Posts in the ‘Art & Entertainment’ Category

Needle Felting at the Urban Craft Center

Felted goldfish! What a fun, crafty morning.

Today, Anna and I took a needle felting class at the Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica, and we made these adorable little goldfish in jars. This was my first try at the craft and I was amazed at how we were able to turn fluffy pieces of wool into dense felt creatures with defined shapes and details. I’m looking forward to heading back to the Urban Craft Center to test out other classes — it was a relaxing way to spend the morning, and we made something fun.

Any thoughts on names for the little guy?

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

Kevin Tighe Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

Kevin Tighe as the Bengal Tiger. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Friday, our friends Sean and Lindsay invited us to go see “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” at the Mark Taper Forum. We don’t go to the theater much, so were excited to go out and see and do something new.

The critically acclaimed play (it’s up for a Pulitzer) centers around two soldiers, a tiger and an Iraqi translator in Baghdad during the Iraq War, and the characters are all dealing with their own existential crises and ghosts.

The tiger, played by Kevin Tighe wearing raggedy clothes is the first indication that this play will be something different. In the first scene, he paces in his cage, ranting about life in the zoo and during war-time, dropping profanities left and right. Things quickly take a turn for the worst when one of the soldiers guarding the tiger taunts him with food and the tiger bites off his hand.

As the characters try to accept their fates and deal with their emotional traumas, the play manages to be simultaneously funny and painful, giving a glimpse into the tragic absurdities of war and the stressors that cause people to act out or go mad. “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” is engaging throughout, it feels fresh and original and it’s deeply affecting.

Its simple set is also very impressive, using some ingenious lighting techniques to use turn one static backdrop into an office, a zoo, a garden, the desert, the night sky, a hospital and more.

I went into the play with no information as to what it’s about, so I don’t want to say too much, but “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” is at the Mark Taper Forum until May 30, and it’s definitely worth checking out. Watch videos, learn more and buy tickets.

New Illustration: Pigeonholing

pigeonhole illustration

Click image for a larger view

I created this quick little illustration yesterday for a blog post Evan wrote ranting against pigeonholing editors. Check it out. It’s a good read. The post: “Opinion: The Absurdity of Pigeonholing Across Mediums.”

How to Create a Late Night Disaster

For my first Illustrator II class assignment, we had to create a how-to illustration. I decided to go timely with How to Cause a Late Night Disaster based on all the hoopla going on at NBC with Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and the Tonight Show.

How to Create a Late Night Disaster per NBC, Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien

Click image for larger view

Final Photoshop II Project: NYTimes Opinion Illustration

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. It’s been a really busy month and I have lots of adventures to catch up on writing about. First, though, I wanted to share my final project from my Photoshop II UCLA Extension class.

We had to create an illustration for a New York Times Opinion Section piece in the style of ParkeHarrison. I was inspired by the surreal images, and loved the themes of flight, clouds and tethering. I chose an article called “Have Work, Will Travel” about working holiday visas for young people and the freedom it gives them. I focused on the freedom to travel and explore the world as opposed to the parts of the article that talk about how the U.S. doesn’t have such reciprocal agreements with other countries. As someone who has used a working holiday visa — when I went to London — it really was a great experience.

I put together a number of different photos — my friend Guiselle leaping into the air, a stock landscape, many stock cloud photos and a photo of a parachute for the strings.

"Have Work, Will Travel" ParkeHarrison-Style Illustration - Click for larger view

"Have Work, Will Travel" ParkeHarrison-Style Illustration - Click for larger view

Recreating a Planet Terror Poster, Textures and All

Click to view a larger version of the comparison

Click to view a larger version of the comparison

Last week’s Photoshop class assignment was to recreate the look of a Planet Terror poster using our own images and textures. I chose a photo I took of Guiselle where she looks sort of scared, and painted on some eye makeup and made her lips a deeper red-orange so she looked like she was wearing lipstick. I couldn’t quite recreate the drippy mascara as well as I wanted, so I left it out. I also changed the color of her shirt from purple to green, and added a lot of highlights and shadows to make the lighting feel more like the original.

Click to view an even larger view of Guiselle's Planet Terror moment

Click to view an even larger view of Guiselle's Planet Terror moment

For the background, I blurred some crumpled paper to give the yellow some texture, and added scratches to the edges. I also added the paper folds, which was a pretty complicated process since I wanted to match the original colors in the folds, as well as the original feel, and I wasn’t working with the best photo of folds to begin with since my paper was just white and it has quite a lot of shadow on it.

I played with the text a bit, though just used the Title and production company logos from the original.

Click to view a larger version of Evan's texture moment

Click to view a larger version of Evan's texture moment

As this was texture week, we also had to create a bunch of original textures from photos/scans and use them in an image. I made of of Evan, using many textures, from tree bark to crumpled aluminum foil to ripped paper in the background, and dirt and more marked up tree bark on top of him to make him look grittier.

A Black Hawk Down Color Match

Last week’s other Photoshop assignment was to create a color match with a Black Hawk Down poster. We learned a few techniques for getting the colors to mesh and were tasked with creating an image and colorizing it.

The original poster we had to match

The original poster we had to match

I created another image of Evan since I felt like him looking away and sitting would lend to a similar feel to the poster. I used a landscape photo I took in Budapest and added a number of layers of cracks, dirt and noise to give it a grittier texture. Also, the color changed slightly when I saved Evan’s portrait for web, so it doesn’t look quite as close a match as it really is.

My color-matched portrait of Evan

My color-matched portrait of Evan