Monday, December 12, 2011

Dressember Week 1, Skeletons on Motorbikes, & The Lumineers

Dressember is in full swing! And up until today the weather has been kind to my bare legs. Today, however, it's pouring rain and freezing, but I won't give into tights until absolutely necessary. Nothing like a little skin in the winter. Below is a recap of the first week of Dressember. I'm trying to mix things up even though I'm pretty much working with the exact same dresses I wore last year (see those here), so it's been fun and challenging to make old things look new and exciting. Click on the photos to enlarge. If you want to see more Dressember, just log into Instagram and search the hashtag #dressember. It's trending, baby.  

I've also been doing a lot of illustrating and painting for Hoodzpah clients recently. Above is a piece I whipped up the other night just for fun. It's a skeleton riding a vintage Norton. I realllllly wanted to keep it because I loved how it turned out, but my talented friend and fellow designer Allan Gungormez made me an offer I couldn't refuse for it. I'm going to try to get screenprints made of it however. First we have to make sure there's a high enough demand for them since screenprinting is kind of pricey. I used india ink and an ink brush for this illustration and I love the effect it had. I want to start using this more often. I'm going to try to get some work in on my portrait of Sara this weekend too! I want to have that finished before the new year. Blah, blah, blah, blah-blah-blah blah. I'm even boring myself now, so with that I'll say adieu! 

- Amy
Listening to: "Hey Ho" by The Lumineers. I've had them on loop for about a week now.

P.S. How about that snow last night in Orange County? The month I leave Lake Forest it SNOWS there. Figures. 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Monday, November 28, 2011

Second Summer, Bustin' Out The Mini Skirts & New Baubles

It's a lovely 75 degrees today in Lake Forest on this late November day, and that means bustin' out the tank tops and skirts and reveling in this "second summer." Second summer is almost better than real summer. Just at that stage in the year when you've given up hope on ever getting to slip on those daisy dukes and flowy tanks - just as you've resigned yourself to the fact that it's stockings and coats from here on out - it hits: 84 degree weather in late November. It's like thinking you ran out of cokes when you're desperately craving one, only to find a rogue lone soldier hiding in the back of the fridge behind the milk.

 I haven't posted an "outfit of the day" post in a while, and since I get to dust off my mini skirts and tanks, here we go. I have a new necklace, courtesy of the lovely Sara Wilkins, and a new bag, both of which were birthday presents and both of which were waiting to get shown off, so all the more reason. The bag is by Moda Viajando. It's made in Bali and it's a cute structured suede number with interestingly placed zippers and hot pink lining. Sara got the necklace at a cute little boutique up the street from her apartment in Portland. It's made by a local Portland jewelry designer who creates under the moniker Seaworthy, (not to be confused with the Seeworthy Project production company I have worked with in the past: one deals in beads and baubles, the other in boards and brahs). You can find her lovely things online. She makes nautical inspired jewelry that draws on art deco and native american arts with strong lines and geometric shapes. Beware: if you visit her etsy shop, you WILL need to buy something. The rest of the outfit is just a bunch of my favorite staples thrown together for comfort, style and ease.

Enjoy this lovely summer weather friends.

Bag: Moda Viajando
Skirt: BDG
Shoes: Seychelles
Rings, gift, Forever 21, and Hiya Moon
Watch: Nixon
Tank: H&M
Necklace: Seaworthy
Polish: NYC Times Square Tangerine Creme

- Amy
Listening to: "Brutal Hearts" by Bedouin Soundclash

P.S. Dressember is coming! For more details, visit Blythe Hill's site. She's the mastermind behind it all. You should participate. Just sayin. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wally The Wordsmith, Illustrations, & LA Love

I've been working on some fun illustrations for my friend Blythe Hill of recent. She wrote 3 children's book for her Master's thesis and hired my sister, my friend Austin Ranson, and I to illustrate them. The book I am in charge of is called Wally The Wordsmith. It is a sweet, unique and magical story about a boy who lives in the shadow of his highly intelligent sister until he finds his inner talent - the ability to make up words that come to life. It takes place in a city zoo in California so I gave the zoo a vintage, old city zoo feel with rot iron intricate archways, old bar cages for the animals, and palm trees all over. Because it takes place in a place like LA, I also made the character's regionally accurate. Wally sports a striped tee, classic Vans, and cut off jean shorts. He is never without his skateboard, pencil and notepad. He is round on top with little chicken legs covered in band aids from his most recent skateboarding accident.

Now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever seen a kids book that takes place in LA. Eloise was an ode to The Plaza Hotel in NYC. LA and SoCal deserve some lovin'. Maybe I can be the one to give it. The lovin' that is.

I'll post more later as I ink them in.

Listening to: "Telephone" by The Black Angels

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hand-drawn Fonts, How Most Brush Fonts Suck & Pure Sex

Hoodzpah recently got hired to do some book covers and for one of the titles, Pure Sex, I busted out the old paintbrush and paint to create my own type face options. I wanted something gritty and grungy and sloppy. A type face that looked like something a teenage boy scribbled on a bathroom stall. Here's how it came out.

It's fun making your own type. Especially if you need a good brush font that's not orthodox or clean. If you want a gritty brush font you gotta do it yourself. All the ones on most sites that are reasonably priced blow. So far everyone I've showed likes number 3. The "x" is so free on that one. I sound like such a hippy but describing type is really difficult!

It's also really interesting how different the type faces look when reversed out on a black background.

Back to the grind. Going to take a quick break to work on my painting of Sara for my eyes' sake. After staring at a computer screen all day, you gotta take a break! Then it's back to working on illustrations for Wally The Wordsmith, a book I'm illustrating for the lovely Blythe Hill. Can't wait to post some of those sketches! Post later this week when the deadlines start to subside.

- Amy
Listening to: "Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vampires, Zombies & New Poster Designs

I recently designed a set of posters for FUTEK Sensor Technology through my design company Hoodzpah Art + Graphics. They turned out pretty rad if I do say so myself. Yes, I am biased in the matter, but seriously, when the subject matter is vampires, zombies and mad scientists how could it NOT be interesting? You can check out the process and see them all up close and personal here. They turned the designs into e-banners for their site, postcards, and t-shirts as well. It's always great when a client gets so stoked on a design they just keep widening the scope of the project. Now it's back to work. It's crazy busy at Hoodzpah right now. We're designing 3 book covers, a CD package, 3 logos, one full fledged media kit, a t-shirt design for TRIBE, a blog, a 10 page editorial feature, illustrating 2 logos, and painting one painting of a T-Rex riding a tractor. Madness! But it's a blast and we're lovin' every minute. I miss painting amidst all this design. Here's where my portrait of Sara stands as of now.

It should be fun moving during all of this... while being sick. At least we'll be able to hear the soothing waves of Newport Beach and the distant honking of steam boat horns from the bay! Plus I found some great new bluegrass tunes to work to. Overall things are lookin' good.

- Amy
Listening to: "The Peacock Feather Medley" by Iron Horse

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Newport Beach, Linocuts & High Fidelity

[ No Kooks Allowed in Newport Beach. ]

Life has been all kinds of crazy of recent. But the good kind of crazy. Like Jack Black crazy. [Side Note: I recently watched High Fidelity again and that movie is so hilarious. What surprises me most is how it is still so relevant. I know so many Rob Gordons, Barrys and Dicks (literally and metaphorically on that last one).][Side Side Note: My friend Eric told me I use the word "hilarious" more than anyone he knows. I'm starting to think he was right. I gotta start using a thesaurus.] Back to my main point: life being crazy. The first reason things are gettin' busy is that I'm moving at the end of the month!

Moving is going to be great. Right now we live smack dab in the middle of suburban hell. Every day is seriously a nightmare. I know I sound dramatic, but our neighbors are retired prudes with nothing better to do than creepily spy on us from their windows and yards or call "the association" on us for not adhering to one of its plethora of ridiculous rules. Besides that we are 30 minutes from the beach however you swing it. This is just not acceptable to me. All you landlocked readers are rolling your eyes right now, but once you've lived walking distance to the beach, nothing else will do! Aside from those two reasons, the house we live in right now leaks like a sieve. And we just ain't gonna take it no more. (Cue Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It".) So we're heading to greener pastures - or rather sandy pastures. The sandy pastures of Newport Beach if I can help it. We looked at a few houses today on The Peninsula and one in Laguna. I'm rooting for the one on Bay Dr where we are one block from the bay and two blocks from the beach and walking distance from all the Balboa Bars I can take. Now THAT is living the dream.  I am going to be one fat, happy, blondie - although I'm hoping the increased usage of my bike will counteract the "fat" part a bit. The only thing I will miss are the two conveniently located In-N-Outs by my house now. I guess this is what they meant when they said "it ain't easy bein' sleezy."
The second reason for all the chaos and mayhem going on right now is that Hoodzpah has had a recent flooding of new jobs and projects. I love starting a slew of new jobs at once. It forces me to get organized and really hunker down: Plans are made, lists are checked off, and great design inevitably ensues. Speaking of design... check out the linocut I recently made. This project was a part of the artist collective I'm a part of with my friends Luke, Brandon, Julie, Leon, Kat and Jen called The Populous. The site is coming soon and you'll get to see our final prints then!

- Amy
Listening to: "It's Hard To Get Around The Wind" by Alex Turner

Friday, October 28, 2011

Painting Progress, Masquerades, & Big Bear

[My painting setup. Picture for reference: check. Disposable pallette: check. Paints: check. Paint Brushes: check. Pirate Ship: Check. Mini Cutout of Joe Turpel: Check.]

I'm really cookin' on this painting of Sara. I've had a lot more free time recently, but I hope all my paintings go this fast from now on. Here are some photos of my progress. I haven't used any black in the painting until I did the eye today - and then I used it on the eye lashes and a little in the eyebrow. But I kind of like the look of painting without black. Forces you to see the color in the shadows.

Hopefully I'll get some more work on it in tomorrow before the Halloween festivities begin. Jen, Caroline and I are going to a masquerade and we're gonna dance our little feet off without shame since no one will know who we are to make fun of us. I hope they play "Ballroom Blitz." Then we're off to Big Bear! I had previously thought that I had never been to Big Bear. Turns out I went when I was 3. But this will be the first time that I remember, so I'm gonna make the most of it! Which mainly means I will be in search of snow wherever I can find it so I can sled, make a snow angel, and throw a snowball at Jen. It's gonna be great.

Happy Halloween all!

- Amy
Listening to: "Swept Away (Sentimental Version)" by The Avett Brothers

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jordan, Jordan Jr., & Newport Tattoo Costa Mesa

Last week I got to introduce Jordan to Jordan Jr. Sounds like a baby daddy situation, but it's not. For those of you who stumbled across this blog by googling "pink floyd pig flying," "constellation tattoos" or "ralph steadman art" (which apparently is half of my readership according to google analytics), I paint people. My recent subject - was Mr. Jordan Sabolick. We call the painting "Jordan Jr."

We met up at Peet's Coffee. It was pretty cool too because as I was walking towards the coffee shop, there was a Mexican family of four walking behind me, and Jordan was walking behind them apparently. I didn't realize this until I reached the table in front of the Peet's where I set the painting down and the dad of the family said, "hey that's him, isn't it?" pointing at Jordan. So 1 in 4 strangers agree: Jordan Jr. and Jordan look alike.  +10 points for my confidence. Then a woman walked by our little crowd and looked to see what the action was about. "Did you paint this? It's wonderful!" +10 more points for my confidence. As much fun as painting is, it is nothing compared to having your work seen and enjoyed. Which is why I'm so glad to have my work up over at Newport Tattoo: Costa Mesa.

Things were a little awkward at first between the two...

but in no time at all they were chatting it up like old pals.

After catching up with Jordan and taking some hilarious photos of him with the painting (to the chagrin of all inside), I headed down the 405 freeway to Newport Beach to join Jordan Jr. with my other paintings that reside at Newport Tattoo: Costa Mesa. Also residing there is Ryan Hopper, the artist, tattooer, and my next victim/subject. He wants to be painted at the wienerschnitzel with a corn dog. Hmmm. I'll let you know how that one pans out.

Now back to work on my painting of Miss Sara. It is really starting to look rad! It's got this great blue/purple color scheme going that I didn't plan, but am loving. Pictures tomorrow!

- Amy
Listening to: "Dancing On Our Graves" by the Cave Singers

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Lovely Sara Wilkins, New Paintings, & Reasons To Be Thankful

Click to enlarge.
I started sketching out my next few paintings that have been in the queue. The thumbnail sketch above is of the lovely Sara Wilkins. Sara, a former Orange Countian (born and bred too), is now a Portland transplant, but distance has not diminished our friendship. Sara is as good as they come - and somewhat of an anomoly. In the best sense of course. She can be a quiet observer or the life of the party; She can be the thoughtful listener or the fountain of hilarity; She's listening to Etta James one minute and the Kings of Leon the next; She's responsible but watch out when she lets loose; She's the voice of reason but she's also the first to take the plunge; She's the girl you'd take home to mom but she's also got a delightfully irreverent wild side; She'll chase you around a public parking lot when you're feeling "blah" but she can also play it cool as your escort to the local show; She's got clear opinions but she's incredibly open minded. It's all of these interesting and unique qualities that made me realize she was the perfect candidate for my Beatniks, Bastards, Saints series. Oh yeah, and the fact that she's a FOX. 

Below is the drawing on the wood - which is my least favorite part of a painting. Sketching it out. Especially doing it twice (once on paper and once on wood). This painting is even bigger than the one I did of Jordan (subject-wise, the board is the same size) and I'm finding it's hard to draw large scale. You're looking at a photo that is 5-6 times smaller as a reference. It's tough. But I want this one to be big because I'm going to give her an amazingly intricate halo. Plus I want to see how big I can go with the subjects before it just get's ridiculous. Next step, mix up a skintone for her (I'm using acrylics and I only like having to mix up the color once so I mix a big batch and save it in an air-tight container) and get painting! Now that I'm self-employed I can work on my paintings during the day in natural sunlight (as opposed to my prior night-owl habits when I had a 9-5 for "the man"). Not only that, I'm wrapping up a ton of projects so I can just paint my little heart out for the next day or so till the deadlines start looming again. Couldn't be happier that Hoodzpah is sustaining us and letting us flourish artistically. And really that success is owing mostly to our - for lack of a better, more original word - amazing friends. Pretty much everyone we work with is a friend or was referred by one of our lovely friends. On that thankful/reflective note, goodnight all. 

- Amy 
Listening to: Nada Surf's "Inside of Love"

Click to enlarge.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Joe Strummer, Ugly Babies, & Why You're The Tops

Click to enlarge. ©Amy Hood
Can it be? Am I really finished with this Joe Strummer illustration? I'm not sure of anything right now. It's 12:17 at night and I've been sitting at this desk for way too long with celery and a wineglass full of Newcastle Brown Ale as my only sustenance. As far as I can tell in my current state, I'm pretty stoked on it! But I could be like one of those annoying parents who think their kid is cuter than a basket full of puppies when they're really more like a basket full of monkeys (the ugly kind, not the cute fuzzy monkeys). So I look to you - my friends, fellow designers and whoever happens upon this blog - to give it to me. If something looks weird, tell me now. Give me the good, the bad, and the ugly. All recommendation for change will be taken into consideration. I'll use some criticism, and let's face it, I'm going to ignore some. Not necessarily because the idea sucks (although that's a reason too), but because it may just be too much more work. I got a lot of great feedback on my other illustration after I had already ran the prints, so I thought I'd not push the cart before the horse again this time. You guys are the tops!

I've been asked a lot what the hawk is about on his shoulder. I just distinctly remember hearing The Clash for the first time. It was "London Calling" and I was drawn in by this wild banchee/hawk like sound Joe Strummer was making in between verses and choruses. It was so wild. When I set out to do this illustration, I was remembering that and I realized just how similar Joe is to a hawk. Cool, calm and collected, but wild, fierce and free all at once. It's almost like his spirit animal.

Now for a riveting episode of X-Files before I go to bed. Moulder's dead panned wit cracks me up. Does he have a TMJ Disorder where his mouth can only open halfway? Is the mumbling a layer of the character? Is Duchovny even smart enough to think that up? It intrigues me.

- Amy
Listening to: "The Rescue Blues" by Ryan Adams

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mad Scientists, linocuts, and Delta Spirit

©Amy Hood

I've been working on some fun rough sketches for a current job with FUTEK. FUTEK is basically a company that makes parts/sensors that measure things, be it force, weight, whatever. They have all sorts of components that they design to measure and record. FUTEK hired Hoodzpah (shout out to my friend Natasha Niezgoda for the reference!) to design some Halloween themed posters for their office and website that wittily represented their products in a ghoulish, festive way. They wanted retro, film noir inspired designs that had a comic book feel to them. One of our concepts was based around a mad scientist. Here's one of the scientist characters I drew up. How 'bout them sideburns? He's got that Dr. Jekyll quality to him (with a touch of Gregory Peck). Best part is the steam-punk goggles though. They scream mad scientist.

I am finally getting caught up with work! After a month of craziness. Now I can focus on my fun side projects like the linocut I'm working on. It's for a new site my friends and I started called The It's not live yet, but when it is, I'll spam it like crazy on this blog, so don't you worry. I'm going to do some kind of emblem/crest of a faux riders club. Motorcycles, cars, skateboards, surfboards... maybe with some skeletons or like a sasquatch. Yeahhh.... a sasquatch. Maybe I'll even turn them into patches. I'm getting ahead of myself.

- Amy
Listening to: "Devil Knows You're Dead" by Delta Spirit  - I love this song.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Joe Strummer Progress, More Paintings, & Aging

Here's an update of my Joe Strummer graphic illustration. Making progress! I have a ways to go on the bird, but I finally figured out how to attack the feathers. It's always hard to figure out how to replicate hair and feathers in a graphic illustration and it always hangs me up everytime. But I always figure it out eventually. At first I was working directly from a photo and trying to copy each individual feather. Which was taking forever. So then I decided to just look at the photo and make a couple of general feather shapes that I then copied and pasted throughout, saving time and making it look more cohesive actually. If that makes any sense. I like trying to explain my process, because I'm always wondering how other artists and designers are doing the cool things that they do. It does take away some of the mystique and glamor, but it's all about sharing the wealth of creativity and knowledge.

I've done about all the designing I can do for this night. It's off to bed for me. I gotta wake up at the crack of dawn to work on 8 million more design related things. I'll be glad when this busy month is over.  But also sad - because time is flying way too fast these days. How is it already October? I want to paint my lovely friends Krystal and Shauna, but Shauna is moving back to Italy in a week and I haven't been able to get down to San Clemente for a mini photoshoot with her and Krystal yet! These ladies are foxes. Perfect for my series. That will make three ladies I can add to the series that as of now is an all boys club. Now to just get the time to start on them. Not enough hours in the day to get everything done. And to top it all off I'm going to be 25 next month! When did that happen? I think 25 will be good though. Odd numbers are always better. I'm rambling. Goodnight.

- Amy
Listening to: "My Old Heart" by Anders Osborne

Friday, September 23, 2011

Kit Kats, Fall TV, & Pavlov Conditioning

Last week I bought a bag of Kit Kats and realized just how little self-control I possess. Hours of Fall Premiers mixed with Kit Kat minis is not a good combination for a lady's figure. In order to quell my welling guilt, I starting working out while eating said chocolate in front of said shows. I think this plan has backfired - like spitting into a strong wind. Now I find that every time I work out, I want chocolate. I think this is a real life example of Pavlovian Conditioning. Sure swimsuit season is almost over (sigh) and soon these warm, fall, SoCal days will turn into grey, dreary, cold ones (even heavier sigh), so I can now hide under layers for a while. But I've realized recently that I'm not a young chicken anymore. Thunder thighs and flying squirrel arm flaps are in my future if I don't take care now and just make some minor tweaks to my sugar ridden diet. I can't give up In-N-Out, or bourbon chocolate milkshakes - and I most certainly cannot give up coca-cola. So, rather, I vow to try to eat these things in moderation. One coke a day. More vegetables. More bike rides. More laughing. Ok, maybe not more laughing seeing as I do quite enough of that already. More cartwheels. More getting chased. Reconditioning my Pavlov Conditioning. Take that Pavlov.

- Amy
Listening to: "After All" by Cher and Peter Ceterra. (It's catchy, okay?)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Diverting Dopplegangers: Pubescent Jeff Tweedy & Claire Danes

Specifically Jeff Tweedy from his Uncle Tupelo days and Claire Danes from her "My So Called Life" days. Right? Right?

- Amy
Listening to: Frank Sinatra's "Bewitched"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Joe Strummer, Life As A Work-A-Holic, & Benjy Ferree

I started a new graphic illustration the other day. Yep, that's Joe Strummer, frontman of The Clash. It's coming along pretty quickly. I'm working from three photos, so it's hard to figure out the lighting and shadows, seeing as the lighting is different in each picture. I never was good at all the technical aspects of art like lighting and perspective. I should take a class and brush up.

Off to work some more. We've got so many huge projects we're juggling right now for Hoodzpah. We're doing the branding and all the collateral for the first annual South Bay Food Fest coming up, which has been so much fun. If you like food fests or if you're a foodie, you should check this one out. It's supposed to be a monster of an event. We're also working on another guide for LOCALE magazine, this time a "Guide to the Holidays." Looking forward to that one too (sneak preview of the design here). We had a blast working on the last one. This Strummer portrait has been a fun thing to work on in between projects when I need a break.

I recently discovered this guy named Benjy Ferree who had a short lived career as a musician a couple years ago after a short lived career as an actor before that. I really like his style. It sounds like a mixture of Jackie Green and Jeff Buckley. To me. No one ever agrees on those sorts of things, do they? Anyways, he's been in my speakers for a bit now and I think you may enjoy him too.

- Amy
Listening to: "In The Woods" by Benjy Ferree

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Skeletons Doing The Dougie, Giveaways, & Hoodzpah

Today and tomorrow, my sister and I's design company Hoodzpah Art + Graphics is giving away and original sketch! The sketch is by my lovely sister Jen and depicts a skeleton in a captains hat. It is the original sketch used to make the "Hellfire and Brimstone Rider" prints. You're gonna want to get in on this action, and it is easy as pie to enter. All you do is head over to Hoodzpah's facebook page, and leave a comment on the post or the page. If you share the post with your friends you'll get an extra two entries. Sharing is caring people. We're trying to build up our online presence and we figured what better way that with free stuff? Everybody wins! So help us help you, and enter now. Even if you don't win this round, there will be giveaways galore to come!

- Amy
Listening to Etta James' "At Last"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bourbon Chocolate Milkshakes, Hot Days, & Suits

[ The ingredients: Notice my name on everything. The joy of living with housemates. ]

Today was way too hot. The temperature gauge in my car read 100 degrees. That's just out of hand. In that kind of weather it's too hot to move, too hot to wear a bra (there is NOTHING worse than having sweaty boobs in a bra - TMI? Probably. True? Definitely.), too hot to fix your hair, and too hot to eat anything that's not frosted or frozen. So what's the only thing left to do? Wear the least amount of clothing that is legally and socially acceptable, put a hat on, make milkshakes, and veg out to some good tunes/netflix. Jen and I did this in the high heat of the day today, but we didn't make just any milkshakes; we made bourbon, fudge milkshakes. They're refreshingly delicious. The iciness mixed with the bourbon gives it a real kick so you don't get too sleepy (unless you're drinking on an empty stomach - then watch out). We enjoyed ours to a few episodes of Suits, the new legal dramedy starring Gabriel Macht. We can't get enough of that show, or Harvey Specter. He's so pleasantly pompous. 

Here's how I made the shakes. Did I mention they were incredibly delicious? Because they were. 

- Amy
Listening to: Neko Case's "Pretty Girls"

1 cup Vanilla ice cream
2 oz. bourbon (if you don't want it too strong, use a little less - I used 1.5 oz.)
2 oz. of chocolate (we did more - mmmmm)
and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract if you don't want it too bourbon-y

1. Scoop.

2. Pour.

3. Squeeze.

4. Blend. Serve.

5. Enjoy. Veg. 
via imbibe

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Denim, Denim, & Denim

[My Jean on Jean ensemble.]

I really like all this jean on jean action. What says "true American spirit" like denim? It's the uniform of the hard working, the adventurous, the ones with a little dirt under our fingernails. Not only is it made for tough work, but it's the staple for comfort and relaxation. Versatility.

I loved those Gap 1969 ads where they mixed different washes of jean in an outfit. That always seemed so taboo to me before, wearing jean on top and bottom. But when those ads came out, my world was opened up. I mean look at these guys and gals. They're cool, rugged, and classy all at once. This is why no matter what fads and styles each decade ushers in and out, denim is always the one thing that remains relevant.

[Lovely Gap Jeans Ladies]

[Josh Hartnett pulling it of swimmingly. Fellas, don't be scurred. Nothing like a man in denim.]

Every time I see the new "Go Forth" campaign for Levis I crave more jean in my life. Next up - a Levi's jean jacket. Let's see how much jean I can really get away with. I mean Ryan Adams probably sleeps in it. Here's my jean on jean look from the other day. The key is in the mixing and matching of washes.

Shirt: Love Stitch
Jeans: Mossimo
Belt: Target
Shoes: Seychelles
Watch: Nixon

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shakas, Tattoo Illustrations, & My Adventures As An Amateur Surfer

[ Shaka X-mas Illustration. ©Amy Hood ]

I've been doing a lot of sketching lately for various projects. It's been fun dusting off the old pen and pad! Here's one I really want to rework and smooth the wrinkles on. It's a rough sketch for a Holiday Guide Jen and I are designing for LOCALE magazine. We were trying to think of clever ideas to depict just how unique Christmas in SoCal is since it's sunny and people are surfing instead of scraping ice off their frozen windshields. After watching the Billabong Pro Tahiti all this week, I thought it might be fun to draw a hand throwing up a shaka with tattoos spelling out our title. 

By the way, working while watching LIVE surf competitions is great. I've always been intrigued by surfing. I grew up in "Surf City" Huntington Beach (well there's a debate on that isn't there?) as well as San Clemente, so a lot of my dear friends take part in the pasttime frequently -  and to much enjoyment. I even got thrown into the industry a tiny bit through a friend who brought me on for design work on a couple projects for some action-sports-centric companies. But I was always very confused on it all still: The names of the moves, the lingo, where to go, how to do it, how it's judged professionally. It was all shrouded in a thick cloud of mystery.

I learned all the rules and nooks and crannies of basketball by listening to commentators call the game and now I plan to do the same for surfing. After listening to some of the LIVE webcasts for this years World Tour I'm finally starting to get my footing. Not literally of course. I got my surfboard out of the garage the other day and took it down to Riviera Beach in San Clemente with my friend (and great surfer) Katie Hanten; I can hardly say I had my footing out there that day, but it was the first of many trips. Watching the Billabong Pro Tahiti may help though. After watching the likes of Josh Kerr, Jeremy Flores, Kelly Slater and Owen Wright tear it up  at "Chopes" (what they call Teahupoo apparently - see I'm picking up the lingo too!), not to mention the mini-clips in dedication to the late great Andy Irons and his fearlessness AND the crazy tow-in session (woah), maybe inspiration will strike out in the water for me next time and it'll all just click. Even if it doesn't, I'm gonna keep on trying because it just looks like a blast and even though I'm terrible, I'm already having so much fun just being out there. The only downside: I feel like I may be growing pectorals. From all the paddling. I really don't want pectorals.

- Amy
Listening to: "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid Soundtrack. Disney music is really good to work to actually! 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Beatniks, The Bastards, & The Saints: Jordan Sabolick

 [ "The Beatniks, The Bastards, & The Saints: Jordan Sabolick." 32"x24". Acrylic on wood. ]

It is finished. 

You can all heave a sigh of relief. You will no longer be wearied with posts about the crawling progress of my painting of Jordan and the many woes and setbacks therein involved, because it is finished. And I love it. Well, as much as a person can be in love with a piece of plywood covered in paint and gold leaf. I was really stoked on it after I finished all of Jordan's face, but it was touch-and-go there as to whether I ruined it after I finished the shirt... and then again after the background... and then again with the halo. But all was recovered in the end and all the mistakes blended together into something grand.

This was my first painting on wood and it's the biggest I've done yet. The wood was much smoother than canvas making it easier to get fine detail. Working larger scale also made it easier to really get all the nooks and crannies in there (I got every freckle, Jordan... Every. One.). Now I'm pumped up to start my next one! I'm either going to start on one of my Frenchie friends who visited last summer - a dapper group of chaps who all lead lives of adventure and intrigue (one is a med school dropout turned professional poker player, one is a professional Street Fighter player, and the other is my old friend from highschool who studies abroad in foreign countries and is starting his own shoe company). They really embodied the spirit of my series and it would be fun to do a painting featuring multiple subjects. It's either that, or I've found my first female subjects for my series! 

Meet Jordan Sabolick - the man, the myth.
Many of you know my severity upon my own sex (refer here for my schpeel), so it was hard for me to think of women who had the look and personality I wanted to portray. Then I realized I had the answer right under my nose - I just couldn't see the forest for the trees. (Enough analogies? Did I even use that last one correctly?) I'm proud to announce that one of my first female muses will be my dear, dear friend, the lovely and talented Sara Wilkins. She's been talking about getting a full sleeve for as long as I've known her, so we're going to paint her with one and let her live vicariously through the painting while she continues to mull it over.

Enough yammering. Below are some shots of the final piece. A big shout out to my friend Jordo (see left) for letting me paint his mug! And also, as cheesy as it is, thanks to everyone who's supported/critiqued/encouraged me along the way. It was so helpful (and encouraging) getting everyone's feedback as I posted progress shots on facebook and instagram. We artists are fickle folk, in constant need of feedback, and I know I never would have finished this monster if I hadn't had all that positive feedback. 

- Amy
Listening to: "Broken Throat" by Adam Arcuragi

 [ Left: My workstation shelfs. Right: Jordan Pre-halo. ]

 [ Left: My halo stencil: a saucepan lid. Legit. Right: Jordan Post-halo. At first I was really frustrated because the halo was too small, but after walking away and some positive feedback from friends I realized "go big or go home" and I just went all out on the halo. Seen next photo. ]

 [ Giant, sunray halo bursts. ]

 [ Left: Detail shot of the shirt. It always amazes me when you look really closely at a painting and it's really just a bunch of blobs and shapes. Right: Detail shot of my signature. I never do the same signature twice. This probably isn't a good thing. ]

 [ Detail shot of Jordo's face. ]

Related Posts with Thumbnails