Off to Korea

For those of you who somehow don't know or haven't heard, I've decided to go to Korea for a year to teach English. I left last Wednesday (25th) and got in at about 11:30 on Thursday, local time. This included a 22hr. flight, and a 3hr bus ride... oh yeah and an hour and a half car ride at 4:30 in the morning to the airport to start the whole thing off. Marathon.

On the whole, I really thought traveling on the day before Thanksgiving would be a bit more hectic, but I kept waiting for something to get screwed up and it didn't happen. I was in for a bit of a surprise though during the flight... It seemed to me that flying out of San Francisco for Korea, we'd just fly straight across the Pacific.... shortest distance between two points, right? Well, a few hours into the flight, I opened my window (had a window seat with no one next to me!!) to see... this first photo on the left. The helpful little map feature on the lcd screen in front of my seat told me that apparently that is the western coast of Alaska. I managed to suppress the second of panic where I imagined a scenario in which I got on the wrong flight to the north pole. A few hours later, after crossing the Bering Strait, I got a view of what Sarah Palin supposedly sees from her window... Russia! Actually a barren landscape in Siberia.

Anyway, when I got into Gumi on a bus I took from Seoul, it was so foggy it was impossible to see more than a block in the distance. And the bus station was closed. And I didn't have any change small enough for the pay phone. I didn't actually have an address I knew I was supposed to go to, just a phone number. I bummed some change from some Korean girl using my best sign language and called the number. Soon enough two westerners (Canadian and English) swung by in a taxi to take me to my temporary apartment. The big ugly box I packed all of my clothes in would not even come close to fitting in the trunk, but we took off anyway. At this point I couldn't have cared less if the thing flew out the back and exploded, scattering my whole wardrobe all over the road.

So, that's the whole story of the trip. I made it and nothing terrible happened (except completely teleporting through Thanksgiving). I've already met plenty of westerners, and they seem like a pretty friendly bunch. Today I get to actually go to the school I'll be teaching at and see what it's all about. I'm pretty excited about it. When I get around to it, I'll post some pictures of Gumi and my apartment.


Sociable Flies

Here's an illustration I did for my mother the other day. Every year she and a group of women go to the Bahamas for a week. One of their members isn't a native English speaker and instead of "Social Butterflies," she made the mistake of calling them "Sociable Flies" and i guess the name stuck.


Wild Things

I saw "Where the Wild Things Are" the other day. I think the book works a lot better than the movie, but anyway I felt like drawing my own version of Max. With this illustration I was working a little differently– I wanted a softer texture than the hard ink line I'm used to using, so I actually sketched this in pencil, light- boxed the sketch to come out with a cleaner drawing, and scanned it into photoshop. I like the quality it gave me but I have some kinks to pick out particularly where darker lines get these light halos around them. I'm pretty sure I can fix it, but like an idiot, I didn't save the original scan and I didn't feel like scanning the whole thing again.


The Gift

Here's an illustration I'm working on about a song from the Velvet Underground called "The Gift." It's basically a kind of sick story about Waldo Jeffries, a sap who met a girl in college who he hasn't been able to see since summer break. He misses her and is obsessed with the idea that she's found someone new, but he can't afford to go visit her. Like any sane person, he decides to mail himself and surprise her. Anyway, when she gets the gift, she can't get it open and in her frustration stabs a giant sheet metal cutter through the box.... and poor Waldo.

This is just the ink version, but color should be coming soon. In the color version, the box will look like a cut- away, so you'll understand that you're seeing through the box to what's inside....


Harvey Pekar

I saw on a blog called Drawn! that Harvey Pekar had his birthday recently. There was a link to a page where a bunch of artists drew portraits of the old man, and here's my interpretation.


soup's on!

just for fun...


dr. sketchy!

here are some drawings i did in a life drawing session of dr. sketchy's anti-art school. dr. sketchy is a thing that happens in a bunch of cities across the us that is more about having fun than the stiff academic life drawing classes we're used to. the session was at a local cafe, so we could all have a drink and draw. good atmosphere. the model, bunny was in drag and there was a dj spinning some of the most dated 80s and 90s music you thought you forgot about. anyway, this was my first time drawing from a live model in over a year, and man, i was rusty. in any case, it was a lot of fun and i'm looking forward to the next one.


he was not only a scientist and a writer, but an ALIEN too!

this started out as a portrait of arthur c. clark. the likeness really got lost, but i liked the character and decided to go with it anyway.


he was a dirty, dirty, old man

this is a portrait of charles bukowski i did after reading a collection of his short stories. apparently his motto and epitaph is... don't try. well, i did, and i'm pretty happy with the result.


spare change

here's an illustration i made in response to a request. the idea was for an urban setting and some sort of interaction between class (rich and poor). there so many ways to approach this sort of topic, but instead of saying something direct about the tragedy of the poor or homeless or the vanity and self centered-ness of most people, i went for a more objective take on the situation. i'm pretty happy with it, though the image is 18x13 or something in person so there are a few weird areas where i had to patch different scans together.


thelonious line

here's the original line work.


baseball season is almost here...

I don't really know where this came from. I started with the inked drawing and did the tonal work digitally. Still pretty shaky when it comes to getting things how I want them to look in digital. I tried doing a color version going for loud punchy colors but it came out looking garish. Might give it another shot.


whitney art show!

This is a piece I will be showing at the Whitney Art Works show "The Funnies." The actual piece is quite large (26x20). I was thinking of full page newspaper comics from the early 1900s like Little Nemo for the format, trying to tell a simple story in a single layout. Anyway, it should be an awesome show. Ryan LaMunyon, Ben Asselin, Nick Colen, and Mike Gorman, along with a bunch of other awesome people are showing work. The opening is on the 6th, but the show is open for the rest of the month.