Friday, May 21, 2010

Abigail and Viktor

Final Illustrated Book project! Meet Abigail Strudel!

In class we were given three words to create a character around. I was given "conniving," "ruffles," and "circus."
Abigail is the daughter of circus folk in a grand vintage-style circus that constantly tours the US. Unlike the many people who dream of running away to the circus, however, Abigail is always dreaming up schemes to get herself out and hopes to one day have a "real job" as a lawyer or a senator and work her way up the political ladder to become president and then hopefully take over the world.

A next part of the assignment was to show our character interacting with a character designed by one of our classmates. This is Viktor, designed by my friend and super-talented classmate, Cailin. You can see her version here. I made him into a kind of gorrilla/bear thing to suit my cicus-y purposes.

Here are Abigail and Viktor outside the circus!

(Photo from public domain, found in New York Library Digital Gallery, which is AMAZING)

These pieces were collaged using both handed-painted (in gouache) and found papers. To me the natural progression from the flat works I've been doing lately is to experiment with collage. It's fun!

Slaughterhouse 5

Another Illustrated Book assignment. We had to take a classic book title and illustrate it without including any of the plot from the actual book. My Slaughterhouse 5 is a group of kids who decide to start a band but have no where to practice but in the slaughterhouse, and as a result pioneer the use of meatstruments in modern pop rock music.

This was my first major gouache painting. I like this piece a lot but I'm not sure if I want to go this flat all the time or as cartoon-y stylistically. Still, it's fun to play around with.

Outrageously Alice

My Concepts II class was assigned to re-do any illustration we weren't too happy with. I've never been very happy with the covers of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice series, so I decided to go with this one in which Alice gets all "outrageous" and covers her normally strawberry blonde locks in green hair gel, much to her father's chagrin.

Here are some of the other covers around (though for some reason Google Image search can't find a picture of the copy I based this on):

I discovered the Alice books in fourth or fifth grade and followed them through the first years of high school. I put them down for a while but when I came to college I rediscovered them and introduced them to my roommate and best friend, Meghan. We ended up having Alice reading parties! These books are so much fun! The main appeal is the protagonist, Alice's hilariously awkward questions about life and growing up, but there's also something incredibly endearing and lifelike about all of the characters and Alice and friends' tweenage and, later, teenage struggles are a big nostalgia trip.

Get thee to a library and pick these up!

Vice and Virtue

Last assignment for Lifestyles, a diptych showing the vice avaritas (avarice) and its corresponding virtue, charitas (charity).

A Little Princess

Three spot illustrations for the book A Little Princess for my Illustrated Book class.

I re-read the book for this assignment. Sadly it wasn't quite as good as I remembered it but the 1994 movie still rocks.

Alice in Wonderland

Lifestyles illustration in celebration of the new Burton film (without all the weird CGI grunge). Alice's dress is by Marchesa and the Red Queen is in Rodarte. I plan on touching this up sometime soon so if you have any ideas for things I should add or change, please let me know!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More Ice Creamz, Pleaze

I forgot to include this back when I posted my Ice Cream Social "night out" comic. Just a little test piece to see how I was going to color things.



Another semester over and my senior year rests like a sleeping beast on the other side of my summer. I have lots to show you from the last couple of months (I've been so bad at updating, lately!) but first I have some great news:

I'm Going to Italy!!!

I got a full scholarship for a month long summer class with MICA in Sorrento, Italy! It's pretty amazing...I never could have afforded it without so much help. I applied for the trip and the scholarship kind of on a lark just in case some miracle would occur but I never really thought it would happen!
I leave in the end of June along with my instructors and 16 other students, including my good friend and temporary roommate, Jimmy. I'm going to get to see Sorrento, Naples, Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius and probably/hopefully Rome. The program is mostly independent study so I'll get to spend lots of time exploring the area and documenting what I see. I'm really, really, excited! However, I'm also a tiny bit nervous; I've never left the continent before or ridden in an airplane or been so far away from my family for so long in a country who's language I don't speak. I've been working a little bit on that last one, learning common terms from a CD with PDF guide that one of my roommates just happened to have lying around. However, if any of you guys have advice on any of the other stuff please share! I've been asking around ever since I found out about this (a few weeks ago) and so far most of the responses are along these lines:

  • Hide my money/split money up into several places/be careful around ATMs/avoid carrying valuable items if possible, especially passport/avoid gypsies
  • Eat pizza
  • Check out Italian thrift stores (I'm super psyched about this one!)
  • Beware that skeezy men will be hitting on me like I won't believe.
  • Try to go to festivals if any are going on (also an exciting prospect!)
  • Never leave anything important at a hostel.
All sounds pretty practical to me! Though again, if any of you have more advise please pass it on, particularly if you have any specific tips about the area or spots you consider "must sees." I will have a little bit of time for day-trips each week, keeping in mind distance and a college student's budget, and there are three days off during the month that I plan on using to see Rome, though it would be possible to change my mind.

Alright, all that aside, artwork posting starts NOW!