826 DC Painting preview no. 1

So you've all heard by now about the copious arting I've been up to on behalf of 826DC, and you've probably decided that until I pony up something besides a few sketches, you'll think it's some sort of algebraic math nonsense from that whole "science thing".

Well, disparage no more! Here you have the first in the series of 7 I'm doing:

Speigal's Hooved Marmoset


Buggish blighted beasties

As mentioned a few times before... the fine folks at 826DC have contracted my wife, our friend, a NatGeo designer, and myself to illustrate some of the exhibition paraphernalia for their soon-to-open Museum of Unnatural History, in Columbia Heights, Washington, DC. Well, we were really stoked about this project despite the short deadline (September 1st!). And now, some views of the final sketches for my set of creatures:


Lisa is King of the Studio

Man, I'm so happy for Lisa, she gets the coolest jobs ever! Lucky duck has been tacked by Catherynne M. Valente to illustrate some promotional images for Valente's newest book, Habitation of the Blessed: a Dirge for Prester John. Think they're going to be print promo and on the book's website. Which book, by the way, shall have a new cover come release time. Not sure who by. Ignore the one there on NSB's website.

Go, Lisa, Go!

And of course, Lisa's working with us on 826DC's awesome Museum of Unnatural History catalog. Sketches from this to follow!


DAMN THE MAN: SAVE THE KINGDOM - A Letter For Prester John

DAMN THE MAN: SAVE THE KINGDOM - A Letter For Prester John

If you know Cat Valente's writing (and if you don't, you should), this is a must-read. It's a sad fact of the genre publishing industry (and maybe the industry as a whole) that these things happen.

Go support Valente's work for its greatness and repudiate Night Shade Books for their poor Art Direction.


Potential Nifties

Tonight Lisa and I met a rarity: Annapolis fantasy illustrators, at Art Things' Annapolis Art Walk event. The talented Beth Trott and Lindsay Fisk. Awesome & unexpected. Learnt about figure drawing open sessions!! Yes. It needs two exclamatories. They seem like keen critters, those two. And they get super respect for introducing us to Maryland Hall's figure drawing model sessions. Hard to find that around here.

Art Things is a superb store, in case I haven't sung its praises before. It's one of those incredibly well-stocked local supply shops that has exactly the weird thing you're seeking, and if they don't, they order it for you. We have a Michaels here in town, and there's an AC Moore 20 minutes away, but they pale in comparison. Except for nice cheap frames. Michaels has good frame prices with their constant sales.

Anyhow, here's a sample of Beth's work:

And here is Lindsay's:


Making Monsters with Friends

So Lisa Grabenstetter, Katie Schuler, and I had the most energizing meeting yesterday, with a design editor from National Geographic, Oliver Uberti, who is also one of 826DC's artistic gurus. That's right, David Eggers' 826. So we will be donating our time and artwork to the newest chapter of 826, DC's Museum of Unnatural History. How. Cool. Is. That.

We're makin' creatures. 'Cause that's what we do.

I didn't know anything about the 826 project, but man, is it nifty. They're creative writing centers for highschool-aged folks looking to push their writing and maybe delve into something new. Free, non-profit, national. DC's will be location eight, and each one is fronted by a shop that caters to specific needs. San Francisco has a Pirate Supply Shop. New York's is a Superhero Supply. There's a list here.

DC's is a Victorian (un)Naturalist's Society. There's examples of the sorts of cool stuff there on 826DC's blog. It's aiming to open September 24th in Columbia Heights.

If you need an explanation of why I adore the neoVictorian Museum Aesthetic, you've been sleeping. Making an imaginary museum/laboratory was my university thesis.

I cannot wait to get started on these paintings.


Lisa and I doing the Gadget Dance

So back in April, my wife Lisa and I collaborated on the cover for Crossed Genres Issue 19, Gadgets & Artifacts. Wasn't allowed to show you all until the magazine came out in June, and then I just got distracted by nothing. Forgot to put the cover up anywhere I hang out online! Shameful of me, really. Go grab the issue from them, in epub, pdf, or print formats. It's some good storystuff, it is.

While someone might've been put off by this delay, I hope the rest of you can forgive me. Maybe the actual art will help. So have Artefacts, and don't stab me?

We passed this one back and forth, from sketch to final. It was the first time we'd really gotten the chance to collab on something. Was a lot of fun, really. Hopefully do it again soon.

In the meantime, I just handed over final art for issue 22 of Crossed Genres, coming out in September.