Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Exciting news! My anti-fur poster was accepted as a finalist for the SCADDYs! There's an opening Friday, January 28 from 4-6 p.m. at the Gustein Gallery (201 E Broughton Street, Savannah, GA). The awards ceremony is that same night from 6-8 p.m. at the Trustees Theater. If you're going to be in Savannah, I would love to see you there.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


It's almost the end of the quarter, and that means my children's book is almost done! Right? Right! Ok!

I'm writing a children's book for one of my classes about a guy who wants to write a book, but he can't think of anything to write. He figures that the problem is the ink he's trying to write with; it's just not up to snuff. So he goes on a mission to make his own ink. Here a few pages I have so far. (Click to view larger.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Atlanta Magazine

Here is my process for Atlanta Magazine for an article about how kids who get time to play during the day do better in their academic work. THAT'S why I like kickball on the weekend. Now I know.

I started with the sketch below. But the little dude was just too weird for editorial work, I guess, because the art director asked if it was a frog. HA!

So I ended up with this guy. It is inked by hand and colored in Photoshop.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Colonel Windpipe's Musical Brigade

Meet the color guard for Colonel Windpipe's Musical Brigade. Colonel Windpipe started out as a project on a blog in which a few illustrators were drawing members of a fictional marching band. Then, they received so many submissions they moved to a flickr account, where you can see the hundreds of characters people have posted. The only requirements are that the characters have a red jacket, gold buttons, be marching to the left, and be on a white background. Any one can submit, so, you should! Yeah, you.

Monday, October 4, 2010

What's Up? Annapolis

It happened again! This week is, and last was, so, so insane. I liked the ideas for the sketches I submitted to What's Up? Annapolis in Publications, but I had hoped to spend more time gussying them up.

The first is for an article that they described as questioning if there is a gender gap in math ability, and the second article shows that kids who have later school day start times are more successful in school. Good morning, zombie. We were given short descriptions of the articles rather than full text, so we really had a ton of room to play. They picked 12 illustrations from our class. Here is the one I got to take to final.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bay State Parent

It's the second year of grad school, and that means it's time for the Publications class. In this class, a magazine sends a request for an illustration--often for a particular article--to our professor, and everyone in the class submits a sketch to the magazine. The magazine then chooses which illustration they will use in the magazine and then that person takes their sketch to finish, and their illustration is printed.

On the first day of class everyone sat down, ready to receive our syllabi and run, only to find out he had received a last minute request from a Bay State Parent magazine and needed our sketches submitted that day.

I frantically kicked out a couple of ideas and submitted two sketches. I don't know how, but they ended up picking it, so I got to take it to finish and it will be in their next issue! Above is the sketch and below is the finished illustration.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I have a portfolio website now! Check it out if you have a chance. Thanks!

A Modern Reader

One day this summer, I met M. Rebekah Otto at Cafe Mustache in Chicago. Bekah needed an illustration to accompany her monthly Rumpus column "A Modern Reader," and had gotten my name from our mutual friend Eliana Stein (a killer graphic designer, p.s.). She was in Chicago from San Francisco to see family, and we decided to meet in person to talk about ideas for the drawing.

She walked in the door and immediately told me this hilarious story about, in her first day back in town, running into her kindergarten teacher in a grocery store and I thought, I like this girl. It turns out Bekah is also an Editorial Aide at Atlas Obscura, a regular contributor to The Believer, and a savant regarding quirky San Francisco facts and where to find the best biscuit and chicken sandwiches (Bakesale Betty). Check out her fantastic writing at any one of those three amazing publications.

Here is the final work for her column, a little character navigating a sea of words. It should be up in a couple weeks!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Good The Bad & The Ugly

The poster is finally done! I decided to nix the fat ampersand and draw a thin one on with a gluestick and gold leaf. I finished them at Post Family the last week of my internship. If you're in Savannah this Friday, come to our show!

826CHI & The Boring Store: Scrabble for Cheaters

826CHI's annual fundraiser, Scrabble for Cheaters, is here again! The idea is that you and your Scrabble partner raise money, and then, in the Scrabble tournament, can use that money to buy cheats. So the more money you raise, the more you can cheat, and the better your chances of winning!

$25: THE SWAP: Trade out a letter
$50: THE NON-CON: buy a vowel

$100: THE BLANK: Flip a letter over and make it blank

$150: THE AUGMENT: Add 10 points to any letter to increase its value

$200: THE ALSORANS: Add Q, Z, or X to any word

$250: THE KOSHKA: play a word in any non-English language
$300: THE CONFER: Consult the dictionary for one turn

$400: THE SPURN: Reject an opponent's word for no reason
$500: THE WEBSTER: Invent a word (must have definition)

The tournament is October 23, at noon. If you live in Chicago, you should play! Registration has opened. The even sounds really fun and 826CHI is an incredible non-profit that provides after-school and summer tutoring in all subjects for kids K-12, and hosts an enormous number of creative writing workshops, events, and field trips.

Check out the poster I made for them here, or on their website.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

welcome back new kiddos

I'm back in Savannah for my second and final year of grad school! So many people are back already and it's been great to see everyone again. It's like Chicago was just a(n awesome) dream.

This Thursday is orientation for the new grad students, and my friend Lis (check out her amazing collage-y illustrations) cooked up a welcome for them. She asked the second years to send her self portraits, which she's going to hang up in the grad room with our name and hometown, etc. Cute. This is what I sent her:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

durn technology: a paper stencil screen print

Yesterday I received in the mail one! CS5! software disc! of my own!

This is after an awful week in which a deadline for an illustration for my dream publishing house intersected with the unexpected end of my free Photoshop trial. Long story. Suffice it to say that it ended semi-triumphantly in the General Access Lab of SAIC (How did I get in without an ID? Magic?) where I scanned a gouache illustration painted on screen printing paper. Some paper-lover out there is reading this and a tear is trickling down his or her cheek. GOUACHE ON SCREEN PRINT PAPER? Ayeyaiyaiyai.

So my Photoshop arrived the day after my deadline and I wanted to make out with it and throw it across the room at the same time. However I did neither. I just decided to do my next poster--it's for an upcoming SCAD Illustration gallery show at Desotorow called "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly"--by hand.

Here are my supplies! Black paper, an X-acto knife, bitchin fluorescent pink ink (hm wait, that's for a different project) and gold leaf. More on that later.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

summer schedule

The one thing I forgot about, when I went back to school, is SUMMER BREAK. I can't believe I get summer breaks again; it's incredible. The pace is so different than the rhythm of school. I am working four different jobs.

First and foremost, I got an internship with The Post Family! The Post Family is an art and design collective made up of seven guys who share a studio space and a passion for art that walks the line between commercial/functional and Art with a Capital A. All of them have design-related day jobs, so their studio is truly a labor of love. I am there with two other interns (Brittany and Garret) spackling gallery walls, arranging lead type, building shelves, and screen printing. And, you know, arting.

In addition to this neat-o yet (duh) unpaid internship, I'm bringing in the dollar bills by babysitting, working at Fleur, and doing some freelance illustration work. Babysitting has been great. The little girl is three and she named her cats Meatball and Dirt, so obviously she is the coolest three-year-old on the block. Fleur is looking hot, having updated their look since I left in September. Their arrangements are a lot more woodsy now, which I love, and Kelly has started carrying vintage goods. And, bumbadabum! I just finished some freelance medical illustrations for Thompson Surgical Instruments. It had been a long time since I shook hands with that wily character, the Illustrator Pen Tool, but by the final illustration I was flying. Below is the table mounted set up for a mitral valve retractor. It is orange because this is my blog and on my blog medical illustrations can be orange.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

boring store posters

This is what I came up with for a poster set assignment: posters for my favorite non-profit, 826CHI aka The Boring Store. The first poster is for their fund-raising event, Scrabble for Cheaters (it's hard to see on the screen, but that "A" is mysteriously worth 500 points). Check out the information about the event here. And check out the 826NYC chapter's Scrabble for Cheaters event here. Their web design is fantastic.

Almost done with the second poster!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

in the works

For something a little different, I'm going to show the process work behind the final illustration for my current project: the World Record assignment. I chose to illustrate the World's Largest Ball of Yarn--not to be confused with the World's Largest Ball of Twine, which is either in Darwin, MN or Branson, MO depending on your source. I'm rooting for the one in Branson because it was supposedly built by a millionaire in Texas using a "system of pulleys," and I like that "a system of pulleys" is in quotes on Wiki (here) like, hey, that's all you really need to know.

I don't know where the Largest Ball of Yarn is. The internet has failed me for the first time.

Anyway, here are some of the thumbnails. For each project I come up with anywhere from 12 to 20 2" x 3" thumbnails. Here are a couple of them (click to zoom in):

The idea is to emphasize how very large the ball of yarn is. The ball of yarn in space and the circus-freak yarn-ball-head characters crack me up, but there was something about the expression of the girl drowning in scarf that I couldn't pass up.

Because I'm working digitally, I'm sort of skipping some steps. Normally I would do a larger black and white value sketch, followed by a color comp, but for this one I'm steam-rolling ahead and just blowing up the thumbnail in place of the b&w sketch.

Friday, May 7, 2010

idiot savant

This is another illustration from first quarter: Willem Dafoe plays the title role in Richard Foreman's "Idiot Savant" (read the NY Times review here and here). In the play, Dafoe plays a man who plays with language as with paint on a canvas, rather than as noise connected to meaning. (I'm roughly quoting the original Goings On About Town article on the play, but heck if I can't find it in the NY Times database anywhere.)

I began this illustration by drawing Dafoe's face a jillion times (creepy) and then doing a quick sketch in pencil on Arches paper. I then colored it using watercolor, gouache, and India ink. The long tail of the speech bubble was added digitally as the first was way too short.

circus folk: oldies but goodies

These character sketches were created at the end of my first quarter here, and were my first all-digital illustrations. They're so deadpan, it cracks me up.

Friday, April 30, 2010


For this assignment we were asked to abstractly (no no Brianne, not TOO abstractly) illustrate a sound of our choice. I picked the sound of my grandma snoring.

I started out by rendering both her and the sound of her snore with ink and a nib.

I then scanned these images in and complied them digitally. The hairy animals are meant to represent the snork of a snore, while the tiny falling animals represent the sound of the whheeeeeeesszzz.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

dirty projectors

I love the Dirty Projectors. I love their new album Bitte Orca. I love that they chose the name "Bitte Orca" because they thought those words sounded nice together. In the spirit of their experimental sound, yodelling squeals, and the fact that they noted Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche as an inspiration, I made these thumbnails for my CD cover project.

For the final, I quickly blocked in color with very diluted gouache and watercolor, and then went over it with ink via nib pen. I then used a practice stencil I had made for the Float poster (see the earlier post) and dabbed in some more watercolor. Those are the funny blotchy textures you see in the sepia background. After all this, I cut the words out with a trusty X-acto and scanned the paintingstencil in with a piece of crumpled tissue paper behind it. Those orca sound waves were added digitally. I'm disappointed with the legibility of the word "projector" in the final, but it's easily fixed! My professor Megan Berkheiser made the brilliant suggestion to light the piece from behind and photograph it. She has a lot of experience with photography; check out here AMAZING work here. I'll be sure to post the results.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

fish on a leash

Here is the one the only "Fish on a Leash" exercise! I have to say, this isn't the most brilliant concept I've ever had--it didn't stray far from the obvious. But I tried to make that big fish look super heavy and vacant and the little fish look light and purposeful. In the end I had some fun with it.

today is brought to you by the letter S

One of my esteemed colleagues, Mark Eberhardt, has revived the SCAD Graduate Illustration blog. To celebrate, he asked the current grads to create a new masthead by making one letter each. I picked "S," and ended up making two.
This one is gross and hilarious. But flying stamp man was chosen instead.

Friday, April 16, 2010

shadow box

We were given such a great assignment in one of my classes this quarter. We were asked to build a shadow box with interesting textures that utilized biographical elements. Here is what I ended up with:

It's made of gutted books (it's sad and messy to gut a book) purchased at the Salvation Army, a boat-shaped nest I made of twigs, vines, and herbs from my back yard, vellum paper, a wire hanger, thread, and antique stamps. The books are a nod to my undergrad degree in English (and the lit magazine we published that was bound in gutted books). Also I'm in love with the water, and a boat-nest was a handy way of representing how I'm constantly moving but stubbornly nesting in each new city.

So! After building this little diorama (mine kind of looks like a bathtub shrine, no?) we were asked to draw it in any black-and-white media, and to add a hint of color somewhere in the drawing. So I came up with the dude below. It was drawn in graphite, and the stamps digitally collaged.