03/31/2011 at 7:57 am 7 comments

I feel like March has been a very, very long month. Not in the sense that it’s boring me to tears and I wish it would end. Quite the opposite, really. Every day’s been action-packed, and I’m hoping April proves to be the month I learn how to nap. Lord knows I need to.

But no naps shall be had until after Saturday, April 2. The above image was created to promote April 2. Specifically, the event HAPPENING on April 2. It’s called the WMSE Buy Local Bazaar (duh), and is essentially the radio station’s way of teaming up with Our Milwaukee, and celebrating local businesses, artisans, food growers/makers/sellers, and other people actually contributing to the local economy. When you buy from local businesses, more of that money goes back into your community than when you buy from a big box chain. Which means we’ll be able to pave these streets with gold a heck of a lot faster.

We’ll be there, doing something very special on the spot, and hopefully selling our first ever piece of practical merchandise.

I’m including the above character as my sole means of illustrating one of the most time-consuming projects of these last few months. In April, I’ll start a two-week artist-in-residence program at Oriole Lane Elementary School in Mequon, WI. I was asked to develop the curriculum for those two weeks, which was totally weird for me, because I normally just spend my days putting arms, legs and facial features on things that don’t actually have them. And frankly, all the preparation for two weeks of teaching has been pretty intense. I couldn’t imagine having to develop a curriculum for an entire school year! Makes me admire teachers even more than I already do. (Everyone should.)

I’ll share more after the two weeks are over. Cross your fingers I don’t shame the family name.

Much to my dismay, I never got to see the play that inspired the above piece. A playwright named Patrick Schmitz interviewed a Rhode Island-sized group of theater folk about, well, theater. He turned those interviews into a play called Back & Forth. He also sent one of his questions, and every answer it generated, to an artist, to create a piece that would hang in the lobby during the show’s run. Frankly, nothing I could have drawn would have done justice to the ideas being shared, so I opted to letter as many of the answers as possible.

The play seemed to get a healthy amount of press, so I’m incredibly happy for Patrick. Here’s hoping he forgives me and all the things that popped up, keeping me from sitting in that audience.

I know I this De La Buena album already got its own lengthy blog post, but it did happen in March, and I’m trying to be thorough. If you haven’t nabbed a copy yet, drop me a line in the comments section. We can make that happen.

Last time DJ Yoda came here (the first time, actually), he played Stonefly and it was PACKED. So it made sense to bring him back. And of the THREE AND ONLY THREE shows he played in The States this time around, he came to Milwaukee on alcohol’s favorite American holiday. Surprisingly, a LOT of people stayed sober enough to make it to Moct. And once Yoda started his A/V spectacle, the dance floor was getting scuffed like nobody’s business.

This is the poster Tap The Masses asked me to make for the event. Glad they let me be funny in the copy, too. And for those of you who didn’t grow up with it, THIS is “the gas face.”

On a total side note, as I type this blog post about art, I’m watching an episode of Inspector Gadget where he’s trying to stop Dr. Claw from stealing art. Coincidence? Yes. Why am I watching Inspector Gadget? Because it’s 7:10 AM, and morning television is the worst.

This is the birthday piece I made for my friend C.J., who is one of the best humans you’ll ever meet, if you ever meet him. And I’m not sure you will. But if you ever go to a Rural Alberta Advantage show in Wisconsin, well, you will. He loves them. He’s friends with them. And when I handed him this birthday gift, it was at their most recent show here in Milwaukee. A show that had to have been sold out, because I wound up standing in the back of the venue to watch the show.

The text is from a song they didn’t play that night (click here to check it out). No matter. C.J. loved it all the same. And so did the band. After he showed them the piece, I wound up getting a handshake, a hug, and a squeal of delight from the band. High-five to all that.

(Commissioned by Nick, who will be out on the road with this band again soon. Thanks, Nick!)

This is a top-secret thing that will soon be not-secret. Should be available at that event I was talking about at the top of the page, and on my site (and Etsy shop) in the near future.

Another total side note: The just showed a commercial for Robostir– a device that automatically stirs for you whatever it is you’re cooking. Are we really that lazy a species that we can’t even be bothered to stir food?

And lastly, this: for Ex Fabula’s season-ending ALL STARS event. If you don’t know what Ex Fabula is, click here. That’s what the Internet is for.

The theme was “Secrets and Lies” (duh), and frankly, coming up with this concept took me a while. But I’m glad I didn’t rush it. It’s not often you get to juxtapose a beloved fairy tale character with the kind of documents you only get to see in spy films. We haven’t really pushed this out to the public much yet, because it’s still a few months away, but I sure hope people like it.

I leave you pretty people with some music today. It seemed like every place I visited yesterday was playing Nina Simone at some point. And though they didn’t play this particular song, I’m sharing it because we just recently finished watching Luther, and it used this tune better than any other show or film has. Dig it:



Entry filed under: Commission, Event, hand-lettering, Illustration, Paintings. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ces  |  03/31/2011 at 11:31 am

    Your Ex Fabula poster is a very beautiful thing.

  • 3. Layla  |  03/31/2011 at 4:02 pm

    If that is your t-shirt I will literally pee my pants. And then buy one.

    • 4. dwellephant  |  03/31/2011 at 6:12 pm

      Not a shirt. You can’t wear what it is. I mean, you could. But you’d have to be good with a set of shears.

  • 5. Jen Keller  |  04/07/2011 at 10:04 pm

    Oriole Lane is so psyched for your visit. I have 3 boys there and my middle son (2nd-Grader-and-avid-doodler-art-guy) can’t wait. Thanks for all your effort.

    • 6. dwellephant  |  04/09/2011 at 8:30 pm

      I can’t wait either! Just glad they wanted me there. Hope it lives up to expectations!

  • 7. Jen Keller  |  04/12/2011 at 8:27 pm

    Well, in the words of my 4th Grader “That dwell – elephant dude is BEAST, mom”. So no pressure. . .you just need to be “beast”. See you next week!


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