Category Archives: Games

HELP WANTED

Floppie the Clown dressup
Floppie the Clown dressup

When I first moved to NYC I supported myself primarily designing custom dressup games for the web. There was no Jesus Dressup magnet income yet (I couldn’t find anyone to produce them for a couple years after I arrived). But the online version of it was very, VERY popular. I mean hell, it was in the top two results for the word “jesus” for a decade. That was enough to wrangle in similar jobs from a wide variety of clients.

My dressup games have been birthday presents for husbands wives, promotal devices for marketers, lawyers, burlesque dancers & other adult services needing erotic dressups. I was even hired to do a dressup game for a couple of Australian escorts looking to boost their business!

 Escort Dolls dressup
Escort Dolls dressup

These types were always favorites of mine. They requested I make them have a growl face when the client touches parts that’re off-limits, and wink to show where to go. I always gave discounts and extra attention to these, and I’m happy to say they were a substantial portion of this business, but my clients spanned the gamut – lawyers & librarians to bohemians & bodybuilders. I was also fine with doing kid-friendly dressups as well. Heavy.com had me making a monthly celebrity dressup which was a nice consistent check for a while. I even did one for Blue Man Group.

 Whippedcream Bikini dressup
Whippedcream Bikini dressup

It was a wonderful, dependable income for a budding freelancer such as myself.  I’d found a niche. In fact, for a time it seemed I’d cornered the market on custom dressup games production for the web. Ahhh, those were the days.

I do not write code. I draw and design to no end, but when it comes to programming I am inept. I can’t make my brain do it to any great extent, and that’s turned out to be one of my biggest business handicaps. Luckily there was Dreamweaver at the time to do all that work for me. It was the perfect tool for building quality, movable layer dress up games that’d work on almost all computers, browsers and the like.

Then came smartphones, tablets, apps, updated browsers, and a whole new more complicated web. And Dreamweaver did not try to keep up with the movable layers technology. For a while I could keep up with Dreamweaver’s lag. I hired programmers to give me fix files to implement after a page is designed & I made a HELP! page too, but Google Chrome seemed to almost plot against any future for movable layers.

the many outfits of @babyballs 🎨 by @normalbobsmith

A video posted by VICELAND (@viceland) on


I was just recently reminded of all this working on a magnetic dressup Thomas Morton game for the Viceland show BALLS DEEP. Designing and producing beautiful dress up games is something I love to do. I used to do one after another for myself, with no intentions of anything more than fun for me, i.e. (Yolandi, Unholy Army, Mr. X & Revenge).

 Mr. X Hangman dressup
Mr. X Hangman dressup

What makes this all even more frustrating is I know it’s possible to make workable dressup games for today’s web. Universal, smooth moving layers on any browser, and any device, is a reality. I’ve found working, detailed instructions & examples that simply need to be programmed in by someone way, way smarter than I. And I have dressup jobs ready to be made if I could just figure this out.

Toothy McFadden dressup
Toothy McFadden dressup
For the last 10 years or so I have had a hell of a time finding any such programmer, and I do not completely understand why. I know it’s not immensely complicated. The last time this was done for me it was by a kid just out of high school (java file & php fix as html file). I am willing to pay. And I’ve got all the information it takes to make it happen. This page shows it being done properly. I just need someone to program the fix. Something that’ll make it possible for me to design it in Dreamweaver and then implement a fix. I would love to be able to promote my services again as a professional dress up game maker for magnets AND online usage!

If you think you have these skills to make this possible for me again, please contact me. I would love to start regularly making these again.

Whigger Dressup
Whigger Dressup

For a pretty thorough list of dressup games I’ve made you can visit my portfolio here. For the record, Safari is the browser to use if you want any of these to work properly.

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The New Mohammed Dressup/magnets

It’s difficult for me to express just how excited I am about the new Mohammed Dressup game, and the magnets in production. For a while now I’ve been attempting to imagine what the perfect Mohammed Dressup game would look like. It took a while for the popularity of his name & image to catch up with us in the West. Now that it has, I think this is what everyone’s been waiting for.

Mohammed Magnets & Postcards
Mohammed Magnets and Postcards ($30)

Another devious idea, I thought, was to print great quantities of The Prophet’s image in the form of mailable postcards! I mean, what better way to share his image than by showing it to everyone along the US mail postal route on the way to its lucky recipient? And you can send postcards cheap, just about anywhere, with no return address! I dunno. Maybe I’m the only one who appreciates it. We’ll see.

Either way, I don’t think I’ll find any stores willing to carry these on their shelves, so magnetic Mohammed Dressup is for sale here, and here alone. Shipment I’m predicting will arrive in April. I cannot wait.

Drawing Yolandi

Yolandi Visser art
Yolandi Visser signature snarl portrait digitized in Adobe Illustrator

Earlier this year (Feb 2012) I drew this snarling picture of Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord. I’m a big fan of the band and drawing her with that signature snarl came pretty easy. However, while researching images of her, I noticed a trend – Every artist who’d attempted, few drew her without the snarl. And the ones who tried with any sort of a normal facial expression failed (in my opinion) at capturing her unique likeness. They succeeded in drawing some girl who was perhaps trying to look like her, but none would leave you to confidently proclaim, “That is Yolandi Visser.”

In the months following that first illustration I’d randomly stumble across other caricatures of her where different artists couldn’t seem to agree on whether or not her eyes were too close together, or far apart. Is her nose big or tiny? Is her mouth little or huge? And for some reason these questions seemed to be plaguing the renderings throughout my searches at Google Images.

After realizing all of this, I assigned myself the personal challenge of capturing a recognizable likeness WITHOUT the snarl, or growl, or sneering. A normal facial expression that is clearly, unquestionably, a portrait of Yolandi.

After my first few stumblings I found myself running into these same corner-cutting solutions other artists before me had fallen into. Make her eyes farther apart and that’ll separate her from any other girl with that haircut. How about her eyes closer together? No, that’s not it either. Clearly a tiny little button nose is what makes her so adorable. Nope. Well, she doesn’t have a big nose either. How about no nose at all? Then the viewer’s eye can sort it out. Right?

Five illustrations later and I was getting nowhere. Simply putting sharp, shortened bangs on a strange looking little girl wouldn’t cut it. And I swear to you, with each sketch I put to paper she got uglier and uglier. It was terribly, terribly frustrating.

I put the project away for about a week before I could return to it again. I had to try something new. A new angle. That was the key.

Yolandi Visser art
Yolandi Visser Portrait digitized in Adobe Illustrator

It wasn’t until I stopped trying to draw her straight on and instead tilted her head to a 3/4 view that it started to come together. Her mouth protrudes, and that’s something difficult to convey head on. Her nose is neither big nor tiny. It’s flaired, and the nostrils are well defined, coming forward as part of her Gelfling-like mouth. Her eyes are certainly big, but not googly. They’re neither too far apart or too close together. That in itself is a curveball for a caricature artist. And as a girl who was walking behind me at the coffee shop pointed out, “She has Nordic eyes. Not Anime eyes. Think Bjork. Not Sailor Moon.”

It was the three-quarter view that gave me the base to sculpt the shape of her face around. It’s the first right thing that happened in this project. After I had a completed sketch, I scanned it into my computer and traced it in Adobe Illustrator. This is where I can cheat some more and do all the gradual tweaks that you miss on the first (my case, 7th) attempt. Tilting the eyes, adjusting the mouth position and the curve of the upper lip, then adding color, and the white lashes & eyebrows to drive it all the way home.

The whole idea behind this project was that the final piece could be used as a display model for a Yolandi Dressup game. And if you want to get a feel for the confidence level I had going into this, I wasn’t going to spend the $12 on the yolandidressup.com URL until it was successfully rendered in Illustrator.

The whole process took place over the course of a month (that doesn’t include any building of the dress up game, art for the clothes, etc.). I’m proud to say that I feel vindicated. I drew a perfectly recognizable illustration of Yolandi with a variety of facial expressions to choose from, allowing me to be the creator of the greatest ever Yolandi Dressup game on Planet Earth (at least at this particular moment).

I urge you to check out the fruits of my labors at YolandiDressup.com, and try out my latest invention – a Clothes Toolbar on the far right side of the page. It’s my solution to getting all the clothes you’d want in a dressup game without all the art having to be tiny. The game is loads of fun, and I hope one day to hear she agrees.

NEW: Yolandi Dre$$up for the kids!

Yolandi Visser art
Yolandi Visser digitized in Adobe Illustrator for YolandiDressup.com

Here’s something different! Now, I’m not sure how many of you still keep up with the site during these slower winter weeks where the updates are fewer, and farther between, BUT I’ve got something new for you today!

It’s yolandidressup.com, and it’s SOOOOOO  Ke-ute! There’s lots of bells and whistles, so play around with her a lot while you listen to Die Antwoord. It’s pretty fun.