Alaska Robotics

Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Terrible Yellow Eyes

Monday, September 21st 2009 by Pat


Terrible Yellow Eyes is a collection of illustrations inspired by Maurice Sendak’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. The project, organized by Cory Godbey, features beautiful contributions by many of my favorite artists.

I thought it would be fun to try drawing some wild things and I actually like the rough pencil sketches the best.

For whatever reason, whenever I try to refine a drawing it seems to lose a little bit of soul. Anyone have any tips on preserving the lively quality of a quick sketch while evolving it into a more finished piece? Maybe I just need to get away from Photoshop and get my hands dirty.


The Hourglass of Motivation

Friday, September 18th 2009 by Pat

This is great advice for anyone trying to complete an independent creative project while working under their own supervision.

“It’s just a matter of fucking discipline really, you’ve just got to get on with it.”


An independent game developer, Cliffski, is hard at work on his newest project, Gratuitous Space Battles. He’s doing what he loves and it really shows, the game so far looks amazing.

Labor Day

Sunday, September 13th 2009 by Pat

Last year I celebrated Labor Day by recognizing and supporting artists whose work I enjoy. It’s a way to elevate creative expression and hopefully, if other people create similar lists, I can learn about new bits of wonderful I have yet to discover.

The idea comes from Arlo Midget, he called it the True Fan Boost, an extension of Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans concept. In talking to Arlo, one of the main things I picked up is that it’s not just important for artists to reach out to fans but for fans to consciously support artists. If I were trying to write a pop tech book I’d call this Labor Day list an annual micro patronage.

There aren’t really any rules, last Labor Day I bought something from each artist on my list and wrote a bit about why I chose to support them, I tried to stick to local, independent, or emerging creators who might get more out of a couple bucks and some recognition. If you want to make a similar list, feel free to follow your own parameters and please post a link in the comments so I can see what you came up with.

The Gregory Brothers

The Gregory Brothers are the musicians/geniuses behind Auto-Tune the News but that project shouldn’t define them. The three brothers, Evan, Andrew, and Michael along with Sarah Fullen have a whole array of collaborative projects and the deeper I dig, the more amazing things I find.

After obsessing over Auto-Tune the News I discovered some of the group’s more serious music. I picked up “Meet the Gregory Brothers,” which has a lot of slow soul and funk songs. Hopefully there will be plenty of Sarah Fullen on this collection, I love her surprising voice and the personality she puts into her vocals.

I’m also excited about Andrew Gregory’s “The Color Red,” and “The Lost Year” which seem to have a good mix of adventure and heartbreak. Clever, simple songs, short stories for a Sunday afternoon. I think this will be good drawing music.

Randall Munroe

XKCD,  a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.Randall Munroe makes XKCD, a smart and romantic stick figure webcomic. He announced his first book, xkcd: volume 0, which should be out soon and I’ll pick up a copy when it appears. For now I’ll have to be content with an XKCD Button Pack.

Dani Byers

The Play Thing
Dani is an amazing local artist who outgrew Juneau and floated away on an airplane. She used to contribute to our site with her Geek Fetish comic but now she makes decorative cookies and plays the squeeze box.

Dani is one of the smartest and most talented artists I know and her vocals sound like cedar, smoke, and whiskey. I wish more of her work could be found in the world, I may have to commission something.

Sean Tracy

Sean Tracy, Trouble
Sean Tracy is a local musician who plays the best drinking music I’ve ever heard. He’s clever in the same way as John Prine and his songs are filled with the kind of truth and humor that can only be found sitting on a bar stool.

Another great local artist, Mitch Watley, did the cover art for the album. He draws Night Shelter and has taught me a lot about working digitally.


Flight Volume SixThe flight anthologies are what drew me back into comics after outgrowing clumsy superhero stories. The flight anthologies collect comics with a focus on strong storytelling accented by beautiful illustrations rather than relying on chromium covers and holograms over substance.

There are several members of the Flight crew I should mention, they’re all very talented and deserve individual recognition but I’ll just take a second to note a few here.

Chris Applehans

Chris is also a Flight artist, I met him briefly in San Diego last year. Maybe it was the blur of the convention but he seemed sort of disconnected – in a good way – as if he might experience reality at a slightly differently angle than most people.

It was comforting, like meeting someone deeply spiritual or severely jet lagged.

I wish I could pick out a print from each of the flight artists but funds are limited and I’ve been meaning to get this one for a while.

Best Chair

I ordered through the Nucleus Gallery and if you want to pick up something of your own before October 31, 2009 you can use this coupon code for 10% off: Y24TASD5


Well, that’s my list for this year. It’s by no means comprehensive, just a shout out to some of the many artists who influence my own work and make the world a better place to live. Thanks!

Yo Gabba Gabba

Monday, August 31st 2009 by Pat

“Listening and Dancing to Music is AWESOME!!!”

I’m addicted, I’ve come under the spell of Yo Gabba Gabba and I can’t stop myself. It’s four in the morning on a comic night and I’m rocking out to songs about sharing, eating your vegetables, and making friends.

I’ve yet to see an entire episode, I’m just subsisting off youTube scraps for the time being. Join me in my pauper’s feast.

Party in My Tummy VS. The Ting Tings

This Exists

Wednesday, August 26th 2009 by Pat

Yeah. So… Apparently this exists. Wow!

Thanks Masen, I don’t watch enough Nickelodeon these days.

Juneau Fashion

Sunday, August 23rd 2009 by Lou


Libby Sterling Interview

Thursday, August 20th 2009 by Pat

Capital City Weekly

We sat down last week with Libby Sterling and chatted about work, inspiration, creative expression and life. Libby writes for the Capital City Weekly and put together a flattering profile of our group after the conversation.

It was a pleasure to talk to Libby, we probably asked her as many questions about her work as she asked about ours.

In addition to writing for the paper, Libby is a talented photographer and musician playing with the Little Black Raincloud Company, a talented group putting out an honest sound laced with melancholy. The music is like the silver surface of a puddle just after it rains – reflective, fragile and wonderful.

She shows promise and patience as an animator and filmmaker but aspires to step sideways from that work to become a photographic illustrator, working with miniature sets and models to create still images. She sites Christopher Sickels as inspiration for the direction of her future work and her short film, The Orphan, offers a glimpse of the character and set design she’s been experimenting with.

Libby is the kind of person that makes Juneau a place I like to live, I hope she sticks around.

Greased Scotsman

Tuesday, August 4th 2009 by Lou

scotoilThese are the sort of things that come out of the late night bullshit sessions with Jamie Karnik and Andy  Kline.  Greased Scotsman!  Kind of a rip-off of the great (turn down your speakers for this one if you’re at work pretending to work), but just imagine a world without this combination. “Greased Scotsman!” also works well as a home page for the unsuspecting and as a replacement for “good bye” or “see you later”.

Greased Scotsman!


Monday, August 3rd 2009 by Pat

I just got back from a cabin trip so today’s comic is going to be late. In the meantime, enjoy this distraction..

“More,” is one of my favorite short films of all time. Mark Osbourne took a chunky, grey block of clay and turned it into a bittersweet world filled with aspirations, dreams, suffering, tragedy, and, ultimately, hope… or is that despair? The subtly is lost on me but I really enjoy the shiny sparkles.

This film inspires me to create and it also reminds me to stay true to myself, to cling desperately to whatever glowing goop I have in my belly.

Osbourne recently directed “Kung-Fu Panda,” which is my favorite animated feature since “The Iron Giant,” and he’s currently at work on “The Great Ascension Machine,” a new stop-motion & computer animated film that has some kind of steam punk bent to it.

The “More” DVD can be found at Osborne’s Get Happy website.

Auto-tune the News!

Monday, July 13th 2009 by Pat

Everything is better with Auto-Tune! This episode features our soon to be former Governor and has some of the best unintentional singing yet.

Thanks to the Gregory Brothers for making such wonderful videos!