Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ninja Mountain Podcast episode 54. The Economics of Ramen...

Drew, Socar, and Jeremy are left to their own devices this week and the discussion follows the meandering paths of the mountain.
In this episode, three wayward ninjas discuss ramen, job titles, the horrors of life-drawing, the art/illustration dynamic, berets, and skimpy costumes.
Easy listening? Or disturbing? You must decide!

Some questions for our fellow ninjas:

What one word comes to mind when you hear the word, "illustration"?
What is the weirdest place where you have found your own work displayed?
What is the weirdest tool in your studio? The kind of item that your peers might be surprised to learn about?
Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to client communication?
Let's hear your "life drawing nightmares"!


Char Reed said...

Another good app for multiple platforms (Mac and Windows at least) that does the same thing as that egg timer:

Focus Booster App

It's pretty nifty and there is a web-only version also so no downloads necessary.

David Morning said...

Online app to use for countdowns is To use it you just add the time frame you want the timer to run for to the end of the url, eg "" or "" and it starts a timer app which shows time left in the title bar (or tab if you have firefox) and gives a beeping alert when completed

nana said...

Hi guys! Thanks for a great show! I've been stalking it for a while but never really commented. Great job on it! :)

I've been taking part of The Art Department Discovery program by recently, and some weeks ago we focused on Illustration. We had talks by Gary Kelley, Brent Watkinson, John English, Sterling Hundley and Jon Foster. Despite producing some very different-looking work these guys all share the opinion that illustration is all about problem-solving, and I think that sums it up really well for me.
So my one word to describe illustration would be "problem-solving".

As a side note, I went into an engineering degree without really knowing what engineering was all about. Just like illustration, engineering can be so much and interestingly enough, after 3-years I realised that "problem-solving" is probably the most succinct way to sum up engineering too. :)

Thanks again for the show! It's accompanied me through many long working hours! :)

Jan said...

1) "exciting" I think.

2) nah, no weird places. Unless you count the school newspaper as weird.

3) my glove? See, I wanted to ask about this, but of course I forgot. My question would be "cool tips for tools that save you money". I saw that SmudgeGuard thingy online and thought it was a good idea. But paying that much money for it? Nah. I bought a box of nylon gloves for roughly a dollar and use those instead. (with cut off thumb and two fingers)

Socar, maybe you could use a SmudgeGuard instead of toilet paper? If you washed it often enough anyway.
I'm sure Patrick would have some cool tips, Ralph as well. Mechanical arms, giant wooden structures...:P

4) Pet peeves? I kind of dislike the situations when it's obvious the client doesn't read my emails beyond the first line. Usually, when I send you four questions, I would like to get answers to all of them, not just the first one. :/ I get that you're busy, I get that you need to answer a lot of emails. But it still makes me feel rather bad.
And it's a waste of time since I have to send those questions again and wait for the reply.

5) Nightmares? my first life drawing was rather traumatizing. A friend of mine dragged me to this art school to sign up for a course (not college, more like middleschool) and instead of drawing elves and gnomes and dragons (which I liked), they made me draw my friend. Which was freaky. Why would I want to draw her?! She's there for everyone to see! It just felt redundant and boring. :) Plus the teachers were kind of scary. Like hungry old witches.

Socar, you think Canada losing to USA is bad? We lost to Finland. Russians, ok, it was a nice game and we played well. But Finland?! :/

Stuart Hatt said...

Hey guys!

Just started listening about 3 days ago and have eaten up all the pod casts available on itunes but I was wondering if I can download any of the older pod casts as the British itunes seems to only to backdate to about #37? I need more of Socar and Patrick's Banter!

On another note, I have a possible topic that might be interesting, at least to students. (sorry if its been covered before). I study architecture but am desperate to finish up, get my degree and start drawing in more of an art/illustration field. I was wondering to what extent you guys think a formal education in art is important to get started? Or does it seem that just as many artists don't have or didn't find their art education helpful in gaining the skill set they use and enjoy today?

Thanks for the great words of anti-raman wisdom! keep it up!

Patrick said...

Glad to have you on board, Stuart! You can find all the previous episodes here on the blog - just go back to January of 2009 and start moving forward. Also, I recently created some convenient zipped files of the first 20 episodes in packs of 5 that you can find here;

Have fun!

Patrick said...

And on the other topic - I think we've covered it somewhere but all good topics deserve to be touched on a few times.

As for me, I had a couple of years of "formal" training, and it did have some uses (life drawing, learning about critique) but for the most part I had to learn EVERYTHING about illustration on my own. Also, the bad experience made me quit art completely for several years before I started again. So for me I'd say it wasn't all that important and was actually detrimental, but on the other hand some people do better in a structured environment.

So I don't think it can be answered that simply! Everyone needs to look at themselves and try to figure out what will be best in their case.

Erika "Thrivis" Harm said...

I never thought of looking up the dude behind Katamari Damacy... odd fellow! Or just easily bored. The first half of the one I read he doesn't answer the questions, and then asks the interviewer the same question.

I haven't had any life drawing nightmares... All the models I've had are sooo cool.

Stuart Hatt said...

Thank you for the direction for more pod-casts Patrick and even more thanks for your background, having a formal education in architecture has given me plenty skills in people critiquing my work as well as some craftsmanship and professionalism but the real meat of drawing has escaped me *cries*. I found out today that i have 12 weeks left of my course so, not long now until I can finally get to life-drawing sessions and dive freely into illustration.
Thanks again Patrick.

David Michael Wright said...

Unusual equipment...

- I use the front section of a defunct plastic push button ballpoint pen (dismantled/unscrewed) as an alternative pencil holder/extender. So I can use the whole of a standard pencil down to the last tiny little bit, no waste. I then collect all my pencil stubs up and subsequently use them to top up a homemade graphite transfer sheet! (a' la - a slightley modified version of Patrick Woodroffe's transfer method from the 'a closer look' book) for transfering drawings over to illo board really quickly.

- I also use pair of industrial metal measuring dividers, for when sizes of this or that element need to be kept the same throughout.

- and a homemade Golden Mean measuring gauge! For quickly incorporating the golden ratio into my artwork (check out my blog for instructions on how to make your own).