Snafus, Sketches, and New Projects, Oh My!

You know, I was hoping to actually make some comics today. I was raring to go and everything!

But then when I went to get my prescription at the pharmacy, there was a snafu with my insurance and that took TWO HOURS to fix. Me and insurance companies don’t really get along, especially after last year, when I was in a car and got hit by ANOTHER car. That wasn’t pleasant.

Thankfully the prescription snafu was not on the same scale as the car accident. Two hours is nothing compared to five MONTHS of paperwork.

And thankfully, too, the people at my pharmacy and the person on the customer service line were VERY friendly and understanding. Faith in humanity restored, even if insurance is asenine.

Anyway, I didn’t want to bore you with medical crap (however, quick PSA: take glucosamine. It lubricates your joints and I’ve noticed that my formerly-broken wrist snaps a lot less often since I started taking it).

I also wanted to share with you some quick sketches I found on my hard drive the other day because EFF YEAH SKETCHES and EFF YEAH The Legend of Jamie Roberts!




The last one I actually drew the other day. This is Egyt, the Bushwoman on the outskirts of Maliwe. In literary terms, she’s known as the Threshold Guardian, giving warning to our main characters of what has been happening in Maliwe.

Let’s see, what else has been happening…

I’m now collaborating with Rocket Blast Comics to help promote their work, so yay!

I’m also in talks with someone right now about starting a graphic novel project. I’ll let you know what’s up as we hammer things out…

Speaking of projects, I’ll be finishing up some new work for the Free Comic Book Day Event this Saturday! I’ll be at the Apache Junction Public Library in Phoenix, AZ, talking about comics and showing off my process of how I make my own, plus selling a few new things. Events start at 1:30. Be there? Please? I’d love to see you.

By the way, I’ve been changing a few things here on the website. I hope you like the changes! It’s mostly just button art and a list of appearances I’ll be making this year.

That’s all I got right now. Come back for a new post tomorrow that’s not about status updates and sketches. What will it be about? …You’ll just have to come back, won’t you?

Jamie Roberts is…Postponed (Again)


I should really stop announcing when The Legend of Jamie Roberts will be up on the web, because every time I do, the fates overhear my plans and jump on me.

This story is going to be shelved for a bit as I work on other projects. Once those are done, I can edit the work and give it the proper treatment that it needs.

When will that be?

I’m not saying just in case the fates overhear my plans again. I’m going to keep them on their toes, just to spite them.

Does this mean I’ll stop drawing the characters/world/creatures of the story? NOPE.

Anytime I draw anything related to The Legend of Jamie Roberts, I’ll post it here on the blog.

Here’s what I have so far…



Developing worlds, including this underground city of Kinyaht…





Daniel, one of Jamie’s best friends and an excellent archer…





Qatool (or Queen) Norsa, Dragon Queen of the city of Dogona…


Thomas, another best friend of Jamie’s…


Creatures of darkness, called Mocktaw, who emerge from a spiritual realm called Dream…

And the deadliest character of them all…


Raguna Ranki, the banished Dragon King of the Sun.

Why are these Kings and Queens called Dragon Kings/Queens?




I should probably note right now that I’m very heavily inspired by African arts and history for this project (mostly history. It even shows in The Women Warriors Project because a LOT of African Queens are appearing on that list.). The myths and legends of many African groups stuck with me, as did their patterns and art…and it also helps that I took two semesters of African Art History in my undergrad years.

“But none of your characters are black” I’m working on it. Why do you think it’s not ready to be published yet?

Jamie, Thomas, and Daniel are suppose to be culturally different from the rest of the cast because they’re Touloy pirates from the North. (I still need to change their skin tone a bit, though, if only to make it more red for all the years of sun-and-wind burn.) Most of the story takes place in the southern continent of Corith. I’m going to be doing character design tweaks to the other cast members I have so it’s not so white-washed. I’ll share as time comes.

And I want my African inspiration to be a bit more evident. Right now, it shows in the locations and the cities they visit (which I haven’t drawn yet). I want to add more patterns and art to the mix, though I have to be careful with that – different patterns from different groups are considered sacred and shouldn’t be replicated. I have to know which ones to avoid.

That’s all for now. Let me know in comments what you think!

Illustrations and Commission Announcements

Today I knuckled down and started a four-page anthology submission. I even shared it on Facebook and Twitter, but I’ll share it here, too. Sorry for the crap quality, but I took the picture with my phone:


It’s called The Story of Queen Padmini and it’s based on true events, detailed in my favorite book at the moment, Women Warriors: A History.

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Speaking of Women Warriors, I’m planning on making a new series of illustrations. Keep your eye on my Tumblr for updates, because that’s where the series will make their first appearance!

On the vlogging front, you might have noticed there was no update this week. Sorry!

My mind has been on getting new gigs lately, to add to what I have going at the moment. I’ll be opening up for commissions within the next few days, so keep checking in.

And speaking of gigs and commissions, I drew caricatures for three years. I think I might get back into that for a bit…


As much as I love making comics, I also really miss interacting with customers when drawing caricatures. That was always the fun part of any day.

Anyway, I’ll be updating this blog a lot more often now. I’m aiming to update every day, so keep checking back for news and sketches (and other awesome things!).

How Artists Can Get an Awesome Critique

As artists, we seem to have this assumption that critique is a one-way street: we show a work to someone, without talking about the piece, and the person you’re showing it to gives their two cents about what works and what doesn’t.

The internet certainly hasn’t made this process easier: often, the artist doesn’t even write a good enough description of their piece to give context to the viewer.

If you want a great critique, you need two things:

Context, and Dialogue.

The two are interdependent. In a critique, you can’t have one without the other.

Let’s use a sketch I made as an example for what I’m talking about

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If I were a novice, I would just show this and say, “What do you think?”

But that’s not the full story.

The full story behind the sketch is this:

“I’m trying to improve my ability to illustrate locations for a comic project I’m doing. I can’t draw the locales of the story yet, so I’m drawing from reference until I develop a wide enough visual vocabulary in my memory (and reference images folder) that I can create new places.

“This sketch was made for practice, to make sure I could still draw buildings and things.

“But I want it to pop visually. I want this picture to be uniquely Istanbul, but right now it’s flat and I don’t know how to make it pop. Colors, obviously, would help, but what colors? I know my lines aren’t straight (because I didn’t use a ruler to draw this), so I know the next time I draw a location, buildings, etc, I’m using a ruler.

“But what do you think I should do?”

So right there, I established context (why I drew this image) and dialogue (what do you think I should do next?).

If you are talking to someone who gives good critiques (like some professors, artistically-minded friends, etc), they now understand what you’re looking for and will critique appropriately.

Versus, if you didn’t give context for why you’re looking for critique, they will spot everything you already know (“You didn’t use a ruler” “It’s black and white” “Why is it still pencilled?”) and you will either

1) tune them out because they’re taking too long to get to the bits you want to hear, or

2) you’ll get discouraged and think, “Oh my god I’m a terrible artist! I suck!”

Or worst-case scenario, you will experience both 1) and 2).

The other thing you need to do when receiving critique is this:

Ask many people.

You can’t just ask one person for a critique and call it good. Make sure you ask as many people as you can for feedback. Don’t forget to add Context and Dialogue.

Write these notes down. That way you can reference and cross-reference later.

Then, sit down. Spot where everyone mentions the same thing. Does everyone seem to say you should use red? Or make the background hazy to distinguish perspective? Does one person say you should use blue for a building but another say purple?

Then (and this is most important): use the critiques that you found helpful and save the rest for later.

You shouldn’t throw away or ignore all the critiques that you don’t agree with (unless they’re haters. Haters gonna’ hate).

And it’s not that some critiques are irrelevant all the time. They’re just irrelevant for the moment. Keep them around for later so that next time you make art, you can use that critique as a jumping-off point.

In the comments below, let me know: when was the last time you got a critique? Do you think it was helpful or not? And more importantly, what did you do after?

New Year’s Resolutions

How the heck did this year pass so quickly?

However, I do have a new pastel sketch to share with you:


There will be new pieces made soon – especially in the realm of T-shirt designs and other illustrations. Keep an eye out over at my RedBubble.

Also, I am considering making a few blog posts about either of these two topics. Which would you like to read about more?

  • The history of American comics
  • A beginner’s guide to freelancing

I want to hear from you. So please let me know in comments below.

This year has been ridiculously crazy for me: new boyfriend, a car accident, a broken wrist, moving to Arizona, and going full-time freelance. But next year I’m looking forward to more conventions, more books published, more comics, and more friends!

Let me know in comments: How did your year go? And what are you looking forward to the most?