Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hello everyone! It's been great to hear about what people have been up to. I thought I'd take this opportunity to share my favorite spot in Megan and I's apartment, the kitchen.
I really did not think this spot would become my favorite, but since moving in, it has really turned me onto cooking like never before. Going to this from what I had in Baltimore has allowed me to do many new, exciting things! New appliances: oven/stove, microwave, two sinks, dishwasher, wine glass rack, a bigger fridge, plenty of cabinet space/ counter space, and even spice racks built into the drawer by the oven. There's even more counter space in a nearby corner, with a wall fixture to hang pots/pans.
You are all welcome to come over for dinner.

Below is a picture of our studio. It gets great light, and has a closet to the left (not pictured, where there is room for an easel or another small desk), but as you can see, its a little barren. Megan and I have concentrated on the rest of the apartment while leaving the studio neglected. We plan on putting up everyone's postcards as soon as we can.

To see what I've been working on for my internship, check out my blog. I would appreciate any feedback or critique on sketches or finished works. More pictures to come!


Thursday, September 25, 2008


To those who are interested in PODOHAMA...
I've finally started to work on the website and I wanted to give you guys a glimpse of what it is so far. PODOHAMA is currently an online store for apparel/buttons/zines/etc. and I'm, obviously, the only contributor so far. I know that one can create a design and sell it on shirts of all kinds @ zazzle.com. You set a price for it and make royalties off of it. It's a cheap and easy way to start selling apparel! They also provide many other products, but I'm focusing on apparel for now. In case any of you were looking for a better provider of such services, I would check out zazzle.com. I haven't exactly tried it out yet, but reputable companies use zazzle so I'm going to guess that they'll be pretty useful.
The goal, right now is for PODOHAMA to successfully function as an online shop for my junk and for it to eventually cater to you guys, if any of you might be interested once PODOHAMA's up, running, and doing super. I don't know.. it's all just a jumble of ideas and it's all kind of up in the air, but... yeah! I'm super excited about it.

Now for the sneak peek... a corner, really.

That's all you get.

I am here!

Hey everybody, Z Bauer reporting in. I just realized I haven't posted on here yet, so here is what I've been doing!

1.)What have you been doing post-graduation (art-wise or life-wise) and what are your plans for the next few months?

I took a couple classes over the summer to clear up the credit mess with my graduation status, and now that that's taken care of I've been devoting pretty much all my free time to producing artwork, with the rest of it on trying to find a steady job. I've been working at Sonar downtown most of the summer, but its the pits only being able to work from 5pm-2am and to only find out when you're working the day before or sometimes the day of. I've recently been sending out my resume/portfolio/cover letter to a bunch of different game companies near and abroad in search of the dream job. I'm super nervous about that.

2.)Where have you moved to (be specific: ex."hampden") ? Are you happy/excited/frustrated/ disappointed by your new location? Is there something about this new place you wanna advertise, or warn us about? (Ex. great Tex-Mex food, bad public transportation)

Me and the lil' lady got hitched and moved off to live in the back country of Idaho!

Ok you caught me, Karoline and I actually moved up to Charles Village. Its been pretty awesome living here, a lot of my non-mica friends have actually moved up around the same area, and so I don't even have to drive to see people. The area itself is pretty nice too, and our apartment is almost perfect sized. I just wish I had more room to do some decent sized paintings. I do live really close to Chipotle and a 24 hour Subway now though, late night subs for the win?

3.)Is there something you have created since you graduated you would like to share? (it doesn't have to be an illustration)

I've been drawing a bunch, and all finished work has moved to the digital realm as of late. Karline and I modge-podged a periodic table of elements poster onto our coffee table, Its pretty awesome. Check out the new artwork over at the ol' bloggeroo.

4.)Which specific color have you been using/thinking about the most lately?

I've been painting a lot of browns lately, per usual. But Orange has been showing up a lot more too.

5.)Tell us something about you that has changed since we last met.

I signed up at Brick Bodies gym a couple weeks ago. I'm trying to get back in good shape. Multiple all-nighters a week in the studios wore me down.

And now, my studio nook! As viewed at 1:00am.

I know its really dark, but I do a good deal of my work in the evening/night so this is what it looks like most of the time while I'm painting. This is all crammed into the living room along with a futon, TV, coffee table, easel, bike, and a bunch of shelves. Efficient! I'll take some pictures during the day tomorrow. There are two huge windows that provide an awesome amount of sun during the daylight hours.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Whats going on?

Are you a little lost? Here's what we're doing right now. Get your pics up!
And don't forget to take the newest poll, just one more day left!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

my little corner

so this is my little corner in my house in NJ. i decided to make my workspace outside of my bedroom....i tried that before, and it never works too well. so i've got all my books and supplies and computer in one corner. its cozy (even though it looks really dark) - i probably spend 90% of my time at home here!

Sleepytime Sanctuary

I've been in Philly for two weeks now and have been loving it. My roommate and I don't have a TV, so I've been doing crafty things to pass my free time. I made a tree branch out of wire, felt, and fabric to put over my bed.
I've been frantically job searching since I've been here, so my bed and sleep have become my favorite parts of the day.

My mess

This is actually kinda embarrassing.
The undeniable evidence of my messiness finally publicly known.
Nothing to relate to my studio neighbor who just so happens to be so effortlessly neat (damn youuu!) But it's true. This is my favorite spot in the whole apt, i can't deny it as i can't deny all

the time i spent sitting here. Of course i'm sitting there now as i write this.
It is not very nice to look at, but then i guess this is not about that.
If you do want something cute to look at, then go look at my living room.
(sorry, but i couldn't resist, i'm so very proud of that brick wall...)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Some new artists (to me at least)

Thought I'd share a few links to some artists I've recently found out about. Maybe you guys will get some inspo from it. Please excuse me if you seen these before. These are artists I did not know about while at mica, or maybe I did but i didn't know it.

Ken Garduno - beautiful

Derek Albeck - kinda reminds me of Adrien's stuff

Julienne Hsu - I have a feeling most of you already know this one.

Tessar Lo - this guy's finished illustrations look like very polished sketchbook pages (in a good way)

Anthony Zollo - fascinating person. this guy doesn't have a site, only myspace. I occupied his old room this summer at Ringling. His process videos are fantastic! PS that's Rob Gibbs playing the piano, second video down, i think some of you know him.

Kenichi Hoshine - you guys prolly know this one too

Thomas Herpich - neat stuff

Peter Herpich - neat shit

Eric Fortune - very interesting process

Hope you guys found these interesting. I will make a post to the favorite spot thing soon. I just found an awesome apartment right next to Minato. So most likely that'll be my favortie spot. I'm signing the lease this Saturday!


Bagel: Spot Updated

Well... I don't get out much at all and I just spend the majority of my time at my desk/studio which is really the dining room... So.. yeah... yay. I wish I had a more interesting spot to take a picture of. At least this has a dog in it? Roseanne, all nine seasons of Roseanne. Can't live without my Roseanne, sorry.

Note to Jeremy: Hahahahaha... yeah.. my dad made me put the "I Can Do It" up there :) Only thing is that I don't ever see it.... I'm too short.

This is prettier (cold night sky, my favorite):

Your favorite spot

So we came up with this fun idea.

Take a picture of your favorite place in your current apartment. This could mean the cutest or grimmiest or best illuminated or simply the place in your apartment that you enjoy the most. It could be the view from your window, your backyard, your bathroom tiles, your stylish wallpaper, your favorite poster wall or a shot of your new
kitty/puppy/plant. Pick your favorite spot. Take a picture. Tell us all about it.

We have a good variety of cities people have moved to this year,
so we should have an interesting array of pictures and stories. Let us have it!
Everybody is encouraged to participate!! Show us your new/current place!
Posting will end September 31st, so that gives you some time to cutetify your place if you want to!

Post, post, post!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dearest Ike

Well, guys as some of you may already know, I live in Houston.
As in Houston, Texas. As in getting hit by hurricane Ike in a couple of hours.
So I'm using the last bits of whats left of my electricity to update everyone.
Yes, we're fine. We weren't called to evacuate, because we live very close to downtown and the goverment ordered us to stay put and let people that live on the coast get out into Dallas (which will prolly get hit too, eventually) and elsewhere.
Some people frantically left, and some refused to leave their beach houses.
Honestly, the hurricane is pretty huge (takes 40% of the Gulf of Mexico) , but it is only a Category 2, so we aren't that worried(i guess). We've been through worse hurricanes before (back in Puerto Rico) and usually the worst part is waiting to get back our water and electricity after the storm.
So for now we're just bumming around eating potato chips and waiting for the winds to start pounding our glass windows (yep, we totally taped them down, lol)

Oh, and we got us some miner flashlights and they're absolutely adorable.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Reporting in

1. What have you been doing post-grad and what are plans:

I've completed my internship (actually it wasn't an internship as I was not doing it for college credit; my title was "contracted artist.") at Firaxis games in Hunt Valley, and a couple weeks back I got offered and accepted a full time position as a Concept Artist which has been nothing but awesome, as its been my dream job since high school. Half the time it doesn't even feel like I'm 'at work' because of the subject and the hours, which aren't nearly as long as what I pulled last year. I'm working alongside some non-08 MICA alums you might know, like Chris Sulzbach, Brian Mahoney, Steve Egrie, and I'm working particularly close with Piero Macgowan, as he's another concept artist on the unannounced project we're working on.  

The only drawback I can see with the job, is the fact that I can't put any of the work I do online because the project is secret. This really irks me because the stuff I've been doing of late completely blows the stuff I did last year out of the water, and I'd like to put it up in place of some less interesting stuff on the website.  

No specific plans in the next couple months aside from learning and getting better and better. I've got a side project I'm workin on but its going to be a while before I'm comfortable enough with it to put it online.

2. Where have you moved?
I moved to the top of a hill in Mt. Washington, about a 10 minute walk from the lightrail, and its hard to imagine that you're still inside the city limits.  I look out my window and I see trees, at night instead of gunshots and sirens and helicopters and yelling I hear cicadias, crickets. The sky isn't as orange out here either, and the air is fresh like the country. I don't feel like I'm about to get mugged when I walk home at night, and i've found a patch of woods along a river to hike when i'm bored. A Big backyard, friendly neighbors, spacious apartment; definitely a big step in the right direction from my old tiny bolton hill affair. I had a hell of a time finding a place but I'm thankful I put in the effort.  Mt. Washington is wonderful, even though I have to lightrail to get something other than wholefoods. 

3. Something you've created you'd like to share?
 Nothing too interesting, I've been too busy either working to get fulltime, or moving into my new apartment and getting the roommate situation figured out / unpacking all my shit, and none of my bonsai trees are anywhere near presenting (give me 2 more years)

4. Which specific color have you been using/thinking about
 What I've been learning recently is to use every single color to some degree in every piece. Local colors are the devil! Though if I were forced to choose I'd have to say Purple/Violet. 

5. Tell us something about you that has changed
 I ride a bike to get around now. s'Faster than walking. 


Friday, September 5, 2008

International Competition

Here's a link to an international design and illustration competition,
courtesy of Alain and Rebecca!


Big prizes! Check it out, it might work for you!


I have been confirmed that this competition is exclusively for work that has been published during the last 5 years.Unpublished work does not apply. Just putting it out there. Good Luck.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's Alessa, 3 hours later.

1.)What have you been doing post-graduation (art-wise or life-wise) and what are your plans for the next few months?

Well, I looked for art-related jobs (graphic design, art dept intern, art colleges, etc), and I'm still searching, but in the meantime I'm doing retail. I work at a hole-in-the-wall children's clothing/toy store called 'Kids Only'. On the downside, it's minimum wage, but on the upside, it's on Haight St, a very famous and graffitied shopping street in the heart of San Francisco. There are tons and tons of awesome restaurants there and lots of hobos and potheads to entertain the masses. So now I just want to do my own artwork in my free time, maybe do some freelance, mostly just building a bigger and better portfolio. Doing more music videos for sure!

2.)Where have you moved to (be specific: ex."hampden") ? Are you happy/excited/frustrated/ disappointed by your new location? Is there something about this new place you wanna advertise, or warn us about? (Ex. great Tex-Mex food, bad public transportation)

I'm in San Francisco and I love it. Right now, it's not the best spot. I'm about a half hour from the cool downtown areas, but still technically in the city. I'm sharing a 2-story townhouse with a couple of San Francisco State students, very nice people. I was kind of afraid to move in with complete strangers, but I knew we had some things in common and it's been really great so far. As of now, though, I'm the oldest one in the house, so we can't go to any bars. All in all, this city is pretty nice. There are a lot of creperies. It's surprising how many Europeans there are here. I hear a lot of British and Irish accents, as well as French and Italian. And of course tons of Spanish. The public transportation is one of the best systems I've seen anywhere, the weather is beautiful if you don't mind a little fog, and people will stop you on the street to tell you about their troubled childhoods. No joke, this has happened more than once. I should also mention that I drove out here on an awesome road trip! You can see pictures of the journey here

3.)Is there something you have created since you graduated you would like to share? (it doesn't have to be an illustration)

I've been doing some sketching and just-for-fun illustrations, but I don't have my scanner here yet. Very soon I will start working on a music video for a band called Princeton. My friend Paul is actually living with them a house in LA, so I met them when I visited/helped him move.

4.)Which specific color have you been using/thinking about the most lately?

PINK! I don't know why, but I've been obsessed with pink lately. Any shade of it, as long as it's bright. At the moment, I'm into baby pink. Recently I decided that when I have my own place, I will have a completely pink kitchen. The dishes, the cabinets, the walls, the tile, everything. I'm really excited about it.

5.)Tell us something about you that has changed since we last met.

I got my first tattoo this summer. I plan to get more. The other day it was brought to my attention that the illustration I did for the Beasts book was put on the Fantagraphics blog. I think that's cause for celebration.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Guru.com : A Rant

**Feel free to continue posting your questionnaries, if you still haven't done so. In the meantime...**
I would like to continue things by posting an opinion about a freelancing website I've been experimenting with lately: www.guru.com. Certain freelance programmer I know introduced me to it, with the hopes that I would find illustration work and I decided to give it a shot.

At first, it seemed like an excellent idea. People post their projects, and artists decide whether or not to bid for them. I saw some interesting projects and decided to join the website as a basic member. As I started searching, I realized that as a basic member I wasn't allowed to bid on most of the projects, because these were reserved for "Gurus" or "Guru Vendors". To be a "Guru" or a "Guru Vendor" one must pay a fee that varies from 75$-150$ (quaterly or annually) and prices vary depending on your trade (these are for an illustrator). The artist, (guru or not) must pay the website fees on every project that is awarded to them through the website. It sounds like it works like a artist rep would, only that the projects are never guaranteed to you when you bid for them and the clients (sadly and most usually) are more interested in picking the cheapest bidder that'll "get the job done" than an artist that would deliver quality and creative problem solving.

As a basic member, the artist has limited (and much less interesting) projects to bid from, must pay the guru.com website up to 14% in fees for any project that is awarded, and is only allowed 10 bids per month. Also clients usually specify their budget when they post their assignments, so when artists bid, they must do so within their budget limits (and many of them can be quite unreasonable).

Even after I realized this, I decided to give a project a shot. It was a logo redesign that required some hand lettering and bought all rights. The website requires you to prepare an extensive proposal (like a one-page essay) in which i detailed the reasons why i would be good for the project, my education/preparation, my experience, how much i was charging for and why, how long would it take, etc, etc, etc...) All this in addition to an extensive portfolio of images and profile, loaded with my resume, awards, specialties, website/blog and everything else they asked of me.

I priced my work properly (according to the ethical handbook and my common sense) and sent the fastidious proposal. Needless to say, I never heard anything back from anyone, and honestly I wasn't surprised. There is a sizable amount of "artists" in the network willing to do whatever for much, much less than I was.

Another thing that really irritates me about the whole way guru works (for creative content, at least) is the overwhelming amount of "clients" that are looking for artists to work on projects with little or no creative input of their own. I have seen way too many "duplicate this photo" or "vectorize this for me" or simply images in which the artist is given no concept to work from, but instead a detailed specification, like:" i want so and so standing like this wearing a sexy cocktail dress next to so and so holding a wine bottle and on the other side so and so in a suit holding a rose, for my book cover on a love triangle based on my life, ect..." (no, im not kidding)

What happened to illustrators actually thinking up the creative content they create? All this "hand for hire" attitude really makes me flinch sometimes when i see these "projects" everywhere... This is the same attitude that makes me feel like a desperate artwhore, willing to do anything for anything, regardless of my experience, portfolio, ideas, etc... just to call myself an "artist".

I must admit though, that there is a lot of people looking for artists through websites like these, and that even one successful client interaction would be all it would take to build a new relationship, but one must really, really screen through so much crap in order to bid, and then hopefully be selected. It's tough on your morale, it has definitely been on mine. That's exactly why I'm writing this rant right now :) But i believe i owe it to myself to keep trying... I also understand that these websites were designed for completely different type of freelancers (programmers,engineering, legal,sales, marketing,accounting, consulting) who dont depend as much on creativity to get their jobs done. So in that sense, I am not that surprised.

What do you think? Am I being overtly naive by expecting any more from the general public/clients? Is it pretentious to refuse to be a "hand for hire"? What would you do/ recommend in a situation like this? Is it worth it to keep on trying to get work in such an environment?

The discussion is open! Please don't hesitate to disagree or be biased! I certainly am! Your opinions are always welcome, this is what this blog is for!

Hey y'all!

It's Kali. It's been nice to read up on what everyone has been doing around here and feel like I'm not the only one dealing with things. :) I think I've gotten a little less optimistic about how I can make a living as an illustrator, but hearing that everyone has struggles of their own is encouraging me to keep working through mine.

1.)What have you been doing post-graduation (art-wise or life-wise) and what are your plans for the next few months?

Welllll....since June I've been interning at Big Huge Games doing concept art for 4 days a week, and although I hate the 9-5 lifestyle and have to work overtime certain weeks, it's at least a check I can count on. Because I feel so tired coming home after work, I started out slow after graduation as far as freelancing goes, and I have yet to send any postcards.
However, I've decided to try to get myself to send out 10 emails/postcards every weekend (with varying degrees of success), and I've actually gotten a few jobs with various magazines. The most recent was with Girls Life Magazine, and the most random was with GO! magazine, the inflight magazine of AirTran airlines, haha. I was also contacted about the Popgun anthology, which should be interesting, and a roller derby gallery show in Minnesota. I would really love to freelance all the time, although the whole client-search thing is frustrating, but I guess I just gotta keep trying to power through!

2.)Where have you moved to (be specific: ex."hampden") ? Are you happy/excited/frustrated/ disappointed by your new location? Is there something about this new place you wanna advertise, or warn us about? (Ex. great Tex-Mex food, bad public transportation)

I live on Saint Paul Street in Mount Vernon now, and I'd say it's a nice change from Bolton Hill. Sam and I live across the street from each other, and I'm basically sticking around Baltimore until he graduates. What happens then is still up in the air! (I still miss sweet-home Chicago, though...)

3.)Is there something you have created since you graduated you would like to share? (it doesn't have to be an illustration)

I learned to make Oyako-don! It's a japanese dish where you cook chicken and onions in a soy sauce/sugar/rice wine broth. You then mix some eggs and pour it over the chicken and onions so it cooks in the sauce (but not too hard like scrambled eggs) and then you ladle it all over rice and it's absolutely delicious. Yummmm....:)

4.)Which specific color have you been using/thinking about the most lately?

Blue-greens/teals and peaches. I've always likeed muted blue shades and vibrant reds together, but this is a nice twist on it. :)

5.)Tell us something about you that has changed since we last met.

I'm going to join UMBC gym this week. I was never much of an exerciser before, but sitting in a chair in an office all day makes me antsy! Also, I bought a pair of high waisted teal skinny jeans this weekend. (yikes!)