Friday, May 23, 2008

Live Caricatures

One from a horse racing BBQ.

The two kids on the end are sitting opposite of the way they were drawn.

Set up last weekend at a fair in Newtown,PA, my hometown. This was the third year I set up a tent. It is always a great time cause I get to hang out with my parents and eat good food with other good people. It was nice and busy with a lot of people getting drawings. That is until the rain started and never stopped. I had to take down the tent and retreat. Thanks Dad for your help. In return here is a gross looking drawing. Happy Belated Birthday!

It was all worth it. Too bad us caricature artists have no luck in the rain. The paper gets soggy and is really difficult to draw on. And forget about using the color sticks. I've had them rip right through the paper in the middle of drawing. That was when I did my time at Sesame Place. I've got a lot more events coming up. Busy, busy, busy. Will try and update more frequently.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Trader Joe's Caricature Sign

Made this new sign for Trader Joe's. This is Bud, he just celebrated his 80th birthday. My gift to him was to have his caricature on permanent display in our store. Happy birthday Bud. I guess you could call him the "Budler", get it? I had a great time making this one. Wanna do more of this in the future. I should have a pretty large "On the Helm" update coming soon. Lotsa signs are being made!

Two posts in one day! Call me "Hoagie" cuz I'm on a roll.

Caricature from Photograph

Just a quick post this morning before work. I made this a few days ago as a gift for my parents neighbors. Made it from a couple different photographs, but here is one. Don't you want one too???

Friday, May 9, 2008

Caricature Couple

This past weekend I had a couple events. I didn't take too many photographs, but I managed to get this one.

I like the way his head turned out. He had a great smile that lifted his entire face upwards. He is only about halfway there in this photo.

Lots of events coming up this month. A couple post proms, a couple of art fairs, and of course more sign making madness at Trader Joe's. I've got a big update of those coming in the near future. Good thing I am done making that bike. Now I will have more free time. Oh and of course, my website! It is coming I swear!

Fixed Gear Bike

It's getting nice outside, and you know what that means... bike rides! I don't use my car much anymore. I mostly only drive to caricature gigs. I needed a sweet bike to ride to work, so I decided to build myself a fixed gear. It took some researching online about how to actually rebuild a bike into a fixed gear. I have never attempted building a bike. My only knowledge to this point was changing an occasional bike seat or flat tire.

I found a nice used bike at a bike shop in Philly called Firehouse Bicycles. It fit me real nice and was lightweight, just needed some love. A Raleigh Technium, with an aluminum frame. it came with beautiful shades of red, white, blue, and rust, not really my steez.

So I took it all apart, not really knowing how to get it back together again.

Sanded down the rust and clear coating, then starting spraypainting. My neighbor Brian hung out on the porch with Martha and I. That was a good day.

Some primer.

Decided to go with black. A couple coats and some clear coats on top of that.

I am missing photos of the following steps. I bought some new parts. A crank and back tire. Then I flipped the handle bars and chopped them off, repositioning the brake. I only have a front brake now. Probably the hardest part was learning how to take apart and reconstruct the bottom bracket. I had to buy a few bike specific tools, but I needed them anyway. It was dirty job, but those are often the most fun. So here she is...

So there we are, my very first bike all built by myself. About 90% of the tutorial I recieved was from online videos. And the other 10% from a local bikeshop. There are still a few small parts I want to update, like the pedals. I also still need to get a true fixed gear cog on the back. Mine is still a freewheel. But those will come in time. As for now I can finally ride my own bike to work, not Martha's. (I have been borrowing hers for several weeks now). I took it out a few times already and nothing has fallen apart yet. So I think I did it right.

Bike tuff!

*Update 5/11/2008*

I recieved an email from someone who saw this post asking about more info of where I got the online tutorials. I thought I would post my reply in case anyone saw this and wanted to know...

This link is for a blog called Bob's Garage. The guy instructs you on how to take apart, clean, and put back together a fixie. He is a little bit on the corny side, but I found it really great. It's kind of like a This Old House for bikes. Only thing is there is no actual video, just still photos and him talking.

That tutorial was a link off of which is pretty awesome and has links to all types of things fixed gear related.

And probably one of the best is these videos were really easy to understand and helped with alot of the technical stuff.

Of course there were a couple things I couldn't quite find a tutorial for, but nothing I couldn't figure out on my own after a couple minutes. Getting the bike apart was the first battle and I would recomend buying a chain splitter, crank remover, and an allen wrench set for bikes. I used those and couldn't have done the job without them. Also having large wrenches is a must. My local bike shop would have done it for me, but it would have cost money and taken a few days. Doing the work myself was the best part. I had to throw some money down on a new back wheel with a dual cog. I think thats what its called. I can have fixed on one side and a freewheel on the other. Then I can flip the back wheel when I want to switch. That cost about $100. But it was totally necessary and I plan on having it for a while. The cranks were only about $40. But if yours are already decent, you might be able to use the existing ones. I know Bob's garage shows you how to do that.

Oh yeah check out this website to see some awesome fixies...