I found David Heatley's article on handwritten type an inspired topic that could use more articles here on the Drawger.
I was lucky to find a copy of this book for $10 in a junk shop in Searsport ME about ten years ago, "Hill's Manual of Social and Business Forms" by Thomas Edie Hill. Apologies for the not-so-good scans; it's a rare mint copy and I didn't want to bend it too much for the scanner.
I guess back in the day (in this case 1879), fine handwriting was a norm for the cultured class. This book is an amazing instructor of how to not only write beautifully, but the proper posture one must write with. It goes on with proper business letter form compositions, party invitationals, etc.
Talk about crazy hand crafted typography! This is one of the pages on how to make a typical alphabet.
The pages get crazier and more and more fanciful.
The proper way to hold ones hand whilst lettering.
The improper ways. This is exactly how I normally write!
Anyway, this stuff is quite humbling.
Oh, and by the way...this is the correct way to hold your fork and knife at the table.
I'm not normally much of one for going to the zoo, but this past Saturday night we went to a really cool event at the Oakland Zoo called "Walk in the Wild". I've illustrated the advertising material for this event for the second year now, and along with the gig comes free tickets.
This is the billboard out on 580. Last year we couldn't make it, but we'd heard from my clients Becca and Alex from Zipfly that it was a really great time. This year we made sure to keep the calendar clear, and man was it a cool, fun and delicious experience.
The idea is that the gates are closed for the evening for a tickets holder's party in the grounds among the animals. Local restaurants, breweries and wineries set up booths all throughout the zoo, and attendees meander around, seeing the animals while tasting gourmet food and sampling wines and beers. We were amazed to see tons of people here; it's a really popular event. There was even a steel pan band playing "In a Gadda Da Vita".
When Zipfly first commissioned me for this, they explained they were thinking of imagery that somehow showed chefs or vintners in and among the beasts, in their natural setting. I never imagined how this approach would literally be what is happening at the event. I tried to get some photos with my cell-phone of guys decanting Pinot Noir while chimpanzees watched from behind, but it was hard to frame. I guess that's why they hire illustration. Wig got this, which captures it a bit better - except the flamingos are a bit tough to see at this resolution!
The two commissioned images were used on a variety of materials. For this one, Becca suggested that the river otters might make for an interesting scene. I'm always down to draw an otter, and seeing how there's a dance party at the end of the evening, I thought it might be good to have some dancing action too.
I've never drawn warthogs before. They're hard to draw! This one was made also into a limited edition, signed poster.
It was great to see the zoo making huge areas for some of the creatures. The tigers had a big forested area that you look down on from above. I find nothing more depressing than watching a large cat pacing back and forth inside a tiny concrete cell. These guys seemed pretty happy.
The Meerkats had a large multi-tunneled mound that they darted in and out of.
Apparently, most of the Oakland Zoo's animals are rescued from other zoos. We were really impressed by them, I'd encourage everyone to go there, as it's also set in the beautiful Oakland hills above the city.
We've been spending the last three years planning a retro-fit and remodel of the street-level floor of our house. You know, San Francisco and earthquakes mean one must do whatever is possible to protect the foundation, sheer wall, etc. In our case, it means gutting the small store-front space, bolting the foundation, tons of sheer wall, renovating the space, new garage doors, painting the house, etc.
In preparing for the work, recently my wife Cynthia has been spending her spare time emptying out the current space. Closets full of all sorts of crazy things - odd musical instruments (pump organs, mandolins, back-up melodicas), rarely used clothing, old typewriters, out-of-date manuals, ancient cassette tapes, etc.
And artwork. These are some pieces of art that somehow have been in storage instead of on our walls, sadly. Cynthia's been bringing them upstairs to my studio rooms every few days, and it's been a joy to see some of them again, like old friends.
A vintage animation cell, by whom and for which animation I do not know. Anyone out there have an idea?
An etching by art director Mike Bain. A chicken, booze, drugs, naked people and gambling. What a great image!
A couple of cards from an early set by the creative genius super-force known as Richard McGuire.
A note from my friend and genius artist Nathaniel Parsons. We're lucky to have a bunch of Nat's pieces, as he produces more than anyone else I know, and he' generously leaves us with art every time he visits.
A painting by my father Gardiner. Dad did this in Oakland California in high school. He was into surrealism at the time I think!
A painting by my brother Kevin . He did this in 1976, can you tell he was into D & D?
A little retablo painting I bought in San Miguel de Allende in the mid 90s.