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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Punks, Portraits and Pilgrims

It started with a Tweet. :)

I slept once. It was a Tuesday. It was awesome.

But seriously, things have been busy-bee. I didn't get to do a proper post after Steampunk World's Fair this year, but it's about time. I worked my bustle off, met some really fantastic people, and got to paint their portraits. Good times.
The lovely and talented S.J. Chambers, co-author of The Steampunk Bible, joined me at my booth to sell and sign books, hang out, and drink cocktails like good little writers and artists do. Coauthor extraordinare Jeff VanderMeer sadly couldn't be there, but the books still sold out mid-convention. After that, I think people kept coming over just to talk to S.J., since she's one of the most pleasant and engaging people on the planet. Luckily she lured them in, and I grabbed them and painted.

And painted. And painted. I can't even tell you how many portraits I did each day. The pressure of having a crowd behind me and watching was stressful but surprisingly enjoyable, and I had a line of people or was scheduling portrait times all weekend. I felt "retro" in the best way. Having people sit for portraits is so frickin' Tombstone. (Just call me Wyatt.)
I nursed my Painter's Claw for about a week after, but it was really, truly worth it.  So many stories stand out in my mind - like the silhouette I painted for a guy who's been looking for a silo-painter for YEARS. His family has something like twelve generations of silhouettes, and now he can add his own to the history. That's so cool, right? I thought so.
Steampunk Boba Fett (a.k.a. John of Penny Dreadful Productions) also sat for a portrait, which was pretty hilarious to do (see the photo of His Prettiness below). I'm not putting up the results, since it was pretty rushed... but I'll get another shot, I'm sure. Anyway, due to the nature of striking up new partnerships in the weirdest ways, my next post will also feature them. They're a passel of great chaps and ladies who have a lot of awesome plans up their sleeves/bracers... and they've let me be a part of it. But that's for next post.

He always seems to be grabbing a nipple-gear in every photo.

So, Do.
Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple was a Kickstarter I found out about by tweet, actually. Awesome gentleman Fred Hicks (of Evil Hat Productions fame) re-tweeted a message from indie games mastermind Daniel Solis, who requested volunteers to write the words "Dear Pilgrims of the Flying Temple" and scan/send them to him. I did, and because my handwriting is a little... er, odd? (top image) Daniel and I struck up a conversation that led to me being fortunate enough to work on this project.
It was originally listed as a Kickstarter with a goal of $4k. It raked in over $24k. Insanity. Never let it be said that a stellar industry reputation doesn't help you... friends, fans and strangers all over lined up to be a part of this book, and it's SO awesome to be able to have a small hand in it. Good people.


Fast forward to a couple days ago when I received the contributor copies of Do and Do: Book of Letters.  Sweet buttery Buddha, these books are great. Really clever game, gorgeously printed (what... I like the paper - I AM A TACTILE PERSON. DON'T YOU JUDGE ME), really awesome stories in the Book of Letters (all contributed by Kickstarter supporters! You talented pandas!)... all in all, I was honored to be asked to do "doodles" for the Book.

Here's me with one of my favorite pages. This was a super quick doodle, but she's got a giant robo-superhero-mecha-suit. (I think she grows up to be Ripley.)

I've wanted one of these since like five years old.

I've done a lot of work for digital delivery and packaging, but to have a lovely, finished, printed copy of my drawings in my hot little hands... well, I got all a-flutter. It's a nice feeling in a digital age.

I've got lots of other things to report on, and lots of new work coming. I'll get there, pandas. Back to work.