Hard Work, Summer Update 2017

Whew!
It has been a very busy year thus far. I have completed illustrations for two new books by Nomad Press: Planetary Science and The American Civil War! I can’t wait to see them both in print. I’m also beginning work on illustrations for a few titles I can talk about in the future, but not quite yet.

I find it funny, and a little sad, to have my previous post, published 4 months ago, be about sloth. It is truly something I need to continue to work on overcoming. More work, sketches and images will be loaded in the coming weeks so you can see what I have been up to!

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November Update 2016

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It’s published! Andi Diehn’s wonderful book with my humble illustrations is available now from bookstores new you!

Hooray for November! October was a very busy month for me finishing the primary art for Human Movement to be published by Nomad Press next year. I was also continuing to recover from my pneumonia, almost gone now, and dealing with the heavy heartedness of the anniversary of a friend’s tragic death.

October is behind me now and I have a lot in the hopper for November.

First off, I am happy to announce that the Shakespeare book by Andi Diehn I illustrated has been published! It is number one in TWO categories on Amazon right now. So happy for Andi and her work with this. She has every right to be proud!

I am also going to be signing contracts this month to create illustrations for two new Nomad books in the Spring, more on these when the signatures dry.


Secondly, this month marks my return to two projects that have been slowly bubbling since this summer. I am working on marketing materials for Cornerstone University’s Humanities department (I will share more on this soon). I am also creating a long-ish comic book for CRREL (The Army Corps of Engineers: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory) about the science of Snow/Ice Pits in arctic regions. Both of these projects are close to my heart for different reasons, the former because the Humanities Department played an important role in making me the person I am today, the latter because I believe understanding the science of studying our climate to be vitally important.

I will post progress on both of these projects as I work on them this month.


Blogging more regularly is a priority for me. I am going to publish two articles this month in my “To the Side” series about my strange relationship with reality and people. One about Sloth. The other about the Enneagram. My series on Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing should wrap up by early December. I have caught up on reading and have been formulating my thoughts around it. Stay tuned.


Finally, I have been, and will continue to, work on my Don’t Want Me for a Sunbeam articles. I don’t want to publish these until I have several ready after being read and edited by people I trust.

Why are these so important and worth me spending a lot of time editing? Because they are about something very foundational to who I am and how I interact with the world. Because it’s scary to expose ideas that will get me flak from strangers, friends, and family. I don’t want to post something half-baked or overly passionate.

It has to do with my faith in God and how that faith has evolved, devolved, and regrouped in the face of science, doubt, new friendships, books, experience, and mystery.

When I was at the Center for Cartoon Studies I said something about my Christian faith while talking about my proposed senior thesis. Some students in the audience later told me how my statement immediately turned them off to wanting to talk to or interact with me. They assumed I was a close-minded idiot. Some told me of their fears of me because they had been abused or hurt by Christians.

I get it. Really I do. Many people, myself included have been damaged by people and institutions with the Christian label.

Hence, I am taking my time with these articles. Whatever you are assuming about me now, please, you are probably in for a bit of a shock (unless you know me really, really well).

I also don’t want these articles to be preachy or combative. Any conflict in them will revolve around my own inner struggles with ideas and criticisms. I just want to come clean and confess where I am with what I believe about things. Maybe that will help others who are feeling the same way to not feel alone.

It’s to the wounded, the listless, and those who have left the faith to be more faithful that I write. I am also writing to myself.

So please bear with me as I take the time to write these articles. My personality is naturally averse to making claims and statements. I also try to avoid confrontation at all costs, even with myself. Talking about faith or non-faith by it’s very nature will make claims and cause confrontation. I better be damn sure of what I have written before I hit, “publish.”

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The Bird of Death on My Shoulders: To the Side – part two –

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This essay is dark, filled with triggers, and hopefully some light and love.

I shudder, hearing every log that falls;
No scaffold could be built with hollower sounds.
My spirit is like a tower whose crumbling walls
The tireless battering-ram brings to the ground.

It seems to me, lulled by monotonous shocks,
As if they were hastily nailing a coffin today.
For whom? – Yesterday was summer. Now autumn knocks.
That mysterious sound is like someone’s going away.

from “Song of Autumn” by Charles Baudelaire
trans. by C. F. MacIntyre

I try to find meaning in all events. It is a foolish thing at times, I know. Our brains were molded to find meaning and, in the absence of clarity, imagine patterns in the chaos. A wonderful man died a year ago. I write in 2016, a year filled with events I wish he was still here to experience. I’ve been picking at the emotional scabs formed over the hole his death left in my psyche. What has come oozing out is a painful mixture of love and loss. Continue reading

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Illustration Work: Human Movement Ch 2 and 3

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Chapter 2 is all about muscles and how they work.

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I am amazed at how complex our muscles are.

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I had some fun with this chapter.

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Chapter Three is an initial walk through the neurological park.

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I tried to find a simple way to illustrate how messages are sent via neurons to the various parts of our bodies. I’m awaiting approval from my publisher, but I can share what I have done with you.

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I am glad I get to work in with comic strips for these book. They are not always meant to be funny.

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Illustration from an activity on testing reflexes.

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Friendly Neighborhood Spider

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The big, beautiful Shelob.

A garden orb weaver spider has spun a web near our backdoor each year since we bought our home. They are most likely the offspring of the previous year’s spider. Most people would find these quarter-sized arachnids unnerving and want to banish them from their property. I’ve come to think of each as a tiny guardian keeping unwanted bugs from entering our home. I even turn the porch light to attract meals. Of course I give each one a different name, first was Alice, then Aragog (the fact that Rowling made the ancient spider male always upset me, Aragog should’ve been female), and this year, Shelob. Continue reading

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