Wednesday, December 30, 2009

muse of music?

I was at a friend's, who was showing off some awesome music he had written, and that made me pull out my sketchbook, since music tends to make me want to draw. And since the book was out, my friends made some requests...

My friend Katie asked for a fairy...

This is just what came to mind listening to my friend Brennan's song. It made me think of running and the wind... also of rain, but I didn't put that in.

I doodled this one today. Does anyone else feel like this when they can't seem to draw anything?
I've found that if I feel down, drawing it helps. You should try it too.

I have more doodles from the past week or two, it's been my goal to draw something every day during winter break. I'll try to put some more up soon.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Finally at home for winter break. Was hanging out with my brother's kids, and my niece Rachael (who is five) and I decided to draw each other. She was so enamored that I included the flowers on her dress that she insisted on giving me a huge flower on my shirt.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Studio is finally over for this semester. While frustrating (plus the fact I didn't make a lot of "final" art), I learned a lot.

For now, I leave you with my design for the character Rumpelstiltzkin. If you haven't read the Brothers' Grimm version, you might want to take a look. It's pretty interesting (and creepy!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I forgot to add this little guy to my last post! He was drawn in the same vein as the exploration of the cartoon characters, but this guy was probably my favorite of that set... just because you can look at him and know exactly what his deal is. He's going to go save the world somewhere by zapping you with little green lasers.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Visual Language Process

Currently I'm in a class called Visual Worlds: Image Development for Illustrators and Cartoonists. Which essentially is a class to help you discover what your visual signature is. At the end of my junior year, I felt really lost as to what my art would look like, so this seemed like the most ideal class to take.

I really had no idea what I was getting into.

The class is broken up into three sections. The first was the professor becoming familiar with our work and assigning different projects, including reportage, cartooning, and a storyboard project, to see how we would tackle these projects so he could get familiar with our work.

The first project, which is actually a series of three images, documenting people at the local mall here in St. Louis...

The cartooning project, where we were given words like "robot" and "lizard" and had to interpret them as simply as possible...

A single frame of a storyboard/animatic about a girl who steals and eats a pie.

After this initial phase, we were given the infamous 100 Figures project, where we were given approximately two and a half days to draw 100 figures, each on an 11 x 14 piece of paper. The assignment details can be found here.

I put a cap on myself, not allowing myself to go past 10 (or at times, even 5) minutes per character, so I could actually finish on time. The following two figures were two images that I created from that project.

After this, the class was split into two groups- illustrators and cartoonists. I was put in the cartoonist group, even though my stuff was kind of dancing through the entire spectrum of illustration and cartoons.

A lot of emphasis was put on what is uniquely ours and trying to find out how we work best. Now, I'm really used to and comfortable with an 'anime' style (that label really bothers me, because there are tons of different styles in under that umbrella term- everything from Studio Gainax to Miyazaki (studio Ghibli) to CLAMP. But, that is a different story.)

Anyway, my critique for the 100 figures assignment (we literally pinned up all 100 images) went... interestingly, to say the least. Basically, I was told I was all over the spectrum, and a stick figure I drew was pulled out and pointed to the best one. Alot of the stuff up there was 'anime', because when you're making 100 figures in that short a time you freak out and do what you're used to. This really discouraged me, because I felt like I was spending an obscene amount of money and time to be at an art school just to draw stick figures.

After another meeting with the instructor, we settled on going on a cartoon route, trying a lot of things I had never done before.

I was used to drawing things like this...

And was trying new things like this with watercolor... (yay costume design class!)
And suddenly am trying super bug-eyed things like this.

I liked them well enough.. some of them, at least the ones I posted here. I did about 70-80 of these and inked 10 with a brush pen. The following figure was one the professor and class really liked that I actually do not like much at all. I was told to create a world based in this visual language with 5 characters. The instructor thought my style might be in the realm of licensed imagery. I was willing to give it a shot.
When I started to... I was just physically unable to. I tried drawing the bug-eyed characters, but it drove me crazy. You can see a few attempts to here... and I wound up defaulting to my archer character there on the left.
The more and more I tried to draw those cartoons, the more and more I drew even more realisticly.. this page came out of me really trying to make the cartoons!

I tried to make a cartoon little red riding hood character and that failed too... I wound up making the French anime-ish character in the lower right... by this time, I had only two days to create the 5 characters and a world for them, so I jumped on it and went for it.

I went with girl stereotypes.. I had a French girl, Catholic schoolgirl, a Japanese girl in a summer yukata, etc...
But this was still not what I was really supposed to be doing! She didn't look anything like the curvy, shapely girl above. My instructor looked at the more realistic faces and told me to make more things like that....

So I tried the 25 expression challenge that was floating around on deviantArt sometime last year.. and actually had a lot of fun with it.
my 'WTF' face. But when I posted the pictures for this, the critique was barely about the work on the wall but how I'm going in circles, see-sawing back and forth and not making a decision as to what my things look like. The metaphor used was that I was at the high dive, but kept looking down instead of jumping. At this point I'm still searching for what my stuff will be, but I'm going to have to pick something and really try to invest in it. I spoke with an additional professor today, one who I hadn't worked with this semester yet, which helped give an outside perspective to this situation. Personally, I feel I'm somewhere in between illustration and cartooning, but more on the cartooning side. Illustration is more about informing and cartooning is about abstraction and entertainment... which is really where I fall, I think.

An additional metaphor my professor for this class used was an old school radio.. where you have to tune to try to get the station, but you go back and forth until you nail it. I think I'm still in that tuning phase, but hopefully I'm narrowing it down a little bit.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

turkeys and thorns

Two spot illustrations for my Illustrated Texts class. These two are meant to accompany the short story The Turkey by Flannery O'Connor. O'Connor was a southern gothic writer who lived in the predominately Protestant south in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and often reflected on her Catholic faith as well as issues of morality and ethics.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Gesture drawings! Going to do this 10 or so minutes every day. Yay practice!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Keep bleedin' love

Keep bleeding/Keep, keep bleeding/Keep bleeding love.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sugar Bombs!

Sorry for the long pause in updates, school at Columbia picked, up, and then I was whisked off to a magical land called Canada. (which was cold for the summer! brr!)

Senior year started off in a whirlwind of projects, and I'm really excited about this coming year. There are a lot of projects, both in and out of studio, that are upcoming. For now, another project from Columbia.

At Columbia we had to create a fake cereal ad. I decided to create Sugar Bombs, the cereal for sugar addicted little kids. This was another experiment with gouache and fluid acrylic. Sorry for the quality, I had to take a photo, since I had no access to a scanner at home.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I'm going to Columbia College Chicago for the summer, and I'm sort of treating it as a mini-study abroad (even though Chicago is basically in my backyard). It'll be nice to bring new experiences to studio when I start back up again in the fall.

One of my classes is 'Applied Drawing'... which is basically a drafting class, lots of paralinear and perspective drawings. One assignment was to create a "future city"... which could basically be a city that didn't exist, and we were to create it in perspective. I was having trouble thinking of ideas, and my instructor just said to go with what we were interested in.

So of course, this is what happened.

Super Mario "city"! Ahaha.. ha.
(sorry for the low quality of the picture, I had to take a photo of it- it's pretty large, and I don't have a big enough scanner at home!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Drew this while at ACen. Saber Lily, from Fate/Unlimited Codes! Ross thought I should color this, so I spent the better part of today working on it. Have to get all the anime out of my system before the fall semester stomps it all out of me by force.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Decided to update my blog in my procrastination for my upcoming final exam. My final for color systems... basically where the sketches from the last post ended up. Sorry about the watermark, I feel like a loser putting it up, but I've heard way too many horror stories about art theft, so better safe, right? And oh my gosh they look so different when I'm not staring at a 200% 600 DPI version of these things. Easily some of the biggest files I've worked on. 1GB per picture? what is this.

Anyway, the focus was a study on atmospheric color as it pertains to mood and emotion. I wanted the color to do most of the work, so that's why there are no props and a 'psychological background.' Aka pretty texture. There are parts of all three that are working, and parts that are not, but it was a really good exercise for me, I learned a lot, and it was fun! Many thanks to Louise for letting me take crazy ref photos for the poses.

Summer is coming up, and that means ACen! I'll (hopefully) have buttons, definitely bookmarks, and we'll see what I can do in the realm of prints. Come say hello! After that, I'll be studying at Columbia College Chicago a few days a week while working on a lot of personal art. Which means more updates. College really takes it out of you. Though I have more direction now of where I want to go. Which always raises more questions, but progress is always good.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Some preliminary brainstorming for my color systems class. My final project is going to involve atmospheric lighting as mood and emotion, and I'm exploring that concept and how to effectively use it in a set of illustrations. I'm still coming up with a character, at this point I'm letting my pencil hit paper and just letting what comes out come out, so everything is very unrefined at this point. It's strange to say while being in art school, but I really miss drawing! I'm looking forward to working on these.

Friday, March 6, 2009

My friends Laina and Coral have been doing a comic strip of their day, for each hour they're awake, so I decided to try it myself. Sorry I'm so boring, haha! (Go look at theirs, they're much better. :) ) It's all scribbly.. I might try more of these to get better at sketching.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wine labels!

Sample wine labels for studio in the major. (I apologize for the watermark. Better safe than sorry right?) We had to come up with three animals created in a similar, cohesive language and then make them into a cohesive identity for an imaginary company. I'm really happy with the images themselves, though the type needs a bit of work. Hopefully I'll be able to address that before the semester is over.
My boyfriend has a small bottle of wine for his dad, so we're considering swapping the label out for one of these, just to see his reaction. I wonder what people detached from the assignment would react to these?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fable Illustration + Artist's Alley

These are a series of images of Aesop's "Eagle and the Arrow" done for the first project of the semester.
I forced myself to use gouache, which (after several initial disasters) worked relatively well, I think. I'm not very efficient with wet media, so this was an interesting experience. For both the media and style, I was influenced by the game "Okami". If you don't know what it is, you should check out the art on this site: Absolutely beautiful art.

Additionally, I am going to be in the Artist's Alley at Anime Central in Chicago this May! This will be my second time having being in the AA at a convention, but this is the first time I'll be selling at a con like ACen. (the first time was a good 4-5 years ago, and was more a trial run than anything.) I am stoked. Come say hello! :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

class doodles

Class doodles. Apparently I draw a lot of heads. I also really like pen scribbling when it's just sketching, cause then I don't care what it looks like. It's fun. :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Decided to try my attempts at an art blog. Hopefully having one will help my motivation to draw more, even if they're just scribbles. :)

An older picture from sometime over the summer. Was playing with different effects in photoshop and trying a more rendered, atmospheric painterly effect. The whole thing was sort of impulsive and accidental. After this past semester I really want to try something rendered like this again.