Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Happy Holidays.

In case you haven't heard, it's the holiday season, a time when creepy guys show up at your door with weird messages about how their wasted heart will love you until you look like a busted up page from National Geographic's Giza spectacular. People also do less creepy things during the holidays, like be nice. I thought I would give that a try, by linking to some fellow MICA students/recent grads and some of their works. These people have given my site link love, commented here, provided helpful school advice, made interesting work and/or threatened me with a hot butter knife until I made this post. I will leave it up to you to figure out which goes in which category. I'm sure I missed people, and for that I'm super-sorry, but this was compiled in one evening. Forgive me.

Alissandra Seelaus: Cryptozoological adventures for kids. You will be jealous you're not best friends with Nessie too. Also, Alissandra does daily drawings about her life. Also, also, she is one of my roommates so you may see an adorable nugget person version of myself in a few of those drawings.
Alison Marks: Robot in twelve different wigs. You didn't know that was a dream of mine to see this, did you? Of course you didn't, it was a secret. Her show idea also sounds like something I would watch.
Ariyana Suvarnasuddhi (This is a shared blog; Ariyana's posts are labeled with "AS"): Hot, sticky buns. It's what you did and did not expect, but I promise you'll be hungry afterwards... Or repulsed, I'm not sure.
Emma Quinn: Sailor with tentacles playing not one, but two accordions. Goddamn. Look at him go.
Hannah Ahn: Pretty ladies and white birch trees, two things that are inherently pleasing to look at.
Hitomi Mori: Baltimore roller girl. All of her characters' have the most interesting outfits.
Noel Hernandez: He somehow managed to include man-booty and bratty little girls in the same post without doing something horrible with it. He also works with a lot of different materials, which makes me feel extra-awful about clinging to my ink and Wacom tablet.
Kali Ciesemier: Pretty ladies and monsters are another inherently pleasing combination. Noticing a pattern here? Bonus: I saw one of her illustrations in a magazine I was flipping through on the plane the other day and ended up spilling ginger ale on myself while trying to get a better look. Smooth operator.
Kristina Diggs: Scene chimera. First of all, how does a person come up with something like a scene teen chimera? Secondly, how is it possible to sculpt it so adorably?
Lindsey Muir: I always had a sneaking suspicion this is what graphic designer's hearts look like. There's also a lot more stuff on her Flickr, including this great re-design stuff for the Maryland State Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped.
Mark Grambau: Stephen Colbert punches Hitler in the face. This is pretty old, but I still think it's hilarious.
Marissa Lanterman: Map of a moment with a lot of great details and notes. She's another one of those traditional illustrators that makes me feel terrible about forgetting how to hold a paintbrush.
Nancy Muller: Great gouache sketchbook work. Yet another person that, through just existing, reminds me that I can't paint traditionally.
Rachel Dougherty: The Grasshopper and the Ants. Classic fable, except now infinitely cooler than the version that was in your Girl Scout handbook.
Rose Davis: NASTILE. I chose this simply for the last image. I won't spoil it for you.
Sam Bosma: Shadow over Innsmouth. Probably one of the most stylish series of HP Lovecraft illustrations you will ever see. Also, I will admit that I initially accidentally typed "HP Hovercraft", which I can only assume is some sort of advanced Firebolt. Also, also, if you got that joke, you should feel very sad about your life right now.
Tiffany Shih: Pretty ladies and JHU doctors. Smart choice of subject matter by another one of these graphic designer people. Pshht. What's up with that?
Tyler Parker: Alan, the plush deer. Adorable? Yes. Tyler also does collage work, which is well worth a look.
Zak Greene: Extra-adorable sequential art. And by "extra-adorable", I meant "kind of horrifying." I'm still working on my visual storytelling, so I appreciated this.
Yvonne Weng: Baltimore posters and pretty things. Another graphic designer with a penchant for patterns. I often awkwardly stare at her desktop wallpapers.

The second part of the giving has to do with you, my dear reader. I have gifted you with all these new sites to visit. Now, please visit these blogs and enjoy them and leave lovely comments and link to them and submit them to your favorite art sites. It's completely free, obviously, and you also get to pat yourself on the back for making an artist feel good about themselves.

This is where I say something really snarky and mean, but I'm too lazy because I'm full of cookies and candy canes. Have a good holiday and all that.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


These are the last two main characters from my Interrobang project.

Interrobang: XI.

This is XI ("Eleven" or "Elly"). She plays synth and theremin and designs all the crazy on-stage visuals for the band (the example I gave was a giant steam-powered Monkey King at Interrobang's last Beijing show). I had a list of things I wanted represented in the band, and on the list was unnatural hair color, mohawks, electronics, glasses and stripes. Somehow, all of those things got pushed on Elly, which I think makes her that much cooler. And yes, I just had to get a theremin in there.

Interrobang: Rick.

This guy is Rick. Just Rick. He's the lone guy and a bit like a mix of Scooby, Silent Bob and Jonathan Coulton (mainly for how I imagine he would sound... and the exaggerated version of shaggy hair). He doesn't talk very much, usually speaking up only to offer some final words of wisdom or sing a soothing song. Rick is the bodyguard, manager, driver, cook and drummer. Female drummers are marvelous, but the visual of rotund Rick behind an equally round bass drum tickled me, so I had to do this.

Yup. That's it. This project was a lot of fun; it made me consider a career in character design and concept art a little more than I have in the past. I'd love to get an internship in video games or animation, so maybe now is the time to get on it. My teacher suggested Harmonix ("Rock Band") in Boston and my friends that interned for The Venture Bros. in NYC said I should apply, but the idea of working with that show makes me anxious at a comically high level. If anyone has any other recommendations, please don't hesitate to share, because I don't actually know what I'm doing.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


More from my Interrobang project. I lied when I said I would only post one character at a time, obviously.

Interrobang: Ampersandy.

This first lady is &Y, or Ampersandy. I wanted another ridiculous punctuation-related name, so I gave it to the lead singer. Since I'm obsessed with people painting their faces, especially with skull designs, I let her sport a Darren Spooner/Misfits look. There also needed to be a redhead and someone with a cape. That's right, "needed." Ampersandy loves grammar, punctuation, flaunting her massive vocabulary and utilizing over-elaborate sentence structure. She also prefers Roth to Hagar.

Interrobang: Vinnie.

This second lady is Vinnie, the bassist. She's supposed to be Lola's best friend, just because I think such ridiculous opposites should be friends in real life. Vinnie likes vampires, reading, and baking cupcakes. I was originally going to name her Sid, but a "V" name eventually won. Also, I think I'm going to cut my bangs like that in a few weeks, just for kicks.

Classes are done. Off to Florida for Winter Break. Remind me to bring sunscreen and stuff to do color studies.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Interrobang: Lola.

This is a continuation of the Character Development assignment that I posted about most recently (see: G-G-GHOST PORTRAITS!). I decided to call the show Interrobang‽, since that's the name of the band and all. And yes, it must always be pronounced with shock, like, "INTERROBANG?!" I've been dying to use that stupid word since John Hodgman kept talking about it on his blog a few months ago, and I felt the combination of a question mark and an exclamation point would be perfect for these mystery-solving rocker chicks. I'll be posting the designs of the individual band members one at a time, because that allows me more room to get tragically long-winded when I want. Awesome. Here's Lola, the lefty guitarist and resident girly-girl.

Since the band isn't really pop-rock (more like Bauhaus and The Cure than Josie & The Pussycats, in my mind), I had to find a way to appeal to the girlier members of the kid audience, and Lola was the best way to do it. Her trademarks are her old-timey powder make-up, flapper dress, and combat boots. She's adorably forgetful but her optimism gets the band through even the spookiest of mysteries. I also made her best friends with the super-goth bassist, because kids shouldn't be afraid to befriend people that are different and arguably better dressers.

In other news, I found out that there's a word for my favorite shoes. "Winklepickers." I feel like drawing some self-portraits, so perhaps those Winklepickers will make an appearance in the near future. Assuming finals don't completely kill me... which is a very silly assumption indeed.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Ghost Portraits.

Click to view the larger version. Seriously. Do it. Everyone else is.

I'm just taking a quick breather from doing all my finals. Only a few minutes ago, I wrapped up this ridiculous illustration for my Character Development class. We're doing pitch packets for TV shows and I decided to develop a kids' cartoon. I think I originally described it as a cross between Bauhaus and Scooby Doo. Anyway, it's evolved a bit, but it's still about a gang of mystery-solvin', rock music-playin' chicks. I think I'll post more details and the character designs once I'm done coloring them, but enjoy this plus-environment piece for now. I was going for a sort of Scooby gang running scene thing, complete with typical spooky portraits with moving eyes. Something like that.

I don't know what I was thinking, drawing such a massive thing in such little time. At least it turned out all right, and it looks like a cartoon I would have watched as a kid. More children's TV shows should have theremin-playing girl-geeks with tinted glasses and green mohawks.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must study for my massive Psychology exam and attempt not to self-diagnose as I go.