Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve: Let's end this thing on a positive note, shall we?

In yesterday's post, I noted what a bad year 2010 was for me. Although I complained a bit, the whole "woe is me" attitude really isn't my style. I think it's okay to be realistic when things are going bad, nothing wrong with that. It's how you learn and grow. But at the same time, you should always realize how great things are. For example:

Although Jett was born with Down's Syndrome, he remains a beautiful, amazing boy and continues to conquer his diagnosis in remarkable and surprising ways.

Although my truck broke down this year, and I'm still unable to get it running, I also paid it off this year after five years of monthly payments. Huge victory! 

Although I missed the ISCA convention this year, I attended MegaCon, Star Wars in Concert and Star Wars Celebration 5.

Although I had financial setbacks this year, I also picked up more freelance work than I've ever done.
Although I lost some dear people in my life, I met a lot of new folks and visited my loved ones in Wisconsin a record THREE times this year.

There's a natural balance in life, an ebb and flow, a yin and yang. Life truly is a roller coaster with ups and downs, twists and turns. When things seem to be going bad, just remember; its not always going to be that way. There are countless things for you to be thankful for, and heaps of awesome things waiting for you just around the corner.
Have a Happy New Year everyone and I'll see you here tomorrow for the start of 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010. Good riddance

2010 is just about over, and I couldn't be happier. The long-standing tradition among illustrators is to depict the incoming new year as a baby, and the outgoing year as an emaciated, tired old man. Usually he looks elderly and weak, thin from carrying the weight of the year on his ancient shoulders. But that doesn't remotely describe 2010.
Not at all. 2010 was an insufferable jerk. An old bully. A relentless, cruel tyrant. For me, it was not a good year.
In 2010 I dealt with countless loss, setbacks and tragedies. Sue Gerich, my grandmother died. She was the last of my grandparents and matriarch of the family. I lost my dear friend Michele Nichols, a sweet and wonderful person I think about every day. Even the loss of someone who I never met, but who I had a connection with, Sarah Kochendorfer, affected me deeply.
My newborn son was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome and a few months later, endured open heart surgery. It was an incredibly emotional time to say the least. 
I had countless financial setbacks throughout the year, missed the ISCA convention, my truck broke down (still is), my computer broke down (still is), I had my wisdom teeth pulled resulting in missing work. I can't tell you how many times I just wanted to give up.
Okay, so 2010 wasn't a great year. But it wasn't all bad. Tomorrow I'll tell you why.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

AK caricature: Baby New Year Jason

He doesn't have that much baby fat in real life...

Monday, December 27, 2010


My father, referred to as "Papa" by his grandchildren, has always been an avid photographer. Those who know my dad are fully aware of his hobby. He's always walking around with his camera, taking pictures. We've started to call him "Paparazzi".
This year for Christmas, I decided to make my dad a t-shirt with a photographer dragon on the front and the word "Paparazzi" on the back.

Here's a the rough sketch of the dragon.

This is the inked version. Then I scanned it and colored it digitally.

This is the final art in color.

Just in time for Christmas!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Post-Christmas wrapup

We had a very busy Christmas Day yesterday. I picked up Alex and Kathy and met the in-laws at the Portafino Bay Resort next to Universal Studios. We met for brunch and presents. We were seated outdoors in the sunny 68 degree weather.
There were about 15 of us in our group. The buffet was fantastic, with amazing soups and salads, bread, cheese, omelettes, crepes and pasta made to order, steak, ham, turkey pheasant, veal, duck, a billion other tasty foods and to top it off, some of the most incredible desserts.
Kathy shows off one of the beautiful desserts available. I think we sampled them all.

We were so close to Universal Studios that Shrek decided to stop by.

Here's a monkey...and Curious George!
 Shhh...quiet George!
 He'll be legally driving soon. You have been warned.

After we ate, we opened presents. Then it was back to the house. We changed into our pj's and opened our presents from the rest of our friends and family and the ones we gave to each other.
 Jett and a very cute Eeyore.
No kid should be without blocks.

We finished up the day goofing around with our presents and enjoying our time together. Another great Christmas has come and gone. Thank you to everyone both here and away for sharing the holiday with us!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

Tons of Christmas activity today. I really just want to spend time with my family for the rest of the day, so have yourself a Merry Little Christmas and tomorrow, I'll post about our holiday festivities.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve eve

Christmas eve is tomorrow. How did THAT happen? I don't think I'm alone in saying that Christmas really snuck up on us this year. I still have some shopping to finish up and a TON of wrapping to do.

This is Jett's first Christmas, so of course, he had to meet the jolly one.

Jett did pretty well, after Santa did the old Jedi mind trick on him...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

AK Jason: Christmas Elf

Animal Kingdom coworker Jason as an unenthusiastic Santa's helper.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rambo caricature

This guy wanted to be drawn as Rambo. His little brother planned on being drawn later as Mr. T.

I wondered if they were aware that it wasn't 1985 any more.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas in Disney World

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. When I moved away from my family in 2000 to work in Florida, one of my concerns was that the loss of family tradition, the warm snow-less climate and the unfamiliar surroundings would destroy the holiday season for me. I was also concerned that Disney would celebrate it in a cheesy, tacky fashion.
I was delighted to discover that Disney in fact honored Christmas and decorated with meticulous precision and beauty. Take for example, the Disney location I work the most, Wilderness Lodge.

This gigantic tree stands majestically in the main lobby. Disney always customizes their decor specifically to the theme of the individual location, so in the case of Wilderness Lodge, the tree has pinecones and native American canoes and tepees adorning it.

Here's a wreath complete with moose antlers.

Even Mickey and Minnie stop by wearing their holiday best.

Of course, they always draw a crowd.

If you love Christmas, I highly recommend you visit Disney World. They don't disappoint.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ryan likes photography

And he's from Montana.

...forgot to draw the mountains. DUH!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

AK coworker: Cold Jason

It was 28 degrees in Florida yesterday, and I was outside drawing in it all day. It was freezing, even for my Wisconsin-boy bones. I had to capture the moment in this caricature of my co-artist Jason.

I actually lost three toes due to frostbite.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Durkin Donuts

Just got drawn by my Animal Kingdom co-worker Jason, depicting one of my family's favorite inside jokes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Xmas card commission

This is a recent Christmas card commission I did for a newlywed couple. The client was going to customize the dog's thought balloon, hence the blank space.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stuck for a Christmas gift?

There's still time! Durkinworks has you covered. Click the links to the right to order books, toys, apparel and other cool stuff. Even bibs! Right Jett?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cat commission

Here's another commission I've done recently, this client wanted me to draw cartoony versions of his cats...

Friday, December 10, 2010

School mascot: Bulldog

I was asked by a elementary school in Iowa to update their bulldog mascot. They had a meaner looking bulldog and wanted it replaced with a more friendly, smiling bulldog. We went back and forth a lot trying to find the right "look". I had to compromise my ideas quite a bit, but I had fun working on it. Here's the end result.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Durkin's Dragons: Leeloo

Recently I posted a Durkin's Dragons tribute of Leela from Futurama. It was a commission for a client and this is the companion piece to it, Leeloo from the movie The Fifth Element.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone