Friday, August 24, 2007

Dr. Sketchy Detroit is One Year Old!

Happy Birthday! The Belmont in Hamtramck once again saw the congregation of Metro area artists zipping out some awesome artwork. Sean Bieri's been running the group for a year now and last night was the best turnout yet. We had Sean's home made cake, four (yes, FOUR!) models, fire eating, prizes, beer, a little art gallery, and nature's fireworks. Here's my contribution (artwise) to the festivities:

Monday, August 13, 2007

Annual Halloween Plans

I go through the same thing every year. Several years ago I came up with what I thought was a really cool plan for Halloween. Now I'm not a particularly huge 'Ween junkie by any means, but sometimes when an idea hits I get all giggly and focused and the pencils come out and outlandish plans are made. So my idea was this: I wanted to make a puppet stage that would sit out by the corner of my front yard. It would have a circus side-show kind of look to it, crossed with a kind of Tim Burton Beetlejuice thing. There would be a little easel on the side of the stage with a sign promising the next act as IRWIN THE CREEP. The lights would come up, the heavy curtain would open, and sitting in the center of the stage would be a deathly pale frog-like individual dressed in a sequined devil costume holding a microphone.

I had in mind something like Triumph the insult comic dog, but since it would be kids coming to see, and since I'm not as clever as Triumph's "handler" I'd be a little less caustic. He'd make comments on kid's costumes and hand out prizes to the best ones. Photos would be taken in front of the stage and would be posted online at Irwin's own website. Under the stage there would be a hole where a monster hand would pop out to put candy in the kids' bags.

So every year I make plans to do this. And every year Halloween creeps up and pounces on me before I've done anything at all. As this year seems to be doing. Halloween is only two and a half months away. I'm still wondering where June went. So Halloween will come and I will vacate my house as to not be bothered by kids knocking on my door. If Halloween had a Grinch...well...maybe I can find the strength of ten Grinches, plus two and get my act together.

Just 'sperimentin'

Logo! Logo! Logo!

I love logos. In fact, my philosophy for illustration and writing is the same as it is for designing a logo - say the most you can with the least amount. Basically "less is more". It really bothers me when I am asked to cram every aspect of a business into a thumbnail sized graphic. The point of a logo is to represent what you do and do it quickly, not explain every aspect. Logos aren't novels.

Here are a few that I did recently. One is for the Hamtramck Farmers Market (which isn't in existence yet). Simple black and white with very graphic representations of the type of things you might find there. I originally added color, but the Mayor preferred one color for simplicity and cost. It's a bit more detailed than I usually do, but I thought the nature of a market called for it. I thought that if the logo just featured bread or just vegetables that it might be confusing. The market is more than just a bakery or a fruit market. The logo will also be used on signage.

Game Traps is a video game business started by a friend of mine. The game controller may be a bit confusing to the uninitiated, but would be instantly recognizable to the audience the business is trying to attract. Based on a rough sketch provided by the client, it also portrays the business as a place games are played, as opposed to being sold.

Lastly, this is a logo/sticker design I did for my local Dr. Sketchy chapter. I tried to cover the basic elements of the group, as well as giving it an industrial Dee-troit flavor. Per Molly Crabapple, artists are "art monkeys" and the poop flinging represents the "anti-art school" Dr. Sketchy presents itself as. The stickers have yet to be produced though. I just haven't found a good (i.e. cheap) place to get them done. Then we can hand them out at our Sketchy sessions.

10 Songs

After a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in January (or February - can't seem to remember) my travelling companions and I decided to do a CD exchange. Pick ten songs that might be unfamiliar or forgotten by the others that you'd like them to hear and contemplate. So finally, by July, I got mine done. I even worked up some fancy jewel case artwork for it. The little drawing, by the way, comes from my Ellie on Planet X sketchbook. So it's sort of a preview of things to come, even though it gives very little away.

My ten picks were:
1. the pied piper composed by walter mourant
2. the sea by morcheeba
3. queen of quiet by erin mckeown
4. july, july by the decemberists
5. common people by william shatner (yes, that William Shatner)
6. daddy’s car by the cardigans
7. angels want to wear my red shoes by elvis costello
8. the charging sky by jenny lewis with the watson twins
9. selfless, cold, & composed by ben folds five
10. the girl in the corner by lyle lovett

I also added a special bonus track, How Does It Feel to be Back by Hall & Oates. Sort of a special present to my peeps who rip on me for liking the soulful sounds of Daryl and John. At least I was nice and picked a song I thought they might like.

The next CD exchange is slotted to be "Ten Songs Played at Your Funeral". We're a fun bunch.