Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Attack of the '90s X-Men Nostalgia

This past weekend, I found myself catching a few minutes of the 1990s X-Men cartoon, which totally sent me into a 90s X-nostalgia spiral, and I wound up doodling some X-peeps I had not drawn in a long while.

And I loved it.

It started with Gambit, and moved on to Rogue, and then Jubilee, and finally Psylocke before I stopped.

And the memories! Oh, they came rushing back!

It feels like forever since I've drawn any super heroes, but back in the early 90s, that's practically all I drew. Well, actually I drew four things: girls with weird hair, girls in vintage fashions, Disney girls, and super heroes (mostly just the girl ones).

I didn't really have an artistic grasp on the male facial characteristics or masculine physique until mid 90s or later -- my guy drawings always ended up looking like girls, which would spark the kind of snorty, teasing comments from my peers that I liked to avoid.

Hey, look! It's a perfect opportunity to share with the world my own vintage, dorky, middle-school nerd girl drawings! Yay, embarrassment! Yay, progress!

The above Gambits were both way macho for the likes of most of my guy drawings at that time. That's how poorly I drew men.

I guess I thought that the cigarette with the endless cloud of smoke made him seem tougher...

Did you know they don't draw Gambit smoking anymore?

So then I turned to drawing just the girls, which, given super hero ladies' busty builds and skimpy costumes, just sparked a whole new mess of snorty, teasing comments from my peers.

This mess of Rogues look like they date from 1993 and/or 1994 -- right in the thick of my life's teasing territory. Perfect.

As you can see from what may very well be the first drawing of Rogue I ever did (this looks like 1991 or 1992, judging from my handwriting and the hair drawing technique applied), I still had a lot to learn about anatomy.

Heeello, thighs! Perhaps some of the snorty teasing was merited.

Also of note, the very 90s artist signature 'tag.'

And the Jim Lee inspired boob hatch marks, straight off the cover of X-Men #1.

And check out this very early Jubilee, again likely 1991 or 1992. Nice shorts!

Also, just what was up with all the jackets? I reckon it was the early 90s. Jackets were in, right?

So were shiny surfaces, apparently. Oh, teen Alicia! So much shiny!

Obviously, the comics reading and the hero(ine) drawing trumped the teasing.

I loved comics. Not only did it make for great drawing practice (not to mention it was something to do whilst being a bored-to-death-teen-nerd), but it was just a crazy and quirky and dark and funny and just plain old entertaining, entirely engrossing world they inhabited.

Yup. Even with all the jackets...

And the pockets...

And the belts that didn't hold anything up...

And the shiny. Pin It

Friday, January 20, 2012

Jessica & John's Jamaican Wedding Custom Coloring Book

Another missed post from 2011 (the last one...at least until I unearth some more forgotten photos), and it's one of my favorites!

You may remember my posting a few custom coloring books before (I know I at least blogged the one from my own wedding and one for Cari and Lawrence), but this time the couple, Jessica and John, contacted me about doing a custom wedding coloring book for their Jamaican destination wedding last October. I love how it turned out, too. Super cute!

They wanted the coloring books to be surprise goodies in their guests' welcome baskets in Jamaica, so I had to nix my usual "bride and groom wedding portrait" that has typically graced the cover so that Jessica's dress could remain a secret until the ceremony.

Inside, the couple and I came up with plenty of Jamaica themed activities, trivia tidbits and fun ways to include their families, bridal party, and loved ones.

I think the DIY wedding vows are one of my favorite new activities that I came up with for them. My husband and I tested them out, and it was pretty danged hilarious.

I never got a chance to post anything on this book though, because it so happens that the lovely couple and I, well, we have some particular people in common within our circles of friends, blog readers, and wedding guests, and I was terrified to post anything lest the surprise keepsake be ruined by blog-reading.

Once the wedding had passed and there was no danger or ruining surprises, I was elbow deep in other things, and well, here you are, reading about it a bit after the fact.

I definitely would like to start making my custom coloring books more widely available, but the last couple of years (what with the moving, and the moving, and the MOVING) have been terrible for me to set up such an endeavor.

I am reworking the pricing and purchasing breakdown though. It's just tricky -- there's almost too much customizability available! Hrmmm. A puzzle, indeed. Perhaps I can finagle a way for it to work when I finally revamp the etsy shop.

Rest assured, I will keep the world updated when Alicia Policia custom coloring books do go public. They're just too cool of a memento to keep on the down low for much longer, right?!? Pin It

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Royal Hairs Grow From Your Brain

I had the pleasure of working with the musician Sam Arnold (of Opposite Day, who you may remember from this post and this one), last year on the artwork for his solo album, "Royal Hairs Grow From Your Brain".

Again, running with the theme of posts this week, I did the worky-work, I photographed it, but I never got around to writing a post and sharing it, so here it is now -- late but still great, right?

Sam is one of the best people to work with, because he gives you a lot of creative freedom, and a lot of cool resource material to inspire you. In all, I was very, very pleased with the final artwork. Hooray! Goodness all around!

Hmmm, methinks we shall have to work together some more...

Pin It

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Drawing with Pancake Batter -- Brain Slug Edition

I don't remember for what occasion it was that I made this brain slug pancake for my husband for breakfast last year, but whenever it was, I just never got around to sharing it.

When pancakes were served in our house growing up, each child got to name whatever it was that they wanted to eat in pancake form, and my mom would draw it up for them in pancake batter.

I normally asked for cats and squirrels, or maybe the occasional Princess Leia. I was pretty uncomplicated like that.

I distinctly remember that one day my little brother asked for a Boba Fett pancake, and my mom even hunted down his action figure for reference. FOR A PANCAKE. And she drew him. In pancake batter. Using only a spoon. Freehand.

I know! I have the most awesome mom in the world!

Anyway, this brain slug was done Mama-style, meaning I drew it freehand with batter and a spoon, and you plop down whatever part of the pancake drawing you want to be darkest first, and work your way to the lightest areas after that (for this pancake I dropped down the pupil, then the body, and then the eye).

This bitty brain slug breakfast pales in comparison to my mom's pancake masterpieces, of course. It's such a pity that growing up we never, ever thought of photographing our pancakes before eating them. It was just part of a regular weekend breakfast for us, but now I wish we had some sort of record of all her cool creations.

Some day perhaps I can work out a tutorial on drawing pancakes the Mama way.

But you know, it's REALLY hard to cook, draw, and photograph oneself doing it all at the same time. Just sayin'. Pin It

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Was A PBS Kid.

I made these li'l homages to some of my favorite PBS personae last year. I was a thoroughly nerdy child, and absolutely LOVED educational children's programing.

Sesame Street is a given, of course. And it was a given that I should give this Bert and Ernie to my kindred muppet-loving friend, Paul Adam, as he is the only soul I know who appreciates and loves the Muppets in quite the same manner I do (dead honest -- we're both extremely discerning when it comes to our Muppets).

And what child of the 80's didn't absolutely adore Reading Rainbow? I certainly did.

Hence this li'l Levar Burton. Also (of course) from last year.

Actually, I think that Reading Rainbow was an boon to my childhood interest in art. I loved any segment they did on artists, illustrators and craftspeople and how they made their work. Also, it had possibly the best theme song ever.

You know, some day I really ought to make an homage to Mister Rogers. I just have to. He totally deserves one, too. I love Mister Rogers.

And I need to at least figure out where to get ahold of some of my totally obscure favorites, like these shows by John Robbins.

Books! Drawing! Totally one of this nerdy little art girl's favorite childhood shows, but doubtful one of which many folks would catch a drawn homage should I make one... Pin It

Monday, January 16, 2012

Before We Go Out With The Old...

...Let's at least share it with you first.

Following up my last post of some of 2011's unfinished business, how about I finally post some unfinished posts from throughout the last year?

Monday through Friday this week, I will share with you a project, piece, or picture that I purported to post up on the blog at some point last year, but never ever got around to actually doing so.

It'll be a sampling of 2011's unseen projects! And then, THEN, it can be in with the new.

Let's kick things off with some baked-goods-blasts-from-the-past, like these pretzels, here.

I made these goodies from scratch back in September or October for Octoberfest using this recipe, and they happened to be what inspired the unfinished little pretzel girl art from last Friday's post.

I am a sucker for soft pretzels, really I am. And these were pretty good (they disappeared very quickly), although they seemed a bit skimpier than the Bavarian-dream-pretzel-experience I had back in Munich in '01.

And then there was fruitcake!

I actually never have had fruitcake, I guess because years of hearing jokes about how horrible it was kept me at bay. However, this Christmas I was very eager to see what the fuss was about and to try a recipe of my grandmother's from the family cookbook that I had yet to try.

Guess what? It was pretty damned delicious!

I reckon the key is that it is a lighter recipe that has plenty of fruit, but it isn't so chock full that it's glued together with them.

I also was sure to leave out the citron (yuck!) and opted for candied pineapple, orange peel, and cherries along with some golden raisins and walnuts, all soaked in plenty of rum -- yum!

It was yummy, and it will be back for the holidays next year, for sure. Fruitcake -- whodathunkit?

What other unseen goodies from 2011 will next be revealed, hmmmm? Pin It

Friday, January 13, 2012

Unluckily Unfinished

What do Friday the 13th and unfinished artwork have to do with each other?

Absolutely nothing!

Except for maybe this is a blog post where I'm showing off some unluckily unfinished artwork on a Friday that happens to be the 13th. Unfinished pretzel girl, unfinished skull girl twins, unfinished They Might Be Giants, unfinished bean cat plush, and palettes, palettes, palettes, just sitting around waiting to help finish stuff.... *tsk* poor things never saw completion.

Seeing as it is a Friday in January, and seeing as I haven't made the requisite blog post list of resolutions just like everyone else already did two weeks ago, perhaps I should do just that today, and be sure to make "Finish what I start" a big ole resolution on that list.

Will a #3 qualify that as being "big ole?"

To Do in 2012

1. Say "no" more often. I have a habit of overextending myself because I can't turn people down, and I enjoy doing many things at once anyway (until I find myself running around like a loon).

2. Write! Whether it be blog posts or books or comics or tutorials -- I would like to use free time from saying "no" more often and put it toward writing.

3. Finish what I start. Or at least try to.

4. Garden stuff! (fingers crossed this summer isn't a repeat of last years horrific drought, but I have my doubts about that).

5. Revamp time for the etsy shop. For reals. It's time. Total re-do time.

6. French! Learn to speak it, or just explore and appreciate its cuisine. Or both.

7. Do not buy any more fabric "just because."

8. Crochet! Learn to do something other than just a straight row of single crochet in a single color.

9. Take a vacation. A real one.

10. Uhhh, I can't think of a tenth. Put things back in their place after I'm done using them?

11. ... I was going to try to get to thirteen, but I think nine (ten?) is good n' plenty.

Yep! Sounds good to me. Now, where to start... Wouldn't it be nice to start with #9 ? spends all day looking up vacations when she should be writing Pin It

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Haaa - Happy, Happy, Happy New Year!

Happy 2012, one and all!

I am really looking forward to this year. It's not that I have anything spectacular planned for it (at least not yet), but I'm just relieved to have a fresh new beginning.

And I'm super psyched to start settling into a normal schedule (I hope). I love the holidays, but October through December is always one big, huge, frenzied blur to me.

I actually sat down and counted it all out for the record when flipping through the calender to start anew this morning and *drumroll* -- My husband and I didn't have a single free weekend between the second week of August and the second week of December. Say what?!?

Yep. For four months, otherwise known as a third of the entire year, we did not have a single commitment-free weekend where there was nothing to do, or nowhere to go. Sure, it was a string of mostly lovely people, great new work endeavors, joyous celebrations, wonderful opportunities, etc., etc. But I digress... Not a single weekend of pure relaxation for four months! Gah!

Perhaps that works for many folks, but I've discovered that doesn't work for me. We need some time to unwind and do nothing at all sometimes. I want to just lounge around with the cats and draw up non-job related stuff sometimes without worrying about being late for something or letting someone down, you know?

And with that, I took some time today to paint up my quasi-traditional new year doodle. It was a very nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

So far, so good, 2012! Pin It