Monday, June 29, 2015

IT'S ALL HAPPENING AT THE ZOO

Yesterday was a beautiful day in the cultural Mecca of Toledo, Ohio. So ... we went to the zoo. First is a snap-shot of my grandbabby and his new friend, a brass rabbit. His name is "FAOLAN," which is Gaelic for "WOLF." He exclaimed, "GaGa's Rabbit!" And proceeded to tell me that this statue was like my bunnies at home. (Except this one doesn't chew my phone cords).


THE WOLF AND THE RABBIT


STALKER!
While hanging out at the elephant cage, an interesting thing happened. The keepers were hosing down one of the elephants and the crowd was gathered. Next thing I know -- I had company! I sat down where I stood and said quietly, "Just sit still - you will be ok here next to me."

He made himself comfortable and no one was the wiser. Except my daughter who said, "Mom is 'The Bunny Whisperer.'"
























He was a young Eastern Cottontail. In spite of all the squeeling children he sat and ate the brush right next to me. When he saw fit, he dashed away. And then followed us. He hopped through the Lion's area as well! Stopped, looked around and gallivanted away. Danged Teenagers ... they are fearless.

What have we learned today?
That I can go to a zoo with a plethora of beasts from all over the globe - but nothing excited me as much as this little Eastern Cottontail

My new friend.


SING ALONG!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

SPOOKY OHIO

I traveled a bit this past weekend. Only in Ohio, mind you -- but I still got in a car and went. I made two impromptu stops. This wasn't because Lance ate half of my directions either. This was because it is how "I roll."

One of my favorite activities since childhood is to visit graveyards. I have no idea why it fascinates me but it always has. I have to include these two things:

WELCOME!

A "Welcome!" rabbit! I am not sure whether to feel comforted or not ...


SQUIRREL!

At first I thought this guy was a ceramic or concrete statue place ON the grave. It isn't. It is actually screwed INTO the slab. And the name he sits right in the middle of does not match either name on the plaques. I like to think the couple's pet squirrel rests with them.


SPOOKY
The big event happened down Route 2, however. Behold the remains of a fatal plane crash from I don't know when. This is the fuselage from an old Convair.



I read that there is a similar fuselage in Cleveland, Ohio. Apparently Ohio does not clean up this kind of thing.

41.567386, -83.079460

Thursday, June 18, 2015

REJECTION - A WAY OF LIFE ...


As an illustrator (or any kind of artist for that matter) one needs to develop some sort of "thick skin." I find this ironic in that, for the most part, artists are some of the MOST sensitive people that I know. I think that is part of the reason we are artists.


Rejection is no stranger to this lifestyle, that's for sure. I am almost used to sending sample after sample out and nothing ever coming back in return. It is better, for me, this way. I actually forget about the whole sordid affair. It is when I get "the letter" that I go through the psychological obstacle course. I shall explain --

I find that when I get an email proclaiming "ARTISTS ANNOUNCED" that it means I am IN. I get that little volt of electricity run up my spine and I can't click "open" fast enough. Yet, there is always that exception: the letter that says, "We are sorry to inform you ..."

Daniel Grant from the HUFFINGTON POST put it well when he stated:
A lot of meaning is imputed to what is often a form letter: the art isn't good; the artist is a bad artist; the artist is an idiot for having submitted artwork in the first place; the person who sent the letter is stupid and biased; that person expressed the considered opinion of the entire world.  HUFFINGTON POST ARTICLE HERE

Any professional artist will tell you that rejection is just "part of life." And that it is ok. And it is! I believe it is human nature, however, to feel like one has been kicked in the shin. Even if it isn't as traumatic or painful, you still feel SOMETHING.



As a late bloomer I not only go through the run-of-the-mill, "OH MY GOD I'M A HACK" thing, I also feel like I am aging at the speed of light and something HAS TO HAPPEN SOON. I say all of this to share that I got a few emails yesterday. You would think the cosmos would at least space them out a bit ... but no.

THE LETTER
The judges were very impressed by the quality of work submitted this year.
(OMG! OMG! OMG! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS ... )
Several judges commented on what a difficult task it was to select the final shortlist out of the over 2000 entries we received.
( ... SSSS - OH, SHHHHH ... )
Subsequently it was very competitive to get into the shortlist for the Category Winner awards.
(WELL, CRAP.)
To get through to the next round two out of three judges had to select your work for the shortlist. Unfortunately this year the following entries that you submitted did not receive the two votes needed and were not shortlisted for the Illustration Awards this year.
(Wait - you said, "SEVERAL JUDGES" before - Did I get at least ONE VOTE???)

IN MY CASE: "*WHEW* IT ISN'T THE STUDENT LOAN FOLKS!"

My advice to those receiving the seemingly thousands of "those letters" is:
  1. DO NOT - UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE - GO ONLINE TO LOOK AT OTHER ARTISTS' WORK. (Not today, anyway. Eat ice cream instead).
  2. If you are a "late bloomer" and older as I am - do something utterly ridiculous. I say this because I have learned that the older I get, the crazier I can act and people think it's amusing. This makes me laugh.
  3. It's ok and normal to feel bad for a moment. No one likes rejection. It is NOT ok to sit in a dark closet, rocking back and forth while crying hysterically all the time wondering why you didn't become a Vet Tech, Hair Stylist, Telephone Repairman, Fill In The Blank. (Not that I've ever done this, mind you).
  4. Go art something. 
The truth is you weren't a good "fit" for the project/book/gallery/show/annual. That's what I tell myself. Then I get online and look at all those successful and utterly talented artists that I know (and those I have never met). Then I lock myself in the closet, rock back and forth and cry hysterically and wonder where I would be if I had only stayed on that Grocery Store Cashier career track. Actually I opt to eat ice cream and watch cartoons and try to NOT think about the Grocery Store Cashier career track because that career track was MISERABLE for me. I have so much respect for any kind of cashier now. But I digress ...


SAVING MY EGO ONE PINT AT A TIME


Anyway, the rabbits are calling. I have a comic to draw.
I am most happy about that.
After submitting a minimum of ten cartoons a week, every week, for two straight years, I had little to show for it beyond rejection slips. - ROBERT MANKOFF  

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

LETTERS FROM THE SKY

I often see images of people that I know that just grab me. The below drawing is a friend of mine with one of hers. She rescues rabbits and has a peaceful warrior's heart. It is a job I could never do (letting go is NOT my forte).

The imagery went in tandem with a song. For those who know me and/or follow my works, this is quite common. I give you both:


LETTERS FROM THE SKY






Bunasaurus Rex!

Those who know me know that I absolutely love JURASSIC PARK. It has become a running joke that I watch the movie every time it rifles through the cable line up. It was without hesitation that I was standing in a line when JURASSIC WORLD came out earlier this week. And yes - of course I loved it!

Aside from every dinosaur in the movie, my favorite aspect was CLAIRE DEARING. The woman ran through a jungle, was chased by dinosaurs of all ilk and even enticed T REX into the final epic battle of battles. And all the time not once stumbling, falling or even getting her exquisite 5 inch spiked heels dirty. YOU GO, GIRL!


Monday, June 1, 2015

JUNE 8 - MARK THE DATE!



Smartasses Radio June 8, 2015

Smartasses Radio! With your host, the creator of Smartasses Magazine, voice actor Johnny Video!

On this new episode of Smartasses Radio we welcome Alex Kapp Horner from Seinfeld, Weathergirl and The New Adventures of Old Christine.

Plus,
cartoonist for Regarding The Secret Life of Rabbits, Penny Collins! <- That's me!

Don’t forget, your hosts will also bring you your weekly dose of Geek News, and Celebrity Voice Impersonation humor.

To speak with the guest, call (646) 478-5863.

To interact with the hosts, follow @SmartassesNet on Twitter, and use the hashtag #HailJackie. Click here for the complete Smartasses Radio Archives.
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You are all welcome to call in and chat with yours truly! I really do not consider myself a "bunny expert" - I am more of an "enthusiast." Either way - I draw a comic. I hope to hear from you!