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Mr. Creepy Crawly Bug Thing: Metal Art after Your Own Heart

creepy crawly bug art
creepy crawly bug art

Creepy and crawly does not have to be gross. It can instead be as sweet as this alien monster burnt-edged bug thing.

What a cute little creepy crawly critter.

This cute creepy crawly critter features metallic gold paint mingled with black polka dots and edging for contrast. His edges were cut with an electric welder, giving him a ragtag, rugged look perfect for imagining him scampering about your yard or living room.

Mr. Creepy Crawly makes a perfect addition to any children’s room, especially if you hang him on the ceiling directly above their beds.

This guy measures approx. 15 in. long from tail tip to neck, 19 wide from bent leg to bent leg and stands about 10 high at his highest point.

Bendable metal legs make it easy for you to place him on a fence, atop your mantle or creeping up a tree.

Buy now on Etsy.

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Same-sex marriage hassles include gifts: Problem solved with same-sex wedding Lucky Voodoo Doll couples

From “His” and “Hers” towel sets to “His” and “Hers” china cups that cost too much and no one uses, there is no dearth of wedding gifts for the bride and groom.

The happy groom and groom same-sex wedding Lucky Voodoo Dolls/Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

But when it comes to same-sex marriages, finding suitable presents for the groom and groom or the bride and bride can be a bit of a challenge.

Enter Same-Sex Marriage Lucky Voodoo Dolls.

Continue reading Same-sex marriage hassles include gifts: Problem solved with same-sex wedding Lucky Voodoo Doll couples

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Pigs are people, too: Animal abuse, haters and worldly woes quashed in debut cartoon video by two Tucsonans

Tucson talent rocks. Evidence includes funky trash cans on Fourth Avenue, mosaics on highway overpasses and now an animated music video produced by Tucson’s own Eric Heithaus with art by yours truly, Ryn Gargulinski.

Please enjoy watching “Everyone I Know Needs Love” as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Main character Dollie is a cartoon I drew years ago, inspired by Quint’s line in “Jaws” about a shark’s eyes being like a doll’s eyes.* Doggy is my standard dog image that resembles my dog Phoebe yet also works to embody every dog in the world.

Dollie and Doggy/Art Ryn Gargulinski

This is my first illustrated animation project and one on a long list of Eric’s successful music – and other – productions.

The only other time my artwork has moved around on its own was during a horrific nightmare where all creatures in my house and backyard started attacking me.

It is much more pleasant when such critters are captured in a little box on the screen.

Thanks! Eric for working with me and coming up with this idea while vacationing on a San Diego beach. The video, all told and in between day jobs, took about a year to complete.

I’m posting the full press release that goes with the video below, which gives you more on the story and where we’re both coming from.

P.S. If you cannot tell from the video, we are both avid animal lovers. The partnership mentioned at the beginning of the clip, “Sawyer and Mr. Angel Association,” is named after our dogs.



Animal abuse, haters and worldly woes quashed in debut cartoon video

Animal abuse leads to people abuse – we don’t need a rocket scientist to tell us that. We don’t need a rocket scientist to come up with a way to stop it, either. We just need a wacky artist working with a creative music video producer to come up with a funky, fanciful story of two cartoon characters bent on saving the world.

Oh, yeah – we also need a bomb.

The story

Haters are everywhere – and our heroic cartoon duo of Dollie and Doggie make it their mission to stop it. The sweet team starts off thrown in a garbage can, from whence they scamper only to witness a litany of animal abuses. Horses pureed to pulp in a glue factory. Pigs slaughtered for sausage. A puppy mill. The animal abuse works as an analogy for the people abuse, maltreatment and general hatred that saturates the world at large. The video’s song, “Everyone I Know Needs Love,” offers a hint of the solution in store.

The cartoon video collaboration

Dollie and Doggie star in the video, a project born from the twisted collaboration between two Tucsonans. Producer Eric Heithaus worked on the music and animation end of the project. He produced the catchy “Everyone I Know Needs Love” song with pianist Sly Slipetsky and vocalist Angel Diamond, as well as toiled long hours making a stuffed pig fly. Artist Ryn Gargulinski worked equally as hard creating a cast of cartoon characters that always seem to look like they just got hit by a truck. We think it must be one of her trademarks.

The producer

Tucsonans Eric Heithaus and his wife, Amy, are the masterminds behind Heithaus Productions. While their company has produced everything from documentaries to news and features, it is now focusing on music videos. Eric’s music video production tops competitors as he not only produces the video portion, but he’s a talented music producer. His successes include Tucson’s colorful and creative street musician Black Man Clay, vocalist Laura Ward and his band Children of Gods. More at

The artist

Ryn Gargulinski, Tucson resident, Michigan native and longtime New Yorker, has her own list of successes and talents. Writing and art have long topped the list, but this video marks her premiere animated project. Other credits include two illustrated humor books: “Bony Yoga” and “Rats Incredible,” both published by Conari, dozens of news and feature articles, a weekly column and myriad artwork published in a variety of newspapers and journals from New York City to India. Her current gigs include writing four blogs for and her art business of RYNdustries. More at and

WATCH the video on YouTube at at  Heithaus Productions at or on Rynski’s Blogski.

Contact producer Eric Heithaus at and Ryn at

*Quint’s doll’s eyes quote: “And, you know, the thing about a shark… he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living… until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then… ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin’. The ocean turns red, and despite all the poundin’ and the hollerin’, they all come in and they… rip you to pieces.”


What do you think?

Are you a fan of music videos? Of cartoons?

Is is just me or are today’s cartoons quite lame compared to the cool ones we used to get?

P.S. A cashier at Best Buy yesterday looked confused when I mentioned “The Flintstones.”

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The boost Tucson needs: Its own version of Detroit Heidelberg Project – with PHOTOS

Never mind the phantom Rio Nuevo or other Tucson projects that are all hot air and no action.

The polka dot house centerpiece of Detroit Heidelberg Project/Ryn Gargulinski

Our fair Old Pueblo would get the boost it needs with the simple installation of a wonderland similar to Detroit’s Heidelberg Project.

Rather than sad, abandoned and packed with yellow-eyed druggies, inner city vacant lots and a handful of homes burst with color, humor – and dozens of chairs, tables, shoes, doors, bottles, windows, tires, tiles and mannequin parts, Santa Claus, Tweety Birds and other stuffed animals.

OK, the installation may not be so simple, since this glorious display of art and creativity consumes two whole blocks in Detroit’s decaying McDougall-Hunt neighborhood along Heidelberg Street, southwest of Mack Avenue and Mt Elliot Street.

Some have called the funky display the “Ghetto Gugggenheim” while project literature notes this nabe is the most depressed area in the entire nation.

Yes, some fru-fru tourists are still scared to get out of their cars.

Yet the longstanding display of paintings, illustrations and debris-turned-artwork draws others from their vehicles – and around the country.

The captivating project has been in the making since 1986, kicked off by artist and  founder Tyree Guyton.

At the age of 12, during Detroit’s Nain-Rouge-inspired 1967 riots, Guyton watched his city blaze to ashes. Detroit has been decaying ever since, but Guyton’s brazen oasis is hope sprouting from charred remains.

The Heidelberg Project has become the third most visited tourist attraction in Detroit, the literature tells us, although it does not mention the top two destinations. We’ll guess the Renaissance Center and Belle Isle, or perhaps the garish downtown statue of a giant Joe Louis’s fist.

Guyton’s mom still lives in Heidelberg’s centerpiece polka dot house, first fashioned for the artist’s Grandpa Sam’s love of jelly beans.

Heidelberg Project Detroit/Ryn Gargulinski

“Tyree got the idea that people were like jellybeans – all similar, yet different – all the colors together,” Heidelberg literature says. “Well, those jellybeans inspired a dot here, a dot there, a dotty wotty house and a polka-dot street, a celebration of color, diversity and harmony.”

Yes, the project has had its dissenters. The city demolished parts of the Heidelberg Project in 1991 and again in 1999. But you can’t keep a good idea down. And no one can keep the momentum from growing.

Not only has Guyton’s project and artwork won awards, it spawned a series of programs.

The Cultural Village project aims for sustainable living in the inner city, complete with eco-friendly homes and businesses as well as urban agriculture that goes beyond weeds.

The House that Makes Sense is the project administrative center at 42 Watson Street, which doubles as an art space for kids’ activities and artists-in-residence.

Heidelberg’s Art, Community, Environment and Education program offers tours and presentations of the project for school kids as well as lessons plans now used by the Michigan Art Education Association’s 2010 conference.

Art can really change the world – or at least a few formerly rotting blocks in Detroit. And one artist really can make a difference.

The Heidelberg Project is definitely on my destination list every time I visit Michigan, where I happened to be last week. New stuff springs up all the time in this ever evolving display. The thing now has an information booth and donation bin, where I put last week’s wages (kidding).



What do you think?

Is the Heidelberg Project amazing or disgusting?

Would you welcome such a display to a decaying neighborhood near you?

Can you imagine what we could do with those abandoned downtown Tucson storefronts?

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Downtown Tucson gets new art haven, artists wanted

Too many of Tucson’s cool buildings go the way of the bulldozer – but not the one nestled next to downtown’s Solar Culture gallery.

Downtown's 35 E. Toole is slated for art haven/Ryn Gargulinski
Downtown's 35 E. Toole is slated for art haven/Ryn Gargulinski

The building at 35 E. Toole Ave. is instead becoming an artists’ haven, with studio-storefronts lined with windows ready for a delightful, disarming – or creepy – array of art.

Let’s up the description to an artists’ heaven, as studio-storefront monthly rents start at $150.

We can barely buy a good pair of shoes for that much anymore.

Art from Solar Culture's June 12 opening/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Art from Solar Culture's June 12 opening/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

For Solar Culture owner Steven Eye, this move to expand the downtown art scene is only natural. This Philadelphia transplant landed in Tucson in 1985 and was bent on fulfilling the mission to “make ecstatic energy available to the people.”

He’s got that mission down to a science, as anyone who has been to Solar Culture, 31 E. Toole, can attest.

Now open daily from noon to midnight, Solar Culture’s 3,000 square-foot Art Deco building has been around since the turn of the century – and showcasing community art and music in one form or another since Eye moved to Old Pueblo 25 years ago.

Eye definitely has an eye for what works – and bringing the community together through art, music and all things creative.

But don’t take it from me – take a gander at his past ventures:

Art from Solar Culture June 12 show/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Art from Solar Culture June 12 show/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

1978: Steven Eye and “group of us kids” take over abandoned lot in downtown Philadelphia for skateboarding. Build ramps they “would ride with wild reckless abandon.” Realized they had to skate to music to “create a weightless flying feeling pushing your mind and beyond all previous known limitations.”

Eye’s skateboarding group discovers – and fall in love with – punk rock. Need more, more, more of it.

1982: Eye and pals form BungaBooshEye and start bringing all-age punk shows to Philly at a place they called Love Hall. Bands included Meat Puppets, Husker Du, Scream, Misfits and more.

1981 to 1983: Eye busy documenting Philly punk shows on video tape.

1985: Discontent with “all the urban squalor surrounding me in Philly” Eye moves to Tucson “to try to develop a deeper relationship with this earth.”

1987: Eye rents old produce warehouse at 31 E. Toole from Arizona Department of Transportation

Art at Solar Culture June 12 show/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Art at Solar Culture June 12 show/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

1988: Warehouse has first art opening under name of Hellrad Club. Name soon changed to Dodajk International (aka internal nation of the wild).

1988 to 1991: Dodajk International holds more than 70 art and music openings, including Crashworship, Helios Creed, Tragic Mulatto and more. Events had to be stopped due to “continual threats and harassment from the police about the people who were attending our shows, and no support from the city officials.”

1991: Eye vows never to do shows in Tucson again.

1991: Eye re-inspired by Tucson community, rents another building from state at 530 N. Stone Ave. which becomes Downtown Performance Center (DPC).

1991 to 1995: DPC hosts more than 800 shows, including Green Day, Blind melon, Bad Brains, Rancid, Feast Upon Cactus Thorns and more.

Aug. 1995: DPC closes due to “continual police harassment, and the West University Neighborhood Association’s full-scale assault on us for having some of the troubled youth that came to our shows roaming through the neighborhood that surrounded the DPC building.” Note: DPC building is now the Matt Bevel Institute.

1995: Eye vows never to do shows in Tucson again.

Art at Solar Culture June 12 show/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Art at Solar Culture June 12 show/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

1995 to early 1999: Eye becomes re-inspired, holds art shows at 31 E. Toole building, renamed it Datura Studios and Gallery.

Spring 1999: Building reborn as Solar Culture.

Oct. 1999: Solar Culture’s first art opening and music event.
“Now the music has been flowing freely like never before, as bands regularly come to town from all over the world.”

Summer 2001: Eye joins forces with Club Congress at Congress Hotel and starts 21-and-over bar shows by Oct. 2001. Turns over concert connections to Club Congress Feb. 2003.

June 2010
: New art haven in the works at 35 E. Toole Ave., adjacent to Solar Culture. Studio-storefronts for rent – art haven opening estimated in August.


One of studio-storefronts at 35 E. Toole/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Studio-storefront at 35 E. Toole/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
One of studio-storefronts for rent at 35 E. Toole/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
One of studio-storefronts for rent at 35 E. Toole/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Studio-storefront in new downtown art haven/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Studio-storefront in new downtown art haven/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Anyone interested in renting a storefront-studio can contact Steven Eye at 884-0874 or e-mail

Full disclosure: I am a regular community artist contributor to Eye’s shows and would rent one of the storefronts myself if I could figure out way to make it work.


What do you think?

How often do you go downtown events?

Have you been attending the 2nd Saturdays Downtown now that they are re-established?

Have you ever been to Solar Culture?

Who is your favorite Tucson artist?