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April 28, 2006

IC 13 Show

So we took the trip down to DC last night for the Illustrator's Club show - after arriving at the proper location, on time, we then spent fifteen minutes driving around trying to find a parking space (with no luck) and eventually gave in and did the parking garage thing. Sometimes, I just hate the city. There's something so impractical about all those people piled up upon one another. Or, maybe it's actually really practical. Well, whatever it is, I don't have a lot of patience for it.

But, the show was great - great space, lots of interesting work, and a nice variety of styles and media... I've never been to an illustration show before. Usually gallery shows either have a theme or feature just a few artists, so it was kind of nice to see all the different things people were doing. There were 100+ pieces in the show. One of my favorites was a silkscreen poster for Hurricane Katrina relief -
. Another favorite (I love posters) was this one, by Robert Meganck. And, if anyone's ever in San Francisco, check out the Cafe Gratitude, where the tabletops are board games designed by Frank Riccio, who seemed like a nice guy. The original painting was breathtaking in detail and color - I always admire most the things that I cannot do.

I stupidly forgot to take pictures, even though I went back to get the camera, and had several old high school friends (who I haven't seen in years) show up to support. Thanks, Wheatie, Mini-Wheat, Alison and James! And, to new friends Westbrooks, thanks for coming too, even though I know you had to be there because one of you also had something in the show.

Posted by ribbu at 09:13 AM | Comments (1)

April 26, 2006

A Job!

So - I got an email yesterday from the guy at the NEW YORK TIMES that I've worked for before. He wants another illustration, pronto, for an article about bad stuff you can get on airplanes (mumps, TB, Asian flu, herpes, etc). !! This is tres exciting, so I already sent out three sketches for him to choose from. This is one he didn't pick:

Matthew liked it better than the one that did actually get picked, but mostly because it was so loose that it looked like I did it in 30 seconds (which, in fact, I did). I have to work out a few kinks in round 2, but nothing too major (hopefully, cross your fingers). The nice thing is, it's 7.5"x4" (huge!) and in color (huge!). I'm very excited. So excited, in fact, that the Times guy had to tell me to calm down. Oops. I guess that's what you call unprofessional. He was nice about it, though.

I'll post details as they come (final sketches due tomorrow, final final due on monday).

And, just because I couldn't keep from bragging about this new job doesn't mean you're no longer invited to the event on Thurs (see below). It might mean, though, that if you do come, I'll be way too big for my britches to talk to you.

But really - who even wears britches anymore?

Posted by ribbu at 01:11 PM | Comments (1)

April 23, 2006

You're Invited

So, if you happen to be in the Washington area, feel like braving the miserable DC traffic, and have a hankering for seeing one of my wee scribbles that you've already seen here in technicolor, then, by all means, swing on by! There are sure to be other pieces by better-known and more talented illustrators, so it won't be a complete bust.

The particulars:

Opening Reception
Thursday, April 27, 2006
The Edison Place Gallery

The Edison Place Gallery is located at 702 8th St, NW, in Washington, DC (between G&H, at Gallery Place Metro). Hopefully, this means something to you, because I'm just copying down the gobbedly-gook that was on the back of the postcard invite. All I know about DC is that it is SOOOOOO important to pay attention to those tiny little letters, NW, or you find yourself in the totally wrong side of town at the totally right address feeling totally stupid.

Posted by ribbu at 11:30 PM

Back to School

In which an error yields enlightenment, injury, and anxiety.

The autumn comes and we lament the loss of innocence.

"Standing here now, it's clear how much we've changed since April," says Dougie. "Our peers are the mirror we needed. They are naive. The are small and immature."

"Not at all like we who spent the summer on and around the Ocean City boardwalk," says Renee.

"And beneath it," says Dougie.

Renee blushes. I blush as well.

We walk down the hall and notice how short the lockers are, how short the water fountain.

"Have you been in the men's room?" Dougie asks me. "How one's perspective can change in light of mere experience. I know I have not grown and yet I feel so literally large."

"It was kind of hard to pee," he continues. "I actually had to stoop."

It is not long before we realize the error. The bus has dropped us at the elementary school. Mrs. Gilbert recognizes us.

"Dougie," she says, "Renee, so good to see you both."

"And you," she says, frowning at me. "Still doing your best to ruin these two darlings?"

Mrs. Gilbert takes us back to her nurse's station for some coffee. We are adults now. She offers cream and sugar.

"Do we have to go back to the high school, Mrs. Gilbert?" says Dougie.

"I don't see why," she says. "Nothing much happens on the first day, does it?"

"Nothing at all," says Renee. "What should we do instead?"

"Would you like to help me treat the wounded students?" says Mrs. Gilbert. "It's awfully diverting."

The first one that comes in is a second grader who has stapled his finger to the floor. Mrs. Gilbert gives him a shot and he howls. Then she puts his arm in a cast.

"You've really taken things to a new level, Mrs. G," says Dougie.

"Back in the day, we only got the shot," says Renee.

I volunteer that once Mrs. Gilbert gave me an IV.

I see her smile briefly and then return to frowning.

We play Life, Operation, and Sorry before we get bored and order Chinese.

"I'll use the school's credit card," says Mrs. Gilbert. "I figure they owe you, after all."

"It was rough," says Dougie, "but I feel we kept our spirits up in spite."

"You were real troopers," says Mrs. Gilbert. She places her hand on Dougie's back in a way that raises Renee's attention.

"Don't touch him that way, Mrs. G," she says.

Mrs. Gilbert is surprised. "My, how you have grown," she says. "Asserting yourself with confidence. A woman already."

"I spent my summer in Ocean City," says Renee.

"I was just about to ask," says Mrs. Gilbert. She puts her hand on Renee's back.

We go out for recess with the rest, trying to commingle. I am chosen as the captain of one kickball team and Dougie captain of the other. Renee rolls the ball. We are disgusted with the children's lack of power and quit, discouraged.

"Were we so weak and ineffective in our day?" says Dougie.

A few of the sixth grade boys are offended and tackle Dougie in a group. It takes some doing to get him free.

"Well, well," says Mrs. Gilbert. "This is like old times." She puts ice on Dougie's face and gives me an IV.

"Is this is necessary?" I ask. Mrs. Gilbert smiles and the room goes swimmy. When I awake, she and Renee are sitting at her nurse's table, sipping tea, crying.

"It's been so long since I've had this kind of conversation," says Mrs. Gilbert.

"Me too," says Renee. "In fact, I never have."

"Where is Dougie?" I ask. "We sent him back to high school," says Mrs. Gilbert. "He was beginning to get on our nerves."

I look at the clock. The school day is nearly finished. Soon we'll have to line up for the busses. I think of my backpack. Where have I left it? Is there any homework? Will there be time for my paper route before it starts to rain?

Renee and Mrs. Gilbert are gone. I'm alone in the nurse's station. I feel a sense of deja vu.

I get disoriented in the fifth grade hallway and miss the bus. I cut behind the school, through the drainage ditch, and walk home along the railroad tracks. There is a bum with a stick and a hot dog. He's roasting it over a fire.

"Those are some healthy embers," I say.

He looks at me. "You got some money, buddy?" he says. I have no money. He does not seem to mind. He seems kind. I am not afraid.

I sit with him a while. He shares his hot dog.

"How did you end up like this?" I ask, once I am comfortable with the question.

"Never finished school," he says.

That night I talk with my parents about drugs and sex. They've been wanting to have the conversation for so long and I've been putting them off. To my surprise, I learn a few things.

"We'll still need to cover rock n' roll," my father says.

"But it can wait until tomorrow, honey," says my mother. I kiss her and head up to my room.

I take out my telescope, train it on the moon, and wonder how it's changed since the last time I looked, late last spring, when I was still a child. My focus drops, as it always does, to the window opposite, where Jenny Fienbaum, true to her habit, is undressing in plain view. Her bust has grown. She is smoking a cigarette, carefully blowing the smoke out the window into the lonely night.

She is perfect there. A thing that's almost something else. I pull my gaze away and let her be.

Posted by bogenamp at 11:27 PM

April 18, 2006

Voting Results are in...

Okay, so the voting results are in, and here's how it tallied up:

Oops: 18
Abracadabra: 14
Brussels Sprouts: 7
Toilet Fish: 5
Snail: 3
Homely: 2
Warm Air Balloon: 2
Granny: 1
Monkey Dance: 1
How Much: 1

The good news is, each of them got at least one vote. Hoopah! The bad news is, I ignored the results and am printing Abracadabra. Actually, I think someone just really liked Oops, because one minute it was like 3 and the next it was up to 18. So, either that, or someone just clicked VOTE a bunch of times to get to the results page (probably Dad), and since it defaults to Oops, it got all the votes. But, just to keep everyone happy, I included oops on the back:

Thank you all for helping out. Let me know if you're interested in a card, and I'll send one your way when they come in.

(and, I'm taking off the blogpoll, so that the icky green background goes away. voting is OVER. Over and out.)

Posted by ribbu at 10:45 PM | Comments (4)

April 11, 2006

Is this Your Dream House?

Another staff meeting, another doodle.
This started out as a tall rectangle, and then the more I got anxious about how much work everyone needs to get done at work, the more immense my estate became. Now, mind you, this isn't my dream house. I'm not interested in fountains, too many rooms, a swimming pool, cypresses, topiaries, birdbaths (well, maybe birdbaths) or sheep next door, but I tell you, my subconcious was working overtime to get this dream house drawn up for somebody. Whoever would like to claim it, please do. I might send it to you, free of charge, to give to your architect for ideas.

oh, and please don't let this entry distract you from the very important voting that is going on below. Currently, I have a tie going on, and that's just not going to do.

Posted by ribbu at 11:30 PM | Comments (2)

April 10, 2006

Your advice

Hello all -
I have been planning on sending out a new promo postcard, but have been procrastinating because I haven't been terribly moved by anything lately. However, that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be done anyway. So, I am hoping that you could lend some insight on which postcard I should have mass produced to represent (sort of) my "work" to be sent out to all of the most powerful and pockets-full-of-dollars art directors out there.

* NOTE: the poll thingamajiggy seems to take a little while to load, so, be patient. Or, don't be patient, tear your hair out, take your meds and then vote. Also, for some reason, it turns everything godawful blogpoll green, so if I can't fix it anytime soon, just take some more meds.

** blogpoll poll used to be here, but it's all over now... **

Images below, in order:

(Click on Results Ho for tallies. I imagine there aren't too many people voting out there, so please, do your best to screw things up and vote as many times as you want, if only to watch the little bar move back and forth.)

Posted by ribbu at 04:38 PM | Comments (2)

April 06, 2006

The Dawn of the Fats

In which demand outpaces supply and ugliness ensues, like death.

We were standing in line to get some funnel cakes. It seemed reasonable to assume that there would be enough for each of us. We were hungering for those deep-fat-fried curls of dough, dusted with sweetness. We wanted to eat our cakes and feel the warm weight of fatness as it came. We cared for nothing else but filling our mouths, chewing it up, making it part of our selves. Five bucks for that was nothing. But the line was moving slowly. Things seemed to be reaching a head near the vendor's cart.

Funnel cakes were four dollars. The man who worked the register was out of change. No more cakes until I get some ones, he said. That caused a row. We were willing to murder the folks without the right change, sure. It would be easy. All of us had various guns. But that wasn't the problem. Each of us had fives, crisp and new. Most of us had at least two fives, actually. Most of us would want to eat more than just one funnel cake. Our goal was true American fatness, not some mealy European imitation. No, the problem was not a lack of exact change but an unwillingness on the part of the cashier to deviate from policy, which clearly stated that without ones in the change drawer commerce as we knew it would have to halt suddenly and with no regard for our feelings or hungers.

Also there was the issue of dough and the fact that they were out of it.

I caught word of these two sad facts as the din of collective disappointment circulated throughout the lengthening line. Everyone was angry but passive. The invectives were harsh but what could be done? I pulled out my stepladder and climbed until I rose above the crowd. Heads turned and took me in. I was basking in the aura of dumb wonder.

Is this what it feels like, I thought for the sake of my memoirs, what He felt like on top of that mountain, speaking to His people?

Friends, I spoke, friends, why are you standing, mute and passive? We have the right to be fat! I said.

Fat, fat! They echoed. Their eyes were full of light.

We deserve for supply to meet demand, I shouted, when we are willing to pay our Christian wage for the sake of jolly fatness!

Fat, fat, they said. Fat! Some of them began to rock from side to side.

We will run amok if they try to stand between us and our fat, I said. We are good men and women and we will not be denied our share of--

FAT, FAT, FAT, the crowd was foaming. Three fat women seized the tub of hot fat and were hoisting it aloft. Other fats lay upon the ground while the fat cascaded from the tipped tureen. Open-mouthed, they thirsted for the fat and they were not unsatisfied.

In the fat melee my ladder was knocked over. I fell to the ground.

There beside me was the funnel cake vendor, obviously broken. We lay prone in a sea of dancing fats. He looked at me with pity. You see, he said, why we have these rules?

A fat stepped on my arm, pinning me to the hot earth. Another fat died upon me, crushing me down, denying my lungs, ending my life.

Posted by bogenamp at 04:30 PM | Comments (1)

April 05, 2006

Needs Practice

In a fit of optimism and wild excitement, I got out my new Dr. Martin's vibrant watercolors and put them to work. Of course, I started out on the brussels sprouts, which was my new favorite, and was slated to become the next promo postcard. Boys and girls, never ever ever try out something new on something old that you love. It's not that I ruined it, it's just that the stuff doesn't move around the same way that my gouaches do, and I felt like I was stubbing my toes every time I put my brush down.

I'm not sure if I'm just not used to the vibrant color, or if I don't like it because, in spite of all the in-your-faceness of my drawing style, I'm fond of subtlety. Either way, I don't dig the outcome that much on this one. Maybe I just need to get used to it. Frankly, I just need more practice before I give up. I'm just so darn impatient. I want to be an expert like right now. (There is a huge oil drum up in Alaska that the neighbors use to fuel up their big rigs, and on the side of it, someone painted in big white letters, "TIRE SERVICE FIXED LIKE RIGHT NOW" which for some reason makes me giggle inside).

And this one, below, is a little scary bright. Matthew doesn't mind the brightness, though. I don't think I messed it up as badly as the brussel sprouts but I wish my transitions were a little bit less abrupt.

I'm learning that with these, more water doesn't equal less bright. I'm looking for just the right red, too, I'm such a red fiend. I like orangey reds, not pinky reds. All of the reds have mysterious names, like alpine rose, sunset red, moss rose, and tahiti red. So I'm going to have to do some color identifying before I embark on any more actual painting. Any art person is probably horrified that I haven't already done that. Oh well.

Posted by ribbu at 09:19 AM | Comments (3)

April 04, 2006

I've Got Some Catching Up to do...

Whew boy.
I don't know what's wrong with me, but these days I am plumb tired. I must be the lamest 30-year-old ever. Aren't I supposed to be popping out babies, making lots of money, running to the gym, hosting cocktail parties and being altogether too productive on all counts? Isn't that what your thirties are all about?

Well, today I did come home from work and rake old leaves that were 5 inches deep out of our front yard. So I'm making my thirties comeback!

Ahem. Our very very tiny front yard. That's 5x7 tops.

I'm planning on a 9:30 bedtime to celebrate.

More dailies, done during down time at work:

Posted by ribbu at 08:35 PM