Spectrum Fantastic Art Live

This thing called Spectrum Fantastic Art Live happened for the first time this year, and because I didn’t really know what it was going to be like I didn’t put much effort into going (though I had the poster up on my fridge for months. Crowbot!) Then I heard that it was amazing and everyone had a really great time there.

So I will be at the 2013 SFAL! In fact, I will be sharing an exhibitor’s booth with Evan Jensen and Galen Dara. More info when I get it!

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Autumn adventure

So what’s been up with me? I realize I’ve been pretty lax at blogging about myself or my art recently. I (voluntarily) left my job at the patent illustration company, and since then I’ve been loading myself up with freelance contracts and other projects to keep busy. The excellent news is that I have managed to keep busy and load my plate pretty darn full, despite my lack of a morning commute. And then of course this is fall, and for some reason every fall Evan and I get itchy feet and need to get out of town. The past two years it’s been to Seattle, this time it was Canada.

Toronto from the waterfront

We split our week between visiting Evan’s aunt and cousins in Toronto and staying with my sister and her boyfriend in Montréal. Sadly I didn’t get too many photos… I was a little distracted by the scenery and the company. Here’s a Polish restaurant in Old Montréal that my parents used to frequent when they lived there 37 years ago. We checked, it’s still delicious!

Stash Polish Restaurant

I also gobbled down poutine, drank beer on top of Mont-Royal, spent 6 hours wandering the entirety of AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario), several more hours in the incredible Samurai exhibit at Pointe -à-Callière museum of archaeology, and wandered through the Marche Jean-Talon sampling delicious fruit every morning. Also, I played with a kitten named Marley.

Marley the kitten

Already we’re trying to think of excuses to go back for another visit! (For one, we have to use up this Canadian money that’s almost impossible to change here in the States…)

Anyway, that’s one of the reasons I’ve been so silent this past month! Now to get back to work on the others…

Brooklyn in the springtime

Folks who keep up with me on social media might have noticed how quiet I’ve been for the past few days. I’ve been in New York! In Brooklyn mostly, though there was a nice hike across Brooklyn and over the bridge to Manhattan.

Brooklyn bridge 1Brooklyn bridge 4Brooklyn bridge 3

Which ended in highline park just as it was closing on Sunday. What a beautiful way to reclaim obsolete architecture. Seattle? You hear me?

Highline tracksHighline underpass

Hudson sunset

I spent the weekend catching up with my good college chum Eve, meeting her cat and her local friends. Finally seeing Teresa Galus and Babette Daniels in person. There was also a very nice (though cold, and too brief!) dinner with Zelda Devon and Kurt Huggins, the dynamic duo behind Teetering Bulb studio and their gorgeous and prolific output. Also a tour of their studio, which has made me feel like a complete slacker. The illustration chops on those two! (though Zelda definitely needs to work on more watercolors and personal work… :3)

On a tangent, our respective art school experiences were a repeated topic of conversation. None of us were very satisfied with our formal illustration educations. Technical skill has been almost completely subsumed by the nebulous blanket of “concept”, which is really of pretty limited application to most of us. Perhaps I’d advise burgeoning illustrators to spend the money on illustration master classes, figure drawing sessions, and tickets to illuxcon instead. If I could do it again, this might have been my strategy. If I could have convinced my parents to endorse it.

All that aside: my feelings about New York have always been mixed. I get so easily lost in cities, and in one so big I feel lost almost by default. Yet the people there are wonderful, and the art scene so much more relevant to my ambitions than DC’s. It’s a wonderful place, and I hope I can get back there soon. Who knows, next time I might even make it to the Way station to drink some beer and see their Tardis.

Ghostbusters firehouseManhattan street

There…but back again

I’ve been a little quiet lately. My deadline for big secret project is coming up, and in the midst of scrambling to try and fall close to it I suddenly had a week long trip to Seattle.

The view from Phinney Ridge

It was sort of business-related, but that didn’t prevent me from enjoying the hell out of the scenery, the weather, the pastries and hot chocolate and library and bookstores…

Central column of the 11 story Seattle central public library

Hot chocolate (with cayenne) from Chocolati in Wallingford

Distressingly, I couldn’t bring my work with me. My drawing pad is too big and there are all those weird TSA rules about pointy things (like pens and metal rulers) and gooey things (like glass bottles full of opaque black ink). This made the trip slightly fraught… it’s tough not getting work done when a deadline’s close.

Now I’m back and somewhat recovered, I’ll be chugging ahead on that. And maybe getting some side work done, you never know. I’ll be sure to share any doodles. Once I whip out my oh-so-intimidating dip pen again…