Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Usually during the holidays I do a When I Was Little Christmas card.  This year I decided to change it up and include the lovely Nicole on the card.  Yay!  Our first holiday card together.  Woah Ross and Mona, right? Right?

Anyhoo since they are hitting the mailboxes this week, I figured I'd post it up.  Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Post: Drawing When I Was Little

This past Monday I had the pleasure of hosting the first ever Drawing When I Was Little event at the Gail Borden Library.  There were two workshops in which I talked to kids, shared info about myself and the books, and help them create their own When I Was Little page.

It was such a great event.  The kids and parents participated and had a great time.  I had Nicole help me with sales afterwards and she snapped a few photos of myself doing the presentation and helping the kids with their art.  It was so fun and something I will definitely want to develop and grow for other libraries and schools.  

Here are some of the photos that were taken that day:

Big thanks to Bob Cassinelli and the Gail Borden Library for helping setting up the event.  Thanks!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Drawing When I Was Little!

Hi all,

This Monday I will be at the Gail Borden Library in Elgin for the first ever, Drawing When I Was Little.  I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Cassinnelli at this past year's Comic Book Mania Convention and wanted to put together something with the library.  We came up with this event where I would show kids how to make their own When I Was Little pages.

I will be doing two workshops one at 9:30am and a second one at 11am.  I will also be selling some books and coloring books and the kids will go home with one of  these nifty activity sheets I made this past week.  So come on down!!!!  Can't wait to meet everyone.

- Justin

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Post: Mid Ohio Con 2011

Hi friends!

Mid Ohio Con has come and gone.  This was the first MOC run by the Wizard World group.  I think a lot of artists and comic creators had some doubts but the show was excellent.  The presence of the convention was on a much grander scale yet it still maintained that independent spirit that Mid Ohio Con is famous for.  I was surprised and impressed with this year's turn out.

Another change on our part was that Nicole and I took Friday off and we took our time driving down there.  The road to MOC is usually a unforgiving six hours and the past two years we've attended we would leave after I got off of work which would be around 6-7pm and arrive at 1am.  Having the day off really made a difference. The six hour drive became tolerable and it was smooth sailing.

We arrived Friday night and went to the Kroger around the corner to grab dinner and food for tomorrow morning's breakfast. 

Woke up Saturday morning and I was nervous about the Artist Alley being split on two levels, something I learned about days prior.  However, when we got to the con Saturday morning, we realized that decided to keep everyone on the same level.  I was relieved but a bit saddened to find my location in the back corner which I felt was apart from the actual convention.

That sadness didn't stay for long.  The people traffic was so congested in the middle with artist interaction and on-lookers that they eventually flowed into the the sides and corners making the convention quite a busy affair on Saturday.

I got a lot of unique sketch requests that day which made for some of the best sketching I've done at a con.  You can check those out over here.  The steady flow of traffic made for a comfortable pace of book selling, interaction with the crowd, and sketch requests.  I never felt overwhelmed but I was never bored or sitting around either.  It was a great pace and a great first day.

Last year Nicole and I went to Dirty Frank's Hotdog Palace for dinner and we decided to make a return trip and start a Post Mid Ohio Day 1 dinner tradition.  We stuffed our faces and I had chili mac for the 1st time since I decided to give up meat.  Four years and counting!  Slept on full stomachs.

We woke up a bit earlier on Sunday to make breakfast and pack the car for our drive back.  We bought some meatless breakfast patties and made sausage, egg, and cheese, biscuits.  They were awesome!

Sunday was a slower day at the convention but I still had a large number of families come by and pick up sketches and books.  Nic and I were able to walk around more and look for potential birthday/christmas presents for people. 

Sunday was also a good networking day.  I talked with some familiar faces and comic creators such as Lora Innes, Trevor Mueller, Dustin Carson, Ryan Claytor, and the creative team of Mutant Cactus and Victor Dandridge

I also met some new comic creators like Steve Harpster and Barry DeutschNic and I picked up a few things and tried really hard not to spend all of the earnings. 

The convention came to a close and I wrapped up the last few sketch requests and said goodbye to my Ohio friends.  On the drive home, Nicole and I talked about potential projects for the future and we mapped out my convention season for 2012.

At the halfway mark we stopped for dinner at Red Robin, recharged our batteries, and made it home just as the rain started to fall.

It was a great way to end the season and as I go into the "off" months.  I am going to be busy working on the next few WIWL projects (that's right…plural) and some newer book ideas that I've been wanting to complete.

I hope to do a smaller amount of shows next year so that I can focus on these other books all the while evolving the When I Was Little series.

Until next time, friends!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mid Ohio Con 2011

This weekend I will be attending the Wizard World Mid Ohio Con!  I will be at table 1324 in Artist Alley!  UPDATE:  Here's the new map,  Artist Alley is set up on two floors this year? anyhoo I got top bunk ...apparently #1324

I will also be debuting a new 8x10 print.  I actually had a lot of requests for Thor so I thought to end the year with the God of Thunder.  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Post: Detroit Fanfare 2011

 Hello!  Now that almost a full week has gone by and I have come off my con high I can talk about the weekend that was Detroit Fanfare!

It was a long drive but not as long as the haul to Iowa the weekend before.  Nic and I had the great pleasure of staying with Mike Roll during the Fanfare.  Miker and Tina were great hosts and we had a blast hanging out with them. 

As far as the Fanfare goes,  I had a great time at the show.  However, mostly half of the Saturday was spent with Nic and I taking turns standing in line to meet and greet with the great Kevin Eastman, creator (with Peter Laird) of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles...or TMNT if you're fancy.

I got to say that made the whole convention for me.  It was a blast getting to meet and talk Turtles with him.  He was very kind and professional.  I read that he changed his flight on Sunday so he can keep sketching and signing for the fans. (seriously who does that? AWESOME)

On my sketch blog I've talked about a TMNT book that I am eventually going to fill with different artists' renditions of the Turtle-verse.  Like a dummy, I FLIPPIN' forgot the book and was super bummed as I wanted him to be the last page when it was all said and done. (and sketched)  BUT I did have some sketch cards with me and asked him to sketch a Casey Jones and a Krang which I will just frame in the book.  I also gave him a copy of my turtle's print which he loved!  It was seriously one of my highlights of...anything, EVER.

Ok, now back to the con.  From what I heard from other creators, it was a slow show and the attendance was pretty small from the previous year.  I would agree, I didn't have that many people stopping by the table (maybe because I was gone for half the day).  I think they might have moved the convention to a bigger venue prematurely and they should have kept it at the hotel for at least one more year.  That way it would give the show time to grow and really find its audience and then expand it.  The Cobo Hall center itself was massive and had the space to command a large crowd, it's just that the people weren't there which was unfortunate for the artists and programmers. 

Sunday was a busier day for me.  I did quite a few sketches and sold some prints.  I got to visit with some comic creators and my good friends Jeff and Aireen came out to support me and take in the show.  I know they had a blast!

There were highlights to the show for me and I did tweet them earlier in the week:
@DetroitFanfare #1 #highlight She is my bestest friend and I love her @nfsolis
@DetroitFanfare #1 #highlight is having the best time with @nfsolis. Letting me geek at these shows, encouraging, motivating, being there.
@DetroitFanfare #highlight @nfsolis starting her Mulan themes sketchbook with @artbaltazar
@DetroitFanfare #highlight table chat with @katiecandraw about Gronk, Halloween, and poverty! lol
@DetroitFanfare #highlight Meeting @AXECOP and @Bearmageddon's Ethan Nicolle, great artist very humbled! Scored some sketchbooks and a TPB!
@DetroitFanfare #highlight the talented super cute designer @aerialardour and her super cool hubby going out the way to visit @nfsolis and I 
@DetroitFanfare #highlight drawing a special tmnt bag n board sketch for real life April O'Neal @RachFromOH
@DetroitFanfare #highlight great table time with @JoeFoo22 @mikerroll

@DetroitFanfare #highlight: Meeting Kevin Eastman, creator of TMNT. Holy Cowabunga!
It was a great networking and really talking to other creators about collaborations, upcoming shows, and their respective projects.  If you made use of your time rather than complain about the low attendance and not selling anything than you had a good show. Oh! This is cool:  One of our table neighbors was Ethan Nicolle of Axe Cop fame and my favorite web comic of the moment, Bearmageddon.  He was such a cool guy and very humbled to talk about his projects and all around awesomeness.  I also loved the evenings spent hanging out with Joe Foo, Mike Roll and their significant others.  We went to a sushi buffet and I ate til I couldn't move.  GREAT TIMES.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Post: Story City Festival

A little over a week ago I had the honor of attending the Story City Festival in Story Ctiy, Iowa.  Nicole's aunt is on the committee for the festival and invited me to be a part of it.  I really did not know what to expect but I had an idea of what I would be doing there.

Nicole's aunt, Susan, had discussed that since this is a story telling festival I could have people tell me their stories and make a little drawing of it for them.  Basically, it's like doing my custom Signature Prints but I a bag n' board sketched version. 

It was a little challenging with the weather and being the only vendor the entire festival so I had to adapt to these things through out.  Story telling was broken up with show times and during those breaks I was able to interact with people who had stopped at my table.

All in all it was an interesting festival and Nicole and I got to sit in on the last night of story telling and have brunch with some of the tellers at the festival.

I did feel a bit out of place and having being a vendor all day Satruday I eventually felt like I was done in terms of selling books.  If they had a children's theme and more vendors spread out I could see myself being a part of this festival again.  If anything I would go back to listen to the story tellers as it was the highlight of the festival for me. 

The event ended with a ride on the Antique Carousel that's been around since 1913

Thursday, September 22, 2011

TMNT Exclusive Print for Detroit Fanfare!

Every since I got back from Iowa this past weekend it's been quite a hectic week for When I Was Little and company prepping for the Detroit Fanfare.  As soon as this crazy month of shows is over for me, I plan to blog about the Story City Festival and Fanfare as well as other events and projects I have been up to.  But for now take a look at my new TMNT print in honor of Kevin Eastman being in attendance this year!

These ones are going to be a very limited run with 15 copies being exclusively sold first at the convention with the remaining ones [if any] to be sold on Shopping When I Was Little.

These ones will also be larger at a hefty 11x14 print size!

Detroit Fanfare:

Saturday, September 24th
10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Sunday, September 25th
12:00 pm --6:00 pm

Cobo Hall
1 Washington Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48226
fax 313-877-8577

Artist Alley: Table 404-406 with Mike Roll and Joe Foo!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Post: SPX 2011


 This past Saturday/Sunday in Behtesda, MD.  I was part of the SPX 2011 show at the North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.  I was joined by the Joe Foo, Mike Roll, and Kelly Tierney.  This was my first time attending and I was quite impressed with the turn out.  Saturday was a non-stop crowd and it was quite over whelming at first but eventually I was able to adapt to it and being able to talk about my books to interested on-lookers.  I really got a lot of one on one interaction with people interested in the series, even though the size of the show was quite large.  I had a great time and a lot of coloring books were picked up so THANK YOU!

 I didn't sketch as much as I usually do at conventions but this being a big independent show, a lot of people were really into buying books.  I was also one of them.  It was definitely a show where you could spend a lot of money and everything was great.  I really love indie books and this was THE indie book show.

I think I would attend this show again.  I would need to work on a few new things and maybe invest in an easy to assemble sign.  I already have a big foam board sign that I've used in the past but it would have been hard to fly with. 

The best thing too was Nic and I were able to schedule a vacation around the show which we'll talk about in-depth (maybe) on our blog.

Next up for me is the Iowa Story City Festival.  

To here all about the great stuff I picked up at SPX, click here!


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fall Con Season starts with SPX

Hello! I took a break from conventions this month to pick up some side work and catch up on my commission list. I decided not to attend some August shows as I have booked some pretty big ones in September and October. Working most of the summer getting Coloring finished and the big shows in Louisville and Fort Wayne, I needed the break.

With that being said, break's over! We are gearing up in September with my first big show of the fall, SPX! Which will mark the first time I'm flying to attend a con. Nic and I are super excited.

I will be joining Joe Foo, Mike Roll, Kelly Tierney and the Draw Sucka Draw crew! My cousin also lives out there so we turned it into mini "workcation" where we can spend some time with him before and after the show.

Here's the show info:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A small hiatus and plans for the future...

With the completion of the fourth book, Coloring When I Was Little, as per usual I started thinking about what is next for WIWL.

I know I had mentioned in a prior post about wanting to end the series. That hasn't changed but with the positive response from the coloring book, I think I can find a newer and even more fantastic way to evolve the series so that it can still continue w/o reusing the same formula of the first three books.

So that being said, I have two big When I Was Little projects to go out with a bang. One of which I laid out on the ride home from Derby City Comic Con. From there I will make the transition into a different outlet to tell the stories.

I have some other book ideas that I have put on the back burner for quite awhile so I could focus on finishing this coloring book. Now that it is out of the way I want to go back and finish them. I will be taking a tiny hiatus from When I Was Little in order to complete these other book ideas.

Don't worry it won't be too long of a hiatus as I will still be doing 8x10 prints, Signature Prints, and promoting Coloring throughout the rest of the con season and book events I have planned.

I hope to come back next year with two new When I Was Little projects for you. So stay tuned!

' Til next time kids!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Post: Derby City Comic Con

Two weeks ago I attended the 1st annual Derby City Comic Con in Louisville, Kentucky. This was a great convention! I had the pleasure of getting to know Eric Banister, found of the Derby City Comic Con, over the last couple of months. It was a well put together show. His passion for comics really came through as his show brought out the crowds of all ages.

It was cool to see the poster I had done for him as one of the banners for the show. I had a great table location next to my good friends of Mutant Cactus and the always hilarious Victor Dandridge of Vantage:Inhouse Productions.

The crowd was great and met some really nice people. So nice that I hardly stepped away from the table. I was so busy talking to the crowd about When I Was Little and doing sketches for I didn't get a chance to walk around as much as I would have liked.

It was okay though because Eric had set up an auction that was happening right where my table was and Nicole was able to snag a limited leather bound edition o f Jim McCann & Janet K. Lee's The Return of the Dapper Men.

All in all it was a fantastic convention and I got to meet with some great people including Punch-Up's Frank Cvetkovic and Dustin Carson, writer of No Gods.
I look forward to next year's Derby City Comic Con which I know Eric's already planning. After the convention, Nic and I spent a few days in Louisville and Frankfort area for a mini-vacation which was amazing. More on that later...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I ran... to Derby City

A couple months back I got an email from Eric Banister who said he was putting a comic convention together in Louisville, KY.

He really like my worked and wanted me to do some promotional material for the show to put in libraries and local comic shops around the area.

I showed him two concepts that he both really loved. This one ended up being the poster which captured the "kids about comics" theme he was going for and the other concept was of The Flash racing a Derby Horse.

It turns out that he was a huge fan of The Flash which ultimately lead me to doing this new 8x10 that I wanted to debut for this show.

I had a great time making it and I hope a lot of you Flash fans out there dig it, Eric included.

I ran... by ~happyfestivus on deviantART

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Post: Comic Book Mania!

This past Saturday was the Comic Book Mania Convention at the Gail Borden Library out in Elgin, IL.

The convention was such fun and today I had to ride solo with Nic being on a family weekend. I really liked the library back drop. It was such a comfortable atmosphere and the flow of people coming in was steady. I did not expect the huge turn out of kids and the Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic Tournaments. It was cool to see the amount of participation with the young crowd. It got me thinking of getting into card collecting....and I've already got an idea planned.

The sketch requests were kind of light but it was surely a button crowd. The kids responded well to the When I Was Little button sets.

I met with Bob Cassinelli, who organized the event, and we discussed a possibility to get together for a future event.

All in all it was such a great time and definitely one for the kids. I look forward to more!

Afterwards my brother, Serena, and I took in some dinner and saw the film, Horrible Bosses. It was hilarious.

Up next: Derby City Comic Con!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

When 2nd Graders Were Little!

Remember when I blogged about skyping with the Lincon Elementary Second Graders?

Well they really enjoyed the Q&A that they hit me up with a very special surprise. There art project for the year was to create their own When I Was Little page. They collected all of them in a book and gave it to me at the end of their school year! How cool is that? There's some amazing pages in here and I took a few snap shots for your enjoyment.