Monday, February 14, 2011

The Wrong Place

I’m taking an Illustrator class this semester. When the instructor showed samples of what was expected, I panicked. I’ve never actually done a drawing in Illustrator, and my first attempts made me think I might be in the wrong place.

Our first assignment was to make an illustrated graph. It could be on any subject, as long as it showed a comparison of data using illustration. As the student next to me started drawing up some lovely French fries, I struggled to make this:

Unless I could come up with statistics on paper clip catastrophes, I was in the wrong place.

The teacher worked his way around the classroom. One student had already formed a slice of pizza complete with toppings, another had a perfectly proportioned hamburger on a sesame seed bun, and the guy next to me was now coloring a box for his French fries (can you tell this class is just before lunch?). By the time the teacher came up behind me, I had managed to create this masterpiece:

Oh yeah I might be in the wrong place.

The teacher frowned. “Is that supposed to by candy?” The only lame response I could come up with was to state the obvious.

“I’m new at this.”

The teacher didn’t look surprised. What I meant was I’m really sorry for taking up space in your classroom. I wanted to redeem myself, but by the end of the class period, the best I could come up with was this sucky rose:

I’m in the wrong place, and that rose looks like it could hurt someone.

Fortunately I had time to work on this at home. It turns out when I’m not hungry or surrounded by people who’ve been using computers since they were in diapers, things start making sense to me. I might not be in the wrong place after all. Even my bees don’t look like they’d hurt anyone!

Just pay no attention to those numbers. They’re totally made up.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Stuffed Love

My brothers and I were not easy on our stuffed friends. I still have a few of mine. Believe me, they won’t be crowned in any beauty competitions.

My little brother had a monkey (cleverly named Monkey) that smelled like a combination of steak and salad dressing. I don’t know what Monkey had gotten into, but I do know it’s not a good idea to go around smelling your brother’s things. My older brother had a fuzzy dog we called Risko. We had a tagline for Risko…Risko RISKS HIS LIFE to SAVE the others!! Proof that poor Risko lived up to that motto is that none of us can remember what happened to him. Wherever he ended up, he had to be carrying out a valiant rescue attempt.

I had a bear that underwent so many neck ‘surgeries’ that my mom finally had to crochet a collar just to keep his head on. I also had a stuffed chipmunk with tire marks on his tail. When your stuffed animals start resembling road kill, I think you’ve pretty much reached the pinnacle of toy abuse. The chipmunk and bear duo had the dubious honor of being my all-time favorites.

Here’s to the brave softies. They’re cute. They’re cuddly. They comfort us and keep us company. We repay them by biting off their noses and dropping them in the toilet.

We might have it rough. But it’s gotta be tough to be stuffed.