Thursday, December 23, 2010

As the holiday tradition dictates
brought to you by the
Society of Moose Against Using Reindeer

I submit to you...

A Moosifesto

For hundreds of years Santa Clause has been delivering toys to children around the world. Though he is not beyond using outside assistance, Santa has been able to distribute presents on Christmas Eve without the help of FedEx, UPS or the United States Postal System. His primary mode of transportation has been a sleigh driven by an original team of eight tiny reindeer with the occasional help from a mutant red-nosed deer, and a misguided or perhaps delusional dog.

As members of SMAUR, we now provide the following reasons for the immediate elimination of the use of reindeer and the prompt replacement by flying moose.

1. More Torque:
Pound for pound, moose produce massive amounts more torque than reindeer. Where horsepower, or in this case reindeerpower, is needed for speed, torque is the ability to overcome resistance. Though it is true that speed is necessary to circle the globe in one night, it is the initial ability to pull the sleigh, weighted down by a ginormous amount of toys and often hindered by heavy, laden snow, which is needed before horsepower can even be applied.

2. Ease of Spelling:
Riendeer? Reindear? Raindeer? “I” before “E” except after “C” and sometimes “Y”? Isn’t rein spelled r-a-i-n? And deer spelled d-e-a-r? Let’s face it. Without a spell checker, reindeer is just too hard to spell! Moose on the other hand is simple. Only five letters and no confusing vowel arrangements.

3. American Made:
Moose are born and bred and raised in the good old US of A! Hiring moose to pull Santa’s sleigh is not only good for America, it’s our patriotic duty. Imports, such as reindeer, are manufactured abroad in such un-American places as Northern Europe and even Russia! Look for the “Born in Maine” label next time you consider hiring your sleigh team.

4. Better Night Vision:
All it takes is one foggy Christmas Eve and Santa can be shut down in a heart beat. An entire year’s worth of elf work, down the drain all because of low hanging cloud vapor. The issue, poor eye sight on the part of reindeer. This is more than a threat as it almost happened Christmas Eve 1964. Thankfully, the travesty was narrowly averted after a red fog light was attached to the nose of Prancer. Prancer was later said to have been so humility by the event that he and Cupid fabricated a tale of a red-nose reindeer that saved the day. These so called “close calls” can easily be prevented through the intervention of a deer removable, keen-eyed moose replacement task force.

5. No More Reindeer Games:
Reindeer are generally poor-spirited creatures that tend to weed out the vulnerable in the herd and deliberately poke fun of them till, tired and weak, they leave the comfort and safety of the compound. Many times the stronger of the deers will laugh and call the weaker reindeer names. On some occasions there have even been reports of the more feeble reindeers not being allowed to play any reindeer games.
Moose have a motto. No moose is left behind.

We believe every effort should be made to, and a call for, a cease and desist order to be implemented, for all reindeer regarding any attempts to fly, pull, or be in connection or association with, Santa, the elves, toy delivery or Christmas in any way, shape, form or means.

Furthermore, SMAUR is advocating for the establishment of the Meese Labs where moose and geese can be cross pollinated to form a new species of flying moose (code name: meese). Meese will merge the flight path navigational abilities of the Canadian goose with the strength, torque and American brand name that we have all come to respect and love, of the moose.

Merry Moosifesto!
Art On The Move #2

Art On The Move is a public arts project sponsored by the city of Raleigh NC. Each year they pic new designs and outfit CAT buses with art on each side. The buses then roam the city streets for six months.

Art On The Move encourages past participants to submit designs and since I was a past participant, I thought it would be fun to submit another design.

In this design, I ask my students to come up with clever sentences that incorporate Raleigh street names and used that as the background.

For example:

"When I get nervous I Pace Street"
"Baby you can drive my Carr Street"

The two designs above are very similar with only slight variation in the hue of the background. Do you have a preference? Could you tell the difference? ;)

If I win this year I will use the honorarium to buy a class set or Etch-A-Sketches!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Street Art in the Making

In the works - precut

glued to the books

Ready for the streets --> just like this one

Squirrel Hickhikers

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I was excited and humbled to be selected as part of the Davis Publications 2010 Virtual Retreat.


Giant signable Post It Notes for the Exhibit at the Holly Springs Cultural Arts Center


street art billboard

The website and The Billboard Project


The Balloon Garden at the Halle Cultural Arts Center. The garden was made up of about ten helium filled balloons. Inside each balloon was a dollar bill. Beside the garden was a pair of scissors, tacks and a sign that read: Each balloon contains a dollar. You may: Pop a balloon and take a dollar Cut the string and set a balloon free Or walk away.


The Daily Critter. Just like any other newspaper dispenser you'd see on the streets of Downtown Apex.. The box reads: Insert coin 25 cents Daily $1.00 Sundays We sold out in one day!


Signables at Jordan Hall Arts Center Gallery. these pieces were created to resembled giant coloring book pages.


The Emerald Island Monster


take me home and make me your art

The 2010 Art History class had a reunion at the NC Museum of Art. I took along one of my critters to show them. Unfortunately, I accidentally and totally by mistake left it in the parking lot.


GJCAE sponsors the making of 30 Critter Cubes for Downtown Wake Forest.


Release of the Critter Cube Coloring Book


Interactive Room Exhibit at the Halle Cultural Arts Center


Famous wildlife Painter Robert Bateman Signs Critter

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Taylor and Mike are up to it again, this time taking Critter out for a test ride. They used one of the Critter Cubes with a zonkey with different walk cycle positions painted on the sides. Take a look -->

It all started with a box...

See more Zonkey Stop Motions

Autographed Critter Art for St. Jude!

For over 14 months Critter has traveled the world visiting talented writers, artists, and authors: while exploring their world. Christy Evers sent out Critter after she stole him from one of my interactive art projects.

Now this very Critter, along with an incredible printed scrapbook of photos from all his travels, is up for adoption on Ebay with the proceeds going to St Judes!

You can bid right now!!

Look at this line up! Critter has visited (and was signed) by:

PJ Hoover (author of the Forgotten Worlds trilogy) and the Texas Sweethearts, in Texas.

Beth Revis in North Carolina (whose debut novel, Across the Universe, coming out in January 2011, is expected to be a HUGE success!).

Christina Farley in Korea,

New England with Nandini Bajpai

Illinois with Kelly Polark, (who is frequented in Highlights magazine),

MG Higgins in California

Rena Jones (author of multiple picture books) in Montana

Cynthia Leitich Smith (NY Times best-selling author) in Texas

Bish Denham in the Virgin Islands

Jacqui Robbins (author of “The New Kid and Me”, and “Two of a Kind”) in Michigan,

Tina Ferraro, (author of “How to Hook a Hottie, Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, and The ABC’s of Kissing Boys) in California

Cynthia Chapman Willis, (Picture book author of “Dog Gone” and “Buck Fever”) in New Jersey,

Jill S. Alexander, (YA author of “The Sweetheart of Prosper County”) in Texas,

Ellen Oh in Virginia,

Angela Ackerman (the blog-genius behind the “Writing Thesaurus” in Alberta, Canada


The World-famous artist, Robert Bateman, also signed Critter as an honorary host.

So go, now, bid, win, st judes, clicky!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Zonkey Goes for a Walk

Yesterday we painted the sides of one of the critter cubes with Zonkey in a different walk cycle pose. today we decided to take Zonkey out for a test run. Take a look -->

This one was to see if we could get Zonkey to climb.

This one we were testing out how often to turn the cube in relationship to how far the cube is moved.


This is a photo of the cube so you can see how it was painted.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Animated Walking Zonkey Cube

I've had this idea for a while.. using the 6 sides of a box, or in this case a critter cube, to create a stop motion walk cycle of a zonkey.

The idea is to paint each of the steps of a walk cycle on each side of the cube. Then place the cube in the street and take shots of each side of the box. The end result, an animated walking zonkey.

The only problem is, the typical walk cycle uses eight steps. A cube only has 6 sides. I thought the easiest thing to do would be to try to reduce the walk cycle down to only four steps.

This is the actual box photographed on the four sides and compiled in PhotoShop. The walk cycle sort of works...

In this version I used PhotoShop to paint each of the hoofs a different color so I could better understand which of the feet looked like they were walking and which were missing the mark...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Famous wildlife Painter Robert Bateman Signs Critter

Above famous wildlife painter Robert Bateman and author Angela Ackerman.

When I was in high school I wanted to be a wildlife artists. Every other week, my friend and I used to grab our sketchbooks and take the train down to Fordham Rd to draw the animals in the Bronx Zoo. The portfolio I created to get into the School of Visual Arts was composed entirely of animal sketches, drawings and paintings.

It all started when I was a kid. My grandmother used to get me a subscription to Ranger Rick® Magazine every year for Christmas. Then she switched me over to National Wildlife® Magazine when I was a teen. It was in National Wildlife® Magazine that I saw works by famous wildlife painter Robert Bateman.

So you can imagine how cool it is for me to have Robert Bateman sign a piece of my art! This was all part of Critterpalooza.

Above is Critter with all the children's book authors and illustrators signatures and of course, famous wildlife painter Robert Bateman.

I thought I should return the favor so here is a "cow" by famous wildlife painter Robert Bateman. I signed it.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Critter is an art creation stolen from me by Christy Evers. Next thing I knew she was sending him to visit KIDLIT writers/bloggers/artists.

For the last year, Critter has been shipped, and I can't say they were all critter friendly shipping methods, to writers and artists all over the world. Each writer then wrote their name on Critter which I'm sure hurt.

After their scrawl, each writer would place critter in horrible situations, taking his photo and then posting it on their blog for all the world to see. How humiliating!

Some bloggers were extra mean (see photo below), going so far as to dressing him up in, I hate to even say this it is so horrifying, a Canadian team's hockey gear! Then they called him fat!

Now the cruelest part of the entire ordeal begins.

Instead of just letting Critter go, they plan to auction him off like he is some sort of prized heifer! To add insult to injury, they decided Critter wasn't valuable enough on his on so they are adding all this other stuff to "sweeten the deal."

Here is the disgusting list:

Melissa Higgins—a Writer’s Kit (chocolate, journal, gift card & 8X10 photo of Critter)
PJ Hoover—a Forgotten Worlds set & a ten page critique
Beth Revis—a query critique
Tina Ferraro—a copy of Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, How to Hook a Hottie, and The ABC's of Kissing Boys (all signed).
Cynthia Willis—a copy of Dog Gone (paperback) & Buck Fever (hardcover) (signed & personalized)
Bish Denham—a beautiful hand-made tatted dolphin bookmark
Nandini Bajpai--a copy of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book (signed)
Jacqui Robbins--a copy of Two of a Kind (signed)
Christina Farley--a Chocolate Fun Pack (decadent chocolates & hot chocolates, copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) + a 10 page critique
Rena Jones—a copy of A new Job for Dilly (signed)
Kelly Polark—Poetry Pack (Poetrees by Douglas Florian & Stampede: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School + signed bookplate)
Jill S Alexander—copy of Sweetheart (hardcover)
Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi—an Art Compilations Book by Robert Bateman (signed), a $15 Starbucks Gift Card a & 1st chapter critique (Becca)
Christy Evers—a $50 Amazon Gift Card
Ellen Oh--a Korean Gift Box ( YA book + treats with a Korean flair!)
Ian Sands—your very own CRITTER and a Critter-interactive-art-book (signed).

And then, if this isn't enough, there's also a Career-Boosting GRAND PRIZE: a PERSONAL, 45 MINUTE SKYPE or IM CHAT with authors Beth Revis (YA, Across the Universe), PJ Hoover (MG Forgotten Worlds Trilogy) & Jacqui Robbins (PB, The New Girl and Me, Two of a Kind) where the winner can collectively pick the brains of these pros about writing, publishing and the current marketplace, learning valuable information to help them succeed.

In the end they say they are giving the money away to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. At least that is what they say. I'm sure it is some money laundering operation.

Worst of all, they posted all the rules for winning on the Bookshelf Muse blog. That makes it so easy for people to just click this link and participate. Gag! I hope you don't click this link and participate cause them you might win and then you would have to deal with all the guilt that comes from a year's worth of being mean to Critterpalooza!

Ps Contest runs until Sunday afternoon, November 28th. Winners will be announced on Monday, November 29th.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Have Critter Cubes Will travel

The Critter Cubes packed and on the way to Wake Forest. I've never had an art pick up before. How very exciting!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Critter Cubes Ready For Pick Up

The Critter Cubes are completed and ready for pick up. i'm sure my wife will be glad to get the garage back :)

All together there are 30 cubes.. I think... i kind of lost count

Friday, November 19, 2010


What would you do with 190 art One Students and 1,840 balloons? Make a giant mosaic of the Mona Lisa... silly.

This project took all day. All three art classes, Ms Brokke, Ms Bate and Mr. Sands, worked all day long to create the mosaic.

I think this photo, showing the trailer and cars in the parking lot gives a better idea of just how large this work of art is. 40 feet across and 46 feet down.

to view all photos of the Making of Monalloon Click Here!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

“Publish Yourself”
Ian Sands on Writing, Blogs,
the Internet and Social Media

Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 7 pm
Halle Cultural Arts Center
FREE-Limited seating

Learn how to take advantage of the Internet to publish, distribute and promote your writing. This presentation will cover the pros and cons of self publishing using publish on demand (POD) websites. Ian will also take a look at how social networking sites can help you connect with other writers and editors.

A children’s book author and illustrator, Ian is also an art teacher at Apex High School. His own artwork is currently on display at the HCAC.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Critter Cube Coloring Book

The Graham Johnson Cultural Arts Endowment, presents the Critter Cube coloring book for kids as part of the community Critter Cube project.

The book encourages children to learn verbal/communication skills and creative writing with prompts to create stories as each page is changed.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Photos from the Ian Sands Exhibit Opening Reception
@ the Halle Cultural Arts Center
Exhibit rubs November 2-November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Ian Sands Exhibit
Halle Cultural Arts Center
November 2-November 25, 2010
Opening Reception: Friday, November 5 2010, 6-8 pm