Fishing for work, I am compelled to assemble a showcase of political flyers I have created over the years. Simply put, if you want to win an election and you put a premium on the quality of your graphics and mail-outs, you hire me.
My wife tans beautifully. I tan poorly. Exposed to the same sun for the same amount of time, she will turn a beautiful golden brown, while my skin forms red blotches that resemble disease.
We did not take any photos of my tan in Puerto Vallarta, so I made this sketch.
The morning we woke up after our first full day of sun, my wife took one look at me and proclaimed that my sunburn looked just like a map of the Balkans. See above. She was even less thrilled when my skin started to peel from Ljubljana to Bosnia & Herzegovina.
My thanks to keepdesigning.com for their awesome free tropical print, as well as to Fabian Vendrig, whose accurate reference map of the Balkans happens to be an eerily similar match to my skin tan pattern.
There's a lot to say for this piece without actually saying much about what it is.
First, this design is not my original idea. In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where I took some time off for a vacation, there is a lot of public artwork. The Mexicans have a different sensibility towards art than anywhere else in the Americas. The way they produce and procure art maintains a vibrant national home-grown industry. While some of the tacky souvenirs that the tourists buy will have a "Made In China" stamp, most are "Hecho En Mexico". That's something different than from Canada, where our national flags are made overseas, our maple syrup comes in bottles manufactured across the border, and Disneyland at one point owned the rights to the iconic Red Serge uniform of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Mr. Buns is public art of a sort: spraypainted graffiti on a wall along one of the shopping promenades. Rather than being vulgar or shocking, much of Vallartan spray art seems to be whimsical, or at least that's what I saw. Rabbits riding a sausage-mobile might have hidden meaning I am not aware of, but I thought they were interesting enough to copy into my sketchbook. I have no idea who originally drew this image, or if it is even truly original.
Vacation meant that I more or less abandoned my sketchbook. Looking back at JSVB, my last sketchbook entry was a whopping five weeks ago, Entry #528 "You're Deer To Me". Sketches can take a long time to render, so it's not always been easy to find the time to work on them. Other projects have more utility or glamour as well, and compete for my time. Finally, sketching is difficult for me to gain proficiency if I have left off doing it for a while. In any project there are dozens of factors that need to be measured and applied, and it's easy to miss on a trusted artistic approach or forget some tiny but critical technique. Things that have been forgotten must be relearned through hard work and practise.
After an absence of weeks, I am working to finish my Mother Of Tenderness icon. Patient JSVB viewers will notice a few new details: some gilding that needed to be fixed, and more painted detail on Christ's clothing. I also added several layers of paint to the background which does not look like much, but was very time consuming. The paint goes on in multiple layers, and each layer must be dry before the next one is applied. Otherwise, I run the risk of pulling off all of the previous paint layers and leaving an exposed crater. That's something I would like to avoid at this stage.
I also ruled the edges of the halos in crimson, which evens out their rough edges and makes the composition look sharp.
Doctor Carl Memford: mad scientist, fugitive from justice, and all-around jerkweed. Dr. Carl is the third and final main character from Minmax Studio's award-winning mega-hit space shoot-'em-up "Space Pirates And Zombies". My gratitude goes to Minmax for their kind permission to use their characters on JSVB.
Between Captain Don and Elsa, Dr. Carl is by a wide margin the smartest of the Space Pirate crew. Which is not to suggest that Carl is brave, noble, or even at least mildly pleasant. He's just smart, and that's the limit.
I like him a lot.
To see Elsa, please click here. To see Captain Don, please click here and here.
Some minor characters from Space Pirates And Zombies will follow in future JSVB posts.
Elsa is another character from MinMax Studio's award-winning videogame "Space Pirates And Zombies". She is a ship's operational officer, second in command to Captain Don. Elsa is, like Don, also a Space Pirate. She is different from Don in that she frequently acts as the moral foundation for her ship. She questions some of Don's seemingly rash decisions, however, she remains fiercely loyal to her crewmates.
According to knowledgeable sources, the original Elsa "failed to hit the HOT button", so my version is an attempt to remedy that.
Once again, my deepest thanks go to MinMax for their gracious permission to tinker with their character set. Please click here and hereto see my version of Space Pirate Captain Don.
The other night, I returned from a wonderful two-week vacation to Puerto Vallarta. With an eye towards today, the monthly Ungood Art Day here on JSVB, as a tourist I took the time to sit on the beach and paint rocks for the Mexicans. Above is an example.
The history of this particular rock is rather sad. A couple of years ago, a hurricane devastated the Puerto Vallarta shorefront, damaging local buildings and washing away the esplanade, the famous Malecón. Over time, much of the debris that had been sucked out to sea has been returned in the surf. This rock was likely part of a painted wall.
I chose this rock because it already had blue paint. I borrowed a bottle of typo correction fluid to colour in the white bits and used a marker to draw in the black. It's a mess of artistic stereotypes, with the sleeping Mexican in his sombrero, the waving palm trees, the distant cloud-draped mountains, and the ubiquitous "M"-shaped birds. Unlike many of my Ungood Art pieces, this one was intentionally engineered to be bad. Unfortunately, it's not much different from the painted rocks that the tourists buy.
Cien Pesos, Por Favor. A hundred pesos, please. Ten bucks, and this rock is yours.
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