everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

Stickmen

I was going through my bookshelves recently and noticed this little book, which I hadn’t looked at for a while. It’s called STICKMEN by Peter Vegas and I can’t remember where I bought it, probably one of those impulse buys at the counter of a book shop (so it must be old – remember book shops?)… Flicking through it still made me smile, so I thought I’d share some of my favourites with you today.

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

[From Stickmen, by Peter Vegas]

And there are plenty more where those came from – I just did a quick search and it seems that Peter Vegas is a Kiwi who works in advertising and has written a few different Stickmen books in his spare time. They’re simple, they’re quirky and I think they’re great. Hooray for Stickmen!

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Kids Draw The News

There is a section of the New York Times called ‘Kids Draw The News’, which pretty much does what it says on the tin – kids from around the USA (and sometimes even other countries) are invited to submit a drawing to tell the story of a particular news topic. As is often the case with pictures drawn by kids, there are some very funny and very clever and very wacky results. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about…

An excerpt from an article last month: Swarms of honeybees seem to be everywhere in New York City these days — on cars, on trees, outside restaurants — as fast-growing colonies take off in search of new homes. As illustrated by the kids who made a big effort:

             

As illustrated by the kid who was maybe being forced to enter by an eager Mom and Dad:

Also from last month, an article about NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to limit the availability of giant serves of soda: Because way too many New Yorkers of all ages are overweight, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg wants to make it illegal to sell large sugary drinks in restaurants, movie theaters, delis and some other places.  From the pens and pencils of babes:

             

And from a kid whose parents maybe need to cut him off from tv shows like NCIS and Law & Order:

As an HR person, I can’t help but think that ad agencies should consider signing up some of these kids sooner rather than later. And I am now imagining a newspaper with kids’ drawings to accompany the stories, rather than shocking photos. Or maybe even using kids’ drawings instead of some of the news stories. Somehow, they get to the point and make you smile at the same time – would love to get their take on issues in politics and the environment. Oh, and the real story behind the breakup of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, of course.

You can check out the ‘Kids Draw The News’ section of the New York Times online here.

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Picture perfect jewellery

Sometimes, you need to write something down, but you don’t have a pen handy. Or you really want to draw a picture to explain what you’re saying, but you don’t have any coloured pencils with you. This post could be for you. Or maybe you like jewellery that is pretty and practical – funk-tional – and you’re looking for a new ring. Or you’ve always wanted to be the artistic equivalent of Edward Scissorhands – Jonathon Pencilhands or Albert Paintbrushhands. Whatever, this post is for you too.

For these, my friends, are Crayon Rings. Such a simple, yet clever, idea by Timothy Liles.  For sale on the cool design website Generate, these brightly coloured rings, cast in washable crayon come in a set of 8. That’s right, for less than $50 US, you can add eight new rings to your jewellery box and eight new crayons to your pencil case. And, you know, draw colourful stuff with your accessories.

But what if you accidentally draw in the wrong place? Or colour something that should have been black & white? Fear not, this Eraser+ing by ahead creative will solve your problems. Featuring bright colours and a ‘mild fruity scent’, a set of five costs less than $40 US.

If you’d like to check out these rings, or a whole heap of other kooky stuff, you can find the Generate online store here.

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Aye aye, Captain

This isn’t a political post – I’m not flying the feminist flag and trying to rally the sisterhood or anything like that. But I recently bought a print by Amanda Visell and just got it back from the framing shop. And now it’s on the wall, with its shiny silver frame and its cute drawing and its awesome message. I am my own captain. I reckon it makes sense whether you’re happily coupled, or a single gal, or a self-doubting chap, or an indecisive kid, or a black cat in a sailor hat. Or anyone in between. Since I can’t seem to take a photo of it without some strange reflection of my head or the lights or the ghost of Granny May, I thought I’d go back to the source for a photo. Then I was reminded of how amazing Amanda Visell’s work is, so thought I should share some of it with you.

I also like I am a maverick, from the same print series, but since I am really more of a goose than a maverick, I didn’t think it was quite right for me. There is also a chick in chain mail on a horse, with the message I can save myself. And then a crazy looking hairy monster that says I am wild. I’m happy with my choice because I like what it says (to me, anyways) – essentially, you’re in charge of you.

But Amanda doesn’t just paint quirky stuff, she also makes quirky stuff, out of metal or vinyl or wood. Like this incredible sea horse (with passenger), which I love. Or everyone’s favourite pet, the pterodactyl (flying a kite). Or limited edition elephants or crocodiles, each with a BIG  personality and a story to tell.

Amanda has a website and a blog, but she sells her stuff on Switcheroo – it’s well worth a look!

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Draw Something. Anything.

I think I’m very late getting on the bandwagon, so you’ve probably already seen the Draw Something app. Essentially, it’s online Pictionary with random strangers. Or, Words With Friends in picture format, if you like. And I’m hooked. I can’t really draw – a fact that is becoming more and more apparent with each game that I play – but there’s some satisfaction in your scribble being identified as your intended image. Basically, you choose from one of three options to draw (for your team mate to guess). And then you get awarded coins, depending on the alleged difficulty of what you chose to draw. An everyday plodder drawing equivalent – say, HAT – will get you one coin, while the nimble Russian gymnast drawing equivalent – say, PETSHOP – will get you three coins. (For the record, I have drawn both hat and petshop and they have been identified correctly by the person on the other side. How, I do not know, but that is beside the point.) You can use your virtual coins to buy additional virtual paint colours to brighten up your drawings, or to buy additional virtual bombs to blow up some of the letters that you choose from to name what the other person has drawn. People use bombs to help them decipher my drawings quite frequently – but I like to think that, like Picasso before me, the hidden depth of my work is not immediately obvious to everyone. I am also comforted by the fact that Picasso never had to try and produce a masterpiece using a canvas half the size of a phone screen, with an index finger as a paintbrush. The virtual artist’s life is not an easy one, I tell you.

However, there are some amazing people out there and I am regularly in awe of the quality of their drawings. Others, and I include most of my own drawings in this number, are either intentionally or unintentionally comical and I find myself shaking with laughter as I look at them on my way to work or waiting in line at the supermarket. For an app that is either free or upgraded to a 99c version, Draw Something definitely gives me my money’s worth in entertainment on a daily basis. Judge for yourself…

     (Ok, that last one is mine. CMM4. See what I mean?)

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