Sunday, February 19, 2012

I got gum. There's gum...

...and that post title was brought to by Sandra Bullock in Speed.  (movie nerd five!) Anyways I felt like it was time for a new header image up top.  I like to change it up once in awhile it helps keep things fresh and lets the reader(s?) know I'm still very much into anything and everything WIWL. 

My first header was a generic design that came with blogger that I used as a block template.  I didn't do anything fancy but cut and paste some images from the first book into the grid segments.  I liked it so much at the time that I made a business card version.  Eventually I got tired of it because it felt like the student version of me designed this.  It lacked the fun and silliness the books were all about.

The next header was an idea taken from a page in When You Were Little.  I had done an image where I drew my first completed drawing and was surrounded by crumbled up pieces of paper.  I thought it would be a cool idea to take that page and rework it so it's of me actually drawing rather than holding a piece of paper.

Here's the page followed by the design of the header:

I thought this image was great and it gave the people look at my blog an idea of how pages look in the series.  Now after doing a header this way, I thought it would be a cute idea to consider the header as a page in a book or a Signature print.  I can do a quick drawing and throw up a fun yet slightly embarrassing memory of myself.

If you notice my art style has changed slightly.  Something I started to do more since the release of Coloring. I am using inked lines and really making them sweeping and curvy.  It gives the drawings more sense of movement and the lines really flow through the entire image.  I like to make the outer lines thicker and use thinner inks to almost enclose the details within the fluidity of the heavier inks.

I am inking these drawings pretty heavily I wanted the colors to be simple.  I wanted it to look like a cartoon and use very little brush work in Photoshop.  This is different from how I color the books because I don't ink my drawings and I really like to put a lot of details in the color work with brush effects, gradients, and etc.  Since the next WIWL project ISN'T a book (whaaaaa) I really wanted to move away from the series' style and expand upon the ink work I did in Coloring.

Here's the finished image for the header above and the look you can expect from the new WIWL:

Also, going back to that slightly embarrassing but fun memory of me. Yes, I did get gum stuck in my hair.  Yes, I also did rock the bowl cut.  Can you say Booty Traps?


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ask me a question!

This morning I had a Q&A with the amazing 2nd grade kids of McKinley and their wonderful teacher, Ms. Punke.  I like doing these sessions with kids as it gives me a chance to really talk to my core audience.

I always say the WIWL series is for all ages.  My main goal was (and still is) to always make it for the kids and hopefully light a creative spark in them to produce their own art.  It just so happens that my source material is my own childhood and a lot of adults can relate to some of the things I write and draw about.  So when I have opportunities like this, it really connects me with who I am writing books and making the art for. 

The kids were eager to know about the series and they asked a lot of questions.  I tried my best to give insightful and rapid fire answers so more kids had a chance to ask a question.  I described my thought process when making new pages and how what I initially write usually changes depending on the rough drawings.  I tend to have a backwards way of writing as I am a visual person and the pictures help me write.  I feel I can tell a much more precise story when I have roughed it out on paper.

I also talked briefly about Heart and the water color process I did for the book.  I gave them a  sort of 360 tour of my studio. Completely orange...except for the windows and ceilings, which they kindly pointed out to me.

We ended how I ended on the last session, except they were the ones who wanted to powerstance and princess goodbye.  I didn't even have to ask! (total geek moment)  Thank's again to Ms. Punke for setting up another great Q&A with her amazing kids.

These sessions always fuel me creatively and makes this 82 year old (their guess) want to do more things for kids.

Luckily, I have several projects going and the wheels are a-turnin'.

Here are the kids giving me their best goodbye:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mutant Cactus debuts the "little SUPERS" with Ghost Rider.

My good friends over at Mutant Cactus wanted to turn my 8x10 prints into buttons. The first of our little SUPERS line came out today featuring the Ghost Rider print I did a few weeks ago for DanCon. Most of the print that I've done will be converted into these little SUPER buttons but we have some new material in store for later in the year.  I'm so excited to be collaborating with them! Click on the pics to buy your set and browse the rest of their shop.

Drop by every week to see what else they have lined up.  They already released some great Dragon Ball Z pins and Hello Kitty featuring the amazing 8bit Artwork of Victor Dandridge.