I'm a freelance illustrator and a Kendall College of Art and Design graduate currently living in Michigan. My work ranges from rendered paintings in watercolor, to still-lifes in pastel, to film storyboards, to more comic-style illustrations in digital or traditional colors. Needless to say, my work is diverse. My intention for use of this blog is to display my artwork in a professional manner and to bring in commission-based business. Essentially, this is my online portfolio. Many illustrators are using blogs these days, and needing a presence for myself, this will hopefully work for me as well. So I encourage you to watch regularly for postings of artwork and perhaps be compelled to call on my services for a commission. Keep in mind that I work in a variety of mediums and subjects, so do not hesitate to ask for something that you might not see here. Just contact me at, my work e-mail and my Paypal account.

Read my illustration commissions post as a starting point to get an idea of the potential price range.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Salad Days fan art

For a few years now, since around '07, I've been a fan of the manga-esque comic Salad Days as well as good friends with its creator, Nafisah Tung, better known as Tyshea in some circles. The motto of Nafisah's comic is "Salad Days: a time of youthful innocence... Yeah, right," which perfectly captures the overall feeling of the story. It is, as she describes it, "a slice-of-life comedy and drama about a supernatural high school that focuses on the silly exploits of four friends". These four friends include: Ashley "Ash" Reinhardt, a grouchy and sarcastic vampire; Autumn Yates, a gentle ghost with journalistic aspirations; Mint Talbot, a werewolf just bubbling over with sunshine; and Renee "Ren" Tunone, an awkward, tomboyish grim reaper. After initially seeing the conceptual art and preliminary comic drawings, I just fell head over heels in love with it.

This drawing was the one that started it all, my very first piece of Salad Days fan art. It was a two-for-one, as it was both an art trade with Nafisah and an entry into a Salad Days fan art contest, which incidentally won first place. Here is Ren with "were-puppy" Mint tucked into her hoodie, also including Ash's spastic younger brother, Tony, in the signature. (If you don't get the cabbage exclamation, that's understandable. It was an inside joke, based on a drawing of Nafisah's in which Tony is sitting in a shopping cart with a grocery bag on his head, making this remark to Ash.)
Similarly, this was for another Salad Days contest. It didn't win, but was given an honorable mention. Anyway, what makes this one special is the backstory it tells. For winning first place in the last contest, Nafisah let me create a custom character to be used in her comic. Thus was Drew O' Shire the cu sidhe made. You can think of him as similar to a werewolf with phantasmal powers. Which brings me to the actual werewolf, Mint Talbot. Nafisah and I both thought it would be adorable to have Drew and Mint be childhood friends, so this comic tells the abridged story of how they first met. Cute, no?
Here is a drawing with Drew O' Shire (right) with Wormwood High art teacher, Art Tunone the leprechaun (left), and a fellow student, Aria the banshee (back). Drew's outfit here was based on a design Nafisah created for him in another of her Salad Days drawings. I've become very impressed with her skill for fashion illustration.

Becoming an even bigger fan, I was compelled for a time to illustrate some Salad Days minor characters, as well as the main four, which you note in the third pair of illustrations seen here. I won't go into detail as to who is who, but excluding the central characters, the rest were created by fans. This is, in my personal opinion, one of the things that makes Salad Days so great: fans can develop their own original characters and create side stories within Wormwood High. After all, the setting of Salad Days is in a high school, which means there needs to be a student body, and that's a lot of characters for one person to create.

Nafisah has found a brilliant solution that pleases her and the fans alike by letting them contribute to the comic in this way. In this sense, Salad Days becomes more than a comic, becoming something of an interactive story. A fan can create individual stories with their original characters or get together with other fans and collaborate, making stories together. After all, while Salad Days revolves around Ash, Autumn, Mint, and Ren, Wormwood High itself has many students, each with their own stories. It becomes so much more involved and expansive in this capacity.

(There's more fan art that I'll post, but I'm tired so that will have to wait for the time being.)

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