2 Bits of Good Art News for Art From the Strange Land of Beelaungeen

Do you get into the rut of accentuating the negative instead of the positive? I do too. I think about what I lack. I think about what I want. I think that if only I had———you name it——-and it would make my life easier, happier, better in some way. You do that too? Well, today, I’m doing the opposite and letting you in on 2 bits of good news for Art From the Strange Land of Beelaungeen—-what I mean is good news about my art——and what I mean by art is the art I create for you who likes my strange artwork.

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  1. MY “MOONS, MAGIC AND NIGHT TIME GIRLS CARD SET” WILL BE SELLING AT RIVERSEA GALLERY: This Astoria, Oregon Coast gallery will soon sell my 5 cards at their gallery. They will be sold individually for $5.00 each. I showed the gallery owner the set and she said she’d love to sell them. This is the first time I’ll have any art or products in this gallery and the first time I’ll be sell my cards at a brick and mortar business, so it is exciting.

  2. I’LL BE ILLUSTRATING THE MAY ISSUE OF METAPHOROSIS, SPECULATIVE FICTION MAGAZINE: I’ve illustrated the cover 3 times before, but it’s always fun and always good news to be doing a cover for this magazine with sci-fi and fantasy short stories. I’ve been sent a few of the stories to be in the May issue, so I can decide what to create for the cover. I think it will be hard to decide because the stories are so strange and interesting, full of fantastical imagery. I’ll be sharing the process and my progress in the weeks to come.

Do you have any bits of good news to break through the negative? Do tell. I could use some good news from you.

Here's to Strong, Strange, Amazing Women Who Refuse to Fit It In and Defiantly Be Themselves!

It’s International Women’s Day so I had to just say hooray for all the strange, strong and awesome ladies in my life. This seems an appropriate time to name a few of them.

There’s my Canadian graffiti artist friend who has always been a champion for my art even when it sucked when I was starting out! There’s my 80 year old gal pal who still swims on a regular basis and tells me to never give up even when the going has been very tough. There’s my Hungarian friend who is just the sweetest, kindest animal loving gal I know. There’s my Dodger loving babe who creates amazing crochet jewelry like a lotus bracelet for me.

My drawing of strange, mysterious women, titled, “Night Time Magic Girls in Masks”.  Detail of it is available as a $5.00 card here.

My drawing of strange, mysterious women, titled, “Night Time Magic Girls in Masks”. Detail of it is available as a $5.00 card here.

There are sooooo many more. Thank you, awesome ladies for being in my life! Hooray for you and hooray for all women everywhere. May you feel strong enough to be who you are in all your realness, in all your glory. I wish the same for myself.

My Victorian Freak Show Paper Puppets at Jill McVarish Gallery

Since Jill McVarish Gallery in Astoria, Oregon invited me to the “Doll” group show in their “Secret Gallery”, I thought my Victorian inspired, freak show monster paper puppets would be perfect there. I’m not sure who knows what a paper puppet is, so in case you don’t know, they are paper dolls with heads, arms, legs and torsos that move on a paper brad hinge. You can move their parts to play with them or to make a stop motion animation. I love strange things and maybe, these are part of that. What do you think?

Each original paper puppet was created with colored pencil and has it’s own 9” x 11” homemade shadow box in which to live, move and play.

Each original paper puppet was created with colored pencil and has it’s own 9” x 11” homemade shadow box in which to live, move and play.

The “Doll” group show starts March 8, 2019 and runs through the first week in April. Who knows what wondrous things will be there besides my freak show paper puppets. If you’re interested in purchasing the original artwork, please inquire at the Jill McVarish Gallery.

Gentleman Skull Freak Show Paper Puppet.

Gentleman Skull Freak Show Paper Puppet.

Lady Bat Freak Show Paper Puppet.

Lady Bat Freak Show Paper Puppet.

Lady Medusa Freak Show Paper Puppet.

Lady Medusa Freak Show Paper Puppet.

5 Strange Things That Happened to Me At Wizard World 2019

Wizard World Convention was a new experience for me since it was my first time having an artist table there, so granted, most things there were strange to me. But here are 5 strangest things that happened to me.

Melissa Kojima in front of her artist’s alley table at Wizard World Comic Convention in February 2019.

Melissa Kojima in front of her artist’s alley table at Wizard World Comic Convention in February 2019.

  1. What? IT’S NOT ABOUT THE ART?

    This convention was more about the T.V. and movie celebrities than anything, leaving comic books and art to take 2nd fiddle to them. This hit me as strange. I had no idea. Venders sold products with pictures of the celebrities and comic book characters on them like pillows, towels, plush toys and pins. Most of the artists there were doing the same thing if they wanted to make money. Digital art, celebrity portraits were sold at almost every artist’s table. My art was one of the anomalies because it was original and hand drawn. So as you could guess, my art got a lot less attention and sales than the others around me.

2. WHAT DO YOU MEAN MY ART REMINDS YOU OF ‘ALICE IN WONDERLAND’, BUT ‘WONDERLAND’ FANS DON’T CARE ABOUT IT?

The people who stopped by my table described my art as whimsical but dark and it reminded them of Alice and Wonderland. That didn’t surprise me. I’ve heard that before. This made me think that all those cosplayers wearing Alice in Wonderland costumes, top hats and steampunk gear would find my art fascinating and attractive. But strangely, none of them stopped by——-Oh wait! No——I forgot one of them did stop at my table. In his Mad Hatter costume, he asked me if I sold picture frames, since my art was framed. When I said no, he left without glancing at my table wares.

3. What? NOBODY REALLY KNOWS WHAT PAPER PUPPETS ARE?

I made 3 special Victorian monster creature paper puppets for the comic convention, believing people would love to take home a print of them, to cut them out and make their own creatures to play with. But I had several people ask what they were. They didn’t know that they moved. They had never seen anything like them before. I guess, I was showing them something so new, they couldn’t get their minds around it. What? You can actually move its arms, head and legs? You can make a stop-motion video with them? It was so strange to me. I really had no idea. Do you know what paper puppets are? Or are you one of the folks who is in the know?

4. MEN ACTUALLY COMPLIMENTED and liked MY ARTWORK?

Over and over, I was told that my art was beautiful, pretty and even gorgeous. I really appreciated the compliments. It usually came from women or girls. If there were men around my table, they were usually with their families or women. When groups of men stopped and looked and even complimented my art, I was surprised. I didn’t know that they would find it interesting. I’ve heard over and over again from my friends that my art looks like it’s for kids or it looks like it’s from a storybook, and not to mention, it’s very feminine, so it was strange that there were men who found value in it. What? You didn’t need to see a big, violent fight scene with aggression and violence spilling over the page to stop and look? It was nice to know that not all men needed to have that in their art to find it valuable in some way. That said, none of my sales were to men or boys.

The scary ghost twin cosplayers from the movie, The Shining.

The scary ghost twin cosplayers from the movie, The Shining.

The elegant Great Gatsby flapper cosplayer.

The elegant Great Gatsby flapper cosplayer.

5. Did you KNow MY LARGEST SALE WAS FROM A NON-COMIC BOOK CONVENTION PERSON?

Yes, women were there and supported my art. They stopped and talked to me about being fascinated by my Moon Lady Card and Haunted Head House Ladies prints and drawings. They were there with their daughters or friends. They were older or very young in cosplay furry outfits. On the first day, a middle-aged woman was there with her daughter and they bought a Lady Bat paper puppet doll to make and play with. On the last day, they came back and decided to buy a giclee print of the Haunted Head House Lady. They told me they were putting together an Airbnb rental room with a spooky theme to it, so my print would work with it. That was fun to learn, I’d be a part of it. But the biggest sale I got was from the sister of the man tabling at a neighboring artist table. She came to see her brother and she told me she’d never been to a convention before. She spent quite a bit of time looking at my original art and framed prints. She said she really loved the colors and thought maybe her grand daughter or niece might like my art. She took pictures and sent them out on her phone. The girls responded to her and it turned out that they weren’t interested in my art. I thought that was the end of that, but she finally realized she had to get something for herself, so she bought one of my framed giclee prints from my series of “Moon, Magic and Night Time Girls”. I was so happy to get a big sale. It really made my day and it made the convention less disappointing.

Mary Poppins and Burt Cosplayers.

Mary Poppins and Burt Cosplayers.

A Midieval Red Queen and King at Wizard World Convention

A Midieval Red Queen and King at Wizard World Convention

That said, I already paid for my artist’s table at Rose City Comic Convention before this Wizard World Convention, so I’ll be doing that in September of this year. I talked to a lot of people about it and they have told me it is much more oriented towards artists, alternative artwork and there is a much bigger attendance. Wish me luck. Hopefully, I’ll be able to break even or make a profit this time. If you’d like to support my art, come on by next time or buy some artwork online from me.

I changed the set up of my artist table every day of the 3 day convention.

I changed the set up of my artist table every day of the 3 day convention.

Who Else Loves Ghosts? Come See My Ghost Art at Wizard World Convention Portland!

Well, there’s still plenty of time to get over to the Oregon Convention Center for Wizard World Convention in Portland, Oregon. If you come, you’ll get to see my series of ghost artwork and more. Please use my discount code to get 20% off: KOJIMA20. I hope to see you there.

A few of the ghost artworks I have displayed at the Wizard World Convention in Portland, Oregon.  One of them is an art print for sale at $20.00 each.

A few of the ghost artworks I have displayed at the Wizard World Convention in Portland, Oregon. One of them is an art print for sale at $20.00 each.

Last Sneak Peek Before Wizard World Convention Portland This Weekend (Feb 22-24)

My 15 new artworks are framed and ready to be displayed at Wizard World Convention in Portland, Oregon. This will be the first time I have so many of my artworks displayed together in one place—-almost like a solo show. Moreover, it’s the culmination of creating an art series I call, “Moons, Magic and Night Time Girls”. Below is your last sneak peek of some of the art before this weekend’s main event and everything is revealed.

Lady Bat paper puppet will be for sale as a DIY print for $5.00 and the original, assembled art in a homemade shadow box for $300.00.

Lady Bat paper puppet will be for sale as a DIY print for $5.00 and the original, assembled art in a homemade shadow box for $300.00.

I’m not sure what to expect since this is my first time doing artist alley at a convention. But if what happened at the printer is any indication of how the convention will go, then I’m excited. I went to get a few high quality art prints and the printer loved my art so much, she bought one of my prints. I was surprised and happy at my good fortune. I hope the convention will bring just as much enthusiasm for my artwork and more good fortune.

1 of the 6 high quality art prints with archival ink and upon archival Canson Photographique paper. Titled, “Ghost Tears”. $20.00 for each art print.

1 of the 6 high quality art prints with archival ink and upon archival Canson Photographique paper. Titled, “Ghost Tears”. $20.00 for each art print.

Below is a list of all the things I’ll have for sale—-except the original framed artwork—-which is on another list. I’m really proud of this series and feel like it’s some of my best work yet. It feels like a break-though. Usually after creating art, I feel like I did an alright job and hope I’ll make something better next time. This time, I was in awe of the art I made and couldn’t wait to create more to see what I’d do. That’s a big difference.

The list of what I will be selling at Wizard World Convention Portland, Oregon, Feb 22-24. The original artwork for sale is on a separate list.

The list of what I will be selling at Wizard World Convention Portland, Oregon, Feb 22-24. The original artwork for sale is on a separate list.

Please come to see the art and visit me if you’re in Portland, Oregon. This really is a big step for me, and I’d really appreciate your support. Make sure to use my 20% off code from the price of admission: KOJIMA20. See you there.

YOU'LL LOVE THESE MYSTERIOUS, LITTLE PORTRAIT PAINTINGS IN GOUACHE (PART 3)

In this third gouache painting, I finally understood what I was doing. Unlike the first two, I was able to control the blending of the paint much better, so the lights and darks became more subtle. I hoped to do that so they’d truly lend to the intrigue of this little portrait of a mysterious girl.

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Who is she? Does she seem shy? What are her interests? Would she rather be riding a horse through the pastoral, English countryside than posing pretty for a photo?

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Here are all 3 of the gouache painting studies. You know I’ll be practicing more. Hopefully, my next paintings will turn out as good as these ones. Seeing them side by side, it almost seems like they’re having a conversation. What do you think they’re chatting about? Can you hear their whispers? Will you let us in on the secret too?

YOU'LL LOVE THESE MYSTERIOUS, LITTLE PORTRAIT PAINTINGS IN GOUACHE (PART 2)

I didn’t realize how much I’d been struggling with that first gouache painting until I did this second one. This time I decided to apply the paint thinner and let it flow a little more. The results are much better. I love her feathered hat and that mysterious smile on her lips. What is she thinking? Is she planning some mischief? What do you think? Don’t you love her?

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You'll Love These Mysterious, Little Portrait Paintings In Gouache (Part 1)

I’d been wanting to try out some gouache paint for a while—-I mean the high quality Holbein kind that stick it to you with the price but give you that lovely velvety mat finish that only a good-quality gouache paint can. Someone had been hearing me say this over and over. Someone must have been sick of me repeating it because I received a set of Holbein gouache for Christmas.

Oh my! Finally! I could try them out! Thank you!

What should I do? How did I want to practice with them? I decided to do a series of little, mysterious portraits. You’ll see my gouache studies in the weeks to come. I didn’t have much time to do them, but it’s sure been fun doing these little studies. Here is the first one; a mysterious little man painting. What do you think? Don’t you love him?

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MOONS & NIGHT TIME MAGIC GIRLS FOR THE WIZARD WORLD COMIC CON (WIP PART III)

Here’s another peek at my desk as I get ready for the Wizard World Comic at the end of February. This is going to be “Lady Bat” and she will be available to purchase at my artist alley table. I’ll keep giving you more peeks in the weeks to come. If you do come, please use my discount code: KOJIMA20 for 20% off on admission price.

Lady Bat WIP Drawing-2.jpg