Thursday, September 11, 2014

NEWS: Magic Bullet, NEA Today, Baltimore, New Art, Etc!

1. I have a comic featured in the latest issue of Magic Bullet!

Magic Bullet is Washington, D.C.'s free comics newspaper published by D.C. Conspiracy, a comics creators/ collective in the capital area. (Edited by the lovely Carolyn Belefski and available in the DC area.) Each issue has a different theme, this issue featuring "Western" comics. If you want to read my comic Backyard Expeditions more closely, click here.

2. I got an AMAZING shout-out in the summer issue of NEA Today
NEA stands for the National Education Association, so that's a huge compliment to have Will & Whit pictured. (Thanks for the photo below, Jason Argo. And the clipping, Kim Hewitt!)

3. This weekend was my favorite convention: Baltimore Comic Con

It was great to catch up with readers and other inspiring comic creators like John K Snyder, Vivek Tiwary, Kat Roberts, Josh O'Neil, The Hang Dai Crew, Patrick Reed, Paul Pope, Simon Fraser, Robin Ha, So What? Press, Charles Soule, and the kind folks of Geppi's Entertainment Museum. 

Here's the display I made showing off our debut Will & Whit Animusical production from this summer. They're the cutest.

4. While sitting at my table I decided to do a little art therapy on myself...

It's called Swept Under the Rug. I first drew it horizontally, but once the face appeared I sorta prefer it turned around vertically. Hmm...

5. One of my drawings from Ghana (Aftrican Eyes) is featured in a new textbook! 
Diversity Consciousness by Richard Bucher.

That's all the news for now! I hope all is well in your corner of the world.

Currently Reading: Magic Bullet, of course.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Upcoming September Events

Please come by my table and say hello at these upcoming September shows! 
I'll have my graphic novels, mini-books, and some new prints for sale. :-)

Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, MD
September 5th-7th
Friday 1:00pm-7:00pm
Saturday 10:00am-7:00pm
Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm

This is my favorite show to do every year! (This year they've added Friday hours.) You can find me facing the Kids Love Comics section, at Artist Alley Table A108.

Oregon Convention Center
Portland, OR
September 20th - 21st
Saturday 10:00am-7:00pm
Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm

I'm thrilled to make my first trip to Portland so I can attend this show! You can find me at Artist Alley Table H-14 where I will be joined by a special guest: motion comic Artner Nathan Luppino!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer Songbird Mural

If I stay at your house for a week...I'm likely to paint on your walls.

I painted this is a little impromptu project at the end of my visit with lovely Artner Lauren Larken last month after the musical her new house in Vermont! This is the side of the garage.

I wish I had taken a before photo, but it was ALL blue. It's amazing how much white trim makes a difference! And I was happy to find dark blue latex and gold spray paint in the garage to round out my supplies. 

What was the inspiration? A songbird of course. The big nest is supposed to be made of music notes, but I think they get a bit lost in all the layering...

There's a second little nest sitting on high...

And this little moonscape? Unexpectedly spontaneous. I must have been inspired by the river.

Speaking of the river, here it is!

Currently Reading: Einstein: His Life and Walter Issacson.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Live Painting @ Camp Ballibay

While adapting my work into an Animusical at Camp Ballibay this summer, a question lingered in my mind: "How can I understand theatre as an art form if I've never truly experienced the vulnerability of performance?" 

I wanted to understand what my young performers were going thru, to walk the walk so to speak. Of course I've performed in various ways over the years, but nothing quite so in the spotlight & on a real stage & with a captive audience. (gulp) So I signed up for the camp's Staff Cabaret, where members of the camp staff perform music and dance routines for the campers. No one had seen live painting, so I figured it was worth the experiment. For both our cast as well as the art kids with whom I sadly didn't have time to work with.

This painting isn't representational and isn't's simply a raw expression of what was brimming from my heart at the moment (aka: stress) that I decided to release in front of an audience as if I was alone in my studio.  I hope you enjoy it.

After the cabaret ended I spent another half hour finishing the painting, tearing back parts of the top layer of paper and adding more paint. Here's how it turned out! 

I used the finished painting as part of the set for Autumn's room in the Will & Whit Animusical. (Show-and-tell coming soon!) Autumn's obsessed with the color blue, which nicely contrasted with the handmade orange puppets we borrowed from the art campers. 

I did make one other painting at camp, which was quite a spontaneous art-vomit on paper...
 Apparently my heart was feeling like a stormy sea!  I spit this out one day after I had reached a real breaking point mentally and emotionally. The fact this this was felt so therapeutic to make was the reason I decided to take on the live painting idea. (And since I was too busy for ambition you'll notice I stuck the same color palette.) 

** SPECIAL THANKS to Jim Gaffney, Jesse Sheppard and all the film crew at Camp Ballibay for the wonderful video documentation! **

Currently Reading: The Dancing Carl A. Hammerschlag, M.D.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

4 New Artworks

I will be posting lots of show-and-tell from the Will & Whit Animusical residency soon! It was a magical and inspiring experience, but the work load and emotional demands of the project were not the healthiest combination. Hence I needed to get some self-art-therapy out of my system...

Piece #1
Ink, graphite wash & colored pencil on paper.
This is a portrait of my heart, which feels like an overplayed instrument physically, emotionally, and mentally. I've earned some impressive calluses but now I'm definitely in need of a tune-up. (Visually it's a player-piano, violin, and harp hybrid.) 

Here's the original sketch, which to me retains the original heart shape more than the final drawing....

Piece #2
Printed photograph, painted with goache and ink.

When I say I need "alone time" it's quite misleading. Because it's not about being anti-social, it's about conversing and connecting with the world. When I don't have to think about verbalizing or social expectations I can listen to the world so much easier, reading all the life around me, pulling insights, feeling connections. When you tune into that frequency, an ordinary walk down the street is far from alone. It's a Parade.  

Here's the original photo I took with my cell phone before I painted on it...

Piece #3
Goache, india ink & spray paint on two sheets of blue drawing paper (top layer is cut paper).
This one is called The Call vs. The Pull, it's about the forces that guide us. I was envisioning this particular moment as the conflict between being called back to shore (internal drive) versus being pulled out to sea (external forces). Perhaps if you're also in a state of transition you can relate.

Here's a close-up.  I like how some of the ripples turned into tree rings...

Piece #4
Goache & spray paint on paper.  (Made out of the leftover paper from the previous painting.)
The text was pulled from a letter I received from a young reader, Lily Hamman from Aurora, IN. In it she wrote me a really sweet poem, and when I read this one line it really struck a chord. Because when I'm feeling depressed and detached to the degree I've been feeling, and my resiliency is all used up...I really lose motivation to come back.  So I painted this out as a reminder...that I must always come back. 

Currently Reading: Mutant Message Down Marlo Morgan.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

"Uncharted Places" Music Video

has been released!

This is a MUSIC VIDEO I worked on over two years ago, which features the talented songwriter/ performer Alyson Greenfield!

It truly was a labor of love, bringing old and new friends together to help bring Director David Franklin's vision to life.  I assisted with the production during the film shoot, but mostly I designed & built those beautiful icarus wings! (That lantern I styled turned out cute, too.) It was especially cool to see how the greenscreen process works in person. I hope you enjoy how it turned out as much as I do!

As Alyson put it, "We worked with a notion of falling-- falling into sleep and dream, falling back down to earth from the heat and power of the sun, falling from the mast of a ship into the depths of the ocean, and an overarching notion of willingly falling into the unknown." 

Here's my behind-the-scenes video from the shoot, and you can read a more detailed blog post with pics about the journey HERE. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

*W&W Musical Summer Care Package Special!*

My Artners and I are working hard this summer to give the 
Will &Whit Musical wings....AND WE NEED YOUR HELP.

Please support our first Artner FUNdraiser!
**Please share this special dose of cure-for-summer-boredom 
with any parents, teachers, or librarians who might be interested**

* Shipping within USA, Available June 15th - July 15th, 2014.  *

Why is this a win-win?
  • This is an easy way to support the Will & Whit project. My Artners and I thank you!
  • It's a perfect gift for the Summer reader or young graduate in your life. Yay comics!
  • Who doesn't like getting snail mail?!  Especially from summer camp.
ORDER your care package here! 
Pssst--consider getting one for you and one for your local library.

Will & Whit Summer Care Package

We also welcome tax-deductible DONATIONS 
via our not for profit fiscal sponsor, 

* STAY TUNED for Artner updates from camp *