Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Convention Season!

What a crazy April this has been.  Last week was bookended by huge conventions-Emerald City Comic Con one weekend and Sakura Con the next!  They were fantastic experiences and resulted in some new opportunities I'll post about when I'm allowed ^.~  Oh, and I spent enough money to pay my bills for two months on copic markers.  As one does when they are on sale.  Thought I was over my addiction--turns out I traded in my cute Japanese vinyl toy addiction for alcohol-based Japanese markers.  Whee!

Here's a little piece I copic-ed.  Working on adding entire Middle Grade and YA sections to my portfolio and playing with all kinds of new styles.

Those two weekends definitely made up for how sequestered I've been in my office.  I met so many cool people--new fans, great artists, charming customers, and impressive costumes.  More on costumes later, since Sakura con resulted in two fantastic costume-related moments.  Those stories deserve their own posts.  I also was able to meet Stasia Burrington, whose delicate and twisted artwork can be seen and purchased here, .

I felt like I lived at the Washinton Convention Center, which is luckily a rather nice building in downtown Seattle.  And I ate an awful lot of delicious crepes from the little creperie right in front.  Highly recommend the fresh lemon crepe, it saved my life twice!  And New Saigon restaurant fed me a LOT of pho, which is pretty much what got me through the weeks.

Anyway, I'm late in posting this, but check out my spiffy new children's book illustration site:, built by Pete from  He's especially adept at building sites for artists and designers, and was able to work with my sketches and blathering to form what I think is a very streamlined and easily readable web experience.  Thanks, man!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A million years later

Apologies all for the long wait!  I'd like to say that the holidays kicked my butt, but I haven't been seen on here since September and usually Halloween doesn't count as part of the whole Christmas/Hannukah/etc winter cycle...

So let us have a retrospective of the last few months.  Since Jet City I had some good and weird convention experiences.  Steamcon III in Bellevue, WA was a lovely time!  The hotel was beautiful and the people-watching was inspiring.  Some fantastic customers I met there even gave me good ideas!  I used that event to show off some new pieces I'd done in my fantasy illustration style.

Chief among them, this cloudscape-with-airship-rest-haven, which I call Pontoonia Skybase.

  And also this new coloring of an older drawing that has been re-fitted from an abandoned project (nice how things can work out)

So, I tend to watch movies while I paint and color--I have to focus on the page when I draw, but when I lay in color and polish details, I need some distraction to keep from losing myself in carpal-tunnel land.  So when I see these two pieces John Carpenter's original 'The Thing' and both 'Poltergeist' sequels come to mind, despite the fact they're both quite full of story in their own right.  Next time you see me at a show, you can ask me what I was watching while I painted a piece, and watch me get very embarrassed ha ha ha.

My next big show was Portland's own Orycon, which was a great experience despite being very quiet for what I've come to expect from a 3-day show.  Very different crowd from comic book or anime shows, and it seems to me that the very fashion-and-participation-oriented steampunk culture does a better job of getting nerds to dress nicely and socialize, but there are some literary connections that Orycon has which make it unique!  I met some interesting people--including some fabulous local and semi-local authors--at the show, and a big shout-out goes to Damsel in this Dress, our con neighbor who did some generous trades with us, art for clothes!  How delightful.

To finish off the year, I did two smaller Portland shows, Geek the Halls at Trillium Charter school and the Stumptown Emporium in my own Mt Tabor neighborhood.  They were both great fun and rousing successes! I had a chance to show off this piece, which was commissioned from me in October:

This piece was commissioned by a fine fellow with his own blog, who has been giving me some nice press, so I'll return the favor and link you to him!  Or link you to his post about me.  Oh, internet, what a great engine for self-reference. 

Next time I'll talk about art for an artist in need, and identity crisis on the internet!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jet City

If I were a bit more on top of my shit, I'd post about a show BEFORE it happens, and then again afterward.  Which I will do for the next two I swear!  But for now, I want to give a shout-out to everyone who came by my table at Jet City comic show, which was a great little event in Seattle this last weekend.  

I debuted this piece:

Which was commissioned the week before and was super fun to create.  Like my Firefly piece, it was a trip to make my storybook style characters recognizable as real human people without being too creepy-caricature like, and I think I succeeded.  I think one of these days I'll indulge in some discussion of my different styles and where I think they are going, but that wouldn't be talking about Jet City!

I got to know mliev of 'The Locked Maze' fame, and Kari of 'Toilet Genie' better, and we had a very passionate conversation afterwards about the life of an artist and personality types and suffering that definitely wrung tears and laughter out of the group.  Also the grungy table at the bar wore the skin off my elbows so it hurts whenever I bend my arms now, but it was worth it.

Also, my work in the commissions department has exploded recently!  Aside from the Dr Who piece posted here and a family portrait for a dashing Canadian, I'm doing a great original X-men team poster (with Jean as Phoenix and blue furry Beast because we decided those are more iconic incarnations for those characters) and a huge Devil May Cry poster, a fierce blog mascot girl and a design for a temporary tattoo!  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Crazy Summer

Okay, so this has been an insane summer.  Its been dominated with working on my first middle grade novel, Spartacus and the Circus of Shadows by Molly E Johnson, for Raintown press!  That's been awesome, and here's a sneak peek at the black and white interior pieces I did on a corset-tight deadline:

Also if you check my children's book blog, here, you can find out about why I fell off the map in August (hint, my car broke down in Nebraska.)  But while I was dealing with disaster upon disaster, I received news from San Diego Comic Con-- Jennifer Landa wore a Death Star dress based on this print.

Here she is, and she was interviewed on the official Star Wars blog, here!

That means I've had a print on the official Dr Who flikr and the official Star Wars blog.  That thrills my geeky little heart.  Thanks everyone!

That's some serious flattery, though of course she was not the first to create a costume based on my Fancy Dress series.  Here's a call out to the ladies who dressed as the Mario Monster girls, you're super awesome!

So of course this means I have to make one of the outfits, too.  I look like the Dalek Girl, so that would rock. But maybe I should go all out and make the Lady Vader costume?

What do we think?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Back from outer space

My last two shows were Fanime in San Jose, CA and Faerieworlds in Eugene, OR--weirdly enough, these are two out of three of the towns I spent my formative years.  The third is my next stop this summer, Peirogifest in Whiting, Indiana.  A nostalgic summer!

Thanks to everyone who made those last shows a success, it was awesome to meet new people and get inspired by amazing costumes.

Man, I have been sick pretty much nonstop since Fanime, sorry for dropping off the map.  Worked a bit too hard and went home straight to work.

Speaking of which, things are going great with the book!  When they give me an official press release I'll say much more about it, but I'm currently working on the cover and it is shaping up to be awesome.

Take a look at what I've been working on in the meantime!

To my classic poster series (joining Hamlet, Midsummer Night's Dream, and Wizard of Oz) I have added one of my dearest childhood friends, Peter Pan.

I've been hankering to do a new Peter Pan piece ever since the image I created as part of my 'Long Lost Friends' triptych.  After all, I started my career with a Peter Pan pic in my portfolio which I still bring to shows, though I'm liable to retire it when I replace it with another re-do, simply because I think it doesn't actually represent my current work as well as it did when it debuted.

In fact, here are the two images in question: the 'Long Lost Friends' and the original piece that got me started.

The new poster has elements of this, even the color palette is similar.  Its meant to be iconic, containing stylized symbols from the book.

This is one way more literal, and I think the colors have the right feel for the scene but it is pretty straightforward and doesn't really have much of my own interpretation.

Actually what bothers me the most is that it owes too much to the Disney movie rather than the book, which I'm really fond of.

So, there's a nice progression!  You can also see many common threads.  Sometimes I look at my work (specifically things like this, which reference beloved classics) and I am worried that I'm not pushing the concept as far as i can, and that may not serve me well in my portfolio.  However, what is going on here is that I am trying to keep my market in mind: trying to keep the spirit of the original work intact as well as using familiar motifs to appeal to people who like my work, like the original classic, and want something that expresses that book or play in terms that they can connect with, as opposed to looking at me playing for other artists.

Is this a give-and-take that other people are dealing with?  Anyone want to sound off a bit?  Before you do I'd like to add that I really won't do a piece unless I am satisfied with it and feel that it has integrity so even if it is a balancing act, I am still happy with what I produce.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fanime = San Jose Love

Hey to anyone who met me at Fanime in San Jose, California!  Thanks for making me feel so welcome.  I'm enjoying the beautiful downtown as well as the big crazy convention--everyone is super nice and really enthused.  I'm inspired--I wanna go home and draw!

I don't really have any new art to show you since I'm working all day at the convention, but here's a token of my appreciation:

A little tie-fighter girl I drew for a lucky etsy customer a while back!

Also, here are some pictures from the convention and San Jose!

By the way, I was born in this city, and the whole seven years I lived here it never rained  A terrible drought, really.  Today I was caught in a downpour while walking back to my hotel!   So surreal.


~The Gorgonist

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dr Who official Tumblr!

This homage piece I did was picked up on the official Dr Who Tumblr and is aaaaall over the internet! How thrilling, since I love the work they do.  So many blogs have linked to it. I'm really thrilled.  I hope some of those folks look me up and say hi!

See the posting here:

Oh, and if you like it, you juuust might want to click here, too <3