Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Best Costume Ever! (Illustration Friday: Scary)

This dancing prancing Chinese Dragon just won a costume contest. Her mom made the costume using my cover art from Chinese Nursery Rhymes: Stories and Songs to Share as inspiration. How cute is that?!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I usually avoid politics here, but you know, art is political. And this is just so worth repeating:

Thirteen Observations made by Lemony Snicket while watching Occupy Wall Street from a Discreet Distance 
1. If you work hard, and become successful, it does not necessarily mean you are successful because you worked hard, just as if you are tall with long hair it doesn’t mean you would be a midget if you were bald.
2. “Fortune” is a word for having a lot of money and for having a lot of luck, but that does not mean the word has two definitions.
3. Money is like a child—rarely unaccompanied. When it disappears, look to those who were supposed to be keeping an eye on it while you were at the grocery store. You might also look for someone who has a lot of extra children sitting around, with long, suspicious explanations for how they got there.
4. People who say money doesn’t matter are like people who say cake doesn’t matter—it’s probably because they’ve already had a few slices.
5. There may not be a reason to share your cake. It is, after all, yours. You probably baked it yourself, in an oven of your own construction with ingredients you harvested yourself. It may be possible to keep your entire cake while explaining to any nearby hungry people just how reasonable you are.
6. Nobody wants to fall into a safety net, because it means the structure in which they’ve been living is in a state of collapse and they have no choice but to tumble downwards. However, it beats the alternative.
7. Someone feeling wronged is like someone feeling thirsty. Don’t tell them they aren’t. Sit with them and have a drink.
8. Don’t ask yourself if something is fair. Ask someone else—a stranger in the street, for example.
9. People gathering in the streets feeling wronged tend to be loud, as it is difficult to make oneself heard on the other side of an impressive edifice.
10. It is not always the job of people shouting outside impressive buildings to solve problems. It is often the job of the people inside, who have paper, pens, desks, and an impressive view.
11. Historically, a story about people inside impressive buildings ignoring or even taunting people standing outside shouting at them turns out to be a story with an unhappy ending.
12. If you have a large crowd shouting outside your building, there might not be room for a safety net if you’re the one tumbling down when it collapses.
13. 99 percent is a very large percentage. For instance, easily 99 percent of people want a roof over their heads, food on their tables, and the occasional slice of cake for dessert. Surely an arrangement can be made with that niggling 1 percent who disagree.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Inspiration: Ana Juan

Here are two films of illustrator Ana Juan's work. I love her mysterious creepiness and the way she draws faces.  Her silhouettes are fantastic, too. Right now I am playing around with different ways to draw faces, and looking at the work of those who do it so well.  (I've also been teaching self-portraits to some of my students, including a group of adults this week for the first time ever. But that's another story.) Ana's have wide-set eyes, features low down on big round heads, and rather stoic expressions in the midst of chaos or strange events.

I do think her work would have given me nightmares as a little kid. Or at least strange dreams.

Although on second thought, I went through a phase in about 5th grade where I read all of Grimm's fairy tales, and those rainbow fairy books. Just devoured them.
I managed to sleep just fine.