Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Martha Stewart Tall Show Review

My significant other records Martha Stewart daily and on Friday we watched "The Tall Show" where the entire audience and guests were over six foot tall. Arianne Cohen was one of the guests and talked about her book, "The Tall Book", along with a model/fashion designer and a chef who made a towering, 10'5" tall chocolate cake which the audience later enjoyed.

While talking with the designer, Martha admitted that her daughter slouched in here early teens because of her height. So Martha told her daughter Alexis she could buy whatever clothes she wanted as long as she would stand straight and tall. Within a year and spending $60,000, Alexis was cured of her slouch! Imagine that!

During Miss Cohen's segment, she talked about some of the issues tall people have to deal with which are all mentioned in her book. She was able to answer a few standard questions from the audience about airplane legroom and what to say when asked if you play basketball, to which Martha chimed in and said how people come up to her and say, "You look just like Martha Stewart!" Martha's reply? "Oh, how I hate her!"

One segment we did not enjoy watching was when four of the tallest audience members, three men and one woman, were given Martha's feather dusters to dust the upper reaches of her set that the staff "can't reach." It's one thing to do a good deed for someone at the grocery store, however this segment seemed in poor taste as we watched these people act as her giant feather dusters as she smiled and said, "You're all doing such a good job!" One man was clearly not enjoying himself! And what they received as a prize? ... a set of Martha Stewart's cleaning products! It seemed a bit like a circus act to me.

Though based on Arriane's write up on her blog, it was a very pleasant experience for everyone.

About the art:
I sampled the Martha Stewart color palette from her website. Martha's clothes are colored to match her logo to reinforce her as a product.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Taller Soccer Players Penalized More Often

I recently heard a story on the radio about a study finding that taller players were given a penalty in the majority of ambiguous fouls. I don't think of soccer as being a tall person sport because of the footwork involved. So when I heard the story I pictured a 5'9" player getting a penalty over a 5'5" player, figuring only a goalie would be over 6' tall. My stereotype was shattered when I learned that there are several tall players out there. The tallest being Jan Koller of the Czech Republic who stands 6'7.5" tall.

Updated for Illustration Friday:
Quoted from the study, "Results indicate that respectively taller people are more likely to be perceived by referees (and fans!) as foul perpetrators and their respectively smaller opponents as foul victims." If the referee were taller than both players, perhaps his perspective would change and his judgements would be more balanced. Perhaps that's why a judge is seated higher than everyone else in a courtroom. It makes it more difficult for him to be intimidated by others and to be perceived as a "higher" authority.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Tall Clothes

What is shown here actually exists at the Nordstrom department store near me and is not an exaggeration. If I'm lucky I hit their store at a time when the table is full with new items, which is about twice a year. The rest of the time I'll see the same hand full of shirts from six months ago. And they don't carry long rise pants for talls, just shirts and sweaters.
Fortunately I have a Rochester Big & Tall/XL Male near me. It's the only store I can actually try clothes on and shop like a normal person. But even at Big & Tall stores they lean toward the XXXL. Despite my website name, bigtallken.com, I am not an XXL.

This leaves me with the less exciting experience of shopping on line. I'll go to a store like Banana Republic, see something I like, hope they have it in a tall size on line and wait for it to arrive; only to find out the pants feel like I have a wedgie and have to return them.

At least for men fashions don't change much, and it's not impossible to find clothing. Arianne Cohen writes that finding clothes for women over six foot tall is darn near impossible. Despite there being stores for petites and plus sizes tall stores for women are rare.

When all else fails there is JC Penney's!

About the art:

The first illustration was drawn with a brush and ink over blue line with litho crayon shading and colored in Photoshop.

The second drawing is really just a rough I made in ArtRage.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Dancing Under the Stars

From what I've seen in Dancing With the Stars a big height mismatch is real challenge where you're trying to hold a solid frame with correct posture and still make good eye contact with your partner. Take a look at poor 6'7" NBA star, Clyde Drexler, with his 5'4" partner, Elena Grinkecko. His longing gaze is searching for the nearest exit door while Elena valiantly tries to reach his shoulder and guide him around the floor. Granted he didn't seem to put much effort into the show, but I remember judges telling him to extend and not dance small. I can tell you it takes some guts to get out on a dance floor and not think that everyone is waiting to see what goofy moves the tall guy/girl is going to do.

Having said that -short, tall, fat, skinny - don't be self conscience and hold back. Have a good time! Get out there, and cut a rug on the dance floor!

About the art:

When debating on what stars to caricature I noticed the Seinfeld cast had a wide range of heights: Jerry Seinfeld-5'11", Michael Richards-6'3", Jason Alexander-5'4", Julia Louis Dreyfus-5"3", Patrick Warburton-6'3". Richards' lanky height just adds to his physical humor as Kramer, as Warburton's huge, solid frame contrasts next to Julia's tiny, animated figure. Their heights were taken from a fun site I found, CelebHeights.com. I was going to pair Jason Alexander with a tall actress like Sigourney Weaver when I remembered an episode where Kramer and George ended up as a "couple" at some black tie party. I tried to capture their personalities and body language in this. The garish electric blue and fuchsia color scheme were to scream, "Dancing With the Stars", glam. The rough pencil sketch was scanned in and inked and chalked in ArtRage3 Studio Pro. I'm not sure the chalk works here, but I ran out of time to change course.

Knowing that very few people have viewed this, I completely reworked the illustration in ArtRage and Photoshop. It was driving me crazy to look at it! I toned down the blue color, gave Kramer and Puddy a makeover, and tried to make the lights look less like red blood cells. I realized Michael Richards is bit bulky in the neck with hunched shoulders rather than gangly. By firming up the background oval I felt I could drop the floor reflections and still have the characters feel grounded. Ah! I feel much better now.