October 27, 2005

36: And I Am Cute, Too

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To find the source of inspiration for subject matter in illustrating the word remote, I decided to travel deep into childhood to find the moment when I first discovered the meaning of the word. And truth be told, more than likely it was taught to me via the timeless bastion of learning that was, and is, Sesame Street. And in particular, a short sketch in which Grover displays the difference between 'near' and 'far'. So in honour of the moment, I've created this here quick and dirty homage to the furry monster who indirectly helped show me – and countless others – the definition of 'remote'.

Bless that hairy blue thing.

October 16, 2005

35: Something Borrowed, Something Blue

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While I devote the remainder of my week's spare time to devising a cover concept for the fall HOWieZine (theme: lost and/or found), I submit this tinkered version of an old FreeHand jobbie for Illustration Friday (theme: cold). I originally doodled and vectorized this hockey goon a couple of years ago. But with the reinstated National Hockey League back in full tilt, I thought a subtle revamp of this thug was in order. It is the League's intent that talentless ape-men like this fellow will be left out in the cold as it ushers in a new-look, skill-heavy PR effort. So to that effect, this hombre is quite cold, perhaps soon to become as much history as the helmetless player and the intermission smoke break.

The background in this piece is constructed from a few different sources; a strip of birch bark, a photo of an old wooden ammunition crate from Kerry's parents' cottage, plus some added Photoshop brush pizzazz and some blue-heavy hue and saturation shifts. One can get a closer look if one clicks here.

October 14, 2005

34: Don't Trust Anyone Over 30

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Last week Kerry and I went to Pantages Playhouse to check out a show by The Blind Boys Of Alabama, a longstanding – and kickass – gospel group we've seen a few times in Winnipeg over the years. Their shows are always energetic and relentless, and when I hear them I can't help but feel good – and I'm a solid-gold atheist. But as Bart said when he heard a gospel choir in a recent Simpsons: "Black God rules!"

This week we went back to Pantages for a show by Leslie Feist, recent Juno Award (the Canuck Grammy) winner for best new artist. She's a tiny ball of energy with a voice that can at times equally channel Etta James and Björk. One moment she's a cooing little pixie, the next she's a fireball wailing on a guitar, wringing out her punk roots for all to see and hear. And as good as that sounds, she was nearly trumped by her buddy and warm-up act, Jason Collett Рwith fearless stage presence, a Jagger-esque strut and a firing-on-all-cylinders band. Check them both out.

At right is the invite for our housewarming next Friday. Kerry thought up the cool concept, not remotely based on the fact it's October and we're three months late. I scanned one of her old blue mittens and added the stripes and rooftop effect in Photoshop. Click here for a closer look. 'Natch, you're all invited.

Side note: I've officially joined the ranks of the thirtysomethings. And while that’s not really a big deal in my books, I'd be lying if I said I haven't been thinking about it a bit. Especially when folks discover a new reason to poke fun ("If you were in the NHL, you'd be in the twilight of your career" – poetic). Whatever. Nuts to them, and nuts to you if you're one of 'em. And I did get to cross off one thing on my New Year's resolution list: turn 30.

Side side note: Speaking of the NHL, I'm kinda glad it's back. My heart didn't skip any beats last winter – and not that I have allegiances to certain teams anymore, but I do fancy the other great Canadian tradition: the hockey pool. Even though I regularly come out with some cash at the end, and it's early – way early – but my pool team is clearly a bunch of bums.