Speech over, life begins again.

The talk at Syracuse was terrific. I thoroughly enjoyed it...particularly being a whisker early so I had a chance to calibrate my head by looking at the student work and seeing the students interact with each other. The students were attentive, taking notes and even asked some questions. I ended up on time--which was good as I had found out the previous speaker ran on for almost two hours. At the end, the alert ones came up and introduced themselves, asked more adventurous questions and actually thanked me for coming to speak to them. They were anxious to learn more about what I did and do...how I do it, more about print production etc. It was also interesting to be on campus with actual students...it was an entirely different experience. My eyes were opened by seeing some old pals and actually hearing the seeing them within this context. A bit shocking.

The tiki is a sketch of something for the museum. There are a few more for them to pick from. Grandmaster Hyde, glass artist to the tiki nation, recommends us visit the Mai Kai during our visit next week during Art Basel/Miami (yeah!). He succinctly spells it out:

If you have the time in your busy schedule to make the trip, you'll never be the same. Ok, you'll be the same, but you'll have been to The Mai Kai.

The dinner show is a hoot. The food is classic tiki, which is to say like curious chinese food, a lot of sweet & sour, etc.?

The drinks in the Molokai bar are the cheaper way out, and you can get appetizers and the full tiki experience there.?

Pretty girls in grass skirts.?Puffer fish light fixtures. Waterfalls. The whole shebang.

More later::

Turning body consious on its head

R. had an interesting observation on the idea of the remains and the departed. First off, we say "Dearly Departed" and often, the phrase "Dearly Beloved" is used in wedding ceremonies or opportunities for the minister to speak broadly to the community. Remember gloves and gold rings...maybe there is a link here. Another point was that we speak about the departed and not the remains addresses the memory we have of a person. Yes, we remember their physicality and what they look like, but the memory of what they were--their spirit, their life source, their being transcends this and is captured by the word departed.

I also think that the phase some people use instead of the departed is thus and so "passed" or "passed on". Will need to ruminate on that for a while.

The slides are done and burned on a dvd and also a flash drive to have some back up in addition to bringing my powerbook to Syracuse. There always seems to be some sort of glitch that happens and want to be prepared in case today is the day the bytes byte. I think, for now, I have it knocked. I eliminated a few slides this morning and output the slides 6 up and have taken notes on that...so it should go alright. R. proclaimed that if the slides were up, all I needed was to be brief, be myself and go on. If I forgot anything, no one would know as the pix are why they are there. So, deep breath. I am not nervous--just anxious to get this behind me as there are buckets of work and illustrations that have been put on pause to get this done. But to that, now I have a basic presentation done that will work with other clients etc. Seeing one's work in this format spurs change. We all should do it.

Change, that is.

Disney is brilliant

More from Wiki:

The attraction opened on June 23, 1963 and was the first to feature Audio-Animatronics, a WED Enterprises patented invention. The attraction's first commercial sponsor was United Airlines but sponsorship soon passed over to Hawaii's Dole Food Company who remains the sponsor to the present day. Dole also provides the unique Dole Whip soft-serve frozen dessert sold at a snack bar near the entrance.

The attraction was at first separated from Disneyland insofar as Walt Disney personally owned it through his own company, WED Enterprises, instead of the rest of Disneyland which was and still is owned by the Walt Disney Company (then Walt Disney Productions). The show was originally going to be a restaurant featuring Audio-Animatronic birds serenading guests as they ate and drank. The "magic fountain" at the room's center was originally planned as a coffee station (there is still a storage compartment within the base of the fountain) and the restaurant would have shared its kitchen with the now-defunct Tahitian Terrace in Adventureland and the Plaza Pavilion restaurant at the corner of Main Street, U.S.A. since all three are actually part of the same building. Since ownership of the attraction was separate from the rest of the park, a nominal admission charge of $0.75 was levied.

Since computers have played a central role in the attraction since its inception, Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room was also Disneyland's first fully air-conditioned building. The attraction opened in an era when all things Polynesian were popular and was an immediate hit. It houses a Hawaiian-themed musical show "hosted" by four lifelike macaws whose plumage matches their implied countries of origin. "José" is red, white and green and speaks with a Mexican accent, voiced by Wally Boag; "Michael" is white and green with an Irish brogue, voiced by Fulton Burley; "Pierre" is red, white, blue and has a French accent courtesy of the voice talents of Ernie Newton while red, black and white "Fritz" has a German accent provided by Thurl Ravenscroft, who also voices Hawaiian god "Tangaroa" near the attraction's entrance. The four macaws as well as all the other birds are plumed with real feathers with the exception of chest plumage. The chests are covered in custom-woven cashmere which allows the figures to "breathe" in a lifelike manner. The choice came quite by accident; in a planning meeting, Harriet Burns noticed a cashmere sweater that Walt Disney was wearing which moved at the elbows exactly the way the engineers envisioned.

wiki tiki

Wiki Tiki is:

Tiki culture in the United States began in 1934 with the opening of Don the Beachcomber, a Polynesian-themed bar and restaurant in Hollywood. The proprietor was Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gantt, a young man from Louisiana who had sailed throughout the South Pacific; later he legally changed his name to Donn Beach. His restaurant featured Cantonese cuisine and exotic rum punches, with a decor of flaming torches, rattan furniture, flower leis, and brightly colored fabrics. Three years later, Victor Bergeron, better known as Trader Vic, adopted a Tiki theme for his restaurant in Oakland, which eventually grew to become a worldwide chain. [1],

When American soldiers returned home from World War II, they brought with them stories and souvenirs from the South Pacific. James Michener won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for his collection of short stories, Tales of the South Pacific, which in turn was the basis for South Pacific, the 1949 musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, also a Pulitzer Prize winner. Hawaiian Statehood further drove interest in the area and Americans fell in love with their romanticized version of an exotic culture. Polynesian design began to infuse every aspect of the country's visual aesthetic, from home accessories to architecture.

Soon came integration of the idea into music by artists like Les Baxter, Arthur Lyman, and Martin Denny, who blended the Tiki idea through jazz augmented with Polynesian, Asian, and Latin instruments and "tropical" themes creating the Exotica genre. This music blended the elements of Afro-Cuban rhythms, unusual instrumentations, environmental sounds, and lush romantic themes from Hollywood movies, topped off with evocative titles like "Jaguar God", into a cultural hybrid native to nowhere.

There were two primary strains of this kind of exotica: Jungle and Tiki. Jungle exotica was a Hollywood creation, with its roots in Tarzan movies and further back, to William Henry Hudson's novel Green Mansions. Les Baxter was the king of jungle exotica, and spawned a host of imitators while opening the doors for a few more genuine articles such as Chaino, Thurston Knudson, and Guy Warren.

Tiki exotica was introduced with Martin Denny's Waikiki nightclub combo cum jungle noises cover of Baxter's Quiet Village. Tiki rode a wave of popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960s marked by the entrance of Hawaii as the 50th state in 1959 and the introduction of Tiki hut bars and restaurants around the continental United States.

Tiki exotica has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, and Tiki mugs and torches that once collected dust in thrift stores are now hot items, largely because of their camp value.

mulling over ideas

Back from the House of Health. Car in the shop. Snowtires, balancing, registration, oil change. All done by noon, they promise. Tikis on the drawing board. Overhead doors ordered. Need to provision for our trip. And the poochita considerations need to happen. She is covered for December...she will be bunking with her pals, the australian cattledogs and their person. All is good there. They are promising us around an inch of snow today. There were cars with ice on their windshields this morning.

Spent the better part of yesterday gritting out the slide show for the stoonts at SU. Its coming along nicely...and its in a place I can fully begin to understand the beginning, middle, end with conclusions. Phew. It takes a ton of time to save down illustrations to bitmaps and then sock them into the powerpoint format. Erich is going to gather a bunch of office stuff...but the interesting parts are when illustration happened. Looks real sparkly. Good to do. Powerpoint is a stiff and not too fun program though.

If I were running the world, I would have each grad. student (in an illustration or design program) show a half an hour of whatever interests them...to the other students as a way of introducing themselves, and making them get a grip with this presentation thing. Now that I have spent the time, I can see a series of presentations that could stem off of this presentation that tells a story further. Its a good exercise. I assume everyone is a bit untried with this sort of thing...and you know, as soon as the degree happens, things happen and you need these tools and skills. Time consuming...but good.

Working on some tikis. Only have to get him done by the end of the month. I am making them way over complicated. I did, however, discover some fab tiki related sites:

> Tiki related hats>> "Fez O Rama"
> London Luau: June 6-8, 2008
> London Laua art
> Lots of excitement around Tiki Oasis:
(lookee there....Shag.org is a sponsor as well as Trader Vic, The Tiki Lounge and a bunch of liquor brands...)
check out their links page...interesting Vendors...makes you think.

More later>>

what to do

Man. Busy times! I need to get on the Syracuse talk. I was lackadaisical about the talk until yesterday when I decided I would talk about what gets me out of bed in the morning versus "this is what I do". Yes, I will prove that I am a graphic designer and show a range of stuff. Then, I will talk about boredom and the random decision to go to Syracuse for illustration.I will show the SU illustration segue-ing from one group of birds to dogs to .... Then I will get into the world of death. Why not? As a few of my friends and clients have pushed me when asked what I should talk about...they always circled back on how I like to take things and make them into something else...and MM does that, focuses my work, will evolve into all sorts of things (maybe including tikis) and the illustration and design will take on a life and audience of it's own. Cool. Right? From someone's mom... All R suggests is platinum hair and a few tattoos and I would be in there swinging(and he is partially serious). However, with some Ray Orbison glasses and Laurie Anderson hair...that might be a closer option. I am thinking Ray Orbison even more than the hair. So, I need to rejigger the slides I have and add...along with sources of inspiration as well (yippee!).

Need to get the holiday party invites in the mail. Done from a design, printing and cutting standpoint. Ditto on presents. Need to get the client to please finalize their holiday card as no one wants a card after Jan1.

Working on Tikis for 2300 degrees at CMOG (note:all the cards on this link were designed by yours truly) for January. It is really fun, and this ink technique is looking way good. R. got an effusive voicemail from an artist who saw my work at the 171 Cedar Street Holiday "Cafe" Sale. I want to meet him and his wife as they are engaged in the world of Tiki and attend the shows in San Diego and London. If my work is suited for that, the concept of making a big body of work on the topic and going to these shows is very appealing. First, I need to understand what it really is...is it a state of mind? is it a particularly American state of mind? who are the kings of tiki? Beyond Trader Vics and my ultimate favorite Tiki reference, the Tiki Room at Disneyland--where is the center of this universe? What is the imagery? Where does Spollen fit in? He has hotrods in with the tikis and topless babes? Where does Shag fit in? More to learn. Can I fit the tikis in with the Imps of Death? Maybe?

More later>