September 30, 2008


Clockwise from top left: Chris and Steph check out attendees "hate faces"; Karla and I wonder what you're lookin' at; the night was a blur; copies of PIMF2, with ketchup.

Item! Friday marked the launch of the second issue of local creative zine A
Paw In My Face, held once again at the venerable Kings Head Pub. One year after the release of PIMF's inaugural book ­ themed "love" ­ the companion "hate" issue will now hit up select locations across Osborne Village and the Exchange District. The book's varied submissions range from poetry and written rants to photography, design and illustration, and were once again lovingly mashed together by PIMF co-founder Chris Pointon (with assistance from Issue 2 co-editor Stephanie Besselt-O'Leary).

A wall-to-wall online version, in all its tastiness, can be devoured here.

I submitted this, eons ago it seems, in case you don't remember.

September 28, 2008

160: The Craw!

I'm a sane person. I swear. But I can't help it; a co-worker of mine finds a pair of severed American coot feet at work and immediately I get these ideas in my head (and no, there's not some psycho stalking our workplace – likely these feet were all that remained from an eagle or hawk kill). They're absolutely lizard-like, and I love it. I look at these feet and I don't picture a clumsy, big-footed chicken-like coot – instead I imagine an out-and-out nasty velociraptor. Holding a pencil.

So I took the feet home in a baggie and took photos on Saturday in the porch, just doing some texture studies against a white sheet of paper. And the toes were splayed just so to slip in one of Kerry's old Laurentien pencil crayons – Sarasota Orange for maximum contrast, but luckily also the stubbiest in the set – afterwards, declared a victim of the procedure and directed straight to the garbage can.

Then in Photoshop, I bleached out the white paper to make a basic white background, and set about with some minor touch-ups. The foot, originally a faded blue-green, was pumped to a more reptilian hue. The pencil crayon was close-cut for some cleanup work as well. A line of orange was added, as was an alphabet-book type treatment to tie the whole thing together. That was how I spent my weekend.

You click here for a closer look at some of the foot detail.

September 22, 2008

159: Fingers Are Jerks

I love Illustration Friday's current theme of clique, in my mind one of their most creative keywords in weeks. Originally I was going to try and draw a caricature of my Grade 10 class photo – all gawky mullet and seven-hair moustache, a look that successfully shunned any and all area high school cliques – but an evening on the couch with Kerry, watching Flight of the Conchords, changed all that. My feet were on her lap, she was tugging on my big toe, and I realized how much of an oddball that fellow is (and by extension, how clique-y the remaining toes are). This image above (but with toes) popped into my head. But toes aren't quite as expressive as fingers (and in my case, hardly photogenic), so I opted for a hand instead. And from there – as you can see – it was an amazingly simple concept to produce. The only special skill involved was matching up my facial pen doodles to the original hand photo.

You can click here, for a slightly larger view.

September 18, 2008

158: Autumn Or Bust

Kerry and myself, a 25-second exposure and the absolute last shred of daylight on the pier in Whytewold, escaping the bugs on the Labour Day weekend.

The rain – and the mosquitoes – were (and still are) torrential. Success in our thicket of (mostly) solid green tomatoes are now at the mercy of unpredictable September temperatures. Corn season was truncated. The city was void of its standard one- or two-week-long heat waves. I laughed after I said it, but with a week left to spare in the season, I officially conceded to Kerry that this summer was a bust. So, Summer of 2008, hear this: you've made my sh*t list.

That being said, I enjoy autumn more than most – and nothing would give me more pleasure than a sweet, smooth, harvest-scented extension into winter. Here's hoping, anyway.

September 04, 2008

Don't Make Me Use My Karate On You

I've noticed a key element of funny stories – notably, when they happen to you – is that you never know when to expect them. I had one occur this evening, on a corner store run for a slicing cucumber, two sweet red bell peppers, a can of white kidney beans and a box of Shreddies.

With Harry's Foods in sight (I know it's not Harry's anymore, but try and stop me from calling it that), a man roughly 100 feet ahead of me on the sidewalk locks eyes with me, stops, points at me and performs what I can only describe as a tai chi move – a slow horizontal wave of both arms.

Whatever. I'm going to the store. So we continue towards one another.

And in the split second that we pass on the sidewalk, the man stops again, raises one leg in the Karate Kid crane pose and performs a quick, through-the-air karate chop and halts his hand within a foot of my head. He says nothing. I move my head back about three inches.

The f*ck?, I tell him. That's all I've got.

But he's moved on. And I do, too, glancing back more than a few times. I head to the store, procure my groceries, go home and make my Friday potluck pasta salad. I tell Kerry, but find the man difficult to describe – until I realize he looked just like one of the dudes in the Just For Men ads. Like this: