Sweet and Sour Shrimp

Newer things are posted here! Woooo, go shrimp cartoons!

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November 26, 2012 · 7:35 am

Shrimp shoes

Hey! Brief updates: Last April I decided to peace out from school and take a year off on medical leave. It was worthwhile, to say the least. But I abandoned my sad blog (and most art forms) for a while, while I learned how to be healthy and then again while I worked full-time at a vegan restaurant in the town I attend school in. It has been quite an excellent time. Time to catch up on the few things I did actually complete during my time off!

The first: shrimp shoes. I decided that I needed a fresh pair of kicks for all of my imminent life transformations. I had also recently become obsessed with shrimp (particularly ghost shrimp, and even more particularly my pet ghost shrimp, Riki). As usual, I was listening to Lil’ B and allowing him to cheer me up with goofiness on particularly gloomy days. What to do??


Shrimp! Riki to the left, and Lil' BasedShrimp to the right.

Fun stuff. After being worn every day for seven months (and taking them on mud adventures), they look a little bit sadder now.


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Quail Costume

This is another thing I finished over Winter Term (though I started it last summer. Slow progress). It’s a quail costume!

I have written up a very detailed blog page about this project, which you can read by clicking this link right here!

Things sacrificed for this project included: time, money, skin, blood, and pantyhose. And, I suppose, lots of tape.

Here’s how it turned out:

…sooo functional!

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Used car becomes fish-based chicken car

This was another big part of Winter Term. Our winter term project was “functional art”, and this was the most functional of all.

This took about 8 days of pretty intense work. We wrote up a very detailed blog about this project- if you’re interested in reading it, click this link right here!

Here’s how it turned out (parts of it, at least). It’s not what I’d consider a fine artistic achievement, but I love it so much anyway… we had a ton of fun painting it.

Chickens and fish… as usual.

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Bok Blok

This is the biggest project I finished over Winter Term (bigger than the car- more on that later). This thing consumed every waking moment of thought starting in…maybe…early December. Fast forward to February…

IT’S FINISHED. This game is called Bok Blok. It is very similar to other trading card games, like Magic and Pokemon. It’s really similar to Pokemon, actually. The first version of the game that I made was pretty much identical to Pokemon, but with chickens. This is the second version, and I diverged a bit. It turns out imitation was a good place to start, because it gave me something to expand on.

For fun, here is what the first version looked like:

Suitable, but I thought it might be fun to kick it up a notch, with the help of Photoshop. (This irritating encounter was between Wok Chicken and Inflammatory Response Bok.)

The object of the game is to irritate three of the opponent’s Bok (Bok is plural and singular. Uh…) so much that they have to leave the game. Each Bok has a tolerance number, and it has to leave the game when it receives that many irritation points. Each Bok can deal irritation points with two irritating actions, depending on the amount of attitude they have attached to them. There are also supplemental self-esteem cards (raise tolerance by 1) and confidence cards (raise irritation ability by 1). Chill out cards can relax your Bok a various amount of points. Should your Bok become confused or bokstipated (very serious conditions indeed), Chill out cards can relieve them of their suffering.

As you can tell, it’s really really reeeeally similar to Pokemon. But I’m okay with that. Maybe this will give me the skills I need to make a more original game next time. But who cares about that, IT’S A CHICKENY CARD GAME AND I AM IN LOVE.

This is the container that the game is held in. It’s Cardboard Boks… also one of the characters in the game. I love Cardboard Boks SO MUCH.

Each full set is 180 cards: 60 Bok, 90 attitude cards, 12 chill out cards, and 18 self esteem and confidence cards. We made two sets, so we can play properly.

These are two subtypes, unhealthy and stupid.

Here is a sample card. This is the most basic one, Bok Chicken. He is rude. This is also an old picture, a few insignificant things about the card have been changed… the + and – should be switched around.

Oh, it’s called Bok Blok because the goal of the game initially was to block the opponent’s towel. This is a hard thing to explain unless you’re my roommate, so just imagine a bunch of concrete chickens blocking your towel…you would feel very irritated. But I couldn’t find towels small enough, so I’m going to have to make some. It’ll happen, though.

Basically, this was an entirely pointless endeavor. But it was so much fun, and quite thought provoking. It took…well, i don’t know how long. 40-50 hours for the second version alone. But what about the first version…I’m not sure. Hours and hours in lecture spent drawing Boks, drawing each one on an index card, and hours and hours spent thinking of irritating actions.

SO WORTH IT. To me. So, here are two of my favorite Bok:

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Uh… nope.

In other words, I’m back in school. For some reason, nothing sucks the life out of me like being in college. It’s not bad, I just can’t bring myself to do anything or make anything. Which is unpleasant.

Everything is good, though. I can cook now. Cooking has temporarily replaced painting as the thing I do when I’m too unhappy to do anything else. Due to newly-discovered food intolerances, I’m having a fun time cooking a bunch of gluten-free, dairy-free things (oddly enough, my roommate has those intolerances as well). It helps not to call the food you’re cooking by the same name as the food you’re trying to replicate. For example, never say you’re making macaroni and cheese. Say instead that you’ll be cooking up some rice pasta and nutritional yeast sauce. TASTY!! My favorite thing to make now is pancakes. Those still taste the way they did. Also, kale. Kale is awesome.

Anyway, I have almost nothing to blog about right now. But I haven’t forgotten about it. Actually, I guess there is one project I’ve finished and not written about, so I will do that. Maybe just posting this will make me feel like making something. I hope. But right now I’m going to read articles about prostitution, and then talk about them at length.

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Sunset shoes

These shoes were the victim of a sad, unsolicited attack. When I got back to my dad’s house after many weeks of absence, I found these nice old-looking fake Uggs in my room. Sometimes my dad’s girlfriend leaves hand-me-downish things in my room (a mannequin appeared in there one time), so I figured that they must have been left for me. I was excited, and immediately covered them in gesso. The next day, my dad returned from Mexico with my aunt, and I realized that she had been staying in my room and I accidentally destroyed her shoes. Whoops.

So I thought I could try to undestroy them.

Sunset shoes!

Slightly different view...only slightly.

She loves the beach, so I thought it’d be fitting. Maybe it’ll be nice, if it’s so cold that she had to wear the Uggs, to look at a palm tree and think…hold on, that sucks, that’s very tormenting. Oh well. These are for my Aunt June, and they took…5 or 6 hours. I finished them last week.

I’m interested to see what happens with the paint on suede… it’s already cracked a bit, just around the natural bends in the shoe. Hopefully it sticks!

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Slightly fish-related wallet

I’ve had a really nasty pink fake-leather wallet for quite a few years, and after I painted the fake leather shoes I realized that I could probably make my wallet less disgusting.

I might have actually made it more disgusting, but in a very different way. The process with basically the same as the shoe process. I sanded down the leathery bits until the shininess was gone (not that it was particularly shiny. After years of use it probably would have been fine without sanding), gesso’d all the bit I sanded, then painted over it with the thicker artist grade paints. Then I sealed it with two coats of glossy varnish.

The whole thing!

This panel has a nasty drooling mohawk-dinosaur, a rainbow and some weirdly ugly and spastic looking birds.

This panel has an octopus driving a tractor to clean up a lot of anarchy-fish. Please note that I wish I knew how to draw an octopus, but I don't.

This was sort of an experiment. Normally when I set out to paint a thing, I always what to paint something that looks exactly what it’s supposed to be. So for this project I wanted to force myself not to do that. Therefore, I was not allowed to Google “octopus” or “tractor” to find pictures so that I knew what they looked like. So I’m left with a slightly odd looking octopus and tractor. Which seems fine.

The paint has held up well so far for the last week, which is good! This didn’t take too long, probably 6 hours. And I finished last week. Yay!

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I painted this pair of half-jeans during my freshman year of college. They were a bit too small at the time, so I haven’t really worn them much. So they haven’t been washed yet. I wonder if the paint would stay on.

It's a bee and a rose. I HATE BEES, but this one looks friendly.

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Unexplainable colorful shoes

Something new is finally going to happen here. And it’s… pleather! Okay that’s not actually exciting. Read on…

This year, my winter term project was painting things (more on that later). The first thing I painted was a car. So afterward, I felt a little bored with canvas shoes. I decided to try something a little different. To prep the car for painting, we had to sand it so the paint would adhere. I thought, why couldn’t the same thing work with pleather shoes? I found a nice pair of black hipster boots and decided to try.

First, David and I sanded the shoes. When doing this, it's important to get all the shiny bits off... shiny is what the paint won't stick to.

Then, I covered them both in gesso, to help the paint stick better.

Then, I painted colorful blobs on them, and painted busy patterns over them.

Then I sealed them with varnish (a cheap kind of satin craft varnish), and was done!

All done.

These took an incredibly long time! At least 20 hours. I finished them last week. I’ve been wearing them a lot, and have noticed some sad problems. The first problem: they squeak. A TON. It’s pretty awful, but I think it’ll get better with time. The second problem: They have cracked in the areas where the shoe bends a lot. It makes sense, but it didn’t happen with the canvas shoes which is perplexing. I have theories as to why this might happen. I used artist-grade (or whatever it’s called… classy fancy paint) acrylics, which are thicker and form kind of a skin. I didn’t dilute the paint at all, so it was a thicker layer. That’s basically my only theory.

I’m going to keep wearing them to see if the cracking worsens or if there’s a way I can fix it. Maybe if I dilute the paint with a flexible thinner or something, that could help… or maybe not.

I repainted them afterward with a more decent glossy varnish, so now they squeak all over again. But I thought that might solve the cracking problem (it didn’t). But it’ll be interesting to see how the varnish protects the paint, how long it lasts, etc.

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