Monday, November 5, 2007

soo busy!

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

I'm working quickly to get our tote bags and handle bar mustache shirts ready for the holidays

BUY HANDMADE this holiday!

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Improv Everywhere No Shirt day

I went on my first actual assignment as an Improv everywhere agent. I wouldn't consider the Mp3 experiement as much of an assignment, but it was still awesome.

I got an email that said that it was for men only and that we must be willing to take off our shirt in public.

I replied, "I'm in," and instantly received a response with the details of where to meet and when.

So on Saturday at 3:30 I met at the southeast end of Central Park near 60th and 5th ave. I wasn't fully sure where to meet, but the slowly flocking of dudes in t-shirts and blue jeans made it more an more obvious. A stout kid in a yellow t-shirt approached the group and asked if this was the Improv Everywhere group. "Yep." He and I and 2 others then struck up a conversation about how many of these events we were in and about how he was the youngest to be involved today (11 years old, ballsy kid).

We were told that we would be sent in waves (all 111 of us) to Abercrombie & Fitch on 5th ave. They have a shirtless male model in blue jeans standing at the storefront 365 days a year, a 7 foot tall bronze statue of a shirtless man in blue jeans, posters and a mural of shirtless men that covers the wall on all four floors of the stairway.

At around 4:37 we would remove our shirts and walk about the store as if we were shopping for a shirt. If anyone asks, I'm told, we don't know any of the other guys (which is true), we just happen to need a shirt.

IE Creator, Charlie Todd gives our mission details. Thats me staring straight into the camera in the center with Andrew in front.

----But first, some "totally not gay" pictures of all of us playing skins versus skins football------

(I swiped all these photos from the facebook and flickr pages, this isn't my work)

After five minutes of mugging, posing, and pretending to be a quarterback, I was sent to A&F with the 3rd wave of guys. The 11 year old, Andrew, asked me to help him get to A&F, so I left my stuff with his mom, who was waiting on the outside of the park fence, and we left. He was a pretty cool kid, we talked about video games and, which is how his mom heard about the mp3 experiment.

The initial reaction from the employees and shoppers was amusement and confusion. People wondered aloud where all these models suddenly came from.
The employees thought the stunt was funny until their managers dissuaded them, then they got stern.
A female employee actually slapped one of our camera-women, Agent Katie. Fortunately she happened to be taking a picture of it at the moment that it happened, and she showed me the image of a hand in mid-slap motion. I didn't get hassled too much initially, I pretended to earnestly shop for a shirt ( and I won 12 oscars for doing so, cuz I hate their clothing...who goes in there and thinks, "letsee, do I want to wear an A&F logo shirt, a shirt with a moose, or a shirt with an arbitrary number on it, gee i can't decide with all this variety.").

I was assigned to the basement level, but I ended up moving around to different floors to avoid the employees that were asking us to put on a shirt or leave. I saw a shirtless guy in the womans area hold a shirt up to his chest for size. Andrew was told to put his shirt on or get out pretty quickly. He just shrugged, threw his shirt on and went about shopping.

The sameness of the store made it difficult for me to figure out what floor I was on and how to get out, and eventually I ushered out the door by the staff. At the doorway I jumped in front of the male model and a few of our agents to pose for the pictures taken by a swarm of female tourists and passersby.

When I got back I met some more agents that had heard of my previous experience with Improv Everywhere in which a park ranger issued my wife and I a ticket for "failure to comply with signs."

I noticed that Andrew hadn't returned so his mom and I went back in to find him, he didn't know when to meet at the rendezvous, and was caught up in 'shopping.' we retrieved him fromthe store (which went from sardine packed to empty one our stunt had ended)

you can check out more pictures of the mission here:
and here:

Monday, October 1, 2007


We sold our first shirt today and I haven't even been advertising, nor have I sent out the official store launch flyers yet! This was our last limited edition "grande est le cerveau de la baleine," which in French means large is the brain of the whale

To celebrate, I bought Chelbie this pendant from Imogen's Etsy shop:

they also have a koi fish that I think looks great:

Amy is currently working on a tote bag with the following Cow image she came up with:
I think we'll have to make a silkscreen tutorial in the future that documents our unique creative process, from phone conversation brainstorm, to idea, to paper, to scanner, to photoshop, back to paper sometimes, back to computer, to transparency, to screen, to substrate, to online store, to delivery guy, and finally to you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

We are open for business!

I finally posted our first two shirts, check it!
The awesome photography was provided by the extremely talented Anna Vu of, check her out if you are in the NYC area and need photos for whatever reason (like to check to see if you have something in your teeth, she can take a picture of you and when its done you can look back and see...whew! nothing in my teeth, thanks Anna Vu).
But seriously, she is very good with the camera shy.

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Monday, September 3, 2007

Todaybor day is Labor Day

I have just had 3 straight days off, now into the fourth and life is taking some amazing turns in this difficult yet sometimes rewarding city.

First off, I'm playing bass for my close friend, Paul Holmes. We lived together in college along with our drummer, Dave Greenwald. They formed an awesome band called Pitty Sing (named for the cat in a Flannery O'connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find"). They were signed to OR music (Matisyahu and Los Lonely Boys are on that label but they sound nothing like those artists). The band basically didn't get off the ground fast enough, and they eventually split up. To make a short story long, Paul's been writing some amazing stuff, Dave just moved back to NYC, and it's on. There is a lead guitarist named Jay, but I don't know much about him yet.

I had my audition, a rehearsal for church, then I played two church services at Forefront before my tuning peg on my ghetto Ibanez busted, so I need a new bass ASAP. I've wanted to get something better, and Paul said it was necessary before it broke. God will provide, of this I'm sure.

We have decided to stay in NYC, because of the band and Chel's new job as a nanny (not set in stone yet, but she will hopefully be working 10 less hours a week for a considerable amount more money per week than she had been working).

Gregg Farrah is relaunching the Mosaic Church, which is where we first attended when we moved to NY. I'm hoping he asks me to lead worship. It would be even sweeter if I could get a paid staff position and be able to pursue ministry full or part time.

Amy is designing a tote/grocery bag. Here's a sneak preview:

We will start selling shirts as soon as our photographer friend Anna Marie Vu is available. She is incredibly talented at cooking, making flyers, music, cooking, web design, tons of other stuff, but especially photography. She is a freelance artist based in Long Island.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Mp3 Experiment IV

I had to cancel my voice lesson today, so Chel and I decided to get out and do something today. I get events emailed to me daily, and after consulting the list I found this:

For the lazy bunch who don't wanna read that, it's an underground Improv Everywhere event in which you download a 36 minute mp3 to your digital device that you can't listen to until the event. You show up at the place before 4 pm with your watches synched to the atomic clock, wear a red, yellow, blue, or green shirt, bring a camera if you want, spread out, act casual, and at exactly 4, press play on your mp3 players. The headphones added an element of secrecy to non-participating onlookers that similar events like Danger Art's "night of Fire" couldn't use to their advantage. Anywhere they went, they had to use text messaging and bullhorns, and the cops, although cooperative, always knew the next move. I think an interesting spin on this might be to be on cell phones, using a sort of telephone chain, but the logistics may take some figuring out. At least everyone would be spared the cell minute charges if they had free weekends.

We checked it out, it looked interesting, we didn't have to say "potato, potato" over and over (not that I wouldn't, potato potato potato potata), and it was at the at the World Financial Center Plaza, which has a beautiful park facing the water. I threw on a yellow "Banana loves Octopus" shirt, packed lunches and grabbed our li'l chihuahua, Mini.

We have a bit of trouble getting to anything on time, so we decided to use the car when we saw that the next train to Manhattan would be 17 minutes.

By 4 pm, we were on the Brooklyn Bridge headed to Manhattan.
As we listened to Nintendo Gameboy type music. As we sat through the same light three times we laughed as Steve, the omnipotent voice instructed us on what we would do next. As we looked for a parking space we imagined our fellow colored t-shirt wearers pointing to the tallest building, Nicaragua, and the "ugliest cloud" or skipping along as they were instructed to follow a German tourist with a yellow shirt, "a stupid mustache," with an MTA map while they listened to a digital polka. For whatever reason I flashed back to first grade gym class.

We had no trouble finding our fellow event attendees, they stuck out like a multicolored sore thumb. We ran into the park in time to create a target with a green and later red shirt bull's eye (see above pic), which is when my i-pod died and Chel and I shared ear pieces.

The games and sense of community were amazing. We played freeze tag! Cameras in hand, we competed for "an arbitrary prize we will never receive."

There was something like the spirit of childhood in the event. The by-standing people in then park watched us in amused puzzlement.

When it was over I didn't want to leave, I wanted to know who my fellow participants were, go to an after party, or come away with some kind of souvenir of our event other than the pictures we were instructed to take.

When it was over we clapped and "Mr. Blue Skies" by ELO became the exit music. I was amazed that they picked such an apt ending song until I realized aloud that it was the next song on my playlist, a nearby girl and and replied that she was temporarily excited to hear her song, too. I overheard another guy say to his friends that this was the most exciting thing he had ever been involved in.

As Chel and I slowly walked to the outer edge of the park to survey the crowd, Mini had business to do. At the moment it happened we realized we didn't bring her doggie bags, but Chel had paper towel in her hand from her packed lunch and we were just about to take care of it when two Park Patrol Officers approached us. The female officer was far more upset than the situation warranted, and immediately scolded us and without losing a beat, began writing us a ticket.

Face locked in a gesture of disgust, the female officer reprimanded me for bringing my dog to a park where dogs were not allowed and people were laying down and eating. I didn't know about the rules since we ran in late, and saw no reason from the website that we wouldn't be able to bring Mini. As it turns out they were allowed, but we were on the dog-forbidden grass, about 8-12 feet from the concrete path where they were allowed to be walked.

I apologized, pleaded, and nearly sang and danced to talk them out of my ticket. After having my car window smashed by the thwarted car-jackers last week, losing and subsequently having my phone stolen 2 days ago, and not receiving my mail/checks for almost two weeks, I almost threw up in the same spot my dog had been when I saw her scribble $200. Maybe if I had, they'd have to ban humans from the park.

They questioned my involvement in today's goings on, and that's when it occurred to me that I was the fall guy for the officers. The real reason for their anger was that they had no one to pin for we hadn't really done anything worth stopping the surprise event that they were too late to put the kibosh on (small aside, I love spell-check, I had no idea surprise actually had that 'r' before 'p', I always thought that was how the uneducatedly typed folk spellted it). The male officer, with his feigned frustration and persistent questions may have just been secretly jealous of our fun.

I now know that you can't have your dog on the grass, but the frustrated monologue that ensued spelled it all out for me.

"How old are you?"


"You all must have such impressionable minds to be so easily swayed into doing something like this, you don't know if they're going to harm you, how do you know you can trust them?"

she looked at me like I was an absolute moron to think that this might be fun, let alone quite exhilarating. I have far too many experience dealing with stone faced NY natives. Each day I deliver their packages on time, but never soon enough for them. Don't bother to crack a joke, they hate comedy. Politeness doesn't count for much either, they look at me disdainfully as though I were the very pile my dog had just left. Disdain, disdain, disdain, potato.

-I looked into the previous years experiments and figured I was in for a similar, safe experience worth a good story later. The email I received stated that it was suitable for all ages-

"well you disturbed these people in the park, there were frightened kids crying ."
(I didn't see anyone that was even remotely displeased but the park patrol)

-That shouldn't be, officer, children were allowed to participate as well-

Her partner continued to ask questions about the hows and whys of Mp3 Experiment IV, so I gave him the gist of it without giving any real information about the coordinators (I didn't find out who they were until afterwards anyway).

They continued to give me flack for the event's lack of a permit and repeated that we were disturbing the other park attendants and my dog is disgusting being in a park where people lay out and eat, and we were foolish to think this thing with the podcast in the park was a good idea. Apparently we fragile-minded types aren't allowed to enjoy parks, though I don't recall that on the park rules sign I read as I left the park, if only I had learned to read in school I'd know better than to go to parks or mindlessly listen to strange mp3's. Didn't your mom ever tell you not take Mp3's from strangers?

What seemed like five years later, IE's co-coordinator, Agent Schafer came over and asked why were being fined, but sensing that his persistent photographer was making matters worse, he politely stepped back while occasionally watching over us from afar. The female officer continued to trascribe The Old Testament, New Testament and War and Peace on my ticket.

After I was handed the ticket I was relieved to see that we merely owed a still-ridiculous $50, the "$200" was the maximum fine, which we were spared.

We broke away and met Agent Schafer and the "omnipotent Steve," (aka Ben Folds Fake, the IE's founder), who graciously paid our ticket after we discussed what had happened less than five feet from a puzzled group of Patrol Officers. No money lost or taken, we walked off with the ticket and cash to pay it; our souvenir and "arbitrary prize that we will never receive."

Saturday, August 11, 2007

First Blog

I'm Glenn, half of the bro/sis T-shirt artist duo Spitting Image.
I live in Brooklyn, NY with my wife Chel, and our dog Mini.
Amy lives in Milwaukee, WI, where we are from, with her boyfriend Marty.

We come from a family of artists, our grandpa Eugene was a jazz saxophonist, like me, our dad is a drummer, like me, and a metal sculptor/welding artist, and our mom used to be an interior designer. I write, record, produce music on various instruments, and Amy is an illustrator who has photography, sculpting, painting, and other media skills.
We both dropped out of our respective art schools a few years back and fell into JOBS.

I am a deisel truck driver, sort of. not the eighteen wheel type, my truck has 6. My job is like show King of Queens, only I'm skinny and I deliver in Brooklyn.
Amy's job is not unlike the show The Office.

I just wanted to write an introductory blog, it's time to get back to the screen I'm almost done burning for a new shirt, so I'll end it here.