Yeah I was a bit late in promoting this one yah! BUT, always good to direct more folks to these great guys. Especially the amazing KC Grifant, whose story “Better Halves” still creeps me out months after reading it for the first time.
Check out Grifant’s amazing story and others in The Lovecraft eZine, and below here’s a full shot of my illustration and a “big eyed” variant I did during the revision process!
Check out the feature here! http://thehorrorzine.com/Art/Jan2016/HeatherLandry/Heather.html
This is a horror art feature of my work since my August 2013 feature there. I’m happy to be in this fantastic magazine again! The printed January 2016 version will be coming out soon and will also have one of my pieces in it.
Be sure to look at the other incredible artists too. I really enjoyed being introduced to the freaky mixed media of Claudio Parentela and the luminous (yet thematically dark) digital art of Angela He!
I’m scheduled be on News44 this Friday, 6am with my #nature #art to promote Saturday’s #ArtintheWild show at Wesselman Nature Society. Hooray! Just a local news channel naturally, but I’m still pretty thrilled to have an opportunity to show off my art. I’ve made some new pieces recently that I can’t wait to show.
ART IN THE WILD THIS SATURDAY 12-4pm:https://www.facebook.com/events/1655411888036570/
Yep, someone at the largest money-saving blog in the world, The Penny Hoarder, actually agreed to let me open my big fat mouth to staff writer Lauren Tharp for an interview on ways to cut costs while making art. You might be familiar with all of these tricks or you might not, but believe me I picked my brain for every sneaky little way I could think of to save a few bucks. I’m blushing a little though, the article makes it sound like these are all my ideas and achievements. Actually, the credit goes to all of my artist buddies and acquaintances who’ve shared tips and organized great events over the years.
…well that was fast! Thanks guys!
Oh and here’s the link.
As you can see, the Tin Man Illustrator Glassware Series is amazing…many of my buddies are featured on these awesome glasses including Arts Council of Doom artists Stephanie Osborne, Melissa Erwin, Amy Wilke, Jacob Walker, WILKE, and Gary Logan Hobdy…and now, yes, now they have finally decided to do something insane and feature MY DESIGN.
Even better, I somehow supremely lucked out and got October. Yeah, Oktoberfest, millions of people chugging beer, our own Fall Festival on Franklin Street…October. AND they plan to start selling these glasses daily, not once a week. I hope they sell out and make lots of money. (Though I do want there to be a couple left for me to buy)
I’ll unveil my design when they do, probably around October 1 or 2. In the meantime, go look at all the other FREAKING AWESOME MINDBLOWING AWE-INSPIRING glasses from the past! They’re so good! Sooooogooood. Much like the delicious beer and food at Tin Man…which I highly recommend.
We’re already getting orders…thank you Paul!!
And boy does it feel nice. There I am, in the new submissions on the front page!
As you can see, I’m competing with Batman and the Powerpuff Girls among other great titles. I doubt those are good odds. But hey! Being placed on the virtual shelf with these industry comics feels pretty great nonetheless.
Here’s the link to my page: http://cmxl.gy/1jREVom
And a shot of it.
The Sunday paper today (Evansville Courier and Press) featured a beautiful spread with our art for the upcoming July 12 “Hand Prints” show at Wessleman’s Nature Center, as you can see. The online article is here: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2014/jul/05/arts-beat-printmakers-step-out-of-the-shadows-in/
Thanks to Stephanie Osbourne of littlelemonpress for her awesome snapshot of our article. The prints shown are two lovely block prints by Stephanie: “Zinnias” and “Life and Death,” and my very own Tentacle Raccoon at the far right.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here, but I’m doing 3 illustrations for Lauren Tharp’s upcoming book on ghostwriting. This cute ghostie is by Sandra Kang, I’ll be posting some teaser ghosts in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, feel free to check out Lauren’s post on the book or look at any of her other awesome freelancing advice…she frequently helps me out with freelancing dilemmas and her site is chock-full of info on the subject.
They’re all March 2006 News4U and they all say “Best Wishes Heather” so I will not fatigue you with 6 identical-looking blurry shots.
But yeah, how crazy is life? Here’s the strip he autographed:
The strip is about the process of making the righthand piece from this post. Is the madness starting to make sense yet??
Here it is! http://www.indyplanet.com/front/?product=109508
44 pages printed, all color, with pin-ups, $5.99. I am incredibly thrilled about this and pleasantly surprised. I FINALLY have it in print, online somewhere for people to buy. Who knows what approach I’ll ultimately end up taking with my comics, but I finally took my first big step getting this one out there!!
A note about the IndyPlanet digital download pricing:
You may notice a $0.99 digital download option. That was entirely my fault, I didn’t notice the “digital download” field when I set up the listing. I actually intend for all digital downloads to be $2.99 to be in line with the Kindle listing, where a comic of The killing of Dreams’ file size can’t be listed for such a low price. However, several comics have already sold at $0.99 so I’m in a rather interesting position at the moment! The only solution I can think of that will confuse the least amount of people (hopefully) is to honor this price mistake until my comic goes off the front page of IndyPlanet. So feel free to take advantage of my mistake! Don’t worry I’ll still be making a bit of money so you’re not ripping me off or costing me money.
Miguel Latorre is a talented photographer currently working as an intern for the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana. He did a great job interviewing and photographing me for the May 2014 newsletter! Anyone who can make me look like less of a slob than usual is a wizard. Below is the interview, enjoy!
Q: Your art ecompasses a wide variety of mediums, including digital art, printmaking, pen and ink, acrylic and pastels. This broad range allows you many creative opportunities….do you favor any of these mediums? Why?
A: I think my two favorite mediums at the moment are digital art and decoupage, because digital art allows for infinite exploration of a piece (many different versions, unlimited changes, and so on) and decoupage is the exact opposite…it’s an incredibly cathartic feeling to glue down an element and know I can’t do much if anything to take back what I did.
Q: The themes of your work seem to vary. All the way from the whimsical to dark and spooky. I believe this is one of your strengths. Are there any themes you stay away from?
A: I try to stay away from what I call “Disney” style art and from art that overly objectifies or minimizes a person or creature. I actually enjoy seeing fine examples of almost any kind of art, but these two styles seem to be the most inimical to my particular way of portraying things.
Q: How would describe your artistic style?
A: “Stubborn.” My style consists almost entirely of seeing a piece of art or an idea superior to my work, becoming disgruntled, and then doing my best to master the skill set that enabled the better artist to create it. I’ll purposefully avoid using the same style as another artist, but I frequently slave to increase my range of techniques.
Q: In your printmaking, you seem to favor block prints. What is it about the block print process that attracts you?
A: I love the block print process simply because it can be performed no matter what your circumstances. Since my “studio” consists of a corner of the kitchen table with some toys shoved aside, I definitely have to have a printmaking process that takes a minimum amount of space to perform. In addition, I have always adored creating stark pieces with strong attention to value, and block printing is ideal for this.
Q: What are the first things you do when planning a new print?
A: These days I design a print first on the computer. I discovered a neat process by which you can print your design on a toner printer and then transfer it to linoleum using acetone (or in my case, fingernail polish remover!) This way I can create more photographic looking prints.
Q: How much does spontaneity figure into your creative process?
A: Deeply integral. In digital art, I’ll frequently notice something about a couple of windows that are overlapping or a layer I accidentally moved or turned off that improves or drastically changes how I envisioned the whole piece. In traditional art, I’ll accidentally destroy a print or drawing and then notice it would be ideal for use in collage or decoupage. Moreover, most of my successful pieces are actually based on dreams I had, so I was unable to plan them out…they simply arrived in a flash and I obeyed.
Q: My favorite piece of yours is a print with a group of dark, anonymous humanoid silhouettes on a white background. The effect is intimidating yet mesmerizing at the same time. What was your inspiration for this piece?
A: Haha, do you know, the inspiration was all my friends on the Arts Council of Doom! I was trying to portray them for a zine project…there’s a Stephanie Osborne shadow, a Todd Huber shadow, and so on…
Q: I had no idea that you made comics until I visited your website sandpaperdaisy.com. How would one go about obtaining issues of your comics?
A: I’ll be printing up and selling my comics soon for a table at Cincy Comicon, this September 5-7. Before that, I can have “The Killing of Dreams” printed up anytime on an individual basis if anyone wishes to request it. Eventually I plan to put my comics on Amazon and/or Indy Comics Planet, these changes will be announced on my website http://sandpaperdaisy.com.
Q: Was it fun participating in the EvilleCon this year? I saw you made illustrations specifically for this event.
A: It was amazingly fun. Don’t ask me why, but I adore anime and have absolutely no compunction about making the occasional anime-style piece. That probably makes me inconsistent, but I think of the anime/manga style as a direct evolution of the old ukiyo-e style blockprints that used to come out of Japan. And I’ve always loved that style.
Q: The Big Lebowski in Little China Arts Council of Doom up, and I happen to know you are one of the artists who is entering work. Without giving away anything about the piece, can you give us some hints as to whether your work will be dark or whimsical?
A: I’m afraid it might come off as somewhat dark…ironically so, because it consists of blazingly bright colors! But I chose to focus on one of the more sinister iconic scenes from “Big Trouble in Little China,” so it has a somewhat unsettling feel to it.
Q: If you wanted to learn to work in an artistic medium that’s outside of your experience, what would you choose?
A: Screen printing!! I plan to add that to my skill set as soon as I have the time. The other thing I very much want to learn more about is basic use of 3-D programs, so I can more efficiently construct convincing backgrounds.
Q: There always seems to be an unspoken story behind your digital work. Is this something you do subconsciously, or do it on purpose to make the imagination of your viewer try to come up with their own interpretation?
A: Much of that is probably due to the fact that the vast majority of them come from my dreams. A dream might only focus on a few moments of time, but there is clearly a vast story behind many dreams that you, the dreamer, somehow take for granted without being able to fully articulate it to yourself. This is how I feel about all of my projects, based on dreams or not…the moment I portray is simply a glimpse of some vast story. I very often continue this story over many pieces. “Atomic Jazz” and “DRIFT” portray the same two children, and they will continue to appear. “Plague Doctor,” a painting, can be found as a character in my comic project “The Ocean.” “The Crowd,” the one you like Miguel, will be appearing again in an upcoming comic for Cincy Comicon…and so on. Each picture I make is a different moment from the same universe, perhaps eons apart, but always connected.
Heather Landry’s Work
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Heather Landry, firstname.lastname@example.org
Local artist publishes horror/dark fantasy comic, “the killing of dreams.”
Heather Landry’s 42-page comic one-shot explores forbidden love and coming-of-age themes as well.
Evansville, IN – Award-winning artist Heather Landry is extremely active in the local art scene, recently helping to organize the wildly successful 2nd annual Franklin Street Earth Day Art Crawl. Her work has been featured in numerous local shows and galleries including the Bower-Suhrheinrich Foundation Gallery and a solo show at PG Gallery and Cafe, and her light-hearted autobiographical comic “Things Fall Apart” appeared in the local entertainment magazine News4U from 2004-2008. An active member of the Arts Council of Doom, a local counter-culture art movement, Landry is exploring darker themes with The killing of Dreams.
“Most of my artwork is based on my own dreams and this comic is no exception,” says Landry, who goes by Sandpaperdaisy online. “The killing of Dreams began with a nightmare I woke up from one morning in 2006. Now almost a decade later, I’ve finally been able to realize my dream in concrete form and offer it to others.”
The comic preserves its nightmarish feeling through the use of limited colors and heavy shadows, a stylized “painterly” approach and a closed-set feel leaving the reader feeling uneasily trapped with the disturbing events unfolding before their eyes. The story centers around two girls, Claire and Else, who find their tenuous relationship threatened by deadly forces beyond their comprehension.
Landry is new to publishing and her humorous article “Everything I did wrong when I tried to make a digital comic file” offers an unblushing perspective–as well as helpful pointers–to anyone interested in the rigors of self-publishing in the digital age. This article as well as information on her new book and all her other shows and projects can be seen at http://sandpaperdaisy.com. Right now Landry is finishing a new project to debut at Cincy Comicon, coming up this September 5-7. After that she will be working on several new comic projects including Dog Street, a compilation thematically centered around childhood and the horrifying and nonsensical wonderland associated with it. Her published comic short The Ruby Machine will appear in this compilation and is available to read online.
You can also find Landry on Twitter as @sandpaperdaisy and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SandpaperdaisyArt
As promised! Wow, where to begin.
First off I will start off by saying this is referring to creating a .mobi file with the Kindle Comic Creator to be used as a kindle book for sale on Amazon. I made digital files for Comixology and IndyPlanet as well, but all that involved was sending them a .zip file of nice huge .tiff images and they do they rest!
…not so with Kindle.
Now, before I dive in to the comedy of errors that has been my past two days, let me share some links:
- Amazon’s user guide for Kindle Comic Creator
- Formatting your comic book for online stores: the DIY version by Nicolas Dedual
- How to Make Digital Comics Part 2 (Page sizes and resolution) by Adam Greene
- A kindle forum thread with information on kindle comic formatting
And now on to my list of gaffes.
1) I tried to use Kindle Panel View.
Now, this might be a good idea for some comics. What I didn’t know is that if your comic needs to use double-page spreads (say you have splash images that take up 2 pages) YOU CAN’T DO THIS.
Other problems with Panel View: you have to manually drag to select all your panels because panel detect ONLY works if you have black bordered panels separated with a clean white gutter. If you have a black or dark gutter, or a background image behind your panels, or inset panels, forget it.
Worse yet was the dragging functionality for selection: After selecting my panels I had to then go back and re-drag to specify the “zoom” area of every single panel. So I had to do the same thing twice, for every panel…otherwise when someone used Panel View they would get tiny little arbitrary slices of each panel and that was it.
And if that weren’t bad enough, it’s incredibly hard to drag those panels in the first place…they constantly keep snapping back into place if you don’t click outside them in the exact right way, and half the time it won’t even let you drag at all anyway because the drag area is so incredibly small. My wrists after a 42 page comic are SHOT.
2) God help you if you need to change Panel View on/off after you’ve started.
Because…you can’t! You’d better darn well know whether you want to do Panel View or Double Page Spreads (and remember this is EITHER/OR) before you start. If you end up having to change this, you get to start a whole new file! Lucky you! (Lucky me after I found out you can’t have double page spreads with Panel View.)
3) FILE SIZE
Turns out that even though you’re technically allowed to use PNG and TIFF files for your images…no. No, it must be JPG/JPEG and only JPG. Because your images can only be 800kb or smaller and your mobi file had better darn well be under 50mb if you don’t want Amazon to slap a big ugly (well it’s not big I guess, but it looks scary and foreboding) warning on your sales page saying “Due to large file size, this book may take longer than usual to download.” YUCK!
Worse, for those of you selling a comic for $1.99, you can’t do this unless it’s 50mb or less. (I’ve also heard that $0.99 books must be 3mb or less.)
The only way to achieve this is pretty much to use JPGs. I, of course, tried non-lossy file formats like TIFF and PNG first…can you say 2GB file??
4) …Except the cover file is different!!
Yes, the cover file and only the cover file can be larger in dimension than all your comic page files…and you actually NEED to use the dimensions they give you [1563×2500] because otherwise it’ll look all jacked up on the device. Well la~de~dah!! …at least you can update the cover image without making a new .mobi file, but I suspect you have to delete the old cover image from your folder or it may refuse to keep the update.
5) How in heck do I get my double page spread???
After I was on my second or seventh or eightieth new mobi file (had to remove panel view, then had to reduce the size of individual pages) I did the whole “double page spread” thing and thought I had it made. But when I went to preview it, it was still in portrait only displaying single pages!! Now, to go back a bit, when you start making your file in Kindle Comic Creator, you have to pick Portrait, Landscape, or Unlocked. …except, no matter what you say, you have to pick Unlocked if you want your double-page spread to work at all.
The good news is, if you selected Portrait or Landscape instead, this can be changed.
6) What can’t be changed is the canvas size. Time for another new mobi file!
Below the Portrait/Landscape/Unlocked options you’ll notice there’s “canvas size” dimensions to pick. ONCE THESE ARE SET THEY ARE IN STONE. Thus, if you were perhaps to get distracted by a late-night episode of Perry Mason (the original black and white series naturally) and did NOT switch these babies around to reflect Portrait as Opposed to Landscape, or Landscape as opposed to Portrait, you will have to REDO EVERYTHING LATER!
This became an issue because the “Kindle for PC” I downloaded from Amazon won’t let me rotate the virtual Kindle. Thus, I couldn’t see that when you rotate it, your double-page spreads show up. I panicked. Did this mean that I actually needed my dimensions to be in landscape mode, reflecting the size of two pages, and then two pages would populate in the preview like they were supposed to???
Nope! Kindle defaults to displaying one page at a time in your selected mode. Therefore, if you have traditional (Portrait) comic pages and you put it in Landscape, you will still only get one page displayed at a time but now there will be a VAST SEA OF NOTHINGNESS on either side. AND you will no longer have access to the Double-Page Spread option that you desperately need for your splash pages. Yeah, THAT was worth making the 10th mobi file or so to find out…
7) So in other words, preview your comic using Kindle Previewer, NOT Kindle for PC.
It actually lets you flip the blasted thing, and then you will be comforted to see your double-page spreads do in fact exist and were not just a madman’s dream. They let you download Kindle Previewer when you’re making your book! It also comes bundled with Kindle Comic Creator but you may prefer the separate version.
It really existed after all! *SOB* …I forgot which mobi file is the right one by this point, where did I save it…?
8) Hey, so about that pricing and description…
Yes, admittedly after all that I flaked out and just slapped a random price on my book without double-checking what prices I had set in other online venues. AND I neglected to use the book description field to talk in-depth about the book or include a link back to my website. More Amazon Bookshelf edits!!!!
9) To summarize, what I SHOULD HAVE DONE.
To get low file sizes, use JPG files no greater than 1280px on the largest side. The exception is your cover, which should be 1563X2500px. Also, have a portrait-oriented cover for a portrait-oriented comic, and a landscape-oriented cover for a landscape-oriented comic, or you will run into trouble.
To achieve Double-Page Spread in order to preserve splash pages, turn Panel View OFF, select the UNLOCKED orientation and set your canvas size to the dimensions of a single comic page. Don’t save until you’re certain your settings are perfect or you’ll be making a new file!! Preview in the actual Amazon Previewer, not Kindle for PC.
If you use Panel View, remember Double-Page Spread and “Unlocked” (ability to rotate) orientation will not be an option for you. It’s best to use Panel View for comics with very pronounced, simple panels on a white background so you can use the “auto-detect panels” as much as possible. If you must draw panels, ensure that the zoom for each panel is selected properly. Have someone burly massage your wrists afterwords and offer you chocolate and spirits.
Preferably someone like PERRY MASON
Yes, after two solid days of wading through the conversion and publishing process, I finally managed to slap my comic up on Amazon. And let me tell you, I had to have made about 6 .mobi files and changed my book info about a jillion times along the way. The Amazon folk (or more probably, the Amazon robots) must hate me by now.
That link again: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K1WBM3Q
Incidentally, I think my next post might be “everything I did wrong when I tried to make a digital comic file.”
In the meantime, I’m waiting on my comic to (fingers crossed!!) be accepted for Comixology. In any case I shouldn’t have any trouble getting it into IndyPlanet. Both of these offer digital comic publishing (kindle or otherwise) and IndyPlanet additionally has the option of purchasing the actual paper comic.
My digital comic is 42 pages (the back cover appears as a page), $2.99 USD no matter what site you get it from.
My paper comic is 44 pages, $5.99 USD (it includes 3 extra pin-ups you can cut out!) I’ll update when it hits Comixology and IndyPlanet!
[Edit: Available on IndyPlanet here: http://www.indyplanet.com/front/?product=109508%5D
[Final Edit: Available on comiXology here: http://cmxl.gy/1jREVom%5D
I posted wips of this comic before, here’s a couple of pages to give you a taste of the finished product. It’s horror/dark fantasy with some surreal and lbgtq/coming of age thrown in. Or as I described it once, “cannibal schoolgirls.” (Not really…well kinda?)
I’m happy to add this article about the art crawl to my curriculum vitae! I and others involved in the event were interviewed and no less than three pieces of my art were featured in the body of the article. SCORE!
For those of you without an online subscription, I’ve included a few quotes and a shot of the featured art here without actually reproducing the article (a no-no according to the bottom of the article).
Incidentally, I ended up having to leave the event very early to care for my sick children! This is why I’m adding this article so late and why I haven’t done a photo post about the event yet. But never fear, a good friend got pictures of the art crawl so I’ll be sharing them soon.
I’ve been spending the past few days wading through the policies, requirements and so on of various comic publishers and have finally settled on the right fit for my mood/horror comic, The killing of Dreams. Digitally, I will be making it available on Kindle and Comixology. “Paper” comics will be available on IndyPlanet.
I’ll announce the links once they’re up! Now I’m in the arduous process of preparing the files so they’re in the right format for each place. But I’m incredibly flattered to say I’ve now had several inquiries to the effect of “how do I buy your comic?” and it finally got through my thick skull that I should…actually make my comic available for sale…
Gee! What a thought!
I’m trying, guys…