So it’s been awhile for everyone, but meanwhile in the real world there was a physical manifestation of some Compass work. Luke was tasked with publishing a chapbook and chose one of Patrick’s stories from an old Compass post to publish. I was lucky enough to be asked to provide a cover for the book and happily obliged.
It was a great project and one I hope we will continue if we can pull away from the internet for long enough. Reception has been very positive on all fronts and it was incredibly interesting to see something tangible emerge from this blog we put together years ago.
If you’re interested in purchasing one of the books, contact Luke ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
This Election is Cash Only
Politics have never been my thing. I make sure to know the basics just to stay informed and to hold my own in any discussions but it is a very, very ugly aspect of life (although, what isn’t ugly these days?). It’s also rare that I include politics in any art I make.
Since most money includes pictures of political figures, it seemed only fitting to experiment with some money for the current presidential candidates. Now I didn’t step far into the political forest with these, but hints of my own views are sprinkled throughout.
So in between all of the ads, projections and BALLOT CAMS, here’s something that is a bit change of pace.
Last time we met, I was about to make the big leap into adulthood, packing up and moving to Pittsburgh. For those interested, the move went relatively smoothly. Pennsylvania doesn’t think my birth certificate is real, but that’s a story for another time. Unfortunately, I still work at Staples but I’m full time and the hours are good. I’ve started volunteering at the Carnegie Museum of Art on Saturdays, assisting with their Art Connection program. It’s an incredible opportunity to gain experience, help out and see the museum for free.
I knew moving would be tough and would definitely limit my cash flow with the additional bills and expenses. Stressing over finances seems to take up the majority of my thoughts, as I’m sure it is with most people. Drawing currency seemed like a decent way to focus some creative energy and get some use out of all the stress and worry over money. Luke provided the Czech and South African currency which got me started and I was able to scrounge up my own American currency. Luke’s parents also picked up the other foreign money at a flea market because they’re awesome.
One of the best parts of these drawings is an aspect that is totally lost in putting them online. They’re drawn on this semi-translucent paper with an interesting woven texture that was actually a packing material for leather books. The ones with color look too saturated and isn’t ideal but in person, when light comes through the material, it tones down the color which imitates the actual currency better.
I really wanted to work on nailing the tiny details found in currency to deter/hinder counterfeiting. Creating a perfect replica was not my intention but I wanted to include as many details as possible. In some of the later drawings I purposely messed with the proportions and layout, just to experiment. The Iraqi Dinar is the most evident case of this as Saddam is much larger on the drawing than he appears on the bill. The US ten dollar bill is also a cross of the current ten and the older ten because I had both to source from.
From here I plan to mess with them in Photoshop and see where I can take them. There are a couple more bills from Jamaica and Canada that I have yet to finish, in addition to the backside of the ones I’ve already drawn. So there is plenty here to dig through and use, tweak, and learn from. Learning the details of each bill, who is on them, how much their worth, exchange rates has been a surprisingly helpful part of the process. While I claim I am broke, I am sure some of the people who had these bills were in a much poorer position than I am. I would also like to create currency for the Presidential Candidates but the window for that is quickly closing.
There’s the scoop. I will try to post more often. Comments and criticisms always welcome. Always need to get better.
I’m really hoping that the title will just grab a couple extra hits for the blog. The only hot thing about them is that it’s 77 in my tiny part of the world and I’m being a whiner about it. I had a lot to say about the links this week so I’ll post them after the jump to save on space. After the jump, Colin Cowherd and the least safe city in America, YouTube’s redesign, Famous Last Tweets, Eduardo Saverin, and the Mighty Ducks
The internet has provided an easy avenue for anyone to express their opinions on every subject imaginable. If you look hard enough, or even without trying to look, there may not be an opinion or idea that hasn’t been expressed. One of the most deflating things, for me, is coming across your idea. You never manifested this in any way. It was just an idea. A completely original, fantastic idea that made you think, “Yes. This is it. One day when I have the time or the means, this idea will impress everyone.” Or something similar. Then there’s the day you come across this idea, already fully realized, executed better than your imaginary plan (because your plan never made it past stage one) and right there to disappoint you.
Now, this is never completely debilitating. At least for me, anyway. I’m sure if I had money invested in an idea and was close to finishing it, the situation would be different. It’s important to realize that this must happen to everyone. During the first season of Mad Men, Pete Campbell, in his typical whiny fashion, barked, “You know what? I have good ideas. In fact, I used to carry around a notebook and a pen, just to keep track. Direct marketing? I thought of that. It turned out it already existed, but I arrived at it independently. ” If I remember right, he was offended by a similar situation I described. That part was hilarious to me though because up until then, losing ideas in this manner really affected me. Hearing that, put a large perspective on it. Everyone has ideas and everyone has those ideas snatched from them because they are not the only ones with ideas. The whole, “you are not a unique snowflake” Fight Club thought process. A little less militarized, though. It’s a good way to keep your ego in check.
The best part is that you can have more than one idea. And after experiencing this once, it could motivate you to follow through and develop your ideas quicker. Sometimes it’s easy because the idea is that spectacular. It’ll drive you on it’s own, but other times it’s a longer process. The main point is that none of it’s final. On the positive side, someone out there thinks the way you do, which can be a great feeling. This also allows you to improve on the idea, or find a way to innovate it.
I don’t have any particular end point with these thoughts. They are just things that roll around in my head and this is a way to think everything out and get some feedback. Growing up in a small town, with few “life experiences” to draw from, I’m always more surprised about things. Finding people who arrive at the same things I do independently or have completely new perspectives on things is rarely lost on me. I hope I never lose that.
I mean Mother’s Day present. And I work until midnight tomorrow so there’s a very good chance I’ll be THAT GUY wandering around Walmart in the early hours before Mother’s Day trying to find a present that will undoubtedly be unsatisfactory. Happy Weekend, everyone.
Ever since I started allowing myself to become more conscious of just how shitty the world of pro sports is as compared to the real world, I just keep finding articles to compound the fact that everyone involved on the business side of things are fucking assholes. Here’s another example from Deadspin about someone who witnessed the Seattle Supersonics’ departure.
More quick proof, Minnesota agreed to build a $975 million stadium just so the Vikings won’t leave. You shouldn’t be surprised to find out that a less than significant amount is actually being paid by the owners of the Vikings.
Deadspin also had a fantastic article about Sarah Phillips, a gambling blogger hired by ESPN.com who also had a side business of screwing over other people (screwing over their money, not literally). This is a pretty interesting story all around, especially when it came out that she was also involved in some shady Twitter dealings.
Quickly before leaving the sports world, Slate’s Daniel Engber wrote about the panic Junior Seau’s suicide has caused over concussions in sports. Seau’s death seems to be the tipping point into convincing a vast majority of people that this is a serious problem. And obviously when so much opinion flows one way, it’ll quickly flow back the other. I expected articles that would dispute CTE’s role in everything, but I didn’t expect one as informed and thoughtful as this. I anticipated more of the “Good Ol Days” articles about wussification and other nonsense. At the very least this article should be a reminder that there still is not enough information on concussions, head trauma, suicide, and football. It is by far the most important issue for the NFL right now but there is still so much that we don’t know. It is also a reminder that there are many more factors that lead to suicide and nobody is immune.
The major news this week was definitely the issue of gay marriage, NC banning it, Obama supporting it, etc. Here is an article from Death & Taxes about the effect of potentially alienating a large number of young Americans on the GOP party. The fact that this is an issue with such strong opposition is ridiculous. Hopefully at some point everyone stops trying to fight and win every argument and just let people be happy with whoever they please.
Came across this article earlier this week about Tom Gabel, lead singer of Against Me! and his decision to come out as transgender. The article points out that this isn’t as much as a surprise as you may think with signs popping up. I haven’t read the Rolling Stone article that came out today yet, but it should be an interesting and enlightening story.
Possibly the most relevant link I’ve posted, here’s a quick look at fuckyeah! blogs on Tumblr. Plenty of stats, although I can’t say I’m surprised at the 100K number. There are way more than 100,000 things that people get excited about and I know every single one of them has it’s own blog. I really need a way to monetize using the internet like the guys who are writing a fuckyeah book. I’m spinning my wheels.
Finally here’s a story about JP Morgan losing $2 billion in trading to which I replied with a mighty guffaw because big banks and money and numbers and does money ever even exist? AMIRITE?! Seriously though, finance reform would go a long way to helping out people. I don’t even trust putting money into a 401k because who knows wtf will happen to it. Also I’m young and stupid and don’t have any money to sink into it anyways.
Thinking about all these heavy issues this week and everything seems bigger than me. It’s deflating and exhausting. Good thing there’s THREE SONGS!!
Passion Pit- Take a Walk — Here’s the first single off of Passion Pit’s new album, Gossamer. First listen didn’t impress me but it has grown on me very fast. It’s not as frantic as most of their first album, but I still enjoy it. If this is the “Swimming in the Flood” track on this album, that’ll be fine. I just hope this isn’t the best song on the album, because that will suck. Most of the times you want bands to progress and evolve (or do you?), but I don’t think that would work for Passion Pit.
Fitz and the Tantrums- Don’t Gotta Work It Out — This song kept playing at work and I couldn’t quite tell who it was so I looked it up and was delighted to find out it was FATT. I love Moneygrabber but still haven’t tracked down their album. Maybe I should.
Weezer- Say It Ain’t So — Because why not?
“Gotta Be Fresh”
If you don’t know who these guys are, WELL WHY NOT?! It’s obviously understandable because I’m sure not everyone has the luxury to sit home and watch just about everything that comes on your television. BUT if you must know, it’s the main cast of the show “Workaholics” on Comedy Central. I love the show, it starts slow and grows on you like that weird kid in high school who you weren’t sure about.
They have a new season soon so I figured this was as good of a time as any to draw them. It’s also been awhile since I did any serious drawing so this was nice to dive into.
I will most likely try to do something more with these even though I think they turned out fantastically. The likenesses aren’t perfect but good enough to actually post. In the end, it may turn out that this scribbly style line work may be the best way to keep these drawings. Something that was immediately pointed out after posting a work in progress was that I didn’t put Blake in a bearsuit. Bad move by me as this is definitely the best iteration of Blake on the show. But just about every episode has a costume memorable enough to include in a drawing so I might just do another with all 3 in costume. Blake with the bear outfit, Anders as a wizard and Adam either as the bodybuilder or a juggalo. Suggestions welcome!
Another thing that I was happy with is the style that sort of emerged in them. This came by accident because I wasn’t sure on how much definition and shading to add and just kind of let it happen. But this pseudo cel shading/scribble line work is a pretty good snapshot of the type of drawing I’ve enjoyed on Tumblr recently. Boneface, with the simplistic idea and composition, but frantic, manic line work that bring more to everything. These drawings by Dwayne Bell, which have that added layer of detail, smashing academic, organic, and contour lines on the same subject. And Luke Dixon who creates new shapes and textures in the already existing shadows and highlights, particularly in portraits. Finding different parts of each of these and rolling them into something of my own is really the goal. Defining figures and faces in interesting ways without distorting reality too much.
PS— If you see these tagged with #TightButthole Don’t be offended. Embrace it (Watch this first though)
It may be coincidence or something cyclical but there have been quite a few links popping through my stream that are interesting and worth sharing. If you follow me on Twitter, you may get sick of them. I worry about those things too much.
Chuck Klosterman dared to go where few have, to a Creed show and a Nickelback show in the same night. I always love Klosterman’s thoughts on these kind of things and an article like this may hit close to home with many who hate both bands. He doesn’t go too far into the discussion of whether it’s right or wrong to hate them that much, something I wish he did do. It doesn’t seem as big of deal to him, but it is a nice set of observations about each band.
Buzz Bissinger is an interesting guy. I read Friday Night Lights in middle school for a book report and loved it. I didn’t learn about Buzz until a couple years ago through a BS Report podcast and found him to be pretty interesting. He’s very abrasive and very opinionated and I didn’t learn until recently that Buzz is the HG Bissinger who wrote FNL. Here’s an article from him describing his family and their relationship with Central park.
Recently the Pew Research Center released it’s State of the News Media 2012. Here’s the NPR article on it. I know I read way more news on my smartphone than I did before and part of that is because of Twitter and it’s speed and exposure. It’s also a checkpoint in the ongoing discussion about the decline of newspapers.
The Classical is a site I’ve been trying to get into recently. It’s another sports related site, but the articles are from various sources and tend to go deeper than Xs and Os analysis. Here is an incredible article about Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey and his ongoing battle with the owner of the New Jersey Devils. The story is frightening but sadly, it’s probably true for more than just Newark. So much money passes through pro sports and owners of teams are businessmen first, always looking to make the cheapest moves. There’s a much larger point to be made here, but I’m still working on it.
Grierson & Leitch is a running column on Deadspin where Tim Grierson and Will Leitch post their thoughts on movies. Tim had some interesting thoughts on the future of superhero movies post-Avengers. In today’s world where everything needs to be bigger and flashier than what came before it, you can’t help but wonder where movie studios will go after the Avengers.
I had a few more but maybe I’ll do the smart thing and save them for another week.
BUT NOT BEFORE THREE SONGS!!
Gotye- Somebody That I Used to Know — I hadn’t heard of this song before my vacation last week. I briefly saw him on Saturday Night Live and didn’t hear much, so I didn’t really notice but the rest of the week this song was everywhere. I don’t mind it. The video isn’t bad either.
Jack White- Freedom at 21 — Caught this earlier on the rerun. The interview is hilarious and the song isn’t bad as well. Featuring an appearance from Ikey Owens who you may know from the Mars Volta and other projects.
Brand New- The Archers Bows Have Broken — Just because