The Art & Animation of Jeremiah Schiek

I am an artist, animator, and story artist currently seeking work as such in the greater Los Angeles area.

garabating:

Stella! by Aaron Westerberg

This is crazy.  I have a chocolate Boston terrier that looks almost exactly like this, and yes, her name is Stella.  Wonderful paintings, by the way.

J. Schiek

I come from a family of pen freaks.  Before World War II, my grandfather—the same one I mentioned in my previous blog post about the typewriters—worked for the Waterman Pen Company when they still had a factory here in the United States.  They’ve since moved their operation to Paris, where they still turn out some very nice writing instruments.  Pictured above are four of my most treasured writing instruments.  The topmost is my Mont Blanc Meisterstuck Le Classique ballpoint pen.  I had been on the market to purchase a Mont Blanc—though I could scarcely afford to do so, and had even considered purchasing a knock off—but continued to be thwarted by snipers on eBay.  Eventually, I just gave up, figuring once I had the money, I could just go out and buy one straight up without having to worry about being top bidder.  I’d been off the Mont Blanc kick for about two weeks, when I came home one evening—I was still living with my parents at the time—and saw a black pen with the unmistakeable white star on the top.  Once I was certain that it was not an hallucination, I took the pen to my mom—it was sticking out of her wallet—and asked her where she had gotten it.  As it turns out, she had found it at work.  And furthermore, she said I could have it.

Which left only one problem: The pen had a serial number on it, which was probably registered to a very flustered human being who even now was looking for their pen.  I guess there were two problems, because the pen had sustained a substantial crack to the barrel.  

I contacted Mont Blanc and sent the pen in, asking them to return the pen to the rightful owner, if that person could be discovered by way of the serial number.  Failing that, if the original owner could not be ascertained, that they please fix it and I would pay for the cost.

The original owner was never discovered, to my knowledge, and, $60 later, I had my own, repaired Mont Blanc Meisterstuck, which is still the crown jewel of my pen collection.

Also pictured above is my green Waterman Phileas fountain pen, which I picked up at Staples, some years ago and used for the composition of some pirate novels I wrote about eight years ago.  

Looking sleek and Iron Man-esque on its bed of marble composition book is my newest acquisition, a Cross rollerball, which has provided a very smooth, balanced writing experience.  I should point out here that my father and grandfather are both ardent Parker pen users—and I’ve had my fair share of Parkers over the years—and for some reason I had it in my head, probably from something my dad said, that Cross just wasn’t quite as good as Parker.  Maybe in the ballpoint pen arena—I have one of each—because this pen is absolutely magnificent, and a total steal for $10 from TJ Max.

Last but not least, is Mjolnir.  

On July 8th of this year, I began composition on a ghost story entitled, Johnny Harmony, and am nearing completion on the handwritten first draft. Though there are a few odd sentences here and there that were not crafted with this fine and powerful instrument, the brunt of the novel has flowed from the barrel and tip with fine speed.  Though the clip is now busted and the original makers mark has been scratched away from countless trips into my hip pocket, the pen would have originally shown that it was made by Sharpie.  Indeed, this mighty warrior can be picked up at your local Target store for the low, low price of $4.99 + tax (depending on what state you’re in) and is worth, in my opinion, every penny and still a few pennies more.

In all, I think that all pens bring their own life and influence to a piece of work, or at least that our views and feelings for the shiny objects we hold, help us in projecting certain voices and certain ideas.  Like tools in a drawer, one would not send a philips to do a flathead screwdriver’s job, nor would you take a hammer to cut down a tree when the axe you need is near at hand.  I am very proud of my collection, of it’s eclectic roots, and am always excited to add a new member to the family.  

And there again, I’ve gone ahead and said too much.  I thank you kindly for stopping by, and if you’ve got a pen collection to share, I’d love to see it, or talk about it, or whatever.  

J. Schiek

I will preface this post by saying, my grandfather has always been something of a Dumpster Diver.  Growing up, as he did, in the Great Depression, there is no room in his mind for excess, or waste.  In his prime, he was an educator, and elementary school principal.  After he had retired, he returned to the same school where he’d been the man in charge and took up post as a custodian.  Mostly because he enjoys painting buildings, interiors and exteriors, but also because I think he just wanted something to do with his hands.  And of course, when he was not on the clock, he would be exploring Dumpsters, looking for trash that might well become a treasure.  And he’s done quite well at it.

Over the years, myself and other members of my immediate family have received such items as an electric bass guitar, complete with gig bag, an almost full case of New Belgium’s Fat Tire amber ale, a case of Slim Fast, a replica of a Colt Navy 32 caliber cap and ball revolver, complete with leather holster, and countless boxes of cereal, which he would take down to the pond behind his condo complex to feed the ducks.  Of all the items my grandfather ever retrieved, though, my favorite will always be the blue Webster typewriter he rescued from the trash at Trinity Christian School in Sacramento, California.  

I was in the 8th grade at the time, Christmas was rapidly approaching, and myself and my two sisters had just slipped out of the public school system in the small town where we grew up and into a homeschool environment that, we all hoped, would be a better and more instructive environment for the three of us.  I don’t remember the day or the specific circumstances under which I received the typewriter, and in fact, I believe it was given to all of the Schiek children to enjoy when they could be imposed upon to share.  Whatever the case, I was the one who got the most use out of it.  I remember unzipping the blue leather case that it came in, rolling in the first of the near-ancient sheets of legal size paper that had been hurriedly stashed in the case before it’s second to final destination in the school trash bin.  And, as it happens, I can remember the first sentence I ever typed on that clickety clackety chunk of wonderful:

Hello, my name is Xzzxvd and I am a Jedi knight.

The adventures of Xzzxvd would continue over five or six more typewritten pages, chronicling the far from coherent exploits of a man who had gone insane and thought himself to be a Jedi knight.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I had stumbled into my own version of the bumbling knight errant, Don Quixote, though apart from a few surface details, it would be another type of madness entirely to compare myself to the genius of Cervantes.  

I had that typewriter through most of 1996, when a terrible thing happened. On July 4th of that year, my family went into town to enjoy the annual 4th of July Parade.  I had gone up on bicycle, accompanied by my dad, my cousin and my uncle.  I remember my dad and I got into a little collision when a motocross rider suddenly cut across our path.  Finally, we arrived at my uncle’s place, just a quick jaunt through the woods to my own house, nearby.  We were enjoying cold sodas when the phone rang and my uncle picked up.  He handed the phone to my dad.

Our house had flooded while we were gone.  One of the hoses connected to the back of our washing machine in the hallway had come loose, and since no one had been there to shut it off, it had continued to run until 90% of the flooring was under an inch or two of water.  We lost a lot of stuff, and it was more than a year before we had fully recovered from the disaster.  My dad laid in hardwood floors, and my mom got the carpet upgrade she’d been wanting.  Myself, I tend to focus more on the losses.  I lost a lot of my comic books.  I lost a few toys.  I lost my 1995 Fleer Flair Michael Jordan basketball card, the one where he came out of retirement wearing the number 45 instead of his usual 23, and before he changed it back to 23.  Yeah.  That one.  And, as I have no memory of it after that event, I lost the typewriter.  

Since that day, I have acquired a couple of new typewriters.  Pictured above you’ll see an old Royal typewriter, much like the one used by Carl Reiner back in the fifties and sixties.  I also have a Smith & Corona Galaxy model, which was unavailable for pictures this morning.  I have typewriter fonts, which I use regularly.  In fact, there is a slip of paper in the Royal that I typed up using the My Underwood font which reads: It was a dark and stormy night…  At Christmas time, I change it out for a similar sheet, which reads:  Twas a dark and stormy night before Christmas… I don’t use the actual typewriters much, but it’s good to know they’re there.

Most recently, however, I discovered a little gem developed by Mr. Tom Hanks, called Hanx Writer.  The app is available for the iPad, and I believe for tablet devices on the Android market.  Essentially, this app does for writing what the Hipstamatic app did for so-bad-it’s-actually-beautiful-plastic-camera-photography.  It has all the clicks and pings you’d expect from a real typewriter, and, if one is so inclined, can even be set up to have the modern day delete function disabled in favor of old school typo correction; X’s over the letter, blotches on the page, and so on.  Further, there are in app purchases that allow the user to up/downgrade their typewriter.  The screenshot above shows the first sentence or so of a new novel that I’ve begun to compose, and intend to finish entirely on the app.  But that new novel is actually shorter than this post, as of right now, so I am going to leave it at that.  That same grandfather, the one who has climbed in and out of countless dumpsters, is still alive and well, and a great lover of stories, so I come by my long-windedness honestly.  When he finishes telling a story, he might look deep into your eyes—which always makes me uncomfortable—maybe grab one of your hands between both of his and give it a squeeze.  You’d swear that there were tears coming, that the next thing out of his mouth will be of profound intellectual or emotional importance, but then suddenly the grasp releases, and he slides back from the table:

"Thanks for listening," he says, and gets up to do the dishes.

Thanks for listening.

J. Schiek

Stories told. My elite team of World Builders are standing by. 

J. Schiek

Stories told. My elite team of World Builders are standing by.

J. Schiek

Another short one, circa 2003.  For a long time, I had a hard time kicking the limerick rhyme scheme.  
I’ll be compiling the book soon for digital publication…That is, unless you’re an agent or a publisher who would like to work with me on this.
J. Schiek

Another short one, circa 2003.  For a long time, I had a hard time kicking the limerick rhyme scheme.  

I’ll be compiling the book soon for digital publication…That is, unless you’re an agent or a publisher who would like to work with me on this.

J. Schiek

This is a bit of a longer one that I wrote back in 2003.  I had taken a psychology class a year or two before, and had been fascinated by the surgical procedure used to treat terminal epileptic patients, where the bridge of nerve fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres is intentionally severed, so grand mal seizures could start up, but not spread over the entire brain.  The side effect is a condition known as “Alien Hand Syndrome,” in which one brain hemisphere desires one thing, and the other half does something completely different, sometimes inappropriately so.  I wrote this up in limerick form, short of doing a whole story treatment, and I’m still pretty pleased with it.  I’ve changed some of the wording from the original, but very little.  I hope you will enjoy it.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

J. Schiek

Okay.  Last one for tonight.  I’m having fun laying these out, and believe me, there’s lots more where these came from.  I have a couple of poems hanging around in my notebooks that I’m going to transcribe and illustrate, and then I think I’ll have enough to release a short ePub for any interested parties.
Thanks for all of the likes and reblogs.  If things go well, I’ll have maybe one or two more short ones to post tomorrow.  
Good night for now.
J. Schiek

Okay.  Last one for tonight.  I’m having fun laying these out, and believe me, there’s lots more where these came from.  I have a couple of poems hanging around in my notebooks that I’m going to transcribe and illustrate, and then I think I’ll have enough to release a short ePub for any interested parties.

Thanks for all of the likes and reblogs.  If things go well, I’ll have maybe one or two more short ones to post tomorrow.  

Good night for now.

J. Schiek

Aaaaannnd…One more.  I think this one is much less likely to piss people off.
J. Schiek

Aaaaannnd…One more.  I think this one is much less likely to piss people off.

J. Schiek

Back in 2003, I began work on an ongoing book of poems entitled, Adverse Verses.  Over the years, I have continued to add to it, a bit here and a bit there.  Most recently, I brought the volume in to work to show it to a fresh audience and get the opinions of some of my coworkers.  My thought has always been to take some scans of the pen & ink/watercolor illustrations therein and attempt to get the thing published, either by a publisher, or on my own in the form of an ePub, or possibly some second cousin to the old vanity presses I used to hate so much.

This is one of my favorite pieces from the book, a little ditty called "The Little Boy With Leprosy."  I don’t mean to be insensitive to the condition, though if I was, I doubt I would have done this as a poem, and would probably have gone with the more politically correct name for this affliction, which is Hansen’s Disease.  Whether you approve or not, here it is.  And I can’t guarantee there won’t be more like it.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

J. Schiek