August 31, 2010

Sandwich, MA

This week I was lucky enough to be invited to two weddings, just 7 days apart from each other! 

Andy wasn't able to come with me to Amy & Ken's wedding on Cape Cod August 20th, so I rented a car and drove down after my last summer class at the museum wrapped up.  Mini adventure, I guess.

I haven't seen my good friend in many years - after she went to Germany during college, she ended up falling in love with a dashing Dutchman (or is the term Wallonian?) and ended up traveling all over Europe, to settle for now in Brussels.  What a life.  *sigh*

It was so lovely walking around this area of Cape Cod before the reception started.
It made me happy Andy and I switched our own wedding plans from eloping to San Francisco to a tiny beach wedding on the Cape.  This place just means so much to us.

Congratulations Amy & Ken!

August 26, 2010

A Serious Girl

I watched this amazing documentary a few days ago about comics during the Great Depression.  In a still frame, there is a girl in menswear at a corner newsstand looking very determined.  It was a sepia photo, so I tried to sketch her if she was in bright color. (Lindsay, I think she looks a bit like Caroline, no?) Even so, this drawing kind of freaks me out.

Last week I zipped out of the museum to drive to Cape Cod for my friend's wedding, and this Saturday I'll be going to another wedding!  So along with finishing up the last of the graphic novel - it's been phenomenally busy here in the studio.  But I promise I'll have lots of updates soon enough and a new blog look. 

Allie Oop doesn't like the summer heat


Some nice questions I received this weekend 
you've got so much cool stuff in your studio, does your partner share your space?

Thanks! yes, it is over run with Batman toys, art books and canvases. We actually have our own little studios. Andy likes to work messy and I need a clean space, so we separated to not drive each other bonkers!  We spent the summer last year cleaning and rearranging the apartment to fit the both of our work spaces!

Are you changing your name after the wedding or hyphenating or what?

Haha I have thought this over, and think Veronica Lane Hebard-Fish would be super weird, as is my last name in general.  I like the sound of Veronica Fish so pretty sure I'm taking Andy's name.
hajimashite....any advice on how to get into freelance illustration as a real job? I draw everyday but can't seem to break through and make it my career. It is my life's dream and I love to create. domo arigato gozaimasu, Biru Korigan 
Be a business man! It's hard, but even if you are a great artist you need to be a great promoter. Send your work to your favorite art magazines, call art directors, send postcards to publishers, promote yourself with an art blog or on illustration websites.  If you do it for a whole year and get nothing - try getting an agent.

Devote a whole day each week to the business side of your art and you will make it! It's scary, but you can do it!

August 23, 2010

Drawing Naked People

my first figure drawing class in college - I believe I was 18

I got an anonymous formspring question last week that made me laugh a bit, but then think about my first experiences drawing nudes in college :

I know you won't answer this one; I'm in art school (female) and was freaked out at first about life drawing classes-- being that close to a nude was just akward! Now the idea of being the model gets me hot-- have you ever had those thoughts?

Now, this breaks down in to an interesting question for people who have never taken a figure drawing course.  When is drawing a nude sexual?  Is it sexual at all?  Is drawing an 'attractive' person a different experience than drawing an 'unattractive' person?  For me - no.

My first impression of art school was when Will Ferrel played a homeless man getting all sorts of inappropriate in a sculpture class in an early '90s SNL.

It was maybe half accurate.

In New York I had 2 classes with nudes - one drawing, one painting totaling 12 hours a week I'd look at some strangers' bid-niz.  But my teachers were so serious, to giggle at all was shameful - so it took about 4 seconds to get into scientific-mode.  I've even drawn a friend nude - not realizing that she would BE the model for that course!  It really isn't a big deal at all.

Our models were all shapes and sizes and skin tones - some fabulously beautiful, some fabulously frightening.  It was much more interesting to draw someone who had the build of a giant panda than a dancer's body.  We see images of "perfect" bodies in the media all the time - it's not new territory to explore for me.

There was one guy who would say "WELLLLLLP I'm off to lunch" and he would exit the area, put on a TINY TINY thong and walk to the lunch room.  Basically his thong was a 100x more suggestive than seeing everything.

So to answer your question, Anon - no, I have never been attracted to a model or wanted to be a model. 

August 16, 2010

Kyoto Ryokan

You may remember a long time ago, I was obsessed with the ryokan and onsen of Izu, Hakone and Shizuoka - the lovely area just past Mount Fuji on the coast of Japan.  Well, my dream of going to my ultimate onsen - Asebino - had to be scrapped.  (for a few reasons, mostly travel time etc.)

But happily! Oh so so happily, we are now able to pop into Kyoto for a night, which more than makes up for the loss.  In my free time (which like everybody is dwindling) the obsession has been sparked again, and I thought I'd share some of my top picks for Kyoto ryokan.

All of these ryokan are //
  • Walking distance from JR Kyoto station
  • Under $400 for the night including meals
  • Authentic  (not a 2009 ryokan distressed to look Old Edo)
  • Have excellent traveler reviews on TripAdvisor etc...

around ¥200 for 2 people per night for small room
cash only // some rooms have no private toilet // only 5 rooms
PROS : nice comments about family who operates
CONS : horrible website, book with

around ¥340 for 2 people per night with dinner + breakfast
curfew at 11pm // private or shared bathroom
PROS : beautiful website, but book with proxy
CONS : must choose the dinner + breakfast meal plan, meaning you have to be back from sight seeing at a specific time or you will lose them

MOTONAGO (image at the top)
unfortunately this one was booked for my requested night, but it's highly recommended!
and the English website is beautiful and easy to navigate

In the end, I booked a small 8 tatami room (12'x12') with shared bath at Kikokuso.  I had the opportunity for about $150 more, to book a room at Izuyasu with dinner + breakfast included, a larger room size and private bath. 
Why didn't I do this?  

Because Andy and I only have one night in Kyoto, and we want to walk as far and do as much stuff as we can in one day, including the ever lovely Jidai Matsuri and Toji Temple flea market, and that means we want to eat out instead of having to be back at a certain time.  If you aren't around for your scheduled dinner, you will lose the meal!  We also don't need a larger room, since we have booked other places in Tokyo that are fancy schmancy enough for us. AND just LOOK at the garden - WOW

If you have any questions, please email me.  I have honestly looked and compared about 58 different places all around the Kyoto area, so may have some insight for you!

Booking tips //
  • Most of these ryokans are family run, almost always the wife is the owner, and if you REALLY want to impress them with your foreign sophistication, bring the head mistress a small gift from your country and watch them light up.
  • Almost all are cash only
  • Usually no single guests
  • Usually only 5 - 15 rooms per building
  • Most have a private toilet + bath but you could end up sharing a bathroom with 2 or 3 other rooms on your floor
  • is a great site to help you book in Kansai

August 13, 2010

Weekly Dig + 35 mm


It's been a really busy week again, and I wanted to get some more posts in - but here it is already Friday! THE 13TH -- oohweeooh

Tak Toyoshima - creator of the great "Secret Asian Man" comic and editor for the Boston Weekly Dig contacted me to use an image on the cover of this week's issue.  Wow - for something specific as Harajuku fashion, this illo is certainly getting around! (go fig)

I have been lucky enough to have this image run along side Scott Pilgrim news in two different publications now - which is super awesome. 

After teaching a double header of classes at the Worcester Art Museum, Andy and I drove out to Orient Heights in East Boston to teach a workshop at the library there.  It just so happened one of our favorite restaurants in the city was literally across the street.  El Paisa!    

We always get patacon con todo and split it - since it comes with rice, chicken, salad, beans + homemade salsa and guacamole.  You should go!

patacon con todo is Spanish for 
"fried plantain with everything"

My gold Harikin camera came from today! 
Very excited to start taking pictures with it!

August 8, 2010

Giant Robot Magazine

My good buddy Pete contacted me to say that Gallery Nucleus used my image for an ad in the latest issue of Giant Robot Magazine.  I am very excited!  Thanks, Pete!

If you are in the LA area this fall - please go check out SWEET STREETS 2: The Art of Japanese Fashion!  So many of my favorite working artists are in this show; and it's definitely even more cool since 6% DokiDoki is a sponsor.

You can see the original artwork here on this previous post.

My grandparents in Iowa sent me a lovely wedding gift of amber beads.  They seem very flapper to me - they are super long, even when I wrapped them around my neck two times over

I can't help but wonder when they were made - possibly 80 years ago?  I really love them!  

Andy and I had a really nice weekend.  We are still working in our studios upwards of 12 hours a day, but we took a break to grab some oatmeal whoopie pies, iced chai and walk around a vintage clothing store.

I found a great long cardigan in the men's section (I dig menswear) and picked it up.  Maybe I'll do another series of "What to Wear" sketches!  Sorry I haven't kept up with that - so little time lately!

August 4, 2010

Cameras + Print Fix

So just to update you on the print situation - Jim from Alphagraphics was super generous and offered to remake my prints for me.  I'm happy about this - because it was Jim who helped me make my Dr. Grood prints last year, and his attentiveness was excellent.  Thank you, Jim! 


There are a couple of cameras I'm pining for lately; a Golden Half and a Superheadz 35mm. I am probably going to get the Gold Superheadz camera tonight, since it is only $30 ( not bad)

Sadly I'm still having trouble getting any of my Holga 120 film to develop.  It's pretty sad.  I tape it up like crazy so no light gets in, I'm super careful advancing and removing the film, and yet every roll only yields me maybe 2 good photos.  It's frustrating. 

  My split-frame Lomo is holding up well, though. Kind of.

Did I tell you my friend Yuka is magic?  Her nickname is 'Sunshine Girl' because anywhere she goes, the weather suddenly becomes pleasant.  Cool, eh?  

She pointed me towards this Moumoon song, which must have been written about her.

( did a Goog search for Golden Half and this lovely photo by Jenny popped up by chance!
The same Jenny that sent me a sweet postcard this week - thanks, peaches!)

I'll have more nice things to post this week - including some of my work that was published in Giant Robot, but you wouldn't believe the tough time I'm having tracking one down! 

Have a great week, friends

August 1, 2010

Sketch + Rant

sketches of my students, my mother's dance students and our cat

Had a lot of trouble with finding a good printer - so I've decided just to get a really great machine for myself!  I've been told Epsons and Cannons are the two top models to look for when making art prints, so if anyone has experience with these - feel free to drop some knowledge on me.

I had a good experience with Alphagraphics in Worcester a few months ago, so I went back to get 2 very important prints done.  I don't know who helped me the first time, two gentlemen, but I really miss them.  This time, I walked in to a completely empty place - like walk out with their Mac empty5 people walked by me before finding out if I was being helped.

I explained that I needed very high quality art prints, on super matte, thick stock paper.  The paper sample was okay, but I got the feeling they weren't really getting me, and the attitude was kind of like "Okay, is this for your band?"  I left a really uneasy.

I come back a few days later and they prints are dark like inkstains.  I mean, unacceptably dark.  I ask if I could possibly get them lightened up and they informed me "Whatever file we get is how it prints".  The End.

What?!  No - the way it works is that I buy a proof from you - ask for adjustments and you make me a nice effing print.  But apparently I should have insisted on a proof because it wasn't even an option.

Basically I spent $50 on totally useless prints, and made my customers wait another week until I got the corrected prints back - customers who patiently waited a month for me to get them ready, and now I am absolutely terrified the quality isn't there for them.

If I am going to sell prints of my work, I want them to be stellar - it needs to speak well of my work, and I refuse to spend another penny on bad prints.
Been a really long week, working every day, so here are somethings that made me smile despite it:

What on EARTH is this creepy nonsense?!