Art fueling the story

A while ago I thought I would make comics. I’ve been hell bent on telling a story since college. I’ve had a number of false starts and innumerable bad ideas. One of which was to start making art for a comic I had done barely any writing on. I was just picking moments I thought were cool and going to town. That was so much wasted time. In the end, the story didn’t hold up (or I lost interest) and the art scrapped.

After that I swore to myself I’d never do that again.

Since then, I’ve been working on a short piece of fiction about death. My intentions are to pair this story with a series of illustrations and I’ve been very careful about not jumping the gun again. Until December of 2018. I had been languishing on this story, convincing myself I was “stuck” and was not finding enough reason to change that. When I was asked to contribute art to Every Day Original, I found myself trying to come up with something to paint. With the story on my mind, I decided to make something for the series accompanying the story. Uh Oh.

The painting served to re-ignite a fire where there were only embers. I didn’t expect that. Sometimes it helps to glimpse what things might look like finished. I don’t know what I expected. But since completing the painting I’ve wanted to do nothing but write. In part because I want to make more art and in part because I really want to see the whole thing together. That compelled me to make a little cover mock up for my story (from a cell phone shot and some quick type in photoshop).

IMG_4653.jpg

The painting served to re-ignite a fire where there were only embers. I didn’t expect that.

..and sometimes it helps to glimpse what things might look like finished.


This little bit of potential was enough to make me attack the story with vigor again. Comics are different in that the art does a lot to tell the story, so the story has to be solid. Fiction, is maybe a little different, I dunno. I’ll report back when I’m done.

Thanks for indulging me.

-Eli

An Excerpt

An excerpt from my short story, “Stories and Songs about my Brother, Death”.

“The memory juts out like a spike and I drop my bag. This disturbs no one but me. I leave my bag on the floor and go to the restroom. I cry sloppily in a stall, muffling the sobs when I hear the door open. I press my eyes shut and I feel as if I will scream. Then I hear footsteps move back toward the door and leave. No scream comes, but the tears flow and my body becomes a river. The sun heats the surface of my skin and beneath it where I kept all of, whatever I have for Osiris, melts and becomes deluge. The flow goes on forever, the waters rising to the riverbanks, but ultimately receding again.

I sit there, numb and drying.”


A new start, sort of.

I’ve been writing again and I am remembering how much it means to me to do this. Not just for the personal satisfaction or professional goals, but as a function of being a human. Because of this, I feel that the things I write are things I want to share with the people who enjoy my pictures. I’ve been struggling to find the right outlet for things like short stories and poems that doesn’t require a submission process or approval from a publisher or even meeting funding goals. I really just want to share this stuff with you as I make it.

The project I’m working on right now is a story about Death and while I hope the words are enough, I’ve begun making art for it. So the question became, “How do I share art and words without making a book?”.

It took me too long to remember I had a blog. Sorry.

I still need to figure out what a reasonable “portion” looks like for this sort of thing. I’m not sure I wanna put the whole thing up all at once, but I sort do want to. I dunno, I’m going to figure it out and you, my lonely and quiet blog, will be the first to know.

-Eli

10 Things I learned at Illuxcon

  1. Peer pressure is awesome when it makes you want to make more Art

  2. There is only one main dish at Sofrito’s Restaurant; the Coconut Bread. Everything else is an appetizer.

  3. Nate Flamm might be Neo.

  4. Peer pressure is not so awesome when it makes you sleep 4 hours a night, for 5 days.

  5. See everything on the first day. Fanboy/girl out. Then go back every subsequent day and really look at the work, talk to your heroes and peers and collectors and ADs and fellow fans. (The lesson is, this is the place to be a fanboy/girl)

  6. The guys at One Fantastic Week (Pete Mohrbacher and Sam Flegal) are specialized in “blowing heads back” and packing auditoriums. Glad I got there early.

  7. Onsies make everything better.

  8. Chris Burdett in a Onsie makes everything Magical.

  9. When great Artists work for a certain amount of time and reach a certain age, they stop being Artists. They become Wizards…

  10. Making lists of 10 is stupid… you just can’t fit it all.

  11. Stay tuned for the next edition of “I Hate Cons…” for the full review of Illuxcon 9!