...And More Muscles.

8:02 AM

Boy, this is another page out of my high school sketchbook....it's a little embarrassing.
Really? This is what I spent my time drawing? Was this supposed to be my ideal man? With his boxers hanging out and, um, wings?! I like to think my taste has matured since this was drawn. I spend a little less time dreaming about boys with triangle torsos and wings in their backs.



7:38 AM

Does anyone actually have this shoulders-to-waist ratio that makes their torso shaped like a top-heavy triangle? Because that's what's going on here. I found this page in an old sketchbook of mine from high school, and I couldn't help but laugh at how I drew the dude's pecs and abs, then apparently got bored and moved on. Who cares what his face would have looked like - it looks like I just wanted to see him with his shirt off. The rest of the sketchbook is filled with other typical high-school-Annie sketches and doodles, featuring the Spice Girls, Xena, and floor plans for my own personal jet...Typical, like I said.

Santa's Haircut

7:53 AM

 Well, Christmas is behind us now, and Santa finally has some free time on his hands. Looks like he decided to get a haircut! But once I started drawing out this sketch, I realized that I think Santa's probably bald under his hat...so that's not much of a haircut. It's more of a beard trimming. I think of Santa's elves as the kind of employees that are versatile in a variety of different skills, like acrobatics and beard-trimming. On a separate note - I don't know how to draw Santa's outfit without feeling like I'm drawing him in a miniskirt.


Woodland Friends

7:44 AM

 This was one of my favorite gifts to give this Christmas - a drawing of some of my best friends.
This is a sketch I did of my friends Chris and Kira and their adorable dogs, Cruiser and Daisy.
I drew it on a piece of wood, which seemed appropriate because they're outdoorsy and they live in Idaho where there are trees and snow and nature. I know their family will change and grow over the years, but I liked the idea of giving them a memorable snapshot of what their family looked like in 2011.

The Parking Dance

7:47 AM

As I've been doing my holiday shopping this December, I've been in quite a few tight spots. You know, literally tight spots, where you can barely get out of your vehicle because the cars are parked so closely together and you have to do a cirque-du-soleil routine to wriggle out your door. And the other day, as I was slithering out between cars, it occurred to me that I'm glad I care that much about hitting the car next to me. I would rather crawl out bit by bit in what can only be described as a contortionist act than put a dent in the car next to me. Even a little dent. Even when they've parked over the line. I think most of us feel the same way, right? And I like that about people. I also like that holiday shopping will be over soon, 
and mall parking lots will return to their normal half-empty state for a few months!

Santa Crossing

7:50 AM

 Have a wonderful holiday weekend!
Eat, drink eggnog, and be merry.
Be very, very merry.
This is totally the best time of year to be merry.
Being merry in April just isn't quite the same.
Now, now is your time...

Be merry, and have a wonderful Christmas!

Gingerbread: The Sequel

7:50 AM

I know it might seem like kind of a cop-out to use gingerbread houses as my "art of the day" twice this week,  but I spent like four hours making gingerbread houses yesterday. It counts as my daily dose of art!

After my aunt's annual gingerbread house party, she always makes a few extra houses to give away at our church's food-share program, so some underprivileged families can have gingerbread houses at Christmas time. This year, I was on the candy-decorating team that cranked out the decorations for 15 extra gingerbread houses. Our instructions were to just get a bunch of candy on each house, but I couldn't help but add a few artsy flourishes...This first house didn't have much to brag about, but I liked how the roof turned out:

This house got a roof made of Nerds (frosting the roof and then dumping Nerds on top of it was nice and speedy). I made a tree and garden on one end of the house and tried to string some "Christmas lights" on the other end. 

Aaaaaand after a long day of candy-decorating (and candy-tasting...I have to sample my building materials, right?), today I go to the dentist, which seems right on schedule!


99 Years...

7:50 AM

My grandmother turned 99 years old yesterday!
99, I say! That is ooooold. I can't imagine being around for that long. She was born in 1912!
I should cut her a little slack when she doesn't understand how the internet works or she can't remember what month it is (half the time, I can't do those things either!) When she was born, cars were still a new thing. TVs weren't around yet. I can only wonder what crazy inventions will exist when I'm 99...but I bet it will look something like this:
This is 99-year-old me, flying around space with my jetpack and hovershoes. This is totally what life is going to be like in 2081. Just you wait! And I like that I drew myself with a cane even though it seems a little unnecessary in space. (You never know when it'll come in handy!) 

I look forward to the day I get my first jetpack. See you in 70 years.

Shrub Sculptures

7:44 AM

This weekend, my Saturday night consisted of watching a documentary about topiary sculptures with my mom. Yeah, that's right. I know how to party. But as I thought about topiary sculptures and what I would want in my garden, the first thing that came to mind is that I would want a shrub sculpture in the shape of a person that was pruning a different sculpture. So I attempted to draw that out. The other favorite option was a dragon topiary sculpture that would be eating the other one...and this version just seemed more humane. So here you go!

Gingerbread House Party!

7:44 AM

One of my favorite family traditions is the Ludes family gingerbread house party! My aunt (with lots of helpers) bakes and builds dozens and dozens of gingerbread houses (and some graham cracker houses for less-advanced decorators) and then there's a massive open-house gingerbread party. It's a wonderful tradition. A legacy, if you will. My family knows gingerbread. We do it right. I take a little pride in it. As a kid, there was nothing more magical than walking into that living room each year and seeing the gingerbread city.
For the past several years, I haven't been able to come home for the gingerbread party because it's a busy time with work and holidays and I couldn't make the drive - but this year, I returned! I was so, so happy when I found out I could attend. I was talking about it with my friends beforehand, and I think someone made a joke about the gingerbread houses catching on fire...and I had a vision. 

I wanted to decorate a gingerbread house that looked like it was on fire!
With candy corn flames. This was my creation:

When I was a kid, my favorite thing was always to create unusual things on and around the gingerbread house. I wanted to make candy satellite dishes, pretzel swingsets, candy cane boats... The candy corn flames (on top of flattened coffee jelly beans to give the roof a "charred" look) fell into that category for me, where I felt like I was getting to put my creativity to good use.
    After I made the flames, I spent a while rolling green "Dot" candies into a fire hose (green gummy worms were surprisingly uncooperative.) The hose was my dad's idea. I think it turned out pretty cool.
The best part is that the hose was connected to a candy cane spigot at the back of the house.

Towards the end I just started sticking candy anywhere on the house because I had been at it for like two hours and all I had was a hose and some flames. It kind of went downhill at that point. But I was pretty darn proud of that fire. I'm already brainstorming what gingerbread natural disasters could happen next year!

Flannel Ben

7:52 AM

You know what’s super-fun and really easy? Making your own flannel board characters!
I attended my friends' Christmas party yesterday and we had a white elephant gift exchange. I couldn't think of anything to bring, so I decided to make a homemade flannel board instead (like the little felt characters they always use in Sunday school.) This is a flannel board set of my friend Ben.

Ben is a great guy, but somehow he’s also the natural target for stuff like this. 
It’s his blessing and his curse. Here’s what I came up with:

 We sometimes tease Ben about how he always wears black, which is why there are so many black shirts. There’s also an Angels pennant, a Sigur Ros record, and a Radiohead record. Ben plays guitar. He wears sunglasses. He has an iphone. And he’s the best darn Monopoly player I’ve ever played against. He’s like a Monopoly wizard. Every time we play (group games - it’s not like Ben and I have one-on-one Monopoly duels), Ben always wins, and I get mocked for how in awe I am of his Monopoly skills. I’m telling you – Monopoly wizard. Anyway, this is Ben in a nutshell. A Ben of felt.

This isn’t so bad, right? Ben’s kind of a private guy so I wasn’t sure if this was an un-loyal thing to create and post about…but there’s nothing bad on here. He looks like a normal, cool flannel-guy, right? And hey, at least I gave him pants. That was loyal. He would haaaaaate it if I drew him in his undies. At least I know him that well. Although I'm pretty sure he'd hate that I just used his name and the word "undies" in the same sentence.


If You Give a Man a Wookiee

7:45 AM

This one's a little weird, but I'm glad I at least gave it a shot! The cookie/wookiee rhyme was just crying out to me. I had to think of something. I spent days trying to come up with something other than "man" in the title, but I came up with nothing. (Give a scoundrel a wookiee? Give a Han a wookiee?...) So we're giving a man a wookiee and pretending that's a normal phrase. Just go with it. And if you're wondering, the round gray things are supposed to be Han's ship, the Millennium Falcon. Or maybe the top one is the Death Star...

I imagine the book would go something like this:
"If you give a man a wookiee, he's going to ask for a fast spaceship.
When you give him the spaceship, he'll probably ask you for an astromech droid to help with repairs.
Once you've reached light speed, he'll ask you for an Alderaan princess..."

You get the gist.

Etsy Shop!

7:52 AM

I'm fiiiiiinally starting to get my act together and set up an etsy shop! I wanted you to be the first to know. If you don't know what etsy is - it's a website where people sell homemade and vintage things (it was first described to me as "ebay for crafty people.") I'm still getting started and so far I only have three prints available for sale, but at least it's something. I've been working towards this for a long time and I'm happy that I'm taking these first steps. I have several more prints and things that I'm ready to sell, I just haven't had the time to post them on etsy yet. And even though Christmas is notoriously known as a busy, busy time of year - I actually think I'll have more time than usual to be working on this stuff. It's funny timing, but I'll take what I can get. So, without further ado, I present to you the AnnieInk etsy shop!:


Curious Geordi

7:37 AM

A friend recently sent me this link to a website featuring well-known children's books that had been turned into sci-fi alternatives. It's pretty awesome. I barely even know what "Dune" is, but I still love the hypothetical cover for "Goodnight Dune" in place of "Goodnight Moon." It's so good! So clever! I like to copy clever things. On that note, I give you Curious Geordi:
It's Geordi La Forge from Star Trek! I love doing stuff like this.
I love combining two different known styles or characters or art into one combo-piece that looks familiar, but then you realize "Oh, hey - that's not George, it's Star Trek characters!" Really, it's just like when you think you're listening to the beginning of "Gangster's Paradise" and suddenly Weird Al is singing about harvesting grain! (Sometimes I miss the 90's.) I'm digressing. Here's the original Curious George cover that I copied:
And yes, I realize I gave the Star Trek dudes the wrong color outfits! I drew their characters in black and white originally. Then I went to color their outfits and I realized that I had just happened to pick the three guys that wear gold. Against a yellow background. A little too monotone for my taste, so I changed their outfits. Just pretend they were promoted from operations to medical, and Geordi is the new captain (and a curious one at that!)


Dog Walking

7:43 AM

So, lightheartedly, I thought it would be fun to draw a dog that was taking a man for a walk. 
Like a freaky-Friday role-reversal situation. 
And then next thing you know, I'm drawing a guy with a leash around his neck and feeling awkward about it. Maybe I didn't really think this through...but there's no time to dwell on it. His (uncannily tall) canine owner is clearly late for work at the stock exchange. 


Mattsquatch Crossing

7:33 AM

As you may recall, I posted a “Mattsquatch” drawing a few months ago.
It’s a drawing of my friend Matt as a sasquatch. Nothing unusual.
You know how it is, drawing your friends as mythical woodland creatures, right?
Since Mattsquatch has been known to appear out of the woods and startle people at any given time, I thought it would be best to create warning signs that alert people of spots that Mattsquatch likes to frequently visit. AND it’s an excuse to spray paint something again! I accidentally painted the black part way off-center, but I think it still gets the point across. I want to tag this all over the place. Mattsquatch crossing! Beware!
I felt like tagging more so I hit up a tree stump. It was not as successful, but it does seem more like what a sasquatch-tagging-job would look like. It’s sasquatch graffiti!


30Rock Rocks.

7:29 AM

Oh, 30 Rock, how I've missed you! 30 Rock is by far my favorite comedy and I've been waiting very patiently for it to return to TV in January. I've been reading Tina Fey's "Bossypants" on repeat to supplement the lack of Liz Lemon in my life right now. But January is almost here! And I thought I should draw some 30 Rock character caricatures to celebrate. Tina Fey has said that she's proud of the fact that 30 Rock has such a "human-looking" cast (meaning they have normal faces, as opposed to a cast of hot twenty-somethings), and I like that it makes them easier to draw because you can tell them apart! I'm slowly trying to develop the art of caricaturing - I never seem to know which features to exaggerate. But I'm happy with these four folks. Fortunately, their human-looking faces were easy to work with. Thanks for everything, 30 Rock. I'm excited to hang out again soon. See you January 12th!


Sasquatch Buddy

7:40 AM

I have to tell you - I had the most amazing time at work last week. I got to dance in a music video about two sasquatches falling in love. YES. This is real, people. Before I get into it - is the plural for sasquatch really "sasquatches"? Because right now it's underlined for me like it's misspelled...but I guess it's the only viable option, right? Sasquatchi, like cacti, is too ridiculous. Aaaaanyway, I got to be a part of a music video we filmed for upcoming winter camps, and it was just so, so silly. There were a lot of g-rated dance moves and a couple of friends in sasquatch costumes. I pretty much just flailed around for the entire filming. It was such a good work day. And now I keep getting reminded of sasquatches whenever I see tall people or furry animals or bare feet. So I drew a sasquatch today.

The Bluths

7:59 AM

Lately I've been watching through some "Arrested Development" episodes, and now I can't get the Bluth family off my brain! I decided to take a stab at drawing caricatures of their characters. Some are definitely better than others, but I didn't feel like spending too much time on this "project". I was actually trying to test myself and see what I could come up with in quick, 30-second sketches of each character. I was surprised that Gob and George Michael seemed to be the most difficult...especially Gob! He's such a character! I apparently can't draw him at all. And Buster looks like such a creeper...normally I have a secret crush on Tony Hale, but not this version. I think my favorite might be mopey Tobias - I didn't mean to draw him looking so sad, but somehow it suits him. 


7:58 AM

I decided to add a few characters to a drawing I did for an earlier post...
Suddenly everyone's got superpowers! 
Now Superman's sad because he's not so special any more.
My favorite is the cat shooting itself with the bullet bouncing off its chest.
I'm less proud of the boy with icy cooling breath powers (that always seemed neat when Superman did it, but describing it sounds lame) because I think it looks like he's just spitting in his hand. 
Oh, and the bird is supposed to be "faster than a speeding bullet" but it just looks like a normal-speed bird...Anyway, Superman's just jealous that he's no longer the only superdude in the neighborhood!


The Ugly Truth

7:59 AM

Let's be honest. Yesterday's post made it look a little too easy.
This is what it actually looks like when I'm trying to "tag" something. Except a little less graceful, if that's possible to imagine. No matter what I do, I always end up with paint all over my hands and clothes and most of the time it ends up in my hair. All in the name of art, eh? 


Feeling Tagsick

7:58 AM

Tagsick. You know, like homesick, but for tagging.
I miss tagging things. It's been too long! Silly Thanksgiving.
I was busy eating turkey and being thankful instead of tagging up more of my office stairwell.
So what do I do when I'm tagsick? I draw myself tagging.
I know, it's super-nerdy.

This is from another page in my Walls Notebook - so the brick, stairs, and the words "artist's space" were already there. I took the liberty of adding the rest. It needed a little tagging...as do I. Sigh.


Mountain Dewed

7:50 AM


I was going through some old boxes last night and I came across this little gem. It's from 2006.
Yes, I drew a picture of a boy bringing me a can of Mountain Dew. Is that not normal?
It's my favorite drink, although these days Diet Coke is really winning me over.

For added amusement, I discovered that the drawing was on the back of a custom word-search that my friend Sarah made for me when we worked at summer camp together. All the words had to do with that summer and the jokes that came out of it...My favorites are "greasemonkey," "turkeyleg," and "wouldyourather." Those are the best.
And yes, I save stuff like this. I get sentimentally attached. 
One day I'll be a hoarder with piles of word-searches and lots of cats.


White Eyes

7:55 AM

Today is a pretty odd bunch of doodles...it's just a handful of guys with white eyeballs. Last year, my friend Jordan had a link on his facebook page saying that everyone should check out his friend's art blog. As someone in the "art blog" realm, I was particularly interested. The artist is named Kevin Parks and he blog-shares doodles as he creates them (often drawn on post-its.) I seriously love this guy's drawing style. I'm hooked. I read every post. And I love the fact that I only know he exists because I happened to see a link on facebook one day. I don't even know Kevin Parks...but he's from Ventura, California like I am so he's already got that going for him. Anyway, he often draws people with white eyeballs (or no eyeballs, I guess...or maybe weather-altering eyeballs like Storm from X-Men) and since I love everything about how this guy draws, I decided to see what my dude doodles would look like with white eyes. 
They look weird. I'm no Kevin Parks. But I'm Annie, and that's okay.

Springhill Suites

7:43 AM

I don't know if this is interesting to anyone, but here goes!
My dad recently emailed me a link to the Springhill Suites website, where they were promoting a design-a-keycard contest. Meaning, the hotel chain was holding a contest to see who could come up with the best new keycard design for their hotel. As a fan of both design and hotels, I felt like this was a great opportunity for me. I loved the idea of having my little drawings on a keycard! (Also, the winner gets an ipad.) Unfortunately, I only had a couple days and not enough free time before the contest was closed for submissions, so I didn't actually submit a design. I only got to the brainstorming phase. But since that's usually my favorite phase, I figured it was still worth sharing. These sketches were my initial brainstorms for what I could design on a keycard:
In this next portion, I tried to draw something that could look like either a sun rising over a hill between two trees, or a bed between two lamps. See it? It's a stretch. But it's the most clever idea I had. Oh, and then there's also a hand reaching for the lamp on the nightstand...but it's a tree, not a lamp! I don't know why I kept trying to put tree lamps in their hotel rooms.
In the end, I didn't have the time to finalize any of these ideas into something more concrete, but it was still a fun process to sketch all this stuff out. Maybe I'll get 'em next year!


7:41 AM

Today I just felt like drawing a superhero. So I drew Superman hovering in the sky (I always accidentally add gloves to his super-outfit...doesn't it seem like he should wear gloves?) I originally was considering drawing Superman watching as two people below were getting in a fight over Black Friday merchandise (you know, to be culturally relevant and whatnot) but then that seemed like too much work. So instead, we get a little boy who is strong enough to lift a trash can. Superman seems to have an unexplainable look of fear in his eyes, so you have to assume that he either fears this boy as a future adversary, or he's wondering if somewhere down the line he fathered a super-child. Either way, I think it would have been more entertaining if I'd drawn some Wal-Mart shoppers battling it out instead...

Happy Thanksgiving!

7:53 AM

May your holiday be filled with pie, football, family, stuffing, and gratitude!

Also, I'd like to mention that you get two thumbs up from me if you are not currently reading this on your phone while camping out in line for Best Buy. In fact, I hope you're reading this on Friday because you were so busy being thankful with your family on Thursday. Go on, get out of here - go hug somebody and eat some turkey!


Look What I Made!

7:56 AM

This is just a quick doodle I sketched out - I drew it a few days ago as I was surrounded by nature and clouds and birds and sunlight and I realized how much I take it for granted sometimes. But I want to be grateful. And I know the world wasn't created by a toga-wearing Jesus looking to me for approval like a needy toddler...but somehow this seemed to embody what I was feeling - mainly just that I wish I remembered to be grateful more often.

Critter Buddies

7:52 AM

 You didn't really think I was all done with my street* art, did you? 
I've got plenty more where that came from. Okay, maybe not a ton this week - but I'm definitely not done with this art medium yet. Especially when I've got a whole wall to work with! Today we have a chipmunk aiding a raccoon that looked like he needed a friend. I like the chipmunk stencil because wherever I paint him, I can draw anything coming out of the sharpie marker in his hand...so many possibilities!

*No art was actually done on streets, near streets, or anything street-related.


Liz Lemon & Me

7:48 AM

A long time ago, I blogged about this wooden plaque I was working on.
I bought it because I stumbled upon it online and immediately recognized it from Liz Lemon's office on 30 Rock. Yeah, I'm kind of obsessed with that show, and I'm always molding my life to be as much like Tina Fey's as possible. So in the spirit of TV-obsession, I bought the wall plaque on ebay and was intent on hanging it in my office just like ol' Liz Lemon. 
But I wanted to make mine just like Liz Lemon's, or at least pretty close. 
And when I bought the plaque, there was way too much orange:
So I painted. I sanded. I painted. I sanded. It was a long, delicate process.
And finally, after I sanded off the last of the orange flowers and repainted white ones in their place...I love it. I absolutely love this weird, funky artwork from the sixties! It's not exactly the same as Liz's, but I like to think Liz Lemon and I might be the only two people in the world with a wall plaque like this.
Because who takes this much time to work on altering a weird retro wall plaque?

30 Rock set designers.
And me. 

I like those odds.

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