Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Amanda Palmer, on creative method and Neil's new book. etc.

Amanda Palmer wrote a bit about how her and Neil are different in their creative methods, and a whole lot of other really amazing stuff.  (Putting this here so I can find it easily in the future because it needs to be read and re-read and re-read etc).

"we start off with all these fresh ingredients, recognizable (a heart, a finger, an eyeball, a glass of wine) and we throw them in the art-blender. i only let things mix very slightly. i keep my blender on 2 or 3. you can recognize the component parts: in the final art-soup, the finger might be severed and mangled, but you can peer into your bowl and see that it’s a finger, floating there, all human and bloody and finger-y. neil puts his art-blender on 10. you wind up with a fantastic purée, but often you have no fucking idea where the experiences of his life wound up in the mix of his final product. if you see a finger, it’s not recognizable as a human one. and that’s part of what makes Neil Gaiman (capital N and G) work. and, i’d argue, my choice to dial my art-blender down from a 5 to a 2 or 3 over the past few years, as i write more and more “direct” songs…i don’t know, it may be part of what i’ve needed to do to survive as an artist (or more likely, as a human).

we do these things instinctively, i think." ~read more.

God I love her. 

Also, I've been looking at a lot of Yoshitaka Amano, trying to find some inspiration lately. LOVE this piece, 
salamander, by yoshitaka amano.

Monday, June 24, 2013


I have a new blog post at the Inkpunks. A bit of stuffs about podcasts, and I interview Sandra Wickham about her experience as a listener and a podcaster. You should check it out.

An excerpt:
"When I’m up to my elbows in an illustration and my music library is feeling overplayed, I often turn to podcasts for some background stimulus while I work. A random sampling from the past month: I’ve been fascinated by the princess who thought she swallowed a glass piano, by sensory deprivation chambers,  by Greg Rucka on writing Punisher (etc), by a tour of the alimentary canal with Mary Roach, and by an interview with rock climber and artist, Kate Rutherford.  (Yes I have eclectic interests and a lack of focus.) The information is vast and varied, the conversation scintillating. All while I’m holed up painting away in solitary confinement.
Now, to bring some focus to the subject. In the SFF community podcasts are extremely valuable for keeping current with happenings in the publishing field, geeking out over shared interests, and as a powerful storytelling venue. Our very own Sandra Wickham has a good amount of experience in the podisphere, hosting the podcast Sound Bytes for Bitten by Books and co-hosting on Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing. Her short story, Brothers, is included in the podcast anthology, Chronicles of the Order. She has kindly consented to answering a few questions about how she got involved...." ~read more
 Interesting thing is, I have to be at a certain point in the illustration before I can turn on a podcast. I have to be past the research and thumbnail phase. Otherwise, I miss everything that is being said.   It's at that point, when I know where the illustration is going, THAT'S when I can turn off the ambient background noise, and listen to something a bit more stimulating.  Just saying.

okay, that's all. Back to work.

getting over the bump.

so I have this serial story to illustrate, and I only have the first installment. I'm struggling to figure out what will be the *pivotal* image to pull out, to work with. But mostly, I'm just a tad dry, creatively speaking. So today, I found myself doing thumbnail after thumbnail and it wasn't even for the project any more, it was just because. And I was pulling up images I love from Scott Bakal and Yoshitaka Amano and doing thumnails based on some of their art work.  JUST BECAUSE.

and it felt great.
Tomorrow, I'll get back to work, the *real* work (see if I can make any headway on that serial.) But today, it felt good to just draw a bit. I do not do that nearly often enough.

(BTW... the moon was *epic* tonight.)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thumbnails etc

Over at BookLifeNow I have a new post where I walk through creating the illustration for The Ballad of Marisol Brook. Go check it out! 

Since I'm making an effort to have thumbnail sketches be a pivotal part of my process, here's a few recent ones:

Definitely something I'm rusty at (and impatient with), but need to commit to do, even if it's just one or two per project. (Dan Dos Santos does a good break down of the thumbnail process.)

Now just for kicks... here are some notebooks and sketchbooks from famous authors, arists, and visionaries (because I love this kind of stuff, and I need to get back in the habit of sketchbooking/notebooking.)

Okay, back to work.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

(Spectrum was awesome)

Too tired to write much, so here's some pics. 


Midnight lifedrawing session.
Charles Vess drawing in my sketchbook. (Oh my, swoon.)
Getting over being a tiny corner in the middle of vast awesomeness.
Doodling a tattoo on Marlyse. :)

Lastly,  at the convention Lisa gave me a beautiful handbound sketchbook she'd made plus I acquired an old japanese ink pen with brush tip. I instantly put both to use: