Sunday, November 20, 2011

Curvy Aerialist rough t-shirt design


I've been recently enamored with t3apot's fantastic circus shirt designs. I love me some apparel that reflects the art that I pour my blood, sweat and energy into on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, it's very rare to find depictions of my art that actually depict me- which is to say, a curvy girl-shaped person with hella hips and tits that continue to get in the way of my straddle up. We do exist, though it's difficult to find pictures of us because cultural discourse dictates that images of willowy ballerinas are more pleasing and acceptable to illustrate what aerial is. It would be really cool, I thought, though probably impossible to find a design of an aerialist that wasn't all impossibly long limbs and a size 0 waist.

One of the benefits of being an artist is that you get to change things like that.

This is obviously a really rough sketch- I literally knocked it out in five minutes while watching Blackadder last night- but I'd like to clean it up and possibly put it on a screen and print a few shirts. Making art like this is important to me, because I can have tits, and an ass (shit, just look at my amazing lyra teacher!), and MUSCLES that take me up into the air and back down. And if there aren't any t-shirts that reflect that, then I'll make my own.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Five Leaf Clover Logo


Hey, world! It's been awhile. I've been remarkably happy and well adjusted and BUSY living here in Portland, which means I haven't been putting time and energy into making art. But don't worry, the crushing depression of winter in the Pacific Northwest is on the verge of hitting, so I'll no doubt be productive for the coming months of emotional hell.

 Last night, my dear friend Claire rolled into town to vend at Orycon. She sells ridiculously adorable geeky accessories and runs an etsy shop as Five Leaf Clover. She's been looking for a logo/character to represent all the badass things she sells, and asked me to come up with something that encompasses steampunk, Star Trek, Star Wars, circus, video games, furries, and general geekitude, plus a five leaf clover. While she was doing some last minute jewelry assembly for the con, I drew up, inked and colored the above. I think it looks pretty damn fitting, if I do say so myself.


These were my original sketches. The initial concept she gave me was "chibi", which is a little far out of my normal drawing style, as the creepy big-eyes creatures above can attest. Fortunately, she then gave me Chainsaw Girl as a style reference, which was MUCH easier for me to replicate.


Mapping out a pose for the figure and labeling all the elements we wanted to include. (I made a few lists to make sure we got them all!)


First rough of the figure- too big, and too sweet for the look I wanted. As you can see, I replaced the lists of elements with "ALL THE THINGS."


And the final piece! From the top down, we have fox style kitty ears, feather earrings, a black choker, steampunk jacket, a Starship Enterprise pin, dog tags, arm warmers, a pocket belt, a Nintendo game belt buckle, a five leaf clover patch, vertical striped tights, a steampunk blaster in a thigh holster and furry boots. And a light sabre. All of which Claire can be seen wearing or selling at any given moment.

I'm going to do a lot of clean up in Gimp to get rid of the extraneous pencil lines and hopefully punch up the color. I wanted the image to be detailed enough that it could be blown up and have interesting complexity or shrunk and still be readable.

If you haven't already, go check out Claire's etsy shop Five Leaf Clover and go buy things!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Whiskers, finished


I decided I like the sumi style of this piece too much to actually go in and do much more to it. I fixed it, dragged lines of black chalk pastel over my charcoal, and very gently touched in the eyes and lips. And it feels done, so I'm going to leave it like this until it tells me otherwise.

(Inclusion of my fishie windsock on the corner is pure, excellent coincidence.)

Saturday, September 10, 2011



Cats have obscenely long whiskers. Have you ever noticed? They overhang their petite faces like structurally unsound, delicately balanced see-saws.

One of the cats I live with was recently hovering over me, drooling, (as she's wont to do), and I got taken by the absurdity of these insanely thin long THINGS that sprout from her face. So I shoved her off me and picked up my charcoal.

I want to keep this piece simple, but still work into it somehow. I'm thinking about picking a single color, probably in watercolor, and working it in in shades. Or I might just define the lines in ink- not entirely sure yet.

EDIT: Oh hey, I just realized it's Caturday. Unintentionally appropriate art is!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

NFSW. Shibari in Mixed Media 2, in progress shots


I love watercolor.

Like, a lot. 

How else do you achieve the subtle, rose-colored hues of a recently spanked ass suspended in the air? (Well, technically, there are tons of ways to achieve that. But watercolor- for me- is the EASIEST.)

I get easily seduced by working wet-into-wet, so taking the time out to update the blog is a good way to force myself to let the recent heat in the Pacific Northwest do its work before going in to do the detailing on her face. 

I'm quickly re-learning watercolor, having not really touched it since I graduated last year. Thanks to the cleverness of past-Mish, I've still got my palette with a MESS of mixed tones and shades still sitting in it, just waiting to be used. This makes at least half the learning process- the messy, paint wasting part that involves mixing colors- gloriously avoidable.


My hastily constructed watercoloring studio. Really, I should clip it onto my easel and work properly, but then how could I check twitter while I paint?

A note on the blog: If you're particularly sharp eyed, you might have noticed I've made a couple of changes to the sidebar. (And if you're reading this on Facebook, you wouldn't have noticed anything, and can clickez ici to see what I've done.) One of the downsides to publishing on the internet is that I can't have a heavily stickered mason jar with "TIPS" written in black sharpie on the side. Such a thing would be useful right now, since I've got all of ten pages left in my sketchbook and a dwindling bank account. So, I put up a donation button in case anyone feels charitable and would like to flip a quarter or two into the "feed the starving artist" fund in the hopes of being able to buy a new one without straining my poor finances more.

In the FURTHER vein of continuing to feed myself, I'll be putting this piece up on etsy once it's finished for all of your pervy decorating needs. Exciting!

Saturday, August 20, 2011



Preliminary sketch of a new piece in progress. Look, the lazy artist broke out a reference book! (Hooray for my housemates with more diverse libraries than mine.)

Friday, August 19, 2011

NSFW. Shibari in mixed media


Well, I think this is the first time I've broken out the NSFW tag for something explicitly sexual. Hi, family members I regularly direct here!

This piece started out as a simple figure study, that wound up taking a pose that couldn't really be achieved without a full suspension. So I grabbed some embroidery thread and a needle and did just that.

The concept of combining drawings with thread is far from original- I'm pretty sure I've even seen shibari themed pencil and thread art before. There are some beautiful ink and ribbon mixed media pieces up in the aerial studio I train at that have probably been subconsciously pushing my art brain in this direction. I'd like to imagine there's a "connect-the-ropes" cardboard shibari book out there that comes with a few lengths of shoelace and reinforced holes around naked figures. (If not, why the hell hasn't someone made it yet?)


A shot from another angle to give some idea of how the embroidery thread looks on flat paper. I deliberately left the tie between the ankles loose, in an attempt to make it look as if it were hanging loosely.

It should be clear from this attempt that I am painfully inexperienced in shibari. I didn't even break out a reference book for this, even though I know there's one less than 20 feet away on our bookshelf in the living room. I'm a lazy artist like that, particularly when I'm scribbling in my sketchbook at midnight in front of an episode of Misfits. I've been tying people up in my art since middle school, to varying degrees of divorced from reality, but even I know you can't suspend someone from ankles, crotch and knee points. That's what drawings are for.


I'd like to do a few more pieces in this theme using watercolors, heavy-weight paper, and thin hemp rope. If you look for it, you can see where I mistakenly broke through the paper trying to feed the needle in blind. My subject was very patient with me, despite all the unintentional piercing.


A shot of the back of the page. You can fill in the figure a bit if you know what to look for, but otherwise, I find it to be a really interesting negative of the image.

Thursday, August 18, 2011



Pencil sketch from last night, musing about the nature of feeling inspired. Sometimes I feel like my hair could stand on end when I have so many ideas coursing through my head.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fawn, bound- finished


I ended up working into this more with colored pencil than marker- I still don't really trust myself to pull out soft shading with prismacolors, though my small collection of greys are subtle enough that I trust them a bit more. I've been slowly training myself to work up to dark colors slowly and lay in the quiet shading first.

Cleaned it up a bit in Gimp and put in that cloudy effect around the top of the image. Not exactly the glossy effect I'd really like to achieve someday, but at least I got some practice in.

Art production and focus has a direct correlation to my mental state, which has been set to "off" and "down" lately, for a variety of reasons. Paper and markers continue to be cheaper than therapy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fawn, bound


Something I scribbled in pencil in my sketchbook last night. Very rough idea that I didn't think out enough in advance, so there's a lot of messy erasing and drawing-over-drawing in it. I want to go back over it in Prismacolors and lend some greys, greens and dark leather colors to it.

The figure is surrounded by roughed in thorns on vines. I wanted to juxtapose a calm and content creature with symbols of restraint and sharpness, in an attempt to lend some visuals to the sense of centeredness one can feel when at the focus of bound and painful physical attention.

I'm going to try to push myself to work into this in traditional media, then take it into Gimp and try to clean it up into a glossier digital form. I could use the practice, and I think I like this image enough to continue playing with it.

Blog aside: I tweaked the margin weights for this page, so some of the images that I think were getting cut off should be here in full now. I like stretching out into the margins of the page more, too- it feels more comfortable!

Sunday, August 7, 2011



Got whacked with the desire to work into a new piece tonight and since I'm in dire need of self-care, it started along the path of being somewhat therapeutic and introspective.

I've had the idea of a figure with a heart cut out in my head for awhile. When I still had a studio space, I had the idea for a full sized human cut-out from butcher paper tacked to the wall with a 3D heart-shaped box of some sort in the appropriate place that I could place things in. I can't make boxes, heart shaped or otherwise, so it never came about, but the idea stuck in my head.

I played around with the human form as a physical space for inscription and incision awhile ago in this post, "Parts of Me Were Broken Long Before My Heart Came Into." I'm worried I'll run into the same roadblock with this one as I did with that one, shading large expanses of the human form that isn't the face or hands. I never actually finished that piece.


Some initial sketches and thumbnails for the idea. I'm trying to find my balance between exaggerated and realistic here and it's a struggle.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Every day.
Make something.
Write something.
Draw something.
Do something.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Second layer, chalk pastel


I finally took a moment tonight to work chalk pastel into this. After a good week not allowing myself to steal the time to get into it, I finally gave it half an hour and brought some depth out. Still on the first, roughed out layer of shading.

Thursday, July 14, 2011



More to come. Lots of thoughts and images to get out of my head right now, but I thought it would be good to document the very first and absolute roughest layer of this as I lay it down.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Dangers of Sappiness


This is a hastily drawn joke between me and a certain person, who finds it impossible to avoid getting sappy on me, which led to me imaging what would happen if he did, actually, get sap on me. (There would be blushing and a huge amount of apologizing, no doubt.)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Kabuki Make-up Concepts


As I find myself doing more and more hair and make-up for performance, I'm increasingly convinced- this is an ART. And one I need more practice at.


My head has not sprouted so much of this unmanageable straw stuff since I was in high school (have some fairly embarrassing proof!) I had to rush my makeup so I could make it out early to Last Thursday (an anarchic, Burner-esque Portland street fair) because I underestimated how long it would take to find anything to tame my hair back with. I have not owned real hair clips in...ever. Thank god for the box of assorted miscellany containing bits left over from my elaborate goth fall wearing days.

This is the makeup look that the above grew out of. I came up it with for my (slightly ill-fated) acro and poi show in Sao Paulo that I did for Adrian and Diedre of Bootie. In a completely uncharacteristic move, I actually designed the look a day in advance in order to shoot a run through video of my piece, which you can feast your eyes on below.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sketches from blues dancing


I'm in Portland! As you may have noticed, my art output tends to decline sharply when I've got an exploded tour all over my hands and am trying to make my way cross country. But now I'm safely landed, in Gaylord's Paradise (not a slang term for Portland, in fact, but the name of my house) and I have the opportunity to Make Things again. This is exciting.

Tonight, I went to support one of my oldest friends (who I seem to inescapably keep ending up in the same cities with) at a blue dance competition she was participating in. The environment itself made me hugely uncomfortable- it was like walking into a room where heterosexuality was so thoroughly coded into the action I felt suffocated and overwhelmed by straight people being capital S Straight. The close quarters didn't help much either, of course. I mostly focused on the queer couples and scribbled in my sketchbook until my friend was done dancing.


Text reads: "Planet Queer (is very far away from planet blues dance)". My usual coping mechanism for uncomfortable spaces continues to serve me!

Thursday, May 19, 2011



Another one from the sketchbook I kept in Sao Paulo. I went through a pretty difficult time for awhile in Brasil, and as usual, my aerial work helped keep me grounded (....heh) and sane. Sometimes, when I'm in particularly dark places, I feel like my trapeze is all that I'm clinging to to keep myself together.

In pleasanter aerial news, I have a performance in Manhattan this Saturday! It's this event at Santos Party House. I'm excited and nervous-I haven't had nearly enough time to prepare for it because I don't have a studio to rig in back East and I've been relying on the kindness of my friends at the Baltimore Free Farm who let me practice in their warehouse. Send me all the luck on Saturday night, and if you're in the New York area, come out and see me!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Set Delicious

I don't bake.

Except when I do.

And when I do, it's because there's a damn good reason for it, like my hugely talented and excellent friend Heather Danforth graduating from the Maryland Institute College of Art. I could think of no better way to celebrate this momentous occasion than baking a cake with a giant Starfleet insignia on it, to match her Official Starfleet Pin that she wore on her MICA issued graduation beret.

So while the other graduates were getting flowers from their families and posing for pictures, I got to present one of my dearest friends with a Star Trek cake that I painstakingly iced with no less than three tubes of icing before the ceremony.

It tasted of pure sugar and geekery.


Heather, you kicked ass through all your time at MICA and I have no doubt in my mind that you're going to continue to do so for the rest of your artistic career and life. You're amazing, and I count myself lucky to have you as my friend. Especially when it means getting to bake you a sugar-bomb of a cake to celebrate how awesome you are.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tank Genderqueer



Updating daily while in the midst of bringing a show into existence and splitting my time between four cities may have been....ambitious.

But! Here's a sketch I did in Sao Paulo, while watching Tank Girl. It's a gender ambiguous tank creature, who enjoys wearing hot pink tops and whacking things with it's equally ambiguous weapon thing.

It uses it pronouns and enjoys all things neon.

PS. Hundred and first post!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Metanol Recording Session 2: Brian


Apologies for the radio silence- went down for a few days, conveniently at the same time that I was consumed with rehearsals. Universe serendipity?

Taking a break from my shameless circus promotion to return to my last days in Sao Paulo, here's the second piece I did during the Metanol FM recording session. My dear friend Brian, of Catharsis and more recently, From the Depths, did a live performance with Vanessa on air and it was....brilliant. Transcendent. Shiver inducing. Over the week I was lucky enough to spend with him in Sao Paulo, Brian explained to me how in the cartoon version of his life, his dreadlocks are highly animated and reflect whatever current emotion he's feeling, so I made an attempt at giving them some life in my drawing.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The photographic art of the Wandering Dream Circus pt. 2

In which Kevin Hollenbeck continues to be a goddamn photographic wizard.

We shot these in the barn on the farm, where I had rigged my silk as a cloud swing in possibly the tiniest space it's ever been in. I couldn't do much on it (and when I tried, I banged my shins into the sides of the stable) but we still got some amazing shots.

Before anyone asks, yes, there were a lot of ball jokes when the contact ball came out.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The photographic art of the Wandering Dream Circus pt. 1

Kevin Hollenbeck is a crazy genius wizard who made me into a fairy.

He also made Nathen into a circus-y Peter Pan counterpart, turned a farm into a fairytale, and did it all in one night without lighting equipment other than two desk lamps and the sun shade from his car.

Kevin Hollenbeck is a crazy genius wizard photographer and he is made of pure brilliance and I utterly love him for turning two remarkably silly circus kids into something kind of magical.

(Full set is over on the facebook, if you feel so inclined)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Metanol Recording Session 1: Vanessa


During my last week in Sao Paulo, I had the ridiculous good fortune to get to sit in on a live radio broadcast at that two of my friends were performing on air for. I was armed with my sketchbook and a single fine point pen, and spent the three hours of sitting Very Quietly and Listening scribbling away at my impressions of the session. This first one, which was done during Vanessa's set, was an attempt to capture a little of the feel of broadcasting over Sao Paulo and the sense of connection with the city that Metanol created in that tiny space.

I filled in the yellows and blacks with prismacolors later, partially to lose myself in filling in vast amounts of white space with big fuck-off markers, and also to cover up my thumbnail sketches in the top right. The colors ideas came from a set of yellow and black speakers in the corner of the recording room and I was trying to draw disks surrounding the figure as if they were shiny black plastic speakers, to not-quite-accurate effect.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The art of the Wandering Dream Circus, Pt 3


This is the last of the Wandering Dream Circus sketches I did during my trip back to the US- if it hasn't been abundantly obvious by now, I get suffused with creativity when I find myself in any sort of limbo with lots of time on my hands. I'm less enamored of this one, though I like the positions and posing that came out of my initial thumbnail sketch.

Drawing these has made me very sad that I don't actually have a giant moon to do aerials on (or trapeze boots that go to my thigh, or hair that actually looks like that). Being as the hair and boots are unlikely to come into my life outside of drawing, I'd settle for a Moon's Eye for all my future airborne play.