All posts in 826LA

Non-profit organization, 826LA presents Chickens in Love, an online pledge-a-thon, fundraiser, full-length album, and one-day music festival. 826LA workshop students, ranging from 7 to 13 years, wrote these songs in an 826LA workshop titled Songwriting
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Dave Eggers recently came out with his book, The Wild Things which as Amazon describes, is “based very loosely on the storybook by Maurice Sendak and the screenplay cowritten with Spike Jonze — is about
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Hi Mark and Esther! I am super excited that both of you are part of this special collaboration with 826LA. What was it about this benefit that you loved?

This was a fun project for us. a challenge to create some work that compliments the writing. We are happy with the results.

Is there anything you want to tell the students that you made the illustrations for?

I hope all the students who were involved in this project continue to be creative, to have their voices heard.

Of course the stories directed the images, but, how did you decide to use those images and what was the process?

Since the writing was literally “dreamlike”, the visual look to the work was important. Its a two sided thing. one one hand, since the writing is “loose” and freeform, the work can go into a more abstract route. On the other hand, you can’t just throw anything in there, you want to capture the writers style, his or her way of saying things. We would read the story over and over, pulling things that seemed interesting to illustrate, that capture the essence of the piece. Then arrange them into a eye pleasing illustration.

I love that, how you can look at something over and over and find new information, ideas, and details. I like hearing how you found the imagery to their stories. I know you were involved in some of the McSweeney’s publications. Can you tell us a bit more those projects? keep reading


Hello Mr. Bettig, how are you? We’ve known each other for quite some years now. I think the first time we met, probably in 2003, I was down in LA for a visit and stopped in Four X Four Gallery where you were putting up your show. It wasn’t totally installed yet, pieces were on the floor, but, it just looked incredible. I remember I gave you a Poketo wallet and we’ve kept in touch since and have become good friends. You were part of one of the first few Poketo series we came out with. You do a lot of different work now, everything from painting, screenprinting, drawing, sculptures, paper cut outs, computer work. What inspires you to do all of those things? Do you have a favorite medium? Do you love working with your hands?

Hello Mr. & Mrs. Vadakan-Myung! Yes, it’s been several years now… I was setting up for my solo show at Four X Four Gallery…

I’ve always been sort of all over the place, I never really stuck to any one particular medium. I like variety and just working with whatever is around me, and I’m always learning new processes etc, so it’s really just a constant evolution. That being said, it’s really hard to pick a favorite medium, I’d like to eventually be doing large scale mixed media installations like Phoebe Washburn or Jessica Stockholder, but for the time being I’m really enjoying working with paper. Yes, it’s totally about just working with my hands, I do enjoy designing things on the computer but it’s not as satisfying as physically constructing it by hand.

You have a home studio. I love your place, it’s so well designed and laid out. Tons of great books, toys, sculptures, artwork. What are some of the things you neeed to keep around you to stay creative? What inspires you? Are there things you look to for ideas and inspiration? keep reading