my sock drawer

  • I have no tattoos

  • I sleep in the shape of the letter K

  • I can't seem to pass a golden retriever without stopping to shake hands and make their acquaintance

  • I have a weakness for the kind of boys that can pull off Buddy Holly glasses.

  • You can bet your ass I would never ever spell Panic! At The Disco without the exclamation point.

  • I moved to NYC at 18 for the music and the art. That's why I'm still here. Also cheese shops on Smith.

  • I'm crazy allergic to mangos.

  • I have a novel half way written in a sketchbook at the bottom of a pillowcase. It's called "surviving ebola".

  • I would rather my jewelry be plastic or platinum

  • I pick up six pack tops of soda cans when I am walking in the city and when I get home I slash them to bits

  • someday I'm going to sail the world
OK that's enough introspection for forever. Sheesh this is exhausting no wonder She Sure is Sketchy is more about the ART.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009


An ex-boyfriend once diagnosed me as suffering from "movie-life". If it could happen to Julia Roberts it can happen to me. I was supposed to be riding horses in Italy tomorrow. I missed my plane to Europe when "bad day Saturday" spiraled out of control. I was taken to the wrong airport then the wrong terminal and then the wrong life - in that order. Air France refused to help. Instead of finding myself in seat 34A I took a Red-Eye F train - landing me back in Brooklyn.

On a scale of 1-to-Suck 2009 has seemingly failed to launch successfully. Things have not been up to snuff. Embarrassingly enough, I was sure that this trip to Europe was going to fix the entire year. Missing my flight and then realizing that there was absolutely nothing that Air France was willing to do to get me on a plane was devastating. When I thought about what I was thankful for on "bad day Saturday" all I could really focus on was the fact that when I am wealthy and successful I will be able to take Air France down stone by stone. I decided it would be best to start with a defamatory Super Bowl commercial. Luckily, today rolled around and I had the chance to reassess.

It might sound trite, but I'm thankful for Thanksgiving. I am grateful that I have a day in my life devoted to remembering how much I have and how freely I am given the things that really matter.
Thanksgiving Pumpkins

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
-- Albert Schweitzer
  • I'm thankful that when I got back from the airport mad depressed and disappointed I had a warm and inviting home to sprawl out in. I am not so naive as to think that when other people have bad days they have a wonderful place to lay their head down.
  • I am thankful for the plethora of invites to Thanksgiving dinner that rolled in the second it was discovered that I'd be spending the holiday state side.
  • I am overwhelmed by my 'urban family' of friends who take me into their homes and their lives. They pull me in and love me no matter how quirky or odd I am.
Ties That Bind
  • I'm thankful for my roommate who leaves me notes of encouragement and warm cookies on the kitchen table. It is a relief to come home to someone who is always fun and positive to chat with after a long day of drawing robots.
  • My clients and the projects I'm handed offer me the chance I have to live my life as an artist in New York City, a rare and marvelous gift.
  • I am thankful for great music, good books and sunny Fall weather - things that make every bad thing seem better.
  • In this time of uncertainty and fear in the world I am thankful for Brooklyn, for the inspiration it provides me and for the way it makes me happy to be alive.
  • I am indebted to my kooky family. They are among those rare kind of families who are truly and unconditionally there for one another. They make me laugh when I want to cry and vice-versa. I can't believe I get to call them mine.
  • I am grateful that I have lived my life in the best of two places. I would most certainly have a much different outlook if my parents hadn't decided to raise me on the edge of reality, nestled against the coast of the Pacific Ocean. I won't ever be able to understand how or why I was handed such a blissful and perfect childhood.

  • I am always thankful and will forever be grateful I am an American.
  • And on this day of days I am thankful for potatoes, mashed and otherwise.
  • I am thankful for you.
I'm grateful for long and flourishing beautiful Autumn days and for the wild fire of sparks in my life that kindle a flame inside of me. It's amazing how lucky I am. Happy Thanksgiving, my loves.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Give Me Time!

Everyone I know has flying dreams. I never do. I have running dreams. As I sleep (well when I do) I run and run, sprinting in a hurried and never lightened pace.

In my waking hours I always say and I always think and I always wish "If only I had more time!" I'm pretty sure that's what they're going to put on my gravestone.
On a lighter note Check out these wicked clocks and buy yourself some freakin' time.

Simon Says Clock
by dustfurniture

My studio wall would be ever so dapper with a tangerine Simon Says!

Modern Animal Clock - Owl
by decoylab

This one belongs in my woodsy bedroom.

Metal Geek Clock
by YOUgNeek

This one belongs in the office of my future but yet unmet husband... I'm so attracted to nerdy hot that it smarts. Haha. I kill me. Can you imagine? I'll meet you at pi for pie!!! Be still my wild untamed heart.

Hand Painted Clock Autumn Calling
by madteapartyfurniture
-- Isn't this etsyian's name the best?
I wish this clock matched some aspect of my current decor scheme. It's so Edward Gorey it's scary.

Red Flower Clock
by Chromalab
In the words of my favorite philanthropist, Jen, when it comes to this clock all I can say is "Love." If you got some time, go read her blog! Be forewarned though, you'll spend a lot of time on it. Jen's log is hilarious yet thought provoking and sometimes about cereal.

Where Did The Time Go Clock by cybermoon
Here's to clever. I like the stark contrast on this little swatch of clock - but I think keeping it on my wall would just depress me. After all, where DOES all the time go? If I could stop asking myself this post wouldn't have even happened! (Indecently it's taken way too long.) In other news, Cybermoon hails from Coeur D'Alene. Some day I will too.

I've been in wild creation mode for weeks now. When you're running a freelance business and you're working a full-time job and you're single and dating and keeping up friendships finding time for everything is always an issue. often have full and epic dreams involving me and Hermione Granger's Time Turner. These lovelies are the next best thing ;)
listening to right this second: "tangled up in blue" -- bob dylan

Friday, November 20, 2009

Musically Thinking

Far Away - by Ingrid Michealson
"I will live my life as a lobsterman's wife on an island in the blue bay
He will take care of me, he will smell like the sea, And close to my heart he'll always stay
I will bear three girls all with strawberry curls, little Ella and Nelly and Faye
While I'm combing their hair, I will catch his warm stare On our island in the blue bay"

Far Away

Music always runs through my art. In the first grade I illustrated a collective of drawings inspired by Disney's Cruella DeVille song. In retrospect, I think it was mostly just page after page of black crayoned space with big scary eyes stabbing you with harsh white contrast, indicating that you were being watched from underneath a rock.

The Cruella pictures are the first memory I have in what must be at least a 21 year run of drawings inspired by music.

Some of my favorite artistic musical highlights have been playing 45s of Cole Porter to kindergarten classes while they roll around on gigantic butcher paper with Pastels. I always explain that they should just go where the music takes them. I've done weird scientific space drawings based on guitar strings and music notes. I've storyboarded music videos, but my favorite thing to do is a Sketch-ercise I invented in really boring art class in high school with the help of my ultra hip 'Discman'. This is something I call 'Skip Listen Draw!" It's kind of like Tic-Tac-Toe in that it is awesome and that it's mega-lame if you can't see someplace to go.

Here are the rules:

  1. You HAVE to draw something from each song your ipod randomly plays in Shuffle mode.
  2. You have to have a theme - this one is kid's illustrations because I was three ideas short on PbIdMo. Sometimes I do "Things animals do" or one of my favorites is "This Only Happens in the Kitchen".
  3. You can listen to the song twice
  4. You can't give yourself space or any time to think between the plays.
  5. You have to throw your pencil down the instant the music stops playing the second time.

Here are some PbIdMo thoughts based on Pod's selections this morning.
All I Want is You - as covered by Tristen Prettyman
"If you were the wood, I'd be the fire.
If you were the love, I'd be the desire.
If you were a castle, I'd be your moat,
And if you were an ocean, I'd learn to float."

All I Want Is You
The Ninjas - by Barenaked Ladies
"I looked all around my bedroom -Underneath the dresser
Behind the curtain -But nothing could be found
There was nothing left behind them -No way that I could find them
No finger prints or crumbs on the ground"
The Ninjas
Matters of the Heart - by Tracy Chapman
"Here I sit
I'm feeling sorry for myself
It's quite a sight
But I have you to thank
For reminding me
We're all alone in this world
And in matters of the heart"
Matters of the Heart

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vermin and Strigiformes Revisited

You know what my favorite thing is? Mice

Like my very, very, favorite!?
Word up, yo. Word up.

listening to right this second: "its all been done" -- barenaked ladies

Sunday, November 15, 2009

We Don't Have Time to Get Restless

There's always something new!
Time for a little PbIdMo deviation.

Check out this mischevious watercolor over at Watercolor Wednesdays where you can see the whole banana.

listening to right this second: "over rainbow/what wonderful world" -- israel 'iz' kamakawiwoole

Friday, November 13, 2009

PiBiIdMo - WaWe - IlloFri

So... let's just say my life is kind of topsy-turvey these days.

This week Susan jotted me a note saying "Remember Amber, it's important to play too! I know it's great you have so many projects in the air but don't forget to have fun and to get some sleep too." Luckily my work is fun. And sleep? Who needs sleep?! (insert maniacal laugh)

Here's hoping your life is a bit more balanced than mine is this week ;)

Thank god for multi-tasking (she types as she brushes her teeth and squirms into a high heeled boot.) Happy Picture Book Idea Month, Watercolor Wednesday, Illustration Friday!

Don't forget to enter the contest for this month's blog candy!
listening to right this second: "time of your life" -- green day

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Night the Fairies Came

is still a blur....
The Night the Fairies Came
a childhood memory lost in gossamer and light.

I've had this done to this stage since Friday. I was hoping I'd get to watercolor it but you know, deadlines deadlines, deadlines. It'll be a treat to find the time for painting in a few weeks when things calm down. In the meantime I get to animate a Bollywood inspired theme for a project and I get to draw animals having an off the hook party.

I started with rough pencils:
All A Blur Childhood - rough
Here are some fairies and dust:
Fairy Sheet
Make sure to enter to win She Sure is Sketchy blog candy
listening to right this second: "32 flavors" -- ani difranco

Monday, November 09, 2009

I Spy Inspiration

New York City almost breaks my neck with all the double takes I do in a day. I notice minutia. It makes me happy to see things that other people don't see. As a kid I raised "I Spy" to a profession, my poor parents almost crashed cars while I screamed things like "look at that laundry! It's an upside down rainbow!!!" or "That dog looks like he's wearing glasses!" It's funny how much this honed skill is vital in my artsy life now. Once in a blue moon I stumble on someone who is the same way.

The Mad Hatter is like this. We walk and one of us says "Look at that building, isn't it weird how the marble fades from gray to white and then back to gray?" The other will follow with something like "Yeah, but look how those pigeons next to the parking lot. They're forming a musical triangle. I think they're about to go West Side Story on us."

I stop at a park and ink a suspenseful moment, a gang of black and brown birds face off against a troupe of white and gray pigeons, a blade held in an angry beak, eyes furrowed. A stranger comes up and says "Are those the Sharks and the Jets?!" He barters me into giving him the sketch in exchange for credit at his Radio Shack franchise. I don't mind because let's be honest, the sketch took five minutes and they looked more like 'The Outsiders' anyway.

So what do we learn? Being observant and using what you see to inspire your art will get you stuff.

Today I'm starting a little game at She Sure is Sketchy, called 'I Spy Inspiration,'
where you can get stuff by making art inspired by one of the photos in this post

These are some of the things that inspired me this week during my New York jaunts.
The Chrysler

In the Shadows



Who Can Win? YOU!
What Can You Win?!
The Prize - I Spy Inspiration #1
It's an 'I Spy Inspiration Kit'
How Do I Play?
1. Use one or all of the photos in this post to inspire your art. Is your art baking or painting or crafting? Whatever your poison, let the details you spy in the photos inspire you.

2. Come back and leave me a comment with a link to your I Spy Inspiration blog post. so I can see what you were inspired to do. You can embed the photos on your blog from my I Spy Inspiration Flikr Stream if you want.

3.You'll be entered in the drawing when you leave a link leading me to your I Spy Inspiration blog post, sharing what you were inspired to create this week.

4. The Blog Follower Advantage: All of my blog followers are automatically entered in the random drawing I'll do when we pick a winner. Every follower I have by next Wednesday when I Spy Inspiration ends will be entered then too. So if you've always followed my blog you'll be entered twice.

When? We'll draw a winner here at She Sure is Sketchy on Wednesday the 18th of November. So make sure you leave your comment and link back by the evening of the 17th if you want to ensure your participation.

I'm a bit nervous about this new venture into blog candy so help me out and do some great art so we get some fun participation going!

listening to right this second: "bang bang bang" -- tracy chapman

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sundays are for Coveting

Here are some things I desperately wish I had by artists and collectors who have their pulse on the power of the pin up.

Centerfold Mobile

by Salty and Sweet

Party Dress
by Tara Starlet.
This canary plaid makes me want to throw on some pumps and and sit by my rotary phone.

Flirty Everyday Housewife Apron

by the ever wonderful Momomadeit,
specializing in classic aprons for classy girls.
If I had this apron I'd be happier. I'd also be barefoot and let's face it, probably pregnant.

Vintage Gold Safilo Cat-Eye Eyeglasses

by Vintage50sEyewear
These are magic glasses when you put them on you get to ignore change. I want them.
I'll wear them to work and to the roller derby. It will rock so hard.

The Desi Dress

by missbrache
This is the best way to sit while waiting for the postman.

Midnight Premiere

by itsthelittlethingsut

Nothing says 'come hither' like a pair of

Circus b'zerkus handmade platform pumps

by zerkahloostrah
Yeah, that's right. HANDMADE pumps.
Mind = blown

Boyfriend Sheer Buttonup Top

by Lamixx

Girl with Toy Plane

by She Hit Pause Studios
What are you coveting these days?
listening to right this second: "Narcolepsy" -- Ben Folds

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Of Mice and Owls

Here's a couple of pages from the children's book I'm percolating with these days.
The turn around time on this project is whiplash worthy. I have thirty pages due by the end of the month. My novel hasn't really budged since November 1st. While I watch the world's writing tallies go off the charts I pull out the Col-Erase and draw me some unruly animals and everything is fine.
Leaving the Barn
It's kind of killing me to see how great everyone is doing on their novels at NaNoWriMo. I take solace in knowing that I'm working hard crossing so many things off the parchment paper of stuff to do that rolls out of my studio, down the stairs through the door, down the street and across the Brooklyn Bridge as it makes it's way to Midtown.

The nice thing is that while I'm overwhelmed all the projects I have in the air, all working really means is listening to Ben Folds and drawing animals. Sometimes I even eat chocolate while I do that. So life is good and while things are crazy I'll just save it for the drawing board.

Who Goes There?
'Surviving Ebola' may be taking a back burner, but PiBoIdMo is going swimmingly. Don't forget to stop by Tara's great motivational blog to kickstart your kid's book thinking. I hope you're all finding inspiration while the year dies out your window ;)

I'll write my novel, and I'll do it this month, but right now this book is the thing!

listening to right this second: "Narcolepsy" -- Ben Folds

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Off With Their Heads!!!

Whaaaat issss thisss?
(You're supposed to say that part like the chef in 'The Little Mermaid'.)
What is This?
After a particular bad run of lameness at last year's Hell-o-ween in Manhattan I decided to return to my roots this year.
I believe three Halloween things to be self-evident:
  1. Dressing up is mandatory
  2. Store bought costumes are lame in a bag
  3. Funny, Glamorous or Smart always beat Gorey, unless it's Edward
If you know anything about me you're well aware of my Alice in Wonderland obsession.
I was drumming my fingers against the table in my studio a few weeks trying to conceptualize this year's Halloween get-up when my eyes caught the vase of white roses on my windowsill.
Mike private joke - Fed Exed them to me a week or so prior to this bought of sketchiness. The first thing out of my mouth as I broke the seal on the box was,
"Off with their heads!"
Duh. I whipped out this fashion sketch in about ten minutes.
intial fashion sketch - queen of hearts
I called my personal seamstress/buddy ol' pal Emily of the Balcon'.
Before I knew it we were combing the Fashion District looking for checkers and scarlet reds.
Emily put together the final touches on the gown - her dress making genius is mind blowing. She added the idea of transparent sleeves from elbow to wrist. We did a final fitting on all Hallow's Eve.
Making My Costume
I spliced and wove an exhausted set of playing cards to fashion the collar I'd sketched. This dress was design on the fly and while the collar wasn't going to stay up and was a tad overkill - the cards made the perfect crown atop my head - only queens get to use 'atop'. I wanted to make sure I used it for this one royal post.
the cards
My hair and face were done up courtesy of the Duchess of Justice. She's my personal make-up artist these days. I have always known how important it is to have friends, but in the last few years I've been awoken to how important it is to have talented friends. Haha.
Elvira Queenof Hearts & Little Red
Once I'd been primped and primed I hit the streets of New York and a few Halloween parties of magic and wonder and glitter, always glitter. I actually met a Mad Hatter - we have a date on Thursday. I took pictures with four different little girls dressed like Alice and held some lady's poor tabby. He'd been painted with purple and pink stripes. The costume was a smash and the perfect end to this year's Rock-tober.
Plus it rekindled my Louis Carroll Illustration frenzy.
Here's to genius, mine and others.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Picture Book Idea Month

I lifted this banner from Tara Lazar's ├╝ber informative blog. As I'm sure most of you know, November is National Novel Writing Month - thirty days and nights of literary abandon.

OK. OK. You may not be as a completely dedicated
nerd as I. Maybe you spend November riding motorcycles and getting in gang fights, things I merely read about because PEOPLE WRITE ABOUT THOSE THINGS! You're not getting off the hook that easily.

Several friends of mine participated in NaNoWriMo last year. My interest in the challenge was sparked. I was Charlie Bucket, my face
smashed up to the glass, watching as they tarried away clickity-clacking their keyboards. I just didn't have the kind of time needed to dedicate to the monumental task of writing a novel. I was too busy with clients and children's illustrations.

Enter PiBoIdMo. This one month challenge mirrors the work of authors around the globe who are churning out page after page of double spaced. The difference is it's geared towards authors and illustrators who cater to the children's market. PiBoIdMo challenges you to
generate one new picture book idea a day.

Here's a glimpse at my inaugural idea. I'll be keeping my actual ideas pretty close to the vest. Here's some art for you to look at so you know I'm keeping my end up.
Fall Back
I join Tara and we urge you to grab a crayon, a pencil, a word doc or a post-it.
Change your perspective and go be prolific.

If you're not writing a novel this month but are participating in PiBoIdMo you might want to stop by National Novel Writing Month site from time to time to get some inspiration for your one idea a day goal.

I'll be here as well as I attempt my first novel. I might give you updates at She She Sure is Sketchy here and there, but it's not nearly as visual as my participation in Picture Book Idea month and probably not close to as fun.

I will however, be all a twitter about both. So keep an eye on my twitter feed as I continue to document everything I overextend myself to do. Why would I ever choose sleep over fun?
listening to right this second: "Such Great Heights" -- Postal Service


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