here is the first installment/draft of stark raving whimsy, my newest graphic novel project. yay! i created the character of bluejean back when i was in a watercolor class. she was a side character in my story trials of the moonfish. however, i became more interested in her than i was in the lead character (gertrude buttons). so i have been playing with her image & story ever since. with my intermediate drawing class, i get the opportunity to work on her. when my professor suggested a more encompassing story to incorporate my images into, i knew it would have to revolve around bluejean.
the storyline is still peculating within my psyche & subconscious, but i have determined that she is a pirate. and a storyteller. and that her own world is dark & fanciful–as well as her stories. but that is as far as i have gotten. i like to give stories life & then follow them to see where they go. i am very excited to see where bluejean & her stark raving whimsy take me.
meanwhile…zine fest is on saturday & i still haven’t actually made my zines. okay, that sounds really bad…but! i have all the pages in my email. i just need to get to a printer. i loitered around in the uw computer lab…but then decided to go to my neighborhood cooperative press. so i will be going to class late today in order to stop & make zines on the way. i could go before class, but that would mean taking 3 or 4 of the minions with me. okay, my brain just exploded even thinking about that. so, i have to wait for dusty to get home–he comes home in time for me to go to class–then i will go make zines. then i will go to class.
and i am very excited about zinefest. it’s on halloween and i’m all like–would i be a geek to dress up for zinefest? then i’m all like…wait, it’s zinefest. i’m already a geek. and what’s one more nail in the coffin?
i’m so cool.
(ps. dusty came up with the name stark raving whimsy. i was playing with calling it dark whimsy or the whimsical nightmare _________ …but fidgit & dusty vetoed both of those ideas…& when i googled them, they were already being used for other stuff by other people. then dusty suggested this when we were talking & the words were there, but not put together yet. so thank you again, dusty! the name feels perfect to me.)
i drew this for my son. next, he wants me to draw him one with sparrow wings. that sounds so cool. i would like to water color that as well. or use my sepia ink….
i’ve read more of amanda palmer’s the art of asking…but it keeps depressing me & making me cry. i feel like i will never be able to connect with people. i can’t connect with my own fucking life partner after all, how am i ever going to connect with strangers?
my life is in the toilet. and my new apartment has an electric stove–no chance for sylvia plath fantasies. so i doodle on.
okay, maybe it’s just a bunch of kids with chest colds, but with the minions randomly falling victim to a virus, all while having a sore throat & no energy myself…not much graphic noveling gets done.
i did work on some postcards. in the midst of quitting facebook, i promised a newsletter would happen. it hasn’t…yet. but! i made some postcards! okay, i had help. i let iggy & misha paint all over some card stock, and then cut them up on my new-used paper-cutter (aka katana) and then looked at the lines of the paint to determine the picture to be drawn. it was fun.
i had more, but when fidgit saw what i was doing, he took off with them & did the rest. his look cool too, but i was all like, “dude, that was my art project.” oh well. i can just put the minions back to work to make me some more paintings….
so moses jones & the first page of trials of the moonfish are still half finished. if i can get my roller coaster of a personal life & the cranky & infected victims of this chest cold to behave, i will have something for you in the next couple of days.
here’s a snap of my work space & my two newest (used!) toys. the scanner came from amazon–the paper cutter thingy came from st. vinny’s (a catholic thrift shop i frequent.) i like to pretend that the blade is my katana and that i am fighting zombies when i trim my water color sheets. see, i need water color paper to handle the water from painting with ink; however, water color paper comes in 9X12 and scanners take sheets at eight and a half by eleven. before finding my new “katana” at st. vinny’s, i had been inking in a border to keep my pages the right size because it took too much time to measure & cut with scissors…and i think i have established that i don’t like extra steps in my process. but now i can just slap a sheet of water color paper onto the paper cutter which measures & cuts all in one.
i love little miracles.
speaking of little miracles. the man in my life whom dusty knickers is based on is back “on” in our on again off again relationship. but do not fret, dear reader, i am not going to let this effect my productivity–this time. i am determined to find a somewhat healthy balance in my life. moses jones is an important part of that balancing act.
now, just for fun & because she is so adorable, here is a snap of my inspiration for the character of misha.
happy st. patrick’s day.
that’s what they tell ya to do. draw once a day. if you’re serious about getting better….
so. i have been trying to open my journal once a day to do so. while moses jones is on my mind–i am trying to catch up on sleep and haven’t had a chance to draw all the stories in my head. meanwhile, i keep my hand, imagination, and rapidograph pen loose by drawing a doodle a day. at least.
i added watercolor to this one. i think it may have been better if i had left it just pen. or added ink brush instead.
plus! i have been reading a lot of graphic novels to see different styles and writing ideas, etc. i loved david small’s stitches. the art work was wonderful, and i love to hear about other people’s fucked up childhoods. i am also enjoying some jesse reklaw and alex robinson. i like reklaw’s art a lot. i like robinson’s stories. i have read so many graphic novels at this point that i am seriously afraid i am no longer able to read books without illustrations.
i finished the last character profile painting last night at one in the morning as my ex-husband held our wide-awake baby and glowered at me. that was simon starbuckle’s painting–perhaps my favorite & the one i am most happy with. maybe i should have my ex glare at me while holding the baby for all my work. ha!
i finished. despite depression. despite thoughts of–why don’t i just drop out of school? despite feeling like i’m a fraud to call myself an artist. despite four kids and an ex plotting against my project. i finished the four character profiles. now i have one more of the big paintings to finish before my critique tomorrow at 1:20. will it happen? stay tuned. meanwhile i have to give a presentation today in another class. meanwhile i have the toddler hitting the baby. the cat attacking the nine year old. and the six year old screaming at me that i hate him. dishes to do. dinners to cook. toilets to clean. diapers to wash….
my watercolor professor says i need the fabled “room of my own.” yes, that, perhaps, and a visit from mary fucking poppins.
i did finish in class today. just the second of a seven picture series though…due tuesday. ay, i do love the pressure of a deadline! i am doing one more like this one, in yellow, featuring simon starbuckle the third (my six year old loves saying this name over and over again.) then on to the character profile watercolors. i’m thinking they will be a simple ink drawing with a couple of props to establish character & some splashes of watercolor. now if only the baby would sleep for more than a half an hour at a time!
being sparse with setting & background, this one was a challenge for me. you can probably tell i am not great at doing city scapes, but considering i don’t usually do them, it’s not half bad…right? my nine year old tells me that this is the best sperm whale he has seen other than actual photos of sperm whales–even though he thinks my blowhole is a bit off.
i like it. i’m very happy with it. especially bluejean (who some may notice looks a bit like moses jones)–that’s not a coincidence or a statement on the artist’s inability to draw different faces. bluejean, like moses jones, is a character based on some of me.(portrait of the artist as a very tired mama)
battling cats, infants, and toddlers, i have been working on this painting for my watercolor final. a second story board for trials of the moonfish. this is my second attempt on this particular painting. in the first, i made bluejean’s head too big, madam buttons’s sweater too bulky, the moonfish too chunky, the sperm whale ALL wrong, and there was too much color. i should get this version done today in class–where there are no curious cats or snotty babies with grabby hands.
here is my latest page of moses jones. i’ve still got mj on my mind…even though i have been preoccupied with trials of the moonfish. but here it is nearing the end of the semester, so i am probably going to have to put all my time into my watercolor final (moonfish) and have to wait to do more of moses jones. maybe i can do some over winter break? i was going to quit school and become a full-time starving artist…but now i am thinking of becoming a full-time art student. will i have time to comic then? one of the classes i am registered for is figure drawing. maybe i can work some moses jones into my assignments for that class…hmm.
anyhoo, moses jones is a bit depressed. angry. bad relationship woes. no reflection on my own life, of course…merely coincidence…. up coming pages will have more interactions with the minions.