Say hello to Komorebi Studio

Studio

Hello dear visitors – As Kim and I alluded to in our last podcast episode, lots has been going on in my life and has forced me to make some Big Decisions. Thankfully as it concerns my art and comics-making, it’s a good thing! Since I wrote last, my husband, family, friends and I basically did the modern version of a mini-barn-raising and we built an art studio in my backyard. Modern version meant we had to pull the necessary permits before we made it an all-seasons space — which, here in Massachusetts, means its walls and windows are insulated, and it has heat.

Komorebi Studio

Say hello to Komorebi Studio — my little sanctuary. (Komorebi is Japanese for the dappled light under a tree… rather a perfect name for it!) I took this photo while we were all in the thick of working on the studio last September. Sadly, it doesn’t look quite so verdant around here in February.

And yes, it is pretty messy in there. When I first moved in, this is what it looked like:

Inside Komorebi Studio... messy

Yikes! Kind of a disaster. How does anyone get any work done in there? Well, I promise I do 🙂  More detail on that in a few days.

There’s still some work to be done on the studio itself — this spring I will be painting the walls white and adding built-in shelving. For now though, it’s working nicely and it’s doing great even in the dead of New England winter.

And I have definitely cleaned it up since I took the above photo. But I don’t have any photo proof of that… yet… so you’ll just have to take my word for it!

Opening Studio Night

Shows

Last night was the culmination of many months of work — the opening night of the art studio I’ve become a part of [name and location removed]. There are more than a dozen of us artists who work here, and we’ve put a lot of labor into rehabbing a previously unoccupied building and making it into an artist haven. The great thing for me, as a comic artist, is that there’s a creative variety of students and artists in the area. It’s not all painters and fine artists. Just a few months ago I was at an excellent comic arts gallery showing just down the street, with some top-notch talent represented there. So even folks like me can find their own groove here.

The great part about having the open studio was meeting all the wonderful people in our community. For several hours, people came in to our space, into my studio as well, just to see what I’ve been up to, ask me about my work and my processes. These awesome folks are our neighbors and it was truly wonderful to meet them and speak with them. I met a lot of other artists in neighboring projects, from writers to painters to actors and producers. There was so much energy in the air. I had a really great evening!

My sincerest THANK YOU to everyone who came by and said hello. It was an absolute delight to meet all our wonderful neighbors and friends in the community. Please come by any time!

And now, to the photos!

In my studio!
Here I am at my desk. I know, the chair is sad – I had splurged for an amazing drafting stool, but it’s a foot too high. So I’ll use it for painting, but in the meantime, I’m using an old lawn chair at my desk. (Nobody ever said this was a glamorous life.)  And yes, it’s pretty dark in there, but it was also about 9pm at night.  We took this during a lull in the crowds, as most of the time I had at least 5 people in my studio milling around and speaking with me, so there wasn’t much time to snap a pic.

 

Fire Vampire
Here’s me with the framed pages of The Fire Vampire, which you’ll be able to read in In A Single Bound #3 in about two weeks! These pages are going to be up in the studio halls for a few more weeks, and afterward will be on display at the Beverly Cooperative Bank from September 26 to November 7.

It was lovely to see people standing outside my studio door reading the comic on the wall and hearing their chuckles. It’s the best kind of feedback.

All gone!
This picture is a bit hilarious to me, as 1) this entire display is hobbled-together things that I had in my studio that don’t really mean anything, but I thought it looked neat. And 2) I had that easel on the right CHOCK FULL of free minicomics (Silent Fluency, which I made a few months ago). They just flew away, I couldn’t keep up! I wish I had printed more, come to think of it. But it was a nice problem to have. I hope people enjoy giving them a read. They’re quick reads as they are miniminimini, but it was handy using those in lieu of business cards. Just wish I had more. Oh well, I’ll print some more for the next open studio!

People also liked flipping through my more recent sketchbook. That picture you see right there is of Captain Sisko from Star Trek DS9 🙂

photo 4
This amazing guy is who really made a lot of this happen. We’re getting married about two weeks from today! He’s my fiance Eric, and he has done such an incredible amount of behind-the-scenes work that I can’t even begin to list it all. It’s thanks to the many, many, MANY hours of hard work that he and many of the artists’ supportive partners have put in to this place that we were able to make our open studios the great success that they were.

To all the partners of artists who work behind the scenes, know that we thank you and we love you and we could not do what we do without your support.  I am so grateful.

On the left side of the photo, you can see a little how-to/process table that I set up, with step-by-step notes on how I made the minicomic that folks were reading. People really liked this glimpse into how things get made, and many people had great questions into the process. I love this kind of thing! Explaining process is a lot of fun for me, for some reason (maybe it’s my project manager background?)

Panorama shot of my studio
The panorama shot! My studio, as you can see, is half-empty right now — that entire right side is going to be full of large pieces and paintings in the coming months. Right now though I am still working on paper, and that’s basically the left side of the world…

Also I quite badly need some shelving. But that will come in time!

If we met last night at the open studio night, thank you so much for coming by. I hope you had a nice time!