Hey there folks!   Sorry about the delay:  exams, midterm projects, and my mother (she’s much nicer than the first two) all came to visit this week , and Open Call for Art Bash is this weekend.  Anyway, on with the images, but don’t worry- ranting will follow soon:

why do I keep having the sneaking suspicion one of my sculptures is going to end up on Regresty eventually?

First up: after hours of sewing, painting, and getting weird stares from security guards, my piece for Art Bash is finished.  I’m happy with the smaller dolls, but to be  honest the big guy didn’t turn out the way I had hoped; I’m used to working with figures that are six to 12 inches tall, so trying to scale that  up to life size was  challenge, especially since it required using some materials I’m not as experienced in.  Whining aside, I think I learned a lot building this piece, glad that I finished it, and excited to try working with multiple figures as part of one piece in the near future.  Now, pose him with more props, take some decent pictures , print them out with instructions and diagrams plus an actual doll or two, and drop it all off for Open Call Saturday morning; if anyone has some sort of portable time-travel device I could borrow for the next two nights, I’d appreciate it greatly.

In other news, these last few weeks have included lots and lots of comic related goodness.  I attended some very lovely events:

There were folks in various levels of costume (including a woman dressed in an evening gown and a dalek costume at once at the Zine fest after-party), free things, some awesome panels and workshops on everything from the new Thor game  to letterpress to self publishing and making a living as a cartoonist/ independent artist (helpful things: smash the jade bracelets to defeat ice monsters, don’t get your fingers stuck in the giant scary cylinder, don’t print more copies then you need even if price per book goes down, and get used to sitting alone drawing and talking to your cat for 11 hours a day)- and of course, comics.

There was a lot of great things happening at all three events, but overall I think I enjoyed cartoonist panels and lectures the most; not only were they super informative and interesting, the speakers and the interactions between them were hilarious : Aaron Renier flat-out fangirling over Chris Ware, Onsmith’s glare of doom, Jeffrey Brown’s tales of youthful zoo-keepery and more, Liz Prince’s  fictitious description the children in Asian sweatshops forced to redraw her comic, etc., and much more.

Speaking of Jeffrey…


Why , yes, I do moonlight as a rabid fangirl-thank you for asking.

The panels provided lots useful know how on the practice, inspiration (hint: stop looking for it and do the work, punk), influences, and business practices behind the work.  The most common advice given at the panels? “Stay away from the computer”.

*looks down at tablet*

Well, I’m doomed.

Amongst all the actually relevant information, I did have a small, most likely obviously  pretentious revelation:

gooble gobble one of us(click to embiggen- and yes, I’m going to continue to pretend that is a real word)

I’ll check back with you in 22 years or so to see how the plan goes.

Going to these events made me very aware of how huge and creative Chicago’s comics community is- SAIC included-as well as how distant I really am from it.  I mean, I follow a number of cartoonists, including some Chicago natives and immigrants, and I’ve been making my own little proto-comics more and more frequently , but since I haven’t  really connected with many comics fans/creators here  ( I love you, otaku buddies, but we both know I’m not becoming a mangaka any time soon), and or gotten my work ‘out there’ yet (even if ‘out there’ means trading minis with other cartoonists-in training), I feel a bit isolated…

quite your belly-aching and get back to work, fish-girl

That said, with work,  and hopefully finally getting to take some comics courses this Fall, things should get better.  Feeling so distant from those whose work you admire, whether they are pros or fellow students is frustrating, but I’ve been in this situation before- and ended up making some awesome friends and collaborators (hey there, Senior project folks!)   Seeing all the comics at the zine fest made me think about working on getting what I’m working on ‘out there’, so rather than making a single full-color comic for Totem, I’m making it in black and white with a full color cover- that way, I can make copies to share and trade with folks more easily,with luck sell a few copies over at Quimby’s.  On the flip side though, that requires redoing and restructuring a significant portion of the artwork- thankfully it is a labor of love. Here is the line work for the cover as well as the new version of the first two interior pages, without text (the main comic itself is more traditionally panel-based; makes sense in context):

Also,  here are a few of the color panels I made before I made the decision to make the comic a black and white zine- I’m going to be including them in my project presentation as a small color single-page folded mini:

I’m going to be presenting it (for the purposes of class) in a small handmade fabric book/ binder, with miniature versions of each the animals from the trials- I’ll post photos once I finish putting it all together/ am not so lazy that I don’t want to go from the studio to my dorm room to get the camera.  I’m also going to be bringing my Mama and Papa sculptures from senior project, just because I use them in the story, so bringing them for folks to look at might help people understand the narrative a little more- I would redo them for this project, since they are from over a year ago, back before I realized that hot glue was not the best way to put things together, but they have a lot of sentimental value to me, so the thought of ripping them apart to replace the fabric/ make new versions at the same scale/ with the same materials make me a little heart-breaky.

Fuzz knows what he’s talking about, folks

In other comics news, I’m working on a new, just for fun comic project with my friend, amazing illustrator-in-training, and frequent comics collaborator from back home Clarissa , whose website I would post here if she had one… *cough* seriously, get one so I can internet stalk you *cough*.  It is a sort of exquisite corpse comic in that we’ve been taking turns drawing and illustrating a few panels each at a time, without any set storyline or planned out characters. So far it seems to be about  Joey, an angsty, 20-something wolfman with permastubble but the inability to grow a decent beard, Fuzz, his gregarious, green-skinned bro, and their respective romantic interests of varying levels of humanity/ reason.   We’ll see what this turns into.

As you can tell by the scary frog-man, comics are serious business folks.  Thankfully, I’ve got some good resources available: the ability to internet-stalk read the posts of younger versions of cartoonists I admire helps alot (Lucy Knisley, thank you for keeping up your live journal since you were a proto-cartoonist too; it gives us wannabes some much-needed hope), as do anti-soul crushing songs,  recommended  a while ago on the blog of yet another Chicago-based cartoonist (one-track mind? what are you talking about?):

Alright- back to the mines folks.  ‘Til then, here’s an link that was shared with me by my  friend/ SAIC alum/ Hillel lady (because I can’t remember that actual postion title) Erin- it is filled with much wisdom: 

Here’s to long-term goals, folks!