Concept design for my wife Jeannie's shop Hot Dogs at the Cove in the Port District of Kingston, WA, just steps from the park and gazebo at the ferry terminal with an iconic waterfront view of ferry boats, the Space Needle, and Mount Rainier.
The mission and founding goal of the shop in the heart of downtown Kingston is to create a welcoming environment for residents to enjoy a playful take on comfort food and to provide guests embarking on an exploration of the Olympic Peninsula with a quick and inexpensive start to their adventure. When the ferry horns blow it feels like you are at a refreshment corner on the nostalgic Main Street of a vast and beautiful theme park.
Jeannie's dockside provisions feature a simple menu of American comfort food staples. The artisanal quarter pound Hebrew National beef franks and Field Roast vegetarian not dogs are topped at a table brimming with choices of over thirty condiments by the real stars of the operation, the delightfully diverse members of the local community and travelers from around the world.
Soup has just been added to the menu. Other beach adventure themed must-haves include fresh fruit, trail mix, nut bars, cold drinks, chips, kites, fair trade hacky sacks, and sundries such as sunblock that evoke the atmosphere of an idyllic mercantile. With a love for all things vintage, Jeannie has gift ideas like handcrafted soy candles in repurposed containers.
Cascade Glacier vanilla ice cream bars are dipped on the spot in a shell of Guittard Chocolate for guests with topping choices like rainbow sprinkles, Oreo cookie crumbles, and Skor toffee bits.
Volunteer work for a Pacific Northwest nonprofit organization sewing feeding tubes and other medical equipment into stuffed animals given to children with matching medical needs so they have a friend through good times and hard times.
It was a joy one Christmas to arrange the nonprofit's holiday fundraiser. I asked It's A Wonderful Life actress Karolyn "Zuzu Bailey" Grimes to sign the wings of an angel themed stuffed animal for the auction and she graciously donated a signed copy of her book. The bear even plays a heartwarming message that Karolyn recorded when you press its paw. Here is the image I created for the event—
Hal Sutherland (1929–2014), a distinguished artist fascinated with painting the beauty of the unspoiled American wilderness, the tenacious people who lived on its frontier and persevered its hardships—often with a humorous approach; Disney animator, and co-founder of the animation studio Filmation, was a treasured friend. It's an honor and inspiration to work on this desk he gave me. Built by the studio carpenter for Hal in 1965, the drawing board was with him during The Batman/Superman Hour, The Archie Show, Emmy Award-winning Star Trek: The Animated Series, and many more Saturday morning cartoons. Remember Hal's signature transform into the Sorceress during the He-Man credits?
When Hal talked about his studio days I tried to always let him choose the things he wanted to recollect and discuss. But after he offered the desk—and the astonishment wore off, I had to ask if Gene Roddenberry ever leaned against the work table while they made Star Trek: The Animated Series. Hal thought, then with a smile said during the show Gene's office was adjacent to his and they often sat together at the desk.
Click the still below for frame-by-frame animation in the form of graphite pencil black-and-white sketches drawn on paper of the handcrafted character Petals and Her Paintbrush.
Tap the screen below to take a RIX-themed firsthand perspective computer-animated dark ride around the world.
Press the PLAY button below to view preliminary cartoon story development created on a homemade traditional animation table for that free range Grade AA good egg BUCK BUCKAA!
In the works: Hand poured soy wax candles inspired by Zoobaybay pleasantly scented with lemon pound cake, citrus, and vanilla fragrance oils. Created in upcycled glass containers with all natural cotton wicks that are metal free. The tags are hand stamped vintage tartlet tins.
Here's a glimpse at the huggable plush toy Petals and Her Paintbrush collectible. Petals is handmade with multi-colored fleece material under-stuffed with polyester fibers. Her paintbrush is a combination of felt and fleece. Petals has child safe embroidered eyes, suitable for ages 3 and up.
"Multiple colors flew from the paintbrush bristles and splashed onto the wall dripping into the shape of a door with luminescence like stained glass, opened by a doorknob that hummed a lovely song."
Seattle filmmaker TRIX @createdbytrix and I met for an immersive conversation exploring the creative production process of the studio as an article in his documentary series to capture inspirational moments into digital journals with artists sharing details about their work.