Thursday, December 11

Exauhsted Ramblings 1

2:30 AM
1 day 9 hours until everything must be completely done.

During finals there is that certain look that students, especially the upper-classmen acquire. Its created by to much work and a lack of sleep so terrible that many people go half insane. The blank stone stare of a terrified zombie.

I witnessed another comic student down in the Comic Studio with that look tonight. Her pen was poised to ink but it was as if she had become frozen and simply stared into her laptop screen. There was some movie playing but it was slow and obviously not the sort of action packed movie that you actually have to watch to understand. Despite that she stared. I watched her for several minutes and she never moved, not an inch. Though her will was attempting to force her body to continue working her mind was completely asleep.

Wednesday, December 10

Last momment dissapointments

Always, always be careful when ordering business cards.
I checked my order and checked it again, and again and again before putting the final conformation and still, I recieved my business cards today and the top graphic is missing.
This has made the entire card look awkward. I'm really upset and I've wasted almost $60 since I put in a rush order to get them before my show.

So much for that.

Tuesday, December 9

Come on by to see the Show.

The WiiFlash Interactive Comic based on the work of Johnny Lee, Gerbster, and the great community on WiiFlash is up and working on the 3rd Floor of the MCAD Gallery. My Senior Graduation Exhibition will be up between now and Saturday, December 13th.

Please stop on by and check it out.

I will be updating my blog with all file and instruction in the next week but because sleep deprivation is not conducive to cohesive descriptions I will keep my posts short until some rest can be found. Tell me, have you seen any?

Wednesday, December 3

Comic Heads Meeting

Just letting everyone know that there is a ComicHeads meeting in the MCAD comic studio this sunday at 1pm. We'll be hosting an MCAD finals support group complete with emergenC and food.

Come by and get some feedback on your work and hang out with the rest of us.

Technical aspects

I spent part of this week rewiring a wii sensor bar so that it could be powered from a common household outlet.

I started off trying to build my own with the help of this website but I was not able to get ahold of powerful enough infrared led's and my sensor range was only about two feet.

So I found this website instead and that worked very well. I now have a wii sensor bar that I'm going to attach to a pair of googles but I don't have to lug around the entire wii to get it to work with my interactive comic program.

here are a couple of pictures of the final product.

You can see, all of the products except of course the sensor bar itself are parts from radio shack and the total project cost me about $28 dollars. But that's because I bought the variable voltage adapter when all I needed was a 7.5v adapter.

It won't win any beauty contests but it gets the job done and its one step closer to my super interactive comic.

Friday, November 21

Continuing work on my senior project

I've almost got all the programing worked out and I'm looking forward to the completion of a successful project.

To see a bit of sample code in action click here.

This file is controlled by mouse movement and doesn't have the scaling aspect as I assume most of you have not taken the time to set up a wii remote on your desktop.

When the project is finished I'll upload some videos of the whole thing in action as well as all my code and instructions on how to set it all up for yourself. Trust me. Its easier than it sounds and its a ton of fun. Who wouldn't want to control their computer by waving a little rectangular block around?

Update to Comic Heads

A few days ago I wrote an article for the Comic Heads blog discussing tools and resources for online networking.
You can check it out here.

Friday, November 14

Progress has been made!
I've been working non stop for the last week, leaving behind sleep and perhaps sanity.
I'll update now with links to all the major drawings for each panel I've put on Flickr.

I'm in process of programing the Wii Remote to work with Flash using the tools from and

Side projects have also begun for after graduation productivity. I've been reviewing an old screen play that Christina Beard and I will be attempting to cooperate on to turn into a short animation film. I've also started making plans to restart Twin Cities Babylon.

Thursday, October 23

Sketches 2

The first step is to get all the drawings done for all the panels. The planning has been the most difficult part. I started off with thumbnails of the four panels as if they were in a normal comic, to get an idea of the story as a whole.

To plan out the entire "panel" takes me a whole page. Some of its really sketchy but the point is to plan out how all the elements work together and start thinking about how things are going to move and overlap, or not.

The plan is to have it readable in as many different ways as possible. Its so hard! I've had to wrack my brain to think about storytelling in such a different way. As you'll see in the thumbnails there are still some blank spots that's I'm still not quite sure what to do with. I'm hoping time and continual work will fix the kinks.

A lot of these drawings are still in the sketchy blue line stage, next week you can expect an update with all the finished drawings.

The Man Who Sits On The Tide is definitely my favorite character to draw. Just check out the cool tattoos!

Sketches 1

It has been a crazy couple of weeks, let me tell you.
I've got a schedule now. Between now and December 1st I have all my time scheduled out and all my due dates penciled in. If everything goes according to plan I should have my project ready for exhibition by November 18th and I can start putting up the show December 1st.

The Graduation Exhibition Opening will be December 12th and I would like to invite everyone who can to come join me for some fun! I'm really excited.

Sunday, October 5

Planning, its a good thing.

Today... well I suppose yesterday at this point, was the first day of the 2008 MCBA Fall Con at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Its a good show, lots of creators and a comfortable community. It was great with the exception of the fact that I lacked books to hand out and sell. So no money or contacts for Ali.
Now here I sit, 2am looking down at the pile of beautiful printed comic books.
Only to realize that I have no stapler.
Life is a cruel mistress.

Monday, September 22

Senior Show Images

I'm nervous about my Senior Show Project, its a lot of work and I'm doing something no one has done before, so no one can really show me how to do it. Most people don't even understand the idea.

Despite that I've begun my first Flash demo of the first panel. The programing is a bit strange but I should be done by Thursday. For testing purposes I'm only manipulating three images, a foreground raven, a middle ground tree and a far off background.



Sunday, September 14

First Comic Head's Meeting

Just a quick announcement for anyone in the Minneapolis area.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Comic Head's Meeting: Ideas and Inspiration

Sunday September, 14 ( TODAY! ) 1 p.m.
Auditorium 140

Wednesday, September 10

I made a calculator

As much as I complain about Flash, I have enjoyed making this program.
Its just a simple calculator, but I think its pretty fun.
Check it out.

A short fangirl note for CSS

This is just a short post before I really start my day but I was cruising though my daily blogs when I came across the newest CSSplay post and its drop dead gorgeous!

This is the kind of beautiful and creative design that I always think about when people start talking to me about the Flash website they want. Flash is great, don't get me wrong, its a fascinating program and Actionscript 3.0 is actually starting to become a vary useful programing language, but Flash is not god.
In fact, I can very comfortably state that in 80% of all circumstances where people insist that they need Flash websites it could be done better in CSS, almost entirely.

Tuesday, September 9

play with color

A sketch I did after working for hours on homework.

Its so nice to feel free enough to just play with color.

Monday, September 1


I've begun Database and Computational Design, one of the two last classes I will take at MCAD. The class is about advanced Flash Actionscript 3.0 and I'm struggling, the first steps to learn a new programming language are always hard.

In my quest to understand the complexities of Flash I've found a number of useful websites that I thought might be helpful to others as well.

One of the best Flash resources is actually the Adobe LiveDocs but they're remarkably hard to find on a google search.
Language and Components Refrence
Flash CS3 Documentation

Kirupa is a great tutorial resource for all sorts of stuff, not just flash.

The work for my senior project is also going to be done in Flash so I've begun work on learning to create 3D-esc flash files. These are a lot more challenging. But I should also be able to get help from the awesome people at WiiFlash.

basic 3D scripting for Flash
A collection of links to Flash tutorials
Kirupa: scripting 3D in Flash

Saturday, August 30

In search of a Bright Ful future.

Well the computer operating system has been reinstalled.
not once, but twice
It's working now and I'm back to being my semi-productive self.

This week has definitely been Fulbright week.
To any who don't know, the Fulbright scholarship program is available for students who have just finished their bachelor degree or who are working on their graduate degree. Its extremely competitive but, if you get it, its an amazing opportunity.

My goal is to win the Fulbright scholarship grant to study storytelling in Ireland. I will study the style of storytelling and the storytelling culture that Ireland has developed. The fruit of this project will be a comic book about Irish storytelling, its history, and how its style can be used in education and business.

One of the challenges of the Fulbright, there are many, is that I must first make contacts in Ireland myself. I'm looking forward to this particular challenge, I enjoy meeting new people.

Wednesday, August 27

So this computer thing... it won't eat me.. will it?

I'm reformatting my laptop.
This is the computer that I do most of my work on, keep most of my stuff, and apparently encourage the most viruses. A virus has done something very weird to my system files and they're not where they're supposed to be anymore. This isn't really a problem as my computer still seems to be running fine... but its concerning. Concerning enough I'm going to destroy it all and start again from scratch. Its not like my computer didn't need it anyway.

So the computer is being reformatted. I've backed up everything several times and prayed to every computer god I know but its still very likely that I'll lose some kind of data. I just hope its not my Outlook contacts like it was last time.

Wish me luck guys.
And if you don't hear from me in 48 hours... just know that my computer is dead and the world is lost.

Friday, August 1


I finally have finished a new comic this summer.
And I'm sorry I still haven't finished cleaning up my senior project. I'm still having a hard time looking at it.
There are things I really want to change.
But anyway.
May I present...


I can't wait to get home and spend time on the coast with my family.

Friday, July 25

Why am I not in SanDiego?

As I step outside my house today into poring rain and the boom of thunder I have to stop and ask myself, why am I not in SanDiego?
Why am I not enjoying endless sunshine and people in bad costumes? Why am I not hanging with my wonderful comic geek friends? I feel regret that yet again my bank account has not allowed me this trip down to the sunny state. Oh San Diego, how I miss thee.

Sunday, July 20

Attack of the leathal virus's

So along with having no internet access outside of a coffee shop because my Quest modem appears to have died, I've spent the whole weekend not working on the art project I wanted to get done and instead, have been battling a whole slew of nasty computer viruses who have corrupted my computer to the extent that I'm now limping along with little hope of saving my computer from a complete reinstall.

That means operating system and everything.

I've sort of guessed that from the beginning, when on Thursday my computer was literally hijacked before my eyes, my Internet Explorer opened without my command and a file began downloading. I think I've had one of the best looks on my face to date. I believe it was a mixture of horror and aghast fascination.

Lucky for me my father is an amazing computer network enginier so he was able to get on the phone with me and figure out most of the problems. Still though... things seem kinda wonky so I'm afraid to access any websites where i have to enter a lot of personal information. I'll have to find another secure computer to pay my Quest bill.

So I'm sorry for yet another non-art post but I'll be getting back to the art-ing soon.

Friday, July 18

Color inspiration from nature.

I just wanted to take a moment to link to a really amazing design article I found. On Nudibranch.

Just look at this color palette!
You can read the full article here.

Sometimes as a computer artist I can get so caught up in the technical stuff that I can forget to take the time to just look outside my studio window.
There is so much inspiration just waiting out there. So many amazing creatures and shapes.
I just set up a new studio with my room mate in the porch of our apartment, it looks great and so far its a perfect working space... assuming the fans are on full blast. Its hot here.

Thursday, July 10

10 Commandments of Web Design

This is just brilliant.
I laughed and I agreed with the entire article and any one out there who likes to build the occasional site would do well to hop on over and read The 10 Commandments.

Seriously, I feel like I should print this out and pray to it every day.
My favorite is 'Thou shalt not abuse flash', my savior has come.

Tuesday, June 17

the first step has begun

I've started work on my senior show project again.

Its been frustrating and technology is a very frustrating.
so I'm not going to go into all the details at this time but I'm trying to connect a wii remote to a bluetooth adapter.
I've now discovered that every time I disconnect my bluetooth adapter, to make the wii remote work I have to reinstall the program and then disconnect the wii remote then reconnect it again.
Its annoying to say the least.

now I have to find new batteries

at least when everything is installed it works well.

Tuesday, June 10

One more bike post

ok, one more post about this bike "accident" then I'll get back to more important things.
I wish I had more art to post but setting up the new apartment has taken a lot of time and things are still a mess. I don't have access to a scanner right now so that's making it difficult to post even the few sketches I have done.

but onto being hit by a car. yeah, not an experience I want to repeat. I've changed my bike route so that I'm more protected, and I try to ride with a group of bikers whenever possible.
These are the bruises on my left leg. They've actually become a lot more impressive since I took this picture but I don't think anyone wants to see those.
My left arm is also really bruised but I can't really get a picture 'cause its on the backside. I think I also strained my neck but that barely hurts at all anymore.
I'm still really miffed that the guy didn't even stay around to see if I was okay but I think I've learned some valuable lessons about bike safety. I would encourage all my friends and readers. Please please please! Keep an eye out for bikers around you, they are very much more afraid of you than you are of them.

Friday, June 6

And now for something different: Bikes

I have dedicated this blog to the discussion of art related topics, however, with your indulgence I'm going to spend this post discussing another topic that has recently become very important to me.
Please, please if you are driving a car, please, keep an eye out for and respect the bikers around you.

I was hit by a car today on my way to work.

In Minneapolis there are not a lot of bike lanes or large shoulders to ride on. I ride into downtown on 3rd Ave S. This isn't to bad of a road to bike on. There are actually large shoulders here and a lot of bikers use it so the cars seem to at least acknowledge we're there. However, when I turn onto Washington Ave there is nothing. There is no shoulder to speak of and the cars have no problem zooming inches by me. I've had to swerve numerous times to avoid getting clipped.

So, I have taken to riding on the sidewalk down Washington. I don't feel good about this. I believe that sidewalks should be for pedestrians. However I don't feel that I have any other safe place to be.

Today however even that wasn't enough. I was riding on the sidewalk and I was starting toward an intersection. I had a walk sign so I went ahead. That's when the car turned in front of me.
I hit my brakes and tried to turn to the side but it wasn't enough and I crashed into the side of the car and bounced off, hitting the ground with a crash.

The car didn't even stop.

They slowed down, obviously the loud THUNK couldn't have escaped their notice, though they seemed oblivious to everything else. But when they saw me stand up they zoomed off. There were some very sweet pedestrians that stopped and made sure I was okay, asked if they could call anyone.

I'm okay, just badly shaken and a little bruised. My bike is okay too, mostly, its ridable at least. I'm going to take it into the shop to get it checked out. I really hope I at least left a dent in that car for them to remember me by.

So I admit I'm still a little angry because I was a lot scared. But this really is important. Please! Pay attention to the bikes around you! As the gas prices go up we need to look for better ways to get where we need to go but so many people are afraid to ride their bikes because they are afraid of getting hit. I believe this needs to change. Laws protecting pedestrians and bicyclists need to be respected and enforced and motorists themselves just need to remember that we're out there and we need your help to stay safe.

Here is a list of the top 11 safests cities for bicyclists in the world.

1. Amsterdam

2. Portland, Oregon (this is my hometown. GO OREGON! )

3. Copenhagen

4. Boulder, Colorado

5. Davis, California

6. Sandnes, Norway

7. Tronheim, Norway

8. San Francisco, California

9. Berlin

10. Barcelona

11. Basel, Switzerland

Source: TreeHugger

Monday, May 19

Summer art requests?

I'm really in need of some inspiration this summer. I don't want to slack off on my drawing like I have every other year. Any requests for pictures?
I'm willing to do fanart.

Summer evenings and a new job to go along with it.

I have a really wonderful new job for the summer. It's a design position with a small consulting group. This is the kind of job that I could really learn to love, and of course, its all about the people. My boss and my coworker are really wonderful people, really interesting and have some great ideas. I am also allowed a lot of room to stretch my wings.

When I signed up for this job I thought I would be doing a lot of graphic design and illustration, things I can do and I enjoy. What I've found myself doing is being thrown headlong into intricate data visualization and business info graphic work.

If you need some examples of what data visualization can look like, check out Jonathan Harris or Aydin Mohseni.

Its some seriously challenging work, and I'm loving it.

And to make sure there is some art on this post somewhere, here are some photos of a gorgeous midwest sunset I took with my camera phone.

Thursday, May 1

Senior Project 4

Here's my first fully finished page.

I really don't know how I feel about this lettering.

Here is page 3. This one still needs some grays I think.

Edit: I didn't realize till after I posted it that the word balloon in the 5th panel was pointing the wrong direction. Its supposed to be pointing down toward the third tier.
It's fixed in the final version which should be up on my website soon.

Wednesday, April 30

Senior Project 3 - kissing

I had some difficulty drawing the kissing, but it came out really well, even if it took me a while.
I'm uploading my favorites as I finish inking because it keeps me motivated.
I have only four left then I can relax.
Deadlines are a... very frustrating.

Senior Project 2

It's 6am and I've been up all night, again. This really can't be good for my health.

I got a good pick-me-up halfway through the night with a wrap and a Sobe from Caffrey's Deli. For anyone in the twin cities area I highly recommend them. They're open till 3am!

Anyway. I'm still plunking away at my senior project. I have five pages left to ink but several of them should only take a little while. We're speaking in relative time of course.

Monday, April 28

senior project 1

I'm so exhausted. There is no time to sleep and I'm looking forward to going and eating some pizza in an hour. Until then, I ink.

Here are two of my pages for my senior project. They are missing lettering and I think I want to add some gray wash to the second page but they are really coming along. I'm enjoying myself.
now if I could only get some sleep.

Sunday, April 20


Difficult to report anything but work. Caught up in the midst of finals I have a thousand and one things going on but no brain cells to talk about them.

A friend of mine at MCAD has just recently set herself up with a website and I would highly recommend checking her stuff out. She has great illustrations and amazing tone work.

Nicole Vanche

Sunday, February 24

Little news and Storyboards

I wish that I had more news to add. I'm afraid everything is going a bit slow right now.

I've been working on two larger projects that have been taking a lot of my time but that don't give me a lot to show. I do have some storyboards that I made last week that I like a lot though.

I was also playing around on Flickr today and found a really interesting imagery tool that finds photographs based on an image you draw.

Wednesday, February 13

Icon Design and a new blog

Currently I am working on improving my graphic design skills and understanding. I found this link on my Dig News feed and it has some really interesting points on icon design.

Also, I have begun a new blog using WordPress which I am hosting on my personal web server. Its focused on discussing the art of storytelling. I hope to be posting interviews, news, video, and links to other interesting articles and artists. Please come join the discussion.
Ailea Studio Storytelling Blog

Saturday, February 9

Final Chase Storyboards

I added some more parts with the bears and tried to make the ending a little more tense.

Tuesday, January 29


This semester is one of the greatest I've ever had. I really enjoy my classes and feel incredibly stimulated by my teachers and my peers. One of my classes this term is Storyboarding for Animation and Film. Its very fun and I love how encouraging my teacher is. I've really gotten a chance to experiment with Photoshop and my wacom tablet, learning how quickly I can draw to get my ideas across.
Here are my storyboard roughs for class this week.
The story is just a chase scene between a wolf and a fox.

page 1
page 2

I'm looking forward to finalizing them over the next week. If anyone has any suggestions I would really appreciate it.

Monday, January 28

Talks Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

A talk by Sir Ken Robinson on schools and the new direction public education needs to go is amazing. Robinson is a great speaker with just the right amount of wit. This talk was given in 2006 but I just found it and I think its amazing. One thing he said that really struck me as an artist was, "if your not prepared to be wrong you will never do anything original." This is very true, yet is something that public schooling trains out of us. Probably one of my most challenging daily trials is to push through my own fear of mistakes to create something new. What would the possibilities be if our schooling fostered creativity instead of squashing it. What sort of art would that new generation create? What kinds of new inventions?

Check out the video

My last blog post was about the new 3D gaming tools that are being created. That fascinated me, I would like to see more of these kind of innovations created in the future. I've especially been interested in the possibilities these kinds of technologies offer to comics. Would it be possible to create a 3D comic? Something that looked like an image on paper but as you moved around new objects or characters would be revealed. Could this be a new way to involve readers in a story?

Wednesday, January 23

I'm really truly excited for what is soon to come out in the world of video games. As a comic artist and illustrator I have dreams of someday doing some of the concept work for games like these. Imagine the possibilities.

Thursday, January 10

Zefriel v. 1

So the fox comic is finished but I've decided to retouch it before I put it in my portfolio. I would also really like to continue Twin Cities Babylon sometime in the near future. I hope that I have time for it. In the mean time I'm playing with a new coloring style and working more in Corel Painter. Here is a partially finished painting based on a role playing character named Zefriel. He's a half dragon.