Fireside Magazine

I’m ridiculously thrilled to announce my involvement in Fireside Magazine issue 3!

Fireside Kickstarter screenshot

For those who haven’t heard of it yet, it’s a robust multi-genre literary magazine that focuses on good good storytelling and great treatment of its creative elements. Issue three will contain fiction by Mary Robinette Kowal, Daniel Abraham, Elizabeth Bear, and Lucas J.W. Johnson. And I get to illustrate all that! Plus the amazing (I am not kidding) Christine Larsen is illustrating a comic by Rachel Deering for the issue, which should be absolutely gorgeous.

But yeah, I get to contribute four illustrations (including the cover). Can I reiterate how thrilled I am?

If you need to catch up on the back issues, you can do that either by heading over to Weightless Books or by throwing at least $9 to the kickstarter (you know which one I’d recommend…) I’ve read them both, and give a hearty reader’s endorsement.


Horror games and the Sea

Village of the Sea, city seal

It’s the last week of this incredible Kickstarter drive, and I had to share it. Not just because I’m involved, but because it’s really everything I could ever hope for as the RPG-and-horror-and-mystery-and-non-neurotypical loving geek that I am. Seriously. If there were dragons and a subsection about Pacific Northwest birds this would cover about all of my biggest passions.

Excerpt from the guide:

I like writing about beautiful, horrible things. The Village by the Sea is a beautiful, horrible place. And I want to take you there.

The Guide covers neighborhoods, families and coverups and over a hundred years of history, for a town that exists outside of time and place. This could be the town you stopped in as a child on your way to see family. It might be your hometown. This could even be the town just down the road from yours.

The Village by the Sea was founded on the coast in 1850. Its founding families still exert force on the course of Village history, its borders have crept over devoured nearby settlements, and its piers are washed in blood. The monuments to dead sailors cast shadows in the park. There are always new missing posters outside the market.

There is never a year without a candlelit vigil for the dead.

I’ve got the village in my blood. I may not be nice all the time, and days of cutesie teen detective work are long behind me. I may have issues, but letting people die isn’t usually one of them. I came back here because I didn’t have a choice, and writing the guide is all I have left.

-“The Guide to the Village by the Sea,” Ashley Hart

And watch the video. I think Lillian does a pretty awesome job of saying it all: Coastal small town horror themed tabletop RPG with a mystery subplot involving a synesthetic detective? And Lillian Cohen-Moore is masterminding it? And Lisa Grabenstetter’s doing art for it?

Just about perfect, amiright? I am. You want a copy, and it’s only $5 for the bottom level. Go on!

As of my writing this, they’ve fulfilled their funding goal and are formulating amazing new stretch goals to fulfill. This can only get better and better.

*{I have this new job (as a patent illustrator), so please forgive my reticence on here while I get settled in!}


Manhunt, an illustration

An illustration I very recently completed has gone live on, The Canadian Science Fiction Review, so now I can share!


What. No men here.

I was extremely flattered when the editor sent me this story, telling me that he felt my style suited it. It’s strange and poignant and grotesque, all the qualities I love best in one place.

So check it out, and read the entire issue while you’re over there!

The thumbnail sketches from the project are after the cut, for the curious.

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Prismatic Art

If you’ve missed the news that I’m a huge nerd, you haven’t been following me too closely. I’m a huge. Nerd. Also a huge proponent of equal rights and representation for everyone, even in fantasy settings. So when Prismatic Art Collection put out a call for artists, you can imagine my feelings. I threw in my contributor hat immediately.

What is it? Well, right now it’s a Kickstarter project with the aim of commissioning a bunch of art from illustrators of diverse backgrounds of fantasy characters with diverse backgrounds. It’s hard to miss that the worlds of D&D and most of its cousins are peopled by a jarringly homogenous cast. The aim of Prismatic Art is to compile a selection of stock illustrations that add a little (racial, gender, ability) diversity to the mix.

If this sounds as encouraging to you as it did to me, go take a gander at the project! Even if you can’t afford to contribute, spreading the word is a great way to help too!


Birdmarks part 2

After much procrastination (and many distractions) my second page of bookmarks is finished! (The first one is here, in case you missed it). Only four of these are either birds or bird ancestors, but what the hell. Birdmarks page 2!

Top: Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Golden-faced dragon, Blue dragon of some sort, Eel-inspired dragon. Bottom: Some mossy sloth thing, Anchiornis, Velociraptor, Caudipteryx

As you can see, I went on a bit of a proto-avia spree at the end. The Anchiornis’ coloring is based partly on recent scientific discovery regarding its actual feather coloration, partly on modern Pileated Woodpeckers. The Velociraptor is loosely modeled on a Red-shouldered Hawk, and Caudipteryx is even more loosely inspired by a goose. Of course, after I finished painting Caudipteryx I realized just how tiny it was, and not really that goose-like at all, but ah well. It will be years before anyone can contradict me with concrete evidence!

I’m not done with that kick yet, either, so expect some more feathery saurians and proto-birds in the future.

I’m not very happy with the dragons. Dragons are usually my favorite, but these were probably overly influenced by the various anime I was watching while sketching them. Unless anyone’s desperately in love with them, it’s unlikely they’ll actually make it to my shop.

Mossy, dancing sloth monster just is.

As with last time, WIP after the cut!

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Painting on walls (Unnaturalist-style)

Home away from home

We each spent something like 6-12 hours a day in this spot. For three weeks.

So here it is, finally! The long-awaited 826DC mural post! It’s been open for weeks now, so this will be of little revelation to anybody in the area who’s managed to make it there (sadly, sadly, I have yet to see the completed space) but will be more of interest to those who live too far away to check it out, or want to see some WIP shots.



I’m not going to say terribly much, besides some captions, so if you wish to know anything further, go ahead and throw some questions at me in the comments. :)

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Lovely things

I have been making much art in the past week two weeks, since I last updated my blog. Oh how I wince to say that… two weeks… there’s really no excuse but that I’ve been overwhelmed, and frightened to post anything other than art-related words on here. That will change.

There hasn’t been much sleep, in all that time. A lot of painting, a lot of touching and retouching in photoshop. Some running around to try and find somewhere with a decent large scale scanner, whose process wouldn’t entirely wash out all the delicate blues in the background of my painting (I didn’t really find it, and was forced to fudge things slightly). There was more carving, and a long string of prints resulting from it. There was far too much time spent sitting in a chair, staring at InDesign.

Tomorrow night Evan and I begin work on our contributions to the mural over at 826DC. The background was gorgeously painted by others, but they ran out of time and now it’s ours to try and paint some of our creatures into it before the donor opening on Friday. As we’re working full days at the design job right now, we’ll have to catch a few hours of painting after work each day. Unless things get a lot less busy, we won’t be able to take a full day off to paint; meaning short stints of work and not very much sleep.

We’re still wrestling with whether to move into DC or move out to Seattle. Regardless, we need to be somewhere closer to the action. The length of our commute is ridiculous, and tends to leave us with a choice between decent amounts of sleep or any working time in the evenings at all. That this design job could be very easily telecommutable, should our boss allow it, doesn’t help our feelings about it much.

I haven’t found the time to scan the finished woodblock print yet, though when I do it goes up here. Likewise, I’m holding off on posting the final pieces for Cat Valente until she gets the website up and running. When that happens I’ll post the entire string of WIPs, plus final, for each of them. Quite buzzing with excitement over that. And I’m pulling out my Sketchbook Project sketchbook right now! I’m picking up a pencil! I am going to begin working in it tonight, and posting the pages here as I go along.

So those are some of the things to look forward to, as a reader (willing or unwilling) of this, my blog. That, and the 826 images when I’m finally given permission to release them to the public! I am sitting on art and it is making me antsy. Time to make some I can hand out right away.

It is done.

I have finished the illustrations for the Unnatural History Museum! The whole gang of illustrators for the project (Katie and Evan and Oliver and I) met up at Cafe Tryst on Saturday, to oggle each other’s work and hand it over to Oliver for scanning and publishing. Everything looks amazing, utterly amazing. I’m not allowed to post finals until the opening of 826, in late October, but I have gotten permission to post thumbnail teasers. This is you get right now, folks. I hope you’re more patient than I am, waiting to share is tough!

I have been ignoring my blog for a week. Bad me. I should probably make a ‘hiatus’ badge to put over my blog schedule, for weeks when it’s just a pile-on and I know I’m unlikely to do anything timely. This past week, it was design day job + finishing up 826DC’s commission + getting started on Catherynne Valente’s commission + a class on Saturday. In the future, with perseverance, I intend to improve my time management to the point where all of these things, plus regular blog updates, could live harmoniously together. Some day. Expect timely, scheduled updates to resume after the 10th, and sporadic WIP-type updates until then.

Unnatural History Museum WIPs, inked phase

Spent all day getting them to this point, and my poor tachikawa fountain pen gave up the ghost during the very last one, but here they are — inked. Painting begins tomorrow, and hopefully moves quickly. Thankfully, we’ve decided on fairly spare colors and white backgrounds. Fewer than four days left to work, before everything needs to go to print.

The rest of the cannon beneath the jump.

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Unnatural History Museum WIP updates

Triple-beaked Sparrow

The Reindolphins have seen a fair bit of revision since yesterday, and two new creatures have made an appearance in their first stage. Tiger and lark are both in the process of being inked at the moment. Oh, and I forgot to mention that a prior work of mine is being used for the book; which, I have learned from 826DC’s twitter, is called Exhibit A. That’s it on the left, renamed for this project. :)

Three WIP below the jump!

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