“I Am The Land,” An Art Piece

i am the land american gods art illustration by kelci crawford

If you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman’s book, American Gods, like I am, then you know why this piece is called “I Am The Land.” If you haven’t read the book (or read the comic, or seen the TV show) yet, you should fix that. Like, ASAP.

American Gods is one of those books that shook me when I first read it. Every time I re-read it, I discover something new about it. It’s dream-like and jarring yet also grounded (in the sense that the god characters act like people and not like high-concept “I am above petty emotions” personalities. Zack Snyder should learn a thing or two from this book).

One of the recurring characters in American Gods is a man with a buffalo head. He doesn’t outright murder anyone in the book. However, when I got the idea for this piece of art, I finished a section of the comic book adaptation of the novel – specifically, the section about Vikings landing in Canada and killing a Native American, and then the Natives killing every Viking in retaliation. Yes, the account is fiction, but there’s an element of truth to it, to the idea that America is a land stained in blood.

That’s why I made this piece.

This was drawn with my trusty mechanical pencil and Pentel Brush Sign Pen, with colors by my Copic markers. The background color was done with a Kuretake Zig Clean Color FB brush pen. It’s dying out a little though, so I’ll need to replace it soon.

Soon this will be a print measuring 11×17 inches. When it’s in the shop, I’ll announce it on the email newsletter first. It’s going to be a limited print run, though, so because of that, it’ll be a little more than just $10.

Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Chaos Goddess

chaos goddess illustration

I’ve been on a kick lately – I’ve been drawing creepy creatures and masked figures.

Thanks/shout out to Chloe Rose and Alex Peterson for the feedback.

Wynd the Wise Woman

wynd the wise woman dungeons and dragons

I’ve been meaning to share this sketch and the story of this woman for a while now.

Wynd the Wise Woman is an NPC (Non-Player Character) in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign I ran last year. This woman is actually tied into the origins of the world I designed, but without getting too spoiler-y: she’s the wise woman who lives in a fancy house in the south part of Jopennt, the first town the players enter.

People in Jopennt say to avoid her house, though, because no one knows what kind of magic she does – all they know is that there are little people who work in the house, and things explode all the time. And lately, people have been disappearing when they get close to the property.

Wynd lives with a band of 12 gnomes, and they’re figuring out the magic and science behind gunpowder, weather forecasting, and bags of holding. She’s a treasure-keeper and has ancient armor and weapons, and she only accepts payment in the form of jewels – no copper, gold, silver, or platinum allowed.

Wynd’s house also has unusual features, like a cabinet that remains empty except for whatever object she needs at that moment. In one session the players were helping her make dinner and she said to one player, “Dearie, get into the cabinet and get the salt for me,” and when the cabinet was opened, the shelves were empty except for a single salt shaker. A few minutes later she said, “Oh darnit I forgot the tea. Can you get in the cabinet again and get the tea for me please?” The player opened the same cabinet and all the shelves were empty except for a single hot pot of tea. No burner or flame was present.

One side quest the players can do is solve a mystery – two of Wynd’s gnomes vanished and it’s the players’ job to find them. Poke around enough, and the players find out that on one end of the property there’s a veil that connects to the realm of the faeries. The gnomes (and some towns people) have been vanishing by inadvertently walking through this veil.

That’s just a sampling of what she does in the campaign. Next time I’ll share a sketch of another important NPC from the campaign.

Thanks for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

The Wonderful Resource that is Paper Cat Press

long haired black cat
I don’t have any ready-to-post sketches of cats, so have a picture of my cat Scarlet.

I wish I had known about this site back at the end of February, when I got laid off from my day job and transitioned to making comics and art full-time. It would have made life easier.

But at least I found it now!

Paper Cat Press is a handy dandy website that aggregates links and shares new ones once a week. These links are for…

  • Calls for Submissions
  • New KickStarter Campaigns
  • New Webcomic Debuts
  • Grants and Scholarships
  • Workshops and Residencies

And a whole bunch of other stuff, all geared specifically towards comics artists and illustrators! All I can say is…

THANK THE GODS.

So in case you couldn’t tell, I am currently on the lookout for new opportunities for comics-making work.

Don’t get me wrong – the KickStarter for the Validation buttons has finished up just a few days ago. We far surpassed the asking goal of $100 and got $826 in funding! Holy banana pants!

But that money is specifically for KickStarter stuff – for fulfillment of orders and printing up the buttons we were raising funds for (and a sketchbook we unlocked as one of the stretch goals). That money will NOT go towards bills or food until all the backers have their rewards. And that could take a little while.

So that’s why I’m REALLY glad for sites like Paper Cat Press. They’re going to make looking for a paid gig SO much easier.

The first thing I’m going to apply for is a grant. Why? Because I want/need to take a residency at a comics place in Pittsburgh so I can do on-location research for Traveler’s Road, the story of two ladies traveling through a post-apocalyptic United States to find a lost friend. The lost friend in this story is supposed to be in Pittsburgh. I don’t live in the city, so I would REALLY like to just take a weekend, stay there, and draw what I need for the story. The grant can cover room and board, and if there’s enough left over, gas and art supplies.

However, I DID find another, different micro-grant (it’s micro because the grant is less than $1000, the usual minimum given in a grant). This micro-grant is called the Cupcake Award, and it’s given in association with CAKE – the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo. I’ll try for that grant first.

Wish me luck!

Thanks for Reading.

You. Are. Awesome.

The Forest Spirit: An Illustration

the forest spirit illustration by kelci crawford

The Forest Spirit is more than just a spirit – she is a deity. She has been around since before written history. Her name has been lost to the ages, but she is forever present within the trees. When she moves, she moves slowly, thoughtfully, but deliberately. And when she is found, she will guide travelers by testing them – fail the test, and you are taken out of the forest, forever unable to find it again. Continue reading “The Forest Spirit: An Illustration”