Wonderful Start to the New Year at the ROM

My oldest son and I learning about this hadrosaur lower jaw and the magnificent teeth, being uncovered by  Jessica Hawthorn ( @JHawthornUTM ). Photo by Michelle Follett.

My oldest son and I learning about this hadrosaur lower jaw and the magnificent teeth, being uncovered by  Jessica Hawthorn (@JHawthornUTM). Photo by Michelle Follett.

A perfect start to 2015: my family and I went to the Royal Ontario Museum (@ROMtoronto) today. We have a family membership, and since our youngest was born almost a year ago, it's been challenging to all head out together. So today was a great day. 

Photo by Michelle Follett

Photo by Michelle Follett

A personal highlight for me was finally meeting Kiron Mukherjee (@kironmukherjee), the tireless social media presence for the ROM. The man is a machine on Twitter. One of my favourite features of the museum is how social media seems woven into their worklife. Many people from the ROM team are active on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and more. As a kid it was my destination of choice for birthdays and events: now, thanks to so many personalities there - @RudkinDave, @aprilsMuseum, @mesozoicmuse and the departments like @ROMpalaeo & the rest - the museum feels woven into the everyday fabric of life in Toronto.

I first wrote about about the ROM here in The Flying Trilobite back when this blog was only a couple of months old, in 2007. It's exciting to watch the museum change and grow, especially now that I have two children to share it with. 

Here are a few more pictures from today's adventures.  

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I did not have time to sketch while scrambling after our 4 year old but that's alright. We don't live far away and the membership takes the pressure off of doing everything in one day. 

If you'd like to see some of my ROM sketches, I posted about them on Symbiartic a while back:  Little Museum Sketches

The most significant sketch I have perhaps done on-site was a preparatory sketch of the Allosaurus skull commissioned by author Brian Switek (@Laelaps) for a place on his arm.

© Glendon Mellow

© Glendon Mellow

 I have another tattoo commission in the works and took some more reference photos at the ROM today.  It's going to be a good year, and it's such a tremendous feeling to know that Michelle and I could take our boys to a museum that excited and continues to educate us as well. 

(Kiron: next time instead of harassing you while you're working, we should go for coffee.)  

Artistic Discipline for 2015

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Knowledge Pupates. So does creativity. My 2014 was brimming with ideas smothered in exhaustion. Looking forward to giving those creative ideas a workout in 2015.

As the new year starts it has become apparent that to juggle full time work, my part-time gig at Symbiartic on Scientific American and freelance work, (as well as being a husband and dad and sleeping on occasion) I need greater discipline in sticking to a set routine. I function best as a morning person so I'm thinking I may cut down on late nights and schedule myself time in the mornings between 4:30 and 6:30 to alternately work on blogging and art commissions. 

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I am clearly professionally unhappy unless I am making art. Every good career shift for me (from giving talks, to SciAm, to my current day job) has drawn from my creative well of surreal scientific visuals. The book I promised myself I would start back in June is still just a few sketches and half-done illustrations. I have some things to say about science, art and how we live among beauty and horror. My artist-ego makes no apology in saying that the world deserves my book. 

So one way or another the Field Guide to Flying Trilobites is gonna start to emerge in 2015. 

Pew-Pew! The Flying Trilobite Army in Action

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Last week I launched this new site + blog on my 40th birthday. Continuing in my celebrations/mid-life crisis, my amazing wife Michelle arranged for 18 of my friends & family to play laser tag. Little did I know all of them had been inducted into THE FLYING TRILOBITE ARMY.

Michelle had conspired with my excellent friend and fellow illustrator Chris Zenga to have the whole party outfitted in tees with my Flying Trilobite Army design, printed by Champion Print Studio

Thanks everyone for for all the dynamic poses. I'll be sure to use these in future paintings.

Thanks everyone for for all the dynamic poses. I'll be sure to use these in future paintings.

After strutting around Laser Quest like we owned the place and promising Marshal Huntress that we wouldn't swear (ok - we mumbled that part), we played three rounds of laser tag, the third in teams which was the BEST. 

After my stats-obsessed friend John had a look at my nephew C's scorecard, we realized that ratio of accurate shots mattered less than firing often. But we still couldn't top the teenagers' whopping 800+ beams per round. 

More pics from the day:  

 

Michelle completed the theme with camouflage cupcakes.

Michelle completed the theme with camouflage cupcakes.

The Flying Trilobite Army in the airlock. Music was a nice blend of 90's electronica and dubstep so I felt like I was home.

The Flying Trilobite Army in the airlock. Music was a nice blend of 90's electronica and dubstep so I felt like I was home.

Being photobombed by one of my nephews in the airlock. Damn I look bad ass. 

Being photobombed by one of my nephews in the airlock. Damn I look bad ass. 

Finally brought together two of my best illustrator friends. From left to right,:Chris Zenga  @chriszenga , Glendon Mellow  @FlyingTrilobite , Eric Orchard  @inkybat .

Finally brought together two of my best illustrator friends. From left to right,:Chris Zenga @chriszenga, Glendon Mellow @FlyingTrilobite, Eric Orchard @inkybat.

Michelle, my action hero.

Michelle, my action hero.

 

 

I am so lucky to have such a great family and fantastic friends. Thanks to Jennifer, Derek, Emily, Grace, Jamie, Chris, Michele, Tim, John, Eric, Julie, Nora, David, Meghan and Eric for the laser beams and memories and special thanks to my wingman Christian. I never could have believed I would see the day with 18 people in a room wearing winged trilobite t-shirts. Utmost thanks and a pew-pew to Michelle for a perfect party, and for disobeying Laser Quest rules and kissing me under the black light and dubstep.

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If you'd like a Flying Trilobite Army tee, rocker shirt, hoodie or smartphone case of your very own, you can get them in my Redbubble store!

 

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