Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hey guys! I am glad to say that after a few months of conventions and classes and work and other BS, I have been able to take my foot off the gas pedal and decompress for a week over the Holidays. What do I do when I am in my happy place?


This little rattie is on her way to her new owner. I tried something different with this one and built it around a wire and foam armature. I'm really happy with the process! I already have another feltie in the pipeline for an upcoming gallery show and I plan to use the foam and wire base again. Saves a ton of time and makes for some good stability.

I also start my traditional animation class in January, and I am shitting bricks. I haven't animated in over 10 years (excluding tweening in Flash, but that was a mess too) so I'm in for quite a ride. We'll see if any of my abominations make it to the blog. ;)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

We did it! We survived CTN! Here's a pic of myself and Brianne at our booth, taken by the lovely Amy Wagner. Check out the full post on Stuart Ng's blog if you want to see more of the booth and the other artists who were there! Speaking of Stuart Ng, some of our sketchbooks will be on sale on his site very soon, so check back and I will post the direct link. Thank you to all who helped us prepare for the Expo, those who attended and those who supported us via food, buying our goodies or just stopping by.

I have some Muppet themed goodies to post, but I gotta wait a little longer until they go public. Time permitting, I will also have some new felties to post soon. I picked up the needles for the first time since March and it was an amazing feeling to be working with something tangible again. I heard that a few people at CTN-X were sad that I did not have felties on display at my booth this year, but I thought that they were too out of context for an animation expo. Maybe I was wrong!

Thank you guys for looking!

Monday, November 07, 2011

I'm still a full week behind in my class, but I decided that if I was gonna catch up, I was gonna do it right and not rush. My goal is to really put on the pressure and catch up over Thanksgiving, assuming we don't get a doozy of an assignment because of the break.

So anyway, here are *more* explorations for Wizard of Oz, the supporting cast. I have to dive back into Dorothy and Toto to being them closer to where these guys are at but so far I have a few favorites in each spread that I will expand upon.

Are you guys enjoying seeing all this process for a change, rather than just the polished stuff? Sometimes I find that I don't really spend enough time on the sketching phase, even though it's the most fun for me and I just pick one of the first few doodles I make and go with it. Sometimes, the first drawings you make are the best and sometimes not. You don't know if you've pushed it enough until you've pushed it too far. Or something. ;)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Just a quickie, it's National Self Portrait Day! I did this one from 100% photo realistic observation just now! It looks like Peppermint Patty really let herself go.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I knew it was coming. I've totally fallen behind in class. But I am still drawing so that's what matters! There are good reasons I've fallen behind anyway, I am pulling together the remaining pages of the joint sketchbook that Brianne Drouhard and I are pulling together for the CTN Expo in a few weeks. It's going to be worth all the panic. I hope.

Speaking of CTN-X, please stop by booth T-81 to see us! Well have our sketchbook, prints, Brianne will be peddling her amazing children's book and we'll be giving away free... smiles. If we've had our coffee.

And here are some first explorations for Dorothy and Toto. I have seen a lot of re-imaginings where Dorothy is some post apocalyptic babe and Toto is some kind of mutant, or someone gothed them out and Dorothy's all cutting herself and decked out in black lipstick, or she's a space pirate exploring the planet of Oz... but like, I dunno, what's wrong with her being a little girl? Those are pretty awesome and interesting too!

I think I have a better handle on Toto right now honestly, my idea for him is not the charming little purse dog (I accuse Dorothy of being the first to start that awful trend, not Paris ;) ) but rather, he came from a long line of pedigreed cairn terriers and really he belongs dozing in a velvet chair in the Rockefeller estate, but he was adopted out and ended up in Kansas with Dorothy, and, well, he's been hardened by the constant dust storms and general misery of the dust bowl. Matted, caked with dust and twigs, his fur covering all but his judgmental eye - he doesn't care how, he's getting the hell out of Oz, THEN Kansas.

Guess I better figure out Dorothy, huh? I think the movie's about her and stuff. ;)

Thank you guys for looking, please feel free to share thoughts and crits!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sorry for not checking in for a bit, lots of work and the icing on the cake was catching the plague that's rampaging around the office. I have some explorations from class to show, plus a doodle of my midget rattie, Porkchop!

This is a super fast color pass on the final comp. I got some great feedback from class and will be polishing it this week and posting it when it's ready. I wasn't going to post this one at first but I've decided to be more open about my process.

A note about Porkchop below there: she's a rescue from the big SoCal hoard that was featured on A&E's Hoarders. She was found wandering the property as a barely weaned bouncy baby, just after the initial rescue that was televised. She's a little smaller as an adult than her cousins that I have (also from the hoard) so she may have lost her momma and been malnourished as a baby. As you can see from the doodle, she does not have to worry about being underfed anymore. ;)

Thank you for stopping by <3

Monday, September 26, 2011

Some Dr. Jekyll doodles for class! I wasn't too excited about how Mr. Hyde turned out this time, so he's going to need some reworking before he gets thrown up here for all to see. I can't really get into details about the nature of the assignment or really any assignment for school, so just kick back, relax and enjoy the ride with me. I promise I will try to make it fun!

EDIT: You know what? Here's Hyde. I don't think he's where he needs to be yet, but there's no point in having shame about process. It helps me when artists show how they get from point A to point B and it's reassuring when I see that some of my idols struggle with the same thing I do, so cheers to sharing the journey. :)

I am absolutely loving the class so far and if you're into character design, check the availability in the 2012 courses. I think there are a few openings! It's been great to have different sorts of design problems to solve outside of work and no looming art directors or scary this-was-due-yesterday sorts of deadlines. The lectures have been really well done and a lot of fires have been lit for me. More to come soon!

**One last thing, the last time I posted a large batch of character sketches to my blog, another artist copied my images, erased my watermark and slipped them into their own portfolio and used them to apply for jobs in the industry. If anyone else is thinking of doing so, just remember that we all look out for each other online and we remember names. I am a believer in second chances and I know that I sound like a jerk for saying this and I really shouldn't even have to, but sometimes people can still surprise me. Please don't be one of those people.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm still drawing! Here are some battle chefs!

So a lot has happened over the summer. I'm starting a new job at a game company in Burlingame next week and I am very thrilled to say that I will be starting the character design course at Animation Collaborative in 2 weeks! What does that mean? I WILL BE DRAWING MORE AND GETTING BETTER AT IT FASTER. HELLS YES! For serious, I haven't had a character design class since college and I still have a lot to learn, so this is just perfect. It's a very small class size and it's taught by the amazing Chris Sasaki and Albert Lozano and I could not be more giddy about this :) I will be posting assignments on here as I do them.

That's about it on my end! I'm off to call it an early night, it's been an emotional few weeks with the job transition and the push to end all freelance in time for class. Vacations are for the weak.

...I kid. I would kill to have a week off right about now X_x

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Big news to announce, lots of changes happening! I FINALLY have a big art update coming up, but for now here are some critters! I am such a tease. ;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I should probably mention this, since it is creeping up on me like a runaway train. I will be doing a panel at Comic Con in a little over a week with Brianne Drouhard, Beth Sleven, Eric Gonzalez, Eric Haegar and Mike Collins about making children's books and by extension, children's games. Here's all the date and time info if you're going to be at SDCC:

Clicky here!

Where have I been since April? Well, a lot of ups and downs at work and I have been crunching for the last few weeks, in addition to catching the flu IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER. I still managed to scrape myself out of bed to catch Hatsune Miku's concert at Anime Expo a couple weeks ago, but at the cost of my recovery. Still worth it.

This is pretty much the state I was in. For non-Miku fans, the leek is just how she rolls. I also shelled out for some Copic markers while at the Expo and by law you have to draw something anime with them. Here is my contribution of Miku, naturally.

Back to work!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Animals are my favorite people. Well, most times. The rats lose points when they wrestle and bicker at all hours of the night (and chew up your special edition Okami-den earphone buds) and the cats lose points when they crap in the bathroom sink. But all that aside, here are some animal doodles to let you know that I am alive.

The kittehs are for a commission actually and I will post the final when it's done :)

This is Waffles, my big boy rat, in a thong. Was originally gonna be a sumo belt but given his girth, it became a banana hammock.

On the Tampii front, I still have some Bloody Hell panties left from WonderCon at the beginning of the month! If you would like one for $10, just drop me an email. If I can get rid of these then there could be some plush toy love for Tampii in the near future ;)

Speaking of WonderCon! I wanted to share an awesome moment from that weekend with you guys! I saw a lot of great (and not-so-great) costumes there and met many amazing people, but this young lady was one of the best. She had seen my Chi feltie online and went berserk when she saw it on display at my table. Here's her take on it! Be sure to check out her gallery, her cosplay is really awesome!

Now off I go to file my taxes after a BIG FRIGGIN' SCARE where my computer wouldn't boot up this morning. This is after I drowned my keyboard by accident with oolong tea earlier this week. By the time today is over, I'll have backed up everything in the world I care about on my LaCie and curl up into a quivering ball.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

So, has been down for a while now, so I decided that in preparation for WonderCon next weekend, I would get something online where folks can take more of a quick glance at what I do, rather than mucking through blog entries like these ;)

My portfolio is now at Eventually I will link flyingclam back to this site, but for now, carbonmade is where it's all at. Here's a snapshot of it in all it's simplicity!

In other news, Tampii is back and she's hanging out on black undies now! I got some unexpected work last month, which was enough to fund another panty print run. You can purchase them in-person at WonderCon or order them online through me via email. They're $10 a pop and I am working to get some matching buttons made to ship with them.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Checking in with a quickie update! I finally finished Rez's belated Christmas gift, which is a feltie of Chi from the anime "Chi's Sweet Home"! If you haven't seen the series or read the comics, you can acquaint yourself here:

She's about life-sized, which is 7'' from toes to ear tip. I tell you, I NEVER want to felt something with tiny outlines again! But I am pleased with the way she came out and Rez seems pretty happy too. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy belated New Years guys! Today is a very big day in the world of video games - Little Big Planet 2 releases today! I am pretty sure that my copy is on its way in the mail, so very soon I can shut the world away until I compulsively unlock every bit of content. I even broke down and bought a PS Move controller so that I can complete the levels that require it. Whatevs, I have a right to be a fangirl.

Speaking of which, I can post some of the artwork I did for the game! This batch of stickers is featured in the Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves Demo as well as on the disc itself. I approached some these differently than how I normally do, being that the dinosaurs and some of the plants were painted with actual gouache and then scanned into Photoshop for touch-ups. It felt sooooooo good to have a wet brush at my command again and I snapped a few pics of my process:

Here are a handful of the finished dinos (there are a LOT of stickers in this pack!)

And for shits n' giggles, some of the sketches for these guys:

Oooooh, I can't wait to dig into this one! Incidentally, if anyone out there wants to link up with me on the PSN, my user name is stephalopod.

Unrelated to Little Big, I found out a month ago that some designs I did for Hasbro's relaunch of Pound Puppies made it (sort of) to the opening sequence of the show. Though the final designs appear to have been changed for the sake of Flash optimization, I am happy to see that the Bernese Mountain dog puppy, who is based on my brother's dog, made the cut. Here are my designs:

And you can click here to watch the intro for yourself!

What else, what else? Oh! I may need someone to kick me in the pants to follow through, but I made a big step in my ongoing personal project about the house and the woods where I grew up. While I was back home in Massachusetts for the Holidays, I contacted the current owners of said house (the woods are long gone sadly) and they were kind enough to let me walk through the house and take reference photos. it was such a great experience and it led to days worth of doodles spilling into my sketchbook, but I don't feel that anything is ready to be scanned and posted. These are all just brain farts and mini ideas and I didn't worry about polish or storytelling or even perspective - I just wanted to keep my hand and mind moving. So as this takes shape, I will post more, but for now, here's one of my favorite pictures from the batch:

See you guys later :)