You might have missed it with all of the Olympics commotion, but last week in New York, the finest dogs in the world gathered at Madison Square Garden for the 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. This year's winner was a super cool, down-to-earth Scottish Terrier named Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot ("Sadie" for short). I made this drawing to honor Sadie's incredible accomplishment.
I covered this event extensively last year, but was only able to catch bits and pieces of it this year. It's a shame, because I love this contest. It's a great way for dogs to compete without biting each other. Instead of the brutality and filth of cage fighting, dogs are awarded points for manners and hygiene. A 100% improvement!
For the latest installment of the collaborative Buddy System series, I created a patriotic template and asked my friends to draw their favorite president for Presidents Day. I received eleven incredibly diverse responses. Here they are in full glory:
The first submission is from Morit G, who found inspiration in Grover Cleveland's working-class taste buds. Cleveland thought the fancy food they served at the White House was gross.
Fun fact: At the age of 49, Cleveland married an opportunistic 21-year old, marking the only marriage of a sitting US President in history.
The next submission is my own. I drew the only five presidents in American history to sport beards. From upper left going clockwise, you have Benjamin Harrison (perhaps the longest beard); James Garfield (scraggliest); Rutherford B. Hayes (wispiest); Abraham Lincoln (neck beard); and Ulysses S. Grant (shortest). The era of bearded presidents started with Lincoln in 1861 and ended with Benjamin Harrison in 1893. Sadly, America has never had a bearded president since. (Although, Al Gore came close.)
Another Bush-inspired piece came from Angela B and her son Magnus who worked together on a Curious George coloring page. The purple and yellow squiggly lines represent the challenges faced by Bush during his eight years in office.
Fun Fact: All of America's current economic troubles are the result of policies put in place by Bill Clinton and Barney Frank, not Bush.
Jake C, a distant relative of President Calvin Coolidge, sent in a portrait of Barack Obama that he created on his iPhone.
Fun Fact: President Barack Obama is America's first president of Kenyan descent.
Fun Fact: Teddy Roosevelt came up with the idea for the Teddy Bear after he had visions of tiny bears in a polio-induced fever dream.
David S, a first time contributor, sent in a portrait of a president he would like to see. He explains:
Dreams are important, they inspire us and drive us onward in the face of a miserable unforgiving world full of casual cruelty. That's why I drew my dream president, former attorney general Janet Reno. Did you know that JRe (as we call her) was the FIRST female federal attorney general ever? That is why I know she would also be a great first lady President!
I've drawn her in a tie because she is not concerned with conforming to societies' antiquated gender roles.
Fun Fact: Janet Reno originally wanted to call Ted Kaczynski the "Mailman of Death", but she was overruled by President Clinton who favored "Unabomber".
My sister, Anna U, drew a picture of a bat president.
Fun Fact: Bats sleep while hanging upside down in caves.
Nico C was inspired by the Star Wars movies. He thought Boba Fett, the notorious outer space bounty hunter, would make a pretty cool president.
Fun Fact: Harrison Ford, the actor who played Han Solo, is the adopted son of former-President Gerald Ford.
And last, but certainly not least, is Carl W's thought-provoking Super Bowl-inspired take on patriotism and cosmetic surgery. Carl envisions an America ruled by the E*Trade baby.
Fun Fact: Carl is an attorney who works for the Federal government, just like U.S. Presidents.
I hope you all learned some new things about presidents this Presidents Day, I know I did. Many thanks to all who participated and God Bless America!
Over the weekend, I spent six hours watching basketball and drawing. I grabbed a magazine that was lying around my apartment and drew a lion's head that was part of the cover story. Then, instead of drawing a normal lion body, I drew the body of Arthur Conan Doyle, who was featured in another story.
UPDATE: I just realized this drawing could easily be mistaken as a pictogram for a dandelion (Dandy + Lion). That's not what I was going for, I promise.
This drawing captures the lead guitarist for the Frog Band tearing it up on a guitar solo. He's in the pocket. The crowd is going nuts.
This was my final project for a drawing class at San Francisco City College in 2007. Just like my Hand Turkey was the greatest of all time, this has to be the best drawing of a taxidermied frog playing a guitar that the world has ever seen.
UPDATE: There is a squirrel band at the Country Music Hall of Fame that might give my frogs a run for their money. According to legend, Hank Williams Sr. shot these little guys on his land and hand them stuffed. Whatever, my frogs can take on some country squirrels. I'm not worried.
Handimals, iPhone photos, digital paint, 250 x 350 pixels, 2009
A few weeks ago, during a quiet moment at work, I took a photo of my hand, added google-eyes, and sent it to my sister. My sister responded with her own modified hand photo, and ever since, we've been challenging each other to see who could come up with the best hand animals, or "handimals".
Here is the entire collection. (Note: The man hands are mine and the lady hands are my sister's.)
After putting this collection together and naming it "The Handimals", I did an internet search and was disappointed to learn that there is a guy named Guido Daniele who has cornered the market on "handimals" with a bunch of fancy-ass, Las Vegas sideshow-style, painted hand animals. Apparently this guy has done ads for AT&T and is raking in the hand animal cash. Mr. Daniele needs to realize that he can't lord over this art form. Handimals are for all people and I am standing up to reclaim the name!
With that in mind, I encourage everyone to make their own handimals and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll add your handimals to the collection as soon as I receive them and, little by little, we will build an army of handimals that will shock the world.
Making a handimal couldn't be easier. Here's how you do it:
Move your hand around until you see the faint resemblance of an animal or an animal's face.
Take a digital photo of your hand while you can still see the animal (Note: If you lose the animal, return to step #1).
Import the hand photo into a digital art program like Photoshop, MS Paint, or any iPhone art app.
Add google-eyes and animal features such as horns, hair, or teeth (Hint: Don't add so many features that you completely obscure the hand!).
Attach the finished handimal file to an e-mail and send it to all of your friends with the subject line: "See, I told you my hand looked like a [insert animal name]!".
[Optional] Make a t-shirt featuring your handimal and sell it on the internet:
UPDATE: Seth L stepped up to bat and hit a home run with a vomiting handimal:
My friend Peter F and I were recently playing a game of Tic Tac Toe when, in the middle of the game, we noticed a cat face looking up at us. We added some features to the cat so it would be easier to see.
This is different from a "cat's game". An actual cat face appeared in the middle of the game.
In this digital painting by Jake C, a man takes some time to unwind and watch the waves. I'm guessing this guy's wife and four step-kids don't even know about this secret spot on the beach. It's the perfect place to chill-out.
Jake is pushing iPhone art to new limits. The depth and shading are amazing. Nice work!
Celebrity doodles and notes, ink on paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inches, 2004-2006
A friend of mine used to work for a sound studio that would rent out space for public radio interviews. Various celebrities would show up to have their conversations beamed around the country. The friend, who asked to remain anonymous, got into the habit of collecting the scribbled notes and doodles left behind by famous guests. He gave me permission to share some of the interesting ones.
If only this guy had been able to better communicate his core values of "honor, purpose, and strength", he might be president today. In these notes, McCain wrote "so cal" to help him remember that KPCC is a public radio station in Southern California. It also looks like he may have been trying to make a point about baseball great Mickey Mantle.
In 2005 Tommy Tune took to the airwaves to plug his touring song and dance show. Did you know that out of all the songs performed at the Orange Count/Costa Mesa show, the Beatles' number "When I'm Sixty-Four" was the secret surprise "wild card"? Wow.
Eliza is an author and journalist who writes about issues of global conflict and the war on terror. She's not a huge celebrity but her doodles are solid (I'm not printing her last name in case she doesn't want this in her Google results). During her radio interview in 2005, she expertly blended text notes with metaphorical illustrations. The plight of the Nepalese is highlighted by doodles of a black sheep, a spider web, and a wall of flames.
Also notice the contrast between "fat and happy" and "skinny and sad". The imagery evokes the disparities between rich and poor.
And finally, if there was ever any doubt, now we know with certainty -- Christian Bale is a serious guy.
As you can see, most celebrities are just like you and me. Thank you, anonymous friend, for sharing these fine doodles.
UPDATE: My friend's studio also rented out space to record voice-overs for commercials. This slip of paper was read by actor Alec Baldwin while recording an ad for a vegetarian restaurant in Florida. Baldwin has certainly made an amazing comeback in the last five years.
UPDATE 2: Of course these are real. Are you serious? If these were fakes, don't you think I would choose better celebrities and make the notes a lot more interesting? Tommy Tune? C'mon!
UPDATE 3: Welcome, Baleheads! Thanks for your interest in the Christian Bale discovery. Bale's doodle prompted an intense discussion on the IMDB messageboards.