In honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to make a little tribute to the creatures who know unconditional love better than just about anyone else: dogs. I created this set of six printable Valentines based on my life as as the human to two slobbery canines. Big thanks to my dopey foxhound, Ivy, model for the hound at the bottom right, and the inspiration for the top right troublemaker, our scruffy mutt Murf, who lived up to his illustration just this afternoon by spreading trash all over the house. Good thing they’re cute!
Summer to me will always be wide open farmland, meadows full of flowers, ditches overgrown with weeds and grasses, things growing and buzzing in the sunlight. Take that image and add one part Willy Wonka wonderland and you’ve got the paintings of Australian artist Clair Bremner. Full of boundless color, abstracted plant life, and tiny patterned details, her paintings sing on the canvas, capturing the energy and wonder of the natural world in a completely unique way.
It’s hard to believe, but I’m not over 1/3 of the way there on the 100 Day Project. The daily drawings have given me a chance to play with different subjects and styles, from single characters, to collections, to patterns, and experiment combining hand drawn and digital illustration. Not to mention that it’s been an opportunity to get up close and personal with a sketchbook, something that I haven’t done in years. Here are a few favorites from the past couple of weeks.
I was scrolling through Facebook this morning when I came upon a picture of my kid. Not that unusual to see on Facebook, sure. But then I realized that I hadn’t posted that photo– Pee Wee Herman did! Henry’s Pee Wee Halloween costume was featured on the real Pee Wee’s site today! Talk about this gal’s dream come true!
For those who haven’t seen the blog post on which Pee Wee based his feature, you can check it out here. By popular request, I’ve also added a listing of where I found the toys included on Henry’s Pee Wee helmet so you can make your own! (And if you do make an attempt that that epic helmet, please share– I’d love to see!)
Thanks to Pee Wee for featuring my kiddo, and thanks to Henry for being so awesome and loving Pee Wee as much as I always have.
I’m lucky to go to work every day in Chicago’s South Loop, a neighborhood that’s a fascinating blend of cultural institutions, colleges, and business. While I work on Michigan Avenue, one block west is Wabash, a cavernous street slightly off the tourists’ path, topped by the El tracks and full of hidden gems. One of my favorite parts of this area is the Wabash Arts Corridor, a so-called “living urban canvas” spearheaded by Columbia College Chicago to make visible the creative community of its campus.
When I attended Columbia in 2008, they were just beginning the murals and large-scale art installations that have now taken over this area. At that time I was lucky enough to create a window installation that was on display for a few months at 623 S. Wabash, a hint at things to come. Today the Wabash Arts Corridor encompasses Wabash Avenue from Roosevelt to Van Buren, Michigan to State Street, and features more than 20 large-scale outdoor art pieces, from murals to sculptures to installations.
As part of this spring and summer’s Big Walls event–in which WAC will install 18 new pieces– Dutch artist Collin van der Sluijs recently completed a mural at 11th and Michigan. Featuring an explosion of flowers, van der Slujis researched native Illinois plants and animals to include in the piece, rooting it in place figuratively as well as literally.
I’m lucky enough to pass this spot every day on my afternoon commute and got to watch the mural emerge against the huge brick wall over the course of a few days this month. All of the artwork on the Wabash Arts Corridor is inspiring, and I’m especially thrilled to have this beautiful piece now greet me every day.
I’ve been making things my whole life, and one thing I’ve learned over the past 34 years is that creativity is hard. When it’s good, it’s great, of course. But the smooth patches inevitably melt into something more trying, when the spark doesn’t burn as brightly and inspiration is harder to come by.
I’ve been in one of these creative lulls since around the new year, and decided recently that it was time to take action. The only way through these creative blocks is to take them head on, so I decided I needed to find a practice that would force me to work through this rough patch and find my inspiration again.
I decided to tackle the 100 Day Project, a creative challenge to do one thing every day for 100 days. Drawing is something I’ve done very little of over the past 10 years, but my 20s were spent with a sketchbook never out of arm’s reach. I sketched in every slow moment, filling notebook after notebook with words, drawings, collages, and more. Given the joy that practice brought into my life, I thought that forcing myself to draw again might be just the jolt that I need.
With the 100 Day Project you’re encouraged to create your own hashtag to allow people to follow your work. To that end, I’ll be completing #100DaysOfNightsAndWeekends (an homage to the time I get to spend making each week). I’m just a few days in, but so far I’m having fun experimenting with styles and mediums. I hope you’ll follow along on this crazy drawing journey! Here’s to 93 more days of drawing– I’m excited to see where I’m at on the other end.
There’s the old idea that given long enough, even a monkey could eventually type Shakespeare. The Tumble collection 9-Eyes takes Google Earth images–arguably the most banal and random photography out there–and finds the Shakespeare within those millions of images. Where the most interesting of my Google maps searches is usualy just to look for my car in front of an old apartment, 9-Eyes’ images capture scenes that look like they could’ve been taken by the most accomplished nature or street photographers. People in haunting poses, seemingly pivotal moments of their lives. The Awl’s Everything Changes featured the images as story starters, inviting readers to create their own narrative out of these captured moments. Few photographs beg to be explained and explored quite like these.