New World Sparrow

First things first: Go get yourself a copy of New World Sparrow, an EP by Melody Monroe

Glad to be back, and out of the darkness of non-disclosure. A safe distance from coat-tails where purity persists. SmokeApes is proud to be involved in creating assets for Melody Monroe, who’s been featured here in the past.

Late last year an idea was set forth on the floor of her studio (‘If I were to make an album cover for you, I’d want to make one like this’, Ike said), and it looked like this: worldsparrow03


Deep in the midst of working on something linear, our organization was set to work on turning the above idea into something really great. A month n’ a half of research n’ design followed. Everything from the number of feathers on a birds’ wing to the number of trips each planet takes round the sun in relation to other planets, and how elliptical their orbits.

All laid out in black and white the project became rather splendid:


But we didn’t stop there. No, No. We also created a super-hip CD label design, complete with some self-serving brand recognition, nice and discreet:


There’s more to come. Seriously, all this is just the wrapper. I like a good wrapper, any good monkey does. The sweets are the music. I reiterate that you should pick up a copy. Digital or, if you’re really hip, get your hands on a physical copy at one of her shows in the Mile High area or when you see her at the Electric Forest (June 23rd/24th) because you’re so outrageously cool that you’re totally going to be there anyway.

You can also follow her on Facebook, if you haven’t already. That’s what I did!




Why, yes! Yes, yes.

One circle compresses and loosens all at once, and another. Another other expands outward and still another. Another, another.


First, though, the circles you watch are the ones moving with you, as one, set in motion by death and lost employers and migration. And the prophecy.

Buk Angel. Twenty-three years of hermetic encapsulation, temporal flux grade laminar shielding. Capacious cavities for heavy gauge coils throughout.

No trustworthy cup-holders.


The two monkeys have known that this machine can be used to transit time itself, and set about bringing it to life once again.



To the Torch!


A quick rant: Forums, which I look forward to sharing once made civilized. Custom art, custom PHPBB theme with chom-choms, oh I am so proud. Lo, wracked are they by much malicious activity aimed to denigrate and destroy. Iconoclasm, ugh. Exterminatus upon ye, unrelenting spam evil.



A reliable fire, even in the wind.


A cold, jaded little monkey I was. But now, often, in awe. Often heated almost to boil! Call me a fan. Color me otaku, obsessed and yet, resistant. Unbelieving, incredulous!


This is Mel the monkey and she rocks so very hard. Every single time, in a bar, in a pizza shop, she’ll rock you right to the depths anywhere. From swamp to mountain top, with sticks on a drum or with her electric piano.

How does one so close to me, so… so monkey climb that mountain of the mind made of fear? To get up atop a soapbox, cover it in machines that make noise. To look down upon a multitude, take what they yearn for and feed it back to them

Where does it come from, the fire, the heat of thought that melts the walls of a perfectly safe building? When will it come back, that land once known before this monkey climbed atop a soapbox and rocked so hard?

I mean, would you look at where she comes from? As an artist I have -no- armor to protect against grooves of this magnitude.

An appreciated mystery worth preserving. Performance, to be true. All alone, though? A one monkey show? Nay. For every attention that’s captured rapt becomes a pillar to the source of the blaze.

All I ever seem to feel is hot wind when I stare down fate. Then I look and I listen and I have faith that her fire will stay lit.




…and then, bang! Something new is made.

Ever get the feeling there’s something brand new living inside you, and one’a these days it’ll come out and change your life?

I get that feeling -all- the time.

Take a look at the little doodle above, and you’ll see what I mean. That was drawn on a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and it was one of at least three doodles created that night. Thank you, cheap beer. ( hashtag rollingrock ?) I thought it was pretty swell (swill?) and from my point of view the work had less to do with a message and more to do with ‘I wonder how soft I can be with diffuse light sources in a scene built with translucent surfaces?’

That went well but, alas, it appears the subject matter was the institution. Sometimes that’s what SmokeApes is all about, certainly to me; A set of distinct perspectives that differ and converge all at once, making it easier to detect when something special has been conceived.

You don’t even need to pee on it (but it’s okay if you do!).

Thursday it was brought to my attention that this doodle had value, and needed to be put-to-shirt right away. Off I went, with a twinkle in the eye, to the Samsung ATIV to incubate. The original image, but a thumbnail, held all the data required to extrapolate it’s much more detailed counterpart. That -is- how these things start, after all….

Head Start Adult img

Sure, I’m proud! No, I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl, but it’s sweet of you to ask. I know you mean only the best, as do I. Happily, this little one’s only struggle was headphones that were too snug, but we went ahead and sorted that. The size of a child’s head is generous, especially one pumped full of groove, and we want to accommodate.

Speaking of accommodating children, I didn’t design this for adult humans (though there are wonderful male/female adult choices available), no no.

You see, what happened was, I was at chillin’ near the summer breeze on the patio of my local Irish pub and my stylus-side said to me ‘Hey! Let’s design stuff for babies. With babies.” So -this- idea was always meant for a onesie.

SmokeApes Onesie


Conception can surprise you. Passion, booze, thinkin’ about babies, one thing leads to another…




She-Hulk Study 01

I think strong ladies are great, no matter how we’re gonna define strength. So any chance to get a great look at She-Hulk saving the day is a chance I’ll take.

Particularly with such wonderful physical counterparts to use as study, wot with the Olympics a’goin on, and Gold Simone being a tiny goddess and all that. I thought it’d be cool to set a scene that perhaps only a super-smart girl with a secret super-tough exterior could solve safely.

And gracefully! And stylishly! As we should -all- strive to emulate in our own day-saving regular lives.

Been working on nailing a really complex series of positions looking for the part of the short story that tells ‘the tale’ without linear flow. I figured it’d be easier to just visualize that flow, see what I’m missing and what I want to see.


Once the holes are found, -that’s- the target vision. I’m thrilled to share my fun searching lines and study work thus far and also test over-sized images as blog headers.  Thanks for having a peek, your participation is noble and true.



Testing the Signals

We all need signals that work. That’s an absolute must and a professional stone that must be successfully passed. I’ve brought my entire studio, all of my tools, -and- myself to you.

It took a while to get everything set up. It took a little while to get ’round some serious troubles. Mortality and the freedom of the shoe and the froth of brew.

Amazing how thrilling, frightening, a little ‘life’ can be. At the crest of this roller-coaster, I am proud to finally be able to offer SmokeApes. Dot Com.

The goal here is to channel visions to the right people (You) as well as some commerce to help move these visions forward (Cool Swag) and legitimize the toil of design (You looking Cool).

This is no amateur move. It’s a conscious and careful tool-set and a window on the big smoke.

This, also, should be simulcast to the SmokeApes Facebook and thus, is a milestone marker.



Whoo, like, halfway.

Wow, check this out. This is what it looks like to transit the time continuum from one 3d causality matrix to another. Looks risky!

It most certainly -is- risky.

Alright! This site is re-loaded (though we’ll need to re-direct some linkes -ed), Threadless shop is built, stocked with great lookin’ fash. SmokeApes Facebook is online. Tomorrow I’ll finish up by building some fun utility images for folks’ backgrounds and profiles, share my toolset with ya’ll, and I think we’ll have a pipeline!




Things are coming together.

This has been rough and wonderful.

I am so proud to announce that some of the first pieces of swag have been designed. After all, what good are pure digital images?

They aren’t much good at all without a real audience, and this project is as diserving as any to have swag. Really cool swag.

As we move forward we’re going to be keeping a spotlight scanning for stuff that’ll make you look great, and I’ll do my best make that at all haste.

A huge thank you to all who’ve kept this ship right and true while in dry dock. Now we open the lock and let in the sea.



Drek the Ogre

Gosh, wouldn’t it be swell if all the monkeys tried just as hard as they could to not be utter refuse? That would. That would be really very nice. But instead, some monkeys have no interest in contributing, unless it’s to the trash heap.

Some nasty apes give themselves over to greed as early as possible and are raised to be covetous. Possibly damaged from birth, these miserable creatures always have totem objects. Sometimes they have more than one. Money sign necklaces, fancy belts or hats, expensive sunglasses. They are always smeared all over with their slimy ways. They are usually vapid, absolutely gaseous in matters requiring thought. They spread their garbage everywhere they go, oblivious to all around them until it’s time to brag about awful, un-impressive purchases and schemes.

If your enterprise has been infested by one or more of these ogres, your days of productivity are surely numbered. One way or another, they’ve found a safe hole within your establishment and are now extremely difficult to repel, damage, or smote.

The Ogre will render your weapons dull. Your sight, dimmed. Smell, abused. Taste, neutralized. Your wit, nullified.