Thursday, August 14, 2014

Portfolio- Kinkonauts Posters

Back in the mid-2000s, when I was living in Calgary, I occasionally performed improv with the Kinkonauts. I have very fond memories of guesting with the long form ensemble.

A couple months ago I was contacted by one of the Kinkonauts, Owen, about making a poster to announce their new season and a template that they could use throughout the year.  

The company had already been using space-inspired designs for many years, so sticking with that theme we decided to infuse it with a retro, comic book look. I studied science fiction magazine covers from the 60s for inspiration. Then I mocked up three concepts.

They choose the second design (which was also my favourite) so I refined the sketch further and once they gave me the go-ahead, I sketched out the under-drawing on a large piece of paper.

Next I inked over the under-drawing using a lightboard, I did this in sections on multiple pieces of paper. 

In Photoshop I assembled the scanned inked drawings. In the early stages of the design process I presented the team with three palettes, (again they chose my favourite one) and so colouring was a breeze.  I also used the existing Kinkonauts logo as the alien woman's badge and their existing font for the heading.

Next I made six variations of the poster, each in a slightly different colour scheme, so the company can re-use the image for their whole season. I also made variations of the design for social media and to be made into buttons.

I really had fun with this project, it's not everyday that I get to draw aliens as part of my job. I hope that the Kinkonauts have a fabulous season of improv!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Following Photobooth: A Biography

It's hard to believe that it's already been three months since my book came out. I'm overwhelmed by the incredible positive response to Photobooth: A Biography. Nearly every day I receive a thoughtful comment online or an email from someone who's read the book. The two kinds of comments that delight me the most are:

1. someone telling me that it's the first graphic novel/ comic that they've ever read and 
2. that after reading it, they immediately went out to find a photobooth to use.

I've been touring the book to different events in Canada and the USA. You can follow those adventures on Twitter, @MeagsFitzgerald and on Facebook at my illustration page, Two Hands Two Crowns.

Reviews and interviews have also been coming out on a steady basis. Here's a list of links to those:

Quill and Quire (in print only)

If you'd like to buy Photobooth: A Biography, you can get a signed copy directly from me here. In North America, many local comic book shops are stocking it or will be able to order it for you. And in Canada it's also available at Chapters and Indigo. Many libraries are also beginning to carry it, if your local library doesn't have it, ask if they can get it in!

Next week I'll be in Nova Scotia for four books events, the details are here:

Stay tuned for some big news and reviews that will be coming out soon and for the fall tour dates!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

New Photobooth Art

Whoo. So much has happened in the month since I last posted that it will take me some time to catch up with it here. June was a fun whirlwind of events of projects. I was in Chicago for three weeks, and amongst many things I shot some new pieces of photobooth art at A&A Studios.

In the days after the International Photobooth Convention (more about this in posts to come) I had five chemical photobooths all to myself. I was just like a kid in a candy shop- with an unlimited budget and a giant stomach. The different photobooth models and paper types gave me a lot of freedom for the projects I wanted to execute.

Using four sheets of magnifying plastic in a Model 17 with standard paper.
Copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2014.

Copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2014

Copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2014

Taken in a Model 11, running on colour chemistry and paper. The sides of this image are white
because the  roll of paper had been exposed to light at some time. I used a gel on the camera lens.
Copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2014.

Part of a new Grotesque series, taken in a Model 17 with standard paper. Gradient gel on the camera lens.
Used plexi glass against face. Copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2014.

Copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2014

With a mirror in a Model 14 with out-of-production high gloss paper. This paper with this machine
produced beautiful high contrast photographs. Copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2014.

Copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2014

Part of the Swamp series, taken in the Model 11, with paper with exposed edges. Used a purple gel
on the camera lens and a lime green gel on the glass. Copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2014.
Copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2014

From the Grotesque series, in the Model 17, using wooden props and with a gradient gel on the
camera lens. Copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2014.

Copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2014

Copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014

Chicago Events!

Yesterday I arrived in Chicago, where everything fun that I've ever wanted to do is about to happen.

First up, on May 31- June 1 is CAKE (Chicago Alternative Comics Expo!) This will be my first time tabling at CAKE, I'll be at the table for Conundrum Press. I'll be at table 52B with fellow comic artist, Dakota McFadzean. Chicago is known for having a great comics scene so I can't wait to make some new friends and buy lots of paper goodies.

The following weekend, June 6-8 is the International Photobooth Convention (IPC) hosted at A&A Studios. I'm one of the organizers for this year's convention and I'm really excited for all the programming we've put together. There's a good balance of events for photobooth artists, technicians, vintage photo collectors and for the general public too, who just like to have their pictures taken in these wonderful machines!

Lastly, on Thursday June 12th at 7pm, Photobooth: A Biography is having it's own book launch at Quimby's Bookstore! Quimby's is a pillar of the comic's community and they also happen to have a functional chemical photobooth in the store! I'm really excited for this evening, I'm working on a special presentation and attendees will receive a special treat!

RSVP on the facebook event!

After all that, I'm staying in town for a few more days for the Blues Festival and to laze around with friends. Let me know if you'd like to laze around!

Monday, May 26, 2014

A New Self

This week I made a new cartoonish self-portrait. I made it mostly for fun and to test out my new Wacom tablet. But I also thought it was time to replace the self-portrait I've had in circulation for the last year where I look a little too serious.

As usual, I started with a sketch using animators pencils. I then inked over the sketch on a light board on two separate sheets (so my layers would already be separated once I brought it into Photoshop.)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book Launches! D&Q and TCAF

This last week has been one happy blur. Photobooth: A Biography officially launched on May 8th at the Drawn & Quarterly store here in Montreal (thanks to them for hosting!) I was quite sick leading up the the event and may have told my sister "I think I'm dying" that very morning. But all in all the launch, which was for Conundrum Press authors went smoothly.

Photo by Louis Rastelli

I really enjoy chatting to people while signing books. Everyone's got a story that has to do with photobooths. At the events in both Toronto and Montreal I was delightfully surprised to meet some people from the photobooth community for the first time. Here I am with photobooth fan, Carolina. 

Conundrum Press may have had the best table location at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) which happened on May 10th and 11th. Being right at the entrance, I bumped into many friends from the days when I lived in Toronto. The weekend was of course tiring but so much fun! Here I am with Joe Ollmann and Dakota McFadzean, doing the signature Conundrum Press arm crossing technique.
Photo by Andy Brown

Photo taken by my dad, Kevin.
I'm one lucky lady. My parents, two aunts and my grandmother all came to Toronto to support me. (They flew from Edmonton and Saskatoon!) My brother, Tiegh and sister, Eryn also came to route me on. I was still recovering from being "deathly" ill, so it was especially nice to have my family there to help out. Here's my mom on the left, my aunty Annette beside her and my grandma on the right. (I somehow didn't get a picture of my aunty Suzanne who was also there.)

On the Sunday I spoke on a panel for Non-Fiction and History Comics. It was moderated by Brigid Alverson, who really knows her stuff. I was flattered to included amongst many great authors. It was really fun, even if I sounded nervous! You can listen to the audio from it here.  (Thanks to Jamie Coville for recording it!)

Photo by my sister Eryn. I talk with my hands.
Another high point was getting to meet Jillian Tamaki and thanking her in person for writing a blurb endorsing my book last July. The blurb helped the book get some attention and it gave me a much needed ego boost, as Jillian's been one of my long time idols.

Photo taken by my proud grandma, Doris.
TCAF was a huge success, by mid-Sunday we sold out of all of the copies of my book. Thanks to my friends, family and members of the photobooth community who showed up! Also a huge thanks to Andy Brown, the mastermind behind Conundrum Press.

Around the same time as the launches, a few interviews and reviews have come out. So far all the press has been really positive and supportive! Thanks to everyone who's read it and reviewed it! You can read them here:

Fun Interview- Open Book Toronto
Thorough Review- Dominic Umile
Mini-Review + Interview- Cult Magazine

If you're interested in buying the book, you can call your local bookstore and ask if they're stocking it. If you'd like a signed and personally inscribed copy, you can buy it directly from me at my Etsy shop. I'll also be doing signing at events in Chicago, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Halifax, Calgary, Banff and Brooklyn (in that order, I know, it's a weird tour route) and I'll happily sign copies then. More details and dates for those will come soon.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Found Festival Design

I recently had the pleasure of doing the design for the 3rd annual Found Festival which is a multidisciplinary arts festival, across several venues in Edmonton. Here's a bit about that process:

1. I like to sketch with coloured animators pencils, they help me distinguish between elements.

2. I made three sketches of different concepts and this was the one the festival organizers decided to go with.  (I was glad, it was my favourite of the options too.)

3.  I drew the under drawing at 1.25 times the print size. The poster is 11 x 17 but the bottom 2.5 inches is reserved for sponsor logos, so the dimensions of my final product seem a bit unusual.

4. Using a lightboard, I inked all the elements on separate pieces of paper. Firstly because my scanner bed is not especially large (and I hate merging scans) and secondly because with all the elements already separate it makes colouring in Photoshop a little faster. 

I also sent the organizers five colour palettes to choose from, they chose the brightest, most summery option. I made two variations of the poster using the same colour scheme.

copyright 2014 Meags Fitzgerald

copyright 2014 Meags Fitzgerald

The festival is also printing t-shirts, this variation of the design was made for a one-screen screenprint.

copyright 2014 Meags Fitzgerald