In recent weeks I’ve fallen victim to the unavoidable pull of Pokémon Go. I know, I know. Everyone’s playing, and it’s really creepy when random strangers point their phone cameras at you. But childhood dreams really do come true, and now I can now try my hand at catching these mystical creatures IRL. It would only be natural that somehow it would permeate my sketchbook. While AR makes the gameplay a little more realistic compared to the experience in a Gameboy Color or a 3DS, I still wonder what these creatures would look like if they were adapted to our world. Would they resemble certain already existing animals? I decided to mess around with two of the Pokémon already in my possession, and thought about the possibilities for their existence in our world. In the end, they look like illustrations for children’s books. Oh well.
I’m not one to dwell too much in the past, but sometimes when I get stuck, I like to look through old sketchbooks. Lately I’ve been enjoying the horrors that are my old college sketchbooks, back when I was taking introductory art courses and painting. A lot of it was more visual exploration, whereas the pages from my sketchbooks from graphic design coursework had more notes and thumbnail sketches. All of them are a little embarrassing, with student angst-filled pages ranting about sleep-deprivation, and hopes of a better life post-college. Heh.
I’ve got a few less embarrassing throwbacks, and some current ideas I’m still fleshing out.
Whenever I visit an unfamiliar city, I do my best to visit any bookstore to peruse the local recommendations. I love when shop employees leave hand-written reviews on the shelves for books they’ve enjoyed reading; it makes leaving empty-handed a little difficult, but I think it’s reached a point in which I can’t keep up with the growing amount of reading material. When I went to the iconic Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, it required will-power to leave without anything new. While a little heart-broken over the lack of any new literary acquisitions, I remembered there are at least twelve unfinished books (at least in recent memory) in my personal library. Read More
I’m encouraged by stories of reemergence because sometimes strength or purity can be born through burning. At the suggestion of J’s cousins, we took an architectural boat tour on the Chicago River and heard stories about the tall glass, steel, and concrete buildings all along the river—products after the fire. It was unfortunate that some of the city burned because someone supposedly knocked over a lantern, but I wonder what Chicagoland would have looked like if it never encountered a fire. Rose and Rick’s house would still be there, on the other side of the river, but would Chicago still have petitioned to host the World’s Fair in 1893? Would the city still have its distinct surrounding neighborhoods? Would it still have the same colorful arts & culture, with the alleyway art shows and intimate blues clubs? I’m not sure, especially since I’ve only experienced a small portion. There’s still way too much to see. I’ll eventually crave that springtime chill and come back; it will only be a matter of time before I start to feel too comfortable in this balmy, gold-lit, SoCal.
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any sketchbook pages. I’ve been keeping busy since the beginning of this year, working on projects offline. I had to take a step back and really think about the direction I’m trying to go with this blog. I don’t have cool recipes or little gleaming nuggets of advice, and all the graphic design/personal branding advice I know of can already be found on other blogs. For now I’ll just share work while I get my portfolio up and running. Posting three times a week was already a lot for me, so I’ll be posting organically once a week. I’ll be here on Fridays. It might be travel photos, it might be sketchbook pages, hopefully WIP photos from a few things I’ve been working on. Maybe along the way, there might be mistakes in all of this. Either way I hope I can share this entire learning experience with you; sometimes things like finding a voice can take time.
But for now, pages! Read More
We flew up to the Bay Area last month during a weekend pocket of calm between rain storms, marking the transition from winter to spring. We did an AirBnB in Berkeley, at a tiny house in our host’s backyard. There were chickens and a friendly black kitten named Aster, and our host shared his record player and books with us. First thing in the morning I’d listen to Nina Simone or Joy Division on vinyl, then read Audre Lorde or t.s. eliot before falling asleep in the evenings.
When we weren’t traveling between Berkeley and SF, we walked through much of the Mission District and Haight & Ashbury, and wandered aimlessly around Berkley and Oakland with walks sometimes spanning 11 miles in a day. We ducked into shops when we got tired, or wandered into cafes or restaurants when we got thirsty or hungry. Sadly, I can’t even remember most of the places we walked into. Regardless of all the time we spent plotting our itinerary in any location, we hardly followed any of it. But I think I like it that way.
It’s more like a single spread. I’ve been trying to take a more organic approach to getting my sketchbook pages done, because it’s more honest and less stressful on my part.
Anyway, I love drawing girls. I also love exploring ways to draw hair. I’ve heard it said that hair (on our heads) is often one of the best accessories, and I find it intriguing when there are cultural implications behind the way we choose to wear our hair. Although I enjoy seeing the ways we style and color our hair, I believe that the hair a woman was born with—natural texture and color—is the most beautiful on her. But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t toyed with the possibility of coloring my own hair. Options, you know?
I’m a fan of Austin Kleon. Although I have yet to read Show Your Work!, I’ve found his two other books, Steal Like an Artist and Newspaper Blackout inspiring. Sometimes when I’m pressed for ideas, I like to make newspaper blackout poetry visually interpret it. The whole idea is to take newsprint and redact it to create something new and interesting from the words that remain.
For additional information and how-to’s, visit the official site: newspaperblackout.com