Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Lost in Transition

Thanksgiving is already here, and this year I'm thankful that my recent transition from the upper west side to the lower east side went relatively smoothly. I've been in my new apartment for almost a month so far and I'm finally beginning to feel settled. However, once I step foot outside the apartment, I find myself entering an exotic new that includes lots of dead animals strewn about and hanging from things and lots of signage in a foreign language I don't understand.

Check out some of the pics, even though some of them came out a little blurry and poorly composed (I'm still adjusting to my new digital camera). I thought I'd give my friends and family a peek into my world, since they're always asking. (Click on the images to enlarge them.)

As strange as it is some days, living in Chinatown is very convenient because it borders on so many other cool neighborhoods. It's amazing to me how mere blocks can mark the difference between living in "regular Manhattan" verses living in a "virtual China". It's true about Little Italy as well. It lies just a few blocks west of my apartment, and it's lined with dozens of Italian restaurants and shops. Although, it looks like Chinatown is rapidly devouring it!

As you can see, Chinatown is lined with dozens of restaurants, shops, and markets of it's own. In particular, it's hard to escape the sight and smell of raw fish and other various seafood. As you enter Chinatown, written English disappears, and Chinese (and Japanese?) characters take over every window, sign, package, and marquee. It basically feels like another country.

Nestled off the main drive is my block, with my apartment entrance (pictured above). Above the door is a funny little sign advertising our neighborhood shoe store "Girls Love Shoes". Talk about lost in translation...

Inside our apartment, you'd never know that my roommate and I were nestled within a community that speaks mostly Chinese. The layout is similar to our old apartment, although the living room space is slightly smaller. But that's okay, because the bedrooms are BIGGER, which makes a HUGE difference in New York. We tried to merge our style sensibilities in the common areas, and I think it's worked well. For example, I think Jimmy's letter/number wall art goes quite well with my retro couch.

Here's another view of the living room, this time looking toward the bedrooms (that's my room through the door).

Check it out...I managed to cram every square inch of every surface with all of my "inspirational" knick-knacks and toys. I tried to downsize when I moved to New York, but what can I say, I gotta' have my STUFF!

Finally, here's my work space, where all the freelance magic (or shall I say procrastinating?) happens. Note: every square foot of this wall houses a different piece of art. I gotta' have my "inspiration-wall".

Now come visit!

Monday, November 13, 2006


I recently finished a project for my friend, Jeff Maccubbin. He asked me to animate a short story within the independent film he was working on. It's called "soulMAID", and it's a joint effort between four different filmmakers telling one story. My animated segment will appear within the third chapter of the film, directed by Dan Mohr.

This was a lot of fun to make! Dan provided me with a bizarre little tale that needed a look and feel that would set it apart from the rest of the film, yet provide a back story for several main characters. Originally, the segment was told using filmed slide projection graphics, but the directors felt it needed to be animated instead.

That's when Jeff recommended me to Dan. Jeff showed him my website and Dan agreed that my style would fit the bizarre and campy tone of the film. It's a truly wacky tale of love, lust, destiny, and...sponges.

One article summed it up as, "a comedy about a gay house cleaner's attempt to save the world from a vengeful goddess."

I worked on the project during a brief break between freelance gigs, so it was a tight turn-around. Dan created the musical score and one of the main characters in the film narrates the story. I tried my best to stylize the art in such a way that limited animation would suffice, since I am not a traditional cel animator. I think the final product came together pretty well, considering time and bugetary limitations.

I'd love to hear what you think.
You can see the finished animation here:
The Clean Demon

Check out the soulMAID movie trailer here:

Here's a write-up on the film:

Monday, November 06, 2006

Random Noise Bursts

Once again, the eloquent hulaseventy, wife of the visionary Ward-O-Matic, has inspired me to complete another meme post...I hope you can make some sense of it...and feel free to complete your own soundtrack meme if the inspiration/boredom hits you.

If your life were a soundtrack, what would the music be?

Here's how it works:
1. open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod)
2. put it on shuffle
3. press play
4. for every question, type the song that's playing
5. new question-- press the next button
6. don't lie and try to pretend you're cool

opening credits:
"You Spin Me Round" Dead or Alive
(seems fitting enough)

waking up:
"What do You do with a Drunken Sailor " from a VERY GAY, cabaret music compilation from the 50's called "He's a Queen"
(this is hilarious...there's even a line that goes, "do what you will with a drunken sailor early in the mornnnniiiiiiiinnnnng" - I promise this is what came up!)

first day at school:
"2 Wicky" Hooverphonic

falling in love:
"C'est La Mort" Stereo Total
(I'm starting to realize that my itunes music might be a bit too weird and obscure for this meme...but oh well. This little ditty is cheerful and happy, so I guess it's good falling-in-love music. Although, I believe "Mort" means "death" or "the dead" in French...I think)

breaking up:
"AĆ©ro Dynamik" Kraftwerk
(breaking up can be as cold and chilly as how a Kraftwerk song SOUNDS. Those harsh Germans!)

"How About the Boys?" Arling & Cameron

life's okay:
"Yeah" LCD Soundsystem
(this seems right on)

mental breakdown:
"Sunshowers" M.I.A.
(I guess having a mental breakdown sounds like a Sri Lanka-raised electro-reggae-funk rapper)

"Take Me With U" Prince and the Revolution
(I'd go on a road trip with Prince, sure)

"Money" Human League
(haha...I don't like what this implies. I guess there's no money in my FUTURE)

getting back together:
"The Love Cats" Tricky
(well, Tricky's one sexy guy, so this seems perfect)

"Love Action (I Believe in Love)" Human League
(The Human League AGAIN? I guess I have a certain nerdy, new wave quality to my life. Appropriate title, don't you think?)

birth of child:
"Flicking Your Switch" Ladytron
(Ladytron's neo-electro-sound seems ALL WRONG for an environment involving the birth of any living creature)

final battle:
"Window Display" Enon
( we go...Enon's guitars have enough angst for a fight scene! Although, I can't imagine a fight scene taking place in a window display. That definitely seems pretty queer)

death scene:
"Diy" Robots In Disguise
(a song titled "Do it yourself" for a death scene...hmmmmm...yikes)

funeral song:
"Emotions & Photons" Freezepop
(this band's happy-poppy-bubbly sound would be so silly for a funeral...but y'know, I like it!)

end credits:
"Why You Wanna Treat Me so Bad?" Prince
(ha...perfect. That'll be the final, closing question!)

So, in conclusion, I see now that my itunes music library doesn't know a thing about DJ-ing a soundtrack for my life, unless of course, my life IS best comunicated through an absurdist, DADA-like film score, where irony plays a big part in the retelling of my life story.