Nature Made It Rain

posted in: Life | 0

My wet shoes

These are my soaked shoes from the other day.

I was walking around the neighborhoods one evening, just as most people were returning home from work. It was gloomy and getting ready to rain.

It seemed like an unproductive day because I didn’t make $50,000 for my boss so that my life could feel validated as a contributing human to society. But I did play with a cat that day!

Just as I reached Lake Michigan, it started to downpour.

My umbrella protected me pretty well, except my feet. That’s when my shoes got soaked. And it felt amazing. The rain was warm and it was like an exfoliating foot massage with each squishy step I took.

Santana Supernatural CD

On my walk back, I couldn’t have felt loved by nature more until I encountered a free CD lying on the sidewalk.

Nature works in mysterious ways, even if it is a little old-fashioned. Anyone got a CD player I could borrow?

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Super Studio Sale: You Will Get Superpowers By Buying These Prints

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

An old Ukrainian legend states that if you buy any of my prints, their superpowers will be transferred to you! There are limited quantities left of the retiring prints/items. They’re about 50% off until they’re gone - http://razorberries.com/product-category/studio-sale/

BadIdeas

Buy 'Bad Ideas' Print

 

If you like to explore the world and experience new things, but you have no idea what you want to do next, I have an idea for you: Buy this “Bad Ideas” print. With it, you’ll suddenly have The Power To Come Up With Ideas. Most of them will be bad… But it depends on how you look at it – If there’s no such thing as bad publicity, then, Shirley, there’s no such thing as bad ideas! There’s only such a thing as this print called, “Bad Ideas.” That part is real (while supplies last).

 

Beanstalk

Buy 'Beanstalk' Print

You thought that beans were a magical fruit? Just you wait until you get their super stalking power: If you buy the “Beanstalk” print, you will suddenly have The Ability To Stalk Beans! This is very useful if you need to hunt and gather food for your family. Beans are scrappy little creatures. Especially those jumping ones.

 

Traveler

 

Buy 'Traveler' Print

If you’d love to travel, buying this Traveler print won’t get you the ability to travel. It’ll give you something better: You will suddenly have The Power To Sit In One Spot, With A Cup in Your Hand, And Stare Out The Window For A Long Time, While THINKING About Traveling™. Forget that window, even! Having this print to stare at will be your reminder that you’re not traveling enough.

See all the sale items here: http://razorberries.com/product-category/studio-sale/

Sale04-2014

BONUS SUPERPOWER: Buying any of the prints will give you THE POWER TO PUT THEM ANYWHERE YOU’D LIKE – In your office. In your living room. In your bedroom. In your nose. In your butt.

Just kidding, I DO NOT recommend putting them in your nose or butt, because that might suddenly give you The Ability To Feel Instant Pain And/Or Bleed From A Paper Cut, and I may or may not be speaking from experience…

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Traveling San Francisco in the Razor Rover

posted in: Blog, Razor Rover | 0

photo (6)

I finally visited San Francisco a few weeks ago. It was a pretty big deal because this was the first time I got to see a palm tree within its natural habitat.

Oh, yeah, and, this is the farthest I’ve ever traveled alone, to a place I haven’t been to, but have been dreaming of visiting for years.

I wanted to do a fun art project for this trip and was inspired by Land Rover. The little car I’m sitting in is the Razor Rover. It’s very lightweight. And no, I didn’t drive all the way to San Francisco from Chicago in it. Because that would’ve been crazy. I flew in on Virgin Airlines, and they are awesome because they let me take Razor Rover in my carry-on.

Oh, yeah, and, because they sing and dance in their airplane safety video and give you free tomato juice.

RazorRover-WIP

Before my trip, I designed Razor Rover, built it out of watercolor paper, and drew the details in with ink markers. Then I took the photos with the help of my iPhone, a fisheye phone-camera lens (thanks, Land Rover!), Joby GripTight Mount, and a bluetooth remote.

RazorRover-GGBridge

For my 29th birthday, I strolled through the Golden Gate Bridge. I spent  about 4 hours in the area. (One of those hours was spent charging my phone.) It was so windy that I didn’t think I’d be able to get a Razor Rover photo. Thankfully, one of the employees at the gift shop was able to give me a couple strips of tape to secure the Razor Rover to keep me from flying away in it.

There were a lot of people at the bridge that day and I got some weird looks while I was driving Razor Rover. I thought maybe it’s because they wanted a ride. So, I offered. But then they said stuff like, “Uh, that’s okay. Good luck!”

Weirdos.

RazorRover-UnawareDriver

At Pier 39, a few people did enjoy Razor Rover. Because it’s such a smooth ride, this guy didn’t even realize he was driving it!

RazorRover-LombardSt

Here’s me in the Razor Rover, attempting to go where no car has gone before: UPHILL the squiggliest street – Lombard Street.

RazorRover-RussianHill

When I got to the top, I parked Razor Rover to the side and enjoyed the view from Russian Hill.

photo (5)

During my first Razor Rover trip, this was the first time I stayed in a hostel, too. The Green Tortoise Hostel SF hallways have this amazing, colorful carpet. During my week-long stay there, I got to meet people from lots of different countries, including England, Australia, Germany, and Italy. Some of them were just enjoying traveling, some were backpacking countries and working temporary jobs, and some were visiting San Francisco for conferences.

RazorRover-Mia

I also met Mia, a glassblower from Finland, because she was staying in the same dorm as me. Here, she is testing out Razor Rover’s cruise control. Look, no hands!

It was her idea was that we should catch the sunset at Ocean Beach.

RazorRover-OceanBeachMia

Mission accomplished!

The Razor Rover trip photos were improvised on-location, and I live-tweeted and live-Instagrammed (it was very-instant, okay?) most of the trip. There will be more Razor Rover adventures in the future, and you’ll be able to see the live updates by following the #RazorRover hashtag from my Twitter & Instagram.

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The 9 Secret Steps To Drawing The “Kooky” Illustration

posted in: Art Process, Blog, How To | 0

I documented my work process from start to finish for my illustration “Kooky”. This was drawn for an illustrarticle called “The #1 Secret Ingredient For Baking Delicious Cookies

"Kooky" - Buy Print
“Kooky” – Buy Print

Kooky-01
Step 1
Before starting the illustration, I wrote the story “The #1 Secret Ingredient For Baking Delicious Cookies“. These are my initial notes in my tiny moleskine sketchbook that goes everywhere I go. After these notes, I write the complete story on my laptop. Then I edit, edit, edit.

Kooky-02
Step 2
I sketched some thumbnails of what the illustration might look like. Since the #1 Secret Ingredient is amazing, the illustration had to be, too. So I chose the last thumbnail and added circles that would later be painted as a bokeh background. Bokeh is a photography term. I love photography and it’s in my background. So naturally, it influences my illustration work.

Kooky-03
Step 3
The thumbnail was then redrawn with more detail, on a larger piece of plain paper. This is the sheet that is sandwiched between my lightbox and a sheet of watercolor paper. I turn on the lightbox and start to lightly trace the main lines on the watercolor paper, with watercolor. It’s all freehand-permanent-no-going-back from here so it has to be perfect. I’ve had to redraw and repaint entire illustrations before, if they didn’t turn out like I’d imagined.

Kooky-04
Step 4
And when I started working on the final piece, I started thinking of even more ideas to play with. No more lightbox from this step, forward. So, then this goat made an appearance. And a car. The planet Saturn. A shoe. You know, all those things you’d normally find in a delicious cookie.

Kooky-05
Step 5
Color! Here, started to color the smoke/steam and the new cookie ingredients. I usually do a few color tests on separate sheets of paper to determine which colors will work with the illustration.

Kooky-06
Step 6
Here, I inked the hand and the cookie. And after I painted the background and some bokeh, I decided that the smoke/steam needs to be toned down. Since the story is not “The #1 Secret Ingredient For Making Amazing Smoke,” I painted over most of it.

Kooky-07
Step 7
Then, I painted the steam/smoke with a few highlights using acrylic. Now the focus is more on the cookie/bokeh/awesomeness instead of the smoke.

Kooky-08
Step 8
Illustration is complete! Yes, total completion deserves its own step. You can see the color layers I added to the smoke, through which some bokeh can still be seen.

Kooky-09
Step 9
I was just kidding about total completion. This work process isn’t complete without this step: Put your Kooky where your mouth is!

The story is not far from how I bake cookies… I don’t usually attempt cooking fancy stuff, and stay in the pre-mixed items safe zone. So, one of the recipes I like to do is from the back of Betty Crocker’s Sugar Cookie Mix.

You could use another brand, I guess. But I’ve only tried Betty Crocker’s. I thought it would be good to add white chocolate chips and dried cranberries into the dry mix because I’m adventurous like that. Add 1 cup of each of those, and then add the 1 egg and 1 stick of softened butter that that sugar cookie mix asks for. Mix everything together to make the batter.

Then, after I bake the cookies like a crazy person, I let them cool for a just a couple minutes. Stick them into a ziplock bag or airtight container right after that, so that the steam stops escaping the cookies. That keeps the cookies soft.

I’ve made these White Chocolate & Cranberry kookies for my friends and coworkers a couple times, and they keep asking for more because “these cookies taste like cheesecake.” Since I don’t want to quit illustration to become a cookie-mix baker, I’ve written my recipe here because with practice, anyone can make these into their own recipe.

Now go out there and make some of your own kookies, you daredevil, you 8)

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