Archive for the ‘illustration’ Category

Treasure book marriage proposal

This is probably one of the sweetest and most time consuming marriage proposals I’ve ever seen.

Illustrator Joel Kimmel wrote and illustrated short story describing the “history” of the ring he was using to propose to his girlfriend with. He then pasted the pages into an old Collier’s Cyclopedia and in the last bit, carved out a little hiding spot for the ring itself.

Here is the last page with the flap in the middle:

Which opens to reveal the ring!

What a huge amount of work!  Thank goodness she said Yes!  🙂

[via Joel’s blog]

Tops and Tails and Monsters

I discovered the blog Agence Eureka a while ago by accident (I think maybe via BibliOdyssey). I don’t know much more about it than the poster is female, from France and seems to have an unending supply of the most awesome ephemera just hanging around waiting to be scanned. Her tastes (on this blog anyway) lean towards kids card games and books, turn of the century magazines and souvenirs of travel, none more recent than the 1960s.  She is not shy with the big files (all easily downloaded off her flickr page) and I love what she has been posting lately.  This particular card game that she calls “Tops and Tails – zoo” has tickled my fancy in a big way:

zoomelo 19

zoomelo 10

zoomelo 14

I’ve loved mix-and-match things since I was a kid. One of my very favorites was a book called Mix ’em up Monsters [interesting side note: I can’t find ANYTHING on the publishers of this book online. They are called Current, Inc. and the book was published in 1980, code 3221. The one Amazon link is to the wrong book – or at least it has the wrong cover. Come one internet, help me out. Anyone? Bueller?]  I was just going to post a link to whatever online reference there was to the book, but since I couldn’t find anything, I figured I might as well dig out my old copy of it and take a few photos.  Good thing I had a vague idea which box it was hiding in…

Mix 'em up Monsters cover

This Gruesome Grump

This Greedy Glutton

This Persnickety Pest

This Slippery Scoundrel

I loved how each one had that whole alliteration thing going and the drawings were just awesome (in retrospect, very late 70s). And each time you read the book, you could make it say something a little different. I’m also fairly certain this is where I first learned the word “persnickety.”

Pigeons and School

So my (never truly) stellar track record of posting every day has somewhat dropped off lately.  The reason is quite simple – I have returned to school!  I’m in the Intermedia MFA program at the University of Maine in Orono.  You may be wondering What (the %^$#) is Intermedia?  Intermedia is by its very nature hard to define.  It is the in between spaces.  It is where things overlap and new things become.  Personally, I’m interested in the places that art, technology and traditional craft overlap.  Other students are interested in where food and art come together.  Or sound and art.  Or writing, art and biology.  The list goes on and on. Most of what unites this group is that we don’t quite fit into any of the other traditionally defined departments within the University structure.  Which is what makes this whole experience so very exciting for me.  We are bounding forward into the unknown and hoping to come back with something amazing. Last week was the very first week of school this fall.  And there have been a lot of adjustments.  Something had to slip a little and it turned out to be this blog. I’m hoping to incorporate this blog as part of my art practice so it is my intention to be better about maintaining it.

ANYwho.

I’m trying to figure out what it is I’m going to work on first.  I think I’m going to go with the spark that was ignited earlier this summer by another class I took at the University.  I believe I mentioned before that I took a book binding class this summer and what a huge impact it had on me.  It reminded me how much I love making books.  Not that I’d really forgotten, just that it had been so long since I’d made one that other things were clouding my memory.  I’ve been wanting to continue playing with books since then and I think this is my opportunity.  So I’ve started doing some research. It’s funny though – research can often be entirely accidental.  You just have to recognize that what you are looking at could have larger implications for you. I’ve been hanging around the library on campus in between classes.  This early in the year, it is nice and quiet.  And it has comfy chairs and wifi.  As I was wandering down one of the mustier isles, this caught my eye:

The Natural History of Animals - spine

My first thought was that it was a skull. I stopped and pulled it off the shelf and looked at the cover:

The Natural History of Animals

Now it was beginning to make sense. I flipped through it just to see if it happened to have any other cool illustrations. And on the last page I found this:

Pigeon - closed

Which was kinda cool. But then I realized that it opened out. And it became SUPER AWESOME.

Pigeon - all three layers open

Each layer revealed something different about the inner working of a pigeon.

Pigeon - circulatory system

Pigeon - wing open

Pigeon - skeleton layer

So. Cool.

And I would have never even known it was there. I just bumbled onto it because I liked the spine of the book. There was no search term that I would have ever thought to use that would have ever turned up something like that. But once I found it, I totally loved it. I’m not sure if I’ll ever do anything with the idea, but just knowing it is there makes me happy.

Yay for libraries!!!

Fogler Library - UMO

How to Be Alone

Love this.

How to be alone by filmaker, Andrea Dorfman, and poet/singer/songwriter, Tanya Davis.

Once I started poking around their websites and video feeds I discovered this wasn’t their first collaboration.  Turns out they’ve made another little animated film together called The Drums.  So sweet and lovely:

Buffy at 1000 Idols

I wrote a little guest spot for Kori over at The 1000 Idols Project on why I thought Buffy the Vampire Slayer was idol-worthy.

Here is Kori’s Buffy:

And here is what I had to say about her:

I first heard the name “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” from one of my best friends in 2001.  He was describing how it was one of his favorite shows and I was giving him endless crap for how stupid the show sounded.  Come on, “Buffy”? I would say. Really? It sounded too much like a Dumb Teen Show to even bother with. Which is when he duct taped me to a chair and played me the first episode from the first season on DVD.  Then he asked if I wanted to see the next one.  I think I made some kind of non-committal response like, “If I have to.”  By the third episode he’d gone to bed and I was glued to the TV. I couldn’t stop watching. It was amazing. While Buffy looks like the kind of girl who would be perfect, perky and popular, Buffy is in fact, really kick-ass and sort of an outsider.  According to her creater, Joss Whedon (who is often idolized himself, inspiring such lines as “In Joss We Trust,” for his brilliant writing/directing) the idea for Buffy came from taking the idea of the scared blond that gets killed in the first five minutes of every horror movie ever made and turning it completely on its head.  Far from getting killed, this blond is prepared to kick ass. She is tough, strong, confident and completely able to beat the crap out of anything lurking in the dark. She is, as it turns out, the hero of the piece.  The character was originally written for a 1992 movie of the same name with Kristie Swanson as the lead.  According to Wikipedia, the director, Fran Rubel Kuzui, saw it as a “pop culture comedy about what people think about vampires.” Whedon disagreed: “I had written this scary film about an empowered woman, and they turned it into a broad comedy. It was crushing.” The script was praised within the industry, but the movie was not.  Whedon got the chance to develop the idea into a TV series and in 1997, the pilot aired on the WB with Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role. Finally he was able to realize his vision for Buffy the way he had originally intended.

What makes the show so powerful is that it is hard to define. One of my favorite descriptions of the show is that it is “The X-Files meets My So-Called Life.” It is about vampires and demons (or the monster-of-the-week), yes, but it is also about High School and insecurity and what it means to grow up. We get to watch Buffy dust vampires AND try to decide what to wear to prom. We watch her struggle to define herself and find the balance between all of her various responsibilities. She has super-human strength and abilities but clings to the things that make her “normal.” She is essentially struggling with what it is to be a woman, in the best, most fully realized way possible: powerful and vulnerable, strong and soft, a leader and willing to be part of the team.  The show also boasts a spectacular array of supporting characters (many of whom are also idol-worthy in their own right – Willow Rosenberg, the lesbian Wicca is another particular favorite of mine).  All of which adds up to a show that is so much bigger than it’s lead character.  But Buffy remains the heart (and strong right hook) of the show and for that, I find her completely idol-worthy.

[Check out Kori’s post here]

Wonderland

I had much grander ambitions for today’s post, but it is soooooooo hot here.  Maine doesn’t usually have super hot summers.  Some times in August we’ll have one really hot week.  But this is July!  And today the temperature hit 97 degrees!  And 80% humidity!  My cats were mostly puddles on my kitchen floor.  Poor things.  At least I could seek out an air conditioned coffee shop.  But even that was warmer than it should have been – the a/c just couldn’t keep up with the heat.

ANYwho, instead of what I was going to photograph and share with you all, I’m going to share one of my favorite works from a very interesting photographer.  His name is Yeondoo Jung and he lives and works in Seoul, South Korea.  The project is called Wonderland.  What he has done is taken drawings from elementary school kids and made them a reality:

Afternoon Nap, C-print, 2004

I want to be a singer, c-print, 2004

Miss Sparkle Sprinkles the Magic, c-print, 2005

I love that he really manages to capture each kid’s wonderfully skewed perspective and make it believable.  It really feels like the drawing has come to life.  He has taken the child’s sense of wonder and added his own to make some really fabulously bizarre and sweet photographs.

Another take on this idea comes from Bill Zeman and his daughter who he has dubbed the Tiny Art Director.  Basically he takes direction for his illustrations from his two-(now five)-year-old.  Her directions are often a word or two and her critiques of the finished work are hilarious and scathing.  So, about what you’d get from an adult art director. I also think it is fabulous that he has been doing this for so many years with her.  It is really cool to see her change and grow through her father’s eyes.  Her demands have become more specific and she has reached a point where she has decided she can draw what she wants better than her dad.  So often he posts her work alongside his.  Which is just so cool!

I love collaboration between adults and kids.  I think the work on each side is richer for the other.  A kid’s imagination hasn’t been truly reigned in by anything yet so everything is still possible.  And a grown-up has to work really hard to live up to that.

As part of a class in vector graphics, my husband will often have his college students do an Imaginary Friend Project.  He will pair them up with a 2nd or 3rd grade student (we have several friends who teach art in elementary schools) give the following directions:

If you are planning a career as an artist-for-hire, you’ll be creating art to other’s specifications all the time. Frequently this will come as a doodle on a cocktail napkin, done by the owner of the ad agency (who has no training as an artist whatsoever) while drinking with the client. From this you have to extrapolate a final, finished piece of that will make the client (who is probably paying tens of thousands of $ for it) (although you’ll be lucky to see $100 of that) and your boss happy. Fortunately, in this case, your clients are more accomplished artists than you’ll usually work for. They’ve provided more detailed sketches of their concepts than you’ll usually get, too. Your mission this time around is, starting with your client’s sketch as the initial idea, create a finished, polished work of art, depicting just what their imaginary friend really looks like.

From one of his previous classes, this is one of my favorites:


How awesome is that?!