Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in review

Is this for me, or for you? WHO KNOWS. In any case, here you go: a tremendous but tremendously fragmented year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

merry Christmas from the style factory

The jury is sadly still out on whether I am going to get Christmas cards out before Christmas. Still, at least now I have a card to send.

Ugh sorry for the lack of text but I am not feeling very smart right now.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Merry Christmas from the fluffiest of folk

i.e. Sparkle and Rosie the Shih Tzus. 

My grandma requested me to make her a Christmas card featuring her dogs. I thought it would be nice to brush up on my acrylic painting skills, so I did this painting Friday and Saturday (though I started the sketch right after Thanksgiving, eep.)

A few process photos after the break -- it actually went together so fast that I didn't really have time to take a ton of photos. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mycenaean Holiday inspirations: Fun times were had by all

First things first; I have a design up on Threadless to be scored for the "Dysfunctional Families" design challenge. Rather mysteriously I decided the thing to do would be to make a Greek mythology joke -- not, I would argue, a particularly obscure one, but still, probably less accessible overall than a joke about, say, the Kardashians. Whatever.

Here is my design! And here is a link where you can go give it a nice score on Threadless! (You need a Threadless account to vote.)

Now, let me justify this business.

My roommate took a "Women in the Ancient World" or somesuch class when we were juniors or seniors, and she would come home positively crowing about the murders of Medea or Clytemnestra (not that we have macabre senses of humor or anything.) I always particularly enjoyed seeing Agamemnon get his comeuppance, because he always seemed particularly like an ass (particularly after that television miniseries we watched in high school World Lit with Rufus Sewell as Agamemnon, cough). Not only that, there were enough murders in that story to make a truly ridiculous graphic. (Agamemnon kills his daughter Iphigenia in a ritual sacrifice for favorable winds when he's taking his army to attack Troy; his wife, Clytemnestra, avenges her daughter by strangling/stabbing him in the bath; and finally, their son, Orestes, kills her to pay back his father's death.)

The idea of having all four pagan folk together murdering each other in a chain reaction, decked out in anachronistic holiday swag (though you'll notice that the tree has a lightning bolt on top and dolphins and bulls hung from the branches) struck me as quite humorous.

The nice thing about pulling a story from a culture with a strong tradition of graphic representation is that it makes deciding how to draw it much simpler. I wanted to mimic the sort of figures one sees drawn on large Greek vessels, of which the Boston MFA has a large and admirable (if occasionally risque) collection.

I started poking around in their online archives for ideas. (I used links to their websites for the images, so hopefully they don't break in the near future. :P) (Whoops -- editorial note -- the links on the MFA items lead back to the slideshow these pieces are found in, not the specific piece. It's not a very long slideshow though so you should be able to find them.)

This one is a bowl for mixing wine and water from Athens (called a bell krater, I think?), ca. 470 B.C. The figures represented are Diana and Achteon; the myth goes that he saw her bathing, so she turned him into a stag to be ripped apart by his own dogs. I more or less copied her dress for Iphigenia (minus the skin of a -- cat? -- around her neck.) Click through on this link to look at a bigger picture of Diana's hands -- they're very gracefully shaped, and I tried (and perhaps failed) to do justice to that in my design.