Earlier This Summer

I've had an amazing, jam-packed summer, and at this point, I feel like doing a recap, with some (SOME) images. I swear I've filled a sketchbook. The book in the top pic is my current, soon to be previous, sketchbook. The one in the bottom is sort of what it looks like now. 

Most of the stuff in it feels pretty noodly-journaly. I think the best place to see stuff more frequently is over here, on Instagram

I'm about to leave for China for our third and last work trip of the year, and I'm psyched for that. I've been taking classes to learn Mandarin Chinese. It's challenging and humbling in the best way. Man, I miss being in school sometimes. 

I also visited and trekked through Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park with Light Grey Art Lab, as a part of their 2015 art-workshop-summer-camp program. It was incredibly beautiful, and I loved everything about it: the art making, the hiking, the sights, the stars, the new friends; I'm extremely serious when I say what I loved most was seeing my good friends from Minneapolis again. 

Blobbing around in my sketchbook on the Utah trip. Colors are not exaggerated; if anything, there are not enough colors and they are not bright enough.

Blobbing around in my sketchbook on the Utah trip. Colors are not exaggerated; if anything, there are not enough colors and they are not bright enough.

I loved this part of the trip. I remember sitting on a wood log bench with Lindsay, Jenny, and Justin, painting in Bryce Canyon. It was nice and peaceful; I could have done that all day.

I loved this part of the trip. I remember sitting on a wood log bench with Lindsay, Jenny, and Justin, painting in Bryce Canyon. It was nice and peaceful; I could have done that all day.

This was my favorite hiking: hiking IN A RIVER, upstream, in Zion National Park. We drew and painted on a riverbank for a little bit; this one isn't very finished, but weeks later, I still like the colors.

This was my favorite hiking: hiking IN A RIVER, upstream, in Zion National Park. We drew and painted on a riverbank for a little bit; this one isn't very finished, but weeks later, I still like the colors.

Plus, there's so much more of Seattle I've experienced since my last post! My sister and I frequent the farmers' markets--there are a few a week--the comic book and game stores, the coffee shops, museums, and the long and scenic walks. I do need to do more hiking in the nearby mountains.

OH YEAH and one of my best friends is listening/enjoying one of my favorite podcasts. Y'all know that feeling, when you're like "BUT I LOVE THAT MOVIE TOO!" after a buddy references some obscure whatever thing? Unbeatable.

OH YEAH and one of my best friends is listening/enjoying one of my favorite podcasts. Y'all know that feeling, when you're like "BUT I LOVE THAT MOVIE TOO!" after a buddy references some obscure whatever thing? Unbeatable.



Comic Process

Well, The Clearing is completely inked, and the project is well on its way to being completed, and now the bulk of my drawing time is going to my piece for Light Grey Art Lab's Stacks show. I'm creating my zine in homage to the television show Lost, which first aired in my chosen year of the Stacks timeline, 2004. It was difficult choosing something, because whether I knew it at the time or not, 2004 was full of things that are very important to me. In the end making a decision came down to what I'd prefer to draw. Again, very difficult. 

Fortunately, working on The Clearing and having a blast doing it made me realize that I'd probably like to keep drawing some foliage. You'd better believe a tropical island has some foliage. The fun part is going from a north woods forest to a tropical, south pacific forest. 

In the meantime, though, I'd like to share a few process pictures I took with my phone while working on a panel edit to the comic. The one difference between this process and most of the pages is that I sketched directly on the paper--for the rest I blue-lined the pages.

I start with a sketch or drawing. This one is relatively loose, though that is partially because by this point, I'd drawn so many panels of wolves and leaves and that kind of thing, I had a pretty firm idea of what this panel needs to be. 

I start with a sketch or drawing. This one is relatively loose, though that is partially because by this point, I'd drawn so many panels of wolves and leaves and that kind of thing, I had a pretty firm idea of what this panel needs to be. 

I love this part. It's loose, fairly fast-paced drawing, and involves wetting the paper and using copious amounts of ink. By this point, I have a jar of water that has so much ink in it, I can use that water to lay down the lightest greys. Unlike working with watercolor, though, I don't do as much layering. I work from light to dark (like watercolor), but because ink is pretty permanent, I get as much of my business done while the paper is still wet.

I love this part. It's loose, fairly fast-paced drawing, and involves wetting the paper and using copious amounts of ink. By this point, I have a jar of water that has so much ink in it, I can use that water to lay down the lightest greys. Unlike working with watercolor, though, I don't do as much layering. I work from light to dark (like watercolor), but because ink is pretty permanent, I get as much of my business done while the paper is still wet.

Detail time! The trick is to remember what was in the sketch. Again, not a lot to remember here, because the sketch was loose and a lot of the things I need to know is apparent from the washes, but in some previous panels, I would have been lost if I hadn't documented my first sketches. Always keep track of your process!

Detail time! The trick is to remember what was in the sketch. Again, not a lot to remember here, because the sketch was loose and a lot of the things I need to know is apparent from the washes, but in some previous panels, I would have been lost if I hadn't documented my first sketches. Always keep track of your process!

The last thing I do (outside of the computer, which is a pretty important step in itself) is go back in with a brush and add any darks that I might need. Sometimes they help clean up a composition, sometimes they add texture...I like to work this way because it gives me room to be fluid and creative within the boundaries of my sketch.

The last thing I do (outside of the computer, which is a pretty important step in itself) is go back in with a brush and add any darks that I might need. Sometimes they help clean up a composition, sometimes they add texture...I like to work this way because it gives me room to be fluid and creative within the boundaries of my sketch.

One thing I have to mention, because I believe it has a huge role on the outcome of a project, is how amazing it has been working with a great writer/client. Keith had a very clear (and wonderful) vision for The Clearing, and it was a pleasure to start working with such a clear plan.  At the same time, he has been open and encouraging to the visual ideas I've provided. Love this project so much <3. Peace out.

Multi-Project Ballet

Yow! It's the middle of June already?! Every time I look up I get to change the page on my calendar. I always liked changing the page, though. Hate New Year, like changing the calendar pages. 

My list of projects isn't really shrinking, but it's moving along steadily. I thought I'd share a few bits and pieces of things I've been doing. 

Character Collabs are popping up all over on Twitter, and my friend Katy organized one for the new(ish) cartoon, Steven Universe. The whole thing will be coming together towards the end of July, but if you check the tag #SUCollab, you can see a few of the pieces that have been completed. I illustrated Amethyst! She's my favorite! 

Loved drawing her hair :>

Loved drawing her hair :>

"The Clearing" is coming along–the inks are in progress. This is it. This is the part where I can break out the brushes and create some panels that I'm really proud of.  There's more things I'd like to post about in the works, so stay tuned in the near future!

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