January 23, 2008

Perhaps the most ridiculous illustration I've ever done... sneak preview

As soon as I arrived I had an email from a magazine I've done illustrations for before, Greater Good, asking me to do a few illustrations for an article on animals and play. It talks about all different species of animals and how they play, and various ideas about the possible evolutionary advantages of playing. This is the kind of assignment I dream about! I get to do three illustrations total, and they've already approved my sketches with no changes (yay!) so now I'm working on the finals.
This particular illustration isn't done (still needs color), but I keep seeing it on my desk and cracking up so I just had to post it as is.

Posted by tammy at 11:13 AM

January 20, 2008

Living aloha

moorishidol.jpg If I try to describe my on Friday , I sound like I'm describing some fantasy future for myself. How did I get here? At 8 I got up, drank (Hawaiian) coffee, and got to work. Made some phonecalls and sent some emails, and spent time online finding photo reference for geckos and ohia (a local flowering tree.) Have to stand in the backyard to use my cellphone because of reception -- barefoot on bermuda grass with birds flying and chirping all over the place, puffy clouds in a blue sky and banana leaves blowing in the breeze. Work temporarily stopped as a giant day gecko showed up on the doorframe that Todd and I had to take photos of. Finished up drawing of a moorish idol for new jewelry series (see right and new icon) while Todd worked on his potentially-environment-saving science project. At 3 our friend Ben from the other side of the island showed up, and we stopped for the day and rode our bikes 9 miles to Mahukona, packing our masks and snorkels. Jumped in and tricked myself into swimming probably a mile while pursuing needlefish, japanese tangs, parrotfish, and my current favorite, lei triggerfish. Then I spotted a pair of moorish idols! Chased them around to make sure I got it right. Dried off while looking at the sea, watching a black tern dipping and diving over the water, a storm building towards Maui. The sound of distant thunder and the waves. A humpback whale blowing in the distance (right now you can spot them almost every time you drive along the coast on this part of the island...) Tough, uphill, windy ride home, showers, cold beer, and dinner out with Ben. Passionfruit margaritas, fresh-caught local ahi, and Tahitian vanilla ice cream. Finished my book and crashed out, Todd beside me.
Posted by tammy at 1:32 PM

January 19, 2008

Aloha! We are here!

I finally have a little bit of time to post! I've been procrastinating a bit, because the days go by since we arrived in Hawaii I have so much more to say that the idea of trying to summarize it for my blog becomes more and more daunting. I'll just try to give some highlights, and post more regularly, k?
We've settled into a cute little rental house in a suburban-y neighborhood right next to a little town called Kapa'au, on the big island of Hawaii. See Kapa'au on the map to the right.

hi_map.jpg We spent the first week or so dealing with logistics -- setting up utilities, figuring out where things are, and going south to Kona to shop at Kmart and Costco for furnishings. This house was entirely unfurnished, so we had to buy everything from dishtowels to chairs! It's pretty minimal, but we're all set up here, the priority of course being big tables and with comfortable chairs to sit at for our computing, art and jewelry-makin', and mad scientist needs. In between our excursions we made sure to fit in some beach and snorkeling trips, because it's just too beautiful here! The area we're living, part of the North Kohala district, contains two little towns, Hawi and Kapa'au. Filled with art galleries, coffee shops, and almost everything else we could ask for nearby, we can walk to the public pool, library, post office, and grocery store, as well as a burrito joint! Here's an article written in the New York Times about this area (from 2000, but still pretty accurate.) Doesn't it sound AWESOME? Shhhh, keep it on the DL, YO! It is really undeveloped here! So I got back to work on illustration and jewelry a few days ago, once we got everything all set up. I've got a couple illustration jobs that came in as soon as I arrived, and I'm working on a new set of Hawaiian wildlife jewelry that I aim to take to some fancy resort gift shops to see if they're interested. I am so inspired by the local wildlife I can't think of anything I'd rather be drawing, so it works out well. Being here so far is just as amazing as I dreamed it would be. I've always known I was suited for a tropical climate, and this is the first time I can really test it out. I can't believe how much more relaxed and full of joy I am here. I miss the bay area, and I especially miss you all, but besides that I feel like I am living in a dream world. There are thousands of birds outside my studio window, and I can hear crickets at night when I go to sleep. There are banana trees in our backyard, and I wear shorts and flip-flops every day. I can't wait to get outside every day to swim/bike/run (we are actually planning to participate in two local triathlons while we're here) and when I run down the road I pass by jungle trees, mountains, and the ocean instead of being surrounded by cars and a cold wind. About 4 1/2 miles from here, where the road ends, is this place. In the other direction, we can ride our bikes 9 miles and arrive at an abandoned dock, where the water is usually calm and clear and the snorkeling is INCREDIBLE. NINE MILES!

So, aloha to all of you... I miss you but I'm right here on the TV with y'all :)

Posted by tammy at 1:45 PM