Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Art of Healing

Once again, I find myself throwing a random post out into the cosmos, and that has made me start to wonder, "why did I stop writing?". The truth is, I don't know how to put on a cheerful face when I'm down, and I don't like spreading gloom. So, the posts became very rare bursts spread across the months. The last three years have been an intensive study in humility. We both lost our jobs in 2009 along with countless others and suddenly, the words just stopped. Despite the number of people in a similar position, I felt incredibly alone and somewhat embarrassed. Some things have improved. Some haven't. I've worked on some amazing products and have gotten by financially. Our laptops were both stolen, but have been replaced. We were in a horrible crash last year, but survived without much injury and I was just able to replace my car this past weekend. One would say we are blessed and that things are looking up, but a grim heaviness remains. It pulls at my shoulders and squishes my insides. I've taken to carrying my sketchbook everywhere and am happy to say some of the stress has been converted into the lovelies you see above. I used to think I knew what I needed. Every day I learn that I still don't have much of a clue– but I do need art. Like if I can just process life into art, maybe everything will be ok.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Wreck

It's been almost a month since a driver broadsided us, tossing our car across the highway into the oncoming traffic lane. I'm very thankful that we both walked away from that car. It's difficult to know what to say or how to feel. This ordeal has been painful, frightening and frustrating, and yet I know how lucky we are. I've spent countless hours on the phone with insurance companies, rental car agencies, and car dealerships wishing every moment that this could all go away and I could have my car and my life back exactly as it was. So while it may seem incredibly petty, I was more than a little thrilled when I got a package in the mail from Sasha Bell.

You see, the day of the wreck, I was wearing my favorite pair of earrings (handmade by Sasha) and at some point while we were flipping and rolling, one of them was ripped from my ear. The next day when we were able to visit the car to salvage any belongings that weren't destroyed, I was only able to find one piece of the poor earring. I sent a note to Sasha, explaining what happened and asking how much a repair would cost. I nearly cried when she offered to fix them for free. I know it sounds silly to get emotional over an earring. But it's really about much more than that. An act of kindness is like a glimmer of light in the dark. Despite all that has been taken from us, I feel a little better about the world knowing that there are people like Sasha Bell in it. I currently own three pieces of her jewelry, but I hope to collect many more over the years. If you're looking for something truly special, from a truly special artist and person, please check out Sasha's shop. Each piece is crafted with pride and love that she passes on to her customers. I may not feel completely whole again yet, but one small piece is back in place.
Sasha Bell Jewelry

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Unleash the Kraken!!!!

Hooray! Our ImageKind shop is open, so you can now purchase prints of many of the wonderful eVille illustrations. Please take a moment to check them out. We appreciate all of the support we've received over the last year. There is still a rough road ahead of us. Many startups don't make it very far past launch. We hope we're not in that bucket, but only time will tell. You can see our prints for sale here. The Kraken above is one of my all time favorites. There was the opportunity to make him dark and super scary, but our game requires a certain level of contrast for the images to be seen in thumbnail form. Besides, I eventually decided that a giant pink monster on a lovely summer day was far more humorous. Someday, I'd love to see him made into a plush toy so I could throw it on people while yelling "UNLEASH THE KRAKEN!!!!". It's the little things in life :)

 And of course, if you have time, you can check out the game on Facebook.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Pit of Despair

Working on eVille has given me a great opportunity to brainstorm fun ideas for various card art. The Pit of Despair kept coming up while we were trying to think of cards that could protect your buildings, but for the longest time, no one could figure out how to make a pit interesting. We weren't trying to recreate the pit from The Princess Bride, which really was a torture chamber. We really wanted it to feel more like a booby trap. The trouble is, everyone thinks of seeing a pit from the top, rather than the bottom. Jason finally came up with a brilliant sketch. I illustrated it, and must admit that it has become one of my favorites. Unfortunately, this type of card is more downplayed inside the game, and so the artwork cannot be appreciated as often as others that are in the spotlight. Hopefully we'll be able to sell prints of some of the card art soon, allowing fans to take their own favorites home. You can see more art (and have some fun too) by checking out eVille on Facebook.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Little Post Valentine's Day Round Up

Over the last year, I've been working more in illustration than ever before. I still end up doing lots of User Interface work, because well- it needs to be done, but most of my joy comes from completing an illustration. My current project is eVille, a card and location based Facebook game. Now that the game is live, I hope to share some of the pieces I've contributed to it a little at a time. These are two from our limited edition Valentine pack, The Florist, and Bad Cupid.

It's difficult for me to grasp where exactly I fit in the illustration world. Almost all of the pieces for the game, including the ones above, were originally sketched by Jason English, a extremely talented concept artist. I don't have the right kind of mind for translating an image in my head to paper I suppose, but when it comes to taking the sketch and making it come to life in digital form- that I can do. Both are vector images created in Adobe Photoshop.

You can see these guys in action inside the Facebook game here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Yackle Snarling?

We just finished this creepy little piece in our moleskin. While we never know what our ink drawings are going to turn out to be, this one makes me think of Yackle from the Wicked series (except that I believe in the books she was described as toothless). We've been so consumed this year with work that we've spent little time on art, and obviously, on the blog– but that may change soon. If all goes as planned, we may have a small show sometime in the winter that we'll be preparing for over the next few months. More details to come, but you can be sure there will be lots of ink and probably lots more creepiness.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July Brings New Things and Old Ones

There are some people in your life that you always expect to be there. You've shared experiences that are irreplaceable and at some point formed a bond that has held tight. It's easy to say that I don't care for talking on the phone and that my trips back home are so short that I rarely see anyone who isn't family. It's easy to say it's a two way street. It is not so easy to accept that someone I consider to be a dear old friend just became a daddy for the second time, and I have yet to meet the first child.
When his first daughter was born, I saw a few pictures on Facebook, most of the child alone and one of the family together, but it was all too surreal to take in. I was, of course, very happy for them. Today, I saw a very different picture with the new daddy next to the hospital bed, peering down at his two daughters and it really hit me how much of this person's life I've actually missed. It seems like too many friends have slipped through the cracks. We've all taken different paths, and while I do not regret mine, I do feel a sadness at the loss of all of these shared joys, all of the birthdays and congratulations that have been passed by. I hope they all feel my love somehow, even when it goes unsaid or unseen.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

New Adventures for 2010

It's been a while since my late post. They seem to keep getting further and further apart. The company that I'm now a partner in has been working mostly in stealth mode, which means I haven't been at liberty to show much of my work. Now however, we're getting closer to launch and have started some promotion, so I feel it's time to open up. The name of the game is eVille, a digital card game to be initially released for iPhone, but of course, we hope to carry it to other platforms as well. I'm currently responsible for UI and a good chunk of the illustration work, which I share with two other artists. For SXSW, we released a limited edition Armazilla card concepted by Jason English and illustrated by yours truly which you can see above. A facebook fan page has also been started where I'll be showing sneak peeks of new card art, UI, and game mechanics. Please fan the page if you'd like to stay updated. It should be a pretty fun ride :)

eVille fan page

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Few Words is All it Takes

It recently came to my attention that I've lived on the north side of Atlanta for nearly 10 years. Oddly enough, it still doesn't feel much like home, but every day, Michael and I drive past the Spruill Art Gallery. It is situated on the corner of Ashford Dunwoody Rd and Meadow, very near our apartment. As long as I can remember, they've rotated out colorful mural installations on the side of a shed beside the gallery, the sight of which brightens the intersection and has always filled me with joy.
Earlier this year, the murals were replaced with the words "Everything will be ok" in black paint on a dingy white background. Initially, I disliked the sign. I felt that whoever painted it had taken all of the color and joy of the murals away and dumped this black and white "blah" in their place. But then… it hasn't exactly been an easy year. Bad days have been followed by worse months, and many are in far dire situations than we. There was a particularly bad day that we passed the sign and I read it- perhaps really understood the words for the first time and had to hold back a few tears. The words do not promise that everything is going to be super-duper awesome tomorrow. They don't sugar coat the situation, or pretend that things aren't bad. They simply state that it will be ok. We will manage. We will get by as we always have and there will be a brighter day than today. Not perfect, but ok. There is a lot of comfort in those words and I deeply appreciate the individual that painted them there. In the months since, they have lifted my spirits on many occasions, and I can only imagine how many others they have touched by their sincerity and truth.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Introducing- Tweetery

Tweetery iPhone application for Twitter
Illustration Friday- Fly

I'm SO excited to finally be able to share this! For the past several months, Michael and I have been trying to figure out the next steps in our lives and during that process, we started building an iPhone application with some of our former co-workers. The result is Tweetery, a gorgeous little Twitter client designed and illustrated by yours truly. It's packed with plenty of the features you'd expect, and perhaps a few you don't- such as the ability to temporarily mute an overzealous tweeter! No more follow Friday madness! Just turn them off for the day! We're really proud of what has been accomplished and there is much more to come. We have a slew of features waiting in the wings to make the Twitter experience a true pleasure. Please help us out by spreading the word or downloading the app yourself! It will be $0.99 this week only!

See it on iTunes.
Check out the app site.

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