Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

bad dog

One of my favorite things to look at during the winter is pictures of people who died trying to climb Mount Everest. It's so gruesome. I also replay the images constantly in my head every time I take Abby for a walk now. It's so cold out, holy crap.

There's ice everywhere and Abby loves winter and snow and cold so much. She jumps around like a maniac. I am super bundled and bent over from the cold, and I take small careful steps with my knees really bent the whole way, so I don't fall and shatter every bone in my body.

This is moments before I slip and am left to die of exposure and the neighbors find my body mummified from the cold and have to drive by it every day until spring because it is too cold and dangerous to retrieve it for burial.

Another great thing about winter is I haven't washed my hair in 8 days. I've showered but I hate getting my hair wet in the winter because it's long and takes forever to dry even with a hairdryer and I don't want my head to be cold and I'm lazy. So, whoops. Thanks, winter hats!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


This Friday was the opening of the Work:Detroit Touch show. Everything in the show invited audience participation, and you got to touch everything. I had a pinata in the show.

I put about 4 pounds of candy in there. I wasn't sure about my engineering skills but it held.

Photo courtesy of gallery director Stephen Schudlich.

My main worries about the thing was that it would either a) break open after one hit and be really anticlimactic, or b) not break open at all, but only sort of crumple in on itself, which is something that can happen with pinatas made of newspaper like this.

BUT. You guys. Neither of those things happened. It went PERFECTLY. There were so many people in the gallery, and everyone crowded around to watch and cheer. Six people got a chance to hit it. They got blindfolded and spun around by me. Everyone got 3 swings at it, and everyone hit it at least once out of their 3 swings. First the arm fell off, then the other arm, the someone got a headshot in that knocked half the hair off.

It was finally split open by artist Ryan Standfest.

Photo courtesy of a stranger.

It was beautiful. Everyone was smiling and cheering and having a great time. I kept laughing and stomping my feet, I was loving it so much.

It split open so perfectly. I think the heavy candy is what helped make it not crumple.

BONUS real life piñata lady. I bet that lady was REALLY kicking her self about her outfit choice. Unbelievable.

After it split, people dived for candy and body parts. Which were then relocated throughout the gallery.

All in all, a terrific time and a great show! The corpse is still hanging by the door, and the show is open until Dec 24. Lots of cool pieces, plus a free original artwork available by mail order from one Andy Gabrysiak.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


This is sort of belated but this year I had some electronics I've been wanting to buy, and so for the first time ever I participated in BLACK FRIDAY.

I didn't go to any of the crazy stores like Walmart or Target because I didn't want a new TV, but I'm kind of bummed because I wanted to see the maximum frenzy. Next year I want to just go as a tourist.

I did a lot of Black Friday ad research and found two retailers selling what I wanted, a new computer monitor to hook up to my macbook, and a specific netbook I'd had my eye on. The ultimate goal was to retire my macbook to a life on the desktop as a "WORK" computer, which I hope will lengthen its life, and to get a cheap little baby lap top that I could cart around and use for emails and twitter on the couch and internet tv in bed.

First stop was Radio Shack, which had a really good deal on the netbook. My brother Joey agreed to be my team mate even though he didn't want to buy anything. Radio Shack opened at 5:30, and since it's sort of right by a Walmart we figured everyone would be there getting trampled, so we got up at 4:30 and got there at about 5:10. There was a small line so we trucked out of our car to go stand.

I forgot to mention that it was BITTERLY BITTERLY COLD OUT. When we left the house, my car's doors were all frozen shut. I had to bully the passenger side door open and after that, IT WOULDN'T CLOSE. So I was like, great, these deals are not work a broken car, but whatever, TOO LATE NOW.

Here's a picture of me outside of Radio Shack.

I like how I have ghost legs.

WELL it turned out that the ten or so people in line ahead of us at just come from Walmart. WHAT. They were all hardcore and were first in line there and bough their shit at 5:00 exactly and then came to Radio Shack right after. The guy in front of us was at Walmart all night to buy some laptop but it ended up not having a webcam so he didn't want it. He said that's why everyone else was in line too. WHAT Anyway we waited until the store opened and then it turned out Radio Shack only had ONE netbook at that price and some other asshole had got it before me.

At this point I am very sad and feeling like a total failure. But we were not going to fail at Office Max so I had the fury. Office Max is the one that had the deal on the monitor I wanted and they opened at 7.

We got to Office Max at 6. There was no line in front but there are a few cars idling in the parking lot. We park and discuss how everyone must be in a game of chicken for the first person to get out of their cars and all stand in line. Then some guy knocks on my window and he says they've created their own numbering system so they can wait in their cars. I said, well, that's civil, and take the number he offers me. It looks like this.

So I'm like, great, thanks for this scrap you tore from something on the floor of your car. Immediately me and Joey start talking how how this is going to fall apart, which it will. Someone will betray the system, or there will just too many people. As we are sitting taking advantage of this slight reprieve, more cars start showing up. The number guy is running around the parking lot, knocking on every car window and explaining their system. An Office Max employee comes out and is like, dude, please don't do that. You can't make your own numbering system, we can't honor it, we don't want a riot ok? Totally fine, Office Max guy. So we all get out of our cars and go stand in line.

We move up from 13 to 8th because the system is disintegrated. We have a sleeping bag to wrap up in, not because I cam super prepared for standing outside, but because I always have a sleeping bag in my car because I am a hobo. Still, it's real cold, and we're taking turns with the sleeping bag. BUT. Even worse than the biting freezing cold, was that the number system guy WOULD NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT THE NUMBER SYSTEM.

HOLY GOD. He would not stop talking about what an asshole Office Max was being, and how we had "all agreed to the number system" and how he was just trying to keep everyone from "freezing our asses off" and how "Office Max wants us to freeze our asses off" and how he wouldn't be as mad if "the employees would stand out here with us." YEAH RIGHT GUY, they already hate their lives because they had to get up at satan's asscrack of dawn to sell us shit we don't even need, I would never ask them to stand outside with us.

We had to listen to this guy constantly for nearly an hour, you guys. It was exscrutiating. If I had to choose between listening to this guy for an hour in 70 degree weather, and standing out in the freezfest and have him be dead, like, it would be a really tough decision.

Anyway, the cold wasn't even that bad because Joey and I took turns standing outside in a sleeping bag cocoon and sitting in the car. That's why the buddy system pays off, lonely guys.

My favorite part of the morning was having the guy in line behind me mutter "I can't believe I have to listen to this asshole" about the guy who wouldn't stop bitching. We then became friends.

ANYWAY, finally the store opened and we all went inside. I asked the guy who came out earlier and told us where everything was where the monitors were, and he said they were by the register. So I went over there, the OPPOSITE of where everyone else is going and say, one monitor please! The BITCH said "Monitors are over there!" across the store where there are now 100 people standing around confused. I almost cried. I blew it. I went over there, dodged through everyone being confused, grabbed some not as good of a deal monitor to hoard, and went over the register. SOMEHOW I am the 3rd person in line at the register. No waiting AT ALL. I couldn't believe it, but everyone was still being confused on the other side of the store.

I told the girl at the checkout that I had hoarded this one monitor but I really wanted this other one. She was like, ok great they're right here, here you go. AHAHAHAH PHEW! I had sent Joey on a mission to see the deals on the netbooks, and he found it, not as good as the Radio Shack deal but 20 bucks less than the Walmart price so he reports back as I'm checking out so I just buy the netbook too. While I am paying I look behind me and there seriously about 200 people in line behind me. The line stretched all the way to the back of the giant store. This was the other best part of the night. Being in the front of a huge line. Here's a blurry picture of it but you can't really see how far the line snakes around.

Whatever dudes, I know that Black Friday is like a heroin bender for capitalists but I really wanted to try it out. And I gotta say, I'm hooked. I'm going next year for sure. Standing in line with those people made me hurt in my heart with the perfect combination of tragedy and sense of community, which I strive for every day.

I just got around to setting up my purchases yesterday. I knew once I did I would just be on the computer forever. The giant monitor is kind of freaking me out. I did some work in Illustrator and the extra space from dual screens is just SO LUXURIOUS! I am experimenting with loading different OS onto the netbook and I am kind of way too excited about it? So I am still playing around and it is fun but also time consuming and making me hate computers. In like a hate but secretly love way.

After I got back from shopping I spent another 200 bucks on sweaters at the GAP.COM online sale, half of which I will return after I've tried them on. I was in a frenzy ok. I REALLY LIKE SWEATERS.

After that I went and worked 11 hours and then went and hung out with my friends until like 4, because I am an idiot.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I don't even want to make a book anymore I just want to make GRAPHS.

I spent kind of way too long making these represent really accurate information.

Here's a graph of what states we were in on which day and how many miles we traveled, plus elevation.

Here's the key, which is showing up way bigger than everything else. I'm gonna have to differentiate between the the greens of the midwest a bit more.

Here's another about being in the car. The width of pictures represent mileage, totaling over 6,000. Each picture is a different day. States are represented by the color bars. Every picture was taken from out of the car window.

Here's the abstract version, which I like better.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I want to do something like this for each day. Although most days are just going to say drove and camped. With a scale for rating the beautiful majesty we saw. Still fiddling. There's so much crap to work out.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

this is what I do on saturday nights.

A friend of mine asked me how to make a pinata and I kind of lost my mind.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I am actually working on it

Everything is so so ugly mid-project! I am moving stuff around a lot. And making a lot of place saver images in InDesign. There's going to be a pie chart apparently?

And my colors are clashing OUT OF CONTROL because there is like 3 different color schemes happening. We all need to sit down and have a talk.

I'm using the landscape illustration to track progress throughout the book on the bottom. That's the only part I like so far. I also want to add how many miles we went each day, and really wish I had logged it while on the trip. Now I have to go back and estimate with google maps. I haven't decided if I want to rework the landscape to reflect the actual distances traveled in each state, or just leave it with each state as a unit.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


So, tomorrow is November, and I've always wanted to participate in Nanowrimo, but because I'm not really good at long writing, I will be pretending I'm participating and finishing my Road Trip book, which I've been sort of working on for the past however many months, but also a little just sitting with my thumb up my ass about it. I've finished some illustrations I want for it, in addition to doing a lot of planning, and the words are actually mostly written, they just aren't funny yet.

50,000 words is the Nanowrimo goal, and if a picture is worth 1,000 words, then that means I have to make 50 pictures. HAHA SEE WHAT I DID THERE. MATH. REAL LIFE. HAHA. GOD. So one picture is a page ok.

So that's 1 spread a day I guess. DOABLE.

Here's one of my many plan sheets. Before I was trying to plan it using regular sized sheets, and it just didn't work at all. This is the only way to do it.

I only ever get things done if I make up fake reasons and pretend the internet is holding me accountable.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Here's some little icons I made for the book that I will NEVER FINISH WRITING.

That is actually an extremely realistic representation of this lady who was waiting in line ahead of us at a gas station in Illinois, who didn't understand how pants work. Later in the trip we started calling these people "Middlies." Short for Middle Americans.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


This past Saturday I teamed up with Charlie Slick, musician and inventor, to paint this award winning painting during a live art performance. Charlie made a giant Spirograph, which worked impeccably to create that background pattern, and then I painted a cat.

It's 4 feet tall and makes an excellent centerpiece for any room.

We were set up in a basement bar in Ypsilanti underneath a Mongolian Barbecue. There were 3 other artists there, and a screen printer. The girl next to us had art that had a lot of feelings and was very "political." She made a painting of the basement bar we were in and everyone standing around in it. Except she also added green alien guys into the crowd. That was her artistic license. Next to her there was this guy sitting at a tiny table with headphones on painting this weird line drawing on a canvas. He didn't look up or talk to anyone the whole time. I don't know what his deal was.

On the other side of us there was this girl doing "live model painting" where she painted on these two dudes. For the first part of the night she was just sitting in a chair waiting for her models to get there and we weren't sure what her deal was either. Then some guy came and climbed up on the chair wearing only his underwear and she painted a sun on him. I got uncomfortable while she was painting his underwear right over his junk. It was right next to us. Then another guy came and she painted a moon on him. Sun and moon, cool. She was using acrylic paint on those guys and I don't know if you have ever had acrylic paint painted on your skin but when it dries it totally sucks. Those guys probably really hated her then. Maybe that was part of the art too.

People were pretty into our piece when we were doing the spirograph part. We were trying to pace ourselves because we were gonna be there for 5 hours so we took our time and tried to make each step really important. No one else tried to pace themselves and they all finished before us. The joke turned out to be on us because then all the audience left and went to go stand in front of the weird DJ or sit by the bar.

So then I painted the cat and a few people looked at me, which was weird. I usually hate painting in front of people but I guess painting a giant cat in a girl outfit is different. Some guy came by and told me that it was pretty good but if I wanted it to be great I should make the cat be "suckling on a divine breast." And then said some things about bishops. I think he was trying to be funny.

I said, yeah ok buddy. That's not how jokes work.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Here's something from my sketchbook.

Whenever I'm stuck, I know I can always draw a cat.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

magical laser website

A few weeks ago I found out about this website, ponoko.com, that will laser cut stuff for you out of all kinds of different materials: felt, acrylic panel, mdf, wood, leather, even METAL. It is SO GREAT. I immediately knew I wanted to make something using this process, but I didn't know what. I still don't know what. But I'm brainstorming. I sent a test file in just to get a look see at what the quality was like. I got it in the mail today and the precision of the cuts and engraving is just beautiful. So clean.

You can also BUILD stuff by making plans and laying out all the separate pieces that will fit together. I really want to build something.

Here's the little lion I got cut out of an acrylic sheet. I just want to look at it all the time.

I'm gonna try felt next.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

tour de troit

Today me and my dad and my brother rode in Tour de Troit, a 30 mile bike ride through the city. It was our second year doing it and it was great! There were somewhere around 3,000 people.

The ride starts at Roosevelt Park, in front of Michigan Central Station, and loops around the city, ruining people's days who are trying to drive anywhere. Sorry everyone who had to wait for 3,000 people on bikes pretending to be cars to go past before they could pull out of their apartment building, or cross a street or something.

It was pretty windy today, and the ride was fine except for one part where we were riding directly into the 200 mph wind for about 3 miles. MISERABLE.

The meeting spot.

So many people! Also, so much spandex. :/

Me and my bro at the halfway break. COOL HELMETS!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Today I was having an existential crisis/organizing my studio space, and I had a sudden urge to do a painting to take a break from the crisis.

I haven't painted in about a year and a half. I forgot how when doing a self portrait like this, you don't have to think hardly anything at all.

I only used burnt umber, yellow ochre and white, because I hate mixing colors. It got me about an hour of peace.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Also here's a nice picture of a deer


One time when I was a kid I was playing in the woods behind our house and I found a dead deer. It had no eyes and the empty sockets were staring directly at me. I had nightmares about it forever afterward.

cool story

I re-did this in an exercise in type-bullying. Also I made it more gross.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

highfive infographic

I had the WORST highfive the other night. A bad highfive is enough to make you wanna cut your own hand off. I could feel the wrongness of it like a residue on my palm for hours afterward.

I made this instructional poster to help make this never happen again.

America has a lot of stuff in it

Here's a video I made about my road trip!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

This is something that people with blogs do, right?

Best to worst.

I feel pretty bad putting Basil Rathbone so far down on the list (and below Wishbone) but sorry buddy there has been some really tough competition.

Honorable mention:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010