Leo Espinosa
on inspiration
Maria's Voyage
Last week at the public library, I spotted Maria y Yo , a book written and illustrated by Miguel Gallardo about his daughter Maria, and brought it home to practice Spanish with the kids. Ben, our oldest son, got very interested in Maria and wanted to learn more about her universe. I told Miguel and just this morning he sent us a link to this wonderful short. Ben loved it and we hope you do too.

Thanks to Hanoch Piven for his article on the book.

Rain Town

My cup of tea on this rainy friday -watch-
(thank you for the link, monsieur Guillot)
Evan Hecox

A beautiful clip of a favorite of mine at work. Be sure to watch it in full screen. Video by Felipe Lima / Arkitip
[Found via nice fucking graphics]
The Girl Effect / The clock is ticking

Mariscal, Take One: The Show
I'm quite bummed my wallet didn't agree with my trip to Europe this fall. One of the main reasons for it was to make it to Javier Mariscal's Retrospective at the Design Museum in London. Mariscal has been my biggest inspiration because of all the places and media he has explored with his work while remaining unique and creatively fresh.

Thanks to fellow Draweroid, Linzie Hunter for allowing me to use her pics and for giving us all a taste of this fantastic show.

If you are in London, do not miss it! You have until the end of November. And while at it, please snap some more pics to heal my sadness :_)

Colorful black and white
Better than drawing type: Sculpting type!
I love Los Garriris!
Los Garriris phat ride
Now I get it!
More yummy type
Did I hear personality?
I want to walk through that space so badly!
Julian, is that you?
To the great Xavi, Salud! Cheers!

Raul Gonzalez

From time to time I get together with my good friend Raul Gonzalez at the local coffee shop to sketch out, share ideas, comics, art and of course a good laugh. Today I missed our doodle-rendezvous (I was stuck here with a couple of deadlines) but I wanted to post some of the drawings he showed me the last time we met. He's been working on a great series and this pics don't make justice to how fantastic the originals are. Raul (aka Cerebot) just started a new blog and soon will have a solo show at Carroll and Sons Gallery in Boston. Stay tuned and enjoy his work!

The texture and the flat colors play really nicely in all his pieces.

Sorry for the blury image. Blame my third espresso.

Raul Gonzalez also shares his name and a darn good aim with the great player from Real Madrid.

This last one is called "Dances With Wolves (aka Kevin)". Don't ask me why :)

Sacred Monsters
Tomokazu Matsuyama
Sacred Monsters. Everyday Animism in Contemporary Japanese Art and Anime 

September 10 - November 22, 2009
Tisch Gallery
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 17, 5:30–8:00 pm
More info
I'll be at the opening tomorrow around 6:00 in case anybody is interested. It certainly sounds like an amazing show (And thank goodness, Raul found out about and was kind enough to let me know ;4))
See you there.

Goofing off at the opening. If you are in the Boston area, don't miss this show!
Only in New York
Many of you are familiar with my buddy, Yury Vargas because he does not miss any event at SI I go to. The guy is an art/creative director who loves and respect illustration and says that hanging out with illustrators is always a treat. THIS VIDEO is an example of the things he does to keep the creative juices flowing and to me is a clear sign that the spirit of New York is more alive than ever.
The Beautiful Word

there's no words to describe Scrabble's "The Beautiful Word" Ad Campaign. No, wait! I got it:

Painting a Song
With so much computer manipulation bombarding us every day I had forgotten how great it is when technology becomes invisible allowing great ideas to shine. This very simple game over Soy tu Aire (I am your air) a beautiful song by Labuat lets you play instinctively with the music to create you own visual trip, then you get to watch it and do it again with different results. I'll translate the lyrics when I get a second, a lot of the graphics are related to them. Enjoy!
(Thank you for the link, Dima)

MoCCA Art Festival 2009
I went down this weekend to New York to attend the MoCCA festival and the only thing I can say is that despite the uncomfortable back to back bus rides and the crazy heat at the Armory (which I perfectly remember from a sticky summer Soundgarden concert ages ago), the event was totally worth it!
The place was packed with beautiful books from small publishers and some self-published beauties from around the world... faaaar from the classic superhero stuff. As it always happens when it comes to books, my wallet and I where in disagreement, but I managed to score a few unique comics from the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. Pictured above is Kaisa from Findland, who kindly signed for me a copy of her book, Audarya Lila.

Audarya Lila by Kaisa & Christoffer Leka, is actually three books bound in an old Japanese style wrapped in a hard cover that makes you just stare at it for hours.

Can you tell the love that went into the making of this book?

Don't you get fooled by the simple drawings, the story is quite deep and moving.

Who cares about the typo, this book won first prize in my heart!

Another detail of the binding and I better stop before I start photographing every single page.
I'll be back next year MoCCA!

I Met The Walrus
In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto and convinced John to do an interview about peace. 38 years later, Jerry has produced a film about it. Using the original interview recording as the soundtrack, director Josh Raskin has woven a visual narrative which tenderly romances Lennon's every word in a cascading flood of multipronged animation. Raskin marries the terrifyingly genius pen work of James Braithwaite with masterful digital illustration by Alex Kurina, resulting in a spell-binding vessel for Lennon's boundless wit, and timeless message.
I recommend you watch the film in HQ  Thank you Josh B. for showing it to me!
And the winner for best animated short film is...

La Maison en Petits Cubes by Kunio Kato! Part 1 and Part 2 are here again!
Lavatory Lovestory (my personal favorite) was also nominated. For the Russian translation read the comments in Youtube but watch the film first, don't spoil it!

Christophe Blain
Here's my intern Ben, holding our copy of Gus & His Gang. The whole book is mostly safe but in some parts we had to get into the birds and the bees conversation... oh well, at least it was through a comic book... phew!
Here's a still from Thomas Dutronc's, "Comme un manouche sans guitare" video. Very clever and funny!
This is a page from one of his early books called La Révolte D'Hop-Frog, which sadly has not been translated.
I'm pretty sure I've posted something about Christophe Blain in the past because he is one of my favorite comic book artists (okay call it graphic novel if you want but they will always be comics to me).
His latest work translated into English is a gem called GUS & HIS GANG, and I highly recommend it. GUS number 3 has already made it into the offical sellection at the prestigious Angoulême Festival.
Other books by Blain that have been published in English are The Speed Abater and the master piece Isaac The Pirate.
To finish this mini-homage to this great artist, Today, I found this great video illustrated and/or animated by him (Thank you
Tomorrow, we'll toast to comics at the opening of the Sequential Show at the Society of Illustrators. Hope to see many of you there.
Life on Mars

Seu Jorge + The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

vida em marte

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
I was late to see Julian Schnabel's marvelous movie from last year, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, but I was so moved by it that I had the urge to illustrate it. One of my oldest friends is loosing his battle to brain cancer and recently has lost the ability to talk; His only way to communicate is by moving his right arm. I wonder what's going through his head, I wonder what happens inside when he giggles or when he stares at the people around him. Time to read the book to know what Jean-Dominique Baudy has to say about life.
This one is for you, amigo Lucho.
Bike Racks by David Byrne
Photos: New York City Department of Transportation
Left to right: MoMA, Olde Times Square and Villager. Middle row, left to right: Coffee Cup, Wall Street and Ladies’ Mile. Bottom row, left to right: Hipster, Chelsea and Jersey.
and a video tour.
Kung Fu Panda's Pure Awesomeness

"The Past is History, The Future is a Mistery, Today is a Gift, that's why we call it Present"
Anonimous - But I like to believe it came from Master Oogway

Jojo In The Stars
Illustration is alive!

Glad to see the Drawgeroids invading the newstand with such terrific work. Glad to see illustration everywhere these days: In videos, in toys, in textiles, in apparel, in galleries, in books, in furniture, in homeware, you name it!  Despite this awful economy we're in a good place; Think about it. We just have to use our noodles to help our doodles stay alive.
Here's a great new video from Of Montreal to prove my point! Have a happy friday everybody!!! :+)

Evolve, For God's sake!
I've been very curious to know who was responsible for these amazing Spore ads I found in Harvard Square red line T stop, mostly because of the illustrations (of course) but design and copy are also very clever. So I googled the campaign and found out that Spore is a game about "the evolution of a species from its beginnings as a unicellular organism, through development as an intelligent and social creature, to interstellar exploration as a spacefaring culture"* (*Taken from Wikipedia). That sounded cool and it made me very happy: A smart game among a sea of bloody war games.
What made me really sad is that I also found out that the game has instigated anti-Spore blogs and sparked controversy among bible creatures because (and I shouldn't be so surprised) it goes against creationism! Such stupidity got my interest away from the ad campaign and got me thinking about the issues of double morality and distorted values instead. sniff!  No, wait! Screw that! I'm going to end this post with some color and humor: Here's some more pics from the campaign taken by a different being.
Women are Heroes
Women © JR

JR's latest projects Women are Heroes is done with the heart; A heart bigger than his photographs. Some of my favorite pieces are from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Click on the map of Brazil to see the portraits and the street photos.

The Project (text from the Women website):
The Women project wants to underline their pivotal role and to highlight their dignity by shooting them in their daily lives and posting them on the walls of their country.

On the other hand, by posting the same images of these women in Western countries, the project allows everyone to feel concerned by their condition and connects, through art, the two different worlds.
God Bless You(Tube)

I saw this animated short for the first time almost ten years ago when a friend of mine brought it as a present from Toronto in a VHS tape. She had just been a judge at a film festival and though I would like it. Well, one cannot just "like" something so precious and beautiful, I actually fell in love with the story, the colors, the mood, and watched it so many times I think I'm responsible for the early death of our VHS player. The tape has been securely stored but I haven't watched it since and I've never transfered it to DVD either. Fortunately, somebody recently uploaded it to YouTube and the guys from Drawn made a post about it. When the Day Breaks is a masterpiece, a wonderful visual poem that I hope you all enjoy as much as I do.
Can I have that when you're done with it?
Photo: AFP
Dear Chinese Government:
Can I please have the sculpture outside the Laoshan velodrome when you are done
with your Olimpic thingie? It would look really nice in my studio.
The one and only, Tour de France

Every year my kids get a kick out of watching me in front of the TV screaming like a madman to a group of masochist madmen in spandex who for not logical reason decide to battle against the most challenging test a sport can provide: It's called Tour de France. Sure, people can say whatever they want against professional bicycling because sadly, a bunch of cheaters have managed to stain the sport I passionately love, but no matter what, I could never stop the feeling I get watching those insane athletes going up and down the Alps or the Pyrenees or through the cobble stones of Paris.

Last night I pulled out Inside the Postal Bus, a book written by Michael Barry, one of the nicest guys in bicycling that I had the honor to illustrate the cover for a couple of years ago, and flipping through its pages I got the same chills I used to get when in the early 80s tons of kids in the patios of my school crowded around transistor radios listening to the Tour and cheering for our little colombian riders competing against the very professional and sleek europeans. Ah, those where the days!

Here's a detail of the cover with Armstong on the foreground, George Hincapie getting help from a mechanic and Barry descending from the Postal bus.

We also cheer for the Basque here at home because of family and friends

Benjamin in full Euskadi gear a couple of Tours ago. Aupa Euskaltel!

This was a very special present I recently got from Robert Hunt who was at the Tour in 1994 doing an illustration assignment. Lucky guy!

Tomorrow's stage from Cuneo (in Italy) to Jausiers promises to be a very intense one and I need to squeeze a few miles on the bike before starting with my aerobic routine in front of the tube so it's time to go to bed mes amis. Bonne nuit!
We're not there yet, but my oh my what a game last night!
Go Celtics!
Kevin "elastic man" Garnett!!!!
The game is about to start, I'm freaking out, I'm freaking out! Agghhhh!!
No, wait... is not Thursday yet
Tell your kids about this cool software. They will love it!

Here's some other movies by Ben
Three Shadows
First Second, is rapidly becoming one of my favorite publishing houses; In their catalog there are two brilliant novels by Italian master Gipi (including Notes for a War Story).
Yesterday my friend Phil Amara recommended that I should get Three Shadows by Cyril Pedrosa. Well, I just bought it and it's all I was expecting it was going to be: Beautiful clear lines, composition and a great tale as a backbone. A must for comic fans!

Here's an excerpt from the book. Enjoy!
All I want for Chistmas
Dear Santa:
I know it's kind of early for this but you know I've been good, granted not as good as I promised last year but c'mon man, I'm just a humble human being. You have to admit that this beautiful Cinelli with Barry McGee's graphics is pretty dope. Please, please, I'll be extra good, I will shovel my obnoxious neighbor's driveway, I will wash the dog, do community service... anything. I would even tattoo Rudolph on my forehead... what do you say? Take your time, no preasure, feel free to e-mail me any time. I'll be here all day.
5 de Mayo
Last night, at the New England Gallery of Latin American Art (NEGLAA) was the opening of Chingasos, a multi media art event about legendary Mexican pugilist El Chango Verde (El C.V.) created by my good friend Raul Gonzalez and members of Los Cinco Milagros. I love going to East Boston, it's a mini Latin America over there, but yesterday at the gallery, with the music, the people in Mexican costumes, and the colorful images, I felt like I had really crossed the border. Awesome show Raul! Felicitaciones!!
El Chango Verde, one of my favorite paintings.
I took the interns with me; They got a little crazy with the tequila those kids.
El artista Raul Gonzalez (left) and his amigos
That cactus almost glows in the dark, is so bright!
From time to time I get some really nice e-mails and letter from kids (or from very kind parents) telling me how much they love Sushi Pack and the fuzzy feeling I get in my heart is pretty special. This one in particular was worth a post: It came from my talented buddy Cade (age 5) from Oregon. Apparently, Cade has turned into a Sushi super-hero 24/7 which reminds me of making my mom nuts about my obsession of having to go to bed with my Zorro costume on (every single night).
Thanks for making my day, Cade. Enjoy the print!
Suuuuuuushi Roll!!!!

I fell in love with the opening credits but the whole film is brilliant.
Feed the Kids good music, yo!
Medeski Martin and Wood's latest album Let's go everywhere is up there with They Might be Giants' great tunes for kids. Clever lyrics, killer beats, and best of all, they don't talk down to children, nor sing to them with annoying high pitch voices . MMW is one of the most innovative contemporary jazz trios and their latest trip is worth buying, even if you don't have kids. The cover art rules, too.
A Cocinar! (updated)
I went to buy ID Magazine to see Staake's place in it and reading through the reviews I discovered 1080 Recipes, a great book with recipes from all the regions in Spain that's finally being published in English. Two doors down from the news stand, at a little bookstore, I found it and bought it. It's a beautiful publication and it comes garnished with the coolest illustrations by the great Javier Mariscal. I recommend you buy it and get a nice bottle of Rioja to go with it.
Enjoy, Buen Provecho, Bon Profit, Bo Proveito, On Egin!

PS: Here's a link with the artwork that David Flaherty just sent me.
Yuriy Norshteyn

Click here to see the film Ezhik v Tumane and here and here to watch a documentary about this great Russian animation master.
Spasibo, Dima!
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