When I started my daily portrait project back in January of 2011, I only intended to do it for one year (I called it the “Year Book” project, originally). But once I got to the end of the year, I decided to keep doing it indefinitely, thereby raising the obvious question: Just how long am I going to do this?
I must admit that lately I’ve been feeling more and more frustrated with my work, each day hoping that maybe the next day I’d get back into the groove, but I just keep feeling like I’m doing the same shit over and over again.
Today I got an email from Society6.com, where I have a store to sell prints and shirts, informing me that I’d gotten a copyright infringement complaint on one of my drawings. My first reaction was “That’s bullshit!”, but upon closer review of copyright law, I found out that really important people can claim “personality rights,” e.g. anything that even alludes to their existence without their consent gives them the right to be a big baby and threaten lawsuits. Of course, this only applies to famous people (even dead ones!), not us regular shlubs. If someone wanted to draw a picture of me and sell it on the internet, there isn’t a damn thing I could do about it. Especially if I’m dead.
While washing the dishes this evening (yes, I wash dishes), I had a sudden moment of satori. Instead of being angry over this ridiculous copyright nonsense, maybe I should consider that it, in addition to my growing frustration with my portraits, was a sign that I need to move on to something new. After all, what’s the point of doing something every day that brings me no enjoyment and makes me a target for litigation?
After giving it some thought, I’ve decided to bring the daily portrait project to a close, as soon as I’ve finished filling up the sketchbook I’m currently on (the twelfth of the series). I’m not very far into this one yet, so it’ll still be a couple months or so before it’s full. I could count the pages and give you an exact date, but I don’t feel like it.
That being said, I’m still going to be doing daily drawings, so don’t worry about that. I’m just going to be transitioning from daily drawings of famous people to daily drawings of whatever the hell I feel like. The past three and a half years have been a good exercise for me, but I feel like there are a lot more places I can go artistically if I’m not limiting myself to drawing pictures of famous douchebags all the time.
Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks to everybody who’s stuck with me for the past few years as well as those who are relative newcomers. I’ll try to keep you entertained and do cool shit as best I can for the foreseeable future.
Recently I started up a Society6 shop which sells prints, shirts, and other various objects with my artwork plastered on it. Of course you can still buy prints through this site, but at my Society6 store you can order them in various sizes, as well as framed prints and stretched canvas prints. The down side is that they’re not signed, as I’m not involved with the production. But if you’ve ever wanted to own a shirt with one of my silly little drawings on it, now you can. There are t-shirts, hoodies, and
wife-beaters tank tops, all in a wide variety of colors and sizes.
The other day, I got an email about a contest Society6 is having to design a shirt for them. The winners will have their designs sold in their official store. I entered this picture that you see here on your left. Who knows if it’ll end up making the cut, but in the meantime, it’s available in my shop, along with lots of other prints and shirts to choose from.
I like doing commissions because a) money, and b) it forces me to get off my ass and draw something (aside from the daily portrait I inexplicably do literally every single god damned day). It had been a while since I’d gotten a commission request, presumably because of the economic downturn, the debt ceiling, Afghanistan, Chris Ghristie or whatever they’re talking about on the cable news this week. The economy is clearly recovering, though, as evidenced by Charlynn Schmiedt’s request for a portrait of comedian Greg Proops (with cat frenemy Kittens McTavish). See, Obamacare is working!
If you would like to purchase a personally signed print of this drawing, you may do so at the Sexy Print Kiosk. If you would like to request your own commissioned drawing, please visit the Commissions page. If you would like me to travel to your home and make you a burrito, I’m sure that could also be arranged, for the right price.
I finished a new drawing over the holidays, first one of these I’ve done in a while. It’s based off a random picture I found on the internet. Hope to do more soon. If you’re into it, there are prints available at the Sexy Print Kiosk.
The eagle has landed in a puddle of abstract thought, smack dab in the liver of Appalachia. New gears are bubbling up in its brain as the terrifying new concepts of things like “yesterday” and “lactose intolerance” are ricocheting like pinballs between them. The eagle has a headache.
The tractor-trailer that will soon put an end to this headache is, as all tractor-trailers are, under the control of a 46-year-old man named Dale. A carefully centered bumper sticker on the back of the trailer declares that God is the co-pilot, but the simple truth is that God hasn’t co-piloted a damn thing since He discovered Minecraft.
Dale sees the eagle. The tractor-trailer belches its heavy melody of warning, but the eagle doesn’t move.
Look away, Brian. Remember what I told you. Sit upright, with your arms relaxed and your fingers tense. Close your face and silently repeat the mantra, “I broke up the Beatles. I broke up the Beatles.” Pinch the diplomat’s daisies as he speeds away in his peppermint BMW.
The eagle is smeared across three square feet of sun-bleached asphalt. Dale has already moved on with his life. The LORD is fighting a skeleton.
Now, an autonomous blue hand/forearm has slid onto the scene. Its fingernails are charcoal and its veins are neon. It wields a spatula of the purest gold. “Buddy,” it says to the All-American Carcass, “I like your style.” And with one deft flip, it sends the eagle on one last flight. To sail effortlessly above the mighty Ozarks, leaving a vapor trail of glorious organs in his wake, is a dream no more! The denizens of neighboring realities quietly seethe in disbelief.
The eagle has landed on Jay-Z’s backyard grill, where it sizzles for precisely twenty seconds before being noticed. “O Fate! Why dost thou tempt me so?” the business, man shouts into the cylinder of Heaven. His vow of veganism crumbles like a colisseum of Parmesan as he swallows the expired fowl in one crooked gulp. The flattened neurons that had approximated enlightenment mere moments before are now rolling along Jay-Z’s papery tongue, forming a lattice of flavors that, in some corridors, might just be filed under U for umami.
Bèyønçë grimaces down in rage from her cedar cross. “You fool!” she bellows in an unearthly, gutteral growl, accompanied by the slick guitar stylings of house band leader Ricky Minor, “Now Surgat the Gatekeeper will never accept the offering of our firstborn!”
“Whatever,” retorts Jay-Z as his soul turns to gristle. “Eagle meat is the tits!”
*MORAL: Eagle Meat is the Tits
I don’t mean to get all clinical on you, but that barcode you call a mouth is starting to look infected. No, I’m not a doctor. I’m a specimen, and this puke-green corduroy suit is my petri dish. It’s not just me looking at you, it’s the billions of colonies of curiosity blooming behind my corneas. Right now you’re pretending to listen, but you’re staring through my brain at the man by the fireplace. The one with the Clark Gable hair and the Quaker Oats face, pantomiming like a morose carpetbagger. He has one of those names that looks like it might be another word spelled backwards. Those are hot right now, aren’t they? But he’s a wicked man. He’s a weatherman. He’s made of leather, man.
In the kitchen–don’t look–there’s a certain substratum of society that finds nothing wrong with leaving home dressed like a damn Venician gondola paddler… they stretch bad sunlight from their teeth like taffy and assume everyone is laffing. I’ll show you around later, once the wrinkles start to set in, but whatever you do, savor the chips and shun the dip. Metaphorically speaking, I think. Tell you what, though, you’ll never find a gondola in this mouth. Not this one. No ma’am.
WONDER WOMAN NEEDS TOILET PAPER
Come on, knock it off. That’s just crass. You know, I once fell into the shallow end of the Grand Canyon as a small child (long story), and right before the helicopter blades turned my larynx into Play-Doh, they kept on saying “Hang in there long enough, just about five minutes longer than seems reasonable, and you’ll get your own talk show.” We don’t bring it up anymore, not even via smoke signals from Stephen Dorff’s e-cigarette, those horrible things, always leading up to a rerun episode of tachycardia in front of the Vatican Whattaburger. We simply don’t bring it up, ya dig? Here, let me wipe that mustard from your pedipalps. You really need to learn to use chopsticks at these functions. I’m sick of making velvety little excuses for you.
I spilled my drink. I never had a drink. I never had legs, just these tired, grotesque flesh Slinkys that make nuns gag on their rosaries whenever they hear me coming. Can you keep a secret? I was never invited to this party. I am a virus. Mommy’s little spoiler. There are three more of me out on the lawn, and believe me, we do NOT have our stories straight. We smell like hydrogen peroxide smoothies… Teddy knows what I’m talking about. Sick of the Salvation Army breathing down our necks…Radios pouring their hot honey down our ears.,. Misinformed Senate staffers with manhole eyes chasing us down our own yellow brick roads…
Shit, I just spilled my drink. You fucking gondola paddler, I spilled it for real this time! I’ll spill you! I’ll spill all of you! How do you get out of this shit
ESC ESC ESC
An emergency meeting in Santa Monica to whittle out a tactful way to continue raking in the big bucks from a movie franchise that glorifies the idiotic lifestyle that resulted in the incineration of its lead actor. How can we acknowledge the fragile, fleeting nature of our existence without bumming everyone out? Pray tell, how might we fist-bump Kirkegaard and chest-bump our cherished, backward-capped bro demographic simultaneously?
Linda! Bring me a Chai tea.
Perhaps we can digitally alter the cars so that they appear to be travelling at a marginally reduced rate of speed.
No! Terrible idea! Clean out your desk; you’re fired.
No! Why are you still here?
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (No homo)”
Are you kidding me? People don’t go to the movies to read! You asshole!
Commission a heartfelt we-miss-U ballad by Limp Bizkit?
Give the surviving cast members some sort of ribbon to wear?
Make the hot bikini chicks cry?
No! Well, hmm… No!
Here’s your Chai tea, sir.
Damn it, this meeting is going nowhere. And, Christ, it’s almost nap time! To hell with it, let’s consult the Oracle!
Oh Mighty Oracle! We humbly come before you in this hour of great inconvenience and awkwardness, and beg you to bestow upon us your soothing wisdom. How can we move on from this terrible tragedy?
Yes? What do you say, Mighty Oracle?
Raisins? Ravioli? Ryan Reynolds? What is it you’re trying to tell us?
Reba McIntyre? Isn’t she a little too–
REBOOT! Of course! That’s perfect! It’ll be like what’s-his-face never even existed! What was that guy’s name, anyway? Ah, screw it. Linda! Have all existing copies of every movie in the series located and destroyed! I want a rough draft of the new script on my desk first thing after lunch! And get me Ryan Reynolds’ agent on the phone!
Oh, and Linda! Where the FUCK is my Chai tea?
Oh Heavenly Father, what can I do, what she’s done to me is making me crazy;
Oh Heavenly Father, I know I have sinned, but look where I’ve been, it’s making me lazy.
I went to bed even earlier last night, thinking about isolation tanks, floating one metre above the ground in Colorado, taking the first shaky steps on that infinite plank. I was shuffling my memories and anti-memories into a sloppy houndstooth pattern, and was almost happy with it when the phone rang. As I splashed back into myself, I knew it must be urgent since those rings shot right through the bricks of the fact that I don’t have a phone like they were wet toilet paper.
It was Rafael again. I could tell by the sheep. At least it sounded like sheep, although I sure as shit wasn’t about to ask. I waited. After what felt like three and a half minutes, the voice began to ooze into my ear like glue. I don’t remember the exact words, but the question was something to the effect of “What is your nucleus?”
A cat’s eye marble bouncing down a metal spiral staircase in the bowels of a cursed submarine. Periscope up, periscope down, doesn’t matter. The captain has just met Molly and is now reshuffling his priorities, taking out the Jacks but leaving in the Jokers.
Was that it? It was hard to tell in the dark. Maybe if that red beam would swing by this way again… A distant toilet flushed. No, a marble was too big. Maybe a pebble inside some half-hearted bodhisattva’s left Reebok Pump? Or a rare beardless Lincoln penny left on a train track, one second from derailing the 3:15 to Honolulu and killing the next Hitler and the previous Buddha?
No, it’s a piece of candy corn taped anachronistically to the hub of a wagon wheel rolling across a frozen pond in 1811. But at least it’s taped to something, right? There is a nearby pelican watching the scene, but it’s okay, it’s dead.
I tried to call Rafael back with a soup can, a conch shell, a stale croissant, a kick in the head, but nothing worked. I even tried the last clean pay phone in Red Square, but by the time I got the rubles out from my pocket someone had sneezed on it. Not that Rafael would answer in the first place. He’s got everyone convinced he’s Number 1. Even the sheep.
The ice was shattered by the neighborhood screamer, making her irregular rounds during the single-digit hours, hollering about death and cholesterol and Reagan. “Lou Reed’s dead,” I pondered, “Dylan’s next, but she’ll live to 110.” Whatever my nucleus turns out to be, next chance I get I’m going to throw it into the gears of this crappy mechanism.
I was recently at my local art supply store to purchase some new pens with which to scribble pictures of people much more successful than myself, when the sales clerk mentioned that they were having some sort of “Drink and Draw” event coming up at the nearby sports bar, sponsored by Faber-Castell, the makers of the aforementioned pens that I ruin on a continual basis. Now, few word combinations provoke as unpleasant feeling in my intestines as “sports bar,” except maybe “Christian rock” or “Russell Brand.” I’m not one to frequently be found at a bar these days, as they tend to be loud, overpriced, and full of the types of obnoxious people I normally go to great lengths to avoid. Add sports fans to the equation and I’d pretty much rather eat a hand grenade. On the other hand, drinking and drawing both just happen to be activities that rank highly on my “Things Meathead Likes Doing” list (which I carry with me at all times). Plus, there was the promise of free stuff, the attainment of which you may notice is also on the list. And besides, what else am I going to do on a Sunday evening? Go to church? Watch a terribly overrated zombie soap opera?
My life-partner and I arrived at the… ugh… sports bar at 6:30ish and hurried past the obligatory shouting sports fans into a back room where there were two rows of tables and a great deal of pens and sketch pads. Some people were already started on their own drawings. We got some beer(s) and settled in at one of the tables near the back, and I got to work.
The pens they had were the same brand I normally use (Faber-Castell PITT artist pens), but whereas mine have a fine point, these had a much heavier brush-like tip. It took me a little while to get comfortable with them. But I was just there to relax, have a couple of drinks and do some doodling, so I had no ideas of creating anything that would end up hanging in the Louvre one day. And besides, they were giving the pens for free when they normally go for about three dollars each, so I wasn’t going to be a dick and start complaining.
The first sketch I made was of Aldous Huxley. For some reason I still had the picture saved on my iPod that I used as a reference for my shitty portrait of him a while back, so I figured what the hell, why not. And if it ended up sucking as much as the first one, it’s just Aldous Huxley, who cares. I think it turned out better this time, though, but it’s nothing special. My excuse is that I was sober.
Next I decided to draw our Nazi Socialist Arab Muslim Atheist Fascist Kenyan Antichrist president, B. Hussein Obamacare. By this point the 11% ABV beer I was consuming was starting to work its magic on my brain. One of the guys running the event gave me a blue acrylic paint marker while I was doing this one, so I tested it out by coloring the president’s suit. It’s a pretty cool marker, although I’m not totally sure how much use I’ll have for it. But the important thing is that I didn’t pay for it. This is probably my favorite of the night’s drawings.
Moving on, I selected Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips as my next victim. Despite his propensity for getting the most annoying fucking people to guest on his albums, I do enjoy me some Lips. I don’t know that I’ll ever be good at drawing hair, but it didn’t help that I was using a weird marker in a weird room and that his hair is all over the fucking map. Anyway, I’m not all that thrilled about how this one turned out, but hey, fuck you.
I had a pretty solid buzz so I figured I’d bang out one more before going home and going to bed like a big pussy. Naturally, I went with Pink Floyd bassist/asshole/inflatable pig enthusiast Roger Waters. I guess this one isn’t too bad. Again with the crazy hair, seriously, what is it with you rock stars and your hair. My excuse is that I was drunk.
Possibly the oddest moment of the night was when some dude came over and handed me a drawing he made of me drawing. To be fair, I am pretty weird looking, so I guess I make for an okay subject. Or it could be because my lack of hair makes me easier to draw. I don’t know. It’s pretty cool, regardless.
There are still a lot of blank pages in my free sketchbook, so maybe I’ll use my free pens to do some more speed sketches in my free time. Beer.