Monday, December 24

Okay here is what you do.
1. click on the link above
2. scroll down to the list of all the democratic and republican presidential candidates.
3. click on the first candidate on the list
4. Scroll down to 'On The Issues' click on the first link
5. Read the candidates position on all the issues.
6. repeat steps 4-5 for all candidates and become a fully informed voter
7. send out this to do list to everyone you know.

I know this will take a little while but its important and I don't care who you vote for except that I believe everyone has the responsibility to form their own opinions.

Tuesday, December 11

My first fully finished page for my comic final!!!


Monday, November 19

sexy flash

So in planning for my own gallery redesign and also working on some consulting for a friends gallery I've been spending a good deal of time researching different ways of showing off a large number of images in an easy to load, esthetically pleasing way, and damned if this isn't the sexiest gallery I've ever seen.
Its a beautiful utilization of flash in a simple environment and it loads quickly and beautifully. The only issue for me is that it is flash which still has some compatibility problems for older browsers and users who don't like to download new software and Flash is still not supported on phones with web access which is a problem because the number of users accessing sites from mobile devices is raising every day.

So, as beautiful as it is I don't know if I could use it in my own site yet. Never the less... its fucking gorgeous.

Wednesday, November 14

I wish I had more to update with.
I've begun conversation with a woman who has connections in Ireland and begun planning to visit there to continue my storytelling research. This is of course a bit of forward planning because I can't leave until Summer 2009 but I like to know what I'm doing, even if the plans change completely between now and then.
I'm still working on the beginnings of my senior project as well as a 14 page story for Comic 3. I'll be uploading the sketches to my website soon.

Speaking of websites, I think mines in need of an overhaul. I need a full on identity and a layout that doesn't act odd every few page loads. It looks cool but I've decided that it isn't as practical as I would like it to be. I'll also be adding more PHP for fast updating and perhaps move my blog fully on to my server.

I miss Twin Cities Babylon. I really want to start it up again. Soon Babylon. Soon.

Wednesday, October 31

As anyone who actually reads this might have noticed, Twin Cities Babylon had to be put on hold till the end of this hellish semester. I've noticed I don't do well during semester on anything other than school work, which is as it should be I suppose.

I've begun work on my senior project and its looking awesome, I'm loving my process book. I've finally settled on a workable piece that can show off my talents and that I will enjoy doing but that I don't have so much investment in that it will take years to complete, which is what my other ideas were turning into.
While trying to figure out what I wanted to do for my senior project I stumbled upon a few more exceptional ideas that I plan on investing in in the years to follow my graduation. The research will involve travel, which I'm really looking forward too. In anticipation of this I have begun researching grants that can help me afford my endeavor. Grants are a bitch to find. Well, not grants in general, put a search into Google for grants and you'll get pages and pages of hits and most of those only lead to more lists, more memberships, and more reasons to let go of more money but so far very few have had what I need.
There is a neat storytelling grant that might work from Northlands Storytelling Network
And a comic and cartoonist grant besides the Xeric grant which only covers self publishing costs, not research or travel.
I've also decided I'll try for the Fullbright but there are so many applications every year that I doubt my chances.

Friday, October 12

Nothing beats a visit from your mom and home baked cookies never go out of style.

Saturday, September 29

Twin Cities Babylon part 2 - 5

Part 2
Title: It came from the water

Part 3
Title: The Foundling

Part 4
Title: No Hospital

Part 5
Title: Public Transportation

Friday, September 21

Twin Cities Babylon : The Fall

Series Title: Falling Into Babylon
Comic 1: The Fall

Here is comic one. I'm so nervous about this comic. I think I'm going to stay with a more greyed out color pallet, it seems to fit better and matches the grey skies that are all around these days. Its so cold already.

Sunday, September 16

Wow. Its been a long time.
At school I've taken over the job of RA which is nice but time consuming along with my seventeen credits and four studio classes, three of which are comic studios. I'm also taking a web comic workshop and building the basis for what I hope to be a continuing web comic.

It will be a combination of fantasy and reality set in the twin cities.

This is Sheiryth. She's crazy, and very blue, not in the emotional sense though, she's to crazy for that.

This is Doug, he's hip and he's a chef.

She's Doug's best friend and has been crashing in his basement for the last year while she finishes school.

Shade is evil. He wants to capture Sheiryth but lately he's been distracted by the hot Minneapolis night life.

Saturday, July 21

Text and Word Balloons

The text element of the comic medium must be taken into account when developing a good story. Whether the artist decides to create a story entirely with text or not using any text at all, the decision must be a conscious artistic choice.

In word balloons the type of text used can change the way the words are interpreted. Someone saying, “no you can’t” in a normal font has a very different impact from, “NO YOU CAN’T” or even “no you can’t”. These changes in type face and size impact how readers interpret the words being used. This gives the readers a greater sense of the character’s emotions, their personality, and the theme of the story.

Will Eisner, had an especially good instinct for the combination of textual and visual elements. Whenever he incorporated text it always matched the story he was working on.
In the Spirit, Eisner really introduced the idea of dynamic text and titles. In every issue of the Spirit the title of the comic would be incorporated into the body of the first page. It would become an element of the storytelling rather than a simple description that is observed in most comics.

When I'm working on my own comics, I admit that I have a tendency to take the easy road and use computer text, its generally faster and as most of my work is rendered on a computer with a Wacom tablet its faster than printing it out. However, I always do feel a keen sense of disappointment when I look at the finished product. The text element of a visual story must match up to the images that make up the majority of the storytelling or something becomes lost. It is the goal of comic artists to take into account all aspects of their storytelling craft and ensure that no one element will draw to much attention as to pull the audience out of the fantasy that the artist has created.

Here are some interesting pages on text and word balloons in comics.

Saturday, July 14

Motocycles in Montana

So my dad's in town for the weekend, he drove cross country across Montana on his motorcycle. Its a lot of fun, hanging out, talking, building computers. Right now my dad's showing me some of the photographs he took with his digital camera while he was on the road. Some of them he even took while driving.

I must admit that I am not a fan of Montana, sorry, its nothing personal. But damn, it is still some really beautiful countryside. Those slightly curving hills and way off in the background the points of snow covered mountains. I'm going to see if I can't get a copy of a few of the pictures my father took. They're beautiful. His motorcycle is in the foreground which is, in of itself, a beautiful piece of equipment.

Monday, July 9


Here is a character study that I did for my Comic Book Story Telling class.

I really enjoy this character a lot. This really is a very very quick drawing of her but never the less, some of her answers to the questions are really fun.
Fox Character Study
Update: I'm sorry the link seems to be down. I'll try to get it fixed soon.

Saturday, July 7

Drawing for fun

Wow. I had forgotten how much I missed drawing, just for the fun of it.

Last night I had dinner with some friends. It was a wonderful dinner, one of the best I've had in a very long time. The food was good and the company was better. We laughed and joked and as the main course was coming to a close we all pulled out sketch pads and drew each other in a round. Then we switched. It was a great experience.

Not since my early days of high school have I been able to draw with friends in a comfortable environment just for the joy of drawing. It was fascinating to me to see the differences in each piece as well, we all had such different styles.

My favorite was the drawing my boyfriend did of me, but I'm biased.

I feel inspired to draw again today, in a way I haven't been in a while. Inspiration comes and goes but sometimes you have to help it along a little. I'm absolutely going to do this again. I feel great.

Monday, July 2

Friday, June 29

Ozy and Millie

So its been many a week since I've last updated. I've been on a great adventure and a guest to discover new discoveries... I also drove through Montana in a little over a day.
So I've been traversing the mighty US of A in a little car filled to the brim with boxes, a tv, and piles of beautiful, must have junk to put into my new apartment. Sadly, I won't be able to move into my new apartment until August and everything doesn't have a place in the current abode so for now its sitting in a pile in the middle of the living room.

Since I returned I have spent quite a few hours reconnecting with the internet and catching up on my favorite web comics as well as reading a few new ones.

Ozy and Millie by D.C. Simpson, is probably one of my favorite web comics. I just started reading it but its been around for quite some time. I'm still going through the archives.

As far as art goes this one is top notch. The artist really does a great job and knows his style well. Its of the anthro style but the fact that they're all animals doesn't distract and the characters are so loveable I don't care at all.
I absolutely adore the political commentary and discussion about social and cultural stupidity as well.
Its also making me what to refer to all annoying politicians as Poo-heads.
In short, I'm in love. Millie also reminds me of myself at a young age so that could be part of it as well. ^_^

Wednesday, June 6


A sketch I did after watching the last season of Buffy. There is some freaky stuff that goes on with eyes in that season.
Its funny, as I have been traversing Minneapolis from home to work and back again, I have found quite a bit of time to write some really interesting things in a little black notebook, blog worthy things. Yet, when I get home, I can not find the energy to do anything with my computer.

Having spent the entire day staring at a computer screen I am much more inclined to play a game, talk, read a book, or just curl up in a ball and not move for a few hours.

That's not to say that my work is bad. The people I work with are wonderful and the work is actually quite enjoyable, and I'm learning a lot.

Its just that... I feel so drained.

I feel stoppered up. My creativity is there, in my head. Its filling me so much some days that my hands shake with the need to let it out. But I can't seem to. I have been given many opportunities to let my creativity go wild, and yet I do not. I don't know quite what is keeping me this way, maybe its backlash from school, maybe its stress, maybe I'm just more lazy than I'd like to admit.

Every day on the bus when I sit with my little black notebook the world seems to open in front of me. But the second it closes my world narrows back to a small empty cube.

Wednesday, May 23


Well, as the internet at my house was out this post is a few days late.

The early morning sun is always something glorious to behold. Especially for an art student, we don't get to see it often.

Yesterday I rode to work on the Minneapolis Bus System. I really do feel that this system could be improved, it leaves much to be desired. The arrival times should be right to within a minute or two of the times posted on their website and I don't know who came up with the same number, different letters idea for naming their buses but its greatly lacking in practical functionality, it sucks. Buses named 21A, B, and C all take slightly different routes or only go so far to my destination. I don't know how many times I've ended up only halfway to where I want to go with no other bus in sight.

However the buses do give me an opportunity to really brush up my drawing skills. Its so convenient to be surrounded by people who all sit perfectly still. Most are asleep or believe that it is terribly impolite to address strangers on the bus. No one talks to me or looks over my shoulder while I draw and can't really say anything if they seem me drawing them. As I said, it's convenient.

I really do get some of my best ideas while I'm on the bus, looking out the window and watching the world go by. Even walking to the bus stop that morning was fun.

I walked down the sidewalk watching my feet treading on the cracks and falling back into childhood wondering if I'd be falling a breaking my back. Then laying on the sidewalk in front of me was an extremely large earthworm, it twitched. It was dying and already two large centipedes had attached themselves to its body to consume it.

I looked at them and felt sadness, empathy for a worm, and also comfort, it reminded me of the natural order. It reminded me that the cycle of life, in all its horrifying realities, it continues and it changes.

I wanted to remember those thoughts so I pulled out my camera phone, I felt like an intruder, so I snapped a picture and continued on my way.

Tuesday, May 8

it looks to be a great summer

So as of this moment my finals are finished, kaput, done, and gone. Hooray!!!!
Now I can look to this summer which looks to be full of entertainment and adventure.

On Friday I begin my web internship at MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) which I am very much looking forward to.

I will also begin a number of personal projects including redesigning my website in Flash and in PHP, writing the script and thumbnails for my senior project, learning more about Adobe InDesign and Flash, and making a ten page comic about two brothers after their father's funeral.
That of course will be along side a visit to Portland, Oregon, spending time with my wonderful boyfriend, and taking some nice hikes around the city and the wilderness.

It looks to be a great summer.

Monday, April 30

Computer vs Traditional

So, I have spent all week sitting in front of my computer cleaning up the pages for my comic final (a few sample pages are available in the last post). And I truly never expected it to be this tedius.

Some people complain that computer work is cheating, that its faster and easier than traditional. This is an argument I'm going to have to disagree with.

True that the undo button is something that I take full advantage of and is something not available in drawing and painting, but I have found that the amount of time it takes to make something look really good, to look really clean and not pixelated or computerized can take just as much time as any traditional media.

Penciling this comic took me about five hours per page. Versus pencil and paper this is a bit faster than the average time of ten hours. However, the clean-up process and the refining of line that is the computerized version of inking is not so quick. For me this process takes almost twice as long per page than any form of finishing, painting, inking, anything.

I would like some feedback if anyone reads this. What is your preference of media? Do you find the computer to be faster or slower than traditional medias and where do you like to use it and where do you not?

Friday, April 27

We are now entering the last week of finals.

I've been spending a lot of my time working on my comic final for my Image as Narrative class. Its an eight page comic that could be extended to nine.
Over the summer I plan on redoing it in scratch board.

Here are a few pages in progress

Outside of comics I'm working on a few papers and a drawing. I'm also working on redoing my site using a php template but that doesn't look to be done until after the semester ends.
I've also begun planing to make a Flash version of my site. This will probably be up mid summer or so.

Tuesday, March 27

Ailea-Studio v2.0

My total reworking of my website is up and running. :sigh: It only took me two months.
I've used some really awesome javascript and css in this version to add lightbox 2.0 to show my images. Pretty awesome script. I had to work with it a little bit to make it do what I wanted but it came out pretty nice.

So now its four in the morning. I have a bunch of new comics and illustrations to put up on the sight but that will have to wait for tomorrow, I'm exhausted.

good night all.

Wednesday, March 21

So you might have noticed a few changes.
^_^ I figured out how to manipulate the HTML for this thing. Yay!
I've added a number of links at the top of the page that, as of yet do not work. But fret not. They will work soon. I plan to have the redesign of my site up and running by the end of spring break.

for now you can still check out my old site at

When the update does occur you can look forward to several new illustrations and four new, never before seen comics as well as a better navigation system and overall design.

Monday, March 19

Well we've hit midterms and the work has started snowballing. Which is ironic as the sun is shining the wind is warm and the last of the snow has begun to melt.
I want to go dance in the sun shine but I am stuck inside working.
I am getting ready for my schools merit scholarships where we compete for really nice packs of money based on the best artist in each major and department, or at least, the one judged best, there are always those that disagree with the results. I'm fairly confident that I will not win because there are some truly amazing comic artists participating this year but I will try my best and it will be a good experience.
To add to my merit scholarship show I have completed three new comics that I very much enjoy. There is Life, Touch, and Samurai no Musume which means Daughter of the Samurai. I've had a lot of fun with all of these projects. My favorite so far has been Samurai no Musume because I had to do research on ancient Japan and the traditions of the feudal era.

In this time period the women of Japan were often left to protect their lands while the men rode off to try and conquer other lands. Most women were accomplished warriors and fought with long spears with curved blades and short swords more like long daggers. The daggers were more often used in suicides which were the preference to being captured where it was expected that a woman would be raped and sold into slavery. Her suicide was the honorable thing to do. It was similar to the ritual suicide performed by males except that the blade went across the throat instead of the stomach.

I plan on updating my website soon with all of these new comics and also look forward to an entirely new layout for my website. Its a little darker but I think it works well.

Tuesday, February 27

Life and Death - a comic

Life Sample
Life and Death

In my last post I was complaining about having problems figuring out how to show a spirit. Here is my solution. I'm not sure its the best solution but its the only one I could come up with.

The story goes that a dying woman in labor as she passes from this world, meets the spirit of her daughter as she is born. They have a loving meeting and then the woman dies and her daughter is born. This was drawn on a Wacom tablet in Adobe Photoshop. The way I work is that I draw my pencils into the computer then print it off in blue-line on a large scale printer on 11x17 Bristol, ink the pages by hand then scan them back in for final edits and shrinking the pages down for publication. It may be a weird way to work but it works for me.
Anyway. The blue color of the daughter spirit is pretty much a reminder to myself that I want to ink her in blue ink to separate her figure from that of her mother. When i print it the page will all be the same blue-line color.

The only major problem I am having with this page is that on the second panel the spirit of the daughter accidentally came out looking sort of like an image of the Buddha. This wasn't my intention.

Sunday, February 25

baby souls

I'm completely stuck on my latest comic. I really have no idea how to handle the problem I'm facing.

In my comic I have a dying mother meeting the soul of her soon to be born daughter. How does one go about drawing a soul? I certainly have no idea and all of my attempts have looked horrible.
I've thrown in the towel for the night and probably for the rest of the weekend.

I give up.

Saturday, February 24

Dragon Problems

This is a sketch I did in my sketchbook over a month ago that I am still struggling with how to color. I love the drawing to pieces and I want to do it justice but I just don't quite know how.

I've tried a few different versions but nothing comes out just right. I'm thinking I might just go with simple generic dragon colors.

In truth I'm only contemplating this now because its 2 am on a Friday night and I'm locked away in my little apartment trying to get homework done that I don't really want to do anymore. My hands hurt from drawing panels.

I've discovered however that I have found myself with a growing interest in the discussion of life and death. Its not like I'm looking for a particular religion, I'm an admitted agnostic unless I'm feeling particularly religiously oppressed that day. But I look forward to all the ideas that have come out of religion to explain those unknown moments before we're born and after we die. I have my own ideas about what might be on the other side but those are really for another day.

I just bring this up because I was noticing that all of my comic projects on my plate at the moment have to do with life and death. I have my comic that I've almost completed titled, Life, about the meeting of mother and daughter in the tunnel as the daughter is born into the world and her mother passes from it. Its sad and heartening at the same time. I've also just finished the script for a story about two brothers dealing with the death of their father and their discussion as they leave the cometary. My other project is my senior project which would take much more time than I have now to explain and is still in the experiment stage but let me assure you it is all about death and the decisions we make and how they effect us.

The Beginning

Hello to all.

This blog is here for me to share my ideas, my thoughts, my mistakes, and my dreams with my fellow human beings and I will welcome your feedback. I accept that you may not like all that I have to say and I may not like everything you have to tell me in return. But I would like to think that in the end, with the input of others, I will come out of this experience a better person and artist and perhaps inspire a few people along the way.