May 30, 2014

Light Grey Game Night

Fantasy-Game-Photo
Earlier this year I started hosting a bi-weekly board game night at Light Grey Art Lab. It's open to anyone who's willing to learn and play, and it's a lot of fun. I attach a theme to each night to give visitors an idea of what we might play, but also to help narrow down the games to bring from my personal collection.

Oddly enough, one of my favorite parts of the whole shebang is taking the photos for the game night graphic. Part of the appeal of physical board games is opening up the box and handling all of the beautiful pieces. I love pursuing my shelves trying to choose the perfect game for the theme, taking out all the pieces and setting them up just so.

So I though I'd just post a collection of the game night photos/graphics so far. I usually forget to save a version without the type, but I will try to do that in the future...
game-night-historic-games
Light Grey Game Night
Light Grey Game Night
game-night-party-games
game-night-graphic-horror
And if you're in the twin cities and want to join us, keep on eye on the Light Grey Art Lab blog! We try to play a mix of fun social games, lighter games, and some heavier stuff, so anyone's welcome!

April 27, 2014

Big Cats at the Zoo

Sleeping Cougar
Lioness
Went to the Como Zoo for a Light Grey Art Lab drawing excursion today. We met up with some artists to sketch. I spent a lot of the time looking at the big cats, and I'm always amazed at how similar they are to small cats. I just wish I could jump in and cuddle them. But then I would die.

April 24, 2014

Eight Down

Eight Down
I made this piece for Light Grey Art Lab's newest show, Animystics, which opens tomorrow! It's a huge show, with over 100 artists, and a part of every sale gets donated to one of three different animal charities; the Animal Humane Society, Homeward Bound Dog Rescue, or Feline Rescue, Inc. Awesome!

Here's some pertinent stats about this guy:
  • Animal Type: Feline
  • Physical Attributes: Although not the most fearsome warrior, this house cat came armed with a warrior's spirit and a hearty supply of lives.
  • Mystical Attributes: Blind determination.
  • Healing Properties: He can’t heal, but nine lives can get you pretty far.
You can find my piece along side all the other awesome art in the Light Grey Art Lab Shop, so go buy some art and help out those pets in need!

April 15, 2014

Dream Arcade Call for Art!

Dream Arcade
Over at Light Grey Art Lab we're doing an amazing new show called Dream Arcade! It's a fully playable game, with 30 artists creating the characters, enemies, and level assets for 30 unique, artist-specific levels!

I've been working really hard with the help of Microsoft's David Washington* to create a game engine that we'll be using to create the final game! Check out the playable sample level and sign up to be in the show over at the Light Grey Art Lab blog!

Hope you can join us, it's going to be awesome!

*To be fair, David has been doing the hard work of programming it. I've been figuring out how the art will be integrated...

March 22, 2014

Dinosaur Skulls

Dinosaur Skulls
I went to the Science Museum of Minnesota tonight for a friend's birthday and I spent most of the night taking photos of dinosaur bones. As I sat in my game room at 2 am pumping G'n'F'n'R at full volume and editing dinosaur photos, I realized the young me might think the old me was pretty cool.
Dinosaur Skulls
Dinosaur Skulls
Dinosaur Skulls
Dinosaur Skulls
Check out all the pictures in my dinosaur skull flickr set.

January 17, 2014

Cat Warriors for Christmas

Every year at Light Grey Art Lab we do Make My Holiday, a fun event where artists are paired up to swap artwork for the holidays! This year I was paired with Karina Rehrbehn. Karina is awesome and lives in Germany, which is perfect because I have a remedial knowledge of the German language! We spent some time getting to know each other while I occasionally embarrassed myself stumbling over my terrible, rusty German.
Cat Warrior
Karina told me she liked comics, cats, and she has a good sense of humor. So I made this little cat warrior scene for her!
Cat Warrior
In hindsight, maybe Ioan Stones, the little glowing cubes floating over his head, are a little too esoteric for a most people. But they're one of my favorite D&D items so why not?

Karina obviously knows a thing or two about Minneapolis winters and sent me some homemade cherry pit warming pillows to keep me warm during the cold, cold nights. She also gave me a ton of awesome candy and a sweet drawing! I ate the candy, but I think my cats the the biggest fans of the pillows!
Make My Holiday 2013
Make My Holiday 2013Make My Holiday 2013
See what everyone else got in the Make My Holiday recaps on the Light Grey Art Lab blog! And thanks again, Karina!

December 3, 2013

6 Degrees

I made this piece for the 6 Degrees exhibit at Light Grey Art Lab. For 6 Degrees, each participating artist made an edition of 100 pieces of mailable art. The piece is a reflection of their home, showcasing something they love about where they live.
6 Degrees
It's now winter in Minneapolis. In fact, there's a mini-blizzard brewing outside at this very moment. It's exciting. I love gathering around a table in the middle of a snowstorm, staying warm and playing games with friends in to the wee hours of the morning.

My game of choice for the late nights at Light Grey Art Lab is, of course, Dungeons & Dragons. It's a special kind of game. It's the most social game I can think of, each time we play it's an hours-long event where people are eating, talking, plotting, drawing, imagining, laughing, and rolling lots of dice. What could be better?

The opening reception for 6 Degrees is this Friday, December, 6th. If you can't make it, you can see all the work from 6 Degrees in the online gallery. And as always, you can buy artwork at the Light Grey Art Lab shop.

October 21, 2013

Chatsworth, Slave to No Lock & Rolemodels

Rolemodels
This Friday, Rolemodels opens at Light Grey Art Lab. This is a massive show filled with fantastic and completely original Fantasy RPG heroes and villains. We asked the artists to pull from their personal lives, tabletop gaming experiences, or anything else they wanted to to create their ultimate RPG hero/villain.

The Rolemodels show is near and dear to my heart, and not only because I love Fantasy RPG... anything. This one is especially noteworthy because I was tasked with designing a new and completely original card game using the art from the exhibition! The Battle For Vyk'Tornaahl is the result.

I'm no dummy. Designing a game is no small feat (in fact, it terrified me to the point of plenty of sleepless nights and sickeningly anxious moments) and the timeline was short. But thankfully, with the help of my friends, co-workers and family, we were able to pull together a really great game!

Rolemodels Deck Spread
I think I'll be writing more on that soon, but you can hear a few of our thoughts on the latest episode of the Light Grey Art Lab podcast.

Despite the insane deadline of designing the game, I, of course, had to participate and do a piece myself. My character is the cunning rogue Chatsworth. I'm not really into the magic and sparkle of some over the top fantasy, I like characters who are believable and just happen to not exist in reality.

Chatsworth, Slave to No Lock
From the Rolemodels: Battle For Vyk'Tornaahl Guidebook: Chatsworth, Slave To No Lock: Born the property of slavers, the first lock Chatsworth ever picked was that of his own shackles at the age of nine. By the time he was sixteen, he’d broken out of every prison in the four kingdoms, and killed every slaver he’d met along the way.

Chatsworth Card
And here's what the card looks like in the deck.

Guys, I hope you find the time to check it out. I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into this game for months, so I'm excited (and nervous) to get it out into the world! It's a limited edition of 1,000 decks, so grab one before they're gone forever!

Here's a youtube video we made to show you what to expect from the deck. Expect gameplay videos shortly!


July 31, 2013

Join Together

My good friend, and all-around amazing artist, Meg Hunt is getting married! And in honor of the union, Meg has organized a big group art show called Join Together which I was invited to be a part of!

I had the good fortune of getting to know Meg over the last few years and I couldn't be happier for her. I've never met Mike personally, but from what I hear he loves playing D&D and deep, complex boardgames like Arkham Horror, which gives him an A+ in my book.

Meg didn't really want sappy and traditional wedding artwork, but told us to think about connections, growth, and coming together, do I mad this piece about people staying in touch despite physical distance. Just like Meg and Mike had to for so long!

Join Together 500 px
Join Together is an amazing show filled with awesome artists, and runs August 9 through September 1 at Land in Portland, Oregon!

The opening reception is Friday, August 9th from 6-10pm. If you're in the area, stop by and give the newlyweds my best!

July 9, 2013

How we record the Light Grey Art Lab podcast

LGAL Podcast How To
When we decided to start the Light Grey Art Lab podcast, it fell on me to figure out how we were going to record it. Recording with four people in the same room is a actually more complicated than recording over Skype, surprisingly. I found it shockingly difficult to find a good online resource for how to podcast locally (ie, not over the internet) and not have the luxury of a studio/soundbooth.

Finding recommendations for a good USB mic or two is easy, but that's about where it ends. Finding any truly helpful information for quality (and affordable) solutions to recording with multiple mics in one room was bizarrely difficult. So after a ton of research and testing, I promised myself that once I got the podcast up and running I would share my solutions. And I didn't want to just put together a list of model numbers, I also wanted to explain why I chose those pieces and how I've liked them since, to help anyone perspective podcasters decide if my needs are truly the same as theirs.

Hopefully someone in a similar boat will find this list and save themselves a few weeks of research and hand-wringing. Although I do have some experience with A/V professionally, I do not claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination. But I am a stickler for quality and I'm also conscience of cost, so I think this list is a good, affordable starting point for anyone looking to do a professional-esque podcast on the cheap.

June 19, 2013

Interview on Light Grey Art Lab

Cowboy up.
There's an interview with yours truly over on the Light Grey Art Lab blog! There's also pictures of me on a mini horse, in skeleton face paint, and even pretending to eat some building insulation. So, you know, it's gotta be good!

Give it a read here: Artist Interview: Chris Hajny!

Also check out interviews with the other Light Grey team members; Jenny, Lindsay and Francesca!

And all of our other artist interviews too!

April 16, 2013

Entomopathogenic Fungus

EntomopathogenicFungus_closeup
Light Grey Art Lab's newest show, Macro + Micro, opens this Friday and I'm proud to be able to contribute a piece! Macro + Micro is a celebration of all things scientific, split into four categories; Animal, Mineral, Vegetable, and Everything Else.

I chose the Everything Else category and jumped at the chance to depict Entomopathogenic Fungus, which is a type of parasitic fungus that infects insects and eventually disables and kills them. The Cordyceps species of Entomopathogenic Fungus is particularly bizarre, as it even affects the behavior and of their insect host.

Fungi is a very strange thing to begin with, but the thought of it inside of you, feeding and growing larger, eventually crushing you from the inside, bursting out of your skin and spreading it's spores to infect others is a truly terrifying thought.

And if that wasn't bad enough, add in the mindless-walking-corpse thing on top and you've got a serious sci-fi horror story.

EntomopathogenicFungus

April 12, 2013

The Light Grey Art Lab Podcast

The Light Grey Podcast just got a lot nicer sounding...
Did you know we're doing a weekly podcast at Light Grey Art Lab? We've actually been doing it for... almost 3 months!? Hmmm. I probably should have mentioned it already.

We talk about topics loosely relating to the current exhibitions, interview artists, and host lectures from visitings artists. And maybe we'll do more, who knows? You can stream episodes directly from the Light Grey Art Lab website, download them individually from our blog, or subscribe via iTunes, which is pretty awesome.

So give it a listen and let me know what you think!

March 31, 2013

A Day in the Life

I started a new sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project, who we're working with for an upcoming exhibition at Light Grey Art Lab. Should be really fun, and if you're interested, everyone's welcome to participate!
Bearded man with a large collar.
Long-necked girl.

February 18, 2013

A Day in the Life

Weird water-soluble carbon drawing...

Cool beardo.

Drawing tiny city blocks at the Light Grey Lock-In.

These drawings were done at the Light Grey Lock-In. I bought some new toys and was just playing around. The first two were drawn using a Water-Soluble Carbon Block.

And the final drawing was done using Isometric Graph Paper. Also a lot of fun, and probably a life saver if you're doing isometric art for a video game.

January 2, 2013

A Day in the Life

These days I do a lot of sketching during coffeehouse/restaurant meetings while planning upcoming events for Light Grey Art Lab. I post them to Instagram/Twitter, but I think I'm going to start posting occasional collections of these sketches on the blog. Starting today.
Things I carry (minus keys and wallet).
Things I carry (minus keys and wallet).

Christmas with pets!
Christmas with the pets.

Sketch for Light Grey Art Lab's holiday art swap. I think.
Sketch for my Make My Holiday piece.

A long time ago, I was posting regular sketches to A Day in the Life. But that kind of fizzled out and I don't think it's really necessary anymore. A Day in the Life started back when I worked in non-creative restaurant jobs and wanted a place to post the doodles I did on the job.

Nowadays I've got too many blogs/social media to keep track of, so I think A Day in the Life will continue on in spirit, with these sketch round-up posts.


January 1, 2013

2012! What happened?

Whew... in hindsight, 2012 was a crazy year. Maybe they all are I guess. 2011 was very busy thanks to things like the Daily Pattern and a whole lot of Paper Bicycle projects, but this year was dominated by one thing; Light Grey Art Lab.
LGAL_BattleRoyale_050
It's insane to think that exactly one year ago, we hadn't even decided we would officially 'do' Light Grey Art Lab. Right around Christmas of 2011, we found a space to move our Paper Bicycle office to. The space was great, a perfect workspace for out little product design company. But it quickly became apparent it could be so much more, like a real swell gallery/classroom space.

On the 1st of the year, 2012, we put an offer which was quickly accepted and just like that, it was on. And it's been a full on marathon since then.
5
We spent the first few months of 2012 gutting, remodeling, building, planning and scheming. We poured endless time, sweat, blood, money and love into redoing the space top to bottom. With help from our amazing friends (special shout-out to MVP Jesse Riggle for his unending willingness to lend a hand).
People + Patterns: Grand Opening
Ever since we opened on March 16th I've been amazed at the community waiting to embrace us. I was relieved to find that people were excited by what we were doing, both locally and online. It's been eye-opening really and I feel humbled to be a part of it.

As 2012 comes to a close and we here at Light Grey Art Lab get a quick breather over the holidays (and I do mean quick; 2013 starts off with an intensive weekend workshop and new show in the gallery), it was super rewarding to actually take a look back at how far we've came. Life happens so fast sometimes I forget than anything's actually happening. I'm too busy trying to make sure not to fall on my face making it happen. Of course, I owe it entirely to my best friends/coworkers/teammates Lindsay Nohl, Francesca Buchko and Jenny Bookler.
Expletive Poster Show Opening Reception
This past week I was floored to find Light Grey Art Lab named Best New Gallery of 2012 by L’├ętoile, and we earned three spots (out of ten!) on http://www.vita.mn/'s Best Art Events of 2012, as well as coming in as the #1 Small Arts Gallery in the Twin Cities in their reader poll. Crazy!

Anyway. Needless to say it's been a huge amount of work to keep all this going (on top of our normal Paper Bicycle workflow and any personal work I can manage to fit in), but it's nice to know that what we're doing is being noticed.

Francesca posted an really cool, cohesive year-end recap over on the Light Grey Art Lab blog. It's way more well thought out than this rambling post!

While I'm at it, I want to also give a special thanks to all these awesome people who have been a part of making Light Grey Art Lab what it is today; Alyssa Nasser, Meg Hunt, Adam Hoppus, Linda and Victor Nohl, Victoria Nohl, Jon Hajny, Myra Andreassen, Nic Scrade, Andres Guzman, Kelsey Dusenka, Llew Mejia, Bill Rebholz, Rachel Wingard, Chris Schons, Tuesday Bassen, Teagan White, Jared Tuttle, Dylan Thomas of the Southwest Journal, Jahna Peloquin and the rest of the folks at L’├ętoile, Angela Evans, Bryan Ische and everyone who's visited the gallery, attended a class or just spread the word online!

Now, I'm going to play some video games before 2013 starts...