Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Bit and a Little

Today feels like Saturday! Guess who isn't going to job-job today?!
GUESS WHO HAS A FIVE DAY WEEKEND?! The offices of job-job are moving. To highlight the FREEDOM of their employees and to get their move-on, my employers are spending these days being highly benevolent. On July 5th I report back to work, never again to look upon the hasty space I've occupied for the last five years animating a rather precocious robot in. Instead I look forward to new dawns and new horizons. It's good I have five days to clean my visual palette to be best prepared for the fancy mcShmancy space they've been designing since July 2010. I woke up without an alarm and now I have plans for fun and fabulousnes from here until Monday at 9am.

So for starters. I drew a page of surface design:

OK. I drew many surface design pages. This is the one I am showing you.

It's been thirty days of blogging without a hic-up an accidental goal I made on the 5th of June when I realized that I'd posted every single day. It has been a treat and pleasure. I feel like if I miss a day now, I'm failing in some way. So in short: Watch. This. Space.
More to come, much much more.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Creative Space

I'm at the beginning of a pretty big project (well a new pretty big project). 
I'm attending a five week children's book intensive 
On Saturday I pitched a book, in rough thumbnail form to a class of mega-talented artists who are working on their children's books in the intensive too. I had forgotten how nice it is to be in a safe place with talented people. I get that at job-job but it's in a robot direction. Saturday was remarkably refreshing. I read my manuscript and showed my thumbnails and they wrote things on their copies of the things I was reading. I got a lot of feed back and that was a good good thing. Here is a smidgen of the things they said:
  • I think you can make this really funny. Right now it's pretty funny, but I think you could make it hilarious
  • I'd like to see more emotional humor in the pictures
  • Can you make this shot 'over the top'?
  • I really like the tone. I can hear four-year old talking through this book. Don't lose that!
  • I can tell you know how to empower kids. I think this book will really resonate.
  • I am obsessed with the elephants in your portfolio. Maybe it would be good to have a similar change of scale and composition here?
  • I love your patterns, I can't wait to see them in backgrounds (This hadn't even occurred to me)
  • I want the tension to build. I would love for this book to be ridiculous by the end.
 There were a lot of other things we talked about and that I learned, but these are the things that I want to work on before my next workshop two Saturdays hence.
So tonight my creative space is this:

 And a little of this:
Then I started to pout, because I am high maintenance wanted to make this closer to scale and I only had an itsy bitsy bit of clay. Also: under the light the clay was starting to bake. Fail.
A light bulb appeared above my head and I ran off to craft closet. I return victorious mere moments later. Yes, somewhere between being handed my diploma and arriving here tonight I forgot that I used to spend forty hour weeks with my peers stop motioning some animation. Of course clay bakes under high light and of course you need this, if you are going to get anywhere
This play will never bake. It's permanent grease and sculptural plasticity. It can be anything you have in mind. Think it's cool? Then you can try to move it in undetectable increments until you regret waking up. Luckily tonight I am building a one night only kind of thing.
As you were.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Here On the Street Where I Live

I love my neighborhood. If you google 'Carroll Gardens' it is not hard to see why. 
This weekend, after my eight hour Children's book intensive, I walked a new friend to the train. She could not stop gushing, 

"It's like you live in EUROPE!" 
--um...Yeah, I know.

I've said it before, but this is the best part of sharing the best part of New York my home with people. I look at it with fresh eyes when I am explaining its significance in my life.

Today I was going to review a book I bought a while ago on a visit to Community Book Store, but I decided -frack that. Instead I'm going to start by telling you about Community Book Store. I'll review the book later, and you'll appreciate it more, knowing that it was a diamond in the rough.  First, Let's look at this beautiful picture of my favorite neighborhood bookstore, taken in 1972....
This was taken two weeks ago.
Have I mentioned that I love it here?If you make it through the front door, this is what you will find: 
This is the sorted part. As you fight your way further into the recesses of the store, things get sordid. It smells like dust and like books that have been well loved.
The part I like best is that you will never ever know what you will find. Like, for serious.For instance, I once found a turn of the century porno. It had a lovely dove blue cover and a letter pressed title. Five pages in, petticoats were being ripped off in hot passion, or excuse me in piquant moments of rapture. It was published in 1902. I've never used the word "score!" more appropriately as when it I unearthed it from a box of dusty tombs.

I have found long forgotten, terribly important children's books from my past here, cook books that fill me with glee (and butter), instructional encyclopedias that later assisted me in the fixing of sink pipes and the kind of monumental beautiful picture books that are made with hand etched plates.

The store is owned and presided over by The Bookman of Cobble Hill. I was going to put a picture that I took of The Bookman here, but Jacob Murphy, always does it best. See the rest of his beautiful series here.

The amazing thing is that even with the chaos and depth of The Community Book Store, The Bookman, knows where everything is. 

I showed up there a few weeks ago needing a copy of 'A Town Like Alice' for a birthday gift. We had one of our typical exchanges:

Me: 'Do you have A Town Like Alice?

Him: "A Town Like Alice, A Town Like Alice... A Town Like Alice............"Nevile Shute?"

The process is ten kinds of wonderful. He will give you a brand new copy, new releases and stuff publishers are releasing now (usually for 10-20% off list) are up front behind his 'desk'.

If a new copy isn't in his possession, he'll climb deep into the store, moving boxes, re-stacking piles of hardbacks, sometimes even reaching behind books in the shelves, they're stacked two deep. Then he'll simply hand you the volume you're in need of. 
A lot of times if I know I want something new, I'll have him order it for me. Afterall, I'm always looking for an excuse to stop by and see what's 'new' on the corner of Court and Warren.

Simply adding to the eccentricity of this dusty shop of horrors/wonders, The Bookman doesn't really keep typical hours.

On  breezy Summer nights you'll find him smoking his pipe on the  open store's steps well into the late hours of the night. Other times there will be a hand lettered cardboard sign in the window saying something like 'Gone until August - Vacation'. That is what I wanted to tell you about the street where I live today.

Monday, June 27, 2011

New York Minute

Because I don't journal and because I would like to, I now bullet point my NYC existence.
This is what I did this week:
  • I passed on my most sacred t-shirt stencil knowledge, mother-to-daughter, but in this case single-20 somethin'-to-gay, face it - my most sacred knowledge is wasted on the straight.
  • I lined up a Pratt Institute intern for Fall 2011! You know I got game. This is my biggest big-girl round robin moment. It's the circle of life people, and it moves us all.
  • I got pinned and needled at Tomomi's. My bi-monthly acupuncture appointment is the most spiritual I get.
  • I wrote this paragraph: "I stood there, shocked. It was like that moment immediately after you get sucker punched. In the abyss of numbing pain caused by colliding tables turning, I had come home. Between '93 and '95 my brother worked really hard at perfecting his sucker punch technique. I was only so happy to help him practice, what with existing and such."
  • It was in an epic letter to a very good friend.
  • I begun 'The Thank You Note' process
  • I attended a reunion of people with I once worked with at One Lincoln Plaza/One Sesame Place
  • I did this and put it on Etsy and then someone put it in their online newspaper. OH and I put more stuff in that brand new Etsy shop. So that was a good thing.
  • I bought Bon Iver's new album and locked myself in a room with a sketchbook for an evening-time to commune with it. I was soooooooooo excited.Then I decided 'meh.'
  • I attended a pretty cool panel about the role of women in the world today
  • I took an 8 hour Children's Boot Camp Class led by Pat Cummings. It happened in her gorgeous Red Hook Studio. It's part one of three and I am already enchanted.
  • Speaking of studios, I took a tour of job-job's new offices
  • I went swimming at my Brooklyn outdoor pool, something I hope will be recurring frequently.
  • I was fist bumped by Amy Correia (who I have been obsessed with for a decade) at the Bowery Electric.
  • I was engulfed by rabidly happy strangers at Stonewall on an intensely historical night. I immediately turned tail and escaped with nary a moment to lose. I later asked my gay who had dragged me there,
    "Is it like being a turtle?" When they find out that something has happened do they all need to return to the homing place? I can't remember being anywhere more crowded! Well there was this one time in college at a Blink 182 concert in the direct center of a mosh pit, but seriously, other than that I'm out. 
  • I saw From Brittan with Love at the IFC center and swooned.
  • Upon recommendation from the Duchess, I read the most beautiful book. "The Alchemist" will be making a stand in my permanent collection.
  • I got my dad to read the Alchemist.
  • I got my mom to read the Alchemist.
  • Hopefully, I got you to read the Alchemist.
  • I ate some street meat, because I was starving at 4am after a night of crazy magic fun.
  • I said a silent prayer that I wouldn't run into anyone while buying said street meat. I ran into the worst possible person to run into that situation. High five!
  • I spent a few beautiful hours with my bff Rachel and her baby on a late-late night in her tiki torched garden.
  • I witnessed a first-ever first kiss. The girl was on wrist crutches and about fourteen, and the boy was wearing a Radiohead T-Shirt. He looked exactly like who you would want a first ever first kiss to be with. The look of total shock on her face was a Mastercard moment. It happened on the corner of Court and Degraw and he walked down court after it was decided that they would see each other on Tuesday. She is going to ask her Mom... She waited until he was out of sight and then practically flew with glee down Degraw. It was better than a movie and maybe the best part of my week.
  • I attended my first street fair of the Summer season.
  • I did a lot of artwork and it was fun.
and that's a wrap.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Classy Fish

I am reading a deliciously inspired book.
Every page makes me want to readdress my favorite thing.

I have also playing with these fairies.
Their exquisite little features and feminine touches have had me start thinking about my favorite thing. 
So a lot of things in my life have me thinking about my favorite thing....
Fish are my favorite. 
I have brought you some classy fish. 
I hope you like them, because manners matter to these friends.

They hope they are your favorite too.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Children's Book Boot Camp

Starts today!

Standing on the Threshold of History

which is where I tie my shoe.

My phone died on the third set of the show I was at tonight.  Sam is the world's last non-cell phone user. I spent the first five minutes berating him for his anti-tech choices. Then the next five bemoaning how I forgot to charge mine at job-job
 "Sheesh, let it go," he whined.
--"I wanted to watch my Twitter feed! They're voting soon." was all I could say. 

"Here," he said,"let me tell you what happened. They voted no."

I looked at his beautifully handsome face in the violet light from the stage. Oh, how this man has changed me. If I never had the deep conversations about scars that hate left on his heart or the limits he's felt since childhood because of  his sexual orientation, I wouldn't ever guess he wasn't always this whole and beautiful guy, so sure of who he is and who he wants to be. I blinked back tears.

I hugged my boy long and hard, around his face so it'd get good and greasy, he hates that.  "Someone's gonna have to break out the Kiehls... " I sing-songed before I got back in to the show. P.S. I am awesome at making heavy moments light. It's a gift and a curse. A gift for obvious reasons and a curse because it has a yang to that ying and let's not forget the crisis my dead phone was. You would have thought we were filming a witch documentary in the Black Hills of Maryland instead of sipping sparkly things at Bowery Electric.

Later, walking arm in arm through the streets of NoHo I pinched  his arm.
"Sam, maybe they said yes?"
--"No, hun. They said no." 

We walked and we walked, it was cold out and he gave me his jacket. I never have one when I need one. And let's be honest, why the hell would I need one at the end of June? Not that I'm complaining... We walked some more, mostly quietly. As we started to turn the corner on Broadway, an almost trip led me to bend down and redo the strap of my heel.

I sat there trying to get the little dots to align perfectly with the buckle. Sam pulled the pack of  American Spirits that live in his back pocket, tapped them three times and then dropped his lighter.  I watched it clatter down next to me on the subway grate. For a second I half-laughed. So he's human! I've never known Sam to drop anything. If there's a person I want next to the picnic table when I am forced to stand on it and trust fall, it is Sam friggin' Thompson...and then Atlas. Atlas gets picked second.

I palmed the lighter and started to to hand it to him from where I was on the sidewalk, my shoe still half on half off. Suddenly he was hauling me to my feet.
--"Sheesh! Let go!" I snapped, yanking my arm away, trying to balance on my shod foot.
--"LOOOOOOOOOOOK at THAT!" he wailed. "LOOOK!"

He'd caught the moment they'd flipped the switch. Tonight, my dear bloggy friends, I was reminded that a life can drastically change in a New York Minute.  I once again got to witness what pure joy looks and feels like on the face of someone you love. In my recent experience it involves a lot of crying and hugging, there is yelling and whistling and high-fives from total random strangers upon the streets of  Chelsea.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Most Beautiful Name


Yeah, I guess Titania's OK too.

Although, I never had a doll named after the queen of the fairies...When I was a little girl, much younger than this picture, I did have a doll named 'Bottom'. He was a donkey, so obviously, his name was Bottom. Other kids would laugh at his name. I wouldn't get the joke.

From the time I was seven until the time I was seventeen. My grandmother took me and my brother and sister to the Utah Shakespearean festival every. single. year.  So I knew what 'in the round' was when I was still sitting in it to play duck, duck, goose.

The moment I decided that I would for sure be an artist I was sitting in Fred's dream theater. Later when I visited the original in London I truly appreciated those bucket seats ;) I was watching a fantastical production of this very play. From across the stage the line "the object of art is to give life a shape," cut clear to my heart.

For that, I am forever thankful.

*Process note: This is my favorite way to paint, but I usually block myself in, because you know, I'm nothing if not sketchy. Some of what I consider my best work just starts in this loose watercolory way. No form, no function, just water and a color. Later, when I am not running late for job-job, I'll add some ink, add some color and make it 'real', but this is the best way for me to get things to 'weigh' the right weight. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sketching Social Media

I really couldn't help myself.

I tried....

but you know me, once I get started...I have a hard time stopping.

Have a day so great people whisper about it for years...?
I hope your birthday is the stuff of myths and legends!
I told my friends how old you are. They didn't believe me..?
OK. OK. I'm stopping.
Well, I am stopping for now.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Creative Space

It's been five years since I've had a job interview. You know how they always ask you your greatest weakness? I've been thinking about that a lot lately, and the true answer is, thank you cards.
Case in point. My great and wonderful friend, Rachel, first grade teacher extraordinaire, not only baked the most delicious cup cakes for my birthday, but also gifted me one of the most perfect gifts ever. These Boylan glasses are venn diagrams of perfection.

They are vintage. They are brightly colored in my favorite colors. They are upcycled (they used to be the actual bottles that you buy Boylan soda in! AND while I hate almost all soda, I would trip that lady in the building at job-job that stares at me like a little crocodile bird for a Boylan Root Beer on a hot day, OK...let's be honest,  I'd trip her anyway.) These gorgeous glasses perfectly match my 1950s kitchen, and I love everything that matches my 1950s kitchen. They are in a word: wonderful.

I am making an attempt at righting a very wrong, my weakness to send thank you notes.  So I am making one! I declare that it will be so spectacular that I will be forgiven the long months that have spanned since my par-tay! 
Well, at least I hope it will.

Here is how I am starting.
I am shutterbugging
my lovely gift x 4.etc.

NOW I WILL DIGITAL IT! Then I will sketchy, sketchy, sketchy it!

It is time to color it!

Next I print it!

Now I pull out this magical tool! I Score Pal it!

Fold, and we've gone full circle. Time to Shutterbug it! 
WOOT! Now to stamp it... I am going to report to you when it's in the mail. I need that level of accountability.  Afterall, it's not easy overcoming weakness. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Straight from the Book

This week something monumental happened. While waiting for the sink in the bathroom at job-job I identified my two greatest pet peeves. Today at She Sure is Sketchy I share the first. 

#1 - I hate when someone doesn't know I am being funny. Seriously. I loathe this. I despise when my joke goes over some body's head and they catch a wisp of it. I feel icky when they make a lower/more obvious version of it for the masses. (This is in no way attached to my hilarity process with most of my friends, where we spitball off each other's funnies TMNT style)

Coming to this revelation reminded me of an experience I had on opposite day six months ago. During a Women in Animation panel at my Alma Mater I got a full room of seemingly shy people ear/side splitting and busting guts during a panel discussion. Someone asked me where I get my best ideas. I blinked twice and then, in earnest, said, 'from my sketchbook'.

Seriously though guys. Seriously?

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Greatest Thing I Will Ever Draw

in under a minute, and a New York Minute recap. First thing's first - afterall, this is a sketch blog. This last Thursday I invented a new sketch game. It has been years since this kind of thing has happened, but much like Scribble Drawings or Stop! Listen! Draw! it just came to me, in a moment that transcended logic. Also, I was bored.

This game is entitled Random Profile. Here is how you play. First draw a long and jittery line. 
Then, make it into someone's profile
And. That. Ladies. And. Gentlemen. is how I drew the greatest thing I'll ever draw in a minute flat. I then played with other four footed friends.
Meet Moose:
Meet Camel:
And that is how you play. If you play, please alert me, as I would like to know.

Now for a new feature at She Sure is Sketchy: A New York Minute
in which I fill you in on my week in bullet points
  • I waited in line for a 'just OK' sandwich for 2 hours at NYC's annual Big Apple BBQ
  • I spent a full and marvelous day at Fire Island with some of my most favorite friends
  • I had a date at Superfine, so although it was not an amazing date, dinner was divine
  • I got my late night dance party on in DUMBO in the mud in the park, and it was delightsome
  • I broke up a fight and filed a police report when I got slapped by some fifteen year old punk kid who was going all Chris Brown on his 13 year old girlfriend at 8:30 in the AM
  • I went to the eye doctor in Chelsea, which was so Will and Grace I had to look around for cameras
  • I discovered that you can forget how to ride a bike
  • I spent hours wandering and appreciating my neighborhood
  • I created some pretty amazing Photo Fairies
  • I redesigned my blog layout
  • I sent off designs to a new fabric client
  • I reopened my Etsy shop
  • I had lovely conversations with my foreign family, abroad in Norway and Belgium repectively
  • I had a fantastic mani-pedi in Park Slope with the duchess, which did not include blue sparkle stars
  • I was gifted a pygmy puff
  • and I didn't clean, not even a little bit, not even at all.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Most Everything I Artistically Am

I owe to my daddy.

I am reading 'The Alchemist' for the first time. For those of you who don't know it, sadly, like me last week, it's a book about a boy who travels to a far land in search of his Personal Legend. He is unsure of what to do, and where to go, when a king comes to him and sets him on course to follow his dreams. 

Growing up we often called my father "King Daddy".  I know that what I do here in New York at my perfect little studio is my pursuit of my Personal Legend. I know that this path that I sometimes think begun with a duffel bag and a plane ticket HNL --> JFK really started 28 years ago, when my father allowed me sable brushes, cold pressed paper and master tutelage for my childhood chicken scratch drawings.  

Happy Faddo's Day, Dad.
I love you.


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