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Given President Trump’s very slow reaction to what happened last Saturday in Charlottesville and this bizarre rant he made today where he blamed both sides for what happened, I am now convinced that he is secretly on the white nationalists’ side and he is secretly proud of what they did. I wouldn’t be surprised if he blames Heather Heyer for her own death, to be blunt.

Which makes this animation I made back in the 1990’s sadly relevant once again. I originally created this animation in the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. When I remastered it and uploaded it back in 2014, I honestly wanted to believe that it was a relic of a time when things were horrifying but this nation had managed to put it behind although, in reality, there has been a bunch of far-right wing extremists that has risen in the wake of Barack Obama’s 2008 election as the first African American president and 2012 re-election. (These are the kind of people who were aghast that a black man was actually elected not once—but twice—to the White House and they probably still believe that he was really born in Kenya instead of Hawaii.) Now I believe this animation is even more relevant now. At least my old 1990’s animation does a far superior job of denouncing white supremacy/Nazism/fascism than anything that has come out of President Trump’s mouth so far.

So, without further ado, here is The Unicorn With An Attitude #3: Speaking Right.

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A few weeks ago I went to the latest Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School event in Baltimore, where I shot this promo that was posted in the window of The Wind-Up Space (where the event was held).


Burlesque performer GiGi Holliday was the model for this event so some of the drawings in this post are definitely NSFW.

At one point GiGi Holliday changed into this really colorful traffic light-themed costume, which I tried to faithfully sketch in the drawing below.

I took part in two of the contests that took place that night. GiGi Holliday was still wearing her traffic costume so the contest involved GiGi stopping traffic. I decided to have her sit on a traffic cone while blocking the presidential limo that is carrying the straw-haired and orange-skinned President Donald Trump as he shakes his tiny fisted hand and screams “I’m the President of the United States! Don’t make me grab your pussy! I’ll attack you on Twitter if you don’t leave! Sad!”

That drawing not only made it among the finals but I won after the other attendees clapped the loudest for my drawing! I was especially thrilled! As for the prizes, I received a drawing pad and a small pack of drawing pencils, which you can see in the next photo that I shot a day or two after Dr. Sketchy’s.

Coming on the heels of that victory, I decided to take part in another contest that happened immediately after the previous one. For this one we had to do a beach-themed drawing with GiGi in it. I began to draw on my memories of the time my then-husband and I went to Bermuda over 10 or so years ago and we spent time on the beach with the pink sand. I threw in a seagull, a jumping dolphin, a coconut tree, and a cruise ship.

Unlike the last contest, this one failed to make it among the finalists. I wasn’t too angry or bitter because I was still in that post-victory glow from winning the previous contest. Besides, it’s like what the old saying goes: You can’t win them all.

I drew one more picture of GiGi Holliday before the event ended and it was time for me to go home.

Late last week I finished my latest animation, which is based on the song “Jack Sprat (aka Butcher the Hog)” by The Bachelor and the Bad Actress. Here is the video. I’ll write more about how I made it below.

I’m pretty friendly with a few local musicians. (None of them are major stars and all of them have day jobs since they don’t make enough money from being musicians to pay the bills.) A few months ago I did a short animation to Phil Shapiro’s song “Open Source is Yours and Mine.

Among my musician friends are a husband and wife duo known as The Bachelor and the Bad Actress. (I even went to their wedding that was held during the Crazy Quilt Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland a couple of years ago.) At one point I was communicating with Joe the Bachelor on Facebook (yes, he’s married now but he’s still known as The Bachelor because, well, old habits die hard [LOL!]) and I linked to the “Open Source is Yours and Mine” and I joked about offering to trash one of his songs the way I “trashed” the “Open Source” song. He really liked the video and was open to the idea of an animated music video to one of The Bachelor and the Bad Actress’ songs.

Meanwhile I’ve been going to the weekly animation meetup at Makerspace 125 and there is talk about all of us collaborating together on one animation but nothing has happened yet along those lines (as of this writing). When I mentioned this to Joe the Bachelor, he offered to let those of us in that meetup to each take one of their songs and animate it.

I brought it up with the meetup group but it was met with indifference. I decided to do one of their songs on my own and show it to the other meetup attendees just to show that it’s possible. I picked “Jack Sprat (aka Butcher the Hog)” because the lyrics were straightforward and I figured that I could do a comedic animation that’s reminiscent of the old Warner Brothers Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts from the 1940’s and 1950’s.

I used Moho Anime Studio Debut for the bulk of the animation. There were a few times when I had to use Adobe Photoshop for some scenes where using Anime Studio would’ve been frustrating. (Like most graphics programs, Anime Studio Debut uses layers. Unlike the other graphics programs, you literally cannot control the opacity in those layers. So I switched to Photoshop for those times when I needed to control the opacity of certain layers, exported the graphics as a .jpeg, then imported it into Anime Studio Debut. I’m going to stop here on the technical stuff since not everyone is interested in such details.)

This animation was my first foray into actual lip-synching. Anime Studio Debut recommended this free open source software called Papagayo, which churns out lip movements based on both audio recordings and what you type into the application. If you want to know more about this, I suggest getting it yourself, since it is free to download.

I originally planned on doing the entire thing in Anime Studio Debut while I would use iMovie only to put in the opening title and closing credits. There was a snag when I discovered that Anime Studio Debut can’t go any further than 3,000 frames and the song lasts longer than that. I was basically using the app’s default at 24 frames per second. If you do the math, you’d know that the maximum run time that the software can handle is 125 seconds or two minutes and five seconds. The song runs for two minutes and 31 seconds.

I found a workaround when I brought the song into Audacity and broke it up in two. Then I created two separate animation files, exported them separately, then brought them into iMovie where I managed to patch everything together into one file.

While I was working on this, I found out that Moby had been releasing animated music videos. The first one is a statement about people being addicted to their smartphones. The second one has become controversial because it makes an unflattering statement about President Donald Trump but that’s another story altogether. I was influenced by the end titles in both videos and they were my inspiration for how I created the end title in my own animation where I showed people where they can download or stream The Bachelor and the Bad Actress’ music.

Speaking of President Trump, I added some imagery of my own about The Donald along with a quote from George Orwell’s book Animal Farm. See if you can spot them while you’re watching my video.

I have to admit that this was my most ambitious animation to date and there were times when I was on the verge of burnout. And that’s because I was also doing some major job hunting using tips from a book that I had recently gotten a hold of.

I finally decided that doing two big things at once wasn’t good for my health. With the Fourth of July holiday coming up, I decided that I would finish the animation first then resume reading the job hunting book after the holiday. (If this book works for me and I end up getting a new day job to pay the bills, I will write another post praising this book and urging all my readers of this blog to buy it.) With another finished animation under my belt, I now have something recent I can show to any potential employer interested in my animation skills.

I’m also toying with starting a Patreon page where I would make short animations (meaning less than five minutes) for anyone willing to give me some money. Working on this animation has shown me what I can realistically do for a potential patron while setting a price that’s reasonable for the patron while not pricing myself so low that I end up making $1 or $2 per hour (which is impossible to live on anywhere in the United States of America).

By the way, if you like the song, “Jack Sprat (aka Butcher the Hog),”  you can purchase it or stream it through The Bachelor and the Bad Actress’ Bandcamp page.

I was going through my hard drive when I found some photos I took in Takoma Park last summer. They focused on some of the newer art installations that were set up around town recently. I found them to be quite creative and imaginative.

There’s this S & A Beads store window, which had its own commentary on last year’s presidential campaign.

I played around with MySimpleShow.com some more this past weekend. Instead of doing yet another recipe animation video, I decided to try doing a biography. Since this month is Women’s History Month, I decided to do a famous woman. I picked Sophie Scholl because she stood up to the Nazis (and lost her life doing so) and I’ve been thinking a lot about the fascist turn of the United States since Donald Trump started occupying the White House. (One example: Donald Trump has actually appointed a known white supremacist named Steve Bannon to his National Security Council.)

With the way the Trump Administration is going, we Americans need to start looking for role models to emulate in resisting the worst aspects of Trump.

I basically used the default graphics for the first two animations. MySimpleShow.com has an option where you can upload your own graphics if you’re not much on what that site has to offer. I ended up downloading a Sophie Scholl drawing off of the Internet and uploading that on MySimpleShow mainly because the default graphic for Sophie Scholl used a female drawing that looked like she has just walked off the set of Star Trek, which didn’t seem right because Sophie Scholl died over 20 years before the first Star Trek series aired on television. I also used a couple of graphics I downloaded from OpenClipArt.org because MySimpleShow didn’t have a decent graphic representing a rose and a guillotine.

So, without further ado, here is MySimpleShow.com generated presentation of Sophie Scholl.

I attended a reception for a new art exhibit that’s currently being held at ReCreative Spaces in Mount Rainier, Maryland. It’s called Resist and it features art that was inspired by the new Trump Administration. The parking lot in the back of ReCreative Spaces features this really impressive mural that says “Deport Trump.”

Resist Art Reception

I returned to that mural a couple of days later to photograph it in daylight.

Deport Trump Mural

Here are some more art pieces from that same show that are currently being displayed indoors.

Resist Art Reception

Resist Art Reception

Resist Art Reception

Resist Art Reception

Resist Art Reception

Resist Art Reception

Resist Art Reception

The opening festivities included a coloring event where we could color this page with three raised fists.

Resist Art Reception

Resist Art Reception

The person who ran that activity had posted examples of how we could color our pages by drawing patterns that looked like what I’ve seen in Zentangle. So I decided to follow suit by drawing patterns in my coloring page. I used TanglePatterns.net for pattern ideas. Here is my colored page.

Resist Art Reception

Presidents' Day

I’m still playing around with my new podcast account on Podomatic. I’ve just finished my latest podcast. It’s my first political rant about President Trump and why I think he’s becoming unhinged (I not only cited last Friday’s Press Conference From Hell but the Florida rally he held on the following day where he mentioned a non-existent terrorist attack in Sweden). I did this podcast especially for Presidents Day. Check it out now right here.

I attended my first Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School event of 2017 in Baltimore. I walked around the Station North Arts District a bit before I headed to The Wind-Up Space.

There’s a one-time movie theater known as The Centre, which is located just a few doors down from The Wind-Up Space whose art deco architecture is eye-catching. Recently that old theater has been renovated into an arts center. The Center really looks nice when it’s lit up at night.

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I walked into The Wind-Up Space where I noticed that, even though the Christmas holiday season ended a few days ago, that place still had a Christmas tree up. I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures of that tree because it’s mostly loaded with Krampus ornaments (with the exception of a VHS version of Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory that was hung on the tree).

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The model for this event was a burlesque performer named KiKi Allure and some of the drawings I did in this post are definitely NSFW.

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I took part in two of the contests that were held that evening. One of them was where we had to come up with some graffiti. I couldn’t resist invoking that infamous recording of Donald Trump where he bragged about how he grabs women by the pussy. (And that’s not to mention that he was still elected President of the United States despite all that.) By the way that phone number I wrote is real—it’s for the White House switchboard. That drawing was among the finalists but I didn’t win.

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The other contest I took part in was where we had to somehow incorporate both Elvis Presley and David Bowie because their birthdays are in January. (Of course this month is the one-year anniversary of David Bowie’s death and it was also the same day that I went to another Baltimore Dr. Sketchy’s event.) I decided to have the two men do a dance-off in a battle for KiKi Allure. I modeled Elvis after his role in the film Jailhouse Rock while I modeled Bowie after his androgynous glamour rock phase back in the early 1970’s. This drawing also made the finals but I didn’t win.

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I did one last drawing of KiKi Allure before the event ended and I headed home.

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As everybody knows, today is Inauguration Day where Donald Trump gets officially sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Rather than focus on that event, I’d rather talk about dolls instead.

First of all, I want to announce that I no longer own the Talking Donald Trump Action Figure.

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I sold it last month on eBay. When I first purchased it years ago (which was sometime during either the first or second season of The Apprentice), I bought it as a gag gift for my then-husband. We both became hooked on that show because it was so hilarious and campy to watch. (This was a guy who was giving business advice on that show despite the fact that he had gone through multiple bankruptcies.) I figured that it was no big deal to buy a doll/action figure based on someone who was basically a buffoon but was essentially harmless as far as I was concerned. (Granted he wasn’t harmless to anyone who actually did business with him but to everyone else who had nothing to do with that guy, he was harmless.)

When my husband left me, he left the doll behind. It was no big deal because he was only 12 inches tall so I kept him among the other small dolls I own (such as Barbie, Volks Dollie Plus, Monster High and, Ever After High).

But then there was the initial flirtation of running for president back in 2011 and he did so by catering to the birthers who were questioning President Obama’s U.S. citizenship and contending that he was really born in Kenya. I felt that what he did was so reprehensible that I no longer could stand to watch his reality show after he decided against running and just continue with his reality TV career. I also began to ignore the doll. I would press the button in his back to hear him speak every now and then but I basically didn’t bother with it much.

When Trump decided to really run in the 2016 elections while saying horrible things that were racist, sexist, and anti-Islamic, I began to rue the day I actually bought that action figure as a gag gift. I finally decided to sell the doll on eBay because I just didn’t want it around my house anymore. I like dolls that make me feel happy and put me in a good mood and that Donald Trump action figure made me feel the opposite. I didn’t get a lot of money for the doll (I only had one bidder who was willing to pay the $20 minimum bid and I didn’t get that bid until the third and final week that I ran the auction) but I felt relieved to finally get it out of my house.

At least I’ll have these two videos to remember the doll by. The first is my “Trump” poem that I wrote for a local poetry reading event in 2011 and I later made a video featuring the Donald Trump doll. The other is my demonstration video of the Donald Trump doll that I made when I was preparing to sell it on eBay.

Now I’m going to switch gears a bit and talk some more about some other dolls that I have.

I recently came across this campaign on Instagram, known as #westandwithalldolls, where American Girl doll owners were urged to post pictures of their dolls (especially dolls of color) in solidarity with all women and minorities who are currently being maligned and even attacked by Donald Trump and his supporters. I chipped in with the cause by uploading pictures of my three American Girl dolls.

First, here’s Addy Walker holding a sign this quote from Martin Luther King.

“Again we have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard work and sacrifice. The fact is that capitalism was built on the exploitation and suffering of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor, both black and white, both here and abroad.”

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Here’s Ivy Ling holding a sign with this quote from Confucius.

“To put the world right in order, we must put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”

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Even though the #westandwithalldolls campaign specifically requested that everyone post pictures of dolls of color, I decided to use my one white American Girl doll, Julie Albright, because I found this one quote from the late Frank Zappa that pretty much says it all about race relations, especially among whites who aren’t bigoted towards people of color or anyone else who’s different from them.

“Hey, you know something people? I’m not black. But there’s a whole lots of times I wish I could say I’m not white.”

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I got that quote from the lyrics to the song “Trouble Every Day,” whose video you can watch below.

Here’s one group photo of all three of my dolls with their signs.

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If you want to contribute to that Instagram campaign, or see all the photos that have been uploaded so far, check out the hashtag #westandwithalldolls.

I finally added something new in my RedBubble store for the first time in over a year. Here is some background.

A few weeks ago I attended Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School in Washington, DC. (No, I haven’t uploaded any of the drawings I made there yet but I’m going to do so soon.) I took part in a contest where I incorporated the European Christmas demon known as Krampus. My prize was a drink of my choice from the bar (where I picked a fruity tasting beer whose name now escapes me).

A few days later I came up with an idea for Krampus where I gave him a modern-day twist by merging him with a certain wealthy politician. Here he is: Trumpus.

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I really had a blast creating this piece. I wished I had thought of this sooner because I could’ve come out with Trumpus products earlier in the holiday shopping season instead of having something just four days before Christmas. I decided to do this product line any way because I know that there has been a trend in recent years where people go post-Christmas shopping. Part of the reason is because of the rise in people giving gift cards as presents and part of the reason is because people are more inclined to shop for themselves if they didn’t get a certain item they wanted for Christmas.

And that’s not to mention that Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20. (The Electoral College decided to certify the popular vote and make Trump president. This happened despite a movement known as the Hamilton Electors cropped up and there was talk of replacing Donald Trump with a moderate Republican alternative like Mitt Romney or John McCain. Well, that didn’t happen.)

I have Trumpus available in t-shirts, laptop/mobile cases, laptop/mobile skins, framed art prints, coffee mugs, and more! Click here to do your Trumpus shopping.

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