Jugs & Capes: American Born Chinese

For our August Jugs & Capes meeting, we decided to read something light & summery: Printz & Eisner award-winning graphic novel American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. A majority of the group felt that they “almost loved the book” (<–thanks to Oriana for coining the phrase!) but perhaps Yang’s character of Chin-Kee’s was a bit of a drawback. We wondered whether this over-the-top sitcom stereotype was necessary, much like Long Duck Dong of Sixteen Candles or Mr. Yunioshi of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and didn’t find his scenes as interesting as the others (ie. first love & monkey kings). Could Chin-Kee have been played more subtly? Realizing this overstated character was created for a purpose, we still wondered if the Young Adult target audience played a part. Most of us also agreed that the ending was a little abrupt, though we did love the art and humor.

And speaking of overstated, ever since our book club moved from weekday nights to Sunday brunch, we have been enjoying some seriously delicious & well-themed food spreads. Special thanks to Amanda Bullock for picking up those yummy dumplings & den den mein at M. Noodle in Williamburg.

One of my favorite pages (below); Jin’s expression is priceless!

Last but not least, this is how we artists drink: Exquisite Corpse games + free shots! Thanks to Sam (of Lady Jay’s) for contributing with me & Miss Laura Lee. The rest are hanging up in the bar. xo, artsparrow

book images © Gene Luen Yang & First Second; food photography © Oriana Leckert & Amanda Bullock

Bushcraft: Finger Painting at Low Brow Artique

We have moved Bushcraft from Bishop’s old loft to his brand new gallery/retail store in Bushwick called Low Brow Artique.

Check out this great write-up on Low Brow Artique in Bushwick Daily here + awesome photographs of the store.

This month we played around with Finger Painting! Laura Lee & I have finger painted before (see previous post), and I always love creatively loosening up by working with my hands. It’s definitely a much needed break from staring into the endless glow of my computer screen, fixing tedious CSS stylesheets, and using size 000 detail brushes.

Above & below are my two paintings; I got a little spontaneous with rubber bands, paper clips, scraps, bottle caps; topped off with an even more spontaneous trip to late-night karaoke at The Cove.

The group’s final pieces:

Low Brow Artique is located in Bushwick, Brooklyn, 143 Central Ave; open Wednesdays through Fridays 12-8PM, 11AM-7PM on Saturday & Sunday.

photography © 2012 Laura Lee Gulledge (whoislauralee.blogspot.com) & Declan Zimmerman (motiongraphicsnyc.com)

Inside the Portrait Studio: Louis C.K.

Louis C.K. is my late night little secret. I listen to his stand-up while I’m up working alone in my art studio until the wee hours, savoring his intelligent take on modern life. I love Louis C.K. for a variety of reasons (funny, witty, raunchy, smart, real), though most of all I love him because he’s important. Not to put too much pressure on him or the word, but I feel his voice is an extremely important reaction to the society we live in. His comedic style is raw & honest, and he challenges us to examine the ways we think about things, the ways we live and what we believe. He’s creating a discussion about life, all while making us laugh our asses off. Much like the Mad Men portraits I did because I couldn’t watch Season 5’s finale until the following day (I don’t have cable), I did a color pencil portrait of Louis C.K. because even though I’m SO excited for Season 3, I have to wait until they post it later on HULU. I’m dying to go to one of his live shows too but just can’t afford it right now. So instead of dwelling on making money…make good art!

For the illustration, I originally thought I would be adding text like the sketch (above), but then I realized Louie’s show graphic is too much like that already (below). I decided to go without any typeface in the color final and I like it even better. I really just wanted an excuse to repeat “Louie, Louie, Louie!” because of the theme song, Brother Louie (Ian Lloyd of Stories), that plays during the opening credits (while Louie eats the most delicious-looking slice of NYC pizza I’ve ever seen), which can also be used in reaction to most of the scenarios he gets himself into, “Louie, Louie, Louuuuieeee!”

This quick little comic was Louis C.K. inspired. To quote his Hilarious special, “Hmm, maybe something nice will happen?” only to follow it up with, “Why the f* would anything nice happen!?” Tim & I had a nice day in the park, but much like Louie I too play strange “what-ifs” in my head for nearly every occasion. There was a group of reckless kids playing kickball near us; what’s the worst that could happen?

To check out Louis C.K.’s show, click the FX image (below) and be prepared to have your mind blown!!! Enjoy, xo artsparrow

illustration 1, 2 & comic © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow); for Season 3 of Louie, click FX Networks here