Sunday, November 22, 2009

A weak fingered open fist slap in the face



I recently stumbled on an article about Jesse Owens that changed the way that I looked at a window of history. If you don't remember Jesse Owens was the Olympic track and field athlete who defeated the German Luz Long in the 1936 Olympics. He reportedly disgusted Hitler so much with his win that he was rumored to storm off refusing the shake hands with a black man. He was also rumored to say 'The Americans ought to be ashamed of themselves for letting their medals be won by negroes. I myself would never shake hands with one of them'. He became the defeater of the evil racist Nazis. The problem is that Jesse Owens himself had said that the history of the "Hitler snub" was exaggerated and that the way that he was treated in his own country and by his own President that was the most disappointing to him.

Jesse Owens came out of the Olympics using his celebrity to make what money he could, it was the only thing he could do to survive. A man that I grew up being told was a hero for the benevolent United States against the malevolent Axis of evil seemed to have a very different view of his country than we did at that time. Here is a quote from this article about Jesse Owen's view on the racially turbulent 70's in America:
"At the 1968 Mexico Olympics, two black American sprinters, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, used the moment after receiving their medals to give the black power salute. 'The Black fist is a meaningless symbol,' said Owens.

'When you open it, you have nothing but fingers - weak, empty fingers. The only time the black fist has significance is when there's money inside. There's where the power lies.'

Later, he retracted his criticism and said that militancy was the only option for American blacks. 'Any black man who wasn't a militant in 1970 was either blind or a coward.'"
This is an image that I created for this article. WWII was America's most just war but when watching the history channel we sometimes forget how the people in our own country were treated in the backs of busses, being forced to take service elevators or in the Japanese internment camps. Hitler was a man that needed to be defeated but it doesn't mean that we should forget our own history.

The Article:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1205901/Forget-Hitler--America-snubbed-black-Olympian-Jesse-Owens.html


Saturday, November 14, 2009

St. Ho Chi Minh


We just recently got home from a two week vacation in Vietnam. The thing that I found most interesting is the adoration that the people of Vietnam have for their leader Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh was the leader of the North Vietnamese communist revolution that fought against the south, and after his death was able to unite all of Vietnam under communism. The people of Vietnam, especially in the north, speak of him with such love that you'd think that he was given special leadership at birth and never waivered from one goal of unifying their homeland.

The stories of Ho Chi Minh began to sound like tall tales. He never had a child and some say never gave into the tempation of sex, he lived the life of a commoner working odd jobs all over the world learning every step of the way, he scaled mountains in his old age and at the end of his life spent it in solitude feeding children with the wild fruits that grew around his home. This all happened when his country was in the middle of war.

To the people of Vietnam Ho Chi Minh was a hero and the ideal communist man. Whether or not Ho Chi Minh really did live exactly as the people of Vietnam believed is unimportant, they needed the idea of him after a thousand years of being controlled. It made me think of the flaws we overlook or care to never mention about our national and religious heroes.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Spirit airlines


Recently we visited my girlfriend's family in Florida. Like most people we are looking to save money, so we decided to fly Spirit airlines since they were the cheapest flight.

From beginning to end they did not disappoint. From the moment we arrived to where we had to wait for our flight we knew that we had got what we paid for. From a distance I could see their logo that just screamed "we pinch pennies", which is why I adjusted their logo to remove the subtlety from their design. The flight was cramped, the terminal was messy and nothing was complimentary.

I don't consider myself snobby about these things and I am very sure that I'll fly with them again, because I'm cheap. I just thought that they did a great job of getting their message across that they're a cheap airline, they might as well just come out and say it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ira in Odosketch

My Gradeschool and College friend Ira Couvillion has finally created his own blog.

iratheindefatigable.blogspot.com

I always count on Ira's political ideas to be backed up with a lot of research and well thought out. I can't wait to start reading his ideas and will probably be citing quite a bit of it for my own illustrations.

I decided to draw an image that he has used for the social networking sites that he had been part of, and with living so far from him now it's really the identity I know him as at this point. I did the illustration on Odosketch, which my friend Daisy showed me. It's a great place to play around on when you don't have charcoal or graphite at hand.

http://sketch.odopod.com/

Friday, July 31, 2009

the Beer Summit



President Obama hosted the "Beer Summit" yesterday. President Obama shared one of the oldest known beverages with Professor Gates and Officer Crowley. I made this quick illustration to symbolize people from different backgrounds coming together for something as common and universal as beer.

Beer has been around for thousands and thousands of years, as far as history has been recorded. It's an ancient beverage that has brought together kings, Gods and common men from all over the globe. Perhaps things would be better if all common misunderstandings and bias opinions were discussed over a beer at a neutral watering hole, instead of yelled from a podium swaying others to look past our similarities to only notice our differences.

I don't know where I fall on the Gates/Crowley incident, and maybe they where both at fault. What I do know is that I love the idea of Obama bringing them together to discuss it over a beer. I wish that other people with much stronger differences could be brought together to discuss their problems with each other over this ancient beverage.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ratehounder


This is a logo that I created for a website that compares interest rates to give you the best rates in the area. I'm currently working on it's branding and changing it's site completely.

The client wanted the feel of a lot of popular logos being used right now on the web, so I worked off the idea of percentage rates while trying to keep the style he was looking for.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Man on Wire



Man on Wire is a movie about Philippe Petit, a name that is quite ironic because Petit is quite larger than life. His descriptions and movements really carries this film along and pulls you into his story.

Philippe Petit was a young man who became a very talented tightrope walker. When he heard about the plans for the twin towers in New York, he knew that it was his life's mission to conquer those towers. With the his showiness and charisma he convinces friends to help him in his, and now their, journey.

The film is crafted like an old bank heist movie. Luckily his crew filmed much of the planning those decades ago so there is lots of film for them to work with. We find ourselves sucked into the events leaving us balancing on the edge of our seats. I found myself more worried about our hero Philippe walking on a string in this movie than I have about a giant space rock destroying life on earth or the sun becoming extinguished in other movies.

All of this leads up to something so magical and beautiful as man walking on the clouds and standing on the shoulders of the gods. Doing so with style and a smirk.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A tall glass of...



Milk is a movie about a man named Harvey Milk who became the first openly gay man to be elected to political office. Sean Penn a great performance in that he makes us forget that he is Sean Penn and we feel as if we are watching Harvey Milk acting out his own life.

Harvey Milk was a man who saw things as they could be. He ran for office in an area that had a quickly growing gay population and he used his office to change the nation, a nation questioning it's own stance on homosexuality.

The thing that saddened me most about Harvey Milk, his story and this movie is that we have certain expectations of our real life heroes. I found myself at the end of this movie almost hoping for his assassination, because I understood that for his story to really change this nation he had to become a martyr. That didn't stop me from feeling deep sadness when I saw what I expected in his assassination.

This country is a better place for Harvey Milk having lived and decided that he could and would change things.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Don't ask, Don't tell



How long before our ideals are removed from the dark ages?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Jersey G-men



This is just a doodle I did for the New York Giants based off of where they are actually located.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Bicycle Thief

A while back I was coming off the Williamsburg bridge on my bike. The path turns into a sidewalk and I stayed on it to avoid the car traffic. I probably stayed on the sidewalk a little too long, but I didn't see any problem. I was promptly stopped by a group of Cops, looking for hardened criminals such as myself.

They stopped me and wrote me a ticket for riding my bike on the sidewalk. They said that there had been recent burglaries where bike riders had snatched purses, I'm not sure why telling a thief to ride on the street would stop him from stealing but I wasn't going to argue with the NYPD.

My ticket was thrown out or something, I got something in the mail that said that I didn't have to go to court. Maybe the cop just had a quota of tickets to give out for the month. I'm sure my mild mannered appearance (not wearing a viking helmet or carrying Alien spinal chords) is one reason I didn't have to go to court, but I am glad the cops had caught me at the end of the bridge. Luckily they didn't see what my daily routine was while crossing the bridge.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Adam and Ida



The science world has a case of "the vapors" with the recent discovery of Ida. Whether Ida is the holy grail of science or not, she is an amazing discovery. She is yet another dot to connect us to our beginnings.

Ida may be the most recent and public that we can remember but she isn't the first missing link found, and she probably won't be the last. With the world changing as it is, religion is starting to take note (whether they stand hard against it or attempt to change with it).

The Vatican recently hosted a conference on evolution. The Catholic church has never taken the Bible as exact fact but other religions will have to start rethinking their beginnings if they are going to stay culturally relevant to a generation that is only learning faster and exposed to more with the aid of the internet and other media.

Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge and they were frightened by the realization of their own nudity. The tree of life that Ida swung from may bring a realization of our own mortality and all the fears that come with that realization. Is there a garden of Eden waiting for us after we become extinct?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cheryl Moody Contemporary



This is a logo that I did for a client that had a unique problem. Her problem was that she was an art dealer, art consultant and more. She was having difficulty explaining to me what her exact job position was, because it was so vast. My final solution was a logo that was simply a description. The description takes on a shape of it's own. This logo was eventually used across business cards, letterheads and her website.

This images is from my website where other examples of my work can be found Here

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Unintellegent Design of the Republican Party




Cheney recently stated that if he had to choose between four star general Colin Powell and controversial political radio host Rush Limbaugh being a republican that he would choose Limbaugh. “Well if I had to choose in terms of being a Republican, I’d go with Rush Limbaugh,” Cheney said. “My take on it was Colin had already left the party — I didn’t know he was still a Republican.”

Many Republicans were sore over Powell's eventual endorsement of Obama over McCain, but it's dangerous for the vice president for almost the last decade to come out and question a respected Republican like Powell and it only weakens their party. Powell is very well respected and he served as secretary of state during the very same administration of Bush and Cheney. This shows the party's want to remain introversive and avoid change or evolution.

The voters have shown that they believe our problems can be solved with people who cross party lines and don't see things in terms of "you're either with us or against us". Limbaugh himself said he would like to see our current president fail, which would be devastating to the people of this country who are frequently learning that the lifespan of their social security is shrinking and shrinking.

It would be silly to think that the Republican party will go the way of the mammoth to extinction but I would be very frightened if I were a moderate conservative. The party is only stepping backwards if they think that the average American voter will tolerate them blindingly cling to their political ideals without regard to the welfare of our country.

One thing that I guess is good for the Republican party is that they have no fear of their "Grand Old Party" elephant logo becoming an extinct mammoth. Most God fearing Christian Conservatives don't believe in mammoths since they couldn't have existed in the Earth's six thousand year time span, so I guess they have nothing to worry about.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A week of brown bagging it



I come from a state where a person could easily enjoy his alcoholic consumption while walking the street at his or her leisure. Where is this magical place you may ask? Everytown U.S.A. (United States of America, yeah that's right, where you're reading this very blog post from).

I moved to New York a few years ago and one of the first things that I noticed, besides the mole people, was that a gentleman or lady with an acquired taste for grandma's moonshine couldn't walk the street showing off such a magical cure-all elixir without a fine from big brother. In a city of such laws, the B.Y.O.B. is king. I propose a week to celebrate such restaurants who are bold and brave enough to not acquire alcohol licenses.

Come join me everyone and we'll start something truly uninspiring. We'll pick a day, which will bleed into a week, and then before we know it we won't remember where the "week" began. I don't even remember where this post began...

Monday, May 4, 2009

H1N1



People are currently afraid of the swine flu, or H1N1. Schools in the U.S. have been closed and in China Mexican citizens have been quarantined for fear that they may have the dreaded swine flu. These sudden fleeting fears often make us forget what we should really be afraid of.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Indian Pop art





This is a series of sketches that I did for a project I got from the Gershwin hotel. The person who gave me this project believed that their would soon be a strong Pop art movement in India, and from Indian people living in other countries. She wanted to host a Pop art festival in New York, the place that is really known as the forerunner of Pop art. These were my concept sketches for the imagery used.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Aahzion



This is my solution for a recent design problem. This particular project is for a friend of mine. His problem is that people are often misspelling his name when they hear it or they mispronounce it when they read his name. The description was left open because the kind of art and work that he does is too wide to describe in one or two words.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Boys Beware!

That old balding man with the mustache and a bow tie who wants to hang out with little boys might not have the best of intentions? It is hard for me to believe that people were just this Naive, that it was on the government's shoulders to tell kids not to talk to strangers.

Some friends and I found this video years ago when we stumbled on a site of public domain videos. It's initially very funny with the "Mayberry" type of approach to pedophilia. Then the more you watch it's quite offensive. The fact that at this time homosexuality was seen as a sickness and on the same level as being a sex offender in this country is quite disturbing. We sometimes like to think we're far removed from the time when Oscar Wilde was jailed for "homosexual activities", but it's videos like these in our own parents lifetimes that force some people to completely hide a large part of their lives. I sometimes take for granted that I am able to act however I want without fearing that people will judge me about a part of who I am. I guess that being stereotyped as a person who likes fashion and the miss America pageant is better than this stereotype of a person who has a creepy mustache, balding, bow tie and carries around pornographic playing cards.

video

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Roman Holiday


Roman Holiday is a movie starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in an unforgettable story of romance. Hepburn plays a princess who feels trapped and held from a world of freedom, so she escapes. In an inebriated state (from medication) she is found by Gregory Peck. Peck's character also feels trapped, but by a lack of money and that debt has kept him held from his dream to return to New York and become the news man he thinks he can be.

At first Peck is very upset that this nuisance has fell on his doorstep, and that he is really unable to get rid of her. The next day he has an interview with the princess of all people. He awakes late for the interview and plays an intellectual game of cat and mouse with his boss where he finds out the princess is told to be ill, and that the woman sleeping on his couch is the very same princess! He enlists the help of his photographer friend and a plan is put in motion to get very candid details of the princesses life, the very thing that could free him from his debt.

Audrey Hepburn, as always, plays the roll of the whimsical young girl masterfully. She is unaware of Peck's plan as he flirts with her to get the interview he feels like he needs. Over the length of the movie the two fall in love (and it is great to see Hepburn fall in love with someone who appears to be closer to her age).

We have watched a string of Audrey Hepburn movies, and this one has to be my favorite. Gregory Peck is one of the great Actors, Hepburn is forever lovable and the setting of Rome is ideal for two people to slowly fall in love before our very eyes.

I chose the Necker cube in my illustration to show that though both people felt trapped, these two love birds may not have been trapped in the way that they had perceived. Sometimes life is not as easy to categorize as we sometimes think. One day you may feel free as a bird and other days you may feel as though you're caged and held from your dream. Both days belong to the same person and the same life and the same dream. Sometimes we just have to focus our eyes on one thing and then maybe our lives will appear as we like or as we hoped they would when we were younger.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gran Torino


Gran Torino is a movie directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. The movie takes place in a neighborhood that has changed a lot since Walt (Clint Eastwood) had started living there. Walt's wife is dead at the beginning and you are lead to believe that she was the one shining light in his life, the one thing keeping him following a good road. Walt is a troubled man that fought in the Korean war and has many demons because of it. He's also a racist man who can't come to terms with the way his neighborhood is changing.

Walt owns a vintage mint condition Gran Torino, coveted by everyone who sees it. His neighbor Thao unwillingly tries to steal it because his cousin, who is in a gang, forces him to. Walt fights back and so their stories connect. Later the boy is in trouble with that same gang in Walt's lawn and Walt scares them off with a gun to protect his lawn. After that, even though Walt fights it all he can, his life and lives of the family next door are forever connected. Walt tries to protect his new friends from the life that they must inevitably become part of with intimidation and a lack of caring that only can belong to someone who's seen the ugliest side of man in others and himself (they reference the war often).

Most of the acting around Clint Eastwood was pretty weak. The actor who played the priest and the actor who played Thao in particular were very very bad. Clint Eastwood just grunting and sneering at people made for better acting than most of the characters in this movie.

Another problem for me was the way that Walt's character was used. I was a huge fan of Clint Eastwood growing up and I thought that he was one of the most imposing actors around. In this movie Eastwood masterfully plays the role of an old man who is behind the times and doesn't really fit in modern society. He was once a war hero who is now a feeble old man who refuses to admit that to himself. In a way you feel bad for this racist bastard because of what he's had to go through in his life and the way he is treated by his loved ones (though most of that is his own fault). With all of this built up, we are lead to believe that Walt (because he's Clint Eastood) can strike fear into the hearts of gangs with "old-fashioned" guts. We are also lead to believe that this racist old man not only befriends an Asian family next door but comes into their home as a welcomed guest and still calls them racial slurs to their faces. I wasn't necessarily offended, I think the movie thought that it was more groundbreaking racially than it was, I just found it hard to believe.

In the end this movie falls flat. It leaves you wondering what their message really was and if you really care enough to try and think about what it was. The ending felt like an odd mix of Joe Schumacher's Falling Down and a old Adam West Batman show.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Virgin Springs

The Virgin Springs is a film by Igmar Bergman made in 1960. This movie is about jealousy, rage and repentance. A young beautiful virgin who is loved by her family is given the chore of a right of passage for the church. Her jealous step sister wishes that the god Odin will harm her, but as danger looms she becomes wary of the wish she had made.

As the two travel to the church alone, an old mystic man gives the jealous sister an omen. Out of fear she tries to stop her step sister but the virgin, who knows nothing of her fate, brushes it off and continues on. The young virgin is raped and killed by goat herders, while her step sister secretly watches. The step sister is horrified and yet a part of her believes that her step sister deserved this. Her family begins to worry when she does not return and her religious mother fears for the worst.

The murders (along with a child that follows them) decided to hide out in a family's home, not knowing that it's the home of the very same girl that they killed. Clues surface and the father, who was a carefree but hard nosed father in the beginning, must come to terms with intense feelings of rage. He must decide between the primeval want for vengeance and the forgiving teachings of the Christian church.

I really enjoyed this film. It was a little easier to follow than most of Bergman films. The story line was closer to what is in our movie vocabulary, as far as character development and a climax goes. Every pure emotion could be seen in each of the characters' eyes. I would suggest this movie to any person looking to get into Bergman films. After this I would suggest The 7th Seal.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Beginning

I have started my own blog, Bucease you lkie to raed ohetr ploepe's bolg.

I will update this blog with drawings of whatever inspires me. It may be designs, movies, books or just life.