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Project: Stalking the Talented, Part 1

Life can suck. There is no denying it. Even the biggest optimist in the world has to admit that life, at times, is unbearable. Wake up, get the kids to school, go to work, sit in traffic, work, come home, sit in traffic, do the kids' homework, stare at the bright talking box on the wall, sleep, rinse, repeat. By giving yourself something to work toward the monotony of life can be broken. I have decided to work on a new project; rather, I have decided to alter an ongoing project.

Do you remember when I begged and pleaded for artwork inspired by me? I asked for drawings, paintings, starburst sculptures, wood engravings, tattoos or any other images of me that I could use for my own personal shrine. I have two walls in the kitchen that are being filled with these images. At the recent Anaheim Comic Con I was able to get a drawing done of me by an old Simpson's animator named Phil Ortiz. While this Simpsonized Jon wasn't drawn by Matt Groening, Phil Ortiz was (according to his boothmate) instrumental in designing 150 of the residents of Springfield. This image is truly a highpoint in my Wall of Jon project. While the rest of the images (sans the Angus Oblong penned Christmas Card of 2007) have been drawn out of love by family and friends, this "celeb" drawing got me to wondering how responsive artists would be to my request. I have spent a few nights combing the web looking for address and contact information for some of my favorite illustrators and have been able to procure such information for the likes of Mike Judge (King of the Hill), Sergio Argones (Mad Magazine), Jim Davis (Garfield) and even Maurice Sendak (Little Bear, Where the Wild Things Are) among many others.

My intention has been to send each of these artists a letter professing my love and admiration for their work. I will then explain my lack of ability and the bountiful feeling of envy that I feel. I will close the letter with some mild groveling and a "best wishes". I will provide a few images of me to work from and a sheet of paper and a self addressed stamped envelope to make things as easy as possible for these very busy people.

As my excitement grew and grew over the week Katie sobered me up and suggested that I should not rely on kindness and the appreciation for my love and should instead rely on guilt. My wife is a tactical dynamo! I was reminded of the mug that I made 3 years ago -- the mug that ended up putting me in contact with Angus Oblong and has brought me both pain and joy. Well, I don't have the same disposable income as I did back in 2007. I have decided to go with "I'm a Close Personal Friend of Jon" pens this time around. (If you would like a pen, you can participate in the project as well :))

I am going to try to blog as the project goes on and let it be known who gets letters and who responds. If anyone has any illustrators or artists that they love and think I should contact, please let me know your thoughts. I welcome suggestions.

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