Thursday, June 28, 2012

On Leaving.

It was moving day.

I wanted to write a song, but I don't write songs- I make comics.
So I did that instead


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Moving Day, Bridges, An Owl-Tree And Sci-Gee

Hi again!

I've been moving slowly and steadily through my commissioned work, and I thought it would be a good time to show you guys the progress I've made! Above is a commission for Katie Shanahan, for her little sister of her OC Sci-Gee. Sci-Gee is a pale, fledgling pirate queen with vampiric tendencies and a mad 'tude.

I had a ton of fun working on this one. I took a bike ride to the beach this morning and came back with the color palette. Then basically churned this out over the course of the day while repeat-1ing this and this interchangeably. I thought it would be fun to include some process sketches, too- for good measure :)

I've felt pretty burned out these last few weeks, and it's really life-saving to have some time to myself to reconnect with God, art and my family...and some fun commissions to chew on. Thanks, internet supporters!

Anybody else out there want to pay me to do more of this stuff? It's fun!

It's also a good opportunity to sneak up on my age-old art weaknesses: ladies and architecture. Perspective? pfff. Anatomy? Ha! I'm a cowboy! I do what I want!
I've spent some time the last week biking the Cape Cod Canal, down towards the Bourne Bridge and sketching. Below are just a few little watercolors from my trips.

Then again below is another commission for Hannah Krieger based on her piece Owl Tree
Which is basically a very autumn piece. It's basically how Peter Gabriel makes me feel. I love him.
Playing around with combining watercolor and digital- never did find a way of doing that where I was totally pleased with the results- but this piece cried out for texture. It was a fight the whole way- but it made me curious about trying more in the future.

If you like what you see, and would like to hire me to do commissioned work for you, then please please let me know! Email me at

In other my-life news, this week has been both elating and tough. I finally made the move back to my parents' place- and moving all my stuff this weekend was both a logistical headache and a heartache. Leaving always is. We also said goodbye to Mocha, our dog of 16 years. So the gloominess continues. But it is not without blessings, and God is not without mercies. Lamentations 3: 19-33 grabbed me by the gut yesterday. A good reminder that no matter how many the tragedies or how deep the grief, there is always hope.

Thank you all for your support and comments :) You guys are the best readers ever.
I'll keep arting if you keep reading, deal?

Much love,


Monday, June 18, 2012

Five Places and ICON7

I just got back home from the ICON7 conference.

It was an amazing time- I left feeling humbled, inspired, and reinvigorated about art in general. 

It's easy as an artist and a professional to forget why we're doing this in the first place- to get lost in the woods. Being at ICON helped me realize a lot of what I'd been neglecting or forgetting. Working as a professional artist on a big project can be fun and can be immensely satisfying- it's wonderful to solve visual problems and collaborate with other talented colleagues- but it can also be draining.
The one thing that matters, to me, the most about making art is the one thing that is least valued at a large studio- personal meaning.
Why make art if it's not meaningful? Human? Honest? True?
Somehow it's easy to lose sight of that very important thing- "make art that means something to you".

There were so many highlights- Lynda Barry (a singularly amazing lady) talked about how making art and taking it in is as much a need as any other human urge. That we work out our own lives by watching other people work theirs out through art. "Don't be too cool, you're all gonna die".
Starlee Kine talked about breakups and Phil Collins, and how important it is to tell the story you're living. John Cuneo, Marcellus Hall, and Jillian Tamaki walked through their sketchbooks and talked about sketching to make mistakes and find release (I haven't stopped sketching since!), and Esther Pearl Watson talked about her grandfather and living in the in-between.

I kept hearing this piece of advice from other artists at the conference that I've even given out myself-

"Make the art you want to make. Make the art you NEED to make. Fill your portfolio with up with it. Then you'll find that people will pay you to do what you love."

And other iterations- "Loosen up, stop pressuring yourself trying to guess what it is that people want to see. Make the art you love to make"

It takes a leap of faith, doing that. Trying that. And leaps of faith are the scariest, and they'd never be worth it except for the "joy set before [us]". If this all sounds a little like I'm rehashing a sermon as much as portfolio advice, then maybe something is going terrifically right.

I made some new friends and saw some amazing art. I feel like I'm still spinning with all of it. Thank you, ICON.


All in all, this has been a truly bittersweet time.
Sometimes you can't wait to get up and start drawing- sometimes it's difficult to even get out of bed and face the day.
I just got back from Michigan last weekend, visiting with my family after the passing of my grandpa. I really have yet to process fully through all that it means. That (among other things) has been chasing me around my own heart and I think it's time I let it catch up. Drawing helps.
He was the artist two generations before me, who kept on painting despite his disability. I think he would want me to do the same- keep working, despite the what life throws your way. Make good art.
Starlee Kine spoke about that- telling the stories that are in your heart to tell, however painful. Especially when they're painful. I hope you'll all bear with me. There's lots to tell.

To that end. Neil Gaiman had some really encouraging words to say at the end of this

 Despite it all- loss of job, love, and family- the big questions and the looming doubts, insecurities, longings and sundry- summer is here.
And there's something about that feeling- something in the sun and the wind and the speed and the freedom of it all that can't be suppressed. We are still blessed- richly and lovingly. Hallelujah anyways.



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Commissions! Round 1

Hey guys!

I've been plugging away on commissioned work this week- trying to finish as much of the work that Deviantart so generously bestowed upon me as I can! I am so blessed to have such a supportive community of internet-fans...I'm really having fun doing these commissions, and they're really helping me pay the bills. So thanks, guys!

This one's for Kayla, and she gave me a nice open-ended prompt. All she had to be was blonde-haired, blue-eyed, and be able to manipulate shadows. So I ran with it! I'm trying to take every prompt and complete it in such a way that it fills the request as well as my desire to be doing more work in this style and tone for my portfolio. Win win!

Stylistically (no lines! textured edges!) this is all new to me, but it pulls from a lot of what I was learning at 38 towards the end. It's a LOT of fun to do. I hope you guys like it, because I'm going to be messing with it a little more as I go forward.

Below is a process shot- with this piece, I had a very different lady designed yesterday and woke up today with the sense that it just wasn't working/the sort of thing I wanted to draw. So I did the rightmost doodle and immediately liked it better. Go figure.

These two headshots were for Immi and Jamie, respectively. They were done in exchange for buying me a Deviantart subscription. Thanks, guys!

Lots to write, draw, and process. I'll be back soon. That's all for now!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This Actually Just Happened

I made a little slice-of-life comic! I liked making it!
grrr, blogger won't let me post these at a legible size...
full-size image pages are here:

It's a business, let's all treat it like one!

Names and emails have been altered slightly for brevity and effect.
But you'd be surprised how much is verbatim.