This was my first time tabling WonderCon, and I had a fantastic time meeting friends old and new and getting to share my enthusiasm for visual storytelling. I’ll definitely be back. Since I’m currently buried in boxes from a move and a whole list of projects to get working on, here is my recap bullet-list-style!
photo by “Alien Cat Baby” Joao
- People love comics! This show told me that I need to start doing bigger print runs. A few people I chatted with were so happy to find independent, self-published work you can’t find in stores in particular.
photo by “Alien Cat Baby” Joao
- First-timers! I talked to some folks who were attending their first comic convention ever. It warms my heart to see this all through the eyes of someone who has never experienced it before. In this industry there are some jaded grumpy folks who have forgotten that sense of excitement and wonder. It’s still happening guys!
- Elevator pitch! I actually just finished a four-week MakingComics.com MOOC about putting together a pitch, and being able to test it over and over with real live reactions helped so much. Silly me, I thought everyone knew what familiars were. XD
- Racks and things! There’s always going to be something new to learn about set-up and display.
photo by “Alien Cat Baby” Joao
- Downers! Seems there will always be that old guy that comes around and after a glance tells you that what you’re doing is wrong in some vague way. I’m not talking about constructive criticism, which definitely has a time and place. They don’t care that you’re having fun, or that people are responding to your work, or that life is a road full of learning opportunities, and certainly aren’t offering any kind of helpful information. And I really don’t know why they don’t have anything better to do.
- Sketchbooks! oh man if I get more con commissions I’m going to have to get faster! I’ve already gotten way quicker at the book signing sketches.
bee girl for Nicholas Diak’s sketchbook
- It’s okay to be weird! Don’t second-guess your quirky humor or interests (captain obvious disclaimer: unless you’re being a jerk). Not only did my guts & plants prints sell, but I had people pick out just the one I thought would sell poorly if at all, and at one point a botanist and a biologist and their friends stood around geeking out about different reactions and conditions and what this part of the organ did while picking their favorite one. Fun fact, the intestines were the best seller, the brains the least!
- Fan art! It’s one thing for people to read my stories, it’s quite another to know that they actually have any kind of impact. A young lady that had bought the first book at Long Beach got the second on Friday… and on Saturday she presented me with some fantastic art of the two main daemons from the story! Not only that, but a girl that had been sitting next to her while she was drawing them came to get herself a set of the books.
lovely surprise from a young fan!
- PG-ratings! A woman with two small girls wanted to buy the books, and I gave her the disclaimer that the books aren’t considered exactly child-friendly, what with the f-bombs and all. Her response? “No, these are for me.” Hopefully they’ll get to read them when they’re older!
- Love! Do not have enough words for how much my husband’s support means to me. He stuck by my side, made sure I had food and water and bathroom breaks, and helped me keep organized and on top of everything going on. It was a much better experience for all his help and hard work.
Until next time!!
With these last couple posts, I’ve successfully filled and completed my Illustration Friday sketchbook! Two years and two months later, and I’m so glad I did this exercise. It gave me drawing assignments when I was between commissions and projects, I used it as an opportunity to try new styles and tools, and drew subjects based on the prompts I may not have on my own. If you’d like to see (most!) of the collection you can click the “Illustration Friday” category in the menu to the right, or here. It goes back quite a few pages!
I sketched this one during Sunday downtime at my table at WonderCon. Curious how many people noticed and passed me by as a result. XD Robots are sometimes depicted as these adorable pet-like companions… but what if they had some of the inconvenient issues organic pets have? I thought about trailing wires and oil streaks… but that’s too much, even for me!
It’s not so much travel as packing that’s on my mind. I just tabled WonderCon for the first time this past weekend, and the coming days will be dedicated to boxing up everything for moving this weekend. The good thing about this move is a) I’ll have a dedicated art studio/library room, and b) we’ll be closer to our families so that travel for visits and holidays will be much less stressful.
(I’ll have a summary/review post about my WonderCon experience hopefully sooner than later, I promise!)
A drawing I did at last night’s West LA Drink & Draw. This requires some backstory.
The Manmato. I found it staring at me through the clamshell packaging plastic at Trader Joe’s during my normal post-sketch group grocery shopping. Thinking my husband would appreciate its shapely form, I brought it home for that night’s grilled cheese dinner. Instead, he howled at me to keep “that thing” away from him. Every time I thrust it at him he staggered backwards. He asked why I would do such a thing. As I was prepping the bread and cheese he suddenly walked into the kitchen, said “I’m gonna butter your bread” in a deep voice, tore off the Manmato’s nub, and ate it while looking straight at me.
R.I.P. Manmato. Your guts were a delicious compliment to sharp cheddar cheese.
I had this whole elaborate plan for my illustration for this prompt, with all kinds of angles on a Message, but something happened when the pencil hit the paper. So here’s some dino-things.
A fun commission for a gift immortalizing a quote with a little back-story and a lot of heart-warming sentiment. Watercolor wash and sepia ink on 100% cotton rag watercolor paper.
This year I participated in Hourly Comics Day for the first time despite being ill. Since I wasn’t able to get out of bed yesterday, finally got it scanned and posted today. Super simple and pretty boring since, well, sick.
Just like 24 Hour Comic Book Day, it’s a creative exercise. Unlike 24 Hour Comic Book Day, it takes the form of a diary and is theoretically way less intense. Some people do single panels for each hour, some do full comic strips for each entry, and in some cases sections of the day that ended up being uneventful were combined. As far as I’m concerned, the format and style don’t matter. If you’ve recorded something you might like to share or look back on later, or learned something from the making of it, it’s a win.
(click the image to embiggen to a readable size)
Black Phoenix Trading Post’s 2014 Lupercalia update* is LIVE! Featuring goblin art by me for the Trading Post Dungeon Home & Linen Spray (Whips, chains, goblin-sized leather harnesses, and Excitable Goblin Musk!) and the Smutty Goblin Hair Gloss (A goblin’y take on Smut! Smutty Goblin Musk sweetened with sugar and tonka, and woozy with dark booze notes).
*link to full Lupercalia update may not be SFW, unless there’s an exception made for vintage erotic art!
“What most people don’t, or can’t, realize, is how important just a little bit of privacy can be. Just one of those things you don’t miss till you don’t have it anymore.”
Totally out of context quote from Finder: Sin-Eater by Carla Speed McNeil, which I just finished reading.