Thursday, July 28, 2011

Before & After #1: RoBoy

Most of my designs begin with a sketch. Sometimes the finished illustration remains faithful to the drawing, and sometimes it ends up verrrrry different. “Before & After” is a new regular blog feature that showcases the evolution of TOOMASOOBA art…this time around, we’ve got RoBoy on display!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Farmer's Market Wrap Up

Five Saturdays in two months…whew! When it was first announced that the Shreveport Farmer’s Market was opening their ranks to artists this summer, I thought it sounded like a great opportunity – even though I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

I figured that participating would be a good chance to get TOOMASOOBA out in front of a crowd, experiment with my booth presentation and product offerings and to generally see what worked and what didn’t on a consistent basis (not to mention wanting to get my pack-in/pack-out methods down to a science…that part can be brutal). The Market provided all of that…but also a whole lot more.

Throughout June and July, I had an opportunity to meet a ton of new friends and got to talk shop & bond with fellow artists. I was also able to line up an art show for November and get my work into a local store! Overall, a positive, rewarding experience.

Many thanks to Noma Fowler-Sandlin and crew for making it happen. You can be sure to find me at the Farmer’s Market next time around (and hopefully in the fall, too, when it’s not a million degrees outside). I posted some photos previously, but here are a few more for y’all. Enjoy!

Photo by Chris Jay.
Photo by Neil Johnson.
Photo by Kimberly Brookins.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Gypsy House

Earlier this summer, I met a couple of gals from the town of Winnsboro, Louisiana. They'd just opened a store called The Gypsy House featuring kid’s products and clothing (they even offer tons of art classes and camps, too). Pretty cool…and cooler still, they asked if I would like to sell some TOOMASOOBA merch on their shelves. My answer? Heck yes! So a couple of weekends ago, I hopped in the car for a little road trip and set up the goods.

Jennifer and Mary Marr are really passionate about art and about bringing some new and fun stuff to their small town – if you happen to be cruising through the Louisiana countryside, stop in and say hi. I’m proud to be a part of The Gypsy House, and may even be teaching some cartooning classes there in the near future!

Prints, buttons and greeting cards now at The Gypsy House.
Co-owner Jennifer Allen posing outside of the shop.
Met this fella on the open road…not the most pleasant company.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Creature Feature #1: Tinker

(“Creature Feature” is a new regular blog staple that puts the spotlight on a TOOMASOOBA creation and information on how it came to be!) 

Silly Little Story: A gaming enthusiast, Tinker is currently designing a board game of her far, it pretty much seems like a rip-off of “Candyland”. She’s working on it.

Behind the Scenes: Thought I'd kick off this feature with an oldie but a goodie! Gals seem to like this design the most (maybe not surprisingly). While teaching a cartooning class at a local day camp, the little girls went nuts over all things Tinker -- drawing her, asking questions about her, and on and on. It’s fun when an image or character connects with an audience, whether they’re kids or grown-ups, boys or girls. Lets me know I'm doing something right!

Shameless Plugs: Click here for a Tinker youth t-shirt or perhaps here to grab your very own Tinker 5 x 7 Print.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Camp Forbing

Last winter, my buddy Jeff and I taught a cartooning class at Camp Forbing here in Shreveport. I’m guessing we were a hit, because they asked us back during the summer program last week! We arrived at the arts and crafts cabin bright and early, met the counselors and got paper and pencils ready to go. The morning consisted of sessions for three different age groups…Jeff and I each did a “draw-along” with the kiddos, answered questions and helped them with their work.

All in all, about 100 campers came through…whoa! Though it was tough keeping the train on the track at times, we found it really rewarding to see the budding artists’ creativity and talent and enthusiasm shining through.

The day was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to doing it again sometime -- if you’re reading this and have a class or group of young students who want to do some drawing, drop me a line!

Working on a pup cartoon.
Jeff rockin’ the rock star drawing.
A few snaps of art by the campers.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Inspiration Machine #1: Argyle Academy

(“Inspiration Machine” is the first of several new monthly features I plan to begin on the find what else I've got up my sleeve, check back soon!)

It should come as no surprise that I love art featuring simple lines and oddball characters, and Mike Lowery (a.k.a. Argyle Academy) delivers on both counts. I’ve been following Mike's work for a long while now and his energetic style and sketchy lines never fail to make me smile and want to pick up a pencil.

Mike teaches at SCAD and in the past several years his work has been featured all over the place -- children’s books, print patterns, clothing, you name it. All the while he continues to churn out original craziness like this.

Be sure to check out his blog and website and shop. There used to be more comics and some videos featuring his drawing process online (some of which involved coffee used as watercolor paint, if I remember correctly) but I can’t seem to find them at the moment...ah well, Mike is awesome at any rate! Hope you dig his stuff as much as I do.