For whatever reason, I have never been the New Year's "resolutions" or looking back, retrospective type. As I sat down on December 31 to make this post about a new book, though, I couldn't help but to ultimately reflect on what has probably been the busiest, most productive year I have had as an artist-educator. So before I get to the book stuff, let me just take a brief minute ...
"Tunnel-Ball" was a truly awesome experience, and it's surreal that it was about ten months ago now that it was published and it seemed like I was spending much of my free time making felt pennants. The release party included the most fun book reading I have ever done to date, the book made it onto the shelves of a few of my favorite stores in the world, and even into the hands of an official MLB mascot. The most rewarding part of all, though, is just hearing the "it has been a bedtime story staple at our house" messages from friends, family, and strangers.
It was also an unexpected year of contributing a couple of pieces to gallery shows in tribute to two musicians who I had always considered massive inspirations (despite obviously bittersweet circumstances). I also did a Kreate-a-Kaiju workshop event, getting to spread my joy of city-crushing Japanese monster creatures with children and adults of all ages in a collaborative setting was simply remarkable.
Another major highlight was/is teaching the Animation Workshop, in which I am doing my best to attempt to create the type of class that I wish had been available to me when I was younger but didn't really have the resources to explore that big, confusing animation realm. I am doing my best to keep the content original, and most importantly: fun. I have big ideas for the AW, starting with gaining some new supplies and materials which should arrive before holiday break is over.
There was also this, which I hope to make in print form at some point in the new year (hopefully by September, which is ITP awareness month). It was also have a new, actual conclusion. would like to print a few copies just to give out or include with regular online store purchases.
Essentially, what I'm getting at is: thank you to everyone for their support in the past year (in any capacity, even if just briefly glancing at this right now), and now, a brief glimpse of one of the things to come in the future.
This current holiday break also means, as I originally eluded to, that I have officialy began the production of a new picture book. I have tentatively had this one in the works prior to Tunnel-Ball coming out, during the final stretch of everything being put together and sent off to the printers. However, as is typically the case, the entire story was reworked numerous times to get to what it is currently. I'm sure there will be plenty of updates here along the way, but all I will say for now is ...
- After a brief hiatus (Tunnel-Ball's b&w), the book will be in color
- It may or may not have words (!)
- There are tentative plans to have a broader scale expansion/"performance" of the book, expanding on how the T-B was done (see link to post above)
- That storyboard in the first picture gives nothing away (unless you can accurately decipher the "TBCP" acronym ... if that is even still the title by the time it comes out)
- The third picture is my brand new lightbox, which I'll mostly be using to make the book. The wooden part underneath was made by my (carpenter) father. I wanted a better solution to keeping the translucent surface underlit without just cramming a desk lamp underneath. This wood panel has a strip of longlasting LED lights that lights it up perfectly.
- Lastly, the final pic (a pencil sketch of one of the earliest pages), also gives virtually nothing away.
A few years ago, I made a post about growing up with the works of Cincinnati-based artist Charley Harper. Thanks in part to things like a lavish coffeetable book of his life's work being published, Harper is no longer a secret limited to the Cincinnatians who witness his murals on downtown buildings and in ever art museum's giftshop.
That said, Harper's wife and collaborator, Edie (1922-2010), does seem to remain largely unknown. That is why I was thrilled to hear that the first ever career retrospective of Edie's just opened across the river in Covington, Kentucky: "E is for Edie".
My mind was utterly blown at all of the different mixed media pieces in this show, from works that mimic Charley's ultra-stylized animals to classic children's book-looking paintings in gouache to woven textile pieces to stylized pen & ink illustrations based on Biblical stories. Check out the slideshow below and please check out this show if you can.
Originally a Christmas card design, then decided to paint it, then decided to make it a print ... "a Galaxial Christmas". This one's perfect for the unapologetic lover of the holiday, the armchair astronomer, the completist Mark Neeley collector, and/or everything in between. $12 / free shipping, located in the "store" up above. P.S. - "Tunnel-Ball" mugs are ideal stocking stuffers according to the 2016 Sears Roebuck holiday catalogue.
When I first started this blog a few years ago now, I had to limit myself from frquently posting music that I liked. I used to label those posts "work music", to showcase individual tracks or albums that I found really inspiring while working on books or whatever the project was at the time. Gradually over time, I did my best to curb that habit, as to keep the blog as art-centric as possible instead of seeming like a self-indulgent way to just promote music that I liked.
However, sometimes a discovery comes along that is so mindblowing that I can't help but share it in the hopes that it inspires someone else the same way. I just wish a physical copy wasn't so nearly impossible to find (even in CD form)!
Oh no! Only ten days to go and about $40,000 needed.
Wish I could have sprung for the animation cel if $550 was a little more expendable. The original green Grover toy is a pretty cool perk, too.
If you haven't read the original book by Michael Davis, it is quite good.