If someone were to ask me what my favourite Sondheim song is, I probably wouldn’t know what to say, because I find it hard to pick the ultimate favourite thing out of any number of things. But one of Sondheim’s songs always, and I do mean always, has a big impact on me, and that song is “Someone in a Tree” from “Pacific Overtures”. I won’t give any context on the song, because - let’s face it - if you’re interested in snips of sheet music like that up there, you already know that context. So you also know that it isn’t a very emotional subject that they’re singing about, and yet this song always makes me cry. My understanding of music doesn’t go that deep so I can’t really tell you why the song has this effect on me, but I can tell you WHERE. Right there, bar 287. Where the small gongs come in. It gets me every time. And if I don’t start crying there, I will a few bars later, when all three voices hold the last note on “histo-ry”. It’s so majestic, and beautiful, and stunning. And I love that a song can have such an effect on me, even after the umpteenth listen. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to feel so much without really knowing why or how.
I guess this all sounds tremendously cheesy, so it’s probably a good thing that nobody ever asks me what my favourite Sondheim song is.
The SEA Discovery Center is an educational space and aquarium in Poulsbo, Washington partnered with WWU that hosts science programs for preschool-9th grade kids. They are ramping up for their summer kickoff and wanted marine-themed coloring sheets to give out. This more illustrative project was a lot of fun for me. I drew all these sea critters that are native to the PNW, scanned ‘em, and vectorized them in illustrator. Here are the many comps I made out of the drawings. The single animal sheets were intended for younger children, as they are still developing motor skills.