We Are 1976

There’s a fantastic shop here in Dallas by the name of “We Are 1976.” They are set uniquely apart from 99% of the retail stores in the area by offering a wonderfully uncommon blend of artist made goods, books, art and toys. In addition, the owners Vynsie, Jully and Derek host a variety of workshops with artists that teach a range of techniques, from  learning bookbinding structures, screen printing and paper sculptures, just to name a few. Be sure and visit their site for a showcase of gift offerings and a schedule of art openings and workshop events. I’m proud to be a part of their inventory with my monkey and literary pets cigarette card sets.

Be sure and pay them a visit if you live in or plan to visit the Dallas area.

Ramsey Said

A great friend of mine, Ramsey Said, is both an amazing designer and photographer. We met the brief time he lived and Dallas and have continued our friendship since his move to the Bay area. He’s transformed into a true Bay Area native since his move there in 1989. He and his wife Jane live in Marin County now and he has fully taken advantage of the incredible beauty of  San Francisco as well as the surrounding cities and countrysides with his photographic skills. Combined with his amazing eye for composition and lighting, he uses his extensive knowledge of the area and wit to craft some truly interesting stories. His first blog, FogBay, has since been retired (after 1000 posts!) but is well worth the visit for hours of visual and historical entertainment. His latest blog, FogPhoto expands on a multitude of aspects of his surroundings in a more simpler visual presentation. His third blog is in production and I look forward to sharing the news of its release here in the future. If you live in the bay area or have visited, you will no doubt discover new things from his photo explorations. If you’ve never visited Northern California, his talents will make you want to drop everything and plan a trip. Links to both blogs are below. Well worth the visit!

Fog Photo

FogBay

Felt & Wire & Monkeys

A big thanks goes out to Tom Biederbeck over at Felt & Wire for his kind post about the  Steampunk Monkey Nation card sets.

A bit of info about the great Felt & Wire site, from their “About” section:
“Felt & Wire is about the universe of design, paper and print — from posters to packaging, from memorable mail to beautiful books, from invitations to artistic innovations. Felt & Wire reveals the fascinations, avocations and professions of the people who inhabit this continually expanding and evolving universe. It is a community, by and about those of us who are paper-obsessed.”

Also, be sure and visit the Felt & Wire shop for loads of beautifully created items by artists and designers.

Felt & Wire Post

Felt & Wire Shop

Spotlight on Dancing Cat Bindery

This blog would not be complete without a well-deserved shout out to my incredibly talented wife, Julie. She has done what most people can only dream of by transforming her life from the world of corporate anonymity to exploring and nurturing  her creative side, which she has done quite successfully! Her current bookbinding talents started with a few local workshops and classes that helped her begin mining her inner talents that combined her love of creative expression with a true understanding and love of engineering. (She comes by her engineering skills quite naturally, since her engineer father worked for NASA during the historic moon landing years.) With guidance from her teacher, Catherine Burkhard and continued study through workshops and conferences, Julie’s talents have flourished over the years. Her studio projects in her “Dancing Cat Bindery”  have grown over the years from simple repairs to a sanctuary for high profile items, complex mending and unique limited editions. Together we’ve laid the framework for what will soon be the successive release of collaborative projects. Our first, “Woodland Wisdom,” was a lettered edition (26) of Aesop’s Fables that I illustrated and topped of with a haiku moral of each story.

Spring Is In The Air

You know it’s getting close to spring with the annual “lazy rolling in the sea oats straw” event. This handsome, albeit somewhat portly, orange gentleman goes by the name of Brodie. He’ll make an appearance on this blog from time to time. For now, consider this video a tonic against the recent foul weather events we’ve all been experiencing. Move over Punxsutawney Phil!

The Evolution of a Monkey

Here’s an simplified example of the steps I take to create one of my Steampunk Monkey Nation characters. I scan my pencil sketch and open in Painter. It’s used as a guide for creating the black and white line work with Painter’s Scratchboard tool. Color is applied to a lower layer which shows through the line work since it’s converted to a “Gel” composite layer (something similar to Photoshop’s Darken or Multiply layer attribute.)

Here’s a bit of background on Professor Horatio Sprocketnotch:

Scientist
Brilliant but quite mad mastermind behind of scores of scientific breakthroughs. These include: the creation of the Eye of Radical Hyperbaric Transcendence and Licorice Legs. Pictured holding his greatest creation, the inter-dimensional tsunami egg of destruction, which worked perfectly the first and only time it was activated.

Spotlight On: Keith Crabtree

I’ve had the pleasure with working with a wonderful art director over the years by the name of Keith Crabtree. Not only is he an accomplished and successful designer, he has transformed into an amazing nature photographer over the last several years. In Keith’s many trips across Texas he has created a wonderful collection that showcases the astounding diversity of the wildlife and landscapes of the state. Be sure and check out the links below to see more of his beautiful work.

Photography site
Prints for Sale
Keith’s Blog
Design Site

Art History Memories

70 Million by Hold Your Horses ! from L’Ogre on Vimeo.

This video is great fun.

Watching it brought back memories of my college art history classes. Sequestered away in a dark auditorium and introduced to a variety of historical art talents via slide show. Back then it was a combination of discovering wonderful new worlds of expression combined with a constant game show like memory challenge for the next exam. Manet or Monet? Doric, Ionic or Corinthian? Braque or Picasso?

I’ll always remember my final exam in an advanced art history class. We were each given our own picture of a long lost church structure and tasked with researching everything we could find on its architecture, sculpture and any other art detail. I looked on at disbelief at the image chosen for me: An overgrown field somewhere within a French countryside with a ramshackle pile of eroded stones partially hidden among the weeds. Needless to say, thoughts of anyone pursuing a career of art historian seemed mildly insane after I was given this task.

Interview for It’s Art

I recently had the honor to be interviewed by Patrice Leymarie from It’s Art, an online CG gallery and computer art forum. Visit the link below to see more.

It’s Art

Literary Pets Showcase

Modern Dog Magazine’s Spring issue is out this week and they’ve included info about my “Literary Pets” card set. They’re listed in the “Barking Good Deals” section for Great Items for $10. or less.

Digital Artist Magazine Spotlight

Issue #2 of Digital Artist Magazine has made to the states this month from the U.K. I’ve been included in their “Reviews” section with an examination of my recent cigarette card sets. It’s a great spotlight that focuses on the WrestlePets, Steampunk Monkey Nation and Literary Pets sets and goes into some details about their background and creation.

Half Price Books Polar Bear Project

Last year I was tapped by the creative team at Half Price Books to create a series of images for their holiday campaign that involved a combination of store signage and merchandise. By the time the project was wrapped up, a variety of images I created were used  for a tote bag, gift card, calendar and set of greeting cards. I also created a layered file for use as an interactive scroll on their web page.

Half Price Books