I was hoping to write a lot more about my adventures in California but I'm struggling with all kinds of deadlines at the moment so I'm going to have to keep it brief but what follows is the 'other shit' what I did...
My main illustration time was concentrated on the Special Benny album cover but occasionally I felt the urge to get all ornithological and draw birds. Interestingly I discovered that referencing birds in real life made for very dull illustrations whereas the next couple what I did from my mind's eye are much more pleasing to the eye if not very technically accurate.
For example this here Crow has all kinds of issues - his wing is positioned very poorly but I still like him. I picked up some cheap water colours out in the US to add a little more colour and depth to my ink sketches but as you can see I didn't exactly go nu-rave. Still the black is more forgiving for washes than my inks...
Here's a bird in flight. Not really sure what's with the birds - more opportunity to over-detail probably. We went to a few open studios and I noticed a lot of people have obviosuly heard the word too.
I also draw this sorry looking bear. He would go out tonight but he hasn't got a stitch to wear.
Erm - right I'm rambling a bit. Other highlights included;
* Reestablishing my love of John Steinback - I managed to pick up a battered old copy of 'Tortilla Flat' with illustrations for a dollar in Berkley which is a firm favourite of mine along with Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday. I'm seriously considering doing some illustrations inspired by 'Tortilla Flat' - the ones in the book are a little flat considering how wonderfully Steinback paints Danny and his laid back wine-thirsty buddies with words. Another one for the ever-expanding 'to-do' list...
* Bought Michael Sieben's 'There's Nothing Wrong With You (hopefully)' book in Upper Playground which is a beauty - one day I'll get a print. I also need to get hold of the Sieben and Travis Millard's collaborated zine - two of the finest (and funniest) illustrators in the US.
* Went to Mike Giant's studio and drunk future Mexican beer whilst watching some incredible drumming guy who only had a couple of pots to hit. Sounds megadog-whirlygig-crusty hell right? Wrong. The. Nuts. Plus Annie got to meet Mike whom she loves. And I got to sneak a peek at his studio.
* Saw this hairy bastard. He was gone the next day poor fella.
* Fell off bar stools from drinking too many shots of tequila. We went from the bar with the best juke box in SF (three entire Pavement albums) to the bar with the worst juke box in SF (you know you're in trouble when you have to pick a Smashing Pumpkins song) but it was okay because I was introduced to a fella from Philedelphia who would give Michael Caine a run for his money in talking Cockernese.