Flip Flop Flying

Archive for May, 2014

Self-portrait

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Self-portrait, drinking Guinness and drawing in the Tap and Spile pub in Lincoln. This is drawn from memory so the colours and stuff might be a bit off, should you know he pub in question.

More finger painting here.

Written by Craig

May 13th, 2014 at 9:27 am

Best dog

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More finger painting here.

Written by Craig

May 13th, 2014 at 9:24 am

15 years of Flip Flop Flyin’

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Fifteen years ago today, I got home from working at a record distribution company and as I’d done quite a bit in the previous six months, sat down in front of my (first generation) iMac. After a couple of months of reading a book about HTML and drawing stuff in ClarisWorks, and animating stuff in GifBuilder, I was ready to put my Web site online. I’d chosen the name Flip Flop Flyin’ (from a Beach Boys song), I had a Virgin account which came with a wee bit of Web space, and thus – hurrah! – I put the stuff online. That Web site was live! Live at http://freespace.virgin.net/craig.robinson1. Snappy URL. And then I emailed some friends to say, hey, go look at my stuff. Please. And a few of them did. And after a couple of months, people I didn’t know started looking at the site. And then more of them. Then I started drawing small pixellated popstars. The Beatles, Beach Boys, Blondie, Kraftwerk. And I kept on doing them. The more I did, the more people started looking at them. My Web site was a little bit popular.

Back on the 12th of May, 1999, the site had hardly any content. But it did have a splash page. A splash page for each section, in fact. Splash pages were a thing back then. And it had a clunky navigation system.

It’s interesting (for me, anyway) to look back at the work I’ve done here in the past decade-and-a-half. I’m way better at drawing now. But I have less patience for animation. Last night, I watched the Pete & Bob series that I did between 2002 and 2006. It seems to be a perfect example of everything I’ve done and still do. It’s a bit silly and a bit melancholy. For anyone else looking at 15 years worth of drawings and stuff, it must just seem like a fairly large amount of content. For me, it looks like a diary. Looking at the stuff totally takes me back to where I was, who I was, and who I was with at those points in my life. I can see the points where I was happy, and the points where I was really miserable.

I can’t really say that I’d want it any different. A few tweaks here and there. Fewer wilful destructions of popular things. Stopping doing Minipops, for example, was entirely about being contrary. This is popular: kill it! I think the biggest regret, though, of all is the way this blog has developed. It was going swimmingly in 2006, then I posted something about my dislike of a popular British artist. It got a load of comments. A lot of them assumed it was just professional jealousy. (It wasn’t. Banksy was and continues to be a shit artist.) That post soured me a bit. And after a couple of months of only posting sporadically, it took a while to build it up again. Things were going great when I was doing my travelling around the Americas in 2008. That was when my blogging was actually quite good. I was writing long posts virtually every day. It kept on going well until the middle of 2009 when my then-wife and I split up and, well, there was a horrible time when I was on a train between Portland and Seattle, and got to my friend’s house and saw that there were 50-odd comments on a post I’d written about that split. It wasn’t pleasant. That experience, without really making a conscious decision about it, soured me to the whole idea of writing about my life. The blog slowly got less personal. Then I had another “I don’t wanna do this anymore” mid-2010. Sporadic posts again, mostly just promoting other stuff I’d done. That seemed to be the final nail in the coffin of it being an active blog, where there’d be comments on every post. Since then, and to this day, I’ve neglected the blog. I put up drawings, write the occasional thing, but it’s being kept alive purely out of habit. Twitter and the Facebook page have also made the blog less important for letting people know about new things. I regret this. And right now, it feels like it’d be a shame to throw it all away just because Twitter and Facebook are easier.

Looking again, as I did yesterday, at a ton of my old work, I’m kinda proud of what I’ve done. And I want to keep doing it. And that includes blogging more. I used to enjoy it so much, and I want to enjoy it again. And after looking at the Pete & Bob stuff, I want to get more fun stuff going, too. It’s possibly a coincidence, but the stuff that happened in the middle of 2009 was at the same time as I started really doing a lot of baseball-related infographics. I wonder if infographics were just a way for me to keep doing stuff, having ideas, but without having to put any heart into it. Statistics don’t hurt you or make you think about how your life is going. Right now, I’m a wee bit bored of doing infographics. I’ve done some really good stuff at Flip Flop Fly Ball, the baseball offshoot of Flip Flop Flyin’, and I’d like to keep doing it. But really, it’s time to get back to doing more of the stuff that I love the most. Arty silly stuff. So fingers crossed I can keep all of this in mind.

I had an email recently from a woman called Emily. She said that she and her brother “absolutely loved Flip Flop Flyin’ when [they] were kids.” It was genuinely heartwarming to get an email like that. It’s very nice to think that people like what you do.

Anyway, thanks for reading. And should you fancy looking at what Flip Flop Flyin’ looked like fifteen years ago, here’s that first version of Flip Flop Flyin’.

Also of note, the incredible Saul Steinberg died on the 12th of May 1999. One can only dream of being as good as him.

Written by Craig

May 12th, 2014 at 6:25 am

Posted in Blah blah

If you’re going to San Francisco

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If you’re going to San Francisco, is it still a visa requirement to wear flowers in your hair?

Written by Craig

May 11th, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Posted in Blah blah

Apostrophe’s

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It’s good that a print shop (in Walthamstow, London) lets you know up front that they will put apostrophes where apostrophes don’t belong.

Written by Craig

May 11th, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Posted in Blah blah

Some women

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More finger painting here.

Written by Craig

May 11th, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Premier League 2013/14 infographic

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I made a chart about the season that ended a short while ago. It looks at the title race, relegation and how ace Suárez and Sturridge were. As a Liverpool fan, it was the most enjoyable season in quite some time. Didn’t end quite the way one would have hoped, but, damn, it was fun.

Full chart here: http://flipflopflyin.com/flipflopflyball/other-pl1314.html

Written by Craig

May 11th, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Posted in Infographics,Sports

Kids

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Kids these days! They don’t know they’re born. Or that their mum’s milk is used to make the cheese in my salad.

Written by Craig

May 11th, 2014 at 8:12 am

Posted in Blah blah

Vino y cerveza

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Written by Craig

May 10th, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Like Abba said, I had a dream

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They say other peoples’ dreams are boring. But I would also suggest that they are also boring. Saying other peoples’ dreams are boring is boring. Not sure that entirely means we’ve come around to dreams being interesting again, but, well, er, this post is about a dream I had a while back.

I’d read a story on a news Web site about the Queen (that is, the Queen, Queen Elizabeth II) running out of money or something. Boo hoo. And I ended up dreaming about that and the way the BBC is always getting shit from the Daily fucking Mail about anything they feel they can stick the boot in about. So in the dream, the Queen was given a chat show on BBC One, to, y’know, earn her keep. In my dream, she was interviewing famous British people. And the first interview was with Robert Smith. Him out of the Cure.

Here’s a drawing.

Written by Craig

May 10th, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

Shallots

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Written by Craig

May 10th, 2014 at 11:36 am

Posted in Blah blah

Flight

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I flew back from London on Wednesday. British Airways. Decent enough airline. Departing from Heathrow Terminal 5, which as airport terminals go is pretty good. It’s a post-11th September 2001 airport, it anticipates all the security stuff, and it’s relatively painless.

Going through the departure lounge, I went into World of Whisky and spent a decent chunk of money on a good bottle for my girlfriend’s father. It was nice to feel like a proper adult human being: not saying, “I’m fine, thanks” when an assistant asks if I wanted any help, instead asking if I could taste the whisky I was interested in. Delicious stuff. 16 year old Balvenie. Credit card and boarding pass out.

Before I went through security, I had a look in the newsagent/sweets/water/books shop and saw they had a buy-one-get-one-half-price thing going on. Saw a book I wanted. But not a second book so that I could take advantage of the offer. I’ll try the one in the departure lounge, I thought. Had a look, saw a second book! Yay. Now where is the first one I was interested in? They didn’t have it. I checked the final WH Smith after the wee ride on the shuttle train thingy. Their selection of books was crappy. Bummer. No new books for me. So I bought some Rowntree’s Fruit Gums to eat on the plane. Gave the dude the cash and he wanted to see my boarding pass. Why is that? It’s a packet of sweets. It’s not duty free fags or aftershave. Just some fruit gums. Why does he need my boarding pass. Anyway, the argument I was having with him in my head ended quickly, I said thank you, and went to the Starbucks where THEY SELL BEER. So I had a Peroni rather than a cappuccino. I listened to a podcast about football. Then realised I’d lost my boarding pass. Went to the desk. The nice woman there printed me off a new one. I waited and allowed myself to imagine that Aston Villa would beat Manchester City while I was in the sky.

Soon after they called all the rich fucks and people with kids to board. And then it was just like, “everyone else.” Not people in rows 180 to 225, etc. “Everyone else.” I’d chosen my seat online the day before. Window seat, front row of the cheap section. Needn’t have bothered, really. Of the ten front row seats in the section, only three were occupied. In fact, the plane was only about 20% full. It was lush. Nobody in the two seats next to me.

I got stuck into some Heinekens, took my shoes off, flipped up the telly screen thing. (BA planes, by the way, still have pretty crappy screens. Touchscreen, yes, but the sort of touchscreen where you really have to dig your finger in to choose something. I watched Anchorman 2. It was shit. (Apart from Kristen Wiig, who I seem to love in everything.) Two hours I’ll never get back, but I was on an aeroplane flying from Europe to North America, so it’s not like it was a real waste like if I’d’ve gone to the cinema or owt.

I had a go at the Lego Movie. Really enjoyed the first ten minutes, but soon figured that I’d rather watch it on a proper telly not on a tiny fuzzy aeroscreen. Gave some music a go. A few songs off the Ultravox greatest hits they inexplicably had on the system. I’d forgotten that Lament is a pretty nice song. Got the 7″ clear vinyl gatefold sleeve in a box somewhere at my Mum’s house. (Sorry, Mum.) Here is a link to a clip of them doing it on Top of the Pops. Here. Warning: Jimmy Savile introduces them in the clip. Listened to that recent BeyoncĂ© album (good), and the Blood Orange album (alright). But I couldn’t stay focussed on one thing for too long. Had a wee flick at Sleepless in Seattle, a film I do rather love a lot, but couldn’t be arsed. Watched some of Her, which I’ve already seen, watched a bit of the Walter Mitty thing which I saw on the flight to London and enjoyed way more than I thought I would. Plus, y’know, Wiig’s in it. (Also note-worthy, cos of course, all of this blog post is scintillating stuff, I flew to London with Iberia. Now they have great screens. Totally modern. It’s like an iPad or somefink.)

I gave up on the telly and got a book out of my bag. “How I Escaped My Certain Fate” by Stewart Lee. I read and read and read and read. I read loads. It’s an enjoyable and funny book. I looked at the time, and we were over halfway to Mexico. Time flies when you’re enjoying a book. I pulled up the window flaps and there was the eastern coast of Quebec, looking snowy and pretty below.

The stewards and stewardesses seemed in good moods. One dude with nice specs kept asking if I wanted another beer. Yes please. I wonder if that job is actually fun. I mean, to me it looks like you’re a waiter in a crappy restaurant where people are constantly farting, wear ugly neck pillows, and take their shoes off.

Soon enough, just as the sky was starting to get dark, we were above Mexico City. I could see my neighbourhood as we got close to landing. As we queued to get off the plane (for a wee while cos the door wouldn’t open) a European guy lined up in the other aisle was chatting up a woman behind me. He asked where she was from. Veracruz. Are all women in Veracruz as pretty as you? She giggled.

Through immigration, I got my bag, and met my girlfriend outside. We exchanged hellos, hugged, etc. “What was the Man City score?” “4-0,” she said.

Sigh.

Written by Craig

May 10th, 2014 at 9:54 am

Posted in Blah blah,Travel

Euphoric Trumps

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So, as I mentioned, I had an exhibition at the Euphoric Trumps in London. Here’s some photos.

As well as the printed stuff, I drew with a marker on glass:

Should you be interested, there are limited edition prints available. Top quality stuff, my friends. Very good. Please buy. https://www.coningsbygallery.com/shop/artist/Craig+Robinson

Written by Craig

May 10th, 2014 at 9:47 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

Decorating wood knot pareidolia

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Written by Craig

May 10th, 2014 at 8:42 am

Posted in Artwork

Away in a Pret a Manger

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Sometimes I have to write stuff down for other people to read (that is, like in the title of this blog post) so that I can clear it out of my head, so that when I flick through my notebook, I don’t pause, briefly tempted to work on it, turn it into a drawing or a story or something.

If it sits there, it’s a distraction. And this one, Away in a Pret a Manger, is dumb. I want it gone. But it’s not so dumb that I can entirely dismiss it. My brain will spend a short amount of time wondering, maybe it could be good… they do nice Christmas sandwiches in Pret… maybe it could be a drawing of Jesus and his parents in a sandwich shop… eat in or take away? But here it is. Right now. In May. Not at Christmas. Get rid of it now, Craig, cos if you don’t you’ll be tempted in December.

Written by Craig

May 10th, 2014 at 7:52 am

Posted in Blah blah

Some iPod drawings

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More finger painting here.

Written by Craig

May 10th, 2014 at 7:39 am

Spacemen

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Written by Craig

May 10th, 2014 at 7:37 am

Aunts aren’t ants

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Written by Craig

May 10th, 2014 at 7:36 am

Ice cream

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Written by Craig

May 10th, 2014 at 7:36 am

George Lucas drawn from memory

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Written by Craig

May 10th, 2014 at 7:34 am