Tag Archives: aaron renier

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.

We’ll eat coconuts and mangoes under the next waxing moon.

21 Apr

Just a short update for you guys tonight! I’ve been super busy working on my thesis project, but you know who else has been busy? My thesis advisor, Aaron Renier! He’s been providing me with lots of great feedback throughout the year, and he’s also been hard at work on the second volume of his comic The Unsinkable Walker Bean. Recently, the nominees for this year’s Eisner awards were announced, and guess what made the list? That’s right: The Unsinkable Walker Bean, Vol. 1!

I’m a big fan of the book (and not just because Aaron’s my advisor–I read it and loved it before we were paired together), so in my excitement over its nomination I drew some fanart.

The Unsinkable Walker BeanGenoa’s one of my favorite characters in the book, so of course she was the one I chose to draw. I hope it’s clear what she’s got in her hands! It was a real challenge to do the background in this image because of my attempts to mimic Aaron’s use of black and attention to detail (specifically, the wood grain and all the little objects on the shelves), but overall I’m proud of how it came out. Maybe if I have time later I’ll add some color. That would be a lot of fun, too. :)

What do stylin’ girls these days wear, anyway?

16 Mar

Gah! Sorry I missed Monday’s update, guys! Our design proposals for our thesis projects were due on Tuesday, and I was busy all day and up all night making a tiny model of a complicated packaging design and writing the proposal itself. The models and proposals go to a committee of alumni to decide which four students will receive the April Fog Memorial Scholarship (which consists of half the proceeds of the two pinball machines Alec and Jon keep in our media room–again, how cool is comics school?) to help them with the cost of their packaging, so I was really focused on making it great. It’ll be a close race for sure, though, since all of us submitted good designs!

Anyway, here’s a little painting I did this week:

Mana in SF

I wasn’t happy with how some of my watercolors were turning out lately, since the colors on the test page I painted for Eat Up, Cat turned out all muddy.  Aaron Renier–who veteran readers may recognize as my thesis advisor, or, I dunno, the guy behind the fantastic graphic novels Spiral Bound and The Unsinkable Walker Bean–suggested that I take a look at Hellen Jo’s paintings for inspiration on doing shading with purer colors. I’d read Hellen’s mini Jin and Jam last year and finally got my own copy of it this summer, but I’d never seen her paintings. And yeah, Aaron was totally right–they’re great! No one draws stylin’ girls not giving a fuck like she does.

This painting’s for my sister, Mana, on account of the fact that it ended up looking a lot like her. I added the Bay Area skyline since she’s up at UC Santa Cruz right now and loves going to SF for concerts and the like. She’s havin’ a tough week, full of those college delights like finals and d-d-d-drama, so I hope it helps her feel a little better. :)

Riddle me this, Vermont.

22 Oct

Why is it already snowing here? It is still October. Not. Cool.

Anyway, to keep warm, I have been drawing a lot. Here’s my visiting artist sketch from last week:

rockin' that plaid

Last week, Aaron Renier came to talk to us! He’s the creator of Spiral Bound: Top Secret Summer and The Unsinkable Walker Bean, both of which were pretty much fantastic. He’s my thesis advisor, so I may have a slightly biased opinion, but I also thought that both books were fantastic before he was confirmed as my advisor, so whatever. He gave a really great talk and showed us a lot of interesting early work in which he used the main Spiral Bound characters before they were, well, the Spiral Bound characters. We also got a sneak peek at the first few pages of Walker Bean vol. 2, which was super exciting! It was really cool to see his originals. He does a lot of doodling in the margins of his pages to get the excess ink off his brush, and it was fun to see those.

I also got to meet with Aaron before his talk so that we could discuss the work I’ve done for my thesis so far. I feel really good about having him as my advisor. I admire his work a hell of a lot, but on top of that he’s also able to give really excellent feedback–a nice balance of talking about what works well, what doesn’t, and how or why this is the case and how it can be improved. I feel really lucky to be paired with him this year. It’s on his advice that I tried doing all of yesterday’s art with a brush and ink (well, Aaron’s advice as well as being out of refills for my Pocket Brush). I think they turned out okay, but I’m still not very confident with a regular brush. I feel like I can control the amount of ink in the Pocket Brush better than a regular one, but maybe that’s just because I haven’t used a brush and ink very much at all. Besides, whenever I use ink, this is what happens:

ink everywhere

Ah well. I suppose if there’s any place where being covered in ink and paint is acceptable (and maybe even encouraged), it’s cartoon school. :P

Check back on Monday for another visiting artist sketch and additional doodles! Also, if Wednesday’s PIX recap wasn’t enough for you, try checking out the con reports at Cupcakes and Comics and Kevin Czapiewski’s blog.

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