Archive for the ‘not work’ Category

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Spent this morning working on this little collage. It’s about ten inches tall, made of acrylic and various paper goods. Graph paper shirt and the hair is from an old Archie comic book, for instance.
Sometimes I need to spend a few hours that are about something other than cars and trucks, or at least not the typical way I make illustrations. It had been a while since I cut and pasted and painted. I’m gonna try to do this every week.

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Get a good look. I’m shaving today for a good cause.
See, last month I ran a few miles for brain cancer and raised $750. Now I’m doing something much more difficult. Just as I did last year, I’ve signed up to grow a dorky mustache for a month. This has its benefits, of course, as I’m raising money for schools in doing so. Please visit my Mustaches for Kids: Donors Choose page and do what you can do.
Here’s info about M4K Philly.
So today I shave the mess that is my pretty face and will photograph the slow growth each day for a month. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Last weekend we carved a couple of pumpkins for Halloween and, as per the usual, I documented it thoroughly. Each of the kids made up a face and drew it onto a pumpkin, and then I carved them. The movie was made by shooting 662 still images with a timer set to take a picture every five seconds. When this was done it was edited together using Quicktime and Adobe Premiere. The music is The Vanguards’ 1963 version of “In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Grieg.
Happy Halloween all y’all.

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Photographer Jon Barkat dropped by the studio last night with his guitar. By chance, I happen to have some things in to which we can plug his guitar and record what he plays. Also by chance, I had one of my ukuleles at the studio and a new microphone into which I could record it. So we started noodling around, recording said noodling into Ableton Live, and made us a little song.
090918: ukulele & guitar by dance robot dance
So as you listen, you can hear me on the ukulele picking notes, then thumping on the uke like drums, then at about :32, strumming a simple little C-F chord change. At :50 Jon kicks in with his guitar, then at 1:06 it’s Jon again with the same guitar but playing a bass line.
Things get repetitive around 2:20 so Jon suggested adding drama. Listen and see if you can identify the dramatic elements.
Normally, I’m known to not stray far beyond music of the electronic synthesizer variety so this was a departure. Hope you like.

Friday, September 4th, 2009

I’ve been working on this book for Little Golden Books called “I’m a T-Rex,” you know. I spent a considerable amount of time on Wednesday working on one of the spreads, finishing it late Wednesday evening. Thursday morning I come in to the studio and want to open it to save the TIFFs and whatnot, and the file won’t open. I got an error saying something like “there was a problem reading layer data. read composite date instead?” I figure, you know, sure why not. So when I click “read composite data” it tells me that the file isn’t compatible with my version of Photoshop. Hm. Ok. Well, that’s dumb.
What this means in real-life terms is that the file got corrupted. What it also means in real life terms is I’ve got six hours of work in front of me that I already did if I don’t find a can-opener that will open this can.
Searching around the internets I found an open-source plug-in thingy called, melodically, Photoshop File (PSD) Extract/Recover Tool. I downloaded it, installed it, followed the directions, and it proceeded of course to crash Photoshop and make me restart. I’m an optimist, so I opened Photoshop and tried it again. The fourth time (!!) it didn’t crash, and instead opened a nice dialog box asking me if I want separate layers (this file had sixteen of them) or a flattened version. I tried flattened first (I figure I might as well get a workable 600ppi T-Rex, even if I would maybe later have to go in and surgically extract the layers). What I got was a nice big empty file. Well, see, I’m an optimist (did you know this about me?), so I tried it again this time asking for individual layers. I got excited when layer one, a shadow of the T-Rex on the ground, opened all fine. Yay! But then, this is where it got fun, I tried the other major layers (I have lots and lots of small texture layers that would be as easy to redo as going through this process) and got just the loveliest abstract colorful images. Here, I saved them and posted them for you.




The funny and amazing thing is that the colors and textures have absolutely nothing to do with the base layer/image that I lost. Photoshop completely made this up! I saved these (obviously) and don’t be surprised if they get used in the future. Maybe as album covers for my electronic music projects. Who knows?

Update: using a lower-res-but-high-enough-to-use layout test file that was also corrupted, I rescued a composite version of the T-Rex that I’d plopped on top of a background Wednesday night before closing up. This is not ideal, as it has no layers and is just big enough for the book (I like my files big enough to stick on a bus), but at least I have a usable image at 300ppi. See, optimism is a good thing. Here’s that original image from where these abstracts were born.

click the T-Rex to see it bigger

click the T-Rex to see it bigger

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

I’m in Arkansas for a while this month. I get a little stir-crazy when I don’t have my studio and stuff around me so as to make the things I make. I’ve got some deadlines so I am working, mainly out of the public library here in Fayetteville. I borrowed my brother-in-law’s video camera and made a little ha ha movie on Sunday evening. Hopefully more to come during this trip.

The video was recorded with Boinx iStopMotion and edited in Adobe Premiere. The music was made with Ableton Live and the Microtonic drum machine. Aaah. Technology.

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

My sister found these books today at a yard sale. She says she got them because she thought maybe I could use the help. Maybe she’s right. In any case I love these books. The best of all, of course, is Ed Emberley’s Drawing Books. They actually did me a lot of good when I was just starting out (when I was like seven). The best one here is the Hoofed Animals one. For those times when you need to draw mountain goats, giraffes and zebras.
yard sale find
yard sale find
yard sale find
I have several more pictures up on Flickr here.

Friday, July 10th, 2009

I was at McDonalds with the kids the other day (I know, I know) and noticed this little gem printed by itself on the side of the bag. It’s tiny, like 1 inch square. Why is this so great?

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

This lovely Spring day makes me think of bicycles. So I thought I’d post a movie taken last September of me.

Moments later, redemption.

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

If you’ve explored my site at any length, you might have stumbled across my audio page, labeled “noise” on the menu up there. This is my little hobby area where I play out my secret life as a dj and electronic musician. I have a small room in my house with a red desk on which lives a pile of devices for making sounds. These include a turntable, a synthesizer, a MIDI keyboard, an old Casio thing, a touch-controller, and wads of cables.

Recently, I registered a domain name for the sole purpose of making an internet home for the things I make in this room. My plan is to move the noises away from MrBiggs dot com, and onto this new domain, which is DanceRobotDance dot com.

My friend Marc, who I know from back in the wild and wooly comics days, is also an electronic music guy. He’s had a wbsite for as long as I can remember called Disquiet dot com on which he writes about music, and which is one of the few sites to which I have subscribed via RSS. I’ve discovered a lot of terrific music via Marc’s site, and even when I don’t love what he’s got up there, I like reading what he has to say about it. When I got a few tunes up on Dance Robot Dance the other day, I sent him the link.
Today, Marc made Dance Robot Dance and my use of the web site for hosting my sound files the subject of a Disquiet post. Check it out.

disquiet dot com