For Valentine’s Day, I made our French Bulldog Ruby into a cartoon drawing, in the “Kawaii” style like Hello Kitty or Snoopy. “Kawaii,” how fans describe the Hello Kitty logo, is a Japanese cultural philosophy: “super cute” on the surface, underpinned by values of emotional connectedness and empathy. Greek lit might call it “pathos.”
And so the “Rubyfornia” style was born: simple, fun, personal. My wife thought it was the perfect gift!
After showing Rubyfornia to friends and family, I found myself making dozens of drawings of their dogs in Rubyfornia.
The biggest thing I learned was, “Wow! There are alot of people that adore their dogs as much as I do!” Rubyfornia is a wordless homage to The Dog.
When Ruby scratches, she scratches. When she stretches, she stretches. When she strolls, she strolls. That’s Ruby. There is no past or future, before or after, only here and now. She commits 110%. She lives in the moment.
Pepper, our poodle-mix rescue, also does everything 110%, reflecting an innate understanding of the importance of the now. Pepper’s Rubyfornia character is just seven lines: a dark grey fluffy forehead frames a silvery peanut-shaped muzzle dotted with an aerodynamic nose. Eyes also wide, Pepper’s black floppy ears flap behind when he pounces to greet visitors at our door. Pepper makes it his business to protect his pack.
Our orange pomeranian-mix rescue Winnie had nine lives. Her life in our home began when my wife plucked her from a finite timeline for imminent, anonymous doom at a Moreno Valley facility. Over a dozen years, despite slipping loose from her collar, zig-zagging down the street, getting struck by a car, and later tumbling from a height, Winnie repeatedly rebounded, never revealing any bum cards she was dealt. Goofy and graceful, a hodgepodge of doggy traits never meant to be expressed all in one dog, she exuded unabated joy. Bright eyes beamed from her small furry face. She was knowing and innocent. But her tenth battle was her last; she fought her failed kidneys right to the last breath, and died, hugged to my chest, cradled in my powerless weeping arms.
In Rubyfornia, however, pencil to paper, Winnie came back in nine lines: small muzzle with button nose, roundish fuzzy forehead, crooked triangular ears, and lush whimsical eyelashes. Now in Rubyfornia, Winnie is with me all the time. We go everywhere together. 👼
Hi! I'm Harold!
I’m drawing dogs over here! I made and still make a lot of music. I was in a couple of bands, toured and recorded whoo hoo :)
Here's a tune from Rice n Beans (NSFW) :)
Here's a tune from Los Guys/Jeremy Donaldson:
I did marketing, graphic design, produced radio. Then I became a black belt in Krav Maga and trained kickboxing and boxing. Then I started a technology company to help people teach, learn and practice music—so then I took up coding and growth hacking.
Here’s more about that :||: Music technology company:
I adore my wife, family, family of friends, and dogs more and more every single day.
Rubyfornia design is meant to express what dogs mean to me :)