Aug 29, 2010
I now have a bike. Butch Belair and I are bike mates. One Saturday he took me riding along the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan. I was shocked to discover just how fixed up it has become. You don't notice it from a car driving along the same route on the westside highway. Much of it is hidden below away from the view of car traffic. Butch showed me this structure sticking out of the water around 50th street. I couldn't believe this existed. Although I've driven by here a thousand times in a car, I'd never seen it before. We sat and drew but really we were resting because we rode about 30 miles that day.
Aug 28, 2010
There is a very groovy feature about Montreal. It is the port located along the waterway right next to the heart of the old part of the city. There are huge abandoned factories that used to handle large grain shipments. They feel like the old abandoned steel mills of America. Urban decay is a great thing to draw and photograph. I drew this early one morning before the city awoke. The thing I like most is the graffiti. How do kids paint their name on the sides of these buildings? It is so dangerous to be hanging off the sides of these structures. Dink and Hise are crazy.
Aug 22, 2010
I wanted to draw something difficult. Yun and I were staying at a house on a lake in the Berkshires. We were in the middle of the woods. It was a little rainy and I was searching for something to draw. I was attracted to the trees. If you really sit and stare at bark, it is so intricate. It can be very challenging to draw, especially the way that I do. The trees were not laid out like that. I would choose one tree and draw it. Then I'd walk and find another and then draw that one. I was composing as I went along. There was moss covering all the rocks. It was a nice little touch to tie the drawing together. I'm so used to drawing cities. I feel nervous in the woods. Deep down I know the Texas chainsaw massacre guy is lurking about out there somewhere. He is sitting quietly in the dark watching me knowing I can't see him.
When I do a photo shoot for advertising, we always have the best of everything. If I am taking a picture of a shoe, we have stylists there with ten different kinds of laces. Should the laces be like this? Should they be tied? We fuss over every little detail. It always looks perfect. Maybe too perfect. When I draw I want my page to also be nicely designed. It's different though because I want to find and draw something naturally. The way it is. I don't alter scenes that I draw. When I saw this anchor at Yun's friend's house in the Berkshires, I knew it would be a great drawing because of the rope. It was an interesting sort of sculpture sitting next to a mess. I didn't touch the rope of fuss with it to make it look more desirable. If I was doing the same shot for advertising we would have moved that rope for an hour to get it all just right. It would have been a staged, beautifully designed creation of a mess. The way it is drawn now, My pen is the camera and everyday life is the stylist.
Aug 19, 2010
A lot of people say my drawings remind them of the work of Robert Crumb. I myself had never heard of the guy until the documentary came out about him in 1994. Somehow I had developed into Crumb without ever being influenced by his work. The other day I did this drawing and it very much reminded me of his work. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. At least he's considered great. I don't know what I'm considered. Maybe way above average.
Aug 16, 2010
Recently Yun and I spent a weekend in Montreal. It's a lovely, little sleepy city. There is an old French section with cobblestone streets. You can't really tell which country you are in. It feels sort of European and a little American at the same time. Some signs are in French and people speak french. I don't know if it feels Canadian or not because I don't know what Canadian feels like. The weather was perfect so that helped. They say in the winter it's one of the coldest cities in the world. Their slogan is, "Montreal is for lovers." The funny thing is that there are tons of people getting married. Every time you turn a corner, there is a wedding photographer shooting a bride and groom. White limos are driving up and down the avenues. Almost everyone on the street seems to be dressed as if they are in a wedding party. Whoever the marketing person was who sold the city on this lovers idea is a genius. Seems to be working like a charm.
Some of you may have heard of the famous t-shirt website, Threadless. Anyone can post a design and then people can vote on weather Threadless should make it and sell it or not. I uploaded my squirrel and people are voting on it right now. It gets voted on for 5 days. If there are enough votes it gets in. So those of you who already know about it and have an account can log in and vote. anyone else that wants to can sign up. It only takes a second and then you can vote for me. Here is the link.
Aug 12, 2010
Sitting around casting models can be tedious. It's fun looking at hot girls for an hour or so then it gets a bit much. Casting guys is the absolute worst. Thank god I didn't have to do that. To pass the time I took one of the model's headshot cards and drew her. Of course, I exaggerated everything about her to make the drawing more dramatic. My ability to draw hair is at an all time high. I do it quite fast also. It's a lot of effort to get in all those highlights and magical bits but it's the thing that really makes my drawing sing.
Aug 5, 2010
I am not a very good writer. I'm also not so terrible either. My writing lives in that little world between kinda sort of funny and mediocrity. David Brooks of the New York Times, now that's a writer. Years ago I used to read a tremendous amount of books. When I discovered drawing in them, I completely stopped the reading part. The one thing I do have time for is a bit of newspaper reading online. The Times editorial writers are the best. On television and radio these days, there are too many talking heads who are either far right or far left. They don't have any credibility because they only live on one side of the fence. How can their party always be right all of the time, every day of the year. Brooks on the other hand, appears to be a right leaning Republican. Yet he tore Bush a new a-hole for eight years. There are articles when he is completely and totally behind the democrats. By never really showing favoritism, he comes across as someone who's only after what's right. Not being very bright, I don't really form educated opinions about things. So now I read Brooks and that becomes my opinion. If I'm out with friends and they start talking politics, I just regurgitate Brooks. If you are going to regurgitate then regurgitate from the best, I always say. There my little secret is out of the bag.
Aug 1, 2010
There is a club in Coney Island Brooklyn called The Polar Bear Club. Every new year's day they gather at the shore of the beach in Coney Island and then everyone goes for a dip in the freezing cold ocean. A hot Saturday afternoon in August was my first time ever going into the water there. I was always under the notion that Coney Island was a disgusting dirty place to swim. It actually turned out not to be the case. It is very clean and fun. The first thing you can't help but notice is the diversity of people. There are Africans, Haitians, Jamaicans, Puerto Ricans, Russians, Indians, Muslims, Chinese, Japanese and also an occasional Irish person. One of the most fun things is the amount of illegal vendors on the beach. There are so many regulations in New York City since Guiliani, that it was great to see so much blatant rule breaking. People are carrying coolers and openly selling cold beers which they hide in paper bags. It's pretty easy to see that everyone around me was downing cold brews. There are many illegal food vendors also. Selling meat pies and empanadas. I saw a Jamaican photographer walking around offering to take portraits of people on the beach. Another selling jewelry. There is a whole other world of craziness on the boardwalk as well. I took my cousin and his girlfriend and her sister there. They were in from Ireland. All in all it was a fantastic experience.
A cool website called Recave did a little thing about me. Check it out here.