Monday, August 30, 2010

"Can You Find the Ten Hidden Cars?"


I did this piece for a children's illustration class some time ago. In the picture, there are ten hidden cars. Any guesses?


Largely, I am posting this because of A) Project Procrastination (look, there's an alliteration) and B) because this picture is completely the opposite theme/character angst-wise as my below I.F. entry. Yay, to be a little kid and have a silly and lighthearted pillow-fight!

Man, I miss those. For shame. Fun and feathers flying everywhere.

Friday, August 27, 2010

llustration Friday! "Immovable"

The topic for "I.F." this week is immovable, and I am submitting a piece I did a bit ago that I believe is on theme (and, admittedly, very depressing-- but I would like to believe there is a happy ending, off-page, somewhere for these characters. I may draw it to rectify the scene here.)

This piece is titled, "The Betrayer's Burden." The piece's title/P.O.V. is from the girl seated to the far left.




I would say that many things are "immovable." A person's religious and cultural viewpoints, for many intents and purposes, are likely to never change. Sexuality can be "immovable" in the very same way-- personally, I believe that people are born whatever way they are, and that a person as he or she is, is how things should be. I suppose that's an "immovable" standpoint of mine, that many people have just as "immovable" an opposite opinion of. The effects of what government control can do to people, if not immovable, can last for centuries. Some people will stop at nothing to fight for their relationship, fight for their beliefs, or fight for, or about, anything at all. I think people like this all have an "immovable" quality to them. Maybe "stubborn" would also be a good word.

Or, being "immovable" can simply mean unable to move. Which I'd say is the case for the character (the daughter figure) in the piece. On a literal level, should she move to intervene, to at least protect her Mother from having hot tea poured on her? I personally think yes, no question. However, she's frozen in her tracks-- be that because she is shocked, because she is too fearful to do the right thing, because she is caught in the middle of two people she loves, or that she is turning her back on her family, herself, and the rest of who she is, I think is open to interpretation.

This piece was originally going to be a piece about two people in an unapproved-of relationship rebelling against a suppressive parent figure. I don't even remember why I changed it, but once I peppered certain accessories around the picture (a stuffed beefeater bear and an elephant, Ganesh in a picture watching none too impressed, etc.) changed it to a relationship between a presumably British girl and an Indian girl, with the British girl being cruel towards the older woman, it got A) A lot heavier, B) No longer a piece where someone would more readily identify with the two younger girls, C) One where you'd probably feel bad for the Mom, and D) Possibly an allegory also about countries, and not just people.

I personally think the daughter character is betraying herself and her parent--hence the title, partially.

But I also came up with the title based on the famous Rudyard Kipling poem, "The White Man's Burden."

I'm thankful for Kipling, seeing as he created "Rikki Tikki Tavi" and "The Jungle Book"--and without that, the cartoon adaptations of those stories would have never have existed (I loved Chuck Jones' "Rikki Tikki Tavi" when really little, and am still obsessed with Disney's "The Jungle Book" today--"Bear Necessities?" MARCHING ELEPHANTS?! "HUP, TWO, THREE FOUR"--*ahem* I'm calm, I promise).

However, I find his poem, "The White Man's Burden," extremely choice . For anyone reading this who don't know me, I use that phrase sarcastically-- i.e., not to describe "choice cuts" that taste good from a fancy deli, but to criticize unfortunate people, behavior, etc. , as in: "Despite the fact that I truly do not care for his former mother-in-law to be, I find Levi Johnston's behavior extremely choice."

There is somewhat of an argument that the poem is all satirical... which, I'd like to believe. Unfortunately, I doubt this, and think he may have felt a true "burden" in "having to colonize people," like so many Imperialists of the time. And even if he meant it to be a satire, it failed-- much like the "New Yorker" cover of Barack and Michele Obama (which is pretty well-known, but here should anyone want to see: http://tinyurl.com/2b6krx4). Both Kipling's poem, and that cover, have been defended as "obviously" mocking extreme world views. Unfortunately, many people take things literally, and use said interpretations as reasons to back up their behavior, thoughts, etc., and not always for good. In the case of Kipling's poem, many people took it word for word, finding that it perfectly defended racist and Eurocentric views, Imperialism itself, etc.

But anyway, that poem is controversial, famous, and the poet himself lived and grew up in India. Which is what partially gave me the impetus to make the title of my piece a reference to it.

As for my above drawing, I feel that it relates mostly to the Indian girl who is betraying her family (as I said), as well as herself and her culture. But, as I said, I'd like to make a piece where there are no such burdens, she and the Mom are happy, and as it's 2010, it would be nice if the other girl was there too, and everyone was happy together.

You can always draw things true even if they aren't always in real life, right? That's why I like pictures and storytelling. Authors and illustrators can make anything come true on a page.

In any event, despite this novel of a post (and I apologize for the downbeat content), I hope everyone has a great weekend!

To see this at the site, and for more I.F. "Immovable" entries (many of which are far cheerier than mine, I promise), please go to http://www.illustrationfriday.com/. And also, check out last week's very cool submissions for "Atmosphere."

Yay for I.F.!

Ten four, signing off ;-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sculpey Critters and Slum Circus Shout Out!

I actually took these pictures with my phone back at Indy Euphoria in Sacramento, this past June. The first toy has been sold, but the others are still in stock! Thought I would share, as these and my usual fare will be on sale at Slum Circus Expo, this coming weekend! Egads. Excited, but a ton to prepare.

http://slumcircus.org/ has all the info, and what I can say is a ton of cartoonists, indie artists, and all around cool people will be there. Dave Castro, the organizer, is an amazing cartoonist/person. I love pen and ink work, and his stuff is definitely at the top of my list. Here's his blog: http://tacocomics.wordpress.com/

Without further ado, some sculpey peeps :-) --!


A little ladybug, and ladybird (how British), sitting atop a mushroom. And some cards. My friend bought this one back in Sacramento.


Different angle of ladybird and bug.


Another angle of the ladybug and ladybird, sitting on a different card.


Same card as above, different angle. I had fun making his bowler and her veil.


Bookworm! His book is blank. Oops.


I will pretend that Mr. Bookworm can, and does, read invisible ink. Quite a story he's got there, from what he tells me.


Laughing little bluebird ducky creature.


Different angle of Miss Bluebird Ducky.


Wrinkle-dogs are my favorite.


Snow-kitty! She's kind of out of season, but then again, so is the entire video of "California Gurls" (which I randomly rambled about back here: http://tinyurl.com/2ehdyg7 ), so I suppose it is okay.
Dalmatian with a French Beret. I suppose he traveled west from his original Eastern European environment :-).
'Tis all for now, folks. Blogging is fun, but there are tasks to be done. A rhyme! And with that, I am off for real, for real.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Atmosphere!

So, this week's topic is "Atmosphere."


I thought that this Pen and Ink piece I did a while ago would fit, given the content and that it's titled "Global Warming.'

To see this at the site, as well as more entries for the topic of the week, "Atmosphere," or for last week's topic, "Stargazing, go to http://www.illustrationfriday.com/.

Happy Weekend's Eve!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Someday, My Prints Will Come...

The title. 'Tis a pun. Partly because I just love puns, and partly because I am frustratedly awaiting a postcard order that went quite haywire because of UPS and their insistence on delivering things when people are at work. But I digress.



Mostly, I just made the pun because it's a song since I have known since I was little, it is fun to pun (and rhyme). Somewhat related, I love East Hollywood, in part because of the little painted boxes that kids did around the neighborhood, a la the photo above.

I love it primarily, though, because of Barnsdall Art Center, where I am currently lucky enough to be taking Mary's Class! Very cool. It's always a big fight to keep the art centers in L.A. open, and it's a fight that has no choice but to be won. Many people, and especially kids and older adults, need art and places to take free or affordable art classes to survive. And while it's been a struggle because of Los Angeles' horrifing deficit, I (knock on wood) am glad that Barnsdall is a place that is being kept open, largely because the community is fighting and won't back down on this.



A mural at the center, which I love.

And on a personal notes, a few phone snapshots of the linocut I worked on this week. I couldn't get the ink to quite stick right, but I kind of like how it got weird and spotty in some prints.








'Tis all for now, folks.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Post of Miscellany!

Many people post things for the sake of posting, be in inspiration, something funny, all of the above. I found the image below while on an unrelated image search, but I love the look of the pigs and really, pigs flying is just fun. When and with what medium was this illo done? It reminds me of presses, printmaking, and old Victorian things. Needless to say, I'm a fan.







Anyway.

Frequently, I see people post images and fashion and other such things they are interested in.
I'll post something more artistically sound/useful soon, but for now, I figured I'd put in some images that I enjoy.





The above is a mural in the East Village which I just learned of but have not seen! I really, really, really hope to see this in person, because I love a good pun (there are mischevious kitties, and if you read the text... well then, the pun is obvious) and the illos of the kittehs here are just adorable.




Anyone who knows me knows I have a kind of (read: a pretty big) obsession with "Gossip Girl." The show actually makes a lot of literary references, and despite some ridiculous and soapy plotlines for cheap thrills, is often well-written, dark, and even Whartonian--is that a word? Edith Wharton references abound, though, thematically and even with character names at times. For example, a woman named "Lilly" married a man named "Bart," which has to be a reference to Wharton's own "Lilly Bart."





But apart from literary references, one of the best things about the show is Blair Waldorf, played by Leighton Meester (also probably the strongest actor on the show) who is in the pictures above. And also below.



The short description of her, as said by her friend/advesary on the show Dan, is that she's "95 pounds of girly evil," and that if you "Google Revenge," you'll get http://www.blairwaldorf.com/ Unfortunately, that link won't work for real. But barring that, while one might think she is purely mean/bitchy/etc., she's actually just kind of a prickly, complex character.



(Love love love that dress!)


She's not a bitch to the people she loves, and when she is being a bitch, it's generally A) While getting vengance in ridiculous but ultimately satisfying ways when someone has wronged her ass, and B) To defend a wronged friend, almost to the point where she's acting like a loyal little (but albeit, slightly pychotic) bulldog.





To be honest, I wish I had the guts to Blair out in real life sometimes, but since I am only pushed to that level of snark in extreme situations, I only emulate her fashion-wise (on an immensely reduced budget, since I have probably one trillionth of the size of a bank account that a UES-er, fictional or otherwise, would have). That boils down mostly to wearing headbands, and admiring (but, only emulating sparingly) her epic bitchfaces. Observe:



(And sadly, I have an almost identical headband to that)


But, seriously, it mostly comes down to being inspired by Blair's especially crazier outfits.



Especially that crazy cherry dress at the very very top, and the orange ruffly one (although, that one is not quite as crazy). If I Recall Correctly, the girls over at http://www.gofugyourself.com/ thought the cherry dress was a little much, but if I could afford that, I'd wear it in a heartbeat. Probably because it's a little like Gothic Lolita:




Also something I like, which is over the top, and again, presently-- apart from having nowhere to wear said things but conventions (at least in the bottom full shebang outfit case)-- could not afford it. So, I am not yet one of the owners of clothing like this, nor can I go shopping at booths like this:




These last photos are the only pictures I have that semi-resemble anything Gothic Lolita and/or Miss Waldorf.



Mmostly my red dress and the music note skirt, as I bought them both from Gothic Loli places at Anime Expo, in that vein. Blair clothing wise... primarily, honestly, the leftmost dress is the only thing that fits. And the headbands. Anyway, in my dreams, I can be Anime Hyper Blair :-)

Fashion whee? Fashion whee. Of craziness. Whee!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Illustration Friday! Starry Edition

This week's theme is Star gazing, and I thought this greeting card of mine fit said theme:


The original caption said, "You're a Rockstar!"

The drummer is watching the guitarist jam out, but also watching the stars dancing around her.

Also, if she's potentially dreaming of fame (daydreaming and star gazing can also be synonyms), hoping that one day her and her friend will be stars in the music world, I felt like this was on theme even if not on a literal "stare into the beauty of the night sky" kind of way.

This was a lot of character analysis for what was once a simple greeting card. But, I hope people enjoy!

This card and others can be seen at the Valentine's/Romantic Cards Section of my Website: http://drawdvl.com/romantic-cards.html

And as always, here's the Illustration Friday link to view this entry and all the other entries for this topic, as well as the entries from "Caged," which was last week's challenged: http://illustrationfriday.com

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Comic Peeks and Progress

I am working on a comics project that I'm only posting teasing snippets of, for now.


All I will say is that it has a bit to do with Oscar Wilde's "The Nightingale and the Rose," and while it is not an adaptation of it, there are elements/characters of it in the new story. Also, new unrelated characters.

Here are some (not at all Wildean, hee) cryptic/silly haikus, since I do not wish to say too much.

Haiku 1:
Sequential project/
Consuming my life! Yet, 'tis/
A story to tell




Haiku 2:If comics drawing/
Can kill... at least the pages/
Are a pretty corpse.




"So the Nightingale pressed closer against the thorn, and the thorn touched her heart, and a fierce pang of pain shot through her."
(Oscar Wilde, "The Nightingale and the Rose")
"Bitter, bitter was the pain, and wilder and wilder grew her song, for she sang of the Love that is perfected by Death, of the Love that dies not in the tomb.

And the marvellous rose became crimson, like the rose of the eastern sky. Crimson was the girdle of petals, and crimson as a ruby was the heart."
(Oscar Wilde, "The Nightingale and the Rose")
You said that you would dance with me if I brought you a red rose," cried the Student. "Here is the reddest rose in all the world. You will wear it to-night next your heart, and as we dance together it will tell you how I love you."

But the girl frowned.

"I am afraid it will not go with my dress," she answered; "and, besides, the Chamberlain's nephew has sent me some real jewels, and everybody knows that jewels cost far more than flowers."
(Oscar Wilde, "The Nightingale and the Rose")



" 'What I a silly thing Love is... It is not half as useful as Logic, for it does not prove anything...' "
(Oscar Wilde, "The Nightingale and the Rose")

Friday, August 6, 2010

"Caged," Illustration Friday!

So, I missed the chance to make a new illo (and didn't have a pre-existing one) to fit this past week's theme of "Artificial." However, this week's new theme is "Caged," and it just so happens I made a greeting card that's on theme!



A Chanukah Card I made a while ago, it's of a girl feeding little cookies to her pet chickens! The caption was, "On this Day That's Cold and Gray, Please Enjoy the Holiday!"

Some chickens here are out playing, others are sleeping in their cages/egg-sitting. I had fun drawing the little yarmulke on the top boy chicks (not yet roosters).

Here's the link to view every submission at on the site: http://illustrationfriday.com/!

And, while it's a bit out of season, here's the link to see other Wintertime Holiday cards at my website: http://drawdvl.com/winter-holiday-cards.html.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

cryptic haikus and a few stills from an upcoming project... more to come when there is more time (bwaha)

turned older this week...
now that festivities done
nose pressed to grindstone

oscar wilde stories
are not chipper, yet, perchance
are relatable?