Monday, June 29, 2009

She Sure is Scrappy

Where do you do your best thinking and sketching? Place? Medium?
I'm often inspired by things I can't quite put my finger on. I make shorthand notes to myself on post-its and little worn scraps of paper. The other night a friend was digging in my purse for a chapstick and asked, "Do you keep a Guinea pig in here too?" There's that kind of paper in my purse, tons of it. I clean it out every once in a while to catalog and regroup.
It was worse in college - in college I kept scraps in the back pocket of every pair of jeans I owned. Sometimes they'd make it out before the laundry happened, but the ones that didn't went the way of detergent-drowned paper pulp. Now I'm a grown up that never happens because I carry a purse, a hamster-ready purse.
Yeah.
Listening to right this second: 'Music Box' - Regina Spektor

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summerstage Fever

I spent the day in the SUN!!! I'm so happy to know that I live in New York City again. It's been Seattle here since May. The sky was so many shades of blue, and the clouds were just plain showing off.
It was a thankful to just be alive day.
Summerstage blew my mind today. More specifically Esperanza Spalding blew my mind today. It's rare that I find someone who leaves me in complete and utter awe. Her performance was inspiring in every way. I watched most of it with my mouth wide open in shock at her shear genius and presence.She bopped around so quickly and switched from instrument to instrument so often that I stayed in quickdraw mode. That bass is just an extension of her arm, she tosses it around like it ain't no big thing. "Oh, I just happen to be able to sing with more confidence and clarity than anyone has a right to while I play this upright bass better than anyone you've ever heard play an upright bass. What's new with you?"

Eventually she covered a Nina Simone song that gave me goosebumps. I abandoned my sketchbook for standing and swaying and clapping.
Good times.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Page from My Book

I've been doing a lot of sketching with my Tombow Markers these days. If they were a boy I would marry them. Seriously. I have no complaints and you know that is seldom the case with the men I date. ;) These Tombow markers are the greatest. They allow for a varied line and weight. They're comfortable in your hand and skinny enough to shove into just about any purse or clutch. Of course they're Acid free. The brush part rivals any other brush pen I use, it keeps its point crispy and perfect for ages. In addition they have that other side with its little nubby point that is perfect for writing, note taking and less brushy sketching.
I thought I'd show you something straight from the book today. These days I'm filling pages to the brim. My dad and I had this fantastic father/daughter talk a few weeks ago about the preciousness of paper. I'm happy to report it has me living Greener than ever. That's saying something because I've been hugging trees since the eighties- trust me that was when it was weird, wayyyy before it was cool.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Motivation Mondays

Gerber Daisies are my favorite-thing-short-list, barely beneath Golden Retrievers and right above Hawaiian Shave Ice. These petals are from a smart boy's bouquet. The colors were too much for me to waste in a vase of water so I taped them to some paper. I justify this flower torture because they'll live forever when i make them into a winning design.


This little orange was from a quick marker sketch done on the back of a Vitamin Water receipt from Wholefoods. I've been carrying these little baby markers around in my purse. The lack of solid black line can get me thinking in a totally different direction.

My sketches tend to be in monochrome. I try to grab a few markers or colored pencils on my way out the door an make myself use them before I get home again. Color isn't the easiest for me. Sketching just happens but color takes a lot of thinking time.

How do you incorporate color into your thought process?

Listening to right this second: 'Like Dylan in the Movies' - Belle and Sebastian

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Why Can't Every Day Be Saturday?

My parents would answer this with some comment about how Saturday is only fun because we get it once a week and that makes it special. I'm old enough to know that they'd be lying and that the real answer is "because we can't always have everything we want." Luckily, sometimes we can. Saturdays are usually like that for me: everything I want. This morning I had a chummy video call with an friend who's living in Greece. Skype is king. I read my book in the park, we're back to One Hundred Years of Solitude. I walked to Brooklyn Heights and visited the farmer's market. At 10:30 I met up with an old friend for brunch. (I'm high-fiving myself right now.) Then I hit the gym. Today's been near perfect and while it may sound slightly dull, I've been reveling in it. I need to get some designs done this afternoon but tonight I'm going to an 80's dance in Chelsea.

Why can't being grown up always be this nice? Oh right, I remember.....

Here's some sketching that happened at brunch: 11 Madison Park is always my very favorite spot for brunching NYC. When we got there we found out that they don't do brunch anymore! I got a chance utter the phrase, "well, I never!" We walked for a while and worked up a pretty hearty appetite before we happened upon the ideal spot for hungry people on Saturdays.

I think the boy was much happier with predictable but reliably good and happy American brunch as opposed to questionable but fancy fusion brunch. It's doubtful that the sketching would have been happening at 11 Madison Park. Too fancy and snobby for sketchbooks on the table.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Arctic

OK. Confession.... This is a huge embarrassment on my part, but my entire life....for the past 27 years, I have been mispronouncing 'Arctic'. That's right kids. There's a town named 'shame on me' and right now I'm its chief inhabitant. I have also been misspelling it, which puts us in this 'Chicken or the Egg' conundrum. This week at job-job we learned that Arctic is spelled as such and not known as the 'Artic'. My drawing-girl roots are so hurt.
I was a bit shocked. I considered hiding this indiscretion but it's less shameful if I admit it and move on. Seriously, though...I thought this part of my life was over! In the sixth grade a fight with Lahela Lindsey took a turn for the worse when it came to light that she was in fact correct. 'Pretzel' is not pronounced with a 'n'. Sorry kid, there is no such thing as a 'prentzel'. That's the last time I can clearly recall such a blow. In my defense which one of us is now living an awesome life in the 'pretzel' capitol of the world?! HUH? Take that Hawaii! So who really won that one? I think it's clear. Uh...yeah. In breaking this logic, I have no intention of ever moving to the Arctic. As a compromise I am thinking of christening my studio. It doesn't seem right that our universe wouldn't have some place called the "Artic". Could you think of somewhere more fitting or more sketchy? I for one, cannot.
The Arctic is cold. OK. I'm sure you knew that already. But it's really cold. We're talking negative 40 degrees Celsius. That's like normal winter but times 40! Actually, I have no idea what negative 40 degrees feels like -- but it's really, really bad.
In the summer it is hardly ever dark.
In the winter it is hardly ever light.

Sami and Inuit's live pretty happily in the Arctic. Honestly, I don't know know for sure that they're happy. I imagine things can get kind of dull. Sami live in these really adorable little villages. Maybe they have dances? Food isn't easy to find there. So they fish. It's starting to look like I'd make a really bad Arctic girl... What with the cold and the no sun and the catching and then eating of fish. They fish with nets, so maybe I'd take to that with a better attitude than fishing with bait. Gew. Bait. Gross.I would probably make a better Arctic flower. They are low to the ground with very shallow roots. Plus they're very pretty. They grow long hair that is wild and unruly. They're prickly on the outside but incredibly fragile once you get past the outer layer that they develop for protection. It's like this movie just wrote me a dating profile.

My favorite part about designing and animating this movie was all the cool animals I got to research and draw. I'm going to show you some of them now. Check it:

My art director and I got into a fight about this whale. He kept complaining about how it looked. I'd redesign and then he'd complain some more. I got SOOOOOOOO frustrated. Finally I realized that he was upset with the way that this whale actually looks, not with the way I was designing. After a lot of back and forth I got the last word with, "Dude, take it up with God."We talk a lot about how we're ruining the environment and doing bad stuff for the earth. I animate ice caps melting and glaciers moving. It's actually pretty sad. At one point we have a momma polar bear and a baby polar bear on seperate flats of ice as they float away from one another. It's enough to draw a tear.
Do I feel guilty after this Arctic movie has sunk in? A little.... but then I slap myself and pull up a chair in my perfectly temperature controlled studio and look at my blog stats for today. Let's be honest. The Arctic is hardly even looking at my blog! Maybe I'll go back to calling it the "Artic," afterall.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Watercolor Wednesday

This week I had a lesson with my star pupil, aka. the kid I am most likely to steal and run away to Mexico with. We started using watercolor and experimenting with color. My work of course always runs along the cute and cuddly vein. His work is strong, bold and abstract. Here is one of our collaborative projects.
This was our first voyage into the idea of texture. We had fun. One of my 'freedom through medium" teaching techniques is to turn the textures into something concrete after everything is said and done. My students always go all out trying to make abstract patterns that are too crazy to see things in. This works wonders for them. They stop having the fear of 'messing something up'.

I get them to start doing the exercise completely by themselves. Eventually we stop looking for images because the artwork stands on its own in the abstract. This also makes for an easy jump into looking at art. I got to keep this one because after we finished the texture maps he demanded that I "Make it a horse!" He had so many horses by the end of our lesson this week that he let me keep one. ;)


I left all of the rest of his work with his parents. They figure since they're paying for this tutelage the work should adorn their walls. Sadly, they have a point. I wish I could share it with you. It so kicks other kindergartner art's trash. Maybe I'll take photos next time.

Here's a bit of the loose stuff I did after we pulled the paints out and he was off and running.




Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Sew Excited!

So you know the drill, busy, busy. " Your people should really call my people." No seriously. My people are busy! Here at She Sure is Sketchy we've been rolling with the punches, the homies and the flow. Here are some new concept sketches. We're "sew excited" to bring you. Just a bit of a gander before we roll out the big guns.
OK, enough rolling for one day.




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