“I Do, I Guess,” 9″ x 12″, hand-colored intaglio etching, 2011. Edition variable, #1 of 2.
This was the print that I did for this year’s “Love in Print” show at Bite Studio. As usual, the quality of the work in this year’s show was excellent! But now that the show’s come down, it’s time to share this piece on the interwebs. Hope you enjoy…
I’ve got a few small prints that I’m working on at the moment, so I’ll likely be posting new prints much more frequently in the near future.
Another ATC-sized drawing, this one of former MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis:
I was going through an old book of baseball hall-of-famers, and Mr. Landis jumped off the page with a most magnificent scowl. If anything, I think I inadvertently toned down his expression.
Another ATC, this one is of former NBA player Cliff(ord) Robinson.
In the 1989 NBA draft, Cliff Robinson Cliff Robinson was selected in the 2nd round by the Portland Trail Blazers. He ended up playing for 18 seasons in the NBA, scoring nearly 20,000 points in that time. For any player, that’s one hell of a career!
Like many other summers as a kid, in the summer of 1989 I attended a couple of basketball camps. Basically, you’d spend a 40-hour week doing nothing but working on your game and scrimmaging. Usually, they’re run by former professional players or coaches. I attended one of the camps run by then-Blazers coach Rick Adelman. One day, as we campers were straggling back in from lunch, one of the Blazers’ assistant coaches was running a couple of ridiculously tall guys through one on one drills. I quickly figured out that they were the Blazers’ draft picks, Cliff Robinson (6’11”) and Rolondo Ferreira (7’0″). For about half an hour or so, I got to quietly sit and watch a couple of NBA level players working drills before either had even seen one minute of playing time in a professional game. It was a treat to get to see that.
Also, Cliff had the sweetest two-level flat-top I’d ever seen.
A young man was once sent fresh from Columbia University with a mutual friend’s introduction to Robert Frost. Frost scanned the young man’s writings, then looking quizzically up through his craggy white brows he asked, “What do you do, son?” The young man drew himself up proudly; he was, after all, one with the great Frost. “I am a poet,” he said. Frost gently answered, “The term ‘poet’ is a gift word, son; you cannot give it to yourself.”
Jones extends this definition to include “artist” and “animator.” I think he’s right, I try to avoid calling myself an artist, although that usually ends up leading to a much longer explanation of what it is that I do. “Art” is something to aspire to, but what I do is draw. Whether or not it ends up reaching that level is for other people to say.
Here’s an Artist Trading Card-sized ink drawing I did of Drazen Petrovic, from an old basketball card of him.
As a kid, both basketball and collecting basketball cards were a pretty big deal to me. I spent a ridiculous amount of hours trying to get autographs, in addition to the staggering amount of time I spent playing ball. It’s still pretty fun to dig out some of those cards and see the history of awful athlete haircuts.
Petrovic played for a couple of season with the Trail Blazers, before getting traded to New Jersey. He was one of the first European players to actually have any success in the NBA (which is kind of a given, these days), but died tragically in a car accident in the Autobahn at the age of 28. Ultimately, he was inducted in the the Basketball Hall of Fame, largely for his international play (he once scored 120 points in a single game in Europe).
I have a handful of autographed cards of him, and it always feels weird when I see one of them. Everyone has to get used to seeing players they liked as a kid retire, and then later realize you’ve actually watched some players’ entire careers from draft to retirement. But realizing that you’ve actually met athletes who have passed away is kind of mind-boggling.
From an interview today on Pitchfork, Slug of Atmosphere explains how he picks people to work with:
Pitchfork: At various points in your career, it seems like you could’ve started working with people within the rap establishment but you never did. Any particular reason?S: I don’t want this to sound weird, but I don’t want to make music with people I don’t know, so fuck that. I don’t want to end up being that guy on a song with some guy who, later in life, beats the shit out of his wife or kicks puppies or something. I don’t want to work with assholes, so I stick with the people I know.
Fair enough! Looking forward to the new Atmosphere album, too.