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February 2007
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April 2007

FRESH DIALOGUE

Good morning. And a special welcome to everybody coming to visit from the Typepad feature on the Daily Monster. I hope you'll have fun poking around the site.

Thank you everybody for sending your cool monsters in response to the 4th Open Source Blot. A few more creatures from Maleen Schlüter follow at the end of this post. Here now is OPEN SOURCE BLOT 05. I hope you'll have fun with it. (The best way to submit your drawings is by e-mailing your file to me at opensource@344design.com
If you can, please make your document 480 pixels wide and name the file with your first and last name. That way I know how to set your credit properly.)

In other news, I got a very nice message today: AIGA/NY and Ze Frank, one of the inspirations for and a longtime supporter of the monsters, have invited me to be part of this year's FRESH DIALOGUE event. Each year AIGA/NY hosts a panel discussion with three young designers that are doing interesting things. This year, Ze is moderating and I'm very excited to be a part of the event. Here is part of the invitation e-mail:

This year's theme deals with how designers relate to their audience, specifically the control (or lack thereof) that the designer exerts over that audience in offline and online mediums. [...] We've invited you to join us because of the evolution of your dailymonster series. We see this project as encapsulating a unique hybrid of a traditional medium (illustration) gone digital. You have added interactivity by allowing your fan base to contribute work inspired by your drawings.

They have it almost right. I didn't allow you to do anything. You guys came out strong with all kinds of creativity and made such great stories and drawings that it's my honor and privilege to provide a space for them here. Also, you're not my fan base. You're friends of the monsters! And I like that about you!

The event is happening at FIT on the 29th of May, so I'll make sure we've got lots of new stuff to play with until then. For one thing, I'm starting our new game on Monday night, when I'm back from San Diego.

Until then, I hope you'll have a great weekend!
Please keep in mind that 344 LOVES YOU

---

Now, here are Maleen's entries:

Cmaleen0104
Cmaleen0204
Cmaleen0304

And here's my own version of OSM Number 4...

Osm04


OPEN SOURCE MONSTERS 04 (Part 2)

Good morning. Excellent monsters keep rolling in
and who am I to keep them from you?

Tomorrow will be a day of tax and travel preparation, and then I'm off to San Diego for the weekend to teach a Thinkshop at the Y Conference, so I may not post again until next week, but at that point I'll have a new little game ready for you. We're going to build something together! It'll be fun. Please check back in soon! Until then, you mustn't forget that 344 LOVES YOU


Bcalmerflorian04
Belliottcurtis04
Billiesyannis04
Binanna04
Blijoyce04
Bsedaghatali04a
Bsedaghatali04b
Bwongemily04_2

How cool are these? :^D


OPEN SOURCE MONSTERS 04 (Part 1)

Good morning. Several of you have already sent in their Open Source Monsters based on OPEN SOURCE BLOT 04. THe new blot won't go up for a few days yet, but I thought I'd let you take a look at the cool new monsters in the meantime.
Without further ado:

Berkes_sam04
Dm_by_katie_and_grandpa
Ngodanielle04
Westphalen_georg04


Emily Wong also sent in a very cool little straggler on Blot 03:

Emilywong03

Thank you all for sending your beautiful creatures my way. I'm working on yet another game for all of us to play that I hope you'll enjoy. Please check back in another day or so and I'll have it worked out. Until then, please know that 344 LOVES YOU



MONSTERS in NEW YORK MAGAZINE

Good afternoon. I just finished an illustration for New York Magazine to head next week's THE WEEK section. It'll hit newsstands next Monday (April 2nd). The whole thing took 23 hours of work and turned out quite nice, I think. I'll post a jpeg in a few days. (I don't want to give away any editorial content and piss off a new client in the process. :^) But I will show you the three new monsters that make an appearance in the piece. I hope you'll like them.

I have more of your excellent Open Source Monsters to post tonight.
Please check back for them tomorrow!

Have a great night and remember that 344 LOVES YOU

Nymmonster01
Nymmonster02
Nymmonster03


OPEN SOURCE MONSTER 03

Good morning. How are you? I hope ou've had a great week. Judging by the brilliant Open Source Monsters that came in this week, you've all been having way too much fun! Excellent! Please take a look at all the great creatures:

Berkes_blot03
Inanna_03
Rauschmonster4_inkblot3
Saylor_3_2
Schluutter_03a
Schluutter_03b
Sousa_03
Weitzelblot3
West_inkmonster_gvw_003_2

Nice work! These are getting good, guys! I'm totally blown away!
It so much fun to see all the variety that's coming out of one simple ink shape.
Kevin Carroll at katalystatlarge.com loves all your submissions, too.

Thank you so much for sending in your creations. I'm looking forward to seeing what you'll make of OPEN SOURCE BLOT 04.

In the meantime, here's my own version of OSM Number 3,
sporting a stylish V neck sweater. Very preppy.
Maybe he's a member of Skull & Bones.

Osm03

Eric at FWIS is putting the finishing touches on the 344 online store. I finally got both my seller's permit and my Pasadena business license earlier this week, so we finally have Whitey's blessing to go live. Expect the launch next week. I can't tell you how excited I am to begin this new experiment.

Last week, the amazing Christoph Niemann came to visit Art Center and told us a little bit about his practice back in New York. That man has it wired. He makes funny drawings at an almost alarming rate and gets them published in all the cool places. But I'm actually not jealous (for once. :^) Christoph is a smart and charming man and I'm happy that good things are happening for him. How can you not love a guy who comes up with a story about a cloud that wants to join the NYPD? We could also be stunt doubles for each other. Same height, same build, same glasses. It was a little bit eerie, actually. Perhaps there is potential for Clone Wars : Clash of the Krauts.

Right now I am writing to you at the end of a 38-hour day. The new STEP column for the May/June issue was (over)due and I had to muscle through it at long last. Somehow it's still scary to start projects like that. As per usual, I ended up pacing around the office for hours before I finally managed to sit down and do the work. From that point on it takes about 12 to 15 hours of straight labor for each column. In other words, it's pretty much the exact opposite of making the monsters. But somehow the end result still feels closely related to the creatures, and I love how the pages come out. Here's a teaser:

Inkcircumstance_03_07_04

After all these years of making things for publication I had hoped that it would get a little bit easier to get past my anxieties and sit down to start work, but hey... I'll take it how it comes. Nice to know that there's still all kinds of sanity left to claim in the years to come. :^)

In other news, work continues on the David Hockney catalog. I can't wait to show you that finished product. It'll be simple, but spectacular. When you get to work with such amazing paintings, all you have to do as a designer is get out of the way. You can check out the show online at the L.A. Louver site

Later today I get to illustrate the High Priority section header for next week's issue of New York Magazine, which should be pretty cool! I'm getting the copy today and I have until Monday to deliver the piece. It's a very cool challenge and I'm raring to go! I'll post the results next week, before I head off to San Diego to give a workshop at the 12th annual AIGA Y Conference.

The Y team always puts on an amazing event and I can't wait to see this year's speakers. They've got another great bill lined up. In this or any other year, the Y is probably the single best value for your conference dollar. It looks like they still have a few tickets left on their site. If you're in the area, I hope you'll come by and say Hello.

For now, I hope that you're going to have a fabulous first spring weekend.
If you can find a daisy where you are, start plucking.
You can forget the I Love You Not's.
Every petal means that 344 LOVES YOU


OPEN SOURCE MONSTERS 02

Good morning. Did you miss me? I'm back from the East Coast and I'm finally caught up enough with my work that I can post for you once again. (Please forgive the two week absence.)

Let's catch up! A great many of you sent excellent, excellent Open Source Monsters. Instead of posting them as a separate gallery, I thought I'd put them front and center right here on the blog. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I did:

02aguilar
02arndt
02berkes
02charlotte
02cheyenne
02danielle
02emily1
02emily2
02emily3
02inanna
02james
02julia1
02julia2
02julia3
02maleen2
02pene
02rausch
02schlter
02sousa
02weitzel

How cool are you guys? These are brilliant monsters. I can't wait to see what you do with the third ink blot.

Here's my own take on Number 2:

Osm02

Over the last few weeks I've been busy watching Eric at FWIS work wonders on the 344 online store. We're almost ready to go live. Right now, it's a sales permit from the State of California that's holding us up, but I'm hoping that I'll have everything lined up for you shortly. Here's a little teaser screen shot of the home page:

Store344

In other news, I had a great time judging the BoNE Show for AIGA Boston last weekend. I saw lots of beautiful work and between me and Luba Lukova and Kevin Krüger from SamataMason we pruned the field down to a really spiffy show that should be fun to behold. If you're in the Boston area, please stay tuned to the AIGA Boston site for updates. The BoNE Show Monster went---by way of a raffle---to Adam Larson of Lemon Magazine.

Here's a photo from the Meet The Judges event, featuring Kevin, Andrea (from AIGA Boston), yours truly, Luba, and Christi (also from AIGA Boston). From all those smiles you wouldn't know what swift and savage judges we'd turn out to be.

Boston

Note also that this event took place in the visitor's lounge of a nuclear reactor. All our dosimeters were bright yellow by the end of the night, which means we were glowing, but not too much. Except for poor Angela. As you can tell from her orange tag, she got an extra dose of radiation, because she had to set up the event before we got there. That's what I call selfless dedication to the cause.

That's pretty much the news for the week. I'm working on the next ink & circumstance column for STEP. I'm slated to illustrate a section header for an upcoming issue of New York Magazine, as well as the fall term catalogue for UCLA Extension. I should have lots of fun stuff to show you in the next couple of days.

For now, it's time to go to sleep. (I'm trying to be a bit less of a night owl. We'll see how that goes.)

I hope that you're headed for a brilliant weekend
and that you'll enjoy two more bonus weeks of Daylight Savings Time
(Offer valid in the United States only.)
Please don't let the long silence fool you:
344 STILL LOVES YOU


OPEN SOURCE MONSTERS 01

Good morning. How are you! Did you miss me? It feels strange not to post a new monster every night, stranger still not to read your new comments every day. But I was so happy about all the great stories and lovely messages you put up in response to Monster 100. Some of you made me laugh, some of you actually got me a little bit misty! Thank you very, very much! You are a brilliant group of people.

Of course, just because I didn't film new monsters, doesn't mean I've been idle. For one thing, I'm talking to a new publisher about putting out the 100 DAILY MONSTERS book. So far it's looking good. I've known the editor there for a few years and she's a good egg. Keep your fingers crossed. Of course, if that doesn't work out, I'm still set to print the thing myself. I got a great contact in Kentucky that can produce the book beautifully in China. Either way, I'm chomping at the bit to show you the cover I've designed.

Oh...

Nuts!

Why wait...

Check it out!


Dmbookcover_1

This is what the book will look like if I produce it myself. (The format is 9"x7", by the way.) If I go with a publisher that puts it into bookstores, we can't have the paper band, because they tear too easily on the shelves and get returned as damaged. So in that case I'll have to think up something else. But I thought I'd let you have a look at this design anyway. It's going to be a book by you and about you. It'll be your book. So I hope you like it!

In the meantime, I'm also getting my e-commerce on. Thanks to my great and brilliant friends at FWIS, I'm very, very close to launching the 344 Monster Store. All that's missing now is my permit from the State Board of Equalization. Give it another two weeks or so and I'll have posters, prints and all kinds of little goodies for you! This is going to mark a new phase in the 344 Invasion! It'll be an experiment to see if I can actually make a living producing cool stuff for you without going through a client. I think it's possible and I'm excited to see if it's true!

You haven't been idle, either! A bunch of you sent great monsters in response to the 1st Open Source Monster Blot Challenge! Please check out the gallery! If you think that's inspiring, also check out Steve G's movie response. It's very cool, if also a little bit disturbing. :^) After that, why not download Open Source Blot 02? I can't wait to see what you do with it!

Lastly, I'm off to the East Coast to judge the BoNE Show for AIGA Boston this week. They asked me to donate one of the monsters for their Meet The Judges fundraiser.
I decided to give them a new one:

Boneshowmonster030307

BoNE Show! Get it? (Listen... I'm not above the occasional pun---especially for a good cause.) My understanding is that they'll raffle off the drawing at the event, so if you're in the Boston area, please come by and say Hello. Maybe you'll get to take home an original monster at the end of the night!

For now, I hope that you'll have a great weekend and a brilliant week ahead! I hope to return from my travels with lots of new ideas and some fun images for you! Please stay safe and have fun with the monsters, old and new! Even from the road, you can bet your bottom dollar that 344 LOVES YOU