Happy Summer Solstice!

Celebrating Solstice in an urban environment is a bit of a challenge. First of all, with buildings so high one can barely see the sky and tracking the path of the Sun while walking on a sidewalk can cause one fall into a pothole. 

Then  there are all those distractions - deadlines, Facebook and people who want to get together.

And of course, the tragedies around the world that happen to other people caused by other people make one's sky gazing and Sun-tracking seem indulgent and selfish. Why instead one doesn't call her local politician demanding to improve the matters of the World?

But the Sun is a powerful magnet that makes seeds forget the forces of Gravity and pull away from Earth towards LIGHT to greet the Sun with blooming flowers. The thought of light wakes me before dawn, full of inspiration and hope.

Without light like without hope one cannot live.

If we all purge our inner demons with a beam of light maybe that alone can make the World a better place?

Lets celebrate the longest day!

Welcome, Light!

Happy Summer Solstice!

Merry Solstice!
Solstice 001.jpg

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today's Valentine's Day! My sweetheart is away, so I will wash my studio floors tonight. 

The part of my brain in charge of words have been asleep lately. I can't think of any clever lines to say to other people's jokes, I am pretty bad explaining tasks to my workers and I cannot write well (that's why rarely write on my blog). Maybe because in the last few months I worked mainly with images?

So, to express my love for you on this special day I used images and made some Valentine's Day cards.

 Love is like a straitjacket - when you can't flail your arms around you may learn to accept your destiny of being crazy in love. 

Love is like a straitjacket - when you can't flail your arms around you may learn to accept your destiny of being crazy in love. 

 When we climb insurmountable mountains we always bring a flag with us, to claim our victory on behalf of the country we are from. How about a flag that represents all humans able to love and be loved in all countries?

When we climb insurmountable mountains we always bring a flag with us, to claim our victory on behalf of the country we are from. How about a flag that represents all humans able to love and be loved in all countries?

 Love doesn't compete. Love wins.

Love doesn't compete. Love wins.

 Would you rather jump the Triple Axel and win the gold at Olympics or cuddle with your sweetheart tonight? I know the answer to this one.

Would you rather jump the Triple Axel and win the gold at Olympics or cuddle with your sweetheart tonight? I know the answer to this one.

Happy Valentine's!

 

From My Sketchbook: Bucket

Every day I sit at my work table and try to produce or to shadow as many drawings as I can. At the end of the day I maybe have drawn 70 drawings but have no satisfaction of accomplishment - finishing the project is still 2 years away.

To remedy my satisfaction blues a year ago I started a sketchbook that I draw into after work, on subway. The rules are pretty simple - don't be afraid to fail, draw any lines that hand wants to draw, then make a finished drawing of that mess. Show to no one.

I filled one sketchbook and started another one. But a nagging thought kept creeping into my head: if I make a drawing in my sketchbook and no one sees it, does it really exist?

To assure the existence of my sketchbook, I am bringing one drawing outside of it, for you to see:

Bucket.jpg

Now, there. It exists. 

 

Happy Winter Solstice! (with failed cards)

Every 6 month there is a major Solar event that I dedicate a great deal of my thoughts and efforts to: Solstice. Solstices punctuate my bipolar nature swinging from too much darkness to too much light. To celebrate this awareness I make greetings cards, sometimes more than just one. 

This December I drafted 8 of those Merry Winter Solstice cards, 6 of them you can see HERE.

But 2 of them I had doubts about and consulted with my Inner PR person.

- Too phallic, - she said about one. - In this political climate golden balls attached to a golden penis is the last thing people want to see. 

- This is too dark, - she said about the other. - And what are those little hairs between the legs? Too suggestive of pubic hair. It will upset parents and will ruin your reputation. If you publish this you may never be able to run another successful Kickstarter campaign.

So I didn't publish them when the Solstice took place.

But the effort that went into making them kept nagging me. Now when my Inner PR person sleeps on her soft nest of laurels I am publishing the drawings for you to judge if they are too dark and too suggestive. What do you think?

Pear Sun.jpg
Pear Mother.jpg

International Women's Day

Since I woke up this morning I keep seeing posts like "Happy International Women's Day, Dear Women!". They seem well meaning but just don't make me feel the overwhelming happiness for the day that was supposed to celebrate my gender. And what does it even mean to celebrate women?

It reminds me of March 8 in Soviet Union, where those celebrations served as a mix of a Valentine's Day and a ritual of penance and absolution of one's (mostly male) sins. All a man had to do on March 8 was to show up with a bunch of red tulips on the doorsteps of all the females he had wronged and say: " Happy Women's Day, dear women! I love you so much!" and all the abuse he caused for a year was forgiven and forgotten. 

I don't want women to be celebrated in exchange for absolution. We need no celebration, no flowers, no sweet greetings. We need true equality. The original March 8 in 1917 showed the power of women. Then the meaning of the day was hijacked and corrupted to keep women placated and away from the real power of governing and wealth. 

This March 8 put your marching boots on and join the March forward!

The Kickstarter Drama in Pictures

The story goes like this: a small independent animated feature film "My Love Affair With Marriage" is in love and would like to get funded. It decides to propose. Dramatics twists and turns entail.

You can continue to support "My Love Affair With Marriage" on KickstartMarriageFilm.com

THANK YOU!

Road to a Grumpy Crow

A few hours before my HOLIDAY SPECIAL offer expired an order for came in with the following instructions:

"My creature of choice would be a crow. I love crows. People think crows are wise, and mystical, but I reckon that's probably not entirely true. They're grumpy, and badass, and think the world revolves around them. Also they have to put up with an awful lot of bad weather. They have to live up in the trees!"

The description of crows reminded me of this bird:

 Lives on trees. Is quarrelsome. Very social. Has reputation.

Lives on trees. Is quarrelsome. Very social. Has reputation.

But that is called Rook or Jackdaw. While THIS bird below is what people in my country call a Crow:

 Lives on trees and streets. Promiscuous in regards to food (will eat garbage). 

Lives on trees and streets. Promiscuous in regards to food (will eat garbage). 

So I sent a message to Richard (the person who ordered the drawing) and asked to clarify. He instantly replied with the image of this bird: 

 Screams a lot. Grumpy.

Screams a lot. Grumpy.

And another image - of the sculpture he made of the bird:

 An image of a bird who lives on trees made out of a tree!

An image of a bird who lives on trees made out of a tree!

Richard, it turned out, is an accomplished artist who besides all other things does artwork on commission. You can see his work HERE and HERE and HERE. This is the first time he commissioned another artist to make something for him. I nearly fainted from fretting: just one look at my art will make a real artist recognize what a fraud I am! But work is work. I've already spent the money, so I had to deliver the art. I must dazzle Richard with a brilliant idea so that he wouldn't see my failing at the craft. Would he like this:

 A crow's beak wearing grumpy expression is a mask covering gentle kind soul.

A crow's beak wearing grumpy expression is a mask covering gentle kind soul.

Oh, no, this can't be good enough. Let me try something more interesting:

 Communicating crows deftly defy gravity.

Communicating crows deftly defy gravity.

Meh. I could do better. There is something to the idea of Richard carving an image of a crow out of wood. He also mentioned that he heats his old cold drafty house with firewood. He is taking away trees from freezing crows to keep himself warm. How about this:

 A crow is a tree and Richard had chopped pieces of wood from it.

A crow is a tree and Richard had chopped pieces of wood from it.

Yeah,  but does the idea of a crow related to trees reads well enough in this image? Let me make it more dramatic:

 A crow is freaking out about wood chopped out of him.

A crow is freaking out about wood chopped out of him.

Not sure if the idea reads too well. Its also a touch violent. Let me develop it a little better:

 A crow sits on pieces of wood arranged like a sliced cake.

A crow sits on pieces of wood arranged like a sliced cake.

I am afraid I don't have skills good enough to render this idea clearly enough. Lets try to go in a different direction. I liked one of my first ideas of the crow wearing his beak as a mask:

 A crow is ready for a party but no trees to party on.

A crow is ready for a party but no trees to party on.

Yes, but. I like that crows are black like coal. Like a shadow on a wall. What if the crow had a shadow? But in place of his heart there is a hole for light?

 Crow has a warm heart full of light. It throws a flickery light like a burning stove.

Crow has a warm heart full of light. It throws a flickery light like a burning stove.

But black and black on a white wall will not make a lot of color. I think Richard wants color. Lets see if I can make a colorful drawing with trees being the crow's home:

 - It is my tree, my home. Leave it alone.

- It is my tree, my home. Leave it alone.

Doesn't seem too exciting. Lets return to that other crow drawing and develop it a bit more:

 - My feet may be in the trees but I dream of a house.

- My feet may be in the trees but I dream of a house.

Looks too flat, too 2D. I need a cinematic approach - foreground interplaying with background. Lets try one more time.

 The Crow's dream of a house throws a dark shadow.

The Crow's dream of a house throws a dark shadow.

Well, this is not good, but I am running out of time. Let me just stop at this and make the best of it.

 It is cold on the tree while Richard's house looks kinda warm.

It is cold on the tree while Richard's house looks kinda warm.

The one thing you may not notice at the first glance, that the snow is painted in about 8 layers: first deep purple, then navy blue, then another layer of purple blue, then baby blue mixed with navy blue and so on. You will see all the colors if you pout the drawing in water. But then you may not have the drawing. 

Richard liked it.