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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Up with Figs: Sleeping Cats

Once upon a time, Lisa and Adrienne worked for the same alternative newsweekly. Now, both spend their respective lives mining their creative souls and leading hermit-like lives. And so an idea was hatched. Every week, one would send the other a sketch—either in illustration or word form—and the other would make a companion to the sketch. The result would be posted on both their blogs every week, just for grins. Even if the result isn't award-worthy, the exercise makes both minds more nimble. Hopefully.



Dear Lisa, 

While you have accurately conveyed what it is like to sleep in the same bed as our cat McGregor, you did leave out one of his favorite slumber poses. On really cold nights, he clamps himself on to the back of my skull like the face-hugging tentacled beast from Aliens. And I wonder why I wake up feeling so drained.

Sleepily yours,
- A


Text ©Adrienne Martini; illustration ©Lisa Horstman




Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Progress is slow…

…and time is so very short. Work continues on the graphic novel, but at this rate I'm only managing 2 pages/week. This is going to be a big book. I don't know how I'll finish it, but I will. I've inherited my dear dad's stubbornness, I'm afraid.



{Illustrated pages completed so far.}


I'm mostly doing this in memory of my dad, who died last year around this time. I wonder what he would have made of dying on tax day. Death and taxes…

My dad grew up during the Great Depression. When he was a young teenager his dad was in a farming accident, losing one of his kidneys in the process. Since Dad was the only son, he was heavily relied upon to do the farm work, with neighbors pitching in to help. My aunt, the lone daughter in the family, left high school and went to work. It was a time in her life she never talked about, and my dear aunt was a talker.

My mom told me once that Dad hated farming, but that's the work he did all his life, along with working third shift at a local Phillips/GTE Sylvania factory. I'd had no idea he hated farming; he'd never revealed how he felt to us kids. Can you imagine farming during the day, going to bed around 7 p.m., getting up at 11 p.m., working an 8 hour shift and then coming home around 8 a.m.? Then getting up at noon and doing it all over again? You think you have it so rough. 

Dad never complained about it, though. He'd inherited my grandfather's farm, and I suppose back then there weren't many choices for him. 

The book isn't his story (it's a work of fiction) but there are many references to his circumstances. He lived in interesting times, indeed, as did my Mom. Her dad lost the family farm during the Depression; not long after, he lost his wife due to a burst appendix. 

When I feel like I'm going through difficulties, I think about my ancestors and I stop feeling sorry for myself. These salt of the earth people saw hard times and grew stronger from them; perhaps it's where their humor came from, because they were funny people who could see humor in most anything. 

I mean, sometimes, what else can you do?




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Up with Figs: Presidential Hair

Once upon a time, Lisa and Adrienne worked for the same alternative newsweekly. Now, both spend their respective lives mining their creative souls and leading hermit-like lives. And so an idea was hatched. Every week, one would send the other a sketch—either in illustration or word form—and the other would make a companion to the sketch. The result would be posted on both their blogs every week, just for grins. Even if the result isn't award-worthy, the exercise makes both minds more nimble. Hopefully.


Nita knows Election Season is just around the corner. Just today, three unrelated people—two men and one woman, if you care—came in asking for “Presidential Hair,” whatever the heck that means. But Nita aims to find a wig for every head, even the “presidential” ones, and spent all of her working hours pulling the short-and-serious wigs off the shelves. No baldies, of course. No Farrah flips. Certainly no mullets. Apparently, the right hairdo is crucial for elected office these days. Or, if you don’t have the right hair already in place, a willingness to fake it.

Text ©Adrienne Martini; illustration ©Lisa Horstman





Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Up with Figs: Mouse Parade

Once upon a time, Lisa and Adrienne worked for the same alternative newsweekly. Now, both spend their respective lives mining their creative souls and leading hermit-like lives. And so an idea was hatched. Every week, one would send the other a sketch—either in illustration or word form—and the other would make a companion to the sketch. The result would be posted on both their blogs every week, just for grins. Even if the result isn't award-worthy, the exercise makes both minds more nimble. Hopefully.



Our cat Barney, the one who we rescued from a barn, hence his name, is fixated on the sounds coming from behind the water heater. Sounds, of course, that only he can hear. He sits there, poised in mid-leap, muscles all taut and ready to pounce, listening. Then, unfailingly, he falls asleep like that, in front of the water heater, which is when all of the little mousies parade out. Squeaky jugglers lead the way, followed by the mouse marching bands and funny cars. Barney’s whiskers never twitch. He snores on, oblivious.

Text ©Adrienne Martini; illustration ©Lisa Horstman





Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Up with Figs: Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Once upon a time, Lisa and Adrienne worked for the same alternative newsweekly. Now, both spend their respective lives mining their creative souls and leading hermit-like lives. And so an idea was hatched. Every week, one would send the other a sketch—either in illustration or word form—and the other would make a companion to the sketch. The result would be posted on both their blogs every week, just for grins. Even if the result isn't award-worthy, the exercise makes both minds more nimble. Hopefully.



Rain will start in 76 minutes, weather.com tells me. Would that it could be that accurate with the rest of my day. Mid-afternoon ennui will start in 54 minutes. Unless you have a nice cup of tea, which will forestall the inevitable by 12 minutes and 34 seconds. The dog will start barking about nothing in 9 minutes. She will stop in 9 minutes and 20 seconds, only to leave you wondering if it was really about nothing or if there was someone on the front porch after all. Mindlessly scroll through facebook every seven minutes and twitter every eight. And in 76 minutes, grab your umbrella.

Text ©Adrienne Martini; illustration ©Lisa Horstman



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Up with Figs: Yearbook

Once upon a time, Lisa and Adrienne worked for the same alternative newsweekly. Now, both spend their respective lives mining their creative souls and leading hermit-like lives. And so an idea was hatched. Every week, one would send the other a sketch—either in illustration or word form—and the other would make a companion to the sketch. The result would be posted on both their blogs every week, just for grins. Even if the result isn't award-worthy, the exercise makes both minds more nimble. Hopefully.

That’s the thing about life. Well, one of the things about it. I’m not saying this thing is everything about life, just that it comes up more than you might think. I’m over-explaining again, aren’t I?

So the thing I was talking about is that it’s never the person you think you should be worried about who ends up causing all of the trouble. Take the Dude in the picture next to mine in our college yearbook. We all thought he’d do something crazy that changes life as we know it. Or, if nothing else, gets chucked in jail. But no. He’s a pediatric dentist in North Carolina. Kids love him.


The one we should have been worried about looked totally average. That’s the one who crashed the Greek economy. Seriously. All it took was a bottle of Ouzo, a stick of gum, and Pilot Rollerball pen.


You just never know. Am I right?



Text ©Adrienne Martini; illustration ©Lisa Horstman



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Peek

A small, small bit of the massive project I'll be working on for what feels like the next three years.



Text and illustrations ©Lisa Horstman. All rights, bub.




Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Up with Figs: Throne Colors

Once upon a time, Lisa and Adrienne worked for the same alternative newsweekly. Now, both spend their respective lives mining their creative souls and leading hermit-like lives. And so an idea was hatched. Every week, one would send the other a sketch—either in illustration or word form—and the other would make a companion to the sketch. The result would be posted on both their blogs every week, just for grins. Even if the result isn't award-worthy, the exercise makes both minds more nimble. Hopefully.




Text ©Adrienne Martini; illustration ©Lisa Horstman



Friday, March 13, 2015

Hold on to your hats!

The Sabrina Marketing Commerce Engine is revving its engine.




Hold on to your acorn hats! Yesterday the publisher sent their talented videographer, Gary Wilson, to the house to film yours truly working inside my studio for a Sabrina promo video.

I couldn't weasel out of it, so I squirmed my way through it, blathering on about how the squirrel puppets are crafted and how I combined their images with illustrated backgrounds.


And he said, "What are you blathering on about?"



There will be a website with info about the book coming up soon, too. I'll provide a link once it goes live.

And copies of the book will arrive via the slow boat from China (via the Panama Canal up to the Port of New York) sometime between March 20-25.


Stay tuned.




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