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

Fanime, here I come!

This will be my first show in California--in my old hometown!  Fanime sounds like a really interesting convention--very art oriented, and very strict rules.  I'm looking forward to it, hopefully everything will go smoothly since the folks in charge seem to be working very hard on that!

Here's my debut print for this show...

 This was a commission from a very awesome Irish customer, and I'm glad she liked how it turned out as much as I did. 

This show is four days plus two days on the road (driving there and back) so I'm looking forward to a very busy, unproductive week...that should be a whole lot of fun!

Looking forward to seeing lots of cool geeks there!  Say hi if you see me!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fresh from Seattle

Hey, I'm freshly back from Sakuracon and while it was a blast, I'm very happy not to have to travel until the very end of May, for Fanime in San Jose, CA.

Every evening after selling art on the exhibitor hall floor, Jen of Beak Speak and I would return to our hotel room, change into pajamas, and sketch while we watched the hell outta some Downton Abbey.  I highly reccomend it to any costume drama fans! 

I was trying out some new soft lead from Kinokuniya and ended up with a series of three very nice drawings produced during these wind-down sessions.  Check them out!

I'll post colored version when I finish them.  They will be made available in 8x12 matte photo (or maybe 8.5x11 giclee on watercolor paper?) prints when I'm finished.  Any pre-orders?  What else would you like to see elves do in the forest?

Photoshop is Failing me!

Any clues why photoshop CS4 might be crashing every few times I try to save?  My computer has plenty of RAM (seriously) and I do shut her down every three days or so...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Off to See the Wizard...

Well, I'm off to Emerald City Comic Con anyway!

This will be my first year at this bad ass convention, and I'm sharing a spot with my dear buddy Jen, whose work you can find here, Seattle is an awesome city and I'm thrilled to be returning.  In fact, I'll be there twice in April as well!  Keep watching for updates on my schedule.

Anyway, I'm debuting a new series--and a new style--at this show.  Check out the very first poster in my Gorgonist Classical series!

  Clean, digitally inked and full of crazy contrasts.  Recently reread Hamlet with a student friend and enjoyed it all over again.  Could Hamlet be any whinier?  I read a criticism by someone who had a tract about the politics in Hamlet and the play's constant but underrated allusions to the Trojan Horse.  That critic thought Hamlet was crazy like a fox--or a self-actualizing politician anyway.  I'm not so sure that I buy Hamlet as actually politically-minded.  After all, in the end he and Claudius both manage to exit stage DEAD, leaving their country for the invaders to don't-mind-if-I-do.

Anyway I enjoyed this piece, and intend to do a LOT more--no classic lit is safe from me and my cartooning!  You can buy this print and all future ones here.

See you at Emerald City Comic Con!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Playing around with a slightly tighter focus on characters. I tend to do everything as a wide shot, trying to fit everyone on a page, as opposed to playing with a more close-up shot. Next time I'll try a more extreme angle! When I'm thinking in terms of storyboards I do that naturally, when I'm just sketching, I have to fight my instincts a bit. Also testing some comic-inspired chops. I love the idea of using colored half-tones to do some shading with more pop than just black dots. And I'm really exploring limited color palettes these days.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

First Post

Happy 2011.

I'm hard at work in my studio right now. No shows planned, but I'm finishing up two sketchbooks that I'll be selling in my shop here and at future shows. More details later, but they focus on character sketches and are pretty hot. Even better, I think they're inspiring a sexy comic!

Also, I've been hard at work on a book dummy that ties together my kid-friendly Bad Day monsters.

  The story is set to a song, sort of days-of-the-week, colors-of-the-rainbow lyrics. I'm hoping to have the staff notation for the music along the bottom of the pages as well as the whole song in the back, and to link to a nice recording of this thing online. Too crazy? Maybe I can entice my talented musician siblings into helping me record this monstrosity...

And here's what's on the slab right now...

There's my palette in the corner!  This piece has come a long away already, check back to see the next few steps.  I'm excited about this one, though.  Always need more steampunk drawings. They're fun, great practice for coloring, and look nice in the ol' portfolio. You can check that out here.