Sunday, January 27, 2013

Qué sera sera

My roommate Hannah just bought seasons 1 and 2 of Dead Like Me on DVD and we watched the first episode tonight.  So good!!

I was struck by how much Georgia reminded me of my character Delilah.  It's a little annoying when you see something similar to a character/story you've been planning, but this time it was also fun for me, just seeing a real person play a comparable character and enjoying all of the little details that I felt fit my character, too.
I'm excited to see where the show goes!  Terry has been telling me about it forever.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

True affection floats

This old drawing got a new wave of attention this week after being posted by Geek & Sundry, the DeviantArt tumblr and twitter accounts, and 9gag.

A lot of people emailed/messaged me to ask about buying prints of it, so I thought I'd post that info here in case anyone else is wondering.  I no longer sell prints online personally--I couldn't make the economics work in my favor--but I have enabled print buying on several of my Deviant Art pieces, including this one.  If you look to the right of the image here, there's an "add to cart" button.  If you click that, you can get started on buying a print from DA.  I've never bought a print from DA, so I can't vouch for their service/quality, but it's simple and the quickest option, with a lot of available sizes.

Option #2 is buying a print from me at a convention.  I make sure to stock prints of this drawing for every show.  I usually make 11x17" prints, but I might try more sizes this year.  I sell them for $20-25, and I'm happy to sign/personalize them.  Here is a list of my 2013 conventions.

Option #3 is for anyone in Portland, Oregon.  There's a print shop called TIS that works with my studio, Periscope Studio, and sells prints of our work in exchange for printing benefits.  They sell 11x17" copies of this print for $20-25.

I have also had several inquiries about commissions.  I am not accepting commissions right now, but I will open up a limited number of commission slots on February 1 (and I'll post info here about it on Feb 1).  Those are only for people who will be attending Emerald City Comicon and can pick up their commissions in person at the show.

In other news, I can't stop listening to this song:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I do not feel ashamed

So here's what happened last night:
Have you seen What Women Want?  I recommend it!  Try finding a copy to watch before reading these comics; they'll be funnier if you are familiar with the movie:

What Women Want was released when I was 12, and I only saw about 10 minutes of it on TV once, so it was practically brand new to me.  I thought previously that it was a standard romcom, and the convenient magic element turned me off in the previews, but I turned out to really like it!  I'm glad I went back and watched it.  It had some really great things to say and I loved a LOT of little things the movie did.  Probably too many to list.  But here are a few: hearing the deaf women's conversation, Nick's rant to his male coworker about what he's discovered about men and women, positive portrayal of Nike (Portland priiiide), so very many lady characters / speaking roles, the Ivy-league-graduated secretary's rant, the way that Alex knew all of the reassuring cliches but hearing them reinforced by her dad helped her believe them, the reveal about Erin appealing to Nick to be a copywriter, Darcy sinking into her bubble bath after her bad day rather than answering her phone, and just the general lack of things that piss me off in movies (directed by a woman and co-written by a man and two women...coincidence?).

My other movie reaction comics:  Looper, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, Magic Mike, Brave, Prometheus

Friday, January 11, 2013

She's bad and she knows I think that she knows

A few pieces of news:

I was honored to be a guest on The Gnerd Podcast with Terry and Colin last week!  They are two of my favorite people and it was the least stressful interview/recorded thing I have ever done.  It was just like having a nice conversation with two of my brobros; I forgot the mic was there.

I am planning to open up con sketch slots for Emerald City Comicon at the beginning of February.  If you want to make sure that you get one, start thinking now about what you would like!  Be aware--this year I am implementing a couple of changes:
1) My color commissions for the last several years have been in watercolor, but this year I'm moving back to copic markers.  Black-and-white commissions might have some shading with gray copic markers.
2) I'm no longer drawing likenesses ("draw my girlfriend", "draw my son as Magneto"); I will only draw well-known characters (characters I can Google and find images of for reference).  So, for example, I will happily draw Ron Swanson, but I will not draw you pretending to be Ron Swanson.  I won't draw your pets.  Does that make sense?  I love you all, but likenesses stress me out and I don't want to do them this year.
Prices are $50 for black-and-white and $100 for color (and up--it costs more if you want more than 1 character or you have any special requests).  I draw on 300 series Bristol paper, 9"x12".  I will start accepting requests on February 1st via email (Tally at farbeyond dot com).

I made Ben Dewey's list of colleagues and rivals. :P Y'all read Tragedy Series, right?  Right, because you know what's up.

Ben and I were both mentioned on Multiversity's Creators to Watch for in 2013!  I feel like I have to prove them right.  *Puts on breakout boots*

Between Gears made honorable mention on PW Comics World's 2012 Graphic Novel Critics' Poll!

Lastly, have you seen commercials for The Heat?  It looks terrible but I am so in.  Buddy cop films, lady cops, and Melissa McCarthy are three of my favorite things. :P

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I can do it all with you by my side

Happy New Year! It's time for my annual year-in-review post! (2011) (2010) (2009) This post became massive, so I added pictures.
My 2012 goals were:

1) Be more proactive about getting work. Go after what I want, versus sifting through what comes my way. (Check job listings at PIXAR and LAIKA every week.)
I applied to four animation studio jobs this year.  No dice, but nothing ventured nothing gained.  Thinking this way made me more outgoing in general, and I now have relationships with three more publishers than last year, and invitations to pitch material at more companies than I could have hoped for.

2) Be good about saying NO.
I was a lot better about this in 2012 than in 2011.  I made a list of minimum requirements for jobs, and subsequently was available to take storyboarding work pretty much every time it came in.  I used to think that I needed a pile-up of jobs to be secure, but it actually benefits me more to wait for the really juicy jobs, even if that means having some weeks in between with no paying work.  Life is short and there are a lot of my own stories I want to get out on paper--I need to save as much of myself as possible for them.

3) Keep up karate and French. Get my green belt and plan my 2013 France trip.
I stopped going to karate at the beginning of the year. u_u But I've kept up my French studies and will go to France in September with my mom as we've been planning for almost 3 years! I found the podcast Coffee Break French extreeemely helpful in getting me to practice between lessons.
4) Draw Over the Surface 1 start to finish! :D Script book 2.
Nnnnno.  I drew chapter one (of six), and then better paying work started rolling in.  Over the Surface suffered a lot this year. :(
5) Get Adobe Flash and a subscription, and make 3 minutes' worth of practice animations by the end of the year.
I did not do this at all. :( It always felt like there was something more pressing I should do instead.
6) Be active and creative about marketing Between Gears and my other two books when the time comes.
Yes, and on that note: did you know that Wrapped Up in You was chosen as one of Kirkus's Best Teen Books of 2012?

So, 2012 was great.  My first and second books came out.  I went to four conventions for the first time, including TCAF and SPX.  I visited my friend Mary in D.C. for the first time.  I survived the apocalypse and turned 25.  I started running and swimming (I'm up to running 4 miles!  Even in-shape, middle school Natalie could only run 3!).  I got over 150 hours of freelance storyboarding (compared to 30-ish hours in 2011).  I worked with Dark Horse and BOOM! Studios for the first time.  I moved house and I LOVE my new situation.  I cleared out a lot of my possessions (mostly books and clothing).  I was involved in two successful Kickstarter campaigns (1, 2).  I dated some awesome people.  I started meeting with two of my peers; we share our successes, shortcomings, and goals each month and it's lovely and balancing.  I started an IRA account and made enough money to donate some to charities I care about.  I started doing silly review comics after watching blockbusters, and I was pleasantly surprised by the response.  I learned how to ink digitally.  I went to Hawai'i with my family.  I spent an amazing day at the river with my friends.  (It was just a day trip to the river but it was the. Best. Day.)
 And I drew things.  So very many things.  Here is an incomplete list of what I drew in 2012:
+60 pages of Wrapped Up in You
+16 pages of Over the Surface
+22 pages for Meet Your Mind
+12 pages for Husbands: the Comic
+24 pages for Cabin
+2 pages for Box
+12 pages of an unannounced project
+24 pages of an unannounced project
+8 comic movie reviews
= about 180 pages, compared to 292 last year, but still.

Now, it wasn't all good in 2012.  I also spent my entire summer inside, working.  And Portland only has about 3 golden months of nice weather; I really should have been out enjoying it every week.  I overworked my hand and couldn't draw for most of September.  My entire self-worth is wrapped up in producing artwork; I've never felt so worthless as I did the month I couldn't draw.  I spent a lot of money going to conventions and didn't earn it back.  I had issues with mental burn-out, S.A.D., and lack of motivation.  There was relationship drama and heartbreak.  I missed a lot of the goals I set.  But that's life, you know?  I would still say it was an amazing year.  I just have things to work on, and even if I did everything right, shit would still happen.

Goals for 2013:

1) Keep working on my French.  I applied for a teaching position in France with the TAPIF program(!).  I will find out in April whether or not I got in, and if I so I leave for France in October (if I don't get in, my mom and I are still going on vacation there in September).  It's a major fork in the road.  I really hope I get in.  In either case, though, I want to be good about my French studies and prep for going to France this fall.
2) Draw my story for the Thrilling Adventure GN, another issue of ** ****, the rest of Over the Surface 1, and *** ********.  I want to deliver on what I have promised people and move closer to my ideal situation in comics.
3) Do great work on storyboarding when it comes my way and build relationships that turn into regular gigs.
4) Attend San Diego Comic-Con for the first time in 3 years!  YES!  My middle brother Nick is going with me and we are going to have a great time.
5) Keep working out in whatever way suits me.  Running and swimming have been great, but I'm learning that I need to mix it up now and then, and if that happens again I'll just embrace it and find something new that challenges me.
6) Get OUTSIDE this summer.  Daytrips!  The beach, the park, the mountain, the river!
7) Balance and health--don't overwork your hand, don't go weeks without exercising, don't stress too much over work.
8) Artistic improvement is always a goal, but I've actually been thinking lately that it would make more of a difference if I focused on writing and acting over technical art skills.  I don't know how to quantify that...but I'm going to work on it in 2013!

I've stopped applying to jobs in animation studios since learning about TAPIF, because even though I want to work in animation, I have some wanderlust I need to put to rest first.  Did you read this comic I drew?  The dream still in there is, "I want to live in another country and for everyone to be OK while I'm gone."  I've lived in Portland my whole life.  It's great here; I could absolutely see myself settling down here.  But I don't want this to be the only place I ever live!  That's what is in my heart right now, and I think it makes sense to address that before trying to land a job that would anchor me anywhere.
I bought myself a book from my childhood as a self- birthday/Christmas present.  It's called Grasper, and it's a story by Northwest author Paul Owen Lewis about a crab leaving his home to literally and figuratively grow.  It's beautiful!  I remember the author visiting my grade school and I remember liking the book, but it must have left more of an impression than I was consciously aware of, because I thought of it more and more as I grew up, especially when I tried to put into words how I felt about big risks like travel and pursuing unlikely dreams.  It was so nice to track down the name of the book, find a used copy on Amazon, and read it again with my age tripled.  It's still fantastic!
Lastly, lastly, I swear, I'd like to alert you to this Cracked article if you haven't read it yet: 6 Harsh Truths that will Make You a Better Person.  It contains a lot of insights I needed to hear and I recommend you read it the whole way through.

Wow, you made it to the end! You're amazing! :D 100 points for you. ♡ I wish you the happiest of New Years and all of the best in 2013!