Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fail and then Fix

Attempt number 1: (good colors, but the concept was lost)

Attempt 2: (lighter more cohesive color with a story line that stands out better)

A squirrel on both your houses

Custom mug, yay!
One thing down.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The weekend down south was really nice, but somehow too short. I did get to spend time with an amazing dog and happened to run and hike in some great woods, but there we traveled 3 out of the 4 days we were out of NY, which is tiring.I was going to work on illustration stuff, but my head felt completely blank. I have been feeling a little slumpy of late. There are two projects I should get started on, but I just feel kinda flat. I know it will pass, and if the weather continues to get better I might find my missing mojo. I am beginning to work out the next book (whether or not the other one finds a publisher...this waiting game is killing me already). I have some odd details and some basic concepts, but no real plot yet. I guess that is what makes a book, so maybe I have not really started working on it.*
I also did another square illustration that is not good enough to post. I decided to be more formulaic in my color choices and it fell flat. Basically, I used this color pallet.
It really pretty, right? But the colors ended up taking over the concept and I was left with something that felt nice, but too heavy handed.
The colors are good enough to use later for something else, maybe a whale painting or greeting card, but I think I am going to redo the illustration.
Maybe, I will post the fail if the redo accomplishes something.
In the mean time, going to bed, maybe the new children's book will start to solidify.
(Special thanks to Martha Stuart for having great color pallets and the idea of turning stumps into stools.)
*(I just reread this post and realized I have been way more unproductive than I originally thought....bah!)

Friday, March 19, 2010

One for the road

And away we go! Be back Monday from a weekend in the South.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I didn't do it

Many of our house plants meet their end this way.
Ironically, the jade is a plant that cats do not eat, like african violets, these plants are either uninteresting or poisonous to cats...and maybe in spite of this, our cats try very hard to put these petulant plants in their place (also known as knocked into the floor). So, really, this is an ode to plants that endure the wrath of the house cat.
Creating a series entitled Colors in Love. More on this later, but it involves squares...shocker, I know.

Onesies is the loneliest number that you ever knew

I had a dream last night that I saw a guy wearing a t-shirt that had one of my illustrations on it. I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out where he got it made, but he did not seem to understand me at all. I finally got some info out of him and I planned to go down to the guys shop with a tape recorder to catch him in a lie so I could sue his pants off! It was a stressful dream.
With that in mind I think I am going to do some kids shirts and onesies. The problem with such endevours is they involve dumping money, yay! my favorite, and they involve multiple sizes. Choosing sizes it one reason I do not do t-shirts. If you get an even number of all shirts then you will sell out of some and not of others and have back stock of shirts that just won't sell. Also, most places that will print have minimum orders that are at least 35 if you are lucky. Basically, its a big pain in the butt. Additionally, if I order shirts from a co. I do not know then I have no idea how any of the shirts will fit and I hate hate hate the new american apparel designs because everyone love super long extremely narrow shirts...soooo flattering.
Ok, so enough complaining. I am probably going to buy some onesies and do some printing at home with my gocco and see how it works. If they sell, then I will consider going bigger. Its hard because I like my work for paper, but I cannot picture adults wearing my seem less daunting as well.
New illustration coming this way later today, yay!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cats in Squares!

The one in the orange box is my mom's cat.

This says it all

Friday, March 12, 2010


Had this in my head for awhile and I am pleased with how it turned out. If you want it as wall paper for your computer feel free to rip it.

OCD you know me

Working like mad, as usual. I just finished reediting my theispot page, which took forever again. I love this computer, but the whole backlit screen thing makes my eyes tired.
I am patiently (not really) waiting to hear back from anyone regarding my children's book. I consider it a bad sign that I haven't heard from anyone. I am sure everyone is very busy, but in my fantasy when they like the book they responded within two days. In the reality, it seems more likely they will say it is good, but they: a) not sure how to position it in the market (this is actual industry jargon, b) still believe its ending is not strong enough, c) do not know what age group I am appealing to, d) do not feel it is unique enough to really sell.

I know this is all pointless speculation, but if I do not voice my concerns then they just keep playing over in my head like a broken record player. You might be asking yourself, what is a record player, if you are then stop reading this blog you are too young to be reading it.
I have not been creating as much as I would like lately. I made some mugs, which is great, but I need to draw, which is proving harder than anticipated. Today, I plan to do some serious, un-serious, drawing. One of my customers has been unloading her watercolor supplies on me recently, which is a burden I will just have to deal with. Among the things she has been giving me are the most beautiful 22 x 3o 300lb french watercolor papers (I cannot even count how many), even heavier water color paper, and over 100 dollars worth of watercolor sketchbooks and tablets for travel. I hugged her of course. So, I plan to break some of my new toys in. I love art if only I could get this and maybe an apartment or studio that could fit it.
I have a small table, which I love, but of course all I ever want is more desk space. JJ might be having a little heart attack right now as every time I get more surface space I cover it with stuff.
I put up some new art work at Joe and the above painting is part of that set. It was fun to do, but took an insanely long time to complete.
Alright, off to not dwell on things I cannot control and maybe draw some stuff.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ugly Mug

I recently bought 6 mugs that I have been meaning to paint and put in etsy. Today, while JJ ran to the Library, I managed to eek out one of the mugs. I had a picture in my head and I am excited it turned out well. Basically, I could do flowers and cats forever and be happy. I bought the purple mug on a whim and just happened to find the exact purple in paint so it was meant to be! More mugs on the way. I'm happy something is working out.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Meet my cousins logo. Spent the last week working on this little guy in my free time. I have not done any logo work since school so it was kind of nice to explore the world of design. I sketched for about 3 days and by the time I was done I had a couple of good directions, but this stood out as the most conceptually driven. I am really happy with the end result and I think Nick is too. Maybe I will stop rejecting design...its doubtful

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eating like there's no tomorrow

This weekend we went on a self guided dumpling tour of Chinatown and let me tell you it was highly successful!
I have been listening to the splendid table and it makes me want to eat everything. It does not help that I listen to it on my 5:30 am bike ride to work when its all I can do to not eat my own bike.
So, this weekend I made an itinerary and we hit up 3 dumpling places all within close proximity to each other. All the places had gotten critics pick in the NY Times so we had a good starting point.
Our tour began at Dumpling House (118 Eldridge St.) it was very busy as it went at prime eating time, 1:30 on a Saturday. I got an amazing Taro bubble tea and we had a selection of veg and chicken steamed dumplings. The dough of chicken dumplings seemed to have taro root in it (Jen thought this was case)which made the dumplings a bit flowery and sweet. It was good, but did a bit bland without the dipping sauce.
Next we headed down the street to Prosperity Dumpling a little store front that made Dumpling house feel like a palace. Luckily we were not going there for the ambiance and let me tell you I would stand on a street corner having hot dumpling juice dripping down my chin any day if it were from Prosperity. The dumplings were so good the dipping sauce seemed like an after thought and I am still have fantasies about sesame flat break filled with onions and carrots.
My only wish was that the veggie dumplings were fried the way the pork ones were. I could not try the pork (I know those are what real dumplings have in them) but I really wanted to based on how they looked.
We rolled to the last dumpling shop Fried Dumpling and let me tell you it accomplished what Prosperity lacked. The veggie dumplings were fried and amazing...I even bought a bag of 30 frozen for the road. The language barrier was pretty comical though and the prices were all wrong, but after much yelling and arm flailing we figured it out.
To top off our dumpling adventure we went to Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. I got the green tea sugar free ice cream which was super creamy and tasted as though it was sweetened with something a bit less cancer causing than the usual fair. I tried a taste of the sesame peanut which nearly caused me to die on the spot.

This was the most successful cheap eats tour ever. There were, of course, other dumpling places that were on my list, but out of the way enough that it would have made our tour too long and we would probably have had to roll home more than we did.

Next mission: Go to the end of the 7 train and hit up "the best Thai in NY" Sripraphai.