Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Al's Evolution

Well, I've wanted to do the Time Warp meme for quite some time and just now got around to doing the sketches. So, here they are, in case I never get farther than this. These "incarnations" are all sort of amalgams of me throughout each stage of school I attended. Let's take a closer look, shall we? LOOK OUT KIDS, I'M ABOUT TO GO DOWN MEMORY LANE IN A BIG WAY!
1. God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food.
Elementary school Al. A Bible and a backpack. When I was a little kid, Mom kept my hair SUPER long; about down to my waist. I finally got it cut to about my shoulders in third grade and have kept my hair pretty short throughout most of my life. I attended a Lutheran elementary school, K-6 (despite being Catholic) and continued to take catechism classes until my Confirmation in high school.

I was a bright, happy child. Wearing little jumpers that Mom made for me, buckle shoes, and my first pair of glasses (I've had to wear corrective lenses since third grade). Mom made me take piano lessons. I've always been a tomboy; I wore shorts underneath any sort of skirt and played soccer with the other boys at recess. My favorite music was J-Pop.

2. I Hate You
Middle school Al. Middle school was an unhappy time for me in many ways (and I'm sure it was for you as well). I was hit with depression and my core group of friends had disappeared. I've never been social, and making new friends was difficult for me. I took up cello (I'm holding the bow) and began questioning my Catholic upbringing. I turned to Buddhism and found some peace of mind through its teachings and chakra meditations. I'm wearing some prayer beads I got from a temple in Los Angeles.

I don't know what happened, but I started dressing like Jimmy Page (despite not knowing who he was at all) and acting like a hippie. I really did have that outfit; there were Chinese dragons curling around the cuffs of my flare jeans and I had a purple sweater sort of thing with bell sleeves. I wore a headband every day. My favorite music, in contrast with the Hits of the 90s, was rock from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. It was stuff that my parents kind of raised me with; it was always in the background. Beatles, the Who, Dave Clark Five, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Elvis, etc.

3. Punk and Rock
High school Al. I ventured a little further into half-assed cross-dressing. I bought men's clothes; that's a men's Flogging Molly shirt I'm wearing. It doesn't fit properly and is stretched across my child-bearing hips. I had a pixie haircut for about the last 2 years that I tried to spike out (see profile pic). I often wore knee high socks with my boy shorts and, subsequently, went out pretty much covered from the neck down. I had that military jacket (it too had bell sleeves). I'm still wearing Chucks.

I started fencing at age 15 (this absolutely changed my life), so I'm holding an epee. You can see my "Gonzo" wristband, as well as my Buddhist beads, on my wrist. I started wearing necklaces; always at least 2. I was a rude motherfucker. I listened to a lot of rock and punk; GOOD STUFF like the Clash, the Ramones, Rancid, Sex Pistols. I think the messages from those songs really helped form my political opinions, and I joined the Young Democrats. Another favorite band was Queen and I was still playing cello in orchestra, and some kid would tell me he knew of a band that I'd probably like because "it's like Queen, but faster...harder."
4. I'm Taking Back my Soul
College Al. Since that life-changing event (and meeting that kid), I live on a steady diet of heavy metal (and tons of other things, but mostly metal). I grew out my hair; this is the longest it's been in about 9 years. I ditched the Chucks for Doc Marten boots. Still wearing boy shorts, but at least the shirt fits properly. I don't own that shirt, but I'd definitely buy it. The knee high socks took a back seat to regular socks, but they show up every now and then. I still wear spikes and have added Amon Amarth soft wristbands and a ring. My ears are pierced.

College, more than anything, has fueled my crazy liberal ideals. I'm continually getting fed up with establishments. My John Lennon frames are relevant. I'm stressed and angry and politically incorrect. I'm chunky (sorry if I depicted myself as thin; I am not) and kind of stocky. I'm not nice. I'm absolutely happy with myself.

I look forward to many more incarnations and evolutions and stages!

Take care.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Killed and Rejected

I'd say like...maybe 60% of the content I generate at work either gets "killed" or rejected. "Killed," of course, meaning that either the project was dropped completely, or someone else took over and my content was subsequently dropped.

Eh, it happens. But, I took some screencaps of my favorite designs; just so I can see them. They make me happy.

1. Apron design for Guy Fieri.
I hate Guy Fieri, but his website and aesthetic are an awesome mix of punk rock and food. The Guy Fieri merchandise designs were handed over to another intern and, as far as I know, none of mine were approved.

2. Brian Wilson Flyer.
Mr. Boss Man asked me to create a special spread, separate from our catalog, for the Brian Wilson merchandise. I really wanted to get a California feel to these pages.

3. Ice Cube Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It tees.
I really like the colors; never mind that the cool pallet and warm pallet are opposites of each other. It's win-win: red is powerful and violent and blue/green is just so damn cool. I figure it reaches rap fans either way. I don't know anything about rap...

4. DooWutChyaLike for Digital Underground
The great thing about working with DU is their artwork. A lot of it really cartoon-y and fun to look at and a good design is just a matter of cleaning up weathered album covers and picking out some nice colors. I really loved this shirt; I think it looks fun, love that bright red. "Bite if ya like" is a phrase that more people need to use (I use it as often as possible).

5. The Humpty Hump for DU
Again, great artwork for this album. I don't what it is, but there's a real strong 90s feel to the drawings, and I just love them. Reminds me of childhood.

6. Lion for Defenders of Wildlife.
Not a whole to say here, aside from I like it. The photo went through a couple filters. I like this kind of red.

7. Fly By Night for Rush.
Ok, this wasn't killed or rejected. I MADE A FUCKING RUSH SHIRT. YEAH. FUCK YEAH.

8. Bird Sort of Thing for Nitzer Ebb
No idea what Nitzer Ebb is, but this image has a really strong European constructivist look (see: Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge, one of my favorite art pieces); it's something that I loved learning about in art history and it's an art style that I find to be very powerful and attractive.

Summer's wrapping up. But first: I get to teach the kiddles the first week of August. Always a challenge, always rewarding.

Take care.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

See no damage...

How I always view myself. I tried to give myself a more realistic look here, with regards to my body shape. I have a paunch.

NIPPLESSSSSSSSS! I want a Maori hook tattoo. This is, more than anything, me trying to get familiar with anatomy again. It's getting better.

The Joan Jett piece has stagnated...I just can't seem to get her face shape right. Booo!

Take care.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


When I'm not doing layout design, this is basically what I do at work. I designed this shirt for, well, fencers obviously. But, hopefully, other people and athletes will like it too.

For those that don't get the joke, here's a brief fencing rundown:
There are three weapons, each with their own rules and target area: foil, epeé, and sabre. Epeé has no right of way (ie, if you hit your opponent without getting timed out, you get a point) and the target area is the entire body.

So, naturally, you want to touch your opponent all over.

Coach recommended I use the phrase "I want to" instead of "I'm gonna," but I liked it better this way; it's way more threatening and rapeist-like.

Take care.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Picture yourself...

Where could I possibly be going with this? If you guessed "insane," you are correct!

Another stab at digi illustration. None of the objects seen here were "painted." They were all fabricated with Photoshop filters.

Here's hope. Wish me luck, love me well, and have a happy 4th of July!

Take care.