Thursday, March 22, 2018


I have some exciting news: I launched my very own Patreon page! 😀
Patreon is a way for people to support artists and creators with a monthly pledge. By supporting me on Patreon you will help me continue to work and grow as an artist and in exchange you will gain access to patron-only content like work-in-progress photos, videos, updates, and etsy discounts.

**Here is an example of some of the patron-only content that will be available for those who pledge $3 or more.**

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February 2018

Despite spending a majority of my February free time begrudgingly shoveling snow, scraping ice, and wishing I could hibernate until spring in some sort of blanket cocoon, I did manage to watch a couple of new things and finish a book or two.


BLACK PANTHER is very good and if you haven't seen it yet I recommend you do so. While I have a few nitpicks about the pacing and story-lines that felt incomplete, they are far outweighed by all of the things I liked. This film has an array of interesting, well formed characters, including a villain with actual motivation and development and female characters with agency in roles other than just "love interest", both rarities in the Marvel cinematic universe. Plus the costuming and art design are effing spectacular, so it will make your eyes happy as well as your heart.

All of my time watching Olympic coverage this month finally put me in the right mood to finish watching YURI!!! ON ICE. It has drama. It has ice skating. It has rivalries, friendships, and cute boys falling in love. It has sparkly outfits. What's NOT to love? 💕


I spent a good portion of February working my way through a very hit-or-miss vampire series that I'm still not sure if I liked, so that sucked up (sorry) a majority of my reading time. Luckily I managed to read through all of the the SOCIETY OF GENTLEMEN books before that bogged me down. After falling in love with Charles' work in 2017, I decided I wanted to try and read everything else she has written, and while not my favorite of the author's work the SoG series was still a lot of fun. This trio of gay victorian romances feature lots of smooching and drama obviously, but also themes of class, inequality, family, and politics. Be warned: the covers for these books are really awkward and have very little to do with the actual stories.

PAPER GIRLS (Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chang)
I've seen this series mentioned on numerous "best comics" lists, but as usual I was super late to the party. I went in completely cold, with zero prior knowledge and no idea what it was about, which turned out to be a VERY GOOD IDEA. The story takes all sorts of wild twists and turns and not knowing what to expect really added to my enjoyment. So I'm not going to say anything more about PAPER GIRLS other than it follows a group of newspaper delivery girls on an unexpected adventure. The art and writing is great and I am looking forward to reading more.


The main reason I didn't get much read or watched in February was that I was actually getting art done! FINALLY! In addition to adding two new giclee prints to the shop (Allerdale Hall and Pileated Woodpecker), I also made progress on 14 new Nerd Love collages, six of which are finished. While I can't bear to part with my beloved Dragon Age boyfriends Fenris and Dorian, the original collages for Tris Merigold, Imperator Furiosa, and Alyx Vance are now available.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January 2018

Since I spent a lot of time being sad or angry in 2017, I set myself a goal to try focus more of my energy on positive things in 2018. To that end, I'm cutting way down on my Twitter usage and trying not to check the news every 30 minutes. While writing my 2017 end-of-year recap blog, I found that I really enjoyed sharing/talking about about the various movies, books, and games I have been consuming. So in my quest to devote more of my time to positive things that make me happy, I've decided to try something new in 2018 and blog more often about good things I've seen/read/played.

As always, these are just my personal opinions about things that I like. I'm certain we won't agree on all of them. 


I completely fell in love with this movie. I really like the way the film approaches topics of love, identity, friendship, and sex, and the creative ways the director is able to illustrate these abstract concepts. Michael Stuhlbarg's wonderful monologue toward the end made me instantly erupt into tears, even more so the second time I saw the film, and the final long shot is so beautifully simple and heartbreaking that it's going to stick with me for a very long time. There is also some really excellent new Sufjan Stevens music written for the movie that I've been listening to exhaustively.

I think it's well known by now that GET OUT is a very good movie and i'm so glad I finally watched it. The film is such an effective approach to horror because there is so much natural tension and fear created by the real-life situations the main character Chris encounters, that you're already on edge by the time the more traditional horror elements kick in. And good lord did it have a satisfying ending. I can't wait to see what Jordan Peele makes next.

The combination of impressively choreographed, over-the-top action scenes and fun takes on common tropes make these films really stand out for me. I liked the first film a lot and the second one was equally entertaining. There is a bit toward the end which takes place in a series of mirrored rooms that just blew my mind - it's bloody gorgeous.


When I started ORIGINS, I didn't quite realize how huge the game would be. I've played many AC games, but this one is much more of an RPG than previous installments, so there are way more side quests and grinding opportunities to get lost in. I've sunk about 30 hours into the game so far and I am nowhere near completing the actual story. I've been happily diverted from the main missions by my need to max out all the equipment, climb that pyramid, explore this sunken ship, escort that crocodile, etc. At one point I accidentally stumbled onto some totally non-canon DLC that gave me a chocobo for a mount and Final Fantasy-themed super weapons. It was a while before I stopped laughing. Then I immediately equipped it all.

So overall, I am really enjoying the game. The only downside is my growing disinterest in the modern day story lines that interrupt the far more interesting main games. The juxtaposition of past and present narratives worked in the early AC games because it felt like it was an important part of the story. But in the last few installments these parts have felt increasingly unconnected to the main meat of the game and immediately grind everything to a halt. I keep finding myself putting off main story missions because I know it's very likely that another boring present-day section will follow. Hopefully that isn't the case for everyone - there have to be some people who like the modern story - it's just totally doesn't work for me.


GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE follows the rebellious, bisexual son of an English Nobleman, who ventures out on one last "Grand Tour" with his friend (who he is completely in love with, naturally) before he is expected to settle down, be respectable, and take over the family estate. The characters are unexpectedly rich and interesting, the romance is supremely satisfying, the writing is smart, and the over the top adventure and melodrama kept me thoroughly entertained. Despite the fact that our main character Monty makes the wrong decision and says the wrong thing at pretty much every opportunity, Mackenzi Lee was able to keep me rooting for him and on his side even when he didn't deserve it. That takes talent. The sequel to this book (slated to come out at the end of this year) promises "travel, pirates, and a science girl gang" so I'm definitely on board.

ABROAD (BOOK TWO) (Liz Jacobs)
This two-book series follows an introverted American college student who travels to England for a year abroad, falls in love, grapples with the fear of coming out to his Russian immigrant family, and tries to come to grips with his anxiety and find his voice. The first ABROAD book was one of my favorites from 2017 and the second part did not disappoint. I highly recommend this series.

I failed to mention the first book in this series - The Bear and the Nightingale - in my 2017 wrap up, but probably should have. It's good. This series is set in medieval Russia and follows a really interesting heroine who is able to see the magical creatures that are fading away from the world as people turn to Christianity and abandon older beliefs. Needless to say, things aren't very pleasant for a witch-like woman in medieval Russia, so despite the magical setting, these books are pretty dark. But in a good way. Sure, there's plenty of tragedy, drama, and injustice, but there are also magic horses, a really interesting frost demon, little imps that live in ovens and bathhouses, a rich, well crafted setting, and some triumphs too.

I really loved the movie so of course I also wanted to read the novel. There is a floaty, stream-of-consciousness style to the writing that will definitely put some people off (I lost patience with it myself during a few particularly rambling passages) but once I got into the rhythm of the book it worked for me. What stood out the most was Aciman's ability to capture the idea of memories - what moments we vividly remember, what we forget, what we see completely differently from someone experiencing the same thing. It also beautifully illustrates the strange, conflicting emotions Elio experiences as he falls in love for the first time. And, just like in the movie, Elio's father's monologue (drawn nearly word-for-word from the book) reduced me to a ball of tears. I don't know why that scene in particular effects me quite so much. Maybe it's just rare to read/see stories where a parent is so loving and supportive of their child.


At the end of 2017 I decided to bite the bullet and invest in a proper fine art printer and, thanks to the major revelation that it might help to install the drivers that came WITH the printer (thank you Nicole), I have everything up and running and can now make giclee prints at home. This means new prints will go up in my shop a lot sooner and i'll be able do small runs of things like my Nerd Love series (which are available now).

I also have a new piece on display at Gallery 9 in February as part of a black-and-white themed group show, plus a few older pieces in their month-long silent auction. Prints of this piece will be available soon in my shop.