...whatever could I be working on that requires the Unabomber, forest spirits, antisocial octopodes, Akatsuki clouds, the Virgin Mary, atom bombs and Jeff the Killer?

how to avoid having people try to talk to you

 Fangirlism has reared its ugly head once again, and I found myself with a new host of Jeff the Killer crap. Most of these were drawn on the train going to and from work, and I can tell you that drawing things like this is a great way to ensure that no one will sit next to you. 

All of them are Micron pen on some kind of non-special paper, all are about 3 X 5 inches. All were drawn on whims based on stupid shit I thought was amusing in passing. 

From the top: 

Jeff after a shower. He's a grimy dude most of the time, sleeps outside and often can be seen with dirt, twigs, dried blood and bugs in his hair. But occasionally he likes to clean up a bit and comb himself. That girl there might be Jane the Killer, who stars in an even less well-thought-out Creepypasta than Jeff, if that's even possible. Or it might just be a self-portrait.

 Coffee. This is the closest to the original image that I've ever drawn. Which isn't very. But check out that lettering fail. Lesson learned: Do not attempt lettering while on a moving train.

 Jeff and Jane (or whoever) again after a bout of stabbing or whatever it is they do to express their feelings about one another. The plants were fun to do.


Jeff drools. Jeff doesn't particularly care about his drooling problem, even though it's gross; he considers it a minor price to pay for his beautiful smile. The spiral there reads "smiley, smiley, smiley, smiley," because that was the song that serendipitously started playing on my iPod while I was working on this. 


Jeff goes hunting. Now, obviously, a knife has several advantages over a gun, especially if you're a serial killer. It's quiet, it doesn't require reloading and is easily cleaned, repaired, and concealed. But when a bunch of squealing fangirls are let loose in a nature preserve for an updated version of The Most Dangerous Game, Jeff prefers something more dramatic.

Jeff vs. Robert. If you've never seen Rubber, you need to. Basically, Jeff would not win this confrontation.

Finally, this is just inappropriate. And the sad thing is there's an even more inappropriate one waiting to be uploaded. Seriously I need help. But this is something that actually happens regularly, when certain significant others wake up in the night and peer creepily down at me for a few minutes and then have no recollection of it in the morning. It is so creepy. 

resistance is futile

Who doesn't love the Borg? The Borg always held a special place in my heart (the mechanical part) because despite their almost entirely ominous presence in Star Trek, there's something charming about them--almost silly.

This piece was created for a Star Trek/Star Wars-themed group show. Star Trek was sadly underrepresented because everyone is a Star Wars dork. I'll be the first to agree that the concept of a Borg Queen as seen in First Contact makes no sense, but she worked well for the image. I was going for the feeling of a propaganda poster, something advertising the pros of being assimilated. I kind of wanted to portray the Borg as they might see themselves, as kind of messianic, uniting the galaxy. Borg Queen herself was modeled on Mucha's females as well as Midna and some of the imagery* from from Zelda: Twilight Princess. I think I made the Queen much more stylish, plus I really like how the pixelated-type detailing of the dress came out.

I considered making some other sci-fi-themed images in the same stylistic vein, but was never able to. Honestly, I wouldn't know what to do.

*image credit Donna M. Evans, who I found via Google just now. That picture is super cute.

little watercolors

Here are some watercolors I had kicking around because I am tired of talking about the Sketchpad. (There will be one more sketchpad entry, and then we're done. Done, I tell you.)

First we have a very, very civilized portrait of Beasty, where he is looking very proper and wearing clothes. He looks nice in blue. The subject however, was critical of this piece. His critique was WHY DID YOU MAKE ME A BLOND WOMAN?

The second piece was done for a Hitchcock-themed group show. This is inspired by Rope, which is not one of the movies everyone thinks of when they think of Hitchcock, but is really quite good. This piece now belongs to my friend. It's a bit more cartoony than I usually go, but I think it works. I also think I got the expressions of the characters right: reluctant follower on the left, smug douche on the right.

I have a bunch of big oils paintings in the works, but I have to figure out a way to photograph them since the autofocus on my camera is still auto-fucked. I will likely borrow my mom's camera, but I really dislike that camera. Oh well. It will have to do.

meme time

I have sort of a love-hate relationship with the Twilight series. I hate it because it's a trite, poorly-concieved and poorly-written piece of trash that features creepy values like stalking and bizarre, repressed sexualities, and makes people like its author think that vomiting words on a page is writing. But on the other hand, I love it because it's so easy and entertaining to make fun of. When I make fun of Twilight, I feel a sense of malicious glee, combined with a slight feeling of guilt, like I'm making fun of someone who just can't defend themselves.

But malicious glee is more fun, so here is a meme I filled out. I stole it from someone on deviantART. Since I don't have digital art skillz, I simply printed it out and drew it by hand. The photo quality is terrible because my camera is (once again) broken and so I had to take these on my iPod. So this project was really just a study in ghetto-fabulous improvisation.

But it was fun to do, and I enjoyed drawing my mom summoning the Kraken, as well as Boyfriend ripping out sparkly-vampire-boy's throat.

Sometimes you just need some dumbness.

Note: It might be better to look at these on my dA account, because you can zoom in and actually read the words. Because you totally want to.

trashback 2: bitches

I was planning on uploading these images only after the series was complete, but it's looking less and less likely that that will ever happen, so here they are.

These 6X12 inch paintings were originally intended to be a trashy, pinup take on the four horsemen of the apocalypse (I was thinking of calling the series The Four Bitches of the Apocalypse), but I never finished War; she's currently languishing under the couch in my basement/studio next to a bag of staples. Here, however, are Famine, Pestilence and Death, revamped and looking hot.

I was heavily influenced by Tara McPherson and the lowbrow artists at the time, and so we have a lot of bright, bubblegum colors and retro, cartoony themes going on, as well as a heavy helping of the macabre.

In addition, we have some of my recurring themes. Pestilence is an Exterminator, breathing out noxious fumes, exterminating people instead of bugs. This image has actually become a larger piece that looks very similar, only with ladybugs, and is currently in progress. Death is a Skullhead, which is only appropriate, and I've updated her apparatus by replacing the traditional scythe with a .44 Magnum--the Dirty Harry gun. It was my first time painting a gun and it was actually pretty fun. She also kind of looks like me. Famine is really the only all-original character here, and she's sort of a perky college girl gone bad. I used the concept of bulimia and eating disorders to represent famine, a sort of modern look at the way famine manifests in societies like ours.

These paintings also have the unique feature of having the sides of the canvas painted--the part of the fabric that folds around the stretcher bars--though you can't see it here. Some artists do this all the time, but I typically don't. On the practical side, it makes handling and storing the wet paintings very difficult, and I also feel it's a waste of time. Some argue that it eliminates the need for a frame, covering unsightly raw edges, but I don't see the point. Besides, I feel that the sum of the painting should be what is happening on the main surface, and that painting the side creates a distraction at best, and reduces the painting to merely a decorative object at the worst.

But these are merely decorative objects to me, and I think that's what inspired the painted sides. Obviously paintings are decorative objects, and I'm not trying to elevate them far beyond what they are. But to me the side-painting practice seems kind of dumb and cheap-looking. Of course, these paintings are meant to be dumb and cheap-looking, so there you go.

In case you're wondering, War is a cheerleader. If I ever get around to finishing her, I'll post her.

slendy & me

This is my new Slenderman T-shirt, which I made using Tulip brand fabric paints (in white and brown, Slendy's skin was made by mixing the two) and a T-shirt I altered to fit me.

Why? Because Slenderman is my new best friend.

I started watching the Slenderman ARGs on YouTube (Marble Hornets, EverymanHYBRID and TribeTwelve), and though in all three, Slendy is a menacing figure, I think he's adorable. I mean, look at that face. Er...

Anyway, the series are all really fun and spooky and I recommend them to anyone who likes a good creepy mystery. They've also inspired me to work with video, which I'm not very good at, but I'm liking the mysterious and cryptic shorts that plague the main characters in each series. I've been shooting some footage and maybe I'll piece one together at some point. (And no, no wild Slendies yet.)

And, of course, since Slendy is my new best friend, I decided to make a T-shirt of him. He lives on the left side (the wearer's left side) of the shirt, and that means he gets to hang out on my boob. Lucky Slendy. I painted him with sort of mitten hands, because I like to think that he's not so much wearing a suit as he is a suit.

Please excuse the paint blotches. This is an in-progress picture and so is not completely cleaned up. The colorful bit near the collar is not part of the shirt; it's a magazine separating the layers to prevent bleed-through.

tales from the sketchpad, part 2

Last time I featured some images from my sketchpad, in which I have been doing pen drawings.

I've also talked at length about my writing, and how it intersects (or rather, how it doesn't usually intersect) with my art, and how I like to keep them separate. Both my art and my writing tell stories, but in vastly different ways. The art is a single image, and usually speaks to a more nebulous emotional space that is difficult to put into words. The writing, on the other hand, usually expresses a more intellectual or cerebral idea that translates well into words. They don't mix.

But, as with all things, there are exceptions. I find, sometimes, that drawing little portraits of my characters can be helpful (somehow) and so here are two of them. This is Annemarie and Isaiah. They will kill you. Like seriously. They'll kill you.

That's the other major difference between my writing and art--my writing's a lot more violent.

I don't feel like talking about the story they inhabit too much, but it's full of murder and mayhem (more murder than mayhem, though), and currently weighs in at 80 pages on MS Word--single-space 10-point font. And it's not done. But I like how it's going, and there are certainly scenes that scare even me. Fun times!

in which we are introduced to the tumblies, look at some more watercolor samples, and explore narratives

It was a windy day in New Paltz, New York, and I was wearing a muumuu. It's a rather nice muumuu, vintage Hawaiian, bright red, that I bought for $45 from a lovely lady named Shabbat who plays guitar and sells homemade and vintage clothes. Anyway, it was a windy day and we all know nothing picks up wind quite as well as a muumuu. And thus the Tumblies were born. There's really very little concept behind the Tumblies outside of cuteness--they're small, lightweight girls in large dresses who drift through the air in a variety of themes. They're very straightforward, universally accessible. My mother tells me I should market them to Hallmark, and I just might. The top three images are some examples of them--the ones I like best, anyway. They are, top to bottom, Aeronautic Tumblies (note the protective eyewear), Tumblies of Summer, and Pollen Tumblies. Like I said, their main concept is being adorable, since I can't be expected to plumb the dark oceans of emotion all the time. Sometimes I just need some cute. These Tumblies are created using watercolor, ink and colored pencil on paper.

Below the Tumblies are two pieces that speak, in a way, to
my other interest, which is writing. Generally, I don't mix my writing and my art. They come from very different areas of myself and I find it ultimately detrimental to both disciplines to mix them. Maybe it's vanity--I like my art to be able to communicate without words, and my writing to be able to communicate without images. Graphic novels and comics, in case you were wondering, bore me to tears from the standpoint of a creator, though illustration doesn't repel me quite so much. The second picture from the bottom is a rare exception (one of them, anyway). She is a character from a story I once started to write, and have put on the back burner for the time being. Her name is Mary, and her tattoo is a snake that wraps around both arms and over her shoulders. The one overlap I have is a habit of sketching characters. Something about seeing them physically as I see them in my head is helpful. There are two other, similar images from this story showing other characters, but Mary remains my favorite. It's India and acrylic ink and pen on paper, the same smallish (about 3" X 5" ish) paper the Tumblies are on. I'm really bad at identifying paper types, you'll have to forgive me.

Below Mary is a rather strange image--even for me--that occurred one evening seemingly out of nowhere. The day, I recall, had been filled with rather sordid activity as befits college kids in an empty summer house, so maybe that has something to do with its origin. The result, anyway, were those wonderfully ugly children all stained with mulberry juice--or possibly something more gruesome. Mullberry juice does make one look rather like the undead if one gets it all over one's face. This image, unlike Mary, has no greater narrative, but is one of the rare images in which I've used text. I don't generally. For me it's too rigid and, like I said before, I like my art to not need the addition of text to make its meaning or even feeling clear. But there's always an exception. Here's one of them, watercolor and pen on Bristol plate (I remember that, because it's in big letters on the pad), 8.5" X 11".

I'm getting better at water media, and there's something nice about it. For one thing, unlike oils, water media is nontoxic and can be used in the comfort of your living space, which is a nice break from standing in the basement. They're also easily portable and easily prepared and cleaned up. My watercolor, ink, and gouache palette is a piece of aluminum foil, for example, and all the paint tubes can fit into the relish jar I use for water. With the exception of We Were Eating Mullberries, all the images here were created during the month I was living on my good friend Jillian's futon. I had no permanent studio space at the time, and obviously I couldn't use (toxic) oils in her apartment, so my only outlet, artistically, was water media. So if you're ever camped out in someone's living room for a period of time, bring your watercolors.