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.


Raccoon Balloon

7:49 AM

You know how I said I've been brainstorming street art for upcoming work projects?
Well, that turned into my bosses (some of them - I sort of have four bosses) trying to convince me to practice graffiti and spray paint stenciling on our office walls. I laughed at them. Of course not! I'm a rule-follower. I'm not going to tag up our office. We went back and forth for a bit, with my bosses cheering for me to spray paint something on the wall and me refusing...partly because the whole thing felt like a trick. Was I reeeeally allowed to spray paint on the wall? Suddenly my question was answered - one of them grabbed the spray paint can and started tagging the wall himself. Like this:
Yeah. That happened. 
But once the wall had been officially "christened" by this little number, I knew they weren't kidding around. They really did want me to paint things on the wall! Open season! And after that "design" was on there, I knew there was nowhere to go but up. So I took the honor of making their "art" a little more Banksy-ish with a raccoon taking responsibility for the tagging. Silly raccoons!
To reach the balloon, I had to precariously balance on a chair propped up on the stairs,
which was the hardest part.


Boba Fett Stencil

7:39 AM

Look what I made!!!
I try not to use that phrase too much...I never want to be the artist who's running around like "Hey, look what I can do!" But today, I am truly giddy about what I've created. I don't know why I have such a weird obsession with Boba Fett, but I love the guy. He's the bounty hunter from Star Wars, if you don't know. You should know. Everybody should know who Boba Fett is.

So anyway, I was particularly excited to show someone (anyone!) this Boba Fett helmet I'd created with stencils and spray paint - my very first multi-colored stencil! I was so pleased with myself. When my coworker Michael arrived at work, I eagerly showed him my new creation...

Me: "Michael, look what I made!"
Michael: "What is that?"
Me (horrified): "IT'S BOBA FETT!"
Michael: "From Star Wars?"
Me: "YES, from Star Wars! You don't know Boba Fett?!"
Michael: "Oh, was he the assassin?..."

I was suddenly equally sure that he should know more about Star Wars and I should know less.
 I cut three different stencils out of thin cardboard and then sprayed one layer on top of another.
I was pretty proud of myself for figuring out how to do the three different layers...
And now I have a new set of stencils so I can spread Boba Fett awareness wherever I go!


Raccoon (More like Rac-cool!)

7:59 AM

Part of why I'm on such a street-art-kick is because I've been researching it for work-related stuff. I've been tasked with brainstorming and researching various aspects of street art, which I love. Looooove. So even at work, daydreaming about stencils and spray paint is allowed and even encouraged. As I was showing a coworker the latest stencil I'd created, he asked when I made it, and I told him I'd cut it out the night before while I was watching a movie. For some reason this stopped me in my tracks - I mean, not everyone spends their evening sitting by the fire watching a movie and cutting a raccoon out of a transparency sheet. Right? This is a unique hobby. I get it. And I don't mind. Today's wannabe-Banksy-stencil-of-the-day is a raccoon, a little buddy to go with yesterday's squirrel. I like him a lot.
The stencil I cut out of a transperency sheet, pre-paint:
 My favorite raccoon tag - an abandoned sink!:


Are You Nuts?!

7:50 AM

I had one particularly tiring day at work last week. It wasn't that bad - it was fine, but I was eager to clear my mind when the end of the work day rolled around. I enthusiastically fled from my office with stencils and spray paint in hand. I had a new stencil, a squirrel I'd cut out of a transparency sheet (like what you use on overhead projectors - remember those?) and I could feel all the stress of the day fading away as I started tagging random objects with a goofy little squirrel image. It gets dark at like 5pm now with the silly California time change. I found myself ducking behind dumpsters in the dark whenever people were walking by, making me feel like I was getting the true "vandal experience." Not that it would have mattered if I "got caught", I just didn't want to have to explain to a random coworker why I was in the dark tagging a squirrel on an abandoned toilet. How do you even begin to explain that? But when I finally walked in my front door that night, hands and forearms splattered with black paint, reeking of paint fumes and carrying a toilet tank lid I'd decided to keep...suddenly I couldn't remember what was so stressful about my day after all. All I knew is that night-tagging (even as a vandal-wannabe) can feel like a real adventure.
I made the squirrel saying "Are you nuts?" as a play on words...
Like he's asking you if you're crazy, or also if you happen to be an acorn.
I switched out our office toilet tank lid for a quick photo op:



7:48 AM

It’s Banksy week! Hopefully I can keep it up. Creating images, cutting stencils, and spray-painting is a big process - one that I’m TOTALLY enjoying, but it’s also pretty time-consuming. I'm fairly sure I’m doing everything a little bit wrong, using methods that are probably quite inefficient compared to the pros – but I’m still having a lot of fun, especially for a beginner.

For my very first “I’m going to pretend I’m a street artist” stencil, I decided to stay simple. 
I copied Banksy’s signature stencil and used it to create my own "signature":

I cut it out of some posterboard I had lying around. It’s nice and sturdy, making it so fun and easy to run up to something and tag it quickly. Again, I’d like to add the disclaimer that I’m not actually tagging buildings…I only meant that it’s a quick and simple process with a very clean, consistent result every time. I pulled a few fun items out of my favorite dumpster at work (the one where we dispose of furniture and lamps and objects, rather than typical “trash”) and just went to town! I sprayed my name on everything, it was so ridiculous and fun. I had no idea I would enjoy it that much! I highly recommend tagging. (You know, in a wholesome, rule-followy kind of way.)

I know it's not great to tag a book. 
But it was in the dumpster already and it had been rained on the night before.
(Mom, that disclaimer was for you. I know how much you love books and hate graffiti, 
and you're probably wincing at the sight of this.)

I liked the guitar neck so much that I kept it and added it to my mantle in my office at work:


7:57 AM

All right, I admit it - I've been totally enthralled with Banksy this week. Banksy, the street artist! Google him if you don't know what I'm talking about. This guy is artistically inspiring, and I don't say that about a lot of people. I may not agree with his vandalism or political views and I think "Banksy" is kind of a nerdy name, but I love his ambitious artsy style. It makes me want to go tag stuff everywhere! And I will. Except I'm a total rule-follower and I won't tag on buildings. I only tag things that I find in dumpsters. Clean-ish dumpsters. I'm not a bag lady. You'll see. Next week is going to be so fun. I've already made some stencils and tried it out, and spray-painting stencils is such a blast! After all these years, it's refreshing to try an art medium I've never tried before. And it makes me feel pretty hip while I'm at it.
This drawing is just a spoof of what it would be like if Banksy himself came and confronted me while I was copying his tagging style (is "tagging" even the right word? I'm definitely not up-to-date on current street artist lingo.) Banksy hides his identity and never shows his face publicly, so I imagine that he would block his face somehow (like Wilson from Home Improvement!) which is why he's holding up a sign in front of his head. Silly Banksy. On a semi-unrelated note, today I decided that if I was really into street art and I got a new puppy, I would name him "Barksy" in Banksy's honor.



7:58 AM

I loved the X-Men cartoon from the early 90's!...I know I've already mentioned it on this blog. A few times. I forever picture all the X-Men characters in their outfits from the cartoon instead of the black leather outfits from the movies. There's a lot more spandex in this version, for better or for worse. Today I created Peanuts versions of my favorite X-Men (and X-Ladies) and this is the result. I love the challenge of drawing familiar characters (like X-Men) in different drawing styles (like Peanuts-style.) It makes for some real cute little guys...I just love little Gambit with his pink chest plate and trenchcoat! And I originally was going to title this post a cross between "X-Men" and "Peanuts" until I realized that would result in either "X-Nuts" or "Pea-Men", and neither of those seemed quite classy enough.

The Jetstones

8:03 AM

This is obviously the follow-up drawing of Monday's post, with the Jetsons thrown into the Flintstones' world. My favorite is probably little Elroy running around in Bam Bam's getup, although Rosie the robot maid wearing Barney Rubble's one-piece also makes me smile. I've never really realized before that both Judy Jetson and Bam Bam Rubble have white hair, which is rather odd for adolescents, right?...Maybe it's a prehistoric/futuristic thing.


7:58 AM

We've all seen those bumper stickers, right?
The ones with Calvin relieving himself on a Chevy logo? Or the Raiders logo? Or a politician's name?
Classy, folks. Reeeeal classy. The only good that comes out of those ridiculous stickers is that it helps me sort out who I want to be friends with. I do not associate with people who have Calvin peeing on things on the back of their car. It's just good sense. To clarify, the drawing above is not intended to endorse the Calvin stickers...if anything, it's meant to be a protest.

And the worst part is that I bet Bill Watterson (the creator of Calvin and Hobbes) hates those silly stickers. He didn't want Calvin and Hobbes to become too commercialized like lots of other comics (which is why you're probably not wearing Calvin and Hobbes boxers right now.) I looked around for any articles that addressed Bill Watterson's opinion on the matter, and the only quote I found from him was the wry comment "I clearly miscalculated how popular it would be to show Calvin urinating on a Ford logo." At least it seems like Bill still has his sense of humor.

The Flintsons

7:52 AM

This one's pretty self-explanatory - it's a drawing of the Flintstones characters in Jetsons outfits.
I know at some point there was a "Flinstones Meet the Jetsons" crossover episode, but I'm unsure if they actually ever swapped lives and outfits and everything...if they did, it might look something like this. I've been in a cartoony mood lately, so I'm thinking this week will feature a lot of cartoon drawings. Lots of dialogue bubbles and 2-dimensional characters coming your way!

Celebrity Costumes

7:38 AM

To conclude this week's series, 
here are a few more ideas of celebrity Halloween costume ideas based on their last names:
To clarify - Halle Berry is dressed as a raspberry, not a bunch of grapes.

I had to do some online research for Emily "Blunt." Turns out I didn't really know what those were...and I still don't really. Drug free, the way to be - right, kids?

Technically I drew Reese "Withered-spoon," but I still think that counts.

I found it funny to draw Megan Fox in a chunky little pudgy fox costume, since she is the opposite.

In my peripheral I keep thinking Emma Stone's stone is actually a gross, gray fried egg.

I know the drawing of "Brad Arm-Pitt" is one of the weirder ones...I was too set on the idea of drawing him as an armpit and not a peach pit.

And last but not least, we have Kirstie Alley as both a bowling alley and a shady in-between-buildings-where-you-get-mugged alley. I couldn't decide.

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