Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Climb

Climbing - Topic for Illustration Friday

The above illustration features my good friend Jay Thompson. Somehow, I convinced him to climb into a tree and model in some very difficult positions for an previous illustration. The payment was probably in Riesen dark chocolate chews and Pappa Johns bread sticks... I'm feeling ashamed and amused by this cheapness. Mostly amused.

It was my original intention to re-work and improve some of my older illustrations. But I had this great out-take shot of Jay hanging wearied from the tree branch, and decided to work with it instead. I don't know why I love this idea of a dude in a nice clean suit climbing a tree. I wonder how long he's been hanging there. Will he try for the top? And, assuming he hasn't just given up, once he finally reaches his goal what will he do? What's waiting for him up there? A good view? Is he a peeping tom? Does he plan to jump? Was this a dare? Is there gold in them thar branches? I don't know, but I like to think about it.

Though I'm usually not depressed, I'm not feeling particularly optimistic today. I spent a lot of time sending out e-mails, looking at job postings, and trying to find a cheap apartment in LA somewhere. *Special note to my mid-west friends: I do mean "cheap" in Californian terms. There is story after story on NPR about California's economic troubles. and oh. Oh nice. It might be fun to mention that just now I heard a news story about the peanut-butter recall while eating a peanut-butter toast snack. I'm doomed!

Also, I'm really missing my car today.

It was towed away back in August... and while my bike is hands down the best decision I've ever made-ever; I just miss driving alone singing along to tapes and the radio. (yeah, tapes!) Not having a car has been a non-issue till these past few weeks as Jesse and I have been looking into new jobs and a new apartment. Chances are that as soon as these things are found, the heartache I feel for my old blue Chevy will die. But right now I cant help but reminisce. I cant believe I got so attached to a car that months latter I still mourn it, it seems silly. Please tell me about your weird, materialistic attachments. Make me feel normal!


  1. This is awesome!!!! what a friend. I could never get my friend to do this for me he he he! Excellent illustration!!!! I love your imagination!

  2. fabulous! maybe he has dried already, so you can take him down again... 1000s of stories come to my mind looking at it. thanks.

  3. Hey there, Ms. Normal! If it makes you feel better, I've not had a car for 8 years and I still miss it. I primarily miss not having to walk for twenty minutes in 40 below winter weather just to get a jug of milk. I didn't know you could exist in CA without a car. I think you are full of awesome. Also: Barack is a magician. I think he promised to whip-up a car that runs on salmonella peanuts and an economy strong enough for us to buy one. He just needs to eat his Wheaties first.

    As always: I love the drawing. Suit dudes in trees are a great idea. Sort of gloomy but funny. Like midlife crisis' and Willy Loman.

  4. My memory says the payment was Oreos, and they were totally, TOTALLY, worth it.

    There was probably also some video gaming and boozing. Good times. The best times.

    About the piece though, it is one of your most thought-provoking.

    As for materialism? Yeah, it's a battle. We're conditioned from birth, of course. But also, there's the sentimental thing with cars in particular. I remember one of the biggest things I never thought I'd get over was my desire to have a REAL car. Some Audi or BMW, or maybe an old muscle car. Somehow, with the climatological situation and economic practicality, I've gotten over it. Now, I want a world where public transportation is the only transportation besides bicycles. Insurance, repairs, gasoline, pollution - the costs are high.

    Be happy, Ally. I love to drive and sing along too, but I dream of better things, and when we heard you were doing the bike thing, we were massively jealous.