Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Curls: Michael Jackson Tribute

Many of you have asked me if I was going to do anything in tribute to Michael Jackson after his death last month. It took me a long time to process everything surrounding his death... finally tonight I felt ready to work on this Curls comic strip in honor of MJ.

For those of you who do not know, Michael Jackson is a public figure whom I considered one of my favorite celebrities and whom I talk about almost weekly on my radio show. I know the arguments you could say about him, but through his life and career, I found him to be one of the most entertaining individuals on the planet. I am amazed with everything in his life (the good, the bad, and the ugly). From the Jesus Juice to Neverland's Zoo to Michael's art collection to his Super Bowl performance and all of MJ's antics... I have to say I am a fan. He entertained me.

Musically, there is no denying he was a great. He was a creative visionary in more than one media. I hope you enjoyed my comic strip of Curls tagging the wall in memory of MJ. May he rest in peace. I will always believe in magic with you, Michael.

Here are some other times MJ has appeared in my work:

I recently rediscovered an image I drew of Michael Jackson for Project Resolution in 2005. The prompt was 'Jack-O Lantern' and it's awesome. You can go back in time and see the flyers I illustrated to advertise the shows by going to the Project Res website and clicking on past shows. I did most of them between the years 2003 and 2005.

Michael Jackson has appeared in Curls before. This illustration of him holding Blanket on the balcony was published on Thursday, November 21, 2002 in VCU's student newspaper, The Commonwealth Times.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Muse Is

In April of 2003, I was a student in Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of Communication Arts and Design. We were given a poster for a department wide project called "My Muse Is" in which we could do whatever we wanted. The poster had blue grid and the title at top in a digital looking typeface. At the bottom, there was a questionnaire with some questions about the future and if you liked grids or not or if you thought MTV graphics were cool or not or if you drank coffee or something like that.

I selected to turn the poster over and work on the plain white back. I painted a picture of Curls with Bugs Bunny and wrote some of the questions given in paragraph form at the bottom. I remember one of my teachers saying that if he stood back and watched the entire gallery, my poster stood out the most... especially because of the hot pink border! Haha! Looking back, I can see how far I've come and how far I have to go. It is good to have this piece as a reminder of my original intent as an artist and a reminder of my love for Bugs Bunny. What's up doc?

Here is what I wrote: My name is Carolyn Belefski. I am graduating in May 2004 with a degree in Communication Arts & Design. I don't want or plan to be a millionaire, but if it happens, I bet I'll be the same person (but with better clothes). I believe a designer can change the world. Grids are useful, but very constraining. For inspiration I go on a walk and go out to see things and watch people. Sometimes I find inspiration from movies and characters. I really love to design characters. The girl posing with Bugs Bunny in this poster is a character I created. Her name is Curls Girl and she is a character in my comic strip, Curls. My Muse is Chuck Jones, who designed many of the Warner Brothers cartoon characters. His work is amazing. I looked back and realized how I got into art and drawing when I was smaller and thought of how much Chuck Jones and cartoons in general influenced me. Chuck Jones was really the first artist name I can remember hearing about and his work "drew" me into the art world. I'm lucky it did because I am happy to be where I am in life right now and it can only get better!

And here is a video I just rediscovered and posted to my YouTube channel of the reception at VCU's Anderson Gallery:

Friday, July 10, 2009

The General Design Company - AIGA DC Continuum Fund Button Campaign

Last month James Hobbs and I helped organize the second set of buttons for AIGA DC's Continuum Fund Button Campaign to help DC metro area students pursue a graphic design degree. The buttons premiered last month at Sea Change: AIGA Leadership Retreat 2009 in Portland, Oregon. All proceeds go to AIGA DC’s Continuum Fund Scholarship, which allows young people from minority and economically disadvantaged backgrounds not only to realize their artistic dreams, but also to give back to their communities.

Soung Wiser of The General Design Company helped coordinate this set of three buttons. The congratulatory, buddy nature of the fist bump, the high five and the thumbs up drove the idea for the thank you buttons. The hand gestures bring a feeling of connection, community and a "Hey, isn't it awesome to be part of this? Slap me some skin!"

The button sets will be available at future AIGA DC events for the suggested minimum donation of $5. Thanks goes out to Tamera Lawrence who designed the label and Joe Carabeo of Astray Productions for photographing the buttons.

If you would like more information about AIGA DC's Continuum Fund Scholarship or have questions about donating to AIGA DC's Continuum Fund, please email continuum@aigadc.org or visit www.aigadc.org/continuum.

More photos can be found on the AIGA DC Flickr page.

Carolyn Belefski
Continuum Chair, AIGA DC

Friday, July 3, 2009

"Has Boobs, Reads Comics" Submission

Jill Pantozzi from "Has Boobs, Reads Comics" is holding a contest for a sign she can display on her trip to Comic-Con International: San Diego. I discovered her on Twitter last month and have since been reading her amazing blog. She is very active in the comic community and writes for Girls Entertainment Network.

For my submission, I wanted to focus on her with the title of her blog. In the background I included all female characters. I thought about using males also, but then decided to focus on the boobs because of Jill's funny title. On the left are Wonder Woman, Zatanna, and Poison Ivy. On the right are my original characters from The Legettes: Elle, Layla, and Gwen. The Legettes will premiere at SPX in September.

The Legettes is a burlesque group in the dark and dangerous future where analog and digital are at constant war and everything we were ever afraid of has happened. While not on stage, The Legettes work as super secret spies who dream of changing the world.