Monday, March 31, 2008

New Finds

Patrick Gildersleeves

Nazario Graziano

Bob London

Monday, March 24, 2008

New find: Alyson Fox

Today I discovered the work of Alyson Fox, and I knew I had to share. She is a multi-talented artist, working as an illustrator, photographer and fashion designer in Texas. I am in love with her simplistic yet very elegant style of her drawings. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Wrath of The Giraffe

My latest obsession with giraffes all started with a dream I had around Thanksgiving. It was the most random dream I have had in a really long time, and ever since I can't look at giraffes the same way.

The dream started out in the basement of a church. I was with my friend mr. David Bradberry. We were just sitting around on some couches talking about nothing in particular. Then my dear friend Joe came in. He was looking around and then asked what this place was. I told him it was a church. He continued looking around and was like, you could totally burry bodies in here. I thought that was kind of a random statement to make, but when I turned around, I saw David shoveling the giant mound of gravel, and Joe's statement made a lot of sense. It also made me think of Ryan, what with his obsession with dead and scary things.

Then the dream changed, as dreams do, and I needed to leave the church. I was in a really big hurry to get somewhere. David just happened to be a bus driver in the dream, so I got on his bus and we were driving through uptown. Now I'm wearing this extremely gaudy pink dress straight out of 1980's, and my little sister is with me. David stopped the bus by the leaning tower of Pizza, and then got out and started driving another bus. I got out and was like, What the fuck? What am I supposed to do now, walk? I was pissed because I was late for my wedding. I was getting married to Ryan.

I decided that instead of walking home, I would go find David and make him drive me the rest of the way. I picked up the bottom of my dress and stomped down the street. I came to this huge buidling that looked like something that you would find at the Ren Fest. The inside was dark and full of people drinking out of goblets and metal pint glasses. I found David and just said his name in an irritated voice. He looked up from laughing with friends, took one look at me and said, Oh. (he had just realized that I was wearing a wedding dress, and was clearly late) I told him that I was late because of him, and that I had to walk all of the way here. David apologized and offered to get me a taxi.

You've probably been wondering what the hell this dream has to do with giraffes, but we've finally come to that point in the dream. I was in the back of the cab (which is no longer in Minneapolis) and we crossed through an intersection in slow motion. I looked out of the window and saw a bridge that was full of cars and people walking a long the side. Then out of no where, a giant giraffe comes shooting out of the water below and lands on the bridge. It stood up on its hind legs and started screaming and flailing it's front legs in the air in a King Kong-esk way. And then it started eating people.

All I could think is, What the fuck!? I screamed at the driver, "Did you see that!?" He hadn't. I told him to go back, so he whipped a u-turn and I fell out of the cab. I ran back as fast as I could back to the bar where David and his friends were so I could warn them. I didn't stop running for the rest of the dream. I ran through the bar and just screamed, "RUN!" No one moved. They all thought I was crazy. I ran to the other side of the room, and had just gotten on the other side of the of the double glass doors, when the giraffes head smashed up against it, slobbering, and trying to eat me. His body was stuck on the outside of the other side of the building.

Now I was joined with my little sister again and my friend Lauren. We continued to run through this courtyard which turned into this long, white hallway with carpeted floors. It reminded me of an airport or something. As we were running I kept trying to call Ryan to warn him about this man eating giraffe, but my phone kept calling the wrong numbers. Once we reached the white hallway, everything started to litterally go fuzzy. It started to look like a t.v. with bad reception - with the fuzzy lines and the audio keeps cutting out. Thats what was the visual quality of my dream. I looked over at my sister and lauren. They both put their hands over their ears and were scrunching their faces up in pain. And then I woke up.

The next morning following this dream was bizarre. I couldn't shake the images of the dream, and kept thinking - what the fuck was that about? I called Ryan and regaled him with the story I've just told you. But I'm sure at that point I could remember more of the dream, considering I had just woken up. He thought it was totally awesome, and was slightly jealous that he didn't have the dream himself. When I got off of the phone with him, I went downstairs of my parent's house and discovered that it had snowed, which immediatly made me grimace a little. I went to go watch cable t.v. for a little while, and one of the first things that came on was a commercial for Toys R Us., which I'm sure all of you know, has a giraffe for a part of their identity. I thought this was too weird, so I quit watching t.v. Later that day I went to the mall with my little sister (who I had just told the dream to) and we passed by a hallmark store which had a giant stuffed giraffe in the window. By this point I was really starting to think that this was just too weird.

Now, ever since this dream, I can't help but notice giraffes, and it's starting to become more of a personal inside joke between Ryan and I than anything. I can't help but laugh a little anytime I see them. The following are images and objects of giraffes that I have either found, drawn, or have been given to me. I hope to turn my new found appreciation for giraffes into a series of works. I'll keep you posted on the giraffes that I find. And please send me any giraffes that you find! It can be a fun game. Anyway, enjoy the pictures.


This is the first image that I received from Ryan. He gave this to me as a part of my christmas present. It still makes me laugh. I put his drawing in a frame and put it on top of my bookshelf so that I can see it from every part of my room. I also found a little antique valentine when I was on vacation with my mom, so I put the two together.

Ryan also gave this to me recently when I was horribly sick. He's the best. =)

This is just fucking hillarious. It made my day really. I found this at work when I was searching for holiday cards..

I've decided that this is terrifying, and that I so badly need to go here.

Can you find the giraffe in this photo?

So cute a first, but wait until they both grow up...

Now they're all grown up and the giraffe no longer has such a cute and friendly disposition..

These are all sketches that I've done. More giraffe drawings to come soon!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gasoline price spike has only just begun - Report from

I realize that this isn't illustration, or inspirational, unless of course it inspires you to drive less. Which, I suppose is the best solution for this problem. It certainly makes me reconsider driving to the burbs everyday for work. I do believe it's time that I start waking up earlier and taking the bus..

Motorists should expect to pay upwards of $3.75 a gallon in the coming weeks as prices at the pump catch up with record crude, but relief may arrive by summer.
By Steve Hargreaves, staff writer
Last Updated: March 19, 2008: 10:42 AM EDT

Gas prices, already near a record high, will likely add another 50 cents a gallon in the next few weeks.
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NEW YORK ( -- Gasoline hit record levels Tuesday - and experts say it will likely continue to soar in tandem with the skyrocketing price of crude.

The national average retail price for gas has risen 27 cents in the last month to $3.227 a gallon, matching the all-time high set on May 24, 2007, according to the motorist organization AAA.

And experts say motorists should prepare to pay nearly $4 a gallon - and in some places even more than that - before the price of gas finally comes down in the late spring as high prices crimp demand.

The price of gasoline usually increases this time of year. Several factors contribute to the runup: Low refinery output due to maintenance, a switch from winter to pricier summer blends, and the looming high-demand summer driving season.

Experts say this time around the spike will be more pronounced, mostly due to the surging price of oil and, to a lesser extent, refiner's attempts to grow their profit margins.

"It's all crude," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service. "The crude market is morbidly obese."

Oil prices - which account for 80% of the price of a gallon of gas - have jumped 20% in just over a month as investors pour money into commodities of all types.

Commodities like oil are seen as a hedge against inflation and the falling dollar - which has been trading at record lows - triggered by economic woes and interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.

Oil, already trading near $90 a barrel on the back of strong global demand, took off in February as the economy worsened and the Federal Reserve cut interest rates with crude now spiking to record highs on a near-daily basis - settling at a record $107.90 on Monday.

But as oil prices rose gasoline prices stayed stagnant and profit margins enjoyed by refiners shrank. Now those profit margins have become so small refiners have little incentive to make gasoline.

"The refiners are saying, 'Hey we're not making any money,'" said Tim Statts, vice president of risk management for Summit Energy, a firm that buys energy for big users. "The gasoline price almost has to come up to continue bringing the product to market."

According to John Kilduff, an energy analyst at the trading firm MF Global in New York, refiners are making about $6 off of every barrel of oil they turn into gasoline. That's down from over $38 a barrel last spring.

Refiners are operating at just 85%capacity, down from a normal rate of around 90%, according to figures from the Energy Information Administration.

Killduff said the low operating rate is partly due to refiners being shut down for maintenance but also due to the small profits they're getting on gasoline.

"There's no market incentive to rush your unit back into production," he said. "[Gas prices] can't go any lower in relation to crude."

So how high will gas prices go?

While several areas will see prices over $4 a gallon, Kloza said he expects the nationwide average to peak somewhere between $3.50 and $3.75. Kilduff is calling for a high of $3.50, and Statts thinks we'll see the $3.30s.

All three analysts think prices will peak early, in April or May, then decline as the economy worsens and demand for gas - already flat or falling - continues to deteriorate.

"[The falloff in demand] that occurs around $3.25 a gallon takes a lot of the mojo out of gasoline," said Kloza. "These prices are real speed bumps for the economy."

By July 4, when many Americans pack up the sedan and head for the mountains or beach, prices could be back around $3. If anyone can still afford a vacation.

Issue #1 - America's Money: All this week at 12 pm ET, CNN explains how the weakening economy affects you. Full coverage.

First Published: March 10, 2008: 2:56 PM EDT

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

a little interesting a little inspiring

"Swan Boy" print by I'm Smitten

I'm sure many of you are already familiar with the work of Brendan Monroe but perhaps you enjoy looking at his work as much as do. If you aren't already familiar with his work, I encourage you to take a look.

Isaac Tobin's
book cover design

Lauren Nassef's
book cover design

First Post!

Image by Casey Jex Smith






Hello world, and welcome to the world of Karen O! I wanted to start this blog with my latest significant body of work. The first image you will find is the work of Casey Jex Smith; Quorum and Their Corresponding Dark Matter, which is colored pencil and pencil on paper.

The following images are the portraits of my closest friends and of myself. The idea was to have a group project, and each do a portrait of each other. However, the morale of some of the group members is far less than what I had hoped, so the group show we were hoping to have months ago never happened. Alas, these works were never shown in a gallery-type setting, so I am putting them up on the web for the world to find. I hope you enjoy!