Monday, November 28, 2005


Mandy and I spent the better part of last week in Clemson with my folks. It was great--although I was very much ready to come home by Saturday. Of course, we ate like fiends--picking every morsel of edible flesh off that damn bird! The picture above is just our first go at it. Of course, the white meat was the first to go.

We had a great visit with family and friends which climaxed with a cool engagement party for a good friend of ours on Saturday night. Everyone continues to marvel at Mandy's ever-expanding belly. She is getting so big and we're starting to sort of freak out about the prospect of her getting much bigger. She is really sort of starting to get uncomfortable and sleeping is becoming difficult. Last night, we were sitting around talking to the baby (Leo) and he started getting the hiccups. It was so cute. It also seemed that he was pushing up against Mandy's belly because her belly-button was poking out. We figured out where his back is and we have been giving him little back-rubs every once in a while. It's amazing. I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I just tossed off this sketch for Illustration Friday's topic.

Strength is a relative concept obviously. I see so many businessmen these days who are pumping themselves up to make themselves look more intimidating. There's really no reason to be able to bench 300lbs. unless you play tight end for the Falcons.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Mandy and I just finished playing some music for Leo. We ran the gamut--Beethoven, Strauss, Dvorjak, Bob Dylan. I wanted to play some Dark Side of the Moon, but Mandy forbade it.

To think, in February, we'll have our little dude here with us!

In the meantime, I have to finish this freelance gig which is about to kill me. It's a web-toon for a company here in Atlanta to send out to clients for the holidays. It's pretty involved and I am really sort of burning myself out.

On the upside, once I finish this, I can move on to some cool projects of my own. I just sent out some promo cards and I am waiting to hear from a couple other prospective clients at the moment as well. So, while I am waiting, I can work on a personal story I am creating for Leo. It will be sort of a fantasy/sci-fi thing... I'll post more here and there as I get cracking on it. Anyway, here's a color sketch I did for that story. It's going to be a picture book-type thing ultimately. It'll give me a chance to stretch some different muscles. It's really the kind of story I would be into as a young lad. We'll see...

Friday, November 11, 2005


"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city,"

Well... I guess I hadn't better move to Dover, PA. Honestly, how can anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ say something so unabashedly hateful?

From the CNN article: "In voting on Tuesday, eight Dover, Pennsylvania, school board members up for re-election lost their seats after trying to introduce a statement on "intelligent design" to high school biology students."

I wish I could say that Pat Robertson has just lost his ever-loving mind, but the sad fact is that he commands a pretty large audience of "believers." The 700 Club has been spouting this kind of swill since its inception in the 60's and Robertson is the Chsristian Broadcasting Network's--which broadcasts the "Club," chief commentator and, yes, televangelist. His "Keebler-Elf-esque" head is the one that I usually flip right past between BBC America and ESPN.

Pat needs to re-attach himself to the twenty-first century...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Friends, and readers... I realize that this is ostensibly an art blog--and that to go directly from a post about the limitations of Flash to a post about religion might cause some people a momentary loss of orientation... Still there are several things that have really put a burr under my bum, so to speak, about the way that my faith is being dragged farther and farther away from what I believe are the true teachings of Jesus.

First, The United Methodist Church, in what can only be seen as a quantum leap backward from their slogan, "Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors." has reinstated a pastor in Virginia who had been placed on involuntary leave by the judicial council for denying membership to an openly gay man. From the church's own website:

"In Decision 1031, the council dealt with the due process problems in how Johnson was disciplined. Decision 1032 was the more sweeping ruling, saying that the church’s Book of Discipline “invests discretion in the pastor-in-charge to make determination of a person’s readiness to affirm the vows of membership.”

I am not interested in quibbling over technicalities regarding what the ruling said, or what the Book of Discipline says. To me the central issues are these: (one) that an openly gay man--every bit a beloved child of god, was denied membership into the United Methodist Church and (two) that a local pastor, acting on his own authority was the one who denied that membership and that (three) that pastor now has the blessings of the governing body of the UMC to CONTINUE to deny membership to ANYONE he feels goes against the Discipline.

Friends, this is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Not only is it ethically wrong, it is a 180 degree turn from the UMC's own stated policy of "Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors." AND it is in complete opposition to everything we are taught as Christians. For the UMC's governing and judicial bodies to cave to the rigid right wing of the church in this way is shocking. It makes me scared for my church, my United Methodist Church, of which I have been a member all my life.

Jesus was a champion of the outcast and marginalized. He was someone who, without fear, would challenge those who would hope to limit the kingdom of God to a chosen few. He sought out the otcasts and misfits and those on the "sketchy" side and he said to them, (I'm paraphrasing) "Hey y'all! Y'all who have been locked out of the temple! Come and follow me." After they have been turned away everywhere else, where can they go BUT to the church?

I am a member of a United Methodist Church here in Atlanta. We are a stewpot congregation of broken mutants--gays, lesbians, blacks, whites, Baptists, Catholics, Bhuddists, Dancers, actors, artsists, police officers, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians. We are all there every sunday to soak in the fellowship and to hear the Gospel. One sunday, as I was waiting to recieve Holy Communion, I looked around and saw the wonderful, bizarre, diverse family that had taken me in two years ago. I thought to myself, "This is indeed the body of Christ."

I don't know what will happen with the UMC and their policy on homosexuals within (and without) the church. I do know that every time we here on earth attempt to close our church doors to one group or another, to quote my crazy cousin Ed, "...the power of the Gospel just breaks those doors down again."

The second burr under my bum deals with the Kansas Board of Education's decision to delete the teaching of science from its science curriculum. This article illustrates part of the reason why I am so beloved by my liberal friends for being a devout Christian. This group is one of several behind the push to rid our nation's schools of the scourge of evolution instruction. Apparently, if dinosaurs actually existed, then the bedrock of scripture which our Christian faith is built upon would crumble before our eyes.

For me, whether or not we decended from Australopithecus africanus is immaterial to my life as a Christian. It doesn't affect how I worship or how I pray to my God. It doesn't affect how I read the Gospels. It doesn't in the least change how I relate to the poor or the sick. It doesn't at all deter me from working and seeking to be in ministry with my fellow Christians. While we shout and beat our chests over issues like homosexuality and evolution, poverty is killing thousands upon thousands of people every day--in every corner of the globe. The irony is enough to make one sick.

I could go on, but I seem to have burned myself out... My bed is calling...


I am pushing a serious deadline this week--a ton of illustrations for use in a web-toon which will be created in Flash. In order to help the process along, I have been trying to re-acquaint myself with Flash. In short, it's been a little bit frustrating. The rewards are obvious (right Jared?)... Still there are some things that drive me up the freaking wall!!

First, keyboard shortcuts are different than just about every other program I use so there's a substantial dropoff in usability. Also, sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. The old "apple-spacebar" zoom-in feature works sometimes and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't, I end up dragging a huge part of the illustration off the stage. Which brings me to another irritating feature that sometimes doesn't work: apple-Z undo. Flash will sometimes crash if I try to undo too far back... It also doesn't undo accurately.

Second, making selections is a hassle. Flash will sometimes just not select what you've "selected" just for spite. Also, making and editing multiple selections is all but impossible. In Adobe Illustrator, it's possible to make a multiple selections by holding down the "shift" key. You can they easily change colors and transform the selection. I haven't figured out how to do this in Flash yet. What seems simple and intuitive turns out to be hard as balls to figure out.

Third, working with Illustrator files is sort of frustrating. Sometimes Flash just refuses to import an Illjustrator file. It just refuses. I have to export the illustrator file as a *.swf file and THEN import it in Flash. It seems like a minor step, but it is frustrating.

About four years ago, I helped animate and design a "web-toon" called "kung Fu Kiwi" which actually won some awards. That project was created in a much older version of Flash and seemed to move a lot more smoothly than this one. I just don't remember being this FRUSTRATED with Flash.

On the positive side, The animation capability is something that all but erases all the frustrating aspects... It takes some getting used to but it's a lot of fun. Also, the html capabilities rock. I am already trying to figure out some cool stuff to add to the old website. Stay tuned! I also like how smooth the drawing flows in Flash. There is a great crowquill-look to drawings in Flash. For creating great, vector illustrations there's really nothing better.

I'm sure all of this stuff just takes more learning and more patience than I am willing to give at this point. I wish I could post some examples of what I am working on but I signed an NDA which prevents me from sharing. Maybe after I get finished, I'll be able to post some other examples.

Now that I've vented, I feel better...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


This is the illustration I chose for the current Illustration Friday topic.