SEM DESCANSO ATÉ O BELO HORIZONTE
SEM DESCANSO ATÉ O BELO HORIZONTE
One day, unstable Stephen McCarthy fangirl and twitter pal Heather O’Neill and I decided to have a contest for who could come up with the creepiest tribute to Big Creepy Steve. There were ground rules: You could use outside help, but not anything that wasn’t publicly available (no calling in favors from the team), must be funny/cute creepy and not “you are no longer allowed within the town of Foxborough” creepy, to be presented at the final regular season home game.
Heather wrote him a ukelele chorus. Me, I called for backup from my pal EK, because I’m not that great at manga-style figure drawing on short notice, and ordered some linens from Amazon.
Then I found myself wondering what colorway of Nike Mercurial Vapors would be most kawaii, and it was at that point I realized it wasn’t that I’d gone around the bend so much as the bend was six states away and also on fire.
I made a Big Creepy Body Pillow.
Initially, I wanted to do the whole thing using Derwent Inktense pigment sticks, but the combination of watercolors and thin cotton had too much bleeding and too little opacity to work, so I switched to my usual paints.
Finished pillowcase is 21″ wide by 60″ high, though the pillow itself is 20″ x 54″. That’s a bit smaller than Big Creepy himself, but whatever. Had to go to Home Depot and buy a custom-cut sheet of Masonite board to get a smooth surface to hold the pillowcase snug for painting.
As is traditional with creepy nerds and their hug pillows–or “dakimakura” if you want to be all Japanese about it–I did a little photo tour with Big Creepy Pillow. Click below for the whole long stupid creepy story!
Oh, Michael Bradley. Many years ago, I saw you as a little kid in silver shoes, loping around for Dad’s Metros like a sullen teenager. Then you went to Europe and turned into one of the two best field players the USMNT’s ever had. Plus your dad went to be a national hero in Egypt. Life’s pretty amazing, huh?
Anyway, before the US-Mexico game, and specifically before Bradley got too hurt to appear in that game, my pal Marissa in Ithaca (via Seattle) had long joked about making the FAMILY LOVE MICHAEL banner from Arrested Development and taking it to a game.
I had some scrap fabric and paint, so why not? Traced this from a screen shot from the actual episode; that’s not my handwriting. Purposefully done sloppy and wrinkled to replicate the show’s half-assed attempt.
Marissa was delighted to take it to the game, because even if Bradley didn’t get to see it, there’s not really a shortage of Michaels running around for the US.
While in Columbus, there was a great photo of Bradley looking thoughtfully at some of the messages fans wrote to the players on the entrance tunnel into the field.
So I turned it into an illustration of Bradley looking thoughtfully at a grilled cheese sandwich. This is available as a print at Futbol Artist Network. A good player and a good meal.
At the Gold Cup quarterfinals, an image of Landon Donovan, arms outstretched in the rain, showed up on everyone’s tv screens, illustrating his path to redemption for the national team after his self-imposed (and wholly deserved) sabbatical.
First I drew this for Futbol Artist Network in time to post for the final.
Then I painted it to take to US-Mexico in Columbus, and, while it was covered a bit by neighboring American Outlaws chapter banners (gotta share railing real estate), Donovan and EJ were nice enough to score the traditional two goals in front of the banner.
But I don’t think you realize how big that thing is. It’s about seven feet high by twelve feet wide, or just about the entire expanse of my dining room wall. Painting this on a 3′x5′ table in that dining room got pretty awkward.
Colors are the official USSoccer red and blue, plus metallic gold instead of flat yellow for the gold detail. Prints are for sale at Futbol Artist Network, and if you’ve got 84 square feet of wall space for the painting, drop me a line.
Oh yeah, about that title–it’s “redeemer” in Portuguese. You know, as in the title of that giant statue in Rio that Donovan will be visiting next year with the rest of the USMNT, as if there were ever any doubt.
Team keeps getting better, more guys keep getting banners. This is this year’s crop.
Andrew Farrell, “Might.” First draft pick gets first banner of the year. Might as in strength, force, weight–and possibility.
Jose Gonçalves, “Boss.” That’s who he is and what he does. Matt Reis said it was a nice photo of Avery John. Credit to Kari Heistad for finding one of the usually all-business, all the time Gonçalves smiling.
Scott Caldwell, “Bright.” From the academy to outplaying veterans to earn the starting d-mid slot, that takes some smarts.
Juan Agudelo, “Swag.” I was undecided about this one, since it came due roughly the time it was confirmed he’d be leaving at the end of the year, but the truth is even if he was a short term rental with an uneven injury status, he’s lit up the scoreboard one too many times not to get a banner.
When DaMarcus Beasley was named captain of the MNT for the Gold Cup, it got me thinking. 16 trophies in all competitions, personal and team titles included. Never seems to get the credit, though; always seems like he’s taken for granted as though he just sort of popped out of a suitcase in Korea in 2002 and is now included as part of the team’s kitroom stock. Dude’s gonna be starting for the US in the 2022 World Cup, isn’t he? Hardest working man in show business.
Hey, there’s an idea.
HARDEST WORKING MAN IN SHOW BUSINESS, 5′x5′, photo courtesy Grant Wahl
Modeled after the cover of disc 2 of the Star Time box set, here’s DaMarcus Beasley as James Brown. To head off the inevitable: I used that rather than the “Living in America” getup because I needed young, fit James Brown. Finished it literally 45 minutes before leaving for the Gold Cup game in Hartford, where it got some good notice. All we need now is someone to come off the bench and help him off the field by holding a 30 pound cape over his shoulders.
Also, red hair.
More on this later, but for now: ahhahahah ahahhahahah ahhhhahehewoooooo
I’d had a half-formed WWI poster repro in progress for a while, and then the Futbol Artist Network gang approached me about doing a piece for their first group show, to be held in conjunction with the Kicking and Screening film festival in NYC. I knew right away that the WWI poster in question would be the piece to do.
BE AN AMERICAN EAGLE, 5′x7′
The Mexican flag is period accurate to 1918, the date of the original poster. Mexico, of course, wasn’t involved in WWI, having more pressing domestic engagements at the time. The aircraft roundels are modern, artistic license taken because the 1918 Army Air Service roundel isn’t as distinctive as the current one.
The two new techniques I learned painting this one: Streaky lumpy paint and how to get something that’s five feet wide by seven feet tall scanned to print quality. The lumpy streaky paint comes from mixing the background orange with an electric whisk. The white I use is super opaque–about the consistency of peanut butter–and often doesn’t totally combine when I’m mixing colors. In this case, it left white lumps in the orange, which turned out to be streaks of smoke in the background.
The scanning, that’s a little more complicated. Re-doing the picture in Illustrator, which is how I do other banners for print, wouldn’t work. I’m just not that good at Illustrator, y’know? Taking a high-res photo was out, because the only camera equipment to which I have reliable access is just plain ol’ point and shoots. Hunted around a bit and found the one place in Massachusetts that will scan something that big: Parrot Digigraphic. There was a bit of a sticker shock in that the banner required two passes with the scanner and thus two scanning fees, but John, the manager, kept the office open for me over a holiday weekend and wouldn’t rest until he was satisfied with how the scan came out. Love that local business.
The art show and film festival runs June 18-21, and because it costs less for me to hand deliver the artwork via bus than it does to put it in an overnight mail envelope, I’ll be there the night of the 18th. Of the WWI posters I’ve done, I think this one’s the best yet.
This is for sale–the actual piece by request, but smaller prints at Futbol Artist Network.
ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNODEUCE
Complete with 7″ diameter googly-eyes and glitter swirl paint, it’s the HYPNODEUCE. You need the HYPNODEUCE. The HYPNODEUCE will stun your opponents into giving up goals. The HYPNODEUCE will charm your teammates into setting up beautiful assists. The HYPNODEUCE will alter the fabric of space, time, and MLS contract regulations. The HYPNODEUCE may even reveal the Wu-Tang secret.*
The HYPNODEUCE can be yours! Due to the glitter paint and googly eyes, this one is strictly for use in dry conditions; do not take this to a rainy day game.
Click to buy now! The HYPNODEUCE compels you!
*Not a guarantee
In conjunction with the gang at Futbol Artist Network, I’ve set up a shop where you can buy prints of some of my banners and of some illustrations, like the Herc and DeMerit ones below, that won’t work as banners. All in a range of sizes and prices more convenient for your home or office than my usual taller than I am work.
So head on over and pick your self up some artwork!