I want a bracelet with those letters on it. In gold.
But I’m really excited about this one!

One evening a few weeks ago, my son was showing me a Gorillaz video. I’ve always liked a lot of Gorillaz music, and the idea of an imaginary, animated band, but until that evening, I hadn’t realized how much Story there is to the project—or that it is really more of a project than it is a band.

Butterfly, who is not actually a butterflyAt the same time, I’d been thinking about downloadable art, and developing hand-drawn motifs for a set of downloadable label templates.

As my son explained the stories of each of the imaginary band members, I thought, “How incredibly cool!” The richness of the concept leaped over to my nearest side project (the labels) and lit it up.

And so we have I am not actually a butterfly, a dreamy, evolving written piece that seeks some sort of balance between lyric poetry, fantasy fiction and probably other things. The resemblance to anything Gorillaz ends with the fact that my characters have their own evolving adventures and backstories.

I’m not going to stick to one particular illustration style, but everything in this series will be done with a fine point black Sharpie. Visual references are old carvings, paintings and woodcuts worldwide. In this way, Butterfly is inspired by a Chinese cinnabar bracelet and the Sun draws from medieval European woodcuts.

Brahmin moth caterpillar, from a series of macro photos on Odd Stuff Magazine

Photo credit: Megha

At the moment, I’m researching for Caterpillar—not a popular carving motif, but apparently useful for erectile dysfunction. Where I am finding some very interesting caterpillar inspiration is among Australian Aboriginal art, in the form of Caterpillar Dreaming. I’m also finding some astounding real life models.


While researching for this post, I came across a Wikipedia entry on virtual bands, which include Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Archies and Mistula, a Filipino virtual band composed of four customized ball-jointed dolls (and wow, the ball-jointed doll thing took me waaaaaay off track).


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