Found this old, unfinished painting in the studio recently. It was for the Bowie tribute at the Thunder-Sky gallery two years ago. I ended up going with other ideas (such a fantastic show!), but this was an idea to design a theatrical poster for "Life on Mars" (the show referenced in the song). Sidenote: how has it already been two years since the death of Bowie?
Honored to make this for the great Damien Jurado. He is launching into a tour of all 50 states, starting here in Ohio next month, from small coffeeshops to regular=sized venues. I can't wait to catch the Cinci show at the Woodward Theater.
Update: A limited number of prints are currently available in the store.
After hearing of the recent passing of Jaki Liebezeit, I thought it was a good time to repost this painting from a couple of years ago. It was a work in progress for an art show of re-imagining album covers of records that are important to you (unfortunately, the show never panned out).
I have loved CAN for so long that I cannot at this point remember when I was first introduced, though I was fortunate enough to have a local record store that had it's own LP section dedicated to krautrock. The music has been a constant inspiration for me ever since. RIP, Jaki.
EDIT: Per the request of a friend, I did a few touch ups and am making this available as a print in the store for a limited time. It is cool to do something with what was an abandoned project from a few years ago. Long live CAN!
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.
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)!
-- Tracklist --
John Fahey - Medley: Hark, The Heralds Angel Sing / O Come All Ye Faithful
Low - Just Like Christmas
Mark Mothersbaugh - Blue Joy
Patty Marie Jay w/ Hal Bradley Orch. - Space Age Santa Claus
Wovenhand - I Wonder as I Wander
The Qualities (Sun Ra) - It's Christmas Time
Shonen Knife - Space Christmas
Vince Guaraldi Trio - Christmas Time Is Here (instrumental)
Cocteau Twins - Winter Wonderland
Ahmad Jamal Trio - Snowfall
Can - Silent Night
Starflyer 59 - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Van der Graaf Generator - An Epidemic of Father Christmas
Danielson - Hosanna / Go Tell It ...
Lightnin' Hopkins - Santa
Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
And on a somewhat but also completely unrelated note, this afternoon I threw together some green Santa heads with some leftover clay to test out the new stop motion program we are using in the Animation Workshop.
New on the studio wall: an original promo lithograph from a closed down record store for one of my all-time favorite (and criminally underrated) records: Hawaii by the High Llamas. When I first heard this album a few years ago, I had to be convinced that some of the instrumental tracks were not quite literally old, unearthed Pet Sounds or David Axelrod outtakes. And at 12x24", this is quite a handsome gem.