Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015
Number nine, in no particular order, of my Baseball Greats drawings.
With a face and body like it was hewn from the stone walls of the coal mines of his home town of Pittsburgh, Johannes Peter "Honus" Wagner, was a gritty leader of the early generation of Baseball greats. One of the first five members to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Honus, or as his Mother, and later fellow players called him, "Hans," is considered to be the best shortstop ever by baseball historians. It's hard to compare the game today with what it was in the late 19th and early 20th Century, but, considering the "dead ball" era of the game made runs much harder to come by, Honus Wagner compiled a lifetime batting average of .329, with 3,430 hits, 1,732 RBIs, and 722 stolen bases. He was the first to ever steal second base, third base and home consecutively in August 1899 under a new rule differentiating between advanced bases and stolen bases. He also played, and played well, into his 40s. If you are not a huge baseball fan, you've probably still heard the name.
Like how his very rare, "T206" early baseball cards are selling for hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars recently at auction. The Honus face most, including myself I must admit, are familiar with, is that of a natty young, dark haired man on the 1910-1911 tobacco cards that he didn't like. Thats how they became rare as not many were made or distributed. Long before the first 1936 Hall of Fame induction, he actually refused to send his portrait to a "Hall of Fame" for batting champions because, in his words, his performance in the previous season's World Series in which his Pittsburgh team lost to a Christy Mathewson and Cy Young lead "Boston American's" was "..too bum last year." He even went on to say "I was a joke in that Boston-Pittsburgh (1903) Series", and "What does it profit it a man to hammer along and make a few hits when they are needed only to fall down when it comes to a pinch? I would be ashamed to have my picture up now." (He and his Pittsburgh team would be redeemed in the 1909 World Series, beating the Ty Cobb lead Detroit Tigers.) Refreshing character and honesty not often seen any more in the world of professional sports. Last I heard, "2.8 Million Dollar" character. Not bad for the son of German immigrants from the mines of "The Burgh."
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Number eight in my ongoing Baseball greats drawing series. Once again, my History Channel "This Date in History" daily calendar made it clear who the next subject would be. On this day 45 years ago, May 12, 1970, at the "Friendly Confines" of the Cubs home, Wrigley Field, Ernest "Ernie" Banks, aka "Mr. Cub," (and "Mr. Sunshine,") hit his 500th home run, becoming only the ninth member in the history of the game to do so. (And he did it, fittingly, against my Atlanta Braves. side note: Hank Aaron, served as best man at Ernie's third marriage as well) I hate to admit, although I loved the history of the Cubs franchise, and respected their incredibly loyal "Cubbies fans," I didn't know much about their most famous players. If there is a picture for how to play America's sacred pastime, look up Ernie Banks pictures online. The epitome of pure happiness and joy. What a great way to start my day. RIP, Ernie, (he passed in January of this year,) and thanks for your shining example of the true spirit of sports. An apropos quote from the self made man himself: "You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren't happy in one place, chances are you won't be happy anyplace."....and: "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame... Let's play two!"
It's a beautiful day indeed, Ernie. Thanks for your wisdom.
It's a beautiful day indeed, Ernie. Thanks for your wisdom.
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.
When you look around, wouldn't you consider it a privilege to associate yourself with such fine looking men as are standing in uniform in this ballpark today? Sure, I'm lucky. Who wouldn't consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball's greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I'm lucky.
When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift—that's something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies—that's something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter—that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body—it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed—that's the finest I know.
So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for. Thank you.” Clips from speech on YouTube
Thursday, April 30, 2015
To aid the victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. Also, a Marine Corp Reservist who trained at Parris Island, SC, Camp LeJeune, NC, and in Washington DC.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
The next in my series of Baseball greats, Ted Williams. Rather than just refer to him as the nickname I knew: "The Splendid Splinter," I've copied and pasted the many deserving nicknames he acquired over his illustrious career: Nicknamed "The Kid", "The Splendid Splinter", "Teddy Ballgame", "The Thumper" and "The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived", Williams is regarded as one of the greatest hitters in baseball history.
A little something for the Beantown fans.
A little something for the Beantown fans.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Friday, April 17, 2015
Another in a series of Baseball greats. This one is personal. Being from Atlanta, I was fortunate enough to get to see a lot of Braves games. The most memorable of all will be Hank Aaron hitting home run number 715 to break Babe Ruth's very long standing record. I was just a kid, but, I will never forget my Dad's voice, seemingly before the crack of the bat: “There it GOES!,” then, standing in my seat and clapping and cheering for what seemed like hours. Many many years later I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Hank in person. He showed the same humbleness and dignity in simply shaking my hand as he did for his 21 years as a pro player.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
On this day, April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African American to play in the Major Leagues. I had already finished the rough sketch for my next drawing in the series of American Baseball greats, when I woke this morning to see my "This Day in History" calendar. Nuff said! Time to change gears a bit and render a different drawing! Again drawn around 14x17 and colored in Procreate on my iPad.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Happy Spring, Happy Baseball! ...The Babe. The Sultan of Swat. The Bambino. Quite by coincidence today I realized while working on this drawing, that one year ago today, April 8th, I had posted about Hammerin' Hank Aaron breaking Ruth's home run record on this date in 1974.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
The Eiffel Tower opened on this day in 1889. I was lucky enough to get a Rick Steves tip and landed in this "room with a view" in the Hotel Dela Tour Eiffel, so, had to do a sketch. Circa 97. (If you look closely at the sketch caption, I believe the room number is there as well for those of you who might want to check out the identical view in person some day!) Also included are a couple of unpublished poster ideas.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Friday, February 27, 2015
Friday, October 31, 2014
I’ve had the privilege and honor
over the last many many years to have the opportunity to teach part time at the College level. Like anything in life, depending, sometimes it’s just a part time job. However, luckily for me, it’s been more of a pleasure than anything else.
This semester at The University of South Carolina is no exception. Thanks to professor Marius Valdes, who’s on sabbatical this Fall, I’ve gotten to teach an Illustration class at the School of Art.
(Thanks also to the Associate professor of Graphic Design, Stephanie Nace.)
I’ve felt really good about the students and class so far all semester, and their work and attitude has surprised me pleasantly. I have really looked forward to the class each week. Last night, on the eve of Halloween, my faith in Halloween, Teaching, and young creatives, and young people in general,
was not just polished and restored, but, given a much needed positive swift kick in the pants!
Hallelujah! I’ve wanted to do an “in class” assignment all semester and turns out,
this was the perfect opportunity. Between major projects, and before a class off for election day
on Tuesday; a great time to recharge and do something spontaneous and experimental.
It made sense to do a mask. Mind you, this was an in-class project to be completed
in the timeframe of one class period only, around 2 and a half hours time.
The students were given no advance knowledge of what the assignment would be,
just to bring various materials and supplies to class. Then, once class began, were told only
to create a mask of their choosing in the time allotted for class.
WOW! I was BLOWN AWAY by the creativity, variety, and personality of each and every mask!
(And believe me, from years of teaching and freelancing, I am known to measure my superlatives.)
The incredible thing was, that everyone, to a student, dove right in, unflinching, to complete the task.
They only stopped briefly for a slice of pizza halfway through. ; )
For me, lesson learned. TRUST is a key component in encouraging and lighting creativity.
Mutual trust. Too often, as professional creatives, we can be so focused on “project parameters,” that we lose the forest for the trees so to speak. Deadlines will always be deadlines, and difficult clients,
and more-than-challenging projects will always be a component of creative collaberation, which, in the end is a comprise. An honorable and necessary compromise. When the parameters are accepted and embraced, and the creative is set free to create, MAGIC happens!
Later that night, as I went through all the pictures I had taken from the class,
a tear in my eye, I welled with pride, joy, and just pure happiness from the results, top to bottom.
I also got a kick out of the uncanny synergism between the artists and their work!
And, there were no mirrors in the classroom! Way to go Garrison, Paige, Nicole, Rannah, Joseph, Kody,
Shawn, David, Matt, Erica, Vassil, Jennifer, Katherine, Karissa, Alex, and Jessica!!!
You’ve made me Proud!
Check out all of the rewarding results from my most excellent class here: http://www.akinstudio.com/Hallomasks14/