Archive for the ‘not work’ Category

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

I was staring at the DKNG blog this morning looking at screenprints and came across an entry about Kevin Cyr’s vehicle paintings. I was, of course, slack-jawed and teary-eyed. I have collections of photos of cars and trucks, obviously, and my favorites that seem to transcend their purpose as reference for Everything Goes drawings are the ones that have some personality to them. Graffiti, decaying signage, special purposes, etc. Kevin Cyr paints these vehicles and my my my are they lovely paintings at that.

My favorite of course is the Ice Cream Truck series, one of which was on 20×200 a few years ago.

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

A friend of mine asked me to contribute a sign for her son’s school in Brooklyn. They have a spring carnival every year in which they have these hand made signs and then they auction them to benefit the school. I’ve been looking for an excuse to do some collage work again, as it’s been a long while since I made those race cars and the work is the most satisfying kind of creative process I know.

So of course I said heck yeah.

This is 18 inches square and is made with collage and acrylic paint.

PS 39 clown

Monday, February 14th, 2011

be my valentine

I officially for real finished Everything Goes: On Land today. Like, got the revisions and all the details in and it’s all done now. Go have a drink and be romantic with your sweetie. I know I am.

Friday, October 29th, 2010

When I was around twelve years old, I really really wanted to be a National Geographic photographer. More generally I wanted to be a travel photographer and imagined myself hiking the world taking pictures of exotic cultures and cities. Alas, I drew pictures instead. But this month I can at least put something like that old dream on my resumé, as National Geographic Traveler magazine published one of my photos on page 26 of the current Nov/Dec 2010 issue.

National Geographic Traveler!

Not exactly an exotic locale, this image was taken in the Philadelphia Airport on Christmas Eve 2006.

Santa in Philly on Christmas Eve

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

I’m in the downhill run of completing the first book of the Everything Goes series. Everything Goes: On Land will be published next year by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins. I thought I’d post a few pieces of the illustrations as I complete them. These are just line-art and aren’t colored yet. They are small snippets of these huge 20-inch x 12-inch spreads that are just full of all kinds of trucks and cars and bikes and cars and motorcycles and more cars. And trains. But I haven’t got to the trains yet.

More of these to come.

Pieces of Everything Goes: Jay's Pizza

Pieces of Everything Goes: Fred's Fresh Fish

Pieces of Everything Goes: Motorcycles

Monday, October 11th, 2010

My annual off-topic looking-for-donations post.
Many of you know that I hate brain cancer. Mom got a bad case of it two years ago, and last year she lost that battle. So each year I run in the Philadelphia Race for Hope, which is in support of research and work to vanish brain cancer from the planet. And I’m for that.

day 5: Mom at the pool

I have a few people I run with and we go by the name Team GoMom, which is in memory of my mom and in support of my friend Toni who is a breast-cancer survivor (we run the Komen 5k in May each year as well). And since this year’s race is coming up on November 7, I’m looking for people to run with us, and I’m looking for people to donate.

my mother

Please go to this page and do what you can.

day 1: mom takes pictures


Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Something came along Facebook today and I thought I’d post it here. Fifteen artists whose influence will always stick. There are a lot of artists in my “inspirations” folder and on my bookshelves. These are in the permanent collection. For whatever reason, something about what they do or how they do it resonates no matter how many years go by.

Some of these are obvious, others less so. And they are in no particular order at all.

Edward Gorey
Jacques Tardi
Chris Ware
Seymour Chwast
Arnold Lobel
Richard Scarry
Walt Disney
Saul Steinberg
B. Kliban
George Tooker
Ben Shahn
Jorge Colombo
Robert Crumb
Bill Watterson
Maurice Sendak

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Along with music and bicycles and the various other hobbies I have, I occasionally enjoy brewing a batch of beer. I’ve been a fan of beer since I first went to a homebrew club event in Houston with a friend of mine in the early 90s. I wasn’t much of a fan of the stuff before then, as all I knew was the Budweiser/Coors/Miller world, which is like thinking all steak is a McDonald’s hamburger.
Years later, the friend that took me to the homebrew event was working for a brewery in Hood River, Oregon. She and her husband sent me a book about homebrewing and a gift certificate for a starter kit at Home Sweet Homebrew here in Philadelphia. On Christmas Day 2004 I bottled my first batch of beer, and it was good. Since then I have made a half dozen more batches, and I’ve gotten involved with a small homebrew club based at a local church where my good friend Kirk is the priest. Kirk attends a lot of beer events and gatherings around town, and this last week the church helped run the opening of Philly Beer Week, an annual celebration of all things beer. When you’re the guy at the big event wearing the priest’s collar, you get some attention. So when Philly dot com needed to find someone (quickly apparently) who could show how beer is brewed, they called Kirk, and Kirk called me.
So yesterday we spent two or three hours brewing up a batch of a good dark Mexican lager as Litty Samuel from Philly dot com shot video and asked questions. The result is up today and it looks good. We don’t look as much like idiots as we were worried about.

If the embedded video below doesn’t work, you can see the movie here.

Note the t-shirt I’m wearing and the bottles of beer from a previous batch…

Friday, May 28th, 2010

I’ve been interested in maps since forever. When I was younger I had maps of The World, Europe, the US, and various archipelagos and islands pinned to my wall in Pasadena, Texas, reminding me every day that there was a big ol’ world out there beyond southeastern Texas. At some point I went through my grandmother’s collection of National Geographics and stole as many maps from that magazine as I could. Years later, when I was in high school, my grandmother mailed to me a box of the ones I apparently missed. Being a nerd, I was into Dungeons & Dragons, of course, and I only played “dungeon master” merely so I could create the myths and especially draw the detailed maps of fictional worlds that the players were forced to explore.
Later on, in my San Francisco apartment, I had USGS survey maps of various national parks (Yosemite Valley and the Grand Canyon most memorably), a bus map of Paris, and an old map of the New York City Subway.

The NYC Subway map holds a special place both in my heart and my own special version of hell. I spent a summer in NYC in 1985 when I was 17 years old, and I spent a good deal of time trying to decipher that map. If you’ve ever seen the NYC Subway map, imagine plunking a nice kid from Texas/Arkansas down in the middle of Manhattan and giving him that map, a few tokens, and a nice “have fun!”
I ended up spending two years of college in New York, so eventually it all came pretty naturally. I also spent a year of college (and then another year afterward) in Paris, where the system is much simpler and the Paris Métro map reflects that. Still, I was always very aware of the frequent visitor to the city, standing out in a crowd of New Yorkers, staring at that map — either on the wall of the station or on the platform of the train — looking like they were lost or soon would be.
Now, fast forward a couple of years to, say, 2010. I’m working on this series of big books about transportation for HarperCollins called Everything Goes. I’m writing about and drawing as many different types of vehicles as I can cram into three books. And while it looks like I’m not going to be able to get many references to maps in as I’d originally hoped, I have spent a good deal of time reading about and looking at transit maps. It was during this research that I found (just chanced upon actually) a book called Paris Underground: The Maps, Stations and Design of the Métro (Amazon link here) by Mark Ovenden. The book includes maps of the Métro since its inception in 1900, as well as photographs of the stations and the various printed ephemera, like tickets and brochures, that have been used by the RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) over the years. It’s really a terrific book. The cover of that book lists Ovenden as the author of another book called Transit Maps of the World (Amazon link), which I of course promptly ordered. This book is just as good, with both historical and current maps of dozens of subway systems from all over. Paris and New York, of course, but also Hamburg, Mexico City, Montreal, Osaka, and even good ol’ Philadelphia.

These maps do the same thing for me as the maps I had on my wall when I was twelve. I love following the routes and seeing the names of the stops and imagining what one sees when one emerges from underground at that point. When I loved in Paris, it was a cheap thrill to take the Métro to some unknown station and explore the neighborhood it served, then find my way home again. This daydreaming, I suppose, is a virtual version of the same.

Me in the Métro, 2004

Me in the Paris Métro, 2004.

This all came about today because The New York Times published an article this morning about a new edition of the aforementioned subway map that will be introduced next week. Each time a city updated its transit maps, various controversies ensue as certain elements are simplified or removed, others are added or enlarged, and the process of trying to please everyone including locals as well as tourists ends up making everyone unhappy. In this case, Manhattan, being the busiest and most congested borough of the city, has been enlarged (engorged actually, it’s really fat) while Staten Island, with its sole tendril of a line running from St. George to Tottenville, has been stuffed into a small box and shrunk down in size. I’m sure the residents of Staten Island are insulted, even though, really, the move makes sense. The NYTimes story has a terrific (but too small!) interactive feature detailing ways in which the map has changed from the current edition to the new one. Go see that here.
Poking around the Googles this morning led me to a couple of other interesting places as well.

The Metro Transit Authority (MTA) which is the agency that oversees the subway and bus system of NY has a maps section of their site that’s pretty slick.

The Paris RATP’s site has the Métro map available for PDF download here and a smaller “wallet size” edition here. (watch it, the links open the PDF maps).

My new favorite time-waster: An interactive map of the Paris Métro.

If you know of any more interesting sites and resources, leave a comment!

Monday, April 26th, 2010

This looks funny. You need to watch it.