Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pondering The Effects Of Booze On Creativity, Kings of Leon Mashups, and Guest Blogging

I found these beautifully designed old beer coasters while doing some research for a current design project. Why is it that any branding/design for an alcoholic product always seems to be amazing? Is there a tie between drinking and the flowing of creative juices? Who knows. Either way I made them into a snazzy grid for your viewing pleasure.

Also inspiring me currently? This Kings of Leon x Lykke Li mashup.

Still bored? Check out my guest blog for LOCALE Magazine about the films I'm looking forward to seeing at the Newport Beach Film Festival which opens tonight. It really looks like there's going to be some gems! 350 films with the likes of Scott Caan, Penelope Spheeris, Colin Hanks, Peter Fonda, Michael C. Hall, Jeffrey Tambor and more. 

- Amy
Listening to: 2Pac's "California Love"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My last few days in photos, How Kentuckians Are Hipster By Default, and Adventures in OC

I've been insanely busy of recent. Thus the neglect of this blog. So here is an update of my life in iPhone pics. The last few days consisted of photoshoots with Penelope Spheeris (director of Black Sheep and Wayne's World) to promote her new film at the Newport Beach Film Fest (it's called Balls To The Wall and it looks hilarious), adventures at the Balboa Fun Zone, some amazing patty melts with Kyle Lightner and Jennifer Hood at Eat Chow's in Newport (this part included some heavy banter with Eat Chow owner Eric about ass-kickin' surfers, hardcore, and documentaries), cooking lessons with the lovely Caroline Landon, and then the longest day of work EVER today which was only survived thanks to the hour long sun bath I took at lunch. 

[ I went to Urban Outfitters to find something glittery to wear to the Billabong XXL Awards this Friday. No glitter was to be found, but I did find out that apparently being from Kentucky is now "hipster". I guess that makes me a hipster by defualt. Crap. ]

[After a long day of photoshoots at the Lido and the Balboa Fun Zone for a project Jen and I are working on, we met up with our friend Caroline Tuesday night and made dinner. It was DELECTABLE. Lemon Zest Shrimp Linquini. Or something along those lines.]

[Lunch time tanning sessions at the local park today.]

This was fun; A bit boring but fun. I'll have to document more of the interesting adventures in my life and do this again, but BETTER!

Tomorrow I'm dying my hair. Ombre baby. Roots on purpose. Who'd of thunk?

- Amy
Listening to: Neil Young's "Old Man"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Diverting Doppleganger: Doc Holiday Vs. The Wrestler

- Amy
Listening to: Belle & Sebastian's "Piazza, New York Catcher"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How I Did Geoff Rowley, Air Supply, & BMX Prom Dances

[Fig. 1: © Amy Hood]

So the title of this blog is a tad misleading, but there's nothing like a good sexual innuendo to drive traffic. My Geoff Rowley illustration is complete! Above [Fig. 1] is the version I'll probably get made into posters. Figure 2 is closer to the version that will be used in print. It depicts Geoff as a patron saint of skateboard donations (thus the halo) because the interview is about Geoff's involvement with the Maloof Money Cup's "Skate & Donate" program. I hope it looks good in the final layout. I did another progression shot from start to finish too [see fig. 3]

[Fig. 2: © Amy Hood]

It's press week again. So I'll end this fairly short post with a list of some fun/inspiring things I've done/encountered this week:
  • Sexy Saxophone Guy (Courtesy of Bird Doerr): Move over "Friday" girl, this vid's going viral.
  • "Black Velvet" (Courtesy of the girl at the karaoke bar on Friday night that KILLED. THIS. SONG.): I guess Canada gave us more than Bryan Adams, Celine Dion and hockey. It gave us this 80's gem too.
  • "Making Love Out of Nothing At All" by Air Supply: After getting stoked on "Black Velvet" I made an amazing 80's monster love ballads playlist on Grooveshark which included this song. How I remembered it, I'll never know; I'm just glad I did. 
  • Vintage BMX photos (courtesy of Jen Hood): These old pics are so cool.
  • RAD (Courtesy of Chris Steblay): After looking at Jen's blog, Chris showed us this. I've never EVER used this phrase, but there's a first time for everything: LMAO. BMX dancing to "Send Me An Angel". Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray have got nothing on these two.
  • Vintage Skateboarding & Surf Photos From Venice (Courtesy of The Selvedge Yard)
Listening to: Social Distortion's "99 To Life"

[Fig. 3: Geoff Rowley Illustration Progression. Click to enlarge. © Amy Hood]

Monday, April 18, 2011

Turfing, Dance Circles, & The Black Angels.

I just found this rad video on one of my favorite blogs, A Time To Get. It's this crazy dance form called Turfing. It's like pop and lock x 10. 

  • TURF stands for "Taking Up Room on the Floor" and was coined by Turf dancer Jeriel Bey.
  • It originated up north in Oakland, CA when kids were literally "Dancin' in the Street" in the words of Martha and The Vandellas. They would bust moves at house parties and in alleyways. 
  • It started in the 1960's and made a comeback with a fury in the 90's. 
  • Jeriel and his company The Architeckz promoted TURF dancing and started "Lourd of The Rings", the first 1-on-1 freestyle battle of Turfing between cities: Oakland vs. LA.
  • According to an article by Lisa Hix in the San Fran Chronicle, it was used as a way to settle disputes between members of different turfs in the Oakland community. Nothing like a good old fashioned dance off to settle things right!  If only a dance off could solve the problems we've got today.
  • The first Turfing video sensations were Rawnay, Yun Shep and Dav 2.0 thanks to artists/filmers Keak da Sneak, Baby Bash and E-40. 
  • Turfing dance elements include popping, locking, miming, and optical illusions. 
  • It's basically awesome.
A fun little documentary about "The Architeckz."

Want to learn? Instructional videos here! I'm so watching these tonight. There's nothing like a good dance circle, and I can't think of anything that would make people want to form one more than this. I'm pretty positive my white hips and limbs won't move this way, but a girl can dream.

Listening to: The Black Angels' "Telephone"
These guys are an awesome gritty band from Austin. Why is Austin so cool? One day I will experience it first hand. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Geoff Rowley Illustrations, Punks With Heart, & The Maloof Money Cup World Skateboarding Championships,

[Fig 1: My illustration of The Legendary Geoff Rowley so far. On the home stretch.]

This is an art blog, though if one stumbled upon this blog at random, they would normally not find a post of my artwork. Artwork takes time, ok? That's my excuse. And it's actually true for once since I've been super busy with graphic design work. Sometimes, however, the stars and the planets align and I get to do really fun artsy stuff for my design work. Now is one of those times. 

I interviewed Geoff Rowley [See Fig 1.], pro skater and co-owner of Flip, recently for the May issue of The OC Gazette. He's involved with this really cool program called Skate & Donate through Vans and Maloof Money Cup. They're collecting shoes and other skate gear to donate to less fortunate kids around the world, beginning with South Africa. Not only that but Geoff is working with the Maloof Brothers to help design all the courses for this years Maloof Money Cup events, and once designed and built, these cutting edge parks will be left for the enjoyment and use of the communities. How cool is that? Geoff is a little punk ass, Motorhead loving, skater kid, but he has a big heart beating underneath that ratty black metal tee. I love that about him. They'll be donating the first batch of shoes to kids in South Africa on the opening day of the Maloof Money Cup World Skateboarding Championships in Kimberly. 

Anyways, the PR people for Maloof didn't have any good photos of Geoff for us to run with the interview, so I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to flex my illustrating skills again. I was so stoked on my John Wayne illustration, and I've been wanting to do more ever since. Here's a progression of it so far. [See Fig 2.] My friends are all telling me I need to get a Wacom. Apparently it will change my life. Using the pen tool for this stuff is SO tedious so I'm thinking they're right. I could totally do these all day long. [Rolling Stone? Spin? Paste? If you're reading this, remember me for your next illustration project!]

[Fig. 2. Click to enlarge. Doooo it.]

That's all I've got for you fine folks. Oh, and go check out Alex Baird's blog! She's a journalist/music enthusiast and she scribbled some very sweet words about this blog on her's.

Listening to: Motorhead's "Ace of Spades"

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rock Candy Art, Hoodzpah! Taking The Nation By Storm, & Prints Coming Soon

[ © Rock Candy ]


Found this rad girl on Flickr. She favorited my constellation tattoo designs (which I am horribly behind on! Pistol or jackolope coming next!) on flickr which led me back to her photostream. How amazing are these illustrations [See more below]? I hope she makes prints soon. I'll be first in line for one. I love the repeating themes of the tattoos, moths, and crystals. Lovely. Makes me want a moth tattoo. My friend/tattoo artist Matt has moths throughout his sleeve, and as much as you'd think moths would be ugly, they can be so lovely as he and Rock Candy have proven.

Speaking of prints - Jen and I are getting some made for Hoodzpah! We've had a few requests for printed posters, and wanting to give the people what they want, we are setting up an etsy shop as we speak! I'll get the first two parts of my constellation tattoo series printed as well as the John Wayne poster for sure, and Jen will be printing a slew of the rad designs she's been coming up with recently. Check out her work here. On top of all of this we are finally getting a website for Hoodzpah! Our friend Allen who is a talented web developer will be on the job and we're excited to see what he comes up with. In the words of David Bowie "Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes." If you want prints, keep checking in - I'll be posting updates about the shop, etc. 

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

[ © Rock Candy ]

[ © Rock Candy ]

[ © Rock Candy ]

[ © Rock Candy ]

[ © Rock Candy ]

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Diverting Doppleganger: Featuring Joe Strummer & Glasvegas

In the process of checking out Glasvegas' new album Euphoric Heartbreak, I realized that Glasvegas frontman James Allen bears a striking resemblance to one of the handsomest devils to ever walk the earth, Joe Strummer of The Clash.

Key Markers:
1. Arched eyebrows.
2. Narrow, dark eyes.
3. Cute little ball pointed nose that kind of turns up.
4. Lucious Lips.
5. Rock n' roll pomp.
6. High forehead.
7. Small chin.
8. Sweet leather jacket with pins that probably say "F* Imperialism" or something badass like that. 

I think I'm going to start a new feature to add to my current roster (Diverting Dopplegangers, Inspiration of the Day, Current Muse, and Box Doodles) called Dapper Dans. Or maybe Debonair Dreamboats. Do I have a thing for alliteration or what? It only seems right that since I have a feature dedicated to the bodacious babes of the world (Current Muse), I should have one for the gents. It would spotlight some of the most stylish fellas around according to yours truly. Joe Strummer would definitely be featured. Definitely. 

- Amy
Listening to: The Clash's "Train in Vain"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The History of Danish Tattooing, Jon Nordstrom, & My Dream of Becoming The Ultimate Cocktail Party Date

[Fig. 1: Danish Tattooing by Jon Nordstrom.]


I found this rad video on Cool Hunting. I am extremely intrigued by tattoos and especially the history of tattooing. Today it is much more socially acceptable to have tattoos. Heidi Klum has one for heaven's sake. It's almost more strange nowadays NOT to have some ink. Which is why it's so much more interesting to me to learn about the eclectic group of misfits on the fringe of society who got tats way back when. 

The guy in the video is Jon Nordstrøm, author of Danish Tattooing [see Fig. 1], which has just been added to my wish list. It's chock full of anecdotes, facts, and photos old and new chronicling the rich history of the tattooing subculture in Copenhagen. The video above is just a brief glimpse of the Danes and tattoos, so I'd really like to get the book for some new pre-pillow time reading. I'm on my third read of Sherlock Holmes, so I'd say I need some new material for my meager (it's about quality not quantity folks) library. Not only that, but it will give me just another near-useless-but-totally-interesting set of facts to throw out when conversation wains thin at the next social gathering I show my face at. I'm damned and determined to become the greatest living cocktail party date candidate through my plethora of random pop/counter culture knowledge. I don't think anyone loves a good meat and cheese platter as much as this girl.

- Amy
Listening to: Sonny and The Sunsets' "Too Young To Burn" (Finders fee to Chris Steblay.)

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Beauty of Illustration, Evgeny Parfenov, and Regina Spektor

[He even nailed the lazy eye. ©Evgeny Parfenov]


I was talking to my friend (and now artist rep) Austin James Ranson recently about how I always used to want to illustrate for Rolling Stone or Spin Magazine. They always have the most beautiful illustrations of artists. I've always loved illustration, because unlike fine art (which can tend to be high-brow and inaccessible) illustration is an art form meant to be enjoyed by the masses. I feel like it's one of the few artforms that isn't waiting, stuck in some gallery, to be sought and found, but is rather seeking viewers itself via the marketing, advertising, news, or media utilizing it. It meets people where they're at and brings a bit of beauty into their lives. 

I like the work of this guy Evgeny Parfenov. As you may have guessed from the abundance of consonants and lack of vowels in his name, he is Russian. He's illustrated everyone from Morrissey to Thom York to NAS. Three thumbs way up. Check out his work below. Be inspired. 

- Amy
Listening to: Another Russian- Miss Regina Spektor's "Bartender"

I used to hate Regina Spektor. Mainly because the only song I had heard was "Fidelity" which still sort of drives me nuts with the bird noises she makes. But I love her now! [Sara, if you're reading this, you were right.] She, along with singers like Caleb Followill and Matt Vasquez, remind me of those monkeys at the zoo that like to hear themselves make noises. In the same way that babies do. It's wonderfully shameless! Which is my new motto for 2011: "No Shame." 

[©Evgeny Parfenov]

[©Evgeny Parfenov]

[©Evgeny Parfenov]

[©Evgeny Parfenov]

[©Evgeny Parfenov]

[©Evgeny Parfenov]

[©Evgeny Parfenov]

[©Evgeny Parfenov]

[©Evgeny Parfenov]

[©Evgeny Parfenov]

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Middle Brother, Making Stone Cold Steve Austin Cry, & More Hilarious Dopplegangers

[ Fig. 1: Middle Brother. Left to Right: John McCauley, Taylor Goldsmith, and Matt Vasquez. ]

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AMY HOOD: Middle Brother at Detroit Bar

My sister and I headed up to the Detroit Bar to catch Middle Brother [fig. 1] last night. It was AWESOME. It's a supergroup of small rock/folk/indie bands. When I say supergroup, think Monsters of Folk (yay!), not Them Crooked Vultures (yawn). And like MOF, this band is made up of a plethora of amazing singers joining forces, sometimes taking the lead, other times taking turns backing each other, and at best breaking into three part gritty harmonies that would make even Stone Cold Steve Austin tear up (or at the very least make him want to join a folksy rock band).

[ Fig. 2: Johnny Corndawg. © cjfoeckler ]

Middle Brother is made up of Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes (yay!), Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit (double yay!), John McCauley of Deer Tick (Yeah 3x! [cue Chris Brown]), and on special occasion the hilarious musician/leatherworker Johnny Corndawg [fig. 2]. And I can't forget the drummer, Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes [fig. 3], who's game face rivaled any Billy Idol scowl. I like the way Rolling Stone described them as a whole: "This singer-songwriter summit... is an alt-country round robin, with raw harmonies and punk-rock sentiment as unforgiving as a prison shiv." Couldn't have said it better myself.

[ Fig. 3: Griffin Goldsmith. ©Jack Edinger ]

The album is really good. Seeing them live was even better. Which is almost always the case with a good rock n' roll band; They've got that energy, that stage presence, they love the live performance and they love the crowds. All of which seems to be very rare in pretty much all the bands today. Most of the bands I've seen recently either seem like they'd rather be surrounded by hot chicks in a hotel bar somewhere, or they are seriously lacking in talent without their production magic. 

I also discovered a new act thanks to the show (which is one of my favorite parts about going to shows). The opening act was a guy named Jonny Corndawg and not only can he sing a country/rock/rockabilly song, he is one of the fines leatherworkers you've ever seen this side of the Mississippi. I'm pretty sure every member of Middle Brother was wearing a finely crafted leather belt with his initials in it courtesy of Jonny. Last night, despite suffering from a bleeding ear and horrible amp feedback, he won the hearts and minds of the Detroit Bar masses. You can see him below featured in the song "Middle Brother." Also check out his song at the bottom or google "Trash Day." 

[ Bickering just like loving siblings. ]

And to close this blog out with a bang:

And I've said it for years now, but how much does my dear old friend Sean Murphy look like Matt Vasquez!? I think a DNA test is in order because they may be twins seperated at birth. Don't believe me from this photo [below]? Visit Sean at Kaylani's in San Clemente and see for yourself. 

Here are some tunes for you. 
Listening to: Middle Brother's "Wilderness" 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rad Illustrations from Mapache Salado, My Current Playlist, & The Mysterious Origin of Nicknames

INSPIRATION OF THE DAY: Mapache Salado, Spanish Illustrator/Artist

Mapache Salado (which translates in Spanish as Salted Racoon) is the stage name for Spanish artist Alvaro Lope Morales Quevedo. I wonder how he got that nickname. Nicknames can be funny like that. Even with the basic uninspired nickname. Like, how do you get Bill from William or Dick from Richard? I digress. He has great line work and I love how he uses geometric shapes in his art. It's almost like Native American war paint or something. I also love the theme of diamonds throughout his work. Makes me want to break into Pink Floyd's "Shine On...". Short post. Tons of work, not enough time, and feeling pretty lousy today. Here's my playlist to get psyched for working on freelance design work!

Velvet Underground - Rock N' Roll
Elvis Costello - I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea
Social Distortion - Sometimes I Do
The Jam - Down in the Tube At Midnight
The Smiths - There is A Light That Never Goes Out
Johnny Cash - God's Gonna Cut You Down
The Strokes - Someday
The Clash - Know Your Rights
Elvis Costello - This Year's Girl
The Smiths - The More you Ignore Me, The Closer I Get
The Clash - Train in Vain
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Nevertheless
Social Distortion - Don't Take Me For Granted
Richard Hawley - Tonight The Streets Are Ours
David Bowie - Let me Sleep Beside You
Amazing Baby - Headdress
The Replacements - If Only You Were Lonely
Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - One Track Mind
Elvis Costello - Peace In Our Times
The Libertines - Don't Look Back Into The Sun


- Amy
Listening to: The Jam, "Down In The Tube Station At Midnight"

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