Sunday, November 30, 2008

Just a quickie, some observational doodles from the last Sketch Crawl and a recent zoo trip!

Winding down with freelance otherwise and hoping to bust out a Holiday card before I head back east in 2 weeks. I am SO READY for the east coast you guys (aka A BREAK), you don't even understand. <3

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ok, so this is the piece I've been promising for ages.

Ashley, who was my family dog of (almost!) 16 years, passed away in August and this is my tribute to her. Take it as you will - perhaps she is gently being whisked away into the sky... or is she just arriving to the place she most wants to be?

Coincidentally, a signed 10 x 20 print of this will be auctioned at the Purr-casso Art Auction in Berkeley on Nov 9th to raise money for shelter animals. Ashley would have wanted it that way <3

I apologize for the lack of updates lately. I've sort of hit a rut and a fork in the road with my artwork and I feel that what I'm creating just doesn't communicate how I see myself now, if that makes any sense. I've been feeling an urge for change and exploration for some time now, so who knows what the next update will be like to this blog. All I know is that it's time for some new direction and ideas... that don't involve shiny sparkly things with big eyes. Let's face it - you can only draw stuff geared towards 3 year olds for so long before you snap. ;)

Oops - forgot to mention, this was done in Illustrator and Photoshop!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I'm here! What'd I miss?

For reals, sorry about the art absence. Life got a little tangled and plenty busy, the latter is because I have been contracting for a casual games studio. The commute doesn't leave much time for personal art, but I do have September's very special Steph of the Month just about ready to go. Should post that this week.

Which brings me to the project I am working on for the studio! All of the visuals were conceived and executed in less than a week (phew!) If you're on myspace, check out Dog World and add it to your profile! Not only are a ton of new accessories and costumes in the works for the virtual puppies (you can send you friends POOP IN THIS GAME, PEOPLE!) but the app raises real, tangible money for the ASPCA as you play it. It's win/win, folks.

Here are some samples of the art (I draw'ed everything and Sarah Dungan animated the pups!)

Not much else in the immediate pipelines, but lots of big plans for the future underway - possible international travel, some gallery shows and a longer-term personal project. :D

Thanks for putting up with me guys. <3

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This isn't the artwork I had in mind to post yesterday (thank you to everyone who gave their support and 2 cents on the interview!) but I got permission from a client to post sampling of my recent project. These are a few sticker designs I did for one of Dover's Little Sticker Books! It's a mythical beast/holiday sort of theme (sparked by Magpie) and it will be available this winter. Please pick one up if you happen to see it, there are about 20 more stickers in it than what I've shown here ;)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

YAYZ! The nice people at (hi, Irene!) conducted an interview with me and have published it on their awesome site. I admit I felt a little out of place (out-classed too!) being featured with sci-fi/fantasy big dawgs but I found that there's a lot of refreshing variety in the styles of artwork on the site. Win!!!

So I bet you stopped in on my blog to see artwork. And there's been a gap with that for the last month and for many very good, albeit confusing reasons. But I should have something new to post for the end of the week, with any luck and some good time management :D

P.S. - Has everyone received their art books that ordered them? I seem to have confirmed with most people that they made it OK, but if something's up and you're sans Octopus or Pugfish, drop me an email.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

ZOINKS! The lovely ladies of the Chicago Animators forum posted a video interview they did with me. ItalkreallyfastwhenIamnervous.

Thank you guys so much, it was a real pleasure to get to meet you and I am still all giddy that you wanted to talk to me in the first place ^__^;; Please check out their respective art blogs here, here and here!

Also, I received my copy of the children's book that I worked on in the mail the other day, so I thought I would share a few spreads with you guys. It was written by Anne Stratford and it's a semi-autobiographical story about her nephew coping with his father's presence in Iraq as a soldier. It's not as morbid as it sounds, I promise. Should you so desire, the book can be purchased here.

Not much in the way of new art to post as I am still playing catch-up with reality and freelance. Frayed nerves are a way of life, I swear. I will post more goodies as soon as they become available!

Friday, August 01, 2008

I'm gonna add to the mountain of "I'm so tired from the Con!" blog posts out there only to say that it's true. That thing goes by way too fast and takes so much out of you in exchange for INSPIRATION. My experience this year was fantastic, I met a buncha new artists and hugged my old friends, plus I got to experience things on the other side of the tables via the Girls Drawin' Girls booth. We did very well from what I can gather (THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CAME BY TO SAY HI AND/OR BOUGHT MY BOOKS!!!) and I will do my best to get back to everyone who sent kind emails, shared their cards/books with me and whatnot. Just be patient, I'm still in LA for a few more days to visit friends and test the employment waters here ;)

I will post pics of my sketchbook bounty when I return to San Fran. It is rather large this year - one of the perks of having a book of your own to trade around at the Con ;) Otherwise, highlights of this trip included drawing in other people's sketchbooks (lotsa boobs and PugFish for all!), being pounded by the surf on Venice Beach, regaining my "driving in LA" confidence (wasn't so much fun the last time I tried that 10 years ago) and nearly being clipped by a hot-dogging crop duster on the 5.

I'll check in again soon!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thank you guys for the surprising responses to my last post - it's a comfort to know that no matter how blah I feel about "present Steph", you're all willing to keep the brighter bits in the forefront of your minds ;) I guess the kid's not going anywhere, but I have some new directions that I want to play with. Oh, cryptic!

Sooooooo, it's that time of year where I ship myself off to the Con to collect more awesome artist friends and realize that I have even more work cut out for me and my goals! My books will be on sale at BOOTH 5528 courtesy of "Girls Drawin' Girls" and I might try to see if Stuart Ng will take any more books on consignment as well.

If you happen to be at the Con, be on the lookout for the smiling orange faux hawk; if you say hi, she will give you some pins and sell you a book if you want one ;)

Oh yeah, this is the artwork for the title page of "Don't Flash the Octopus". Insert hentai jokes here.

Wish me luck and the possibility of fulfilling employment! <3 SEE YOU THERE!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

So I was doodling a possible July "Steph of the Month" and one of my studio mates hovered over me and noticed that I always draw my current self as a kid. Let the over-analyzing about psychological stunting begin! So of course my first response was "NO I DON'T!" until I looked at this year's self portrait line-up and realized... oh crap, I draw myself as a 6 year old with boobs. To further my terror, he also brought to my attention that all of my pin-up girls also have the heads of children and the bodies of older women.


So, I figured I would try to draw a self po' of how I look today. Um, I think I maybe look 12 in this one. It's a start.

See, this is why I draw myself as a creepy child-lady. In reality, I am a boring and exhausted adult.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Though June was obviously a very productive month, it came at the cost of me WORRYING INCESSANTLY.

The good news is that I have a little paying work coming next week and the book monkey is off of my back as of Monday. The bad news is that I worried a huge knot into my neck. Time to get the hot tub running again and resume studio poking.

Oh yeah, say hello to my new gray hairs. Hi guys!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Dudes. I totally put a PugFish in my book. JUST FOR YOU.

Check the previous post to find out where to get one ^_^

Friday, June 27, 2008

Book cover is done! Looks like I got revenge on that pesky 'pus, eh? So now is a good time to mention that I am printing up 200 of these books with the intent to unload ALL OF THEM at the Con in a month. Which means, now is your best chance to get one as I am selling pre-orders on my etsy site. They should be shipping July 19 if you order before then. They are $15 and looking to be 20 pages (24 if I can rock it), full-color and measure 8.5'' square when closed. If I do go up to 24 pages the price will stay the same though :)

All proceeds help me to buy groceries and maintain my shreds of sanity :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another one for the book! It's a total play on Rockwell's "Going and Coming" piece, as shown in the process shots in my SB. The extra guest on the car is Anchiwa Won Topeteka, the imaginary friend of my brother and I when we were little.

Any feedback is welcome - just trying to tell better stories with my art ^_^ On a side note, remember that piece I did with the Octopus? It appears that the hills in the part of Big Sur that inspired it are on fire ._. The skies are smoky over Berkeley too, I hope everything is brought under control soon.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Again, no art in this post (and that will again change this week!) but I had to put up this snippet from The Republican about my work in the Girls Girls Girls! show at I/O:

"The problem, if it could be called that, with a gallery show of women creating pinups is that it can become queerly misogynistic. If a woman creates an image of a bare-breasted women centaur whipping another woman on all fours, is that subversive progress or a profiteering regression?

That's a question that ripples through this show, most of which includes clever, sassy work, like that of Steph Labaris, who draws precious art like "My Little Pony," and, in her free time, creates kinky bare-breasted centaurs."

So how about it guys, am I part of the problem or part of the solution? ;) And it appears that they spelled last name wrong - I should be used to it by now but I hope no one googles this "Labaris" chick. She sounds dirty.

Friday, June 20, 2008

This was the last game that I was the Lead Artist for while I was at LeapFrog - I designed the entire look/feel of the world, characters, props, buildings, UI... basically everything until we hit vertical slice, then the rest of the asset creation went out to other talented artists once I established the design. It's basically a wandering sort of game where your super hero chick earns points by doing good deeds and solving math problems. It's LeapFrog guys, of course there are math problems

I love love love doing non-licensed stuff like this so it was a real treat for me. All of my assets were created in Adobe Illustrator and exported to Flash.

Hope you guys like it, despite the predictable cuteness factor! And oh yes, I managed to smuggle not one but TWO unicorns into the game - the hippocampus atop the fountain and the ki-rin on the Dojo mat ^_^

To anyone who has ordered a copy of Sketch or Swim: I have run out of the first edition but the second edition is in print as I type this! It will ship in a couple of weeks, so I apologize for the delay :) The new book is also on the way, it's shaping up to be 20 pages and an inch bigger all around than Sketch or Swim is. I will post updates on that soon!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Remember I said I would make up for March's lack of a Steph O' the Month?

Here ya go. Inspired by my trip to Big Sur on my birthday :) I have some room for tweaks before this goes into my book (incidentally, I will be altering this comp to make the book's cover) so I am open to all feedback. I am trying to push scale, depth and composition in my work now. I gotta do more multi-figure comps and environments if I'm gonna get to where I need to be. :D

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

No new art in this post either (yet!) but a heads up to check out Girls Girls Girls at The Io Gallery if you happen to be near Connecticut this weekend. I have those Smutty Centaurs (Smut-taurs?) hanging there among the amazing works of Olivia and Julie Bell. I feel like but a tiny foal in a herd of thundering... awesome artist lady peoples.

I found the gallery's description of me to be amusing:

"Steph is seriously cute as a button and her work reflects her sunny disposition, beaming smile and love of mildly afflicted animals. To know Steph is to love her."

Looks like I better bust out more emo art, I'm going soft! ;) Once again, I wish I could go in-person but both my energy and checking account is tapped-out from this weekend's journey to the Midwest.

More artage soon <3

Friday, June 06, 2008

Dudes. In LA. Go to this Saturday night. Srsly.

I've got 2 pieces hanging there, being The Princess and the Pauper. I wish I could go but I am about 2500 miles too far east of the gallery at the moment D:

Unrelated: my brother is having a reading from "The Velveteen Rabbit" done for him at his wedding tomorrow. I can't even tell you how fucking amazing that is to me. <3

Thursday, June 05, 2008

....aaaaaaand here's that other piece! These were way too much fun to do and a reminder that I gotta pick up the brush more often. :)

I will be out of commission until Tuesday, as I will be in Minneapolis for my brother's wedding! I don't get to see my family much (been 6 months since my last visit) so I am very excited. Big grats to Bill and Shanna for tying the knot, I promise to behave and be a good bridesmaid.

Speaking of family, sometimes I forget that they look at this blog. Hi everyone, I like to draw porn! Hope that doesn't make you wanna see any less of me ^_~

Monday, June 02, 2008

Done! COlors were mangled on the scanner but the real deal looks nice at least. Here's hoping she sells in a couple weeks! Now it's time to bust out the second piece.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Aaaaand now she's clean. She's on my drafting table, half gouached in. Oh man, I freaked out when my Bristol started buckling but an hour later it was back to its proper shape. Phew! I'm thinking she'll be ready tonight!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

A WIP sketch for a gouache piece. I botched the gesture on the final a bit, it's hard for me to preserve the tightness of my thumbnails on a bigger drawing surface, but I will be finishing that for tomorrow. And hopefully another one.

Monday, May 26, 2008

This is Ashley. She is my 15 1/2 year old cocker spaniel who was given a few months to live when the vet discovered an inoperable lung tumor in her that was the size of a golf ball.

Did I mention that was over 2 years ago? ;)

She's certainly no spring chicken, but she gets on well for her age. Here she is doing what she does best - yes kids, she's only sleeping here.

Here she is in action in her wading pool.
Did I mention this geriatric pooch is spoiled?

Friday, May 23, 2008

The weather kicks ass and I'm getting a new start on life next month.

I will also be kicking this year's Comic Con sketchbook into high gear in June! I only have about 10 pages so far *gulp* so I am shooting for at least 20 total by the end of the month. Wish me luck kids, I won't be up for air too much until then!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Grandmother, Annette Conlon, passed away one year ago today. I made a little sketch of how I remembered her when I was young - she was always a gentle, loving presence in my life and used make one of my favorite treats, corton. It's a cooked pork spread that she used to serve on a slice of Wonder Bread. My family joked that it looked, smelled and tasted (according to them) like dogfood. I didn't mind at all, I was the kid that stole and ate the dog's milkbones. Corton would be what my younger self is eating there - it's very rough and I want to clean and color it.

When I was in college, she and I promised to make corton together at her house. Unfortunately, I couldn't make the time for the hour and a half trip to see her before she went into an assisted living home. This was because of the onset of Alzheimer's, so she did not have a kitchen of her own. We never got to make it together. But when I was going through some of her belongings this past December, I unearthed a hand-written recipe for corton which I assume she had written up for when I was to come visit, before she moved to the home. It was painful for me to read it, once i realized it's purpose. Her handwriting was shaky by then and some words were missing from her sentences. It was very painful to watch her slip away so slowly over those years at the home and it was even worse for her, because for a time she knew that she was losing her mind and couldn't stop it. But even when she slipped away and couldn't recognize her family anymore, she sort of regressed to being a child again; always bright, smiling and took to caring for a baby doll at the nursing home. The doll never left her side.

She named the doll Stephanie.

This is for you, Grandma. I love you.

I invite you to make a donation of any amount to the Alzheimer's Association. I made one today in her honor.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Oh boy am I overdue for an update. I totally missed the Steph O' The Month for March but will make that right fairly soon. This one is actually intended for April, which is going to be a very open month I guess. That's a hexagram above me, Dave got me into I Ching while he was here. That one means "Nourishment". Take it as you will, that's all you really can do.

Which reminds me, I haven't eaten yet today. Ooops.

And some rough stuff from life drawing, some babes as well. Enjoy. <3

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Make a Little Birdhouse in your Soul

For some reason I have no problem posting drawings of myself naked or in my underwear, yet when it comes to actually expressing feelings, it's like, the hardest thing on earth to me. Vulnerability is such a strange thing.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Also, quickie Pauper sketch! I don't usually sketch before I go into Illustrator, which is good and bad I suppose. Good because I think I get a different feel to the shapes when I mess around with just the pen tool, bad because it can be awkward to do a lot of basic problem solving with vectors that could have easily been done in thumbnails.

In unrelated news, I finally have a doctor's appointment to get a follow-up on my ankle which is still giving me problems 2 months after the fall. Sarah is betting I'll need an MRI. Dave is betting I'll need a cane. I am betting on more bills X_x

Monday, February 11, 2008

Drive-by smut!

This is a quickie costume/character study for a fairytale pin-up book I am taking part in. I suppose I can't show the actual illustrations until they are printed, but the rough stuff should be OK. The fairytale I am working on is a variation of the Prince and the Pauper... in this case, it's an all-girl cast. The Pauper will be dressed in something more peasant-y but look essentially the same as the Princess for obvious reasons. She will have freckles though, those years of working in the fields will do that to ya. And be sassier. Paupers must be sassy.

Mmmm, hips.

I was pondering the idea of turning this babe into a Flash paper doll, as I have been sliding various bits of clothes on and off of her as I figure out her wardrobe. Might be kinda fun, who knows!

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Well, almost. It's a little premature to call it that.

I did this over the course of my gig with Axiotron for MacWorld last week. Emma really liked the boy unicorn and we have an evil scheme involving him underway. >:D

Enjoy the Uni-Booty!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

First post of the New Year! Here I am in a boring comp in a non-descript city in the winter weather. With the way the last few weeks have been going, that could be San Fran, Philly, Boston or Seattle, which is where I am now :)

Loving the Revelations workshop here - met a ton of new awesome people and hugged so many of my favorite friends here. Life's pretty rad at the moment and it's sure to get more rad once I get to MacWorld :D