October 18, 2014

Sarcasm face emoji.

I was challenged by some fEllos on Ello to design a "sarcasm face" emoji.

Sarcasm has an element of two-facedness; you say one thing but mean the opposite. It's best served with a dash of humour, a pinch of bitterness, or a dollop of diss. We don't want to confuse it with exasperation, trolling or passive-aggressiveness (though I suppose there is some intersection with the latter).

A sarcasm emoji would be the emoticon equivalent of writing the word "NOT" immediately after a statement. Here's an example:
"Are you hurt?"
"I'm fine! I always scrape my face on the pavement like this to keep my complexion glowing. NOT."
Or you can use the emoji like this:
"Shall I call 911?" 
"No, don't trouble yourself. I didn't really need that eye anyway." 
"Dumbass" also works pretty well though.

Emoji are expression-concentrated into a very small number of pixels. It has to be decode-able at a tiny size. I went through about 8 designs before sticking with this one. This is definitely the face I make when I'm deploying heavy sarcasm: it's my ARE YOU A FUCKING IDIOT face.

Here's the cut & paste markdown:


Some folks must think I just pull this stuff out of my behind. But it's fine. I enjoy staying up until 4 AM doing drawings for other people. Really.

October 9, 2014

Good job. Well done.

So you're going along in your life, getting things done. They're just little things and no one's going to give you a medal for them. But sometimes, you just want acknowledgement of some kind.

So for the every day mundane crap in life, the stuff you do day after day, without thanks or props, I award you this gold star monkey. 

Good job. Well done. 

October 8, 2014

The Ampersand and the Butt Drag.

Visual thinking can be a blessing; you start seeing incredible complexity and meaningfulness in mundane, everyday drivel. But it can also be a curse, because you start seeing weird shit everywhere too.

You'll never look at an ampersand the same way again.

October 7, 2014

The things I do for money!

What have I been up to?

Welp. I've been illustrating someone else's book, if you must know. It's a pop-up book and it's 100% #nsfw ...in fact, some might consider it to be the antithesis of a children's picture book. Although it does have a certain semi-educational aspect.

OK that's a stretch. But it definitely is playful and funny. This book is a firecracker!

Anyways, it's nearly done. A good thing too, because I'm running out of ways to explain it to my kids' friends when they stop by my studio to leer. The little buggers.

I'm one of two contributing illustrators - the drawings are not in my signature style, though they are quite cartoonie. The nom de plume that I'm going by is Ynk O'Rigibble. You may have to rely on your superior search skillz to find it, because I may or may not post the link to it. But I will let you know when it's out.

I am nice!

What's the craziest thing you ever did for money?

October 6, 2014

The Illustrated Glossary of Ello User Definitions (with monkeys).

Ello is a brand-new-still in-beta social media presence force of nature. And with that force comes the question:
"As Ello users, what do we call ourselves? What will others call us?
Oh, the eternal, ever-ellosive search for identity! Perfect fodder for cartoonists to make fun and silliness with monkeys.

Here is The Illustrated Glossary of Ello User Definitions (with monkeys):

1. The Nootello - An Ello noob. You'll see them crashing about the place bumping into things and knocking things over in an effort to figure out how it all works. Adorabello!

2. The Elloper - Not everyone is going to drop their existing social media profiles for Ello-exclusivity, but some folks will. Whether they delete their Facebook and Google+ accounts completely, or simply spend less time there and more time on Ello in a slow migration, these people are known as "Ellopers".

3. The Antellope - There are people who don't like change. They may see Ello as a usurper or trickster trying to lure you into a trap with the promise of no-ads and awesome design. They declare often and loudly at every opportunity their mistrust of Ello, even swearing up and down that they will never-in-a-million-years join Ello. Antellopes are anti-Ello.

4. The fEllo - Early adopters on any platform are known for their eagerness in reaching out and making friends. Since Ello supports cute little emoji, fEllos can easily be spotted throwing them around with reckless abandon. Note the lower case "f" - Autocorrect will crack it's mighty whip and it stings like a motherfucker every single time it turns "fEllo" into a "fellow".

5. The Ellosopher - We've all done it. You get to a new social media platform and what do you talk about? YOU TALK ABOUT THAT NEW SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM. Duh! The Ellosopher is one who philosophizes endlessly about the meaning of Ello. These ponderous and often lengthy posts get a surprising number of comments and interactions.

You can find out why "noise" is now a verb here.

6. The Ellotist - There's always a select few users who manage to elevate and alienate themselves from the rest of the community. The Ellotists are an elite bunch who would never deign to stoop so low as to reply to you if you dare to say hi to them. They also consider themselves to be superior to everyone else on the Internet (except 4channers and Redditors) just by virtue of being ahead of the supposed 45,000 people trying to sign on to Ello every hour as I type this.

7. The Knowitello - Know-it-alls make it their business to know everything about a new platform before everyone else. And when I say "business" I mean "money". KnowitEllos will cash in on tricks and tips in books and other monetized content* on "how to use Ello to promote your whatever". This may seem helpful on the surface, but it inevitably results in a huge wave of users diluting the content on a platform into samey meaningless drivel. Annoying, right? Try to see the bigger picture.

*This blog is not monetized.

8. The Ellophant - They're the same giants with a kajillion followers on every platform. Why is that? Because they're fucking magical. Chances are they post the same content on Ello as on G+Facebook and Twitter, so if you already follow them on one they've got you covered.

9. The Smello - As far as I'm concerned there are two kinds of trolls on The Innerwebs: the mean and hateful kind, and the kind who treat every day like it's April Fools. You may disagree with me, but I can certainly appreciate a little artful trolling if no one gets hurt. Smellos are mostly meanies, but those who also those who fail at funny-trolling. And just FYI, I'm making all of this up.

10. Spam - Spam is the same on Ello as it is everywhere. It is inevitable and tiresome. Block and report all spam; we must be vigilant! We must be spam ninjas! The struggello is real.

11. HELLO - If you break the rules repeatedly, you may be deleted and your IP address banned. In short, you will be sent not to 'jail' but to a place known as HELLO. Note that HELLO is all-caps; this is to differentiate it from the casual greeting "hello!".

As any KnowitEllo worth their salt will tell you, Ello is the only social media platform where HELLO is GOOD-BYE.

12. The Spello - When Autocorrect or even a solid literary education fails you, fear not! The Grammar Police will come to your rescue. On Ello, these are known as Spellos. Spellos, you know who you are: I left you a little something hear. Feel free to correct me in the comments.

13. The Evangello - Every social media platform that has ever launched has its share of vociferous fangirls and boys. Visual artists tend to become inspired to create homages to the newborn network and cartoonists such as myself, are no exception, often staying up until the wee hours drawing monkeys. The EvangEllo spreads the word about Ello using visuals.

Here's all of 'em in one handy dandy graphic. I am nice.

Human foibles are funny and so endearing. I'll celebrate them on any channel.

October 1, 2014

Falling for Ello.

I've been hanging out on Ello. I like it because I don't feel like there's a wall between me and the creators of Ello. It's so artist friendly, all the images look great and I'm meeting a lot of other people like myself. I love looking around and saying hi. The black and white visual feels like all the colours are left for me and everyone else.

It pleases me.

Of course, it's only the very beginning; Ello is still in beta and it's full of bugs and hiccups and limited functionality. All the early adopters are there splashing around and frolicking like they've just discovered an oasis with fresh clean water - there's a lot of interaction right now. It's hilarious to watch new arrivals stumbling around trying to figure it out. Ironically, I'm once again in touch with some of the first people I met on Twitter five years ago, before we all got buried in too many followers, marketers, spammers, twitter parties and hashtags...

Yeah, I've heard the argument that Ello is backed by venture capitalists, and that they're going to turn around and sell us out once they've got us hooked. And I've seen friends on other social media platforms like Facebook and Google+ throw up their hands and exclaim "LORD HAVE MERCY DO WE REALLY NEED ANOTHER PLATFORM??"

Maybe you don't. But I do. Google+ is watching us, Facebook is tracking us, it's too full of ads, too full of clutter and complicatedness, it's too much like slavery-to-the-machine. Mostly though, it's just too fucking blue. Blue is my least favourite colour.

I won't be leaving my other platforms behind. But right now, I am falling for Ello.

Me on Ello @theanimatedwoman