My friend Jake C was cooking recently when he noticed that his silicone oven mitt looked like the Loch Ness Monster. He followed a few simple steps to turn it into a real sea monster. Here's how you can do it at home:
Step 1: Put a silicone oven mitt on your hand and hold it out so it looks like a lizard.
Step 2: Put something on the mitt to make eyes and nostrils (buttons or olives, it doesn't really matter).
Step 3: Take a digital photograph of the mitt. (Jake used his cellphone to take and edit the photo, so you don't need to be a genius or rich, okay?)
Step 4: Import the photo into a digital art program and add a bunch of fog, hills, and waves. You can also add optional features like fish, boats, or the moon. Have fun!
Step 5: Send it to all your friends.
That's all there is to it. I hope you enjoyed learning how to make a sea monster.
Hey, everyone, I'm currently training to become a doctor, but instead of going to medical school, I've decided to figure everything out on my own. I created a series of animated diagrams illustrating the most critical bodily functions. These are the areas of the body I'll be working on every day in my clinic.
Blood is the fuel that powers the body and keeps all of the internal parts moist. The heart moves the blood around the body so that it doesn't slow down and stagnate. If blood sits in one spot for too long it turns blue.
If you lose blood, either through injury or blood donation, your body will eventually make more of it. I'm not exactly sure how that works.
After blood, breath is the most important bodily concern. The lungs create air, or "breath", and shoot it out into the atmosphere to collect oxygen molecules. You can think of breath like a swarm of bees that collect honey and bring it back to the hive. Your breath is always out there working hard, looking for oxygen.
The guts of a human body are incredibly complicated. Guts encompass all of the internal functions not related to breathing, blood, or your brain. Put your hand on your belly and push in. Everything you feel under there is your guts.
The most famous thing that guts do is turn food into waste. Your guts also alert you to throw up when you eat something rotten.
Nerves are the invisible pathways that send and receive signals from the brain. Very little is known about how this works. For example, you can think about moving your foot, and it moves, but sometimes if you sit cross-legged for too long, your foot won't move even if you want it to. Stranger yet, if you poke a sleeping person in the foot with a stick, they will kick. That wasn't even their thought. They were asleep!
Hair is the most aesthetically pleasing bodily system, but it also plays a critical role in our survival. The body uses hair to regulate temperature. If you live in a cold climate, you will grow a lot of hair in the winter and shed it in the summer. People living in hot climates are practically hairless.
I hope you learned some things about the body that will help you live a healthy life.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: While the information presented here is factually correct, I am not yet licensed to practice medicine and therefore cannot recommend the use of this information to diagnose or treat a medical condition. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.
This past January I participated in the annual Fun-A-Day art show. The event takes place in cities across the country and the only requirement is that participants create one art piece per day for the entire month of January. For my project, I created a daily animation based on the most notable thing that happened each day. At the end of the month I had thirty-one very short films that I stitched together into a silent movie that was shown on a loop at the Rock Paper Scissors Gallery in Oakland.
For the web version of the video, I asked my friend Carl W to help with a soundtrack. I was basically asking for Carl's interpretation of my interpretation of my month. It could have been a huge mess, but Carl came through with a big song that gives the animation some emotional depth. Slam dunk.
UPDATE: Here are some pictures from the show on February 4. (Photos courtesy of Nick L, the show's curator):
David N, a friend of my friends in Portland, has created a special website that harnesses the full potential of animated GIFs and uses them to tell poignant stories about real life in America. I'm not lying at all when I say this is my new favorite website:
I've presented a few selections here to give you a sense of the artwork, but it doesn't do justice to the site. You should really go straight there and see the entire collection. You'll feel like you are viewing the world three-dimensionally from inside the eyeballs of another person. It's much more interesting than the office work you should be doing right now.
David is also the creator of the excellent and mysterious Dickbird.org website. I strongly encourage you to spend a lot of time there, too.
I recently upgraded to Microsoft Office 2008. In this latest edition, there is a much larger selection of realistic-looking clip art and graphic design elements. It was a slow day at work, so I used some of the new features to make a PowerPoint presentation about donkeys:
Feel free to copy any of these slides for your own presentations. All you need to do is replace the pictures of the donkeys with whatever it is people talk about at your office. Or even better, keep the pictures of the donkeys, and at the end of the presentation, tell the audience that the donkeys are a metaphor. You might get a promotion.
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!
These images inspired my friend Seth H to create his own work of fantasy art. In his drawing, Vladimir Putin tames a fire-breathing horse while the United States is depicted as a skinny cat scurrying around at his feet. I'm guessing the flower represents democracy and the thunderstorm represents totalitarianism.
Seth's drawing inspired the creation of my own Vladimir Putin fan fiction, presented here in three acts with original illustrations.
VLADIMIR PUTIN IN THE LAND OF DRAGONS
The tale begins with the castle under siege by a ferocious winged dragon. Vladimir Putin is the king of all the land, but he is also the only warrior mighty enough to defeat the airborne menace.
In this picture, Putin is preparing to head into battle with a long sword made of the finest Spanish steel, a clever elf, and a trusty steed. He has just traded 30 bits of gold for a bag of Magic Horse Feed that will give his stallion ten times more endurance and five times more courage than a regular horse.
After making preparations, Putin rides into battle and slays the dragon by jumping his horse off a cliff, landing on the dragon's back in mid-air, and chopping the dragon's wings off. As the dragon plummets to its death, Putin and the horse use the dragon's detached wings to safely hang-glide back to the ground.
Three months later and the castle is again under siege, but this time the threat comes from the water rather than the air. A family of vicious sea serpents have taken up residence in the castle's moat and they have been eating the local peasants who kneel by the water to wash their filthy rags. After witnessing enough carnage, Putin decides to take matters into his own hands. In the darkest hour of the night he creeps out of the castle, strips naked, and crawls into the reeds at the edge of the moat to wait... and watch...
In this picture, as daylight breaks, an enraged Putin shoots out of the water, taking the largest serpent by surprise with a fatal Judo chop to the neck. After killing the monster snake, Putin dives down to the bottom of the moat and chops up the smaller serpents with his sword!
One week later, a messenger elf brings word to the castle that another winged dragon has been spotted across the Golden Fields, near the Forest Cliffs. Putin is so mad at the news that he crushes a goblet in his bare hands. Wasting little time, he jumps upon his majestic steed and rides for two days straight until he finds the dragon's lair.
In this picture, the dragon wakes to the rumbling of the galloping horse. The evil lizard-beast charges at the brave, muscled warrior, but Putin is unfazed. He pulls his horse back to safety and plays a tune on a magical flute that summons a falcon to swoop down and gouge at the dragon's eyes. While the falcon is attacking the dragon, Putin plays another tune that causes lightning bolts to shoot out of the sky right at the dragon's head. The repetition of lightning strikes cause the dragon to catch fire and then explode!
After ridding the land of dragons, King Putin rides on wings of glory back to his people. The winds of peace sweep across the land!
UPDATE: If you would like to add to this epic story or contribute your own Vladimir Putin fantasy art, please send it to email@example.com
UPDATE II: Giovanni GF created an additional illustration for Act III. After the lightning strikes caused the dragon to explode, the resulting fire set the entire forest ablaze. A triumphant Putin walked away from the carnage unscathed:
In June, I posted ten submissions for the Faces in the Mist: Reimagining Sasquatch collaborative art project. Morit G, a frequent contributor, was traveling abroad at the time and missed the deadline. After returning, she was bogged down by a broken computer. Undeterred, this week she fixed her computer and completed her Sasquatch face.
I also received another very late submission from Kent C, my friend who found the original Sasquatch Activity Book. Coincidentally, Kent is of Finnish descent.
Kent works at an outdoor science camp and he based his version of the drawing on real evidence. He writes:
My submission, while it may appear crude, pays homage to the closest I have ever come to the mythical man-beast, which was a story told to me by a decidedly real man-beast about an encounter he had with Sasquatch while working as a wildland firefighter in the mountains of Northern California's redwood country. Among his less spurious claims was that bigfoot gave off the aroma of "50 dead sea lions". I feel the green stink lines and buzzing flies help to bring this multi-sensory experience to the viewer. I also think sasquatch probably has pretty bushy eyebrows, and yellow teeth, since he/she likely hasn't developed dental hygiene technology.
Here is the fourth installment of The Buddy System, the series where I send out the start of a drawing and ask friends to respond however they wish.
For this assignment, I sent out a doodle of a floppy man:
The shape of the man reminded Seth L of the brightly colored spiders that crawled all over his body one night at a college party back in the 1990s. He may have eaten something bad that evening, I don't know. Seth said that despite their scary look, the spiders were actually pretty friendly.
Like her submission for The Buddy System II, Morit G took a high-minded, expansive, approach to the assignment and created a beautiful, multi-layered, surrealist drawing. Here are some of the themes that may or may not be addressed in this piece: the passage of time; memories; aging; interconnectedness; family; nostalgia for old bathing suits; ghosts; competition; marriage; Pelé; county fairs; botany; living kites; human kites; and old-timey prison chain-gangs.
The next submission has a decidedly cinematic feel to it. Anna U, my sister, thought the man was being pursued by a terrifying little yogi. The floppy man is straining to hold the door of an apartment closed while the little mystic concocts a spell to gain entrance. This one sends shivers down my spine.
And, as always, the final submission comes from me. This piece represents the CORRECT interpretation of the drawing.
In my version, an irrationally happy man crawls onto the roof of a stranger's car and refuses to get off despite the frantic pounding from inside. The driver and passenger took a look at the man's maniacal grin as he approached and are now afraid to get out of the car.
That's it! If you have your own ideas for how to finish the drawing, please download the image and send your version to firstname.lastname@example.org. Late submissions are always accepted and they'll be added to the original post.
UPDATE Saturday, July 25: René S, a photographer from Rotterdam, Netherlands, was following along over Twitter and decided to join in the fun. René incorporated the image of the man into two of his photographs. One shows a spectacular back-flip dive into a canal and the other shows a crowd of tourists marveling at the giant marshmallow man that is about to crush them. (Click the images to see larger versions.)