i’m back! and tired….

i saw a lot of things. took way too many pictures.

decided that prague was the best and am booking a ticket to go back in november.

i ate frog legs and squid ink. jumped in a freezing switzerland lake and was bit by a swan.

and i got some holy water from the vatican.

i’ll be back to a regular illustration schedule soon.

here are some pictures before we get back to drawing.

war fields

when you live in war fields it’s rare to see anyone with all four limbs intact. most of your friends are ghosts and even then: ghosts don’t make good friends. you hover around lamps to collect dinner moths and roll them up in old newspaper. late at night when your mouth is full of moth wings and cotton you hear the war bugles. underneath the floor boards are your fallout bedrooms and your battle cry bedtime stories. the next morning you go to the surgeons tent to look for a new shoe or if you are lucky a glove. you meet the new ghost of an old acquaintance and together you walk the war fields.

1000 and beyond.

over the weekend i hit a fun little goal of having over 1000 followers/subscribers to my blog! which i find to be very very cool. thank you all!

i decided to put together a little Q/A for you all. as a little hello and welcome to my world. most of these are questions i am frequently asked. but if you have a more specific question, just ask and i’ll add it in!

how did you get started in illustration?

i’ve been a drawer my whole life. i used to get in trouble at school for drawing in my books. when it came time to go off to college, art school was the obvious next step. i went to the Savannah College of Art and Design, majored in illustration, and it was the best decision i have ever made. i loved/love it.

what inspires you?

this is a tough one. for some reason i always have trouble figuring out what inspires me. when it comes to my art i try to be as pure as possible and just draw what’s in my brain with little to no references. that being said, looking at any type of painting/photography/book/illustration/textile designs is undeniably an inspiration, whether i realize it or not. i also really like looking at pictures of cats and bears.

what is your illustration process? what programs do you use?

these days i mostly illustrate purely on the computer. though it wasn’t always like that. i used to paint the entire illustration and just scan it in. then i moved into a hybrid painting/photoshop style. i wrote a post on that process here. (wow my style has really evolved since then). and now it’s all computer. (ah! i kind of hate that). for programs i am strictly photoshop (CS5) and bridge. and i use my little bamboo wacom tablet that i love so much.

do you have any advice for developing and improving my own illustrations?

the best advice i can give is just keep drawing. draw everyday.

and don’t be stubborn, learn to change things if they aren’t working (that part is always hard for me). i used to never put eyes or pupils in my characters. after almost 2 years of hearing that i would be more marketable if i added eyes, i did. and then i got a lot more jobs. finding the right balance of staying true to yourself and taking constructive criticism is important.

and then just draw some more.

what camera do you use to take your photos?

i use a canon rebel xs1 EOS. it’s almost too fancy for me, i get nervous when i use it.

do you sell your illustrations?

i really want to open back up my long abandoned etsy shop and sell some prints. but until that magical day happens i am selling a few prints over at society 6.

what are your tattoos of?

yay tattoos. i have a sea monster eating a ship on my forearm, a hot air balloon on my upper arm, backwards text on my wrist that reads ‘this love is parasitic’, my beloved knuckle tattoos that say ‘es ist’ (which is ‘it it’ in german) and an on a whim best friends poke and stick tattoo of an arrow on my pointer finger.

how many illustrations do you make in a day/week?

i am a very fast illustrator. which is great for me! i usually get about 2 or 3 illustrations done a day. i do one or two for this blog, then work on work illustrations that i actually get paid for, then work for a side project that i don’t really feature on the blog that often. on a good day i can get maybe 6 done.

though there was this one time that i stayed awake for 48 hours and did 55 illustrations for a rush job. that was fun and awful. but i did it!

what music do you like to listen to?

the talking heads are perfection, lou reed is amazing, the decemberists make me happy, and cat stevens is just a given.

right now i am also enjoying: future islands, fleetwood mac, department of eagles, nancy sinatra, and gorillaz. and a million other songs.

what is your dogs name?

battleship potemkin! after the russian battleship. but we mostly just call her potemkin.

how old are you?

27, which feels both very old and very young at the same time.

how long do you plan to stay in amsterdam? 

that…. i have no idea. i like it here! but there are so many other places in the world.

how can i contact you?

all that info is on my contact page.

phew, that was a lot of typing. any other questions just ask.

and now, a question for you. what would you like to see more of / less of on this blog in 2012?