This is one I’ve been trying to do for about as long as I’ve had gardens at home (as opposed to at work where many of my preliminary designs were conceived), before last night I’d never really been able to get it just right. There was always something wrong with it like too much sand in the vertical strokes, or a poorly managed diagonal stroke.

Although I’m invoking The Princess Bride with the title, this isn’t really meant to be a depiction of the Cliffs of Insanity, just so you know. More, this is my vision of a high-speed car chase around one of those crazy-steep cliff-edge roads like the ones you see in European crime movies. And the occasional episode of Lupin III.

It doesn’t really make a lot of sense, the way I’ve depicted it, with the slopes going up and turning into sheer cliff wall. But what can you do? I like the design, I think it works. The diagonal lines cutting across the horizontal lines reminds me off that 80s design sense where Venetian line gradation was the in thing. Think, Risky Business. Or the backs of Lamborghinis.

War of the Worlds

May 18, 2011

This one started out upside down. I was trying to do spotlights shining in the sky. But it looked really dull. So I awesomed it up a little.

You can probably tell that old school horror/sci-fi really jives with me.

It’s Alive!

May 18, 2011

This one’s kind of obscure.

It’s supposed to look like those electricity generators that all mad scientists have in black and white horror movies.

but the more I look at it, the more it just looks like a trophy knocked on its side. Which is kind of boring.

I think I might do a better one later.

Brain

May 18, 2011

…which, if you think about it, is a pretty gross name for a dog.

I thought this one bore more than a passing resemblance to Inspector Gadget’s genius sidekick dog, Brain. You could argue that it looks like a lot of generic dogs. But I like my designs to have a pop culture tie-in if possible.

Sue me.

Who was your favourite character from that show? I think I had a child crush on Penny. My Dr. Claw impersonation continues to bedazzle whoever I’m not too embarrassed to do it in front of. I always envied Gadget for his multitude of sweet, robotic abilities.

But one thing I never got was how could he be so hollow inside (like, hollow enough to fit all the gadgets and whatnot) and still be human? Or was he not human? But then, didn’t Penny used to call him uncle? Or was there some screwed up family dynamic going on there?

I know the live action movie tried to give reason to the rhyme, but I think that really screwed it up. And showing Dr. Claw? What’s the point?

Love, Lovecraft-Style

May 18, 2011

“This holiday season…prepare to share the laughter…the triumph…and the bottomless unspeakable horror…of two indescribable monsters, coming together…to find out…that sometimes…love is where the gelatinous membrane is.

Renee Zellweger is…Cthulu.
Jessica Alba is…The Flying Spaghetti Monster, in…

Love, Lovecraft-Style.”

As far as pictorial accuracy goes, luck is on my side because technically Cthulu is so indescribably awful that no picture could ever do it justice. So, really, he might very well look like a sideways 8 by 5 inch zen garden with some squiggly lines on it. You don’t know. You don’t know!

(although I can see why you might think this is a picture of a lobster)

8-Colour 4-Bit

May 18, 2011

Phoenix, Tezuka-Style

May 18, 2011

Anyone familiar with Osamu Tezuka’s work (Astro Boy, Buddha, Ode To Kirihito) should be aware of his Phoenix saga, said to be his most popular and influential work. In the 13 volumes he managed to finish before death, the story of the everlasting-life-granting fire bird ranged from the dawn of history to its end and was to weave its way, book by book, back to a fixed centre point, at which point the audience would realize that the story was actually all in the same universe. And that the characters were all related.

In Japan today there are still statues of Tezuka’s phoenix around major cities, it’s that beloved.

Consequently, or maybe I mean to say coincidentally, the above garden is one of my personal favourites that I’ve ever produced.

Ladles and Jellyspoons

May 18, 2011

Microchip Tattoo

May 18, 2011

After the inevitable apocalypse I wonder what animals and whatever other lifeforms come to earth will think of human civilization.

It occurred to me that if a bird or an alien (with some kind of advanced intellect) was to look down on our manufactured landscapes they would think that we had tattooed our land in the fashion of a microchip. Utilitarian, functional, unimaginative.

I am, of course, referring to North America.

Plus, I just think complex highway structures are kind of amazing. I mean, I hate driving in all its forms. But there are aspects of the driving culture I find interesting. I really like the old model cars, like from the 20s.

I hate to think of all the cars and trucks and jeeps and bikes (motor, not cycle) on the road at any given time of day. But I love roads themselves. The curve of them, the arrangement of them. How they divide, and join.

How they stretch on and on. Are named and then renamed. How they point the way and lose the way.

I’m generally a pretty conflicted person.

The Flying Stars

May 18, 2011

Carrying on with my obsession with Feng Shui, this hear is a ba gua, sometimes called a pa gua. It’s a nine sector grid that fits over any room, floor, or plot of land that dictates where objects should be placed in Feng Shui terms.

The ba gua, in my opinion, is the lynch pin that holds together all the different schools of Feng Shui, be it compass, flying star, or Black Hat Sect. I belong to the latter school of thought, which doesn’t hold to the movement of numbers within the ba gua, the same way that Flying Star Feng Shui does.

In Flying Star there are two criss-crossing arrows and a straight line that moves through the middle. These shapes represent a movement of numbers that shifts ahead once every passing year. The initial number look like this:

735
681
249

That movement, if you start at nine and move around to the eight, represents how the ‘stars’ ‘fly’.

It was kinda hard to depict here, but you get the idea.