Thursday, December 15, 2011

Drawing on Location

For the past few weeks I've been working on an assignment for my Drawing on Location class (in case you didn't see my previous post about it) where we were to choose a city block and do a series of drawings of three businesses on that street. I chose 25th street between 6th and 7th avenues since there are a number of great vintage outlets and crafty places to shop. I finished the last of the drawings this past week and and I can finally and officially say that I am done! (and our last class is tomorrow, phewf!) Actually, that goes for everything I had to do this semester, so I'm feeling really great at the moment. These are the final five drawings that I've been working on since Thanksgiving...

(New York Vintage)

(The City Quilter)

(Fleamarket Antiques)


Expect a post within the next few days explaining what's to come in my Thesis project and an update on my iPad app-making experience...very exciting stuff!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Four down, two to go.

In the past few weeks I've managed to complete two more six-word-memoir spreads...That leaves two more spreads to go for this semester! One is currently in progress and I have a few ideas for the final piece. If it weren't for all of those other pesky classes I'd probably feel pretty darn good.. but alas, I have too much on my plate - not a surprise considering there are two weeks remaining in the semester. Let's keep this post positive though.

I think it's pretty obvious that one of these hits very close to home for me, I'll leave that for you to figure out which.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oh, just some drawings.

With one month left in this semester I'm probably going to disappear for awhile, but before I do I wanted to post some drawings I've been doing for my Drawing on Location class. We have an end-of-the-semester assignment to choose a city block and do at least nine drawings in three different stores that may relate to each other in some way. I chose to work on 25th street between 6th and 7th avenues; there are a few really great places just on this one block alone and I'm enjoying exploring them. I originally chose this area because of The City Quilter and then also found a Goodwill, an antique shop, and some great window displays that feature mannequins in crazy poses and clothes, I'm looking at you, New York Vintage. So here's what I've done so far, nearly half-way done with the project...

I may add some more detail to these if I have some time but that's a huge maybe considering the amount of work I have ahead of me for Thesis and my Digital Book class. If you don't hear from me for awhile you can pretty much bet that I'm locked in my studio with a sore hand. Yup.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Jersey Shore vs. The Brady Bunch

Before I get into these next two pieces, I'd like to explain my process of working - or more really, the way I like my surroundings while arting it up. When I work at home I always prefer background noise from the TV as opposed to music, I get too picky and indecisive with music and am constantly changing up the tunes instead of focusing on my work. With TV, it may be distracting at first (like when initially choosing a channel) but once I get into working I almost forget that it's on at all. There's usually an awkward moment at some point in the afternoon when I look up and realize that I've been watching (listening to) women giving birth all afternoon. This happens quite frequently when I have TLC on, A Baby Story, much?

Now that you understand, I can admit that I somehow started watching Jersey Shore. This happened the same way as the aforementioned happens, but once I looked up at the TV and realized what was on.. it was too late. I was hooked at first because I was so annoyed, so angry that this is what people think of and expect from my home state. (I was on a trip to Michigan in May and stopped in at the local Starbucks and upon giving the barista my partner numbers she asked where I was from, the usual question, but when I responded "Jersey" her eyes lit up and she asked, "Oh my god! Is it JUST like the show Jersey Shore there?!" Well, I'm sick and tired of this.. because it's not. Not if you're a normal human being as opposed to an MTV celebrity.) So I watched.. and I watched.. and I was hooked in a weird way. I ended up watching the complete series online, cringing through their drunken escapades, counting the times Deena fell down, and turning away every time Sam and Ronnie felt the need to break up and get back together again. I will admit though, there were quite a few times when I laughed out loud. There, I said it.

Moving on, it was sometime during the beginning of season three when I decided I needed to illustrate these guys. It was completely appropriate for two reasons: 1. I'm wasting my time watching the damn show anyway, I might as well use it as reference and 2. I could use a few celebrity portraits in my portfolio, it's about time I get on that. So, the obvious way to go about this is to compare TV now to TV when it was wholesome, a.k.a. The Brady Bunch era. That idea combined with a six word memoir only equals one thing.. exactly what I have for you here today:

The choosing of this memoir was inspired by the fact that the Jersey Shorians often refer to themselves as a family - a rather dysfunctional one, but a family nonetheless, I suppose. Also, maybe I was a bit biased when painting Sammi, this painting was beginning to take shape at the peak of her and Ron's fighting. I do apologize. And it really did work out in the end that Angelina came and went and was replaced by Deena or I never would've been able to fill nine squares. See? Everything happens for a reason.. even Angelina's tears. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Starbucks Holiday 2011, Let's Merry

Today started out with an unfortunate morning, it all went down hill when I realized while arriving at the train station that I forgot my laptop - you know, the one with all my current files on it for my thesis work and such. With an eight hour day ahead of me consisting of nothing but free studio time, I was a lost puppy. Thankfully enough, I remembered that I was supposed to make some holiday drink sampling cards for my Starbucks (Sorry if you're reading this Ginny, nothing like waiting till the last minute, eh?!) And so I put together these three cards for our counter using pre-existing alphabets that I have made + a bit of new script. Gabi Peller, another fantastic barista/artist combo from Preakness Starbucks is making the rest of the cards to display while sampling - Peppermint Mocha, Skinny Peppermint Mocha, and Christmas Blend.

Along with the beverage cards, I made tiny interchangeable pastry signs that will velcro on to pair with the drinks as we see fit...

 Eggnog Latte

Caramel Brulee Latte

 Gingerbread Latte

Cranberry Bliss Bar

Gingerbread Loaf

 Mint Brownie Cake Pop

And so there you have it, a completely wasted day turned into something useful. Now make sure you stop in our store to see these signs in person and to check out my other great talent - drink making!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Behold, a simple alphabet that I made yesterday afternoon to use in an upcoming project. Looking at it now, I am reminded of Edward Gorey a bit...or maybe it's the brisk weather that has me thinking about the big, glorious overcoats he frequently draws. You decide.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The First of my Thesis Pieces

As our second year in the MFAI program is moving merrily along, I am finally knee deep in thesis work. I didn't explain it in depth in my previous post but my thesis revolves around the idea of the six word memoir. If you're curious about the subject I highly recommend visiting, the editor of all the Six Word Memoir books, an awesome website where you can create an account to write, comment on, and favorite as many six word memoirs as your heart desires. They choose pieces from the website to appear in their books so you never know when you might write a winner!

I've been slightly obsessed with these minuscule stories ever since taking a memoir writing class with Betsy Boyd (a lovely and talented Baltimore based writer) at MICA and this seemed like the perfect fit for my thesis here at SVA. I'll be illustrating at least twelve memoirs that I've either chosen from Smith Magazine's database or written on my own, giving me the perfect opportunity to practice hand-lettering paired with imagery. At the end of the year (expect this in April) I will be compiling all these pieces into a book to be shown in our thesis exhibition.

In the last few weeks I've started sketching out numerous memoirs that I'd like to work with, drawing alphabets and words, and I have officially completed my first spread of pieces...

Remember the tiny parasailer? Now you know why he was needed. Anyway, these two pieces will most likely appear in the book with the lettering on the left page and the image on the right. Some spreads may combine the image and text while the rest, like this one, will be separate.

I'm currently about 95% done with my next two pieces so check back in the next few days to see what I've been busy with! It might make you laugh...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Branch Lettering

I've been quite busy lately beginning my thesis but I took a break this morning to get an alphabet out of my system. A large part of my thesis actually does deal with hand lettering so this isn't totally irrelevant! I'll be illustrating a series of twelve six-word memoirs that will later be combined into a book, lettering on the left hand page and the corresponding image on the right. Keep a look out for this around April of 2012! 

And onto the alphabet...

(some sample text, click for a closer look)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

At it again..

As I hope you all know by now, the opening to my MFAI Book Show is this coming Tuesday. We decided to include a merch table for the night so I'm spending this dreary Saturday making some shrinky-dink jewelry! It's been awhile and I forgot how relaxing it can be. No pressure. Here's a preview:

I'll also be selling small colored dot earrings which are always a favorite.

Stop by and check out all of our highly anticipated hard work!
SVA Gallery / 209 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010 / 6-8PM

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Project: Complete

Alas! I have returned (I feel like I say that every time I make an entry lately, they've been so sparse). Fortunately I have brought with me a plethora of work to post, so much that it's difficult to pick and choose what to add without overdoing it. Since I last left you in the beginning of August, I somehow managed to finish my book Growing up Biker Style before the fall semester began. The official title is as follows:

Or, if you'd like to see the custom patch I had made for the cover, it looks a little somethin' like this…

Or, if that isn't enough for you, here is a photo of the actual bound and completed book:


It's held together with three 3/4" book screws – I could have fainted the day we drilled the holes on the drill press, watching all that work under the weight of such heavy machinery, knowing there wasn't enough material left to make another copy should something go wrong – but as you can see it was well worth it in the end.

Now, onto the drawings! These images are in order of how they appear in the book – if I post any that have made an appearance here before it's because I've altered it in some way, shape, or form.

The first self portrait I've done in years, appearing in the introduction:

Technically, I suppose this is a self portrait as well – this was one of the first images I made for the book, still a favorite, but with a slightly different, subtle background:

One of the most charming pieces, of course, father and daughter motorcycle vests:

My grandfather's accident, an excerpt of text from the book…

December 10, 1990
My earliest memory is visiting my grandfather in the hospital after the accident – I was three years old and I still remember it like it happened yesterday. He had taken the Goldwing to meet my uncle for breakfast on a 
wintery Sunday morning and it happened on the way home. It was a careless man who caused the scene as he switched lanes on the highway not even a mile from our house, tapping my grandfather into the pavement, causing his leg to be crushed by the weight of the bike as they skidded across the ground together. All that was left keeping his foot attached to his leg was skin.

We brought his 63rd birthday cake to his bedside just days after his foot was reattached at the ankle and this is the part that I remember clearly. I really didn’t understand the severity of his accident at the time, but for years and years and even still do this day, every time I see the scar on his leg I can’t help but feel lucky that he’s here – toes, foot, ankle, and all.

If you're from North Jersey you know that It would be wrong not to include The Notch:

And now I've really lied when I said I haven't done a self portrait in years...

My grandfather's stolen Harley, a proposed tattoo idea to start off his half-sleeve at age 84:

This has been found most impressive by numerous viewers and riders alike: the timeline of the twenty-two motorcycles my family has owned. These aren't necessarily in the order we've purchased them, but in the order of the year they were produced...

And to bring the story to a close, a drawing of Matt and I as we ride together today. Unfortunately I couldn't add this bike to our timeline because it's not owned by a Jacobs family member, so just for the record it is a 2001 Harley Davidson Dyna Glide:

And who could forget endpapers? Always an important finishing touch:

There are many more drawings and stories that appear in the actual book – If you'd like to see the complete version the best way would be to come to our MFAI Book Show! It runs from September 23rd through October 15th 2011 and the opening reception is on Tuesday, September 27 from 6 to 8 PM at the SVA Gallery / 209 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010.

It's going to be a particularly great show, I can promise you that. There will be work from all eighteen of us in the MFAI program, check it out! Rafa AlvarezJoana AvillezElizabeth BaddeleyTrip CarrollCharles Chaisson Tony DiMauroNina FrenkelLi Pei Huang, Jae Kyung Jeong, A. E. KierenHaejeon Jessica LeeJohn MaltaCharnelle PinkneyCecilia RuizBrad SoucyDasha TolstikovaRebecca Zomchek

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Motorcycle Madness - The Final Countdown

Wondering what I've been up to lately? Check out these two graphite drawings I finished in the last week for my motorcycle book...

This is my dad and my cousin David in 1981 when he was 3.
I was thinking this would appear very early on in the book, probably on the bottom right corner of a page with a lot of text introducing some background information.

And this is my grandmother in Laconia, New Hampshire in 1955.
Pretty classic, wouldn't you say? My grandfather is a lucky guy!

I'm feeling okay about the progress of my book at the moment. There is still a lot to be done but I feel like I'm on a decent pace, as long as I can keep it up for the next four weeks. I also already ordered and received leather book cloth for the final binding and it's pretty badass, can't wait to show everyone. Cross your fingers for me and keep checking back for more work!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Dry Spell

It was bound to happen, a slight summer dry spell hit me just about the time the heatwave came to the northeast but rest assured, I am back! I have been hard at work organizing and writing for my book that needs to be done in the next six weeks but I have also made some jewelry here and there as well. Most importantly, I made a pair of earrings for the amazingly talented Amy Kolenut. I am proud to say that she is my future cousin in law who graduated from SVA this past May, hence the logo earrings. Be sure to check out her website and stay tuned for much more work to come! Congratulations Amy!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Slight Earring Frenzy

I guess it's sort of obvious at this point that I've become the slightest bit addicted to making earrings. Can you blame me? I wore the same gauges for over five years and now that I've taken them out and have normal earring holes again I am crazy for (and very picky about) the earrings I choose to wear. I've been itching for weeks to make button earrings for myself and also to put on my etsy shop, so here's what I ended up doing...

I'm a little upset that they haven't gotten very many views on etsy yet but at the same time I'm happy to be wearing my own personal pairs. It's only a matter of time before these are the new thing, right? Since you've read this far, you might as well just take a look