Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Wonderful Artist You Must See.

Go visit this girl!
Her name is Kate McElroy, and she's probably one of the most talented artists I know who hasn't been discovered yet. Why, I can't explain. SO DISCOVER HER!!!

She works mostly in Microns/Prismacolor markers but is well-versed in many different media and went to the Art Institute of Boston for a few years. I met her in her prime days at the ol' Blick, and we became fast friends.

Let me tell you that she's more determined than anyone I know, and she's the type who might have to cancel plans with you because she's working on some super sweet epic drawing that she's been dreaming about all day. But she is a really, really great friend. Trust me.

Go visit her site!

More progress.

Did a couple of other characters.
I'm planning on keeping the girl and the spidercat as the only characters in straight, unfiltered light. I plan on having the other creatures receding into the background with their values and possibly a couple of filters to help it along. I'll still be adding more reflections/shadows to help show the characters are weighted and that they exist together.

I'm gonna change the background color, too. I was just playing around. And I'm digging the red reflections in the fat mask monster's eyes. I love drawing characters with bug eyes and little pupils for some reason.

Did the pants/boots/finished up the girl/the other two characters in roughly 2 hours. So we're at 1 hour for the sketch, 1 hour for the inks, 1.5 hours for the start (without counting the practice), and another 2 hours for this. So 5.5 hours in all, and a long way to go.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I <3 vinyl toys.

I bought another book today! It was $29.95 at the MFA bookstore. I want allll the art books in the world now. I think I'm going to start an Amazon wishlist or something. Do those even work?

Anyways, I bought Full Vinyl by Ivan Vartanian. It's basically amazing. It has soooo many of my favorite artists in it, such as Junko Mizuno, Dalek, and Tokidoki, focusing on vinyl toys and supergraphic artwork.

One of my dreams is to make vinyl toys one day (something I'm looking into). The other is to be in awesome, kickass anthologies with other hip and happening artists. I just need to find people who are motivate enough and who have enough time. It'll probably have to wait until I get out of school. But it'll be awesome!

Anyone know a good place I can find books on clowns? I've tried the MFA bookstore, Barnes & Noble, the MassArt library, and Borders. Nada. I suppose I should just check online, but I kinda need it for Monday. Any suggestions?

Finally, an art update.

A little one, anyways.

Today was the last time in my 4-year career at MassArt that I had to register for classes. And I decided, today, that I REFUSED to be at the back of the line as usual, getting shit classes that screwed up my schedule. So I was early. And in my earliness there was greatness. I couldn't get poster design for my last credit, so I asked Andy Fish (I copied Sylvia) if I could take an independent study with him next semester. And he said yes!!! I'm so excited! I get to take Andy Fish twice next semester, during my most crucial semester at MssArt. It's gonna be great. As long as he doesn't get sick of me. Haha.

On to art! I'm currently working on my stipple project for Mark Reusch's black and white class, and, to be honest, I haven't worked on it much lately because I've been so sick. I still feel like I'm choking all the time, but my acid reflux has calmed down some. I'm drawing my mum for the stipple project, because she always takes care of me and buys me groceries when I'm broke as a joke and lets me fall asleep on the couch at 7pm and not wake me up until 11am. Mums are the best thing in the world, so don't ever take your Mum for granted.

I'm also working on my detour project for Illustration 4. Spent some time today thinking of a coloring style to work in. This was the first attempt, which took about an hour and a half:

I mean, I didn't hate working this way, but I was doing it all on one layer (for some unknown reason), and her expression ended up not looking the way I had wanted. It's also super dark! Why so dark? I want it to be just as, if not more, whimsical than creepy. Like a weird adventure or something. Like she had to go on a DETOUR to pick up so many strange creatures!!! I'm SO clever.

But here's the style I decided on. (It's hi-res, and so is the other file.)

Her expression is jaded without looking like she's angry, which is what I was going for. Also, I really liked the lineart I had done by hand, but it was too stark, so I'm enjoying going over it and keeping the same flow with my wonderful pastel brushes in photoshop. I love textured brushes. <3 I also like drawing/coloring fabric, so I feel like I'm having more fun with this one. Lots more colors and reflections are going to be worked in once I get the general palette down for each character. I'm also trying to work in a way that isn't just light color + darker version of same color = shading. I'm trying to work in more colors, the way I would with paint.

So yay for that!

On a final note, I finally bought a book today I've wanted for quite a while.
I would KILL to be good enough to have my work featured in an anthology. I can honestly say there's not one artist in this book I dislike, and the ones I DO like I'm CRAZY for. I was lied to once and told I'd be helping out with a show for Alex Pardee, and I cried when I found out it wasn't true. And James Jean is my hero. The use of linework and soft shapes and faces and organic matter in his work is amazing to me. It's a good coffee table book to have, even though I don't own a coffee table.

More work updates soon! It's time to start cranking out some of these projects I have hanging around.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

So I'm probably gonna just become a clown.

Clowns get to hang out with kids, and wear bright costumes, and wear lots of makeup, and have blue hair, and make balloon animals.

Honestly, maybe I'll be a clown on the side.

My degree project is making me reconsider my life.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Slow decay, I won't stop fighing you.

I think I have vocal cord dysfunction (VCD), which is normally associated with GERD when refluxed acid begins to damage the vocal cords. That's why I feel like I'm constantly choking.

I swear I'll update with art soon!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fruits of my labor.

Thanks to everyone who gave me so much support. I'm truly lucky to know so many wonderful, wonderful people.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I feel so sick today. And the past week. Not like a cold sick or a fever sick, but horrible heartburn (I have GERD), bad headaches, severe sensitivity to light/sounds, and for some reason I've felt like I'm constantly choking on something - like there's something caught in my throat. I had to leave my favorite class today, but I went home and my boyfriend fed me soup. And I took a nap, so that helped. <3

After I was hospitalized a couple of years ago for GERD (a type of acid reflux illness where your stomach opening to your esophagus doesn't close, causing acid to wash up into your throat), I had to seeeeriously change my eating habits, which is something I've decided to take up again. So no caffeine, carbonated drinks, spicy food, citric acid, greasy foods, fried foods, or iceberg lettuce (yeah). Stress is a GIGANTIC factor in my acid reflux, so I'm going to have to try to find a way to not stress myself out.

And while I'm complaining, the cyst on my left wrist was TWITCHING today. I was afraid it was gonna be like one of those House episodes where someone hallucinates bugs coming out of their skin. But I'm getting surgery for that on Nov. 6th, and hopefully the problem will be gone forever. (Recap: I have an inflamed cyst on my left wrist that's pushing my bones apart and causing carpal tunnel. I've gotten it removed once, but it came back, so we're gonna cut the sucker out this time.)

BUT, there is good news!! I made the cover of the Dig, finally! This was the best news, at the end of the day, when I got out of work at 10 after dying all day, to see a delivery from the Dig to our store with dozens of copies of MY ARTWORK ON THE FRONT!!!

I'm so excited! Pick up a copy and read my bio on the second page! Yay!!

Time for tea and sleep! Bye bye!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Good news!

I really did make the Dig cover! They're in the final production stages now, so look for it soon!

I'm so excited! I'm gonna go celebrate and eat stir fry with my lovely boyfriend.

Yay! <3

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Why is is that as soon as I'm in the swing of doing art and getting my shit done and revolving my entire day/week around art, I have a random english paper thrown at me? I don't remember how to do english. I do art, and that takes up too large a part of my brain to be able to function normally around people most of the time.

So please.
No more essays.

And to top it off I have that STUPID freeeeeee credit report dot come song stuck in my head.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hello Children.

Felt like crap for part of today. I think it was mostly from being gone for the weekend and not having to do work and then having much too much caffeine this afternoon. I was very restless in class and couldn't commit to my artwork. And I was raving like a lunatic in Andy Fish's office trying to make sense of my non-wanting-to-do-artness.

But now I've had time to think about my work, and I even finished an assignment in the process! Yay! Gouache, about an hour and a half.

For my global warming project:

Other than that, I have two more things to show you that I've done today. So here's a drawing I did last year that I really dug that I decided to finally scan in and add the color scheme I had been thinking of. Just a little something to keep my mind thinking about art without shortcircuiting. Took about 30 minutes.

And alas, the last piece of the night. Well, I actually did this one before that last piece BUT whatever.

This is for one of my Illustration 4 assignments with my favorite teacher Andy Fish. It's an assignment for the entire senior class, and we're all competing to have our artwork on the cover of Undercover Fish's latest anthology. The only catch is that we don't actually know what the anthology is about, and that we have no idea who's actually going to be in it yet. The winner gets to have their work printed on the cover and have the book sold throughout the world/internets, and you get a cash prize too, which is pretty cool.

I'm trying to keep my cool about all this, as I'm used to disappointment by this time, and I know I can only try my absolute hardest, so I shouldn't even be worried about the winner/loser aspect. It would be nice to be published, and by nice I mean it would be AWESOME, but again, I've gotten my hopes up before about this stuff, and I've decided it's not worth it to worry about all that. I just want to make an awesome, professional-quality piece of art that I can at least make a cover dummy with for my portfolio.

Anyways, enough rambling, onto my sketch. Took about 2 hours just for the sketch, switching thing and reworking things until I liked the combination of characters. It makes me happy. It makes me feel good about my artwork and my abilities. I've regained the self esteem I lost earlier today.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I should be asleep.

Showed Brian Butler my Ice Cream People piece. He liked it! Yay! So hopefully that'll be up soon. I'll let you know. In the meantime, check out the other entries in his gallery! They're awesome!!

Other than that, went flyering today at MassArt. Accidentally slept through my english class. Been burnt out lately. But I'm spending the weekend with my family (we're going to Salem for my sister's birthday), and we have an extra day off next week, so that'll give me more time to get my stuff done... even though I'm caught up/ahead with everything.

Also, I'm making a new flyer for Blick, for our Montana spray paint demo, which will be AWESOME. Artists for Humanity is going to be there demonstrating, and we generally have a good time on demo day. It's one day out of every few where my managers aren't stressed, the customers aren't cranky, and my coworkers are joyous. Maybe we'll have snacks again this time.
But, uh, here's my guy that I made up for my flyer. I like having a hand-done element in all of my flyers. They're becoming more completely hand-done each time I do one. I think I have a dozen or so to start a portfolio with so far. Sweet.

And yes, he has a Decepticon belt buckle. Hell yes.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Been listening to a lot of Royksopp lately.

Coupla things I finished tonight. Homework's been slow, because I'm caught up/ahead in my classes, so I decided to take a night to finish stuff I wanted/needed to finish.

First up:

Flyer for the Illustration field trip. Next Friday, day trip all over the place. I'd go if I didn't have to work. Everyone likes squids. Hand drawn with photoshop grayscale. About 2.5 hours because my computer was running like shit.


Just a little doodle of my ghostie from my big painting I posted a few days ago. I'm in love with him. His name is "Bacon" because Mister Reusch thought his headfabric looked like bacon. So Bacon he shall be. Hand drawn + photoshop color, about an hour.

And lastly:

This is for Brian Butler's Ice Cream People site ( It seems like everyone else had jumped on the bandwagon, and I had lost all my postcards. So it was time. Hope he likes it! It's clown-flavored! Gouache, about 2 hours or less.

Other than that, I'm trying to get published. Anywhere. I feel like I've done so much to promote myself and get myself real good at everything, but I'm still in the same boat as everybody else. I feel like I'm always let down when I'm made a promise. I write my own contracts, I show up on time, I finish my projects (for clients, cough) on time if not early or instantly.

It'll just take some time.

But now I'm exhausted. Goodnight!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Okay, so.

This glob REALLY needs some artwork in it. Why should I tell people to come here if there's NOTHING TO SEE?

Because I said so, that's why.

But anyways, let me share with you some works you may or may not have seen, old or new.

THIS is my most favorite piece of artwork ever. Whenever I look at this piece, I feel like a good artist. It's painted in gouache (which of course my spellchecker doesn't think is a word), and I did it last spring. I have a thing for clowns. I don't know why. I had written on the back of it, "Anywhere is better than here." I must have been a Moody Trudy that day.

These are the first few pages of a children's book I've been writing. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer this January, and, thankfully, she beat it by the end of the summer. During that time, I was pretty much a wreck, knowing that her mum had had breast cancer as well, but I wanted to show her my support, so I started this book in Narrative Illustration last semester. Linda Bourke has always been a sort of a backbone for me while I've been at MassArt, telling me straight when I was irresponsible and being a shoulder to lean on, knowing she's been through so much. She had a seizure right around the same time my mum went in for surgery, and I was so worried about the both of them. But now that they're doing better, I'm so relieved. And when Linda comes back, I might have an independent study with her.

Oh! And when I went on the cancer walk on Thursday, I painted a little pink ribbon on my hat! (See profile picture.)

Also, these were done on toned paper with brown higgins ink, a pitt brush pen, and pink/ivory gouache.

And, last but not least, this is a piece I've completed for my Illustration 4 class with my other backbone at MassArt, Andy Fish. The assignment was that, if we were hired to our dream job, what would it be? And I picked being on the cover of Juxtapoz (sorry about the fuzzy quality - damn you fluorescent lighting!). Now, being that I worked on a wonky sheet of paper, I think the cover's out. But I could still do a spread and write an article about myself or something. I think that would be cool.

Either way, I really pushed the crap out of myself with this piece, which, inevitably made me fall behind for a class. But now that it's done, I'm incredibly proud of it. I'm surprised at the way I solved some of my problems - some didn't take much effort at all. It was just very time-consuming, something that doesn't bother me, but would definitely bother a client with a deadline. I'm getting better with acryla gouache, my most favorite medium of all time, and I want to see how I can push it. I usually use it very precisely, as with the top two pictures, but in this piece I added a lot of mess and dry brush effects, so I'm very pleased overall.

Thus concludes my little art journey for the day. Once again, I've never put these pieces up before, so I'm happy to present some art that means a lot to me. Here's to me finishing stuff on time in the future! Yay!

Maybe in November.

Tak didn't pick my cover for the Dig.

Maybe in November, he said.

EDIT: Maybe I can make one of the giant spreads for the middle of the magazine.
Don't give up, Bamcat!

It's that time of year, folks!

This year, Stephen Hamilton and I are running the SGA for Illustration, so we're taking care of EVERYTHING! Yay!

WHICH INCLUDES THE T-SHIRT CONTEST! The judges have yet to be announced (*ahem* asked to participate), but we'll be selecting up to 4 designs to have printed this year on shirts/sweatshirts to sell to raise money for the Illustration department for wonderful treats and trips.

Either way, starting tomorrow, Oct. 6th, you may leave a cd in the folder at my studio (#14 on the 9th floor) with A. YOUR NAME, B. YOUR EMAIL, and C. YOUR FAVORITE COLOR. Number of entries doesn't matter. FILES MAY NOT EXCEED 5MB. And you need to be able to picture them being printed smaller than 11" x 14". So try not to include too many crazy itty bitty sketch lines or teeny weeny screen tone patterns as they'll probably be lost in the process. And no gray scale! This is stark black and white, guys!

ALSO, if there's anyone who would be willing to help out with the silkscreening, it would healthily obliged. We'll give you a free shirt! Remember, Stephen and I are pretty much doing this crap on our own, so help out! We're just as stressed and tired as you! Love us!

You can reach me anytime at for questions, or you can find me at my studio most of the time. If I'm not there, email or a note. Thanks again!! Good luck!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

First finished piece of the year (technically).

This is something I did for Roosh's Black and White Illustration class.

It's an editorial picture based on an article about uranium/plutonium-contaminated water in New Hampshire. I remember one line saying people were worried about "long-term effects."

I just wanted it to be silly and have kind of an old-school Hanna Barbara cartoon feel.

Brush and ink - I had never used it before this assignment.

In other news, I'm pretty caught up in my classwork, and as a reward to myself, I went to visit my boyfriend this past weekend. We got drunk and played cards and I beat him with his cane when he misbehaved and hung out with his family, who I adore. I had a wonderful time, and, despite doing random bits of homework before he got up yesterday and today, it was very, very relaxing. Jerry helps me to remember that life is great at present and that sometimes I need to hang on and appreciate what's around me before my head jumps to tomorrow and the next week too quickly. He's recovering so quickly, and I hope we'll be able to celebrate our one-year anniversary soon (he broke his leg on the 7th of September, and our anniversary was the 11th :( ).

So now I'm off to work on Andy Fish homework and Mister Roosh work. Boh-bye.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Success! (mostly)

I finished my zombie/ghost picture today.
I think it's around 22" x 28", which is the largest painting I've ever completed using mostly a #2, a #6, and a #14 round brush. It looks amazing. I'm incredibly proud of myself. It took around 20 hours from start to finish, the same amount I've spent on much smaller endeavors in the past. I'm becoming more efficient! *pumps fist in the air*


-Birthday present for Jessica (my sister, her birthday was today)
-Flyer for field trip to the Rockwell Museum
-Flyer for the t-shirt contest (everybody enter!!)
-Email Andy Fish new sketches of global warming project
-Start pen and ink project for black and white illustration
-10 thumbnails for degree project on Monday
-schedule interview/field trip for degree project for Monday
-sketches for new black and white illustration project
-Montana spray paint demo flyer for Blick

I' can't believe that this is the shortest list of things to do I've had in about a year.

But because I've caught up on my work, I can go see Jerry this weekend!! Yay!

So go see my painting! It's up in my studio until I can spray varnish/get a hi res photo of it. I'm so excited! I'm on the path to becoming a legitimate artist. :)

Lots of love! Goodnight!