How a doodle becomes a wedding ring

A wedding, I learned, is nothing if not a series of art projects.

I got married last Sunday, and thanks to my incredibly talented friend Josh Edelstein our wedding rings were forged with a bas relief of my drawings. (Didn’t know this was a thing you could do? Neither did I!) 

For me at least, the process was remarkably easy and fun. The first thing I did was print out a ring template of our respective ring sizes and start drawing until I came up with something I liked. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted each others' portraits on them: 

 Ralph's are the slight thicker design at the top, mine are the thinner ones at the bottom.

Ralph's are the slight thicker design at the top, mine are the thinner ones at the bottom.

I settled on this one for Ralph, my now-husband: 

RalphsRing.jpg

And this one for me: 

DanasRing.jpg

Then I handed the JPEGs off to Josh for him to 3D print. This process is still a bit of a mystery to me, but eventually resulted in the following rendering of the designs: 

 Pretty cool, eh? 

Pretty cool, eh? 

Which Josh then turned into this: 

 Photo by Joshua Edelstein. 

Photo by Joshua Edelstein. 

You can see more details on his website, along with some very impressive 360º videos of the rings. For my part, I will shamelessly be showing them off to everyone I encounter for the next three months at least.  

New mural at CHIKO

Chicko-Mural-DanaJeriMaier

Last month I completed a mural for CHIKO, an amazing new restaurant in Barrack's Row by chefs Danny Lee, Scott Drewno, and Andrew Kim, which has received a lot of well deserved praise since it opened. I'm still dreaming of their catfish friend rice as I type this.

Below are a few images of the mural in progress:

Chicko-Mural-DanaJeriMaier
Chicko-Mural-DanaJeriMaier
Chicko-MuralInProgress-DanaJeriMaier
ChickoMural-DanaJeriMaier
ChickoMural-DanaJeriMaier

As always, thanks to my friend Natalie of Natalie Park Design Studio for making it happen! 

Debuting at the Small Press Expo

Well, hot damn, I am going to be exhibiting at the 2015 Small Press Expo and I couldn't be more thrilled. Hooray! This means I am a legitimate cartoonist, right? 

In case you want to see some drawings in progress, I am still hard at work on The Illustrated Guide to the $14 Cocktail which will be a collection of philosophical musings on why we pay too much money for booze, plus a bunch of goofy drawings my friends and I come up with at bars: 

  Still working out the kinks. 

Still working out the kinks. 

  Cocktail math sketch.

Cocktail math sketch.

I will also be exhibiting a new collection of comics in The Unsuccessful Artist's Handbook, Volume 2, and a semi-updated version of The Bachelor Cat with a few new Bachelor Cats I've had the pleasure to meet. A few more new comics below. It will be a wonderfully busy couple of months:
 

  You might need to live in DC to appreciate this one.

You might need to live in DC to appreciate this one.

  (a)rtists (l)ove (c)reative (p)unctuation, you know.  

(a)rtists (l)ove (c)reative (p)unctuation, you know.  

  Apologies to actual German speakers.

Apologies to actual German speakers.

Museum Guide, Updated

Remember that Museum Guide I did last summer? And remember how I have to overwork everything within an inch of its life? Well, here's the net result, which is an updated version of my Museum Guide, with additional gallery floor plans and text. The cover is based on the Museum Plan for the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain (pictured on the right). 

You can buy a copy here. Below are a few more preview shots, plus some rough sketches that I liked, but did not make the cut in the final version. 

  Guess which one is mine!

Guess which one is mine!

A few more interior pages: 

A drawing that made it into the Bench guide, amid a few other doodles: 

The drawing below did not make it into the Guide, but I have a soft spot for it anyhow:

Too much stuff

One of my least favorite aspects of art-making is that it takes up so much space. Yes, I know. That's kind of the whole point. But in a way, I hate that part too--the sad knowledge that the activity I enjoy the most will, at the end of the day, result in my producing another thing, in a world that is arguably already overrun with too many things. Not that it'll stop me from drawing, of course, but it's kind of a depressing thought to have while cleaning your desk. Not that I dwell on this all the time. To be fair, I've been enjoying the holiday season more than I anticipated, actually relishing walking past Christmas tree sales, enjoying the odd snow day and boozy holiday parties and all that, but the appeals to shop are exhausting. I am tired of stuff. Tired of being a Yet Another Artist Trying to Sell Stuff, frankly; I just want my work to go to good homes to people who happen to like the drawings and not do any of the uncomfortable-but-neccessary work required to entreat people to buy it.

And, um, now that I'm done kvetching, here are a few pieces of art I have for sale.

 

 Map of New York

Map of New York

Map of New York

And I added a map of New York to compliment my map of DC since we all know New York enthusiasts tend to be much for fanatical than DC enthusiasts. This is also available on Society6.

And as always, any art-lovers and/or Christmas-shopping procrastinators who would like to purchase original art are welcome to contact me for prices and availability. As I mentioned earlier, the drawings are starting to pile and need good homes.

Maps, Coasters and Cats

Lately I've been mass-producing stuff mostly for its own sake, including a new coaster series. (I'm not sure what to do with these, exactly, other than leave them in bars and hand them out to friends, but I tend to have a 'shoot first, ask questions later' approach to a lot of art-making.) coasters_large

I've also created a map of DC that I've doodled on obsessively and printed on chip board. You can buy 'em for $8 on my shop.

DC-MapWebBlack

MrsTheCat
The Quetzal, a.k.a. Mrs. The Cat. 1994-2013

I was also very sad to learn that Mrs. The Cat, who is documented in The Bachelor Cat, has recently passed away. She was a good one, to say the least. Our thoughts are with her surviving Cat Bachelor.

(e)merge and the Debut of The Handbook

The Unsuccessful Artist's Handbook - Cover

I am pleased to announce that The Unsuccessful Artist's Handbook—y'know, the thing I've been talking about creating for well over a year now—is finally printed and for sale. It costs $7, which I would like to point out, is less than most cocktails in any major metropolitan city, and contains various drawing and writing I've done last year or so, along with a bunch of art from my last exhibition. (No advice how to be an artist, unsuccessful or otherwise.) You can buy a copy on my Big Cartel site here, or at the (e)merge art fair.

The Unsuccessful Artist's Handbook

Speaking of (e)merge: I will be showing with the Flashpoint Gallery in room 213, where I will transforming the bathroom into a small exhibition space, and displaying a bunch of original art that is in the Handbook. And just wait until you see what plans I have in store for the mirror over the sink.

The Art of the Wedding

As it turns out, 2013 is The Year that All of My Friends Are Getting Married, which is happening pretty much on schedule. And one unexpected perk is that I've been finding myself contributing art to their nuptials in various ways. The map of DC I drew in April will be used for an invitation (minus the sea monsters), and in January, I was commissioned to draw an engagement-themed piece that was used as part of a marriage proposal. Most recently I created a Ketubah for my friends Agnes and Max. It's my first Ketubah, and hopefully not my last—I had a lot of fun with this one: Ketubah by Dana Jeri Maier