Brazil 2014: Manaus

In this episode, we visit the Amazon to pester wildlife and heckle people.

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Brazil 2014: Natal

In this episode, we actually get on the road and watch a game or two.

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Brazil 2014: Boston

Here’s where the story begins: A boring introductory chapter explaining exactly how we managed to plan a month of travel over 7 cities all over a huge country.

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Eu fui! Brazil 2014: Prologue

Been home for over a month, so I figure it’s time to write this mess of a tour diary. This will be in chapters by city, so settle in for a whole lotta words. Photos, almost all unlabeled, are here; they’re in chronological order at least.

Now then, the first part.
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where the hell is hoover

Oh, hey, been a while. I assure you, I’ve been painting–but I’ve also been prepping for a month in Brazil. While I’m there, I’ll update this as I can; for now, here’s where I’ll be and when:

And in a map:

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Big Creepy Steve’s Big Creepy Pillow

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!

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family love michael

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.

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O Redentor

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.

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.

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Revs thesaurus, 2013 edition

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.

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