Saturday, May 02, 2015

My 3x3 World: The Post-It Note Art of Ed Attanasio

Hope to see you at my upcoming art show. If you can't make it on Friday May 15 @ 6-9 pm I will also be at the store on Saturday, 5/16 from 11 am to 2 pm.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Stroke of Genius or Just Damn Lucky? The Story Behind My Post-It Note Art

Here is the story behind my Post-It Note Art, an amazing chapter in my life that started out with a tragedy, but led to a miracle. Before, I was nothing more than a casual doodler, but today I sell original pieces and limited prints for ungodly amounts of money. It has also allowed me to publish a graphic novel, called Bushers who is currently available on

Here I am (at the left) with my writing partner Eric Gouldsberry at a book signing for "Bushers" at the Book Passage bookstore in the San Francisco's Ferry Building. 

My name is Ed Attanasio and I live in San Francisco. (That's me on the left) My art career started when I was rehabbing after having a mini-stroke on August 4, 2009. The stroke did not come as a surprise, because at that point I weighed 350 lbs. and had a wide range of other health problems.

The stroke didn’t affect my motor skills, but it definitely addled my brain to the point where I was unable to continue my job as a journalist/ad copywriter. 

Ruffled Feathers, 2014
My speech therapists suggested that I find something to do--an activity where I'd be able to exercise my brain on a daily basis. 

So, I started drawing a series of illustrations on Post-It-Notes, for hours and hours, as I went through a slow 14-month recovery.Sometimes I would sit in my office and draw 10-15 straight and other days I couldn't do even do one I could keep.

Scary Nights, Halloween 2013
At first, I drew these characters only as part of my therapy and nothing more. My wife Simone and my two stepdaughters always seemed to enjoy these silly 3” x 3” creations, but eventually they would migrate down to our refrigerator door and after a while, they'd disappear.

Left Brain, Right Brain, 2012
Then, in October of 2011, my wife gave me a notebook and all of the drawings were there—close to 400! I had created a my own world of baseball players, football players, gangsters, monsters, dinosaurs, dogs, dysfunctional couples and aliens. All of these peculiar-looking illustrations had emerged from my stroke-scrambled brain and now all together, but ready for what? 

As I browsed through these images, I thought wow--these characters drawn in black felt pen and colored pencils tell a great story. 

For more than a year, I didn’t know if I would be able to be a professional
Bushers, 2011
writer again and these drawings are a map that shows how I recuperated or maybe digressed, depending on how you look at it.

After I went through all of the images, I assembled some them into collages.
I named my first one 'Bushers--A Fantastical Collection of the Craziest Ballplayers You Never Saw' consisting of 48 baseball players I created. 

Pretty soon, I assigned each player with his own name, complete with a colorful nickname and a biography describing his baseball career. It became a fun project, but at this point it was just like the drawings themselves--a continuing mental exercise.

Then one day, I decided to submit my image of 48 “Bushers” to an upcoming show at an art gallery in San Francisco. The George Krevsky Gallery of American Art was holding its 15th annual baseball art exhibition called The Art of Baseball. But after a couple of months anxiously waiting for a response from the gallery and not hearing back, Attanasio figured that his players were probably too bizarre for their show.

I resigned myself to the fact that my sad-sack “Bushers” might not get out of the minor leagues. Then, one day the phone rang and the people at the gallery were on the other end. As a writer and a former standup comic, I hate to admit it, but I expect rejection. 

As the woman on the phone started talking, I was waiting for her next words, telling me that my “Bushers” were not an ideal match for their show. So, when the people at the Krevsky gallery said they liked the image and wanted to meet me, I was obviously very pleased and surprised. In the end, it was accepted into the Art of Baseball show and even before the exhibition began it was sold!”

So, rather quickly my therapy turned into an art career--something I never imagined even in my wildest dreams. Now I sell originals and prints from $30 to $3,000 and participate in as many exhibitions as I possibly can. 

Now I am experimenting with other size Post-It Notes in larger collages and other other formats. It has become truly my passion and the perfect way for me to unwind. Some people do yoga or needlepoint and I draw. 

I haven't stopped drawing and in fact, now I draw even more. When people look at my images and react--whether positively or
negatively--I covet that feedback, because I love what I'm doing and I want as many other eyes on my art as I possibly can.  

Things have improved tremendously since the stroke. I have lost more than 100 lbs. and I swim a mile every day. I turned my life around and my Post-It Note art has definitely played a major role! 

In October of 2013, my Bushers and their stories became a graphic novel, published by McFarland Publishing. Now the whole world can read their stories of near fame as they play this great game on baseball fields from Parole, Maryland to Sweet Lips, Tennessee. 

The book is available at or email me at: if you want an autographed copy. 

Also, if you want to purchase an original or a print from me, give me a call at 415.994.5335 to discuss images, sizes, formats and more. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Take on the 2014 NFL Draft

The 2014 NFL Draft was fun to watch, if you like seeing young prima donnas turning into multi-millionaires in real time on TV, but the NFL has turned it into a game show and the fanfare outweighs the actual event in a big way. If I see another mock draft, I will strangle Mel Kiper. I may strangle him and his 1975 hairstyle anyway. The biggest story at this year’s draft was Johnny Football and where was he going to land? When I saw that he ended up with the cursed Cleveland Browns, I laughed myself silly. This kid was maybe already doomed, but by getting drafted by the Browns, that sealed it. The Browns are the only original NFL team to never make it to the Super Bowl and every year they take a good college player and ruin him with bad coaching, bad food and of course, the curse. Can you remember Spurgeon Wynn or Tim Couch? Point made.

Then, the other big story surrounding the draft was when the St. Louis Rams drafted Michael Sam, a player who announced he was gay about a month or so ago. He said he probably would have been drafted in the 3rd round (instead of the 7th) but the NFL is a homophobic league. And from what I’ve been reading, I tend to agree. Helmets off to the Rams for stepping up and telling the world it’s okay to be gay and still kick ass on the gridiron!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

San Jose Woman Melts Down Over Melky

A 40-ish San Jose mother of two teenagers went ballistic upon receiving the news that San Francisco Giants tarnished star Melky Cabrera was suspended for 50 days for using PEDs. One of the first things she did was boycott milk and throw out her 8 different Melky jerseys, as well as more than 500 photos of Cabrera.
Neighbors complained about the noise coming from the woman's residence, which led to a visit by San Jose' Finest. SJPD Officer Richard Gozinya commented about the incident.
"She was distraught over the suspension and very animated. She did say that she was going to try and drown her sorrows by drinking her weight in cheap Barefoot Chardonnay, which is on sale right now at Safeway, by the way."
When we reached our crazed fan on the phone the next morning, she sounded still upset and very hungover.
"Damn that Melky! I believed in him and he was riding dirty. So, I have banned all milk and dairy products from my house, along with wire hangers! If my boys want to drink milk, they can do it at school, because I am now 100% Cabrera intolerant!"
(Note: As a journalist, it would be wrong to give up the woman's name. Here first name starts with an S and ends with an N and there is a HA in the middle. Her last name rhymes with Ticks, but it starts with a W)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This is called Ghosts of the Gridiron, featuring 48 imaginary football stars who never made it past the semi-pro or amateur ranks. Copyright 2012, Ed Attanasio

Monday, June 18, 2012

This is my Halloween image, Hallow Promises. I did this for the Thrive House, a wonderful youth organization that helps kids of all ages. If you count correctly, you will find: 1.) 3 witches 2.) 4 werewolves 3.) 2 pumpkin heads 4.) 7 vampires 5.) 1 ratdog bat 6.) 3 monsters 7.) 1 rock mummy 8.) 2 scary ghouls 9.) Frankenstein and 10.) 1 screaming skull

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hector's Big Weekend: Part One

In gambling terms, Hector is a mini-whale. Sure, he’s just as sick as any of them, but he has a larger wallet and isn’t afraid to risk a significant portion of his impressive bankroll on assorted card games, sporting events and whatever else can provide that adrenalin rush. One time he and another fool bet on who could eat more pieces of sushi and Hector started gagging after 90. Pretty impressive for a 5’2’’ 100-lb. guy, but he lost $10,000 when his friend ate 104 nigiri-zushi. Another time, Hector was convinced that he could run from Reno to Carson City in a business suit in the dead of winter. One of the assorted morons in his entourage of hangers ons, wanna bes and never wasses, bet him 20 grand and Hector won. It took him almost two days for him to run, jog, shuffle and finally limp the 40 miles. But in the process, two of Hector’s toes went black from frost bite and he lost them.

As a mini-whale, Hector traditionally makes single wagers with four zeroes attached. Mini-whales prefer to be big fish in small ponds, so they normally gravitate toward wagering at the smaller gambling establishments like those found in Reno or at many of the Indian casinos. Places with names like The Showboat or Thunder Valley. True whales make six figure bets and that’s why you’ll find them in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and at the big casinos in Monte Carlo and Antigua. I have known only one legitimate whale in my life, but that’s another story for another time.

Whales of any size get pampered and treated like rock stars at all of the top casinos and even most of the sketchy ones as well. The level of pampering depends on how much they wager and how much they’ve lost or won. Whales get anything they desire, either legal or otherwise and mini-whales get something a little less. Whales get top-shelf caviar, Cuban cigars, expensive wine, top scotch and prostitutes that look like A-Class models. Mini-whales get pate instead of caviar, domestic cigars, discount wine and hookers with a little street in their walk.

Mini-whales come in all shapes and sizes. One day in Reno I met an old gal named Dot. She chain smoked and wore enough rhinestones to tile a shower. Dot outlived three husbands and rumor was she outright killed one of them. With enough money to throw around ridiculously, Dot would drop 20 to 30 grand every time she hit the Sands. Her drinks (mostly Manhattans) were free; they gave her the old Wayne Newton suite and every once in a while they’d send an old former Chippendale dancer up to her room to check the plumbing. With that type of treatment, Dot happily lost a couple hundred thousand dollars at the Sands every year, smiling ear to ear and loving every minute of it.

Hector normally played at the Silver Legacy in Reno, but every once in a while he would venture to Vegas. He loved the place, but knew it would be his demise one day. “There’s just too much shit going on there, man,” Hector said it every time he left Sin City looking like a wrinkled old necktie and smelling like cheap cologne--the kind you can load on to mask all the other smells, but it never really works.
So, Hector’s regular spot was Reno, but on this particular weekend, a casino in Vegas had invited him to watch a big boxing match with everything included and at no charge, of course. It doesn’t matter who was fighting that night, because Don King was the promoter, which means the event was fixed anyway. If you want to see something more believable, watch wrestling or the Smurfs.

Hector loved betting on fights and getting in his own. As a little guy with a Napoleonic complex, he loved boxing and wasn’t afraid of knocking a few heads himself. The problem is, he went after guys twice his size and continually got his ass kicked. He led with his fists and felt everyone was eyeballing him and dissing him all the time. One time at a party, he smacked our host in the face for offering him a cocktail. What the hell, we asked him as we were being escorted out the door.
“He gave me a weird vibe,” Hector mumbled. Unbelievable, I thought. I decided right there and then to hang out with this guy a little less. He’s fun, but he could get me killed, I noted.

So, when Hector invited me to Vegas for the weekend, I thought more than twice before answering.

(To be continued….)

Friday, July 22, 2011

#13: Rocco “Razz” Randazzo
Catcher, Footville (Wisconsin) Bunions, Dairy Belt League

Randazzo was well-known for two things 1.) His colorful bench jockeying techniques and 2.) His inability to catch just about anything thrown in his general direction. In 1904, “Razz” made a tragic mistake when he called Junior “The Bull” Applebaum, a pitcher for the Egg Harbor Yolks, a word we can’t share here. As a result, Randazzo’s heckling days were over and from the embarrassment he never spoke again. For the next 30 years, he was known as “Mickey the Mime” performing for children’s parties and Bar Mitzvahs for the remainder of his life.

Baseball Icons Who Couldn't #1

#1: Cookie “Crumbs” Colla

Pitcher, Flea City, California Larvae, Western Coastal Scrub Brush Association
Colla loved baseball, but preferred eating cookies on the bench. The crumbs became a problem and birds started to flock toward the dugout. When he was asked to refrain, he could not, and eventually Colla was sent off to the lowly Will-o-Wisp Wombats, a team of castoffs that played in the Colorado Mite Bowl, where he was forgotten, until six years later, when he found a cookie recipe and started making his own. Soon, everyone was eating Cookie’s Cookies!