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
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