Upcoming Events!

Hey! I’ve had my nose down getting work done for these events, I forgot to tell you guys that I am in them! There are two events that I’ll be at over the next two weeks. If you live in Portland, you should come check them out!

What: Linework NW

When: Saturday April 12th, 2-9pm. FREE

Where: Norse Hall, 111 NE 11th, Portland, Oregon 97232. Here’s a map link.

First off is Linework NW. It’s a new comic show that focuses more on the creator, art-aspect of making illustration and comics. It’ll be at Norse Hall on this Friday April 12th, from 2-9pm. AND IT’S FREE. I’ll be debuting a preview chapter of the big book I’m working. Here’s a couple of teaser pages:

the-searchers-06the-searchers-12I’ll also have original art, and my backlog of mini-comics, including a new print version of the Titular Hero, a short comic MK and I did for Tor.com, and my other new mini-comic, The Littlest Littles.

Next up:

What: Comics for Change! Reading

When: Monday, April 14th, 7-9pm

Where: Powell’s City of Books, Basil Hallward Gallery, 3rd Floor, Pearl Room

The following Monday, April 14th is a reading at Powell’s for the Know Your City Comics for Change! project. If you’re not familiar with it, Know Your City is a non-profit organization in town that connects people to the place they live. For Comics for Change!, they collected a group of local artists and writers to create biographical comics on social activists in the Portland area. I worked with the ever fantastic and amazing Douglas Wolk on a biography of Darcelle XV.

Hope to see some friendly faces there!

Happy Year of the Horse!

Chúc mừng năm mới! Happy Year of the Horse!

My first project of the New Year is to work on a little bit of promo push, this includes my first quarter postcard! I just sent them off to the printer, and should get them sometime next week.

2014-tet-postcard

I did a postcard for Tết last year too, but I did a bad job of continuing to crank them out after that. I want – nay, I need – to be better about self-promotion this year if I want to keep this freelancing sustainable. In an effort to branch out and try to expand my client base, I signed up for Hire an Illustrator. It seemed like a reasonably priced risk to take, and from some reviews I read online, a lot of people seemed to get a decent amount of work the first couple of weeks. It seemed like they only used the online component, but the most appealing service to me was the mailer service. You can either print postcards up yourself and send them to them, or you can have them print them up for you. They then use those postcards and send them out on a weekly basis in their personalized mailer packets.

Anyhow, I’ll keep you updated as to how it is, but it seemed like a tiny way I could expand my reach a bit and like I said, it was much less expensive of a gamble than say, the $2000 Society of Illustrators membership.

Oh, and since it’s Tết, here’s the zodiac illustrations I did for this year’s special edition of the Asian Reporter.

jhill-2014-zodiac

I did them a little differently this year – completely digitally, and using a white-on-black mark making technique to just change it up. I’m really happy with how the print-like texture came out. If you’re interested in reading your horoscope for the Year of the Horse, you can check out the Asian Reporter online. Just follow that link and download the Lunar New Year section.

Hope you have a wonderful Year of the Horse filled with prosperity and good fortune!

Wizard World Portland This Weekend!

2014-wizard-world-portland
I’m going to be tabling at Wizard World Portland this weekend!

Portland Comic Con 2014
Wizard World Convention

JANUARY 24-25-26, 2014
FRI-SAT-SUN

Oregon Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Portland, OR 97232

Show Hours:
Friday, January 24, 2014 – 3pm – 8pm
Saturday, January 25, 2014 – 10am – 7pm
Sunday, January 26, 2014 – 10am – 5pm

I’ll be at table B71 in the artists’ area. I’ll also be on the Titans of Independent Comics panel with the likes of such actual titans as Shannon Wheeler, Mike Allred, and David Chelsea. I’m a little intimidated to be on a panel with those guys, but maybe I can give some perspective of someone who is only really starting their career and trying to keep it rolling.

The other big news for the convention is that I finished another mini-comic of brand new material!

The Littlest Littles #1, 40 pages, black & white with color cover, all ages!

Here are some pictures:

LL-cover-photo

LL-inside-photo

LL-back-cover-photo

The content is actually a sample chapter from one of the books that I’m getting ready to pitch. The convention was a good excuse for me to have a deadline to finish up the drawing. I’m super excited to have a new comic to show off!

I’ll also have copies of Americus, older mini-comics, some art prints and original pages and art! Please come by, say hi and buy some stuff!

Surface Pro 2 vs Cintiq Companion

I’m dusting off this blog to write up a post about art… er, I mean computers. I’ll do some long overdue art posts soon.

surface-vs-companion

Ever since I got wind about these tablets that are running full Windows 8 and have pressure sensitive screens, I sold my laptop and decided to jump all over that. It was going to be between the Surface Pro 2 and the Cintiq Companion, but which one was it going to be? I’ve spent the last two weeks with both of them and figured I’d post my experience here.

Continue reading

Summer 2013 Classes at OCAC

ocac

So I just finished up my Writers in the Schools residency at Roosevelt High School. I’ll recap the experience here later this week, but right now I wanted to mention that the comics teaching train is only temporarily stopped, and will be firing up again on all cylinders come July at the Oregon College of Art and Craft.

The exciting thing about this year is that I’m teaching three comics classes! There’s the intro class, Creating Comics, but we’ve also added two advanced classes – Digital Tools for Comics and Advanced Topics in Comics and Independent Projects. W’ve also bundled the classes together as a three-week Comics Intensive, where by signing up for all the classes, you get a discount. All of these classes are for pre-college high school students.

I’m also teaching two classes of Digital Illustration for Young Adult [Middle School] students. One of the classes has already filled up, and the class later in the summer only has three spots left as of this post, so if you’re interested, sign up fast!

Stumptown 2013!

I mentioned in my last post, but I figured I’d make some bigger noise about it in it’s own post, but I’ll be at the Stumptown Comics Fest this weekend, sharing a table with my good friend, Breena Bard, né Weiderhoeft. We’ll be at table J-07.

I don’t have any new comics, but I will be selling original pages alongside copies of Americus, the Lorian Gendarme Adventuring Guidebook, some old One of the Johns mini-comics, as well as assorted other original art.

I’ll also have copies of these posters I had printed. One is a huge library scene that I did for an American Library Association donation piece, and the other is some fan art of a bunch of samurai fighting off an army of zombies.

stumptown-posters

stumptown-posters-detail

I think that’s it for now! See you this weekend!

The Titular Hero!

titular-hero-00

I know it’s been a little quiet around here the last month, but that’s because I’ve been busy teaching and making comics! In fact, do you ever check out Tor.com and all their awesome content? If not, now would be a great time because they have a short original comic by MK Reed and myself that we’re both pretty proud about that I just wrapped up.

I’m also wrapping up my second week at my residency at Roosevelt High School where I’m teaching comics through Literary ArtsWriters in the Schools program. I’ll probably be posting a progress update on that sometime next week.

But seriously, make sure you head on over to Tor.com and read The Titular Hero. Make sure to comment on it to let them know what you think!

A Sad & Beautiful World – 2012 Year in Review

2012-in-review

It’s been a ghost town here at oneofthejohns for months. Let’s just get to it then, shall we? Here’s my year in review post for 2012.

To be completely honest, it’s been a tough, tough year. We lost our father this summer after a long battle against cancer, and five months later my brother Jeremiah passed away as well. The sickness and death and loss has been a lot to deal with, and it’s been a process that has affected my creativity and motivation. That’s not to say that there haven’t been positive things this year, but I had major plans for myself and where I wanted to take myself professionally, and they’ve stalled for various reasons.

Keep reading for the complete, long-winded recap of the year…

Continue reading

Americus wins the Carla Cohen Free Speech Award!

Looks like I’m going to have to update this shelf-talker with the good news!

We actually heard about this awhile ago, but it slipped my mind to post it until this week. Anyhow, here’s information on the award from the NAIBA website:

The idea for this award came from a desire to not only honor an amazing bookseller and past president of NAIBA, but to honor Carla as would be most fitting.

The NCCFSA will be awarded to a children’s book, as awareness of constitutional rights needs to begin at the beginning of true consciousness. Educating children about their rights by putting the books into their hands that will allow them to question, imagine, and dream is essential to the survival of independent bookstores and dare we say, humanity.

Independent bookstores are the places where freedom of speech and anti-censorship are integrated into everything we do. We are spaces where difference-of ideas, sexuality, spirit, politics, and philosophy-is embraced and not feared. Politics and Prose has been exactly this kind of place for the past 27 years. Independent bookstores are essential to their communities and hence to a truly democratic nation. The survival of our bookstores relies on children becoming informed and engaged in our midsts. Only through the nurturing of this future community will we ensure having a customer base on which to rely.

You can read about it straight from the source here. Yay!

Taking the Leap

This summer has been pretty overwhelming to say the least. In early May I went to California to take care of my dad, who was pretty sick. About three weeks into it, he took a pretty bad turn for the worse and passed away shortly afterwards. It was pretty much the most sucky thing that has ever happened to me, and I’m still trying to navigate my life without him. I got back to Portland in mid-June and have been slowly getting myself back into the swing of things. It’s a bit cliche, but it has made me take inventory of my life and ask myself if I am where I want to be and questioning my priorities and where I am putting my energy.

In a lot of ways I am happy where I am at – like I mentioned, my friends are pretty much the best a guy could ask for, my family is tops, and I live in a rad city… but career-wise, particularly in my art, I’m not.

The last six years, I’ve been working at Powell’s and doing freelancing work on the side. I’ve accomplished a lot in that time – my illustration career got it’s start, and I finished Americus. There was peace in mind knowing that I had certain things like being able to go to the dentist, a steady source of income, etc. It was a good and important period in my life where I was given the time to get a foothold and build up a portfolio, but I’ve really felt like I’ve plateaued the last year or so. I think the comfort that it provided me also made me a total softie. My approach to getting new work was pretty much just waiting for it to fall on my lap. I would work really hard anytime work popped up, but because a job was taking up a lot of my time I had a hard time making time to do art or looking for work because I was just beat or it was easy to justify blowing it off.

With everything that has happened to me the last couple of months, I really feel like it’s time to turn to the next chapter of my life. It’s time to make the plunge and step up my life-game and make a go at being a cartoonist/illustrator/whatever people will pay me to draw full time. I feel like I owe it to myself, and I owe it to my dad, who pretty much gave me every opportunity to persue those dreams, but I’ve been a little bit of a wuss. I’ve been sitting in the shallow end of the pool so far, and now it’s time to just dive into the deep end and either learn how to swim or drown trying. If I don’t give it a shot now, then when?

I gave my notice at Powell’s and will be done at the end of the month. After that, I’ll be going through step-by-step and documenting the entire self-promotion process. If you’re in the same boat or just starting out your artistic career, hopefully you can pick up tips and learn something from the process. If you’re a professional, maybe you can drop by and leave some hints or share your experience. Maybe you’re an old nemesis, and you want to see me fail miserably. Either way, I would love to have you along for the ride.

Expect big changes, reorganization, and some new work to pop up. It’s going to start out slow at first while I lay the ground work, but I’m hoping in a couple of weeks I’ll be in a position to take off running.

Wish me luck!

P.S. Much thanks to my lovely girlfriend, Jen for all the support and encouragement, and to the incredibly talented Meg Hunt for giving me some much needed guidance to help me get started and to the always awesome Jason Rainey for the tech support and behind the scenes help.