Annie Appleseed

7:44 AM

When I was a kid, one of my classmates warned me never to swallow apple seeds when I was eating an apple,
because then an apple tree would start growing inside my tummy.
I was foolish enough to believe that for longer than I'd like to admit.
This is what it would look like.


Return of the Ludei

7:44 AM

My 15th birthday party was a Star Wars birthday party, and we called it "Return of the Ludei."
Get it?! Because my last name is Ludes?? My mom gets credit for that one.
 Anyway, after yesterday's post I was rather discouraged that I wasn't able to draw the Beatles better. At least, I don't feel like I captured the style of the art I was trying to mimic. I thought maybe it was a fluke and today I tried my hand at Star Wars characters, thinking maybe I could be more successful. Unfortunately, no. I was not any more victorious. I started with the humans (Luke, Leia, Han) but they don't look right so by the end I was just goofing around drawing Star Wars characters for the heck of it. Let's take a moment to focus on Chewbacca - he's the worst!! He looks like a sea creature. But have you ever google-image-searched a large Chewbacca picture? That guy looks crazy up close! I only drew what I saw. Eventually I added George Lucas to the mix for good measure, and of course Boba Fett. We all know it wouldn't be complete without Boba Fett (much like my love life.)


Beatles for President

7:38 AM

Recently my friend Laura sent me a link to this drawing, sold here on etsy:
I wish I drew this. I love it.
Not only because it's drawn in such awesome cartoony style, but because I love the presidents.
As a kid I loved presidential trivia and memorizing their order. I love how each of them are drawn here with such simple lines and face shapes. I tend to over-do my drawings sometimes, continually drawing more and more until the doodles are covered in cross-hatched lines and shading. So naturally when I saw these presidents drawn out, I wanted to try to copy that drawing style. And since drawing portraits is pretty difficult for me, I wanted to start with some pretty recognizable faces. I went to my old standby - the Beatles. It's meant to be George, John, Paul, and Ringo from left to right, although I think they all need some work. John's probably the easiest to pick out, but that's practically cheating because he's the only one with glasses. Regardless of the outcome, it was a fun exercise trying to copy the style from the drawing above. I like that it pushed me to try something new.


7:25 AM

This drawing was inspired by some old home movies I was watching with my parents this week.
We watched lots and lots of riveting footage of my five-year-old self playing with bubbles in the backyard. My parents would blow the bubbles and I would chase after them with the sole intent of keeping them from hitting the ground. I kept referring to myself as the "upper," as in "Mommy, you make the bubbles this time and I'll be the 'upper,'" except I didn't need to clarify because I was always the upper. It was a funny sight - I think most children like to pop the bubbles or chase them, but I was on my hands and knees blowing them higher to protect them from hitting the grass, and it almost never worked. Anyway, I started thinking about what it would be like if bubbles came in different shapes (similar to Gandalf's fireworks) and this is the drawing that came to be.


Dolphin Show

7:28 AM

If Sea World started having more dolphin shows like this,
I think their attendance would go way up...I'm just sayin'.


An Annie Brown Christmas

7:35 AM

Since Christmas is tomorrow I thought it would be fun to draw myself as Charlie Brown in his Christmas special, but then somebody had to be this is supposed to be a cartoon version of my dad with me. He's holding the sports page of the newspaper in place of Linus's blanket. And I look rather Peppermint-Pattyish as I hold the beloved baby wussy tree. I always loved the line where Lucy says to Charlie Brown "Can't you even tell a good tree from a poor tree?" which is why I included it (I feel the need to clear my father's name and clarify that he wouldn't criticize my tree-picking choice in real life.) On a somewhat-unrelated note, I really like hats and I wish I wore them more. For now I'll have to just keep drawing them.

I hope you have a good holiday season and not a poor one.
Merry Christmas!



7:25 AM

This is just a silly comic based on my daydreams, and how I'd like to marry a guy that can tell the difference between Metropolis and Gotham City...and maybe he might just find it endearing that I can do the same.


Googling with Alex

7:38 AM

I'm afraid my "Smart Alex" comics are getting less and less funny and more and more autobiographical...
But that's okay. This one is based off a conversation I had with my mom where she acted really proud of herself for using the word "google" as a verb, and I congratulated her as if she'd just graduated from technology class. It's a funny thing as you get older and suddenly you have things you can teach your parents, instead of them always teaching you. It seems like every time I visit, they have questions about how facebook works and the difference between an ipad and an ipod and why everyone's wearing flannel...and after a lifetime of them educating me on everything else, it's nice to be able to reciprocate.



7:35 AM

This is how I would most like to deliver Christmas cheer - by shooting candy to all the good little girls and boys of the world.
This drawing was inspired by my friend Nate who said that if he could have any superpower, he would like to be able to produce a sandwich out of thin air (my hero/life coach Liz Lemon would definitely approve). I should draw that some time. As far as superpowers go, candyshooting is not very practical in combat, although it would depend on the velocity of the candy. Even a skittle, when thrown hard enough, could really do some damage.
Today's drawing goes out to Ryu the Street Fighter dreamboat, who captured my heart on the Sega Genesis when I was 9, and taught me the fighting stance I use when I'm shooting projectile candy.



7:49 AM

This is the least attractive sort-of-self-portrait ever...
But it's all I've drawn today, and I don't really have time to fix it up. So here we go. Pretend it's not me.
I like the idea of the hairswings more than I like the actually drawing...I think I just need to re-do the face so she's not glaring as much. Because I like the swings, but if I was swinging from someone's hair in real life - I would hope they look happier than this girl looks.

I apologize for the non-festive nature of this post...I'll be getting into the holiday spirit more later this week.


Boba Fett, Man of Mystery

7:33 AM

This is sort of one of my "Smart Alex" comics...I didn't really finish it. And it doesn't really have a punchline. But this is how I picture life with my dream guy - sitting on a couch playing video games and talking about Star Wars. Right? That's what every girl dreams of, right? When I was younger I had a crush on Boba Fett from Star Wars.
In case you don't remember who that is - it's this guy:
I know what you're thinking - how could I not have a crush on a guy who wears yellow kneepads like that?! The funny part about it is that you never see his face (as Travis points out above.) For some reason, I liked imagining who Boba Fett really was and what he looked like (and in my version he was hot.) And he does have a pretty sweet jetpack. But then, sadly, the Star Wars prequels happened, and we find out that Boba Fett is really just a clone of his father, Jango Fett, who is not attractive at all. So that means that little clone Boba grows up to be not-hot, too...and thus the mystery of Boba Fett was spoiled forever.



7:36 AM

This is a drawing I did last year that I always really liked. It's Annie and Jesus*.
There's not much to explain...I drew it on a day that I was sad and I wished I could feel comforted.
Because I didn't feel comforted.
And then somehow, even just drawing this was comforting.

*His nose probably isn't really that big.



7:45 AM

Sometimes I like to draw my conversations with Jesus (Jesus Christ, not a guy named Hey-Zeus.)
I don't think I've posted many of them on here yet because...I guess I'm paranoid of being misunderstood. There's a lot of clarifiers and prefaces that I want to declare when I share drawings like these with anyone. For instance - I don't think Jesus was white, I just don't want to cross-hatch his face for shading. Should I be drawing nail-holes in his hands? Or his wrists? And I don't know what Jesus looked like (even just now, I'm thinking "Should I have typed 'looks like'? Because he's still technically God and alive and everything...Oh gosh, should I have capitalized the 'h' in 'he'?!") There are a lot of technicalities. I don't know how to draw God, but trying to draw him helps me cope. And understand. And vent. So I draw little cartoon Annie having conversations with a doodle version of Jesus, wearing the cliche white robe and looking whiter that he probably was/is. So don't nitpick, okay? Just go with it. Because I've been drawing a lot of Jesus doodles lately.

This one is kind of a sillier one, just mocking myself for not being able to focus when I pray. I'm like a child (not in the childlike faith way as much as the A.D.D. way) and I have a hard time focusing. Normally I clean up my drawings a little in Photoshop before I consider them finished, but for some reason I like how messy and sloppy this one is. Oooh, maybe it represents how messy faith can be deep.



7:32 AM

The other day I was sitting on the ground, playing with sticks while I was killing time (so many good stories start like this, right?) and it inspired me to draw this. I picked up two little twigs and I was trying to make them walk on the ground like legs, but it was very difficult because one leg/stick was so much longer than the other. So then I tried to make an artificial leg to attach to the shorter leg/stick but it didn't work (I didn't have much to work with.) In conclusion, I realized that I'm very thankful that my legs are the same length. Otherwise I might need some sort of leg extension like the one pictured here.



7:25 AM

This drawing was inspired by the most recent Fringe episode, which was entitled "Marionette."
I was sketching this as I watched the episode, so I decided it should be a drawing of me as a puppet master with some sort of marionette. But I couldn't really think of what (or who) I should be I thought it could be clever if I was puppeting a pencil and some paper. Except, then I drew them in huge awkward proportions and I'm very aware that the strings don't really make sense where they are. I consider this a rather failed attempt at a drawing, but I like it anyway.

Side note: drawing this reminded me of The Sound of Music and 'N Sync's "Bye Bye Bye" music video, both of which exemplify quality puppeteering skills.


Tarzan Returns

7:26 AM

Okay, we're all probably getting pretty tired of my childhood drawings, so here's the last one. It's one more peek into my early sketches of what Tarzan "should have been." Disney really missed out...they should have hired me to do their designs.
Here are my Tarzan storyboards.
1. Tarzan is sad because he's lonely, despite all the backrubs he gets from Macintosh the Chimp.
2. Tarzan says "Look! A plane is crashing!" Mac is equally concerned.
3. Tarzan, wearing Macintosh like a backpack, swings down from their treehouse to see what's become of the plane.

8. Tarzan has found Jane and is bringing her up to his treehouse.
9. Tarzan and Macintosh creepily watch Jane while she sleeps. How is Tarzan not on fire?
10. Jane wakes up.
11. The first thing she sees is Tarzan and his monkey and their nervous smiles.
12. Jane is hesitant...
13. ...then terrified.
14. Tarzan lifts his finger to his mouth and says "shhhh." Creeper.
15. Jane looks down and realizes how far up in the trees they are.

16. Tarzan tries to get Jane to chill out.
17. Jane sits off by herself.
18. Tarzan gets an idea to make Jane feel welcome.
19. He tells his chimp his great idea.
20. Mac goes running off to carry out Tarzan's plan.
21. Mac swings on a vine like a champ.

31. Tarzan looks good in a loincloth.
32. He tells Jane that they're going to go somewhere.
33. Jane is all "I'm not going to swing on that vine."
34. Tarzan's like, "Yeah you are."
35. They swing on the vine.
36. Tarzan introduces Jane to more of his animal friends, which seems to cheer her up.

So I know Disney is really regretting that they didn't have me be a part of the process, because I really have some good stuff here. Thanks for your patience as I assaulted you with such childish sketches this week...I promise next week I'll be back to normal.


Indian Village

7:40 AM

I found this in my old sketchbook journal and thought it was kind of sweet.
It chronicles my first journey to summer camp in 1992.

I think my use of the word "botten" is my favorite part. I was writing to my parents each day, although they wouldn't actually get to read my notes to them until I got home. I wrote them every day at "Woozy Time."

This next drawing's journal entry mentioned "I have been nosing Sunshine for a while." Sunshine was (or rather, is) my favorite teddy bear and apprently we would "nose" when I got lonely. Gosh, that sounds weird. But here's a drawing of it.


Childhood Sketchbook: A Second Look

7:37 AM

Here are a few more journal entries from my childhood sketchbook:
This is a drawing of Harry Caray, the legendary sportscaster of the Chicago Cubs. He's holding up three fingers because he would lead the crowd in singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch, and this is the "Three strikes, you're out" moment. Ignore the kitten. That was already printed on the page.
 June 27th, 1990 - Riding go-karts with Dad. He looks scared.  
 This is one of my favorites! We were at a Twins/Rangers baseball game and I was rooting for the Rangers to win because they had a player on their team named Raphael Palmeiro. I wanted them to win because they had a player that shared a name with a Ninja Turtle, which is what I drew. Raphael is at the plate!


My First Sketchbook

7:41 AM

When I was seven years old, my parents gave me a journal/sketchbook that I used for several years. It alternated between lined pages and blank pages, so I would write what happened in my life on one page, while drawing it on the other. Looking back on it, it's fun to read how simple my thoughts seemed and how silly my drawings were. Here are some sample pages:

July 3rd, 1989 (I'm seven)
"Today we went to the top of a BIG arch. When I looked out the windows I felt like I was going to fall! We ate lunch at a floating McDonald's. We saw how to make beer."

That's it. Those are my wise words. My handwriting was so messy and giant that those words took up the whole page. We were on a family vacation to St. Louis and we went up in the big arch (the blue marks on my face are meant to be nervous sweat, not tears, although I'm not sure which is worse.) We also ate at a McDonald's that is built on some sort of a barge (so it's advertised as "The Floating McDonald's) and apparently we toured a brewery later.
 This drawing is a depiction of my parents and me at a minor league baseball game. We saw the Toledo Mudhens play the Columbus Clippers, and I was running around trying to catch foul balls. Check out how curly I used to draw nostrils!
 This drawing depicts March 23rd, 1990, when I got braces for the first time. I drew a picture of my orthodontist working on my teeth, and I love that I drew her with teeny tiny arms.
More young Annie drawings still to come!


The Tarzan that could have been...

7:23 AM

The year is 1996. I'm a freshman in high school.
I read somewhere that Disney's next animated film is going to be...Tarzan.
I always loved the story of Tarzan, so I was excited about Disney's choice. But then for some reason, it made me want to draw Tarzan myself, like I was designing the characters for the movie. I ended up doing several storyboards and character sketches, as if I was creating the movie myself. (This is why I never got caught up in the "party scene" in high school...I was busy doing this.) So, since I'm home at my parents' house for a few days, I thought it could be fun do display some prehistoric Annie art.
Here you go - Annie's Tarzan, in all its glory: 

 We start with the rough character sketches. There's Tarzan, Jane, and (my personal favorite) I invented a chimpanzee named "Macintosh" to be Tarzan's sidekick. He also has two other close animal friends: a toucan named Jose and a snake named Ryley (worst snake name ever). Tarzan has very poofy hair, a buff chest, and a teeny tiny waist. I'd like to draw your attention to the dancing Tarzan in the bottom right corner...I wouldn't want you to miss that. And for as long as I can remember, we've had this "Auction '87" paper in my parents' house for scratch paper...I have no idea why we have it. 

Next we have more detailed drawings of Tarzan and Co. I think there are two clear winners on this page - first, the knockout version I drew of Jane (I was still learning how to draw everything proportionally) and second - the drawing of Tarzan in the hammock with Ryley the snake. They're obviously having a very sweet moment, with Jose perched lovingly on Tarzan's shoulder.

And last but not least...detailed versions of Macintosh and Jane. I'm very fond of the drawing of Tarzan and Mac taking a nap together. I can't believe I actually drew that. And Jane's face could sure use some work...I'm telling you, I always have a harder time drawing girls. I don't know exactly what's going on in the bottom right corner, but I do know that Tarzan is wearing an outfit consisting of a loincloth, a suit jacket, and a bowtie made out of leaves.

Well, that's it for now. I like to think my drawing has improved slightly over the years...but these are still super-fun for me to look back on. I'm glad my mother saves everything.


7:28 AM

This is a shipcycle. Obviously.
They're pretty rare. Hard to come by.
I think shipcycles could be a great mode of transportation for hamsters, since they're small enough to fit in the ship but normally they can't ride bikes. It'd be kind of a win-win for them. I originally just drew a bicycle (as a challenge, because I find them hard to draw) but it was boring so I threw some sails on it and made it into a boat. I like to think that a hamster version of Jack Sparrow is out there somewhere surfing the net, and he might just see this drawing and get inspired to build his own.


Bacon & Egg

7:23 AM

This is my life. You can't make this stuff up.
I work at a place where people run around in breakfast costumes and it's considered normal.
This actually happened at work last week. We were having our weekly team meeting, and suddenly two of my coworkers disappeared and reappeared as Bacon and Egg. And the meeting kept going! I guess it's part of working at a camp. It's the really good part, actually. I like that I work with a team of incredibly creative and silly human beings. I think their costumes are work-related somehow, but I don't remember...All I know is that I smile every time I remember the meeting where Bacon and Egg showed up. They also have their own Bacon/Egg theme song, which I'm sure comes as no surprise.


7:26 AM

I drew this as a sort of sequel to the giraffe I drew earlier.
It's not super-exciting, but it was simple and fun to draw. I like elephants. 
I kind of messed up on the tusk, now that I really look at it.
Maybe we'll just pretend that this is actually a tusk-less elephant chewing on a knife, because that's what it looks like.


Lucy in the Sky with Hipsters

7:28 AM

This is one of my favorites. I had a brief interaction with my friend Devin today, and somehow it made me think of this...
Devin loves the Beatles (as do I) and I started to wonder what it would be like if the Beatles were trying to make it in the music scene today. Not as their current elderly selves, but if I could go back in time and pluck the young Beatles from the sixties, what music "scene" would they fit in? I think they'd have to be hipsters on an indie record label, right? I mean, they're not going to tour with Usher or Kanye West or anything. They might tour with Arcade Fire. Anyway, if the Beatles were an up-and-coming band in this day and age, I like to think it would look a little something like this.


There's nothing wrong with a little make-believe.

7:36 AM

This comic is only funny to me because it's based off an actual conversation that I had with my dad.
My dad is a good man. There are many traits of his that I've inherited, and I'm happy that I resemble him in so many ways. One trait that we share is our passion for things - we are passionate about the things we love. Especially the little things. For me it's fancy salads, Tina Fey, mechanical pencils, James Bond...for him, it's things like keyboard shortcuts, fruitcake, hybrid cars, and any TV show where bad guys go to jail at the end. We have different loves, but the same level of intensity and devotion to them.

On the other hand, we also tend to be less accepting of the things we don't like. And my dad does not like stories based around make-believe. You couldn't pay him enough to sit through Lord of the Rings. That would be torture for him. He saw Star Wars when it came out (to see what all the fuss was about) and thought it was ridiculous. Who doesn't like Star Wars?! So when I mentioned that I saw Harry Potter, he had a hard time understanding why I would want to see such a "silly" movie in the first place. But then he weakened his remaining credibilty by talking about how awesome PeeWee Herman is...I was reminded that, no matter what nerdy thing I'm obsessed with right now, my dad is infatuated with something equally silly. Like father, like daughter.


8:15 AM

I drew this picture five and a half years ago, a week before I thought I was going to have to leave the mountains that I live in...summer was ending and I had to go back to my "normal" life, which at the time was a small apartment in Azusa (Azusa is a lot less pretty than my mountains.) I drew this picture sadly - I drew it representing what I was going to miss when I had to leave. I knew I was going to miss waking up to nature and the mountains around me, but then something wonderful happened...circumstances changed, a job appeared, and suddenly I realized I was never moving back to Azusa.

I still live in the mountains today. I still love it.
And I like that this drawing started out as a lament of what my life would be lacking, but instead it represents my life as it still is. Every day when I wake up, the first things I see are the sprawling oak trees outside my window that change with the seasons...and I am thankful.


Grab Life by the Horns

7:27 AM

Okay. Here's the deal. This is a ridiculously stupid drawing - one that I shouldn't share with anybody, let alone the entire interwebs...but it's the only thing I've got right now. So here we go. Sometimes artists, even semi-respectable ones, draw stupid stuff. You start out with what seemed like a good idea, and then once you see it on the paper, you realize it's been a waste of your time. Take this drawing, for instance. I thought it could be clever to draw a girl (I'd rather not claim this one as a self-portrait) riding on what seemed like a horse - a bucking bronco, if you will - but really, it's not a horse at all. It's life. In all its untamed glory. Soooo deep. But instead, the word constipation comes to mind, rather than the complexities of the life bronco.
Well, you win some and you lose some. That's life, eh?


Babies Everywhere

7:18 AM

These are cartoon versions of my seven favorite children.
A lot of my friends have kids these days. And they're really, really great kids. They're funny and adorable and more stylish than I am (I have literally copied outfits that these kids wear on multiple occasions.) I'm afraid my drawings don't do them justice. We gathered them all together for a photo shoot recently, which is normally a very difficult thing to do - due to wiggling and squirming and whatnot. But, by some sort of miracle, this time they sat together perfectly like perfect little baby models. I like to think that these kids will be in each other's lives (and mine) for a long time, and I get happy when I think of them growing up together. So to Adeline, Macyn, Collin, Olivia, Iris, Brody, and Evelyn - thanks for the smiles, laughs, hugs...and fashion tips.

Tall Tail

7:35 AM

After drawing so many houses on stilts, I tried to think of other things I could draw on stilts.
And while these giraffe legs don't quite count as "stilts," I still like the outcome.


Doodle Day

7:26 AM

Yesterday at work we had a staff meeting, and I couldn't help but doodle for a bit.
I thought it might be fun to run through my doodle-thought-process, so here we go. The profile at the top left was an attempt to draw my friend Nate, who was sitting next to me. He was not actually smoking, but recently we were at a wedding reception where he was pretending to smoke pretzel that's what's happening there. (I repeat, no pretzels were actually being smoked at our staff meeting.) Next to him we have a sasquatch, or "Mattsquatch", as my friend Matt recently had to wear a sasquatch costume around work for a day. Soon he'll be starring in a music video in said costume, being filmed at our snack shack - so naturally I drew him eating a milkshake. The profile at the top right was another Mattsquatch attempt...but it looks nothing like him. I tried to draw my boss in the lower left corner, but that is not an attractive rendition. She looks much less mannish in person. The trio at the bottom is meant to be the Fringe cast (I might be obsessed) but I think they're far from recognizable. I always draw ladies with chins that are too big for them, which is what happened to Olivia (between the two guys), which is why I tried to black out part of it. Chin up, eh? The little cartoon person with the black shading around him is a charicature of my friend Michael, who is easy to draw and has become a bit of a regular in my doodles for that reason. To the right of him is a doodle of myself, and to the right of that is my favorite part of this whole's me, as if I'm Harry Potter. It's me showing my lighting bolt scar. I have no idea why I felt like drawing that, but I'm glad I did.

Sketching Houses

7:29 AM

I recently saw some architectural drawings of houses and it made me want to take a stab at it.
At first I wanted to draw houses whimsically (word?) like the house on the left, but then by the third house I was actually trying to draw a normal, pretty house (I think that's also pretty apparent by my color choices for the homes.) I would definitely choose to live in the house on the right, even though it looks most like a tract home.

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