Thursday, September 29, 2011

grand opening (square peg round hole)

earlier this month was the grand opening of square peg round hole gallery in bordentown, nj. it was a full house, with some unique and fantastic art, lovely live music, an amazing facepainter (not me, for once. so i had to take advantage and get my face painted), and fun company.  my work was spread out throughout the cute little (but surprisingly big) gallery, a gallery i'm honored to be on display in since it's one i highly respect and legitimately enjoy the work being showcased. i have to thank the incredibly enthusiastic owner cindy for inviting me to join in her gallery.  i admire her passion and excitement for what she's done/doing.

not award-winning photos, but it's a great place at a great location in bordentown, nj. 212 farnsworth ave.  say hi to cindy, she's great to chat with. 
check it out.

Monday, September 26, 2011

dia de los burton

we hit france, and now we're heading to MEXICO!  the autumn society is having the amazing "the iconoclastic dead" show at galeria guru in mexico city! the show premieres october 1 and runs to the end of the month, october 31. i'm honored to be one of 40+ artists participating in this phenominal show.

the iconoclastic dead is a "Dia De Los Muertos" themed show where artists celebrate someone famous they admire that is either dead or alive in the "Muertos" fashion.
i chose to illustrate tim burton. although i initially grew as an artist admiring and looking up to salvador dali most of all, tim burton has slowly been advancing a step ahead in my heart. i'm beyond inspired by all that tim burton does. his vision and his ideas are unique and dark and confusing. everything i love. growing up, i was obsessed with his movies and when i became old enough to realize that there was much more to tim burton than movies, i was able to start appreciating his art and his mind.  it's like a weird distanced relationship that evolved from childhood to adulthood. this is just my weird, long, unnecessary way of saying he inspires me.

i designed my piece as a 3-dimensional piece. burton and the white border on one piece of glass, the floral pattern on another piece, are all raised about an inch above background with tge sandworm and skull. an additional bit of dimension is the swirly hill silhouette, which is placed about halfway between the top and bottom layers.  basically, there are a lot of layers going on and it looks pretty amazing in person. these photos absolutely do it no justice.

 initially, i wanted to include several characters from tim burton movies and his artwork, all designed in the day of the dead style. to keep a better flow to the pieces, i only featured the sandworm and some jack skellington heads.
trying to show the dimension in the piece, you can see below with the shadows..
Gurú Tienda Galería
Colima 143, LA ROMA
Mexico City, Mexico

Thursday, September 22, 2011

rat puppy


i'm indescribably puppy-hungry right now. there's a huge void in my life and i feel empty inside without one. so here's a drawing of a dog.

this is from an old mini sketchbook (2006).  i wanted to sketch out an frequent interaction between a rat and a pitbull i once knew. rats are adorable and the pitbull was a sweetheart. they were hilarious together.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

lbc pin up 2 & 3

more pin ups for laughing boy comics.   back cover #2. i don't see any strips of these guys (above) online, so here's a little reference point (below). you'll just have to go to laughingboycomics to find/buy the comic for more!

back cover #3 of intergalactic gary:

 intergalactic gary is rad so check out his strips here

(revisit #1 and my favorite here).

Monday, September 19, 2011

8-BIT CHAMPIONS coverage

video coverage of the autumn society's 8-BIT CHAMPIONS show at flaq gallery in PARIS, FRANCE!.. although i don't understand a word he's saying. anyone want to translate? :)  huge thanks to chogrin and thomas olivri! i wish i could visit prettiful paris to check out the show
 (read my post about my piece inspired by bubble bobble, best game ever)

for some photos,

Friday, September 16, 2011

wedding bells!

wedding bells for my long-time friend from 6th grade and his soon-to-be wife tonight !
congratulations joe and ashley !

symmetry exhibition

opening tonight is VSA NJ and Arts Unbound's first joint exhibition "symmetry"
i have 5 pieces in the show including these three (plus paintings her celestial body and blue storm). i'm excited for another opportunity to share my art.. but i regrefully will miss the opening.
the show runs from sept 16 - oct 14 ! 

Opening reception on SEPTEMBER 16 at 6-9pm
Arts Unbound and VSA, New Jersey
are Featuring TheirFirst Joint Exhibition, Symmetry(at the Arts Unbound Gallery)
Arts Unbound and VSA New Jersey are featuring a joint exhibition highlighting their commitment to promote and support gifted artists living with disabilities. The exhibition titled Symmetry will showcase the diverse and outstanding works of Amy Charmatz, Stacy Crawford, Jon Gabry, Gabriella Gonzalez, Greg Smith, Kasey Tararuj, Tom Wade and Anthony Zaremba. Artwork will be exhibited from September 16 to October 14.

Arts Unbound Gallery
544 Freeman St.
Orange, NJ 07050

Thursday, September 15, 2011

adult swim mural

in my search for photos of a different mural, i got a little reminiscent and nostalgic when i found photos of this mural.  during my freshman year of college, my sister and i were roommates and spent many memorable nights laughing to the cartoons of adult swim on cartoon network. with the help of our adoring parents, we painted a mural tribute to our favorite adult swim characters. ok joe wasn't our favorite, but we stuck him in anyway because he's in a wheelchair and wheelchairs were all the rage those days.

it was family fun time and a very fond memory that i'm sure i won't ever forget. it was a group effort where everyone helped out. even my dad... who just went out to buy the pizza to stuff our faces with while we did all the real hard work.  for those of you wondering how one paints a mural in a wheelchair, here's the unsafe, non-recommended, horrifying way to do so:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

lbc pin up 1

my first (and personal favorite) of 3 pins ups for the back cover of some laughing boy comics! featuring the marshlander, dick hack goose, and my hunky favorite dreamboat, hunker down. lbc is my favorite web comic (so what if it's the only one i read..) and it's hilariously fantastic so check it out at

more pin ups and comic info later on.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

liberation skate

a while back i met kelsey arcoleo at a show i participated in. kelsey is the wonderful head of liberation skateboards. we chatted about his company and my art, and i'm psyched to get to collaborate with him. as part of their first "collaborative artist series, 2011" i made a design for one of their new boards. i can tell kelsey's always got his brain going with great ideas and constantly has things going on. i'm honored to be a part of something so genuine and passionate!

"liberation skateboards is an east coast bred label in skateboarding that is branded to represent freedom of expression through individualism and originality. we strive to provide a sense of release from the falsities that are given to skateboarding and a look at the creative and fruitful nature of it. we believe skateboarding is the soul of innovation, determination, and construction. skateboarder run and owned, we've come to the scene to deliver satisfactory freedom through honest and merit. out ethics are focused on keeping the true essence of skateboarding alive and nothing less."

browse around liberation skateboard's wesbite. there's info, news, products, etc and don't forget to check out the "TEAM" page, where you'll find the "ART" page, where you'll find a beautifully written (by kelsey) bio about me. i was touched by it and it makes me happy to read a bio about myself that i don't get embarrassed by. 

i'm not going to lie. i was a little nervous designing this since i've never done anything like this before. but i just kept to what and how i'd normally paint. hopefully i can continue to do this type of thing in the future, where i'll become a little more loose and get a little more frisky risky.

Pro Skateboard Shop now has Liberation Skateboards's "Collaborative Artist Series, 2011" boards at 1108 Main Street, Belmar, NJ and 702 Arnold Avenue, Point Pleasant, NJ. Swing by and get the one of a kind collection designed by the talents of Doug Z, Kasey Tararuj, and Mike Sledziona!
 Now at Standard Skate Shop, 76 Main St., Woodbridge, NJ is the Liberation Skateboards "Collaborative Artist Series, 2011" collection! North Jersey skateboarders, you should be visiting this finer skate shop to get these new rides while you can!

 more info on the boards and liberation skateboards soon !

Monday, September 12, 2011

happy 11 year!

(drawing from 2006)

i've reached my special anniversary again today. 11 years since i've been able to walk. i usually think about this day as it's approaching, but i completely forgot about it until literally maybe a day or two ago. i've been too busy with creating art and going back to work after a nice fulfilling summer, (you know, having and living a life), that it's completely slipped my mind. which i'd say is a very good thing. 
so, instead of babbling off about old, painful memories, struggles, and nonsense, like i did last year, now might be a good time to share accomplishments and how much more i do than i had originally thought i could 11 years ago.  i have a full time job and my own apartment. working and living on my own are two (of the many) things that have caused me stress and depression for years and years, seeing as i didn't know if i could physically do it on my own. 
working has proven to be everything i've feared, but expected: indescribable back pain, embarrassingly fat swollen feet, awkward interactions with strangers revolving around my disability.  what i never considered are all the willing people who jump to help me when i can't do, can't reach, can't move. the past 11 years have been full of people who thought i was the special glass child, going to break any second. being young, and in a wheelchair, it's the natural response (i guess?) but it's something i've always despised. the job i now have is the first time i feel as though i'm almost a real person, made out of real people-parts. no one treats me like i'm going to shatter to pieces. it's a professional environment where people actually realize and acknowledge that i'm an adult and treat me that way. people offer help at times, but in a completely different manner than the other baby "help" forced on me for as long as i can remember. only opening doors, reaching what i can't , moving chairs... that's about it. there is no babying, only courtesy and it's amazing not to feel so small and helpless. finally.
as for living on my own. i've been aching to move out of my parents house for years, basically since i graduated from college (sorry mom). i couldn't just rent whatever was available, or the cheapest, or anything. i had to consider what level it's on, if i can fit through doorways, bathrooms, parking, boring nonsense that i'm tired of dealing with. luckily i found the complex made specifically for people with disabilities. my parking lot is lined with handicap spaces. convenient ramps. my apartment is flat and open. low sinks, low counters, low windows, low oven. high outlets, huge shower, sliding doors. it's beyond perfect for wheelchair users, such as myself, and i immediately felt at home. i knew it was going to be hard to adjust being on my own, and my past depression always wandered to what it might be like... but it's not nearly as hard as i thought.  

this complex saved me a lot of struggle and i'm unbelievable grateful for that. nothing's ever hopeless, things can always get better. go team go.

above: oversized shower. (complete with dinosaur decals. i'm a child.) bottom left: low sink, able to roll slightly underneath. (complete with too many clean/dirty dishes. i'm lazy.) bottom right: low counterspace, able to fully roll underneath.  may not seem to be a big deal...but these things, such simple, yet beautiful things.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

square peg round hole GRAND OPENING

i have a bunch of paintings and figures on display at square peg round hole in bordentown, nj. their grand opening is TONIGHT. a random assortment of my work, including those above plus some. fun!

GRAND OPENING tonight at 6-9 PM
Square Peg Round Hole Art and Recovery!
212 farnsworth avenue. bordentown, nj.
see the works of over talented and wonderful local 50 artists. with will "kasso" condry create art while you watch, face painting by cheryl, the music of "black & blue acoustics,"  door prizes, light refreshments, and more.

Friday, September 9, 2011

animals and carnival cakes

last week, i showed you my cartoony half of the too-many-cupcakes i made at the end of my summer vacation. this is part 2 with the rest of the time/life consuming cupcakes i made at that same time.

i attempted the shark cupcakes from "hello, cupcake."  it didn't work out so well. twinkies dipped in hot icing where i burnt my fingers like crazy. fruit by the foot that for some reason were sliced into 3 small strips, causing troubles for the sharks' mouths. basically i got frustrated and just let whatever was going to happen, happen. when all was said and done i loooked at the mess of "sharks" and i added some goldfish with googly eyes and i felt better. i was amused.

 for the owner of a nice black cat, i took "hello, cupcake's cat design, originally meant for halloween, and with less yellows and oranges, they just look like nice little black kitties. made of melted dark chocolate with black sprinkles on top, the cats were kind of delicious.

 my sister gave me the coolest cake pan ever for my birthday. animals, where you could decorate however, with the option of putting scoops of ice cream in their mouths. going to try these again!

my aunt asked me to do a carnival cake for my cousin's birthday. i warned her it was going to look very homemade... but she agreed, so here is my very homemade-looking carnival cake. i stole the melted candy with sprinkles idea (from the black cats above) for the lion's mane. it looked furrier.

along with the carnival cake, were a ton of "popcorn" cupcakes. marshmallows with x's cut in them, yellow mist spray, and yellow gel spray for kernels. unbelievable hand cramps from cutting x's in a bag and a half of mini marshmallows, luckily i had my fantastic mamabear helping and cutting with me (most of them..)  i've seen popcorn cupcakes, but the best i found and fully copied was from my fellow tcnj/facebook friend susan hoppe, who i stalk because she makes awesome cakes!