Where drawings go to die

I had a friend tell me once that an artist has a finite number of bad drawings within them and it was only a matter of doing enough drawing to reach that limit.  Very poetic and a positive way to look at things, but c'mon.  I can't believe that in it's totality.  Even Picasso did a couple eyesores, you just never saw them (except for this crazy long documentary where Picasso paints on glass and his eyes are bulging and the music is intense and the filmmakers are practically biting their nails bloody in anticipation for the next great masterpiece only to have him chuck it and do another painting in like a minute and a half).

So I needed to get some sketches done and as I started drawing that voice that we all have in the back of my head started in "And this is how I will ruin this beautiful white page in my sketchbook".  But instead of stopping and agreeing with said low self-esteem voice, I embraced it.  I celebrated it!  "Crappy drawing, I CELEBRATE you!"  The awkward, stiff, inflexible drawing came forth from the tip of the felt marker one of kids dropped on the floor and what I did next was a bit of an epiphany (or apostrophe - Hook).  I just kept them coming, one on top of the other until I had a sprawling field of dead drawings.  It was quiet cathartic in an abstract expressionist way.  But really, the whole exercise was process over product.  Getting over my fear of yet again not living up to my own standards and making an ugly page *gasp!* in my sketchbook.  If a sketchbook is filled cover to cover with unique and original fine tuned drawings, I have a hard time trusting that person.  I keep a close eye on my kids around them. In essence - dedicate a couple pages in your sketchbook to be a drawing graveyard.  Warm up on those pages and then move on until you've stretched those muscles enough.  Big dynamic stretches people!  Don't forget to breathe... inhale....and exhale....

Henry in Love

20120526-114312.jpg If you could incapsulate all the preadolescent angst of fear, friends and first love into the form of a minimalist illustrative cat and bunny, the distilled product would be in the form of a picture book. Specifically - it would be Henry in Love.

This is another library gem that I found and sub-sequentially purchased. In order for me to actually buy a book I have to LOVE it. You could say I fell in love with Henry in love. Hahaha I know, my wit knows no depths. But aside from my cleverness Peter McCarty has so masterfully taken a day in the life of a (cat) boy (not sparing the morning routine), his encounter with his first love and the sacrifices one makes for love.

The illustrations are delicious. Simple shapes, simple line drawings with spots of color which make a great impact. The writing is spot on, simply stated to express so much unspoken emotion.

So yeah - I loved this book and bought it. I wager to think that Amazon.com could feel my love through its sequence of ones and zeros because when I received it the first bookend sheet had this...


How freaking awesome is that?

Now run along and pick up a copy. Run as if running toward your true love.


I listen to a lot of podcasts, but I never had one hit so close to home as Planet Money's "How To Buy A Stolen Credit Card" It was one of those moments; I was listening and washing dishes when Zoe Chace gave the short exposition about how credit card theft happens.  I really wish I had dramatically dropped the macaroni laden plate from my hands in shock, but the plate stayed firm in my grasp.  I did give a short gasp and listened closely to Ms. Chace describe the sordid underbelly of the stolen credit card market. In a nutshell, I learned that the $300 that had just been charged to our credit card not even 24 hours prior to this podcast had taken a drip with thousands of other terrified and anxious credit card digits into a seedy site that could be considered E-bay's evil twin.  Our $300, our THREE HUNDRED dollars I learned, mostly likely was bought be a certified criminal for a mere $30.  To understand why, you have to listen to the podcast.  Zoe Chace and Adam Davidson do brilliant job explaining this market and also making you as a credit card holder completely paranoid.  Well, not completely...but still.