Thursday, March 31, 2011

Box Doodles, Social Distortion Tunes, & Why I Wish Mike Ness Was My BFF

It's that time of the month again. The time for box doodles. This month our entertainment writers Jill & Gary of covered Social Distortion (YEAH!). I have a special spot in my heart for these wrinkly old, tatted up, grease monkeys. Especially Mr. Mike Ness. Nothing makes me happier (or want to get in a bar fight more) than when a Social D song comes on my radio or iPod. He seems like one of those guys who has lived a million lives. He's the guy you want to sit next to at the bar because you know he's got some stories to tell (he'll be drinking the tonic water of course because he's off the sauce these days). He's the guy you want on your side in a bar fight. He's the guy you want sitting next to you in the drivers seat of a '36 Ford as you fly down Coast Highway listening to "Highway 101." He's the guy you want telling you how to buzz a proper mohawk. He's the guy you want as your BFF.

- Amy
Listening to: Social Distortion's "Story of My Life"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Modern Myth Logos, Zombie Mania Sweeps The Nation, & 2 A.M. Design Playlists

[Click to enlarge.]

Here is a fun project I've been working on for my friend Kc. He has a production company called Modern Myth Productions and, among a slew of other things, they do a really popular podcast on zombies called "We're Alive". You gotta check it out. It's sweeping the nation faster than swine-flu hysteria. I like to think of him as a modern day Orson Welles, keeping audio drama alive and well. 

He asked me to design a logo for the company and the above designs were my first round of mockups. I really liked the "M"s on A1-A4. I also liked the simplicity of the first few options in B.  C1 and C2 may be my favorites though. They look straight out of a Russian propaganda campaign or a vintage horror poster. We all agreed that the "M"s in C3 will be a fun alternate text based logo to use. I only included type in some of them because I was mainly focusing on the graphics, so that part of it all is a little rough. We're still working on more options right now for the final logo. I am giddier than Perez Hilton over a new Lady Gaga song to see what we come up with! 

With all this freelance design I'm doing I've been putting in long hours and staying up till the wee hours of the morning. At that point, music is the only thing that keeps you going. Me and my friend Chris (who is a fine videographer I might add) recently trekked up to Orange for a licorice pizza (a.k.a. vinyl records) hunt. My friend Beatrice (who is a fellow blogger and fashion designer) had told me about a place with some epic deals across the street from Mr. C's records on Glassell street off the circle. She was SO right. Me and Chris dug through stacks and stacks of albums and it took all of my self control not to blow my paycheck. 5 records, 1 faux fur coat, and $70 later, we left the antique shop, mission accomplished. Here's some of what I got:

There's nothing like designing with the crackling of a great record playing in the background.

- Amy
Listening to: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's "The Line" 
(best hidden track ever at the end.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

George Jones Illustration, A Pop Culture History Lesson, & Mourning The Loss of "Nashville's Possum Holler"

[ Quickie poster in dedication to ole' George Jones in his famous rose colored glasses. ]

I did this poster the same way I did my John Wayne illustration. Used the pen tool to draw shapes that eventually made a face that sort of looked like George's. This one didn't turn out AS cool, but it was a fun little project to get the creative juices flowing. No one had a country twang quite like George. Boy did he sing a good honky tonk love song.

My friend, Andrew Peterson, lived down the street from George and his lovely, and ever-faithful, wife Tammy Wynette for a while in Nashville, TN. He said that one time when Tammy took the keys away from George so he couldn't drive to get more beer (George was ALWAYS on drank - he famously missed 50 concerts because of it and was thus dubbed "No Show Jones"), he saw George riding his riding lawn mower down their street to the local liquor store. Soooo classic.  Some other fun facts:
  • George has a dog food and sausage with his name on it.
  • He has a daughter named Georgette. (Now that's just cruel.)
  • He's a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame
  • He partied like a rockstar: Demolished hotel rooms (with the likes of Johnny Cash), unpaid bills, drunken antics, he even smashed guitars on stage. It was probably the cocaine or the bourbon, or both.
  • He owned a bar called "Nashville's Possum Holler". Man I wish that were still around. 
  • He owned his own theme park called "Jones Country". Talk about frivolous spending. Your own theme park?

- Amy
Listening to: George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today"

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Epic Collaborations, Introducing Hammerhood, & The Beginnings of A Rad Illustration

Im doing a really fun collaboration with my friend Timmy Ham (a.k.a Sloth) under the guise of Hammerhood. Get it? Ham and Hood cleverly combined? We're still working on our logo. I'll post some of the ideas I've come up with so far soon. Hammerhood is basically The Postal Service of art; Where The Postal Service provided you with the airy vocals of Ben Gibbard layered on top of electronic video game style beats, Hammerhood gives you grafitti/street art inspired creatures from Sloth mixed with random illustrations from yours truly. Just like TPS, we're sending the project back and forth via mail and we just keep adding to the drawing till  all the space is filled and it is something really random and amazing.

Timmy Ham is a living, breathing pun. He is, as his name infers, a ham - a big, fat, juicy Christmas ham. The only way you can fully understand this is by visiting his blog. I try to read it everyday because it never fails to make do both of the following: 1. laugh out loud, and 2. say, "what the hell?" He's a strange bird who seems to live a live full of magic and adventure. He's based out of Tempe, AZ and is a fellow graphic designer/artist like myself. He does graphics for motocross company, The Dirt Lab, and then has a booming business painting custom Vans under his alter ego/brand "Sloth". Check out some of his sweet kicks below.

How cute are the little baby ones?

Anyways, now that the collab is in full swing we are already entertaining dreams of grandeur. We're thinking we sell the drawings and donate the proceeds of each piece to a different charity. Then maybe we can even sell a few for some cash in pocket too. Should be a fun side project!

- Amy
Listening to: Chiddy Bang's "All Things Go"

Monday, March 21, 2011

LA Art Shows, Scott Pommier, and Stacie B. London

I really want to go to this show. It's called Shutter Speed and it's being put on by The Selvedge Yard (one of my all time favorite blogs) and is featuring some rad photos by Scott Pommier, an amazing photographer. It's going to be here in LA, so I really have to try to make it out; leave my Orange County bubble for a night and enjoy our neighbor to the north, L.A. The show will also feature biker babe Stacie B. London. Stacie is an exhibition production coordinator at MOCA in LA where I saw the Dennis Hopper photo exhibit, "Double Standard", earlier this year. She is also the founder of East Side Moto Babes, an all girls moto club. I want to be in a biker club so bad. Cycle Zombies, East Side Moto, The Outlaws, whoever! Maybe I can pull a Hunter S. Thompson/Danny Lyon and just travel around with them and document their vagabond ways seeing as I can't ride a motorcycle. Hopefully someone will let me ride bitch.

Saturday March 26th, 7-11pm
@Secret Service LA
710 Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90021

To get you pumped, here are some of Scott's great photos. You can find more at his website here.

- Amy
Listening to: Social Distortion's "Don't Take Me For Granted"

Jimmy Fallon as Bob Dylan, Charles In Charge, & Some Laughter Inducing Videos

Jimmy Fallon as Bob Dylan singing the Charles In Charge theme song. 

How is he so good at these? I'll still never forget him impersonating Dave Matthews on one of the Celebrity Jeopardy skits. Hilarious. I think I might be the only person on this planet who doesn't like DMB. But I do like Jimmy Fallon. If you want another good laugh after this video, just watch this Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell in the Jeffrey's Clothing skit from SNL. 

Laugh on, my good friends.
- Amy
Listening to: "Evening Kitchen" by Band of Horses

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Could-Have-Been Life As A Groupie, Guest Blogging, and Photoshop Hilarity

Today I suggest you head over to my lovely friend Blythe Hill's blog for her "Five Things Friday" post featuring moi! That's right - yours truely is a guest blogger. Moving up in the bloggin' world, baby. (Cue The Jefferesons theme song.) It involves me fraternizing (very intimately sometimes) with some very legendary rock stars. My theme was "I Like That Old Time Rock N' Roll: 5 Classic Rock Bands/Musicians I Wish I Got To Be A Groupie For." The photo above is a taste of what you'll get. Photoshop is so much fun.

- Amy
Listening to: Led Zeppelin's "Since I Been Lovin' You" (A band who didn't make the list, only for the mere fact that I couldn't find any pictures I could easily photoshop myself into. Not a good excuse. I'd loved to have been Jimmy Page's lady friend!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Clash, Bob Gruen, & When Rock Stars Go Soft

[ What a bunch of studs. ]

INSPIRATION OF THE DAY: Bob Gruen's Photographs of The Clash

Some things I know about The Clash:
1. They were a bunch of extremely dapper and stylish gents.
2. They were not really gents. More like punks. Which makes me like them more.
3. They were inspired by The Sex Pistols.
4. They hated the Beatles, Elvis, and The Stones... or that's what I learned from "1977." Funny how they hated "classic rock," but then ended up opening for The Who on their farewell tour. I guess everyone ends up going soft. It happened to Clapton, it happened to Sting, it happened to Aerosmith... sighhh.
4. They were rebels with a cause - frequently in trouble, and often singing about or for social matters.
5. Joe Strummer scored the soundtrack for Walker, starring Ed Harris. I know - who knew?
6. Strummer at one time wanted to be a cartoonist and was enrolled in the London Central School of Art & Design, before getting kicked out.

- Amy
Listening to: The Clash's "London Calling"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Grandmother's Guide To Getting The Fellas, Bauhaus Dopplegangers, & What I've Been Wearing

I saw a terrible preview for the movie Yogi Bear recently. All I took away from it was that Tom Cavanagh looks like the lead singer of Bauhaus. Am I right or am I right?

Press week is here again. Guhhhhhhh. Following are some shots from my friend/co-worker Blythe and I's many back alley photo shoots here at work. I love seeing what other people are wearing, so here's what I've been wearing. My granny would be proud. She firmly believes in dressing up. It's a part of her rules to nabbing the fellas which are as follows:

1. You must be able to cook.
2. You must be able to make a quilt.
3. You must wear heels, dresses and lipstick. Skirts are also acceptable. Pants are rarely acceptable. Heels and lipstick are non-negotiable.

Number 3 is the best, because when I say that heels and lipstick are non-negotiable to her, I mean it. This woman wears wedges while gardening! They're only 1 1/2 inchs max, mind you, but still! It is for this reason that she is 67 and has three boyfriends. Now that I think about it, she's been telling us she's 67 for about 7 years. Either way, she only looks 64. One of her gentlemen suitors is only 55! When she tells us about them she has them neatly compartmentalized by purpose: Bob can dance (she goes dancing every Friday night), but Jesse has money, and John helps her around the farm (she owns a farm and a big beautiful farm house in Bowling Green, KY). 

I'd like to take a moment to clarify that my grandma is by no means "loose." All the fellas are aware of her wish not to settle down this late in life, and I'm pretty sure it makes them even more wild about her. It's that whole "I can't have it so I want it more" thing. No one plays hard to get like this woman. One of the gentlemen bought her tickets to the Kentucky Derby and a hotel suite to stay in. When she was telling my sister and I about it she said, "girls, he didn't even see the inside of the room."And it's all thanks to her 3 rules. Especially rule 3. Which brings me to my recent outfits. I'll probably never reach the level of foxiness of my grandmother because I don't have the discipline, but I try to abide by at least one of the three rules at all times. "Che-Ch-Che-Ch-Check It Out."

- Amy
Listening to: Sam Cooke's "Nothin' Can Change This Love"

[ I love this hat. It's definitely Kentucky Derby worthy. ]

[ Oops... no heels. But they're silver gladiators. That's gotta count for something. ]

[ Grandmother would not approve of this outfit at all. But hey - sometimes rules are for breakin'. ]

Monday, March 14, 2011

My New Book Cover Design, Humphrey Bogart, & My Grandfather (John Wayne's Long Lost Twin)

[Fig. 1]

I was recently inspired by a rad set of posters [see Fig. 2 - 3] my sister made up in dedication to one of Hollywood's greatest leading men, Humphrey Bogart (whom I adore). She's also been making some pretty fun mock book covers just to practice her design. So I decided to design my own faux book cover for fun. Having recently confessed to you all my very strange crush on Bill the Butcher I thought I'd design a book cover for a biography on his life. I limited myself to a little over an hour. Above is how it turned out [see Fig. 1].  

The author on the layout is Warren J., the name of my grandpa on my mom's side. We're all pretty sure he was John Wayne's long lost twin brother. Paul Harvey even told a story about his on his "The Rest of The Story" radio segment once. Belligerent after a night of drinking, Grandpa Jost rode his horse INTO the Best Western hotel in Bowling Green, KY and demanded a room for him and his horse. He even looked like John Wayne at a towering 6' 3" and never without his cowboy hat and snakeskin boots. He could build anything, tame any animal, and effortlessly woo any woman. He also never drove anything but a Cadiallac. Now that's old time Hollywood class right there. He was a true cowboy. 

[Fig. 2]

[Fig. 3]

Listening to: Cat Power's "The Greatest"

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tsunami Warnings, Our Campaign To Be The New Face of Doublemint Gum, & My Undying Love For Chris Brown (Even Post Rihanna)

[Fig. 1: Yenny (right) and me.]

Jen and I went to the beach this weekend. One of our favorite spots: Pirate's Cove/Wesley Dr. It was sooo lovely outside. Of course we abided the tsunami warnings. So intense. It's so horrible what happened in Japan. I seriously think the end of the world is coming. Hurricane Katrina, Indonesia, Haiti, New Zealand, Australia and now Japan. Not to mention all the governments that are bankrupt or in complete civil unrest. It's hard to watch the news anymore. It definitely makes me thankful to God for sunny days like this and friends and family. 

 [Fig. 2: Me and Jen circa 1996. Guess which is which haha.] 

Don't these pictures just scream Doublemint Gum commercial? [Fig. 1] I think so. I gotta get my agent on that ASAP. They've got to be looking for a new face for their campaign after the Chris Brown debacle. We've been practicing for this role our whole lives. Check out this vintage shot [see Fig. 2] of the Hood sistas back in our Syracuse, NY days. For Halloween we dressed up as giant sticks of Doublemint Gum. It snowed. Our costumes melted. Blasted water based finger paints. Speaking of Doublemint Gum and Chris Brown...

INSPIRATION OF THE DAY: Chris Brown's Insane Dance Skills

I know he beat Rihanna, but I still love Chris Brown. How does he move like that? And that cute little face with those tattoos? I can't help it. I'm determined to try to learn his tunnel dance moves in the "Deuces" video. Woah. 

- Amy
Listening to: Chris Brown's "Yeah 3x"

Friday, March 11, 2011

Current Muse: Oh Land


I need those feather/chainlink shoulder pads. And those knee highs too while we're at it. Oh Land is a Danish musical act who recently transplanted to Brooklyn, NY. Why are the Danes always so cute?

She reminds me of Brigitte Bardot mixed with Duffy. I just love her style. Quirky and on the edge, but classically sexy at the same time. 

Enjoy the lovely day. Don't get swept up by the tsunami! 

- Amy
Listening to: Ryan Adams' "Is This It"... on vinyl. Oh yeahhhh.
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