Digital Sketchbook

I'm going green. No more printed images glued into my working sketchbook, no sir. 
I'm dumping all of my images on my new blog, here.

This will be a collection of artists and ideas that are currently informing my art. I'm publishing these images online in one place so that they may be accessed at any time from any computer (or phone).

This is mostly a better way for me to stay organized, but I hope you all enjoy it too. Cheers!

Ear Monsters

Last night I attended the debut performance of the fresh new band "Ear Monsters" (formerly Zig Zag Jazz) at the CD release party for their freshman album "No Fur On Your Goat."
(not kidding.)

The Ear Monsters are two nine year old twin boys and their kid sister (led my their father Shelly Blake-Plock) playing free jazz of their own creation. Impressive little Monsters!

Shelly Blake-Plock is an affiliate of the High Zero Festival for experimental music and The Red Room. Shelly and I have known each other for some time now- Earlier this year we collaborated on "Musician Casserole" at the Red Room. In 2006 we collaborated on his album The Violencestring, which I illustrated.

These days, we are working on a new sound- I'm providing vocals and guitar (and maybe drums) and he's been slamming some groovy double bass. Add some jazz guitar and snare, and we've got ourselves a nice mix of olde-english-folk-jazz. Look out for us this summer.

While I Breathe, I Hope

I recently heard a rather disturbing statistic:
The most victimized group of people are those of the transgender community.

I'm not sure if that's true, or even if it can be proved, but it still got me thinking. I did a little research. I learned that in 2009 alone, there were 147 transgender murders internationally. 18 of them were in DC/Baltimore. And that's only what has been reported. Excluding non-fatal violence and abuse. That is a huge number.

For Advanced Drawing 3, we were assigned to create a 2D work based on a statistic of our choosing. I remembered hearing those figures, and designed my project around it.

I mounted a canvas on hardboard and stenciled these Latin words:
"Dum Spiro, Spero."
"While I breathe, I hope"

I asked people to kiss the canvas with lipstick. 147 kisses, 147 murders. I asked straight men and women, queer men and women, people who identify outside of the gender normative, liberals, conservatives, people with disabilities, people from different races.

We're all in this together, after all.

I asked if I could take their pictures. Here are a few of my favorites:



While we breathe, we hope.

This piece will be displayed on Friday, April 23rd at 7:00pm at Towson University Union 313 as part of the "Transform Your Mind" art show.

Wet Paint

Finally, a new painting. Not for any class, not for any show, this is mine. For me.

Acrylic on hardboard 13"x13"

It's so refreshing to do work independently, free from deadlines and assignment stipulations. This is part of a series of abstracts in acrylic that I've been slowly working on over the last seven years. None of the compositions are planned, and they are all finished in under an hour. I think I am more and more informed by the pre-degenerate German and Austrian expressionists. I could stand in front of a Shiele or Kokoschka for hours.

See more of my 2D here.

Sculpture is a trade. Painting is sacred.

Digital Koons

Digital Object Design project: Make an Animal

Balloon Dog a la Jeff Koons:
I saw this sculpture a few years ago in front of the Guggenheim in Venice, right off the Grand Canal.

Rhino, the 3D program we've been using, has some nice reflective renders, so I thought I'd copy Mr. Koons for this exercise.

And I also made a duck.

Glassblowing Documentary!!!

Finally, the glass doc is posted! (My apologies for the quality, none of us could figure out the proper compression) This short documentary was produced, directed, shot, and edited by myself, Patrick Coursey, and Greg Hindman.

Special thanks to Tim McFadden of McFadden Glass Art for helping us out.
(Facebook readers, see the video here)
As for my own glassblowing:

I'm in love with this medium. Totally worth the scars.

(Oh, 100th post. Cheers!)

Life Hack, Part Deux

After receiving several complimentary and encouraging emails from across the US regarding my previous post "Life Hack", I thought I'd take some time to elaborate on my own system of organizing creative thoughts and projects. As a full time student, full time dreamer, and part time employee, I constantly have at least six projects working simultaneously. How do I keep my sanity? Years of trial and error.

Everyone masters their own efficiency through a thousand different variables, and the most challenging element of organization is figuring out what system works best for you. Do you need to have everything labeled? Tabs? Post-its? Color coded pens? Graphs? Flow charts? Lists upon lists (or at times, lists OF other lists)- Luckily, we've got technology available to us to help.

There are lots of apps to help you keep your head on straight- I've been using the Astrid to-do list on my Droid, which links up with Remember The Milk. Great for micromanaging and remembering deadlines. The Droid also synchs with Gmail and Google Calendar, which is very helpful for appointments and such.

But what about project productivity?

When I was a freshman, I carried three books with me at all times: a planner, a sketchbook, and a journal. That was such a hassle. I needed to consolidate. I tried to merge the journal (mostly for songwriting, things to remember, ideas to explore later) and the sketchbook. I bought a book I liked (texture is IMMENSELY important to me for some reason. The pages have to feel good, or I'll never use it.) and sectioned it off: Music, Art, Write, Sing, Draw, Misc., and Index.

It worked, briefly. The biggest issue was that many of my ideas are overlapping- I could never figure out which tab I wrote something under. A little too organized for me. Index, however, was something I liked. I numbered the pages of the book and cataloged my subjects in the back. Great for finding lost ideas in old sketchbooks.
On to attempt #2: The handmade planner.
This is an attempt to combine the journal and planner books.

Step 1: Get a nice ruled pocket Moleskine. Sturdy enough to last a long time. Even features a pocket in the back for business cards and what not.

Step 2: Draw the planner portion in. I included margins on the right for footnotes, like the arrow symbol which indicates a reference page. "See Page 15"

Step 3: After the planner portion is filled, number the remaining pages for references. So, if I can't fit all the info I need in the planner's boxes, I can foreword that info to the back of the book. This includes phone numbers, addresses, lists (always date them), and things to remember like song names and artists to investigate later.

Step 4: Index! Be sure to include an index so you can easily find those odds and ends that go missing in your reference pages.

As for big projects, I've got a dry erase board above my workbench divided into squares. Each square features the title of the project, its deadline, the materials I still need to buy, and the next few steps of production. It's a great visual method to keep things in order.
Hopefully this info will help you figure out your own system of organization! Feel free to email me your questions and comments, -><-