At Drawger
2013 Drawger Annual
posted: December 6, 2013

Releasing the Drawger Annual is always a bit bitter-sweet for me. For a while, it's like having my own private gallery. Nobody else is allowed in until I decide to open up the doors.

Well, the doors are open and I've left some cheese and wine by the fire escape!  Welcome to the show.

The great BILL MAYER did this years poster at the last possible minute. I asked him to think about it three days ago, and yesterday he sent me five (count em) options. Who says the days of 'can do spirit' are in the past? Not Mr. Mayer, I tell ya!

I've always been inspired by Bill's series of Letters to Lee, so I sort of begged him to do something similar for the good people of Drawger.

 
Below are the stupendous options Bill sent in!
Why the cat won one, I have no idea. I had to pick one, that's all I can say about it.

Something tells me this isn't exactly poultry

As anyone who knows anything knows, antlers are just in.

Sometimes I really do wonder about Bill...

I like this one because he used a picture of my lips!

Thanks to everyone who made 2013 amazing!


I'll
slip
back
into
the
shadows
now!   Drawger Annual 2013   LOVE, Z I M M
My 2012 Drawger Picks
posted: December 29, 2012
Year-end thanks to everyone!

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.
 
Teaching in Mexico and Dia de los Muertos
From Ellen Weinstein
Okay, I'm a sucker for pictures of  people and places I don't know about. Ellen flew me to the moon and back with this one.
 
Hello...
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.
 
"I told them ... I love you all very much"
from Ross Mac Donald I rarely cry. Ross brought tears rolling down my face with this personal and heart-felt message. I sense he brought this terrible tragedy home for all of us.
 
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.
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.

Drawger Annual 2011
Drawger Turns 4
posted: February 9, 2010
In January of 2006, I had this odd notion that a site where illustrators posted articles might be a fun place to hang out. At the very least it sounded like a place where I'd like to hang out.

Somehow or another, I got a few other people to think it might be fun as well. Dave Bamundo, Randall Enos, David Gothard,  Don Kilpatrick, Mark Matcho, Hal Mayforth, Robert Saunders,  Michael Sloan, James Steinberg, Nancy Stahl and Steve Wacksman  were all willing to listen to this rather peculiar idea.

Around 2:30pm, February 9th 2006, Dave Bamundo bravely clicked a save button where no man had clicked a save button before and just like that, Drawger was born. About an hour later, Mark Matcho wandered in, clicked on a comment link and  typed a few sentences. The first comment arrived.

The following day Randall Enos published the second article here at Drawger.

On Drawger's forth birthday, there are 7,632 articles here and 82,295 comments. Image galleries here contain over 10,000 things to wonder at. Getting Drawger started, I have to admit, it was a rather selfish thing for me at the time. I just wanted it for me, me me. Remarkably, it's now for thousands daily, because of everyone here.
the original header (awww...it's so cute!)
A few  memorable milestones (for me)
September 11th, 2006 - The homepage became a spontanious memorial. Without a doubt, one of the most moving experiences I've ever had. I realized then that Drawger was much more than fun, it was deeply meaningful. Sample of that day, from Edel
Monkey Song - October 2006. A completely blank post by David Flaherty got 151 comments. I try to derive meaning from this, but never arrive at any.

November 2006 - Enos published his first My Life on the Slanted Board. I hoped there would be more. There are.

January 2007 I notice a very real spike in traffic and wonder what's going on. I track the traffic back to a rather obscure, politically right-leaning site. The reason people were showing up here? To convince themselves that the "artistic intelligenicia" were suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome. It suddenly dawned on me that Drawger was having an impact. Until then, I thought we were all here just talking to each other. We got 50,000 unique visitors that month. 50,000 visitors is often a daily occurance here now.

September 2007 - Drawger is officially on radar as sites like BoingBoing (here linking to a Nancy Stahl show) and others start to take notice that something might actually be going on here.

June 2008 - Note to self: The most popular content at Drawger is Lou Brooks' Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies, with over 375,000 unique page views for the week.

July 2008 - Barry Blitt's New Yorker cover, titled "The Politics of Fear" just about crashes the server as thousands arrive hourly to send him hate mail (pro-Obama hate mail), even though his page here has nothing on it at the time. Fortunately for Barry who wasn't even able to eat solid food at that point, his email box was full and all that stupid crap bounced back to Drawger.
June 2009 - The New York Times refers to Drawger in print and then online, regarding Google's requests for free art in exchange for links. After getting an average of 10,000 hits per minute, Drawger goes down hard and we get a new server.
July 2009, Tim O'Brien posts Eyes, a portrait trubute to Neda Agha-Soltan. Visitors from around the world arrive by the thousands, we're linked to by sites I can't read. The portrait is displayed at her memorial service.

This is an amazing place to call home

A good neighborhood is made up of people who you learn to know and love, where you don't mind the guy next door throwing a trash can in the street at 2am, where your neighbor is willing to help you jump-start your car when it's 10 degrees outside, and where you don't have to lock your doors. To me, that's Drawger.

Happy birthday Drawger! I love you!

Ohger - For Students
posted: November 1, 2009
  Did this finally after many stops and starts: Ohger, a site for students and recent grads in illustration.

  What happened: I've been wondering for two years solid whether I could (or even should) do something for students of illustration, to help them find out who each other are, provide them with a site where they can learn about best practices from professionals and quite possibly get exposed to a few art directors along the way.

   Pacing back and forth on the idea, that's what I've been doing. "Yes I should do it!", "No way you dope, it's a really really lousy idea!", "Yes indeed, I must make this happen if I can!", "Get a freakin' grip dude, it's the lamest idea since melba toast."

  I finally stopped pacing and struck a semi-heroic pose in the mirror. Said,  Yes, " I need to make this happen if I possibly can"

  Why oh why: If illustration hasn't yet crossed the border into the Wild West, where the rules no longer apply and the law is nowhere to be found East or West of the Pecos, it looks to me like that unhappy horizon is rapidly approaching.

  Free is becoming the new normal. 

  Sure thing, most working professionals delivered a free piece of art when they were fresh out of school, in exchange for dubious exposure. Perhaps they did a piece for chump change to get a client listing as well. Today, those opportunities are much more pervasive and abundent  enough to start looking like free is gearing up as the new normal. What are the newcomers supposed to do, except to hopefully band together if they can and take a stand? I'm hoping Ohger will be a buttress in that defense.

  I figure that if illustration (which is the only thing I actually like besides kids playing baseball) is going to hold some ground, I can at least help get these students talking in one place if I can. Hopefully the pros will stop in to offer encouragement as well.

  OHGER.COM - for students of illustration and recent grads (one year out only). Hit me!

   Like everything else I try to help with, it may well be dashed to bits on the rocks below. If that's the case, so be it. I'm giving the idea time and effort  now and at the very least I don't have to pace around any more thinking about it.



Publishers Picks 2008 at Drawger
posted: December 3, 2008
poster by Marc Burckhardt

In which the unlikely publisher of Drawger points out some personal favorites from the year 2008 in no particular order what-so-ever. Thanks to everyone who made 08 one heck of a great read here. I love this place!
To my personal picks without delay:
Drawger launched into 08 with a fabulous post from Richard Borge where he documented his Jessica Hoop Video. This post remains one of my all-time favorites. Borge is the man in my book.
Okay, so I'm a real sucker for any type of detailed documentation of process. My favorite series of the year was back in July and August when Chris Buzelli posted his documentation on the Trophen Museum work. Chris gave us a really great look behind the curtain. Here's July posts on Trophen and here's August. Thanks Chris!
Anybody who didn't appreciate the Mingering Mike the Soul Supa-star post by Laura Levine back in February is just a bummer. I loved it and so should everybody else!
Zina Saunders caused HUGE traffic spikes at Drawger all year. Her Sarah Palin Bags a Big One may well have been the single most popular post at Drawger in all of 08. I liked it plenty myself, but my personal pick from Zina was her marvelous Marshall Erismon Profile. Simply yummy.
It's a given that Edel Rodriguez posts extreme coolness at a pace that makes the average bloggers head spin. His A Show in Spain documentation from January was one of my personal favs of 08 until he posted All About My Father in June which had me bawling like a baby. I also really appreciated his send-up to Tom Trapnell.Thanks Edel, I love you man!
No doubt about it, Steve Brodner has created a real show-stopper with his Person of the Day series. Traffic arrives here from far and wide to gobble up the brainy antics of this thoughtful master. His 4000 Persons of the Day was my personal favorite from 08 - as well as Steve's righteous and mighty Support Barry post which almost brought our dear server to it's knees. Thanks for keeping my brain buzzing this year Steve! I don't know what I'd do without you at this point.
Like I said, I'm a sucker for process posts. David Goldin's The Fruit of Our Labor post back in March was just coolness with a cork. I loved it and even got to taste it!
Fernanda Cohen's Illustrator Travel Kit. Nuff said. Too cool.
For the past three years, Tim O'Brien has documented his New York Marathon experience with the same degree of bravery and thoughtfullness as the amazing run itself. This year was no exception and it was his best run and his best post to date. Marathon is a great read and an amazing accomplishment. It also needs to be said that Tim's Cover of Rolling Stone post was easily one of the most viewed posts at Drawger this year, and for all the right reasons. Totally amazing.
Anita Kunz had me at hello with My new intern (I loved this too much for my own good) and Burn Baby Burn remains one of the most mind-bending posts I've ever had the extreme discomfort to witness. Thanks Anita!
Hanoch Piven does for Drawger what Captain Kangaroo used to do for me when I was two...keep me waiting for the next episode of wonder and delight. His Garbage Mountain post and his Keith post were both real keepers in my book. A world without Piven at this point is simply unthinkable. I salute you sir!
Rob Dunlavey has brought us some of his thoughts and insites into the state of affairs in Zimbabwe over the past few years. I really enjoy his contributions on this subject. Here's a look back at some of my personal picks from 08 - Hey Buddy Can Your Spare 50 Billion Dollars, Mugabe.
Harry Campbell (the undisputed king of spots) doesn't post a lot here, but when he does it's always some of my favorite stuff. His Op-Ed for Wednesday was my favorite from 08. I love to see the doodles that lead to the conclusion. Harry gives it up!
Linzie Hunter's Left or Right Brain? hooked me bad and her Back by Popular Demand! was a tastey treat as well. Thank God for the Brits!
Way back in January, Adam McCauley started a great conversation with his What is it article. I really love this kind of post. Represents the best of what Drawger does. Thanks Adam!
Do you like to get really close-up details of work, see all the brush strokes and cracks? Me too! At Drawger, Marc Burckhardt is your man. He posts a piece and then lets you see it up close and personal. BLAB! Show Los Angeles. Mmmmmmm.
Donald Kilpatrick was probably a journalist in a previous life. His posts are always a solid read. His touching tribute to Joseph Solman was a real stand out for me this year. I loved it and if you haven't read it, read it now.
I like childrens blocks, always have. I have a small collection of them. It should come as no surprise that I also liked the ABC post by Greg Mambly a LOT.
If Joseph Fiedler wasn't the worlds greatest living illustrator he'd probably be a documentary film maker. He has loaded Drawger with some amazing accounts of travels, events and studio tours. The one that really hooked me in 08 was his Marin Studio Visit: John Hersey in May. Cool details, expert timing, just what I needed.
Bob Staake has a way of writing his posts where the reader feels like they are getting a personal tour of his ever-expanding brain. One of my favorite examples from 08 was his super-cool Roomy Enough For Two Cockroaches And Up To Eighteen Deer Ticks article. And, being a complete sucker for any post that documents process, you can't beat My Odd Way Of Working from January! Thanks for memories Bobster!
Felix Sockwell occassionally stops in here to give us a lot to think about and I for one sure do appreciate it. His Tour De Force explanation of his iphone icons in his new iPhone nytimes GUI article was just solid amazing. I also love it when someone at Drawger sends out props to out-going art directors and Felix's send-up to Brian Rea was really cool.
Stephen Kroninger uses Drawger to talk about other people and show us what inspires him, which is cool. Very occassionally he will give us a peek at his own process and that's when my ears really perk up. His Nation Cruise for The New York Times post from February was one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing Stephen!
Robert Hunt cleaned his brushes in April and built a model of a dragon so he could paint it in November. Both of these posts had me blinking in disbelief and awe. Unreal.
For one reason or another, Drawger inspires some collateral activities. One of the funniest this year was Nancy Stahl's Drawger Scrabble Tournament which was documented here all the way to the winner. Another very cool contribution from Nancy in 08 is the Women's Work show which gets a TON of traffic and has over 200 brilliant works on display. Yeah Nance! Woo Hoo!
Carl Weins uses Drawger to talk about his family life, his sons, his brother, his life at home, his travels. I love that stuff and it's a really cool use of Drawger. His Last skate post from March is a great example of letting people see Carl in his natural habitat.
If Drawger has any lasting historical value, internet archaeologists will almost certainly point to Randall Enos' widely acclaimed My Life on the Slanted Board series. This year, we only got one instalment, but it may well be the best one yet. MY LIFE ON THE SLANTED BOARD...Chapter 28, "Stripping For Playboy". Brilliant!
If Drawger had a face, it would be the face of David Flaherty. My favorite stuff from David is his documentary work, whether it's an opening, a pool party or just a simple trip across town. His Quest for the Wacksman's Passage is best of show in 08 in my book.
An 08 highlight for me was Peter Kuper reporting from Mexico. I felt like we were getting a direct feed from the dusty streets. I'm really glad he took to time to document and post Mexico Street Art especially. I love that kind of stuff. Keep em' coming Kuper!
I'm a real sucker for babies. Gina and Matt let us have it with New Employee. Loved it loved it loved it.
A. Richard Allen tends to show just about everything that he can squeeze in. I love that. I especially love all the process sketches he shows. How To Live to be 100 was just one of my favorites from 08 - especially the annotated sketch on drag, which was hilarious!
In April, Leo Espinosa posted Friday Pencil Fiesta, in which he just started collecting and posting pencil drawings people would email to him. All of those drawings got relocated to here, and that single post resulted in the ongoing Pencil Fiesta gallery here at Drawger, which Leo bravely manages and edits. Yeah Leo! I love you like a rock!
Brian Stauffer has really put together a string of hits this year at Drawger. I really appreciated the insight into his thinking process with The Tough Ones in February and in March his Spitzer OP-ED post really showed how quiet and confident art direction (in this case from Brian Rea) can lead to amazing results.
Lastly not leastly, Lou Brooks uses Drawger to mostly post up things that inspire him, tracing his roots to jazz and pulp. It's always great stuff. Every so often he lets us in on a good inside story as well. The You and Your Turntable article was a cool insight into how illustrators can often effect smart editorial decisions and that's the kind of stuff that really gets me going. In June, Lou posted that his Art Supply Museum Tops '100' Mark!, referring to his Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies show here, which continues to be one of the most visited areas of Drawger. Way cool. Lou is the man.
. . . . . . . .
That's it for now! I probably left some of my favorites out, but I can definately recommend all of the above as a sample plate of what Drawger does best. Look forward to 2009!
Drawger Annual 08
posted: November 10, 2008
Very pleased to announce that Drawger has survived long enough to publish it's third annual and that it's the biggest yet, with 61 fabulous pieces for your viewing pleasure!

And when I say that Drawger has "survived" - this is not neccessarily a given, folks. This site has traveled through some precarious terrain since it arrived on browsers in February of 2006.  We were basically set up as a small social club, with enough room to accommodate a few people milling around the bar chatting among themselves. That was the original idea and that idea didn't last very long.  By February of 2007, Drawger was struggling to seat over 1,000 visitors daily and a quarter of a million page vews per month. By February of this year, those numbers had more than doubled and we were on our third server, scrambling to seat eager visitors who gobbled-up bandwidth on scales never imagined. On an average day lately, Drawger welcomes an average of 5,000 unique visitors, and serves up well over a million page views monthly. Who woulda thunk it?

It's a testimony to the great people here. Drawgers have consistently delivered a tasty mix of daily content - from the seriously thought-provoking to the downright nutty. It's been my honor and enormous privilege to make this happen for everyone involved.

Enjoy the show!
The illoz Angels
posted: September 2, 2008
Meet the illoz Angels!

This is a team of 8, 9 and 10 year olds playing this fall in Western North Carolina, corporate home of illoz.com.

Western North Carolina Fall Baseball is a BIG DEAL around these parts and I thought "what the hey...", if a $325 sponsorship will guarantee that a bunch of kids can get dirty and hit some balls, then we're in! Right?

Today was opening day for the Angels.  I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. Seeing them take the field in those little illoz shirts....I can not EVEN begin to describe the excitment of it. I wish everyone could have seen it like I did.

Our illoz Angels went up against the highly favored Astros and came away with a narrow defeat, backed by solid defense and swift base running. When the game was over, team drinks were immediately poured down each other's necks and they went and played in the creek, the narrow defeat forgotten ... immediately.

Ah, to be a kid again...
When you look at kids like this...how can you POSSIBLY not want to help them play ball?

Glad that illoz had a few bucks left over (thanks so much to everyone involved) to make this happen for the Angels. They are one chill team of characters.

Great parents too! As the illoz Angels slipped in the 4th inning to hand over the game to the Astros, parents calmly chattted amoung themselves about how hard the team was trying and how the next game might be better. Parents make a huge difference in youth baseball and the Angel's parents made it all good in the end, the way it should be.
The Angel's dugout was really the place to be. These kids hung the fence every minute and chewed a lot of gum.
Thanks to Coach Yohon Whitaker and his assistant, Ronald Blackman. I happened to snap this pic of them while they were making out their lineup and not exactly sure if they were all that happy about me wandering around on their field at the time...Like I said I was a bit excited, perhaps a bit too excited.

These guys really do have the best interests of the kids in mind at all times and I'm SO PROUD to be able to help them field a team this fall, with the help of everyone involved with the illoz project.
illoz logo by you know who

illoz link
Marc Art Mine
posted: April 19, 2008
Yesterday by FedEx - a reMarcable treat arrived.

A signed and numbered print by Marc Burckhardt, of Robert Johnson - all for me!

It's impossible to explain how fine this print is. The brilliant colors, the luxurious paper, the exceptional quality of the print itself are all simply breath-taking. This is one truly exquisite work. The man is a master, done deal, game over.

Luckily for everyone, Marc has the same quality of prints for sale at his illogator shop, which just opened for business this week.
Check it out! Marc has his own tape!

How cool is that?

I mean, how many people have their own tape? Gimmi a break!
Off to the framer! I have the best in town!