Jess Hutch.

Monday, September 25, 2006

victorian girls

Okay, more drawings! Why not? I'm working on some toys, but I probably won't show be able to show those for at least a week or so, so in the meantime, more glimpses into the Very Secret Sketchbooks of Jess Hutch.

I have a soft spot for late 60s/early 70s neo-Victoriana. You know, when restaurants were being named "Colonel P. D. Whippersnapper's Fun-Time Eatery" and Karen Carpenter was wearing high-necked Victorian-style polyester dresses on her TV appearances. So here are three drawings that reflect my love for this retro-retro-Victorian thing. I decided not to color them, so these are just as they appear in my sketchbook (with the contrast pumped up so you can actually see them).

Here's a Victorian lady, or rather, a Victorian lady as she would have been portrayed in a prop portrait in a movie or TV drama in the 1960s. Wow, that's a little high-concept, huh? Particularly in a movie or TV show with a ghostly theme, like Dark Shadows. Or, perhaps, in a dark ride with a ghostly theme, like for example the Haunted Mansion. Because I haven't been referencing the H.M. quite enough lately.

The second is a little character, a Victorian girl with little button boots (speaking of which, how amazing are these shoes?).

Also wearing little button boots is this saucy lass:

And those were the lovely ladies of the Victorian era, as portrayed by Jess. Click on the drawings to see them a little larger.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

squirrel costume

Okay, so here's June, a human in a squirrel costume. She wears this costume because she lives among the squirrels. Squirrel Ghost is her pal, and helps her out. He teaches her about squirrel culture and society, etc.

I enjoy creating little characters, whether in drawings or as toys, but up to this point I have been reluctant to give them backstories or even names. I think I wanted to leave that up to the person looking at the drawing or the toy. Also, I feel pretty comfortable with the visual stuff at this point, while creative writing and story-telling is way more difficult for me. But with June and Squirrel Ghost I've had such a good time figuring out what they're all about. I've even sketched out a few small comic strips dealing with their adventures in the squirrel world and the human world, which I hope to share at some point. Woo!

I'll keep posting these drawings while I continue to plan for future projects, including more toys. This is fun, thanks for all the kind comments!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

squirrel ghost

Thanks for all the "welcome back"s. I appreciate it!

As I mentioned in my last post, I drew a lot over the last month or so. Really, I didn't do much else, creatively speaking. I wanted to just doodle aimlessly and endlessly and see what came up. I don't think there were any masterpieces in there but it was a) really fun and b) really helpful. Lisa S. was kind enough to ask to see some of them, which is something I've always wanted to do, and since I don't really have any other projects to show (those are in the works) I think I'll do some drawingy posts. What the hey! I'm going to put them in this gold frame because it kind of amuses me.

This is a little character I created, named Squirrel Ghost. He's the ghost of a squirrel. Fall is coming, and that always puts me in mind of woodland creatures, for some reason, and spooky stuff, for the obvious reasons. I love ghosts, I think of them as rather sweet and harmless - 30 years of frequent visits to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland will do that to you, I think. I think the Squirrel Ghost is a kindly gentleman who might rustle some leaves in his favorite tree from time to time, but no worse. He's the sidekick of another character I made up this month. More to come!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

what I did on my summer vacation

santa cruz coaster

Hi! I'm back. How are you doing?

It's been a fun month, nice & relaxing, with lots of time spent with friends and out and about. Here's what I did on my summer vacation:

*Drew, and drew. Lots of drawing. I kept meaning to create new toy designs but found that it was so much more enjoyable for me to draw without intent. I think going about it that way got me doing stuff I hadn't done before, and I hope it leads to new and interesting toys and other projects.

*Went to Santa Cruz. Jeff and I had been talking about going for a while, and since it's a quick drive from SF, and is such a "summery" place to visit (beach, sun, amusement park, etc) we figured there was no time like the present. The image above is from the trip. There's this song by Jonathan Richman, called "Roller Coaster By the Sea", about the old wooden coaster at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and its happy-making tendencies, and that was a big inspiration for the trip, too. We played old games at the arcade, rode some rides, ate some seafood, it was great.

*Worked, and worked. My job was pretty intense this month, big deadlines to meet, but ultimately it was a good time. You spend 8 hours a day somewhere, it's nice when it's nice, right?

*Went to the Renaissance Faire in Golden Gate Park. I love being around people who are so committed to their interests. That's why I'll go to pretty much any convention or trade show, regardless of my knowledge of the topic. I found myself in the middle of the Faire thinking "you all are SO AWESOME!" Some of the costumes were just so beautiful, and, remarkably, there were relatively few people NOT in costume. Including Jeff and I - pretty much the most vintage I'll get is a nice 1930s dress. It was a great time. I posted some of my photos on my flickr page.

*I hung out with the lovely and talented Shash of mecozy today - she is as thoughtful and interesting in person as she is on her blog. It was great to meet a fellow SF blogger, and she was sweet enough to give me some stationery! Thanks Shash.

*What else did I do... slept. Thought. Watched TV. Relaxed. Hung out with my sweet lovely little cat, Chuy. Hooray for summer!