Face of a Patriot

What better way to kill a couple of hours before a fireworks display than photoshopping? Clearly there is none.

Flag portrait illustration

Joe Biden's face superimposed onto a portrait of John C. Calhoun
Maybe a week and a half ago, I happened upon this incredible image of John C. Calhoun [7th Vice President of the US, war hawk, really into slavery, known for not being much fun at parties] while meandering down some internet rabbit hole. It tickled me so much that I’ve had it open in a tab ever since, and I peek at it at least a dozen times every day. Today’s holiday inspired me this afternoon, and it turns out that this hairdo flatters our current VP, Joe Biden, more than I had expected. Also, I finally have closure and can close that browser tab.
John Boehner's face superimposed onto a portrait of Joseph G. Cannon
When I had finished with Biden, it already felt like a theme. Here’s Speaker of the House John Boehner inhabiting the style and facial hair of one of his predecessors, Joseph Gurney Cannon. I admit that I mainly chose Cannon because I sincerely find this portrait of him to be very arresting, but it turns out that the Speakership (is that a word?) was likely never as powerful as it was during his tenure.
Antonin Scalia's face superimposed onto a portrait of Thurgood Marshall

Since I had already covered the executive and legislative branches, it seemed necessary to choose a Supreme Court justice. Here, Scalia angsts about whether or not he’s pulling off Thurgood Marshall’s glasses and mustache. Or possibly about how history is going to remember his work last week. You know, could be either.


Wendy Davis's face superimposed onto a portrait of Ann Richards

So many people have been throwing Wendy Davis and Ann Richards into the same sentence lately that this seemed appropriate. There aren’t enough good photos of Wendy from a variety of angles yet, so the photoshopping here admittedly suffers. The hair, however, is still majestic.


Barack Obama's face superimposed onto a portrait of George Washington

This one I did because: had to?



Detail of heart illustration

Mother's Day flower illustration
This one was for my mom. I started with this picture I took of a ceiling in the Hearst Castle (side note: go there! it’s good.) a couple of years ago and used shapes from that image to cut out photos of flowers I’ve taken everywhere from Texas to Ireland.
Father's Day heart illustration

This one I made for my dad. I took a geometric pattern that I’ve seen used in pottery (like this vase from Acoma) and filled the positive areas with different sunsets I’ve captured and the negative areas with a single blue sky.

The geometry of the “editing” container graphic seems to be the most important factor in determining whether the final image suggests a stack of flat objects or a unified three-dimensional one.

aimee mann cutout illustration

Chapman and Robin cutout portrait
I made these illustrations to put in a card for Chapman. I wanted to play around with building one image with shapes cut out from another. All of the source photos here are from trips we’ve taken together. I did one of Aimee Mann because we’re going to see her next week. It’s our Manniversary.
Black and white cropped view from my window.

View from my window at two different times in one morning.
A little after 8, the light was soft through a shroud of mist. The tall trees and mist we have here always make me daydream about a dinosaur lumbering by. I blame Land Before Time. Half an hour later, the sun washed everything in super-saturated yellow. This might happen every day, but I only notice it sometimes.

Q: What is design school like?

So like, we moved to California. This is the oldest of news, but not to you, unloved website (Happy V-Day, btw). You probably think we’re still in Austin. Moving was so much harder than I ever thought it would be. If anyone is wondering what not to do when moving cross-country…I have notes. The worst is definitely past, but there are lingering struggles. I’m slowly and doggedly sorting and evaluating every possession (physical and digital) in my charge, and today I came upon this modest treasure tucked inside an ancient mini DV tape:
I think if you analyzed the set of all my experiences throughout design school and tried to solve for the average (mean, obviously), the result would just be that video clip. I never thought 2006 would be so long ago.

P.S. Here’s one of the dozens of images that ultimately resulted from that project (this one specifically from the way the screw travels down an incline (when doused in ink, then digitized, then manipulated):

Line illustration
More from that project here.

Something long overdue

After we got back from our trip, I took a long hiatus from this little project. Oops. Will try to get back in the swing of things. Here’s a picture of Chapman looking mysterious in a beautiful place.