On Comics, Slacking, and Stink Bugs

This blog has been filled to the brim with photos of wedding plans, home renovations, and foster dogs for the past year, but I’ve been neglecting one of my main interests — illustration.

With a full-time job that keeps me happily busy and a wedding photography business on the side, I’ve been struggling with the focus of this blog. Despite a closet full of art supplies, I haven’t drawn anything substantial in over a year, so I’m going to try to ease back into a routine and start sketching again. Baby steps.

Since my job made the move to Center City, I’ve been enjoying running into some fascinating characters to and from the train station. There was the woman who pulled me aside a few steps away from my building’s front door to tell me to “stay sexy, scrumptious, and healthy” while blowing bubbles in my face. I liked her. There was the man leaning against the food cart who yelled, “Look at you in your tight tights, look at you jiggle.” I’m not sure how one can see any jiggling under a million layers and a winter coat, but I’ll assume he had some sort of x-ray glasses that I wasn’t privy to.

Then there’s the 45-minute train ride. I fancy myself a QuietRide kind of girl, but I’m constantly amazed by how many people don’t obey the no-fuss conductor who yells “THIS IS THE QUIETRIDE CAR. IF YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE QUIET (long pause), DON’T RIDE THE QUIET RIDE CAR,” repeatedly. My evening conductor always has a tie that lights up in some fashion, whether it’s snowmen or star-spangled banners. I like him too.

Despite valiant efforts in train obedience, I have managed to make a fool of myself on a daily basis. Last week I was deeply reading my book when a stink bug scuttered across the page. I literally jumped out of my seat and shrieked, while almost smacking the poor woman next to me in the face with The Girl With Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. On the QuietRide car. I felt like a QuietRide failure. There was a lot of staring. I convinced myself that it was something that would have happened to Liz Lemon and got on with my day.

My point is, life is much more entertaining now that I’m traveling to and fro and exchanging conversations (or embarrassed QuietRide glances) with actual human beings. Gone are the days of working from my couch in my pajamas and playing Dawson’s Creek in the background for company.

Not to get all resolution-y on y’all, but a change is going to come…especially now that I’m out of new Boardwalk Empire episodes to watch with the hubs in the evenings. I’m going to start writing down any out-of-the-blue anecdotes that happen in my day-to-day, to turn them into sketches for a weekly web comic (it’s been a while). While I collect ideas and sketches, I’m going to save up for this bad boy. Once 2013 hits, I’d like to produce one comic a week with my Wacom tablet. I can’t promise they’ll be any good, but at least I’ll be trying.

Advertisements

Summer Hiatus: I’ve Missed You

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted on here, so let me just say that I’m impressed you’re still reading. I apologize for the silence on my end, but things have been a bit busy as of late. When I’m not working at my full-time job at Generocity, I’m tackling absurd amounts of yard work with Pete, shooting weddings on the weekends, processing photos, or planning our own backyard wedding.

I haven’t had a chance to share our engagement shoot with you guys, so here are some of our favorites by Morrissey Photo. Even though I’d rather be behind the lens any day, it was really easy to be ourselves in front of them since they’re two of the nicest people on. the. planet. Thanks again to Matt and Lauren for following us around the Love Letter murals in Philadelphia, you guys are the bestest.


Images by Morrissey Photo

In other wedding planning news, we sent our invites out to our parents and siblings. I had a lot of fun working on these with Pete — I made the illustration for the back and Pete designed the front (I contributed the talk bubbles with our initials). It’s been really nice having this whole wedding planning thing be a collaborative effort while crossing tasks off our to-do list.

wedding invite

wedding invite

wedding invite

Not that it’s as thrilling as envelope liners and photos of the Ginger, but I’ve been posting more actively on my photography blog, if you want to give it a look-see every week or so.

Kvass: Veggie Drink Drawings

A few months ago, my friends at Curious & Co. reached out to me for some freelance illustrations of veggies for the labels of Zukay Kvass, a natural, fermented vegetable drink. For you raw foodies out there, you’ll be able to see my illustrations in Whole Foods and other specialty natural foods stores. I wanted to give you guys a glimpse of some of the veggie sketches and inked drawings I provided to Zukay.

Here’s a snapshot of the final product (professional promo photos to come!), which the client ended up simplifying, rather than going with my more detailed, inked versions.

As a side note, I promise I’ll start picking things up around these parts again! Last week was my first week at my new job at Generocity, so I’m excited to share stories and all of that good stuff with you guys.

What’s new with everyone else these days?

Currently Reading: French Milk

{Photo credit}

French Milk is an autobiographical graphic novel by Lucy Knisley, who travelled to Paris with her mother for their 22nd and 50th birthdays. For more than a month, the humorous memoir follows Lucy around as her and her mother explore France—taking photographs, eating pastries and drinking French Milk. The story blends real life photos by Lucy with her drawn depictions of their days together, as a travel diary of sorts. For those of you who might not have ever read graphic novels before, I would definitely recommend browsing Amazon or Half.com (where books are often sold for less than ten cents) for a starter book. Persepolis, Maus and Epileptic are just some of my favorites, but if you’re less of a bookworm and more into movies, there are often wonderful film adaptations of graphic novels released as well, such as Persepolis or Ghost World.

{Photo credit}

Lucy’s portrayal of life as an art student visiting back home with her quirky parents reminded me of the graphic memoir I started inklings of in college (see a snippet below). Once wedding photography season passes, I’d like to begin concentrating on starting the graphic memoir back up. For these frames below, I used home videos as a reference to capture my dad’s dialogue word-for-word (yes, he lovingly called me “little shit” as a pet name, we’re special like that), so I think I may have some home video-watching in my future.

Our family is probably a bit of a rare case, because we have almost every occasion from my youth on video. Ballet recitals, birthdays, holidays, sledding adventures, talent shows—they’re all captured on camera, so when referencing moments from my child and adult life, I have a lot of materials and images to pull from. My brother, who is 9 years older than me, also has loads of blackmail-worthy home videos including: my dad stalking him and his date on prom night, his questionable mustache/hair phases (I’m guilty of a mustache and pseudo-mullet as well, no worries big brother), modeling in an 80s fashion show with me at the mall…the list goes on and on.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to getting back into graphic novel gear and re-exploring some of the funnier, slightly disturbing moments from my youth and beyond. French Milk was just the kick in the arse I needed to get inspired to mesh family anecdotes with real-life photos and illustrations.

What are some of your favorite graphic novels? I think Blankets by Craig Thompson is next on my list!