Last month when I visited Spain, I couldn't help but notice how everything was new to me. The buildings, the customs, the people, the food, the language...the list goes on. This was my first trip abroad, so I was especially aware of how nothing felt familiar. Nothing felt normal. And it was a unique kind of thrilling feeling to be engaged in all-new activities all day long for a substantial amount of time. I kept thinking, "Everything is new! Everything is new!" And yet, as I continued to explore Spain, I was also noticing that everything was so old. I'd never seen buildings half as old as some of the structures I saw in Spain. It felt like a funny juxtaposition - everything was so new, in a place where everything was so, so old. I drew this to represent that juxtaposition: an old stone wall covered in fresh, green vines...something ancient covered in something new.
So, um, this is Han Solo roasting a marshmallow over a bonfire. I mean, that's what I was trying to draw. For some reason. But really, it could just serve as a sketch of any booted, vest-wearing man roasting some fire-lit treats. It doesn't look too much like Han specifically. I don't know how I end up with some of these sketches...I just sat down at my sketchbook and felt like drawing Han Solo...and then, next thing I knew, there was a marshmallow skewer in his hands! It happens. So, now it's a Hanfire.
Oh man, last week was SO fun. Definitely one worth sketch-commemorating.
My roommates and I (who rarely ever get to hang out due to conflicting schedules) took a trip together to Park City, Utah. It was amazing. And since it was the off-season, we were the only three guests staying at our hotel.
We barely left the room on the first day (the focal point of this trip was rest and relaxation!) We cooked dinner together and watched movies and played board games.
Then we went sledding! But since there weren't any sled rentals available (off-season), we bought $3 inflatable pool rafts at Wal-Mart instead. They worked so well! It exceeded our expectations by a long shot. We sledded all afternoon.
We had another low-key day after that, mainly just strolling through shops in town and going for walks...before retreating back to the hotel's jacuzzi and more board games.
This day was INCREDIBLE. We went snowmobiling, which I've never done before, and it was so, so fun. We were the only three riders on the mountain that day (again, there's something to be said about traveling in the off season...) so we had the trails all to ourselves.
And finally, it was time to head back home.
(It was a running joke that we spent so much time in our hotel robes. )
Aaaaaaaand back to reality. Had a lot of meetings at work that day.
Ending on a not-super-exciting note...I rearranged the art on the wall in my room!
Yeah! Really interesting, right? Glad I shared this with you.
Create! Create, I say! Lately I've been stalking Sevenly's website on a regular basis because I like visually sifting through their cool shirt designs. I love to draw, but I'm such a doodler at heart and I know there's so much room to grow before I could ever truly consider myself a designer. But I'm okay with that. I consider myself an illustrator, not a graphic designer, though I used to think they were synonymous. I think the main difference is that I don't enjoy having to work with text (You know how graphic designers get all emotional about font choices? That's not me.) So this is me trying to make a deliberate attempt to get a little more familiar with text. Lettering. So I picked a word and drew it. Create, create, create!
A few weeks ago, I watched the movie "The Darjeeling Limited" for the first time. It was a real "There's nothing else to watch" kind of situation, which is how I ended up with this selection. I don't love Wes Anderson films. I get why other people love them, but for some reason I just can't connect. Maybe I'll blame it on the fact that I like really happy, endearing characters, and everyone in Wes Anderson's films is brooding and moody. And his movies are all pretty artsy, which sounds like I should like it, but really I just get bored quickly. Anyway...as I sat, kind of bored and confused, through Darjeeling Limited, I couldn't help but think about how unique-looking each of the characters are...and how fun they would be to draw. If there's one thing I can praise about Wes Anderson's movies, it's that he creates some incredibly iconic characters. So, without further ado - I present to you Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, and Adrian Brody from The Darjeeling Limited.
Two days in a row where I'm posting drawings of crazy hair...I think I drew these back-to-back because I enjoyed one and then felt like drawing another. At the time that I started drawing this, I didn't plan to put little men skating and surfing in there...but hey, why not? I can't imagine what it would be like to have this much hair. I start whining about my neck being too hot when my hair is, like, barely touching my shoulders. Having this much hair would be a nightmare. And then, having to deal with little tiny people playing extreme sports in my long locks?...That's a tough plight. Luckily, it's just a drawing. My hair is currently skater/surfer-free. Let's hope it stays that way!
My original inspiration for drawing this picture was just that I "felt like drawing a lot of hair." Do you ever feel that way sometimes, like you just want to draw someone with tons of hair? It happens to the best of us. This is the result. And I added the bird for some extra flair. Um...hair flair.
Last week was exciting for me at work because we recently filled some key positions in my department, so I have coworkers again!
My room was a disaster zone for a solid ten days after my return from Spain. It's like I didn't have a free second to clean anything up! I finallllly got around to it.
Last weekend I helped my friends install hardwood floors into their house! One friend's job was sorting the wood planks, and she gave them silly nicknames. I accidentally made it look like I'm a giant and my friends are teeny tiny - This was not a real-life-gulliver's-travels situation, just bad drawing.
On Sunday I went to church with several friends that I used to work with at summer camp, and the pastor preaching was our old boss. He told a few stories from our years at camp, and it just made me happy that we all still know each other after so many years.
My roommates and I are on vacation! This is us rejoicing in anticipation like we did every day this week.
This week at work our department meeting was a little chaotic, with people conference-calling in and video-chatting, and it just made me so happy to have a little bit of chaos back in our routine. It's been too quiet in these offices, I tell ya'...but not anymore!
These sketches are from the planning stage of a tessellation that I'm still working on. It's a rather ambitious project...I decided I wanted to make X-Men tessellations! Ahhhh, so nerdy. Embrace it. I used M.C. Escher's formula for his lizard tessellations as a model for the X-Men characters' shapes. Of course I did. Did you think I would not take this extremely seriously? If I don't create an X-Men tessellation, who will?!
Look! Doggies everywhere! This is a tessellation made up of dogs, obviously. They're kind of oddly-shaped dogs, with giant feet and little hindquarters, but I like 'em. I also included the non-colored version here because I think I might like it more. It's like when all the dogs are white, the repeated pattern seems like it's being repeated more precisely or infinitely, or something like that.
And not that anyone is dying to run out and create their own dog tessellations, but here's how you make a basic tessellation, if you were curious. You know, for educational purposes or something. I started with a paper hexagon and cut a shape out of it. For example, I cut out the green spot above the dog and then taped it to the bottom, which became toes. I cut out the yellow part beneath the hind legs and taped it to the head. After all three cuts 'n tapes, I had an odd-looking shape that I made into a few dozen dogs!
This is my first completed attempt at a tessellation. It's not the most clever or complex or unique, but I felt good about it as a "starter tessellation." I think the negative space beneath each individual pig might technically be "cheating", but I'm fine with it. This is my pig tessellation in honor of Spain and all the pork I consumed there. They sure love their ham.
One of the highlights of my recent trip to Spain was visiting the Alhambra, an incredible ancient palace in Granada. (Okay, maybe I don't know the exact definition of the word "ancient," but it's way more ancient than anything in America.) I enjoyed the Alhambra tour for many reasons (I'm happy in anything remotely resembling a castle!) but one thing that really stuck out to me were the patterns on the walls. The Alhambra is full of beautiful tiled patterns and carvings alllllll over the place. It was so cool to see! Here are a few examples:
One thing I learned on the tour that I found particularly interesting, was that M.C. Escher (one of my favorite artists!) actually visited the Alhambra, and that was a big part of his inspiration to create a lot of his tessellation artwork. Tessellations are interlocking repeating patterns like these:
I've always been really fascinated by tessellations, and I've always wanted to try creating some of my own...I just never really got around to it. (That's totally normal, right? I mean, everyone has "Create some cool tessellations" on their bucket list?) So while I was touring around Spain, if my friend and I ever had any down time, you could find me hunched over my sketchbook trying to figure out how tessellations work. It's a little nerdy, but I had a lot of fun with it. Buckle up. It's Tessellation Week!
Today I leave you with my tessellation brainstorming sketches. I was determined to come up with a pig tessellation design in honor of Spain, where everything is served with some kind of pork. We'll get into it more tomorrow!
My friends and I went out to celebrate our last night together in Spain. It was actually one of my favorite spanish meals we had on the whole trip, so it felt appropriate as our celebratory dinner.
Then I spent 30 hours travelling home. I'd caught a cold the day before, and then my nose wouldn't stop running on the plane rides. It was a looooooooooooooooong day.
I know it probably seems like I'm romanticizing things a little here...but children really did come running with open arms when I returned from Spain. All my friends' kiddos are gems. They make me feel like Maria when she comes back from the abbey and all the Von Trapp kids run to hug her.
My roommates and I finally got to see each other and catch up, though I was still pretty exhausted at the time. That's why I drew myself sort of lying lifeless on the table.
And my cold, which had gotten better for a few days, came back in full force - so I went to the best place to go when I'm sick...Mom and Dad's house. They take good care of me.
And it was nice to have a chance to go through all of my Spain photos and stories with my parents...
My parents even got me a pint of Ben & Jerry's Liz Lemon Greek frozen yogurt...They know me so well!
I babysat my friends' little girls this week, one of whom made a "Welcome Annie" sign that I assumed she made for me...until she informed me that she wanted to keep it for in case anyone else named Annie shows up in the future. This was silly because I'm the only Annie she knows.
I came across this phrase recently and it stuck with me. I couldn't shake the notion that I ought to draw it on a street sign...so I did. I'm not sure what it's really supposed to mean (there's bound to be some really deep meaning there, right?) I stole the phrase from a book I was reading, but that's totally allowed since the book is called "Steal Like an Artist." It's all about how all artists are really just stealing ideas from each other. And I technically stole this book from my coworker's desk, so I'm really putting the book's principles to good use all over the place.
I'm just saying, if this is how I meet the love of my life one day, it would be the best story ever.
Today's comic was based off the fact that, as I was exploring some ancient Roman temple ruins in Spain, I couldn't help but think "Oh yeah, I remember seeing this on Xena..." which is a ridiculous reaction when you're standing among actual historical artifacts. I'm kind of a nerd.
Still catching up on my sketch journal from my recent trip to Spain:
This is when we were standing at the top of the Rock of Gibraltar, which I absolutely loved! (The little gremlins on the left are supposed to be monkeys.)
Touring some old Roman ruins in a little town called Bolonia:
Then we went to a town called Ronda that was built up on cliffs above a beautiful gorge...
We went to a Spanish "church bbq" (except in Spain, it's paella and not bbq.)
We were all served a HEAPING plate of paella.
I had mixed emotions about some of the food I tried in Spain...sometimes I just couldn't believe how much fried food was served without any veggies! But, for the record, the fried cheese was delicious.
I spent Easter in Spain! My friends cooked chickens and rice and veggies and dessert and it was all delightful.
And I spent a morning in the art center where my friend works. It was a little overwhelming being surrounded by a dozen children that I couldn't understand, until two sweet little English-speaking girls showed up and immediately became my favorites. I sat and doodled with them throughout the art class.
Since I was romping around Spain for the past two weeks, I didn't get a chance to upload my weekly sketch journal drawings from abroad. So, here are the sketches from two weeks ago:
This was the night before I left for Spain, and I spent the evening at a baby shower for a friend.
As this was my first transcontinental flight, I found it exciting that they served dinner on the plane, which I always loved as a kid when they used to serve meals on more flights. My excitement died down quickly as I actually tasted the food.
On my first day in Spain, we drove up to Granada and started exploring the city. At sunset, we went up to a lookout point called the "Mirador de San Nicholas" that overlooks the whole city.
The next day we toured The Alhambra, which was beautiful and fascinating. I loved all the patterns and tiled art on the walls.
They like ham in Spain. Everywhere I looked, there were more pork products. And I tried lots of 'em.
After touring Granada, my friends and I headed to Algeciras, Spain, and we stayed my friends' apartment for the duration of my stay. It was nice to have a relaxing "home base" for the rest of the traveling. I found it amusing that, because most of the TV channels were in Spanish, we watched the British channel all the time.
And it just so happened that I was visiting Spain during Semana Santa (Holy Week), the week before Easter...It was such an interesting experience. There were massive processions through the city streets every night until early in the morning, with a full marching band and hundreds of people lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the procession. The procession members also wore long, pointed hats, which was just such an eerie sight...
More to come!