Local Monsters on RedBubble

I had a few (local) requests for this design on a T-shirt, so here it is. I tweaked the colors and fixed the font, but otherwise, it’s the same design as the Halloween bulletin board that inspired it. And it can be yours on a T-shirt, sticker, mug, water bottle, and dozens of other functional products.

Check out Respect Your Local Monsters in my RedBubble shop. (This is a great time to buy from RedBubble. Pretty much everything is on sale!)

Gotta Get Away?

Some people are islands, not in the sense that they stand completely alone, unaffected by anyone around them (that’s not even a apt metaphor; islands are obviously impacted by the weather, the water, geothermal activity, and climate change) but in the sense that they offer safety and security in otherwise inhospitable situations. If you’ve been treading water for so long you can’t keep your head up for another moment and are in danger of going under for good, an island is exactly what you need to survive.

A Character Strong Lion

This lion lifts

Just a little guy I made for someone else’s “character strong trait” display. There are 9 of these traits they want to communicate to children, one for every month of the school year. We added “kindness” so the weights could balance, plus we’re a “Be Kind” school. I guess they’re going to laminate the pieces and reuse then for a while, but it’s not my bulletin board so I don’t know the whole story.

As I was working, one kid informed me that, “there is this thing called heterochromia,” and that I should make a lion with different colored eyes. Then another kid told me that I should give this lion abs.

This Machine Annoys Fascists

It probably annoys other people, too, but we’re aiming for Fascists.

I once read that after writing “Night Moves,” Bob Seger fell into a deep depression, fueled by the belief that he had hit the pinnacle of his career and would never write another song as great and meaningful as that one. Personally, I prefer “Old Time Rock and Roll,” but when I look at this image, I think to myself, “You might as well retire from graphic design because this is the greatest thing you’ll ever do.”

But Bob Seeger didn’t retire and neither will I. People are already asking for T-shirt versions of “Respect Your Local Monsters,” so that’s what I will make next. Plus I have another cool commission in the works.

The quote here is, of course, a riff off Woody Guthrie’s, “This Machine Kills Fascists,” message, which the folk singer wrote in black across his acoustic guitar. And the ukulele being a sort of baby guitar, its power is not as lethal, but still shots fired against the enemy.

As it’s looking more and more likely that this country is willing to go full Fascist in the next couple years, and Gen X is old and has back pain, and this is about the level of resistance I’m able to muster currently. I personally plan to get shot in the face in my own home if they start hauling off antifa. I’m Jewish and don’t have the stomach for going quietly.

You can purchase “This Machine Annoys Fascists” on a wide array of fine quality stickers, T-shirts, home goods, and various other production in my RedBubble shop.

She Tortoise Well

All’s shell that ends shell

My mom was recently admiring my fishy switch plate so I thought I’d make her something in a similar style for a birthday card, but I decided on a turtle, because she also likes those little folksy Mexican bobble head turtle things. I don’t know what they’re called.

The turtle’s body is cut from a single image of a hibiscus and the shell is an ad for fiber or something like that. I love how hexagons tesselate, even though these ones are imperfect.

I brought this card to the library, where my parents were presenting a science program about electricity for little kids on my mom’s birthday, because that is how my parents roll.

Spooky Season Bonus: The Monster Box of Monsters!

He’s so cute I would give him all my candy 😍

I honestly cannot tell you what the Monster Box is all about. The front office staff just asked me to make this for the PTA. They wanted a large box that looked like a monster and you could put candy in the mouth. They did not explain anything beyond that. I gather someone saw a similar project on Pinterest or something. I will have to go to the Fall Festival to divine the true meaning of the Monster Box.

Getting the box was a bit of a chore, and then I had to rebuild it because it didn’t have a bottom, and the top was kind of weird. After I cut the mouth I realized that they wouldn’t have any good way to get the candy OUT of the box, so I cut another access panel in the back. Then I made it look like the monster was wearing novelty underpants.

If I had to do it again, I would do a lot of this differently. I’m not use to working in 3 dimensions or with cardboard.

This project took about 7 hours, and used 1 1/2 bottles of Elmer’s glue. There was also a lot of tape involved and a little of my special bookbinding plastic adhesive. I might go back and hit the horns with the hot glue gun just to be sure. They are the number one thing I would do differently if I did this again. I’m not sure they’re stable.

Happy Halloween Season!

The “G” in Gila is pronounced like an “H” in case you were wondering.

Hooray! Halloween! I’m definitely one of those people who believes the entire month of October is intended to build up to Halloween. In fact, I made this one at the end of September, and I think I did an excellent job of creating something that suited the entire autumn and can stick around until after All Souls’. I love how the entire design came out (even though I made mistakes with my own font) and may try to preserve it when I swap it out for my holiday design. I was thinking about making it all summer! If only I had also been thinking about all my fancy, patterned scissors, I could have save myself a lot of time cutting it out.

Gila monsters are venomous lizards, one of two venomous lizards that live in the region. They are not super interested in biting humans. In fact, The Man and I once attended a lecture about venomous reptiles of the Sonoran Desert, and the herpetologist delivering it asserted that there is a profile of the sort of person who gets bit by a Gila monster, and that nobody who doesn’t fit this profile ever turns up at the ER looking for help for Gila monster bites. The profile is thus: a young man, between the ages of 20 and 40, heavily tattooed, under the influence of alcohol. This tells you a lot about how dangerous Gila monsters are: not at all, unless you are the kind of idiot who gets drunk and harasses native fauna.

They literally have “monster” in the name. Why would you pick it up?

At any rate, their bite is only mildly neurotoxic and there are no recorded cases of death by Gila monster, although I gather it’s not exactly a fun experience either. I’ve lived here 17 years and never seen one in the wild.

Happy Birthday, Sissy!

Buzz Buzz!

Today is my little sister’s birthday! I usually think about sending her something at the beginning of the month, and then don’t think about it again until it’s too late (she doesn’t live in the States so I have to plan ahead to get it there on time), but this time I remembered at the exact right moment. Well, a bit late. But I had a few moments, and some collaged bits, and I used the materials at hand to make something new.

Not sure why I chose to photograph it when it was still wet. It was dry when I mailed it but I didn’t take more photos. Also there’s a couple lines missing, which I forgot to ink. Anyway, on the inside it says, “I hope your birthday will BEE SWEET,” because my sister seems really obsessed with animal puns these days.

I hope she likes it. Or at least appreciates the effort.