Monday, April 30, 2007


Thursday, April 26, 2007

100 deaths

this past weekend, i attended the design ranch. i truly regret not going to any of the previous 6. a complete retreat/camp for designers; totally worth every penny (and a pretty one at that – for me). this year is my year of finally getting off my ass and being a designer and not just playing one on tv. so far, i think i am doing pretty well at meeting that goal.

i had been interested in the design ranch since its inception, but couldn’t justify the expense or time to attend. my first internship was with marc english about 2 years prior to his creation of this sleep over camp of genesis, connections and inebriation. the straw that finally sucked me into going to this year’s incarnation was mr. stefan bucher himself.

i suspect many of you that might have stumbled on this post have no idea of my history with the daily monsters. i penned a few stories, you see. those stories led to a great online relationship between stefan and i. months pass and stefan mentions his coming to austin in april. as it turned out, he was one of the magnificent 7 putting on a workshop this year. well, the horse head stared me straight in the face. a flip of the credit card and a click here and there, and i was set to meet an inspirational person.

his workshop was, unsurprisingly, a study in illustration. i have a hand. i have skills. i barely have any hand-skills, however. i very much want to be able to draw what i see in my head, but by the time i can sketch out something that could be mistaken as an illustration, the thought has left and the motivation to continue is gone. i took the first offering of the workshop at 9am on friday.

100 truths” was a study in drawing 100 things either repeatedly or based around a theme on a poster. as in, you could draw a hundred eggs (which someone did - and did very well, actually) or draw a hundred items relating to a theme (vacation, nature, hairstyles, cross-polynomial variants in genetics). my choice was incredibly ambitious. i had no idea how lofty at the time i thought of it, but by the end of the 2-hour session, i was thoroughly daunted. ultimately, the free moments of the weekend were spent finishing the poster.

you know how hard it is to come up with 100 ways to die? after about 30, it becomes incredibly hard. throughout the weekend, other attendees would come up to me to watch me work and I would wrangle a death out of them (in word only, i didn’t actually kill anyone — this time). stefan and petrula vontrikis (“the lost suitcase” workshop) were very helpful. it was pleasantly creepy. i even paid tribute to stefan twice (one of his monsters eating the victim and another depicting death by toxoplasmosis).

i managed to get it done and i think it is one of the best pieces i’ve done – illustratively speaking, of course. clicking on the image at the beginning of this post will show you a larger, clearer version of the poster so you can make out the various methods one can cease to be. i’ll likely frame it sometime in the future to keep it safe.

a little extra: there are actually 101 deaths showcased in the poster.