Sunday, September 13, 2009

A startling lack of activity.

Oh, why.... Hello there! I didn't hear you come in-no, no, don't worry... I can finish this nap up later. You came for some artwork and perhaps a side of overdone and completely cheesy commentary? Ah, yes, about that, well... I'd suggest the Gruyere but we're fresh out. Fear not, I hear Monty Python's opened up a cheese shop just down the block, and I'm sure they'd be more than happy to set you up with some Limburger or Swiss. Har har har.

But in all seriousness, this nearly complete halt in sharing has got to end. Yes, I will admit that it is due to my creative production line going on strike and only ever sneaking in to the office now and again when it they need to nick some pens, but I promise you: This is not the end. Oh, no siree bob. I've been cooking up some sweet little stories every week which I hope to find the time and motivation to illustrate shortly. What have I been doing to keep myself sane in the meantime? Well, there's the writing, a bit of bookbinding, a whole lot of baking [hey, it's what's payin' the bills right now!], doodling random animals for some reason, and a little more Call of Duty:World at War than is entirely necessary. Hopefully I'll have something really awesome to show by next week.... err.... month.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dear internets,

Hey, come here. Sit down. Let's talk.

So I don't know if you've noticed lately, but things are kind of crappy all around. I'm not just talking about myself here, I'm talking about the world in general. The economy has basically collapsed, people are becoming more stressed and therefore, more grumpy, and we've all got so many problems that it's hard for things to look like they'll ever be perfect. There will always be that latest disappointment, or that future heartbreak, or that long-ago traumatic event that creeps up on us when we're most hoping it won't. That's just the way the world works sometimes, and sure, it's not really fair, but it's just how things are.

But so what?

Here are some things I know for sure:
Life is beautiful, and you are a part of it. That's a pretty awesome fact right there, I think. We each get to experience so very many wondrous things every single day, and the longer you stick around, the more you get to experience. Your favorite song, a chocolate cupcake, your first kiss, the smell of fresh-cut grass, the colors of fireworks, the purple of lightning, the texture of someone else's skin, the thrill of taking a chance on anything, and so many other things. Little things, big things... everything. If things get bad and you just can't find a reason to smile, try to think of all the things that have EVER made you smile.
Today is a day worth living in. Tomorrow is a day worth waiting for. Yesterday is what taught you this.
Nothing good will find you if you sit around hiding from the bad things that might.
Things could ALWAYS be worse. No matter how bad they get, they could always get worse. Now sure, when you're homeless, have had both your arms ripped off by bears, have leukemia, and haven't eaten anything for over a week, this probably isn't much comfort. But it's a fact. At least you've still got your legs. At least you don't have to worry about paying your bills. At least you probably know how and when you're going to die.
Fondue is really frickin' good. A world where melted cheese is actually considered a meal and socially acceptable as such and everyone makes a big deal about it.... Well... That's a world full of incomparable genius and pleasure and I definitely want to be a part of it.
If you need help, there will always be someone who will provide it. Maybe it's a stranger, or someone you've known forever, but there will always be someone there to step in and support you. Sometimes even if you're too stubborn to ask for it.
Happiness is inevitable.

Moping around won't make anything better, so screw it... go outside and dance! Especially if it's raining. Especially if there are fireflies around. Sure, dancing won't change the real problems, but at least you'll remind yourself that there are a whole lot of things worth dancing about. Dancing is worth dancing about.

So what's the point? I don't know, I think it's just a reminder to all of us, myself included, that life is good. Even if it doesn't really seem like it. In case we start to forget. In case we already have forgotten.

Also, it's easier to forget how good things are if you feel like you're facing them alone. Tell the people you love that you love them, and do it constantly. Don't ever stop, and don't let them ever doubt for even a second that they are important to you.

Now get out there and prance around like a mad fool!

Peace, love, and joy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Pope-revisited.

I tend to fall victim to misinterpretation quite often, but I always get my best ideas out of it! For instance, one day I saw the phrase "The Pope's Not Coming" for a split second and IMMEDIATELY died laughing. Then someone threw me a phoenix down and I ate their brains because reanimation can only end badly. But! The point is that I just could not get over that phrase. What could it possibly mean?!?!?! I started thinking up all these reasons that the pope wouldn't be coming, and things that he wouldn't be coming to and knew that something had to be done with this. So, I've been working on a series of illustrations called "The Pope's Not Coming" all with the theme of... The Pope not coming. I really dig this series and hope to get it published at some point, but since I usually do it entirely in black and white, throwing a couple of them into my portfolio doesn't quite fit. Solution? Colorization, of course! I took one of my favorite Pope images and gave it a go with the ol' computeramizational colorajiggatron.



Oh, and by the way, the origin of the phrase was from a professor's computer. It turns out that he did the illustrations for an article about how The Pope wasn't coming to Philadelphia on his U.S. tour, I believe. That's pretty normal compared to my versions, which involve rock concerts, aliens, wedding invitations, and chastity belts. And plenty more still, I'll have you know.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I make books!

One of my not-so-secret passions is bookbinding. I simply can't get enough of it! So when it came time to make some promo pieces for portfolio day, I was like HECK YES I'M GOING TO MAKE A BILLION BOOKS!!! I was afraid I'd hate bookbinding after making them all, but it turns out it actually made me like it even more. Japanese stab bindings are awesome for just zoning out and making on auto-mode. Also, a billion is not the real number. My crack team of bookbinding slaves and I made 58, so far. And by 'crack team of bookbinding slaves' I pretty much just mean my lovely, wonderful sister. Annnnywho, you make a book for promo purposes, you've got to put stuff in it! Well, here's the in-stuff what went on the stuffin's of the......... fufnstis?

[the cover is printed on bright red paper!]

True story!!!!
Man, I was one weird kid. I mean, I still am, but seriously... One weeeeeeird kid.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A day full-o-junk mail.

This morning I wake up and check my e-mail to find about 30 brand new junk mails that have slipped through the cracks of my junk filters. What the heck is going on with this?! Did I sign up on some kind of list?! Ah well, at least it gets me thinkin' that I'm popular for about a second and a half, there. And who doesn't like a good "Yay, me!" moment?

But how about some art, eh?!?!?

For the UArts portfolio day event, they tasked us talented students with making the promo card to invite prospective Art Directors. Of course, in true UArts style, they gave us as little notice as possible. Well, not really, since they could have said 'SURPRISE! HAND IT IN IN FIVE MINUTES!!!" and then there would have been a lot of ink blots and random paint scribbles almost a la Pollock instead of some of the things that actually got submitted. For my piece, I originally started making something that was entirely lame. When it came time to do the finish, I just couldn't bring myself to go through with it, so I said SCREW IT. I suddenly had a desire only to draw tea parties. Of course, I had this desire exactly 24 hours before the finish was to be handed in, but... Well, I like a challenge.

The secret is that the characters actually represent people! From left to right is Rachel Burkhard, Gloria Martin, Me, Collie Mills, and my sister Nanners. And the not-so-secret is that all the cakes and cookies on the table represent different types of illustration. I'm actually pretty happy with it, and there are only a few things I'm going to change before adding it to my portfolio.

I've also been having fun doing some quick illustrations for my friend, Lorne, for whatever reason I choose at the moment. Here's one that is just as strange even if you do know the context.

This is what happens when you give me a week off of class.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Well would you look at that-not even a full day later, and you get the colored version of this fantabulous Grimble piece. Looks like I may be able to build a snowman wonderland with this foot of snow we got, afterall!

As promised, not only did there end up being a chair, but a coat as well! Have fun playing the "What's different?" game that's in just about every Highlight's magazine ever. Also, those "Find these pictures!!!!" drawings in those are amazingly fun. I wonder who does them...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Obligatory first post excitement!

Huzzah! A blogspot all my own! I will love it and squeeze it and call it George! Although actually, I rather prefer to call things Billy. And just so this isn't a cop-out boring "Look at me, I'm on the internet!!!" post.... Look at me! I'm on the internet!!!

But if you thrust your fists against the post and still insist you see the ghost, here's some sketchy things of what I'm working on right now. Because who doesn't like a fun in-progress?

I've got this FANTASTIC book called "Noisy outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't as Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, Creatures from the Sky, Parents Who Disappear in Peru, a Man Named Lars Farf, and One Other Story We Couldn't Quite Finish, So maybe You Could Help Us Out." ...Yeah, with a title like that, you know you're in for some sort of awesome madness. Anyway, there's a story in it called "Grimble," in which a young boy named Grimble is left at home for a week while his parents go and explore Peru. They leave him an oven full of sandwiches, which he accidentally melts, and so is forced to go to the homes of his 'emergency contacts,' who also just happen to all be out of town, for some reason. One of the places he goes to is his Aunt's apartment, where he learns how to cook potatoes and writes a note with a fork that is, quite sensibly, also a pencil. I chose the top right thumb sketch from that page-o-sketches right there because I was most excited about that scene. Then I made a larger pencil sketch, which I just finished inking yesterday.

Now, clever you probably noticed a distinct lack of chair in this inking. Fear not, dear reader, for the chair is yet to come! Will she be able to draw a chair in at the right perspective? Will there be colors?! Will she meet the deadline?!?!? Stay tuned for another thrilling episode of Kat's Blog to find out!