Saturday, December 12, 2009

Daily Zoo Book Signing - Minneapolis!

I'll be heading home for the holidays and will be having a book signing for the hot-off-the-press Daily Zoo: Year Two.

I will have both volumes of The Daily Zoo available for purchase as well as notecards (great stocking stuffers!) and perhaps a few prints.

All are welcome. Hope you can make it!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Daily Zoo: Year Two...a sneak peek

Here are a few images from the new Daily Zoo to whet your appetite. The books should be arriving any day now...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Gifted Artist Show

This Saturday, December 19, 2009, I'll be participating in The Gifted Artist Show in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. It's a charity art show and auction to benefit the Loma Linda Children's Hospital. Artwork by many talented friends and colleagues will be on display and up for bid. I'll be telling the story of The Daily Zoo and my battle with cancer - I think around 8pm - and have copies of the just-published Daily Zoo: Year Two available for purchase and signing. Additionally, if you bring an unwrapped toy you will be entered in a drawing for prizes.

Come for some fun and to help out a great cause!

Saturday, December 19, 2009
5pm - 10pm
CCAA Museum of Art
12467 Baseline Road
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91729

See the flyer above for a map and a list of participating artists.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Daily Zoo in Spectrum 16

Last spring, I was thrilled to learn that two images from The Daily Zoo had been selected for inclusion in the latest volume of Spectrum, the annual compilation of some of today's top sci-fi and fantasy art. Good news: Spectrum 16 just hit bookshelves and is another fine collection of some amazing work by many talented individuals. If you're not familiar with Spectrum and you like dragons, femme fatales, and big kick-ass robots, you should do yourself a favor and check it out.

My thanks to the jury for including images from The Daily Zoo and also to editor Arnie Fenner for including a mention in his Year in Review essay: "The Daily Zoo: Keeping the Doctor at Bay with a Drawing a Day by Chris Ayers [Design Studio Press] was an inspirational, often hilarious chronicle of defiance as Chris battled leukemia by drawing a new creature everyday for a year."

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Daily Zoo: Year Two...cover revealed!

It's official. The follow-up to last year's Daily Zoo - Vol. 1 has gone to press and will hopefully be available in early to mid-December. After completing my initial goal of drawing an animal a day for a year, I kept right on drawing on Day 366. The Daily Zoo: Year Two continues the journey with another year's worth of armadillos, babirusas, and zombie frogs along with further commentary on my artistic process as well as more reflections as I continue to learn what it means to be a cancer survivor. To whet your appetite, here's a look at the cover.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Daily Zoo on Exhibit

Greetings all! Forty-five prints from the first two years of The Daily Zoo are now on exhibit at the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries on the Saint Mary's University main campus in Winona, MN. I'm exhibiting with the talented sculptor Maureen Costa and the show runs through November 11, 2009. The gallery is open from 9am-8pm, M-F and is free and open to the public.

I will also be signing books at a gallery reception on Friday, Nov. 6 from 4-6pm. This is also open to the public. If you're in the area with time to kill, please stop by and say hi.

More info on the event can be found on Saint Mary's blog here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Next Day Flyers Blog Interview

(Yes, yes, I know. I'm one of the worst least in terms of frequency.)

Next Day Flyers is a printing company here in Southern California that I use for my Daily Zoo promotional materials and greeting cards. They also recently started a blog with periodic design tips, tutorials, and resources. One of their newest features is that they spotlight various artists from time to time. Last week they were kind enough to feature me and The Daily Zoo. Please check out the interview if you're interested. My thanks to Karen Daniels and the Next Day Flyers team!

Time to once again return to blog-hibernation...but hopefully not for too long.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Comic-Con International 2009

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I hope to change that soon. In the meantime, I just wanted to let anybody who is interested know that I'll be at the Design Studio Press booth (#1701) from 2-4 pm on Saturday, July 25, signing copies of The Daily Zoo. Please feel free to stop by and say hi!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Others #2: Daily Zoo 'non-features'

Here are a few more Daily Zoo sketches that didn't get featured in the book. (If you're just joining us, I started drawing an animal a day on the one-year anniversary of being diagnosed with leukemia. More info on the story and book can be found here and on my website.)

Day 051 - Caiman
First up are sketches done on back-to-back days. On Day 051 I drew a caiman (a small species of crocodilian native to the Americas) experimenting with just slight exaggeration of the snout and brow.

Day 052 - Crocodilians
Upon returning to the subject matter on the following day, I started with a more pushed version of the same caiman in profile and then did a few more sketches playing with different angles and proportions.

Day 159 - Vulture
Next up is the crafty vulture done on Day 159. Vultures seem to have a bit of a bad rap in general society, but I think they're awesome. They do nature's dirty work of cleaning the savannah of decaying corpses and they have quite a unique visual appearance. Their heads have no feathers so when they're burrowing inside a rotting carcass all day, they don't have to spend a wing and a leg on vats of Prell. I find that their bald noggins also give them a cool resemblance to dinosaurs. The tree that he is perched on is dead and thorny to echo his reputation of being associated with death. This sketch wasn't completely fulfilling for me on an artistic level, so I drew another one on the following day. To see that one, however, you'll have to check out The Daily Zoo: Keeping the Doctor at Bay with A Drawing A Day.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The 'Zoo' Goes to the Zoo

About a month ago Dr. Susan Sencer, head of the hematology and oncology programs at the Children's Hospitals of Minneapolis and St. Paul, invited me to participate in their annual party for patients and their families. The event just so happened to be held at the Minnesota Zoo. Very fitting!

I had a great time signing some books and meeting some very courageous kids (and their equally courageous families). It was impressive to see some very sick children still find ways to laugh, smile, and LIVE.
My thanks to Dr. Sencer and Children's Hospital for allowing me to be a part of their celebration.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Others: Daily Zoo "non-features"

Introducing a new feature to this blog: The Others. One of the problems I encountered while compiling the Daily Zoo sketches into book format was that 365 images is a lot of content to work with! Just the scanning alone was a time-consuming task. Then, while creating the book's layout, I had to choose which images were going to be featured in the main body of the book. Because of production costs (and not wanting to be blamed for the complete deforestation of the rainforest) my publisher and I decided that the book would be 160 pages. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your view, this meant that I could not show all the images at a large size. Of the 365 sketches from Volume One, I managed to "highlight" 145 in the main body of the book while the entire year's worth are shown as small thumbnails in the back as a sort of visual index.

One of the thoughts for this blog was to periodically feature some of the sketches that didn't get their fifteen minutes of fame in the book. Give 'em a little love, so to speak. So with that in mind, here are the first two, requested by Aaron from Portland. (If you have requests to see certain thumbnails larger without using your grandfather's magnifying glass, feel free to send me an email - I make no promises, but will see what I can do.) Click on the images to see them larger.

Day 028 - Alligator Salesman
I guess he's not really a salesman. Perhaps "salesgator" is more accurate? He joins the Serval Salescat (Day 176) and the Insecure Traveling Salesmonkey (Day 192) as animals peddling goods and services. I don't know what it is about salespeople/animals that makes them keep popping up as subject matter in my drawings. I have not liked most of the salespeople I have met...maybe turning them into animals is my way to make them more tolerable?

Day 143 - Wallowing Hog
When you're not tracking it across a freshly-mopped kitchen floor, mud is AWESOME.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Spoils from Santa

Happy New Year!

In addition to featuring my artwork on this blog, I'd like to periodically share other cool art that I happen to come across. Today I'd like to share two very cool books that I just got my hands on.

First up is Fantastical Creatures Field Guide: How to Hunt Them Down and Draw Them Where They Live by Aaron Lopresti. It is filled with whimsical creatures and characters; wonderful art and well-written and humorous text. A sort of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-esque look at our planet's obscure fauna not yet recognized by science.

Second is Evolution by Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu with photographs by Patrick Gries. I haven't had a chance to read much of the text yet, but I was completely awed by the images: hundreds of black and white photographs of complete animal skeletons (aardvark, sloth, orca, lizards, primates, bison, coelacanth, you name it...) Really fantastic reference material - great for creature/character designers!