Thursday, October 23, 2014

Recap: Design & Doodle Workshop

On Wednesday, October 22, 2014, I led the Design & Doodle Workshop during DC Design Week. The event was hosted by AIGA DC, General Assembly, and DC Fem Tech. Only 25 people could attend and the registration sold out in less than a day. Even the wait list was sold out, so I knew the attendees were paying close attention to the design community and that means people are craving this type of creativity. 

After introductions, I talked about doodling techniques and showed the attendees some warm up hand exercises to get loose. I have two main hand exercises – one I call finger taps and the other is more wrist based I call CM Punk. Oftentimes, I believe designers are stiff and it's an experience I've had to overcome and am constantly working on. Not only are we sitting at desks for ten hours a day staring at a screen, but we sometimes work under rigid guidelines and dun dun dun... the horrible (not so horrible) grid!

Only one of the attendees had decided to draw digitally, but the others brought their own supplies of drawing tools and paper. After our decision about drawing, I learned that there was some interest in drawing apps, but most people felt like drawing with physical objects was the way to go. I mostly do linework on paper, then scan, and color digitally with a tablet. 

A few years ago I did a project called Sketch Before Sleep where I drew each night for 365 days. All of those sketches were done digitally. I showed a film clip of all the Sketch Before Sleep sketches. I had not shown the film since 2011 at the GV Expo, but it's now available online here.

The two prompts I gave at Design & Doodle were selecting two words from my "Inspiration Owl" and showing the vintage novelty doodle pad from David Jablow's Do It Yourself Doodler Project. Free issues of Magic Bullet #9 and postcards promoting my comic strip "Curls" were given out as well.

The rest of the evening was spent doodling and several of the attendees showed me their sketches and had one-on-one talks with me about their drawing skills. It was great to meet some new faces and also recap with Anthony and Mila from the AIGA board. Thanks to everyone who attended the event.

More photos can be found on the Curls Studio Facebook page.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Recap: New York Comic Con 2014

New York Comic Con 2014 was a sweet success for Curls Studio and by all reports it seems like NYCC has now surpassed San Diego as the most attended comic convention in America, as NYCC reported 151,000 people. There is no denying NYCC has majorly grown in the course of one year. 

In previous years, Thursday was slow and was only for those with VIP or special pro badges. This year there was already a crowd as soon as we arrived at the convention with our cart to set-up at noon on Thursday. Of course our morning was filled with packing the car in the dark morning light of Virginia, getting gas, and withering the New Jersey Turnpike until we pulled into the Javits Center to unload. The night before we recorded our podcast with Teresa Roberts Logan from Laughing Redhead Studio who exhibited with us at booth #1162 for the second year in a row. Next year we should leave a bit earlier to be fully prepared for the noon crowd charge and it was a pleasant surprise to have a successful Thursday. 

I noticed several vendors had already given away their free promotions by Friday. For example, Cirque du Soleil had tote bags that did not replenish for the weekend crowds and Ghostery was giving out blue ghost stress balls that were gone quickly. I don't think anyone anticipated the Thursday crowds.

As an exhibitor it is hard to see the scope of the show, attend panels, or even step away to go to the bathroom. This year I got to see most of the show by arriving early on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before the show started. I was most impressed with the Weta Digital booth which featured a gigantic resting dragon. The dragon's eyelids would slightly open to reveal glowing eyes as if visitors were interrupting a nap.

Adventure Time #29, the exclusive cover I did for Boom! Studios did very well. I also premiered new Comics Heart t-shirts available in aqua and asphalt in sizes XS, S, M, L, and XL as well as the new Sad Fish button collection. I plan to have both available online shortly, but you can email me at info[at] if you'd like to purchase!

I enjoyed my time on Friday signing at the National Cartoonists Society booth. It was great to meet people interested in what we do and they were selling special t-shirts as well. On Friday evening we also got to see the "Juanjo Guarnido in the Freak Kitchen" panel. He is the artist of one of my favorite books, Blacksad.

On Saturday I tried to see a panel in the day, but that was quickly shot down as it was full and tons of people were sitting on the floor waiting for the room to open. At that point I really just wanted to go back to my booth, where I should be anyway! Gone are the days of NYCC a few years ago where there were some lines, but you could basically walk into a panel. However in the evening, we got to see the "Eastern Championships of Cosplay" event. It really made me want to create an outfit! Cosplay was amazing this year for sure.

NYCC 2014 was enjoyable, but exhausting! It does take a few days to recover back to 100% after preparing for the show, interacting with so many people, traveling, and overall visual stimulation. It was great to hang out with Joe and Teresa once again the share the booth. I think we really work well together and we are already discussing ideas for next year.

I've posted many more fabulous photographs taken by Joe and I on the Curls Studio Facebook page. Check them out and give us a "Like" while you are at it.

Thanks to everyone we met and everyone who keeps coming back to our booth each year! That's why we do this show -- to meet you! Hope to meet you in the near future. 

Joe and I will be at Annapolis Comic-Con this Sunday, October 19, 2014. It will most likely be our last tour date this year. After that my next appearance is this Wednesday, October 22, 2014 hosting the sold out Design & Doodle Workshop for DC Design Week.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Annapolis Comic-Con is this Sunday!

This Sunday, October 19, 2014, Curls Studio will be exhibiting at Annapolis Comic-Con from 10AM to 4PM. Admission is only $10 and children under age 10 get in free! Hope to see you soon.

Roger "Pip" Moyer Community Center
273 Hilltop Lane
Annapolis, Maryland 21403

Friday, October 3, 2014

New York Comic Con 2014 - Small Press, Booth 1162

You can find Curls Studio ALL FOUR DAYS of New York Comic Con 2014 at Small Press, Booth 1162. Like last year, we will be joined with Teresa Roberts Logan of Laughing Redhead Studio in the same booth location. We both represent the Washington, DC chapter of National Cartoonists Society.

New York Comic Con is held at the Javits Center (655 West 34th Street) in Midtown Manhattan. 


Thursday 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Friday 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM

New York Comic Con is the East Coast's biggest and most exciting popular culture convention. We hope you can join us there and stop by to say hello! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

DC Design Week: Design & Doodle Workshop is Sold Out

The workshop I'm hosting for AIGA DC Design Week sold out in one day! I did announce it on Twitter, but I didn't even get to post a blog entry about it before it sold out. That's a good thing and I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of fresh faces. The wait list is also full, but you can still sign up to be on the wait list.

Thanks to AIGA DC, Rica Rosario, Dian Holton, DC Fem Tech, General Assembly, and everyone else who helped construct DC Design Week.

Here is more info about the event:

Design & Doodle Workshop
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
WeWork Wonder Bread Factory
641 S Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Ever wish you had more time to draw and doodle? Well this is the event for you. AIGA DC, DC Fem Tech and General Assembly are hosting a hands-on illustration workshop led by DC’s own Carolyn Belefski, cartoonist, designer and magic maker. We’ll chat about illustrators that inspire us, get warmed up with a few drawing exercises, then sketch away! So bust out your Micron pens, Prismacolor markers and favorite stylus, and join us for an evening of design and doodling.

Please bring your own doodling supplies, tools and materials—paper, tablet, your call. Drinks and snacks will be provided.

This event is free and open to AIGA DC members and non-members. Registration will open at 12 PM on Wednesday, October 1 and is limited to 25 attendees.

Carolyn Belefski creates and publishes original comics and illustrations, including her comic strip Curls. She became a National Cartoonists Society member in 2012, and is currently serving as a Washington, DC chapter board member. With NCS, she started the annual blood drive, Cartoonists Draw Blood, with the American Red Cross. Her freelance illustration and design clients include Boom! Studios (Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time comic), Clorox, and National Geographic. Carolyn has exhibited at many comic conventions and art fairs on the east coast. Beyond her self-motivated activities, Carolyn works as a professional designer who has contributed to projects for San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame Museum, Air Force Civilian Services, Gannett, and more. You can view Carolyn’s work online at and follow her on Twitter @CarolynBelefski.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Recap: SPX 2014

Small Press Expo 2014 was a fun time for us! When we drove into the hotel parking lot, I noticed a Farmer's Market at the adjacent parking lot, so after setting up our table we headed over to get our food supply for the day. I purchased a chocolate croissant and and baguette with leaf shapes from Fresh Baguette and at another vendor I got two peaches and a nectarine. Even though our lunch wasn't a full meal, it felt good to not go out during the event or eat fast food. I did notice the hotel got smart and had sandwiches and salads for sale near the event registration, but we figured we'd wait until dinner.

We spent most of the time at our table and were happy to see many people year after year. One of the great additions this year were giant balloons with letters to show each island of tables so attendees can find specific vendors easier. After you go to SPX for about three years you start to see the same faces and then SPX becomes a reunion – not only of comic creators, but also readers. A pal from high school and college who we had not seen in over a decade stopped by with his wife. I also saw friends who I know from AIGA and school. Early on Saturday I was able to cruise the outer parameter of the show floor and say hi to other creators. We distributed Magic Bullet #9 and also had several bundles out on the free table – which we kept refreshing because they went fast!

Animal Chronicles: Book Two was our new product at SPX. It is a series based on the aftermath of a solar flare barely passing by Earth causing animals to fuse with objects in their vicinity during the catastrophic event. Panel Patter did a spotlight on Animal Chronicles the week before SPX to showcase new publications. 

I was able to sign my Adventure Time cover, Curls in the Team Cul de Sac book, The Legettes, and more for fans.

As always, SPX is great to discover comics you won't ordinarily see in your local comic store. I noticed many names in the program guide from people on Twitter or other online outlets – only to confirm the great influence of the internet and webcomics. 

Here is my Vine from SPX:

Thanks to everyone who visited our table! The next time you can catch us will be New York Comic Con on October 9-12, 2014 at Comic Pavilion Table 1162 on the show floor.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Recap: Baltimore Comic-Con 2014

This past weekend Curls Studio exhibited at Baltimore Comic-Con. This year the show expanded to three days. I was unable to attend Friday, but Joe was able to set up and bring Karen Michele, a model and SFX makeup artist he works with. Later on Friday evening, Joe and Karen checked up the Drink and Draw at Hooters, organized by Joe Sutliff. I had a sketch in the suction and the proceed go to Team Cul de Sac and the Michael J. Fox Foundation to raise money for Parkinson's research. 

In addition to the third day, the space also switched to a larger part of the Baltimore Convention Center. I thought it looks more updated and the lighting was much more crisp and bright. We always have a great time at Baltimore Comic-Con. For some reason this is a show I always reunite with a lot of former co-workers at as I've seen people from my past three professional jobs there. I even got to teach my co-worker's new baby to create his first high five!

I enjoyed signing these autograph cards a fan made. They got really creative with the clipping path! 

We were interviewed for the podcast Comix Gab, which you can listen to here:

Oh yeah, and I made a Vine

Quite a few people picked up the exclusive Adventure Time cover I did for issue #29, which came out a couple months ago.

Many people also picked up Magic Bullet #9, a comic anthology composed of mostly Washington, DC creator. This issue's theme is western and I enjoyed editing it. Here is a photo of Nick Galifianakis and I. Nick created this wonderful cover art for us.

Our hope is to exhibit again at Baltimore next year (save the date for September 25-27, 2015), but in the meantime you can see us this Saturday at Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD at Table H10.