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Archive for May, 2012

The Heat has hit our quaint little area of the world.  Jordan and I are currently hiding out in our studio with all of the shades drawn hoping my hair doesn’t get in the way of jordan’s sketchbook.

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I will say, that after i drew this little cartoon, hating the day and the heat, the world surprised me and cooled itself off with the promise of a good rain shower.  Even if it doesn’t rain, it feels pretty darn good right now.  You’re Welcome

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Jordan and i have a modest sized town house lawn.  We also have one of the old school lawn mowers that don’t require fuel to operate.  I’ve taken it upon myself to keep up with the lawn because, well, i need motivation to get outside and move sometimes. 

It rained a fairly good amount this past week.  The grass was wet, which means no mowing, even though it was clearly growing and getting larger by the minute.  By the time it was dry enough, i had a forest on my hands.  Just me and my Chopper vs. Grass that could eat me.  

You will all be happy to hear that i survived and came out the victor.  And as the Victor, it was my duty to create the history of this moment through pictures.  You’re Welcome

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well, i won eventually

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Just some lines I’m working on. You’re Welcome

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As some of you know, i’m a fairly big Minecraft fan.  In my infancy as such, i trolled the youtubes looking for videos of amazing builds, maps, mods, redstone creations, and anything else that sent my heart a twitter.  I came across the Yogscast and their Minecraft antics on the Survival map.  Needless to say, i was hooked.  Not to sound too creepy, but i probably will because that’s how these things usually go, but i started to watch all of their videos while i worked.  First the Minecraft videos, and then onto videos of games i’ve never played or even heard of.  Simon and Lewis, of course, are the ‘go to’ couple to listen to.  And though its a bit silly, i always anticipate an explosion or a random fire when Simon wanders off screen somewhere, and of course chuckle every time.   Just last week though, i was hooked to the “Condemned, Criminal Origins (crinimal oranges)” series that Simon and Hannah played together.  For a few days after, i found myself entering dark hallways saying “Hello? Is Any-body here?” and making sure there was always a conduit nearby just in case, but i always hoped for the fire axe.

If you haven’t watched them on Youtube, you should.  It’s ALWAYS good for a laugh if you love or appreciate video games in any way.

Of course, because of my small obsession as of late, they inspired me to do yet another Minecraft sketch, but this time, featuring Simon, Lewis, and special guest Hannah adventuring in Minecraftia.  Thank you Yogscast for the entertainment!  No one does it quite like you guys.

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“i think its a trap”

You’re Welcome

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At one point in my life, i decided it was necessary to memorize the entirety of “Baby Got Back”.  I want to go back in time and shake my hand.  It was a good idea.

Today’s sketch is the man behind, around, and on top of the booty.  You’re Welcome

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If you remember, last week i mentioned that i had booked myself into my own show, and it went smashingly!  The size was teeny weeny, and it seemed that only myself, the sand art lady, and the airbrush tattoo chick were managing any business out of the small crowd.  Jordan and I did some very fun drawings, half of which were Star Wars themed.

Why Star Wars?

The Empire decided to police the event, but apparently are also fans of the arts.  I had an AT-AT pilot rummaging through my art prints, Jawas were dancing to the music, Storm Troopers directed cars, and Hans Solo came disguised as a grave robber from Earth’s 1950’s.  I was then commissioned by the Empire to draw them.  It was quite the honor.  Jedis mingled around the area but they seemed too intimidated by Darth Vader to stir up any kind of rebellion in the people.  That day was the best day of the year 2012; so far.  You’re Welcome

Harrison seemed a bit confused on set

The Empire does care about its people

The Empire appreciates art

Keeping the Peace

Group Picture!

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I have never done this before and i don’t protest to be a writer, but i wrote a short story based on an actual carnie encounter i had at one of the fairs i worked at.  Its a little rough, but i hope that its entertaining :)  P.S. this story takes place on a fair midway, which is the area of the carnival that has the games and the rides, with many of the booths being covered by colorful canopies and tents.  I just wanted you to have the visual.  You’re Welcome

Awkward Carnie:

The midway is dead. The only life in the fair is found in those unfortunate enough to have to stick it out to the bitter end, and with this ride company, no one knows when that is. To kill time, the carnies join each other around their games and start to chat, smoke, and try to get whatever patrons are left to throw one more dart and take one final spin on the ferris wheel. The carnies are restless and begin complaining how there is no one here and that they don’t get payed enough to put up with stuff like this. They’re right.

Jared and I are sitting in our green chairs, pulling our jackets closer about us as we wait for the inevitable. He pulls out a book with the pale horse of the apocalypse on the cover and I ask him what the heck that book’s all about.

“Conspiracy theories,” he says. “This guy just filled this thing with real documents and added some of his own ideas to tie it all together.”

“How is it?” I ask as his bookmark flutters to the ground from the middle of the book.

“Pretty good so far, but I’m not that far into it so I can’t say for sure.”

“But isn’t that your bookmark?”

“Nah, just a piece of paper.”

I watch as he opens the book to what seems like some random page.

“huh” is about all I can muster as I turn my attentions back to the carnies mingling at the dart game. I was pretty tired of reading articles on my phone anyway, and people watching can easily pass as entertainment in a time crawling situation such as this.

Through the music and the din of voices, I can make out the muffled sound of a cell phone vibrating close by. I reach into my pocket and pull out my phone to find the screen blank. Slightly disappointed, I turn to Jared, who is fully involved with his book, and nudge his arm.

“Jared, I think you’re phone’s going off.”

“Shit,” he mutters as he reaches into his pocket just in time to answer the call.

“Yeah,” he yells followed by a long silence. A few grunts and uh huh’s later, the conversation ends with an “okay, I’ll be down.”

“Crap,” I mutter under my breath.

With Jared leaving the stand, this means one of two things will happen. The first being, I’ll be sitting here all by myself, pick up my book and continue reading Lord of Light undisturbed, or a less desirable second option which consists of all the previous things taking place except the undisturbed part. That’s the part I’m slightly concerned about.

Now, understand that I don’t think all carnies are big bags of hormones looking for the next piece of fresh tail. A carnival is not like a prison, where if i were to hypothetically drop the soap, there would be a dozen hounds at my backside in hopes of experiencing it. Many of them may be slightly off and considering their back stories it’s no wonder why, but that part can be easily overlooked by good conversation and a friendly joke here or there.

I pull out my book as Jared walks away, stick my nose in deep, and pray for nothing to happen. Sitting in my comfy green chair reading into a world of Gods and future tech, the second thing happened.

He had been walking around our stand a bit since the fair had lost its patrons. I didn’t think too much of it at the time since Jared was around, but I caught him looking at me several times in that way, by which I mean the way a boy in gym class would look at the cool girl on his volleyball team and the way he acted when she caught him. It was just like that.

This guy looked about in his twenties, balding, with puffy eyelids around eyes that sat on either sides of his face, cradling between them a crooked, pointy nose which itself sat on top of a nicely trimmed goatee. Timidly approaching the stand, his eyes darted from left to right, up and down, but never once at me, the person he supposedly wanted to be talking to. Confidence was a foreign idea to him, at least, it seems when girls are involved.

“So, uh, you draw?”

He can’t see it, but my shoulders droop a little bit.

Dear Lord, i thought. Is this really his opening line? He’s had a clear view of this booth, with me in it, drawing. I caught him looking at me drawing! So far, my interest in talking to this person has gone from ‘Okay, i’ll humor this’ to ‘Leave’ in one line.

“Yep!” I say with enthusiasm and clearly forced half smile. I intentionally meet his wandering gaze for a moment because I may not want to talk to him but I refuse to be completely rude about it.

He continued to stand there looking around and acting very nervous.

Something in the back of my head reminded me that I forgot to put my demo back on my drawing board, a situation that would have gotten me a good talking to with the last guy I worked with. Force of habit dictates that now, being aware of the bareness of my board, I have to rectify this immediately. It’s equivalent to an itch you can’t scratch or a pimple that just won’t pop. I’ll be bothered if I don’t fix it, which means i have to get up; and by standing, I might be able to look busy enough that maybe he’ll go back to his own business, because he obviously does not know how awkward he’s making this interaction by not leaving.

Making a dog ear page mark and shutting my book, I get up, find my demo, and clip it to my drawing board. In the process of placing the demo, my name tag falls out of my coat and hangs loosely from my neck. He takes this opportunity to grab it and look at. Trapped.

“Ali,” he stammers while letting go of my nametag. “Like Alley Cat, righ’?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Betcha you get called Alley Cat a lot. Like a nickname or somethin’.”

He’s got this hopeful look in his eye, like some new revelation about my name will somehow spur great discussion that will at least brings us into pal status. Not happening.

“Nope, not really,” I tell him in as nice a tone as I can muster.

Pause.

” What kinda beer ya like?” He’s struggling to find some common ground.

“Oh, uh, I don’t really drink beer.”

“What! Don’t drink beer?” he says quite confused. What you must understand is that everyone out here drinks. Entire paychecks are spent in just one night at the bar.

“No. I don’t care for drinking too much. Not my kind of fun,” I tell him.

He looks baffled.

Pause.

I look around the stand trying to come up with something else to look busy with. Walking behind the two chairs, I fiddle with the register key. Maybe if i think this thought loud enough, i thought, his brain will hear me and think it was his own idea. I close my eyes and concentrate. Please go away please go away please go…

“Ya know I yoosta be good at drawrin too.” It’s his last play and he knows it, but luckily for him, I’m always interested to hear how people think they are good at art. I have never heard that phrase used out here in conjunction with someone who can actually draw. He now has my attention and pre prepared internal giggles.

“Oh yeah? Why is that?” I say it quick enough that he doesn’t catch my slight condescension.

“I loved doin these cute cartoons in middle schoo’ art class. They was really good, but then I stopped cuz the middle schoo’ didn’t give me no more art classes. Stupid schedulin’ made me stop and I ain’t done it since.” I see some fire in his eye. He finally gets to talk about how the system screwed him over and that’s why he stopped doing this thing that I love to do. The system has kept us apart in the one thing we could bond over.

“That sucks, man” I tell him.

“I mean I still draw sometimes.”

“Really? Can I see something you’ve done?”

He’s clearly caught off guard by my request. To his credit, he fumbles around in his breast pocket and pulls out a small notepad and looks at me.

“Uhhh, can, can I borrow yo pen?”

Oh man, this is gonna be good! I choke back several giggles and quickly compose myself.

“Yeah! Sure.” It comes out as a half chuckle as I reach into my pocket, pull out a pen and hand it to him. He takes the pen with a shaking hand and leaves the stand; with my pen. I’ll miss the pen, but if it doesn’t come back, I’ll figure out some way to survive without it.

I nestle back into the green comfy chair and pull out my book opening it to a page I have had to reread about three times now. Looking down at a familiar paragraph, I see a figure passing in front of me. He enters the stand with gusto which immediately tells me this is not the guy coming back to fruitlessly try to win my attentions. To my relief, it’s Jared.

“So? They alright?” I ask.

“Oh yeah,” he exhales as he plops into the other chair. “They had some register problems.”

In the corner of my eye, i see him making his way back to the stand.

With hesitant steps, the guy comes around the front and holds out his notepad. On it is drawn what appears to be a police sketch outline of a man wearing a jumpsuit decorated in an intense flame design. His character is standing on a jagged line next to a pole with cotton stuck to the top of it, being poked by sticks protruding out of a circle that was drawn in the corner of the page. A veritable masterpiece.

“So, this is the cartoon guy I draw.”

“Interesting,” being the nicest word I can muster to describe what I saw scrawled before me. It’s my “go to” word for anything I don’t want to give my honest opinion on.

“Yeah, ya know, I practice ev’ry now and then, but that’s him righ’ thar.”

He pulls back the notebook and just looks at.

After another excruciatingly long pause, he looks up at me.

“Ya sure I can’t intrest you in at beer?”

And the crowd goes wild as the potential last out gets up to the plate and points his bat towards left field…

“I just got paid and, uh, a bunch of us is headin to the bar for a drink.”

. …The pitch is thrown, he makes contact and the ball goes up…

“Sorry,” I tell him,”my husband and I are going straight back to the hotel tonight. No boozin’ for us.”

“Husband?”

“yeah, he’s at the other stand tonight.”

And it’s caught by the first basemen in foul territory. This game is all over folks…

He takes a moment to recover from the ‘husband’ news.

Pause.

His eyes dart from side to side “I’ll draw somethin’ else and show ya tomorra.” He looked around again and then headed back towards his ride.

“Um, okay then.”

Jared looks at me, confused as to what just happened.

” What was that all about?”

“You are NEVER allowed to leave me alone. Ever. Again.”

**Thank you for reading till the end. i really appreciate it!**

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