RIP Prince

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Ghost on the F train

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Around these parts, along the northern edge of Brooklyn, people call the G train the “ghost train” because it’s terrible. I’m now passing the ghost torch onto the F train. I sat across from this for 5 stops, completely fascinated.  TrainGhost

Rock star paintings

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I have two paintings hanging up at The Moonlight Mile whisky bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.


Kieth RichardsRichards_JukeboxJoeyRamone_Manney

Joey Ramone


Afternoon Negronis

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Just sitting in my cube, wishing I was back in Italy having afternoon negronis.

This Intel tablet is blowing my mind

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This Empowering Innovators video series by Intel is very cool. As an artist, of course I’m a Mac person, but lately my drawings are getting more complicated, so I’m trying to figure out a way to speed things up. If you’re targeting artists, showing the creative process is really powerful advertising. I’m not sure that I’ll go right out and buy one, but i did google it immediately, and my ipad can’t do this. Not like this.

Even if you’re not an artist, these videos are worth a watch—very interesting and really well done.

ILLUSTRATION – The Artist from Intel on Vimeo.

PAINTING & SCULPTURE – Surf’s Up from Intel on Vimeo.

GRAPHIC NOVELS – The Artist who scared the King of Horror from Intel on Vimeo.

ANIMATION – The Renaissance Man from Intel on Vimeo.

MUSIC – Fresh Beats from Intel on Vimeo.

Colon Blow! Storyboard!

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Remember that old SNL commercial for Colon Blow? This was an experiment to see what my drawing style looks like in the storyboard format. I think it turned out pretty cool. More to come. ColonBlow_Storyboard_Manney

The Morning

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More people on the train

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Some new work I’ve started.


The Duluth Art Collectors

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I’ve written before about my nieces and nephew in Duluth who are big collectors of my work. They’re fantastic, but their taste in art is questionable. For the past few years they’ve sent me drawings, and I send them back the same thing. Until now I’ve only done commissions …


I went to see them in Minnesota last week, and hoped to push them out of their collecting comfort zone. I didn’t ask what they wanted paintings of; I just asked what their favorite foods were. I assumed that at 8, 6 and 4 years old, they must be so bored with monkeys, superheroes and mermaids that we could break new ground.

8. Signe is arty so she assured me that she does love all art, ice cream and popcorn, but it’d be cool to have a painting of The Loch Ness Monster sometime, too.


6. Brett told me many times that he still loves my paintings … but he’d also really like a villain painting, and that I shouldn’t worry about making up some new guy who doesn’t exist; I could just paint The Blue Beetle.


4. Kirsten studied this for a long time and decided that we could definitely improve it if we made the letters red instead of blue. But she also thought it could be much better if it was a painting of Bucky the Pirate Ship and we forgot about this one altogether.


I don’t know how anyone can decide what their favorite thing in the whole wide world is, but hanging out with these three kids and talking art is at the very top of my list.

Related posts

People on the train

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Drawing sketchbook: Train people make great subjects because they’ve got no idea they’re being studied.


Things I draw at work

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Burger & a High Life

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Drawing sketchbook: Today my friend decided that this is what he’d eat as his last meal if he accidentally wound up on death row. He also wants to start with a dozen oysters, but I think that would count as 2 meals so I just drew this. 


NYC Marathon 2014

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Yikes. It’s official. I’m in.


My brother Dave still says that running the NYC Marathon is one of the greatest days of his life, and I was fine taking his word for it until my sister Sarah had a 40th birthday creeping up on her 2 years ago. Her only wish was to come to NYC and run a half marathon … with me, the non-runner. So for the next 4 months she trained me by text— “This week run 3, 3, 4, 9. Yea!! I’m so excited we are doing this!!! Awesome 🙂 love you!!”

She’s the best and I’d do anything for her, so every week I got her texts, laced up my shoes and ran whatever she told me to—planning to quit once we crossed the happy birthday finish line.

I guess running doesn’t work that way because I kept at it and ran 4 more halfs. I like how concrete it is, with an immediate sense of accomplishment that I rarely feel as a creative person. Running is very exact – if you want to run this far or this fast, do these exact things—just put on the gear, make the time and get out the door. I like it, but I think it’s sort of easy compared to art-making. Well, it’s not easy, but it’s not subjective, and that’s what I like.

So this spring Sarah came to town again with her big “let’s run the marathon together!!!” ideas.


I’ll be honest, it was never on my bucket list. My bucket list is short: I want to jet ski around the statue of liberty and take a running belly slide across the tarp at a rained out baseball game. But one crazy day this summer I was sitting at my desk feeling creatively frustrated, when I suddenly registered for all the races that would guarantee my entrance into the 2014 marathon. It’s a lot, and I don’t necessarily love marathons, but I like goals, so I ran them all.

I try to keep my posts art-themed, but I think there’s a connection between creativity and running that I can’t quite figure out. I weirdly don’t think of myself as a runner, but I do think of myself as an artist. I run consistently, but I don’t make art consistently. Running is something I do, creative is something I am. Maybe it’s too much pressure, but this makes no sense! I need art to feel more like running. It’ll happen, I’m a work in progress with 331 days to go.

Wrong building, Banksy

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As we’re all well aware, Banksy was in town last month doing his NYC residency. I’m glad it’s November, and my Twitter feed has returned to normal. No more Banksy this, Banksy that, the government, Banksy Banksy.

The long and short of it is that I wasn’t very interested in what he did here—which is a big surprise since he’s in my Fantasy Art Collection. Although I kept my eye on what he was doing, all the hype made me wonder how much I like Banksy. I like his work because it’s pretty cool-looking, and usually clever, but the mobs and drama surrounding his presence in this town annoyed me so much, I didn’t want to like him anymore. The verdict: I like him, just not that much.


OK, none of that is important. What’s EXTREMELY important is that I have reason to believe that Banksy read my blog, and mistakenly thinks that I still live in Williamsburg. It looks like he may have painted on my house in the middle of the night, as requested, but he got he wrong building.

Hear me out. Three years ago I commissioned a Banksy for my Fantasy Art Collection.

The deal: I send a check to the P.O. box of his choosing, he can do whatever he wants, has one year to do it (tardy). Although it will be tempting once he completes his end of the bargain and the bloggers and reporters start poking around, we have a clear understanding that this never happened.

Back then there were a lot of mix-ups in the details, and we weren’t able to set up the P.O. box. But I guess he thought it was a good idea anyway and charged ahead. He did it in Brooklyn as his 17th NY piece, and unfortunately it happened to a lady named Cara, not a lady named Laura. Read “I’m the Accidental Owner of a Banksy” to get the full scoop.

No hard feelings, Banksy, thanks for holding up your end of the bargain. As payment, I promise to never trade my Fantasy Art pic #3.


Also read “Jerry Saltz Ranks Banksy’s New York City (So-Called) Artistic Works” – it’s pretty funny.

200 blog posts

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Here you have it … my 200th blog post. Looking forward to 2,000 and 2 million. Thanks for reading!


Early morning on the LES

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Drawing sketchbook: This weekend I was talking to my Dad about my lengthy blog hiatus, and I committed to at least one post this week as long as it included some sketches. Lately I’ve been drawing a lot and writing a little, but I miss getting the ideas together in my head and writing them down, so here you go James Manney. Thanks for the push.

Some mornings I get up really early to go to yoga. I think what actually gets me out of bed is the walk to the studio, and how empty and peaceful the Lower East Side is, hit with that early morning light. I saw these things today.




Picasso! Baby?

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It’s been three weeks since I saw this video and it still cracks me up. I try not to write negatively, but when I read about Jerry Saltz’ profound experience at Jay-Z’s six hour performance of Picasso Baby at Pace, I couldn’t roll my eyes hard enough. I’m usually a Saltz fan, a Jay-Z fan sure why not, but the whole thing is so silly to me.

Jay Z “Picasso Baby” x Taylor Swift “22” (remix) from Pop Culture Pirate on Vimeo.