painting, art, design, creativity

Another Sloth for the Road

I've been on a roll lately with the sloth paintings for Silicon Valley Open Studios next month. Some are more fun than others just because of the addorability factor and I would say that this is one of them.  

He is missing the earring in this iPhone image, but it is there in person now.  


typography, creativity, art

New And For The New Year

There are so many things that are new here in 2016 so far, not the least of which are the recent nuptials in my life. 

Mum also venturing in to participating in my first open studios down the road in May. That's pretty exciting, but what I'm really thinking about today is the idea of camping.  

Even in the winter.  

I was in Yosemite this past weekend as a celebratory measure and there was, for me, a lot of people out camping in the snow. Now, I think it would have been a little cold for me, but I am definitely getting the big to get back out there and I've been thinking about camping - winter or not - lately.  

Since I also draw in my sketchbook on the daily - which may change as I hear up for the afore mentioned open studios - I thought I would use those camping thoughts as inspiration.  

So, here you go ... 

Daily sketchbook after a Travis Burke Photography image found on the insta

Daily sketchbook after a Travis Burke Photography image found on the insta

Stay tuned for more updates. There will be a lot happening in the next few months.  


11 Commandments, art, typography

#1 -Show Up

The best place to begin is usually at the beginning, right? Well, I will assume so - at least for the time being.  

As I begin to use this location as a replacement for Tumblr (or, more likely, using one as a supplement for the other), the 11 Commandments have to show up at some point. (Note, you can also find them in my Instagram feed is you are interested)


These 11 hand drawn pieces of typography are much more than pretty visuals. They are consistent reminders of what I like to refer to as How To Be Better. Distilled from more than ten years of teaching art and creativity in public high schools, I truly believe that these bits of advice (dare I say wisdom?) are integral in happiness and productivity for most areas of life.  


Without further delay, Number 1: Show Up.  


Of of course this means showing up physically, but it is so much more.  

Clearly you can't participate in any activity if you aren't "there", but "there" is more than a physical presence. You have to be present mentally and emotionally as well.  

I often tell my students to be thoughtful about what they are doing/executing, and being thoughtful in your presence is of the essence. After all, why do something if you aren't truly giving your mind and energy to it.  

Drawing Is A Thinking Tool

I've been thinking a lot about this phrase (meaning the title of this post) lately. Not just because I draw every day or because the bulk of my time is spent teaching students to draw*. 

In preparing remarks for parents at our annual Back To School Night (BTSN), I usually focus on the layout and flow and policy related issues of the courses I teach. I have decided to take a left turn this year now that our parents have access to my complete curriculum - including assignment comments and introductions - on our districts' LMS, Canvas.  

I have decided to discuss philosophy in a much more intentional way. 

As I feel passionately about the benefits learning about Art gives all cultures, that is what I want to hit hard upon. I mean, we as a species have been drawing in one form or another for thousands of years, and long before there was written language to use as a communication tool.  


Excellent (and unanswerable) question. Which is kind of the point.  

When somethhing is, truly, hard wired into your DNA, why deny it? You don't have to pursue it as a career or even feel like you are "good" at it - which is a very relative descriptor anyway. But you can learn a lot by learning how to see; by learning about how culture and history and art have always inter-influenced each other; by developing a deeper sensitivity for creation and process and product.  

Truth be told, drawing is always an easy way to access creativity, and when the top business leaders in the world are after more and more creative hires, why not start at the beginning, and give life to ideas visually. Who knows, maybe it will lead to much more than a piece of paper. Maybe it leads all the way to the development of a new sports car or layout for an app. Just think about the possibilities.  



(Note that teaching is not about teaching what the title or subject of the class outwardly appears to be, but is much more; which requires much further investigation later.)