Thursday, January 29, 2009

Studio on a Snow Day

No school again yesterday, due to the snow and ice.

I worked on sketches for a new story dummy.

The cats, as usual, ate, slept, and looked cute. (So spoiled!)

And what would a snow day be without cookies?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday Noir et Blanc: Moon Cats

I did the sketch for this piece way back in October and spent a long time thinking about how to treat the color. I even started and abandoned it, because something about the color just didn't feel right. So I went back and did it in black and white. Of course then I fretted over the balance between cross-hatch and wash. I think I'm okay with it now.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Scribbling Not Thinking

Random scribbles... not too concerned with what they should look like... just relaxing... playing around with ideas...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Fun: Lego Madness

I saw this over at Julie's blog and had to link. My son has been obsessed with Legos since the time he was born. He can put a couple-thousand piece set together in a few hours. They don't make sets big enough for him anymore (unless you want to spend a fortune.)

I'm thrilled by the creative 3-D way his mind works... wonder if they give out a Lego scholarship...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Promo Time

Just as the old eyeballs were about to fall out of the head, my promo cards arrived from the printer. Too much time spent staring at the computer screen, updating mailing lists.

Time to stamp and label and stamp and label... and send these babies out into the universe...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Good Day!

Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts. – Wendell Berry

Today I'm feeling joyful, and hopeful, and realistic. It all feels good.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Fun: Roz Chast Always Makes Me Laugh

Her characters are anxious and neurotic and insecure... something I can relate to!

Only kidding.

Most of the time.

I love it when they show her filing cabinet full of rejected cartoons. Again, it's that idea of quantity-- work at your craft persistently, experiment, learn from your mistakes-- and the quality will come.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Administrative Stuff

This is a teeny teeny tiny rough sketch from a new project.

Most of this week has been spent catching up with administrative stuff-- updating mailing lists, designing promotional postcards and revising web portfolios. (Maps here and illustration work here.) Not the most inspiring work, but necessary to keep a freelance business going. And in a strange zen-like way they're satisfying. I don't have to think too hard and the work is measurable-- once it's done, it's done. But now I'm itching to get back to the creative side.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday Noir et Blanc: Garden-y Spots

These little vignettes are fun to do. Can you tell I have springtime on my mind? Time to start planning next season's garden... with a cup of something hot... seeing as how the temperature will be plunging for the next couple of days...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Random Quotes

Don't waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Fun: Drawing Tutorials-- The Hand

I wonder if he knew how funny this line sounds-- "The thumb has one of those confusing personalities that we don't like to talk about." I like that!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Resolutions and Ice Storms

There are a lot of good New Year's resolutions in blogland this time of year. I enjoy reading them all. One I really found inspiring was Vivian's. Her word/theme for the year: resilient.

Within about 20 minutes of reading her post the power went out. We were in the middle of an ice storm.

Seeing that I had a map deadline I was slightly panicked. But I had her word in my head. Luckily I work in pen & ink and watercolor, so I didn't need electricity. I pulled my drawing board close to the nearest window and kept working by daylight. I was thankful for that word.

Later, as it grew dark, we lit candles and stoked up the woodstove. The only real annoyance to losing electricity around here is that we lose water, since we're on a well system with an electrical pump. But one thing I do enjoy is the peace that descends over the house. It always gets me thinking about the people who've lived here over the years. They lived longer without electricity than with, since the oldest part of the house was built almost 300 years ago. Talk about having to be resilient!

And then the hubby and I had a good chuckle, imagining a conversation from colonial times that surely didn't take place:

"Caleb, go and harness up the horse now if you will, for I'm desirous of some Mexican take-out for supper."

"Of course, good Mother. Shall it be the Fajitas this evening, or the Vegetarian Burrito?"

Which reminded me to of my own word/theme for this year: laugh often!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wednesday Noir et Blanc: Random Spots

Why is it that the kids always have a snow day the week after winter break when you're trying to play catch-up? Oh well. At least it's a good excuse to make cookies.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Favorite Christmas Gifts

A woodpecker door-knocker...

... and a flying pig weathervane, for the top of my office...

... because one resolution for 2009 is to laugh, as often as possible.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Map: Snowy in Chicago

As I worked on this map a snowstorm in Chicago was headed our way. The Art Director told me to get my shovel ready.

I fantasized about all the things I would accomplish over the holiday break, but instead did mostly nothing. If you call relaxing nothing, that is. It turned out to be just what I needed. Happy New Year, everyone!