December 23, 2009

Borrowing a cat's hand


{" neko no te mo karitai "}

is a Japanese saying literally meaning "I want to borrow a cat's paw".
Meaning - well, there is a lot of stuff going on and it's crazy busy here in the studio.

It's not officially the holidays until I eat a ridiculous amount of peppermint bark

Sometimes I envy people with day jobs.  Being a freelance artist is not easy.  For starters, nobody understands what you do besides other artists or people who love art, and you'll have to explain ad nauseum that you are NOT unemployed for the 4th straight year

We get paid sporadically, have weird taxes + insurance paperwork, have to line up jobs months in advance, hoping work comes in steadily, call up art directors and nervously prattle on about how reliable and awesome you are and then, have to work on Christmas to meet a deadline.

And yet, I love it!  It's pretty awesome to look back on the scribblings I did as a kid "I want to be an artists" and know I'm following that dream still - paid to scribble.

Enter comics!  The majority of my time in 2010 will be spent working on a 96 page graphic novel with amazing writer JJ Kahrs.  He's excited, I'm excited - we're all excited - and for good reason!  Ninjas, lady pirate Captain with an eye patch, airship battles; peppered with witty humor.  It will be epic.

Some of my process //
lots and lots and lots of reference material

learning from the masters

sketchbooks dedicated to this project with a ton of character, ship + location designs

I love my job! 

I often take pictures of friends as reference material as well, especially if a shot is particularly difficult or I just can't "see it on paper".  I'll be posting another time with these pictures compared to the actual art - fun stuff.

I'm off to get a few things for our big Christmas party tomorrow night - have a happy holiday, everyone!


  1. nice, your holidays look like it's a REAL HOLIDAY

  2. It's so great to see a glimpse of your process. Keep us posted! This sounds like such a fun and challenging project. I'm envious!

  3. >_> I think I saw that Jack Kirby book at the library. I used to spend most of freshman year in the SVA library, and my friends thought I was nuts because I would borrow an insane amount of books every week and finish reading through them by the middle of the week :D I pop in there once a week now, and just borrow a few things. I'm currently eyeing their Miyazaki movies right now though.

    I love your research photos! Have you ever been to that Picture Collection in the New York Public library. One of my teachers recommended it for a project and I felt like I hit the jackpot. There are so many pictures there, somewhat organized into general categories (I remember seeing ninjas as a category). That's where I head for research images.

    Can't wait to see more images of your artwork!

  4. Ninja comics!!!! YAY :D your 2010 projects sound so exciting!

    in an alternate universe i would love to be a freelance artist. :)

    Merry Christmas!

  5. haha yeah I hate explaining the
    "so what do you do? oh like cartoons? you can work for disney you know?"

    Best of luck on the comic I know itll be great!!
    I saw a StarWars book in there so automatically it is great!

    Have'nt sent your print yet I will!!

  6. Oooh how exciting, working on the comic! That's really neat.

    Merry Christmas!!!

  7. Your work is so awesome!

    That penguin cellphone charm is sooooososooo adorable!!!

  8. firstly~ merry christmas veronica! i hope you enjoyed your day <3 second.. you are awesome. it's so admirable that you do what you love. people like you are the best. despite how stressful things may become for you due to having a freelance job, it doesn't even matter at the end of the day bcus you're able to find happiness in who you are & what you do (or at least that's how it seems). and your personality reflects that a lot. i really admire you for that. like yeah the moolah is always a factor, but if more people were to follow thier dreams.. i'm pretty sure the world would be a better place. also, congrats on the graphic novel!! you'll let us know the title in the distant future when it's released so we can all check it out right? :)

  9. Thanks so much for the kind comments! You guys are so nice!

    Merry Christmas!