Friday, December 29, 2006


This is a test using my performencing editor to write my blog. So far, what i don't like is the erasing feature. If you misspell, it's annoying to correct it. But i'll give it a try  for a bit.

powered by performancing firefox

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Busy but happy

I've noticed over they past couple of years that I LIKE being busy. I can easily STAY busy once my semester is over, since I already have enough projects in mind to keep my time filled for at least a few months. The other problem I find is that I like interacting with people and working on my art in conjunction with other people working on their artwork.

The problems in my observations is that I have adopted the viewpoint of the home as a haven. This viewpoint evolved in America as it grew out of the rural, agrarian lifestyle and into a more industrial life. In the agrarian lifestyle, a person's home and a person's work coincided: the home was the central workplace, and often a family would work together. As men began leaving the home to go to work, the home began being viewed as a haven and a place for rest and relaxation, rather than work.

With the numerous books, movies, and games around my home--not to mention the internet in and of itself--the home is a place of fun and distraction. I also manage somehow in that space to forget everything I've been training for in illustration regarding using references and sources of inspiration and then I stare at the blank page and shake my head in frustration and aggrivation when I can't think of what to draw or why my drawing isn't turning out right.

I like it best when I'm in school and I can spend all day AT school, away from home and those distractions, and then go home at the end of the day, relax for a bit, perhaps get some more art done, relax some more and go to sleep. This bodes well for my work ethic, but unfortunately poorly for my future if I were ONLY persuing freelance illustration. I need to try to find a shared studio or something where I can get out of my home and get work done. But that also entails that I'm already making enough money to pay for renting studio space.

I am much happier now that I have started working with colored pencils, for many reasons. First, I can work fairly small--which I can't seem to break the habit of yet--and still achieve a level of detail that I am satisfied with. Second, I don't need to spend countless hours mixing paints in the hope that I might achieve the correct portions of the color that I mixed days before. Finally, I am able to take my colored pencil illustrations ANYWHERE and work on them. I have already taken up that habit in such a way that I have worked in airports, on a plane, outside, in classes, at family and friend's homes, etc, etc. Indeed, I have taken to carrying around all my colored pencil supplies and one illustration at all times just in case I get bored/find myself with nothing to do.

I'm kind of rambling here, writing my thoughts as they come. On a slightly unrelated topic, I think that in the years to come, webservers such as will become important to historians as documents in studying the way of life of people at the beginning of the 21st century. I feel that for the most part, blogging has replaced much of diaries as emails have replaced letterwriting. The 'archaic' means are still available, just less prevalent.

I have finished up a tedious yet fun illustration for my sister, which is also going to be used as the holiday card for the university. I saved a low-resolution copy and thought I posted it to the website, but now I think that the file may still have been too large to post, as it hasn't appeared... either that or i still had it saved as a TIFF. That is the more likely of the two, I think. I'll have to check when I get home.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Current Projects

I have already completed a few projects this semester and have many more current and upcoming projects. I've done a pen-and-ink illustration and 1.5 scratchboard illustrations. This was the first time I did scratchboard ever and I wasn't liking how the scratchboard was turning out on the first one. However, Eric says that I have to complete that scratchboard piece, because he liked it. I am currently working on a pencil fabric rendering and finalizing the layout for the illustration i'm creating for scott (which i need to be ready to start rendering on Oct 16th). I also have in limbo my mechanical nightengail for my website, if I can ever find time between all my projects to complete that. And next week, we're starting to work in colored pencil (my favorite!).

The colored pencil piece and the next 3 will be original compositions, and not photo reference renderings. (although some references may be used for various elements of the compositions). The only one I don't have a specific drawing/image planned out in my head is the colored pencil piece, but i'll think of something. I want to have fun with that one, since it will definitely turn into a portfolio piece. I think i'll try out colored pencil over digital coloring for that piece, just to see if I like it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Imagine That Gallery Show

The Gallery show is going well. I am at my third day of sitting in the gallery, 'guarding' the art work. Not the most exciting work, but it's a seat indoors and I can plug in my laptop and surf the net to my heart's desire. The only problem is that I don't really have much to surf right now. I'm up to date on the two webcomics I still read, and email inbox is pretty empty. I left my scratchboard peices at home (one is almost done, and the other eric is going to make me finish, even though i'm not fond of it at the moment). I actually did my graphic design homework when I was supposed to, so that's done for the moment, and I left my illustration board at home as well, so I can't start on my graphite project. I guess that just leaves mindless net surfing, working on my mechanical nightingale for my Nightengail website redesign, or working on the sketches for my upcoming materials and techniques projects, which will remain nameless to be a surprise for some. Now that I have my photo reference for scott's piece, I need to finalize the drawing, so I can still have a month or more for the rendering. (that is due on Dec 9th, Scott's b-day).

The pieces in the gallery look good, although we really did make use of every available inch of space to hang stuff. Dismantling and patching the gallery isn't going to be fun, but i'll put on music and make it fun.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

New fears...

New school year that is. I guess since I haven't posted since the birth of Isabella, I was a bit overdue for a post on my blog. Ah, well. After a summer of lots of family and drama, a whirlwind tour du' force of Kyoto and Tokyo and catching the flu, I have begun my last and final semester at CSUN. Theoretically. I only need two gen ed history classes to graduate (one being a 6:30 AM class, yay) and yet I'm enrolled in 3.3 art classes and am the charter president of the illustration club. 3.3 because I'm enrolled in an independant study in illustration worth only one credit. I think that the illustration classes will be a lot of fun, and the graphic design classes will be a LOT of work. Why do I do this to myself? If I don't burn out, it will be a very productive semester, to say the least. I'm nervous about the illustration club and getting enough activities/active members, and I'm nervous about the packaging design class, since it is THE hardest graphic design class offered at CSUN. I just want my last semester to be good for both myself and both of my portfolios. I hope that will be the case.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Baby Isabella

I am now a proud auntie! Baby Isabella Lillian was born on July 7th at 11:08 am, and she is a cutie with a full head of hair!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

bundle of joy....someday...soon.....very soon.....

I sit here and wait impatiently for the phone call letting me know that my sister's in labor and the baby will be born soon! Come on little Isabella! You want to come out into the world!

I have finished an illustration of a cool knight with a big nose, temporarily called "Knight in Armor" for lack of a cooler title. He's the second of the small colored pencil illustrations that I love working on, as it should be for an illustrator. Instead of saying "how long can I procrastinate?" I say, "Oh! I can work on this AND watch tv...or listen to music...or eat (as long as the food doesn't contain oils or messy red sauces)." The only thing I STILL haven't found how to do is read and work on art. And yes, I have heard of a thing called books on tape/cd. 3 inherent problems with them: 1) They are about 2-4+ times as much as a normal book, depending on whether you purchase paperbacks or hardbacks. 2) Not all the books I am interested in reading are considerate enough to provide themselves with the oh-so-convenient book on tape. 3) The library, where I can check them out for free, has an incredibly poor collection of sci-fi/fantasy books and I always forget to return them and end up with $10.00 late fees (granted that was for 5 books...)

I must go now and begin my new (and finish some...many...unfinished illustration projects I have currently) Where's that magical wand to go bibbity-bobbity-bo! so they're all done?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Annual Juried Student Art Show

I got two entries into the student art show at CSUN, which I'm happy about! It opens next Friday. I'm excited, but not nearly as hyper as I was last year when I got in the show for the first time.

I got the vegetable houses (all three as one set) that can be seen in the Gail's art link to the right, and I also got my baby shower invitation for connie in the show.

I really enjoyed working on the baby shower invitation, which was done in colored pencil. It was a pretty small piece that was fast to do compared to my normally massively detailed peices. I would like to do more pieces in this style so I have a marketable style that I can start submitting to children's magazines while still leaving myself with time to work on personal pieces.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Yawn... Test at school

Since I have a class on Thursdays until 2:00 pm and then another class at 7:00 pm, one would think that the 5 hours between classes would be ample time to study for an exam for the latter class. One would think. Alas for me, 2 hours was enough to bore me silly. Granted, it's for Political Science, the one class that 99.99999% of Americans would avoid if they could (me included). What's worse, the teacher is great and actually makes this class INTERESTING! (but that doesn't make me want to read/study for the test any more) I made it through Chapter 1 and I made it through Chapter 2. But then I was done eating and overflowing with the free refills of tea. My smart idea: take a break and then return to Chapters 3 & 4. BAD IDEA. The break continues 2 hours later and 40 minutes before class. I've checked my email (none), i've updated myself on the one webcomic I follow regularly (megatokyo - two new posts) and I've updated myself on the new posts up on Dave Barry's Blog, resulting in me sitting in the hallway in front of class, typing away on my Mac (with wireless of course) writing this Barry-esque post on my blog (after noting that it's been 2 weeks since my last post. So I now just need to procrastinate for 37 more minutes before I can wish I had studied more for the test I don't care about. I know that's callous of me, but it's fact. I take this class because it's required of me, not because of self-interest. Self-interest was the 6-7 anthro classes I've taken in the past 5.5 years of college.

Ah well. On to more interesting things: the art!
The workbook: I've been doing the watercolor studies of the illustrations for the workbook, and find them acceptable, but not as volumetric as I would like. i've touched up one digitally and like it much better then the others. Need to finish scanning them and laying them out in the workbook, which I get to work on over the weekend.
Reinbear: I've gone through about 1/4 of my sketchbook and what seems like half of a pad of tracing paper and I MAY be able to transfer my first image to the illustration board and begin inking it next week! YAY! But at least I do have sketches in progress for some of the other panels as well. And i've started drawing Santa.
Apprenticeship: my explorations in Acrylic paint have been going well, and I'm very pleased with the portrait study i'm doing so far. A tentative project for the rest of the semester is painting a piece geared toward Spectrum.
Other personal projects: I need to get my act together and step up the pace on some of my projects so I can complete all that I wish to finish this semester, including chartering the Illustration Club.

i better pretend to study more.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Typography...or illustration?

During my typography crit yesterday I worked on this little sketch...about 3 inches big. I colored it digitally this morning. I could add more detailing, and get it so I don't need the original sketch at all, but this was just a quick sketching, something to relax and pass the time.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Illustrator of the Week: Jill Barklem

This week we look at mice...those cute, adorable balls of fluff with the big ol' ears and the looong whiskers. Ms. Barklem's world of Brambly Hedge is great! It is full of factual information about the land and environment she grew up with. And the mice are such characters! Her work is very reminicent of the Beatrix Potter illustrations, which I grew up loving. Best of all, the characters are NOT "perfectly drawn" a habit that I need to grow out of and just let the pencil flow, because they will never be perfectly drawn. The little wobbles and quirks make the illustrations that much more interesting. Characters like these are one of my goals for what i'm trying to achieve with the insect illustrations. (Also, characters like Laurel's black and white illustrations, which I spent all Monday drooling over!)

on a different note...time for laundry...sigh

Angry Moon

I don't know why he's angry, and there has never been a more cheerful looking angry face. it was fun to paint, and I enjoyed adding texture to the moon himself. I was very pleased with how the face came out. he looks petulant. and we mustn't forget the shooting star!

For whom the school bell tolls

Back to school for me, and I couldn't be happier. I have discovered that I like interaction and feedback from other students. I definitely need to start holding illustration parties or something at my house to get that interaction when I am out of school once and for all (if that will ever happen...)

The job continues very well, and we are starting phase two...color studies! look at all the pretty colors! I shall post my digital illustration of a moon I sketched out last semester and have been itching to paint for a while. I need to learn to get this type of color and form in my traditional paintings. maybe just do lots of mini-illustrations where I paint loosely...not loosely as in abstracted shapes, but in not trying to achieve perfection....who knows, I might achieve perfection better that way.

Projects for the semester: of course, the workbook, my paid job. Then the illustrations for a friend's has bug in it: fun bugs, and i've had an idea for drawing bugs for a while (I even have some really old sketches I might revisit sometime. and then there's my holiday/birthday poem that I want to illustrate. I was going to do the bug illustration in class and the holiday illustration during my apprenticeship, but I was thinking about it, and I wanted to work on pen and ink in class, which I really want to do for my holiday poem, and I'll use the more colorful acrylic paints for the bug illustration. oh, and onion boy. musn't forget him!

very busy this semester!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Work-work; ready to work

The illustration job is coming well, but I still have to put in many more hours on it, primarily on the two full page illustrations. The hard part about that is that I'm not sure which ones will be the final choices for the characters, so I just have to put in generic representations of the people for now. I'll be busy right up until school starts, trying to get as much done before the start of school that I can.

Besides for the illustration job, I need to work on/finish Scott's commission (thank you Scott, for your utmost patience) and I need to make a few changes to the final illustration I did last semester, to get it even better so I can submit it in the communication arts illustration competition.

so much to little time!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

bouncie, bouncie, bouncie....

i'm a little hyper now, don't mind me! just got back from meeting with carol heyer about my apprenticeship and i'm very, very, *bouncie* very excited. and maybe a little hyper too. capitals? nope, too impatient to use them. you're lucky you got periods and commas at all. eric's gonna run away in fear...maybe. he kinda likes me a bit, so he may stay around ;) carol and i are a lot alike and we both love books and there anything more (besides eric) in the world? i think she'll teach me a lot about illustration, and i hope i can learn to paint faces like she does...the ones she does are just beautiful! must paint.....must clean (because cleaning never ends).....must paint.... where's my ipod? eric's definitely gonna run away....

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

new year, new job

Rather than a new years resolution, i'm starting a new first freelance job! I am very excited and a bit nervous. This is a big project and it will be a good test of whether or not this is the right profession for me. The good thing about the job is that I have a partner to help me with the illustrations. That means half the work. The negative will be trying to smoothly integrate our drawing styles, which differ somewhat. But we do get to play up on our strengths: David is better at pen and ink and I am better at watercolor, both of which we need for this project.

Oh, the project... We are illustrating a workbook for a trauma center for sexually abused children. The workbook will be a guide to the children, showing and telling them what to expect at the center, as well as having children characters in the book that have experienced what they have experienced. It is a wonderful and meaningful project.

Time to get to work!