Here’s a progress shot from the latest installment of my new-ish comic, Babcia, which is appearing in the pages of Broken Pencil. Each time I tell myself I’m going to simplify my technique… you can see how well that’s going for me 🙂
Other news: Busy as usual! What else is new? Actually, I did take some awesome time this summer to go camping, travel, volunteer at a music festival and do all kinds of wonderful outdoorsy, summery things. But now my nose is back to the grindstone. Once the papercut is in the bag, I’ll resume working on a 30-page fiction comic that I’ll be debuting at SPX. My second big ‘Merican comics show! I’m so excited! If you live in the DC/Maryland area or have some friends who do, consider coming out to this sweet event.
I’m in a whirlwind of prep and programming (I’m speaking on a panel at TCAF Librarian & Educators Day this afternoon on non-fiction comics!), so here’s just a quick peek of what I’ll have at the fest:
All me loot (clockwise from left): wordless linocut novel Back + Forth, stack of various zines and prints, 24 hour comic book day comic made in one week Good Morning!, my *NEW* mini comic Homeache, and wordless relief print erotic story anthology Boom Boom Boom.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the future… thinking about what and how I’ll make in the next few months, what I’ll be up to a year from now and also, beyond, beyond. I have mixed feelings about planning my life. I realize that planning too much is pointless: we can’t predict how the world around us will shift, how we will change and along with us our desires and dreams. At the same time, I like to dream big and know I won’t get anywhere near my goals unless I figure out how I’m going to reach them. Planning can also be scary! What if that thing you’ve worked so hard towards doesn’t work? Or, perhaps worse, what if it succeeds and you HATE it? When your plans fall outside of anything mainstream, dependable or financially stable, you can almost hear the concerned mothers and fathers of the world tense up (however old and independent you may be); not the most reassuring sound.
Still, at this point, I’m excited about the new possibilities I am working towards, whether or not they turn out how they now appear in my mind’s eye!
To conclude this vague little post, here’s a few process shots from one of my most recently completed projects: a papercut comic about my late Grandmother. It will be published in the next issue of Broken Pencil!
My biggest lesson from this project? Nothing beats a sharp blade! Forget about size, shape, ergonomics… it’s all about the sharp!
I made this piece during Nuit Blanche last September at Red Head Gallery‘s Insomnia Redux event. Members of the public contributed various 2-dimensional objects and a group of artists reworked and remixed the pieces. I wish I had thought of taking a picture of the panel before I added my touch to it. Imagine a bare wood panel with broken pieces of glass glued on to it, with blobs of paint on the glass and thick red lines on the side. I contributed the rest. This was a really fun event and I am so thankful to the artists at Red Head for inviting me to be a part of it!
In other news… I will be at TCAF again this year! I will be tabling with other authours from the Porcupine’s Quill Wordless Novel Series. The Festival is celebrating it’s 10th year and the lovely staff at the Beguiling are pulling out all the stops. Have you SEEN the list of special guests?! Wowza! I’m really excited to meet David B. (And I barely ever want to meet people because I feel awkward and don’t know what to say that they haven’t heard a million times). His book Epileptic had such an impact on me and came along at a very influential time in my art practice. I will also be debuting a new comic at the fest which has been in the works forever and I’m so excited to finally be sharing it with the world.
I have a few other zine and comic related things coming out soon but I will share them when I can show them. What a great year 2013 is turning out to be! I’m doing a much better job managing my commitments so far and avoiding burnout. Let’s hope I can keep it up!
I’ve also started a new quest! I’m looking for an etching press, preferably with a press bed around 15-16″ wide. I decided that it is silly of me to wait until I have a big enough space to buy my ideal (big) press and that I can do a lot of great work with a small press while I wait for that scenario to manifest. So, if anyone knows of a small etching press for sale somewhere in Southwestern Ontario-ish, leave me a note in the comments! As my friend Nick Shick wisely said, “It takes a village to buy an etching press!”.
Newsflash! Tomorrow, from 11am-6pm, I will be taking part in The Word on the Street Festival in Toronto. I’ll be joining comics pals Ethan Rilly and Jason Kieffer at table FB6 in the Fringe Beats section (south of Wellesely on Queen’s Park Crescent). Ethan launched his latest issue of Pope Hats this week at the Central; be sure to pick up a copy! If that isn’t enough of a draw for you, King David Suzuki and John Raulston Saul will be there as well! Geeking out over Canadian intellectuals! What better way to spend a lazy Sunday??
Suggested reading of the day: Shameless Magazine’s Money Issue!!
If you’ve never heard of it, Shameless is a fabulous feminist publication for girls and trans youth. I started reading it a number of years ago when I discovered it at the public library and I am so honoured to be a contributor for their latest issue!
My piece Art/Work consists of two pages of comics addressing the relationship of artists and money. It discusses conflicting feelings about money you may encounter as an artist and contains useful resources and information for anyone practicing art or hoping to get into art-making in a major (or minor) way. I also got to make a pull-out poster, which was extremely fun. I decided to do a paper cut for the poster. I have loved paper cut for a long time but had never found the incentive to try it before. Here’s a peek at the results:
I will definitely be using this technique again in the future. Though it was quite painstaking and occasionally frustrating, I am really happy with the results. There is a really interesting physical quality to a cut image that you just can’t get from drawing or painting. Relief printing, such as linocut, has a similar quality. Maybe part of the reason I found the paper cut process to be less frustrating than I expected is that even when you accidentally cut off a polar bear’s toe, you can do masking tape surgery on the back of the paper and no one’s the wiser; When you’re carving a linocut and you accidentally carve a piece you shouldn’t have, well…
I have been sorely neglecting my blog again, but not my art making… here’s a little update on what I’ve been up to!
I finally made a website for my art portfolio! Indexhibit is the best and after one harrowing evening of setting up a database on my web host I have a site I can be proud of. It is still quite basic and bare bones, but I hope to amp it up in the coming months.
If you are in Toronto, please consider checking out this show I am taking part in:
Curated by the wonderful Woman King Collective, this show brings together 10 Canadian female artists and designers to answer the question “What would you do if only once every four years you could break any rule for just one day alone?”. The exhibition runs from February 27th to March 10th at The Department, 1389 Dundas St. West. The opening reception is on February 29th (leap!). I will be participating in a panel discussion on Saturday March 3rd, 2-4pm, called “Breaking the Rules: The Mythology of Identity and Creating the Feminine.” There will also be a workshop the following weekend, which I unfortunately cannot attend (more on that below). All events are free. If you are considering coming but feel unsure, know that one of the pieces in the show invites the audience to smash stuff… hesitations out the window! Smash!
If Chicago is the place you call home, come out and visit my table at the Chicago Zine Fest!
I will be selling a variety of wares (zines, books, posters and prints). There are several events at the Fest but you can find me at the ZINE EXHIBITION, Conaway Center (1st & 8th Floor), Columbia College, 1104 S Wabash Ave, running from 11am to 6pm. I will be on the first floor with a few awesome Toronto peeps at my side.
Finally, on Wednesday March 14th, I will be celebrating the launch of Story of Our Lives, the third issue of Static Zine.
Static is a collective lifestyle and arts DIY magazine run out of Toronto. I have contributed a wee comic and I’m so excited to see what everyone else has come up with! The launch is happening at the Rivoli from 7pm to 1am and will feature some super bands, including the Ruby Spirit.
Here are two pieces I made for the Toronto Draws Tintin show coming up next month at the Steamwhistle Brewery Gallery. All works in the show will be auctioned at the end of November to raise some cash for the Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund, an organization that protects the rights of comic artists and comic lovers against censorship. Check out the CLLDF website for information about their most recent case. Make sure to come out to the closing reception and silent auction on November 27th to bid on awesome art made by your favourite local comics artists and support a great cause!
“TORONTO DRAWS TINTIN is a month long art show that will occur at Steamwhistle Brewery’s gallery space, with an exciting opening-night party on Wednesday November 2nd. The show will hang for the month of November, and then close out with a a jam-packed celebration of comics, illustration, and art on Sunday November 27th.”
Infinite and uncontrollable thanks to everyone who made TCAF this weekend so incredibly amazing:
- Christopher Butcher, Peter Birkemoe and everyone at the Beguiling for making it all possible
- All of the awesome artists and publishers, I wish I could have seen more of you!
- Bill Kartalopoulos who invited me to speak on his panel “Building Visual Language” and had such interesting things to say about my book
- Edie Fake and Brecht Evens, my fellow panelists who were inspiring and though provoking
- Stefan Berg, Megan Speers and George Walker, my table mates and uber-talented PQL authors who kept the weekend hilarious. Love youse!
- Finally, to everyone who stopped by the Porcupine’s Quill‘s table with a kind word and an interested eye. I feel so inspired and am so grateful to have been a part of it all. Thank you!!!