Sunday, April 11, 2010

You Never Know Who's Paying Attention...

Wow, what a week! To say that the past 7 days have been insanely amazing, crazy, surreal, awesome, jaw dropping , kick ass and above all busy would actually be a gross understatement.

It's been all that and then some, kids! ;)

I'm still trying to catch my breath but in the meantime, let me fill you in on one of the most awesome moments from this past week.

First a little history:

For the most part, Out the Other Side gives me a great excuse to (among other things) talk about fellow creatives and creative things that I adore. Occasionally , I have been known to talk about music video directors that inspire me. Frankly, I am a bit of a music video junkie. I think that music videos as an artistic medium (as well as an entertainment vehicle) are just fascinating to analyze in depth. I am even reading a book that highlights the finer points of music video history ("Money for Nothing: a History of Music Video from The Beatles to the White Stripes" by Saul Austerliz. It's a fun sunny day read ;).

I'm particularly fond of directors (or artists in general) who aren't afraid to be edgy, unique, boundary defying, unapologetically weird, interesting, or willing to say something visually different.

This brings us to Maria Juranic and how she single handedly made my week/life! :)

Several months ago, I wrote a post about Juranic and her fascinating body of work. She is something of a professional hero of mine, so it was totally my pleasure to do the write-up on her.

Now, when I write this little blog that I call Out the Other Side , I seriously don't believe that my readership goes very far beyond my amazing group of personal friends (many of which are talented artists in their own right) a few other amazing creatives that I get feedback from on occasion, and possibly a few drunken college kids in Sweden who click on this blog by mistake.

I believe that to think otherwise so would a require a level of confidence/cockiness that is, frankly, just not in my nature. ;)

Anyway, never in my life did I think that I would be getting a personal email from Maria Juranic herself thanking me for the write-up I did on her! Never!

Not only did Maria send me an incredibly sweet email thanking me for showing her work some love but she also told me that she loves my work as well! :)

I'm not sure if she was just being polite, but I think that compliment almost caused me to have a small stroke out of excitement....haha.

Wow! I have nothing but an enormous amount of respect and admiration for Maria and her approach to her craft. As I said , she's a hero of mine, so to have her compliment my work at all really means the world to me. I don't even have the vocabulary to express how amazing that is.

What can I say? I'm a little star-struck. ;)

In any case, I want to extend a HUGE thank you to Maria Juranic for taking time out of her busy schedule to send such a cool email. She seriously just paid me one of the most amazing compliments that a girl could hope for! She is a class act, an amazing talent and if you haven't gotten aquatinted with her work yet, then what are you waiting for?

Below is my favorite Juranic clip : "Optimist (We are Not for Them)" by P.O.S.

Check out Maria's official page HERE and my aforementioned blog post on her HERE. :)

Also, thank you to everybody who has become a fan of Out the Other Side on Facebook! If you haven't started stalking the new fb page yet, feel free to get to stalkin' right over HERE! ;)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Andy Rehfeldt May Be My New Hero

Do you think that Metallica and smooth jazz make for strange bedfellows?

Well keep reading. ;)

Today I have been cooped up inside (on a beautiful day, mind you) because I have been putting together a reel of motion pieces for a student art show (which opens on Monday Wednesday).

I'll admit, being stuck inside on a pretty day just to meet a deadline kind of sucks. However, this is actually a fun gig. I've basically been handed a stack of DVDs with several student's motion pieces and have been put in charge of stringing them together so that they can be looped during the show.

Simple enough.

The interesting thing is that one of the pieces prominently features the classic Metallica track, For Whom the Bell Tolls.

For the record, Metallica happened to be one of the many staples of my high school music collection, so I still have a warm, fuzzy spot in my heart for them.

Despite the fact that I think that Lars Ulrich is a certified douche, I pretty much believe that The Black Album and much of what predated it account for some of the most masterful heavy metal music ever committed to tape.

Getting back to the art show reel, For Whom the Bell Tolls certainly falls well within the era of Metallica that I can gleefully tolerate.

However , as a consequence of tweaking this reel for several hours today , I have had to hear that song repeated many, many times. Quite frankly, it was starting to make me a little crazy.

Imagine my surprise when (after finally finishing the reel) I stop for a "Twitter break" and randomly stumbled across this beauty :

No -- Metallica hasn't suddenly morphed into a jazz fusion act. However, after seeing this, there is a part of me that now secretly wishes that they would!:)

The musical mastermind behind the re-dubbing of Enter Sandman (and many other metal classics) is Los Angeles based musician, Andy Rehfeldt. He has been recently featured on MTV's Buzzworthy blog (which you can find HERE). You should also should totally check out his Twitter page HERE and his Youtube page over HERE. ;)

Not only did this effectively clear the pallet from the marathon repeats of For Whom The Bell Tolls, but it also just made me smile like an idiot. Granted, this may not do anything for some of you metal purists out there.

However, it definitely made the metal head, jazz nerd and lover of general oddities that I am a very happy girl. ;)

Andy are now officially my new hero. Bravo, sir! ;)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Year One

First things first. Lets get one little thing out of the way....

You're welcome. ;)

In other news, today has just been crazy awesome for yours truly.

Today I was briefly mentioned on (former Tonight Show) blogger Aaron Bleyart's blog. I was a finalist for a contest to name the Macbook Pro that Bley will be blogging from on Conan O'Brien's Not Legally Prohibited to be Funny on Television Tour.

My suggestion ("The iBley") unfortunately didn't win. However, it was apparently cool enough to be a finalist and to get a mention on his blog (which you can check out here). Apparently, I am also getting some sort of (possibly questionable) snack from Bley's Matt Damon lifetime achievement awards goodie bag as a runner-up prize.

Seriously -- I'm kind of way too excited about this! The mention + the Matt Damon snack have got to be one of the coolest slices of random that I've ever been somewhat a part of. least not since I saw Sylvester Stallone getting in trouble at customs in Sydney, Australia.

No -- I'm not kidding.

Anyway, it's still pretty awesome and I'm pretty stoked about being a runner-up. Thanks Bley! :)

Today I also got another piece of news that was so good that I almost thought it was April Foolery. I got a call-back for a potential internship in Los Angeles, California!

Needless to say, that phone call pretty much made my day! The company is called i am that girl and they deal with (among other things) the promotion of females being passionate, beautiful and strong on their terms. It's very cool stuff and (as I said before) I am incredibly excited to get a call-back from them! We'll definitely have to see how things go with regards to that offer....but I'll keep you guys posted. ;)

Finally, not only is today April Fools day (hence the completely creepy 'Rick Roll'), but it was also one year ago today that I officially launched Out the Other Side! baby's growing up so fast! Seriously, were does all the time go?

A year ago I started this blog as a sort place to spew randomness / quasi-portfolio / bouncing off point for all of my creative inclinations. I sort of put this thing out there on a half-whim and have been pleasantly surprised to see that people are still interested after this long. That's nothing short of being completely miraculous to me and I am insanely thankful to every one of you who check this blog out and have given feedback over the last 12 months.

The coolest thing about posting on Out the Other Side is that it has allowed me to connect to so many other fabulous creatives. Hopefully I will continue to inspire you guys as much as you have me. :)

Anyway, in honor of Out the Other Side's first birthday, I have taken the liberty of giving the header (and color pallet) a little overhaul. My twitter page has also gotten a fresh makeover, so if you haven't checked that out yet, then you can do that over here. ;)

I hope that you guys dig the new look. I initially wasn't so sure about moving to an all white background for this blog. However, the longer it stays this way, the more I really love it. I'm pretty excited about brightening up the blog (in my own morbidly special way) just in time for spring and summer.

I also wanted to share my new favorite song with you guys. This is "Strapped for Cash" by Fountains of Wayne (from their 2007 album Traffic and Weather). Seriously -- why did I never pay attention to these guys after "Stacy's Mom"? This song is brilliant!

Anywho, given the fact that I am preparing for a big move within the next month or two, I figured what better way to usher in springtime than with a funky, upbeat, horn drenched, energetic ode to being broke.

Think about it. It totally fits. ;)

In any case, enjoy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

42nd Annual Juried Student Art Show

Wow. This past month has seriously been all sorts of crazy!

Between applying for summer internships, planning a major move, padding out/fine tuning my portfolio and dealing with excessively strange weather "mood swings" here in the southeast, things have certainly been eventful for yours truly.

Hopefully, that at least partly explains my sporadic posting here on "Out the Other Side" as of late. ;)

In any case -- a call for entries went up for Western Carolina University's 42nd Annual Student art show this week so I decided to submit a chunk of my newer digital pieces.

Among the stack of things that I submitted were several illustrations including Takin' out the Trash (see above). I also submitted my Breathe & Bleed and Buggin' motion pieces (see below).

The judges are currently picking pieces to officially be displayed in the show and honestly, I pretty much have no real expectations in terms of weather or not any of my work will actually make the cut. Experience tells me that this is probably the most healthy attitude to have about the whole thing. We'll just have to see what happens.

Wish me luck and I'll post an update {when time permits} when/if anything actually makes the cut. ;)

In the meantime, here are all of my art show submissions:


Breathe and Bleed

Mother of Violence

Self-Medication Gone Wrong

The Sharkbait Tango

Life Drawing

CoCo and the Chin in Late Night Hell

Saturday, March 6, 2010

New Illustration: "The Princess and the Pea"

Just a quick update -- here is the finished-ish version of "The Princess and the Pea" children's book cover illustration that I first previewed here a couple of posts ago.

You can check out the first rough version of this one right over HERE. ;)

I'm pretty pleased with how this one ultimately came out. I tried to stay with a more pastel color palet than some of my previous work and did what I could to keep black out of the equation altogether (although it does pops up in a few places here and there. ;)

The night sky (which was originally a very bright blue) wound up getting toned down considerably. When I went back and compaired this version to the rough one that I posted to "Out the Other Side" earlier, I'm wound up being really glad that I kept the sky muted. I figured out quickly that the pale pastels on a much more understated background just helped everything pop a lot more. The sky is actually my favorite part of this piece now. :)

The only thing that I'm not 100% trilled with is what the princess' eyes are doing in this illustration. There's something a little scary/hypnotic going on there that I can't quite put my finger on at the moment. I tried really hard to give her a facial expression that came across as frustration or unhappiness (due to the giant-ass pea in her otherwise cozy bed in space).

However, I think that she just looks like she's in some sort of spooky little trance. I believe that I am going to go back into this one later and work out the issues with her eyes.

Ultimately, since I've been working on this one for so long now (nearly a month and a half on and off) I'm kind of ready to move onto another project entirely right now.

I've noticed that this often happens to me. I sometimes get really ambitious with a particular project but ultimately I'll get to the very end and discover that the project is so ambitious that the time it takes me to make the damn thing is way long the original spark of ambition...haha.

Leave it to me to spend so long with a project that I ultimately bore myself. This is why I run into a lot of projects that I ultimately have to call "done enough" just so I can move on. If I didn't do that, I would ultimately obsess over projects that I'm already tired of for months and months.

Does this ever happen to anyone else?

I dunno. I think I'm just weird like that *shrugs*. ;)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Illustration : "CoCo and The Chin in Late Night Hell"

Wow -- talk about being extremely tardy to the party! Is my newest illustration even relevant anymore?

Well... based on all the suspense surrounding Jay Leno's tragic return to the "Tonight Show" a few nights ago and all of the excitement still being generated on the 'I'm With CoCo' Facebook group (and elsewhere), I'm going to say 'yeah'.

'Yeah' -- this is still pretty relevant. ;)

Let me first apologize for being a bad 'COCOnut' and not posting this one to the blog sooner. I actually leaked it to the aforementioned "I'm With CoCo" Facebook group about a week or so ago. However, as I prepare for an internship this summer and a big move shortly thereafter...lets just say that life sort of got in the way of posting anything substantial about it here at "Out the Other Side".

Damn that life -- keeping me away from writing my blog and reading CoCo's sweet tweets :

(Click image for larger screenshot ;)

Oh well...

This whole illustration originally came about through an assignment I was recently given (and ultimately, went a little wild with ;). We were challanged to look at old broadside literary and/or political posters and then create one of our own.

With a world full of real-life problems, there was certainly a lot of heavy subject matter that I could have dissected and used as fodder for a poltical-type poster. However, I decided to keep the overall theme fairly light and instead opted to use 2010's epic late-night war as a bouncing off point for something potentially awesome.

Awesome or not -- this was a lot of fun to do!

Not only did it give me yet another excuse to drag Conan kicking and screaming into another one of my art pieces, but I also seized the opportunity to try out some new things technically/visually.

I embraced a lot of hand-drawn type and an intentionally sketchy/ hand drawn look in this piece. I believe that if nothing else, the end result is a great deal more organic looking than some of the stuff I've done in the past.

I am definitely excited about the prospect of utilizing more organic / hand drawn elements into my finished pieces. I think marrying these aesthetic ideas with things that I've done in the past will certainly make my visual vocabulary that much more richer in the end.

Now -- lets get back to the "I'm With CoCo" Facebook group for just a second, shall we?

Personally , I think it's just incredibly cool how all of Conan's fans have taken to the internet in force (and I'm including myself here) to show their support of Mr. O'Brien and his staff.

I believe that the whole "I'm With CoCO" movement (which was initiated by LA based artist Mike Mitchell), is about the coolest and most productive way for Conan's fans to come together and weather the 7 month drought without our favorite ginger kid.

I know that for me that the Facebook group dedicated to this cause has both been a tremendous source of entertainment and nostalgia.

It also happens to be insanely distracting ... but whatever.

I'm just going to have to learn to have my CoCo fixes in moderation, I guess. ;)

Anyway, I do want to say one thing about Conan's fanbase overall. Not only are Conan's fans some of the most intensely passionate around but it particularly strikes me that his fans are also some of the most creative , fun and intelligent kids that you could hope to run across on the internets.

I'm pretty sure that's why I felt compelled to dedicate part of a blog post to their ever-growing Facebook group. I sincerely believe that the continued fan support of Conan online is the truest testament to how moronic NBC really was for giving us "The Jay Leno Show: Part II".

If we ever needed any more evidence on how out of touch Jeff Zucker and company really are, then this this is probably it. Nearly a million fans (and counting) can't be wrong.....right?

I also believe that Conan (who has recently taken to entertaining us on Twitter) is a very smart man for taking advantage of social networking in his own right. In a world of webcasts and general internet entertainment, Conan should definitely use his online resources to his advantage. There are plenty of ways that Conan can play his cards in the next 7 months that would continue to keep him viable and comedically limber.

While Jay continues on with his very safe late night show, Conan could take the next 7 months to reinvent his act for a new network while continuing to build his fan base in various interesting, innovative and hilarious ways.

That's not even touching on this possible Conan O'Brien stage show that I keep reading about.

Obviously -- Conan is going to be a-okay in the long run, as will his loyal fans. I'm positive that in the coming months that he's got many fun surprises up his sleeve for all of us. I seriously can't wait to see how the "CoCo Online Saga" eventually unfolds.

In the meantime -- here is a list of ten of my favorite CoCo clips that have been happily circulating around the web recently.

Watch em' now before the trolls over at NBC make em disappear! ;)

#10) Conan and the 'Super Mario Set'

#9) Oscar Party Photos (and impromptu strip tease ;)

#8) CoCo vs. Stripper Pole

#7) Conan Bobs for Apples

#6) Robot on the Toilet Malfunction

#5) Norm ruins CoCo's promos

#4) Labamba drinks Tofurkey Soda

(Sorry about the crappy video quality, but it's totally worth it:)

#3) Jeff Goldblum and Conan Exchange 'Eye Jelly'

#2) Conan 'Takes it Off' for Mary-Kate Olsen

#1) Conan REALLY Likes the Lower Back Tat!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Work in Progress: "The Princess and the Pea"

The idea to do my own illustrative take on the kid's story, "The Princess and the Pea", more or less stemmed out of a kind of necessity.

I actually began the initial sketches for this piece about a month ago. I began work on it in tandem with re-launching the process of tailoring my overall portfolio in a way that (I hope) will broaden my appeal to a wider variety of clients.

It recently was brought to my attention by a couple of well respected fellow creatives that , to date, my portfolio has yet to include anything that would not potentially frighten a small child.

Point taken. ;)

I'll be the first one to admit that a bit of what influences me harkens back to my own favorite viewing experiences with kid-centric entertainment. I definitely spent a lot of my formative years watching countless episodes of "Tiny Toon Adventures", "Darkwing Duck", "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" -- among many other kid's cartoon shows. Being a somewhat overgrown child myself, it's hard for those types of influences to not creep into my own work from time to time. ;)

However, I'll also be the first to own up to the fact that despite the fact that much of what kids are exposed to today is tame when compared to some of my work, my target demographic isn't necessarily young children.

This posed an interesting challenge for me when it came down to researching potential internships/jobs that are known for more kid friendly fare. Even though my aesthetic sometimes has more to do with bizzare demented cuteness with a little splash of cynicism , I'm not completely against catering to a slightly more innocent sensibility.

In fact, it's been kind of a fun challenge for me to work on a project that is just cute for cute's sake. I'm sure I'm more than capable of illustrating to a younger clientele while keeping a look and feel that is distinctively my own....right?

Well, is what I am currently trying to figure out. This notion leads us to the above illustration in progress. The above illustration is actually the first in a series of 3 children's book cover mock ups. The other two book cover designs will be for "The Ugly Duckling" and " The Pied Piper".

Like I said before, it's thus far been an interesting challenge to create something that is geared towards smaller kids while still keeping my own design sensibility and without making it somehow disturbing . ;)

"The Princess and the Pea" book cover pictured above is far from done. For one thing, I'm not totally sure that the color pallet depicted above is going to be the same when I get to the final version of this piece. I have a feeling that some of the colors will definitely change along the way.

All that I know for certain in terms of the color pallet is that I want to use a lot of pastels. Overall, I want to keep the color much softer than what I would normally use for a more personal project.

In any case, this hopefully gives you a fair idea of where I am headed with this thing. Although I am keeping the 'children's book' series fairly straight forward concept-wise, I have been working hard to find new ways to compositionally frame the key character(s) in a different way from other book covers that I've researched for the same story.

I'm not sure if I've been completely effective thus far in doing that. However, this is (at the very least) giving my creative problem solving skills a much needed work-out. I can't wait to unveil the finished illustration set when everything is finally done. :)