Monday, July 26, 2010

Comic Con!

I finally got to go to Comic Con this year - my first time ever.
 Everyone warned me about the crowds, the freaky people dressed up in costume, the culture shock, etc. My overall response to it was: AWESOOOOME!!!  I drove down to San Diego on Friday morning, parked at Qualcomm stadium, rode the trolley to the convention's front door, hopped off and made my way through the madness. I feel like I can say, "Veni, Vidi, Vinci!" (I came, I saw, I conquered!) least as much as was possible to see and conquer in one day.

The whole reason I went to Comic Con was to volunteer at the Society of Illustrator's of LA booth. I got to hang out with SI-LA president, Scott Gandell, and tell people all about the Society. I met some really great folks, several of them well-established illustrators and others brand new. I also got to explore the entire convention (which took several hours, due to the amount of people clogging the was difficult to walk normally, especially when people would stop in their tracks mid-step to watch a giant television screen exploding with some epic sci-fi scene...a cause for many collisions).

Highlights were meeting illustrators like Tara McPherson, Cory Godbey, and the people at Mark Murphy books. Some of my favorites were there such as Gallery Nucleus, along with major book publishers like Scholastic, Penguin, and Random House. I wish I had brought a huge wad of cash and a friend who likes to shop! I'll be planning a day like that for next year.... =)
Here are a few snapshots that I took. Enjoy!

"What does this picture have to do with Comic Con?"  you might be asking...
Well...I happened to make friends with the First-Aid paramedics while waiting in the foyer for my badge so I could go inside. They invited me to sit down, we chatted for a half an hour, and I gave them my business card (shameless self-promotion). It's the first rule of thumb when attending conventions this big: 1. Befriend men in (real) uniforms.

Marshal Vandruff had a booth with Justin Sweet.

Tara McPherson's booth (although that is not her in the pic).
She is a quintessential Artist as Brand.
More of Tara McPherson's merch. TONS of inventory! 

Goat lady playing on the Cintiq - I WANT ONE!

Some little kid's dream come true.

So much cool stuff at this booth! 
Jeff Soto was there doing a mag signing of the new issue.

My view from the SI-LA booth

Giant superheroes were everywhere!

Is it just me, or does My Little Pony not really look like a pony anymore?
Transformers!!! This one was my favorite =)

Speaks for itself! 

Zombies are sooo back. 

And, at this point I was overwhelmed.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

ICON 6!!!

I just got back from ICON 6, the illustration conference held at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena.
Oh my, it was AMAZING. I have never had so much fun, met so many wonderful people, and never learned so much about the illustration industry. I am completely overwhelmed and totally loving it!!!

The best part about this conference was meeting people face-to-face! I got to talk with some of my art heroes and pick their brain. We shared stories, laughs, fears, failures, and successes. I feel like I made friends with kindred spirits and became part of the illustration family. Now, whenever I go to the studio and begin the work week, I will think of these people and know I have advocates out there. We illustrators are all in this passionate pursuit together.

I can't wait for Monday!

 Here are a few highlights in pictures:

Illustrator friends Aileen Holmes, I forgot sorry!, and Joe Cepeda

The Georgian Ballroom where we had Roundtable Lunch
Discussions with Industry Professionals. 
 On Friday I had lunch with:
the owner of JUNC Gallery, Mike Kelley
Intellectual Property Attorney, Susan Grode
On Saturday:
Artist Agent, Jen Vaughn
Illustrator, John Hendrix

Main Stage in the Huntington Ballroom

The charming, uber-talented and wonderful Yuko Shimizu

 All of us girls fell in love with this guy's dog...

Superheroes Jamie Zollars and John Hendrix

The amazing Chris Buzelli. I met his wife Soo Jin who is a creative director. 
They're a dream team!

The one and only Jeff Soto

I had dinner with Joe Cepeda and Tatiana El-Khouri, 
two prolific, inspirational and ambitious entrepreneurial illustrators.

Me and illustrator Cathie Bleck being silly and having a ball! 

I love Cathie's work! She gave me some great advice and took the time to talk 
and sign her book that I bought.

I finally got to meet Jo Ann Miller from Directory of Illustration!

Lovely artist rep, Jen Vaughn, who was so sweet!

Our technicolor Closing Party DJ, famous illustrator Tim Biskup

 My delightful roommate, art director and illustrator Barbara Kosoff

And lastly, the view from our room. 

*Sigh. The hype has only just begun. This coming Friday I'm going to Comic Con, and the weekend after that is SCBWI. It is officially conference month! One down, two to go!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Garden of Graves

A new painting is almost finished! Here is a sneak preview of the sketches for it. I hope to post the finished piece tomorrow.

I do like to leave my work open to interpretation, but for the sake of filling you in on what I've been up to, I will share a few sentences of background info: 
This piece is part of my "Unicorns & Rainbows" series, where I'm trying to tackle the somewhat abstract concept of our hearts. In my research, I've discovered that the heart can be transformed similar to the way seeds, when planted in soil, must die in order to produce new growth. In this new painting, a unicorn princess kneels in a graveyard of hearts.

Check back tomorrow to see the finished painting!!

This was the first rough idea I sketched out.
Also on this page are a few other soon-to-be paintings!

This is the line drawing that I used to transfer the image onto the wood panel.

Workshop @ RAM

This August I will be teaching an "Intro to Drawing" workshop at the Riverside Art Museum!
I am thrilled to be teaming up with the RAM and engaging my community. The workshop is every Saturday from 1pm - 3:30pm. See the flyer and the RAM website for more information.
Hope to see you in class!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Color Sketches

Here are a few new compositional sketches! These are done in gouache on watercolor paper, approximately 2x3 inches. Making quick studies like these helps me to envision final paintings, and clarify concepts. Things really start to come alive in my imagination when I paint. From these studies, I will make the final line drawings. Check back soon to see the developments!