so this saturday is amy & kazu’s overdue wedding, and it’s gonna be a blast! i’m looking forward to meeting a bunch of interesting people, many of whom i’ve heard a lot about. after being married (by scott mccloud!) it’s going to be a fun-fest spectacular of amy and kazu proportions: swimming, wii, board games, music (including a performance by jamie, chris and i) and excitement! we’ve been busy rehearsing the tunes (surprises) in between building bookshelves for the studio. crazy week, off to santa barbara tomorrow.
so much has been going on, and so much is about to happen; it’s difficult to find time to post some updates. costa rica was amazing and refreshing (more below), but here’s some other stuff first:
first, a couple of nucleus shows. the first was the tote bag show which was a huge success. there was a line down the street before it opened (there was an initial bag giveaway) and it was packed the whole night. the second was last night and i had been looking forward to it: the ancient book of myth and war. this is a book that four pixar artists (scott morse, lou romano, don shank, nate wragg) had created, and they were showing original art for the book in the gallery. it was super-packed and tons of pieces sold right away. today, the four of them gave a workshop/talk/demo in the gallery that was pretty cool. they did some live painting (photoshop, painter & natural media) and answered a lot of questions, and it was interesting to hear some tidbits about the workflow and atmosphere at pixar. there were a lot of other animation industry professionals in attendance (dreamworks, disney, etc)… pretty crazy. i was especially taken by the humble vibe that lou gave off. he’s worked on the iron giant, monsters, the incredibles, many others – and it was obvious that he was just an honest, hard-working, good artist. although he let ideas just flow onto canvas and develop naturally, there was something careful about it, and it shows in the final pieces.
what’s even crazier is that we got to enjoy the nucleus show from our new studio workloft, which is right next door! we’re literally going in and out of a window that borders the upstairs gallery rooftop. kazu, amy, chris, ben, phil and i spent the last week painting, moving desks & furniture & stuff, and setting everything up. working from here has been great – the atmosphere is awesome, there’s so much good food around, the building is inviting, and the company is inspirational. it’s a mezzanine full of drawing, painting, guitar-playing, coding, and gallery-managing. i still can’t believe how ideal the space & location are. i’ll take some photos once we’re more settled in.
i kept a journal in costa rica, and tried to capture all of my experiences in it at the end of each day with the intention of recapping stuff here, but it is just too much. i’ll try to get the gist across in some quick notes… and enjoy the photos that accompany this.
home -> san jose -> limon -> puerto viejo -> la fortuna -> arenal -> monteverde -> jaca -> quepos -> manuel antonio -> heredia -> san jose -> home; beautiful green, green-blue jungles & rainforests; lots of driving (learned stick); rock roads; potholes; picture-perfect, crescent-moon shaped, jungle-lined beaches; warm water; monkeys; iguanas; pizotes; bats; tarantulas; corrupt cops (same one, twice!); shotgun-wielding guards; low-flying cesna over beach while swimming; stray dogs; live music; steak; fried sweet plaintains (every day); hammock; rain; exploding volcano (!), visible from hotel patio; atv driving through forests and grasslands up the base of the volcano, and through the river, off jumps; sole-visitors to mountain-top coffee stop with sole-employee, where the power went out and we’re hanging out in the dark, lots of wind, eerie; lively small towns in between miles of blackness; cute friendly waitress… got a kick out of my minimal spanish; margaritas; cows; rolling hills; red smoke at the top of the volcano; sudoku; loud russians; lake arenal; LONG road to monteverde cloud forest; german bakery; zip-line tours through & above the rainforest (AMAZING) – felt like an ewok; repelling, tarzan-swing, through mist; cloud-forest night walk, flashlights, informative guide – rain frogs, orange-knee tarantula, sleeping hummingbirds, raccoons, bats/vampires, flying cockroaches & beetles, strangler fig tree (combination of trees surrounding a hollow shell that used to be the original tree), females kill the males in the animal kingdom (seems to be a pattern); long drive to manuel antonio through rolling hills, rainforest and by the gulf; get pulled over, cop (with nice gold chains and a belly) tried to get us to pay him directly, refused (we were told to), he was upset; beach towns; mini-rock islands; ridiculous sunsets; long talks about love purpose natural vs. unnatural motivation karma reality space infinity music industry family inventions internet adapting kotori business yearns fulfillment education religion history politics humans; hand-made boxes; made friends with local who made them, took us to his work studio, bought some more pieces, chatted; pots & jars; manuel antonio national park = perfect beaches, monkeys, iguanas, trails; sit on a log, swim, lay out, repeat; palm trees; coconuts; serenity; polish bar; rich old white arrogant annoying disrespectful men with prostitutes; on way to heredia, get pulled over again by the same cop (!)… doesn’t try to get our money this time, ridiculous; drop off car, take cab to heredia hills; incredible hotel-villa-apartments overlooking the central valley, used to be the family estate for the owner of coca-cola; co-manager gave us a history of the place, she was friendly and talkative; loud karaoke (?!) while going to bed; last afternoon spent at villa, enjoying the views and plaintains (no other hotel guests?); employee very obvious with her flirting, wants me to hang out with her and her friends, going to beach – i have to fly out; get ride to the airport with her; bye-bye costa rica, i’ll return someday.
hectic cramming is setting in. there is way too much to do in the 10 or so hours left before i’m on the way to costa rica. that should make the vacation all that much better, right? i’m so excited! all the rainforest stuff and the beaches! danny gave me an (awesome) last-minute stick-shift lesson tonight (made even awesomer by his awesome car) so i can drive the rental throughout the trip. finally got the hang of it – i’m ready. tomorrow is work and mail and printing and packing and messaging and shopping and flying.
i’m going to electronically disconnect for a week. the only circuitry around will be my camera, so we’ll see how that goes. it will all be replaced by sketchbook sessions, reading, and some japanese practice. i’ll update with tons of photos when i get back.
i think i managed to snag one last pirate desk for the studio! thanks phil & chris! arrrr…
by the way, you can get kotori electronically, complete with embedded audio and video clips relevant to the articles and reviews at-hand. this is gonna be big!
signing off, disconnecting in 3… 2…