Friday, November 13, 2009

Home in Atlanta

After the flood, I'm guessing that the mysterious higher powers have taken pity on me and granted me some good fortune the past few weeks. Mainly, I got a job. Several jobs. Sealing my deal to stay in Atlanta, at least for the forseeable future.

I'm working at Brown Bag Marketing as an in-house illustrator. I've been promised full-time status when I graduate from school (yes, still at Portfolio Center, but taking less classes to accomadate for the 30+ hours a week that I work at Brown Bag), and am working mainly with a client that produces casino games. I am drawing lots of shiny gaudy stuff all day long, and I like it a whole lot. The schedule is fairly aggressive, so I'm always busy, but it feels nice to know that once I graduate, I have a sense of security in how I'm going to support myself / pay off my student loans.

However, during the time after the flood and before I was brought into Brown Bag, I had accepted to work on no fewer that four freelance jobs. A greeting card for a financial group, a header/logo for a financial group, a new holiday children's book for Jackson Fish Market, and illustrations for the Georgia Recycling Coalition, a department of the Atlanta government. So, needless to say, I've been in the business of being very busy.

Also! My children's book is finally on the web. Take a look for yourself at "The Frog Princess" on A Story Before Bed. There are many other esteemed colleagues of mine (haha, guys) who have stories published on there as well. Please let your friends with children in their lives know about this awesome web app. I hope it catches on, because the idea is great. My next book for them comes out before the holidays, so I'll keep you guys up to date with that as well.

I'm going to be looking at an apartment this weekend that's in the neighborhood that I love, and I don't want to jinx it by talking about it,'s so cute. I'm looking forward to moving on.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Taking off

...and I'm not talking about my clothes. Yet.

On the radar:

1) a job (!) at Brown Bag Marketing
2) a greeting card job
3) an iPhone app job

All while still doing school full time.
Good-bye time.

Friday, October 09, 2009

A new quarter, the last quarter.

Wrapped up the boutique job on Monday--glad to have that over with and also glad that it survived the flooding of my apartment. All that spray fixative really paid off, in the end.

Life is starting to look up these days, in spite of the less fun parts of my real-life. I've talked with fellow illustrators in the area and I know that we all have gotten about 3 to 4 phone calls this week about jobs and projects. This was also the last first week of school for me, and it looks like it's going to be a busy one.

I'm done with Portfolio Center in December. I kind of can't believe it. It's been such a part of my life for the past 2 years. In spite of all the headaches (and, lately, heartaches), it really did change who I am, what kind of artist I am, and what I want to be and do. For that, I guess, I'm pretty thankful. I had some dark moments right before the move to Atlanta. I'm still not 100% sure if this is the city I want to be in forever, but I need to give it a fair chance. As in, actually experience life in this city, instead of staying cooped up in the apartment all day long doing work.

Some new developments are taking place, re: those jobs I was talking about. More about those soon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Critique finale

I'm churning out these little mini-paintings, about one every night now for the past three days. It's somewhat therapeutic, as it balances out the hectic crazy that is studio week. Also, I am out of money again (thanks, utilities), and am thankful that I can paint as quickly as I can so that I can deliver the goods to the fine people that commission my poor ass.

Spent the weekend at Dragon*Con (also a reason for my poorness, oh, self-indulgence...D: ) where I didn't spend much money, but the money I did spend was all on artwork that was really inspiring. Please visit Gus Fink, Chris Hamer, and Sarah Frary, all who are going to be featured in a follow-up pimp post that I'll do in the future. For now, it's almost 2AM and I'm not as young as I used to be, so to bed for me, so I can get up and do some hardcore work tomorrow!

My last and final (THANK GOD) critique is in a week. THE FUTURE. I LOOK FORWARD TO IT.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Editorial work at its finest.
Job done in February. August.  D: D: D:

Can't complain too much.  Now I can pay off the rest of my tuition for this quarter, and the art director for this project is someone I will have as a reference for the rest of my life.  She was great to work with; not her fault the magazine took so long to pay me.  

Also, I just landed a job with a boutique that's opening up in Buckhead in the spring.  I get my advance for the project on Friday.  And then, I can pay rent!  Ah, living the dream.  Keeping it real.

More birds

Squak Squak.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Painting eases my raging anxiety.

It's been somewhat of a stressful time in my life. I'm out of money, I graduate in a mere few months, and I have to be out of my apartment by December. I'm not sure what pieces I'll have in my book. That worries me probably the most. Everyone who knows me knows that I'm not really much of a worrier, but the past few days have been really bad for some reason. Can't sleep. Drinking a lot of coffee. Really, really on edge.

To take the edge off, I've been doing little paintings that take maybe 2-3 hours a piece, at night, as a way to wind down. I'm not sure it's working, but at least I can get a painting out of it. It's good practice, considering I'm doing just about everything digital these days, and I'm on the computer for like 12-14 hours a day. Yeek.

Here's a couple that I did for people. JJP's is the octopus having coffee with myself. I did the other for my friend Jonathan's mom, with a couple of her dogs. I'm going to try to do a few each week. I think I need the therapy.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Chirp chirp!

Well, I just lost a whole lot of blog but I'll try to keep it short in case it decides to crash on me again.

Character development has been going great, and Gary and I sat down yesterday to talk about my book and the fact that I need to get out of here with some good work now that I graduate in about 4 months (oh crap). We have three solid pieces down, and I hope to bust them out by the end of this quarter (middle of September).

I talked to Sheila about getting a rep when I get out of this place and I'm still not sure what the best option is. Some people live by their rep and get tons of work--others say that reps are dying out, what with the internet being everybody's rep anyway. Not certain.

Anyway, for now, here are some birds. Each one is about an inch tall each. This is what I do instead of pay attention at seminar.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I draw Deb

Back from Otakon, which was a total blast and 100% better than I ever expected it to be.  Crab was eaten, fun times were had, and money was made.

So, that means that I'm back in Atlanta and resuming normal life.  I'm a little behind because of my trip but no matter--it looks like I'm still in step.  

Character development is going well, and here's a drawing of my friend Deb.  She was very cold in the room today, so I drew her wearing a sweater and a scarf, to see if that would help.  She said that it did.  Mission complete.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Snow Whites and Rose Reds

Another children's book for Jackson Fish Market is underway.  This is the weirdest version of Snow White and Rose Red that I have ever read, but here's the characters for now that I'm sending to them for review and edits.  Soon, it'll be storyboard and tight roughs time, and it'll be 5th quarter all over again.  Joy.

In other brilliant news, Tania made me a Michael Jackson bracelet, of which upon receipt, I almost came.  

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Recommendation: Jade Liebes

Really beautiful, textured work, of many different styles.  Extremely nice sense of color and composition--I love this!  Paintings are also brilliant.  Aghhh.  Check this artist out here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Space Robots in Love

Back at school, and only a few days until Otakon.  I'm crapping my pants because, once again, I don't have everything done that I'd like.  I've still got a lot of prints hanging around from the beginning of the con season, but I'd like to get 2 or 3 new pieces in before the the big weekend.  These are two experimental pieces that I'm doing, woodburning the lines and using oil for the colors.  Obviously, these are in-process, but I'm hoping to complete both by the end of the weekend.  Girl-Robot is done, but Boy-Robot I've just started painting.  Something a little different.  Don't know how well they will sell, but at this point, I'm glad to be experimenting.

The next few days will be dedicated to getting my ass in gear for Otakon.  I leave for Baltimore on Wednesday.  I'm excited to possibly make some money so that I can, you know, have food in the house that's not of the cereal variety, but I'm mostly excited to see my friends that I only see a few times a year.  And I'll eat some crab.  Yes, yes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cloudy Days

Well, 6th quarter is over and I'm just happy it's done with.  My critique lasted maybe 8 minutes, and I went out with Gary for pizza later on.  He really liked some of my character development.

I'll post more work this week, but here's some clouds I did for my final for Gary's plein air painting class.  It was taken with my cell phone so it's obviously not the best quality, but I worked my ass off on it, so here's some work in progress, which is the point of this blog anyway, I suppose.

I'm headed back to North Carolina to see my parents for a week or maybe a little more.  They need a vacation and I need to stay inside and avoid the daystar aka the sun, so it works out for both of us.  I just had a pretty stressful weekend in New Jersey for a work-related trip, and I'm ready to wind down for a little bit.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Critique is in  a mere couple weeks, and I'm so highly unmotivated and I'm finding it hard to do much of anything for more than ten or twenty minutes at a time.

Today, for instance, I was shuffling back and forth between a gouache painting, character development, photoshop dabblings, Flash mastering, and preparing final pieces for presentation at crit.  My arms and legs are wiggly spaghetti.  Even now I'm attempting to get my writings together for final to send tomorrow to Claire while blogging (obviously) and watching this Leonard Cohen documentary that Dante lent me that I'm starting to believe is actually...Bono's take on Leonard Cohen.  Which is unfortunate, because when I see Bono I want to punch him in his sunglassed-for-no-reason face and when I see Leonard Cohen I want to hug him and somehow absorb all his talent.

Anyway, here's a sketch I did of Lynette, another student at PC, who is graduating next quarter.  I graduate in a mere two more quarters, and just the thought of that makes my sphincter tighten, so I'm gonna skip over that conversation for now.  

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Recommendation: Ben Smith

Gary took me to some galleries off of Paces Ferry today, and ended up at the Twenty21Collections / gallery Rodin where they are featuring artist Ben Smith who does beautiful woodblock prints, but I was so, so impressed with his drawings.  

His site is here: 

Please be sure to check out his drawings--I was THIS close to buying a line / wash drawing of his--as his line is just so perfect.  Incredibly emotive line quality, agh.  I was blown away.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Difference

Something I wrote for Tania's class.
From the POV of a family member.
I walk into the bedroom to find her in front of the full-length mirror with the soft mahogany sides .  Gripping the edges, her little moon-shaped fingernail imprints decorate the wood.  She leans in close, nose touching the surface, breath fogging the glass.

“Hey, Katie-did,” I greet her.  “Whatcha lookin’ at?”

She giggles—she laughs at everything—and turns to me.  “My eyes,” she says.  She turns back quickly, nose to the mirror again.

I change out of my uniform and pull on a pair of linen pajamas I’ve had since I was nineteen.  The holes in the knees are familiar; the cuffs are a few inches too short.  I remember that Katie’s overalls are also too small—she shot up like a weed—and I turn to her again, but my body is frozen.

She sits quietly, Indian-style, her arms up, exposing her little pot-belly under the Spottie Dottie top we got for her fourth birthday.  Her forefingers and thumbs nimbly stretch her beautiful almond eyes open, her dark pupils floating in white circles.  Stretched as far as they can go, far from the curved eyes we have called lovely since the day she arrived on the plane with her daddy, her new daddy.

I want to do something.  I want to say something.  Anything.  My mouth, hands, are all grasping for words, coming up empty.  She doesn’t understand what she’s doing, or how it’s making my heart feel like it’s stuck in my throat.  Her world is Sanrio-colored and full of sunshine.

She’s going to start school soon; people will ask her why we look so different. They will ask her why her eyes are so small, and why her brother doesn’t have the same eyes.  She will say it like a script; that she has a unique family, that she is adopted from Korea, which is a seventeen-hour plane ride away, that she landed here to be with her family.  They will ask her where her real mom and dad are.  She will point to my husband and me; no one will believe her.

Some days she will come home crying; I’ll learn along the way that, just like in this moment, I can’t do much of anything but exist, and braid her hair, and pray that one day it won’t hurt as much.   She will end up attempting to destroy herself; I’ll blame myself for not doing more, and the fact that she doesn’t believe in God.  One day, she will look in the mirror in her own place, on her own time, and in her own way, learn to see herself the way that I see her.

But now, I sit in silence, looking at her, waiting; she’ll grow tired of this soon.  We’ll go downstairs, and she’ll put barrettes from the red paisley tin in my hair, and she’ll forget for a moment that my blonde is so different from her black.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I had the pleasure of working with Jonathan Smith and Will Lindberg on an entry for the AKQA Future Lions competition.  Please visit for more ideas, and let us know what you think!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


In Tania's class, I was instructed to make some lists, of which I've made two that I'll share with you.

Theme parties I would like to throw in my lifetime:
 - an inflatable animal party (please bring at least 1 inflatable animal upon entry)
- an outer space party (tin-foil must be on your costume, and black lights are necessary)
- a panda party (bring a panda, avoid wildlife preservationists)
- a thai tie party (prepare to eat thai food and wear a tie)
- an extreme stereotyped Asian party (kabuki make-up, sushi cake, chinese opera music)
- a Depeche Mode party (I mean, come on)
- a serial killer party (dress as your favorite beloved murdering abomination)
- a white trash barbeque party (kegs, frosted lip gloss, and jean cut-offs, ahoy!)

 What I would like to accomplish before I die:
- host all the previously listed theme parties
- take an incredibly touristy and outrageous picture in front of the Shibuya 109 building
- own a pot-bellied pig and/or a billy goat, and name it Walter
- become fluent in Japanese enough that I can throw insults back to these crazy bastards we bring over from Japan
- learn how to pee standing up, for shits and giggles
- acquire multiple tattoos of octopi
- get over my fear of bugs
- buy my mother a house with all the bells and whistles she’s ever wanted
- make out with Bjork (highly unlikely, but, hey, a girl can dream)
- knit a scarf without 23 holes in it
- consistently maintain a friendship for more than ten years
- learn how to fall in love again
- get married, legally
- pop a perfect bowl of popcorn, no kernels
- eat a dozen hot wings without wanting to plunge my head into a gallon of milk

Dragons still rule.

"With only one marshmallow left, the dragon pursed his lips, and barely whispered as the flames emitted from his swelled underbite.  Unfortunately, he was far too clumsy and awkward to do much of anything with grace or elegance, and in his efforts, he coughed and sent fire shooting from his astonished gums and setting the lone marshmallow ablaze.  He stared sadly at the charred tragedy, graham crackers in one hand, chocolate bar in the other.  It was truly the saddest day of his life."

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Coffee + Blog = What?

So, I have a blog now.

For the launch of the upcoming beautiful website that I will create...soon...I wanted a place to host a special blog / sketchbook section.  I carry one everywhere with me, and I'll just be scanning some stuff in, some thoughts.  

Some will be about the industry and how it's gonna suck once I get out of here and figure out where the hell me and the pooch are going to live.  Some will be about what's going on in my life, and how it's affecting my art (which is almost always).

For most that know me, they know I'm a pretty sensitive human being, but I'm not very emotional, so don't expect bouts of teary emotional word vomit on here.  Mostly just art, a bit of rage, and bit of ramble.

Current projects include:
- Usual Portfolio Center courseload that includes Plain Air Painting, Emotive Writing, Flash, etc.
- Future Lions (Jesus, this is the motherload)
- Mexican Luchadore Kool-Aid Pickles (I'll explain later)
- Making aforementioned website
- Some upcoming convention appearances (AZ in Raleigh, NC, Ota in Baltimore, MD)

In personal news, it's 2:30am, I've had an allergic reaction to ant bites, and I just popped 3 benedryl.  Let's see what happens.