Thursday, December 1, 2011

5 Excuses That Don't Excuse- NaNoWriMo

With the end of November comes the end of NaNoWriMo. I did not reach my goal of 29 pages, though I only have 6 pages left, and I'm pretty impressed with myself.

A list of things that kept me from Winning NaNoWriMo.   Reason's I found to Procrastinate.

1. Weekends.

2. Having Friends.

3. Making Christmas Presents.

4. Thanksgiving holiday spent in Florida with my boyfriend's family.

5. The Cover for Smile and Greet the Customer- a glorious Christmas Present from Matter Deep in the form of a short story that you can download for free HERE.

Overall it was a very interesting exercise is see just how much real life gets in the way of work, and an fascinating study in how a goal can change everything.  I found myself thinking and planning my next steps when I was doing other things which let my work time really be work time. I wasn't allowed to dwell on details and I think my book will be more cohesive and wonderful because of it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Offbeat Alphabet!

My friends over at Electric Keychain and I got together and made the alphabet! This is my Letter C!

Everyone had 3 to 4 letters that had been randomly generated, we had our first guest artist which allowed us to do the whole alpabet at once, and everyone picked such wonderful words! Here's just a sample to get you hooked. (The first taste is free... Actually all of it is free.)
Arielle Katarina's style never fails to inspire! And I thoroughly approve of her word choice!

Tatiana Dengo is from Costa Rica and did delightful Spanish words!

Jessie's Letters tell a darkly amusing story. This leopard is just the beginning.

I was glad to get S because whenever given the slightest excuse, I'm going to try to do an illustration of Spock. I love the iconic eyebrows, awful haircut, and the frankly ridiculous number of times he utters "Logical."

I think he likes his Sensors a little too much. 
"You're the only one who understands me Scanner. Don't ever leave."

Go over to Electric Keychain to see the rest. While you're over there, check out our Halloween Self Portraits as well.

Arielle's Site.
Tatiana's Awesome Blog
Jessie's Girl Site.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NaNoWriMo- MidMonth Update!

Old Mother Goose, when she wanted to wander, 
Would ride through the air on a very fine gander.


 So this is my midmonth NaNoWriMo update. As previously discussed, writing a book is not an option for me (unless it's a good thing to chase your son through the snow with an ax), therefore I decided to tackle a 32 page children's book (30 pages of which had illustrations). My idea was that these illustrations were just like the rough drafts that my writer friends are completing. As long as the basic illustration was done, I wasn't going to worry about nitty-gritty things like specific colors (especially because colors are so easy to change in Illustrator). Most of my illustrations started like this:

Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her dog a bone
(and that dog is one crazy MoFo.)

 A few of the details are missing- there should be a cat and possibly a newspaper floating somewhere around her feet- the colors are ridiculously bad (Why is the wall orange? Orange walls are silly.), and the water's not even close to done, but at least I know where everything goes. And I got so into the one with the rodents, it's almost done (Why do I love the little furry critters so much?)

Three Blind Mice-
Mice and jetpacks, what's not to love?

The problem is I can't keep up the pace and sometimes getting them to this level takes too long and too much energy. Also, it's incredibly hard to design spaceships and half of my designs have spaceships. It's day 15 and I have only 10 pages done. I've had to reevaluate the level that is acceptable to me as "first draft." So I'm going to mock up the book in "sketch" form. I say sketch skeptically because my sketches are truly awful Frankensteinian monsters of awkward drawings and photo reference.  For example the two pages I did yesterday:

Little Bo Peep- Silly sheep, what are you doing in space?
You should be flying the spaceship.

I feel like I just showed you my underpants (please don't judge me).

Obviously a lot happens after this stage when I move into illustrator.

My hope is if I can knock out all the compositions, I can start getting into Illustrator and maybe have a few more in the beginning stages of getting colored in.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sunshine's Night Out! Monster Post!

My book is now available on Amazon!

Sunshine was the best hamster I ever had. My brother and I adopted her when I was a freshman in college. He graduated and I kept her. She went on a dozen road trips with me and kept me company though all night projects, bad roommates, and breakups. I always imagined that she was a proper lady, polite and quiet, who gave great advice-if only I could understand what she was saying.

Her journey is based on a true story. She got out one night when I accidentally left the cage door open. I looked under and around every piece of furniture in my house the following day. I can only assume that she was curled up somewhere safe and warm. Amazingly, she went home when I left the cage open on the floor the next night. She looked roughed up and a bit grateful when I closed the cage door behind her. I stuck my finger  between the bars and waggled it at her. Sunshine, who was normally skittish when it came to giant hands, actually walked right up to me and licked it. I chose to interpret this as love.
Plushie's handmade by me and for sale at Etsy!

Reviews of my book!

 Plushies are available on Etsy!

Don't feel like paying? Learn all about out giveaway below the cut.

Monday, October 31, 2011


My brother and sister-in-law are two outstanding writers who are participating in Nation Novel Writing Month in which you write a novel during the month of November. (Why they chose a 30 day month to host it, I've no idea. Seems like most people would want that extra day.) Because there is the constant, gnawing craving to be included in all things, I've decided to join in their frantic month of writing. But because if I wrote 50,000 words in 30 days it would look like this:

 I'm going to participate in a different way.

For an illustrator, the level of achievement and gratuitous back patting that's equivalent to a novel would be a children's book. Because my writer siblings are going to be busy with their own November Madness, and we've already discussed how terribly it could end if I tried writing anything myself, I compiled a list of my favorite Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes (Someday I will learn how to spell rhyme without spellcheck) and will be completing a 32 page, fully illustrated, awesomely retro, book called Mothership Goose. There are plans for spaceships and rockets and bubble helmets. It's going to be awesome.

For those of you who can Math, may have noticed that my goal is over a page a day, without including the cover. Start the panic.

Just so you know, this is where I'm now:

I've chosen my poems, and taped them into some semblance of order for the book, and thumbnails are next.

Yay NaNaWirMo! It's going to be awesome.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Real Life? What's that?

So here I am trying as hard as is humanly possible to not think about graduation (which is the natural state of any college senior), except that it's the only thing I'm allowed to think about. SCAD does its best to prepare us for the reality of our professions, and I think they do a good deal for denial as well.

We started with our personal branding which is harder than it has any right to be. Logos for other people are a snap. My personal branding took weeks of wishy-washy decision making, bad designs, and a disproportional amount of rage at inanimate objects and people that didn't deserve to be the target (my computer, Adobe Illustrator, my mother who was only trying to help, and sometimes the universe). In the end it was worth the frustration to make something that I makes me happy and appropriately represents my work and artistic voice.

Up next is putting together a physical portfolio. Lots of people in my class have purchased Pina Zangaro portfolios. They're sort of like the sports car of Portfolio Land. They're sleek, beautiful, expensive, and everyone wants one even when you're really more of a affordable hatchback kind of person. I'm not so sure they're the way I need to go. There's not a lot out there in the way of professional artist presentations - most options are cheesy or unwieldy. Unfortunately the only other option is to make or customize something. The problem with that is knowing exactly what you need when it's much easy knowing what you don't need. We shall see.