Thursday, January 21, 2010



A recent conversation with Jamie Ridler inspired me to look back through all of my illustrations since my first post in 2004. It's a pretty interesting progression. Here we go. These two are from 2004 or 2005:

In 2005 I decided to try to "really" draw, copying from images in magazines. That was a really great (and inexpensive) art school at the time.

Then I decided to go back to drawing in my own way. Soon I started to tell little stories like this one (2005).

Later I developed a stronger sense of line. Below is one of my most popular images (2006). Seven academics and one businessperson have asked permission to use it in presentations!

I drew the one below in 2007 after a company bowling outing. Everyone teased me for wearing a skirt. Notice that in my untrained hand, I got the order reversed. It should read from left to right.

I continued to work hard on my writing. I wanted really smooth narrations with no extra words. I became ruthless. Below is a drawing from one of my best stories. Unfortunately, it was not one of my best drawings.

The post below got really big feedback. It illustrates an anti- (Iraq) war essay by Bill Moyers. I sent him a copy of the panels; he actually wrote a little card to me about the post!

Below is a panel from 2009. I tried doing black-and-white illustrations. When I compare this one to my first drawings above I see better composition, better perspective, and a much more confident hand.
And finally, one of my favorites, done in 2009. You can see that I have learned about perspective and light. I also became less exact about details -- see the size of the wine bottle in his hand!

This retrospective shows me the improvements that I have made. It also gives me a sense that I can continue to grow a lot as a storyteller and illustrator. Thanks to anyone who has left a comment on my blog. The comments, more than anything, keep me growing as an artist. I never would have lasted these five years without this supportive and perceptive blogging community.

PS: I encourage you to make your own retrospective. You will discover a lot about your product and your process.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Learning Turkish


Whoops, that's Kurdish,
but the singer is Kurdish-Turkish.