Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bubba's got it in the bag.

My cat, whom I affectionately refer to as Bubba quite often, is... well, he's a dumb butt. He is the sweetest, most lovable cat I think I've ever owned and I love him more than I know how to express but gosh can he be pretty derpy sometimes. As such, The Bubbs will often... Well... Play with his poop. He'll just scoop it right on up out of his litter box and swat it around the house like he's some sort of 3rd world kitty who doesn't have plenty of toys to play with and so has to improvise. This being one of his favorite activities, I've gotten accustomed to watching my step in the mornings in order to prevent the possibility of a very unpleasant squish... Which is why this morning, when I walked out of my room, I was a little bit irritated at the round lump near the bathroom door... Until I looked closer and saw this:

Now, I have been a vegetarian for forever. I feel completely awful whenever I see a dog getting abused or a crab getting boiled or any other number of things that involve pain and suffering being bestowed upon all animals but... seeing this poor mouse horrifyingly mutilated to the point that it was darn near unrecognizable aside from the single remaining leg, bizarrely pin-straight tail, and tiny red spot where I'm assuming the head and neck were... Well... I couldn't help but be proud. Mama's little dumb-head is all growed up and huntin' mice? D'awwww. It's good to see that even in this tough economy, my cat has managed to find work. :D

Annnnnyway! It's the holidays, guys! Are you pumped?! Because I am! I'd say the only downside of the holidays is that I have to wait for FOREVER before I can share with you some of the things I'm giving out this year since that would ruin the surprise. I love giving out presents, and I'm super psyched for Christmas! I never knew what the fuss was all about until I got to celebrate my first real one last year but man... Christmas is magical. The love that permeates the atmosphere is completely palpable, and so very, very wonderful. I hope you all have an amazing holiday and get to spend plenty of time with your loved ones. I know I sure will. :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

The quest for the perfect brush.

Normally when I ink, I use a nib pen for the whole thing, and only consider touching a brush if there's a particularly large area that needs some ink slapped on it. I've been going on like this for years, not really considering the brush to be a primary tool so much as a convenient afterthought! However, when I inked one page in particular of Little Red Men, I realized that I'd need HUGE lines from the getgo, and decided to ink the whole thing with a brush on a whim.

This just so happens to be that very page! I'm permitted to share up to 25% of the comic before it's published, and given how sparingly I've teased you, I feel like this is permissible. ANYWAY, the only brushes I had available to me at the time were some pretty worn down, beat up, and desperately depressing white nylon brushes that did the trick, but were less than desirable. Even still, I noticed that my inking time had been virtually cut in half with each stroke! And while I did sacrifice quite a bit of stability and control by giving up my pen, I suddenly had an extremely varied number of line weights that I could make in a single stroke. So, I decided it was time to experiment with brush work.

Once I got it in my head that this was a viable method, it became pretty much obvious that I'd need to upgrade my materials... So I fired up the ol' Googletron 9000 and asked it what brushes were best for inking. The internet seems to unanimously praise the Windsor and Newton series 7 [in particular, sizes 2 or 3] brush and claim it to be the one brush to rule them all. Then then in their next sentence speak of how there truly is only ONE brush to rule them all as the company has gone downhill and serviceable-much less actually perfect-brushes from W&N can no longer be found. Besides, it's roughly $20 or $30 per brush, apparently, and I don't really have that kind of scratch lying around for one single brush that may or may not work.

Enter Rosemary and Co. The internet has mixed feelings about the company, and just a few years ago they were praised as being phenomenal brushes at outrageously affordable prices... But something has clearly happened to the company. Perhaps they have become exceedingly popular and can not keep up with demand? I decided to take my chances and looked into their brushes. Not really knowing what to get, I decided to e-mail Rosemary and ask her for some advice on which brushes to purchase based on how I like my brushes to feel, and that I was planning on working with ink. She got back to me nearly immediately and was extremely helpful!!! So I ordered my brushes that night and despite them being shipped from Europe, received them within three days! Holy crap!!! Not only that, but a free catalog that has EVERY SINGLE BRUSH THEY MAKE photographed at real-size?!?!? Wow. The customer service at Rosemary & Co. is certainly not lacking, that's for sure. However...

See that blurry phone photo? [Sorry, but my digital camera is broken and this is the only thing I've got that takes pictures right now.] See how the left side looks kind of... lumpy? Perhaps even... separate? This is one of the four Rosemary brushes that I ordered, which after shipping, only cost $30. Two are Kolinski sable, and two are Red sable which means that at basically $20 before shipping, this is a pretty pimp deal. Well, in theory it is.

You see, pretty much all four of my Rosemary brushes have problems, this one in particular had the most drastic problems because the bristles were caught in that stupid protective plastic sleeve thing and bent backwards over the handle. I trimmed the super-deformed bristles as close to the ferrule as I possibly could so I would be able to jump right in and try them without having to wait a couple more days for a replacement... Which would have been free, but which actually... I don't even want any more. This photo was taken AFTER I trimmed the brush, and after I used it for the first time. The darned thing went completely coo coo! Hairs were just splaying out everywhere depending on what they wanted to do at any given stroke! And it wasn't the only one! Essentially every single brush I ordered from Rosemary is absurdly frustrating and discouraging to use because of how poorly it functions! Not only is the belly pretty thin, making the ink-reservoir in the brush pretty minimal, but every single one of them has this curiously specific point. I gather that it is good when a brush comes to a point that is essentially one hair, but the lengths to which Rosemary & co. went to ensure that was the case is just ridiculous! There was one single hair at the tip that seemed to be ever so slightly longer than all the rest, causing it to actually be more of a pain in the butt than an advantage! That particular hair would always go off on its own adventures and come back later to tell everyone else they were doing it wrong and attempt to garner more support for the rebel army! I inked a verrrrrrrrrry simple piece with those brushes that I'll share with you all in the near future and I could not WAIT for it to be over just so I could put them away and NEVER USE THEM AGAIN.

The brushes on the right are the ones that are from Rosemary, and the one that is to the far left is basically the only one that's even remotely usable... And I do mean remotely.

Because of how awful my experience with these brushes was, I decided that it would be wrong to tell you all about them and not offer an alternative, so last night I went to Blick with my friend Mike and rummaged through their brushes. I found this GREAT brush that I think was made by a company named Isabey or something along those lines, but nearly had a heart attack when I saw that it was $75 for just the one brush. I shit you not. It seemed like an actually really good brush due to the springyness of the bristles [which were, of course, sable], the verrrrry full belly, the tight crimping of the ferrule, and the fact that it came to a splendid point and had no flyaways or clipped bristles anywhere. When I sulked back to the spot where the expensive dream brush was supposed to live until some more fortunate artist that I hope knows how to show a brush a good time comes along to claim it... I noticed that Blick has their own line of brushes. The three brushes on the top of that photograph are the ones from Blick's line and I've got to say... They're pretty darn good.

That is NOT to say that they are AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZING, but they are good enough that I'm actually really excited to keep playing with them, and I am super grateful that I didn't want to gouge my own eyes out with them. If you can see well enough from the picture, the bellies are quite a bit fuller in the Blick brushes than the Rosemary ones, which was super duper nice of them. Not only that, but I have not yet had to deal with a flyaway!

The springness of these brushes is great, and even though I had that tiny little size four brush, I actually ended up using the ten for the bulk of the piece, only really going to the four for the eyes and suuuuper tiny fiddly bits. The 16 that I got was superb for filling in huge spaces and actually also came to an impressively fine point! They were also great for little bits of dry-brushing, and did not even for a moment complain about being abused so early in their life-springing back to a perfect point the instant I dipped them in some good ol' water. Did I also mention that together, these three brushes only cost me $25? Yeah. I'd say I got more than what I paid for in this case. These brushes were a joy to work with and for that price, there's really no reason NOT to stock up on a couple and at least try them out!

I know that I've still got a long way to go before I've mastered the brush, and I really think that my only obstacle is learning to let go of my incessant need to tightly control each line, but I definitely believe that having actually found some decent brushes is the best favor I could have done for myself.

So, to recap, Rosemary & co. = no go. Generic Blick-brand brushes? Get 'em. Also, my Totoro inkwell continues to be the coolest darned thing ever. I've been abusing that thing and shaking it around like crazy and spinning it and all sorts of crap and it not only takes the beating, but doesn't spill a single drop of ink. I friggin' love this thing.

Here's the finished image that I used to test the brushes. Thank goodness these ones weren't duds, because this piece is for Billy! Our anniversary is next week, and it's about time I gave him another art. Two years in, and loving him is still the most magical adventure I've ever been taken on.

... I might change the coloring, though.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A helpful tutorial, I hope!

Well, I was checking the now completely addictive Comic Tools blog and saw that included this week was a method for colorizing lineart. Sort of. I thought it was super interesting the way that Elanor Davis chose to layer two copies of the same image, changed to different colors, in order to achieve a sort of duochrome look. Well, I decided that it may very well end up being helpful if I also shared a method for colorizing lineart in Photoshop that varies wildly from her approach. Hope it helps someone because it pretty much blew my mind when I learned it!

Click here for the video! I definitely recommend doing fullscreen, since the program I used to record the video recorded it in its native size. Whoopsies!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Is it the snowtimes?

Yes! I've now officially broken in the Totoro inkwell and it worked brilliantly! The mouth now has an expected ring of black ink on the inside and I stupidly decided to pour just a wee bit of glaze in the mouth and not properly allow it to dry before inking so there's now a small paintless patch on the inside, but it's otherwise perfect! Held the ink just splendidly, the mouth was exactly the right width for me to swirl the brush around in, and despite moving Totoro around like crazy, he never once spilled! As an added bonus, the teeth proved to be an excellent place to quickly wipe off any excess ink from the brush since they're a ledge hanging inwards!

Here's what I decided to make tonight during the testing-just a very quick doodle that all said and done, probably took about an hour total, which is absurdly quick for me. Plus, I stopped halfway through the sketch and played "who's a big dumb head that just got their nose bopped?!?!!!!" with my cat for a bit.

This was so much fun to just knock out! I'm definitely going to experiment more with my inking, and the first step I've definitely got to take is getting some real brushes! I have no idea why, but basically every single brush I was able to find tonight was either a falling apart white nylon brush, or a falling apart 'comes in a pack of five but are totally the worst brushes you'll ever use' discount brushes. I KNOW I used to have some decent ones, but they're either buried in the chaos of my hallway closet, or they were lost in a move. Either way, it's probably about time I upgraded to well-informed growed-up art brushes and that's exactly what I intend to do! Well... Sort of.

I spent a large chunk of the night looking for advice on what brushes to use, and the internet seems to have come to the conclusion that all hope is lost as all brush manufacturers are either crap, expensive, expensive crap, or expensive crap that just isn't like how it used to be. So I've settled on ordering some brushes from Rosemary and Co. because heck, they're cheap and so am I! Besides, if I'm going to take a chance on good-quality brushes being horrible I may as well go for a brand that not only gives a money back guarantee, but will instantly replace any product that you report to them is unsatisfactory, no questions asked. Now try getting THAT kind of deal from Windsor & Newton.

Once I get around to figuring out just which Rosemary brushes I want, I think I'll do a review of them, since I really appreciated the recommendations I found online for different brushes and like to think that someone else will be as grateful for the advice of someone who actually experienced the product as I was.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Inkwell Totoro

So I was reading this post on comic tools and pretty much flipped my lid. First of all, I've been looking for something decent to put my ink in while working that I wasn't afraid would tip over when I nudged it or my cat decided to be naughty and hop up next to it and dip his paw into [he's actually really good when I'm working and almost always patiently waits, curled up next to me, for break time. But I'm always afraid that he'll get brave and jump up here and murder whatever I'm working on, just like he used to when he was a kitten.] and get ink EVERYWHERE. I don't know why it never occurred to me to just make something but MAN the instant I saw Amalgamated Biscut's little ceramic inkwell that reminds me surprisingly of Astroboy, I knew what I had to do. So last night, I got to working on making my own out of Super Sculpy!

I mean, just look at this guy!!!!

I'm pretty much certain that this is basically the coolest thing I'll ever make.

Now obviously, my concerns were much different when making this than Biscuit's were, but it is EXACTLY what I wanted, and needed. My BIGGEST concern was stability, because as of this morning alone I've knocked at least three brushes, a round container, a roll of tape, and the lid to something off my desk... Knowing this about myself, I knew it would be best to make sure there was something that laid flat and reduced the chances of spillage dramatically. I was also looking for something that I'd be able to put ink into easily but also be able to take ink out of without too much hassle, either by brush or by the little drip squeezer that comes in my ink. A lot of times when I'm inking, because I'm worried about being messy and I don't have anything decent to put my ink in, I'll squeeze out a couple of drops of ink from the eyedropper onto my pen or brush EVERY SINGLE TIME I need to refill it. It's tedious, it's a pain, but it's not messy or wasteful and it gets the job done. Gosh darn though, I'm so excited about this Totoro inkwell and I can't WAIT to take it out for a spin! Now, I'll be spending today coloring more of the comic, but I've got exactly the PERFECT piece in mind to break in My Inkwell Totoro and I simply can not wait!!!

And, for those of you who either don't know who Totoro is or who DO know who Totoro is and love him just as much as I do, here's a spot that Cartoon Network ran when they premiered it on their channel. It's even got the part of the film that I based my inkwell off of in it! Yay!

Double bonus!!! Orchestral version of one of the Totoro themes!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

And what's the deal with those October snowstorms?

Finally! Halloween came and knocked our socks off with a kind of random and uncalled-for snow storm. Luckily, in my area there was only a light... smattering... of snow, but a couple of my friends reported having gotten up to 2 feet of snow! Holy moley! Sadly, the snow canceled my plans to revisit the Renaissance Faire on its final weekend, but I had a darned good time anyway. Linvilla Orchards had some AWESOME pumpkins up for grabs, so I took the opportunity to carve a rather swell Totoro [from My Neighbor Totoro] pumpkin... Which is not pictured below. Instead, I'm spreading the love by 'accidentally' hitting 'put that preview of Little Red Men' up on this blog. Whoopsies, clumsy me! Kind of the same concept as when you're making yourself a nice pot of grits and you just happen to trip and drop a block of cream cheese in while crossing the kitchen. [Wise advice from Paula Deen, let me tell you...]

This page was a lot of fun for me to color, because I really liked playing with the skyline in the first [heck, ONLY] panel. Really brings me back to when I was a kid and we'd sit on the roof of the house and just watch the stars show up.

And, since it's been a while since I've shared anything from Misa, here's something else to add to the 'not getting used this time!' collection!

We've got a new line of treatments coming out soon, and the owners wanted a quick header card so they could send out an advance package of them to Trade Secrets. When I asked if they had any imagery or themes or colors that they wanted incorporated into the design, I was only given "Fresh and clean." Which caused me to hum "So fresh and so clean, clean" while doodling that. We've decided to go in a more photographic direction, so that means I'm free to share that little gem! And as an odd sort of treat, I'll leave you with this video.

What a random song to suddenly have stuck in my head.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I went to the Ren Faire yesterday!

Heya chumps and chumpettes! It's been a long, winding month here in crazytown and I've finally had a chance to check in!

This half of the year is always kind of hectic for me, because in addition to all them fancy 'give everybody ALL THE GIFTS' holidays that are now, about 3/4 of my friends have their birthdays between September and December. Oh no!!! My lovely, wonderful, gorgeous, amazing, and absurdly loving friend Ren's birthday was last month, and I sadly did not have any money to buy her anything. That's not to say that I normally buy people things in the first place [What artist DOESN'T make at least 2/3 of the gifts they give?], but I had an idea of something to purchase this time around and was kind of disappointed that I had to default to handmade. So anyway! This year, I made her an inked [and later mounted] drawing of her Pathfinder character, Ehalania, and her... Pet? Fuzzy-Wuzzums. I shit you not, that's what she named her character's tiger. We have some AMAZING adventures together every Sunday and I felt like this was an entirely appropriate gift, especially given that I was going to give it to her right after one of our Pathfinder sessions anyway.

That week, I was reeeeeeally craving some deep-inking, but I haven't done anything with extreme shadows in quite a while. I figured if I pulled it off, she'd win a fun and unexpected piece! And if not, well.... Then I at least got to experiment. I feel like I could have done a bunch more detailing and played around with texture and dry-brushing, but Ren loved it so... Who cares! This was fun for me to make, and it gave me some great ideas for whenever I get around to making a picture of my own character.

As a little bonus, I'm feeling generous [and a bit guilty for not having posted for quite some time] and have elected to share a very rough beginning stage of the coloring of the first page of Little Red Men, a forthcoming comic written by the talented Sam Verrall and illustrated by the dead-sexy... Me.

This page has a lonnnnnnnnng way to go until it's finished, but I'm having fun messin' around with it and trying to decide on the best way to create the warm, reflective lighting from the fireplace. Gosh though, this comic looks like it's about creepy aliens that wear wigs according to that last panel. ... I kinda like it.

This weekend, I'll be taking a break from the comic [probably] to help the infamous Brandi make some paintings for her brand new office!... And celebrate Billy's Mom's Birthday! .... And his god-sister's birthday!!! [See, told you there were a lot of birthdays right now. My roomate's birthday is in like... two weeks and I'm still not done her gift yet, either!]. I've actually really missed painting and I'm suuuuuper excited to bust out the ol' staple gun when I stretch the canvas. Hopefully we finish the paintings quickly and I get to photograph them and share!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Don't tell your mom!

There isn't a preview here, certainly! I would NEVER dream of giving off a few crude sketches from random panels of the comic I'm working on to give you guys a taste of how it's coming along. Why, I object to your accusations! I am a standup citizen of the artistic community and I would certainly not abuse my powers of illustration to share some here-and-there bits that won't make sense all jumbled and out of context anyway! Gawrsh. Just what kind of dame do you think I am?

But speaking of previews, this certainly isn't one.

Now that we've got that out of the way though, I feel like I can get on with my business. Which is certainly not taking a nap during my lunch break, if that was what you were thinking. Because it's not. It's something else.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's okay to let yourself believe you're beautiful.

Our first Valentine's day together, I made a doll for Billy that looked a lot like me, and had a small, handmade book tucked away inside a plush heart it was holding. It's basically the most personal thing I think I've ever made, and despite constant nagging from everyone who's seen it, I kind of refuse to make any more. I feel like it's special because it's the only one that exists and because I put so much heart and hard work into it. Lately, though, I've been trying to come up with some extra cash for a badly needed new laptop... As well as a vacation to Disneyworld and more than just a few goodies from . Of course, it kept getting suggested over and over again that I make dolls for people and sell them on etsy, and while I'm mostly unwilling to do it, I've sort of started to consider it a possibility. As well as making custom mailboxes, for whatever reason. Anyway, just as I was starting to think about sewing dolls, I came across these awesome ones that the previously mentioned Damsel in this Dress magic-maker, Michelle, created. They're fantastic pirate dolls! I was waiting for one to pop up that looked like Billy, but... It never did. So I made one myself! It's kind of crude, and quite a bit creepy, but I effin' love it!

On a completely different note... Lately, at work, my boss has been talking to me about beauty. Now, I am a VERY large woman, but I am completely comfortable in my body. However, she is an itty-bitty, super-skinny woman and is terribly ashamed of hers. She thinks she's fat, and she thinks she's ugly, and she thinks that if she loses that last five pounds that she seriously does not have left to lose, then she'll finally stop being known as 'the chunky' one in her family and stop feeling so ugly. I think that's kind of horrible, because she's got the kind of body that people practically kill themselves to achieve and she still feels like she isn't pretty. Meanwhile, I'm sitting to her left at least five times her weight, hair completely frizzy, and clothes completely riddled with holes and I KNOW that I'm effin' gorgeous. So what's wrong with this picture? Pretty much everything.
It is completely horrible that someone who is so obviously beautiful will never, ever feel that way because her family, her industry, and every single thing she's ever seen has told her that she's not. Why? It doesn't make any sense. And I know it's not just her who feels this way. It breaks my heart that there are so many beautiful people out there who are afraid to let themselves believe that they are beautiful. Are they waiting for someone to tell them otherwise? Prove them wrong? Who has that kind of power?!?! Are they waiting for some divine sign or a billboard with their face and a thumbs up on it or Tyra friggin' Banks to knock on their door and say she's jealous of them? It's ridiculous! I wish, I WISH that more people had the strength to look at themselves, I mean REALLY look at themselves, and see the truth. We are ALL beautiful. I mean it. If you're just willing to admit it to yourself for one second then you'll feel so much better. It's an awful thing to walk around all day, hating yourself; an awful, and exhausting thing. I think it's high time that a whole bunch more people free themselves.

Anyway, here's another picture of me and my Billy doll. I love this man with more than my whole heart, and he tells me every single day that I'm beautiful. So is he.

Love yourself. You ARE beautiful.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

Life has been CRAZY busy lately! Last weekend was The Fourth of July, of course, and Billy and I went up to Jersey to get some Wild Bill's Soda at Kaboomfest [Sadly, we got rained out and managed only to get the world's second most expensive kettle corn before turning around going home for dinner with his folks.] and actually had a pretty awesome weekend overall, especially because Billy's parents made some AWESOME veggie fajitas before we left. I ended up requesting the fourth off from work [holidays don't really exist here] and even though it ended up being a long weekend, I came home EXHAUSTED and have only just recovered! Speaking of work, here's something that won't ever get used!!!!

There's a new collection of polishes coming out that are based on a 1950s sort of theme, and they're AWESOME. Unfortunately, not only is this design not going to be used at all, but they ended up outsourcing and decided on something that has nothing to do with the 50s in even the slightest. How that makes sense I'll never understand, but it's what they're going with so... Yippie? I think the problem is that the folks here originally envisioned the collection as being a french cafe sort of thing, but when I brought the 1950s thing to the table, they fell head over heels for the funky names and the way it actually made the colors [which could only be described as 'old lady' ish] exciting... But forgot that it doesn't really make sense not to continue that theme into the marketing campaigns. Ah well. I really like the way this mockup came out and will tooooooooootally use it for something of my own if I figure out what I want to do with it.

Because of the three day weekend, this week has been going by ridiculously fast, and I'm kind of blown away that in just a couple more days, I'll be going to my third ever wedding! I ordered a dress online since I didn't have anything that would be appropriate for the event and it's supposed to arrive riiiiiiiight before I leave, so I'm cutting it pretty close. I suppose it won't be so bad if it doesn't show up, though, since I made sure I had enough extra money to buy a cheap dress on the fly if I need to and Billy's mom really wants to go out shopping. Personally, I hate shopping... But I LOVE Billy's mom, so I think it'll work out just okey dokey.

Unfortunately, because this is the second weekend in a row that has been claimed by family events and whatnot, the only time I've been able to work on the comic is right after work on the weekdays. Happily, I've gotten the pencils for two final pages about half a squiggle away from being finished!!! Unhappily... We're getting into that murky area of how much I'm allowed to show you, which is why the next few posts will probably have a lot more images of work-related stuff and a lot fewer images of comic-related jiggers.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Goin' a bit batty. Har har har.

Howdy, y'all! So, I'm taking the weekend off from working on the comic to hang out in Jersey and celebrate father's day with Billy's family! I'm super excited to get a move on the cooking that Brandi and I are going to do for the Sunday BBQ [The Gluten-Free kid and Vegetarian kid are going to do some cooking for Glutenized meat-eaters?!!? Oh noooooooooo!!!!!] because we always have awesome food adventures and, this time, we're going to be playing board games and watching Dr.Who simultaneously! How jealous are you?

So obviously, there are going to be some awesome treats getting pumped out for Billy's family this weekend, but what do I have for you? Well, I'm glad you asked! First, and most excitingly, I have one COUNT IT, one actual finalized and finished.... panel... for the comic!

The way this panel came about was that one day, during my character-sketching bonanza, I got fed up with fiddling about poses and turning heads and designing chairs and just wanted to draw! ...But it doesn't really make sense to draw just whatever the heck while I've got this awesome project to pull from and decided to take one of the more striking images that Sam, the writer, specified in the script. It was originally just something I was doing because I wanted to keep sane and because I wanted to procrastinate while still being able to claim productivity but... I ended up going all out. Luckily, this particular panel was written to be a sort of inset panel on the page, so it doesn't matter that I made it completely separately from a fully-realized page. I'm pretty pumped about the way this came out, and Sam went super crazy over it, too!

Also, here's some stuff that I did for work that didn't make the cut!

This piece WAS going to be the cover of a brochure for this Summer's newest polish collection but, unfortunately, they decided to just not do a brochure at all! This project was a lotttt of fun to do and I was glad they let me try it out riiiight up until they decided not to go with it. Le sad. This is a common theme though becaaaaaaause....

this one is ALSO not being used. The rejection of these two designs was particularly heartbreaking to me because, obviously, they are fully-realized... I had a lot of fun working on the projects so I guess I shouldn't be sad about them. Plus, I got to take home the props from the second one and am tooooootally going to add them to my studio at home. I forgot how much I loved painting with actual paint until I did that UFO! Even though it was done with acrylic [my LEAST favorite paint] and with an eh quality brand of paints, it was just... fun!

You know what else is fun, though? Making your own guacamole! ... Which I'm going to do right.... NOW.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Howdy! And welcome to the post in which I give you some very vague previews and slightly-related character sketches! Above you will find Dr. Can't-be-bothered-to-look-up-his-first-name-right-now Freeborn... Mostly. The colored one, while more entertaining, is not the final version that I'll be going with. However, the floating heads on the second image ARE! Huzzah! Freeborn is the hero of our... unique... tale. Well, I wouldn't really call him a 'hero' so much as 'a guy the story follows.' Nonetheless, he's a rather interesting chap! How is he interesting? Well, he is in no way related to an octopus, for one. And he has not been reported as wearing an ice cream cone as a hat for another. Also, he seems to be particularly poor at winning bets but excellent at drinking to the point that bets start flowing freely. Only some of that is relevant to the tale, really.

This chap is, for all intensive purposes, about as important in the story as Freeborn is. Interestingly, he doesn't actually have a name! He's listed in the script simply as "Guide" which is certainly his duty in the comic. Personally, I think he's a bit of a dumb-head, as you may well notice from the little side notes surrounding him. I'm not going to reveal what all that's about quite yet, but I gotta tell ya... As stories go, this one is bizzarrrrre. It involves an old myth that is all kinds of super-kooky and makes for one incredibly interesting story. It involves Australia, fig trees, and the color red quite heavily. OH NO, WHAT EVER DOES THAT ALL ADD UP TO?!?!?! No, seriously, you probably don't know. It's a very obscure myth but I honestly love the heck out of the tale that Sam, the writer, has made of it. Stay tuned for more, later!!! I think I'm going to spend my evening inking.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Exciting things!!!!

One day, long, long ago, I went crazy. Because I know if I say "one day, very recently, I went crazy" a lot of the people who know me will chuckle and say "Don't you mean a long time ago, super-kooky crazy-pants?" and I'm typically inclined to agree with them. SO on a separate, more recent, not-related occasion to the origination of my super-duper batshit crazybutts off-rockerness, I went off my rocker even further and decided it would be an excellent idea to just send off my portfolio to some comic publishers. Those people earlier who were chucklin' and tellin' me I've been crazy since forever all know very well that I do have a deep love of visual storytelling, whether it be in comics or childrens' books or those insert pictures you never seem to be fortunate enough to get in books past the young-adult age-typed novels... I just dig it. I love the idea that you're reading something and there's a visual aid right there in front of you that helps make the entire immersion of the experience that much more spectacular... Anyway, I am excited to say that my "Eff it, why not?" attitude has led to success!
One of the things I'll be working on for perhaps the next two months is a comic for Viper Comics, written by a rather interesting chap named Sam. Now, rather than give you any details about the project AT ALL, I'm going to, instead, say that we are both SUPREMELY excited and give you a piece that I did for work that will not be used. :D

More details to follow at some undetermined point and time!!!!! ... There will be character sketches up soon I suspect.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An example of inking.

Dear universe,

I love inking. Here's some proof!

That is all!


I'm siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick.

So I'm lying here on my free, old-lady style, cream and creamy green-colored loveseat, talking to my roommate about how much it sucks being sick. She's got a killer sinus infection, and I've got a killer case of the too-stupid-to-dry-off-before-going-to-sleep-while-it-was-damned-cold-and-managed-to-contract-something-horrible-but-don't-know-what-exactly-because-I-don't-have-health-insurance-so-can't-actually-ask-a-professional-and-have-to-basically-just-tough-it-out-and-hope-for-the-best. I'm a big believer in the "Just toughin' it out" method, but Linny [the aforementioned roommate] is a big believer in drugs. After two nights of keeping my boyfriend up with my coughing and nose-blowing and general sickery, I decided to give him a break by going out into the living room and trying to nap here... Especially since I felt awful for kicking him in the face, inexplicably. Linny, who works night shift and is also having trouble sleeping due to the evil, evil phlegm monster, was in our living room watching Avatar:The Last Airbender and immediately started pressuring me into taking Niquil. Linny's basic arguing method is the doooooo iiiiiitttt method, except she's exceptional at it and I've pretty much been conditioned to give in within an hour in most cases. Wow. Niquil frickin' kicked my ass. I took the shot of Niquil at the beginning of the episode where our ragtag bunch of heroes gets drawn into a swamp and meets a bunch of swamp-style water-benders and was stone-cold knocked-out in the most uncomfortable position imaginable on this itty-bitty love seat by the time Aang started chasing -spoilers- Toph and a flying pig. And I STAYED asleep. AND I DIDN'T SUFFOCATE. I don't know what the heck is in Niquil to make it work, but... Good job to whoever figured that crap out. Anyway, speaking of not having health insurance... My job!

I've been doing some pretty cool things for work that will never see the light of day, so I figured I'd show a couple of them here whenever I feel like it. I only had this idea like.... last week, and I'm definitely not at work right now on account of being pretty damned feverish so the only things I've got to show are..... the following. Since they're saved on my hard drive and not the server.

That is the cover for a nail art brochure that was scrapped on account of not being clean.

That's an illustration I made for a 50's-themed collection of nail polish that we're coming out with. The drawing was scrapped on account of being too terrifying.

This image actually was used in our blog in celebration of the Chinese New Year, but I felt like sharing it because while it is incredibly simple, I did it, damn it. And I'm gonna say so.

There's more, but I figured that's enough about work for now. I'll upload some stuff here and there as I get around to it.

Lately, Billy's been bugging me about how I haven't been doing as much personal art and that I've been only doing work art and... well... He's right. But so what? Sure, what I do at work isn't what I really like doing but... By the time I get home, I've done so much of it that I'm just too tired and don't want to do any more. But he does have a point, so I have been trying to at least get around to doing SOMETHING once a week, especially if that something is make a shirt for the derby. Now, the illustration that follows was originally for the woot derby, but I didn't finish it on time because we decided to spend the weekend with Billy's mom on Mother's day instead of doing something responsible like 'conserving fuel' or 'finishing artwork.' I feel like it was well-worth it, honestly. But I at least got the basic lineart finished so... Y'know... Here it goes.

And just so it's known, I inked that digitally which I absolutely HATE but I had to do on account of the fact that I pretty much only had time to work on the 'inking' while I was at work on my lunch breaks [at which time I pretty much only had my laptop available to me] and at Billy's parent's house while he was sleeping before we went to brunch for his mother. ... Either way, no scanner in sight and not really ideal scenery for inking. I did also finish the pencils for another design which I'm hoping to ink the proper way if I ever get around to it.

Given that there's only so many hours in a day that I can use to try and sleep away this fever, I'm hoping I manage to get myself to do something between pass-out sessions. I've got a feeling anything I'd make in this state would be entertainingly awful. Whoo!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dream big.

So I've been coasting along the road of life for the last couple of months with much more ease than I'm accustomed to... Which is why it wasn't really a surprise when I managed to hit a delicious disaster of a bump. I'm not going to mention what's going on, only what I've discovered because of it.

There are no rules. You can do literally anything at all as long as you want to and refuse to accept that there are pre-existing roadblocks that you have to bypass. Nobody in this world knows what they're doing and are pretty much just doing their best to convince you that they've got it all under control while panicking massively in their own mind. We're all just people dealing with the same stupid problems from different sides of the situation. What in this world says that you need to go to school to become something if you've already got all the knowledge without it? Who says the stars are too far away to be reached? Who says we can't all grow up to be happy? We all have such a limited amount of time on this earth and the people who have managed to build empires and become successful are not gods-they're merely other people. There's nothing special or scary about them that makes them any different from you. If you want it, go ahead and get it. We're all on the edge of dying at any given point anyway and I, for one, would like to go out thinking I had a good run; not go out thinking 'well damn, ain't that just another fuckin' thing.' Don't ever let anyone convince you that you CAN'T do something. Especially you.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Crazytown sombrerolicious!

Man, things have been super duper ridiculously crazy go nuts university for me, lately! So, on top of getting a killer new job... I moved! ... And so did my boyfriend! ... And my friend! .... And of course my roommate, but that's less surprising since we got a place together and obviously had to move at the same time but literally ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE MOVED ON THE SAME WEEKEND. It was friggin' NUTS. And exhausting. Seriously, I was about a billion percent sure that I was going to die after the four-and-a-half millionth trip up the stairs. Oy. But as a result of trying to unpack all places at once, the fact that I have the most stuff out of all of my friends and no extra place to store it because I'm not in contact with family or able to afford storage units or whatnot, and a desperate desire to spend all possible moments with Billy, who previously lived a couple of hours away and was only able to come down most weekends which made me miss him massively the instant he wasn't within sniffin' distance.... My place is kind of a wreck. Yesterday I got to work from home which was great because it means it was kind of the first day all month that I've actually spent a substantial amount of time at my house. After I was done diligently actually doing the work that work prescribed [NOW WITH KUNG FU RESPONSIBILITY ACTION!!!] I built two pieces of furniture that were previously housed in IKEA boxes! [Man, I had not been to IKEA before last year and HOLY CRAP WHERE THE FRICK DO I GO WHEN I'M IN THERE?!?!? Seriously! It's like you get lost in some kind of crazy hypnotic maze and by the time you leave you've got a tummy full of taters, a cake pan shaped like a horse, and seem to have misplaced all the funds in your wallet!!! EVERY FRIGGIN' TIME!!!] So... Y'know.... More progress. My place is shaping up nicely with the few moments that I actually get to spend here and set shit up and whatnot. Once it's officially all together, I plan on hosting a Tuesday night art... Fight? YES. It rhymes. But every Tuesday night, my pals and I are going to be here makin' art and probably food. Also, I've decided JUST NOW that I need to start drawing Batman once a week in addition to whatever it is that I end up doing on Tuesday night arts which will include bookbinding and printmaking very soon because I'm suuuuuuuuuuper in the mood to do those things. HERE'S A BATMAN.

I LITERALLY just drew this. Kind of was inspired by saying I wanted to draw some Batmans. Obviously this is an in-progress kind of deal but it'll have to do for now since I've got to leave soon to hang out with my sisters and FINALLY meet my niece! Juliette was born in December some time but between everyone assuming that someone else had told me, me crashing my car, getting attacked by a whale shower caddy, and working a whole bunches... I haven't gotten to drive down to Delaware to see her yet. I'm kind of interested to see how this goes down since my two sisters and I are not on good terms with one another and we're all varying degrees of batshit crazy. Eh, whatever. At the end of it Billy and I are going to go see Paul, so hopefully that'll make up for any poopie parts they've got in store. SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm a big kid now!

Holy crap, I got a big girl job doing stuff that I totally dig doing! I've got to admit, after the debacle with Nijah directly after Panera I was a bit skeptical that work was really working out for me. I considered becoming an old-timey railroad robber or spaceship instructor or parasite wrangler but those positions all seemed not to currently be available. I'm sure you can imagine my surprise when this new job not only turned out to be with a totally swanky company [ for those interested], but also doing something awesome! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you are now reading the blog of someone who is, quite unexpectedly, an art director. Awesome.

You know what else is awesome? CHRISTMAS. My family raised me Jewish, and did a pretty crappy job of it. If we decided to celebrate anything, it was by buying a pack of Matzos during Passover and eating it alongside our toast and possibly remembering to light a candle at least one of the nights of Channukkah while possibly being given gelt or nothing or a coat and continuing to ignore each other. Now, I am very proud of my roots despite not identifying with the religion or the people at all but goddamn does being a Jew suck.
This holiday season I elected to spend time with Billy and his family and celebrate Chrismas for the first really real time in my life. I was so excited! I couldn't sleep at all Christmas Eve and am STILL just going around and shouting CHRISTMAS!!! from time to time. Billy's family is fun to be with, and they provided me with enough trail mix and clementines to cause me to develop a very serious trail-mix-and-clementines dependency. That stuff's friggin' tasty.
By the way, the second best gift I was given is a heart necklace with a triquerta carved into it. The best gift was two weeks straight of Billy. <3

Also, my friends and I participated in a pollyanna for each other and in true "I'm a brokeass" style, I drew the gift for my polly.

Yes, this is why I was practicing reflective lighting on crazy child-faces.