Sunday, April 29, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

She Sure is {Life Drawing} in Charcoal

I may have mentioned before that Pratt's Draw-A-Thon is steeped in Tradition. In that tradition, I have two iron clad rules, and one is 'Friends don't let friends use charcoal'. I've spent the last decade softly smiling at the freshmen who are required to attend this blessed occasion. They are fuzzy. Like in a camera obscura kind of way... You can see them, but you can't really see them. They are covered in a thin layer of black dust. They look ridiculous. They look like this:

The crazed look in their eyes kicks in at about 4am. This year however, I was without Sandra, and so I was wooed by the racoon-rimmed eyes of a small sophomore sprite who had doused herself in ebony powder and was attacking her sketchbook with earnest. Knowing full well that charcoal sketches always look just plain awful and there's no way to glean anything actually happening with them, I was sure her work was going to be horrid, but her sketchbook was beautiful, so I had to ask her where she got it. She'd picked it up in Florence on a study abroad program. I braced myself for her dirty, dark sketches and was instead floored and impressed by how beautiful they were.

"Here, wanna try some?" she reached out her hand to share a broken stick and I was pulled back to a particularly lovely day on the bleachers in high-school. --OK.... Just a little... I thought. So here are my charcoal sketches from a long night, in which I made new friends, with kids and with medium.


 

Monday, April 16, 2012

She Sure is {Delirious} Pratt Draw-A-Thon

This June, Mika and I will mark six years at job-job. At high noon on Friday, I had her make my annual pilgrimage to Utrecht on 23rd and 8th so I could fulfill my pre-all-night-drawing ritual, which includes, um... going to Utrecht to buy things I'm going to burn through over the span of 12 hours. In pure brilliant Mika style, after crooning through sketchbooks and drooling over new pens she deadpan delivered this, "I can really mark the year by your weird traditions." This year we know it has been a year. It's Spring. I have life drawing to share.




Also, in pure traditional style, I walked home from Pratt at 8am, absolutely high, my body pumping with pure adrenaline. It's a marathon for a reason, and while I've never run more than a 5K (in which I felt my lungs may explode ;)) I can understand how absolutely crazed with energy you can be after pushing yourself as hard as you can go. After 12 hours of drawing straight through from dusk to dawn, you feel like you're bionic. 

So just like last year, and every year for the last decade, I power walked home. In true traditional Mark-Your-Calendars style I listened to Elliot Smith, Eminem, Eartha Kitt, and Ben Folds, (Maybe there was a little bit of unauthorized Gotye thrown in there).Pratt fuels me, and when I am nostalgic and ecstatic and feel like the world can barely hold my energy, I listen to the music that mattered to me when I lived on Dekalb and when it was an odd day that didn't find paint in my hair. 

I got home. I sang in a cold shower (like every year). I dressed in jeans and a fresh t-shirt (like every year). I dance-ran to my studio (like every year). I got about half an hour of prolific work done, barreling through without even a hint of tired, and then... I zombie walked to my bed, half crazed with an all systems shutting down urgency unlike anything I know 364 days a year. I threw myself across the mattress, where I stayed until 2pm (just like every year). 

This week you'll be getting quick draw reports from that midnight oil reserve that lights my fire all year long, and if you can't wait, there's always last year.

Friday, April 06, 2012

She Sure is {Vocal} Think Pink

The soap box I'm usually standing on here at She Sure is Sketchy is one that screams 'DRAW EVERY DAY' or "BE HAPPY - DO IT FOR YOUR ART". Today I want to show you something of a different color.

A few weeks ago I got a scathing email from a friend that went on and on about the commercialization of cancer, there was so much pontification on Pinkification that this letter needed three long and drawn out paragraphs. I read it thrice and slam dunked it into my little trash icon.

The thing is, I'm currently developing a line for a particular brand who's kind of in to the pink thing... It's been a long time coming and here's why I want to talk about it. When I began developing it, it was beyond sweet. Any of you here on a regular basis know that I like things cute, kind, cuddly. As I write this to you I'm decked out to the nines in girly girl clothes, and sitting twelve inches from a plush fuzzball inspired by a swooning pet store scene in the Harry Potter films. Here's the deal though, I put pencil to paper and I did a ton of work on this line, and then I thought of a friend I had in college


In the Summer of 2003 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. That year I watched her transition from someone cute and innocent to a blinding orb of fierce unbridled power. She shaved her head. She bought combat boots. She took to wearing short skirts and saying what she thought. She had the face of an angel, but I never knew it because I'd always been blinded by her mane of hair. She became the strongest version of herself, and when it was done, and her hair came back, she always rocked a curled pink ribbon.

Thoughts of her made me change the entire direction this line was going. It's brash and its bold and when it's done I'll be proud of it. So that's my 2cents.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

She Sure is {Sketchy} You Drive Me Batty

 Life is exceptionally good these days, pinch me good. When Life is good, I draw birds.
This bird though. This bird made me mad. He was so not cool. However, he reminded me of a bat.
Then I drew a bat.
I liked that a lot better.
Then I drew some more bats.
 

With Surtex growing ever nearer (in the past this time of the year I typically feel as if I'm being chased by my personal version of  The Never Ending Story's Nothing). The end of March always finds me forcing my brain to think so production-y, so market-y, so trend-y.

In a cherished conference call last month, a client pushed Dr. Seuss out of the #1 most quotable things I auto-mantra to myself during 3am jam sessions. Here is what she said, "What I love best about these little guys, and actually everything you've shown us, is that your drawings are utterly disciplined but totally carefree.  I look at everything that you do and I think, "Let's march headlong in to recess".

So this April I am focusing on returning to what I love most about my work, and remembering that when it is good, I am trying -- when it is great, it just happens--that's when it feels like somersaults at the beach.

In summary, this post is about how birds become bats, and how Surtex is gonna rock this year.

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