So my boyfriend dreams about food…a lot. He wakes me up in the middle of the night talking in his sleep about the things his subconscious most wishes he was eating. He has so many dreams about food that this has become a thing. I think they are hilarious. I look forward to them and record them when they happen (once I was so sleepy myself I was worried I would forget, so I wrote myself an unsent text message in my phone for the next morning). He’s not quite at the level of Sleep Talkin’ Man but he can hold his own. I decided I needed to do something with them because this material is pure gold. It was his birthday a few weeks ago, so I compiled a few of them into short comic strips and put a book together as a gift. He loved it and I was pretty happy with them too so I figured I would put them on the internets like a real comic! For the gift I printed the strips out and watercolored them; here I’ve colored in Photoshop and I quite like it. It was fun trying to make shadows look like moonlight. Anyway, I hope you enjoy part one of Nikhil Dreams of Food. There will be more–presumably many more, if the man keeps being as hungry as he apparently is–and they are all true stories.
My landlords, who live in my building, had a little girl last year and she recently had a birthday party. I stopped by to say hi but had to get back to work (story of my life these days!), so I wanted to give a little present as well. This mobile was super easy and looks cute too (though now I regret not painting both sides so you see animals no matter how the pieces are hanging). I took two kebab skewers and cut off the pointy ends and sanded down both sides (even though this is decoration and clearly not a baby-friendly toy, I didn’t want pointy things on it). I painted some partly-made-up animals on some thick watercolor paper and cut them out and punched holes. I bound the kebab sticks together tightly with pretty colors of embroidery thread (remember making god’s eyes at camp with popsicle sticks and yarn? Wrap it like that) and then strung thread through the punched holes and tied them to the kebabs. The hardest part was lining up the strings it hangs from. I hope my tiniest landlord likes it!
I’ve been taking a life drawing class at Barnsdall lately. “Class” is a loose term–it’s an uninstructed three-hour session with a model once a week; three long poses. Part of me wishes it had more structure (I feel like I learn really well with critique), but part of me enjoys the freedom to just draw. I haven’t done any posed, with a professional model, not by the seat of my pants in a tiny book life drawing since college and it’s been refreshing–if a bit frustrating on occasion, as with anything under-practiced I guess. I’ve also taken to calling it “Old Man Class” (extra hilarious when paired with my other recent extracurricular, “Butt Class”) since my first day there it was five senior dudes and myself. It’s turned out to include more ladies, but I’m still the youngest person by a good three decades.
I’ve really been enjoying it and plan on signing up for the next semester when this one ends next month. It’s a great deal for time with a model ($100 for twelve weeks! Way cheaper than Butt Class) and it’s been a really lovely, peaceful way to spend Thursday mornings while sharpening my neglected skills.
I wanted to show some of the work I’ve done…caveat, these are sketches and practice ones at that. And my camera sucks and most of these are too big to scan. And they are all, um, naked, so here’s a cut for delicate sensibilities.
I had the pleasure of working with my good friend Tyrrell Shaffner, filmmaker extraordinaire and Executive Producer at SpiritClips, on a holiday-themed short film. I created drawings which were then animated by the talented Mika Tanisaki to produce a motion comic of Tyrrell’s sweet story of a man struggling to give his daughter a happy Christmas during the Great Depression. The film is viewable here but requires a SpiritClips membership, so I’d like to share some of my illustrations below to give a taste of the project. Tyrrell also wrote a great post about the inspiration for the film on her blog.
This was a really fun project to work on–I hadn’t done animation work since college, and while it’s extremely labor intensive it was a great exercise to have to think in a motion framework again. I also created all the drawings directly in Photoshop using my Wacom tablet, which is different from my usual style of hand-drawing and scanning in.