first family vacation

banyantree

babylifevacation

seaturtle shaveice goodbyehawaii

we went on our first family vacation. it was equal parts rough and relaxing. traveling with baby was fine, but being hotel bound while baby napped with beautiful hawaii right outside the door was hard! i made the best of nap time by drawing (in the dark!) and even though we didn’t spend enough time in the pool or the ocean, it was hard to leave!

first second celebrates 10 years

firstsecondbooks

My publisher, First Second, is celebrating 10 years of making books. I first encountered them as an attendee at San Diego Comic-Con in 2009. I remember finding Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, and how deeply it impacted me. It shifted my ideas of what comics could be. I’ve picked up a few of First Second’s books every year since, as a fellow exhibitor in San Diego.

I created this comic to illustrate how I see myself in each of their titles – and it was hard to narrow it down! I didn’t get to include This One Summer, Three Shadows, Same Difference, Battling Boy, Sailor Twain, Sumo, The Undertaking of Lily Chen…agh! I love them all!

As I wrote my forthcoming graphic novel, Pashmina, I had First Second on my mind. Their titles are diverse and literary. When my agent asked me about pitching, I told her that if First Second bought my book, I would be ecstatic… and I still am!
Thank you and congrats, First Second, for 10 years of publishing wonderful books. I am so happy to be part of your family of authors!
#10yearsof01

hourly comics 2016

I participated for the first time in hourly comics yesterday. It’s an annual event where anyone can share a comic snapshot of their life. The goal is to draw a comic every hour! It was fun and challenging. I started the day off taking care of our daughter so that Nick could take a phone interview and ended in San Francisco with artists friends in our sketch group. I posted them “live” as I went along on social media and this morning I scanned them all to share with you!

Have a lovely Tuesday!

hourly1hourly2

day in, day out

dayindayout This year my art goal is more comics! In between nap time, bath time, play time, cooking and working on PashminaI’ve been drawing some comics in my sketch book. ^_^

what’s in a page?

pg1a I am working diligently on Pashmina. As I completethe final art, I feel challenged and discover new ways to communicate the story through art andwords. Even at this stage of final art I continue to learn and edit. The evolution of a graphic novel is excruciating but also wonderful. I cannot believe how far I’ve come in what seems like a short time – although I’ve been working on this book for 3 years now. The above page was in thepitch to publishers. Originally page 1 wasan establishing shot of Priyanka’s home. pg1b After a few manuscript revisions, page 1 was her school for a brief moment, until I settled on a driving scene. I trieda “soft opening” which includeda series of shots of Priyanka enjoying driving – hand out the car window, wind in her hair, listening to music. I wanted to contrast her feelings of freedomwith her worried mother and end it with her mom yelling, “PRIYANKA”. pg1c After one of many long conversations with my editor he made the comment that it’s better to start with action. I thought about that and shifted the panels. I began with her mom yelling and it felt right. Instead of an establishing shot, a soft flowing opening, we dive into STORY and their relationship. My editor suggested that I think about how my characters hands can look more natural, and to act out what my characters are doing. For months during the thumbnail process I would walk around our apartment saying lines and acting. Nick would giggle at me as I repeated some lines over and over trying to put myself mentally in the moment. While working on the story and revisionsI was thinking about Pashmina so much that it felt like Priyanka and her family wereliving with us. And in many ways, they still are. pg1d Finally I settled on the right hand placement and after thumbnailing the entire book for roughly a year (which included many revisions small and large) I started on final art earlier this year. As I looked back on the pitches, I thought, “Wow! So much goes into just one page!” I’ve always wanted to make a graphic novel but I never realized the amount of work it takes to visually communicate a long form story. From panelling, character design and acting to story development, line work and shading (and color!) it exercisesevery creative muscle – and I love it more and more every day!

pg1final

baby workouts

babyworkouts

 

have a happy week!

en espanol:Oy! mirar mis msculos !

Yo tambin! ser un nuevo padre es buenisimo!

em portugues:nossa! olhar para os meus msculos!

eu tambm! sendo um pai novo maravilhoso!

sharing + clearance + news

strollersharing anyone else fight over who pushes the stroller? ^_^ we’ve updated our clearance section with overstock of large prints – get em soon, they’re going fast! also i was invited to contribute to bored panda again, and i wrote about my rejection by publishers.

priyanka

prisss

 

I’m back in the studio after a 2 month break to be with my daughter. It’s the longest break I’ve had from art in 5 years! My biggest project is working on the final art for my graphic novel, Pashmina. As I opened my completed pages I noticed my main character, Priyanka, looked different in a few panels. I started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to keep her consistent throughout the book. As I revised the panels that bothered me, I thought about how much work isn’t seen by the reader. There’s so much pre-work – sketches, notes, ideas, drafts. Through the next few months as I work on final art I want to share some glimpses of the pre-work with you.

As I worried about character consistency, I pulled up a file with a bunch of Priyanka expressions I drew during the thumbnail process. This exercise not only gave me an idea of her personality, but also how to draw her face up, face down, and from the side. Once I brought this file up, I felt calm. I already did the work that could help me with consistency. I use the file for reference through each page.

This is my first attempt at a graphic novel. The whole process is a learning experience. By the time you hold a copy in your hands, each page will have been revised, redrawn and edited at least eight times. The manuscript had five drafts. The thumbnails had three rounds of editing. The final art will no doubt have at least two. Some pages are easier than others. I’ve read about other creator’s processes in writing and drawing. I’m sure I’m doing things wrong and I know I’ve made lots of mistakes. I’m okay with that. Once I finish, I will know what works for me.

For now, I must push forward, making mistakes and learning along the way.

pashmina announcement

PashminaPg1

I am thrilled to share the official announcement of my graphic novel Pashmina! You can read about the story, my inspiration and see 3 final pages here! I will be working on the final art through the end of this year and into the beginning of next year. As we move forward my publisher, First Second Books, has said I can share progress posts with you, so look forward to those monthly!

Thanks for all your support ^_^

Italy travel comics

It’s been 3 years since the hubbahubba and I took a long vacation. To celebrate his official move to working full-time for Everyday Love Art (woohoo!) AND completing the thumbnails for Pashmina (it took a year!) we decided to tour Italy. He’s 3/4 Italian and Italy has always be high on both of our lists to visit! While we were traveling around I drew a few comics to capture some of our experiences.

sleeplessflight

We took 2 flights to get to Rome and immediately boarded a train to Florence. Neither of us can sleep well on planes.

buongiorno

The first morning was magical as we woke to the bells of the Duomo in Florence.

mosquitomasterpiece

But Florence wasn’t kind to us. Jet lagged, we created mosquito gut masterpieces at 3am instead of sleeping or snuggling.

foccaciaandyou

Finally adjusted to the time, we toured Genoa. With a piece of foccacia, cobble stone streets and his hand in mine we both fell in love with Italy.

makepasta

We spent a good portion of our time in Cinque Terre. Every vista and meal was a delight. I decided that if hubbahubba REALLY loved me he would learn how to make pansotti (and all pastas) ^_^

trenitalia

I enjoyed taking the train from city to city, drawing and writing postcards.

teeth.jgp

 

Another 2 flights home, nursing a cold and jet lagged I was so tired. I needed to brush my teeth before sleeping but couldn’t find the energy… ^_^

Overall our trip was wonderful. Sometimes when we plan things into 2016 it feels very overwhelming – it was so nice to stop, take a break and enjoy the simple things in life.

I hope you’re having a happy Monday!