Friday, January 18, 2013

Art to Make Your Head Spin!

Have you seen the 3D sidewalk art that has been going around lately?  It's really incredible - viewed from a particular angle, the drawing looks like a three-dimensional scene.  But in reality, it's flat!  If you want to know more about how these drawings work, head over to the Articles page where you can read all about it and even see a couple of drawings in action.  It will make your head spin!

Photos from
These are the same drawing, one viewed head-on and one viewed from the side.  See the difference?  Read the article to find out more!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Crave Bunnies?

This weekend I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Darlene Schaper, a Portland, Oregon, artist who kindly agreed to show me around her home and studio and chat with me about her career and art.  The product?  A BRAND NEW WORK-IT INTERVIEW, just for YOU!!!  Yes, you can read all about Darlene's career as an artist and hear what advice she has to offer to anyone interested in pursuing a career in art.  But wait, THERE'S MORE!!!  We even took some video of our visit, so as soon as I figure out how to work this new-fangled video-magic film editing software, you'll get to see the first-ever Brainy Girls video interview!!!  The written part of Darlene's interview (available now) is more about her career, but the video will be more about her art and what inspires her to do what she does (coming soon to an online magazine near you).  I'm so excited!!!  Will Nefertiti the hairless Sphinx make an appearance?  Will you get to see Bigfoot?  What are the "bins" and what can you find there???  All these questions and MORE will be soon as I finish putting the video together!  But for now, please check out Work It, and feel free to bunny hop on over to Darlene's website where you can see more of her art (including the pieces featured below).

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Let's Talk Fiction!

In the past, our Brainy Girls topics have been about reality - the concrete, the sure, the proven.  But given the theme of this issue of Brainy Girls (arts and literature, that is), I'm starting to think about what reality and fiction really are.  Can one influence the other?  Most certainly, I many of our greatest inventions have come from dreams, stories, fanciful thoughts put into motion.  Can you name a few?  I'll bet there are five things you can see RIGHT NOW that fall into this category!  But it's not just history I'm talking about...fiction is influencing reality *today*!  Let's think about it this way:  what's the most recent fiction book you've read?  Did it happen to change your perspective, or shift the way you think about something?  Did it inspire you to try something new in real life?

When I was a kid, I LOVED reading (and I still do).  When a movie came out, I would buy the book, read it first (if it was available), then watch the movie, then read the book, and read the book and read the book.  Do you remember that movie "The Goonies"?  I was obsessed with that movie when I was about 12 years old.  I was convinced that if I had a backpack like Data with all sorts of gadgets and inventions in it, I would be sure to go on many adventures and thwart whatever bad guys stood in my way.  I went so far as to "borrow" a yellow backpack from my brother and fill it with anything I had that could remotely serve as some sort of ingredient for invention or tool for adventure...which wasn't too much at the time.  But the rest of that backpack was filled with my imagination and possibility!

Take a look at this video and think about where your favorite fictional stories might lead you in real life!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Issue! And New Year!

Hello, 2013!  It's a brand new year and to kick it off, we're going to start a brand new issue of Brainy Girls!  Did you vote for the new theme?  The theme for January and February is going to be art and literature...but don't worry, you don't have to be a bookworm or theater geek to have fun with the new theme (although it's perfectly cool if you are).  Brainy girls have diverse interests, and I'll bet that many of you have an artistic side that complements your analytical side.  I'll be introducing you to some of my favorite artists and will write about some of them as my own heroes and role models.  In fact, to start off, I might as well tell you that LYNDA BARRY is AWESOME and I've been reading her for going on thirty years now.  And talk about art and literature...she started off cartooning (that's when I was first exposed to her), but has diverged into painting, mixed media, writing novels, and teaching writing classes.  I'm kind of a super-fan.  What I like so much about Lynda Barry's work is that she's not afraid to paint (or write) the real picture.  She tells it like it is - the good, bad and ugly.  She writes the voice of adolescent girls particularly well, and characters like Marlys, Maybonne, Arna and Arnold (erm, not a girl but still an excellent character) are my comic superheroes.  You should check out her blog!  (And you can click here to see a list of her books - please buy them from your local book store!)

I was fortunate enough to meet her at ComiCon in San Diego in 2008 - I wandered around in a shirt that said "help me find Lynda Barry" until I actually found Lynda Barry.  She was so nice to everyone she talked to (from what I saw, at least) and I was thrilled that I got to say even just a few words to her.  She'll never know the full influence she's had on my creative development, but that's my own personal journey.  Who is YOUR creative role model?

Me with my hero, Lynda Barry. Dude - that guy in the background totally photobombed my picture!!!

I'm looking forward to exploring art and literature with you over the next couple of months.  The content will slowly change from the last issue, so if there's a particular topic you'd like me to address, let me know!  Contact me through the Contact Me page!