Urban Nu-sense Submissions…and So Can You!

The New Punk

Voila! New art! I drew this bad boy in about two hours with micron pens, a Copic black marker, and cool grey Prismacolor markers.

The biggest reason I drew him (besides that this particular image had been stuck in my head for at least a week) was as a submission for a zine on my campus called Urban Nu-sense.

Urban Nu-sense is something I just got involved in this year, but I’m really excited about it. It’s a zine dedicated to the under-represented people and movements of the United States, especially in Bowling Green, Oh. This zine does focus a lot on urban art forms like spoken word, graffiti, and hip hop. However, it’s for anybody who feels that their needs are not met by pop culture in this country (including the LGBT community and any odd religions). Keep in mind, though, that it doesn’t support any art forms that are malicious against other people (profane is aloud, but not malicious), as Urban Nu-Sense is a magazine for the people, by the people.

If you like the sound of it, check out their website. I put a link up at the top. :D

Don’t Forget to Be Awesome.

Cancelled Projects and Other Sad Things

Did you notice my little block on the left side of the screen? The one that says, “(New) Graphic Novel Progress”? Yeah, that one.

It says the graphic novel that was in progress has been cancelled. This is true.

Probably a lot of you are like, “Holy shit, what? But you wrote a 220-page graphic novel back in July! How could you cancel a new one this late into September?!” Well, here are my reasons:

  1. School. It’s kicking my butt. Don’t get me wrong, I love learning about West African Art, Painting with Watercolors, Performance Art, Visual Communications, and Deviance and Society….but I was not expecting so many time-consuming and paper-writing projects out of this.
  2. The graphic novel itself. I realized part way through the project that I didn’t do ANY (I repeat, ANY) background research or development into it, and my brain was trying to grasp ideas from straws. So I cancelled the project not just because of reason number 1, but also just to develop what the heck the story IS.

Also, updating this blog will be slow work because of reasons 1 and 2, but mostly reason 1. Rest assured, though, if I finish any art projects having to do with school or any submissions into magazines, I will post them up here.

And just to tease you all, I’ll post my first art piece (in a long, long time) on Monday, when I get back from working at my caricature-drawing job. :D

A Dizzying Tornado of ART!

Ok, here’s what’s been going on in the life of Kelci, aspiring graphic novelist:

The graphic novel script I’m currently working on is…making slow progress. I’m almost disappointed in the fact that not a lot has been added compared to the last graphic novel script I’ve done.

HOWEVER, I’m more proud of what’s going on in this particular novel script. The characters are really emotionally investing themselves, my scripting art style is switching from weird stick figures to scribbly fleshy figures, and the subject matter is something I’ve been wanting to write about for years.

I’m also reading a spectacular novel called Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

READ IT! That is all.

Also, I have now obtained my own personal copy of Blacksad in hardcover!

You folks have NO IDEA how long I’ve coveted this book! The art is just beautiful, and the story behind it is even better. I’d say it’s gold, but it’s black…BLACKSAD.

You see what I did there? ;3

Man, I’m just jumping topics tonight.

Back to the topic of art, I’m glad to say that the painting class I’m taking this semester is challenging me to make comic work (which I’m excited about) on a deadline (which I’m excited and terrified about). The deadlines are actually imposed by myself, since Gordon, the instructor of the class, didn’t give us deadlines or a syllabus. It’s really exciting for me, because I just keep thinking, “YES! This is what art classes should be!” I don’t know how the other students feel about it.

Because of the graphic novel script and the painting class, this means I’m busy, BUT I should soon be updating more. I make no promises (mostly because everytime I make them on this blog, I keep breaking them), but I intend on posting up pictures of my paintings from class as I finish them.

Also, I’m giving a presentation of my comic work as an Artist Showcase in my residence hall in November, so I’ll be gathering and making artwork for that, as well. I’ll do my best to keep you folks posted.

Ok, now I need to rest up, because tomorrow I’m working all day.

Today’s Food for Thought: Original Sin?

I found this quote in a book about mythology, and I had to share it:

“When the Roman Empire fell in the West, St Augustine, bishop of Hippo in North Africa, reinterpreted the myth of Adam and Eve and developed the myth of Original Sin. Because of Adam’s disobedience, God has condemned the entire human race to eternal damnation (another idea that has no biblical foundation).” –Karen Armstrong, “A Short History of Myth”

It amazes me to think that original sin was an idea conceived by man, and was never part of the original doctrine.

What do you folks think?

Stealing, or How I Rediscovered My Inspiration

The one thing that I learned when I went on my trip to the Navajo Reservation in May was what was important to me and why it was important. For me, my art is important, and now that it’s my (pretty much) ONLY focus in my spare time at college, I find myself being happier and finding artistic inspiration and working wherever I go.

For instance, I found inspiration at a gallery showing in the Fine Art Building on my college campus.


The exhibition was called “FOCUS” (if memory serves me correctly) and was a showcase of award-winning high school student art from the Northwest Ohio area. I’m sure many of these students got scholarships, and if they didn’t, they should have.

Yes, there were a few works that I felt didn’t meet my standard of “awesome art!” However, I did find works that constantly made me say,

“Why didn’t I think of that?!”

This book (besides being fun to flip through) was just one example of what I’m talking about.

And you know something? For an artist, that’s healthy.

It means you’ve just been inspired.

At least, that’s what I believe.

In my opinion, if you see an artwork and think or say to yourself, “That’s cute/cool/meh/fun/interesting,” but don’t think of much of anything else, then sure it’s visually pleasing. However, it’s just eye candy: something for you to look at that doesn’t get your juices flowing.

In other words, it’s not artistic inspiration.

However, if you find yourself looking at something you genuinely like for whatever reason, and then say to yourself, “Seriously, why didn’t I think of that?!”….that’s inspiration.

The reason it’s inspiration (in my line of thinking) is because it’s in a medium that you appreciate and they’re playing with either a principle, a technique, a material, or a subject matter that you yourself thought of doing, but never got to do. Now that you’ve seen someone actually do it, you know that it’s not only possible…but it looks great to boot.

I had actually thought of a technique like this, but didn’t know how it would play out. Now that I do….

So what do you do once you see these new artistic inspirations in play?

Do what an artist does: STEAL THEM.

This is not functional whatsoever, but I WANT.

Does this mean you steal the artwork itself? No. That’s RASL‘s job. Your job, as the artist, is to think about the principle/technique/subject matter/material/blahwhatever that inspired you in the piece, and take that thing that inspired you. Then play with it, and place it in your work.

These owls have inspired me to be more whimsical yet delightfully detailed in my art.

Should you feel guilty about this? No.

People play with ideas all the time. It’s perfectly ok.

If you want further proof that it’s all right for an artist to steal, go read this entry by Austin Kleon on the subject. Not only does he find a way to justify it in a more articulate way than I could, but he gives you WAYS TO DO IT.

Now what inspires you varies from artist to artist. For me, personally, I’m inspired by a few things:

  • Whimsy
  • Fine details
  • playing with the form/presentation of the piece
  • playing with the shapes/colors of the subject matter
  • bold, passionate colors
  • a straightforward, yet thought-provoking, message

The image above is inspiring to me because it’s straightforward (it’s an advertisement for a high school play) but it’s thought provoking: Why are the figures portrayed like that? Is it in stark black and white because the play talks about shadows versus light? I could, of course, answer these questions, but asking them is the fun part, and making up the answers even when you don’t know them is even more so.

This teapot inspired me to play with form: Not all teapots need to be perfectly round.
This inspires me not just because this looks like my friend Tori, but because it uses blacks and reds boldly.
I just thought this piece was too cool. It’s a box, with a clock face on the top. It actually runs!
This presentation had a very poignant message: it addressed the issue of human trafficking in Toledo, and how many of the victims are little girls. It’s a straightforward message, but it’s also thought-provoking.

 So did this post inspire you? What kinds of art/techniques/etc are you inspired by? Let me know in the comments!


Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.