You guys, I made a thing! A short comic, that is. And the campaign to fund it on Kickstarter opens TODAY!
Take a look:
SERVED comic on Kickstarter
I've been wanting to do more with comics for awhile now and this is the first time I'm really doing something "official" with it.
Comics and me took awhile to come together. Growing up, I read and read and read novels, then drew fanart of the characters. I, like many, mistook the MEDIUM of comics for a GENRE--comics were stories about superheroes, with lots of punching and fighting and science experiments gone wrong. I had no particular interest in that type of story. (Still don't.) And Manga? Well, without getting too much into it, in middle school the group of kids who were into Manga were really mean to me, so I became unwilling to try Manga just by association.
I always wanted to work in SOMETHING to do with stories, words, and pictures. I wanted to be an "artist" for the longest time, until in eigth grade when I read School Story by Andrew Clemens and realized, not only that those names on covers were actual PEOPLE, but that I could be one of them. Up to that point I was so focused on reading the books I hadn't stopped to really consider how they came to be.
So, for awhile I wanted to be a writer... until I found that I had a hard time expressing just what I wanted with words. Reading went fine, but words were so much harder than pictures. So, I decided I wanted to be.... wait for it... a LITERARY AGENT.
Yeah, I eventually realized that that was the wrong dream too. I loved reading, but I always came back to pictures. So when it came time to pick majors, I skipped English and went straight for the visual arts.
On my application to BYU Visual Arts department, I was asked to rank my interest in the different areas. I put Drawing and Painting first on my list. I wasnt sure what to put second... but illustration sounded cool. Besides, I might only be accepted to one and then my decision would be made.
Well, I was accepted to both. So now I had to choose one... to start, I looked at the list of required classes. Drawing and Painting included several I wanted to take, many I was less excited about, and some that sounded straight-up boring. Illustration, on the other hand, required only classes that sounded AWESOME. I went to talk to the department heads to learn more, and Brother Barrett was incredibly kind and knowledgable.
So, Illustration it is.
Wait a minute. Youre telling me illustration is making pictures that go with stories? This is what I've wanted to do my whole life! Why fidn't you say thats what it was called?!?
I mean, I knew that, but I never really internalized it until then.
So, illustration. There were a lot of kindred spirits in that major with me. One day in the studio we were chatting about books we liked, and the topic of comics came up. Oh, I don't really read comics, I said. I'm just not that into super hero stories.
Well, I was set straight pretty quickly, and was lent a comic to read then and there--Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. I was fascinated.
And SO BEHIND.
Here was this story telling medium that felt SO PERFECT for ME and I was just barely being introduced to it! My classmates had been reading and making these things for ages, and I barely knew what was possible!
Fortunately they gave me some good recommendations. I was hooked! This was my thing!
And then I left on my mission and lost some steam... but not all of it. I made several short fun little comics about funny things that happened to me and sent them home. They weren't great, (actually, they were pretty bad, I'll be honest) but they were lots of fun to make.
I wasn't sure where to go from there after coming home, though. I made a couple little comics for myself, but still felt really intimidated by the medium and kind of steered clear for awhile.
But when I was invited to create a short comic for the Served anthology, I was excited to say yes. I've read most of the stories in it and am really excited to be part of such a fun project--and humbled, because some really awesome and experienced comics creators have contributed. My little story feels shabby next to their polished work, but I'm proud to have done it. I think its a really fun collection and am excited for people to read it.
Take a look.
Please forgive any typos... this post was created one-handed while nursing a baby. Because I'm awesome like that.
For awhile I've had the idea in the back of my head that I wanted to do a one-page comic, which seemed a very do-able length. What kind of story could I tell in only one page, though? I thought about it for a few weeks, looking for something interesting but concise.
Then one day while I was sketching, I thought, I'll make a comic about a dragon. A lonely dragon. Why was he lonely?
This was my answer.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. There are couple little things I see on it that aren't perfect, but I'm not even sure how to fix them at this point (I've been looking at it too long). So, its finished--not perfect, but It is what it is and I am satisfied.
The intention was to have it look like it was made entirely as a linocut made with 4 color layers: Black (well, dark purple), gold, grey-green, and red. As I made it it kept reminding me really strongly of the comic Digger by Ursula Vernon, though I did not specifically intend to emulate her style. I don't know much about her process, but I think it was probably something similar to what I used here.
I've been saying all summer that, come August, I would send out mailers and really do the real Professional Freelance Illustrator thing. Which I'm working on. One of the things I decided to do was sit down and write out a Business Plan, just to solidify my goals, ideals, etc. When I came to the "Customer" section, there was a little survey about what to think about when defining your ideal client. This was my actual thought process when filling out the questionnaire.
Most of my friends and family have heard my speech on this before. Now, its the internet's turn! As an artist, these are my thoughts/feelings/beliefs/whatever about talent.
What do you think? What other things do people dismiss as talents, without seeming to appreciate the time required?
My brush pen an I have come together to give you.... more badly drawn comics about my life!
Richard and I have been reading aloud together on and off since before we got engaged. It is a lot of fun, but there are problems that you only get when reading out loud with someone, rather than just silently all by yourself.
For example, I have chosen most of the books we have read together, so usually I know what is going to happen or what isn't being said. And sometimes I ruin it. Yes, I'm terrible.
And of course, when you read out loud you have to give all the characters unique voices, right? I'm actually not so good at this, but Richard can really get into it.
For the record: Setheris had the most. annoying. voice. ever.
While Richard is better at the voices, I am more careful about my inflections, especially when words are italicized or otherwise emphasized in the text. Also, since I've read most of these books before, I have an idea in my head of how the words should be pronounced. Because of course my way is the right way. Obviously.
In addition to reading aloud requiring some acting skills, it also just takes longer than reading silently. Richard has this habit of forgetting to read the words out loud when a really exciting part comes, leaving me hanging.
Which is especially annoying because I have never ever read ahead without him! Even when I'm at home all day with the book and really really really want to know what happens next. (Never mind that I've already read of them. With some of them it has been long enough that I've forgotten.)
More on reading aloud:
When I was preparing for college, I was understandably nervous and excited about several things. One thing I thought a lot about was my future roommates. Would we get along? What if we just couldn’t stand each other? Would we argue about stupid things? And of course, I hoped that I could be friends with my roommates. I daydreamed about the things that we might do together. Many things I daydreamed about were pretty normal--watch movies together, hang out together, make food together, tell each other all our deepest secrets. But one thing near the top of my list was pretty strange--I daydreamed about roommates who not only liked the same books as me, but roommates who would let me read out loud to them, and maybe even read to me too.
Long story short, I got them. Needless to say, my college experience was pretty awesome overall, largely thanks to them.
Of course, roommates weren’t the only thing I daydreamed about. Like many college girls, I daydreamed about the guy I would eventually marry. How would I meet him? What would we do on our first date? How soon would I KNOW he was the one?
I had a (rather short!) list of desirable qualities in a future husband. But again, there was an item on that list that was pretty strange.
You can probably guess what it was.
Yes. I wanted a husband who not only liked the same books as me, but a husband who would let me read out loud to him, and maybe even read to me too.
Well, guess what. I found him. I will admit, when we were dating and I first pitched the idea to him he was kind of skeptical, but he was a good sport. Pretty soon he realized what a brilliant idea it was. He proposed not long after. (Not that the reading together was the thing that really made him excited to buy that ring, but it didn’t seem to hurt my cause at all.)
We haven’t kept very careful track of the books we’ve read, these are the ones I remember, in more or less the right order:
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (started before we got engaged, didn’t finish until after the honeymoon--weddings are time consuming!)
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik (Richard does the BEST Temeraire voice.)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Richard had to do all the Miss Lupescu lines because I just can’t do the accent.)
Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen, and Clariel by Garth Nix
Charmed Life, The Lives of Christopher Chant, Conrad’s Fate, and the Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (We’re only a few chapters in so far…. this one will take awhile.)
Twelve in about a year. Not bad. We’ll see how well we can keep this up through the craziness that is life.
I will admit, all these books were chosen by me. I’m pickier about what I read than he is, and I love re-reading while he doesn’t. So, I choose books that I know that I like and think he will probably like, because I’ve read them and I know him. Suggestions are welcome, however. What book do you love that would make a great Read Aloud, and why?
So I totally dropped the ball on my blog-weekly goal. Twice. Two whole weeks without a post. Gah.
But I'm posting again! And I have a couple things rolling around in the back of my mind for future posts as well.
For now, another comic about my life. One of my excuses for not posting is that I just haven't been able to draw lately. I drew this a few days ago and didn't post it because drawing-wise, it isn't that great. Its pretty terrible, actually. But then I thought, if I can't post a comic from a bad drawing day when the comic is about the fact that I have bad drawing days, whats my excuse for all the other comics I've posted?
I'm home! I went to my other home for a week to meet my new darling niece. Without Mr. Perkins.
Now I'm home, and he's at a conference for work.
I haven't seen him in over a week. This is the longest we've been apart in the 10 months we've been married. And I miss him. A lot. Yeah, still in the lovey-dovey Newlywed stage. So shoot me.
For other news, my hair is now (just barely!) long enough to stay in a ponytail now.
Yesterday I came across a video of an Illustrator demonstrating how she uses Adobe Illustrator to create illustrations for children's books. I thought, cool, I should watch this, I use Illustrator and I want to work in children's books. I'll probably learn something.
Well, I was wrong. Watching resulted only in ever-increasing frustration as Illustrator was used ineffectively and slowly--used for things that could be done better/more easily in Photoshop, or tools were used for a certain job that would be done so much better and faster with a different tool.
I eventually started skipping forward, thinking that maybe there would be SOMETHING good in the video. No. I just got more and more frustrated over the fact that, for some strange reason, this person was considered an expert, and actually getting paid to pass on this ineffective knowledge to people who don't know better.
I'm still a little frustrated about this, if you can't tell.
No, I'm not going to link to the video. After I calmed down a bit, I saw the humor in the situation, and made it into a comic. Much better use of my frustrated energy than calling out someone who has found a method that works for them.
(Even if its a bad method. Which it is. Choosing not to link to the horrible video doesn't change my opinion of it.)
This conversation actually happened. Well, I didn't memorize the exact words, but this is the essence.
I guess we're weird, but instead of normal endearments like "honey" or "sweetie" or "love" whatever it is that people call each other, we use "Mr./Mrs. Perkins".
And we also have lots of weird playful conversations, most of which make even less sense than this one.
It was Mr. Perkins's idea to have us drinking tea with our pinkies up. I showed him the drawing and said,
"Look, I gave you sideburns!"
"I wish I could grow sideburns," was his response.
Saturday is sourdough baking day! Today, we're trying cinnamon rolls.
The dough is rising now. But before you let it rise, ya gotta knead it...
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