buy Flomax no prescription Synthroid without prescription buy buspar buy Singulair online buy Prednisone online Amitriptyline lasix without prescription buy buspar online buy super Levitra online Prednisone without prescription buy trazodone without prescription Zithromax No Prescription Propecia Amoxicillin

Author Archives: Matt

Scrubbles.net, 2000-2017

So, it’s come down to this: I’m shutting Scrubbles.net down. Last month, my server got attacked by hackers, taking all of our WordPress-powered sites down. Although the site and its archives have since been restored, I’ve eliminated the commenting system from Scrubbles and don’t plan on writing any more blog entries. Like many other bloggers, maintaining this particular site for a dwindling audience got to be too much of a chore. Scrubbles.net quietly launched in 2000, and its heyday was in 2001-2003. Despite a lot of efforts to maintain an interested readership, the last ten years have personally felt like shouting into a vast, empty canyon. “Is anybody there?,” I’d constantly say – and no one would answer. Despite that bitterness, I’m so pleased at how my little blog came out. Better to have a readership, however brief, than to never have had one at all.

This isn’t to say that I’ve given up on writing or blogging. For the past 18 months, I’ve been busy at work on a book which will (fingers crossed) prove incredibly useful for a specific market. That exciting venture will be ready later on this year. After the hacking incident, I’ve also tried blogging at Medium.com. This time, I’m going to stick to a one-story-a-week schedule!

It’s been a wonderful, illuminating 17 years. Thank you.

April Is for the Birds (and Mammals, and Fish, and…)

02.04.2017 - Deer (more precisely, two dik diks)

02.04.2017 – Deer (more precisely, two dik diks)

I’m continuing my 2017 goal of doing a sketch a day. Each month has a loose theme. February was portraits of famous African Americans, while March had me sketching various small objects such as utensils, money and figurines. For April, I’m taking inspiration from Charley Harper, Howard Pierce and the dormant-yet-still-terrific Animalarium weblog. I will be sketching a stylized animal a day, rendered in as modern a style as possible. In fact, I like this idea so much that it will continue in June and September. Follow along on Whimsy, Inc. or Instagram!

01.04.2017 - Zebra

01.04.2017 – Zebra

2017 Goal: A Drawing a Day

03.01.2017 "Someone or something experiencing flight."

03.01.2017 “Draw someone or something experiencing flight.”


Although I’m not the type for New Year’s resolutions, for this year I decided to take one on. In attempting to find a way improve my own self-discipline, creativity and drawing skills, the answer came while organizing a box of old stuff. I found an old, small sketchbook, 3.5 by 5 inches, unused except for a few pages. I’ll make a drawing every day! Armed with this, a 30 Day Drawing Challenge found via Google Images, and a bunch of pens and colored pencils, I went about doing this, cross-posting the results to Whimsy Inc (my illustration Tumblr), Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Although I run into problems fitting the drawings into my schedule (sometimes they’re the last thing I do before bedtime), this has been a great project. The small size of the sketchbook keeps it less daunting, and I will be refreshing the ideas behind the drawings every month. Next month, I plan to do 31 mini-portraits of prominent African Americans for Black History Month. If you like the pieces shown here, feel free to join along at Whimsy Inc or Instagram for more.

13.01.2017 "Draw a favorite character as a zombie." Night of the Living Patty & Jimmy.

13.01.2017 “Draw a favorite character as a zombie.” Night of the Living Patty & Jimmy.

20.01.2017 “Draw a destructive force.” Baby’s new toys.

20.01.2017 “Draw a destructive force.” Baby’s new toys.

28.01.2017 “Draw vegetation consuming something.” Slurp.

28.01.2017 “Draw vegetation consuming something.” Slurp.

22.01.2017 “Draw an infographic.” Bestest granola.

22.01.2017 “Draw an infographic.” Bestest granola.

14.01.17 “Draw a weird occupation.” Stand-in zoo animal.

14.01.17 “Draw a weird occupation.” Stand-in zoo animal.

08.01.2017 “Draw a monster performing a mundane task.”

08.01.2017 “Draw a monster performing a mundane task.”

27.01.2017 “Draw something breaking.” Crack in the façade.

27.01.2017 “Draw something breaking.” Crack in the façade.

23 Years of Homemade Holidays

2016_card_sm

Since the early 1990s, I’ve made it a yearly tradition to illustrate, design and print my own holiday cards. That makes me a freak, I know, but there’s a lot of joy in thinking up new ideas and having no creative restraints. The cards end up looking individualistic, sometimes clunky, or surprisingly beautiful. I love them all.

This year was a struggle, since I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired after our horrible election season. Despite the added stress, the card design came out excellent. I thought about doing a drawing based on the famous “Twelve Days of Christmas” carol. Some inspiration came from a lovely book showcasing midcentury modern designer Alexander Girard (an anniversary gift from Christopher). Browsing the Glass Menagerie pottery on Jonathan Adler’s site crystallized the design. A rubber eraser, carved with a pear shape, completed the card.

Some of our other cards over the past 23 years are pictured below (click on each for a larger view). Happy Holidays.

he earliest, funky cards from 1993-96. The deer silhouette is a favorite.

The earliest, funky cards from 1993-96. The deer silhouette is a favorite.

The Santa Claus illustration from 1996 was modified into a LitKids print (and card) in 2012.

The Santa Claus illustration from 1996 was modified into a LitKids print (and card) in 2012.

Cards from 1997 and 2003 (the year our children's book, Mama Cat, came out).

Cards from 1997 and 2003 (the year our children’s book, Mama Cat, came out).

In the 2000s, we had cards professionally printed with mixed results. Clockwise: 2007, 2008, 2015.

In the 2000s, we had cards professionally printed with mixed results. Clockwise: 2007, 2008, 2015.

Christopher's cut-paper designs graced cards in 2013 and 2014.

Christopher’s cut-paper designs graced cards in 2013 and 2014.

It’s a Small World After All

photo-oct-09-10-04-58-am

Although it sports an unassuming, slapdash cover, Trademark Designs of the World is one of the most stimulating books I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning. First published in 1975, the slim paperback is the result of an offbeat collecting quest done by Japanese designer Yusaku Kamekura (1915-1997). All it amounts to, really, is a bunch of black and white company trademarks – 699 of them, to be exact – designed throughout the flourishing, consumerist post-World War II Modernist period. Kamekura arranges each trademark with great care and precision, with subtle numbered annotations next to each one (their credits and countries of origin are printed in an index in the back).

This book contains hardly any text, just page after page of ’50s-’60s Midcentury Modern Graphic Coolness. Although a preface by the famous designer Paul Rand might indicate that Kamekura’s collection is centered on iconic American trademarks (such as Rand’s IBM logo), most of the contents, surprisingly, are European and wonderfully obscure. While the pages contain a lot of the kind of austere, abstract stuff one would expect, most of the trademarks have a playful vibe, cleverly distilling letters, heraldry, and animal shapes to their most basic forms. Kamekura’s well-thought-out groupings of various trademarks on each page also inspire. I still find new, exciting stuff from paging through this book, despite having it for several months now. As a matter of fact, it’s proving to be a great resource for the visuals in my own upcoming how-to book.

In 1981, Trademark Designs of the World was reprinted as a low-cost paperback by Dover. While that edition has gone out of print, the book can be found cheaply at Amazon.com or Ebay.com. Highly recommended, folks!

Sun and rooster logos.

Sun and rooster logos.

Logos based on traditional European heraldry designs.

Logos based on traditional European heraldry designs.

Logo for Droste & Sohn, a German canned beef company.

Logo for Droste & Sohn, a German canned beef company.

photo-oct-09-10-06-58-am

Logo for Hotel Sherman.

Logo for Hotel Sherman.

Fantastic spread with animal logos.

Fantastic spread with animal logos.

Pinwheel and abstract logos, artfully arranged.

Pinwheel and abstract logos, artfully arranged.

A favorite - London Mystery Magazine logo by  Eric Frazer.

A favorite – London Mystery Magazine logo by Eric Frazer.

Industrial objects, incorporated into modern logos.

Industrial objects, incorporated into modern logos.

photo-oct-09-10-06-41-am

Look What I Found: Vacationland, Summer 1982

photo-oct-14-10-05-55-am

Here’s a pristine issue of Vacationland from Summer 1982, added to my collection. This was a magazine produced by the Disney company and given away to hotel guests in Anaheim and Southern California. I remember poring through this particular issue as a kid on our somewhat frequent family vacations there, and it’s kind of a trip to see it again! Fascinating to see the company when it was prepping Epcot Center for opening, and constructing Tokyo Disneyland and a top-to-bottom makeover for Fantasyland in Disneyland.

As for the trip itself, I remember experiencing the TRON Superspeed Tunnel in the PeopleMover and playing a game of Frogger in the Starcade at Tomorrowland (in retrospect, kind of a weird thing to spend valuable Disneyland time on). Of course, our family tradition was making a beeline for Pirates as soon as the park opened, and we were wowed by the Main Street Electrical Parade. I also got ribbed for being a 13-year-old boy still into Disney. Guess what? I’m a 48-year-old man into Disney, and anyone who takes issue with that fact can kindly and gently shove it.

Here’s some photos from that issue – don’t forget to click the image for a full-sized version! And kindly keep your hands and feet inside the ride vehicle at all times.

Hostess advertisement featuring Robin Hood characters posing in from of the Fantasyland Skyway station (demolished in 2016 to make way for Star Wars Land).

Hostess advertisement featuring Robin Hood characters posing in from of the Fantasyland Skyway station (demolished in 2016 to make way for Star Wars Land).

Article on the Ronald Reagan anamatronic added to the Hall of Presidents in Walt Disney World.

Article on the Ronald Reagan anamatronic added to the Hall of Presidents in Walt Disney World.

Universal Studios Tour ad, from when they pitched themselves as an actual working movie studio with tours and not a theme park.

Universal Studios Tour ad, from when they pitched themselves as an actual working movie studio with tours and not a theme park.

This spread captivated my imagination - on the sign painters of Disneyland!

This spread captivated my imagination – on the sign painters of Disneyland!

Sea World advertisement opposite an article on the Tokyo Disneyland project.

Sea World advertisement opposite an article on the Tokyo Disneyland project.

Article on EPCOT Center (later shortened to just Epcot) flanked by ads for Gray Line Tours and Northern California.

Article on EPCOT Center (later shortened to just Epcot) flanked by ads for Gray Line Tours and Northern California.

Article on 1983 New Fantasyland flanked by ads for the San Diego Zoo and something called The Kingdom of Dancing Stallions.

Article on 1983 New Fantasyland flanked by ads for the San Diego Zoo and something called The Kingdom of Dancing Stallions.

Vacation Fun Spots - love this graphic!

Vacation Fun Spots – love this graphic!

Marineland ad highlighting the Baja Reef swim-through aquarium. I went on this, and the water was so cold!

Marineland ad highlighting the Baja Reef swim-through aquarium. I went on this, and the water was so cold!

Classy Knott's Ice Spectacular ad opposite a tacky Catalina Island boat tour ad.

Classy Knott’s Ice Spectacular ad opposite a tacky Catalina Island boat tour ad.

Local restaurants in Anaheim; Roger Folk Gallery in Laguna Beach.

Local restaurants in Anaheim; Roger Folk Gallery in Laguna Beach.

Knott's Berry Farm advertisment.

Knott’s Berry Farm advertisment.