Sunday, December 25, 2011


There's some awesome indie Christmas music up on Noisetrade for free right now, if you'd like a respite from the stuff on the radio that loops every hour. I hope everyone has an awesome Christmas and New Year - SEE YOU IN 2012!!!!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The self-portraits!

I finally drew something on the first page of my new sketchbook. (been drawing on the inner pages because I'm a wimp.)

Also, Sketches for the save-the-date invitations. (With Matt's notes, ha.) :D

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A lament we all share

Not that I have any time for freelance lately. ;______;

Friday, December 9, 2011


Maybe I should've posted this one on Halloween, huh? :)

Also, this is a pretty song.

Monday, December 5, 2011

In the Storm

30 minute doodle-sketch; watercolor pencil, white ink and ballpoint pin.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Here, a curvy elf lady for you! I like this curvy elf lady. I might have to draw her some more. curves are fun. ^___^

Monday, November 28, 2011

Faces with and without facepaint

So, this past Friday I went to a rock show down in Covington KY and got to see WALK THE MOON headlining, with Shadowraptr and the Young Heirlooms. it was a FANTASTIC show. if you don't know who Walk the Moon is, you have not been reading this blog very long. Go watch music now. :D

SO! LOTS OF FACES!!!... and also the statue of Eve from the Cincinnati Art Museum. Her page needed to be filled.

Drew with black ballpoint pen, and two Pentel pocket brush pens - one with black ink, one with green. GREEN. Also, in the page below, Mr. Snark on the far right is one of the guitarists from Young Heirlooms! :D

And, the bottom four faces there are the Walk the Moon dudes:


Friday, November 25, 2011


Hey everyone YESTERDAY WAS THANKSGIVING!!! :D hence, the somewhat food-related comic! HOPE EVERYONE HAD A GOOD DAY OFF!!!! And if you have a retail job today, I am very, very sorry. :(

My family had some friends over for the feast, one of whom was a rather older lady named Mary Jo. She told me a story that I really, really want to make into a comic:

In Covington Kentucky years ago, there was a neighborhood by the Ohio river that had a horrible time with river rats. They would get into the sewer pipes, and climb up into peoples houses. one lady in this neighborhood even saw a rat climb out of her TOILET. Now, there was another certain lady in this neighborhood, who was very helpful and devout. She prayed to God to please make the river rats leave, because everyone was scared and miserable. Then, one morning, this devout lady walked out onto her back porch and there were nine tomcats sitting there, quite at home. She was very puzzled, because tomcats as a rule do not get along and hate each other. but, being a kind woman, she went back into the house, got some food and fed them. Over the next few months, those tomcats kept hanging around, and she kept feeding them. At the same time, the river rats slowly started to disappear.... until there weren't any left, in the whole neighborhood. And when there were no rats left, the tomcats disappeared as well. The end.

I do enjoy drawing cats, as most of you know, and this story just has such a funny root. I would be so happy to be able to draw it some day. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

But Sir! What happened to your face?!

And now, some more concepts and illustrations! Here are some faces for some of the secondary characters:

Because the job was so rushed, I actually didn't get to use all the characters that I'd designed. Ah well, se la vie. Here are some more illustration planning/thumbnails:

I was really inspired by the work of Mark Schultz around the time I was doing these - he had come to SCAD this past spring quarter as an artist-in-residence, and I got to know him a bit - such a kind, amazing person! and HIS ILLUSTRATIONS. O LAWD HIS ILLUSTRATIONS.

The play of light and dark to control mood in a single, unmoving is a lot more difficult than it might seem. in animation, you can utilize the motion to get more out of each scene; in Comics you can play out the action and lighting over many panels to create the effect. I think one of my problems here might have been how much I was trying to cram into each illustration, because I knew that I didn't have time to do a lot of smaller illustrations. Pros and cons, pros and cons.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sunderland Town Market

As promised a couple MONTHS ago, a BIG FAT UPDATE on Gary Blackburn's film Elyn and the Pirates of Sunderland!!! This was an extremely interesting and new sort of film for me to conceptualize. In one word: STEAMPUNK.

At the beginning, while helping Gary finalize the script, I did a TON of research, and after a lot of doodly beginnings, first laid out a general map of the entire floating island that is Sunderland Town. then, I zoomed in and laid out the town itself, and figured out a rough course of action for the characters.

I don't necessarily care if it doesn't make any sense to you. this was the beginning of the town; without this plan I couldn't have gone on in any sort of organized manner.

Next, the main points of interest! the first being this fruit stand:

and a fish stand nearby that our main character would be running around later. Gary was very specific in that he only wanted to model the set pieces vital to the camera movements; the rest is to be matte-painted to flesh out the look that he's going for. that is why the above map/plan was so vital to figure out exactly what would need to be designed first.

Now, buildings! I had the buildings marked on my map, so I knew exactly which ones would be needed for close-ups and part of the action.

I still don;t think I pushed the steampunk aspect far enough - machiney things are not my natural forte. But to go much more in-depth into research would've taken more time than I had on hand.

Next, I did flat map drawings of each side of the street, to be absolutely clear on building placement, scale, and to give more facade details.

And now, what was a lot of fun - a bit of prop design. :)

The signs for a lot of the buildings were fun to research and design - I'm not sure if they'll be used, but I don't mind.

Here's the production blog on Facebook for the film - if you scroll through, you can already see some of the models made from these sketches. It's amazingly unreal to see them that way. :D

Monday, October 31, 2011

Oh, Creepy Sorcerer-man.

Happy Halloween, dudes and dudettes! :D here is a creepy illustration for you:


On a completely different note, anyone who's never heard of the composer Joseph Curiale needs to go check out his stuff right now. NOW! :D

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

As Tiiiime Goes Byyyy....

....I lose track of it. And I suck! But enough of that! My life is crazy, and so is everyone else's. Let's see some concept art!!

I took on a job a month or two ago to make some illustrations for an independent fantasy novel. It was a super-rush job, so I often had to go with only the first or second version of an idea that I came up with - a challenge, and I wouldn't say I like all of the results, but it was quite fun! Let's start with some characters:

It was a nice change to be able to just work with the face and body type of a character. I'd gotten rather used to character designing for animation, with full turnarounds and detail and prop designs and such. Just going with the flow was lovely.

Here are some page thumbnails:

I drew with whatever color struck my fancy at first, but later I used the different colors as a good way to differentiate my different drafts and ideas, even when I was sometimes drawing on top of myself.

And for a treat, here is one of the finished illustrations:

My clients are working on making the book available on E-Readers right now. I'll let you know more information once there's more to tell! :D

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A study in Old Stuff

A roundup of museum moleskien sketches today! Cincinnati has some lovely museums. I love studying historical portraits. People are funny.


On a completely unrelated note, the original Ghost in the Shell soundtrack is delightfully creepy.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dr. Sketchy and Post-it drawings

Dr. Sketchy's Drink n' Draw was this week! my first time going. Twas fun; wished I didn't have to leave early for work the next day. Next week is "Cincinnati Pilseners and Pencils"; will hopefully be fun also. Here's my favorite sketches of our sexy astronaut:

And here are a few logo design ideas and post-it sketches for some other projects. :D

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Electric Sharpener

OK, you're right, the cat comics are kind of a filler. That's because you all probably would not be too keen on me posting a 35-page script up here.

Today's strip is brought to you by Mark Kneece.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rain Dance

Okaaaay, Tyler said I could post this, so I WILL. This is one of my background paintings for the film Rain Dance by Nate Swinehart. It's my favorite one so far! I'm actually working on my LAST ONE for the film currently! OOOOH SO EXCITED!!!!! :D You can view the animatic for the film HERE.

If it looks like a bunch of evil hills.... that's what it is. :D

Saturday, July 16, 2011

OH, see.

Lest anyone think I've died, A POST. A lot has happened since May 20! A sort of brief sum-up (which will probably explain my lack of time for updates lately):

Since May 20, I have become an alumnus of the Savannah College of Art and Design. Though I have left many friends behind, I am still working on a lot of their projects; currently that includes background paintings for Nate Swinehart's film Rain Dance and concept art for Gary Blackburn's film Elyn and the Pirates of Sunderland. I have moved from Savannah back to Ohio, and have yet to get all the stuff from my apartment in Savannah into my old bedroom. I have also driven to Vermont and back, Oklahoma and back, and Indianapolis and back (twice for that one). I have acquired a job in the marketing department of a good company, and so I spend most of my days pretending to be a graphic designer and learning more about farming and mining equipment than I ever thought I would. This job also happens to be an hour away from my current home, keeping me away from my REAL work for eleven hours out of the day. But I'm still drawing whenever I can - obviously, mostly concerning the two projects mentioned above, but I'm still working on my own comic book series Band Quest! Just a couple days ago I completed the script for book 1; it will be about 71 pages long. And the script for book 2 is currently about 60% done.

And now I should really get to painting, so I'll leave you with these:

Item 1: character concept for what will hopefully be a future animation project directed by me.
Item 2: doodles on post-it notes. CLASSY. Oh look, there's that character again. I really hope this project pulls through; she's so darn cute.
Item 3: one of my concept sketches for The Pirates of Sunderland film. I've only just started, and this is the best sketch so far; there will be many more (and better ones) in the future.
K bye. :D

Friday, May 20, 2011

Professional Wordage

More talking cats for you! These three got their words courtesy of several professors here in the SEQA department at SCAD. Never a dull moment. :) I now have strips for three books of talking cats; be looking for them if I make it to a convention near you!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Adventures in screenprinting

Okay... If you've been around me in the past several weeks, you'll know that I've been screenprinting an entire book, like a good little masochist. now that I'm near the end of production on these things, I thought I'd share a bit about them!

The book is called "That's Amoure!" and is based on a true story. Elves included. So, I got the idea to screenprint the whole thing from Duncan last quarter - it's all his fault.

The biggest problem was getting this:

successfully onto a sheet of brown paper; two colors. my biggest trouble arose from just getting the two colors lined up. by the bye, a HUGE thank you to SCAD's working class studio for letting me use their pressure washer and exposure table!!

I went through a LOT of transparencies for the guts of this book, as you may well imagine.

And, having THIS happen to my scanner while I was printing;

courtesy of THIS silly creature:

complicated things, but TO NO AVAIL!!! I was able to complete enough good pages for 29 copies of the book. here are the covers, laid out to dry:

Just seeing that monster stack here is enough to make me proud, but once they're really finished...

Ah! it is a lovely feeling. Mind you, I still have 15 copies of this to board and bind, but they'll get done. hooray for PVA glue! and THANK YOU to my awesome roommate Renee for letting me borrow her drill!!!

And nooooooow my brain is shutting down. If you'd like to buy a copy of the book, shoot me an email at Laurendsparks (at) gmail (dot) com. woooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhooooooooooooozzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.