Local improvisor Josh Krilov interviews guest on the Night Show at Coldtowne Theater

The Night Show

Local improvisor Josh Krilov interviews guest on the Night Show at Coldtowne Theater

Local improvisor Josh Krilov interviews guest on the Night Show at Coldtowne Theater

The Night Show enjoyed a popular run at Austin’s Coldtowne Theater. Here the host, Josh Krilov, interviews a guest.

Angelus Novus

The Angel of History

Angelus Novus

Thinking of Walter Binyamin and the Angel of History

A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.

– Walter Binyamin

Bowl

Bowl

Bowl

Bowl

Drawn in Corel Painter 12 on my Wacom Tablet

Whale

Whale

Whale

Whale

A whale drawn in Photoshop CS6 with fan brush.

Portrait of a Girl

Portrait of a Girl

Portrait of a Girl

Portrait of a Girl

Drawn in Photoshop CS6 using pastel style brushes.

A Worried Headshot

A Worried Headshot

A Worried Headshot

A Worried Headshot

I’m branching out a little bit on drawing with brushes in Photoshop. In this case I decided to redo an odd headshot I had done a few years ago.  The results simulate a physical drawing than anything I’ve done yet. It’s still uncanny to me that this is 100% digital.

Oh, Science! in the Ruins

Oh Science Painting

Here’s a Photoshop painting of the photo my improv troupe, Oh, Science!, used for our last poster.

Oh, Science! in the Ruins

Oh, Science! in the Ruins

The strokes are all mine but you can thank the cloning brush for the colors.

Drawing Milo

Milo the Cat

Drawing Milo

Drawing Milo

I just finished working through a lynda.com photoshop tutorial on painting and drawing with brushes. I am having a ton of fun drawing Milo, our cat. It’s so wonderful to rediscover the joy of creating art as if for the first time.

Drawing Milo

Model Milo

Magician, Clown, Assistant, and Mime

Magician vs Clown Website

Magician, Clown, Assistant, and Mime

The cast of the most recent Feb 9th show: Magician, Clown, Assistant, and Mime

It’s the new year and we’ve already been having a handful of awesome Magician vs Clown shows and we have new brand new two longer shows already mapped out. One thing we have lacked, however, is a nice website that someone could visit and get a sense of what the act is about. To remedy this I finally got around to throwing up a simple WordPress site at magicianvsclown.com.

Magician vs Clown Website

Magician vs Clown Website

WordPress is simply ridiculously easy and it took just a couple of hours to get it just the site looking just the way I wanted with just a little extra to work through a tutorial on using Illustrator’s mesh tool. The site’s header also features the new, entirely vectorized MVC logo, another Illustrator victory (I’m no longer scared of the pen tool). Photoshop was always my go-to but I’m reaching for Illustrator a lot more these days.

Cartoon Nathan Livni

Cartoon Me

Cartoon Nathan Livni

CARTOON ME

Part of coming up with an autobiographical comic is that you have to draw yourself. A lot.

Hipster

Stop Being Ironic, Austin

Hipster

MUSTACHE TATTOO


Tracy Chan’s Austinist article, Stop Being Ironic, Austin (summarizing a NY Times Article articulates what irritates me about a lot of hipster culture. While there’s nothing wrong with silly for silliness’s sake, I think the irony is an attempt to deal with the self aware shallowness.

Christmas Lights

The Day After Thanksgiving

Christmas Lights

What we do after thanksgiving…

I never thought this would be me but here I am on November 23rd, listening to Christmas music while Annette decorates the house with lights. I’ve never liked Christmas much, except for advent calendars, which catered to both my obsessive-compulsive and chocolate-loving nature.

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Hanging out and drawing for my comic about substituting.

GoldieBlox: Engineering toys for girls

While I really dislike how many childhood activities are gendercoded a single way, it’s probably a good idea to get balance and at least code it male and female both. Go future female engineers!

"As with most friendships it was never a matter of growth or doubt. Friends are born in archaic horizons; they were shaped with the Pteraspis in Siluria; they have nothing to do with the accident of space." Henry Adams in The Education of Henry Adams

What are the characteristics of a good friend?

"As with most friendships it was never a matter of growth or doubt. Friends are born in archaic horizons; they were shaped with the Pteraspis in Siluria; they have nothing to do with the accident of space." Henry Adams in The Education of Henry Adams

“As with most friendships it was never a matter of growth or doubt. Friends are born in archaic horizons; they were shaped with the Pteraspis in Siluria; they have nothing to do with the accident of space.” Henry Adams in The Education of Henry Adams

As a GED Instructor I would teach essay writing. We’re talking straightforward, vanilla 5-paragraph essays. Now the thing about these hyper standardized essays is that they must ask something that anyone at all could answer without having to read anything (it’s seperate from the reading test). The unintended result is that the questions can often be very personal, ranging from “Who was someone who changed affected your life and how did they affect it?” to “What’s your favorite _____ and why?”

The prompt “What are the characteristics of a good friend?”, led to an interesting class discussion.”You can always depend on a friend, no matter what.” said one student. “You can always call them, even at 2am and they’ll listen to you.” said another. “They will always lend you money.” said a third. The class got a little quiet and stopped calling out characteristics. “Who here has a friend?” I asked. Silence. “No one here has any friends?” I asked again. “Fuck friends. They stab you in the back!” said a girl and the class rumbled in agreement. “Yeah, I’m better off without friends. They’re liars.” said another girl.

What followed was a long discussion about realistic expectations. The students had an unrealistic expectation of good friends (they, of course, didn’t want to receive 2am emergency calls any more than their “friends” did). Instead of seeing friendship as a negotiated understanding between two people it was a monolithic junior high school ideal that they could never have. We will never have the same type of BFF friendship that we had as teenagers because situations and resources change.

Honestly, I was in the same boat as my students, not seeing myself as having more than a friend or two at any given time. My experience left me wondering, are we all unrealistic or simply lower expectations and retitle aquaintances into friends? Are they people one facebook who like our updates, essentially a mix between passing notes in class and cooing over a baby?

As an adult, what are the characteristics of a good friend? I’d like to know.

THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY!

Daily Creativity

A BEAST OF A PROJECT

THE DAILY DRAW: A BEAST OF A PROJECT

Starting January 1, Jeremy the Artist and I made a pact to draw every day and post it on the Daily Draw Tumblr for one year. Some folks have joined us for part of this year. As Jeremy reminds me when I miss a series, it’s a beast of a project but, if you can’t get better without practice it’s essential to show up and work every day just as you would at any other job you take seriously.

I feel like, in the spirit of the Artists Way, writers have been onto this for some time and a lot of people journal every day. I know I have. It’s tiring to fill journals only to store them in the upper reaches of my closet, taking them out only when I move to another apartment.

THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY!

THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY!

So I’ve tried a few different programs for typing my words into the computer. I’ve settled on FocusWriter, an excellent fullscreen writing app, but I wanted all my posts in the same location and also available on any computer. Then I remembered this excellent website Annette had recommended to me called 750 Words.

750 Words Screenshot

750 WORDS in classic green on black

750 Words is a free web app that does everything I need a daily journal to do including providing a customizable, full screen distraction-free interface. It tracks your days and you can access your stats of how often you wrote. You can also see what other users made their goal for the day and month. If you ever get sick of th site, you can easily export your posts. One of these months I’m going to do the challenge where if you write 750 words every day for the month your name is put on the Wall of Amazingness. It’s not without risk because if you miss a day during the month you go on the Wall of Shame until you successfully complete a month of writing every day. I love the idea of taking a person’s goals seriously and adding consequences, however trivial they may be.

Writing a comic

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I’ve started writing a comic book. It’s going to be about 20 pages long and its about my ill-fated first day as a substitute teacher. Often with creative projects coming up with a useable workflow can be a substantial part of the battle. Currently I’m using Scrivener to outline and the ipad app Noteshelf to do the page thumbnails and rough outlines. Noteshelf is great because I can have a customizable background page template. I’m not sure what program I’ll use to draw the final artwork.

What’s your workflow? I’m very open to suggestions!

Camping at Palmetto State Park

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Had a great time camping this weekend with Jericho. Nature is so healing.

Sorting stuff with my mom

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This is what we do before we give away childhood toys.

iPad art

I got an iPad from work and I used it to make some drawings on the plane.

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One line at the time drawing

Story Spine: Birthday Story!

I spent my very relaxed birthday doing art with Annette.  We started with Rich Talarico’s one-person-at-a-time drawing and then made a story spine.

My First Steak

And I never looked back…

My First Steak

And I never looked back...

Drawing I helped create in the improv workshop

Improvised Art Game

A year ago I had the opportunity to take an improv workshop from Rich Talarico, an amazing improviser from Chicago. One activity we did has really stuck with me and during my artistic plane flight back to Austin, my row-mates and I played with it. The idea is that you take turns make a small, one line contribution to a piece of paper (without discussing or planning). When someone feels it’s done, instead of drawing they say “Done” and the art is finished.

Because it almost forces you to give up control and just play, it’s a great art activity for when you’re feeling stifled.

Once upon a time there was an airplane.

Story Spine: The Airplane

After boarding my 6am flight from Sacramento to Austin I was getting ready to immerse myself in my laptop.  However the people sitting in the row with me were so AWESOME that we made a story spine about airplanes.

It blows me away how accessible this form of art is for people. I think I really might have invented something by attaching the story to art.  And meeting such awesome strangers reminded me of how awesome it is to travel, not just to be in a new place but also the act of moving from one place to another.

Once Upon A Time...

Story Spine: Double Rainbow

At the end of my time in Sacramento I met up with Joe, Nic, and Angel.  We made this wonderful story spine about a double rainbow.

Story Spine: The Clever Fox

Like our first story spine we passed the six pages around, each person writing their part of the story and then everyone creating the art.

Story Spine: Blackmarket Ink

Tried playing Story Spine with my high school friends.  I liked the results.

Epic Fail

Failure Resume

Epic FailI just finished my online portfolio. I recently listened to this NPR Commonwealth Club with Tina Seeling who suggestd writing a resume of failures to outline the experiences that you’ve had that have put you where you are today.  It was pretty interesting and I recommend doing it.  It makes you realize that it’s the risks you’ve taken that have put you in the great situations that you’re in now.  While it was interesting, I don’t recommend posting it as it’s a little personal.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

low key christmas!

In Buenos Aires Christmas falls in Summer and Santa Clause wears shorts. It’s nice to come back and have some nice, down to earth, and really “normal”. This Christmas was low key, more like the ones in sitcoms than movies.

This year was the first time I did the rosary thing at Annette’s house. Everyone kneels on the floor and repeats Our Fathers and Hail Marys. It gets old quickly. I’m used to Judaism where even if you aren’t sure what’s being said, trying to figure out what page you’re on is at least a great brain teaser for the kids. You can focus on understanding what the Hebrew means. The praying was in Spanish so by the second time I’d figured it out. I think you repeat it 50 times… At the end there’s a small Jesus doll that people kiss the doll and get a giftbag of an orange and some chocolate.

After the rosary were the gifts. Growing up Jewish, Christmas as always what the “other” kids did. We’d have Hannukah and all. I remember always hearing about the kids who had one Christian and one Jewish parent and got presents for both holidays. That was epic, I thought.

Each year Annette’s family does a white elephant gift exchange. While I’m a part of it, I am not told or expected to participate because I don’t know anyone in Annette’s extended family. Instead, Annette’s mom buys presents for the people whose names I “draw” and when I show up I get presents from people who hardly know who I am. It’s funny because people thank me for things and I have to figure out what I apparently bought for them.

 

I just got a bike

It’s not the best bike in the world but it only cost $30.  I got it from a girl at a party. She was moving and wanted to get rid of the bike because she’d bought a better one. We hit it off and she offered to sell it to me for $20 and I was going to buy it for Annette. Well, I hadn’t mentioned that it was for Annette… or anything about Annette, which might have been why it was only $20. The only issue was that there were a few things wrong with it and I doubted Annette was interested in installing a gear shifter before being able to use it.  So I really wanted the bike for myself but never called the girl, fearing the low price. Months later I ran into her at a veggie dog eating contest and she was upset that I’d never called. However, she still had the bike and, to compensate for any hurt feelings, I gave her $30.  It cost $17 for a very lazy bike store to install a new gear shifter… Plus another $30 for some slick tires for the road.

I changed the tires today and rode the bike to ColdTowne where I did the Sunday free Allstars show.  Halfway there it got really hard to pedal and I was wondering at how out of shape i was. I hardly made it!  Well, I dismounted near the theater and as I pushed the bike indoors, I noticed that the back wheel wasn’t even turning. I’d put the wheel on loose and it had become off center while I’d been riding.  So it turns out that I’m more in shape than I’d previously thought!

So now I have a bike and I’m very very happy.