Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Puncture Resistant Family Heirloom

This inflatable globe is a bit of a family heir loom. How's that you ask. Well we can't seem to get rid of it. Why you ask? Because this inflatable globe has it's original air from 15 years ago. Yep the ORIGINAL AIR! It was so long ago we can't remember who blew it up to begin with. I think it was my mom. Anyway, this little globe has survived a number of moves. It even sat in a bin of pointy sticks and still survived. Our soccerballs and basketballs haven't outlived this thing. Now you see why it's hard to get rid of. Oddly enough it still looks young and fresh. It's sort of the Dick Clark of puncture resitant play things.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Letting Loose... reservedly.


Lately I've been trying to tap into the creative part of me that drew weird stuff in high school. It's been difficult. My mind set is so geared toward commercially acceptable art that I find it difficult to let loose and draw something gross or really out there. I know it results from years of drawing for clients and not drawing for myself. Bit by bit I'm breaking down those barriers. I must say the thing that's helped the most is doing these Sharpie marker drawings. No presketching, no previsualization, no self censoring just building off shapes and random thoughts to create something. Most are completed within 10 minutes making it easy and fun to create a lot of them.

With all that being said about my art trying to break away from what's "commercially acceptable" I should come clean and mention on each of these monster drawings I included a smiling snail character that appears to be in love with each of the mosters. I just couldn't allow myself to draw creepy little monsters and let it go at that. I felt like I should soften them a bit to appeal to the masses... granted I liked the results but, old habits die hard....

Monday, August 29, 2005

Gatorade Window Project

About a block from my house is a make-shift weightlifting gym that occupies the corner of a large industrial building. For quite sometime the inhabitants have been placing their empty sports drink bottles in the large picture windows. Being a purveyor of oddities I always thought they should fill the entire window with the empty bottles. So one evening I noticed the lights were on in the "gym" and decided to drop in and ask if they were going to fill the window. If they were, I would offer my "services" to drink more Gatorade and leave my empty bottles for the good of the "the cause". Fortunately Larry and Pedro appeared to be recpetive to the idea. So as I type this entry I'm swigging on a liquid hydration energy drink with B vitamins (in orange flavor)... I can only hope they're doing their part too.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Illustration Friday Submission- "Dreams"

Here's my first submission to Illustration Friday. This weeks challenge was to depict the concept of "DREAMS".

The title of this piece is "Meat Dreams". I illustrated it in 10 minutes with a Sharpie marker on some scrap Epson paper from work. I then took this piece of art along with 7 other similar illustrations and placed them around town (vicksburg, MI) for people to find. ("Meat Dreams" was posted on the receiving door of a mfg. facility).

Sometimes I put contact info on my pieces, sometimes I don't. This time I placed them anonymously.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Paperback Photography #3

More Terry Allen inspired book photography.

Here's the summary of what he does: Take old books, cut out and fold various illustrations from the cover, then photograph them in unique ways.

These are a lot of fun to do. Only down side is the crazy looks you get from bookstore owners wondering why you're buying such a strange variety of paper back books.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Video Blog - Ice Carver

Since the weather is cooling off a bit I decided to post this today. It's a short clip from a documentary I shot and edited involving an ice sculptor. It was shot it during the Dowagiac Ice Time Festival (here in Michigan). See if you can guess what he's carving. (The answer will flash on the screen very briefly at the end of the clip. It's a bit hard to read so you may have to skip ahead to that frame to read it.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Yard Sale Oddities


Here's a couple shots from a recent yard sale I happened upon. Very rarely do I go to yard or garage sales but, on this day the sale seem to beckon me. Usually if I'm feeling "led" to go somewhere I wouldn't normally go I break out the camera. Reason being 9 times out of 10 there's gonna be some weird photo opportunity. This sale was no exception. As you'll notice I stumbled upon a sign that reads "All Electrical Items can be Plugged In"... really? Then a short time later I noticed a big burn pile. In that burn pile was a snowman holding a sign that read "let it snow, let it snow, let it snow"... little does he know.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Utopia Trailer Park


As I've mentioned in a previous post (5/3/05) one of my hobbies (social experiment) is taking photos of really trashy yards. The best places to find trashy yards happen to be in trailer parks.

Over the weekend I stumbled upon an excellent trailer park in Centerville, MI that had a lot of great trashy yards. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get shots of the confederate flag used as a curtain or a wood shed that was entirely spraypainted with "Jim loves Jenni." The only shot I managed to get was that of the trailer park's office. (Believe it or not this trailer looked better than most in the neighborhood). The reason I couldn't get anymore shots was this trailer park seemed to be a hot bed for drug activity. That meant as soon as I drove in I was being watched by the residents. This became obvious when I noticed a guy walking around with his cell phone looking in my direction. Then I noticed the guy from the trailer with the confederate flag curtain walk across a couple properties to join him. They were doing their best not to act like they were watching me... they obviously were. They also positioned themselves at the trailer parks only exit. So I had to drive by them to get out... needless to say I had a couple nervous moments.

Monday, August 22, 2005



Recently, fellow blogger Kevin commented that I'm " in some strange pocket-o-weird. Dead bodies, aliens in windows, dogs guarded by owners with shotguns". He's right. To illustrate that point further here are 2 photos I took within 10 minutes of each other while biking. Granted they aren't outrageously strange but they are a bit odd.

The first one depicts a kid holding a Garage Sale sign. Normal, right? Wrong. This kid was sitting in a vacant lot, not a garage in sight. So as I was biking by him I asked where his garage sale was. He said "It's right here, only there's no garage."..... Ok?.... so I took a photo.

The second one I happened upon 4 minutes later. I noticed, from a distance, something strange protruding from the chain link fence near the public restrooms. So I went to investigate. What I found was a pair of flip flops held under key....ok?... so I took another photo. That 10 minute bike ride pretty much sums up where I live.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Photo Friday Submission - "One"


Here's my first submission to Photo Friday. This weeks challenge was to depict the concept of "ONE".

This photo was taken during one of my many photo walks thru Vicksburg, MI. The concept of "one" is depicted by this person's seemingly solitary existence.

Friday, August 19, 2005

More Guerilla Art


I'm getting back into placing art in public places again. This time anonymously. Previously, I'd place my contact info on the back of each piece directing people to my fine art blog. Given that my personality leans toward being a "mischeivious wallflower" the anonymity suits me much better. Besides leaving off my contact info I've started to take a bit more time with the drawings. Instead of taking a minute to a minute and a half to crank out a piece I've upped the time to 10 minutes max. I prefer the results much better.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

USDA Reminder


This sign should serve as a reminder to always count your butcher's fingers. Especially the ones on the floor.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Duct Tape Shirt


I'm not crafty by any means but, I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. Only took two hours and two rolls of duct tape to complete.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Video Blog - River Read Experiment (Centreville Covered Bridge)

The last of the River Read books have been placed under this covered bridge in Centreville, MI. For more information on my River Reading Experiment read the 5/24/05 and 6/1/05 posts).

I didn't get any photos of the book placements. Instead I decided to post some video footage depicting what it's like to drive across the bridge.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Ground Rock from Chuck $1.49/lb


What's part rock and part meat? It's MEAT ROCK!

After a rain shower recently I noticed something odd in the flower garden. Turns out when this rock gets wet it looks like meat.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Archived Art - circa 1998 Marker Renderings


Here's some more salvaged art from portfolios past. These were definitely getting yellow and wrinkled.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A Good Place to Hide a Body


Here's something a bit unsettling. About a year ago I was driving home from work and noticed a TV news crew, half a dozen police cars and search dogs scouring this marshy area. (This marshy area is next to a heavily travelled road (Portage Rd.) and it's one I use frequently). At the time I drove by I didn't realize a dead body had been found hidden and in a garbage bag. In subsequent days news spread that the body appeared to have been there awhile. Then it struck me. I had been driving by that dead body for quite some time. Creepy. Even now, a year later, it's difficult driving by that marsh realizing that that was the scene of someone's violent act.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A Passion for Tailgating Prevention


I took this photo in Mendon, MI. This sign sits in the front yard of someone's house.

It reads "Don't customize your car like Freddy. Drive Safely this 4th of July!" Obviously the image depicts Fred rear-ending a dinosaur. The dinosaur's tail reads "Don't tailgate"

Please note the sign is lit with two floodlights and lined with Christmas lights. (not to mention it was completely hand painted)

I've talked to other people who live in Mendon who've seen the sign. They too have no clue what this is all about. I guess someone is truly passionate about tailgating prevention? Strange.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Garage Sale Karma?

This photo says it all.

Garage Sale 1.

Garage Sale 2.


This struck me funny. Although not the fire part. That was bad.

Here's the rundown. Two garage sales. Garage sale number 1 is being held on a very busy street. Garage sale number 2 is on a small side street tucked away from any traffic. A fire breaks out in a house on the busy street. Firemen come in, fight fire and section off the entire block where garage sale number 1 is being held. Yellow caution tape everywhere. All traffic is re-routed to the tucked away street upon which garage sale number 2 is being held. Garage sale number 2 does well in sales. Garage sale number 1 is ticked off because no one can get to his sale. I felt happy for garage sale number 2 because at garage sale number 1 his stuff smelled like an arm pit and was priced way too high.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Book Torch

Kevin has passed me the book torch. I have to agree with him it is an embarassing torch to have passed to you. Especially if one doesn't like to read books. I don't mind reading magazines and newspapers but, I don't like committing to 200+ page book.

Number of books on shelf?
180+ Mostly illustration reference books. It was considerably more until I unloaded a bunch at a local used bookstore. I considered ebay but that would have been a lot of effort for little pay off. At least the used bookstore gave me cash right away.

Last book purchased:
"Rebel Without a Crew (or How a 23-Year-Old Filmaker with $7000 Became a Hollywood Player" - by Robert Rodriguez (director of El Mariachi, Once Upon a Time in Mexico and all those Spy Kids movies). I absolutely devoured that book. Unbelievable story. His chapter entitled "10 Minute Film School" is worth the price of the book alone.

Book I’m reading right now?
“The Language of Letting Go” – Melody Beattie

Last five books read?
(I'm changing this category to Last Five Books Read or Tried to Read? If it was Last Books Read I'd have to list books from my English Literature class from high school. Pathetic, I know).

1. “Rebel without a Crew” – Robert Rodriguez
2. “Pure Drivel” – Steve Martin (the comedian)
3. “The Pleasure of My Company” – Steve Martin (the comedian)
4. “Perfect Storm” – Sebastian Junger (The book the movie was based on)
5. “A Walk in the Woods” – Bill Bryson (Hilarious book about trying to hike the Appalachan Trail)

There you have it. Now don't judge too harshly.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Carton Design - Key Foods


Some more of my design work.

Here's a recent ice cream lid design for Key Foods, who I believe, are based in the New York area.

Unfortunately, we rarely get finished printed samples from the client. So I'm often retrieving digital files from previous projects in order to add them to my portfolio. Hence showing the lid image and not an actual carton.

Thursday, August 04, 2005



I decided to spend last week actively searching for artisitic photo opportunities. Artistic photo opportunities such as architectural details, clouds, black & white street scenes etc. etc. That didn't quite work out. The entire week I seemed to be stalked by extremely absurd subject matter.

Case in point. 100 yards from where I work was an old Latvian man selling his hand made birdhouses. To attract attention he attached this kissing deer installation to his pick-up truck.

The corner on which he was selling his creations is always empty. I've been working in the same location for 6+ years and he's the first person I've ever seen trying to sell his wares there. At that point I gave up trying to get "respectable" artistic photos and instead decided to embrace the oddities. Stay tuned for more oddities.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Under Acheiver Signage


The sign looks like it started out ok. Creative stencil work, different colors. Then something happened. Did the person realize "sportscards" was spelled wrong then decided to put an end to it all by handwriting "packs"? Or it could be the card packs are really moldy?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Bear Foot Costume


Not too long ago I posted a photo of the Bear Foot plush "doll" based on my Bear Foot character logo. Recently, I accidentally stumbled upon photos of the costume based on my character logo. I had no idea the costume existed. Unfortunately this is such a common occurence with designers, illustrators and photographers. Once you complete a project you no longer exist in the client's mind. It's rare to get printed samples of work you've done much less photos of billboards or costumes. So I'm glad I stumbled upon these images.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Kissing Dutch Boy Project

Here's another entry for my Kissing Dutch Boy photo project (originally posted 7/18/05).

It's a known fact every artist has to sacrifice for their art. In my case I've sacrificed my dignity for this project. It ain't easy knocking on some stranger's door asking to get photos of their yard art in this context. That being said I have to give a special shout out to the lady who agreed to let me photograph her hand painted yard art with the kissing Dutch Boy yard sculpture.