Saturday, December 25, 2010

I come bearing the gift of steampunk!

Does anyone remember my little blurb when I was talking about going to Another Anime Convention a few months ago, up in Nashua, NH? Like I briefly mentioned, I ended up going to a lot of really amazing steampunk panels. Ones discussing Steampunks, Victorian ethics, and our own ethics; and ones of Steampunk around the world, because seriously, why do so many Steampunks cling to Victorian England when there was a whole amazing world to steam up. I learned about, for instance, the art of James Ng, who is a really brilliant example of non-Western-centric Steampunk, and just a beautifully skilled drafstman.

All the Steam panels I went to were run by members of The Wandering Legion or by Ay-Leen the Peacemaker, writer for the blog Beyond Victoriana. If they're ever at a convention you're attending, check them out. it is well worth your while.

As it was, this con coincided with a project for my Fashion and Body Adornment Class. It was my self-directed final and my teacher, curious about this Steampunk stuff I'd been drawing, steered me in the direction for more of it. I was kind of "meh" at first, because I felt like I'd exhausted my interesting in drawing steampunk, but then I decided to roll with it, working specifically non-British Steampunk, deciding to create outfits for people in different countries. So in the end, things work out.

In making these paintings, I gave myself a few rules:

1) The countries I chose would be associated with Great Britain in some way, largely through the Commonwealth.
2) I would preserve the corseted silhouette in my figures' outfits, but find new ways to use it.
3) NO GOGGLES OR GEARS. Though two of my characters were in situations where goggles would have been inappropriate, I didn't want to default to one of the traditional default icons of Steampunks. Of course that's kind of bullshit, given rule 2 but....

Here they are.

1) Arctic Canada. Her outfit was inspired by Inuit gear when going up into the Arctic Circle to hunt seals. Her corset is worn for extra core warmth and the metal trappings on her boots have spikes to crunch through ice. There are sun marks under her eyes.

2) Egypt. This one is where I started dressing characters, rather than trying to costume a culture. This character walked into my head, someone who offers to guide foreign tourists and archaeologists through tomb sites, but takes them to tombs that are open or trapped, while steering them away from ones that are still safe and unseen.

3) Singapore. I know, I know. It's a bit of an anachronism to have a food hawker for a genre that branches into the early 20th century at best when Hawker Centres are more a mid-20th century/contemporary thing Just...shhh. So here is my food hawker. The corset she's wearing is back support for the steam-heater backpack that carries all her food in different canisters. Steam power keeps the food delicious and hot, with an exhaust pipe directed away from her body to prevent burns. This way, she can set up at any old road side and sell her food.

And there you have it!

Oh and since, an hour and 27 minutes ago, it was Christmas, I had an excellent time with my mother and two of my aunts who are visiting from the Philippines. Gifts were given. Too much food was eaten. Doctor Who was watched. Good times. Good times.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Things That Suck


I mean. I've been using one for a couple of months now. But...


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Watch Me Burn

Uh...weird set of inspirations for this one.

I was thinking about Weimar Berlin, like I do, and had "Love the Way You Lie" stuck in my head.

It really doesn't go deeper than that.

In other news, I have only one week of school left before the semester ends and I have less to do than I originally anticipated but still more to do than I am necessarily comfortable with having in front of me. I'll manage, since I have to, but I'm tired.

I am also on the verge of delivering some Very Exciting News but I'm still afraid of counting chickens before they hatch and I'm holding back on it until I know that it is for sure and certain.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sad Truths

Happened to me yesterday.

Messing around with class

Some drawings I did for my fashion and body adornment class, messing around with bristol board, colored paper, and pens.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Baba Yaga's House

I don't know what happened when I scanned this, but immediately some of the brightness I'd lost just came right back.


I'm not sure my definition of a good Christmas Movie is quite in line with everyone else's...

The 1914 Christmas truce? A brief pause in wartime cruelty for camaraderie and friendship before going back to slogging off in the mud and killing each other for four more years?

I love this movie so much.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


So by now it should come as a shock to absolutely no one that lately my obsessions have been with cabarets and the acid decadence of Weimar-era Germany, the 1930's and 40's, and old starlets. I think my fixation with Anita Berber is beginning to bore or trouble most of my acquaintances, but I just want to know more about her. She seems like a made-up character sometimes, too wild to be real. Yesterday, I put in an order for that book.

I paid more for that book than I probably should have, but it's out of print now.

I also want to read this new biography of Hedy Lamarr that's just come out. Sounds like a crazy life story too.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bad Days mean cool art?

I tend to make strange/creepy art when I'm frustrated. Doesn't it feel like, sometimes, there's just a big well of frustration going through you?

Friday, November 12, 2010


Oh dear, I thought I'd already posted this. Oops.

It comes from a conversation that came up at one of the Steampunk panels at Another Anime Con in Nashua, NH. There was a comment that people tend to pick the same character types when creating steampunk personas: air pirates, mechanics, adventurers, etc. Where were the steampunk domestics, librarians, and stay-at-home dads?

Or in my case, where are the steampunk hipster skateboarders?

Fun fact, when the bicycle first became popular in Victorian England women couldn't ride them in skirts, but they wore wide, floppy bloomers. For Modesty.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Oh shit, who let the artist start blogging

So, freshman year, one of my class readings was Claes Oldenburg's "I Am For An Art" a series of musings of being interested in art that "does something other than sit on its ass in a museum." As an eighteen-year-old in her first three months of an art school, to put it mildly, it didn't make an impression. Luckily hindsight is 20/20 and all those other clichés. I just read it again for another class, four years later, in the first three months of my senior year and I realized...

I am making that art.

Last year, I reconciled myself to something: I am never going to make museum art. And I okay with that. I make art that hangs from someone's cell phone, or sits on someone's bed. I make art that lives in context. If you put my Bitty Biters in a museum? Everyone would laugh and I would laugh the hardest. Because dude. What?

Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of Claes Oldenburg's art. Neither enamored nor enraged. I grew up in Cleveland and his Free Stamp has been a ubiquitous part of the landscape of my childhood impression of the city and maybe because I've been exposed to it for so long without knowing it was supposed to be Art by a Famous Artist, I cannot bring myself to admire it now.

But I do like his "I Am For An Art." It's hard to ignore it when this is part of the statement.

Ich bin für eine Kunst, die sich auf den alltäglichen Mist einläßt und doch siegreich bleibt.
Roughly (which is to say Google) translated: I am for an art that gets involved in everyday crap and remains victorious.

I work in everyday crap. It is my goal. Toys, charms, trinkets. I want and am happy to make that.

Let's hope I remain victorious.

I'll Be Your Server Tonight

So I said last night that I would post more art. Then I did a six hour shift, where I did nothing but talk on the phone. Then I came home and had frozen yogurt and talked with my roommate. Who is excellent.

Anyway, here's a piece I actually finished last week but I wanted some input from my classmates before posting.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Good times!

So, I would say that MICE went extremely well. I sold quite a bit, did a lot of one-dollar doodles, and met a lot of cool people. If you're reading this blog now because you met me and took my card or bought one of my charms, then hello, thank you, and please enjoy!

Seeing how well today went, I've decided to go ahead and set up my own store over at Big Cartel. The link is over in the side bar and it's the same as my blog:

Hopefully, by the end of the week, I'll have it set up with the products I sold today at MICE.

New art will go up tomorrow!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bitty Biters!

Hello everyone!

This is the first of some products I'm making this year. I present the Bitty Biters. They are one-inch tall acrylic charms of different creatures I designed. Starting tomorrow, they will be on sale, because tomorrow is the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE). I'll have a table there, selling the Bitty Biters as well as some blank greeting cards of the Dapper Animals, the capybara and the platypus.

For more information please see:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wow I'm late

So I put off posting this because I wanted the brides to see it first and then I...completely forgot to post it. My friends Amy and Mandi got married at the beginning of July and I did a painting of their cat, Chivas, as a wedding present.

And now I just remembered that I've completely forgotten to get something else off their wedding registry. I suck.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Got some new brushes today and did some doodles. The second one was to see if I could do a painting without doing a sketch first. No pencil. Just watercolor.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome...

I ended up doing Sebastian Droste as well.

Anita Revisted

So remember that digital painting of Anita Berber about three entries down? This is the second version I did. For my Drawing for Illustration class, I tossed this sketch up on the wall with the ones I'd actually done with the assignment in mind. To my surprise, it was the one my teacher liked best. So I shaded it more thoroughly and put it into photoshop to resize it and clear out the blue pencil I'd used for the original sketch. After that, I printed it on a kind of paper called photo rag, which is almost like a thin hot press. I did the color with watercolors. And yes, I resized her bust. I forgot, in the original, that Anita Berber was supposed to be on the more androgynous side.

I want to do some more early 20th century stars at some point, like Marlene Dietrich and Hedy Lamarr. And Anita's sometime lover, Sebastian Droste.

On the job front update, I didn't get the job at the zoo. HOWEVER, I've found an internship! It's extremely exciting and I had my first day today. I'm on a team with other interns, helping create a public sculpture.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Fine Vintage Yes Yes Cheerio

There is roughly as much explanation behind this one as the last one.

Pip Pip What What

I bet you're hoping for some kind of explanation or rationale for this.

I really don't have one. It's a capybara with a monocle and top hat.

In other news, I may have a job doing caricatures at the zoo. What? Why are you looking at me like that? It's a job. And it's art based. And I can go feed the seals afterward.

There's an evaluation I have to turn in first. They've sent me nine photos and I have to caricature four of them with black pen and in roughly ten minutes a picture. Not hard, but quite different from how I work, so the learning curve is largely in that. After that, hopefully, comes...well...being hired.

Mister Top Hat Jolly Good up there is the result of too much caricature practice.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Anita Berber - NSFW

Anita Berber (June 10, 1899 – November 10, 1928) was a dancer/prostitute/artist of the Weimar Period. One of her acts was dipping roses in chloroform and ether and then eating them. She would often walk about wearing nothing but a fur stole, a silver brooch full of cocaine, and her pet monkey.

Friday, April 9, 2010

And the descent begins

It has been brought to my attention that I haven't updated my blag recently, so have some art from Obsessions and Phobias based on the idea of Compulsive Hoarding.

Frankly, it's starting to hit the end of the semester, where I begin a slow descent into madness. I more or less fall asleep if I'm stationary too long and I start forgetting my assignments and just generally...hanging by my nails.

I'll manage. I hope.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Evil Koalas

A drop bear is a fake animal made up by Australians to fool unsuspecting tourists, apparently. It's supposed to be a large, evil, carnivorous koala that attacks from the trees.

...I'm kinda fond of this guy

Thursday, March 11, 2010


So it occurs to me I've had the handle "napalmtree" for so long that I've never really bothered to explain it. So here's the story, boys and girls.

Once upon a time, I was a freshman in art school. And because I was an ARTIST I was DIFFERENT. I was above the norm and clearly the thing to do was cut and dye my hair willy nilly. Because I was EDGY.

Anyway, my hair changed colors constantly. Pink, purple, green, pink again, and on and on. Eventually, I settled on the color I liked best: Special Effects Napalm Orange/Agent Orange. That was the one I've done most and stuck with longest. And I've always had a peculiar attachment to the word "Napalm."

...which is actually kind of atrocious when you consider what napalm is but ANYWAY.

I eventually noticed the OH SO CLEVER wordplay of na-palm-tree and it was just a combination of words that sounded good and suited my admittedly both insane and extremely stupid worldview. And, well, it stuck. It just worked and, most of the time, it wasn't taken on most sites. I'm napalmtree on Twitter (Follow me!) and hold napalmtree and napalmtreeart on deviantArt and Livejournal respectively, though I haven't posted them. there's also a napalmtree on livejournal, but that's not me.

And since I like to keep embarrassing myself:

Oh yes. So edgy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

From Book Illustration

I was tired of that doll being the top post. Have something from my book illustration class.

Hey look! I can draw!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


So I've been using KidRobot's Munny dolls on and off for about a year. I like customizing them and, at ten bucks for a Mini, they don't cost too much.

Anyway, last night, I made one into Canada from Axis Powers Hetalia. I'm hoping to make a bunch of fanart ones, mostly to generate some sales. There hasn't been much reaction for this guy yet, but what I've had has been positive.

He's cute, and as a personal project it's fun to have him as a dopey little trinket.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sketch to Painting

I just found these files again. I thought I'd lost them but since I hadn't...hooray!

Last summer, my dad asked for a painting of one of our dogs and I have to say, I'm exceptionally proud of the result.
The finish was done in watercolor and I have to say this is one of the times I am honestly and pleasantly shocked at what I made.

In other news, one of the three internships I applied to rejected me. For various reasons, it's an extreme disappointment, but I can only hope I hear from the other two and can move on from this.


So I just decided to assemble some sketches and stuff from the last couple of months, because I honestly like them more in some cases than my finishes.

I made these last semester, drawing in micron at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. I like that place. All the animals are a little rotten and it smells faintly of formaldehyde. I love it.
A composite of some pen sketches from my animation sketchbook last semester. I told you I always drew myself like that.

Some character sketches, in pencil, from my book illustration class. I love turtles and fear crabs. Deeply.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Just something rough, quick, and dirty this time.

I can turn out finished paintings every time and...I don't want to. Last night, I drew a baby for some friends in my IRC channel. It was rough and sketchy and I only did the barest linework to define her and clean her up. And that's okay.

If every drawing I had to upload was a masterpiece, I'd be so bored.

And now I share her with you.

That said, I might finish this at some point later on.

So yeah, just some brain droppings this time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

All right, so I turned in my first "finished" piece for a class yesterday. Obsessions and Phobias.

Using the "fear of dance" or Chorophobia, I made this:

And that pretty typical of how I work. Figure, minimal background, digital painting. This the kind of work and process I'd probably use if someone called and said "Hey we need a finish by noon tomorrow." I feel like I did manage to evoke a mood, and that I painted it fairly well, but it's a testament to drawing figures when you're rapidly falling out of love with a project and not motivating yourself to get enthusiastic again. Concept-wise, I certainly could have pushed it, but on a technical level, I'm pretty pleased with how the "painting" turned out. I made some minor adjustments to my usual process and I think it produced some really rich textures.

Friday, February 12, 2010

So I started working on making my ID today. I figured, why snatch a picture of myself? I'm an artist and, by gum, certainly I can draw a self-portrait! Why, I learned this kind of thing as a freshman!

Not so easy, for me, as it turned out. And it all came down to "What do I want to say with my art?"

The first one I tried drawing was this:
Okay, great. So...what's so special about it, first of all. I guess that's not the biggest conundrum. My plan with my ID was "DRAW MY FACE" Which...I did. Mostly. But the thing is, I don't think this is an accurate representation of the kind of art I make. Lately, my work has been very loose and scribbly and done in sketch pens. Not because I'm incapable of drawing. Obviously I have some measure of skill...whether that is a "good" drawing or not is up to the individual viewer.

It also doesn't look like me. I mean, it has the keymarks of me, round (pudgy) face, small nose, wide lips, longish dark hair, glasses. But that's not an expression I typically make. I don't have composed little school photograph smiles like that. I smile, I laugh, or smile like this when trying to freak out friends and strangers.

So I tried drawing myself how I usually doodle myself. That didn't work either:

Yup...that's how, when bored (and therefore usually thinking about food), I doodle myself. Blank faced and big-toothed and with toast in my mouth. So why not use this one?

Well first of all, it's sketch black and white linework. It won't shrink to icon size well. Second, it looks better when I doodle this kind of thing in pen. Third of all, this isn't a good representation of how I draw either because, while I draw like the drawing above and the drawing here...I don't really know which suits me more.

Style is a tricky thing. Do I WANT to draw nice pencilly things or do I WANT to be goofy and stylized? What do I want to be known for? What would I be happiest drawing? What would I get the most pay drawing?

I'm an illustrator, I have to think about these things.

Real artwork to come later.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Who is this girl and why is she so unusual?

Well hello everyone. I've made this blog so I might as well use it.

A little bit about me:

I'm an art student. Junior year to be exact. I'm an illustration major and, as of two days ago, I just took on an art history minor. I'm 20 years old and I've been drawing ever since I realized that crayons weren't for eating. My influences span over pretty much everything. I'm passionate about history and folklore and literature but I'm also into steampunk, anime, and more music than I can sum up.

I've been writing in various blogs for years, mostly in Livejournal for personal use but now it's time to be a grownup and get my Big Girl Journal...that is, my professional one. I'll be using this journal, hopefully, to share my artwork and talk about what I do.

Hopefully I won't bore anyone.