Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hourly Comics 2013

Once every couple years I put a thing here. Here's Hourly Comic Day 2013. You can click for bigger, I think.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hey look I made some comics

February 1st is Hourly Comic Day and, lacking anything better to do, I decided to participate! I am not very good at drawing, but here it is. Click for bigger.

Monday, April 27, 2009

(S)Ketch Up and The Landscraper

The long awaited hive photos have made their way into the Inter-tubes! You don't have to say it - I already know. You are BURSTING with excitement. Click here for the photoset. I don't have a shot of the final final product but I assure you, it is very huggable. I was having trouble with how to display it, but after seeing Art in the Garden yesterday, climbing a tree and hanging it up doesn't seem so ridiculous. 

Aaand here's a little preview of my Sketch Up 3-D text thing. I spend HOURS on this because the program goes slower than a snail on sedatives, and it's still not done. I will eventually color it and stuff. My name was going to be too long (though I probably spent the same amount of time trying to move that dumb sphere around) and I couldn't think of any other words but this one.
Those hexagons are so cool but so annoying to make. I used the polygon tool but I had to wait for both that one and the push/pull one to work.  No fun.

Anyways, digiscapes? I wanted to make a landscape with an unconventional view, so I decided on an underground landscape. I was thinking about worms and stuff buried under the surface, and a few people mentioned ant colonies/ant farms. So great, more bugs. For at least one of the prints, I'm going to orient the paper vertically with the
 "horizon line" on the very top so you can see how deep the colony goes beneath the grass. Other ones might be looking down a tunnel or a horizontal
 cross section of the grass and dirt underneath. 

At Florida State, some researchers did casts of ant colonies (they got the ants out first) and they are really neat! There are more pictures if you follow the link and scroll down to the bottom. The paper mentions "ant hotels," which would be a fun concept to play with. I guess they made artificial chambers to test the depth preference of younger and older ants. Also, Dominick coined the term "Landscraper," which is so awesome that I've made it the working title for this project.

As for the execution, this is the first thing I thought of when Jennifer first described the project. The video is a teaser/demo of an awesome video game with a rotating landscape made of what looks like cut paper pieces. I love all the textures and would like to incorporate something similar into my digiscape, using scanned textures of found objects and craft items like yarn and fabric.

Also, speaking of depth, here is xkcd's take on it. I seem to remember one with stuff buried, including dinosaur bones. Does anyone remember that one or know which one it is? I can't find it. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hive Mind?

I began my reference photo resource with this kind of image in mind - the kind of beehive found in a Winnie the Pooh cartoon. Surprisingly, I couldn't find very many actual Pooh images (this one is a mural someone painted for a child's room) or photos of hives like the one I had envisioned. 

I found a few images that looked like this one, but they were all illustrations and no photos. 
So I did some beehive research and found out that a "beehive" proper is almost always manmade. The one pictured here is called a "skep" and is actually a basket-type structure used by beekeepers. There's a little opening for the bees to fly into but no structure inside, so they have to create their own honeycombs. The troubles with skeps are 1) the keeper cannot check up on the colony throughout the season and 2) honey can't be harvested without destroying the whole structure (that's why the big box-type hives are used more often).

Here are some dudes making traditional skeps.

So what about this type of nest? It's the shape I was thinking of, but a very different texture. this is actually a wasp nest made out of a paper-like substance that they produce. Bees, on the other hand, make wax and tend to nest inside preexisting structures instead of making their own. 

An exposed bee nest looks like this. Crazy!

So many things I did not know before! I don't even know who I am anymore.

Now, I don't want to go all Winnie the Pooh for a serious art project, but I decided I still wanted to draw inspiration from my original thought. Even though that kind of beehive is an amalgamation of a wasp nest and a skep, it's the first thing I pictured and I think it's pretty iconic and recognizable. It's also a simpler shape to reproduce in fleece. 

Photos of hive creation forthcoming.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Buzz

I really wanted my infinite print to be a component of the unique object, not just something related or a variation on a theme. And in thinking about things that are infinite, I somehow came up with a swarm of bees. I don't know how it happened, but it works. For my object, I'm going to make a plush beehive and hang the printed and cut out bees around it. I'll be able to combine my love of (obsession with?) insects and my desire to make a plush. My thinking keeps going back to making scary things more appealing. First, the creepy crawly pattern, now an adorable swarm of bees and their huggable hive. On an unrelated note, it might be fun to do a whole series of common fears made cuddly. Or at least un-scary.Anyway, I'm thinking it's going to be some sort of installation. Preferably in a tree, but I also want to make it work indoors because the weather has been so strange lately. 

Here are some beemakin' pictures. 
Tried drawing right into Illustrator with a Wacom. The first one is a serious attempt, the next two are sleepy/angry doodles. I was hoping for something between accurate and cutesy. Not much luck. You may remember the fourth bee from my damask pattern. It's just there for reference. After much gritting of teeth, I went back to old-fashioned pencil and paper drawing. and came up with this:

Here's a cuter, fuzzier version.

Live trace on that image didn't work as well as I wanted it to, so I inked it and scanned again.

Isn't he precious? Sorta went for the creepy-cute look of the rat creatures from Bone.
And here it is in LIVING COLOR:
Stay tuned for more on the hive. I learned a ton of really interesting information as a result of looking up photo references.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


This project has been plaguing me... which is why I haven't posted anything until now, I could only think of each part of the assignment separately - if I had a good idea for the infinite, I didn't know how to make it unique, and vice versa. My first thought was to make an image of  something, then make a 3D version of it. What's more unique than the third dimension? 
I am particularly interested in soft sculpture (fancy name for not-for-kids plush toys). 

Sorta like that, but a little more refined (hopefully!). Lizette and Roberto Greco create plush toys based on their children's drawings. Click here for more of their work (really nice stuff, but most don't show the reference drawing). Anne Karsten did a similar project with a class of 4th and 5th graders, asking them to do a bit of product design and creating plush versions of their "concept drawings."

Disclaimer: I'm not an art major, so I'm not looking at 
master artists all the time or thinking serious art major thoughts. I've always been interested in crafting and most of my inspiration comes from the blog (which I read daily). 

(Unrelated, but see also Yeondoo Jung's magical "Wonderland" project that turns kids' drawings into photographs)

Anyway, so 2D to 3D. Want some more distractions? I got 'em. Like this 3D printer used for rapid prototyping. This thing is SO cool, but sort of the opposite of what I want to do. It's able to create 3D objects over and over again in precise
 detail from a CAD file. Dang. Good thing I don't have access to one of those puppies.

I also considered making a crochet version of my image, but that kind of thing can be very frustrating. I kept thinking about how patterns make pretty much anything reproducible, but I could avoid that by doing more of a free-form crochet without using or making a pattern. Entertained the idea of making the object first and writing my own pattern for the infinite edition, maybe doing crazy typographical things with the pattern. Scrapped that idea. Still very little thought about the subject of my project.  

Considered monoprinting, particularly with an image that's been in my head for a long time. It's based on a lyric from "I Can Barely Breathe" by Manchester Orchestra. You can watch the video on YouTube - embedding is disabled so you'll have to click. Anyway it's just the first two verses and they go like this:
When the dark flood came, 
we wrapped ourselves inside a dirty blanket,
citing different opinions
on whether we should move.

When the houses came,
they ate up everyone like they were fishes
saying, "come on, come on. 
it's the end of the world."

Here's a crappy photo of the only time I ever sketched out my idea. I think the thing on the right side is a dude in flippers? I dunno.
Aaaand this is what it sorta looks like with a little live trace. I love the way the lines look but I couldn't get the trace to pick everything up. I remembered that I wouldn't have access to the studio and materials anyway, so monoprinting was out. I thought maybe I could create a 3D set-up with wood blocks for the houses and printed out versions of the water (pasted on cardboard or something).  Buuuut I think this image wants a lot more attention than I could give it right now. And I think it wants to be a block print or a screen print, not some crappy diorama.

So I am back to soft sculpture. I want to make something as awesome as this gigantic mosquito by Weird Bug Lady, aka Brigitte, who is a zoology student by day and a plush invertebrate crafter by night. Just so happens that I like bugs too...

More content soon!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Series of Unfortunate Serigraphical Events

I am pretty terrible at keeping up with this. I've got some in-process images that I meant to post a while ago. Maybe I was waiting to put them up next to a picture of the finished product? Well, today is crit day and I have no product.

So, as we have all discovered, screenprinting is a long and arduous process. I harbor intensive feelings of jealousy toward those in my class who have printed without a hitch, as I have not so much as looked at a bucket of ink yet. My first coat of emulsion was super nasty, but I exposed anyway, only to make the regrettable mistake of using a rough sponge in the washout process. I scrubbed a little too hard and lost a bunch of my details... so I had to start over. My second attempt was taking 8 years to wash out, so we resorted to the power washer... which I also misused. Details were getting lost again and the power washer blew out some of my outlines. 

My screen is now coated with emulsion for the third time and awaiting another exposure. This time I'm going to try two transparencies on top of one another, and if that doesn't work I might cry. Hopefully I will have a print by today. Here's crossing my fingers.

Anyway, check out these PICTURES. So much more exciting that starting over three times.
I will try to get the images on here later, but for now, head over to the handy-dandy Flickr set I made.

Monday, March 2, 2009


After much agony, I've decided to make a damask-like pattern (see above) out of animals - particularly animals that people are afraid of or grossed out by. The idea is to manipulate the viewer's perception of something distasteful and turn it into something beautiful (I hope). I'm ont sure how I'm going to arrange them yet, but here are the first three creepy-crawlies.

I'm not sure how to fit two more colors of screen print in...

Monday, February 23, 2009

First Assignment and Project Ideas

Here's our first mini assignment that we did last week. We were supposed to find a Current Events-type image and manipulate it in Photoshop so that it made a different impression than the original photo.

I found this image in MSNBC's Week in Pictures. It was taken for AP by Charles Rex Arbogast (what an excellent name). It's captioned, "I've seen that face before... Pedestrians stop to watch a live broadcase in downtown Chicago of impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich delivering his closing argument at his impeachment trial in Springfield, Ill., on Thursday, Jan. 29. The state Senate voted unanimously to remove him from office."
Incidentally, Rod Blagojevich is a pretty excellent name too.

Knowing nothing whatsoever about this whole hullabaloo, I was simply charmed by moment captured in the photo. These four people are stopped dead in their tracks to see what unfolds on that huge screen. Speaking of which, huge screens never fail to baffle me. Aren't we already bombarded by billboards and TV screens as it is? Of course, I understand that this one is making the news available to everyone, but I can't help thinking about the commercials that are probably up next.
Anyway, my other motivation was that this looked like a relatively easy Photoshop job - just replace what's on the screen. I wanted it to be something very opposite of what was there already - a totally different reason for people to be standing around in 24-degree weather. I thought about a scene from a movie or a cartoon, but I decided on this:

Now it's on to Real Project ideas. Our first Digital Printmaking piece has only a few guidelines. It's got to involve manipulation (of the viewer, by the artist, or a comment on manipulation in general), some kind of digital process, and a 3 color screen print (serigraph if you want to get fancy). But basically we just have to make art. I am not sure how I'm going to execute this whole thing. Elaine Bradford makes me want to incorporate crochet into my project, but I don't want to rip her off by making striped sweaters for inanimate objects. I'd like to manipulate a traditional art or craft and use it in an unexpected way. And though I'll never produce anything as magical as Jill Greenberg, I want to be able to change the viewer's impression of my subject in a similar way - making people aware of detail they may not have seen before or changing natural colors and textures.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Art blog

Who'd have thought that school would turn me into a blogger? I apologize to anyone hoping for travel updates - I will be back to write about the rest of my trip. But for now, I'm going to be writing about art! This must mean that I am a real artist now that I'm writing about it on the internet. Either that or my teacher made me do it.

This will be my record of work done for my Digital Printmaking class and hopefully it will be kind of exciting! Today's task is to write about manipulation and its use in art. Here goes:

Asked to define manipulation, my first thought is that it means changing something (or someone) to suit one's own purpose. This can range from the benign - like molding clay - to the sinister - as in mind-control (eek!). Manipulation is also the usage of an implement or tool, especially with one's hands (as evidenced by the "man" root). An artist can tie this all together by using a paintbrush to create an image that changes the appearance of an object or changes the way a viewer thinks of something. In a sense, all art is manipulation because it picks and chooses what to include or exclude in a composition. There is no way to replicate real life, so even the most "objective" photography is still changing what's actually there. Manipulation of photographs has taken place since the invention of the medium, whether it's unintentional (differences in development techniques) or not (Photoshopping digital pictures). Photography itself is the manipulation of light to create pictures. Another obvious example of manipulation is advertising. Graphic ads aim to draw the viewer's attention and manipulate them into thinking that they've just GOT to have the product pictured.

Here are the first two artists I thought of who are manipulators.
1. Elaine Bradford

Bradford combines two very different arts: taxidermy and crochet. She manipulates the original intents of both processes, as well as viewers' expectations. Her latest exhibition is called "The Museum of Unnatural History" and shows off fantastical, sweatered species in natural history museum sets. Her earlier work is mostly comprised of sweater-wearing logs... which gets repetitive after a while, but is a pretty cool idea anyway. Sorta like tree cozies.

2.Jill Greenberg

Using a combination of amazing lighting, digital manipulation, and probably magical powers, Jill Greenberg makes some amazing portraits. She manipulates her viewers' perception of her subjects - often celebrities or advertising models - by bringing out detail that no one can ever see in real life. Usually she makes people look "better" or more interesting, but she's also done some pretty controversial work too. People were upset about lack of ethics in creating a series of children crying, captioned with anti-Bush sentiments (she offered them candy, then took it away), and most recently she caused a stir with her portraits of John McCain for Atlantic Magazine. She intentionally lit him and eschewed her traditional Photoshop methods to make him look evil. She also posted out-takes from the shoot, including a picture with McCain's mouth replaced by a blood-rimmed shark mouth and captioned "I am a bloodthirsty war monger." Personally, I am more inspired by her work with animals and the way that she makes us think of them as having personalities.