One of the main concentrations of this past season at Sesame Street was Art, so I had quite a bit of art supplies to create!
Oscar the Grouch wanted to paint himself a big gloppy painting, so I made some fake paint squeeze bottles for Oscar and the other puppets – they can’t get their fur near any real paint. I also made a great big pile of icky paint out of some upholstery foam and latex.
I made a package of smiley markers too:
…and Baby Bear wanted to make art …out of porridge. I dyed some oatmeal with different colors, and Pete Ortiz and I carefully glopped colorful oatmeal goop onto our canvasses to make images for the show – the images made from wet oatmeal were meant to slide off of the canvasses on camera, so I don’t have any photos of those, but I do have some pictures of the images I made from a variety of dried seeds (I needed to wash the wasabi off of some wasabi peas since I couldn’t find any dried green peas!
This year, I was nominated for an Emmy along with the rest of our Art Department team at Sesame Street (Bob Phillips, Pete Ortiz, Keith Olsen & Rickey Boyd) for an “Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction / Set Decoration / Scenic Design” Emmy. I got to bring my dad along to the awards ceremony and we ran into a few friends that I wasn’t expecting to see, and had fun playing the “guess who plays a villain in a soap opera” game.
I made two new cereal boxes to place on the shelves of Hooper’s Store. When I was pasting new labels onto the old cereal boxes, I discovered that the cereal in the box had expired in 1999! We’re at work right now preparing for Season 44 – there are so many details that need to be refreshed.
The magazines for Hooper’s Store were getting kinda ratty, so I made a few new issues to add to the shelves and spruce the place up in preparation for season 44. I was using random photos from my camera’s memory card, hence the odd topics – like “Quackers,” the magazine for ducks who like to eat crackers, and “Pierogi Party,” a childrens’ magazine all about dumplings.
I designed a menu for an episode of Sesame Street where Cookie Monster auditions to join the Cookie Connoisseur’s Club, led by David Hyde Pierce as “Commander Chiphead.” The menu features such treats as snickerdoodles and shortbread and crystallized ginger cookies.
Here is a clip from the episode:
After a break between seasons that was long enough for me to complete a masters degree (Museum and Exhibit Design at FIT,) Sesame Street is going back into production, and I’ll be returning to make props and graphics for the show from now until the season wraps up in the middle of December.
I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces, both human and puppet, and spending time making things out of construction paper and glitter. Luckily there are a few “dark weeks” in the schedule to allow time for me to put the finishing touches on my portfolio and compile a list of exhibit and museum design companies that will be receiving resumes. If you have any suggestions of places that might be a good fit, please let me know!
My desk is just how I left it!
The florist’s storefront on Sesame Street needed some dressin’ up, so I made this sticker for their window, along with some stickers for non-existent credit cards.
I drew these pictures for Sesame Street – Prince Charming and a Princess involved in their day-to-day activities.
It appeared in an episode where an apple ipad was used for the the first time on the show.
I made these two pies for a cooking segment on Sesame Street. One pie needed to be made out of eight complete baked apples, and the other out of eight sliced apples, with a pair of eyeglasses hidden inside. I made the crusts out of sculpey, and the apples were standard fake styrofoam fruit… I made the apples look baked by crushing them slightly so that their surface became wrinkled.
The pie filling is made out of “elastack” tinted with melted crayons. Elastack is very stretchy, so it was easy for the material to cover a hole which hid the eyeglasses inside the pie.
Also, little plastic cups are hidden in the pies and each one holds a little applesauce which could be eaten during a taste-test.
I needed to make a few junk mail flyers that were going to arrive in Big Bird’s mailbox. I stayed late one day to make sure that the “birds in slacks” flyer was done in time.
“Greeking” is when logos are obscured, or fake product names are made for labels that will appear on television.
These are some cans I made for Oscar the Grouch. I used globs of hot glue to simulate goop on the cans… the best part of making things for the grouch is that it is okay for them to be messy!
I designed this dollar bill for a Sesame Street episode about finance.
It needed to be easy for children to find the numeral “1” in the design, and look familiar as a banknote, but not so close to the design of the US dollar bill to get us into legal trouble.
The original drawing of Mr. Hooper is by Caroll Spinney, though I went over the lines to get the weight to look right with the drawing of the rest of the bill. We printed these out on blue copy paper and then glued the front and back halves together so that the paper would be durable enough for puppets!
I also made some cards and envelopes to hold the dollar.
I had fun designing this CD cover for a pair of Hip-Hop Penguins… there are a whole mess of Photoshop filters that I don’t ordinarily get a chance to play with, so it was a blast to go berserk with lens flares.
I’m like Elmo’s ghost writer, except with crayons. (actually, these were drawn with Stabilotones – they’re supercrayons!)
This red robot needed some modifications so that it would not look like a toy commercial when it made an appearance on Sesame Street to illustrate the word “activate.”
I disassembled the robot and removed the speaker and some random ear-popping and eyebrow-raising functions, added some details, and painted it a more generic silver color.
One of the things I make at Sesame Street is graphics for some of the packages and labels that appear on the show. (And sometimes a sign for the dressing room of a guest too.)
These drawings were made to look as if they were drawn by Elmo. But they weren’t!
I’m working in the Art Department of Sesame Street, and I made plenty of letters and numbers for the 41st season. Most were made out of foamcore or blue foam, but I did make some “7’s” that I scored so that they would break apart easily when Cookie Monster chomped on them.
Anchor and Arrow both begin with the letter “A!” I made these out of blue foam and acrylic paint for a guest on the show.
I made this book for Sesame Street, for when a grouch named “Spill O’Reilly” made a visit to the Bill O’Reilly show. Adding secret messages to back covers is one of the best parts about my job.