Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Birmingham 365

I'm this week's guest artist on Birmingham 365! 365 is a really neat online calendar that has bunches of art and cultural events around town.

All year they're going to have a new logo every week designed by different local artists. That's mine right there!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A banned book, me, And Tango Makes Three.

Isn't that the book about the gay penguins? Yes. Yes it is, but it's also about love and family and kindness. It makes me want to hug everyone I see. 

Why it’s banned:

 And Tango Makes Three is a book about two penguins who love each other (just like all the other penguins and animals in the zoo) and raise a baby (just like all the other penguins and animals in the zoo), but they happen to be two boy penguins.

Thank you, Vanna Bear

This fact is the reason it’s banned in a number of public libraries and schools. Though this is a subject that many people want to shield their children from, this book is particularly delicate about same sex couples, without being confrontational. It deals with a subject that everyone is going to have to address with their kids at some point. The book could be used as a starting place for explaining to your children why a kid in their class has two mommies, or serve as an example of a family just like yours. It also seems appropriate for adopted children, and step-children to help them understand that family is family no matter the form. The book has won seven national library and children’s book awards.

"Gimme kisses."
"Geez, not in front Tango..." 

Why it's important:

Times are changing, and marriage equality this time around is as inevitable as it was last time with interracial marriage.

The penguins of the story, Roy and Silo and Tango, are real penguins that live at the Central Park Zoo. There’s been a lot of controversy about them and the zoo-keeper’s decision to give them an egg after he saw them trying to incubate a rock.

While many experts are disinclined to cite animals exhibiting homosexuality tendencies as proof that homosexuality is natural, it certainly lends credibility to the story. It is not just some story someone wrote as an Aesop’s fable for a new age, and is, therefore, not easily dismissed.

Why I like it:

It’s sweet, it’s true, and it’s well done.

dook at da widdle peniguinigan!

The story is gently told and gently illustrated.  It’s filled with lots of soft colors and has writing that is appropriate for even the smallest children (because you’re never too young to learn about love).  Henry Cole’s penguins are cute. He wisely resisted anthropomorphizing them (like many penguins that have come before), which resulted in the male and female penguins being impossible to tell apart. This cements the main theme of the book, that all families are the same, even one that has two daddies.

Guys, stop it. I know you really want us to be able to tell the difference, but seriously. It's kinda gross.

Much better.

The book’s pacing is excellent, and when I first read it, I was wary of it being “preachy.” It’s not. It’s simple and well written.

I cannot impress upon you how sweet this book is. Though I bought it to find out what all the fuss has been about, it’s rocketed to one of my favorite picture books.

You will not regret buying And Tango Makes Three for one second.

*If this review looks familiar, I wrote this as a guest post on Matter Deep's blog for Banned Book Week.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Doctor Who Christmas Special or Put a TARDIS on it

I've been upcycling again! I should be stopped!

My best friend has recently discovered the joy and pain of Doctor Who. Joy because, hello, Doctor Who is amazing. Pain because it doesn't come all that often, and when it does, often times it come with a swift kick to the gut (if you've seen the show, you know what I mean). She's since become as big a fan as I am. I wanted to do something for her with The Doctor for Christmas so I kept my eye out.

I purchased this small painting at a Thrift Store. It's a real painting, not a screen print, which was a  plus, and I could just see the TARDIS on the other side of the dune. 

A painting that's totally schmaltzy became kind of ominous with the addition of the police box. Why is The Doctor there? Where is that's little girl's parents? If that is a little girl...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Big Eye Deals

This summer I had the pleasure of working with some local guys that were starting up a business selling eyeglasses online! Join me on the magical journey I took with them to create a logo and business cards!

First: LOGO!


It was cool breaking out of my design comfort zone! I like retro, faded colors, and flat shapes. I showed Billy and Michael my sketches and they were like, "Can it be shinier?" It completely blew my mind, and opened my world. OF COURSE it can be shiny. Shiny can be awesome!

Final Logo Design


My business card sketches.


We have a winner!
My happy customer!
Coolest thing of all is seeing my logo in lights!

If you guys ever need some sweet glasses, you should check them out!

Big Eye Deals!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Support the Arts (and their artists!)

Herein contains shameless self promotion.
Several prints of my work are now available on RedBubble. Lets take a look, how 'bout?

Red Rocket:

Available as a print, greeting card, and iphone/ipad cases.

Detail: (let me ride your rocket, baby.)

Honkey Tonk Raccoon

You know you've always wanted a raccoon playing a piano on a shirt. Now you can have one.

and one for your kid.

 or would you rather a picture of a saloon raccoon?

Holmes' Natural Habitat or Some Light on a Black Mood

Available as a print and an ipad case.

Get four Star Trek Alphabet stickers

Sometimes you just gotta say hey.

Closet Case: We all have a guilty secret!