LAST UPDATE

Hello subscribers! This is the last update that will appear here. The new Latest Updates section is now at normalbob.com. If you still want to receive constant updates to what’s going on here at my sites (and I hope you do), you’ll have to resubscribe there. This particular WordPress section will be archived and never attended to again!

If you have been directed to this by some other link, do not subscribe here! Go to where I just mentioned above and do it there. I think in the long run this will make things a lot simpler and streamlined.

Many thank you’s!
Normal Bob Smith

The New Mohammed Dressup/magnets

http://normalbobsmith.com/store/mohammed.html

It’s difficult for me to express just how excited I am about the new Mohammed Dressup game, and the magnets in production. For a while now I’ve been attempting to imagine what the perfect Mohammed Dressup game would look like. It took a while for the popularity of his name & image to catch up with us in the West. Now that it has, I think this is what everyone’s been waiting for.

Another devious idea, I thought, was to print great quantities of The Prophet’s image in the form of mailable postcards! I mean, what better way to share his image than by showing it to everyone along the US mail postal route on the way to its lucky recipient? And you can send postcards cheap, just about anywhere, with no return address! I dunno. Maybe I’m the only one who appreciates it. We’ll see.

Either way, I don’t think I’ll find any stores willing to carry these on their shelves, so magnetic Mohammed Dressup is for sale here, and here alone. Shipment I’m predicting will arrive in April. I cannot wait.

Drawing Yolandi

Earlier this year (Feb 2012) I drew a picture of Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord. I’m a big fan of the band and drawing her with that signature snarl came pretty easy. However, while researching images of her, I noticed a trend – Every artist who’d attempted, few drew her without the snarl. And the ones who tried with any sort of a normal facial expression failed (in my opinion) at capturing her unique likeness. They succeeded in drawing some girl who was perhaps trying to look like her, but none would leave you to confidently proclaim, “That is Yolandi Visser.”

In the months following that first illustration I’d randomly stumble across other caricatures of her where different artists couldn’t seem to agree on whether or not her eyes were too close together, or far apart. Is her nose big or tiny? Is her mouth little or huge? And for some reason these questions seemed to be plaguing the renderings throughout my searches at Google Images.

After realizing all of this, I assigned myself the personal challenge of capturing a recognizable likeness WITHOUT the snarl, or growl, or sneering. A normal facial expression that is clearly, unquestionably, a portrait of Yolandi.

After my first few stumblings I found myself running into these same corner-cutting solutions other artists before me had fallen into. Make her eyes farther apart, that’ll separate her from any other girl with that haircut. How about her eyes closer together? No, that’s not it either. Clearly a tiny little button nose is what makes her so adorable. Nope. Well, she doesn’t have a big nose either. How about no nose at all? Then the viewer’s eye can sort it out. Right?

Five illustrations later and I was getting nowhere. Simply putting sharp, shortened bangs on a strange looking little girl wouldn’t cut it. And I swear to you, with each sketch I put to paper she got uglier and uglier. It was terribly, terribly frustrating.

I put the project away for about a week before I could return to it again. I had to try something new. A new angle. That was the key.

It wasn’t until I stopped trying to draw her straight on and instead tilted her head to a 3/4 view that it started to come together. Her mouth protrudes, and that’s something difficult to convey head on. Her nose is neither big nor tiny. It’s flaired, and the nostrils are well defined, coming forward as part of her Gelfling-like mouth. Her eyes are certainly big, but not googly. They’re neither too far apart or too close together. That in itself is a curveball for a caricature artist. And as a girl who was walking behind me at the coffee shop pointed out, “She has Nordic eyes. Not Anime eyes. Think Bjork. Not Sailor Moon.”

It was the three-quarter view that gave me the base to sculpt the shape of her face around. It’s the first right thing that happened in this project. After I had a completed sketch, I scanned it into my computer and traced it in Adobe Illustrator. This is where I can cheat some more and do all the gradual tweaks that you miss on the first (my case, 7th) attempt. Tilting the eyes, adjusting the mouth position and the curve of the upper lip, then adding color, and the white lashes & eyebrows to drive it all the way home.

The whole idea behind this project was that the final piece could be used as a display model for a Yolandi Dressup game. And if you want to get a feel for the confidence level I had going into this, I wasn’t going to spend the $12 on the yolandidressup.com URL until it was successfully rendered in Illustrator.

The whole process took place over the course of a month (that doesn’t include any building of the dress up game, art for the clothes, etc.). I’m proud to say that I feel vindicated. I drew a perfectly recognizable illustration of Yolandi with a variety of facial expressions to choose from, allowing me to be the creator of the greatest ever Yolandi Dressup game on Planet Earth (at least at this particular moment).

I urge you to check out the fruits of my labors at YolandiDressup.com, and try out my latest invention – a Clothes Toolbar on the far right side of the page. It’s my solution to getting all the clothes you’d want in a dressup game without all the art having to be tiny. The game is loads of fun, and I hope one day to hear she agrees.

NEW: Yolandi Dre$$up for the kids!

http://yolandidressup.com/
Here’s something different! Now, I’m not sure how many of you still keep up with the site during these slower winter weeks where the updates are fewer, and farther between, BUT I’ve got something new for you today! It’s yolandidressup.com, and it’s SOOOOOO  Ke-ute! There’s lots of bells and whistles, so play around with her a lot while you listen to Die Antwoord. It’s pretty fun.

Amazing Strangers/Going out with a BANG!

http://normalbobsmith.com/amazingstrangers/150.html
Every year Shaggy and I are more than aware that the park’s days are coming to an end. Winter’s about to set in and the Christmas shopping mall sets up in November closing off all antics at Union. That’s why we save all of the BIG stuff until then. And let’s just say, this year beats all, making the Dog Molester look like child’s play. Am I allowed to say that?

Please take heed on this new page of Amazing Strangers.

Petition to shut me down!

http://normalbobsmith.com/hatemail507.html
Yeah, I know this isn’t the first petition to shut me down, but it’s a catchy headline, and it is for real! You can decide how chilling the news actually is and decide whether or not to sign it considering that a shut-down would bring some fantastic publicity! Also, lots of hate mail to enjoy.