Friday, December 28, 2012

Recap: Curls Studio's Year of 2012

As we approach the new year, I believe to look back on the year of 2012 we have been thru and reflect on the highlights. We had 15 tour stops this year (that's around 20 days of being behind the table or at appearances) and traveled all along the upper east coast to expand the Curls Studio territory. Below is our 2012 tour schedule with links to event recaps and photos from each event. Please click the link to read recaps and view the photo galleries.

2012 TOUR

MAY 12 • Asbury Park Comic Con, 1
JUN 3 • Capicons
JUN 10 • 'Team Cul de Sac' Signing, VA
JUL 7 • Southern Maryland Comic-Con
JUL 8 • DCJCC Comics in the District
JUL 11 • 'Team Cul de Sac' Signing, DC
JUL 28 • DC Zinefest
AUG 19 • 'District Comics' Signing, VA
SEP 8-9 • Baltimore Comic-Con
SEP 15-16 • Small Press Expo
SEP 22 • 'District Comics' Signing, PA
SEP 29 • Asbury Park Comic Con, 2
OCT 11-14 • New York Comic Con
OCT 27 • Annapolis Comic-Con
DEC 15 • Locust Moon Comics Festival

Here is a month-by-month breakdown of specific moments in 2012 that were monumental:

In January, I visited the Newseum in my free-time and wrote about their cartoon collection. I entered my comic strip 'Curls' in The Cartoonist Studio contest in February. It ran until week 8 (out of 10). Thanks to everyone who voted to support! In March I posted the pin-up Jimmy Palmiotti asked me to contribute for his graphic novel, Queen Crab, published by Image Comics. It was great to be included in that book and Jimmy is an amazing guy. In April, the Curls gang was on WWE Monday Night Raw. May launched the first-ever Asbury Park Comic Con - and we had a blast on the beach! We are already signed up to exhibit next year. June highlighted Team Cul de Sac - the official highlight of the year for me. There were two book signings during the year and an online auction, plus a panel conversation at Baltimore Comic-Con. As of December 11, 2012, Team Cul de Sac has raised $101,231.21 for Parkinson's research in honor of Richard Thompson and Chris Sparks. July was loaded with two shows , a book signing, an a panel discussion about the local comics scene in DC. August was busy and fun. The highlight of that month was the book release party and signing at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA. September was another busy month - the fall season is always very crazy with conventions and work to be done. I practically had no free-time or weekend break for several weeks in a row during September and October. Time moved quickly there was not much time to breathe. I was asked to do web banner art for Small Press Expo, which is an honor and is now included in the US Library of Congress. November was actually a more relaxing month because I didn't have to physically be anywhere. I still worked on Curls and did some freelance illustration and design projects. Curls Studio was asked to be guests on the DC Geeks podcast that month, so I guess we did travel to do that show, but it wasn't too far! In December, we wrapped up the year with Locust Moon Comics Festival.

Also Magic Bullet #5 was released during the year of 2012 and the theme was, you guessed it, end of the world! Throughout the year, the Carolyn & Joe Show delivered a new episode every Tuesday and never missed a week with the podcast. We even surpassed episode 200!

In 2013, I already have some projects on the docket and will be editing Magic Bullet #6. I have a productive feeling about this year. Thanks for keeping up with Curls Studio. I hope to see you in 2013 and beyond!

Commissioned Illustration for Child's Playroom

I was asked by a family to illustrate a young girl named Sophia playing with her dog, Bully, for a wall graphic in Sophia's playroom.

Here is a process sketch. I was able to work from photos of the girl and the dog.

And here is the final 46" x 72" graphic. Currently, the walls of the playroom are lime green.

I really like the illustration with a sky blue background and provided the client with that option as well. I told her we could also use the image for birthday parties or greeting cards.

Here is the illustration the client cut and designed to fit a goodie bag for Sophia's birthday party. I would love to design more custom wall graphics or party items!

Client Feedback
I loooooove it! It's great!!!

Available for Freelance Work
If you are interested in my illustration and/or design skills, please email Carolyn Belefski at

Thursday, December 27, 2012

ModCloth Creations

This is a dress concept design I did this past summer for ModCloth's "Make The Cut" collection with the theme of "Winter Garden Gala." I had a fun time drawing fashion, which is something a bit outside my regular artistic realm. I titled this dress "Cleopatra's Garden Party Dress" and was inspired by the gold color and keeping it within a gray monochromatic world. The use of the flower belt and fishnet-like sleeves add texture to accent the gold neckline. I didn't win the contest, but found it to be an awesome mission. Here is more information and the rules if you are interested in learning more. I hope ModCloth does another "Make The Cut" challenge in the future.

I did however win another ModCloth contest back in June - the National Doughnut Day contest. The goal was to post a photo of yourself wearing a ModCloth item and include a doughnut in the image. I didn't have much time to prepare for this, but was lucky to have a doughnut on-hand from one of my co-workers who brought some into the office to share and celebrate the day. Joe Carabeo from Astray Productions took the photo of me wearing The Deveraux Dress and we quickly posted it online. I had a good feeling about winning - and we did!

I love ModCloth's clothes, but I'm on a clothing purchase hiatus for one full year (which started last August). After that I can only buy items I truly need or items that are super treasures, not just out of want. If you are interested in checking out more of ModCloth's great items, please use my referral link for a $15 discount toward your first purchase of $50 or more:

Curls Studio - Guests on DC Geeks Podcast

Joe Carabeo and Carolyn Belefski are guests on the DC Geeks podcast - released yesterday, but recorded on November 14, 2012. We discussed our own podcast (The Carolyn & Joe Show) as well as the books and characters we create for Curls Studio. We also talked about My Little Pony, Turtle Derby, the human Barbie, and more. I hope you enjoy this show and thanks to DC Geeks for having us!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Recap: Locust Moon Comics Festival 2012

On Sunday, December 16, 2012, Curls Studio traveled to Philadelphia, PA for the first Locust Moon Comics Festival at The Rotunda. The show was very similar to Philadelphia Alternative Comic Con because of the same location, similar table layout, exhibitors, and vibe. I really appreciate how the show organizers promoted the show from the street with signage. Hopefully that drew in a curious crowd to stroll in. There was an after-party at Locust Moon after the show, but we opted to hit the road for a three hour drive home. 

The show had some amazing moments with our younger readers. In particular a young girl with blonde hair was with her dad and he told Joe a story about how she enjoyed Kid Roxy #1 a lot and one day she was reading under a tree and accidentally left the book there. When they went back to get the book it rained and the book got all wet. It was great to hear that story and the little girl was able to purchase Kid Roxy #1 and #2 to continue the story. She also asked me to draw in her sketchbook - very fun!

There were also a handful of other kids who purchased more of our books. It was exciting to connect with our audience in Philly! That was the last tour date of the year. We thank everyone we met this year on tour. In 2013, we are officially confirmed to be at Asbury Park Comic Con on March 30, Awesome Con on April 20-21, and Baltimore Comic-Con on September 7-8.

Check out more photos of "Locust Moon Comics Festival 2012" on the Curls Studio Facebook page:

Friday, December 7, 2012

Locust Moon Comics Festival 2012

Join Curls Studio on Sunday, December 16, 2012 from 11AM to 8PM at The Rotunda (4014 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, PA) for the first Locust Moon Comics Festival. This show used to be the Philadelphia Alternative Comic Con, but is now being run by Locust Moon Comics and Movies.

The festival will have lectures, panels, and conversations on comics. This unique one-day event will honor comic creators and comic creations. Artists and publishers will display and sell their works. Refreshments will be provided by Kung Fu Hoagies and Little Baby’s Ice Cream.

Exhibitors will include: Brandon Graham, Farel Dalrymple, J.G. Jones, David Mack, Jim Rugg, Michael Zulli, Jasen Lexx, Terry LaBan, Box Brown, Ben Marra, Ed Piskor, Jeffro Kilpatrick, Rafer Roberts, Joe Carabeo, Carolyn Belefski, Ad House Books, Meathaus Enterprises, Secret Acres, Koyama Press, Locust Moon Press, and many others. 

Here's a link to the event's Facebook page, so you can RSVP and share with your friends:

Here's some coverage the event is getting on CPR: