Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Was feeling bad, but feeling better now. Sometimes a million things want to kick you down in one day, and you get fed up.

Today is a day for coffee with friends, cleaning my mum's house for company, doing all my laundry (and it's a hell of a lot of laundry), depositing the hundred smackaroos I got for being second place in Detour, finishing my Dracula piece, and stealing a couple of my mum's Kahlua mudslides.

Today is a new triumphant day. It's almost Thanksgiving, and I have many things and people to be thankful for. That's the whole point of the holiday, right? Oh, I forgot. Pie. Pie is the whole point of the holiday. I'm so thankful for pie. <3

It's not a lover I want no more,
and it's not heaven I'm pining for,
but there's some spirit I used to know,
that's been drowned out by the radio

They say a watched pot won't ever boil,
you can't raise a baby on motor oil,
just like a seed down in the soil
you gotta give it time.

The Arcade Fire - Kettles

Monday, November 24, 2008

1st Part of Degree Project

Here's the first part of my first final for Degree Project. This fine gentleman is Quail Dobbs, a famous rodeo clown. My Degree Project is basically a children's book (not my original idea..) showcasing different famous clowns and telling a few facts about their lives in poem-form (Lindsay's idea, which I think is cute). As per Linda's request, I'm doing the finished portraits separate from the Backgrounds, leaving more room for mistakes.

Gouache, about 5 hours. 16" x 20" or so. I'm really pleased with how this came out - I actually redrew him from my sketch instead of just transferring my final sketch (something I've become accustomed to NOT doing anymore). Either way, love him, love him, love him.

Wish me luck on the background! I'll post them both together once I've got them done. 

Hey, rich people:

My tablet stylus has disappeared. After I had my surgery and brought it to my parents' house (ugh, horrible idea), I feel one of their kittens took it and hid it and possibly destroyed it.

So visit my Amazon wishlist and buy me a new one. Or I'll make you a sick drawing in exchange.

Also, there are some AWESOME, GORGEOUS books on that wishlist, too. Christmas? Anyone? For me?

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Going on a trip!

Third weekend in December, I'll be bouncing around Portland, Maine, spending some much-needed time with great friends, including Jared. Jared's always been wonderful to me (except that time he cheated on me and we broke up :P), but he's still one of the few men in my life who are genuinely concerned with my progress and always have something supportive to say. So we'll have some Brandy and watch Hedwig and the Angry Inch and catch up, and it will be a good time to get away after final reviews.

Go check out the movie Jared worked on and won the 2008 Audience Choice Award for here!

Doing some freelance work - not sure what yet, but hopefully something simple that I can complete without schoolwork killing me. Might even be doing some promo stuff for Chaos Before Creation (a local band from the south shore), so we'll see if anything comes of that.

I also did a couple of sketches on the train today. Here they are if you want to check them out.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shame In You

It sucks to know you probably didn't mean as much to someone you loved as you thought. And it sucks to think that you were probably never that important to them to begin with.

I'm tired of living life alone.

It doesn't matter if you miss someone. It doesn't make everything right.

...I hate being depressed about this stuff.

When I awaken, and I'm aching, time for sleeping, yeah
When I'm saying time to go and, I've been hurting, yeah
When I'm laying, I'm still trying, concentrating on dying

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Second place, bitches.

Everybody congratulate Lindsay Small for pwning everybody in the Detour cover contest for Undercover Fish. She's my super hero!!!!

Here's her cover!!!

Go to her blog and tell her you love her!


As for me, I got second place. But I'll take second if she's first. :)

*fall over*

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Today, I finished another sketchbook. It's always so sad when you get to the last page (which I never draw on, by the way, because I don't like my pencil digging into the chipboard on the back). It's like part of your life is just sectioned off in this thing, this number of pages, and you know in a few months it won't be as vital and important and, well, as good as the work you'll be producing later on. But every chapter is an important one. Sophomore year, I couldn't even finish a sketchbook in a year. Now I work in several at a time.

So here are some of my favorite sketches from my 9" x 12" (an odd size for me, because I like working in squares) that lasted me from the first day of school this semester until today.

And last but not least, a drawing I made of Lindsay on our first class of the year together. She's become a great friend to me this year, and I've admired her work and her enthusiasm for a long time. She's one of few people I'll openly admit has made my project look like crap in comparison on many, many occasions. Her love for art and her humble attitude make her one of the most lovely people I know, and I know she's gonna get somewhere in life. And I'll be right behind her.


is a new day. Happy happy.
I have renewed vigor.
(even though my ex ex ex boyfriend called me at 6 in the morning from Iraq.)

But today I will force the Business office to give me the money they owe me.
Today I will have Black and White Illustration with Mister Roosh who's AWESOME. On that note, everybody in that class is AWESOME. We laugh all the way through class and still come out with great work.

Might hang out with my buddy Doug later. He's a great artist, too. He used to do the big windows at Blick before he moved way the hell away to Alaska (and back) and bestowed the job unto me. He's a great guy, an Illustrator and a graduate from AIB, so if you get a chance to look at his work, please do:

Tonight, Detour final touches. I want to explore every possible option with this piece to make it THE BEST piece it can be. I admit I was a bit cranky about changing it. But remember? Renewed vigor!

And Friday night, the friend I'm going to the Electric Six show with? This guy: Patrick Fahy. He's a very good friend of mine who's an incredible jewelry maker/toy maker. He has about A THOUSAND toy robots (Lindsay you would pee yourself if you saw his collection) and is into a lot of the same kind of art as me. I've always wanted to learn how to make molds and casts and stuff, and he's already been a big help in trying to teach me. Yay Patrick!

Now, I'm off to school! Renewed vigor! Hopefully hash browns too! (I love hash browns. <3)


My computer pisses me off.

Drew this earlier! I was making faces at myself in the mirror.
That's what lonely people do. True story: my dad used to videotape himself making stupid faces in the mirror and laughed at himself. Like father like daughter.

Going to see ELECTRIC SIX on Friday with a good friend. He's into toymaking, and he said he'd like to translate one of my characters into a toy if I make him a drawing. Sounds good to me - I like toys. :)

Very tired now. I think I'll make it an early night.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fuck. Yeah.

Pretty much foaming at the mouth right now I'm so excited.

We had our BIG DETOUR PROJECT JUDGEMENT DAY OF DOOM today. (See post two below this one for my entry.) The judges liked it, I got good feedback and a sense of validation I've been really needing lately. My piece is a finalist of ten for a chance to be on the cover. I was really excited to see all the editors again (I walked into Andy Fish's office and told Jamie Buckmaster to not mind how sweaty I was - why would I say that to someone? Whatever). Veronica's feedback meant a lot to me, as I feel that her comment on my piece when I was doing the colors differently REALLY turned the whole thing around. I still got the weird and slightly eerie feeling from my piece without going overboard, and without her suggestion I don't think I would have been pleased with how it came out.

All of the other entries were fantastic (save one or two), and I'm really impressed with how much work some people put into theirs. It reassures me that I'm working with soon-to-be professionals and that I'm in the right setting for becoming a professional myself. I don't care so much about winning (though I feel my chances are good) as much as I care about getting feedback from people who are doing what I want to be doing. I want to know I'm at least heading in the right direction and/or how I can get better. I know if I'm going to be doing this that I have to do all of the work myself, so any guidance whatsoever is priceless.

Good looks to everybody who worked their asses off on this project, and congratulations to the other finalists as well.

OH OH OH!! Tak from the Dig sent Andy Fish two big copies of my Dig cover from a couple weeks ago - AND HE GAVE ME ONE!!! It's big and beautiful and it has all my lovely pastel-y texture on it and it's officially my most prized possession.

Today is really working out for me. I MUST GO DO ART NOW.

Monday, November 17, 2008


The letters pile up in the hallway

Junk mail and bills from the catalogs
And the neighbors have guessed, 'cause I've canceled the milk
And they don't hear your voice through the walls anymore

How is your life today?

I was kissed on the cheek by a cold mouth
While the taxi was waiting like a getaway car
And each second seems like a lifetime
And the cat, it's been staring at me all this time

How is your life today?

Porcupine Tree - How Is Your Life Today?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Detour = Finished.

Hand-done linework, digital color. Approximately 11 hours (not including my bazillion other attempts).

I'm not touching this anymore. I love it, I'm happy with it, and I can't wait to see it printed on pretty paper and displayed in my portfolio. I still captured the eerie feeling I was looking for but still kept it upbeat with the help of every person and teacher and even people I don't know.

I'm happy it's done. I hope I make Andy Fish and Veronica proud the most, because Andy's my favorite and Veronica's my idol. So I guess we'll see on Tuesday.

I've been staring at a screen for about 5 straight hours now, so I'm gonna go home and take a shower and sleep. 11 hours in the studio is good enough on a Sunday.

I have lots of sketches to post which I'll hopefully get around to soon. Wish me good luck on Tusday when they judge my piece!!! :D

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Playing around.

Still kind of unsure where I'm going.
I LOVE the way this looks, but I wouldn't consider it a finished book cover for a comic anthology that I would like to purchase in a store.

Not quite there, don't know if it's even quite close.

But here it is.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nightmare *cue spooky music*

This is my finish for my Black and White Illustration class. Our assignment was to do a loose, quick acrylic painting with one main focal point, creating a dream-like kind of image.

You wouldn't want to run into this guy in the middle of the night.

Enjoy! Time to work on my Detour project!

A woman holds her tongue, knowing silence will speak for her.

Today, I spent twelve and a half hours at work. Twelve and a half. Creating a beautiful mural with Alex Carlson for Blick. With one break. With an aching wrist and a short fuse. I remember a bunch of sad Elvis songs coming on and thinking of Jerry, which did not help my mood.

It was grueling.

But! The mural looks great. It's a new piece to put on my resume. Something that I can be proud of, something that was my design, something that will be passed by thousands of people between now and April when the new one goes up.

Was it worth it? Yes. I needed time to remember to focus on my art and to get something done without any excuse. If it didn't get done, no one else would do it. Well, they'd do it, but they wouldn't do it the way I would, the way I had envisioned it to be. So I'm proud that my design made it up there, without any half-assing on anyone's part and without just throwing in the towel halfway through because I was frustrated and sore and grumpy. I'm proud of myself and of Alex for just pushing through and getting it done. Though it was a low-paying one, it was still an accomplishment, and I know my mum will be proud of me. So it was worth it.

Between that and all of the chaos going on, I NEED to spend a shitload of time in my studio. I need to remember how much the working atmosphere does me good. It's important for me to keep producing finishes, to have work to look back on later so I can improve.

I'm feeling better about things. I'm not letting things get to me anymore. What's done is done and what's in the past is in the past. Time to move forward. I can finally focus on me and no one else so that I can become the person I want to be. I'm hopeful. I'm willing. I'm able. I'm Allison "Bamcat" Bamford.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Blick winter windows.

As you may or may not know, I paint the windows now outside of Blick Art Materials (where I work) in Fenway. There's amazing foot traffic in that area, which is a great way to get my work noticed, and there's a company-wide contest for the windows we paint in the window, and if we get picked for having the best windows, we get a party. The task of painting the windows has been passed down to me this year after two of my favorite people left Blick for different life paths, so I'm excited for the opportunity.

My boss decided she wanted a big snowglobe in the middle with Boston inside. (I wanted yetis playing in the snow, but oh well.) Each window is 10' x 10', with lots of annoying supports and borders in between, which are tricky to work around, but that's okay. This year my incredibly talented peer and coworker Alex Carlson will be helping me, but I MUST do the linework. It's very important to me because I get very few opportunities to paint large, so it's very relaxing and meditative to make long sweeping strokes with big brushes. It makes me happy. <3

Here's the mockup. Expect to see these babies done in the next week or two.

Monday, November 10, 2008


These are all the entries we received. Judging will be completed today and tomorrow and results will be posted Wednesday night. Winners will be contacted so we can ask which colors they want the shirts printed on.

(black block will not be included in printing process.

AGAIN, I'd like to thank everybody who took the time to enter. These all look great!

And don't forget - Mister Roosh is looking to make a black and white book this year showcasing artwork of the like, so enter black and white images for the book too!
Thanks guys!

Another art-unrelated post.

EDIT: Ok, I'm done feeling sorry for myself now. Here's to a better point of view and making the best of now and getting my work done. Things will be alright and I'm not letting any medical crap stop me from being optimistic. So yeah. .

So I'm falling apart, basically.

I got my surgery Thursday, and now I have a massive cast on my left arm. I have a bruise from my IV. Today, I went to the doctor for a checkup. They're giving me medication for my migraines (I get migraines that last for hours along with vision loss) along with a CAT scan to make sure there's nothing worse. So that's something to look forward to. And I got my blood drawn, which is no big deal, but when we were going to check me out, I got really dizzy and woozy and came THIS close to fainting in the waiting room.

I'm a wreck today. And I was a wreck yesterday. And I'm tired of being a wreck.

I'll spend the whole day in my studio tomorrow and just work and relax.

As for now, I'm going to take a nap and forget about life for a minute.

Important art update in the 9th floor blog today. T-shirt contest entries. Winners announced tomorrow, probably.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I broke up with Jerry.

Somebody cuddle me.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Grumpy post.

My medication is making me feel really sick. Went out with my sister today to do some shoppin' and came home wanting to roll over and die. Not to mention people bumping into my cast all day.

And my boyfriend still hasn't come to visit me. Whatever.

I'm stressed and I can't relax, and I feel like I need to be doing a million more things than I'm physically capable of doing right now.

I've had awful acid reflux all day. I'm surrounded by pill bottles.

But at least Shtep came to visit tonight. We went on a Panera date. And I bought new combat boots by my favorite brand for $12. And I get to snuggle with my mum's kittens all night.

Sleep now. Don't know if I'll make it to class Monday. Goodnight.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Alive/conscious after surgery.

Had my surgery today. Everything went smoothly, and everyone at the hospital was really nice to me (a couple of nurses stopped to tell me they like my hair <3). I can type with two hands, but the size of the MASSIVE splint on my left arm makes me keep hitting the control key. Grr.

Lots of resting today and tomorrow. Probably some homework tonight. Visits with friends tomorrow and on the weekend. And I'm going to my Dad's boat club on Sunday to have lobster! Delicious.

My wrist is killing me, and I'm still covered in iodine, but things are generally well in my world. I just need lots of pampering. PAMPER ME. WORSHIP ME.

But I don't want to leave you guys without an art update, so here's a sketch for my black and white class. We're supposed to be doing a dream-like piece, so I'm veering off into nightmare world.

Enjoy! Thank God I still have my right hand! (Also, using PS 7.0 at my parents' house is weird. And their computer runs a LOT faster than mine...)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Stipple finish.

The end result of 8+ hours stippling. I like to do really technical stuff every once in a while. It helps me get better at my graphic work.

This song reminds me of graduating high school.

Rosemary was my best friend Pete's mum's name.

Leave some shards under the belly
Lay some grease inside my hand
It's a sentimental jury
And the makings of a good plan
You've come to love me lightly
Yeah, you've come to hold me tight
Is this motion everlasting
Or do shutters pass in the night?

Interpol - Evil

(PS: My senior year of high school, I got in two horrible car accidents. In one, the tire exploded on my side of the car and it flipped twice into a ditch at 70mph. I crawled out the back windshield laughing.)

I'm like a fiery pigeon with a fucked-up wrist.

Before I ship off to Rockland for some wholesome surgery goodness:

I'm working on a stipple portrait of my Mum for Black and White. The assignment was to illustrate someone important to us, incorporating 3 elements of their lives in a black and white stipple piece. I chose my Mum because of her role in my life. When I was little, I remember her coming to pick me up at school at 6:30 every night, in a power suit and big black sunglasses, strutting across the playground as the strongest woman I knew. She recently beat breast cancer this year, a disease that her mother went through that I most likely will also go through. But because of her strength, I'm not afraid, and I'll kick the shit out of cancer if I even hear about it.
Her support since I was 8 about going to art school (we went to art classes together in matching turtlenecks, aww!) and her support now that I'm a big girl has been one of the few things keeping me sane. So here's my mum's portrait in sketch form. I'll post the finish when I'm done.
The rabbit symbolizes the children's book I've been working on with the rabbit characters, as we raised dozens of rabbits when I was a child and my very first stuffed animal is a big pink bunny named Bunny Bun-Bun. I had also written a poem about my sister when she was going through a lot of emotional problems about being a rabbit trapped in a cage when we lived in a California, only to be released and nervous and scared when we moved to Mass. I don't know - it's this really big thing in my life that's hard to explain. "Bamford" is more than just a word to me.

Speaking of Bamfords, I'm doing a commission for my sister Jessica of a coat of arms of the o'mighty Bamford name.

Bamford is an Irish name, as far as I know. I'm about 90% Irish, and me great grampy McQuinn was my grampy's daddy. So I WOULD have been a McQuinn if someone didn't have a random stint in England to change my last name to Bamford. But whatever.
My aunty Susan still lives in California, and she's probably my favorite relative. She does photo restoration in her spare time along with documenting the roots of the Bamford clan. She has books and binders and enormous amounts of information on my family history, hopefully something one of of younger kids will continue when she's too old to do so. She really truly understands me as human, so recreating this important element in our family history (probably in a more graphic, contemporary way) will be my part in continuing our name for future generations. It's always good to know where you came from, and maybe one day my great grandkids will think I was a good artist. They better respect me, or they'll be gettin' a whippin'.

I'm pretty much rambling at this point, so I may as well continue as a meditative thing for myself. Andy Fish gave me a ride to work today, which was really really really nice of him, because I totally could have walked, but there are creepy people in the Fens and I've already been nearly assaulted by enough homeless men this week. But he asked me if I was a nervous person, and I kind of puffed up like a threatened bird. No one's ever told me I seem nervous, or if I look uneasy. I'm usually the person who talks too much, or is too confident, or is overbearing. So it ruffled my feathers (to continue the bird analogy). I guess I'll just have to be more show-offy and overbearing from now on as to not embarass myself. (All I thought of in the car was, "Allison, don't swear as much as you normally do. He's your teacher." haha.)


I need to finish my homework. Away I go!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Detour progress

More progress. I'm kind of doing a color comp, just to figure out the rest of the characters and how the values will all work together. I like the girl, the catspider, the fat maskguy, and the layout for the sunflower monster/tv dog. Other than that, everything is in the works. The rest of the characters will be much darker, and I'm thinking of adding a second crazy lightsource coming from the left to give the back cover a little pizazz since the characters will be darker.

Either way, I'm digging it. I rarely work on the same project for more than a few weeks without hating it, and I'm still really liking this one.

Keeping the good vibes up. Soundgarden is one of the more predominant bands I listen to when I draw. So here's a Soundgarden song I listen to constantly. 4th of July. I listen to this song almost every day.

My Degree Project class went well today, for once. I stood up for myself and my ideas and kind of half reassured my teacher that everything was going to turn out awesome. So here's to more good classes.

Also: surgery on Thursday. Pretty psyched. For those who don't know, I have an inflamed cyst on my left wrist (due to a massive woodcarving I did last year) that puts me in unbearable pain a lot of the time, so I'm getting that sucker OUT. I got it drained once and it came back 2 weeks later, so I decided surgery is the best route to go. I'll be coherent within an hour of the surgery, but I won't be able to do much with it for a couple of days, so I'm gonna take it easy at my parents' house for a bit. I'll be online, and I'm gonna bring my tablet, so if you need me, contact me.

Lots of love!
-Cherry Bomb Bamcat

Monday, November 3, 2008

Red head bed said bread.

In case you have trouble recognizing me, this is what I look like now. I match the leaves!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


So last night was really interesting.

I went on an adventure (or 3) with Kerstin. We got lost on the way to the Phantasmagoria show (after already being late) but somehow made it before they kicked everybody out. It would have been easier if we were on horses. (My horse would be a pinto.) I even saw Dan Blakeslee on the way there in costume, so it was nice to see him. I missed Andy Fish, but I did see Mark Reusch, and a photographer from the Dig took our picture together.

Speaking of the photographer, he gave us a ride to Somerville, which was pretty okay. He followed me and Kerstin around for a while, I got a quesadilla, and then we somehow got in for free at the Abbey Lounge, where a not-so-great Rockabillyish band was playing. The bassist was dressed as the bride of Frankenstein, and she was wearing 7 inch heels. The photographer left us, and we set forth on another journey.

We headed to Porter Square, about a 20 minute walk, and we were heading for my roommate's cousin's Halloween party. We got horribly lost again, only moreso that time, but we found some nice people with a map on their phone, and my roommate FINALLY picked up her phone to tell me the address. So we went, and it was excellent. There was free booze and free candy everywhere, and we danced and were happy and went home in a cab. I don't remember much about falling asleep, but I do remember seeing Kerstin in my Led Zeppelin jammies.

All in all it was a very eventful evening. I felt like a 20 year old kid for once instead of a 45 year old career woman. Kerstin is very free-spirited, and we're very different, but I'm happy I got to spend Halloween with her.

Happy Halloween.

(I was a witch with no hat. Kerstin was apparently the girl from the exorcist.)