Monday, January 30, 2006

Got a job

In case you didn't know, I've been spending the past couple of weeks silently FREAKING OUT, looking for work. Curious Pictures no longer needed me for the Barbie project, and I was let loose into New York on a loooong break. I immediately started sending out resumes and copies of my reel to several different job listings. But I didn't hear I started to worry, "how will I pay my rent???"

Finally, someone responded. A director called me. He needed a background artist for a new children's show. He asked if I would come up with a beach scene as a test. He needed something in the style of early UPA/Hanna-Barbera cartoons, but he also refrenced the background art of the Powerpuff Girls and Camp Laslo. That sort of thing was right up my alley, so I stayed up all night sketching and working on the computer, and finally came up with a couple of samples. I sent the image posted above the next day...and he loved it!

So I got the job!!! It's for a children's show in development involving puppets, similar to Jim Henson's Bear in the Big Blue House. I won't have to turn to prostitution after all.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Photobooth Friday: Wanna be Warhol!

Ah yes, the culla' o' money!

Actually, I took this in art school when I was lacking dough, hoping it would magically force the universe to pay my tuition by cosmic suggestion. I think it was taken in a mall or a themepark in one of those Japanese import photo-sticker booths. You know the step into it, and pull a blue screen down behind you, and pick your graphic surroundings...then it prints out a page of stickers of your shot. You know?

Well, I chose a hundred dollar bill. But don't let my obnoxious glare fool you...I was pretty hard up for cash. I think I had like four jobs that Summer between semesters. One was waiting tables, one was working in the Housing Office on campus, one was giving tours of the college to prospective students, and one was delivering trash bags to all the residents in our dorm. Luckily, putting myself through art school has paid off somewhat. I've been enjoying the happily employed, monied lifestyle for the last five years working at a design and animation studio (when I was in Atlanta).

Although, now that I'm in New York, the finance struggle continues...will I squeak by, or will this city pick me up and snap me like a twig over its knee?

Only future freelance work will tell...

Until then, I'm enjoying the photobooth assignment inspired by Hula Seventy!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Talk Dirty, but Keep Clean

Do you like my dirty, dirty drawing?

I did it as an illustration assignment. It's a little weekly gig I got...I get to draw hunky, gay gayness for fun and money. It's one of the many things I'm able to do now that I'm not working on that Barbie movie. Slowly but surely, I'm trying to finesse and polish my illustration portfolio, so I can get closer to working SOLELY as a freelance illustrator. It's always been my get paid to draw all day. I sure hope it becomes a reality. Although, will I be able to get professional representation if I fill my portfolio with cartoons of boys in bath tubs (especially bath tubs shared with lecherous rubber ducks)?

Probably not.

That's why, if you're reading this right now, you should hire me to do an illustration for you. Haha...ha...ugh.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Have some gay

Image courtesy of

Okay, first of all, let me say this: I've always tried to be the kind of guy who doesn't let his "lifestyle" or "orientation" define everything about him or his work. (Wait, don't roll your eyes yet...) I've tried to make my proclivity for men a non-issue ever since I admitted it to myself at the age of sixteen (SWEET sixteen, haha). I'm open and upfront about it, yet never felt the need to start wearing rainbow-colored outfits or anything. I've enjoyed dating guys and holding their hands in public, etc, but never felt the need to chain myself and my boyfriends to a fence on Capital Hill in protest (although if I had been born a decade or two ago, that might be different, as there was more demand for that kind of thing). Over the years, I've witnessed other guys "come out", and everything about them changes, and suddenly there's the danger of everything about them revolving around gay, gay, gay... so I promised to myself a while back, I wouldn't let my whole being become absorbed with one aspect of my character. Sure, I love to camp it up from time to time, I've gone to plenty of Pride festivals, I love enjoying a cocktail at the friendly neighborhood gay bar, and get a kick out of anything that seems a little "light in the loafers" but I enjoy a lot of other things too, and hopefully, they all help to round me out as a whole, unique, complex person. For instance, I'm a shitty cook. The gay, Martha Stewart foodies out there would be so embarrased of me. And some days, my clothes (while nicely matched---usually) just ain't perfectly wrinkle-free. Plus, I hate Britney Spears and Mariah Carey, So after saying that, here's something for you to enjoy. It's possibly the gayest thing I'll ever post! Its "gay-density" is off the charts. If it had a nutrition label, it would read: sugar...20 grams, high fructose corn syrup...30 grams, gay...1,000,000,000 grams. It may be bad for you overall, but it's worth it! Listen to the songs about those crazy gays, or at least every possible, imaginable stereotype about them from the 60's! I love this like how a black person might love those adorable, antique, pick-a-ninny salt and pepper shaker figurines:

Camp Records

By the way, don't ya just love the image posted above? I think it's a great example of how form should follow function. If some of the songs on the album could take the shape of fonts and linework, you'd end up with this cover art. Good design, I say. See the burly arm hair? See the fuchsia hanky? Witness the genius of contrasting details at work...

Oh, I almost forgot, I dedicate this post to my non-gay (but possible honorary member), and friend, Ward, of Ward-O-Matic fame. He passed this Camp Records link on to me. He uncovers the best stuff! See, I can't even find the good gay links without my straight friends!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Adore Lepore

Since my last post was about Barbie, it seems natural to do a post about New York City's own LIVING Barbie doll, Amanda Lepore. She's become a fixture in the city's nightlife, but for a newcomer, there's nothing like spotting her for the first time in person! Whoa...I was knocked back..about five feet, seeing her in the Tokyo-chic setting of Hiro. She was sitting with a very exclusive looking group in the lounge area, looking very other-worldly in her tiny little French-dominatrix-artist ensemble.

Just google her name, and you'll see what I mean. I read a quote from someone who considers her "the Rosa Parks of our generation" for transexuals. While I think that statement is a bit over-the-top and (insane!), you have to marvel at the attention she commands in a crowd. Even photographs of her elicit extreme reactions. She's walking sculpture. A living cartoon. A blow-up doll of glossy, plastic, bombshell style.

Photographer David Lachapelle considers her his muse...

...although, middle-America probably finds her revolting.

I think she looks great, and I just had to do a cartoon of her.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Barbie Breakdown

With the holidays behind us, it's time to get back to work. For me, this means I'm back working on Barbie. You see, since moving here in November of last year, I've been employed at a studio in the East Village that's taken it upon themselves to create a 3-D animated, direct-to-video, feature length Barbie Movie. Yup, a Barbie movie. I can't tell you the title of it, or what it's about, or how it's made, or assembled, or who it's for, but you can guess millions of little girls (and maybe boys) will be clamoring for it upon release.

It's been a great first job since moving here, because it's totally allowed me to hit the ground running, so to speak. It's taken care of the rent and other numerous expenses after my move. Plus, it's a good, well-known studio to be working for. I'm hoping it will lead to many other projects.

As you can see, I've posted a few glimpses into my state of mind while on the job, recorded on various bits of paper and, of course, post-its! Even though it's been great experience to work on a project like this, there have been those days that I want to jump up from my computer and run around the office screaming and ripping my hair out. Barbie can be a BITCH folks. She's very demanding...and high maintenance...and insufferably PINK! Trust me, as a reasonably well-adjusted gay man, I have no problem with the color pink, but boy, try staring at it for ten hour days, six days a week, and see if you don't go a little nuts.

After awhile, post-its with drawings like this started appearing at my desk...
(click on it to make it larger, if you must)

Luckily for me, said project is actually reasonably cute and well-written, so it hasn't rotted away my core, but the compositing work has been grueling. Looong hours, lots of coffee, sitting at a desk, staring at a computer, in a room full of others doing the same, like drones...can test your endurance, and it can test your breaking point. Since we were all freelancers, none of us could really claim a permanent spot or desk as our own. What ensued was reams of unorganized paper, and randomly disappearing office supplies. Where's my highlighter? Where did I put that pen? As you can see from the post-it below, I started to crack.

But don't worry. The movie wraps next week, so I'll be breaking up with Barbie, and off looking for a new love to spend my days with. Hopefully, whatever it is, won't be centered around the color pink.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

I drew a little New Year's baby...
...maybe I'll redraw him in a year as "Old Man 2006".

So I spent my first New Year's in New York. I avoided the tourist-flooded hot spots, like Times Square, Rockefeller Center, etc, in favor for joining a few newfound friends for cocktails at their favorite gay bar, Barracuda. It's quickly becoming my fav drinking hole, as well. It's a Chelsea bar with East Village flavor: non-pretentious, colorful, and a nice mix of types. Little did we know it's not exactly most people's destination for New Year's. Small groups of guys trickled in and out all night, never staying long enough to fill up the bar. But, Jason, Oz, Keith, Jay, and yours truly stayed for the long haul. We refused to club-hop, stubbornly downing drink after drink after drink...after drink...clinked champagne glasses...kissed a stranger...downed a drink...until Jason helped me home in a cab. Immediately, I crouched down in front of my toilet, hugging its cold, smooth, porcelain curves, and praying that I would either throw up or pass out. Instead, I fell asleep on the floor of my bathroom, and awoke sometime in the early morning and moved to my bed.

This morning, I spent the first half of my day recovering from a killer headache. Is it sad that I'll be 30 in February, yet I'm still capable of nights like this? ...naaaaahhhh...Here's to the New Year!!! Bring it'awn!!!