I created this series of illustrations to briefly summarize the scope of services this business provides. The assignment was to walk customers through “a day in the life” of a dog at their location. From that prompt I came up with the storyboard, characters, color palette, and overall design. I also wrote it, but I’ve covered the words here.
The turnaround on this was tight, so I kept colors minimal. Bare bones backgrounds and unfussy brushes kept it spontaneous without sacrificing neatness.
I drew these frames from a video I took of a very happy dog I was walking.
I keep a sketch pad on my desk for when my computer hangs up, and this week it hung up quite a bit (I’ve been asking a lot of it lately). So I worked on this sporadically, since pencil and paper never hangs up or needs more RAM. Relaxing too, made the time pass quickly until I could get back to work! It’s 12 frames and the timing was all guesswork, as I’ve never made an animation on paper like this.
Hey fellas! TOMORROW (April 21) I’ll be somewhere on 5th street near PCH (follow on twitter, insta, or facebook for an update when I know the exact location) selling prints, pins, and of course my picture book, “What is a Dog?“!
“Oh, but Claire, Saturday in downtown Huntington Beach? It will be so crowded!”
Yes, Realistic Rhonda, it will be! So here’s an extra-special super-secret tip: print the flyer below for 2 whole hours of FREE parking in the structure off of 6th street. YOU’RE WELCOME!
So now that there’s no excuses not to enjoy a day at the beach, I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!
This year, I finally did it! I made an ink drawing for every single day in October. Thirty-one unique drawings with my trusty crow-quill pen (and one in ball point). I’m so proud! I only fell behind twice during the very last week.
Using the “official prompt list” by Jake Parker, I [mostly] based each drawing on events and dogs I’ve seen at my various dog-related jobs. It was the structure I needed to stick with the challenge!
They’re all up on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. If you’re reading this much later though, save yourself some scrolling and look below.
These are my top six favorites:
All thirty-one (in reverse chronological order):
I even tried a little animatic. Be advised: do not watch this if you are eating!
This year I had the pleasure of contributing to The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity’s annual fundraiser, the Red Dot Auction. All the artists receive the same size square canvas to work with. It’s an anonymous silent auction, so nobody knows who they’re bidding on until after the fact!
My piece was called “Ragtime Ruin” and depicted the tragic aftermath of the classic cartoon, “One Froggy Evening.” Old Michigan J. is a little terrifying when you consider the implication of his immortality.
I had a lot of fun breaking out my oil paints and designing a deco-inspired poster. I normally work in a really high key, so it was fun to push myself with a darker color range.
The painting went home with Ben Olson of 3 Monkeys & Aardvark Studios in Schaumburg, Illinois.
I’ve never met anyone who didn’t decorate their space to some extent. Whether we realize it or not, the things we look at have a way of seeping in to the things we create.
Make rules, not copies.
The objects that catch my eye are often unexpected. Each thing is different and seemingly unrelated until you see them all together. There’s an invisible thread running through them all. Hard to identify and even harder to articulate, but if you can and when do, you get a much clearer idea of what you like. Maybe you can even identify why you like them. If you can understand why you gravitate toward certain things, you don’t have to copy them but instead make something that follows the same rules.
Who’s driving the bus?
I like old things, offbeat things, sincere things like folk art, and silly frivolous things.The reason I like an item may be unclear until it is next to the plethora of other items in my studio. Most objects from childhood disappear with time, but what I’ve kept follows a lot of the same rules as the newer additions. How formative are our first possessions?
How much do our surroundings in early life inform our aesthetic preferences? Do we produce art based on those aesthetic preferences? Or do we choose our surroundings according to the art we strive to produce? Maybe, like most things in life, it’s a push and pull.
As humans we are always seeking patterns even when we don’t consciously identify them. By identifying these patterns, we can better understand ourselves.
If you don’t know, Labeouf, Rönkkö & Turner started a live stream in New York on Inauguration Day, inviting the public to say “He Will Not Divide Us” into the camera and microphone. In under a week, I had collected several screenshots of things I found interesting or funny, and I knew I had to draw what I saw.
People come to the camera for all kinds of reasons. Some people sing, some people stay silent, some people shout vulgar things, and some people say the five words at the center of the project. Through it all there is bad weather, wild costumes, possums, dogs, and lots of food delivery. Just seeing the ebb and flow of this segment of 36th street has been fascinating.
Whether you had a great visit to the first show or you missed it, you’re in luck. Because as Yoda once said, “There is another.” And it’s going on right now, yes RIGHT NOW at the same location. All this week, in the run up to the start of Hanukkah, which also happens to be Christmas Eve, the shop is open from 10a – 8p, and on Saturday, 10 – 4 (gotta make time to set the cookies out for Santa, you know how it is.) See you there!
So there I am, sitting at my desk with a pencil in hand. I begin to draw. I draw a Thing, but it looks familiar. So I draw another and another. Everything I draw feels like I’ve done it before.
So that’s it. I’ve done it. I’ve drawn everything there is to draw. There’s nothing more I can do.
I’ve never been one to express my life through art. My inspiration comes from what I see and wonder about, not from emotion or circumstance. So if at times I find that I’m repeating myself in my work, I have to go somewhere else.
Art is about looking. If I’m in a place where I’m too familiar with my environment, I’m not looking — I’m knowing! Imagine only talking about what you know all the time. Nobody is going to listen to someone after they’ve spewed the same fifteen facts eight times in a row, so you have to learn something new. Travel is a great way to learn.
Although it would be awesome to cross an ocean, even the familiar can be new. I try to put myself in situations where I’m not on autopilot. I’ll go somewhere and be around people I’m not used to, smell new smells, taste new tastes. Then I have plenty of new things to draw, and when I come back I see things I was ignoring at home!
So if you feel like you’ve drawn everything in the universe and there’s nothing left for you to draw, you’re wrong. There’s so much stuff on planet Earth, and so much is happening to that stuff all the time. It’s great and horrible and amazing and it begs to be put down on paper.
Whether it’s for a weekend or a month, get on a bike or a bus or a plane, shake the cobwebs out of your eyes, and draw!
To those out there who use art to express your feelings: do you ever find yourself artistically “stuck” because you’re caught in an emotional loop? What do you do to break out of a repetitive emotional cycle?