Monday, January 10, 2011

Famous Fictional 2010

This years Famous Fictional show was the best so far. Lucky me that I got to be a part of it. Every year, while caught in one of those I-suck-and-I'm-never-going-to-make-it-as-an-artist moments, I get a little worried that the show will outgrow me and I won't be asked back. But, after a cup of very strong coffee I remember that I'm not so bad and all is well. Hey, self-loathing is a very important part of the process, right artists? RIGHT!?!? Right.

So for those of you who aren't familiar with the concept, Famous Fictional is an annual show put together by famed comic artist and illustrious illustrator, Dan Zettwoch. Each artist he invites must produce 2 pieces of art identical in size, illustrating different fictional characters. The theme changes every year. Last year it was Villans. One from pre-twentieth century literature and one from the movies.

I chose Jaws and Moby Dick.Who else? You all know how I feel about Sharks.
THIS YEAR the theme was Verses. One character from poetry and one from song.

Decisions, Decisions. I hate making them. And that's really what art making entails. A million decisions that have to be made.

For poetry, an easy fit for me was Sarah Sylvia Cynthia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out. Garbage transplantation is by far my most despised household chore and I usually don't until it gets to the point where I can't open the lid without gagging. - okay, okay, until I can't walk through the front door without gagging.

For my song choice, again, I went back to my childhood. My mom will tell you that I was a bit of a morbid child. I was fascinated with death. And with humor. Put them both together in a song, and I'll be a fan forever. So, what else could I choose but that epic "song" about the old woman who swallowed the fly (and then everything else).

Now, what medium to use? The easy choice would be good ol' acrylic on canvas. But. If there's one thing I avoid as much as taking the garbage out, it's making ANYTHING easy on myself.

And so I decided to go with cut paper.

If this post is half as boring for you to read as it is for me to write, then you'll be relieved to know that I'm letting my cruddy photos do the rest of the talking.

Sarah Sylvia Synthia Stout.
You can make sense of that, right?

The Woman Who Swallowed it All

A crowd shot (Photo Credit goes to Bill Keaggy - if I remember correctly)

You can see everyone's stuff here: Famous Fictional Flickr

Questions? Comments? Post em here!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just So You Know

I've gotten a few emails from people asking if they can buy their facebook friends "Paintings" - and I'm flattered - BUT, the truth is, they aren't paintings really. They are just little drawings on little post-it sized pieces of paper. Come on. I'm not THAT crazy/ambitious. And I can't give them to you at this point because they are all a part of a much larger project.

Just so you know.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Portraits for Sale!!!

Hey, everybody! It's almost Christmas. Do you know what you're going to get for that person who's impossible to buy for? For me, it's my dear sweet Mother. (She either just buys what she wants for herself, or what she wants is WAY out of my price range.) Now, I've already given her a portrait (and I did it a few years ago, so it's a little bit heinous), but I'll bet most of you haven't given or received such a gift. Maybe you have and want another one. Either way, I'm happy to help you out.

Here's the Deal:
One person on a 9x12 ready-to-hang wood panel = $100 (add $20 for shipping and hassling if you can't pick it up)

That's it. Pretty simple.

Ready to make the dream come true? Here's all you have to do:
Email the request and a HIGH RESOLUTION photo to
Turn-around is around a week, but that DOES NOT include shipping.

Here's what a good picture looks like:

1. Must be high resolution - so nothing you pulled off of someone's facebook page.
2. Not too dark, not too light. I can see all of his features.
3. NO TOOTHY GRINS. People seemed to be shocked by this. What makes a good photo doesn't always make a good painting. Look around an art museum. How many pearly white smiles do you see? None. Smirks, frowns and other expressions are fine though.

Too dull & muddy. I can't make out his features.

Too bright. I can't make out his features here either.
These fine looking girls are just too far away.
Please forward all questions to:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Greatest SciFest Video Ever Made. Ever.

Look what we made!!!

Scifest 2010 Promo from David Callahan on Vimeo.

Every bit is made out of paper.
Wanna know how we did it? Keep reading.

So, I have this co-worker. A videographer named Dave Callahan, but, for inside-joke purposes, we're going to refer to him as Reginald Houghton: A Man of Action. Reggie for short.
Now, I'm pretty good at having great ideas, but pretty bad at seeing them through. Insert Reggie: A Man of Action (and of ideas.) I'm not at all sure who came up with the "Let's make a video out of paper" idea, but, Reggie gets all the credit for it actually happening.

It started with a few storyboarding sessions:
(imagine pictures of awesome storyboard scans)

After several revisions and attempts at keeping ourselves reigned in, it was time to hit the most evil of all art stores – *cough*artmart*cough* – which unfortunately has the best selection of paper.

If you absolutely have to go there, be sure to buy way more than you actually need because when you go back to get more, they will be out of it and will have no idea if or when they will get more. In fact, use this rule of thumb for any products you buy there, and don't get too attached. They love to discontinue. I also suggest bringing your taxes along so you'll have something to do while you wait in line.
Armed with a box of 200 blades (I used them all), 4 cans of rubber cement, and my wicked skills, I start cutting. And cutting. And glueing. And crying (on the inside). I think it payed off though.

Most of these items were free cut due to laziness, but there were a few items that needed a template. Like the building:

I pulled a reversed photo into illustrator.

Then I started outlining.

I printed it out in chunks, covered the back of the print out in graphite, (a handy trick if you need to trace anything) and traced over all the lines on the proper color paper. And let me tell you people: these cuts were tiny. Bit by bit, each chunk came together.
Once the pieces were finished, John Schmitt, our photographer and my own personal opposer of everything, shot the shots.
After the photos were taken, the chunks were clipped out by either John or myself depending on whether he felt like doing it and I felt like letting him do it.

Then I flipped the picture back to it's rightful orientation and layed all the bits where they rightfully belong.
Once this was done, I gave all the files back to Reggie who did whatever it is that videographers do in After Effects. I was able to watch him work a little bit. It all seems about as simple as flying a spaceship to me. It's probably the same feeling others get when they watch me whiz through an inDesign file.

It doesn't seem so hard, does it? Well, multiply this process times a hundred and stretch it out over a period of 4 months all while trying to get your "real" work done and dodging the "when is that going to be done?" "Are you done yet?" "How many weeks until that video is finished?" questions from your work superiors. It was a little stressful at times, and I'm sure that a few years from now, when my skills are much sharper, I will look at it and cringe, but at this moment, I'm proud.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Coming Soon Eventually!

Check out these beautiful shadow boxes my dear, wonderful, amazing 95-year-old wood-working-genius friend, Mr. Ulrich, made me.

Get ready, Famous Fictional 2010. Here comes my A game.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Have No Comma Sense.

For those of you who can't manage to enjoy my clever wit because you're having trouble seeing past all of the glaring punctuation problems, I apologize. I'm going to get control of it. I stress over every comma, "Does it go here? Should I put one there?" Periods, I think I have the hang of, but, a semi colon? FORGET IT. I think I've dared to use two ever in my life. Thank, God my favorite author, John Shore, co-wrote a book along with Richard Lederer that explain just where to put these pesky-but-necessary scratch marks in a sentence. Improvement is on it's way. I promise!