Better late than never ;)
So, like a month ago my good friend Adrienne invited me to take part in this super cool blog activity called the WRITING BLOG TOUR! The general gist is that awesome creators answer a bunch of questions about their respective writing processes, then pass the torch to other awesome creators who answer those same questions. Of course I said yes, but then my computer broke :( As a consequence, it’s taken me a long time and then some to write my piece (a friend of mine calls this “real” time). I’ve tried to make up for the tardiness by being extra thorough in my writing today. If you’re curious about what I’ve been doing this whole time instead of writing this blog post: I’ve been working on various projects such as performing a Pecha Kucha event hosted by The Abundance Foundation, exhibiting a painting at the art showcase of this year’s Portland Zine Symposium, and co-curating (along with the talented Josh Hockensmith) an exhibition of artists’ books at the beautiful Daylight Project Space. What I haven’t been doing has been keeping up with various social media, writing long emails, and other stuff of that sort. I’m happy with this :)
Anyway, you should definitely check out Adrienne Nunez’s post and explore her website, because she totally rules. Now I’ll answer some questions!
What am I working on?
Lately I’ve been working on revamping my comics zine, JETTY. This mostly came about after creating a five page comic (you can read it below as the last item in this blog post) for the Swedish Comics Association‘s upcoming anthology, POSTAPOKALYPS. After finishing the pages, I looked at them and decided I like the general concept and would like to continue to explore it. I’m excited about making some weird tales that take place one billion minutes into the future!
I’ve still been working on my more “serious” comic, LOVE, CURRENTLY, but to say the process is moving quickly or smoothly would be a drastic overstatement.
On the other side of things, I’ve been sitting on material enough to put together about three new issues of my abstract comics zine, TABE. I just haven’t put any of it together yet. So for the three of you out there who enjoy abstract comics, you can look forward to some new issues coming out sometime in the near future (judging from my current track-record, that could be anytime within the next five years).
Additionally, I’ve been working on various painting/drawing projects including a number of larger pieces and some things that are more sculptural. I’ve of course been continuing to lead workshops and classes in the Triangle area and have been enjoying taking time off to spend time with me friends, to meditate, and to read. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about putting together series of posters and/or stickers.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, for one thing I work in a lot of different genres (and non-genres) and the couple of different stylings I do tend to seep into each other. The abstract comics (especially the various hatchings/cross-hacthings) always seem to make an appearance in one way or another. They meld into comics that wouldn’t otherwise have them and lately seem to have been getting kind of squiggly. As anyone who knows me can attest, I also love to draw monsters and am obsessed with various ancient art. If you blend it all together, add in some strange metaphysics, etc. I think it can come out as being pretty unique. Of course, whether people like it or not is a different story :)
Why do I write what I do?
This is something I struggle with constantly. What’s the point of it all? Is my work accessible enough? Am I representing life in a genuine and sincere way? I honestly don’t know. What I can say is that I very much enjoy what I do. It’s taken me a while to craft my life into a path where I can work on my various projects and still continue to explore other facets of the human experience. If I couldn’t create, I would be very sad. That being said, there’s always a push/pull going on in my mind. I often compare myself to different artists and authors I admire and wonder what they were thinking when they created. Could be anything. I guess the easy answer to this question is “what else could I do?” The harder answer is something I’m not prepared to come up with right now.
How does my writing process work?
I keep a lot of sketchbooks/notebooks and always have a lot of scrap pieces of paper hanging around. A lot of projects begin in various disparate parts, then I put them together when it feels right. Sometimes it’s like putting together a puzzle; I have to constantly rearrange things until they make sense or become cohesive at least in some way. Other times the parts flow together very easily and I can relax more. Very occasionally I dream something in my sleep and have to jolt myself awake in order to record it before it fades from my memory. I get my best work done in the very early morning, though I’ve been trying lately to force myself into something more of a nine to five routine so that my schedule can more easily coincide with my friends and loved ones. I work every day, but some days more than others. If I’m really in the zone I can work all day and not really realize that much time has passed. Sometimes it feels like the opposite. Like most artists (I think), I find that deadlines can be scary but often facilitate finishing projects in a timely manner.
Okay! I think that’s about it. I’ve enjoyed writing for you today, now it’s time for me to pass these questions on to some other creators so that they can tell you about their awesome projects:
M.R. Trower does some really fantastic and refreshing work. Always smart, with great line quality. Check out their blog and get inspired.
Whit Taylor‘s comics are awesome and insightful (I especially like the Madtown High series). Her narrative voice is distinct and appealing and her blog is full of regular updates on her work and the comics scene in general.
ALSO I’d like to give a special shout-out to my friend and fellow artist Brianna Gribben for letting me use her computer. Thanks!
FINALLY (as promised) here are the finished pages I submitted to the POSTAPOKALYPS anthology.Please enjoy and thanks for reading!
HI ALL!! I trust your week has been treating you kindly! DID YOU KNOW: That I currently teach a variety of classes in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area of North Carolina? Well it just so happens that I do, and today I would like to showcase a couple of those classes coming up (as well as show off some of my new art, as featured below :)
First class up! Starting TOMORROW (Jan. 28th) I will be teaching a brand new (and very special) session of Pen & Ink Instruction for adults at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC. We’ll be learning about a variety of techniques involving nibs (dip pens) and also the proper care and use of pen & ink supplies. I’m really looking forward to this class as I think it will be fantastically fun and informative for all involved. Check out the class description and sign up HERE!
Next Class up is a GRAPHIC NOVELS course for kids that will be beginning on Feb. 6th! This is a part of the awesome Youth Art Blocks program, a series of fantastic classes by many instructors who specialize in many different media. This course will focus specifically on the story-telling components needed to create great comics and will show students in grades 4 through 6 how to create terrific visual narrative utilizing their own ideas for stories as well as classic tropes! No experience is necessary! Get more information and sign up HERE! Tell your friends!
FINALLY, I would like to thank all the kind and amazing people who have been giving me positive feedback on the changes I’ve been making to the blog. I truly hope to allow this website to be a window into my artistic world :)
Thanks so much for reading! If you live in the Carrboro area I would love to see you at one of my classes, either those featured here or some in the future. Have a great day!