Ava Thursday: Self Portrait

Ava Thursday: Self Portrait

"Daddy did I do good?"

That sweet, delicate handwriting in the upper right-hand corner speaks volumes to me. While waiting in the car, I handed Ava my sketchbook and a pen for her to draw whatever she wanted. This is what she drew. A wonderful self portrait of a 7 year-old girl, growing up and being fully aware of the details around her. The question in the corner is a loaded one. Upon reading it, I immediately gave her a smile and said, "Oh, yes, sweetie -- you did an amazing job!" But I couldn't help but think about how much that question means to Ava. Obviously, it means that she's trying her best here. And she definitely wants to appease me, since she sees me draw all the time. But I never want her to gauge how well she's doing based off others' comments and opinions -- I want her to judge her own work for herself. But that's a lofty concept for a 7 year-old. At this stage in her development, she wants encouragement from her family. And that's what we try to give her, as much as we possibly can.

Ava Thursday: My Hand

After Ava's self portrait, you turn the page and you come upon this. More self portraits. Of a little girl's hands. A sweet, delicate little artist's hands.


Drawings for you

Well, you asked for it:

flash is fast flash is cool
Start it off with Grandmaster Flash. Bonus points if you know where that quote came from.

One of my favorite characters in The Office. I should draw the entire cast some day. Yeah, right! Like I've got time to do that!

A character I'm working on. Tell me what you think. Took the ol' Prismacolor pencils out for a spin. Forgot how good those pencils feel on paper.

ava & buddy
Ezra likes to taunt and bug Ava. It's his vocation. And what he's saying? From a Spongebob episode, natch. Probably a Plankton line.

Ava has a hole in her smile. Ezra has shoooz.

I see that dude over to the left on the bus all the time, playing with his phone.

More Prismacolor action. Click to view larger.

Busy busy this week. I'll probably take a break from posting for a while. Things are just way too crazy for me right now. I'm sure you'll understand.


and i mean it

and I mean it

Meet Ezra, resident no parking bully.

UPDATE: If you cannot see this image, sorry, but I've decided to private all photos of my children.



Primal Screen business card

Interesting. This shot of my Primal Screen business card is currently in the #1 spot for Flickr's Explore for January 18th, 2007. (However, this changes constantly, so it probably won't be there for long.) Nice to see it on the calendar page. In fact, it's pretty wild to see it there.

Funny isn't it? Most of what you see in the Explore pages are pros struttin' their stuff. I mean, some serious camera-headz sporting their talent to pick the right lens, the right filter, the right moment. These dudes are deep in it. And here's this simple shot right in the middle of it all -- just a quick close-up shot of my hand holding up my new business card at my desk at work. No special lighting, no big props or special lenses. Just a simple Canon Powershot A610, and a super-cool business card. Honestly, I have no clue how that Explore thing works, with its "interestingness" and whatever-ness. It doesn't go by views or favorites, that's for sure.

For the record, let's check out a couple of my Flickr images and see what's the most viewed, most favorited, most commented on, etc.

Most Viewed:
Fallout Shelter Handbook: Cover
Fallout Shelter Handbook: Cover: 11,585 views

Because of the mention on Boing Boing back in November of '06, it's been my second most viewed post on my blog, behind my posts on The Polar Express. However, I suspect it'll be #1 soon, since the interest in this handbook never ends. I get SO MANY visitors to my blog who do a search for "fallout shelter" on Google. Go ahead, do a search. See what comes up. It's crazy.

Second most viewed:
While You Are in Shelter, with 8,232 views. But only because it's right next to the Fallout Shelter cover in my Flickr stream.

The third most viewed (with 7,108) is also my...

Most Favorited:

Party Perfect
Party Perfect: 117 people call this photo a favorite.

A delightful scene depicting the seemingly perfect 1950's teenage party, the cover to Party Perfect has been favorited by 117 people. And I don't blame them -- it's a fun and quirky image. Oh, and the author is none other than Gay Head.

Most Comments:

A tie:
Vertigo!: 34 comments

Sawyer sketch
Sawyer sketch: 34 comments

But only because both these images were springboards for conversation -- trying to stay connected with all these Web 2.0 sites, and LOST. Not much going on in these conversations besides the usual, "hey, I'm with you on that!"

Other Flickrstuff:

Stats for 17 Jan. 2008
Yet another time waster for me has been Flickr's new stats feature. What's always been bugging me was trying to find out where my Flickr images have been linked -- Technorati is fine, but you can only go so far with that site. Here, Flickr finds out who's linking your images, even if they're linking the root image. Nice. And don't tell me it doesn't feed the narcissist in you to find out who's linking you and your photos & images. Quite a fascinating feature. Thanks, Flickr. Thanks for making me miss my deadlines...!

Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, Calif. Shown checking electrical assemblies (LOC): David Bransby, photographer. June 1942.

I'm curious to see how Flickr's new project, The Commons works out. So far, it's a winner -- they've combined forces with the Library of Congress, of all people, and have been uploading some amazing photos. Be sure to horde some time away before you get sucked in. It's a fascinating journey you'll take through our government's photo library. Fascinating! Fascinating, I say! I love checking out color photography back before the 1950's. If you do too, then waste your time away, my friend. Incredibly crisp and stunning photos from 1939 to 1944. Oh, and by the way, I love the fact that other Flickr members can chime in on the photos, even noting that the image shown above is staged -- her pen is capped.

This week, I promise to crank up ye olde scanner for some quirky vintage goodness. I promise.

Umm...does anyone care to see any drawings I've done lately? Just checkin'.




Back in August, we checked out a very cool outdoor market downtown and walked about the vendors, smelling the smells and ooed and ahhed over the sights. As Andrea went with Ava to get food for lunch, Ezra and I lounged about on the grass, underneath the trees. After some running around, my son stops and falls to the ground. I don't see him do this at first -- I was looking the other way. But suddenly I have this realization that the usual ball of energy I call my son is strangely quiet. So I turn and see him laying down on the ground all by himself, looking up into the trees.

He doesn't move. He's like this for several minutes. For those who have 3 year old sons, you know that that's like a small eternity.

I got real close to take his picture, and he still did not move.

that boy


A couple of Christmas goodies

Like I mentioned earlier, the mrs. and I decided to mix it up this Christmas, giving each other only "gently owned" gifts found in thrift stores, antique markets, and the like. Thought I'd share with you a couple of fun goodies that she lovingly wrapped for me:

Playtime Watercolor set
Oh, the wifey knows me so well. Allow me to squeal with girlish glee, yes? This was found in my Christmas stocking. She found it at an antique mall here in Portland. Thankyouverymuch. This is my second watercolor set from her -- you can see the other one from this shot of my old workspace at Primal:

My workspace: mobile and books
It's the red one in the bottom right-hand corner with "Kopy Kat" on it. I should take a photo of the inside of that one. Some very nice lettering for each of the colors. Very art deco-ish-like.

I also got this wonderful children's 45 for Christmas:

Blue Tail Fly
There's no mention of who did the illustration on the cover (of course), but the character design looks very similar to Aurelius Battaglia's style. Anyone?

One of my resolutions for this year is to scan more of my old stuff and post them for everyone to check out. I've been sitting on all that junk for far too long. I want to share! I promise I will keep my word on this. Expect to see some great gems for 2008.


Starting Off 2008 Right

Your Guide to Good Health
Let's start of the new year right, shall we? A couple of super sweet images from a Metropolitan Life pamphlet from 1966 (part of an entire series -- see a previous Met Life pamphlet drawn by JP Miller here). No illustrator credit is given, but there's some speculation that it could be Roy Doty. Any clues? Give me a ring and let's discuss. I'd love to know who did these wonderful illustrations. I've had this for a long time, just waiting for the right moment to post it. Since it's the New Year, and people usually like to start the new year with resolutions, and resolutions usually consist of starting off right, health-wise, these fun two-color illos fit in rather nicely for the day.

Choosing a physician

So, it's been a while, hasn't it? Sheesh. Didn't mean to take that long a break. But it was needed. On Christmas Eve, the Jenkins clan hopped on a plane and flew to Atlanta for two weeks. It was the first time for the kids and they loved the entire experience. They were so excited by it all. And, surprisingly, they did really well, considering that it was a red-eye flight. At one point, a flight attendant leaned over to tell me just how well behaved my kids were. I almost responded with a "Well, just you wait," or "Thanks, but these aren't my kids," but decided against the cheesy dad joke-thing. Plus, she was already out of earshot.


Two weeks was just enough time for us to be away. Andrea and I both thought that while we were hanging out with family and friends that we would find the time to post on our blogs and/or Flickr, but, alas, it was not to be. Apparently, vacation time doesn't really mean a true vacation when kids are involved. But that's okay. It was great to catch up with a couple of friends (sorry we missed out on hooking up with others -- there's not enough hours in the day), so good to see all the cousins playing (somewhat) nice with each other, and it was great to see a couple of fantastic films. For the record, JUNO and the Coen Brothers' NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN are high on my list of best films for 2007. And I plan on seeing THERE WILL BE BLOOD soon. Big fan of Paul Thomas Anderson.

And yes, we found time for two rounds of bowling. Awesome.

What the doctor looks for

Can't lie -- we miss our families. Of course, that's a given. This past year has been hard on us, since uprooting the family in March to move from Atlanta to Portland. Being so far away from close friends and family takes its toll after about 6 months. I long for the times where I could just swing by my Mom's and chat, or go see a flick with my Dad. Andrea's brother and his family live in Atlanta and we always enjoyed going over to their place to just hang out, order some pizza, listen to some new tracks, talk about TV shows, movies, silly things, nothing. While we were in Atlanta for Christmas, we got to do all of that. And more. After a week and a half, though, it started to get to us. Each day was filled with obligations and things to do, places to go, people to visit. By the end of each day, Andrea and I were so worn out, so exhausted.

Eating the right foods

But it was a good exhaustion. Even though each day was tiresome, we enjoyed the time spent with everyone. And it was good to be back home, to see all of our old haunts, our former houses, favorite restaurants, flea markets, stores, movie theaters, etc. One thing I noticed: in Atlanta, you have to DRIVE everywhere for like, 20 to 30 minutes. It was crazy. Funny how it takes me being nine months gone to finally realize that. Boy! Maybe it was all the driving around that made us exhausted. I wouldn't doubt it.

So, here we are. 2008. A new year, a new start. I'm excited about this year. There's already a lot that's planned. A sample:

I want to get my workspace up and running downstairs. A couple of trips to IKEA and various flea markets will do the trick, I guess. The reason I want to get my workspace finished is because...

...I want to get started on my short film. This is the year I must get going on this thing! Enough fooling around. Time to forge ahead. I'll post a couple of drawings here sporadically throughout the year just to give you all a heads up, but in the meantime, you'll have to wait.

Sigh....we need a new computer. Our current Powerbook G4 is barely getting Andrea and I though each day. If I start working on my short film, the little guy won't make it. Looking for a new Macbook. We'd be happy with just the basic one, but man! what I'd do for a nice Macbook Pro. Oh, well.

On February 12th, my good friend John Brian Ludwick has asked me to speak at his school again, at IUPUI, as part of a School of Informatics speaker series. That's in Indianapolis. If you're in the ballpark, stop on by.

In March, I'll be part of the Flip the Bird: Part Deux show at Lunarboy Gallery in Astoria, OR.

UPDATE: Oh, forgot to mention -- in March, I'm planning on visiting San Francisco to check out the Mary Blair exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum. I'm so looking forward to that!

More vintage goodies to scan and talk about! Stay tuned. Lots more fun to be had here, kids.

Here's to a great 2008!