May 2009

Thoughts while fatigue sets in

new-arms
See the first two pairs of arms for the next run of Zombabies?! Cute, huh?

Why am I even here at this hour on a Saturday? I’ve just been to a friend’s house to celebrate her approaching move to Alaska. Then I went to the grocery store, thinking I was hungry for something, and wound up buying a 4 piece sampler of mass-market chocolates, a bag of gummy orange slice candies, an energy drink (which I haven’t had yet) and an Ultimate Spider-Man comic book. I don’t even follow that title. What a strange day.

So. Another train is passing. They use their horns less at night, and I’m not sure how great a thing that is. They kind of need to announce their presence more when it’s darker outside.. I mean, all the deaf hobos would get squashed in the dark of night whether or not a train was blasting its horn. Not sure what I’m thinking there.. I’m getting a bit bleary as the seconds wend on. I thought I’d come back from the party and be awake enough to continue working a little and keep my personal creature quotas met. ..

But I sat down and started eating things instead.

I’m seriously gonna go. I’m disastrously tired..

Good night!

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Sock Creature service page and Contact page have been updated.

Hi, Everybody..

syd2
I’ve added loads of information to the Sock Creatures section of the services menu. Read it and see what you think. I’m hoping down the line I can find a feature for RapidWeaver that will allow each FAQ question to act as a clicker for a popup window, which carries the answer. As now, the page is quite long with words, and I know nobody has the patience to read in such great detail anything online anymore. But the page as is will do for now.

I may combine the sock creatures service with custom plush items in general. A lot of the parameters are the same, though with custom plush jobs that are not in keeping with traditional Stupid Creatures™ orders, the primary difference is size, complexity, and as a result, cost. I still have to think about all that..

In addition, I’ve fixed the contact page. It’s now a functioning electronic form. Check it out and drop me a line. I look forward to hearing from you!

Anyway.. Off to have pizza with friends. It’s rare I choose friends over studio time. I love it here in my little fabricky world filled with my handmade minions, but I do miss planet earth and its wondrous inhabitants from time to time.

Enjoy your Saturdays, everyone!

John
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At long flippin' last, the new website is up!!

Photo 240
Hi, Everybody..

If you’re looking at this, then you’ve arrived at the new StupidCreatures.com. Thanks to a little gem of software called RapidWeaver, I was able to generate this very professional looking site with next to no programming knowledge. And I’m so pleased.

What you’ll find here that’s different from the previous site are these things:
• A new order form for custom stupid creatures.
• Brand new galleries bursting to the brim with pictures of my new work, my classic work, the work of my protégé Ian Dennis, and the work of fans who’ve bought my book.
• Information about the books I’ve written or helped write, and links to help you buy them.
• A map with directions to my studio
• A calendar of events
• A long overdue updated links page
• And of course, this new welcome page that tells you exactly what you need to know first.

A lot of work still needs to be done to the site. Importantly, the services I provide need more explanation and example. A website is never a hundred percent perfect before it’s launched, ‘cause it’d never get launched if a designer waited for perfection. So despite my site’s needs, I launched it ‘cause it was just darned time to launch it, you know?

Visit the contact page. Drop me lines. Tell me what you think of this new site and give me critiques if anything is unclear. I won’t sleep tonight, I’ll bet, for tweaking and fumbling with all the details.

Anyway. I’m due at a backyard concert. Mr. Buggybones (pictured above) wishes you a pleasant Friday night.

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Zombabies

Hi, Everybody..

I’ve been making some monsters with a more human twist. If you can call having no lower jaw human.. I started doodling the pattern for these freakish, ghoulish, screaming children in my sketchbook and loved it.

Sunday I cut the pieces for 5 of ‘em and stitched ‘em together by Tuesday. Stuffed ‘em on Wednesday and now I’m sewing them shut.

Photo 234

I’m going with the title “Zombabies” for now. Most of the feedback I’ve received on ‘em has been zombie related. I don’t mind that one bit to be honest.

I’m getting them ready to premier at my studio for the 2009 River Arts District Spring Studio Stroll.. If you can remember all of that. In keeping with the climes of hard times, I’m not gonna be charging much for these. I’m pricing all my new work for the studio stroll at $40 and below. Granted, I’ll have some more sculptural items like Vampero and Somber Dave available to buy for those who want them. They’re priced accordingly.

Photo 235

See? They make such a great set. I can’t wait for you guys to pick ‘em up and squeeze them. They’re made entirely of used clothing, so you know they’re comfy to squeeze. And, if you spill grape juice on ‘em, they can go in the wash! Don’t you love reusing things? Reuse is the way to go!

Photo 237

The real stroke of luck for these guys was a T shirt I had with a big white silkscreened decal, flecked with black pockmarks and holes. I cut it up for teeth and appliquéd it onto their screaming mouths. The teeth look so much more dimensional and decayed than if I’d just used a neutral fabric. Reuse is the way to go, kids. You never know what hidden potential old clothing and ugly silkscreens can have.

Photo 238

Anyway, I look forward to seeing your faces the second weekend in June. Drop me some comments about my Zombabies. I’m interested in your reactions.
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This is my Pulled-An-All-Nighter Face

I’m so tired.. but I’m nearly done.. Then I’ll nap, pack and drive to the Charlotte air port.. I can sleep on the plane.. Hurrah!

Photo 231
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Musicians moved into my studio building.

The thing about sharing a building with recording artists is that you must deal with noise and repetition, often repetitive noise. Luckily the guys who just moved into my building are nice about it and often offer to turn their music down. And of course, I find their niceness unexpected and disarming so I tell them that the sound doesn’t bother me.

Honestly, the noise isn’t that big of a deal. I know that creating music involves sound, and before a piece is finished, unless a musician is the penny tossing John Cage, the sounds can seem like noise without context.

I’ve lived with musicians before and have endured while songs were written, edited, composed, edited, performed a million times, edited again, then performed to me completed, as though I hadn’t already heard its creation. So I know how to deal. I am grateful that these new recording artists in my building show some talent and are friendly people.

Today however, I had the musicians going plus the expected sounds of construction from the soon-to-be cafe downstairs, on top of ever present (though irregular) train horns. I had headphones. I used them. They worked only slightly, but ultimately just superimposed yet another layer of discordant sound atop the other things my brain was trying desperately to sort.

But alas, it’s nearly one in the morning. All the sound-producing studiomates have gone home. To their beds. I’ll be going there soon too.
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Moving Right Along

So.. I’m really procrastinating. But at least I’m doing something worthwhile and productive while I procrastinate. At times like this I wish I had more fingernails to chew. I’ve got literally a day and a half to finish one of the most complex character design jobs I’ve ever been given.

The work is tiny, detailed and meticulous. I’m glad I can see things almost microscopically with my glasses off..

So, what have I been doing to procrastinate? I’ve been updating this website. It’s almost ready to launch. I’m looking forward to getting it up at last. It isn’t as polished as some of those really swanky flash-based sites out there, but that’s the price I pay for using prefab software, having virtually no web skills of my own, and no desire to hire one of those lawyer/plumber hybrids to do the site for me.

I’m so excited, you guys. I’m gonna finish this sculpt job (by the skin of my teeth, it seems.. and trust me, after so many allnighters, one’s teeth in fact grow skin) and hand deliver it to my client/rep/agent in Los Angeles. I don’t go to LA often, but I’ve enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the trip. I’m looking forward to chewing the rag with my agent and discussing what to do next with my brand.

So.. Gotta get back to sculpting. Enjoy the new website. Give me suggestions for improving it whenever you want. Thanks!

John

Photo 221

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Flat on my back on a Sunday morning

The website continues to roll right along. I’m working on it intermittently during a really complex freelance job that’s due soon. Tuesday I’ll be flying out to L.A. to visit my rep and discuss future plans for Stupid Creatures as a mass marketed toy line and entertainment property (cartoon).

Stupid Creatures awaiting sale

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