Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Rolling Stone gathers no respect

Rolling Stone guitarist Ronnie Wood typically gets no respect from the press or critics when it comes to his visual art. The usual attitude (conceit) is that he doesn't deserve serious consideration because he is looking to trade on his name.

In the case of this recent article about losses in Wood's London art gallery Scream, the reporter asserts that Ronnie has "has developed a new passion for art." Nothing could be further from the truth. Wood was a student at Ealing Art College, considering a career as a theatrical set designer, before music intervened — first with The Faces and then The Rolling Stones.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Wood about his art over the phone in 2006 for an article in ValueRich magazine. His agent warned me that Wood doesn't like it when an interview is supposed to be about his art but all the questions end up being about the band. I assured the him that I'd keep it on course, but he needn't have worried.

Wood couldn't have been a nicer guy over the phone, and we hit it off right away. Halfway through the interview I realized the conversation had ceased to be an interview and was just two artists swapping ideas. He volunteered stories about his early days as a musician on his own. He seemed genuinely reluctant to finish the call when his wife reminded him they were late for a dinner date.

It turned out to be a great story. You can download it to read as a pdf file by clicking this link.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Starbucks meeting that lead to a really great job

During a prototypical napkin-scribbling meeting at Starbucks in the summer of 2003, I was contracted to help establish the publishing division of ValueRich, Inc. in West Palm Beach, Florida, and launch ValueRich magazine.

The nationally distributed Wall Street financial magazine introduced small-cap and micro-cap public companies to a readership of company executives, investment bankers, fund managers and investors. It also contained plenty of stylish and adventurous lifestyle material for its mostly affluent readers.

After producing the first two issues from my studio, I joined the company as Editor-in-chief of the publication and also served as its brand marketing creative director.

I just put a portfolio page up for the project on Behance. Follow this link to check it out.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Summer Illustration Special Prices

I just ran across this old postcard art from 2008 on my computer. And do you know what? In this economy, I'll still do these prices.

Click image to view full size

The Serendipity of New Technology

New technology and entrepreneurial ideas don't always follow the expected path when users get a hold of them. This Wall Street Journal video offers several good examples.

Just a few of the tidbits within:
  1. iPad is emerging as the go-to devices for working with special needs kids
  2. Young smart phone users are not using their phones to make calls.
  3. New phone etiquette: It's considered invasive and rude to call someone directly, text instead
  4. IE9 is taking an HTML5 path. Hmmm, isn't that what Apple iPad caught all that flack for?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ze Frank on emotion and the Web

I first became aware of Ze Frank when he was doing his Web video show in 2006. He was a manic personality whose head filled the tiny video frame as he delivered witticisms with machine gun-like timing.

Frank was attracting a huge audience on the Web long before I discovered him though. He was given a Webby award for the best personal Web site in 2002, when few people even bothered to build personal Web sites.

The video show, by its own design, ended exactly one year after it was started, but Frank continues to keep his loyal fans involved by collaborating with him and each other in clever projects, and linking to other delightful stuff on the Web.

I find it interesting that one of the Web's earliest personalities is still one of its biggest phenomena. Frank is an artist. The Web is his medium. And the connection he has with his huge audience is an emotional one. 

There is a lesson in this for all of us who are furiously drawing flow charts that link Web sites, blogs, social networking feeds and Twitter, in the hopes of finding a magic combination that will generate a Network Effect. The technology itself is not a starting point. The Web is long on technology but short on attention span.

The secret for reaching people is still the same as it was pre-Internet. Ze Frank's success has always begun with empathy for his audience. This allows him to produce participatory performance pieces that build on the emotional connection to delight and fulfill.

His July, 2010 program is now featured on TED Talks, and he just posted it on his Web site. Enjoy.

Oct, 17 Palm Beach Daily News Editorial Cartoon

My cartoon, which appeared in today's edition of the Palm Beach Daily News (The Shiny Sheet). The issue is devoted to a preview of the upcoming social season and this year's Palm Beach Centennial Celebration.

We will of course be inundated this year with celebratory fanfare related to railroad baron Henry Flagler, who brought the railroad and the rich to Palm Beach; "architect" Addison Mizner who brought preposterous Mediterranean Rival buildings and "golden years" of high-society excess. But when you think about 100 years ago, most of the island was little more than a jungle ... and the mosquitos could carry off small animals and children.

You can comment about this cartoon on the Palm Beach Daily News Web site here.

You can order a print here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Presidential Gleam in Donald Trump’s Eye

My Cartoonistry column in the Palm Beach Daily News today was devoted to Donald Trump's media blitz last Tuesday where he floated the idea of running for President over most of the broadcast and cable news outlets.

This is the second time that he's flirted with the idea. My cartoon from February, 2000 was included, and I tell the story of how things turned out for him that time.

I think he might be seriously considering running again. His television appearances followed almost the exact same script as 10 years ago ... except that he seems a little more outraged at the state of things in Washington. Plus, I mention a few reasons why toward the end of my column why he might be in a much stronger strategic position should he decide to do so this time.

Can't wait to find out. He is one of the most provocative and entertaining Palm Beachers I've ever had the good fortune to do cartoon about.