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

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