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It’s not quite “Ebony and Ivory,” but it’ll do.

17 Oct

For our last Drawn Out Storytelling show, Paul and I collaborated on illustrating a story told by Aaron Wolfe and Naomi Azar. Check it out!

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 1Their car breaks down outside Falls Creek, PA, a small town near Punxatawney.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 2Aaron and Naomi outside their motel.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 3A previous stop on their road trip: Katz’s Deli, a raw foodist’s delight.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 4Their destination: the Azar household.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 5Naomi’s mom gives them a very special gift.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 6Aaron and Naomi reminisce about their Falls Creek morning routine. First stop, the local diner.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 7Next, the courthouse.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 8Finally, the mechanic.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 9Aaron and Naomi have different ideas about post-coital meals.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 10Aaron engages in a high-stakes game of chess with Naomi’s dad.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 11A really, really high-stakes game of chess.

Aaron & Naomi's story, part 12But in the end, it all works out okay.

The story centers on Naomi and Aaron’s inherent differences and their attempts at compromising. To emphasize this, Paul and I drew the pair in very different styles with very different palettes. Paul always draws Aaron in purple, without any outlines, and I always draw Naomi in orange with a black brush pen outline. The locations they visit–specifically, Katz’s Deli and Naomi’s parents’ house–also take on these characteristics. However, in places where they are able to reach a compromise, the styles and palettes blend a little bit. It was challenging to do (especially since I don’t often use a monochrome palette), but ultimately I’m very happy with the result.

If you missed hearing (and seeing) this story live, don’t worry! We’ll include it in a later episode of our podcast. In the meantime, if you’d like to hear more about this story, you can check out what Paul has to say about it on his blog. :)

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Long time, no see!

16 Sep

Hi, guys! I missed you! The reason I’ve been MIA lately is that I’ve been hard at work (along with Paul and Nisse) on Drawn Out Storytelling.

…What’s that, you say? There’s a link there? Why, yes there is! We launched our brand-new website just a couple days ago! It’s already got a few videos up for your viewing pleasure. We’ll be adding one episode of our video podcast at the end of every month, each of which will feature two brand-new stories (paired with, of course, custom artwork and music) plus some commentary and bonus artwork from myself, Paul, and Nisse. The site also features artwork from previous shows, producer bios, and information about our upcoming shows. LIKE THIS ONE:

Drawn Out Storytelling: Experimenting with Exploration (version 1)This poster actually comes in two different color schemes. I wanted to experiment with using non-literal color (e.g., not always coloring the sky blue and the grass green), and I couldn’t decide which version I liked better, so I printed them both! Here’s the other:

Drawn Out Storytelling: Experimenting with Exploration (version 2)Yeah, I know the grass still turned out green in this one, but I tried, okay? :P I’d be interested in hearing which poster you guys like best. If you have a strong preference, feel free to let me know in the comments.

If you like what you see, you should definitely come to the show! Paul and I will be collaborating on Naomi Azar and Aaron Wolfe’s story, plus I’ll be doing some artwork for Mimsy’s excellent experimental segments of the evening. It’s gonna be a really great show, so I hope you guys can make it! If you can’t (or, heck, even if you can!), you can also follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. That’s almost as good. :)

In which I abuse the caps-lock key for my own amusement.

11 Jul

Apparently I am a horrible liar, because man oh man did I not get back on a regular update schedule after the first DOS show! I’m sorry about that, guys. The last month has been crazy hectic, as I may have mentioned before, and things probably won’t calm down until the beginning of August. I’m teaching a camp at the VAULT Gallery in Springfield this week (and again in two weeks), visiting home for a whirlwind weekend, and getting ready to move again on top of all that! HOWEVER. I am going to keep posting on a regular basis during this time if it kills me. YOU HAVE MY WORD, THE INTERNET.

Anyhow, before I get back into regular post stuff, I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who was a part of Drawn Out Storytelling! Whether you performed with us, donated money, attended a show (or two, or three, or four!), or just told people about the show: thank you so, so much! You are amazing, and we really couldn’t have done it without your support! :)

In other news, here’s something I did for Ben Towle‘s Animal Alphabet blog:

O is for Okapi
I’d been telling myself that I was gonna paint something for the alphabet for the past two months and kept not being able to do it because of other commitments. When I saw that O was coming up, though, I knew I had to jump on it so that I could draw my favorite animal: the okapi! They look like a combination of a giraffe, a zebra, and…I dunno, maybe a tapir? Am I the only one who sees that? Either way, they are pretty fantastic. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you draw one (or see one in person!).

Okay, guys! I’m gonna go put together my lesson plan for tomorrow, but I will see you on Wednesday! FOR REALS THIS TIME. :)

I am not dead yet!

24 Jun

Oh em god, you guys, I am so sorry about the long delay in updates! I didn’t mean to ignore the blog for so long, but this is what the last month has felt like for me:

All my worriesI’ve been having a good time, but with HeroesCon, moving drama, Drawn Out Storytelling prep and performances, computer failure, preparing for my camps next month, and trying to print a bunch of books and stickers, my mind has been in, like, eleven different places at once! I think that I should be back on track with a decent updating schedule now, though. I’m in NYC for the next week doing shows for Drawn Out Storytelling, which you guys should totally come see if you’re in the area! We’ve got three shows coming up:

The Adventure to MisadventureFriday, June 24 at 8:45 pm

Featuring stories by Jeff Simmermon (illustrated by Paul Swartz), Adam Wade (illustrated by Bailey Sharp and myself), and Kevin Allison and Adam Newman (illustrated by Bailey Sharp and Pat Barrett).

Rubber and Glue: Stories to and from Geeks, Dweebs, and LosersSunday, June 26 at 8:00 pm

Featuring stories by Ben Lillie (illustrated by Paul Swartz), Seth Lind (illustrated by Ben Horak), Leslie Goshko (illustrated by Pat Barrett and myself), and Erin Barker (illustrated by Ray B.).

Identities: The Secret Fantasy of Our RealityWednesday, June 29 at 8:45 pm

Featuring stories by Cyndi Freeman (illustrated by myself), Steve Zimmer (illustrated by Pat Barrett), Ophira Eisenberg (illustrated by Paul Swartz and myself), and Jefferson (illustrated by Pat Barrett and Ray B.).

All of these shows will feature musical accompaniment by Mike O’Malley, Ray Gehring, Steve Lipshutz, and Carson Moody, and they’re all part of the Comic Book Theater Festival at the Brick Theater. Tickets are $15, and you can get them online here or at the door. We’ve been working super hard on this show, and we’d love it if you could stop by!

Speaking of which, it’s about time for us to head over to Williamsburg and do some prep work before tonight’s show. If you have a chance, please come say hi! You’ll be treated to a delightful combination of live storytelling, music, and illustrations such as these:

Illustration for Joanna Bradley's storyThis is an image I did as practice for Joanna Bradley’s story last week. I’ll be working in a different style tonight, as the story I’m illustrating is slightly less classical and Sapphic, but I promise it’ll be fun. Hope to see you there!

Scratch that–who’s got two thumbs and her master’s degree?

21 May

Spoiler alert: it’s THIS GUY again! :D

Sorry for the extreme delay in updates, you guys! I was completely wrapped up in my nervousness about meeting with the thesis committee, and after that I was busy celebrating the fact that I TOTALLY PASSED! In fact, every single member of the class of 2011 passed, making this a first in CCS history! I’m pretty proud of us.

We had a fantastic commencement ceremony featuring speeches by Lawrence Lee Derks III (whose blog is brand-spanking-new) and Francoise Mouly of RAW, Little Lit, and The New Yorker fame! You can watch a video of the ceremony, including a somewhat-impromptu dance number, here (courtesy of Bailey‘s dad). While you’re at it, you can also check out our amazing diploma drawn by–who else?–my fantastic advisor, Aaron Renier! I’m gonna do a post gushing about everything next week (and reflecting on my time at CCS), but for now you’ll have to make do with this picture from the graduation reception:

Me and the fam!

That’s me with my mom, dad, and grandma. My grandpa is, as always, the one behind the camera. I’m wearing the smile of someone whose life suddenly includes sleep, showers, and chocolate-covered pretzels! (My grandparents brought me boxes of Sarris chocolate-covered pretzels all the way from Pittsburgh…and if you’re from the ‘burgh, you know how great those are!) I had a fun time showing them all around WRJ and introducing them to all my friends.

Now that they’ve gone home, I get to kick back, relax, and–oh yeah–get started on work for Drawn Out Storytelling! Pat, Bailey, Paul, and I all headed to NYC earlier this week to meet with some of the storytellers and plan out our illustrations. We’ve got a fantastic lineup for these shows! Kevin Allison (of The State and Risk!) Jeff Simmermon (of The Moth and And I Am Not Lying), Peter Aguero (of The Moth and The BTK Band), and Ophira Eisenberg (also of The Moth and As Is) will all be there on varying nights, plus a bunch of other incredibly talented storytellers, artists, and musicians! Check out the full lineup on our Kickstarter here.

And, speaking of our Kickstarter, guess what? We are 93% funded! :D Thank you guys so, so much for your support–it means everything to us! We’re just $125 away from our goal, and we’re incredibly excited. If you have a spare dollar or two, please think about sending it our way so that we can make this show the best it can be!

I’m about to wrap it up for tonight, so here’s a little drawing I did during one of our many summer thunderstorms this week:

rainy run!As someone who’s lived in California for the last eight years, summer rain is a new and wonderful phenomenon to me. I love it! I assume that someday the idea of it being 80 degrees and pouring rain will become normal to me again, but right now I’m content to spend a lot of time staring out the window, fanning myself and marveling.

Who’s got two thumbs and has finished her thesis?

4 May

That’s right: THIS GUY!

DONE WITH MY THESIS

That’s a super-quick celebratory photo of me (in all my manic, sleep-deprived glory) and all 8 copies of my thesis project, just before I turned them in! As you can see, I chose to go with the purple and blue crest with “Fiat Comix” as the logo. I feel pretty good about how they turned out, but I think I’d like to try doing another round. I want to print it on bigger bags with the proper ink for printing on fabric so that I can have a better one for myself (right now, I have one of the messed-up versions!) and maybe some for sale, too!

I hope that the thesis evaluation committee thinks that everything looks good, too. I’m pretty nervous about going up in front of them next week, of course, but–fingers crossed–I think things may go okay. Aside from my nerves, I basically feel like this:

YESSSSSSSIt’s amazing what a few nights of good sleep and a few days of eating well can do! Now I’m all pumped up for Drawn Out Storytelling! Thank you very much to everyone who’s donated so far–we’re 43% funded! We’re not out of the woods yet, though. The way Kickstarter works, we don’t actually receive any money unless we meet (or–be still, my heart!–exceed) our goal; if we raise less than our proposed amount, all the money is refunded and we have to find a way to finance the show out of our own pockets. If you have the chance, would you check our Kickstarter out? You can donate as little as $1, and there are a lot of really great prizes if you donate. You can win keychains, free tickets, and lots and lots of original art, ranging from sketches to finished illustrations to custom comic books! I don’t mean to harp on about it, but I’m so excited about this show and really, really want to see it made. It’d really make my day if you could help us out by donating or spreading the word!

Speaking of things that are making my day, I’m also pretty pumped for Free Comic Book Day, which is this Saturday. I’ll be hanging out at Newbury Comics in West Lebanon, NH, sellin’ my wares and enjoying an awesome comics holiday. I’m hoping to make a new mini to give out that day, so I’ll keep you posted on how that goes. Come see me if you’re in the area–I’d love to say hi!

Little doodles and big news!

27 Apr

Hi, guys! Thanks for all your feedback in regards to my crests. I’m still making my final decisions, so I’ll leave the polls open for a few more days in case you’re still interested in voting. I’m planning to screenprint them sometime in the next two days, so I’ll let you know what the results are then!

As you can probably tell, things are getting to be super hectic here. I haven’t had a chance to do much non-thesis work, but I do have a little doodle for you today:

Thesis Warrior

I’m not just busy with thesis stuff, though! I’ve also been working with Nisse Greenberg and Paul Swartz to organize a pretty awesome show called Drawn Out Storytelling. Check it out:

Drawn Out Storytelling

Drawn Out Storytelling is our entry in the Brick Theater‘s Comic Book Theater Festival. It’s a show that combines live, note-free storytelling–the kind you might hear on Risk! or The Moth podcasts–with comic art! Performers like Nisse (and several others that I can’t reveal just yet) will tell their stories on stage, accompanied by either live drawing or a prepared slideshow of illustrations by artists like Pat Barrett, Ben Horak, Bailey Sharp, Paul Swartz, and myself. We’ll also have live musical accompaniment by Mike O’Malley, Jonathan Anderson, and possibly more. We’ve got four shows scheduled:

Saturday, June 18th at 5:30pm

Friday, June 24th at 8:45pm

Sunday, June 26th at 8:00pm

Wednesday, June 29th at 8:00pm

Interested in coming to the show? You can buy tickets here. Want to help us make the show happen? Check out our Kickstarter! You can donate as little as $1, and we’re offering some great prizes in return for donations. (Can you say, ‘custom original art’? AWW YEAH.) Even if you can’t attend or donate, we’d love it if you’d help spread the word. I’m really excited to be a part of this show, and I hope it’ll be a big success!

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