Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pin Up or Pinup?

Recently I was commissioned to do a portrait for someone for her husband. I think this may have been the first paid portrait I've done. My first portrait pinup was for my friend Alan, of his lady, Jamie, and it stemmed from a class assignment I took digitally.
Anything that is supposed to look like someone who isn't a celebrity makes me nervous. I've done regular traditional and semi-traditional portraits of singers and actresses, etc. That's easy, I don't have to worry about getting a likeness as much as someone I have contact with, or someone that's paying me.
While I was at it, I quickly finished up a girl I've had on my hard drive for what seems like ages. It's not a Haunted Mansion rip off, just something I've had dancing in my sketchbook for what seems like forever.

I have many more other pinup girls in sketchbooks littered throughout my apartment, I'm hoping to finish their sketches and bring them in to Illustrator and finish them off while I'm on break, but I'd really like to get some traditional painting done on my down time. (We won't talk about having to look for work as well).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


This is still in progress, and I want to finish it and print it out for mom for xmas.
I was at first, intimidated by the thought of doing a portrait digitally. But I assume that's the kind of nervousness that comes with any new medium.

I've learned that if you have a decent grasp on painting, even minimally, digital painting isn't that hard to do... well, mostly. But what this does for me.. is makes me want to keep practicing my traditional painting (like the one that's been sitting on my easel for a year).

And now that I've looked at it after putting it away for a little bit, I see some anatomical issues. But that's good! I have to remember to go back over abandoned projects and fix 'em!

Mom, in Painter.

Monday, December 14, 2009


The end of a torrid semester is here. It's been a fast, uneventful, illness-filled semester. I hope I can stay on top of creating while I'm on break.

I have a new print underway, and I'm excited to see how it turns out.

So in the mean time, I'm posting my last digital sketch from class. I was afraid of starting the semester in this class because I'd never painted or sketched digitally. I've done vector images (my pinups) but never actually painted in Photoshop. It's daunting to me, because I see the type of work that some really great illustrators put out digitally and envy their skill.
I picked it up like a duck to water. Which is to say, I'm no pro, and I have a long way to go... but I think I've picked up a new medium to express myself... and all I need now is to continue practicing and have fun with it.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Solution

This is the final result of my "bad illustration" makeover from my previous blog post (http://jennhayesdotcom.blogspot.com/2009/10/bad-illustration.html)....

I'd like to say that I'm a designer... but I still have a lot to go when it comes to layout and composition. This I will admit to.
This being said, I like the way that the illustration itself turned out.

(Digital sketch, Photoshop and Illustrator

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bad Illustration?

We've seen them before. In ads, in editorials, in newspapers. I don't know about you, but I've seen some of these bad illustrations and thought to myself "I could do a better job".

I'm no Peter De Seve, but I've been growing... so this weeks digital illustration assignment is to choose a "bad" illustration and recreate it as if we had been chosen to do the job.

I had picked a couple of things I'd seen around the mall and in magazines. That was until I went to the store last night and walked down the cereal isle.

This monstrosity hit me in the face. I couldn't believe that a company as large as General Mills would allow this to be printed.

These are some of my rough sketches trying to get a feel for both sketching in digital format (something that is relatively new for me) and the type of character I want to portray.
I'm fairly sure that I want to keep a sort of retro feel for the illustration. So I'll probably go for either the kid or the woman... but there are still plenty of ideas. After I narrow that down, I'll have to decide if I'm going to use multiple applications or mix traditional media...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tiki Princess & progression

I normally do these girls digitally, but I want to keep practicing my gouache techniques, and well, I was having some fun with it. I really need to practice my line quality, but I'm still relatively new to using ink and pens. There IS a reason I never went into brain surgery.

I love her chubby thighs and calves, but I think I really want to work on her ankles/feet. I'll more than likely do a digital version so that there is a consistency with the art... but I like the way she came out.

The Thing About Jobs

Current mood: rejected

It's tough returning to the workforce after being gone for nearly 3 years. I've often berated myself for not working and doing school at the same time. My reason for this was that my courseload was so intensive and heavy at one point and knowing my own ability to concentrate, I wouldn't have been able to handle it.

Now that my courseload is a little lighter since I'm nearing graduation (two more semesters anyone?!) I'm eager to work. One, to supplement what LITTLE money I have now, and two, I really like being employed. I like contributing to society. I even really like office work.

I've been applying for work right and left. My first interview was in Feb 08 at a vet clinic. The place was the gloomiest place I'd been outside It's A Small World. No one there smiled and from what I heard from the receptionist was that the vet techs like to ride the asses of the new hires on purpose and make their lives hell. No thank you. I was desperate to work, NOT desperate to fall back into a job much like the one I left. The woman interviewing me asked me why there was such a large gap in my work history, and I felt a raincloud form over my head. "So that I could concentrate on getting my BFA". I said flatly. "Oh, okay".
And that was it. After I left the office knowing that there was no way I wanted that job... I realized, this is going to be rough.

I never realized that there was a stigma to people who haven't worked in years. If you stop and look at my resume, you'll see that I have longevity in my jobs (over two years or more) and that I'm CURRENTLY in school.

I've been applying my ass off and was even excited to see I'd been approved to move on to the next round of applicants at the Dept of Human Services here in OR. Then a letter came that I had been selected for the next round, and had to answer some questions.... I did what I thought was an awesome job at responding to these questions like I'm sure they'd wanted to hear. Next day, I got ANOTHER letter from their offices in Portland telling me I'd made it to the next round of applicants, and to answer yet MORE and different questions.

Today I got a letter from the first application I sent to them letting me know that I'd not been selected for an interview. This wasn't the first rejection letter I've gotten. But this was the first that actually made me sad. I really had good vibes about these positions. I mean the law of attraction is in full effect in my life right now, so it was a little blow to my ego. I could be more upset than I am. But I'm not. Even after finding out that I've now reached my lifetime limit of Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (which means I won't get any more next semester AT ALL, well of the unsubsidized ones, which make up a hefty chunk of my tuition) I didn't freak out, I didn't cry (like I for sure would have two years ago... and actually had a meltdown in front of someone I knew). I just figured that I'm in the home stretch of school and if I had to work full time and go to school part time... that's what I'd have to do. At least it happened now, and not, let's say, in my sophomore year. That would have sucked.

Anyway, that leads back to work.

Another point is, that I used to work as a civilian for the Air Force. Nothing fancy, but relatively good job stability, benefits, mixed with a hefty dose of drama. The downside to this situation is.... most often, your bosses are military or military spouses. Capiche? No?
Well, at any given time, your higher ups will say "we want to fuck with you, so we're going to station you in BFE". Which is my case here. It's been a little over three years that I've been unemployed (boy I feel like a loser) and ALL of my former managers, are now stationed elsewhere. BYE BYE!!! To add to this... no one who I worked with in any of the offices I worked at... is still working there either. Not even in HR. So whenever a prospective employer contacts my previous jobs... they'll most likely be met with a "Billy Bob WHO?!" and then I look like a lying asshole.

If a prospective employer does NOT call before I get an interview... I can explain this situation... but I get the feeling that this is not the case. It's a little stressful.

Shitty thing, I waited to hear from this job and the little voice (among all the others) in my head told me I was a shoe-in.

I'm not listening to THOSE voices anymore.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Sunday Sunday!!

Came to visit the folks, and partake of free laundry, and on demand horror flicks. I always bring my sketchbook with me, and I've recently discovered that I love my large books to doodle in. I can't get TOO used to the large sketches, because I can't carry a 9x14 book with me everywhere.

I haven't really sketched in a while, occupying myself with moving and trying to find gainful employment.

I have a ton of sketches of girls I need to scan and bring into Illustrator and digitize them. I haven't completed a pinup drawing in some time and they bring me a lot of enjoyment, so I should at least be doing more of them.

Most of my sketches are still rough, and I'm compiling reference photos for each. But I thought I'd update with something, maybe I'll show my progress as I finish...
"Cat Lady"

(Will remained untitled until I get more of it finished, but it's pretty obvious where it's going)

We'll just call her "Vespa" for now, she needs a lot of work on body positioning, for which I need more reference.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

IF - Shaky

This climb
is so unsteady,
my knees are weak,
my head is strong
This climb is so unstable
but my heart is open,
my hands are shaky.
I think I'm ready for this climb...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Paper Dolls


Ever since I did my first paper doll (body image doll in an older post). I've been obsessed with thinking of things to make into paper dolls. Preferably ones that I haven't seen before. I'm almost as obsessed with giving these things away. Sometimes so obsessed with giving art away, that maybe I've given some away to those who don't appreciate it or deserve it. Oh well. I guess if more people sent art to each other, the world would be better. I j
ust wish I could get some of them back and give them to more appreciative people.

I had a friend donate some money to me for school last fall semester. It helped me out TREMENDOUSLY and the only way I know how to repay him, is to send him some art. He definitely deserves more than just a doll, but I think he'll like it. I just hope he doesn't read my blog before he gets it in the mail!
I was going to do a painting for him, but I would be too afraid to send it in the mail, so I'll just dedicate one to him.

I hope he likes it, since he's been a big supporter for a long time. I just wish we would have been able to hang out in person.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summer Time!

My last couple of final critiques did not go as well as I had hoped. My painting final blew, and my illustration final I guess was more lackluster than I thought.

I really liked it, but it has some technical issues that most didn't have an issue telling me about. I guess a critique is a critique, but I guess I was more in love with the piece than anyone else.

Based on the issue of domestic violence, I wanted
 to explore a darker side of my usually lighthearted work. I liked the initial sketch so much that I'm going to try to work on it again this summer and make it better. I like the illustration board that I was working on, I'm going to use it more often.

Gouache, ink and colored pencil on illustration board.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

That Project

I was able to finally scan the images from my first project of the year. Three poetry illustration.

I entered these three in the illustration department's first juried show. But when I met with the instructor on Wed. he relayed that he was pleased with the outcome of the project and that I need to continue with the style. He liked that I ventured out differently than what I did last semester and that I should stick with this, but refine and improve. So now I have a destination, I just need to make the map, and get the hell on the road!
I'm psyched!

So it looks like I have my excuse, nay, reason to draw as much as I can. I've been meaning to keep on top of my drawing, to have a large volume of work. You know, practice makes perfect. I need to stay on top of it.

Hooray? I haven't really entered any school shows. I did at the last school after being told I was a shoe-in, and never saw that piece again. I've been a little more than intimidated at this school because there are a lot of really talented students here. I asked for more of a challenge at this school.. and I got it! (Which I SO appreciate)

The Sisters


The Lady of Shallott

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Project Ideas

As if I didn't have enough on my plate.... I've decided to take on a project that has guaranteed to keep me busy... Maybe I'll be able to learn to keep myself on a schedule. Because goodness knows, I can't do that. AT ALL.

I'm a music lover. Who isn't, right?

But I especially like music that is filled with imaginative lyrics and storytelling. Ie.. Robert Johnson, Tom Waits...etc.

I'm going to do a 365 project of song lyric illustrations. It can't hurt, but help me jog my waning imagination. An illustration a day? Is that possible? Can I give myself an hour to just devote to one drawing. Along with all my other projects going on? Sure.

I'll add that to the fusion project my good friends Alan and Eric are doing with me. I like keeping busy.

This is my illustration for the They Might Be Giants song Birdhouse in Your Soul

It was fun, and took me out of my usual "style" of drawing.

So here I go!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Patron Saints - Final

Here's a terrible photo of the final.

Handmade (from moulding) frames spray painted lovely gold for that *touch* of... hm "class".

Gouache and gold leaf