Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I am still making Fledgies! I have 2  more feltie commissions to go for this year and I think I can get them both finished over Holiday break. This little guy is teaming up with the penguin from a few posts back and on his way to meet his new owner :)

This would also be the time to share that you can order a limited edition print of the Rattie Carolers online until December 16th! I only printed 10 of these and won't print any more, so this might be the neato gift for that rattie lover in your life that you've been looking for!

Click here to see my shop and buy prints! 

I hope to be able to finish my official Christmas card this weekend, in addition to the loose ends with homework and whatnot. Busy busy!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Hey thar! Just a quick drop-off of a new facebook cover design I did for my art page.

You didn't know I have an art page? Well, that's OK. All the cool kids have one and we all know where I rank on the Cool-o-Meter. It's somewhere around zero.

Come on over and play with me!

I probably should lighten up with the rats, it's kind of a safe place for me to go with my art, but dammit, I love my little furballs. From back left to front right, we have Aloysius, Duncan, Ronnie, Ivory, Pork Chop, Smudge and Rocket.

I also whipped up a Daruma last week to help me stay motivated. Basically it's a Japanese doll with blank eyes. You paint in one eye when you set a goal for yourself and display it somewhere that you will look at it a lot and remind you to keep working at it, no matter how slowly. Then, when you reach your goal, you paint in the other eye.

The physical Daruma I have had on my work desk has had one eye for 5 years. However long it takes, it's worth it.

So really I will be working hard at finishing up classwork for the next couple of weeks, then it's back to the east coast for a couple of weeks to visit family and get fat on the couch. There should be a somewhat sizable art dump once my class is over and then some felties once I get that time on the couch!

Oh yeah... CTN was AMAZING this year and I am savoring the inspiration and motivation that came from it all. Big ideas for next year! And with that bit of ambiguity, I leave you with the most recent addition to my playlist. Who doesn't love a nostalgic gaming groove while they draw?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's that wonderful time of year again - CTN-X!

I will be at table T-81, right next to the demo station. I will be selling books, prints and displaying a collection of felties that I've done (yes, including a Baby Appa! The seated one, even!)

And aside from pulling all of my stock together and making prints, I've been chugging away at homework. Here is one tiny part of it! I will do a major dump of all of my studies in a few weeks, once the class wraps up. We've been cracking at these characters for weeks and I feel like she's finally starting to take shape.

I hope to see you guys in Burbank this weekend! It's like coming home to my SoCal family! Looking forward to a doodle dinner with two of my favorite lady artists and to meeting new faces... and putting faces to the avatars of all the new, talented folks I have been introduced to online this year!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Who needs politics when there are new Fledgies? Here's a fat little penguin for a very, very patient customer :)

Nice to be felting again, but I'm still working through homework and preparations for CTN-X. Plus I have a rattie feltie who desperately needs some finishing touches! More to come on that very soon! How soon? TOO SOON! AAAUUGGHH!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

I almost forgot! Today was National Self Portrait Day! It's only 10:30 pm PST, so you might still have time to make one ;)

I ended up doing two today since I just couldn't seem to loosen up. This is me from this morning:

My Grandma knitted me that hat. It's way cooler in real life.

...and here I am this evening, after my class. My fizzy bath bombs from Lush came in the mail and oh man, it's bliss. I may be a friggin' tomboy, but I swear, get me near anything from Lush and I turn into a quivering girly mess.

My favorite one is "Sex Bomb". Aw yeah. 

See you guys soon with more characters and maybe a Fledgie!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! Admittedly I am sort of a Halloween Grinch this year, despite my lifelong ties to Salem, MA; it's raining here in Berkeley and I am relieved that there haven't been many kids coming by, as I am trying desperately to catch up on homework and decompress a little. The last couple of weeks were HECTIC and my attempt at having a vacation completely backfired.

I was knocked on my arse last week with a sore throat monster and fell behind in both work and homework - not to mention that as soon as I felt better, I had a wedding to attend that was a 7 hour drive away! No regrets honestly, as I got to see one of my closest friends tie the knot with the most loving,  albeit clumsy, sentimental pile of husband I have ever seen ;) I also made them special WEDDING MUPPETS!

Here are pics of them as the glue was drying in the hotel room, minutes before we had to go to the ceremony! Last-Minute-Laberis strikes again!

But in the end they held up and were cherished, just as I wanted them to be, and clearly I earned some karma, as that bouquet just fell right into my hands.
So while I continue to play catch-up, here are some kind of old thumbnails I did for the exclusive alapaca print that we gave away with the book sales at APE. If you're heading to CTN-X in a couple of weeks then you have a chance to grab one, as the final, secret print isn't available for sale by itself. We're sneaky that way ;)

If you can't make it to the Expo, then you can still buy a copy of the book online! I've got some prints up for sale as well. Have a look at the new storefront!

With that, I leave you with a self portrait of me and my fuzzy children. All 7 of them. Rocket is there, she's just tucked away, as she likes to be.

Till next time!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Whew. I am wiped out from this weekend, but it was really great despite the energy drain. Huge thanks to everyone who trekked all the way to the back of the Concourses to come visit us! We sold a lot of books and to those who couldn't make it, we will have some for sale shortly through Stuart Ng Books that even come with the exclusive alpaca print that is only available at conventions. What's not to like? :D I will post the link to the book once it goes live.

I will be disappearing for the rest of the week in a half-assed attempt to recoup from general burnout whilst trying to get those annoying errands of life done; fix the car, wax the eyebrows, get a haircut, teeth fixed, mail a ton of packages, hose down the rat cage... you know, that stuff. I will also be finishing up my last lingering feltie commissions (don't worry, everyone who's been this patient with commissions gets a free book from me!) and turning my focus fully back to my class and work. Still, I have no regrets about marathoning to finish the book, I am really proud of what's in there and it made a lot of folks smile this weekend. You can't ask for better.

Speaking of class, here are some doodles that were part of my homework. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's that time again! APE comes to the Concourse in San Francisco this weekend and I will be there with Jeannine Schafer to sell our new book! I also have some nifty new animal prints for sale as well, lookie lookie!

Here's where you can find us!

I hope to see some of you there. I promise to be entertaining and delightful. Well, I promise, so long as I've had coffee by the time you stop by. ;)

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Tapirs and Snowshoes

Ok. This time I mean it. last 2 posts before the book ships. ;) It's at the printer right now and my levels of stoke are through the roof!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Peppermint Nauties and Gabby Yabbies

Well, I lied. This isn't a post of the finished book. We have some minor delays from the printer but knock on wood, we should still be on schedule. So in the meantime, here are two nautiluses sharing a mouth-part embrace and a murderous platypus. ;)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Autumn is upon us!

This is a very autumn-centric post! I am still super homesick for Boston, so here are some porcupines enjoying the last of the autumn apples and some stickers I made for the Autumn Seasonal Kit for Little Big Planet 2.

I am pretty sure my next post here will be of the finished, printed books and info on how to order them. I'm excited!

Oh also, here are some flying foxes. Definitely not native to New England, but Halloween-y in colors!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More domesticated critters! I kind of want to keep going down the derpy pet route for the book and lay off the exotics for a bit, only because I like being able to push the personalities of animals that I know personally. Maybe there could be a cocker spaniel or two in the mix soon!

Anyway! This is Merlin, a Siamese cat who was adopted as a stray by my two good friends.  I haven't really sat down with him, but I can tell he's, well, touched. I can't confirm or deny whether this scenario happened IRL, but I think EVERY cat owner has had to deal with this at least once in their lives. Merlin is a pretty bead on a necklace.

Those who know me know that I am just not a cat person. Dogs? Hells yes. Rats? You know it. Cats... um... well, I've met a few mentally challenged ones that were pretty cool, the kind that meow at nothing and slam into walls. And all of those ones had some degree of Siamese in them, go fig.

Anyway, fate has me in a position where I cannot escape cats. My housemate has 2. My boyfriend has 2. most of my best friends have a few. So when life gives you hairballs, make derpy art.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Another one for the animal book, only this is an animal that I know well. This is Tristan, the tripod greyhound. He lost his leg this year to osteocarcinoma, or bone cancer, which is sadly common for greyhounds. I can tell you that his owners faced a gut-wrenching decision when he was diagnosed and chose to amputate rather than rely on chemo alone. Over a month later, he is doing FABULOUS and runs, jumps, digs and barrels around with his trademark hound grin.

He's such a good boy! Keep kicking cancer in the face, Tristan!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


A quick dump of fan art. If you haven't seen ParaNorman yet, you're missing out. Seriously. I had high hopes for it going in, since I am an unabashed LAIKA fan girl and I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was tickled when I saw that it takes place in a fictional Salem (MA, not OR!) town, given that I grew up and spent the greater part of my life in the North Shore. Though my Boston accent is long gone, my memories of the smallest details of my old neighborhoods are present every day and clearly the artists did their research and did it well.

What resonated for me the most was the story of little Aggie, for reason's I'll explain once more people have seen the movie. That would be Aggie in the doodle I did here. 

For real though, I had to remind myself countless times that these were physical models with only the lightest digital clean-up. LAIKA has leveled up in their craft and I hope someday I can contribute to all that they do.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Well gang, I'm at that point in my life where a lot of my close friends are making babies. Lots of them. While I have my ratties to satiate what could be called my maternal instincts, my friends are taking that daring leap into parenthood and I think it's one of the bravest things a human being can do. So this piece, while done for the animal art book, is dedicated to my colleagues, childhood friends and their significant others who are starting the next chapter in their lives.

Raise those kids right, guys. The world doesn't need any more jerkwads in it. ;)

And for those who might not have seen this type of animal before, it's an okapi! I've only ever seen one in person but they are easily one of my favorite animals. Not quite a zebra, not quite a giraffe and equipped with butts that are endlessly fun to draw!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

To summarize, she threw me for a loop last month with her tumor removal surgery. The procedure itself went great, however, Pork Chop found herself back in surgery twice, due to her OCD which ended up in the CONSTANT RIPPING OUT OF HER OWN STAPLES AND SUTURES. The third time she opened the wound it became very infected and she had to have the dead tissue debrided and bleeeegggghhh. Not fun for everyone involved and by that time the entire veterinary staff knew her by name :P

So, I love my little boo and I am grateful that she’s OK and properly healed now, however, she’s left me with a large vet bill. So I am selling signed 8.5” x 11” prints of  my latest rattie piece, "Raturdae" on velvet paper for $15 each, which includes shipping to anywhere in the US. International shipping can be arranged for an extra fee to cover shipping costs.

If you’d like one, please email stephlaberis@gmail.com. I take PayPal only, apologies if that inconveniences anyone.

Now off to snuggle my little furballs!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Here's a collaboration I did with one of my talented friends, Carolina Tello! She is a concept artist in the gaming industry and kicks a lot of ass, if you didn't know that yet. She approached me for a feltie commission last month because she wanted to give her husband, who also works in games, a unique birthday gift. They have an adorable imp character that they co-created and she wanted me to make him into a feltie. When I saw her concepts for him, I melted and agreed to take it on!

First, she gave me full reign in redesigning this guy in my own style, which basically meant he was going to become a gumdrop shape ;) Here are some of the passes I took on him:

Next was the felting stage. I built him over a wire armature and embedded wire in the ears, so they can be posed. I try to do something new with each commission that I take on and for this guy it meant sewing him some duds. I am not very capable when it comes to machine sewing. I knew this, but wanted to try anyway. I have mixed feelings about the results but I think it's good for a first pass. I learned a ton about needle types and got a little better at understanding pattern making, but I have a ways to go yet. 

Still, he was crazy fun to do and I always love doing these sorts of commissions; that is, the ones that are intended to be special gifts. It is an honor when a friend entrusts me with making a gift like this and I am always sure to thank them for the opportunity :)

So on that note, I have a few more commissions to finish up, then I am closing out commissions until next year. I start my advanced character design class next week and have a couple of events to make inventory for in the fall, so free time is a luxury I won't have for felties :[ It's for the best, my 2D skills have been atrophying in the last few months and it's time to work those art muscles again.

Oh yes, on the rat front, everyone is doing well at the moment and I am welcoming another rattie into my home this weekend. He is a gentle, old soul and has quite a story, which I will be happy to share in the near future. <3 p="p">

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A wayward Elephant Shrew! I want one as a pet so badly :(

So, I've been talking about it in other social spheres, but this little guy is the first of many teaser images to come. What is he teasing for? The joint animal art book that I will be creating for APE in October, with the amazing Jeannine Schafer, that's what. The book will have 100% new content from me and feature both sketches and more polished works of some of my favorite non-human friends on this planet. My half of the book will predictably be filled with rodents, but I promise to diversify into other critters! Once APE is over, the book will be available at CTN-X in November and following that, can be purchased online by sending me an email.

We are both biology dorks turned artists who love Disney, Miyazaki and have our respective chubby, none-too-bright but lovable furry kids, so this should be quite a trip. ;)

Friday, August 17, 2012

My week seems to be ending on a sour note. Not much to be done except make rage doodles! I might have some new, prettier things to show you next week at least!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Future Fledgie sketches! I don't usually sketch before I felt, but since these are for commissions, I decided to play it safe and make sure the customers and I were all on the same page. I should have the felted forms of these guys good to go over the next few weeks :)

For those tuned into the Pork Chop saga, a brief update: Another surgery and one body cast later, she's doing well and the wound (which previously was massively infected, hence the most recent surgery to cleanse and debride it) is looking great, even 4 days later. Unsure whether I will proceed with the spaying, since her symptoms have subsided and clearly, recovering from surgery is a very difficult thing for Lil' Pork. Just the same, fingers crossed that things continue on this path and that I can have my life back again.

I will be releasing a new rattie print in the near future in an effort to recover some veterinary costs. While making felties for Boo's loss did offset the cost, I found that it was much more time consuming than I had anticipated (I am STILL working on commissions that I took for Boo back in March!), so I think that doing a print run/greeting card run might help get more goodies to more people while making me less crazy. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oh-oh, almost forgot to post this! You fans of Adventure Time know who this is, but for those who don't, this is Science the Rat, whose cunning and knowledge saved everyone from a zombie invasion. Rats are tiny heroes! So when I was asked to participate in an Adventure Time group show, I knew exactly what I wanted to make... surprise, surprise, a rat feltie. ;)

She will be up for sale at the gallery and online in the next couple of weeks. And yes, she comes with a brand new mini aquarium, carefresh bedding (my own ratties begrudgingly granted me a handful from their new bag) and a big ol' smile.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Well gang, this about wraps it up for the Magic Cards! They went over well on the movie set and there are more than what I've posted here, but as I said before, I'm cherry picking my favorites ;)

Thank you also to everyone who sent well-wishes for Pork Chop and for those who enjoyed my rage drawings of the whole situation. She's still waiting for her second surgery, but all in all she's doing well now and enjoying the extra treats and snuggle time with her cagemates. As for me, I am disappearing for a few weeks to catch up on feltie commissions and I managed to FINALLY set aside some vacation time for an upcoming weekend, so here's hoping the batteries charge for the next sprint. This fall is going to be a doozy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oof. Sorry about the lack of updates, but I am backed up with freelance and commissions. This doodle, done in the waiting room of the vet's office, will shed some light as to why.

That's the third time Pork Chop pulled out her staples this week,re-opening the wound from a simple mass removal. Not so simple anymore! She thinks it is a fun game. Knock on wood, this latest patch-up has held for 2 days so far and if we can keep her together for the rest of the week, she'll be out of the woods.

Until her spaying next week. Then we start all over again.

Ahaha, here's a little comedic follow-up. I had read online that in the event of an emergency, one can use super glue to seal an incision closed on a rat, in case the animal hospital is closed. This is the scenario I imagined if I ever dared to try that with Pork Chop.