One of my favorite ongoing gigs for 2012 has been with the alt-weekly Portland Mercury. I grew up in Seattle, and my teenaged face was frequently glued to the subversive pages of the Merc’s parent paper, The Stranger. I still get a kick out of seeing that logo on the paycheck envelope. Arts editors Erik Henriksen and Alison Hallett are both smart, funny, sarcastic people – I absolutely love working with them.
The last piece I did for the paper this year was a collaboration with Alison, summing up some of the notable happenings in the Portland creative scene this year.
As a bonus, I got up-and-coming cartoonist Lucy Bellwood to wander over to my computer and draw her autobiographical comics self-portrait for item #7. I predict that you’ll be hearing a lot from Lucy in 2013!
Hop on over to the Mercury to see what each of these items references! (Personal triumph: I was directly involved with #5 and #7.)
Another page with the Roma family, although we’re almost done with this scene. Too bad; I love drawing mustaches, and the 18th century was otherwise a very clean-shaven era.
Now that election fever had passed (and thank heavens for that), it’s on to cheerier parts of the year. Coming up early on the world schedule of Festivals of Light is Diwali! It’s actually a little late this year – normally it falls in October. To celebrate, here’s my sixth goddess illustration – the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. Click to see her at full size!
Like many Hindu deities, Lakshmi has literally dozens of different forms, incarnations and names, has complex relationships with other deities (like Vishnu and Ganesh) and plays many roles. She’s probably best known for being a goddess of abundance – and that can mean simple good luck, personal fulfillment, or material wealth. Lakshmi is the one who fills your cup.
In most devotional images Lakshmi is depicted standing or sitting in a giant lotus blossom, floating on a tranquil sea – a bit like Aphrodite, she was born from the ocean. She has four arms (the better to distribute wealth!) and holds lotuses in two of them. She is sometimes attended by two white elephants. This is an illustration, not a traditional devotional image, so she is behaving a little less formally here! Lakshmi is generous of spirit, so hopefully she won’t hold it against me.
Since it’s Halloween, I thought adding a death goddess to my Goddess Series was fitting!
Ma’at is the Egyptian goddess of truth and order. She spends a lot of time in the Egyptian underworld. According to the Book of the Dead, after you die, the canopic jar that contained your preserved heart (the organ that housed the soul) was set on one side of the Scales of Judgement.
Ma’at then placed her Feather of Truth on the other side. The jackal-headed god Anubis then weighed the two against each other.
If your heart was lighter than the feather (and therefore pure), Anubis sent your soul on to eternal life. If it was heavier, your soul was fed to the crocodile-headed demon Ammut.
Ma’at was sometimes symbolic shorthand for everything that bound together Egypt as a civilization (civil order, natural law, personal morality), and sometimes a personified goddess like this. Either way, you very much wanted her to come down on your side.
This is the second of two new pages in two weeks. It’s good to be back!
I spent most of my summer putting together the three new books I’ll be selling this fall – all in different sizes, bindings, and colors. I did virtually all of the print design and set-up myself – an arduous though always educational task, composed of 10% fun design choices, 85% eyeball-nuking detail work and frantic technical fixes, and 5% waiting for InDesign to finish saving.
My proofs arrived from the printer this week (and they look amazing), so there’s light at the end of the tunnel, but all that work did cut into my usual creative time-budget and gave me a sore arm for a few weeks.
Nonetheless I managed to have a bit of fun on the side! Here’s a sampler of some of the pieces that I snuck onto my drawing table this summer. (Did I also mention that I got to play a Vulcan in a stage production of a Star Trek episode? No? That happened, too.)
Lotsa foxes! Drawn for the Hero Initiative charity auction.
For the Portland Mercury, one of three different proposed social media apps that I think we could all actually use. I interviewed a performance artist whose work focuses on the internet, and accompanied it with some graphics of my own invention. I’ve also gotten to write a few straight-up theater reviews, which has been hugely fun.
For Jon Morris’ super-fun Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe : REDUXE project! In which artists re-draw and re-design entries from the old Marvel encyclopedia. I’ve always had a soft spot for Rogue (of the X-Men); I turned her into a bit of a surly gutter punk, which is always my mental image of her. It was fun to do very simple flat colors under a fairly realistic drawing style, a combination I don’t often try.
I have more saved up, but I’ll give myself a few weeks to reacquaint myself with the drafting table before I unleash it all. I hope my fellow Northern hemisphere dwellers had a lovely summer!
I’ve been wearing weird socks and tights as a fashion statement since way before it was cool. (Trust me, being “that girl with the tights” does not necessarily win you points in junior high.) I also have the good fortune to share a city with Sock Dreams, a veritable empire of fancy hosiery.
This weekend I had a burst of inspiration and sketched out a bunch of designs for socks, tights, and leggings. Very fun, and I’d sure love to get some of them made! (Click to see the designs at full-size.)