Tuesday, April 17, 2012

M Booth Asks, "What's Your Challenge?"

Today was a pretty exciting day. I spent the day in the offices of M Booth - A Global Communications Company installing a mural. It was quite the experience. The office was teeming with energy; and I couldn't believe how welcoming the staff was. They brought me in to add a little pizzazz to the new dry-erase board they installed. (Which alone was pretty cool. Did you know there is dry-erase paint???! Just a few coats and ANY wall can become a dry-erase board! Whoa!)

Seems they take a team strategy to all their work. The new board's sole purpose is to help stuck team members find solutions to the challenges their facing. It asks, "What's Your Challenge?" Anyone can leave a post and everyone can reply. It's like a live Facebook wall!

Floor to ceiling, the wall was about 9 feet tall. They decided to devote the top two feet to a little something to spice it up and stimulate creative thinking. This is where I enter the picture. They asked me to come in and fill the space with fun, funky, and fresh images. It was a fun little afternoon in my studio brainstorming what to draw. You can see here some of my favorite ideas from the mural.

After checking out the Keith Haring Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum (You can read about my trip.), I was excited to work on the wall. What a great way to prep for a project! So much respect to Haring. You can bet that dry-erase markers are so much more forgiving than sumi ink!

Beyond a few little things (a slightly too short step stool, strange metal gratings hanging from the ceiling, and a lack of yellow markers) the installation went really smoothly. It was great to be in the hallway. People were constantly walking through telling me how excited they were about the wall. And by the end of the day, the mural was complete! It came out great. I really hope they get a lot of use out of it. The team approach to work in their office is outstanding.

A big thanks to Lauren and Andrew for bringing me in today to create the mural. They were such great hosts!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Keith Haring At The Brooklyn Museum

Today I checked out the Keith Haring exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. I visited upon the recommendations of some friends and was pleasantly surprised by the show. Honestly, I knew very little of Haring's work before the show. I was familiar with his street art, but hadn't realized it was part of a larger body of work, and that the street art actually came later in his career.

What I found was a much deeper body of work that included not only graffiti, but drawings, paintings, sound, and video art. An added bonus to the images were excepts from Haring's journals that illuminated his thought processes and the evolution of his work. It was quite impressive how across so many media Haring was able to use such a limited vocabulary. From start to finish similar characters were able to convey scenes depicting personal emotion, commentary on the art world, and satire on the commercialism of our society. It was quite eye-opening to me to see there was so much more behind Haring's work than a few pyramids and dogs plastered throughout NYC subway stations.

The above image is the largest image included in the exhibit. I didn't get the measurement of the piece but it had to be at least 30 feet wide by 6 feet tall. It's my favorite piece from the show. I simply cannot imagine creating a piece with such precision. With sumi ink, there is no erasing. All of these lines were created first try!! It is interesting to me not only because its size, but it is also an example of Haring combining the characters of his story-telling with the dense patterning he created in an initially separate body of work. So awe-inspiring!!

While I impressed by the in-depth display of Haring's process and evolving perspective on art and the viewer, I was disappointed by the lack of information on Keith Haring's personal life. It was obvious that Haring was drawing from his life experiences to create his work. Images of religious symbols, anonymous bodies, phalluses, and scenes of violence and sex carried throughout his body of work but no mention of it appeared on the walls of the gallery to explain why. The complete avoidance of the topic is quite appalling.

Despite this, I highly recommend the show. At the end of the exhibit is a little fun opportunity. Create your own graffiti! (Well, sort of.) You can see here Danny Jones and my Haring-inspired work. Go make your own!

Also, it was such a beautiful day today here in NYC, I couldn't help but take some time to sit outside in the sun. Here's a little sketch I did of the Brooklyn Museum and a shot I took on my phone.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bringing My Sketchbook to the Gym!

Summer is almost here! Sunshine, flip flops, and the beaches are right around the corner. If you're like me, you're starting to look for that perfect bathing suit and sunglasses outfit. Also, you're starting to hit the gym a little more regularly than you do in those frigid months...

Here's a little project I did for fun. With a moleskine notebook and a workout from Men's Health, I made my own illustrated gym workout book! Personally, I'm looking to "Forge an Iron Chest" by the beginning of summer. Since it was just for fun (and I never intended to share it..) the illustrations, etc. are pretty simple. The pages on the left explain the exercise and I've saved the page on the right to keep track of my weight and reps. The whole thing turned out pretty nifty. So, I thought it would be fun to share. Can't wait to start using it next week. Just need to remember to LIFT while I'm there and and not DRAW....

Also, if anyone knows a good Buns of Steel workout, send it my way! ;)

*All exercises and references for the workout were taken from and copyright Menshealth.com.