Archive for August, 2008

5 ring circus

Thursday, August 21st, 2008


Whew. It’s been a drawing-and-photoshop biathlon-marathon the past couple of weeks: just as well that I’ve been able to have the Olympics on TV in the background the whole time I’ve been working. I can’t actually watch what’s happening, but having this ambient sense of athletes working hard and persevering has actually been really inspiring as I’ve been drawing. (It’s also prevented me from whining about my work as much as I might, under the circumstances).

I had zero intentions of tuning in to the Olympics, but I’ve gotta say, I’ve really enjoyed them. I got utterly sucked in to the Opening Ceremonies, and what with the time-difference on the broadcast, and the need to stay up late working on this project, it’s been the best thing I could ask for as far as something to enjoy listening to as I work. Artists are hard-working folks, but athletes…well, let’s just say we could probably learn a few things more from athletes about discipline, self-sacrifice, team effort, and sportsmanship.

So. All of the drawings are now complete, scanned, and colorized, with many thanks to Electric Works, Michael Hall, and especially Libby Pidgeon for their expertise. The file sizes were really massive, at least for my tired little laptop, so everything took about about a bazillion times longer to layout and save. Even with Michael and Libby’s awesome help, I barely slept all of last weekend. Each of the 6 posters is about 68 inches high by 48 inches wide: each has one massive central image, and 5-7 peripheral images, which is why all the image files were gargantuan. The images below and on the last post are peripherals: the 6 main images are more detailed, and I’ll share those later.






And no, that’s not me in the drawings, since some folks have asked. Playing the part of Flor in all of my photo references has been the lovely and talented actress and comic Nicole Maxali.

I laid out, and on Monday submitted, the almost-final versions for the San Francisco Arts Commission’s review committee meeting this week. Given their feedback and a litte bit more tweaking, it looks like we’ll be going to press with them within the next 10 days-ish! There ended up being 37 drawings total, which was actually much wiser composition-wise than my delusional ambitions of making closer to 60. I can’t share the finals just yet of course, but I’m really pleased with the way the images and narratives balanced out in each poster.

On Monday night, I also started teaching fall semester drawing at DVC, which went surprising well, considering how delirious I should have been: next week, I start teaching at Berkeley and USF, plus Galleon Trade starts installing, plus I finish the posters. Did I mention that I’m also still trying to get my house on the market in the next 2 weeks? Michael Phelps, please. Try harder.

hand cramps

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Good gravy. I haven’t had to do this much drawing in a concentrated way perhaps ever. My gnarled, bony hands are actually cramping from it all. Ah, the sufferings of the artist. Tough life. Getting to draw all day.

I’ve been M.I.A., and will probably continue to be M.I.A, from the blog for little while longer: I’m in the midst of about a bazillion ink drawings that will then be colored in PhotoShop for Flor de Manila y San Francisco 1973-78, the next series of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Art on Market Street kiosk posters. I got awarded the project at the end of May, right before leaving for Denmark. But. Since my proposal entailed a lot of local Bay Area resources, I really couldn’t work on it in Denmark: I had to start it in earnest in July, when I got back to town. Hence, yet another mad scramble.

And I’m also still teaching summer session at Cal. And preparing for Galleon Trade BAN 5. More than anything right now, however, it’s aaaalll about finishing these drawings. Some in-progress samples from the Market Street project below: these are 4 of what will probably be between 45-60 total drawings. More details soon to come.