Tag Archives: girls

Happy Diwali!

27 Oct

Today is Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights! It celebrates the return of Rama, an avatar of Vishnu and hero of the epic poem Ramayana, from his fourteen-year exile. (If you want to find out more about the Ramayana, I’d recommend reading Sanjay Patel‘s graphic novel adaptation or watching Nina Paley’s film, Sita Sings the Blues.) Celebrating Diwali generally involves setting off lots of fireworks and eating lots of sweets, so naturally it’s one of my favorite holidays. Here’s a little picture to celebrate:

Happy Diwali!

The Hindi on the image is pronounced “Deepavali ki shubhkamnaiyen” (roughly), which is a traditional Diwali greeting. I haven’t written in Hindi in a long time, so my handwriting could probably use some work…whoops! I’ll have to practice some more.

Now let’s go eat some gulab jamen!

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Two very different species.

25 Aug

This week has been a delightful balancing act between long stints of job hunting/city exploring and marathoning Mad Men while we draw. I’m still pushing myself to experiment with more all-digital work–plus watching all this Mad Men and seeing all these hip Brooklyn girls has gotten me all fashion-inspired–so I dusted off my copy of Illustrator and gave it a whirl. Here’s the result:

Mad Men and Brooklyn Girls

This was actually a lot of fun! I’m proud of the end result–particularly the back foot of each girl. I think this was ultimately a lot more efficient than my all-Photoshop extravaganza last week. It took a lot of time, but I think I made bigger strides in what I’m able to do with Illustrator and without outlining or sketching the figures first. I’d like to do a couple more like this, I think. Maybe some fan art is in order?

Rain, rain, come and stay…

25 Jul

Finally, a little bit of relief from the heat! White River and the surrounding areas had lovely overcast weather all day today, plus a little bit of rain in the afternoon. It feels absolutely heavenly after last week’s fire and brimstone! It was a nice treat for the first day of my second comics camp at the VAULT Gallery. I have nine great students this week, and I can’t wait to see the characters and comics they’ll create!

Anyway, considering today’s weather, I figured it’d be appropriate to post this today:

Rainy Day

Overall, I like how this one turned out–especially her outfit. Drawing fashionable (or even semi-fashionable) clothes is really difficult for me, and I rarely try to add patterns to the stuff I do draw, so this was a tough image to finish. I feel like I succeeded on both counts there, but I kind of wish I’d used a different method to color the rain. It turned out a little too uneven for my tastes; if the streaks were just a little neater or if I’d colored it digitally I think I’d be much more satisfied with it. The weather forecast’s calling for rain most of this week, though, so I should have a lot of time to practice!

It’s not the heat…it’s the humidity. AND the heat.

22 Jul

Okay, when I mentioned the heat in my last update, clearly I did not understand what I was talking about. If I had, I would have known that it could get so much worse–which, over the course of these past few days, it totally has. Walking around WRJ has turned into an endurance test. How far can you walk without stopping to sit in the shade, have a cold drink, or go stand in the river? (I actually did the latter today with Jesse Mead, Sean Knickerbocker, Jon Fine, and some other lovely folks, and it was delightful.)

In keeping with the smoldering heat theme the weather’s had the past few days, here’s something I drew earlier this summer:

Suntan

I am the sort of person who always wears shorts to the beach, so I end up with some ridiculous tan lines. I’ve never had one quite this bad, but let’s just say that I didn’t have to extrapolate too far.

I’m really happy with how this one turned out! It’s one of my favorite things I’ve drawn this summer. I’m thinking about branching out into the wide, wonderful world of sticker production soon, so what do you guys think? Would you like to see this melanistically-challenged young lady on a sticker? Please let me know what you think in the comments, especially if there are other images you’d like me to put on stickers!

I can’t beat this heat!

20 Jul

I just got back from a very brief (but very fun!) visit home, and man oh man did I forget how muggy Vermont is! My folks live near the water, so even when it’s hot the air is nice and dry when I come to visit. On the East Coast, though, it was so humid when I got off the plane that I practically had to swim to my car! But enough of that–here’s something I drew on the flight back:

Faaahhshion~I always default to drawing short, hourglass-shaped girls whenever I’m doodling, so this time I tried to branch out and draw someone a little different. (…Well, she’s taller, at least!) I’m also trying to learn to draw clothing better. A lot of my characters dress in T-shirts and jeans, probably because that’s all I wore up until a year or two ago, and I want to be able to draw clothing that fits them better. I like how this one turned out, though–maybe I’ll color it later.

Speaking of liking things (and isn’t that a smooth segue?), here’s something I overheard at lunch today:

Overheard at the Polka Dot

So far, that’s the best retaliation I’ve heard to a child not liking something. I look forward to having the opportunity to use that line myself!

Welp, I think that’s about it from me for tonight. I’m gonna get back to the important things, like doing laundry and draping my body over the box fan in the living room.

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.

Green markers, I love you!

22 Apr

It’s getting down to thesis crunch time here in White River, so this update is also pretty short. I haven’t had a lot of time to do non-thesis work, but I sketched this a few weeks ago before things got too hectic.

i got them nervous feets

I like how the lettering in this one turned out. I don’t normally do fancy lettering, on account of being basically allergic to straight lines, but against all odds doing cursive lettering turned out to be a little easier. Who knew? I also figured that the tone is pretty appropriate. There’s a lot of work to be done in the next two weeks, and I’m definitely feeling nervous. At the same time, though, I’m really liking the project that I’m working on, and that’s keeping me energized. Hopefully I’ll have some pages from it to show you next week, but if things are still too busy I’ll put them up after my thesis materials are due.

Okay, now it’s time to design book covers! I’ll see you guys next week! :)

Someone sent in the clowns…and corsets!

2 Apr

I went to Dr. Sketchy’s on Wednesday night, and it was a blast! The theme was “Clowns and Corsets”–you may recall that I drew a poster advertising it. I’ll admit it a bit odd at first, as I’ve never been a huge patron of the clowning arts, but we had two really great models. Plus, I love drawin’ me some corsets. I brought my watercolors with me this time, and that made the night both more challenging and more fun. I’ve come to really love working in color, especially with paint. Having this travel watercolor kit has taken a lot of the stress of painting away, since I don’t have to worry about carrying all my supplies separately and setting up/cleaning up takes so little time. I’m way more free now to paint casually and experiment more with the medium, which is a pretty big deal for someone like me who tends to agonize over every little aspect of a drawing.

Anyway, enough waxing poetic about my paint set! Time for some clowns!

Annabelle Buttons

Miss Annabelle Buttons, pictured above, is actually a professional clown! She was very animated and cheery and lots of fun to draw. We were a small and slightly quiet crowd that night, but she had us cracking up consistently. Well played, Ms. Buttons. Well played.

Funbags McGee

Funbags McGee was our other model for the night. She had this amazing tulle skirt on that was so much fun to paint! I’m afraid I haven’t fully done it justice in this drawing, although I am pretty proud of how it came out overall. She was actually holding a bunch of forceps in this pose that I didn’t draw due to lack of time…and, okay, mild squeamishness. I can’t help it–I get nervous when I see open scissors in such close proximity to someone’s rack! Perhaps I’m growing conservative in my old age. :P

I’ve got one more sketch from this session that I’ll try to post after I’ve put some finishing touches on it. In the meantime, I totally recommend finding out if there’s a Dr. Sketchy’s in your area. If there, you should definitely go…and if not, why not start one? :)

This is your brain. This is your brain on no sleep.

30 Mar

Ugh…I need to stop pulling all-nighters on blog update nights, you guys. I forgot to update because I spent all of Monday and Tuesday feeling like this:

guhhhhhhhh

CCS Industry Day is tomorrow, and I was determined to go all-out. I spent most of Monday making Leftovers Are Good Luck, a collection of my short comics that’ll be replacing Eat Up, Cat in my MoCCA debut lineup, and most of Tuesday fighting to stay awake and failing.

But hey, speaking of MoCCA, we finally received our table number! Bailey Sharp, Ben Juers, Max Mose, Paul Swartz, and I will be at table M10. We’ll have Em Sauter, Ryland Ianelli, and Jesse Mead on one side, and Beth Hetland, Ben Horak, Pat Barrett, and Josh Kramer on the other. (What an awesome sandwich!) We’ll also be in the same row as many other lovely CCSers, such as CJ Joughin, Canto, Billage, Andy Warner, Melanie Gillman, Nate Wooters, Dakota McFadzean, Holly Foltz, Denis St. John, Nomi Kane, and many more! If you’re going to be there, please come say hello!

I also mentioned in my previous entry that I’ll be teaching two comics workshops in Springfield, VT this summer. Some of the details have changed since the last time I mentioned it, so here are the final details:Let's Draw Comics with Lena!

Making Comics with Lena!

Come learn all the basics of making comics! We’ll pencil, ink, and letter our own comics starring our very own characters, and at the end of the week we’ll put it all together into a finished book. No experience necessary– if you like to draw, we’d love to have you!

The first session is for students 10-12 years old and will take place July 11-15 from 9:00-11:30 am. I’m going to be covering the basic terms, materials, and methods of making your own comics, including character design, backgrounds, and lettering. Plus, we’ll doing some really fun drawing activities, and at the end of the camp I’ll put the students’ work together into anthologies for everyone to take home. I’m so excited about teaching this!

The second session is for teens and older students and will take place July 25-29 from 9:00-11:30 am. I’ll cover the same basics as in the first session, since they can be beneficial for students of all ages, but I’ll be going into more detail and doing some extra activities. I’ll also put the students’ work from this camp into its own anthology for students to take home.

If you or someone you know is interested in either camp, you can find out more on the Vault Gallery’s website or at the gallery itself at 68 Main St., Springfield, VT. :)

All right, I figure I’ve talked your ears off enough for now. I’m off to Dr. Sketchy’s to draw some clowns in corsets! It’s gonna be tons of fun, so if you’re in the WRJ area, you should definitely stop by! :)

Oh, hello again, childhood!

22 Mar

Hey, did you guys hear that Kodansha is going to re-release the Sailor Moon manga? They’ll also be debuting Codename wa Sailor V, the prequel to the original series. I am crazy excited! I have almost all of the old Mixx “Pocket Manga” volumes, and I’d given up hope of ever reading the volumes I was missing. Now’s my chance!

I’m especially excited and nostalgic for this because Sailor Moon was my introduction to manga, waaaayyy back in the day when I was in middle school. I mentioned in an earlier post that I read a bunch of comics when I was young, but I kind of fell out of the habit in late elementary school (excluding the newspaper comics and the Ramayana comic books we’d gotten from my Indian relatives). My sister and I became obsessed with the Sailor Moon TV series, though, and when my mom gave me the first manga volume it just about blew my mind. I’d never seen anything like it before, and I fell instantly in love. (This was slightly before the big manga boom in the US, so there wasn’t a ton of anime or manga available yet. Series like Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z had just made their way onto Cartoon Network, and the first volumes of series like Fushigi Yûgi and Maison Ikkoku were sneaking their way into the two-shelf manga sections of Borders. We also had to walk uphill both ways in the snow to get our manga fix. True story.)

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that Sailor Moon was what pulled me back into constantly reading comics. It also kept me engaged in drawing, since it provided a fresh burst of inspiration (albeit for some horrifically bad fanart, fanfiction, and “original” comics that completely ripped off Ms. Takeuchi’s ideas…but I digress. You have to start somewhere, after all!). It helped me discover fandom, which helped me discover other artists and comics that I liked, which helped me get where I am today. So, when I heard Kodansha’s news, I sat right down and painted a little picture of Mizuno Ami (a.k.a. Sailor Mercury, for the unfamiliar). She was always my favorite. :)

Mizuno AmiIt was fun to try translating Ami’s character design into my own style. Naoko Takeuchi has such a distinctive way of drawing that influenced my own work for a long time, so I had to really think hard about what Ami’s defining characteristics are and how they’d look in my own slightly more realistic style. I also tried to do it from memory, considering that I used to draw Takeuchi’s characters constantly when I was younger! I feel pretty good about how it turned out for the most part. Her uniform looks a little poofy, and I don’t think that it’s clear that the pen she’s holding is supposed to be her transformation wand. Ah, well…I’ll get it next time.

While I had my paints out, I went ahead and did this as well:

Paul's dreams

Paul‘s been feeling kind of sick lately, so I doodled this to cheer him up a little. He also never draws himself unless forced to, which seems strange to someone as narcissistic as I am, so every once in a while I do it for him. :P The idea of people riding on enormous, flightless birds is one that’s very close to his heart, so there was no question as to what to put in his thought bubble. (Okay, there was a little bit of questioning, but I figured that I couldn’t reproduce Soviet propaganda well enough or draw an accurate enough T-rex to properly represent his thought processes, so I went with the ostrich racing.)

I hope that those of you who are in school are having a good spring break! As for those of you that aren’t, well…I hope you are having a good ol’ regular week. See you on Wednesday!

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