The Santa Claw

Have you ever wondered what happens to Santa’s leftover gifts? The ones that never appeared on Christmas wish lists. Well…nothing. Until now. This year the Fat Man sent his friends at Real Art all the unused presents, and we gave them a home in The Santa Claw.

Yep we said claw. We built the biggest claw game ever. And you—or anyone in the entire world—can play the game from your own computer. Best part…if you win, we’ll send the leftover Santa goodies straight to your door.

Visit for all the details. Check out the prizes, leather chaps, Dokken records, hand-held crossbows, t-shirts, Lenticular Sacred Heart Jesus, games, balls, models, scooters, skateboards and much much more. Log in now, create your customized avatar and be prepared for a clawsome good time!

Real Art is moving!

Real Art is moving to a new home.

You’ve probably heard rumors about the new Real Art world headquarters in downtown Dayton. Maybe you’ve even seen a sneak peek if you were downtown for a Dragons game. Well, the official move day is finally here. So if you’re free this weekend and have a strong back, we may need your help.

We wanted to let you know that you might experience a slight delay in response from us on Friday (June 5) and Monday (June 8) while we switch phone systems, move computers, finish packing and unpacking all of our things and sit around admiring our new diggs. Rest assured we will still meet project deadlines and take care of any issues or questions you might have. But if something comes up and you are unable to contact one of us in the Dayton office, please call the Chicago office at 312.922.0695 and they should be able to track us down.

After the move, you’ll still be able to reach us at our same phone number, but your project manager will be in touch next week with a fancy new direct line phone number. In the meantime, you’ll want to update your rolodex (if you still own one) with our new contact information:


Thanks for your patience, and we look forward to working with you in our new building.Your friends at Real Art

p.s. If you want to see what the move hype is all about, check out the latest pictures on our Flickr account. Better yet, follow us on Twitter and track the progress of the move. And finally, watch for our official new location celebration later this fall! More info to come, so stay tuned.

© 2009 Real Art Design Group (

Hey fool! Happy Birthday

The new word for the day is pain! I pity the fool who don’t celebrate my birthday!


Yes my favorite 80’s celebrity’s, Mr. T and I share a birthday—today, May 21st. So what better time for a post about the enigmatic film and TV star. I first remember seeing Mr. T as Clubber Lang in Rocky III and Sergeant Bosco B.A. Baracus in the hit tv series The A Team. His signature mohawk hairstyle, the mountains of gold chains he wore and his tough take no crap from anyone attitude no doubt, endeared him to many kids of my generation. A tough guy that was afraid to fly in airplanes and could shoot thousands of bullets without ever hitting anyone.

T grew up as Laurence Tureaud in the Robert Taylor Holmes housing projects of Chicago. After high school Mr T bounced around to several colleges, did a short stint in the Army and tried out for the Green Bay packers. It was then that he began working as a bouncer at local clubs and created his persona “Mr. T” and his trademark look of wearing a huge collection of gold chains, necklaces and bracelets that were originally the result of bar customers leaving or losing these items after an altercation ensued.

Mr. T managed eventually to parlay his job as a bouncer into a career as a bodyguard to the stars that lasted almost ten years. He protected well-known personalities like Muhammad Ali, Steve McQueen, Michael Jackson, Leon Spinks, Joe Frazier and Diana Ross, charging $3,000 per day.

As a bodyguard, Tureaud’s business card read, “Next to God, there is no greater protector than I.” Mr. T claimed that he never lost a client, saying, “I got hurt worse growing up in the ghetto than working as a bodyguard.” A bald-headed Mr. T can be seen on film accompanying Smokin’ Joe Frazier to the ring in Frazier’s rematch against George Foreman in 1976.

Mr. T went on to star in many television series and movie roles. Promoted all kinds of crazy merchandising products, such as cereal, Shrinky Dinks, action figures and much much more. T also wrestled in the first two Wrestlemanias, gave singing a chance in 1984 with the release of Mr. T’s Commandments, much in the same tone as his 1984 educational video, which instructed children to stay in school and to stay away from drugs.

In 1995, he was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma and now splits his time between his suburban Chicago, Illinois home and a 20-acre ranch in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he spends most of his summers and breeds horses.

In 2005, Mr. T stated that he would never wear his chains again. He arrived at this decision after seeing the effects of Hurricane Katrina. However, he does occasionally wear some chains for commercial and public appearances.

In 2008 the company I work for, Real Art Design Group, produced a self promo piece called “A New Year A New You”. The idea being that we would create a customized puppet for all of our clients, friends and family, that would reflect what their New Year’s resolutions for that year might be. It was a huge undertaking that turned out to be extremely well received.

We created over 240 customized hand-made puppets for our employees and those who signed up for the gift. Puppets were shipped in a self-contained display case that propped the puppets up and really brought the project together.

Now it may seem that this is unrelated to this posting about Mr. T but with all those puppets and extra puppet pieces I saw a chance to make something super fun and special. After a little creative thinking, a quick trip to the local thrift store and raiding the puppet parts box I had everything I needed to make a truly unique puppet of Mr. T.

MrT_HeroShotImage Via: Circa71

The Mr. T puppet was a huge hit from the time he hit the door to the present day. In addition to being included as a bonus in the Real Art puppet cards that went out to announce “A New Year A New You”, Mr. T also had a small cameo appearance at the 2008 GDAA Hermes awards ceremony where he was piped in via satellite to offer words of inspiration and motivation. He is currently proudly sitting in my office keeping an ever vigilant eye for trouble and has become a somewhat unofficial ambassador for Real Art.

DSC08023Image Via: Circa71

Mr. T Sound board: The Sound of T
Information Via: Wikipedia

Dippy Drinking Birds

The Edmund Scientific company has been selling engineering, robotic, and astronomy supplies since 1942 — but their stand out best seller and unofficial mascot is the Dippy Drinking Bird. Dippy reached new heights of popularity in 1995, during an episode of The Simpsons in which a 300-pound Homer sets Dippy in front of his keyboard to automate the monitoring of the Springfield nuclear plant.

In 1946, thermodynamics engineer and chemical hobbyist Miles V. Sullivan filed a technical illustration with the U.S. Patent Office for his version of a bird-shaped Heat Engine. The structure of the bird was comprised of two glass bulbs: one for the head (and beak, and jaunty hat, and googly eyeballs) and another for the lower body (and shakeable tail feathers).

Originally Dippy was clamped along the side of a water glass, but the balancing mechanism would later evolve into tall, stork-like legs upon which the glass bulbs were balanced and perched. Variations included duck shapes and giraffes, but the essential mechanics of the device remained constant. A thin glass tube connecting the two bulbs from the inside extended down into the lower body, where it dipped into a reservoir of Freon-based liquid (now banned) or colored methylene chloride. This is the fluid that rises and falls to make Dippy bobble back and forth.

Most of the air is vacuum-sucked from the glass structure at the factory, after the liquid is placed inside. Although the head and upper part of the glass tube appear to be “empty”, they are actually full of active, vaporous gas from the methylene chloride, which doesn’t take much heat energy to turn from a vapor into a liquid, or vice versa. In the scientific community, that’s called a “low latent heat of evaporation”.

Methylene chloride, also called dichloromethane (CH2Cl2), is a volatile, colorless liquid with a chloroform-like odor.

If the head bulb is slightly cooler than the body bulb, a temperature differential occurs. The methylene chloride turns from a liquid to a vapor, and as it rises up the glass tube, vacuum action pulls the liquid up along with it, like a thermometer. When it nears the top, Dippy’s head tips forward on the swing-leg hinges, dunks his nose into a glass of water and appears to drink. While the whole family sits around applauding and taking pictures, Dippy’s red felt-covered beak, face, and head are absorbing water from the drinking glass. As the moisture evaporates from the fabric, the head becomes cooler than the body and internal pressures within the chamber are equalized.

The vapor turns back into liquid, the liquid drops to the lower bulb, and Dippy’s center of gravity pivots him to his normal, natural, upright position. Under the right conditions, Dippy can tipple and topple back and forth quickly. But don’t try to be clever in front of your stupid friends and put alcohol-based beverages in Dippy’s shotglass: the swinging pendulum motion of the body can accelerate the chaos of the liquid and vapor, and the evaporation process from Dippy’s head requires liquid no heavier than water. You can, however, “trick” Dippy into drinking by positioning a lamp toward the bottom bulb. If you limit the light so Dippy’s head remains cool, he’ll go back and forth and even drink without a water glass for hours at a time.

One Dippy Bird hack involves painting the body black so the body becomes warmer more quickly than the head.

In 1966, civil engineer and logistics expert R.B. Murrow developed an abstract study recommending that the possibilities of a Dippy Drinking Bird heat engine be investigated to see if it could be further developed into a useful machine which performed low-power requirement tasks in primitive environments. In the report, such an engine was described in considerable detail. Direct experiment has shown that the Dippy Drinking Bird works best on small scale, and does so particularly well under the arid climatological conditions. By measuring the power output of a drinking bird, attaching it to a windglass and using it to lift heavy paper clips, scientist Don Rathjen reported the successful extraction of a nanohorsepower of work (about a microwatt).

Artist Daniel Reynolds spent six years and $20,000 developing a flock of fifteen enormous drinking birds filling an entire art gallery. Each is six and a half feet tall, and 3,000 times heavier than the original Dippy. The birds are made of pyrex glass and require a special vacuum attachment so the liquid can travel efficiently. The head of the Institute of Thermodynamics at the University of Stuttgart in Germany turned over all their research and development resources to assist in the project.

Dippy Drinking Birds, while hardly extinct, are now primarily indigenous to magic shops.

Via: Rotten

Trunk Monkey

Suburban Auto Group released a series of Trunk Monkey Super Bowl commercials for 2003 and 2004. The ad agency that produced these commercials is R/West. Although the Suburban Auto Group popularized the Trunkmonkey with their Trunk Monkey commercials, Sean Sosik-Hamor and the Subaru community were responsible for creating the concept back in 2000.

Suburban Auto Group Trunk Monkey #1 – Road Rage

Suburban Auto Group Trunk Monkey #2 – Throwing Eggs

Suburban Auto Group Trunk Monkey #3 – Want a Donut?

Suburban Auto Group Trunk Monkey #4 – Thrown off a Bridge

Suburban Auto Group Trunk Monkey #5 – Pediatric Edition

Suburban Auto Group Trunk Monkey #6 – Chaperone Director’s Cut

Suburban Auto Group Trunk Monkey #7 – First Aid

Suburban Auto Group Trunk Monkey #8 – Alien Abduction

Tiki Part1

So I’m having lunch with my buddy Tom Davis the other day and we’re talking and I say “yea I’d really like to have a tiki tattoo on my left forearm at some point.” Come back from lunch, finish out the day and cruise through the evening, I awake the next morning to a text from Tom that says “so I awoke from my migraine coma and got energetic—the tiki is badass! If you dig it we can do it tonight.” Wow what a marvelous way to start the day—although it did seem to make yesterday take forever. I’ve been in a serious rut lately and definitely need something to help break me out. Sounds like Dr. Tom has prescribed new ink as the cure!

So—just as Tom said his sketch of the tiki is badass and we went ahead, despite several power flickers, and got the tattoo started. Last night we did all the line and shading work. We’ll let this heal out for a while and then come back in and add the colors soon. Check out the Flickr slideshow below or click on the photo to see my new tiki! Evil spirits be banished I now have my own personal tiki looking out for me!

As always much love to my buddy Tom and his wonderful drawing and tattooing skills! Stay tuned for part 2


How to remove your pool cover

Wow my friend Tony and I saw this on tv one time and we laughed so hard. Seemed only right to add it to the blog so more can share the joy of watching this classic “don’t be that guy” video.

This guy, Ralph Erwin Zavadil from St. Catharines Ontario Canada, AKA Cap’n Video, shows his techniques for removing his pool cover. Cap’n Video films himself as he climbs an aluminum extension ladder, that he’s propped, fully extended, straight up, between the privacy fence and what appears to be the roll for the pool cover. He then proceeds to try to launch himself into the pool. However, he only succeeds in only knocking himself out and ends up tangled in the cover in the pool. Thank goodness his neighbor saw it go bad and probably saved him from drowning. Of course with this guy next door the neighbors are most likely fairly used to his antics and are well known to the local 911 operators’. Enjoy the video—I always do.

More Cap’n Video fun here: Via: YouTube users video Superxain & greg1701
Cap’n eats Vasoline, Cap’n eating cat food, Cap’n Video and helium head, Cap’n burns the lawn, Craziest of the Cap’n, Brown bananas & of course the Cap’n farewell to everyone
Don’t know that his phone # is still good but he gives it in his video 1-800-706-9867

The Brutal Story of Where Santas Really Come From

Warning: Due to the graphic nature of these videos this post has been rated WEB MA NLV for nudity, language and violence. These videos are intended for a mature audience. Parental guidance is suggested.

Via: Laughing Squid
Even though the Christmas season is over this year, there’s time for one more tale of Santa. From Finnish production company Woodpecker Films comes this short film explaining how “Rare Exports“, has been delivering real Finnish Father Christmases since 1739.

Two years later, following a particularly bad incident, they had to shoot the following reproachful safety film on the handling and care of the Father Christmas during shipping:

Halloween on Gondert: 97-07

H07 invite & poster design: Crystal Dennis

Ten wonderful years of Halloween parties on Gondert. These parties started when my friends and I moved into the house on Gondert in 97. We moved in the second week of October so a Halloween party seemed the only logical next step. Over time and years so many wonderful and crazy people have been apart of them. From those who I only see on Halloween to those who come as guests are back every year. The pictures do more justice than anything I can write.  ****COMING SOON****

Special thanks to Andy Nick who has is responsible for the wonderful web galleries he hosts on his site and to all of my friends who have volunteered their time and design talents for invites, posters and other odds and ends over the years.

This year is no exception H08 will be in full swing.
Festivities are planned for Nov 1st. More info will be along shortly.

Brandalism: A man, a can. His stencil and imagination

(image via:

A couple of years ago I stumbled onto this street artist named Banksy and was blown away by the creative nature of his work. I’ve never seen the work in public but would definetly love to. His mixture of motif and medium, imagery, subject matter, positioning / location and clever writing is a brilliant mix that he uses to address many of today’s key world and political issues. Many say his artwork is vandalism at the very basic level but how can something that forces us to think differntly about a situation or an event be so wrong. His artwork is both inspiring and thought provoking. Many of those willing to throw the first rocks at his art would also be first in line to profit from him or his talents if they were able to.

Well our friends over at WebUrbanist are in the process of doing an 8 part expo featuring Banksy and his work and it’s a top notch read. So I’ll update the links and leave the writing and creative talents to WebUrbanist and Banksy.

“The Human Race is an unfair and stupid competition. A lot of runners don’t even get decent sneakers or clean drinking water. Some people are born with a massive head start, every possible help along the way and still referees seem to be on their side. I’s not surprising some people have given up competing altogether and gone to sit in the grandstands, eat junk food and shout abuse. What we need in this race is a lot more streakers.”
via Cut It Out by Banksy
Happy spraying Banksy!


The Banksy Paradox: 7 Sides of the World’s Most Infamous Street Artist

Banksy, the Famously Anonymous Street Artist: Part One in an Eight-Part Banksy Series

The Graffitti, Stencils and Drawings of Banksy: Part Two in an Eight-Part Banksy Series

Banksy Photos, Prints and Tattoos: Part Three in an Eight-Part Banksy Art Series

The Art of Banksy: Pieces Sold and For Sale: Part Four in an Eight-Part Banksy Series

The Art of Being Banksy: Interviews, Films and Videos Featuring the Elusive Street Artist: Part Five in an Eight-Part Banksy Series

No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination.

Via: written by Andréa Fernades

In honor of artist, Edward Hopper’s 126th birthday, and via Metal Floss’ “Feel Art Again” written by Andréa Fernandes’ Circa71 features my favorite American artist, Edward Hopper and his 1929 painting “Chop Suey,” one of his many scenes of city life.

Though he’s known for city scenes like “Chop Suey” and the famous “Nighthawks,” Edward Hopper’s first big break was with a watercolor of a seaside home. “The Mansard Roof” was painted in 1923, during his first summer in Gloucester, MA, and was bought for the Brooklyn Museum’s permanent collection for $100—a decent amount at the time. Although he continued to vacation by the sea, Hopper’s watercolor production had slowed by 1946; he explained his lack of watercolor production by saying, “I think it’s because the watercolors are done from nature and I don’t work from nature anymore.”

Thanks to commercial artwork—which he loathed—Hopper was able to afford three trips to Europe, all of which centered around Paris. Unlike other artists who visited Paris, though, Hopper didn’t get in with the “it” crowd. He remarked: “Whom did I meet? Nobody. I’d heard of Gertrude Stein, but I don’t remember having heard of Picasso at all… Paris had no great or immediate impact on me.” While there, though, he did develop an affinity for the work of Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet and a dislike for Paul Cézanne’s work.

The two types of scenes that comprise the bulk of Hopper’s oeuvre—seaside houses and city nights—don’t seem to have much in common. They’re tied together, though, by Hopper’s emphasis on light and shadows. Hopper once said of his fascination with light, “Maybe I am slightly inhuman… all I ever wanted to do was to paint sunlight on the side of a house.”

As one of America’s most well-known artists, Hopper’s work has had a strong impact on pop culture. The house in Alfred Hitchcock’s Pscyho was heavily influenced by Hopper’s “House by the Railroad,” which was the first painting in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Turner Class Movies sometimes runs animated clips based on Hopper paintings prior to films, including “The Sunny Side of Life,” inspired by “Chop Suey.” According to Sister Wendy, “there was a period when every college dormitory in the country had on its walls a poster of Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks.’” And Madonna named her 1993 world tour after Hopper’s 1941 painting “Girlie Show,” even incorporating aspects of the painting into the performance.

Many scholars find “Chop Suey” particularly interesting because they believe the painting depicts a woman facing her doppelganger. Either way, the subjects of “Chop Suey” are less isolated and lonely than in most of Hopper’s other city scenes.

A larger version of “Chop Suey” is available here.

Fans of Edward Hopper should check out the exhibit guides from the NGA, the Tate Modern, and the MFA; Gordon Theisen’s Staying Up Much Too Late; the Edward Hopper Scrapbook; this YouTube video of Hopper paintings; Slate’s slideshow on Hopper architecture; the Smithsonian’s interview of Hopper; the ARC’s Hopper gallery; and the Edward Hopper House Art Center.