Thursday, July 21, 2016

Where's Waldo?

While I'm on an architectural riff here, HERE's a link to a charming story about a construction site across the street from a children's hospital where a great guy hides a cut-out Waldo every day for the young patients to find.  (Made with help from his own kid)  What a wonderful idea!

Jason Haney's Waldo at work.  Found at Bored Panda

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Architectural Sketching

And it works for theater design too!

I sometimes drop by Jim Leggitt's "Drawing Shortcuts" website to see really excellent renderings and to learn something to improve my own drawing skills.

He uses a totally fearless mix of media and methods to create lovely, fresh, simple (seemingly) freehand (looking) architectural sketches.  He seems to usually start with a SketchUp model and/or a photo, then adds in hand drawing and coloring using mostly markers and some pencil. He might overlay and trace computer or photographic material or draw directly on top of them.

Amazing!  I particularly like his use of entourage people, plants, umbrellas etc.  (A lot better than that same sad ficus tree or little-girl-with-balloon I saw used back in the day.)

Check 'em out HERE with his post on creating sketches that show the repurposing of a urban alley.  Drawn as illustrations for a lecture... I'm wondering if he'll ever lecture near me?

Phone photo to hand drawn sketch - Jim Leggitt / Drawing Shortcuts
Image copyright is Mr. Leggitt's of course, believed Fair Use as in a review.

At any rate I'm vowing to use more SketchUp and photos in creating my own theatrical drawings.  I'm the Queen of Tracing Stuff already, why not make that tracing more 3D-ish?  (And it'll help keep computer skills up at the same time.)

Saturday, July 9, 2016

That Radio Thing

A while back (HERE) I wrote about being interviewed for our local National Public Radio station KERA.  It required getting a haircut.

Well, the piece finally came out Friday!  The first of 52 artist profiles.  And this is the link at Art and Seek: HERE

A profile complete with a dorky they-made-me-take-it! selfie.

Really, they made me take this! selfie.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Out of This World Graphics

Does NASA have some fantastic graphic designers or what?

NASA Mars recruitment poster. Download HERE

There are a eight of them, each more gorgeous than the last.  Free.  

(In my next life, I'll be signing up to explore Mars... by then maybe they'll need theater designers, you think?  Meanwhile "some user assembly required" can be my motto onstage.)

Earlier cool NASA/JPL space travel posters HERE.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Kitchen Dog Theater's PUP FEST Today

Come celebrate 15 years of PUP Fest today as we launch 5 new high school playwrights into the world! Today at 1 and 4- totally free at Booker T!! Please spread the word!!
TODAY at 1:00 at Booker T. Washington H.S.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Producing on Broadway

Listen to National Public Radio?

Public domain image courtesy of

As I was driving between theaters yesterday I heard a fascinating interview with theater and film producer Scott Rudin on Fresh Air.  HERE.

No wonder the guy has five (5! count'em!) shows up for Tonys this season, has produced hits like The Book of Mormon, and been part of an incredible list of prestigious work in theater and film.  He's devoted to Broadway - watched every show from 8 years old on and started working there at 15.  "I'm a complete product of mentorship," he says, having worked for one after another of the great Broadway producers, learning as he went.

He reinforces my theory that those people who really want something, really love something, really want to learn... do.  Real masters seem to be self-educating; either self-taught or by way of finding the right teachers and insisting they be allowed to learn.  

Frighteningly focused and driven, really.  Excellence ain't easy.  Or easy to learn (his story about getting one boss's artificial leg fixed is pretty funny).

Listen up!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Gummy Bears for Lunch

Sometimes a set designer's life gets a tad hectic.

At the moment I have three shows all building and all in Fort Worth - Wait Until Dark at Stage West, The Winter's Tale at Trinity Shakespeare Festival, and Don't Talk to the Actors at Circle Theatre.

A whole lotta car time.

And not much lunch time while driving between theaters (and the fabric stores etc. etc.).

I usually try to keep something healthy-ish in the car for when I'm desperately hungry, but yesterday lunch turned out to be an Opening Night present from Circle Theater's Under the Skin...  gummy bears from one of the actors.

Thanks Uncle Gummy!

ADDENDUM:  I forgot to add this link to a cool study of color palettes in films HERE.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Realized and Un-Realized

Sometimes a design gets built.  Sometimes it gets built and its a hell o' work and everyone deserves a medal!  And sometimes it never happens.

I've been digging through files of old drawings today and found a few things...

In the Hell o' Work file I found this actual medal that I created for the hard working set build team:

It was a ton of work - including lugging a ton of books - and, as it was supposed to be a Pritzker Prize winning architect's Manhattan penthouse, the construction had to be exquisite.  (More on that show with a photo HERE.)  Anyway, the team was incredible!

I also found a full design for a show that never was.  Never mind the particular play or theater (getting rights can be complicated), here's the scenery that never got built... an upstage wall that gradually stripped away, sliding panels that slipped away to reveal, by the end, the raw truth, red in tooth and claw.

Here's the plan:

And here's the progression:

Would have been interesting.  Too bad it never happened...