One of my favorite ongoing gigs in the world is providing artwork for the business classes given by my wife, Katie Lane.
Katie is an attorney who specializes in representing independent creators, and she also devotes a sizable chunk of her time to education – introducing current and future creative professionals to useful tools for tackling the uncreative side of the industry.
If you’re going to be talking to artists, you’d better have a compelling presentation! We’re storytellers by nature – you can’t just unload a wall of jargon-y bullet points in Times New Roman interspersed with a few pixelated stock photos and expect to blow us away.
Luckily for all of us, Katie’s a great storyteller too, and her presentations are full of relatable characters who walk (and stumble) through tricky but familiar business scenarios. And luckily for Katie, she’s married to an illustrator who loves envisioning some of these folks…
…(and getting to use her fun black/white/grey/orange color scheme).
So here are some of my favorites from one of her most recent online courses. If you’re a creative pro interested in buffing up your business skills, learning more about how contracts work, or making negotiations a little less stressful, I highly recommend Katie’s blog and Twitter feed!
From the latest edition of Publisher’s Weekly / Children’s Bookshelf, an exciting announcement!
You’ll be hearing and seeing plenty more about this in the months to come, but for now it’s exciting just to say in public that it’s happened! I love this story and the artistic challenge it represents for me, and I really look forward to speaking with a young audience. Thank you to Barry and to Susan for taking me up on it!
A few recent art of the day entries from September/October. It was a very busy month with lots of conferences, public appearances, family visits, and travel, so I was grateful to sneak in what doodles I could!
Most of my spare drawing time was devoted to Your Distant Homeland, my short story companion for Dave Kellett’s extraordinary space opera comic Drive. I kicked off a series of guest works that will be syndicated alongside the main story over the coming year. The final page goes live on the website later this week!
Here’s the first of the story’s 14 pages. Click to visit the Drive website to read it at full size!
I’ll be in Seattle this October 10-11 for two special events! First off, on Saturday the 10th, I’ll be attending the official launch party for Jason Bhlmahn’s new card game Pirate Loot, hosted at the fabulous Ballard game store Card Kingdom.
I drew or contributed to over 100 illustrations for this super-fun party game, so I’m very excited to see it in real life! The party starts at 1pm (Facebook event details here), and game designer Jason Bulmahn, graphic designer Mari Kolkowsky, and art director/illustrator Scott Kurtz will also be on hand. There will be pirate cake, copies of the game for sale, and all the usual amenities the Card Kingdom has to offer!
Then on Sunday the 11th, I’ll be emceeing the first Seattle version of the Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses (BAHFest) at Town Hall. Contestants compete by presenting patently ludicrous (yet strangely logical!) theories about Big Science, then the audience and judges confer on whose theory is most compellingly ridiculous. The keynote speech will be delivered by Matt Inman (creator of The Oatmeal). We expect a sell-out, so grab your tickets now!
I’ll be appearing at Rose City Comic Con here in Portland, OR this weekend, September 19-20! I always love a hometown show – beyond the obvious advantages of getting to sleep in my own bed, I also get to bring stuff that might not make it into the tightly-packed bags I bring to further-flung events.
For example, this weekend I’ll have The Fifth Musketeer, the super-fun Choose Your Own Adventure graphic novel I got to illustrate a few years back! Kids love this book, and these are my last few copies.
If you plan on attending and are interested in buying a particular piece of original art, or commissioning something more elaborate than a convention sketch, this show is a great place to catch me, too.
I’ll be at Table 813, exhibiting with many of my studiomates from Periscope Studio. See you there!
Here are some favorite entries from my “art of the day” posts from mid-July through late August. You can catch them each day on my Twitter account! I went on a bit of a tear drawing famous male dancers in black and white from photo reference, then headed back into female figures in color and from the imagination.
Also there’s an avocado.
Here are some recent entries from my Art of the Day series, in which I post something I’ve drawn that day – whether it’s a toss-off doodle, a finished piece, or a work in progress. This batch includes some of the tiny, 2.5×3.5″ watercolor paintings I occasionally bring to conventions – always a fun little design challenge.
Central, from the video game Invisible Inc.
My dear, departed bulldog used to glower at me after a scolding.
I’ll be appearing as a guest on June 6 & 7 at Special Edition: NYC in Manhattan! I haven’t exhibited at a New York show in several years, so I’m excited to finally return.
This is a beautifully curated show, full of top-notch comics talent (and almost nothing BUT comics talent – a guarantee that most of the show budget is going towards bringing in a diverse array of creators, instead of just a few celebrity appearance fees).
I’ll be in Artist Alley at table H-04, with books, prints, original art and more! I’ll also be taking commissions and, as always, I’m very happy to sign or sketch in any of my books you already own. I’ll be accompanied by almost a dozen of my studiomates from Periscope Studio, as well as comic book super-lawyer Katie Lane.
I’ll also be appearing on two panels:
Publishers Weekly Presents: People in Comics
Sat. June 6| 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM | Theater 2
Comics are for everyone, and everyone is making and reading comics. With diversity reshaping the industry, PW’s Calvin Reid talks to a spectrum of creators about moving forward, making comics and getting more readers. Are there different kinds of material that draws in a diverse audience? And how are the comics publishers responding? Publishers Weekly’s Calvin Reid talks to a spectrum of creators to find out.
Creating Comics: The Real Stories
Sun. June 7| 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM | Theater 1
They write and draw stories for a living, but what are their own personal stories? Spend an hour with a Panel of accomplished artists and gifted writers as they discuss the stories and characters they’ve brought to life and how it has impacted their own. Panelists include Marguerite Bennett, Dylan Meconis, Katie Cook, Kate Leth, Annie Wu, Becky Cloonan and Marjorie Liu. Moderated by Jill Pantozzi, Editor in Chief of TheMarySue.com.
Tickets are $10 cheaper in advance online rather than purchased day-of-show, and they’re selling fast. See you there!