I rarely post or comment here, but I'm always lurking at the edges and enjoying the site everyone here has made happen.
This post is to thank the people who made 2012 at Drawger go over the top for me. Every word, every image posted here makes me insanely happy, but there were a few that really sent me soaring.
In no particular order...here they are:
The Uphill Climb
From Robert Hunt
In which Brian Stauffer and Robert Hunt decide it's a fine idea to climb Mount Everest and do some art along the way. Hello up there? Amazing! Amazing! Amazing!
The Embed in the Stan
From Victor Juhasz
Victor determines that it's an excellent plan to go to Afganistan and embed with troops to do art. Compelling to the point of no return. I have no words to describe how meaningful this is to me and others I have shared this remarkable story with.
from Marcos Chin
I dearly love how Marcos can devine an image, but his prose is perhaps even more sublime. I've read this post from him dozens of times and always walked away better for it. I'm glad he persued illustration, but if he ever decides to write, I'll follow him there any time.
What I did on my summer vacation...
from Bill Mayer
Bill has astounded me over and over in 2012, but his deft writing and images surrounding a simple family vacation with this one really stuck with me, Not many people commented on it at the time, but I enjoyed it a lot and continue to do so. Posted to his The Lab area, which I follow like a hungry dog looking for treats.
Mitt Romney for GQ
from Tim O'Brien
Tim posts some of my favorite articles here. They're always full of unexpected detail and reliable fun. I loved this one so much because he delivered up something somehow exactly right for the long days of a presidential campaign summer. I'm not a political person at all, but he captured all my personal misgivings about a popular candidate with one shot, one image. Also from Tim in 2012 was Illustrations from my students 2011-2012, which Robert Neubecker rightly commented was 'a very humble and honest summation of the teaching experience'. Enjoyed this look at his students work a lot as well.
The Obama Conquest
from Roberto Parada
One of the last Newsweek covers we'll see in print, hateful comments that Roberto allowed as part of the conversation, this post had a lot to offer, wrapped neatly and with care like a perfect gift. I for one am so happy I got to open and enjoy it. As with many posts here, the comment area was just as powerful as the article.
My first piece for The New Yorker
from Leo Espinosa
I always imagined a community that supports and encourages it's own. I love this post for the comment thread that follows it so much. It's exactly what I hoped for when I started this crazy joint.
There were many many more favorites for me, but I'll stop here. Have admittedly left out Kroniger's sublime series under A Box of Magazines, which I looked at again and again and enjoyed so much, along with many others who make this place amazing.
Have a lucky and prosperous 13. Many thanks to all who are here and inspire and to those who are watching and care about this crazy illustration racket.
Each year, illoz.com sponsors a team for WNC Fall Baseball, and this year, it's an irresistible group of four to six year olds playing the great game of T-Ball.
For those unfamiliar with the game of T-Ball, it's basically baseball except that there's never a dull moment and the players may from time-to-time chase the ball into the outfield after hitting it instead of going to first base. Also, outfielders may opt to have a tea party in the grass, ignoring balls that may be rolling by at any given time.
One other difference between T-Ball and the game of baseball you might watch on TV or take in at the ball park is that parents of the players can sometimes have mental break-downs or begin to show signs similar to that of contracting a nasty case of Rabies in which foaming at the mouth can be seen, and in worst case scenarios, symptoms of Tourretes syndrome can also be detected in which uncontrolled vocalizations can occur.
Since I can not afford to build my own ball park in which parents are not allowed, for the past six years or so I've volunteered to be commissioner of the league, which means I'm at the ball park each night and all day on Saturday, kindly reminding parents who are suffering from the afore mentioned afflictions that they are not adding to the fun and they need to shut up, sit down and let the kids play.
Sometimes the coaches forget about that word 'play' as well and misinterpret the team as a miniature army that needs to be marched into battle. From time-to-time it's necessary to remind coaches that the game could just as easily go on without them. Fortunately, this doesn't happen very often. I hand-pick all coaches based on one thing: If I like them.
Happy to report that the Orioles won exactly ONE game in twelve this season and the kids didn't even know the difference. Thanks to everyone at illoz who make this happen!
Monkeys in a Boat, in which a little red boat is put to the test by five adventurous monkeys...
If you have own an ipad and also own one or two little people, I hope you'll download and enjoy!
Preview of Monkeys in the House!
The app was developed by the great people at Daily Interactive. Doing this with them has gotten me pretty excited about creating interactive books, so I'm already in development on some more stories featuring thiese curious monkeys. If you download the app, you'll get updates on what comes next!
Drawger Annual 2011
posted: November 17, 2011
One of the cool things about being me is that every year I get to have the Drawger Annual all to myself for a while. It's like my own private show. I get to sit here and watch all the good stuff arrive and for a short while, it's all mine!
Eventually, I have to share it with everyone else. It's a bit sad, but I have to let it go.
Actually, this privileged position is probably the only thing that's cool about me, come to think about it. But still I still think it makes me pretty darn cool.
This year I worked with the remarkable Katherine Streeter on the poster. She gave me all these amazing options and then left it up to me to decide which one to use! I think she's a bit cruel like that, to tell the truth. It really wasn't fair, I tell ya! How do art directors even work with this woman? It was like trying to pick a perfect apple from a tree of perfect apples!
I hope everyone enjoys the show this year as much as I have already! I really hate to let this one go, it was so nice to have it all to myself.
Every year, illoz sponsors a fall baseball team and this year, it's the T-Ball (ages four through seven) LUGNUTS! Woo hoo! I didn't get the official illoz logo in on time for the shirts, but what the heck do the kids care? They don't give a whip about no logo! They just wanna play ball!
The fall baseball season here in Western North Carolina is a big deal, folks! In just the age-group of four through ten there are almost 300 players! That's a lot of kids getting remarkably dirty!
I can't stand for stoic team photographs. Baseball is a kids game and the only point is to have way too much fun, as far as I'm concerned. They've got plenty of time to look serious later. At this age, it's just the coaches that shouldn't look exactly normal.
Why I'm involved in this: Adults have an uncanny ability to ruin a good time for kids, especially when it comes to sports.
Looking to have the fun sucked out of something like baseball? Invite an adult, for sure.
If I had the money to build a baseball park where adults where not allowed, I would build it immediately. Adults, let it be said, are the worst thing that ever happened to the great game of baseball, so says me.
When kids are young, the crowds are huge. The player pictured left had his entire extended family show up for his season opener. Aunts, uncles, grandma and grandad, sisters and brothers all attended and cheered him on as he proceeded to hit no balls and never reach base. But, he had the crowd on his side, cheering him and his team on at all times!
It's an odd and rather sad state of affairs, but as they grow older, they're lucky to have one parent, or even a best friend show up to cheer for their team.
The kid in the picture (left) seems to know this sad truth already... or else he just doesn't like me!
Close to the LUGNUTS field is a hill where the team likes to assemble and collectively stare into space. Once there is enough of them on the hill, they seem to spontaniously decide to run down that hill together, with complete abandon.
Remember when running down a hill was the best fun ever? That's why the illoz name is on the shirt!
I had to be quick to get the photo above. The LUGNUTS don't waste any time when fun is to be had!
AT&T U-Verse SMTP for your email addresses outside of ATT.net
posted: June 13, 2011
The masterminds at AT&T U-Verse have gone to a great deal of time and expense to provide their valued customers with comprehensively incorrect information regarding how to send a non-ATT.NET email through the SMTP provided at smtp.att.yahoo.com. If you use your own email address such as email@example.com and have landed here, you are not insane, even though you probably want to bang your head against the wall at this point. You have just been supplied with remarkably bad information by your new U-Verse support.
Here is the fancy version of the incorrect information regarding sending your emails though smtp.att.yahoo.com. Here is the more pedestrian and also completely useless instruction page for sending through smtp.att.yahoo.com. The useless information I am linking to is for Outlook Express. For incorrect information regarding other email agents, find the link for "personalize your support".
If you call U-Verse support on the phone, they can not help you because they don't know how to set it up themselves. If you are reading this in the India U-Verse support basement and want to actually help the clueless and deeply frustrated individual on the phone who you are trying desperately to make go away, please read the following to them, word for word:
You will land on the unholy marriage portal of Yahoo! and AT&T.
In the top right, look for "Hi, please sign in" (this will probably change soon because it is so vague and absurd, so if it's not there look for some way to log in). Click those login words.
Your user name is the email address you gave yourself at ATT.NET when the friendly person came to install your U-Verse equipement. Your password is the password you assigned to that ATT.NET email address. If you do not know this crucial information, you are most-likely without hope at this point and should probably just forget about it and give up.
After logging in, do not click on the MAIL button because that would be WAY too obvious.
Instead, click on Member Center (as of January 2013, this link has been moved under the MORE button up top, to make this process even more confounding).
Then, because this thing really is just awful, log in again! Same credentials as before.
Now, under the "Contact Information" area on the left, click on "Update Contact Information".
You will see your ATT.NET email address on that page and a tiny little link under that for Add Email. Click that.
Add your actual email addresses in there.(me@mybusiness for example).
Note that if your email address starts with "admin" such as firstname.lastname@example.org, then Yahoo! and AT&T will reject it. I have spent three hours on the phone with them trying to correct this error on their part with no result. It would take any decent programmer about 20 seconds to correct this pitiful error-checking mistake on their part. More evidence that this thing really is remarkably terrible.
Check your email and confirm it through their ugly but effective confirmation email thing.
After confirming your email address, you can now add that email address to the outgoing authentication in your mail agent program (Outlook, IMail..whatever). All the other information that U-Verse supplies after this is correct, including secure port numbers (465 for outgoing SMTP port). However - you need to use your own ATT.NET email address and password for the secure STMP login.
Oh, one more thing...AT&T instructs you to use outbound.att.net for your SMTP settings. Remarkably, this is incorrect. Instead, use: smtp.att.yahoo.com
If you work for AT&T U-Verse and are reading this and have finally corrected your bogus instructions, please post a reply stating: I'm sorry I wasted all of your time trying to figure this out and we really are a miserable service.
If you found this to be helpful, tell me. If anything I said is wrong, tell me. The internets are chocked full of bad information and I don't want this to part of the problem.
March 7th, CMYK Magazine #49 went to newstands as some sort cruel birthday gift for me. The editors decided to subject their readers to illustrations (if you can even call them that) I happened to have banged out when I was still doodling for dollars, back in the before-time, before the continents had drifted apart, before the ice receeded to the poles. Without my permission, even. Imagine that. 'Oh, here's a hack job that Zimm did for Mountain Dew that was obviously done under extreme duress because he simply needed some cash and didn't care where it came from. Let's print that! Wait, wait, here's a stunningly meaningless turd that Zimm did on a hangover for the 'Got Milk' campaign. Print it? Heck yeah! Ask his permission? Why bother!' Imagine the joy in the seeing these reminders of hackery and despair in print once again. Thanks CMYK! I usally hate my birthday anyway!
Where did CMYK find these forlorn relics, these dried-up left-overs from the salad days of illustration (people would buy anything back then, I tell ya)? On my largely forgotten website that even I haven't looked at or updated since the internet was discovered. A cruel reminder to all you people who haven't updated your sites in years. Just keep in mind, somebody might actually publish that crap without even asking!
Backstory: Ronald J. Cala wrote me an email some time back to inquire if I would write something for the magazine. I wrote it, sent it in, decided I hated it, then asked that it not be published. Well, truth be told, I told Ronald J. that I didn't like what I wrote when I happend upon him at this years' AI Party, so he probably forgot. It's the only thing I remember distinctly from that night, so I know these things happen.
Happily: My article, along with the editors largely mis-informed (who the heck has time to call and get it right these days?) introduction, is sandwiched between articles featuring Scott Bakal and Yuko Shimizo. It was nice seeing my friends, at least!
As many here now know, Drawger is going to get smaller over the course of the coming year.
This decision on my part went into effect last week and Zina Saunders just happened to be the first one on a rather long list of people who will no longer be blogging from Drawger.com.
I very much like Zina personally and I'm pretty darn sure she knows that. At least, I hope she does. If Drawger survives this change, the same sentiment towards Zina applies to everyone who will no longer be blogging from here as the coming year lurches forward.
The "it's not personal" sentiment above. That's lame. I wish there was another option to express how I feel. I can't think of one. Drawger needing to get smaller is entirely my fault. Drawger being too large right now, all my fault.
What's actually happening. When a member's yearly subscription expires, each person who's moving on will have five days in which to have their say. If people feel the need to call me a rat bastard, they'll have the soap box to loudly do so. I think it's right that people be given the opportunity to say whatever they need to say about the changes taking place here. If you're moving on and think I'm a rat bastard, post it.
The me thing. I do not manage Drawger in the hopes of making a name for myself or to gather accolades. I also do not manage Drawger to make money, because it doesn't make any. More obviously, I don't manage Drawger to make friends or influence people. Consequently, I usually stay quiet in the background most of the time. The actions I am taking however do land me front and center in what is certainly a controversy. Pitchforks at the gate, the town on fire, looks bad, perhaps it's the end.
The controversy itself, the town on fire, pitchforks, they don't make me uncomfortable. Being in the spotlight does. I don't like spotlights, never have. Here I am in it and very uncomfortable. Alright then.
Here's where I'm at. Drawger has too many members for it to be enjoyed in the way that I originally designed it to be enjoyed. There are so many people here that remarkable articles, thoughtful insights and downright genius are only on our home page for a day, before they are pushed off by other articles and quickly evaporated from view.
When insightful, topical and thoughtful articles quickly disappear from view, there is clearly less incentive for members to invest the time and energy necessary to create those insightful posts.Why bother if all that hard work and thought is going to be gone from view in a day?
The result of over-population? Less cool stuff to read and look at.
Back to the rat bastard thing. Perhaps saying that about me would be just the thing, or perhaps a bit harsh. I think it would be more fair to say that I have managed Drawger very poorly. That rings true. That would be abundantly fair. For failed management, I take all responsibility. If people want to call me out for being a poor manager, I'll gladly hand you the rocks to throw. I've allowed Drawger to get too big and too big just sucks. All my fault. I'll hand you bigger rocks and let you stand as close as you want on that one.
My original vision for Drawger was that it would be a very small, private social club. For a couple of years, it was exactly that. I woke up every morning energized and excited. Drawger was my home away from home. Somewhere along the line, I let that original vision slip away. The small social club transformed into a over-crowded dance hall. Because I wasn't paying attention. You bet.
The result of over-population? I showed up to read stuff less often. I woke up bummed out every single day.
The changes taking place here at Drawger are, admittedly, all about my personal happiness. It's all about being horribly selfish and dreadfully self-centered. I do not want to wake up every day feeling the way I've been feeling. I want that small social club back, I need the original vision of Drawger returned.
I'm not going to talk about the criteria for how my decisions are made. I have made this site available to my friends with no expectation of reward, except the personal reward I receive when I get to read and see remarkable works and words. With that said, I'll get back to my place in the background. Take aim and fire away as you see fit.
The illoz Mudcats!
posted: October 6, 2010
Every year, illoz.com sponsors a baseball team with WNC Fall Ball. This year, we're sponsoring a T-Ball team, The Mudcats!
For those of you unfamiliar with the wonders of T-Ball, it's for ages four through seven. Players have the option of the coach pitching to them, or hitting from a tee (a little stand that holds the ball for them).
I've been around youth baseball for almost twenty years and T-Ball is by far my game of choice. In the first Mudcat game of the season, one player ran to his mom after getting a hit, another player chased the ball into the outfield after hitting it and proceeded to wrestle with the outfielder who had the ball, and a third ran directly to second base after getting a hit. I'm telling you what, there's nothing like it.
Mudcats, waiting for their turn at bat! Go Mudcats!
There's a creek behind the dugout and for Mudcats, this is the place to be between innings. Here's a few of the star players preparing to clamber through the bushes to look for salamanders.
The Mudcats are team players, I tell ya! Yeah Mudcats!
This is one serious Mudcat! Not!
I'd like to thank Jermaine Parker for coaching the team! This guy really knows what the meaning of "play" is. A lot of coaches tend to forget what that word actually means to kids.