Aug 29, 2011

Cicada Fever

Seoul Korea is like a subtropical climate in August. The sound of the cicadas rule the ears during the dog days of summer. Taking a walk in a park sounds like you are strolling through the amazon. At a party, some people were complaining that the cicada chirping has grown so loud in Seoul that it was interrupting their sleep patterns. I on the other hand dig the sound, especially in a city setting. Nature is brought so sharply into focus. Living in a concrete city, one often forgets about real nature. The cicada's singing is a nice reminder that we are invading their space. I read where the sound a cicada makes can be heard one mile away. One day I walked in the park that surrounds the Seoul Tower. It's located at the top of a small mountain. It took me three hours to get up and back. I was really able to concentrate on the music the cicadas were making. At points their sounds were very faint and calming. Eventually they would build to some crazy type of crescendo. Beyond loud. It was all very thrilling. I will have to wait until next year to experience it all over again.


The thing I like about dictators like Muammar Gaddafi is their ability to pretend it is Halloween every day of the year. Their costumes are the best. Most of the look is sort of like when you are a little kid and your mom ties a towel around your neck as if it's a superman cape. Muammar always had some blanket or curtains flung around his shoulders. Then there are the Michael Jackson style, epaulettes military type costumes. I was thinking, if Muammar was so powerful why did he only rise to the rank of Colonel? That's a real puzzle. Someone must know the answer to that one. Colonel Gaddafi was never clever enough to come up with something as brilliant Colonel Sanders did. Fried chicken, now that was brilliant. These dudes all love the hair dye too. Mubarak, Hussein and Assad all use the Just For Men hair coloring. Mubarak and Hussein never even reached the rank of Sergeant. What up with that? If we keep up this ridding the world of all its dictators, who will be the great wearers of costumes in the future? We can always count on the drag queens. Thank god for them.

Aug 26, 2011

Apple Source

As an artist, Steve Jobs has changed my life for the better. I never set out to make the little movies that I do. But just by being around my macintoshes so much, I found myself gravitating towards the imovie feature. Intimidated yes, but I forged ahead and lo and behold I was able to master the stupid thing. Same goes for garage band. Now I use my apps to make drawings on my iphone6 and e-mail it to my new imac at home. I look at the artwork on my blog from my ipad8. Life couldn't be better. Than the bad news struck about God. That's what I call Steve. The Lord himself is leaving Apple. Sad. He will be sorely missed. I will stay loyal to my beloved Apple. Hopefully the geniuses that work there will continue to astound me. As a result my artwork will just keep getter better and better.
I love you, man.

Aug 25, 2011

Danny Does Tommy

From Danny Gregory.
A few months ago I decided I wanted to make a series of films about illustrated journaling. Not a how-to, step-by-step sort of thing but films that capture the adventure of drawing, the discovery, the spirit, the fun. I hope they will inspire you to make drawings (and films, if you want) and to keep an illustrated journal as a regular part of your everyday lives.
My 17 year-old son, Jack Tea, has joined me in this project and together we have worked through lots of technical obstacles to make films that look as good as we can make them on no budget. Our inspiration comes from the Cooking Channel, from Etsy's vlog, and from too many decades of loving movies.
We shoot on our Canon 7D, rent different lenses (in this case we relied heavily on the 100/2.8 L IS Macro) each weekend, use Jack's skateboard as a dolly, and rope our friends in for help and opinions.
Our first film is called "The Art of Breakfast".
Here's the newest film in the series, a portrait of my great friend, Tommy Kane, as he rides around his neighborhood in search of something new to draw. Tom is a great traveller — he regularly posts sumptuous journal pages made on his vacations and business trips. His favorite home-away-from-home is Korea and he has made many amazing drawings on its streets and in its markets.
This time, we decided he should travel through his own neck of the woods, see it anew like a visiting stranger and capture a mundane little corner and fill it with his particular brand of magic. Normally Tom works mainly on site, dragging out all of his materials onto the pavement around his little folding stool but instead we decided to expand the scene and show you some of Tom's home and studio and incidentally some of the wonderful big paintings he's done on canvas.
When journaling, he works in Uniball, watercolor and pencil, sometime in books, sometimes on loose sheets of bond or watercolor paper. He is a meticulous crosshatcher and spend hours on some of his drawings. When we draw together, I invariably start to chafe at the bit and beg him to finish at home as I am tired of sitting in his shadow, my own drawing long finished and yellowing on the page, glazing over as he crosshatches more and more details.
We shot the film in two days — on the streets of Brooklyn and in Tom's home where his lovely wife, Yun, made us lunch and watched our obsessiveness with a bemused smile. It was the height of a baking summer and storm crowds rolled in and out, marring our continuity.
We shot an extravagant amount and it took a month to wade through it all and pare it down. The first cut was twice as long as what you'll see today, but we resharpened our blades and ruthlessly trimmed back to the bare essentials. We tried to retain the essence of how Tom works, the way he layers media and adds detail. It's fascinating to see how his drawing builds and builds — when you see the final result, it's often hard to figure out how he got there. With this film, I hope you'll share in how the journey unfolds.

Aug 23, 2011


There are not a lot of pools in Seoul Korea. It's not their thing. The few they have at hotels get pretty crowded. The kids love it. When I'm at the pool I close my eyes and it sounds like I'm at a typical pool in the states. When I open my eyes and look it is very different from America. No one is overweight. The Koreans are the thinnest people in the world. Also everyone behaves. Parents are not screaming at their entitled brats. No kids are crying. The second the clock strikes twelve thirty, the pool empties out completely. Everyone eats lunch all at once. That's when I swim, by the way. The pool at the Grand Hyatt in Seoul, is under what is the skating rink during the winter. I like to doggie paddle past the sites where I slipped and fell on my face while showing off my ice skating prowess. Being Irish, I can only take the sun for about a day. Then I've had enough of the pool. Back to the streets to draw.

Top Of The Food Chain

I'm not really a first class section kind of guy. My whole life has been set in the middle seat with a sweaty businessman to the right and a gassy old lady in the aisle seat next to me. Don't get me wrong, I have flown first class a bunch and could get really used to it. Even when I get the chance to fly business or prestige, I never eat the food. I fly to Asia quite a bit and the flights are very long. What I always do is eat a big meal at home before I fly so I don't have to touch the food on the plane. I don't care if it's first class food. It's still airplane food. I rarely touch the breakfast for that matter. That is my ritual and it works for me. I will have a glass of wine or a Bloody Mary before I pass out for 8 hours. True that.

Aug 17, 2011

The Other Tommy

Tom Friedman of The New York Times is the most rational writer in the world. He seems to know more about the Middle East, global warming and being green than anyone else around. His books are great reads. To be able to write a short column every few days and pack it with so much knowledge is quite a skill. If I'm flicking through my tv channels and come across him being interviewed, I always stop and hang on his every word. The world would be a much emptier place without him around.


The is a fun little blog called, Drawn Netflix envelopes. I thought it was a cool idea. Of course my drawing is on the wrong part of the envelope and done in the wrong direction from everyone else on the blog. That is because I am stupid. What can I say. My drawing is of Natalie Portman even though it doesn't really look like her.

Aug 16, 2011

Old Headers

At the top of my blog is my header. It was designed and built by a young intern at my office. The kid was a genius. Before that I used to make them myself. I'd change them up every few weeks to keep it fresh looking. Once the kid built the one I have now, I fell in love with it and it stays there permanently. Recently I came across some of my old ones. I'm posting them for old times sake.

Aug 10, 2011

The Beach Street Boys

My video of George, The Singing Doorman, was a big hit. The man is a legend. Anyway as a result I did a drawing of the front of my office building. If you haven't seen my video, please check it out. You won't be let down.

Aug 5, 2011

The Singing Doorman

The building I work in has the most unusual doorman. Tenants of the building include a film production company, a film school and tons of advertising art directors. Yet no one has thought to put a camera on this gentleman. So I did. Enjoy.