Monday, July 25, 2016

conference call

image by David Rhoden

Fat dark pencils. I tried being a person who sketches with those light, hard pencils, but it doesn’t work that well for me. I don’t like having them around because then I have to look at the grade when I go to draw something. I’d rather have a bunch of 6B pencils and just grab one. You can still shade lightly with them if you want.

Also, Amazon carries boxes of Mitsubishi-branded #2 pencils and I want some just for the boxes.

Also, these Tombows:

Posted by David Rhoden on 07/25 at 02:14 PM

Friday, July 22, 2016

also current mood

image by David Rhoden

I love grease pencils. I enjoy it when the paper peels off neatly in one nice single-layer curl. Some people just pull the paper off any which way but that drives me nuts; I’ll go find an Xacto and fix it if it gets too messy. I also like to trim the little string off so there’s just enough to grab and it stays out of my way. But I love grease pencils.

Posted by David Rhoden on 07/22 at 02:03 PM

current mood

image by David Rhoden

Drawn during a conference call about approved colors. Correct use of the approved colors builds brand equity.

Posted by David Rhoden on 07/22 at 09:21 AM

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

a thing about me and tattoos

Some years ago, a little bit after Katrina, I was living in Williamsburg Brooklyn In 2006 or 2007 I was living in New York City and trying to ‘date’ people. (It’s an old 20th Century custom that people didn’t like, even then.) Back then you would meet online by filling out questionnaires and posting pictures of yourself on  I did a few of these dates with a woman I still think of fondly. I knew it was doomed: early in our relationship or courtship or acquaintance or whatever you call these kinds of New York accidental togethernesses she said “In An Airplane Over The Sea” was hugely important to her and she couldn’t envision a relationship with anyone who didn’t feel the same way; I just remained quiet. (Icily silent.) But she was funny (very much so, I still quote her) and cute, and she once apologized for showing up in high-waisted jeans because she knew men didn’t like them but she was quite wrong on that occasion.

A thing about her though, she was covered with tattoos. She was a pale freckle-faced redhead, a perfect canvas. And I liked her ink. It was not the overall ‘sleeve’ you often see, it was more like a graffiti wall. She didn’t have any bad ink, but it was all stylistically different. She introduced me to the concept of a DILLIGAF tattoo. She was surprised I didn’t know what it meant, though I had seen the actual initials on a person before.

“It stands for ‘Do I Look Like I Give A Fuck?’” I thought that was great. “Do you want to see my dilligaf tattoo?” I said sure. She explained that a real dilligaf tattoo should indicate that you really don’t g. a. f., and that one was enough. Hers nestled among copious flowers and birds. She gave me a backstory before showing it to me. “I told the guy what I wanted, and he said fine, but could he add some words to it?” (Please don’t take these quotes as quotes; I’m paraphrasing. Doing the best I can.) She assented, and this tattooist went to work inscribing words around this original artwork, and if you ask me, improving it. What it was: she had gone in with a concept that was nicely executed: a skeleton hand proffering a plate of appetizing buttery pancakes. What the ink man added: in nice simple tattoo lettering, the legend “YOU GOT SERVED”.

It was a wonderful joke. Like I said, she was really funny, and I hope I’ve done her delivery of the material justice. I still think about it, all the time. I still think it’s funny. But I think I knew even then the idea of carrying a joke on a body was not for me. Do I ‘give a fuck’? Yeah, probably. There’s probably a lot of upbringing in that opinion. (I love the Picasso quote “Good taste is the enemy of great art”, I like it more than I like Picasso’s art, but I realize that people are people and they have to live in their homes.)

What I couldn’t put in perspective was the thought of seeing a joke over and over. Now that time has passed, I see that I still like the joke. My appreciation for it may have increased. But I know the joke.

I have a significant person in my life who tells me often that I repeat my stories. We have a little deal: when I’m feeling like telling a story, I recite a précis and she says “no, I don’t know it”, or “I know it” or “I know it, but go ahead.” And we live with this, though it is horrible. And I imagine that is what living with a tattooed joke would be like. It would be like hearing the same joke again and again. It would be like looking at the same picture again and again. It would be worse because every time I looked I’d have to say “I know it, but go ahead.”

I sell a lot of art to people. And they ask about whether it’s archival and I want to tell them “Baby, if you get sick of it in a thousand days or a hundred, take it out in the yard and torch it or put it in the trash. Screw it to a phone pole. (A friend did this to a flood-damaged piece of mine; I was thrilled.) Or hang it upside down, or give it away. Why should you look at the same thing every day?” (Note: I do try to make it archival.)  Fuck an archive, unless you frequently rotate your archives; art’s only value is the pleasure you take in looking at it or showing it off to other people, and like liquor or anything that doesn’t change, familiarity breeds indifference which can shade into horror. The idea of looking at the same art or the same tattoo over and over again is similar to me to the idea of being stuck on the tarmac.

I want to tell my stories even when I forget I’ve told them. Maybe I should get them tattooed on me, as a mnemonic? But secretly I feel like they improve with retelling, and they are all mine; no other’s handwriting is on them. They don’t have to stay one thing, aging with me.  They can always be fresh jokes, and if someone says “I know it, but go ahead” I can go ahead with a clear conscience.

Posted by David Rhoden on 07/19 at 06:23 AM

Friday, July 15, 2016

madam librarian and friends: meeting

image by David Rhoden

long meeting.

Posted by David Rhoden on 07/15 at 05:09 PM
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