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BuzzFeed exclusively revealed a first look at Jim Kay’s new work on the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The pop-culture news site revealed the cover art, as well as one beautiful diagrammed image of a Phoenix.
Via this month’s solicits. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Kyle a bit and interviewing him for an upcoming “More to come” podcast. Circuit Breaker, his long brewing series written by Kevin McCarthy for Image is just out, and Baker is reprinting his graphic novels in a handy smaller size. You can […]
The New Yorker has been on a recent run of covers by cartoonists, with Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes doing recent covers. Now Jaime Hernandez has joined the gang with a cover for the annual food issue. “I put both mustard and ketchup on my hot dogs,” Jaime Hernandez says of his image for the […]
In 2003 Paul Bahn led the team that discovered the first Ice Age cave art at Creswell Crags in Britain. In recent years, many more discoveries have been made including the expanding phenomenon of 'open-air Ice Age art'. In the slideshow below, you can see some of the earliest examples of art on the planet, and take a tour of prehistoric art throughout the world.
After a road trip to the wildly successful Silicon Valley Comic Con, it is good to have a local con (even if it means putting up with the dreaded downtown LA traffic) this weekend. So WonderCon has moved for this year from Anaheim, which is in the middle of some heavy renovations and expansions, to downtown Los Angeles. Some will say this is good, others will say it is bad; nonetheless we shall be there ready to go on Friday.
Our booth will be set up in artist alley this year at D-16. We will being trying to cram our ever expanding wares upon a single table, which we may expand to two tables for next year. One of the new items will be 13″x 19″ sizes of some of our more popular prints due to growing interest in the larger sizes. These are printed on high quality paper and will sell for $30 apiece or 3 for $70. Due to limited space we will only have a limited amount of prints in that size available.
More to come next week as we will have a small break before we head up to Seattle for Emerald City Comicon.
1. Grape soda lupines—my favorite San Diego wildflower
2. Washi makes to-do lists more fun
3, 4. The milkweed is doing its glorious thing
5. Rilla’s shamrock garland
6. The wonderful Jane LaFazio doing a watercolor demo during her class
7, 8. Then it was my turn to try
9. I’m so in love with color
For better or worse I am a sucker for things Emily Dickinson. I love her poems so very much and she was such an interesting person — poet, gardener, baker of bread. So when offered the chance to review The Illustrated Emily Dickinson Nature Sketchbook I could not say no. Unlike past times I couldn’t say no, I was not disappointed this time around.
Just in time for National Poetry Month comes this gorgeous book that collects some of Dickinson’s poems about nature. But it isn’t just poetry. Illustrator Tara Lilly from Portland, Oregon, has created visually enchanting artwork to go along with the poems. Birds and flowers and mushrooms, butterflies and bees, I love the colors and just sat looking at them and smiling. Together with Dickinson’s poems, the art creates an uplifting and pleasant experience.
But that is not all. Perhaps inspired by the popularity of adult coloring books, The Illustrated Emily Dickinson is also a sketchbook. Most of the poems have blank pages opposite on which the reader is encouraged to create her own art while under the influence of Emily. And maybe you believe you cannot draw anything worthwhile. You don’t have to draw if you don’t want to. Maybe you just have fun swirling some colors around the page. Or, the pages are thick and could support collage if that takes you fancy.
There is no need to fear your own personal creations will be somehow lacking especially up next to Lilly’s art. Her illustrations are of the simple sort that look so easy anyone can do them. And even though we all know that is a difficult thing to pull off, it is comforting to the art-challenged because you feel like you can make a go of it. In other words, the illustrations are not intimidating but heartening. You could also use the book as a writing journal or even use the poems as writing prompts and the sketch pages as your writing area.
Even if you never find the confidence to add your own art, it is still a lovely book all on its own. It would also make a great gift for anyone with an artsy bent or who just plain loves Emily Dickinson.
The newest knockout competition on British television is The Great Pottery Throw Down (GPTD), in which an initial ten potters produce a variety of ceramic work each week, the most successful being declared Top Potter, and the least successful being ‘asked to leave’. The last four then compete in a final [...]
Writers are those who want to convey their thoughts, perceptions and feelings through certain forms like novels, short stories, blogs, and the like. Writers are those who are inclined to convey their message to the world. The context of their message should be imperative and helpful. Considering that the functions of writers are very important in this world, it is a must for them to see to it that the location where they would spend their time in writing should be very suitable. And this is how the State of Michigan is the perfect home for novel writers.
There are 5 certain facts written and explained below why Michigan is the perfect home for writers.
Michigan environment is always conducive to writing. Conduciveness is the first thing that every novel writer has to consider. The climatic condition really matters as far as having a beguiling and worth-reading novel is concerned. Michigan is the perfect home for the writers, because the climatic condition in this area is really fit for writing.
Michigan has a lot of things to offer for the writers to write well their masterpieces. Michigan is one of the most livable places in the country, because of its capability to offer things suitable to all writers. The pride of this state has been known already and widely. One of the best things it can offer is local flair. And the locally made LivnFresh t-shirts, are among the best products that are made in Michigan. Wearing one, writers can wear comfortably dive into the Michican experience during summer. So writing during summer is still accompanied by comfort and convenience.
LivnFresh T-shirts really make the Michigan-based writers so amazing. There are various types of michigan pride gear, and one would typically wear one when they want to show off their pride of being from or visiting Michigan. The creators of this local brand of t-shirt did make sure that the writers can have a perfect clothing.
Clothing during summer writing is a crucial thing, because it is attached to the internal calmness and relaxation of both body and mind. Once the t-shirt the writers are wearing is really comfortable, for instance made up of 100% pure cotton, then there’s always comfort and pacification of the mind. This is essential to coming up with a perfect write-up every day.
Of course comfortable clothing is not the only thing that a writer needs. He or she also often needs a comfortable pair of glasses. But what about if you are a child needing glasses? Well, stylish frames were hard to come by until Michigan couple Ben and Laura Harrision of Jones Paul Eyewear started their own fashion glasses company for children. Michigan really is a hot bed of innovation and creativity. So if your little writer needs glasses, make sure you go visit them.
Sometimes you may want to write outside of your vacation home or hotel room and for that you need to get out and gain some experiences to write about. There are some hangout locations in Michigan for the writers to unwind and relax regularly. There are famous hangout bars and nightlife areas here. These hangout locations serve as one of the pride and honor of this state. The famous hangout areas here are Hoppy’s Bar, The Tap Room, and Quinn and Tuite’s Irish Pub.
Life in Michigan is really great. Life greatness is what every person aspires for. Life greatness refers to the abundance of things that may lead to happiness and satisfaction. For writers, it is important to be happy and satisfied always. So any novel writer can have a wonderful time here because of the offered satisfying and elating things, like the natural parks (i.e. Isle Royale National Park) and the savory cuisines (i.e. Stanley’s Famous Restaurant).
They all say that writing is a passion and not an option. It might be true or not. For some, writing can be learned. But for others, writing should be a passion. Either of the two, writing novels, short stories and any other literary works can be done excellently once Michigan is chosen as the place to execute the writing. The things explained above are the reasons why and how the State of Michigan is reflected as the perfect home for writers.
Lotta Nieminen’s illustrations are packed with detail, colour and narrative. The bold vector shapes combined with subtle texture and an atmospheric colour-scheme is what really brings this work to life. Lotta Nieminen’s talent doesn’t stop at illustration either. She is also a graphic designer and art director who runs her own studio based in New York.
If you would like to see more of Lotta Nieminen’s work please visit her portfolio.
Yesterday the great Al Jaffee turned 95. He's been contributing to Mad Magazine for a mere 61 years as the master of the "Fold-In," a few of which are presented below. Still active and charming as ever, Mr. Jaffee is one of the few people who can genuinely be said to speak with a "stentorian" presence, and I would just sit and listen to him read the phone book.
I don't think I'm alone in being a writer who's just as passionate about my artwork as I am about my writing. Clay, collage, pencils, watercolors, beads . . . they're all poetry to me. Each one of these mediums and disciplines informs and inspires my writing life, and I can't imagine dropping any of them. But one of the things I've struggled with for a long time is finding the right kind of art group, one that matches my wonderful writer's group: a free-form meeting of women with interests that range from screenwriting to structured poetry to pithy vignettes. When we meet every two weeks, it's to write, not critique. We freewrite for about 30-40 minutes, and then we read aloud to each other. Our very informal meetings conclude with conversation and a chance to catch up on each other's personal news. It's a great system, and I've been trying to find that same kind of experience in an artistic environment. Enter: Urban Sketchers! I discovered Urban Sketchers while I was searching Pinterest for examples of travel journal lay-outs. Over and over my favorite illustrations came from Urban Sketchers members and I was uber-curious to find out who they were. A few Google searches later, and yay, I found a chapter here in Albuquerque. I've been attending their various events off-and-on now for about nine months, and I love the way the format follows that of my writer's group: a group of enthusiastic people gathering in an interesting place; setting off on our own to sketch; then meeting up again to share and discuss our morning's work. I particularly enjoy the positive, warm atmosphere of viewing the various sketchbooks without tearing them apart in search of perceived flaws or "mistakes." I've grown to love Urban Sketchers so much that I want to spread the word to everyone I know--not just my artist friends, but with my writing friends, too, as well as those who are photographers, potters, jewelry makers--everyone. There's so much to be gained from being with creative people regardless of whatever medium you work with. For instance, even if you've never dreamed of doodling in the margins of your latest draft, you can still:
Take note of settings. Many of the places we've sketched in are venues I've never been to before. Making notes on all the fresh sights and sounds and smells, recording what I liked about the place (and what I didn't) has all gone into my sketch journals along with my drawing.
Take note of details: Architecture, clothing, people watching . . . So much of what makes a story come to life depends on the details. Taking a few hours to really concentrate on every single little thing can only add to your next story project.
Photography. Okay, let's say you really, really don't want to draw. Take pictures instead! Who knows, photography may become an entirely new vocation for you, one that fits your written work perfectly.
Artist's Date: Before, during, and after. Most writers I know find the hardest advice to follow in Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way to be taking the "Artist's Date," probably because it involves a) going by yourself, and b) treating yourself to something fun. Writers are notoriously mean to themselves, especially when they feel they haven't written enough or to the quality they expect on any given day. Hence the need for the artist's date. Urban Sketchers allows you to start out in the security of a group, but then sends you on your way to discover your own unique path for a few hours. Take advantage of the time alone to do something that pleases your writer-self while feeding your entire creative being. (And you can buy yourself a treat somewhere along the way too!)
Meet creative people. Who knows? They might be writers! (Or want to read your books!) Seeing the work of others is always inspiring.
Get out of your comfort zone. Sketching, especially in public, might seem a scary thing if you've never tried it before. But if you can get over your initial fear of "What will people think?" wow, imagine how confident you'll be pitching a manuscript, or cold-calling on bookstores. Or even starting a new manuscript!
Sketching is meditative. Remember how much fun you had when you were a little kid and able to zone out with your crayons and paper? Believe it or not, you were meditating at the same time. Giving yourself that same childlike joy for a few hours now and then can help you solve a myriad of character and/or plot problems.
Some samples from my own meditations over the last two months include imagining myself as a cave-dweller at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology:
Going back even further in time at the Natural History Museum:
If you do decide to visit your local Urban Sketchers, some essentials you'll need to bring along are: a collapsible camping-type stool, a set of color pencils (much easier and cleaner than fussing with watercolors or felt pens), a pencil sharpener, a sketch pen that you also like to write with, a hardback journal or sketchbook, hat and/or sunglasses, optional camera. Minimal tools for maximum fun.
Tip of the Day: Urban Sketchers is a world-wide phenomenon. Any Internet search will help you find a group somewhere in your area or close enough to travel to . Toss out your inhibitions and tag along--I know you'll be welcome!
A nagging suspicion grows that many writers, overawed and dazzled by Bach, still tacitly assume a direct correlation between his immense genius and his stature as a person. At best this can make them unusually tolerant of his faults, which are there for all to see: a certain tetchiness, contrariness and self importance, timidity in meeting intellectual challenges, and a fawning attitude toward royal personages and to authority in general that mixes suspicion with gain-seeking. But why should it be assumed that great music emanates from a great human being? Music may inspire and uplift us, but it does not have to be the manifestation of an inspiring (as opposed to an inspired) individual. In some cases there may be such correspondence, but we are not obliged to presume that it is so. It is very possible that "the teller may be so much slighter or less attractive than the tale." [source] The very fact that Bach's music was conceived and organized with the brilliance of a great mind does not directly give us any clues as to his personality. Indeed, knowledge of the one can lead to a misplaced knowingness about the other. At least with him there is not the slightest risk, as with so many of the great Romantics (Byron, Berlioz, Heine spring to mind), that we might discover almost too much about him or, as in the case of Richard Wagner, be led to an uncomfortable correlation between the creative and the pathological.
My inspiration for writing today's post comes from a great magazine out of Australia that I discovered via my writer's group: Womankind. It's a lovely mix of artwork, personal essay, and interesting articles on all sorts of things, from the meaning of happiness to living in Tuscany (which I'm sure would make me pretty happy.) I bought my first copy several weeks ago, and one of the articles that struck me the most was a collection of progress-reports from readers who had taken a "Five-Day Creativity Challenge." When I first saw the heading of "Five Days," my initial reaction was one of skepticism. Like, "Anybody can do five days of something. Try NaNoWriMo or the A-Z Blogging Challenge if you really want to test yourself and suffer!" But after I'd read the various entries on what readers had done with the challenge, I became intrigued: five days seemed like an excellent amount of time, just right for tying up loose ends starting something new, or returning to a neglected project. It seemed exactly what I needed to motivate myself into finishing half a dozen little personal projects I had set myself over the years and then subsequently abandoned in favor of bigger, more important efforts. The first thing I did to start off in the right direction was to purchase the storage basket pictured above. I liked the way the inside fabric was printed with old letters and stationery, and I liked the way it was already labelled "storage." My next step was to gather up the six projects that have been driving me nuts and making me feel guilty each time I start something new. I put some of them in plastic bags for safe-keeping, and then put everything into my basket. Then I chose one project to finish:
The story behind this sketchbook is that I initially ruined it before I'd even sketched on a single page. I had read in an art journaling magazine that a good ideas was to a) put watercolor washes down on every page before starting anything, and then, b) spray the pages with fixative. The watercolor washes were a great idea. But the fixative? That was a very bad idea. Oh, what a bad idea. The plastic-coated pages were completely resistant to most media. The only thing that sort of worked was watercolor pencil, but when it came to adding any detail, forget it, as I found out when I tried to draw a little cardinal and the beak just kept growing bigger and bigger. To salvage whatever I could, I started collaging and experimenting, and thus a little book of sorts began. I called it my Silly Little Book of Silly Little Birds:
I actually found myself enjoying the challenge of how to make those impossible pages work one way or the other, but after completing about 32 out of 56 pages, I just stopped. I'm not sure why. Maybe I became bored with birds, or I finally grew to hate those slippery-slidey pages to the point of admitting defeat and quitting. That is, until the five-day challenge! Last week I gave myself five days to work solely on silly birds, several pages a day, with the goal of completing the book once and for all. Here's a small sample:
I finished on Friday, and now I only have five projects left in my basket. I might not be tackling another one for a few weeks yet, but in the meantime, the guilt over my little forgotten birds is gone and my "creative burden" is definitely a whole lot lighter. Feels great! Best of all, I learned a lot from working on this project: I learned I could persevere through difficult conditions; I learned about picture-book layout, something that has always interested me; and I learned I really love birds! So much so, that I'll be adding them to many more sketchbooks and paintings in the future. A whole new take on Anne Lamott's classic Bird by Bird, for sure. Tip of the Day: Five days might not seem a lot, but it's amazing how far they can go toward helping you start, finish, or continue a creative project. For example, how about a Five-Day Query Letter Writing Challenge? A Five-Day Outlining Challenge? Or a Five-Day Beading Challenge? Short and sweet and infinitely practical. Let me know how it goes for you.Add a Comment
Wickedly awesome, sometimes misunderstood…I’ve even found myself (at times) rooting for our villains. Some of my favorite Disney characters are, in fact, the villains. Which is why I’ve done a whole series dedicated to those dark and twisty baddies.
For years, there have been rumors of Marvel and Dc shutting down the countless unauthorized prints, t-shirts and sketchbooks sold at conventions featuring licensed characters. While a few people have been shut down for doing something egregious, it’s mostly been a “look the other way” thing, as The Big Two don’t want to be […]
It’s Oscar week and who better to cover it for the New Yorker than former Oscar nominee Daniel Clowes himself. Clowes ultra-eagerly awaited graphic novel Patience hits in a few weeks. I’ve read it and it’s a mind blower. To say any more would be a spoiler. You know you’re going to read it anyway.
Lots to do, lots to do… and so little time. You would think we would be old pros at this now, but damn if the butterflies don’t start a fluttering around this time. Paying for shows, flights, hotel rooms, airbnbs… and a whole slew of other things that will cause a bit of anxiety. But it is worth it as we love traveling and seeing everyone at the shows, which will start off Saturday with a one day horror show.
The 4th Annual Spook Show at the Halloween Club in La Mirada is here on March 5th and it will be our third time doing it. It keeps getting better and better each year; artist, crafters, vendors, food trucks, music, and much more. One of our favorite small shows, plus it is a great way to start off the con season. The show is free, but you must RSVP your free tickets to gain admittance. It is from noon til 7 on Saturday and family friendly.
There are plenty of more shows in the coming weeks, so everyone have fun and we hope to see you soon.