Archive for December, 2009

Rubenstein D’Grumples, Part 3.

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

OKAY. I’m almost finished with the frame. William Morris, I take my hat off to you.


Now I have to transfer it to the board that the rest of the piece is on, using the time-tested technique of carbon paper. Which means I have to draw over all those lines, and then, using pen, draw over all of them again. Holy tedious, Batman. But, as I keep telling myself, it will look great when it’s done. It better, or else I’m going to have a fit.

Rubenstein D’Grumples, Part 2.

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Oooooh, so many swirly details. I found a piece of clipart that I liked, and now I’m basing the look of the frame on it. And it’s taking FOREVER. This is what five and a half hours of work looks like.


The black part is the clipart, and the pink part is what I’m building. Five and a half hours. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for the computer, because otherwise I’d be doing this with sheets and sheets of tracing paper, so that’s definitely good. But the art of design still happens at the same speed (SLOW), so that’s that. Just to give you an idea of how much space I still have left to fill, here is the drawing again.


That’s a lotta space still left to fill. Sigh.

I’m makin’ art!

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Well, it’s Christmas Eve, and I want to wish everyone a Happy Merry Holiday and a year filled with positivity and gratification.

Someone asked me how I get my ideas for my work. Usually, it’s from seeing something on The Discovery Channel or on the internet. However, sometimes a thought comes into my mind and nestles up against another thought and – poof! – a delightful piece of art is born. Here’s my latest example: Snorth has a cat named Ruby. Ruby was a very cute, rather friendly kitten when she was wee.


However, Ruby grew up, and now two things can be said about her at all times: she is fat, and she hates you.


And because, like me, Snorth is incapable of calling her pets just one name, Ruby also goes by Rubens, Rubenstein, Beefapotimus, and Harbor Seal. Also, Snorth says Ruby suffers from Teh Bitcheh and Teh Grumples. All of this information came to rest in my head and I decided her full name was Rubenstein D’Grumples. And then I thought that it sounded like a 20th-century upper-crust name (example: William Backhouse Astor, Jr.). Then I thought about those posters that Mucha and Beardsley did (see how it’s all coming together?) So, armed with this picture off of Facebook:


And some research:

Bedivere Aubrey Beardsley 1894 Mucha-Sarah-Bernhardt-Tour-Poster-Giclee-Print-C12546084leyendecker1

And now I have this:


Yay! I’m very proud of myself on this one. It’s pretty small too (10.5″ x 5.5″), so there’s quite a lot of detail in a very small space. I still have to come up with the pattern for the outer frame there and decide if I want to add color to this, but it’s coming along great. When it’s done, I’m definitely adding this to my portfolio.

Target hexagons, then Avatar review.

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

I went and saw Avatar: Dances with Smurfs* the other night. In Imax. In 3D. And no, I did not puke, thank you very much. But before I did that, I went to Target to pick up dishwashing liquid and lookit: hexagons! My favorite polygon is Target’s primary Christmas decoration!**

photo-target1 photo-target2

So, Avatar. There’s nothing I can really say that no one has said before. It’s very visually stunning and the plot is lame and if you do go see it, see it in 3D, because they do 3D correctly. They don’t have things popping out and punching you in the face, they have subtle elements creating depth, which is fine and lovely and why I didn’t get eye strain or a headache. Okay, some notes:

– You know the Disney movie Pocahontas? It’s the same plot. There’s a scene where hot blue native chick is taking ignorant white guy/avatar through the forest and she’s teaching him to appreciate nature and the music swells and for a brief second I thought I would hear Vanessa Williams start, “Can you PAINT with all the COLORS of the WIIIIIIIIIIND?!??”

– The subtitles are in orange-colored Papyrus font, which I tend to shun, but somehow that’s totally okay for this movie. I guess because both the font and the film are earnest and elegant and sorta cheesy. It works.

– Must every freakin’ creature be so vibrantly colored that I almost develop epilepsy? Has anyone ever been to a tropical jungle? Most all the animals are in the brown color range. Maybe some crazy-colored birds, or some poisonous frogs, but that’s kinda it. I realize it was a design choice to make everything pertaining to the humans gray and monochrome and everything Na’vi-related vibrant and alive, but it got to the point where I was looking forward to scenes with the big bad humans just so my eyes could get a break.

– Spoiler spoiler spoiler. When the bad evil white people set Home Tree on fire and it crashes to the ground, it is approximately the same size as the Titanic, and it falls at roughly the same speed. And I cannot put into words how desperately I wanted a blue person in a tuxedo to fall and then bounce off a gigantic propeller. Shocker: didn’t happen.

My final comment is that if you want to see this film, you need to see it in the theaters, preferably in 3D, because it just ain’t gonna cut it at home on your 50″ screen.

*I love that title, but I cannot take credit for it. I saw it somewhere on the internet. I’m using it anyway.

**Yes, I have a favorite polygon. I’m half-proud and half-ashamed of that.

Addendum on January 5th: You know my comment about Papyrus above? Apparently it’s rankling the graphic designer world big time. See link:

Additional Addendum: Yup, Disney’s Pocahontas. “Have you EVER seen the WOLF CRY to the BLUE CORN MOOOOOON?”

Happy Holidays! I got you some links.

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Okay, you know when you start to type something into Google and it tries to finish your thought for you? This is what the kids are lookin’ for on the webs.

Those motivational posters. But more betterer.

They’re notes telling you clearly to stop dropping cigarette butts on the front porch, or maybe it’s time to start paying your share of the cleaning supplies, but with a happy smiley-face at the end. Hooray, mixed messages!

Meet my deviated septum.

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Everyone who’s ever slept in a room with me thinks I have a horrble sleeping disorder – a lot of thrashing and grunting and snoring and violent spasms – and I always wake up feeling just as tired as I was going to sleep, so I finally decided to get a test for sleep apnea. Whoo boy, is that convoluted. I met with the family ENT doc who set me up with a cat scan, an allergist, and a sleep study program. Then he’s going to view the results and probably give me a Darth Vader-like machine that I will have to wear while I sleep because apparently my raw sex appeal was too overwhelming and they needed to tone it down. Anyway, I had my cat scan today and I learned an important lesson about myself – I am crookedy. Let me explain: If you were to bisect a person down the middle of their body, from the top of their head, right through the center of their ribcage, most of the things on one side would mirror the things on the other side very closely (liver and heart and a bunch of other stuff excluded). Today I had my sinuses scanned, and I expected to see one nostril/sinus look very similar to the other one, and I was WRONG.


Never mind that the nostril cavities look like they’re from different people, notice how my septum just scuttles off to the side there. There’s no straightness or symmetry to be found anywhere.

Two things.

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

1. Publicis had its annual meeting followed by its annual holiday party, which this year took place at Avenue. That’s some swanky club that Lindsay Lohan tends to frequent. I spent the whole evening sitting in an armchair lip-syncing and vogue-ing to the music blasting out of the speakers and being so thoroughly embarrassing that the CCO turned his back on me in order to hold a normal conversation without having me in his line of vision. ‘Cuz I’m CLASSAY. Anyway, whoever decided the decor of Avenue clearly wanted the place to resemble a dungeon, or maybe Hogwarts. There were all these portraits all over the wall – I expected them to ask me the password to the Griffindor common room at any time.


2. I understand the the White Power people are very angry and they would very much like this to be a country of pasty-colored people, I get all that. What I didn’t know was that they were such big Lisa Frank fans. Let me explain: This is some of Lisa Frank’s product. Those of you that owned Trapper Keepers in the ’80s will be familiar with her work.

LisaFrank2 202939068 lisa-frank

And this is a tattoo I found during my daily viewing of various blogitoriums.


Except for the swastika armband and the poorly written “white power” near the top of the buttcheek, it’s like my elementary school folders come to life. I don’t think this is what Hitler had in mind.

Christmukkah is upon us.

Friday, December 11th, 2009

I haven’t had time to run up to Saks to see their window display, but one of the benefits to working across the street from Macy’s is that I can see the Macy’s windows all the time. Every night this week that I worked late, it helped to walk out of my building and see this:


And look! Finally I got a shot where you can see the owl’s eyes with the green lights! Only took me two years. See those trees there? They have what I call “the dripping lights”. Last year I tried to make an animated gif of how it looked.

This year, I tried again.


It is an equally underwhelming gif. But trust me, in person it is lovely and breathtaking and it makes working in Herald Square during Christmas totally bearable.

So, Macy’s window displays. They are traumatic. They have some sort of storyline about working in Santa’s toy factory, and there are many moving figures and pretty holiday music and all that good stuff. It’s just… the workers in the factory are creepy as all get-out. They are elves and robots. The least upsetting elves look like Joan Rivers:


And the most upsetting elves look like possessed demons with no irises in their eyes. This one looks like she’s so deep in Satan’s clutches she’s going to start throwing up bees.


But for me the worst things were the robots. They’re EVIL, and not just regular evil, no no, they’re like psychotic “Heath Ledger as the Joker” evil. They are the makers of nightmares.


Make him stop looking at me, Mommy! I christen these windows as ho-ho-horrifying.

I have completely run out of “care”.

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Oy, I am so very very tired. I worked all through Thanksgiving, and last weekend, and all this week I worked 14-hour days. My computer desktop is usually very tidy, like maybe five folders neatly arranged on the right, but because I haven’t had time to deal with anything, my desktop now is an accurate representation of my mind.


However, the last meeting has ended about an hour ago, so the tempest has died down. I shall blog something vaguely interesting tomorrow, I promise.

Why I don’t like Mad Men.

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s an excellent show, with super-sexy actors wearing great costumes. My problem is is this: First of all, it’s about advertising, and I live the advertising life all the freakin’ time, so it’s mighty depressing to watch a show where so very little has changed since 1960. Hey, treating women and minorities like crap, hooray! The good things never die! The second thing is that it’s so morose. Everybody’s dissatisfied with their lives, and stifled, and bitter, and disappointed. It makes me miserable. I look to my television to do one of two things: educate me (Dirty Jobs, Modern Marvels) or entertain me (House, Scrubs, The Smoking Gun Presents). Mad Men doesn’t really do either. So that’s why I don’t like Mad Men. The end.

Addendum on December 10th: Okay, Season Two is better. It’s growing on me. Less depressing, more dramatic.