Feeling patriotic

Feeling patriotic

…or maybe angry? Hard to tell with raging Uncle Sam here. A photo posted by aaron thomason (@aaron_t) on Jul 2, 2015 at 8:14pm PDT Also on Relatively Average: The Whining Pig Alien pods or harmless pine cone? Pabst Blue Ribbon can design...
The Whining Pig

The Whining Pig

While sitting, stationary, in freeway traffic a few weeks ago after a particularly trying day, I decided that I needed to get off the freeway and out of the heat, so I pulled up Yelp to see what was around. Familiar with a few of the larger chain places nearby, I wanted something smaller, quieter, where I could just sit, cool down, and unwind a bit before I got home. Yelp showed that there was this little bar three minutes away just off the freeway, and even though I was could see the complex it was in, I just couldn’t place their location. After finding a parking spot in what could be argued one of the worst parking lots in Phoenix, I wandered into The Whining Pig. To say the place was small would be an understatement. With the u-shaped bar in the middle and chalkboard paint on the walls, it was exactly what I was looking for. There are no taps; everything they serve is in bottles (wine too). With the extensive beer menu on the opposite wall I sat down, ordered something cold and started doodling in my sketchbook. One of the owners was tending bar that day, and asked if I could send it to him. This little guy might be my first sketch that’s made it up on a a wall other than my own! A photo posted by aaron thomason (@aaron_t) on Jun 27, 2015 at 3:46pm PDT Also on Relatively Average: Feeling patriotic Campground still life Back to basics with Field...
Campground still life

Campground still life

Okay, so it wasn’t really a still life, but it was the last can of Papago Brewing’s Orange Blossom beer that we had left on the camping trip. I felt like it needed capturing. on Jun 23, 2015 at 7:38am PDT Also on Relatively Average: The Whining Pig Vacation Infographic Feeling...
I only went out for a walk

I only went out for a walk

While camping, in addition to trying to get back to good old pen-and-pencil-on-paper illustration, I also brought along John Muir book to read. I can’t imagine a better place to read through his real-life adventures that in an area not too far from where he lived and explored. His book, compiled from his personal notes and journals, is full of quotes that really stuck with me. One of the more famous ones that’s making the rounds now is “The mountains are calling, and I must go,” typically overlaid a picturesque mountain shot, or some otherworldly beautiful location. Just do a Google image search with that phrase and see how many come up. At any rate, I thought I’d try to illustrate one of the other quotes that really stuck with me: “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” A photo posted by aaron thomason (@aaron_t) on Jun 21, 2015 at 3:03pm PDT By the way, those folks who do hand-lettering really know their stuff. My version turned out pretty lame, but considering I was using pen and a sketchbook while laying in a hammock, I guess its okay. It’s definitely going to take some more practice to get that skill where I would like it to be. Also on Relatively Average: Feeling patriotic Alien pods or harmless pine cone? Pabst Blue Ribbon can design...
Geocaching, version 1.0

Geocaching, version 1.0

“That just sounds like organized littering” is the response my wife gave when I was trying to explain the ins and outs of a newfound hobby, geocaching. She’s right. At the base level, at least. From the outside, these caches are little more than small collections of meaningless junk that get stowed under park benches and in light poles and inside hollowed out logs, in tupperware and old prescription bottles and Altoids tins. But packed with stickers or dollar-store toys or sometimes, nothing at all but a log sheet to sign, these little treasures are part of a world-wide scavenger hunt thats been running since 2,000, which is when technology finally allowed regular people access to GPS. The found knicknacks are part of the games honor system: if you take something, you’re supposed to leave something at least as good, but preferably better. Up to a few weeks ago, I had only ever been geocaching once before, with a coworker while at a conference in San Francisco. Wandering back to our hotel from the day’s event, he asked if I minded if we find a nearby cache and since I had no idea what was involved, I agreed, and he fired up the app on his phone and we went hunting. We found three caches that night, one behind a loose brick in a wall, one near a statue on the pier, and one in a magnetized Altoids tin stuck to the bottom of a sculpture. Even after what one could consider a successful night, I can’t say I was really even interested in it. It seemed like a good...
Coffee shop ramblings

Coffee shop ramblings

I was spending my Sunday morning at Songbird Cafe as is my ritual, when a large eclectic group of twenty-somethings rode up on their even-more-eclectic collection of bikes, circling the front of the building in a single-file line like Native American warriors in an old western. The descended on the coffee shop, dismounted, and wheeled their bikes in the front door, quickly tripling the number of customers in the room. Given that Songbird isn’t that large and that I had forgotten my headphones, it was impossible not to overhear some of their conversations. I learned that this particular group of pedal pushers was part of Phoenix Spokes People. I hadn’t heard of the group before, but a quick read through their web site gave me the highlights. They are a local cycling group, dedicated to making Phoenix a better place to ride, both for fun but also as viable day to day transportation. They work to raise awareness of the issue of bicycle safety and accessibility, and speak at City of Phoenix budget hearings towards that end. So while they get together and bike for fun (although two hours in this mornings humidity suggests otherwise to me), they also work to make their city a better place. Another conversation sprung up between friends who hadn’t seen each other for a while, and rather than the typical “just working,’ ya know” response I tend to give to the “what have you been up to?” question, this young man explained that he’s been dedicating his time to bringing the largest green and sustainable living event in the US to Phoenix in 2015…or something to that...