our pool sprung a leak, so we had to drain it & do repairs.
shortly after that, all the electrical in our kitchen went.
Our house is getting old.


Posted on

August 17th, 2007



It began with this photo, which Miss Gala posted on her blog.
I thought it was really rad! So I started to draw my own interpretation of it.


Beginning linework & Basic figure outlines.


Areas of heavy black.


Fine line detail.


Background outlines.


Rough color.


Rough color and shading/highlights on comforter.


More solid color.


Additional shading on the skin.


Clouds and smoke.


Gradient & colorburn.

& it’s done!

Thanks again to Gala!

Thisisstar <3's Galadarling

Since I work from photo, I get a lot of e-mail asking how I go about choosing a subject or model for my work.
Generally, I find that my work falls into two categories;

  • Illustrations which are about the model playing a character.
  • Portraits which are completely about the model as a person in real life.

The previous post about my collaboration with Evan, is an example of the first category.
When I do work of this sort, my model could become anything or anyone. I could change their appearance drastically within the illustration, or even during the photo shoot. Most of my editorial work is like this, because I’m often asked to illustrate specific articles. In these cases, my models could be anyone that even remotely fits the physical requirements of my character.

However, it is the second type of work that I’d like to talk about more in depth. My number one source of inspiration as an artist is the people I meet. I am fascinated by the ways people choose to present themselves to the world. There was a period last year where I was doing portraits of mostly alt-looking females, and this really changed how people looked at my body of work. Many people assumed that I had a particular attraction to punk rock and body modification. While this is partly true, I am more interested in people who have a strong look, whether it’s punk or not.

Here’s a snippet from an artist statement I wrote last year:

I have always been interested in the nature of identity and how that relates to self-expression. Specifically, I am interested in the manipulation of a person’s outward appearance in reaction to their emotional state. I believe that people physically manifest their emotions, and my portraiture is an attempt to reveal and emphasize this inherent quality.

This interest in portraying real people has led me to draw a number of inspiring people, such as Nubby Twiglet, and Katie West.

But to get to the main subject of this post, I, like Salvadore Dali, just can’t stop drawing Gala.
Gala Darling is an excellent fashion blogger, and she’s also my friend!

She’s genuinely inspiring on so many levels, I imagine I’ll end up drawing her another thousand times before I die.
Please check out her site & get some inspiration of your own!

To take a little Gala home with you, swing by my print shop (thisisstar.dpcprints.com to snag your own copy of either of these.

Or, if you’d like a little Gala love on your computer, download the free desktop wallpaper!





P.S. Tomorrow, I’ll show you all the steps I went through to create this image!

On choosing a subject.

Posted on

August 13th, 2007


Articles, Inspiration

After Comicon, my friend Evan Hayden came to LA to shoot with a couple local models.
When both of his shoots fell through, he had the awesome idea to set up a shoot for us to collaborate on.
We convinced my lovely roomate Brenna to pose for us, and promptly started setting up lights.

The concept for the shoot involves the chance meeting of a prostitute and a midwestern housewife in a hotel.

This obviously required me to break out my black wig.

Sure am glad I took that stage makeup course in college!

Evan behind the camera.

French braid! Stat!

I’ll be posting the results of the shoot, followed by the subsequent illustrations that come out of it. You guys will see the in-progress work I do on my half, and if we’re lucky, perhaps Evan will post his as well.

The final result will be available for purchase as a limited edition triptych.

Evan and I have both agreed to not show each other what we’re doing on our halves of the project until we are both finished. I’m amped to be sharing the process with all of you, because this will be the first time I’ve shown every aspect of my work, including the photoshoot.

I hope you all are as excited as I am!

Collaboration with Evan Hayden (Part 1)

Posted on

August 9th, 2007

Besides all the awesomeness that was staying in a hotel with the lovely folks I mentioned in my last post…
At Comicon, I had the distinct privilege of hanging behind the scenes with the folks from Dark Horse.

My friend Jon is good pals with Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance…so mostly we stuck around during his signing time.

My Chemical Romance Signing @ DarkHorse Booth - 1

This whole signing thing was to promote Gerard’s new comic The Umbrella Academy, which promises to be really excellent!

The story is by Gerard and drawn by Gabriel Ba, with cover art by James Jean (see above).

I just love the ‘visible woman’ in the above graphic! I’m a sucker for anatomy, though.
We got to see some of the inside pages at Dark Horse, and Gabriel has done an amazing job with the art.

A fun surprise at the event was the appearance of the man behind The Invisibles (and one of my personal heros), Grant Morrison!

My Chemical Romance Signing @ DarkHorse Booth - 2

My interaction with him was unfortunately very brief, but I did manage to knock his can of unopened Red Bull onto the ground, where it promptly started spraying and leaking. Oops!
He hugged me anyways before running off to speak at a panel.

I did, however, hang out for a while with his very lovely wife, Kristan…who I’ll have to get in touch with if I’m ever in Scotland.

Anyways, sorry for the lack of updates, it’s been super busy in client-land over here!

I’ll have a last Comicon follow-up entry later in a couple days, plus some new illustrations, and an article on why I became a freelancer!

Nerd River

San Diego Comicon was a completely invigorating experience. I can’t wait to do it again next year!
There was an absolutely alarming amount of people in attendance.
Speaking of people, this post is about the lovely folks I stayed with while in attendance.

Have a click-through!

Miss Molly Crabapple


Mr. Dan Goldman


Mr. Eric Amaya


[photo by mansfield customs]

Mr. Jon Rivera


Mr. Ian Mansfield

Mansfield Customs

[photo by Charlene Wright]

I am incredibly honored to call these people my friends. I hope you think they’re as rad as I do.

San Diego Comicon ’07

Posted on

August 1st, 2007