Monday, January 29, 2007

Found Treasure

The other night, Lisa and I took Audrey up to Half Price Books to look around. In the vintage book section I came across this gem from 1916. It's called "How Children Learn To Draw," by Walter Sargent and Elizabeth Miller. I immediately snatched it up and paid eight dollars for it. The words "gift of L.L. Lichtliter" is scrawled across the bottom of the copywrite page, along with the date "10-1-33." As I flip through the book, I can't help but wonder whatever became of the children who were used as test subjects. And who was L.L. Lichtliter? An immediate Google search yielded nothing.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Another Of My Unwanted "Children"

This is an illustration I recently did for a greeting card. I'm currently designing sarcastic cards for a small company in Kansas City. After a weekend of focusing on this particular drawing, I finally got it to where I was happy. By the time it was finished, we decided to go in another direction with it altogether. I like the one I replaced it with just as much, but I really figured this should see the light of day after my many hours of toiling over my drawing desk. To tell you the truth, I'm a bit sick of looking at it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Top Ten Records From 2006

01. Tom Waits / Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards

I know, I know. Number one. Surprise, surprise. But who would have thought that a three CD box set with a quarter previously released b-sides and extras, a quarter material that's never seen the light of day, and half newly recorded songs would garner Old Tom the best album of 2006? Of his career? On Orphans, all three sides of Waits is divided up into its own disc: Brawlers (the bluesy), Bawlers (the ballads) and Bastards (the banging on a trashcan lid, as Lisa would call it). This is actually better than I anticipated. It came out in early November and I'm just now to the point where I'm not sleeping with it at night.

02. Neko Case / Fox Confessor Brings The Flood

Most people only know Neko from New Pornographers fame. Fair enough. But these same people, often times, don't appreciate her day job as a country crooner. This is a near perfect disc. As a matter of fact, there were only a couple of songs that I took points off for, and it was because they were too short.

03. The Hold Steady / Boys & Girls In America

While the rest of the world was busy harolding the Killers as the Second Coming of Springsteen, The Hold Steady waited til the end of the year to release a collection of songs that really does follow the Born To Run formula.

04. Camera Obscura / Let's Get Out Of This Country

Another near perfect pop album. Listening to this makes me feel like I'm drinking an extra large Orange Julius at the mall.

05. Belle & Sebastian / The Life Pursuit

If the gang from B&S had taken time off after the re-release of Tigermilk, waited several years, and then put out this gem, they'd have a perfect track record. 2003's Dear Catastrophe Waitress was a step in the right direction, but I only had a hankering to listen to it a handful of times. On Pursuit, Stuart Murdoch returns to his notebook, where he rightfully belongs.

06. Ghostface Killah / Fishscale

This is Ghost's strongest release since Supreme Clientele, despite placing a skit as every third or fourth track (this would have actually earned a higher score if not for that. Thank God for CD technology and that "skip" button). Usually, a rotation of producers is the first sign of a creative decline, but in this case, it's what makes Fishscale the record that it is. Look for appearances by various members of the Wu Tang Clan, including the ghost of Ol' Dirty Bastard.

07. Sparklehorse / Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain

In a recent interview in Stop Smiling magazine (the only print rag I read, cover-to-cover), Mark Linklous mentions how, during the duration of this five-years-in-the-making recording, he suffered depression, almost overdosed on drugs, and was constantly paranoid about getting dropped from his record label. He never got dropped, but he did almost die. Stop smiling, indeed.

08. Gnarls Barkley / St. Elsewhere

I'm not a Cee-Lo fan, so I never intended on picking this up, despite Danger Mouse's association with it. I'm glad I did because what resulted was one of the more delightful surprises this year. Listen to me when I say that "Crazy" (which I'm good and sick of, no thanks to radio) is not the only song here. I played it all summer and, at one point, Lisa poked her head into the office and asked me who had remixed Al Green.

09. Islands / Return To The Sea

Islands rose from the ashes of the fallen Unicorns and, in turn, knocked Johnny Cash's first posthumous release out of my top ten. It reminds me of the nineties, when Elephant 6 ruled the world.

10. Cat Power / The Greatest

Chan Marshall returns with, not a greatest hits package, but a collection of country-influenced songs. Perfect for a Sunday morning, nursing a headache from the night before. And she's hot.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

To Do List (detail)

I found this, an old "to-do" list, in a coat that, apparently, I hadn't worn since last winter. Of the many items scribbled upon it (including an errand list and some things to pick up at Target), I had drawn a future image of our as-then-yet unborn child. Little did we know that Audrey would be gracing our presence even earlier than anticipated. Since we were uncertain of the sex, or what the child would even look like, Baby Teel was nothing more than a faceless entity with no specific features to speak of. It's strange to look back on this and compare it to the beautiful child that I draw today.

I had one feature correct though: both creatures were as bald as an apple.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Open Up And Say "AHHHHHHHHH."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Best Of 05 Revisited

I know. It's already midway through January 2007 and I have yet to post my top ten records of 2006. There's a simple explanation for this in that there are still a few albums that I have yet to completely digest. It was a good year for music. There were, however, a couple of records that I didn't get my hands on until midway through December. I'd like to be at a place in the next week or so where I can score and list them all accordingly. I have a system in which to rate each record objectively and, in due time, list them in order. To tide you over until then, here's my list from 2005:

01. Sigur Ros -- Takk...
02. Ben Folds -- Songs For Silverman
03. My Morning Jacket -- Z
04. The New Pornographers -- Twin Cinema
05. Antony & The Johnsons -- I Am A Bird Now
06. Danger Doom -- The Mouse & The Mask
07. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah -- s/t
08. Sage Francis -- A Healthy Distrust
09. Edan -- Beauty And The Beat
09. Atmosphere -- You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having
10. Sufjan Stevens -- Illinois

I've also taken the liberty of posting my Best Of 05 compilation. It ended up being a family affair which turned into a two-disc set, since Audrey decided to burn her own mix (as you can see, mine is all hip hop while Audrey's is rock). Maybe we can get Lisa to participate this year. But I doubt it.

Disc One:
01. Anything Is Possible / Blueprint
02. Watch Out / Atmosphere
03. Kon Queso / MF Doom ft. The Molemen
04. The Mask / Danger Doom ft. Ghostface
05. Gunz Yo / Sage Francis
06. Take Two Copies / Z-Trip ft. The Busdriver
07. I Shot A Warhol / Felt
08. Promised Land / Edan
09. My Pen & Pad / Blackalicious
10. Rappcats Pt. 3 / Quasimoto

Disc Two:
01. A Magic World / Eels
02. Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood / Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
03. Long Time Comin' / Bruce Springsteen
04. Chicago / Sufjan Stevens
05. E-Pro / Beck
06. Into The Woods / My Morning Jacket
07. Jesusland / Ben Folds
08. Hoppipolla / Sigur Ros
09. The Bleeding Heart Show / The New Pornographers
10. Kingdom Come / Coldplay

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

AOH Aerial Photographers

A corporate identity I designed for AOH Aerial Photographers. I'm pretty happy with the final version.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Son & Daughters Of The Brothers Teel

From left to right: Audrey, mwt., Matt, Li'l David, Jeff, and Charlie. 26 December, 2006.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Mother Theresa

My New Years resolution for 2007 is a very realistic one. I've promised myself that I would draw more females. As I peruse through past sketchbooks, I don't see too many representations of, what they call, "the gentler sex." Recently, I've been asked to draw women for certain projects (such as the greeting card line I'm currently working on where the presence of women is a must). It's due to my intimidation of the beauty of women that I don't dare try to accomplish this. I've drawn Lisa quite regularly over the years because she's a big part of my life. Beyond that, there is a void.

That said, I give you Mother Theresa. I know she's not exactly what one would call "beautiful" or "feminine," but it's a start.